A. Induction Activties
- Induction Days for late entry students in Years 3, 4, 6 and for new students in Year 1 and 2 were very successful with the active cooperation of staff and students. New students were made to feel at home not only by the staff but also by the Prefects, the guides and the Peer Mentors. The message was given out that the school welcomes new students and that organisation skills are important in the education process. Peer mentoring was an effective support tool during the new students' first few weeks. At the same time, it was a good opportunity for the Mentors to develop their own social skills and sense of responsibility by being supportive to their mentees.
- All new students have been individually seen (some of them more than once) by members of the Pastoral Team and all are adjusting well to their new environment. Targets are set and are evaluated.
- We have had a few cases of new students in Years 1 & 2 expressing concerns (usually via their parents): they did not feel very happy in their new class because they had "lost" their friends they'd made in the previous class or in their previous school. The situation of these students was closely monitored during the first few weeks. We have listened to parents very patiently and we believe that they are now convinced of the benefits their children have by being in a new class.
- An informal gathering with new T/C parents in September
Parents of students who are difficult to get in touch with on a daily basis were invited to meet the Pastoral Team and the Head Teacher over snacks at the end of the morning. Parents had the opportunity to discuss ways of improving communication between school and home as well ways of helping the children develop their study and social skills. Following the meeting information was sent to all parents of all Year 1 group on out of class activities.
This activity was kindly sponsored by ESPA and the chairperson of ESPA attended the meeting and addressed the parents.
- Fun Evening (extended induction activity)
After allowing the new students in the First Year some time to settle into their new classes, the Pastoral Team organised an evening of fun and entertainment. The purpose of this evening was to promote communication and to allow the new students to socialise with one another in a relaxed environment. The students were separated into small teams with whom they competed against all the other teams in a crystal maze style tournament. Teams attempted to fill buckets with water, navigate blindfolded through a maze (with their team mates guiding them), hit targets with tennis balls, solve puzzles and remember a tray full of objects. Each game scored their team points and the winning teams were awarded prizes at the end of the evening. The evening also included a meal, shared between members of each form group, musical entertainment (provided by older students) and other various surprises. The sixth and seventh from and the school prefects were particularly involved in the evening, promoting an atmosphere of school community.
The Fun Evening has been running for several years now, and each year is successful in encouraging interaction, team spirit and allows the new first years to make friends from the diverse group of students of the English School Community.
- Athalassa Activity
This year we continued our tradition of organising a treasure hunt for Year Two students at Athalassa Park. Despite initial fears that it might rain the day was beautifully bright and we spent a lovely morning under the trees of Athalassa forest. After eating a break-time snack the students were divided into teams of approximately seven students and they were required to follow clues around a section of the park. There were also questions to answer; analytical and creative thinking skills were tested! At the end of the treasure hunt the teams with the highest number of correct answers were awarded prizes. The aim of this activity was to develop students' problem-solving skills in a team environment and promote social interaction. To judge by the enthusiasm of students, this was a success.
Athalassa Treasure Hunt
Our current PSHE programme is a result of thoughtful detailed planning carried out last summer and it is based on (a) the evaluation on last year's programme, (b) feedback from last year's teaching and (c) the current needs of our young people.
Our efforts focus on a PSHE programme that helps young people to understand themselves, how they feel about broad issues and to develop transferable skills. Students are given opportunities to reflect on their own experiences and develop awareness of their own strengths, weaknesses and aptitudes and the needs of others.
We are realistic: in the time available it is not possible to cover all topics in the depth that we would wish; we are selective and we prioritise. We give emphasis on the quality of thinking than in the quantity of topics and facts. Our lessons are active and encourage participation; this helps to create skilled and cultivated thinkers that can manage social issues and challenges in the fast changing future. The successful future life of our young people will depend on acquired skills and qualities of being able to form positive relationships with others and to work productively in a team, without fearing failure; that's why students are helped to understand and manage a wider range of relationships and as they mature they learn to show respect for the differences between people.
Through PSHE we try to offer a social context for developing life skills which will help young people to practise and develop the skills of learning to learn. On the part of the teacher, PSHE helps us to get to know our students better by listening to their views, opinions, concerns and ambitions.
Topics in our PSHE programme
- The topic which is common on the syllabus for all Years is Tolerance and Respect for diversity. With difference we refer to race, religion, gender or a person physical or intellectual ability. Through various activities like the Fun Evening, Treasure Hunt at Athalassa, Grill Day, Drama workshops, presentations at assemblies, discussion in class and team project work, students are encouraged to work, play, eat compete together as well as express their own and listen with respect to other people's views and concerns.
Examples of some of the other topics in our programme:
- Sex and Relationship Education and Health and Safety issues. Here we are working closely with the Family Planning Association as well as with a number of doctors who kindly accept our invitation to lead special pastoral sessions for students.
So far this term we have had pastoral sessions with:
- The Director of the Family Planning Association (years 3 + 6)
- Dr Dinos Mavromoustakis on Breast Cancer Awareness (Year 7 girls)
- Dr Michalis Taliadoros on Male Health issues (year 7 boys)
- Ms Gabriella Philippou a clinical psychologist on Eating Disorders (Year 2)
- The Voluntary Group on Road Safety (Year 6)
- Mr Papas, the Road Safety Co-ordinator on Road Safety (Year 7)
- Global issues e.g. Child labour, the environment
- Dealing with Stress and Time Management
- Empowering young people to protect themselves against addictive substances and peer pressure. For this we work closely with KENTHEA and run special programme for Years 3 + 4 + 5.
Sex and Relationship Education policy at The English School
Sex and Relationship education is by its very nature multi-faceted. It is much more than simply developing students' knowledge and understanding of essential facts to do with physical health. It must encompass the development of students' attitudes and values, and support students as they grow in terms of personal and social skills.
