Newsletter 5

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Dear Parents,

          Christmas week for ESM – with some tidings of comfort and joy. The School has been full of music in these last days. Imaginative, well-rehearsed and polished shows – with all dialogue in English of course – and presentations from Pre-School (an hour long extravaganza) to Grade 1’s Big Cast offering and Grade 2C’s Snow White. Then the Songs Finals with the 12 Best Songs whittled down to 3 by the Judges, 2 Singers from the Opera House, and to the Best Overall Song – Class 9B’s “Alexander Hamilton”.

          Many of these numbers were reprised in the two end of Term Concerts, attended by big audiences in the Dining Hall. The Junior Concert took in Carols, Piano and Violin performances, the Junior Orchestra and Dances of all sorts from Traditional to Flash Mob. The Cherries on the Cake were the visiting acrobats from the Mongolian Circus Group. At the Senior End, again a dazzling variety from most impressive Mozart and Elgar recitals to Chinese Dancing and including the most welcome return of the Frontier Army Band. See Facebook ( for photos of many of these events.

          A digest of Grades/Scores and Reports for all Grades marking the midway point of the year should by now be with all Parents. Senior Classes have been assessed after a series of Mock Exams for IGCSE and the IB Diploma. On the basis of these results, Predicted and Expected Grades have been set for all students. We are, for example, setting the entry point for admission to Year 1 of the Diploma Programme as a cluster of not less than 5 A to C Grades, including 3 in core Subjects (English, Maths and Science). The May scores will determine the August Year 1 Cohort. Lower down, the Junior School are moving towards Pilot Status for the Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate – more news of this next Term.

          Our Sports Teams continue to prosper: Our Taekwondo students have advanced to Yellow and Green Belts during the recent Belt Test. Our Gymnastics Team came in 3rdPlace during the Open Tournament at The Mongolian National University of Education. ESM’s Football, Basketball and Volleyball teams will be quite busy during this holiday break and have much to look forward to Next Term.

          Clubs have been in Fine Fettle: some highlights have been Embroidery and Football: (at many levels) and, as usual, some strong Chess with 9 Schools competing in the November ESM Tournament. We have recently enjoyed a remarkable array of staff-driven Assemblies culminating in Mr. Mark’s Valedictory address on Monday. He leaves ESM for warmer climes after a huge contribution over the last 3 years as a much admired Deputy Head. A new look Senior Leadership Team will be announced in the New Year.

          Two seasonal acts of altruism to gladden everyone I am sure. Our Interact Club is supporting the children in need in various hospitals around the city and all funds from the 14 December Mufti Morning went to this cause. More formally, Yu Jin Lee in 12A has held a series of jewelry sales and put all proceeds forward for a valuable individual Art Prize, awarded to a 9A Student. January also brings the much anticipated 2-week residential intensive study course at the German Mongolian Institute of Technology in Nalaikh for all Grade 11 and 12 pupils. We have high hopes that this will give real academic impetus to the Senior ESM Grades at a time of the year when performance can flag; as well as a realistic taster of University-style life. Later on, ESM Players will be performing “Carousel” at the Opera House, ahead of a weeklong Drama Tour to Bangkok and Rayong in Thailand.

          Our heartfelt thanks to everyone once more in the ESM Family. Gillie and I hope that the central message of Christmas can resonate with us all at this time: Peace on the Earth, Goodwill to Men and we wish our Pupils, Parents and all ESM staff a Very Happy New Year.


Graham Hill


The English School of Mongolia