BHS Monthly Newsletter --- Vol. 22 No. 5 --- 28 February 2019


Dear Parents,
Winter is passing thankfully and now we approach spring and the later stages and culmination of the school year.  I have been impressed by much of what I have observed over the past month but can also see aspects of school life which are ripe for development.
Mid-Year Examinations
The mid-year examinations went well.  I took the time to see how they were conducted both in the Meeting House and in the Main Teaching Block and was impressed both by the preparation and discipline of the students as well as by the highly professional invigilation of the teaching staff.  These examinations act as a marker of academic progress as well as a rehearsal for the summer examinations.  They are designed to enable students to become familiar with the business of examinations while at the same time building their confidence.  There was a degree of confusion at the end of these examinations over times of departure from school.  We shall send a letter out to all parents in advance next year so that the detail of arrangements is clear to everyone.
I have continued to observe lessons in both Upper and Lower School while also meeting with individual staff to gauge the mood and tempo of Brummana High School.  I am hearing a great deal and particularly like the spirit of community, the diversity and the emphasis on individuality, respect and tolerance which are pervasive in school life.  In the classroom I have especially enjoyed lessons which are interactive, fully engage the students and challenge their intellectual curiosity.  This approach encourages self-motivation and enjoyment in learning. Rather than creating pressure to pass examinations, an interactive approach enables the students to meet the demands of examinations while learning to love what they are studying.
I am delighted to announce that Mrs. Nathalie Nicholas has been appointed to succeed Mrs. Betty Ajhar, as Registrar of Brummana High School.  Betty has given twenty years of dedicated service to Brummana.  We wish her a long and happy retirement.  Nathalie has been her assistant for the past ten years and is in a strong position to take on this important role, registering new students to BHS and making them feel welcome when their surroundings are unfamiliar.
I am in the process of recalibrating the management structure of the school so as to create a more streamlined and dynamic way of running a school of Brummana’s size and reputation.  The current Director of Studies, Mr. Georges Rizkallah, will become Vice Principal Academic, with responsibility for all academic matters, the curriculum and teaching and learning in both Upper and Lower Schools from September.  This will enable him to focus exclusively on this aspect of school life and crucially to look at the continuity of Academic provision in Upper and Lower Schools with a special focus on years of transition such as Grade 6 to Grade 7.
I shall appoint a counterpart as Vice Principal Pastoral who will have responsibility for all pastoral/ guidance matters in Upper and Lower Schools, who will oversee the role of the Heads of Section and who will set up and establish a Personal Health and Social Education programme for all students which will help to guide them through childhood and adolescence.  He/she will also be the School’s Child Protection Officer with responsibility for safeguarding issues.
I have been looking at provision for children with specific learning difficulties and will appoint a Head of Learning Support for Upper and Lower Schools from September, who will oversee the strategy and perennial provision of support for students who need it, including a screening programme for all so that difficulties are identified at an early juncture.  A Head of Careers will also be appointed to take responsibility for a programme of careers information and guidance for students in the Upper School, while also providing advice on university applications and admissions and individual interviews to students in Grades 10-12.  A Head of Professional Development and Appraisal will be appointed from September to take responsibility for the induction, training, ongoing career development and professional support of teaching staff.  He/she will hold a position on the Senior Leadership Team. Finally, the Head of the Elementary Section will join the Senior Leadership Team, representing the Lower School, from September.
Brummana High School is unique as an English medium Independent School in Lebanon in that it values its boarding provision which enables students both locally and from other countries to enjoy a first-class education at BHS.  Boarders live under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Aouad in Edinburgh House in a comfortable environment in which they can flourish as students academically, learn the skills of personal independence and, critically, became strong communicators and effective team players in a tightly knit community.  The facilities are on the students’ doorstep and they have no need to worry about the tedium of daily travel to and from school.  We are setting up an arrangement which will allow day students to convert to becoming boarders on a flexi (one, two or three days a week) basis or on a weekly (Monday to Friday) basis, to take effect from April 2019.  Charges for flexi boarding will be US$ 60 per day, and US$ 75 per weekend day (this includes accommodation and meals), and (US$ 275) for weekly boarding (Monday-Friday). If weekends are included the charge will be US$450.  Flexi boarding need not be two or three days every week, but could, for example, be a stay in the Boarding House, when parents are out of the area or country on business.  Equally weekly boarding may be of interest for students who have long journeys from Beirut or other Lebanese towns on a daily basis. Parents who are interested in the flexi or weekly boarding options for their children may contact Mr. Rabih Aouad on email or on 03-285176.
Catering Committee
I am keen that students have a voice in our school.  I recently convened a meeting of the Student Council at which I set up a catering committee, which will look at the range, variety and quality of food provided at lunch and in the school tuck shop.  The committee, which will have representation of students in the Upper School who sit on the Student Council will be chaired by Miss Jana Thoumy, teacher of science, who has delivered courses on nutrition, and will also be attended by Dr. Mireille Zalzal Batrouni, the school doctor and Mr. Abdou Trad, the Services Manager and Head of Catering.  The committee will make recommendations to me by the Easter holiday, some or all of which I hope to be able to approve to take effect from May 2019, at which point we shall also remove the custom of food being delivered to school on Fridays to Grade 12 students.  This “privilege” causes disruption to school life and places the school in an awkward position, unable to guarantee the quality or safety of food coming into school. Cafeteria
School Breakfast
Finally, on the topic of food we intend to trial the provision of breakfast, available to all students from April 1st in the school cafeteria.  This will be available on a cash basis from 7:00am until 7:35am each morning.  A variety of hot and cold food will be available.  The cost of breakfast will be L.L. 5,000.
As parents are aware, we introduced a new system for pick up and collection of children at the end of the school day, with effect from the beginning of February.  Its aim was and is to ensure the safety of all children on the school site, enabling buses to arrive and leave first and thereafter to allow parents to collect their children.  As the month has progressed, we have listened to staff and to parents and have implemented refinements so that the process runs more smoothly, and so that parents are inconvenienced as little as possible.  I am satisfied that the situation on the school campus is much safer for children than it was.  After the end of February, the situation will be reviewed as to and whether we need to further amend or refine arrangements.  I am grateful to parents for their patience and for their suggestions.
The United Strings of Europe
The United Strings of Europe concluded their series of workshops, master classes and concerts with a marvellous concert in the Khoury Hall, which included music by Schubert and Grieg. Their performance was sublime and inspirational for the audience, about half of whom were children who had been excited by the ensemble’s presentations during their stay with us at Brummana. We are indebted to Mr Hani Aboul Jabine, the Chairman of the Governing Body, who most generously funded the visit of U.S.E. to Brummana. I hope that this marks the beginning of a revival of music at our school, so important to the cultural development of the students alongside Art and Drama.
My apologies to parents for the length of this epistle but I want to try to communicate, on a monthly basis to parents, as fully and as clearly as possible what is happening at school which will have an impact on the children’s educational and social experience here.  More news in March!
JND Gray - I Serve
Concert by United Strings of Europe
Concert by United Strings of Europe


