Posted on March 17, 2017

It seems such a long time since my last post and, of course, with half term in between it certainly is a long time! Nevertheless this is indicative of how busy the school, and therefore myself as Headmaster, continue to be as we head towards our 60th anniversary event next Friday, 24th March and the Easter Holiday only two weeks thereafter!  Yes, next Friday is the big anniversary event at Grand Resort Lagonissi – the ticket sale deadline has been extended until Sunday evening, so if you have not yet bought your ticket, you have two days left to join the 480 people who have already signed up!  I look forward to seeing a great St Cats community turnout next week.


The latter part of the half-term holiday saw a number of our staff involved with colleagues across the COBIS (Council of British International Schools) world in some excellent leadership training programmes here at St. Catherine’s.  Karen Ardley and Basman Zora lead such training programmes across the world and they were fulsome in their praise of our organisation and also of the passion and commitment of our staff.  With our Junior COBIS Games team preparing to head off to the UK during the Easter Holiday, I can assure you that St. Catherine’s is highly regarded across the world as an international school of significant standing.


Also at the latter end of the half-term holiday our debate team participated with great success at the highly competitive international tournament organised by UCL.  Sam Manchester and Ioannis Karellis qualified for the semi-finals out of 80 teams – their brilliant speeches drew great plaudits but unfortunately did not see them through to the finals against the top private schools in the UK, including Eton, St. Pauls and Westminster.  Their trip to London was rounded off by an amazing visit to the Houses of Parliament as well as two trips to UCL and Imperial College with St Cats alumni.


At Christmas my wife and I had a most memorable holiday in Sri Lanka and a personal highlight for me in the first week back after half-term was the opportunity to use some of our wildlife photographs with the Reception classes.  They also provided the perfect opportunity for me to tell them one of my favourite childhood stories – Rikki Tikki Tavi by Rudyard Kipling.  For those of you not familiar with the story it concerns the eponymous hero, a mongoose, and how he saves a family from a pair of rather nasty cobras!  I look forward to reprising the story to Key Stage One in the very near future.  There have been many other highlights in the last couple of weeks from the highly competitive Key Stage Two (Years 3/4) Games Day this week to the Year 10 Bronze Award expedition to Ymittos – fortunately the weather stayed fair for both events; from the Year 5 and 6 Football Tournament with teams from Byron, ISA, St Lawrence and Campion to the Reception Trip to Ktima Kokotou; from the Year 13 viewing of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler at the Megaron to the Extended Essay/ Careers Evening for Year 12 here in school.  Another particular highlight was the presentation by Flora Camhi, a Holocaust survivor and school grandparent, to our Year 9 whose eyes were opened to the power of family and oral history in a most evocative and emotional way.


And inevitably in the midst of all this, IGCSE orals in Greek, French and German have commenced and the IB2 Year group have closed their ToK (Theory of Knowledge) and Extended Essay deadlines.  Phew!  These assignments are a major academic commitment for the oldest of our students and each year are guaranteed to induce stress levels not experienced before – an invaluable experience for university and life beyond!  Looking to the future we continue to be inundated with applicants to join us – from Nursery to Year 6, from Year 7 to the IB.  As always we have to disappoint so many would-be St Cats students.


I would also like to flag up the presentation by Simon Leigh in the School Hall next Tuesday – Simon is a renowned Addiction Counsellor from the UK who proved an invaluable source of information when he last visited the school in 2013 and I know many parents have already signed up to come into school on the Tuesday evening.  He will also be giving presentations to all KS3, KS4 and IB Students during the day on Wednesday.


Finally if I do not see you at the PTSA St Cats ACTS Act of Kindness “Colourful Dreams” at the SoS Children’s Village in Vari on Sunday, I will see you at the Grand Resort Lagonissi next Friday to celebrate 60 Years of “Excellence and Happiness”!


Coming up this week:

Monday, 20th March:

  •        Year 4 trip to the zoo


Tuesday, 21st March:

  •        Simon Leigh (Parents session at 19:00)
  •        Year 6 trip to IKEA


Wednesday, 22nd March:

  •        Year 4 trip to the zoo
  •        Simon Leigh (Student sessions)
  •        PTSA Meeting
  •        Governors Finance/Resources Meeting


Thursday 23rd March:

  •        Governors’ Curriculum & Standards Meeting


Friday, 24th March:

  •        60th Anniversary Celebration


Stuart Smith