The River Thames outside DLD College London

From The Principal #194

3rd November 23

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Even though it is blowing a gale outside, the school is back in its stride after the half-term holiday. And the weather was not going to dampen any ‘spirits’ as the ghosts of Halloween haunting the school were preparing to celebrate this much-loved seasonal festival. The pupils continued to impress me this week with their enthusiasm for such events; their scary costumes were terrifying, as were the ghoulish dishes being served up in the Ghostal Kitchen (I know, I’m sorry!). We also had our DLD International Day, where our students from various countries showcased all that is good about their home – food, drink, music, language, culture and their traditional outfits, which this time were not terrifying! Again, it was an impressive event, enthusiastically organised by staff and students. I am pleased that everyone has returned in good spirits, having had the opportunity to rest over the long half-term holiday, and I know that our students and staff have had a good balance of work, rest and play over the break.

We will have our rounds of Parents’ Evening this month, which are all taking place virtually, and this will be an opportunity for you to connect with our teachers and discuss your child’s progress. Please sign up for these evenings when the notifications arrive. By working together, we can bring the best out of your child, allowing them to grow in confidence and succeed. Remember to discuss our values of tolerance, respect, academic curiosity, community, and kindness, (I hope our students haven’t forgotten them over the holiday(!) and how they help to create our warm and positive culture conducive to learning. Good luck to all those students who will be sitting public examinations this month and to those who completed their university entrance tests despite the issues experienced by the University of Oxford with its online tests. Our students were resilient and displayed a lot of character while this was being investigated. I wish them and our Exams Team all the best as they manage the autumn exams season – scary stuff! Thanks must also go to our Universities Team, who have worked throughout the holiday to complete UCAS applications with our Y13 and Y14 students now looking to the future to secure highly coveted places at universities in the UK and worldwide.

With the start of Christmas a mere seven weeks away, we are already thinking about January 2024, when the BTEC exams and the school’s mock exams will take place. November is the time to knuckle down and ensure that good work habits are being developed in preparation for those important exams and the many tests and milestones that are heading the students’ way this half term. The Y14 IFP students and all those studying for the IELTS assessment have their exams in December – so this month is crucial for planning and preparation. Our exceptional Tutors, Housemasters/Mistresses and Houseparents are on hand to provide our students with that award-winning pastoral care they need during this period of intense preparation. Our students must make the most of the excellent well-being support offered to them – academics and pastoral care go hand in hand. So, as Storm Ciairan wreaks havoc around Britain, it is good to know that our staff and students are working hard and are happy, despite it being miserable outside!

Irfan Latif