Parents who have not yet paid the second instalment of tuition and bus fees, which was due on 5 January, should do so immediately. If you have any difficulties, please contact the Bursar.


- Please be reminded that written parental permission is required if a bus registered student who comes to school in the morning is not using the bus on the homeward journey. This includes Upper School students who stay for after school activities.
- Written parental permission is required if a bus registered student wants to return by a different bus.
- For the safety of our students, all vehicles are equipped with seat belts, which must be worn during bus rides.
- Also, the Bus Co-ordinator, Rabih Chababi, should be notified of all bus students who are not using the bus on the homeward journey. This should include: absent students, those who left school early, and those who are staying on for an unscheduled class or activity.


The school will be closed on the occasion of the following holidays:
- Teachers’ Day on Friday, 8 March 2019
- Annunciation Day on Monday, 25 March.


"The Model Arab League is an innovative educational program that engages Lebanese High School and Middle School students in an exploration of current Arab world issues, through interactive simulations and curricular materials. It helps engage students from various religious and political backgrounds in Lebanon, to discuss various social, political, and economic subjects that are affecting and shaping our Arab World. Representing one of the Arab League’s 22 member-states, student delegates work to achieve consensus on questions, which diplomats face every day. Student leaders are given the opportunity to debate and form coalitions in order to draft and pass resolutions that seek to resolve some of the Arab countries’ most difficult challenges." ~GCLAUMUN. The MAL which took place at LAU Beirut this past weekend witnessed multiple BHS students receiving awards. They are: Middle School (Grades 7-9) – [Total Participants: 10 students]: Best Delegate Award (SG) > Charbel Korbani and Thea Azzouz; Honourable Mention (Diplomacy) > Karl Eid, Joseph Khoury, Nouri Dawlabi, and Jude Sharara; Country Statement (Position Paper) Award > Sami Ashkar and Henry Chadid; Participation Award > *All Mentioned above as well as Selina Riachi and Marc Younis. Upper School (Grade 10-11) – [Total Participants: 16 students]: Best Delegate Award (SG) – [Carries 50% scholarship to LAU and a chance to participate in finals for travel to USA] > Christina Attallah, Faye Abou Nafeh, Celine Madaghijian, Tarek Khanafer, Rudy Zalzal, and Roy El Hajj; Honourable Mention (Diplomacy) – [Carries 25% scholarship to LAU and a chance to participate in finals for travel to USA] > Rodolf Aouad and Valerie Naufal; Country Statement (Position Paper) > Gabriel Khabbaz, Rania Chit, Lara El Helou, and Rochelle Chlala; Participation Award > *All Mentioned above as well as Joya Khoury, Samar Jemal, Paula Arike, and Samir Abou Jaoude. Congratulations to all delegates who represented BHS so commendably!


