The River Thames outside DLD College London

From the Principal #135

21st January 22

Sarah Watson, Vice Principal (Academic)

I have been delighted and impressed by my recent welcome to the DLD community by students and staff alike over the past three weeks. As a newcomer the College feels warm, welcoming and inspiring, a feeling shared by the many new students I have had the pleasure to talk with this month.

The examination and assessment mid-year season is in full swing at DLD this week, and there is a sense of calm and revered study around the College. Books and laptops are out in the spacious communal areas, as students naturally form collaborative groups in which to study. It is impressive to see students’ quiet determination, resilience and care for each another throughout this time of focus. During this time we are more vigilantly aware of the need to support students both academically and more holistically. It is therefore encouraging to see the number of students taking up offers of individual subject revision clinics, and dedicated time to voluntarily meet with Personal Tutors. We continue to impress on students the importance of quality sleep and good nutrition to fuel engaged brains, with our experienced House Parents also playing in a key role in this vital area.

I also welcome the opportunity to introduce myself to the DLD community as the newest member of the Executive Leadership Team. It is a privileged role to take on, helping to navigate students to become their best selves, and I hope that my experience and passion for education contributes to this end. I have recently moved from Switzerland, where I held the post of Vice Principal at the International School of Geneva. Prior to this I spent almost a decade in Asia at King George V School in Hong Kong as Head of College, and I have studied in the UK, Australia and Singapore. Living within, or surrounded by, different cultures, languages and styles of education is a real privilege, as our students here experience. However I hope I can also empathise with the challenges that this sometimes creates for us as individuals, regardless of our background. The rich experiences that such diversity gives to our community is a real asset to us all, and we will continue to capitalise on this learning to allow our students to achieve in all areas of their lives.

I am very much looking forward to engaging with all stakeholders of our community and would encourage you to also invite me into your conversations about the development of our young people.

I wish you an enjoyable January, as the nights begin to look brighter, covid restrictions ease, and we push forwards into the Spring term with renewed vigour.