JamesTucker.jpgDear MS Parents ,

In my first three weeks as MS Principal, I’ve been blown away by the warm welcome from this professional, caring and knowledgeable community. It’s such a joy to walk in every day and be greeted by so many smiling faces on this beautiful lush green campus full of fruit and flowers.

A bit about me: I was born in Devon, England and I studied Philosophy and Literature at Edinburgh University before moving into a challenging school in South East London as part of the Teach First program which sends graduates to work in challenging inner city schools. I spent the last seven years living in Santiago, Chile, where I was Middle School Principal at Santiago College, an incredible IB school in Santiago. I’m married to a Chilean lady, Maria Eugenia, and we have a little girl called Lucy who’s two years old and will be in the EC at  CDS. I’m currently working on a certificate in advanced educational leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

I’m passionate about the wellbeing of young people and ensuring that they can all make excellent progress. I hope to build strong relationships with your children and the wider community; it “takes a village to raise a child” and education is all about collaboration between the family and the school. One of the big changes we will make this year is the transition to standards based grading. In a standards based grading model, student’s progress will be tracked against learning standards and both parents and students will be given quality feedback and regular updates on their learning. We are trying to move beyond the limited information contained in a traditional grading system towards a more accurate measure of progress against specific standards over time. In short, we’ll look at how much learning is taking place regarding specific goals and give feedback on how to move forwards. The ultimate aim is that all students should master the learning goals we present to them. I look forward to explaining this to you in more detail as time goes on.

Two of my other passions are social emotional learning and service, and I look forward to working with the community to promote wellbeing and finding ways to engage in meaningful, connected service. I’m really excited to learn that Nord Anglia education is prioritising the global development goals of peace, justice and strong institutions, and quality education. From these  we have derived this year’s school wide theme: Compassion over judgment, curiosity over fear. This ties in well with out our  Mission that states we provide children with the skills, values, and courage to become responsible leaders. Our Profile of the Graduate describes in detail the qualities that we expect our CDS graduates to embody.

Middle School students are at an exciting, intense and challenging stage of their development. It’s a foundational time: they forge their character, identify and nurture their passions and mould their flourishing personalities. They want more independence but need caring and consistent adults to guide them. They want to use their critical capacity to fix the world’s problems but need guidance on how to implement their often brilliant ideas. They are passionate about their communities but need a caring environment to enable them to speak up, act and flourish. We will work closely with parents and students to provide the personalisation, support and high expectations that will nurture the CDS student profile we seek to develop.

This handbook contains important information about the processes and functioning of the school.lease read through it carefully and pay close attention to the important information contained within

I’m really excited about my first year as CDS MS Principal and look forward to an enriching, happy year full of joyful learning.


James Tucker

Middle School Principal