I'm Fiona, a Maltese citizen, and this is my second year teaching Junior 4 at Newark School. I'm a mother of triplet boys and also possess the warrant of an accountant. Teaching at Newark School is teaching with a difference. It gives me a lot of satisfaction and energy teaching students coming from different cultures and backgrounds. Eventually we end up as one big family by the end of the scholastic year. The small number of students within each class makes Newark School a unique environment.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn” (B. Franklin)
Seeing progress and development in children has always been a great passion of mine. Having studied Psychology as my main area and currently reading an MA in Youth Work have helped me to reach out to each child and youth, and try to understand what they are good at in order for them to excel. I’ve also worked with children with educational difficulties and disabilities and this has helped me to be aware that nothing can be taken for granted, that the teaching strategies have to be adapted to each child and most importantly: that each child is really special and has immense potential. At Newark school, this is regarded as very important whereby the focus is on each child and our target is to work together to help the children attain their full potential.
Margaret White- Junior 4 class teacher
Catherine Coleiro - Junior 3 class teacher
Meet our teachers - Fiona Dimech; Junior 4 class teacher
The School’s Ethos is that of a small, independent, co-eductional, mixed ability school catering for children aged from 2 to 16. It is a loving and caring educational entity striving to instil in learners, amiable, and civic values and where learners’ interests are a priority. Everyone who visits Newark School tends to comment on the warm, friendly family atmosphere that is felt here. Newark School aims to make the school experience a happy one, where the strengths the students bring to the school are identified and encouraged to promote students’ achievement.
Our school strives to maintain a healthy school environment where every pupil feels secure and where the needs and successes of each and every pupil are recognised thus enhancing motivation and achievement. In this way we aim to boost students’ self confidence and self esteem.
Newark School offers all learners, regardless of race, gender, background and ability the confidence they need to succeed in life.
At our school, an inclusive culture is promoted, where all are valued and encouraged to explore their full potential, and where emphasis is placed on praise rather on criticism. A broad curriculum is delivered by a staff of highly committed teachers who work hard to ensure that all children really enjoy coming to school, learn to respect themselves and others and develop a love for learning they will sustain for their lifetime.
We recognise that our school has a vital role to play, in helping all our learners acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes which will serve them well beyond their primary years. We want our learners to understand that both individually and collectively they can make a difference.
Childhood is a very crucial and sensitive phase in life. Newark School will do its best to make for its learners this experience as happy and fruitful as possible.
Our school adopts a zero tolerance to bullying in our school. For further reading about the subject click on the link below:
Addressing Bullying Behaviour in Schools
Newark School hosts approximately 200 pupils in reception, Kindergarten, Junior and Senior classes. The majority of the students come from other countries. These learners hail from 28 nationalities. 20% of the school population is Maltese.This makes our school a multicultural learning community putting an extra responsibility on us as educators to help our learners attain a good level in English both in the spoken and the written language.
“Each school must develop a linguistic strategy which reflects the particular linguistic needs of its students. In so doing, it should not overlook the fact that the Maltese Society has its own native tongue and recognises English as an official language, a language which has also developed as a lingua franca. Equal importance should be given to the first and second languages at all levels” (Principle 10 NMC)
Developing the Languages
A child develops a language through the four modes – listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Every language lesson should ideally include the four modes.
Our school gives every opportunity for exposure to the listening of good language as frequently as possible starting from the reception and kinder classes. This is done through reading of stories, teacher-pupil communication and reading.
Encouraging the use of correct spoken language in conversation with the class teacher, other teachers, the SMT and among peers can help pupils acquire better knowledge of the language and become more confident in its use.
Our school is to continue to give great importance to reading. Class visits to the school library are held regularly. Every student is free to go to the library during breaktime.The school library includes interesting books which are kept in good condition for all levels.
Reading sessions Meeting my friend – the book are held occasionaly for SMT, all teachers and pupils.
Being the most demanding of the four modes, pupils are primarily to be exposed as much as possible to the other three modes thus rendering the writing process a natural way of expressing themselves in Maltese, English and other languages. Recently, pupils were asked to write their comments about their school. These comments were later published and distributed to all parents during the School’s Open Day.
Annual School Magazine
In order to encourage pupils to express themselves in writing the Schools publishes its magazine, inviting all pupils to write original stories, opinions, articles about sports, places, people, hobbies ecc. They may even try poetry.
Use of Language in the classroom
English is used during all the subjects except Maltese.
Parents can decide that their children will not attend Maltese or Religion lessons. Alternative activities are organised instead. These activities could include reading sessions, art, music, science or some other activity. Children are never left unattended.
Newark has a fully qualified PE teacher and we try to encourage children to participate in sports events. Normally we use the school yard but we also use other locations such as the Tal Qroqq Sports centre or the Marsa Sports club
An outing is organised at least once a month. We emphasise the importance of outings because children learn a great deal from these events. We organise outings related to culture, the environment, sports or some important event. The children will be asked to write about the outing and this is then discussed in school.
We have children from different religions so although we are a Catholic school we understand that we need to focus on aspects related to life principles which are common to all religions. We also foster an awareness and understanding of the different religions as this is important for people living in multicultural settings
Outings are fun and educational
As a teacher my main objective is to create a classroom atmosphere that is stimulating and encouraging to students, whilst enhancing children’s self- esteem. This is done by developing inspiring hands on lessons that capture a child’s imagination. The use of technology in the classroom enhances visuals which are essential to impart information especially to pupils with learning difficulties. Children are trained to look for information themselves on websites for kids, rather than repeat what the teacher says in class. Students who come with no basics in English are encouraged to develop individual reading skills.