- The BHS Parents' Association wishes all teachers and the BHS Teachers’ Association a happy Teachers’ Day full of success and courage to continue their mission with love and respect. 
- Our upcoming activities are various and will be announced soon so you can fix your schedule early. 
- We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Principal Mr. David Gray and wish him a fruitful year. 


- Brummana One Group is loaded with activities this month. On 9 February, the group visited Beytouti, where the members met with Founder Mr. Emile Sawaya and learned all about homemade products, syrups, jams, and spices. On the 23rd of February, BR1 Group visited CARE Lebanon and presented the kids with gifts that were bought using the donation money collected last December, 2018. The Guides and Scouts, PLs and APLs will be having an overnight for training purposes at BHS on 23 and 24 February 2019.
- Stay tuned for a fantastic Mother’s Day Event next month; details will be shared soon on our social media platforms.



- Two of our students participated in the Model European Union Conference at LAU. One of them, Pia Ibrahim (Sec. 3 LP) won the position paper award. We are proud of all our young diplomats!
- Two of our students participated in international sports competitions and achieved honourable results: - Faye Abou Nafeh (Sec. 1 LP) participated in the Middle East Open Swimming Championship in Dubai, and ranked 6th among 200 swimmers of all age groups coming from all around the world. - Rached Ghanem (Sec. 3 LP) participated in the Formula 4 UAE Championship and ranked 4th in the latest race of the tournament. We are proud of our young champions!
- The ski trip, which was planned for the 14 and 15 February, was postponed until 14 and 15 March 2019. Students who do not wish to go anymore can get a refund. Between 1 and 7 March, we will open the registration again for those who missed the first deadline and wish to go on the trip.
- Secondary students of the Lebanese programme and IB1 sat for the mid-year exams between 4 and 8 February 2019. Students’ behaviour during these exams was exemplary. Term 2 report cards including mid-year results will be out on 13 March 2019.
- On 19 February 2019, the Principal Mr. Gray addressed the Secondary students during assembly. The Principal called on students to reflect upon their mid-year achievement. He also related stories about very young people he had met, who have achieved high positions at a very young age. The message was a call for hard work, motivation, and determination.
- Secondary students had an enchanting experience on 21 February after they attended an interactive performance by the United Strings of Europe Orchestra in Khoury Hall. The aim was to familiarize students with classical music. The interaction of students was very positive. On 25 February, United Strings of Europe also held a master workshop for Upper School students who play instruments or have vocal talents. Twenty-two students from the Secondary Section had a wonderful experience exchanging ideas and learning from these professional musicians.
- On 28 February, the Secondary assembly hosted Registered Nurse Leila Abou Habib, from the tobacco rehabilitation centre at Hotel Dieu de France. Ms. Abou Habib spread awareness about all tobacco addictions (cigarettes, shisha, weeds, E-cigarette or vaping). Alex Moucarry, (12 IP), who has thoroughly researched these topics, assisted Ms. Abou Habib in the presentation.
- Secondary students will be exploring the different careers presented at our upcoming Career Fair, on 27, 28 February and 1 March 2019, from 4:00 to 6:00pm. A schedule of the presentations as well as a booklet listing the mini-biographies of the 28 presenters is available online on the school website.
Careers Fair


- Assembly: 31 Jan. – Principal Mr. Gray gave a talk on RESPECT. He reminded students of the importance of RESPECT for people and our surroundings. Mr. Gray went on to tell students that they must always respect the school in all its aspects - the people and property of the school.
- Advisory: 28 – 30 Jan.: Within their groups, the Advisers went over the logistical rules of the Mid-Years such as what time to arrive, where school bags should be dropped off, and seating plans. Advisers also gave students tips to better prepare them for the exams such as sleeping at least 8 hours, eating a good breakfast, and having an hourly study plan for each day. Feb. 18 – 20: The topic for this week was “Helping the Environment”. The students discussed different ways they can help in minimizing the damage that is being done to our environment, such as avoiding the use of plastic bags.
- Special Event: The students had the privilege to attend a musical performance by the “United Strings of Europe” in Khoury Hall on 21 February. On 25 Feb., all the Intermediate students who play a musical instrument attended a special workshop with the “United Strings of Europe”.
- Mid-Year Examinations: these examinations took place during the week of 4 Feb. to 8 Feb. The examinations ran smoothly and students appeared quite relaxed in general.
- Report Cards for term two with the Mid-Year grades will be distributed on 13 March. A letter for parents to sign will be enclosed with the grades. Students whose report shows concerns will be given a copy of the report card to be signed and returned to school for the official report card to be given out.
- Parent Teacher Meetings will be held from 3:30 to 6:00pm on 20 March for the second time this year. These meetings will be by invitation only. Many parents will not be asked to come in if there are no concerns with their children’s progress.
- ACER Examinations for grade 8 IP took place on 11 February 2019. These international assessments are designed to evaluate students’ mathematical literacy and English reading and writing in comparison to International standards.
- Art Department: Grade 7 and 8 students are in the process of learning to draw human proportions. Grade 9 students are working in groups creating projects based on the theme “Independence”.
- Computer Department: Grades 7 and 8 students finished working on word-processing, spreadsheets, and electronic presentations. Grade 9 finished working on Photoshop, a photo-editing program. 
- Points for Parents: * Parents are kindly requested to remind their children the importance of wearing their seat belt on the school bus. * A reminder that for assemblies on Thursdays students should not wear jeans or sportswear.
Futsal Championship
Futsal Championship


In the Lebanese Schools Girls Futsal Championship final matches for Maten and Baabda district played on 24 February, the Juniors Team (2003/2004 category) came in first place and qualified to the second round. The Seniors Team (2001/2002 category) came in second place and qualified to the second round. Well done to both teams.


- What a start! After 6 weeks of drilling, writing, reciting, and a few tears, we would like to congratulate our top finalists in the Spelling Bee contests in Grades 3,5, and 1. CONGRATULATIONS go to: Grade 3 > 1st place - Sarah Melhem, 2nd place - Mario Sawaya, and 3rd place - Yana Wannous. Our Principal, Mr. Gray attended his first Spelling Bee contest at BHS and he witnessed first-hand how our grade 3 students ace spelling. Grade 5 > 1st place - Kevin Jarjoura, 2nd place - Mark Abou Jaoude, and 3rd place - Karl Khalife; Grade 1 > 1st place - Nicolas-Joseph Haddad, 2nd place - Charles Hachem, and 3rd place - Ingrid Al Aswad.
Gr. 1 Spelling Bee  Gr. 3 Spelling Bee Gr. 5 Spelling Bee

- In two consecutive assemblies, Grade 4A ran a PowerPoint presentation on personal safety issues. It taught the students to be aware of probable harassment and showed them how to stand up to it. Grade 4B took UE students on a wondrous trip where they were introduced to the beautiful touristic and historic places around Lebanon.
- Continuing with this year’s “International” theme, Ms. Chantal and 3B treated students to a sandwich tour of the world. Miss Joelle and 2A introduced New Year celebrations from around the world, and Mrs. Lynn and Grade 2B gave an assembly about Russia: the culture, traditions, and holidays.
- Congratulations to Mohammad Haidar in grade 6 who received an honourable mention for his essay in the Trust for Sustainable Living (TSL) International Competition.
- The Lebanese Blue Belt Taekwondo Championship was held by the Lebanese Taekwondo Federation at Mont La Salle and many BHS students, trained by Old Scholar Master Elie Nehmeh, were among the winners: Michel Obeid (Gr. 3B) 2nd place in the 30Kg Category, Samer El Haddad (Gr. 3B) 1st place in the 36Kg Category, George Dib (Gr. 3B) 3rd place in the 40Kg Category, Eva Joy Fadel (Gr. 3C) 1st place in the 24Kg Category, Karma Lyn Maalouf (Gr. 6B) 3rd place in the 44Kg Category, and Michelle Lahoud (Gr. 6B) 2nd place in the 59Kg Category. We are proud of you all!

 Taekwondo Championship   Taekwondo Championship


- