Handbook for Boarders

Brummana High School (BHS) students are international in identity, united together on the vast, nature-rich campus established in 1873 and acquire a spirit of openness, mutual collaboration and success throughout their time at BHS.

Principal’s Message

The spirit pervading the school and the solid friendships formed here have given BHS a unique atmosphere for over 145 years. Life as a boarder will offer you a unique opportunity to forge life-long friendships and to become self-reliant and self-disciplined. Students and staff treat each other with dignity and respect so that the family and community atmosphere we encourage and value is able to flourish. Discipline is governed by clear expectations which are explained to the students at length. These expectations are based on the school’s values and our way of life.

The unique setting of the school is something to behold. Situated 750 metres above sea level, with panoramic views of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, our some 1,250 students enjoy the 15 acres of space and nature-rich campus that BHS has afforded students since 1873. Indeed, the school is currently embarking on turning the campus into a botanical garden, with more native species planted and eventually glasshouses home to different biomes from around the world. Boarding students, in my opinion, have the best opportunity of any of our students to experience the campus to its full, even making use of brand-new facilities after school hours such as the multi-gym with 17 state-of-the-art machines and the soon to be inaugurated new BHS Sports Arena, containing a grade one artificial grass sports pitch and running track around it.

With over 50 different nationalities on campus, the school is truly international and diverse. Known throughout its history as the British school of Lebanon, the holistic academic programme offers Lebanese, British and international tracks which allow students to pick and choose the courses that best suits them as an individual. Student-centred learning is at the heart of our educational programmes and a student-teacher ratio of 10:1 supports this approach. BHS students are happy, confident, respectful, friendly, successful at school and after they leave us and ultimately they are friends which I feel is the mark of a truly great school and community. They enjoy freedom of expression and independence of thought, and they foster strong debating and presentation skills throughout their time with us. The Quaker values that still govern the school to this day are inherent in all of us: simplicity, peaceful resolution, tolerance, equality, justice and sustainability.

For generations boarding has been a popular option for parents seeking something a little special for their child’s education. It continues to be so today. BHS students remain attached to their school long after their departure. Just ask any one of the numerous Old Scholars who have gone on to achieve so much in their lives and careers, both in Lebanon and internationally. It is not uncommon to have students who are third, fourth or even members of the fifth generation of a family to attend BHS and many of our staff are proud to remind us they were students at the school previously.

Let me now invite you to join us at Brummana High School for your education. I look forward to having the opportunity to meet you soon and watching you flourish at BHS.

Message from the House Parents

We encourage you to be self-confident and to fulfil your potential, both academically and personally. We, the House Parents, and the Boarding Team are available to support and guide you as you realise the benefits and face the challenges of living and working within this community.

At BHS we value the development of the individual. Part of developing thinkers of the future is providing the chance to think in ‘the now’. The Boarding House has elected student representation who meet regularly with the House Parents to exchange ideas and to discuss developments. Indeed, it is not uncommon for a boarder to be voted in as Head of the Student Council at the Secondary school for all students, day and boarders.

Pastoral Care

We take our responsibilities for pastoral care seriously. BHS has clear principles, based on the Quaker ethos and the school motto ‘I Serve’, which guide our pastoral care. A strong pastoral ethos will help to ensure excellence in education.

We are responsible for enabling each member of our diverse school community to realise their potential. We recognise that each individual is unique and we aim to develop the talents of the members of the school community, as far as is possible.

The school believes that all people are equal regardless of gender, religious background, culture, ethnic identity and social status, and that there is good within each of us. This belief is driven by our responsibility to care and seek peaceful and cooperative resolutions. We strive to act with integrity, honesty and compassion so that an ethos of trust and respect binds the community together.

Developing Boarders as Responsible People

Rooms and other boarding facilities are cleaned regularly but boarders are expected to:

• Make their bed every morning.
• Keep their room tidy.
• Have a responsible attitude towards their living environment.
• Take turns, as part of a team, to be responsible for the shared communal environments.
• Decorate their room as a statement of their self.
• Decorate their room in a manner and with items that will not cause offence to an international and diverse community.
• Dressing formally for assemblies and special events. Please note that if a boarder does not have formal dress by end of the first week the boarding parents will arrange for the student to purchase the relevant clothing items. This purchase will be charged to the parent’s account.
• Use their mobile phones responsibly outside school hours, study time and before ‘lights out’. Broadband WiFi will be turned ‘off’ at 10.30 pm.

