BHS Monthly Newsletter --- Vol. 22 No. 9 --- 2 July 2019

FROM THE PRINCIPAL


     

Dear Parents,
The school year has reached its conclusion, marked by graduation events culminating in a splendid Speech Day occasion held outside the original buildings of Brummana High School constructed around 1870, and within reach of the bust of Theophilus Waldmeier, the Founder of the school, the Quaker values of which: individuality, respect for others, tolerance and peaceful resolution, resonate quite as powerfully now as they did nearly one hundred and fifty years ago. For the Grade 12 graduates they should remember the values they have learned, the motto “I serve” and seek, not only to succeed in their respective fields, but also to improve on what they find, aiming to build a peaceful, prosperous society for all. We were privileged on this occasion to be addressed by ME Ziyad Baroud the Former Minister of the Interior and Municipalities who gave an inspirational address to the students.
Amidst the celebrations, I was privileged to witness an outstanding theatrical production in “Metamorphosis”, performed by Grade 8 and 9 students, and directed by Mrs. Lama Najjar. This play, rehearsed over months, demonstrated what sustained application and commitment to a project can achieve. It acts as a metaphor to us all at school about the adoption of a purpose and the willingness and determination to stick to it until it is fulfilled. The English seafarer, Sir Francis Drake, the first person to circumnavigate the world, wrote a prayer which states that “in undertaking any great endeavour it is not the beginning but the continuing of the same until it is thoroughly finished which yields the true glory”. It is fitting to remember these words as students come to the finishing of the school year. Holidays await to refresh us in advance of the next set of challenges which lie ahead in September.
As parents are aware, school inspectors from the Educational Development Trust arrived at school for a week at the end of May. Their findings will be published soon and I shall report on these to parents in the September newsletter. In the meantime, inspectors have met with my senior colleagues and me and reported on their initial findings, in which they praised the ethos and spirit of the school which they described as having great potential. They were impressed by the spectacular campus, the school’s long history, the teaching of Mathematics and the Sciences and English. They thought the students were interested, enthusiastic, charming and articulate, and fully endorsed the changes which are being brought about to improve the school’s provision and performance, the evidence for which I hope will be more apparent in 2019/2020. They rated 52% of the lessons they observed as good or outstanding and 40% as satisfactory. Where there were criticisms of teaching and learning, they were of the lack of engagement of students, passive learning and didactic teaching. We have already begun to address these issues to ensure that the learning environment is always lively, stimulating and has the student at the centre of its activities. Inspectors recognised the need to develop provision in Learning Support, Careers’ advice, Professional Development, and Pastoral Care/Safeguarding all of which have been addressed with new appointments which will take effect from September. More news on the EDT inspection report after the summer.
Published for parents’ interest below is the school’s Development Plan and the plan for each of the Sections. The items are those which have been regarded as key issues/objectives to be addressed and which have been highlighted by staff, students and parents this year, as well as by my senior colleagues. Behind them lie action plans as to how the issues will be addressed and the targets to be achieved usually through discussion in working parties, followed by recommendations for approval by the School’s Senior Leadership Team and then implementation by the school from September 2020. Large numbers of colleagues will be involved in chairing or sitting on working parties while on the school Development Plan item regarding student appearance, parents and students may be invited to sit on a working party from September onwards.
School Development Plans 2019-2020
  1. Review of students’ appearance.
  2. Review of Anti-Bullying /ICT User /Social Media /Child Protection/Safeguarding policies.
  3. Review of guidelines for staff/staff handbooks.
  4. Review of the Academic curriculum for Grades 7 and 8
  5. Review of the system of assessment, review and reporting for students in Upper and Lower Schools.
  6. (a)        Review of the comprehensive ICT audit carried out in March 2019.
    (b)        Review of teaching and learning in ICT Grades 4-8.
Secondary Section Development plan 2019-2020
  1. Establish a Positive Behaviour Policy to replace disciplinary measures in the Secondary Section.
  1. Establish an efficient referral and follow up system, for students with academic and/or social problems.
  2. Shift from extra-curricular activities to a comprehensive co-curricular programme, over the 3 secondary years, which links with academic subjects and would serve better students’ needs.
  3. Review the newly established programme of additional graduation requirements for 12 IP students.
Intermediate Section Development Plan 2019-2020
  1. A programme to help Grade 7 students to adapt faster to the Upper School.
  2. A centralised system of student information accessible to all relevant stakeholders, such as: teachers, advisers, counsellors, Head of Section, VPs, and Principal.
  3. An efficient Prefect System for intermediate students.
  4. A positive reinforcement system in place of “punishment”.
Elementary Section Development plan 2019-2020
  1. Review Elementary Section Homework Policy.
  2. Consider introducing Community service for Lower and Upper Elementary.
  3. Consider location or renovation of Tuck shop.
  4. Plan to develop indoor and outdoor playground facilities. Playground/activities during break time (games painted on the floor) and during rainy days indoor games.
Infant Section Development plan 2019-2020
  1. To restructure the curriculum by dividing it into thematic units that will address all the disciplines taught.
  2. To explore the introduction of a social and emotional learning course for students in the Infant Section.
  3. To establish unified positive disciplinary rules and regulations for Infant Section students.
With regard to school facilities, we have established a planned maintenance programme which envisages the systematic maintenance of all buildings, what is seen and unseen, on a rolling programme year by year from this summer. This will ensure the better condition of the school plant and, in the longer term, considerable cost savings. Below I publish the Summer Works programme which identifies improvements and projects which will be undertaken in the next two months and which have been approved by the Governing Body. It does not necessarily include works which are already underway.

