Posted on May 16, 2017

As always at St Catherine’s there is a great deal going on across the whole school – lots of focus from our public examination students in Year 11 and Year 13.  I must say I have been more than impressed by their approach.  Their punctuality and behaviour have been absolutely exemplary in every way.  This surely augurs well for their future prospects.  We should never take for granted the positive ethos around our school – a feature that has been also commented on by all of our recent interviewees for the few teaching positions available for September – “I was struck by the warmth of the staff at the school and the students’ politeness and enthusiasm for learning.  They were an absolute pleasure to teach!” wrote one candidate whilst she ended by commenting “visiting your school has only made the thought of our family moving to the international sector more appealing whilst acting as a benchmark in regards to what to look for in an international school.”  High praise indeed and from somebody who did not get the position!  I must reinforce too that we are to date proving really successful in recruiting some excellent new additions to our workforce for September – the evidence is clear: our website promotes the motto “Excellence and Happiness” in every way.  Interviewees comment on the holistic approach that comes across and this is reinforced upon visiting the school.  I will give you a full picture of our staffing situation before the end of term but I must say I am delighted with all our new appointments for September.  All this is backed up by the ISI Inspection earlier in the year which confirmed Excellence across all areas – but of course this means we never stand still in striving to be even better.  I am thrilled to announce that the Junior pitch has now been resurfaced and is open for full use by our pupils whilst the meetings with our architects on the plans for our new Development Project are now taking place two or three times a week.  I look forward to being able to share the vision for our new school with you in the not-too-distant future.

 

I had a really enjoyable outing last Thursday, 11th May with The Red Arrows competition winners – I rarely get the opportunity to go on our school trips but joining 30 or so pupils from Years 5 to 9 last week was a real treat.  Not only was their behaviour of the highest order but the level of the questioning was outstanding – a fact that was commented upon by their liaison officer.  However watching The Red Arrows train over Tanagra Airfield was a never-to-be-forgotten experience – it brought goose-bumps to the back of my neck whilst one pupil commented it was the best thing he had ever seen!  It was certainly pretty amazing!

 

The Key Stage Two (Years 3 and 4) Sports Day at Filothei also produced some exciting competition and a number of new school records.  Iliana Stylianou from Year 3 broke both the Girls 50m and 100m records whilst Aristides Vrondissis set a new record in the Year 3 Boys Quoits as did Dimitris Pantzopoulos in the same event for Year 4.  Relay records were also broken in the Year 3 Girls event and both the Year 4 Boys’ and Girls’ races.  The final outcome in the House team competition saw Revenge coming out on top with an impressive 339 points.

 

Back in school on the same day we hosted an Oxford University briefing for Year 12 welcoming staff and students from ACS, Athens College, Moraitis and St Lawrence to hear Alice Parrott talk about the university and how to plan one’s application for the autumn.  It was really satisfying to see the ambition of a large number of our students who are setting their sights high.  I look forward to helping many of them as they embark on this tough road to my “alma mater”

 

As mentioned in last week’s blog the successful Charity Football event in the school with members of the 2004 Greek “Legends” was enjoyed by everyone and I am pleased to report that we raised €1.600 for the Kivotos Charity.  Incidentally no one has claimed the raffle prize for ticket 118!   If this Greek National Football shirt signed by Antonis Nikopolidis is not claimed by Friday 26th May it will be auctioned to the highest bidder, again in aid of Kivotos Charity.

 

There are some high profile events to look out for coming up shortly – we have so much musical talent in the school to show off that we have two Key Stage Three Soloist and Ensemble Concerts organised!  The first one is this Thursday, 18th May with the second the following Thursday, 25th May.  And of course the COBIS Secondary Games is coming up this weekend in Sheffield – keep your eye on this blog for daily updates on how our team are doing!

 

 

Coming up this week:

Monday, 15th May:

  •        Key Stage 1 Book Sharing with Parents
  •        Year 8 Visit to Stelios Philanthropic Foundation

 

Tuesday, 16th May:

  •        Elinomathia Written Exams
  •        Year 5 Orienteering Trip to Syngrou Park

 

Wednesday, 17th May:

  •        Elinomathia Written Exams
  •        Year 5 Orienteering Trip to Syngrou Park

 

Thursday, 18th May:

  •        Elinomathia Written Exams
  •        COBIS Secondary Games
  •        Upper School Soloist & Ensemble Concert

 

Friday, 19th May:

  •        COBIS Secondary Games
  •        Deree Debate Tournament

 

Saturday, 20th May:

  •        COBIS Secondary Games
  •        Deree Debate Tournament
  •        Elinomathia Oral Exams

 

Stuart Smith

Headmaster