Posted on April 22, 2019

The end of term this week ended with a real crescendo as our Upper School performers enthralled us with the most fabulous of Spring concerts. The quality of original compositions premiered by a number of our professional music peripatetic staff was only matched by the quality of the individual and ensemble performances of our many talented students. The production of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘’Into the Woods’’ was a mesmerising mix of musical magic with dynamic dramatic delivery – the whole evening really whets the appetite for the prospect of witnessing such a show within our new theatre in 2020! A taste of the musical and dramatic talent pool within the school has also been demonstrated this term by the Lower School soloists’ concert in mid-March and the more recent ‘’Spotlight’’ performance of Annie. The background preparations for such spectacle was also set by the LAMDA and ABRSM examinations – into which a huge amount of hard work is expended not only by the students but also the staff behind the scenes – well done to everyone. Another delightful musical and dramatic experience was the ‘’Keys of Change’’ concert for our Lower School pupils – another innovative spark for our young minds.

The artistic creative minds have also been evidenced this term with the excellent IB Art Exhibition and the Lower School response to World Book Day on 7th March – favourite book characters were everywhere as our younger children went to town to celebrate this international festival of literature! We were also delighted to welcome to school the renowned author, Gregory Maguire, who regaled pupils with how his literary creativity was nurtured as a child and how one can develop as a prolific writer. The enthusiastic response to his ‘’story’’ was only matched by the way the pupils stripped ’Public’ ’bookstores of all their Gregory Maguire stock in order to elicit a personalised autograph from the author.

One of the amazing features of life at St. Catherine’s is the plethora of activities across the whole school as evidenced in both the Lower and Upper School newsletters. The wide array of learning experiences outside the classroom certainly enriches the curriculum in so many ways and creates those memorable occasions that live with students for the rest of their lives – a simple list barely does justice to the energy and commitment of all involved but here goes:

  • Archipelagos Erasmus trip to Valencia
  • Panhellenic Forensics Tournament
  • Year 7 trip to the Hellenic World Museum
  • Year 10/12 participation in the 7th International Literature Conference in Constantinople this year dedicated to the renowned author, Antonis Samarakis
  • Year 12 Euromaths Conference in Paphos
  • Year 7 and 8 students participating in the Globasket Tournament in Lloret de Mar
  • The Upper School Art, Music and Drama trip to London – while they witnessed the West End production of ‘’Wicked’’ – based on Gregory Maguire’s novel!
  • CERN Physicist Dr Burkhard Schmidt’s presentation to Years 10 and 12 on the question ‘’Can you be a scientist and believe in God?’’
  • The Year 8 trip to Nafplion
  • The Year 10 Art visit to the ‘’World of Banksy’’ at the Technopolis Gazi
  • The ‘’Goals for Good’’ Football Tournament in aid of ‘’Doctors with Borders’’
  • The Year 4 Tudor Day where the pupils were treated to an audience with no less than Henry VIII!
  • The Year 5 Egyptian week featured a visit to the National Archaeological Museum and a discussion with the celebrated Egyptologist, Howard Carter!
  • The Year 2 trip to the Fire Service Museum
  • The Year 6 Maths trip to IKEA
  • The Year 4 McArthur Glen trip

And of course other numerous sports activities filling our diaries! At this point mention should be made by the fabulous efforts of both the Junior and Senior teams in the Dubai World Games Tournaments in the middle of the term. Both teams performed marvellously and we were thrilled to celebrate the overall silver medals by our older team – well done to all!

The Go Green campaign supported by the whole school community has been launched and we have been delighted by the response to this vital initiative. A series of assemblies across the whole school have been followed enthusiastically by individual and group initiatives. Indeed I have been overwhelmed by the pupil response to my ‘’‘Go Green’’ poster competition – winners to be announced after the Easter break. Furthermore, the PTSA are supporting the installation of new state-of-the-art water dispensers in key locations around the school in order to commence the delivery of my pledge to rid the school of all plastic bottles as part of our move into new facilities – watch this space! The Environment fortnight ended with MUFTI Day in aid of Water Aid – another example of our commitment to support vital charity projects. At this point I would also like to add my congratulations to Mr Latanis who completed the Iron Man Triathlon at the weekend and also Mrs Kemp for her sterling performance in completing the Paris-Roubaix Cycling Challenge – at the time of writing she has raised over €4000 for Asthma charities – Bravo indeed!

Finally, I am sure you have all been keeping your eyes on the development across the road! I am delighted to report that excellent progress is being made and, although we do still have archaeologists on site, their number is greatly reduced and the vast majority of the site has been handed back to Redex! We now have a ‘’mock-up’’ classroom completed at the east end of the building and in the summer term we will commence trialling furniture and equipment layouts prior to the full requisitioning process. We are also moving along with the designs for the Wella Sports Complex as well as vehicular and pedestrian traffic plans for the new and current school sites. Indeed you will all be receiving a Traffic Survey to complete shortly after the Easter holiday.

And on that note may I wish you all a restful and enjoyable Easter break – however, do spare a thought for our Year 11 and 13 students as they prepare for their vital upcoming examinations.

The IGCSE examinations commence on Monday, 29th April and the IB2 students begin their final assessments on Friday, 3rd May. Good luck to them all.

 

Happy Easter / Καλό Πάσχα!

 

 

Stuart Smith

Headmaster