Dear Primary Parents,

It is my pleasure to extend a warm welcome to our Primary students and families, and in particular to the 137 new students who have joined us this year to make our school 617 students in total.

Our Mission at IICS is:
Through our challenging curriculum and strong staff-student relationships, IICS provides a caring environment that inspires each student to excel and to be inquisitive, creative, compassionate, balanced and internationally-minded.

With this in mind, the Primary teachers are focusing this week on setting high expectations and building essential agreements for behavior in order to establish positive learning communities in each class. They will be carrying out baseline assessments, which combined with information from the previous teacher, will ensure that students build on the skills and knowledge that they have acquired last year.

Curriculum Initiatives
These new roles are supporting curriculum initiatives started last year, based on current best practice in education, research and feedback from parents. Below is a short summary of the program developments, however, more information will be provided the coming weeks.

• Play-based Learning in the Early Years: Preschool 3 and 4 and Prep are now called Early Years 3, 4 and 5, which aligns with a global trend, recognizing the importance of a play-based program in building the essential skills for learning in these crucial first years of schooling.

• Literacy Goals: Aiming to excel in our mission statement has meant that we have established literacy goals and are focusing on reading and writing in English in Grade 1, so that French will now be introduced in Grade 2.

• Support Team: English as an Additional Language (EAL) and Learning Support teachers are now one department, allowing us to provide a more individual and flexible approach to support students based on their needs.

• Turkish: In response to the wishes of the community and to reflect our context as an international school in Turkey, these lessons will now focus on the Turkish language with all classes being split into Language A for proficient Turkish speakers and Language B, for students new to the language.

• Assemblies: Assemblies will continue to be on Thursdays at 9:10- 9:50 and Fridays at Hisar 8:45- 9:10. We will let you know well in advance if your child is performing. We are also looking into ways to streaming the assembly through the website.

Communication and Parents as Partners in Education
We consider parents to be partners in education and we encourage open communication with your children’s teachers. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher if you have a query or concern. Go directly to your child’s teacher who is the best placed to resolve such matters. E-mail is useful for exchanging information, however, if a matter requires discussion, please arrange an appointment through the school office, to see the teacher or to ask them to call you. Please be aware that during the school day, the teachers are focused on teaching the students and will usually not be able to check e-mails, read text messages or answer phone calls.

Our main channels of communication will be the class websites which the teachers will introduce in their Back To School Day next Wednesday. You will have also received a refrigerator magnet to help you navigate a streamlined school website so that it easier to find essential information.

In addition, each parent has received a printed calendar which gives you an over view of school events for the year. Whilst we will make every effort to avoid changes, events will be added throughout the year, and so we encourage you to visit the online Community Calendar on the school website for up to date information throughout the year.
Going Home Procedures
On a more practical note, can I ask that any changes to home time routines are communicated well in advance to your classroom teacher. For safe dismissal of the children, it is essential that it is clearly understood by staff at the school what the home time arrangements for your child are and for this reason, except in a emergency situation we will not be able to accommodate last minute changes, for example, a late notification of a play date.

We will be providing more information at Back To School Day on Thursday, 4 September. In the meantime, I would like to say how much we are looking forward to working with you and your children over the course of this year.

Best regards,
Angela Steinmann, Primary Principal
Judith Kingsbury, Primary Vice Principal