Summer Works 2019
  1. New Nurses’ Clinic construction in Upper School.
  2. Renovation of Clare House.
  3. Preparation of offices for the new managers including HOS office for second secretary.
  4. Sound proofing between the computer labs in the Arts/Crafts buildings.
  5. Construct a new Technology lab in the basement of the Arts/Crafts building.
  6. Renovation of the Sports Club bathroom into a changing room, and boys’ changing room into girls’.
  7. Paint all internal walls, doors, windows and other maintenance works in all buildings.
  8. Major maintenance and paint works of all desks and chairs in all the classes all over the school.
  9. Refurbishment of Edinburgh House Boarding House lounge.
  10. Create multi gym in new Rizkallah (extension) basement.
  11. Reconfigure Infants Section entrance/playground (including canopy).
  12. Fix leakage and humidity in the kitchen areas.
  13. Install rubber protection for safety in the lower Elementary playground.
  14.  Refurbish Upper School Staff room.
  15. Refurbish waiting area next to Registrar’s office.
  16. Furbish 2 model classrooms in the Upper School.
Too seldom do we give thanks but I must do so now, to the Cultural Society, a body which oversaw the governance of Brummana High School from 1985-1999, since when they have quietly but constantly donated money to the school to provide financial aid for parents who, at some point, have fallen on hard times, and struggled to pay the tuition fees. The Cultural Society in 2018/2019, through their generosity, helped a total of 131 families, representing 351 students. The contributions of the society year after year to the education and well-being of our students are incalculable.
Finally, my recent letter home to parents regarding musical instrument tuition generated 115 positive responses. I am now in the process of attempting to revive music as an Art at Brummana High School, with two major concerts by professional groups in 2019/2020: “Peter and the Wolf” by Prokefiev for Lower School Children Grades 4 – 6 in October performed by the wind section of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Octavian Georgiu, and later in the year the return of the United Strings of Europe. In addition, I hope to be able to provide weekly individual music lessons by professionals on the school campus from September/October 2019, with the aim, ultimately, of the school having its own bands, ensembles and orchestra. I am indebted too to Mr. Iyad Baban who hopes to establish a Scouts Brass/Wind Band to play at school and scouting events.
I must congratulate Mr. Houssam Shaiban and a loyal band of teachers and teachers’ assistants who have successfully established a thriving Gardening Club which celebrated the development of their products, an enticing range of edible foods on Monday 17th June. Children have been eagerly planting and growing flowers, fruit and vegetables and learning about sustainable living. This is something which is here to stay and will, I hope, like all good things, expand and grow further in the future.
Now let’s hope that the students have fared well in their public examinations and have earned results which do them justice. I wish them all and all parents and families a restful, relaxing summer and thank you all for your support. We resume the challenge in September!
JND Gray - I Serve

SWIMMING POOL OPEN


The swimming pool is fully supervised by a qualified lifeguard. The opening hours are:
  • Mondays closed for maintenance
  • Tuesdays to Fridays 9 am-5 pm (except 2-5 pm during the Summer Camp 3 July-21 August)
  • Saturdays and Sundays 10 am-5 pm.
The charges for a full day are: BHS Students 10,000 LL and others 15,000 LL
The charges for a half day are: BHS Students 5,000 LL and others 10,000 LL

REPORT CARDS


Please note that in order to receive report cards, all books on loan must be returned and all fines and tuition fees must be settled.

TUITION & BUS FEES 2019/20


Next year’s tuition fee invoices will be given out with the report card for the eldest student in each family. The first payment of tuition fees and the bus registration fees is due by 31 August.