Responsibility and respect for your living environment and the environment of others is a key part of developing a mature attitude.

Boarders are encouraged to develop a wide range of musical tastes. However, music is to be played at a volume that shows respect for the communal environment. Headphones can be used!

The school laundry service will launder boarders’ clothes. Boarding students are responsible for:

• Collating their own laundry.
• Placing it into their laundry bag on Monday or Thursday morning.
• Labelling their laundry bag with their own unique laundry number.

Please note that all clothing placed into the laundry must be able to be machine washable at 40 degrees centigrade.

• Clothing items that do not meet this requirement must not be placed into the laundry bag.
• Laundry is returned to Boarders on Monday or Thursday.
• The House Parents will arrange for dry cleaning of any special clothing, at the boarder’s expense.

Daily School Schedule

• 6:30 – 7.00 am Wake up bell *
• 6.50-7.30 am Breakfast
• 7:40 am Classes begin
• 10:30 am First break
• 12:45 pm Lunch
• 3:20 pm Afternoon snack and activities *
• 5:00 pm Study Time in Boarding House
• 6:30 pm Dinner
• 7:30 – 9:30 pm Extra Study / Quiet Time *
• 8:30 pm Quiet Time
• 9:30 pm Lights out for Boarders up to Grade 9 (Quiet Time in the House) **
• 10:00 pm Lights out for Boarders in Grades 10 & 11 **
• 10:30 pm Lights out for Boarders in Grade 12 **

Please note that boarders walk to school each morning and back in the afternoon. In the rainy season boarders will be taken to school by bus.

  • * Shower times are usually from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm – 9:30.
  • ** On Fridays and Saturdays lights out is at the discretion of the House Parents.

Study Time After School

Study Time takes place each weekday in the Study Hall between 5:00-6:30 pm. This gives you the opportunity to complete homework, study for upcoming assessments or develop a stronger understanding of areas you have studied that you wish to explore in more detail. If you have completed all the expected work, then pick up a book and disappear into the world of literature.

Students in the Intermediate or Secondary sections are allowed to study in their own room. This is a privilege that encourages self-discipline and enables the development of independent study habits.

English as a Foreign Language (EFL)

Supporting students to develop in their understanding of English is a hugely important responsibility that we take seriously. All students study their lessons in English. We have specialist language teachers and specialist lessons, including science and maths EFL specialists, to help the students to access the curriculum. Their knowledge and personal care are experienced by many of boarders we host on campus.

Extra-Curricular

Activities are an integral part of life at BHS. You will gain a huge amount of enjoyment by participating in the activities offered. We encourage all boarders to take part in some of the activities and we encourage you to participate in a wide range of activities which are unfamiliar to you so that you can widen you experience base. You will be required to join two after-school activities per week and you will also participate in the week-end activities. You are also welcome, as detailed in the Principal’s message, to take advantage of the school’s facilities after school hours, including the brand-new multi-gym.

Weekends and Birthdays

At weekends, boarders take part in the various activities arranged. The activities are posted every Wednesday. Activities include: white-water rafting, hiking trips and visits to the cinema, and anything in between.

We love to celebrate the birthdays of the boarding students in the Boarding House!

Facilities

The school boasts a remarkable offering of facilities for students. Alongside the historic buildings dating back to the 1870s and the nature-rich, 15 acre campus, the following sports facilities are all part of our community on campus:

• New BHS Sports Arena containing a top grade artificial grass sports pitch and running track (currently under construction, expected delivery in spring 2020). The specifics of the project include a 350 meter athletics track and a top-of-the-range artificial grass pitch (80m x 50m)
• Indoor sports court for volleyball, basketball, futsal and badminton
• Two clay tennis courts
• Purpose-built multi-gym (inaugurated end-2019) with 17 brand-new pieces of equipment, as well as an indoor gym area for the teaching of martial arts, dancing and other similar activities
• 25-meter outdoor swimming pool
• Basketball and volleyball outdoor courts
• Covered concrete playground available for all types of outdoor sports
• Sand play area including eight swings, monkey bars and space for beach volleyball

In addition to all the above, the school boasts a Science block, an Arts & Crafts centre, several assembly and performance halls as well as, and one of the most recent and exciting developments on campus, a fully-equipped robotics lab.

