Since April of this year I have had the privilege of being involved in a start up school project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I worked within a team, with the project kick started in August 2015 by the then Director of Curriculum and Teacher Training, Sue Williams, and taken over by the Acting Director General, Tim Sloman, when he arrived in Riyadh in March 2016. The school is supported by HRH Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and the MiSK Foundation. The School’s vision is to nurture students who are ‘Ready for Life’, and the students are all from Saudi Arabia. The language of instruction will be English, and the school is an IBPYP candidate school which also hopes to be accredited with the Council of International Schools in the future. What makes the school unique in Riyadh, and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are two major factors – #1 – the personalised learning with class sizes of only 12 students and #2 – the technology tools available to support the teaching and learning will be state of the art.

The school is housed temporarily in a facility that has been adapted to support the school numbers while the purpose built campus will be built.

My role has been as the Interim Primary Principal, and educational consultant. The school has appointed Sue Williams as the Primary Principal and I have had the privilege of working closely with Sue for the past 4 months. The transition and handover at the end of August went very smoothly.

I enjoyed the variety of the work, from helping to design classrooms, recruiting teachers and instructional assistants, to writing policies and procedures, to work with the Primary Pedagogical team on defining the Instructional Vision, to work with all staff on refining the MiSK School Values and for August, providing teacher training.  It was difficult to say goodbye to the team that will be staying on and making sure that the doors are able to open from Sunday 18th September, but I know that we have worked hard to make sure everyone is ready to receive and teach the students.