BHS SUMMER CAMP 2019


The Summer Camp Office is open for registration. Dates for the BHS Summer Camp 2019 are as follows: Day Camp – Ages 3-5 and 9-15 years > 3 July till 21 August; Ages 6-8 years > 4 July till 21 August; Boarding Camp – Ages 6-15 > 9 July till 18 August. Please check the summer camp website www.bhscamp.com and brochure for further details.

PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION NEWS


The Parents Association organized a farewell party for grade 6 students on 18 June 2019 at the Country Lodge Hotel and Resort. The students and their parents greatly enjoyed the party, the music, the food, the cake, and especially their photos as a souvenir. All Grade 6 students shared unforgettable moments. We wish them all success in the Intermediate section.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and healthy vacation. Hopefully, next year will be full of various events and projects.

SCOUTS NEWS


- During the month of June, Brummana One Group carried out many activities throughout its units. Our Ventures launched an awareness/cleaning campaign and were off to clean the streets of Brummana, in hope to spread the word to have cleaner cities and encourage fellow scouts to do the same. Our Cubs have been learning to take care of themselves and their surroundings, while the Guides went on Community Service deeds with BETA and CARE.
- We held a ceremony and appointed three leaders. Congratulations to C. Christina Sawaya (Assistant Guides Leader), C. Nour Salem (Assistant Guides Leader) and C. Joe Jad Rufka (Assistant Scouts Leader).
- Two of our members also completed their promises successfully. Angela Saade and Luigi Angelil, we are very proud of you!
- We would also like to congratulate all our Grade 6 Scouts and Guides on their graduation and we wish you a successful journey in High School.
- Kindly note that as of the first week of July, our weekly meetings will be held on WEDNESDAYS from 5:00 – 7:00pm starting Wednesday, 3 July 2019.
UPPER SCHOOL NEWS

SECONDARY SECTION


- IB1 students presented their Group 4 Science Projects to parents, students, and staff on 29 May 2019 at Khoury Hall. The scientific rigour in terms of method and findings in addition to the communication skills of students made this a first-class event.
- Students from Secondary 2 LP sat for the DELF B2 examination on 31 May 2019 at the French Institute in Beirut.
- IB1 students, with Teacher Dani Kfoury, organized a History Debate on 3 June 2019 at Khoury Hall, which was attended by other Secondary students and staff. Debating Students were split into two groups which adopted a stand with or against the American involvement in the Vietnam War. Students’ argumentation in addition to their debating and communication skills were really outstanding.
- Students of Secondary 1LP, 2 LP, and IB1 went on a hiking trip to the Cedars of Tannourine on 14 June 2019.  Students also took a quick glimpse of the Bala’a Gorge before coming back to School at 3:00pm.
- The Major Drama Production Metamorphosis, directed by Drama Teacher Lama Najjar and featuring a number of Upper School students from both the Intermediate and Secondary sections, took place on 14 and 15 June 2019, at the BHS Amphitheatre. Parents, students, and staff watched in awe the professional and artistic performance of the young actors.
- Students of Secondary 1 LP, 2 LP, and IB1 sat for their final exams from 18 to 21 June 2019.
- Prize Day took place at Khoury Hall on 21 June 2019 at 1:00pm. Parents and staff celebrated the success of prize-winning students in the different subjects.
- Report cards for all Secondary students (excluding Seniors) will be distributed on 5 July 2019, from 9:00am to 12:00pm.
- Prom Dinner will take place on Tuesday 2 July 2019 at the Society Bistro, Saifi Suites Hotel in Beirut, at 8:00pm.
- We wish you a relaxing summer vacation from all of us in the Secondary Section.

INTERMEDIATE SECTION


- Assembly: the final assembly for the year was held on 13 June. The Head of Section revised some of the values discussed throughout the year, reminded the students of the importance of always doing what is good, and that during the summer they should take care of themselves and read as much as possible.
- Advisory: week 10 to 12 June: The advisers helped students prepare for final examinations by giving tips and revising the study skills taught throughout the year.
- Play: Grade 9 IP presented the play “Terms and Conditions” for all Intermediate students in Khoury Hall on 30 May. Student Zainab Bhavngari 9 IP wrote the script for this play.
- Skits: Monologues were performed by the grade 7 and 8 students in Dobbing Hall on 13 June. Most of skits’ themes were a depiction of this generation’s lack of empathy and gratitude for life around them. We are grateful to Ms. Rana Slim who worked hard with these students as they prepared for the event.
- Special talks on 11 June were held with grade 9 students on the dangers of “Vaping” and that it has been proven to be more toxic than cigarette smoking.
- Grade 6 visit: On 12 June, the grade 6 students came into the grade 7 classes and listened to advice from their older peers on what to expect in the Upper School next academic year. Grade 6 then had the opportunity to ask their own questions about their transition to the Upper School starting September. 
- Student Achievements: Well done to student Jean Marc Gerges (9 IP) who has created his own website in which he writes and analyses sports news. Jean Marc plays in the BFA (Beirut Football Academy) and has written more than 150 sports articles.
- Final examinations for all the Intermediate students ran smoothly between 18 and 21 June.  Students had revised with their teachers the week before the exams. 
- Report Cards will be distributed on 5 July from 10:00am to 12:00 noon. Students with an overall year average below 65% will be assigned extra work or make-up exams to be completed by 31 July 2019.
- Up-Coming Dates: Orientations for the next academic year 2019-2020 are as follows - Grade 7: Friday, 13 September from 10:00am to 1:30pm. Grade 8: Thursday, 12 September from 11:30am to 2:30pm. Grade 9: Wednesday, 11 September from 11:00am to 1:30pm.
- The Intermediate Family wishes everyone a peaceful and relaxing summer.
 

Gardening Club News


“Corn, pepper, tomatoes, onion bulbs, and herbs are the primary ingredients of a pizza- So let’s plant one!!! Why not have a salad on the side? OK, we will plant a salad too!! Parsley, baby spinach, and arugulas are all planted in our vertical wall to pick and mix into a fresh salad. But what’s for dessert? Will 100 % organically- grown strawberry do!!! We have also planted some beautiful blossoms to encourage our dear-old-friends the bees. Ahh, wait!!! Don’t throw away those green leftovers; we will feed them to our earthworms in our vermin compost bin.”
Our gardening club kick-started just last semester; however, our greenhouse is already full of vegetables, herbs and flowers, planted by young, enthusiastic, green-thumbed gardeners.
LOWER SCHOOL NEWS

ELEMENTARY SECTION


- The last few weeks of school were full of excitement. The buzz of action was at a high-level frequency. In the LE, and during Mrs. Nadia Wannous’ SST classes, the students learnt about the importance of recycling. They collected bottle caps and created a world map of the continents.
- In the UE, students labeled all playground bins and some of the indoor ones with three different kinds of trash: food and waste, papers, and plastics. They were assigned a summer project to come up with a poster to encourage students to recycle. 
- Mrs. Hayat Cherfane, Miss Lara Bou Aoun, and a group of students presented an assembly in French where we learned all about the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. 
- Mr. Gray attended an assembly presented by music teacher Camille Khalil who sharpened the ear-hand coordination skills of the students who used their musical instruments to follow the beat.
- Mrs. Yolla Aswad also made use of assembly time to make the LE students aware of some important social manners and etiquette.
- In the UE, Mrs. Nancy Kazan reintroduced the basic techniques of Yoga and elaborated on the importance of allotting some calm time to oneself during the day.
- Field Day in the LE proved to be an amazing and energetic display of sportsmanship.  Mrs. Jessie Sawaya did a sterling job leading the students during 2 dances. All classes then took part in novel team games that showed off their skills and more importantly, the wonderful team spirit at BHS.  All competitors were winners and received medals to commend their achievements.  The grand finale saw parents and children dancing together.
- In the UE, Field Day was just as exciting. We had a long day of neck and neck competitions between the three BHS Houses, but in the end, we congratulate the Rizkallah team for ranking 1st place this year, Little House 2nd, and Waldmier 3rd. We salute you all for the wonderful sportsmanship spirit that you showed, and may the best team win next year as well.
- Congratulations to Toufic Atallah (3C) who competed in the Lebanese Swimming Championship and ranked 1st place in breaststroke (50m), 2nd place in the butterfly  stroke (50m), and 2nd place in the freestyle (50m).  Well done!
- Grade 3B and Ms. Chantal Alavalas have been using their green-fingers, and visited the Gardening Club.  They have given the club potato tubers to be planted.
- On 13 June, the UE students went on three different destinations for their end of year school trips. Gr. 4 went to Batroun where they took a boat ride after visiting this ancient city. Gr. 5 went to Geita Grotto where they visited both caves and enjoyed the natural formation of stalagmites and stalactites. They loved the short boat ride in the cool lower cave. Gr. 6 went to Taanayel village just a few kilometers from Zahle where they enjoyed riding bikes around the farm.
- On 18 June, our LE classes went on their own end of year school trips. Grade 1 students went to Arnanoon Activity Village, Grade 2 students went to The Pine Yards (Gr. 2), and Grade 3 students went to Byblos.
- The Math Contest took place on 31 May 2019 for grades 2, 4, 5, and 6. The results were as follows: Grade 2: 1st place - Elias Bou Jaoude (2A), 2nd place - Jamil Azoury (2B) and George Tayyar (2B), and 3rd place - Chriss Morisson (2A) and Julie Bechara (2A). Grade 4: 1st place - Gabrielle Goreib (4C), 2nd place - Jad Rifai (4B), and 3rd place - Serena Njeim (4B). Grade 5: 1st place - Kevin Jarjoura (5C), 2nd place - Kelly Ziadeh and Yasmina Hayek (5A), and 3rd place - Charbel El Hajj (5B). Grade 6: 1st place - Rawad Bou Akl (6C), 2nd place - Ghassan Moughabghab (6C), and 3rd place - Maya Rislan (6C). Congratulations to all.
- As for the Science Fair competition, the results were as follows: First place: Rayan El Beyrouty, Christian El Hage, Tracy Nassif, Karma Lyn Maalouf, and Jennifer Bou Faysal. Second place: Nadim Al Haddad, Robert Goraieb, Anthony Yaghi, Nicolas Tabbah, Rawad Bou Akl, and Karl Al Haddad. Third place: Omar Hamaty and Laith Sabri. All the students received their prizes and their awards during Prize Day.
- Many other students also received awards in forms of books and other handy gadgets for being best readers, writers, and spellers in both the English and Arabic Languages in grades 4, 5, and 6. Keep aspiring to do your best.
- The last day of school was celebrated with class parties that included fun, games, and party food… a thoroughly enjoyable way to end the year. We wish everyone a safe, relaxing summer. BHS is the best!!!

