Posted on December 19, 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, the prospect of an exciting 2020 for the St Catherine’s community is inevitably at the forefront of my thoughts.  This prospect has been in shining focus as I witness the final Christmas show of the year – the delight and expectation on the faces of the Nursery children this morning reminds me of one of the best parts of being Headmaster of St Catherine’s – experiencing Christmas shows across the ages from the very youngest through to the senior students in the school is undoubtedly one of the highlights of my year.  I pointed this out at the close of the amazing “Christmas Carol” production last Friday – the beckoning of our new theatre next year will be a fitting setting for all of these showcases of our pupil, and staff, talents.  Another highlight of this term was the incredible Year 6 production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” – performed in both Athens and London!  Such talents will undoubtedly shine even more brightly within the new theatre.  It will also be a great place to celebrate the achievements and progress of the children as I present Headmaster’s Commendations – again it is an absolute delight to celebrate their effort, enthusiasm for learning and feats inside and outside the classroom.   It is also a delight to read about and witness their manners and courtesy as well as their genuine joy in celebrating their friends’ achievements.

I am also delighted to report that this academic year is proving a record year for our IB2 cohort – ten students on interview at either Oxford and Cambridge is truly outstanding, although of course we do not know as yet how many will be receiving offers!  Additionally four of our students have received Early Entry offers from four top US Universities – Brown, Columbia, Stanford and Princeton.  Maintaining the highest academic standards is a priority at St Catherine’s and I am truly thrilled that our current IB2 cohort are aspiring so high and achieving such great things.

We continue to make great progress on our new development project – we are on track for opening our new Upper School for the academic year 2020-2021 and everyone who takes the tour on offer via our Development Office is truly amazed by the scope of the new building.  We have also been working on the reconfiguration of our current site to ensure that when the Upper School moves over the road next September the Lower School will experience a “Better than Now” learning environment.  Everyone can rest assured that our planning and preparations not only for the physical learning environment but also for the peripheral elements of vehicular and pedestrian movement are well advanced and are of the highest priority.  Furthermore our planning on the second phase development of a multi-sports complex is also well advanced and creates a really exciting vision of our future.  I look forward to sharing more details at a Partnership with Parents meeting with myself, Dr Bond and Mrs Matthews scheduled for Thursday 16th January 2020.  Once again I would like to thank the amazing contribution of the PTSA team in creating such memorable St Catherine’s moments such as the Halloween and Christmas events.  Ebenezer Scrooge would not need to witness the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future to get into the Christmas spirit – he would just need to come to a St. Catherine’s Christmas Fair or one of our brilliant shows!

I would like to close this Christmas Blog by thanking Georgina Ralston, our Development Director, who is returning to the UK with her son Rufus at the end of this calendar year.  Our Development Office has not only laid a really solid foundation for Development activity in the future but is also ensuring the St. Catherine’s legacy becomes truly embedded in our traditions.  Deborah Eleftheriou will take over heading up the office as we move into this most important year for the school.  Please do not hesitate to contact her if you would like to know more about how you can help us build our future.

Finally I would like to thank you for your continued support and wish everyone in the St. Catherine’s community a very Merry Christmas and a happy and memorable 2020!

I do hope you enjoy our 2019 Christmas card – to see click here.  Please feel free to share with family and friends.

You will also be able to find the academic calendar for 2020 through this link .

Best Wishes

Stuart Smith

Headmaster

December 2019