Aims and Objectives:
- Prepare students for the responsibilities, experiences and opportunities of adult life. Students should be informed about moral, emotional and health issues so they can make informed personal decisions.
- Provide a safe environment where knowledge and understanding of important sex and relationship issues can be developed.
- Help students recognise the unique nature of each individual and encourage them to understand the importance of loving relationships based on mutual respect.
- Reassure students that sexual development is a normal part of growing up by presenting the appropriate facts and providing the opportunity for students to ask questions within a teaching/learning environment.
- Create an ethos where students feel it is acceptable to ask for help or further direction (this may be from outside agencies).
- Empower students with knowledge, thus developing students' confidence and self-esteem.
- Help students develop more effective relationships and respect differences between people by learning about relationships, attitudes and feelings and how people live and work together.
- We take a developmental approach with age-appropriate material.
- We use active learning methods.
- We create a class learning environment where there is mutual trust and respect.
- We use the help of outside professionals to aid in the delivery of material and provide expert guidance.
- We are responsive to the changing needs of students in terms of curriculum development.
- We regard communication between parents and the school as essential e.g. through the parent bulletin, parents' pastoral evenings and parent seminars.
- We regard on-going staff training as an essential part of our PSHE programme and have the support of the School Staff Development Committee in this regard.
The most successful Sex and Relationship education programmes are where there is
A WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH.
It is important that all students attend these lessons and, whereas we respect individual parental attitudes, we hope that they will not feel it necessary to exercise their right to withdraw their children from particular lessons.
C. Pastoral Evenings for Parents in October
The highlight of the evenings was the participation of a good number of students. Our students' active presence in the Pastoral Presentation was live evidence that the English School does provide all-round education.
Examples of activities offered in the Pastoral Programme were presented and for some of them students gave their feedback by either performing or talking about them. Partnership between home and school was once again emphasized during the course of the presentations which were followed by drinks and snacks in the canteen.
D. GRILL DAY
The Pastoral Team, the Upper school council and the Common Room Committee organised for the 2nd time the Seniors' Grill Day. This successful event took place on Sunday the 15th of October at the school yard. More than 60 6th and 7th form students worked very hard to organise the event. Girls in gloves preparing salads, boys rushing in and out of the common room setting up everything. The atmosphere was simply fantastic. Various students were playing music throughout the event and as soon as everyone had eaten, there were various games such as food contest, tug of war and Bingo.
When the event came to an end everybody helped to clean the school. Once again the students of the English School proved to be an example of great cooperation and teamwork.
E. Dancing Competition
Although the title of this event may sound rather misleading, in fact this event was a dance competition, organised by The Cyprus Family Planning Organisation, promoting safe sex behaviours. Held at Intercollege on 9th December, The English School was represented in four out of the 10 entries. It was an exciting event with a wide variety of innovative dances each interpreting the safe sex message in a different way.
F. Junior Drama Club -BULLY A play which focuses on the theme of Bulling.
The members of the Junior Drama worked with great enthusiasm for the production of this short play. The play was chosen by the Pastoral Team since we wanted to emphasize the importance of respect and tolerance among young people. Prior to the performance we had lots of discussion in which the pupils participated with maturity. We enjoyed the whole production and we are happy because we combined entertainment with real education.
G. Dialogue/ Discussion with other schools
Three of our students (two from Year 2 and one from Year 3) participated in the annual Dialogue /Discussion Activity organised by the Committee for the Protection and Welfare of Children. This year's theme was Equal Opportunities for Education. Our pupils had the opportunity to express their views on the theme of 'Education For All' and to exchange views with pupils from other schools from all over Cyprus.
H. Road Safety week
The week of 20th November to 24th November was road safety week at the English school. A number of events were held to emphasise the importance of this issue to students. There were guest speakers to bring home the message to the older students and all through the week some of the younger students took part in a road demonstration. Students dressed in bright yellow waistcoats waved placards at drivers passing through the English school road urging them to slow down. Drivers were rewarded with special stickers that read "I slowed down for kids in the English School." This was in keeping with the campaign's theme of reducing speed in traffic and taking your time and not a life. Many parents were happy to see the students in the mornings promoting this important message as well as the many members of the general public that use the road through the English School.
I. Christmas Charity Bazaar at Lloyds
This was a "sweet" gesture from our little ones who organised the event in order to raise money and say a Big Thank You to the two ladies who keep our building clean and tidy. A warm thank you to the parents who made the cakes! We raised £100 which will be donated on the last day before our Christmas holidays.
J. Academic Monitoring
Academic monitoring is and will be a high priority for the Pastoral Team. Cooperating with A. Kiliari and Dr. Mavrommatis the Heads of Year have been offering support to students with academic concerns. The Heads of Year with the support of the Form Tutors helped students to organise their study programme and generally to improve study skills. Academic Monitoring has not been restricted to cases of serious concern. The Pastoral Team has been encouraging many other students to develop their potential. Special attention was also given to late entry students.
K. Look After Yourself Week
The Pastoral Team's latest theme week has been 'Look After Yourself Week'. The Fourth Year have listened to a visiting Doctor speak on health issues and smoking related diseases. The Prefects have been selling hundreds of badges that promote healthy habits such as drinking plenty of water and eating fruit and vegetables. Each badge comes with a free apple kindly donated by Ioannides Supermarket. The library has also been promoting the week by giving out free fruit to students. Various display work encouraging healthy eating, sleeping well and exercise has also been prepared and displayed around the school. Some teachers have incorporated the theme into their lessons. The week has been very successful in promoting health issues.