INFANT SECTION


  
- Our Field Day took place on 14 June. It was an enjoyable event where our little champs did their best and played happily.
- KG1 enjoyed showing off their sporting skills to their parents. They have enjoyed listening to the rainbow fish story and decorating their own rainbow fish.
- KG2 students were preparing a very nice card for Father's Day, which they gave to their dads on the last day of school. 
- KG3 students wrapped up the year by reviewing some of the material covered this year.
- KG3 students have also rehearsed for their graduation day and are ready to move to grade 1. Congratulations to our little graduates. We will miss you! 
The Infant Section team wishes you a healthy and peaceful summer vacation!

OLD SCHOLARS’ ASSOCIATION NEWS


BHS OSA Gulf Reunion - March 15, 2019
On 15 March 2019, Old Scholars from all around the Gulf region met in Dubai for a wonderful all-day reunion. More than fifty Old Scholars gathered at the One and Only Mirage Hotel; mingling, hugging, reminiscing and laughing amongst each other. The utter joy of reconnecting with old friends and classmates was wonderful to see.  The day kicked off with a business meeting, which started with a speech from OSA President Nazih who announced the names of the newly established Board of Trustees (BoT) and the objectives of the BoT. This was followed by a speech by Keynote Speaker – and Chairman of the BoT – Mr. Tammam Salam, followed by a Gulf update by Mr. Mohammad Hamrani and an update about the school from BHS Principal, Mr. David Gray. The final speech was by the OSA Gulf Coordinator and beloved former BHS teacher Mr. John Kirkbright. The attendees then took a number of group photos to commemorate the event and went on to have a scrumptious lunch in the ballroom, where Old Scholars of all ages networked and shared life stories and updates. That evening, the group reconvened at 7:00 pm and boarded a luxury boat for a magical 4-hour ride filled with laughter, great food, wonderful ambiance and breathtaking sights. By midnight, the Old Scholars and their partners returned to shore, and President Khattar reassured everyone that the OSA will continue to organize Gulf Reunions annually or once every two years to keep the Gulf Old Scholars connected at all times.

 

THANK YOU TO...


- Brummana High School Cultural Society for donating 45,000,000 LL to the Financial Aid Programme.
- Old Scholar Dr. Joline El-Chakhtoura (2004) for donating her own dissertation “Drinking water microbial communities” to the Thomas Little Memorial Library.
- Friend of the school Randa Azkoul, old Scholar Myriam Nehmeh, and student Zainab Bhavnagari for donating books to the Thomas Little Memorial Library.
- Gr. 2B student Adam Weiss for donating various items of use in Art to the Lower Elementary Art Room, as well as books to the Elementary libraries.
- Gr. 2A student Daniella Allam for donating used a doll's bed to the KG1B classroom.
- Gr. 1B student Nicolas-Joseph Haddad for donating books to the Infant Section Library and French Room, and to the Lower Elementary library.
Gr. 1 students Nour and Nader Abdelnour for donating books to the Infant Section.

 
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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