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Welcome to Mougins British International School
Welcome

A warm welcome from the Head of School

James Wellings Head of School in Mougins British International School

Welcome to Mougins School! The school is a very special place to learn and a very special place to work. I am privileged to be the Head of School here. We are located near the beautiful hilltop village of Mougins on the Côte d’Azur in the south of France. We are also part of the Sophia Antipolis technology park and surrounded by some of the leading and most innovative companies in France. This provides a setting that is beautifully balanced between the natural world and the best of human innovation.

We have just over 500 wonderful students on campus aged from 3 to 18 and are happy to serve both the local and expatriate community here in Mougins. With over 40 nationalities making up our student population we are a British inspired school with a truly international feel. This combination of our location and our community makes our school a very special place to be.

As the Head of School I believe we have a responsibility to ensure that all of our students can enrich their lives through a wide range of activities and programs that allow them to find their passions. We are values-driven with a focus on student achievement, in whatever form that takes. Education is a journey and learning is a nonlinear process so through effort, perseverance and the embracing of challenges our learners will go on to positively shape the lives of themselves, others and the world around them.

I hope you will come on that journey with us.

James Wellings,
Head of School

Thoughts from the Head

The Learning Curve
  • Thoughts from the Head
James Wellings

Welcome to the Learning Curve, 

During a recent interview with a potential teacher for our school I said to the candidate (as I almost always do) that they could only ask me two questions about Mougins School. They could be separate questions or the second could be a follow up to the first. The only rule is that there can only be two. 


I find it to be a very revealing process. I want to know what they prioritise, how long they think about it for, whether they are willing to challenge or seek further information. There is no correct question but the thought process in itself is great to watch and often useful in this context. 


The teacher in question thought for quite a long time. They then said something like the following: 


“I am interested that community is one of the values you proclaim to uphold. 

What does that look like in reality?”


I enjoyed this question. 


I enjoyed it because there was a challenge laid down in it. I enjoyed it because I suspect this person has seen how surface level claims can be. I enjoyed it because it made me think and even adjusted my points mid answer. 


I started talking about our events and celebrations. All the usual good stuff (and it is good stuff) but then pivoted. Our student and family events are amazing and it’s wonderful to see them back. However, I quickly found myself talking about the small, seemingly insignificant things we say and do every day that contribute to our sense of community and togetherness. 


Our respect value talks and courtesy and politeness. The more everyone does in the way of speaking kindly, holding doors or asking how people are the more the foundations of our community are strengthened by these daily micro behaviours. 


Our learning value challenges us to learn from and act upon mistakes. If we can do so with humility and honesty trust will grow and this is a keystone for a strong community. 


Our integrity value seeks fairness and transparency. This is another trust builder and conversely a trust destroyer! 


These mid-sentence reflections have really stuck with me. The big community things we do have to be underpinned by the small, daily and sometimes difficult things that we do. 


The PTA OGM took place onsite on Thursday. It was a well organised, structured and useful meeting but one that was not that well attended. I felt that was a bit of a shame. I have seen first hand all the good that volunteer parents bring to our school and the work and dedication they put in. It is impressive. Open air cinema night is a great example of that in action. 


I meet with the PTA fairly regularly and I also know first hand that they would love more volunteers, ideas and events for people to get involved with. I can’t wait to see the upcoming international day which I know many of you have volunteered for. 


In the interests of our integrity value I have seen a quiet but common theme over the last year which is criticism from some parents of our PTA. When constructive and well directed this is great. It helps things to improve. When unconstructive or misinformed it has the danger of being destructive. It is certainly not useful. 


I’d urge, ask, and even challenge those that have ideas of how things could and should be improved to get involved, ensure they have accurate information and help to strengthen this important part of our school. If there is something that is within our scope and power to make it better we should come together and try. 


For that is what good communities do. 


As a side bonus, it can also be part of my answer to the next candidate who asks. 


Have a lovely weekend everyone. 


James Wellings
Head of School 
 

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