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Achievements of The British School in Cairo, 2016

A Year of Immense Change

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EARLY YEARS AND FOUNDATION STAGE

In Foundation Stage, for example, a significant and increasing number of pupils in Nursery have already learnt to read basic phonetic books without memorising them. Some of the Nursery children can even already read fluently by the end of the year, without “sounding out” the phonetic sounds of each letter in turn. They are also able to chat fluently about many diverse subjects. We are in the process of revising our curricula across the school to cater for increasing standards at the entry level of each year group.

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PRIMARY SCHOOL

In Key Stages One and Two, the UK government already recently accelerated the curriculum in core subjects, especially in Literacy and Numeracy. It is always a very tricky process to absorb a new and accelerated curriculum, especially where it presumes, for a Year 5 pupil, for example, that s/he already had the accelerated curriculum in Years 1-4, which is not the case in the first year of change. Thanks to hard-working pupils and dedicated and talented teachers, however, we have successfully negotiated the new curriculum in Years 1-5.

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SECONDARY SCHOOL (Key Stage Three)

In Key Stage Three, this year was also a year of tremendous curricular innovation, with the introduction of Cambridge Checkpoints Exams in Term 2 in Years 6 and 8, where we are pleased to report the results in all core subjects (English, Maths and Science), Year 6 and Year 8, were on target/as expected, as a whole, despite having only one year to prepare for the exams. We are evaluating our areas of strength, as well as areas where there is still room for improvement, and putting in Action Plans, extra staff training, and innovations to help pupils achieve even better in future.

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SECONDARY SCHOOL (IGCSE/ Key Stages 4 and 5)

Key Stage Four and Five pupils have been working immensely hard, as usual, under the careful supervision of IGCSE Coordinator and Principal, Ms Ama’l Amer. Many of our school-leavers are again entering top universities and highly competitive faculties either in Egypt or overseas. Initial reports indicate that about 15 percent of our school-leavers are currently targeting university places overseas; many have already been awarded unconditional offers of places.

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ALUMNI OF THE BRITISH SCHOOL IN CAIRO

It was gratifying to see Samiha Tarek visit the school at the start of June, during our “Heroes and Heroines” themed week, designed to provide inspiration, motivation and role models for our young learners. Samiha gained a place this year at the University of Grand Canyon, USA, to read Medicine, at the tender age of only 16. She said a few motivational words in the morning line-up on the day of her visit, urging pupils to work hard and believe in themselves. Samiha is also a champion swimmer, also swimming for her university team, and we wish her, and all our BSC pupils, every success in all their endeavours, including their sporting, artistic, musical, cultural, social and spiritual extra-curricular activities, both within school and outside.

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YOUR FEEDBACK MATTERS

Thank you for all your feedback forms, and those of the pupils. We are constantly reviewing our performance and striving further to improve our areas of strength, while reviewing areas identified as requiring a few improvements. Consequently, after several years of mixed reviews of our school cafeteria, we have reached a deal with Makani restaurant (under the CAFTAG label) to provide ready-made hot meals next year as an alternative catering solution for those who find it preferable. New admissions and demand for places at The British School in Cairo remain strong, and extra floors have been added during the summer break to the new building at the rear of the playground to cater for the extra classes of students. In addition, a new bus park is being finalised at the rear gate of the school, to enable the current bus park to be used for sports and PE, as well as break-time play.

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INNOVATIONS AND AWARDS

On the IT front, the school’s website has finally been updated, with a flexible design that we can now edit in-house and update regularly with news and events. There is some extra information still to be uploaded, but please feel free to see the basic “new look” on www.bsc-edu.com. The “e-learning” section is still to be developed, as the school has started to introduce a modern School Management and Information System and e-learning platform with the local iTSmart company. The British School in Cairo was also chosen by the International Academy for Advanced Research (IAAR) for an award of a partly-funded BTEC Junior Leaders’ Scholarship and Programme, which we hope to be able to introduce at some point in the future, if there is sufficient demand from our older pupils. The Programme would include a variety of leadership and character-building activities, including a subsidised summer camp at an Egyptian coastal resort such as El Gouna, for students from Year 7 and above. BTEC qualifications are widely recognised overseas as broad-ranging and vocational qualifications, including by UK and international universities. They are also offered alongside IGCSE courses or GCSE courses at some of the other well established British international schools in Egypt.

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BSC greets 2017 with innovations and expansion

The British School in Cairo welcomed the New Year with a series of festive concerts in Primary, the inauguration of a new wing of the Secondary School and some key innovations, including a new e-learning platform and a new catering outlet offering hot and healthy set menus. “We listen carefully to parent and pupil feedback and constantly seek to improve and expand our provision,” stated Ms Rachel Noeman, Headteacher. “We are proud of how far the school has come in 13 years, since opening in 2004, with its various academic, pastoral and extra-curricular achievements.”

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Extra-Curricular Successes and Charity Fundraisers

A new soccer after-school club has been set up for young children, which is increasingly popular, along with a longstanding Swimming Academy for all age groups. A variety of creative and original end-year concerts took place in December and January, many in full costumes and with those in Key Stage One and Key Stage Two including songs in up to four different languages (English, French, German, Spanish and French). Some performances also involved lively role plays, poems and dances. A winter fund-raising Fun Day raised funds for a special activity day for over a hundred orphans to take place in the spring on the school premises. Pupils also raised many thousands of pounds for two hospitals in Cairo, the Children’s Cancer Hospital and Abo El Reesh Hospital. Pupils enthusiastically planned and organised a variety of fundraising initiatives, including a very successful series of bake sales set up by Key Stage Three children, as part a humanities unit on business and budgets.

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Alumni Graduation Party

Last year’s graduates returned to the premises for an Alumni Graduation Celebration, led by Ms Ama’l Amer, IGCSE Principal and Coordinator. Some recent school-leavers even flew back to Cairo especially for the much-anticipated event, after starting university courses abroad. An increasingly large number of graduates have opted to study overseas in recent years, in countries including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Sweden and Malaysia. Many others have entered highly competitive faculties, such as Medicine, Dentistry and Engineering, in Egypt, in both the state and private sectors.

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