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School Festivities 2023: Primary School Sets Gold Standard in Outdoor Play, while Secondary Explores Theatre and Poetry

WhatISTheBuzz logo with the IST logo included with a colored background





The Principal’s corner

Festival International

Yesterday didn’t quite end the way we had imagined. As I am writing to you all, I know that many are feeling disappointed and sad that we were not able to go through with the evening part of our Festival International. Current events remind us of how precious community support, kindness and tolerance are. And whilst we were not able to celebrate this all together last night, I know that we have that at IST. Despite the abrupt end to the day, students and teachers had a wonderful time yesterday joining the various activities with their teams. I saw many older students guiding younger ones, and this is the image I want to keep from the day. The little hands being held by bigger ones, being guided throughout activities, are one of many examples of the care we show for each other.

I want to recognise everyone involved in making yesterday a success, but also in showing understanding and reactivity when we made the decision to prioritise safety and cancel the evening part. Special thanks to Jim Noble for launching and driving this project forward, and to Friends of IST for their instrumental support. I hope the delicious foods from all over the world will have found good homes and taste buds. 

Take care,

Rachel Leonard

IST Principal


The Primary corner

Gold Standard!

Primary has welcomed a lot of visitors this week. On Wednesday we held our Introduction Conferences with students, parents and school staff engaging in constructive conversations. Thank you to everyone who attended. Working in partnership reflects ISTs Mission to provide a supportive environment in which we can challenge and inspire each other to maximise our potential.

Thank you also to the parents who attended the OPAL presentation on Thursday morning. The presentation was given by Michael Follett, the Founding Director of OPAL and  Kurti Birkenbeil an OPAL Mentor. 

Michael and Kurti were visiting Eurocampus to audit the Outdoor Play and Learning that is provided for the Primary Students by IST and DST. This has been a collaborative project led by Estelle Ash and Silvia Mira. It has involved a huge amount of work that has been driven by enthusiasm and energy. David Farrar is the Play coordinator for IST and his imagination, inventiveness and commitment definitely contributed significantly to the school being awarded “GOLD” standard.

We hope you will join us in congratulating the team on this achievement. We are the first OPAL school in France and one of only 5 International Schools with this status. 

I feel very privileged to be part of this school.

Alison Pattinson

Head of Primary


The Secondary corner

Theatre, mediaeval churches, poetry and Barbra Streisand!

This week we have had  a very busy time. We started off with a fantastic visit from the BackYard Theatre Ensemble organised by Mr Fearnehough. We were also joined on this by our friends from DST and English 31. See here for a fuller account from Mr Fearnehough.  

Grade 7 have been working hard in History recently and tried out their mediaeval church board games on Monday, designed to work out if you are on a Stairway to Heaven or a Highway to Hell! 

Also the English department have been very busy creating a beautiful display of Grades 6-8 students’ favourite poetry (in their home language) as part of the Festival International celebrations. 

Finally, a huge thank you to the Grade 11&12 musicians who provided us with some wonderful music, and in particular Alicia, in G11, who did an absolutely stunning version of an old  Barbra Streisand song, “My Man”, from the film “Funny Girl” (1965). Bravo! 

Nick Fretwell

Head of Secondary 


#whatISThebuzz @IST next week? 

Next Week

Monday 16th October

Grade 2 visit to Toulouse

14h20-14h55 KC Fitness Club for IST staff and KC Parents

Secondary parent delegates meeting

Tuesday 17th October 

Secondary Sports Day

Whole-school collaboration meeting

Wednesday 18th October

G1 visit to Pibrac Market

Thursday 19th October

University of Oxford MAT admissions test

Friday 20th October

Governors meeting

Last day before our half-term break.

Back to school on Monday 6 November.


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