BHS Monthly Newsletter --- Vol. 22 No. 4 --- 1 February 2019

FROM THE PRINCIPAL



Dear Parents
I am delighted to have arrived in Lebanon with my wife Hélène and have been warmly greeted by all those whom I have met, if not by the stormy weather which reminded me of home in Scotland. I am looking forward to working with you at Brummana, which has played such a significant role in shaping Lebanese educational history, and which, from the heights of Mount Lebanon, has such a physically imposing location overlooking Beirut. The confidence, friendliness, respectfulness and curiosity of the students and children have all impressed me. They are eager to learn and to be successful, and my mission, together with my colleagues, will be to liberate their ambitions, instil a strong work ethic, allow them to realise their dreams and be able to serve others and the societies in which they live as adults.
I have had an eventful first month during which I observed and spoke at an outstanding Model United Nations Conference, held at BHS, attended by schools across Lebanon and at which the Member of Parliament, Paula Yacoubian, was the guest speaker. MUN enables students to become well-informed, articulate, confident debaters, leaders, and organisers and serves as a fine preparation for the adult world in which our students will need to be excellent communicators. It also provides them with an insight into the world’s complexities and the skills required to resolve problems through discussion and teamwork. I would encourage parents to recommend MUN to their children from whom Mr Fareed Halabi, who is MUN’s champion at BHS, would be delighted to hear. I have more recently attended the Academic Fair which showcases students’ projects and by which I was equally impressed.
At the moment, I am observing lessons across the school and in all subjects, meeting with individual staff to understand their insights better and I have already enjoyed two meetings with the Parents’ Association. From September these meetings will assume a new shape and will be devoted to planning of social events and secondly to discussing issues associated with school, which may be of interest to the parent body. The minutes will be published on each occasion to all parents.
I have now addressed all the children in the school at five separate assemblies. I have found them attentive, good listeners and eager singers of the Lebanese national anthem and the school song. It is important not only that they should work diligently at school but also take full advantage of the many extra-curricular opportunities available here. I have twice attended scouts which takes place on Saturdays and which promotes leadership, teamwork and is great fun. You have given the gift of education to your children. It is important that they use it well. Please enthuse them to do so as we do.
In the spirit of service to you and to the school.
David Gray

VISIT BY PROMINENT OLD SCHOLAR


BHS old scholar and former boarder His Highness Sayyid Asaad bin Tariq Al Said (at BHS 1971-73) visited the school on Sunday, 20 January. He is the Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations, Affairs and Cooperation & His Majesty’s Special Representative for the Sultanate of Oman and a member of the Al Said Omani royal family. His Highness attended the Arab Economic Summit as head of the Omani delegation. We were honoured to receive him as he toured the campus reminiscing about his schooldays. Does anyone have any old photos of His Highness while he was studying at BHS? If so, please email admin@bhs.edu.lb.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES


- If a sudden decision is made to close the school, we will send an SMS message to the contact person in each family (as specified by each family in the most recent Family Data Update returned). If school is closed before the end of the school day, parents will be informed one hour before the bus departure.
- All information will also be posted on the school Web site: www.bhs.edu.lb. To view the latest Web site updates, please remember to refresh your browser by clicking the Refresh or Reload button on the toolbar (whilst on-line). Parents who need further information should contact either Reception or the appropriate section office.
- Please assume that we are open, unless you are otherwise informed by a reliable source.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT


The ICT Manager, Youssef Abi-Haidar, attended a Kaspersky Lab and Crystal Network workshop on 13 December 2018 at Kempinski Summerland Hotel. The workshop covered the following topics: Overview of Strategy in the Middle East, Threat Intelligence Portal, Cybersecurity Services, and Security Awareness Program.

PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION NEWS


- The BHS Parents Association wishes you a good start to a prosperous New Year. We are very pleased to welcome our new Principal, Mr. David Gray, and wish him success in the upcoming years. Our meeting was thoughtful and focused on providing support for our school and students. Let me take this opportunity to wish Dr Khoury a happy retirement.
- Our activities will restart very soon; we will be giving you further details about all these events in due course. We hope you will participate, attend, or volunteer. Remember: Together we Succeed.

SCOUTS NEWS


- Throughout the festive month of December 2018, BR1 Group went on a Christmas parade in Brummana, singing Christmas Carols and giving out candy to people on the street. You can watch the video on this link (https://www.facebook.com/BR1GROUP/videos/279226432948199/). The Clan held its “Red Christmas” event - a bake sale fund-raiser. Some of our members’ parents also donated money for a good cause, which will be used to buy toys for the kids at CARE Lebanon.
- During the month of January 2019, we were honoured to receive BHS Principal, Mr. Gray at two of our meetings. He was interested in the group’s activities, members and leaders. BR1 Leaders participated in the 4th BHSMUN Conference. Last but not least, the group went to Rabieh on Sunday, 27 January 2019 to receive the LSA GC during the Annual Official Visit.
- We’re well on our way to “Pave the Way”. Don’t forget to stay tuned for more on our social media platforms!
 
UPPER SCHOOL NEWS

SECONDARY SECTION


Before the Christmas Break:
- We want to thank all those who contributed to the Food, Clothes, and Toys Drive before the Christmas vacation. Your generous contributions were donated to the local churches who distributed them to less fortunate families in the region.
- A group of IB2 students working on their CAS project, along with CAS Advisor Jessica Sebaaly, took Red Cross Training at school on Saturday, 15 December. They all received First Aid Certificate. These students will give First Aid basics to other students in the Secondary Section, as peer-group coaching, in the coming weeks.
- The Upper School Christmas Concert took place on 19 December 2018. Months of rehearsals for the Choir, under the leadership of Conductor Cheryl Khairallah, were crowned with an enchanting concert, which brought together students, parents, and staff. The concert also featured a farewell song to the departing Principal, Dr. El Khoury, as a tribute for all his achievements.
- On 19 December, the Community Service groups of Gr. 10 IP students celebrated Christmas with Al Amal Institute and Deir El Rahme residents. They organized a lunch, brought gifts, and prepared an entertainment programme. Once more, our students succeeded in bringing some joy into the lives of their brothers and sisters in humanity.
- The I Serve Club, under the leadership of student Natalie Ashkar (10 IP), brought gifts and necessary items and delivered them themselves to more than 60 orphans at The Lazarin School,Brummana.
- The last assembly of 2018, on 20 December, featured a team from the Red Cross – Beit Mery Division, who aimed at recruiting first-aiders among our senior students. They gave a heart-warming presentation about what they do to save lives and alleviate people’s pains. We pay tribute from the depth of our hearts, to these humanitarian heroes. Many of our students enthusiastically signed up to become part of the team.
- The last day of school before the holiday was uplifting as usual. The traditional Santa Fun Run took place on 21 December. Our students ran and cycled across town in Christmas-themed costumes and brought an atmosphere of joy into the community.
After the Christmas Break:
- The first assembly after the vacation on Thursday, 10 January 2019, featured our new Principal Mr. David Gray who addressed the secondary students. Mr. Gray gave the students an overview of his long career path. He shared with them stories from his experience in Greece, which somehow shaped his vision in education and motivated him to awaken students under his guidance to the worth of education. Mr. Gray also explained to students what he expects from them in terms of academic effort and behaviour. Students were very inspired by the wisdom and enthusiasm of the new Principal.
- The Principal decided to open the Upper School Cafeteria all day long for students to be warm during the winter season until the end of March 2019.
- The Principal also decided to form a catering committee, which will include representatives of the student body who will have a say in the variety of food offered by the Cafeteria and Tuck Shop.

- We are very proud of our senior student in Sec. 3 SE, Rached Ghanem, who has become a Formula 4 Driver, after years of karting experience. Rached participated in the UAE Formula 4 Championship between 7 and 11 January 2019. Rached ranked 7th, among more experienced and older drivers from around the world. He is preparing himself to move to Formula 3 in Europe as of next year. Many local media outlets have featured stories about Rached. Among others, MTV, LBC, and EuroSport Arab had a segment about Rached in their sports news. We are proud of our champ!
 
- As of 14th of January, students who have free periods in the morning are now requested to be on campus at 7:40 AM like their peers. They can use this time to study and prepare for their lessons and tests.
- On the 19th and 20th of January, the BHSMUN team hosted its 4th Annual BHSMUN Conference, with the slogan “Pioneers of Change”, welcoming delegates from schools around Lebanon. The conference included six committees, which discussed and deliberated on a number of modern day issues. They came to resolutions filled with creativity and forward thinking. Our Keynote Speaker, MP Paula Yacoubian, came and spoke to the delegates about their role in the future of Lebanese Society. Special thanks goes to our sponsor, Bank Audi, our Principal Mr. JND Gray, Heads of Section Mr. Chadi Nakhle and Ms. Rima Habib, as well as all other staff and personnel of BHS, the OSA for their unwavering support, and the community at large for their continued support throughout this process, which teaches students the value and importance of leadership.
- Reinforcement classes, for Sec. 3 SE students having academic difficulties, will be given over 8 Saturdays in various subjects from January until April. The first sessions took place on Saturday, 19 January.
- Also extra sessions for IB 2 students, to make up for the closed days during the storm, will be given on Saturdays and after school. A letter of explanation was sent to their parents on 22 January.
- The Mid-Year Exams for grades 10-12 LP and IB 1 will take place from Monday, 4 February till Friday, 8 February 2019.
- On Saturday, 27 January, the Upper School Academic Fair ceremony for parents took place in Khoury Hall. Students exhibited their projects in maths, applied and social sciences, languages, and the arts to parents and teachers. Projects were of such a high and impressive caliber. We are proud of our future scholars and scientists.
- An overnight ski trip will be organized for Secondary students on the 14th and 15th of February, if the weather conditions are favourable. A letter with all the details was sent to parents on 28 January 2019.
- On 24 January 2019, Secondary Counsellor Sara Hanna gave a presentation on self-management skills to IB1 students. These skills aim to help students cope well with stress and organize their time efficiently. This presentation will be given to all Secondary students over the coming months.
- IGCSE Exams: Students who have committed to take IGCSE exams were given invoices to take home on 16 January. An SMS message was sent to parents of all Gr. 10-12 IP students on 18 January to inform them. The fees must be paid by Thursday, 7 February 2019, so that we can register students for these exams. After this date, penalty charges apply per subject for any new entries, late payments, or amendments, and there is no refund for withdrawals. For details please see the invoice or the letter about exam registration which was sent to all Gr. 10-12 IP students on 26 November 2018. Please do not hesitate to contact the Examinations Officer, Jessica Lainie Fahed, on jessica.fahed@bhs.edu.lb if you have any queries.

