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Parent FAQs

Selecting a school for your child is one of the most important decisions that a parent has to make; it’s therefore natural that you’ll have questions about everything from school working hours and term dates, to uniform and meal times, to who our teachers are.

We’ve collated the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions below; we hope these are useful. Please click on the question that interests you to view each answer.

Prospective parents can contact the Admissions Team by:

Q. What are the school hours and term dates?

School hours for all ages are 8.45-15.30

After-school clubs and activities (running from 15.30-17.00) will begin from Monday 21st October, following the half-term holiday.

The school’s term dates, showing when the school is open and on holiday, can be viewed at the link:

WIST 2019-20 School Calendar
WIST 2020-21 School Calendar

Q. Who are WIST’s teaching staff? Are they native English-speakers? What qualifications do they hold?

Teaching Staff in the in the Preschool

The Primary School is led by a highly-qualified British Head of Primary, experienced in the UK and in first-rate international schools around the world.

The Preschool classes Pre-Nursery and Nursery (2 and 3 year-old children) are led by excellent host-country Class Teachers supported by host-country and native English-speaking Teaching Assistants. We believe that exposure to native English is desirable at an early age to support young learners’ language development.

In Reception (for 4 year-old children) there is a Mainstream class, led by a UK-qualified native English-speaking Class Teacher and host-country assistant and a parallel Accelerated English, class led by a host-country teacher supported by a native English-speaking Teaching Assistant.

Teaching Staff in the Primary School

The Primary School is led by a highly-qualified British Head of Primary, experienced in the UK and in first-rate international schools around the world.

Our Mainstream Classes; (Year 1 – Year 6 MS) in the Primary School are led by qualified, native English-speaking expatriate Class Teachers supported by host-country Teaching Assistants.

Our Accelerated English Classes (Year 1 – Year 6 AE) in the Primary School are led by excellent host-country Class Teachers supported by local and native English-speaking Teaching Assistants. Local Class teachers possess an innate knowledge and understanding of local children that make them the correct choice as the leaders of the AE classes; their partnership with native English-speaking Teaching Assistant creates an effective teaching team that will ensure progress not only in the acquisition of English but across the curriculum.

Our expatriate Class Teachers are highly trained and carefully selected; they hold all of the qualifications, certificates and background checks required to teach in any tier-one school in the UK or internationally.

Q. How many children are there in each class? What are the child:adult ratios?

Pre-Nursery class (for 2-3 years) has up to 18 children with one Class Teacher and two Teaching Assistants; the ratio of children to teaching staff is 6:1.

Nursery class (for 3-4 years) has up to 18 children with one Class Teacher and one Teaching Assistant; the ratio of children to teaching staff is 8:1 .

NB: The above ratios do not include the additional shared staff on hand to support with hygiene and toileting.

Reception class (for 4-5 years) has up to 20 children supported by one Class Teacher and one Teaching Assistant; the ratio of children to teaching staff is 10:1.

Year 1-6 classes (for 5-11 years) have up to 25 children supported by one Class Teacher and (minimum) one Teaching Assistant;
the ratio of children to teaching staff is 10:1
NB: The above ratios do not include the numerous additional shared teaching and academic management staff who lead and support a variety of lessons.

A general note about class numbers and children:adult ratios

Please note that while the limits on class numbers are flexible, the ratios of children:adults are fixed (inflexible); if we enrol additional children in a class that has an upper limit of 18, for example growing the number to 22, we will add additional teaching staff to ensure that ratios are observed.

Q. Does the school have a uniform? What does it look like? What is the quality? Is it compulsory to wear the uniform?

For

At Westminster International School in Tashkent we believe that all students should be smartly dressed and ready to learn; therefore wearing school uniform is compulsory.

The attractive uniform design is classic in appearance, based on the colours navy blue and grey, with purple trim and details; it is manufactured from high-quality, durable materials suited to the seasons in Tashkent

Our winter and summer uniform can be purchased at our on-site uniform shop, which we keep well-stocked at all times.

The uniform for each class can be viewed below.

Q. Does the school offer lessons and clubs that will enable my child to develop their abilities in sport, music and the arts? Does the school employ specialist teaching staff who excel in these fields?

Yes, providing high-quality opportunities for children to develop their abilities in sports, music and the arts will be a school priority. This will be met both through the school curriculum, which includes Physical Education, Music and Art and Design, and through optional lessons and clubs.

Children and their families have different motives for participation in sports, music and the arts. Some participate for enjoyment and to broaden their experience; others are eager to develop skills to a very high level, possibly with a view to taking up a career in these areas in the future.