Weekend Leave

If you decide to spend the weekend away from boarding you must inform the House Parents by Wednesday evening, at the latest, so that proper arrangements can be made.

Weekend leave is allowed with the consent of a student’s parents / guardian and the House Parent. Weekend leave occurs between Friday 4:00 pm and Sunday 6:00 pm.

Please note that boarders cannot return prior to 5:00 pm on Sundays due to the activities schedule involving all boarders and House Parents / Assistants, who would be away from the Boarding House.

Boarders are only allowed to leave boarding at the weekend if they are picked up by their parents, guardian or another authorised person.

If boarders wish to use the public bus or a private taxi company their parents / guardian must first complete the ‘Transportation Form’.

Main School Holidays

During main school holidays, such as Christmas, Eid El Fitr and Easter, the Boarding Houses will be closed. It is important to keep to these dates and times.

Visitors

Visitors are allowed to the Boarding House on Fridays between 5:00-7:00 pm and must be signed in by a boarding student. Visitors are allowed in the lounge area, but not in the rooms. Girls are not allowed into the boys’ area and vice versa, even if they are siblings. Boys and girls use the communal area to be sociable.

Guests abide by the rules of the school and of the Boarding House. If they fail to do so, they will be asked to leave.

Medication and Illness

While the students are on school premises, the school is responsible not only for the students’ academic progress but also for their physical and psychological well-being. The school has qualified counsellors who work closely with the boarding students. There is a Sick Bay staffed by a paediatrician and a full-time qualified nurse. The paediatrician attends the Sick Bay twice a week and is on standby 24 hours a day. The nurse is on duty during school hours every weekday. The Head of Boarding and House Parents are all First-Aid trained.

Parents will always inform the House Parents if their child is using any form of medication, whether it is prescribed medicine or not. All medications will be given to the House Parents.

Medicine will be administered either by the House Parents or the School Medical Team, who will administer it when required.

In case of illness, the school doctor or the school nurse will make an assessment. Boarders who are deemed to be unable to attend school through illness will spend the day in one of the two dedicated rooms in the Sick Bay. One room is for male boarders and one room is for female boarders.

Insurance

In addition to the 24 hours a day accident cover provided by the school, additional general medical insurance is required for boarders. This may be arranged either by the parents or guardians, or by the school at a group rate.

Student Concerns

If, as a boarder, you have any concerns or complaints then you either go directly to the House Parents, the Boarding Representative or Prefect, the Vice-Principal Pastoral, the Principal, or a designated outside adult.

Child Protection Officer

The Vice Principal Pastoral is the designated Child Protection Officer at BHS.

Discipline

All school policies apply in relation to the Boarding House also. A copy of the school polices is kept in the Boarding House and are available as required. If a spot check is required, it will take place in the presence of the boarder and two members of staff.

Damage

Damage will be reported immediately to the staff member on duty. Boarders are held responsible for the furniture and fittings in your room. If damage occurs, the parents are responsible for reimbursing the cost of the replacement item to the school. If a boarder causes wilful damage to school property they will then be subject to school disciplinary procedures as well as being expected to pay for any damages caused.

Residency Permit

For non-Lebanese students, a residency permit is required. The school, through the Registrar, will support the application for the student’s residency permit.

Weekly Pocket Money

The House Parents are responsible for the distribution of the boarder’s pocket money each week. It is recommended that pocket money should not exceed 50,000 LL per week. If a boarder requires additional pocket money, this is obtained via approval from the Bursar, following confirmation from the boarding student’s parents or guardian.

The pocket money is paid to the Accounts Office by parents or guardian at the beginning of each term.

Any large sums of money should be kept with the Accounts office. Boarders take responsibility for smaller sums of money that they will have for their own personal use once it has been given to them.

Shopping and Village Leave

Boarding students bring all the required items that they need for school with them at the beginning of term.

Weekends are intended for student development through trips and activities and no weekends are dedicated to shopping trips. In case of an item that is urgently needed, the boarding student will speak with the boarding parents who will arrange for it to be purchased.

Village leave is available daily for Secondary students and twice a week for Intermediate students. Boarders on village leave will remain within walking distance of the school and will not use local buses or taxis. Lower School students on village leave will always be supervised by a member of the boarding team or a member of the teaching staff.