 

INTERMEDIATE SECTION


- Assembly: 10 Jan.: Principal Mr. David Gray welcomed the students back from their long Christmas holiday. He gave a brief history about his life, followed by a very inspirational and motivational speech. He encouraged the students to do their best and assured them that they were all capable of achieving any goals they set for the future. The assembly ended with Mr. Gray and all the students cheerfully shouting out the phrase “Carpe Diem” (seize the day).  17 Jan.: students listened to a talk and a short story on the values and qualities needed for proper character building.  24 Jan.: The PE teachers Sami Brakh and Georges Sayegh distributed the Santa Fun Run medals to the six winning students. Afterwards, students were read a story about how one act of kindness by a grade 7 girl towards a boy in her class, changed this boy’s life forever.
- Advisory: 14 to 16 Jan.: Within their advisory groups the students discussed the “Ten Essential Character Building Qualities” which included loyalty, humility, thankfulness, and diligence.  21 to 23 Jan.: the Advisers went through the logistic details that will help students be better prepared for the upcoming Mid-Year Examinations. This included a study of the timetable and the list of material to be studied for the Mid-Year Exams in every subject. Each student was also given a student schedule to fill out to help them pace their time in the last week before the Mid-Years.
- Honour Roll Certificates for term one were distributed in a special assembly on 18 December. Congratulations to all the recipients.
The Intermediate Counsellor Petra Abi Khalil gave a Presentation on the Digital Impact on adolescents and children in the Meeting House on 19 Dec. Students were encouraged to reduce their exposure to mobile phones and social media and awareness was raised about the possible dangers they might face with this form of technology.
- Letters to parents of students struggling academically were sent before the Christmas Holiday. The letter advised parents to encourage their children to revise during the days off.  
- Short Christmas skits were presented by the Intermediate drama class students in Dobbing Hall with their teacher Rana Slim on 20 Dec. These short plays were revelations on issues our society faces daily.
- Brevet Students: On 15 Jan., these students received a list of required documents for their registration for the Brevet Official Examinations. The parents need to prepare the documents for their children before the end of January.
- Academic Fair: Well done to all the students who worked diligently on their projects and who attended the Fair on Saturday, 26 January to present to the parents.
- Upcoming Dates: Classes will continue normally until 1 Feb. The Mid-Year Examinations will be taking place on 4, 6, and 8 Feb. for all classes, with 5 and 7 Feb. as revision days at home. The Brevet students will have their examinations on 4, 5, 7, and 8 Feb, with 6 Feb. as revision at home.
- Points for parents: * The students should fill out the study schedule given to them by their Advisers which will help them organise their time and reduce test anxiety.  *Many students check out books from the Library and do not return them within the 2-week limit. Students are fined for every late day after the 2-week period.

 
     
Academic Fair

English Department News


- For the second year in a row, Brummana High School has participated in the annual TSL 2019 International Schools Essay Competition. This year’s theme is “Life on Land.” Participants are supposed to share their views and give suggestions regarding the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15, namely conserving and sustainably managing life on land. The following tenth graders have participated in the competition, guided and supported by their two English teachers, Jessica Sebali and Lisette El Hage: Adriana Goraieb, Joya Laure Khoury, Mark Bamboukian, Melissa Azzouz, Natalie Ashkar, Ryan Medlej, and Tamer Saleh.
- Moreover, several students from BHS have also signed up for the LAU Arts and Sciences Competitions, which will be taking place in February (Beirut) and March (Byblos). The chosen categories are: short story writing, essay writing, ling-o-mania, black out to enlighten, and the editor. We wish our students the best, and we hope that their enthusiasm and dedication will be rewarded.
 

P.E. Department News


Well done to our teams who participated in the LES Tournament on 26 January. The Boys Mini-Football Team won 10:3 against LES; the Girls Mini-Football Team won 6:2 against Antonine Jamhour; and the Boys Basketball Team won 51:48 against ACS. Also, the Girls Varsity Team won 5:1 against CIS, 4:1 against BBS, 2:1 against LES, and 6:2 against Antonine Jamhour. We are proud of you all.
 
 
LOWER SCHOOL NEWS

ELEMENTARY SECTION


- Elementary Traffic: We trust that the new traffic flow procedures for the drop-off of Elementary Section students introduced earlier this month have reduced traffic congestion in the mornings. We are now trialling a new arrangement in the afternoons, and a letter was sent home with students last week. Procedures are being fine-tuned on a day by day basis. The buses now leave before the Elementary Gate is opened for parents at 3.25 pm (2.35 pm on Wednesdays).
- The Elementary Section ended 2018 in a festive spirit, as each class participated in the annual Christmas Show. Grades 1, 2, 4, and 5 sang Christmas carols while Grades 3 and 6 performed Christmas plays and dances. It was an occasion where we said our farewells to retiring Principal Dr. Walid El Khoury and welcomed our new Principal, Mr. David Gray.
- The Elementary Section launched the New Year with an assembly where the new Principal, Mr. Gray, met students in both sections. He talked about his beginnings in Scotland and his journey all the way to Lebanon. The LE children were treated to a traditional Scottish song, which he sang. The UE students came back to their classes chanting “carpe diem” (seize the day). What an impact!
- The first class to hold an assembly in the LE was Grade 3C. The children presented a colourful glimpse of traditional clothes from around the world. Whereas in the UE, Grade 6B presented the latest news about space. It was extremely interesting and captivating.
- Grades 1, 3, and 5 are busy preparing for the Spelling Bee Contest, while Grades 2, 4, and 6 are getting ready for their Social Studies Contest. Good luck to all.
- Finally, the Elementary Section Counsellor, Juliana Eid, held grade-level sessions about “Bullying.” She explained what it is, showed the students how to deal with it, and empowered them with ways to prevent it.

INFANT SECTION


- The children settled quickly back into the school routine and are glad to see their friends again. Throughout January, all activities in the Infant Section were focused on the most visual aspect of winter, which is snow. They are using simple ways of creating winter scenes, using construction paper, glue, glitter, cotton, and salt.
- KG 1 students did an experiment about ice cubes and how they melt on the radiator and when put back in the freezer, how they turn back into ice taking the shape of the cup.
- KG 2 and KG 3 students will start taking library books home with them to practice with their parents. Students are starting to be more responsible regarding their homework.
- The value for the month of January is ‘honesty’ and you cannot imagine how hard it is to teach it to little ones. Teaching children honesty is a real challenge, given the examples of dishonesty that they encounter every day in the world around them. Your example and your constant feedback, about your child’s behaviour, can be a powerful influence on your child.
- KG 3 students presented the value ‘honesty’ in the assembly on the 21st of January, through songs and a short play “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.
- Infant Section students enjoyed listening to the story “Maggie’s Mittens” that was offered to us by the new Principal Mr. Gray and which gave our students a glimpse of Scottish traditions.
- Now that the weather is turning colder and many of our children are showing signs of colds and flu, please remember to keep your child at home if he/she shows any of the following symptoms:
  • Oral temperature 38 degrees and above within the past 24 hours
  • Uncontrolled diarrhoea
  • Rash, bump or other out-of-the-ordinary skin conditions
  • Flushed face, "watery" or "glossy" eyes
  • Excessive running nose
  • Sore throat
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Unusual irritability or fatigue
Any of these symptoms may indicate the beginning of an illness, which might be easily communicated to other children.

STAFF NEWS


Congratulations to Najat Wakim, Assistant to the Development Officer, who delivered a baby girl, Valerie, on Wednesday, 9 January 2019.
 

OLD SCHOLARS’ ASSOCIATION NEWS


On Wednesday, 17 October 2018, the Old Scholars Association hosted a round table discussion on Food and Nutrition led by Mrs. Sally Sawaya (class of ’93) at the OSA House in Brummana. Sally, who is the Vice President of the Lebanese Association for Nutrition and Dietetics (LAND) gave a talk on Food and Nutrition in our 30's and 40's to an audience of Old Scholars, friends of Old Scholars, as well as members of the PA. The session was fun, informative, and interactive and was followed by a very popular Q & A session and quick tips for a healthier lifestyle. For those who missed this Round Table, rest assured, we are planning many more activities and events, so stay tune! ­
 
The Newsletter is published once a month during the academic year. If you would like to receive a free copy of the Newsletter by email, please send an email with “subscribe” in the subject line to: najat.wakim@bhs.edu.lb.
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