Diwali for Early Years

Celebrate Diwali on 19th October 2017

The Diwali festival lasts for five days, with the main celebrations happening on the third day in most places in India. This year the big day is Thursday October 19.

Jan Homden has put together lots of fun activities to celebrate Diwali in your classroom, together with links to websites and information taken from each source. An opportunity to further develop your children’s understanding of the world.

Click on the image to download your free PDF


Island School at 50

Island School reflections

International Teacher Magazine magazine celebrates Island School’s Golden Anniversary by bringing together articles by five Islanders that reflect its unique character and contribution to international education – then and now.
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Dinosaurs in the Early Years!

A resource for Early Years from Jan Homden

Click on the images below to download your free PDF for Dinosaurs in the Early Years Part A & B

Dinosaurs in the Early Years Part A

Part A focusses on communication, literacy and the development of language through play. Fun ideas for role play, the activity trays and the writing area to stimulate the children’s imagination and conversation. Dinosaur picture books are reviewed through Amazon and there are links to songs and stories on-line.


Dinosaurs in the Early Years Part B

In Part B the focus is on exciting ideas for mathematics especially in relation to shape, space and measures, as well as links to dinosaur resources and information about Natural History or Dinosaur Museums in the UK, Australia and the US. Amusing action/counting songs to sing and rhymes to chant for a special dinosaur assembly?


Know your students

Differentiation and assessment for learning, a personal view

Last year Paul Jackson was approached by a neighbour whose Grade 7 (UK year 8) daughter, was struggling in Maths and wanted him to tutor her. This is not something he usually does, but as a neighbour, he reluctantly agreed. Some serious thinking followed.

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Fun with Water in the Early Years

Early Years Resources

Click on the images to download Jan Homden’s free PDFs for Fun with Water Part A & Part B.

Part A – Get on your rain gear and join Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk. Display ideas for your classroom and fiction/non-fiction books to share. Water play activities and simple experiments to encourage prediction, observation and language development.

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Those who can, do

Ronald Stones OBE: the “can do” man

British international education in South East Asia has been grown rapidly for some time . We meet Ron Stones, one of the most influential British school leaders over the last 30 years, look back on his career and ask about his next project.

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Navigating emotions

Emotions matter

hqdefaultResearch has shown that, far from separating two separate systems of rational thinking and emotion, the human brain uses both together. Emotions give us information and emotions drive the decisions we make. If we don’t pay attention to both cognitive and emotional sources of information, we are compromising our decision-making ability, writes Sarah Whyte.


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Online safety for kids

Whilst we all recognize the opportunities the Internet offers, keeping children safe online is a constant source of concern often exacerbated by the gap in online proficiency between child and parents/teacher.

Encouragingly, Jackie Harden reports that support is available and easily accessible. If you feel able to recommend other sources of support, we would love to hear from you.

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A Case for Establishing Leadership Training at an Earlier Stage

In some areas of the world there is a leadership crisis in schools; England reports an alarming lack of head teachers. Workload and stress levels have been cited as contributing to the paucity of teachers willing to take on leadership roles, but Ciaran McMahon suggests that directed leadership training will enthuse teachers and offers a positive route out of the leadership shortage predicament.

This article appears with the kind permission of the Irish Primary Principals’Network (IPPN) It originally appeared in Leadership+,  the IPPN’s members’magazine.

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UAE continues to lead the international K-12 schools market

New report

The UAE continues to be the leading country in the world for English-medium K-12 international schools.  In terms of the number of international schools, the UAE is currently competing in a very tight race with China, but in terms of student enrolment, the UAE leads the world decisively. The data has been published in the new Market Intelligence Report for International Schools in the United Arab Emirates by ISC Research. Anne Keeling reports.

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Outdoor Adventure Therapy

Round the world with Sarah Outen


From the comfort of our cozy lives, it is difficult to imagine what it is like to cycle, row and kayak around our planet. Sarah Outen has done just that and her experiences provide one with a sobering sense of perspective and genuine awe. Tony Richards reflects on her epic trip and makes the case for opening up outdoor education to those who are yet to experience its benefits.

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Time for the Crisis Manager?

avatar.jpg.320x320pxFortunately few of us will experience events as tragic as the earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015, but such events do happen and, as we have witnessed, demand enormous human resourcefulness and resilience. Steve Priest, teaching in the The British School of Kathmandu at the time of the earthquake, explains the crucial role that forward thinking and planning played in enabling the school to react effectively to events and support the school and wider community.

Drawn from his experiences, Steve also provides valuable guidance on how schools can and should prepare for crises available as a downloadable PDF. (see below)

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An American IB journey


According to the IB’s  website, “The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Americas supports over 3,000 IB World Schools in more than 30 countries across North, Central and South America”.  There are now 1,764 IB World Schools in the USA alone. In seeking to understand the growing appeal of the IB Diploma to American schools, ITM recently spoke to J. Harry Lynch, Headmaster of the Newman School of Boston.

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Rebuilding schools in Dhading, Nepal

An update from TBS, Kathmandu

Over the weekend of 16th & 17th January, staff from The British School (TBS) of Kathmandu returned to Dhading and visited the three schools that TBS Charities are helping to rebuild. TBS is pleased to report that the building work is progressing on schedule and the expected date of completion is early May. It is not long now until students will return to permanent classrooms once again.

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Planning for uncertainty

An interesting two years

Financial crises, ash clouds, haze, epidemics, regulatory changes, geopolitical instability – all are beyond a Headteacher’s  control, and all pose a threat to a school’s health and growth. Andy Homden,  who was in his first headship at the Alice Smith School in Kuala Lumpur during 1997 recalls how a combination of existential threats lead to the development of a new and flexible approach to strategic planning which has been put to the test more than once in the last 15 years.

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International schools pass 8,000 mark

The featured image shows Hong Kong International School’s  spectacular new campus in the Tai Tam area of Hong Kong Island: the current expansion of international education means not only more schools  being started, but established schools like HKIS (founded in 1966), growing and building new, state of the art facilities. Anne Keeling explains why growth in the international sector shows no sign of slowing down. 

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International Schools – changing opportunities

A vist to Taylor’s International, KL

Taxi_in_Kuala_Lumpur_03My taxi, adorned with a myriad of good luck charms: coins, mystic knots, Dzi beads and even a laughing Buddha, battled through the tropical downpour and dropped me at the gate of the school. It was “Home time!” and scores of shrieking children danced excitedly through the torrential rain and waiting cars, seeking sanctuary from the storm.

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