The English School's History

The English School was established in 1900 by Canon Frank Darvall Newham, who arrived on the island at the age of 36 to become an English instructor for government clerks. He later assumed the role of Director of Education under the colonial administration while also serving as Headmaster of The English School until his retirement in 1936. With an initial enrollment of 13 students, the School quickly grew to become the premier English medium school in Cyprus, attracting students from diverse cultural communities both locally and abroad.

In 1936, Canon Newham entrusted the School to the colonial Governor, resulting in a change in its status. Nonetheless, the School remained an English-medium, inter-communal institution with a Christian character, providing students with the facilities to practice their respective religions as defined by The English School Management and Control Law of 1935 and its amendments. This transformation did not diminish the School's reputation, and it continued to thrive as an impressive academic institution.

The English School has a rich history spanning over a century. Initially, the School was situated at various locations around Nicosia, including what is now the District Courts. However, in 1938, Canon Newham's visionary leadership led the School to its present-day purpose-built accommodation in Strovolos. The Lloyds Building and the Alks Building were constructed in 1940 and 1947, respectively, serving as impressive boarding houses.

During World War II, the School had to be temporarily relocated to the Dome Hotel in Kyrenia. However, it was safely settled back into its impressive home by the time of Canon Newham's death in 1946.

In 1957, The English School for Girls was established and incorporated into The English School in 1962, thus becoming the first co-educational school in Cyprus. In 1960, Cyprus gained its independence. A special law was enacted, passing control of the School to the Republic of Cyprus, which appointed a Board of Management to oversee its operations. The current Chairperson of the Board of Management is Ms Joanna Demetriou. 

The School has always been committed to serving all communities in Cyprus. It had several Boarding Houses that welcomed pupils from across the island. At its peak shortly before the events of 1974, the School roll had over 1,000 students. However, the tragic events of 1974 forced Turkish Cypriot pupils and teachers to withdraw. The School also lent the Alks Boarding House to the Government to set up a refugee school to accommodate the influx of refugees from the occupied areas. The building continues to this day to house the Acropolis Gymnasium. In the 1980s, Lloyds Boarding House ceased operation and was transformed into classrooms for Year 1 and 2 students. Despite these changes, the School maintained its dedication to the education of all communities in Cyprus, further cementing its status as a prestigious institution.
The English School has a proud history of promoting diversity and inclusivity. In 2003, after a 29-year hiatus, the School welcomed Turkish Cypriot students once again.

At the heart of the School's activities lies its academic programme, which is modelled on the British independent secondary school system. For the first three years, students follow a broad curriculum designed to lay the foundations for public examinations and to give them a taste of all the subjects on offer. At the end of Year 3, students choose their International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) subjects, with a compulsory core of English Language and Literature, Mathematics, and Modern Greek or Turkish.  From Year 6, students construct an individual academic programme. They opt to take four subjects. In Year 7, students choose to continue with four or three of their subjects to Advanced Level (AL), with the supporting programme continuing.

The School's extracurricular activities and clubs are equally impressive and diverse, and students are encouraged to join them to broaden their overall education and develop team spirit and self-confidence. With over 40 clubs and societies, including Mathematics, Economics, Literature and Drama, Languages, The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, F1 in Schools, Chess, Music, First Aid, Talent Nights, Voluntary and Charity Work, Sports and Athletics, and many others, there is something for everyone. The School's debating and public speaking society, for instance, always attains one of the top places in overseas competitions. The School has twice hosted the World International Public Speaking and Debating Competition, and its Greek Play has twice won First Prize in the Pancyprian Competition for Secondary Schools. The Comenius I Language Project has also brought together students and staff from the School and the Radnotti School in Hungary, promoting cultural exchange and appreciation.

Sports have always been a key component of School life since its founding in 1900, aimed at developing teamwork and competitive spirit among students. The School's House system organizes both competitive and non-competitive sporting activities. The School encourages more able students to participate in House and School competitions in football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, softball, athletics, and cross country. In contrast, less able students are encouraged to participate in these same sports for enjoyment and fitness. All the major sports are coached by an experienced team of Physical Education teachers, leading to the School's excellent achievements in Pancyprian sporting competitions, as well as the Dubai Football Tournament.

Music is also a vibrant aspect of the School's culture, with the Choir and Orchestra being active and highly successful since their establishment by Canon Newham in 1911. The School encourages students to take up instruments, providing tuition by experienced music teachers, free of charge for certain pupils who demonstrate special aptitudes.

The 6th and 7th Form Study Center and the Library Resource Centre are integral parts of the School's academic support system, encouraging students to use its facilities for reference, fiction, and studying. The Centre boasts state-of-the-art computers, in addition to books, magazines, and multimedia resources.

The School's Career & University Entry Department recognizes that securing a place at a highly competitive university requires more than just A-level grades. The Department provides students with sound advice and support throughout their academic career, ensuring that they are well-equipped to achieve their ultimate ambition of gaining admission to a top university.

The School's infrastructure includes the traditional stone-built 'Main Building', constructed in 1938, a Sports Centre added in 1990, and the Science Building, inaugurated in 2004, which houses the Science and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Laboratories, Library Resource Centre, and a Lecture Theatre. In 2017 the old Newham Building was replaced with new premises funded by the Government.  The Board of Management is committed to providing up-to-date facilities and equipment to assist students in reaching their full potential.

The English School is fortunate to have the support of a very active and supportive Parents' Association (ESPGA) and Graduates' Association (ESOBGA), whose financial assistance and support are invaluable. Graduates of The English School have made remarkable contributions to all walks of Cypriot society, including the sciences, medicine, education, politics, the arts, the business world, government service, and the clergy. Many English School graduates have also made successful careers abroad, a testament to the School's high standards of education and training.

The English School has been led by a distinguished line of Headteachers who have contributed significantly to the School's development and success. Since its founding in 1900, the School has been managed by Rev Frank Derval Newham from 1900-1936, George Sims from 1936-1947, Eustace Jackson from 1947-1956, Paul Griffin from 1956-1960, Rex Hamer from 1960-1962, Anthony Eggleston from 1962-1968, David Humphreys from 1968-1988, Albert Hudspeth from 1988-1996, Thomas Thomas from 1996-1998, Emilios Solomou from 1998-1999 (Acting), Robert Swan from 1999-2003, Stuart J Haggett from 2003-2009, Deborah Duncan from 2009-2011, Graham Gamble from 2011-2015, Graham Garrett from 2015-2017, Chris Mavrommattis from 2017-2018 (Acting), David Lambon from 2018 -2023 and the current Headmaster, Stuart Walker who has been leading the school from 2023. These leaders have brought with them a wealth of experience, expertise, and vision that has helped shape the School into the premier institution that it is today.

Finally, Canon Frank Darvall Newham's legacy continues to inspire and motivate students and staff alike. In addition to founding the premier School in 1900, Canon Newham introduced football, hockey, and cricket to Cyprus. The School's 'firsts' are numerous and varied, including hosting the first football match ever played in Cyprus in 1900, introducing the F.A. Football Challenge Cup to Cyprus in 1912, and having the first-ever appendix operation in Cyprus performed on an English School teacher in 1906. The School's science laboratories were also the first in Cyprus to be recognized by Universities for exams up to B.Sc. (Intermediate) standard in 1952, and the English School became the first school in Cyprus to become co-educational in 1962. Canon Newham's profound impact on Cypriot society and education is still celebrated today, and the English School remains a testament to his pioneering spirit and visionary leadership.

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