WIST will make arrangements to ensure that all such needs are met as effectively as possible.

In addition to club teachers invited to provide after-school activities, WIST benefits from the support of the following specialist teaching staff who teach across the Preschool and Primary School:

  • Teacher of Physical Education
  • Teacher of Swimming
  • Teacher of Music
  • Teacher of Art and Design

These professionals are appropriately trained, qualified and experienced; our Physical Education and Swimming Teachers are certified in first-aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Q. Does the school employ any specialist teachers to support children who are emergent English-speakers?

In addition to the Class Teachers who lead the Accelerated English (AE) classes, themselves specialists in teaching emergent English-speakers, the school will employ an EAL Leader who will coordinate support for children newer to English. Another duty in this role will be to train colleagues and to quality assure provision for EAL students in all classes of the Preschool and Primary School.

The EAL Leader will work in close liaison with the Head of Preschool and Head of Primary School, ensuring that children make swift progress in their acquisition of English.

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Since most students at international schools tend to be bilingual, the EAL Leader’s remit will include the entire Preschool and Primary school and won’t be restricted to the AE classes.

Q. How does the school communicate with parents and keep them informed about their children’s progress?

The WIST online app

The WIST Online app provides our parents with frequent, high quality updates on everything from school trips and events to children’s grades and photos of the children’s learning; this can be installed on smart devices such as mobile phones or tablets and is also accessible on laptops and desktop computers.

WIST Online also enables parents to access data about their children’s attendance and punctuality, view and print termly written reports on their progress, view their grades and even write messages to the teaching team and operations staff.

Meeting with teaching staff

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We invite parents for a formal meeting to discuss their children’s progress on three occasions during the academic year but in reality, provided that reasonable notice is given, teachers are available to make an appointment to meet you on most school days; we only ask that you book these meetings in advance and inform the staff concerned of the reason for the meeting in order for them to be properly prepared.

Written reports

Written reports are issued three times per year for children in the Preschool and Primary school, which can be accessed and printed from the WIST Online app.

Informal communication

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In addition to the channels of communication listed above, parents and carers (nannies, relatives, other responsible adults) are encouraged to drop-off and collect children in the morning and afternoon; this provides a valuable informal opportunity to pass quick verbal messages to teachers.

Q. How does the school use technology to support learning?

A powerful IT infrastructure is in place to enhance learning. This includes interactive whiteboards in all classes and trolleys of laptops and tablets which are available to be used in various lessons across the curriculum, from Maths and English to STEAM and Music lessons. As part of STEAM learning, children have opportunities to solve problems and to design and build their own working models using technical construction materials including motors, pneumatics, gears and pulleys.Pupils also have opportunities to develop coding skills, brought to life by activities such as constructing and programming robots.

Q. What meals are provided to children? Where and at what time do the children eat? Are they supervised when they eat? Is there any choice or different dishes?

A nutritious, tasty hot lunch is available to every child attending our school; this is prepared and served in our modern kitchen and canteen by the school’s own catering staff.

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School lunches are compulsory for all children attending our school.

Children are free to choose what they eat from a range of options.

The school also provides children with healthy snacks to eat during morning and afternoon breaks.

In the canteen, children and staff eat together, encouraging a community atmosphere and good table-manners; adults on duty also formally supervise, ensuring that behaviour is excellent and that children are eating a healthy quantity and variety of different foods.

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Our school’s operations team ensure the highest possible standards of health, safety and hygiene are observed at all times in the preparation and serving of meals.

Please see the overview of meal times below:

Provided by

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Time
School
9.30 (Preschool) / 10.00 (Primary School)
School
12.00-12.30 (Preschool) / 13.00-13.40 (Primary School)
School
14.20 (Preschool) / 15.20 (Primary School)

Q. Does the school employ teachers of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?

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Yes, we will employ a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator who will provide high-quality support to children with specific learning, emotional, behavioural and physical needs. Another duty in this role will be to train colleagues and to quality-assure provision for SEND children in all classes of the Preschool and Primary School.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator will be British trained and certified.

Q. Will there be opportunities for parents to get involved in school life and school events?

The school has a busy calendar of events, from performances, to charity fundraising efforts, to the Winter and Summer Fayres and School Trips. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend performances and to participate in many areas of school life!

The classes Reception – Year 6 invite parent volunteers to school on a regular basis to read stories and to listen to individual children practising their reading. Please enquire with your child’s class teacher if you’d like to get involved.

The WIST Parent – Teacher Association (PTA) will fulfil a key role in event planning and organisation, as well as some other decisions about the curriculum, key investments and school development.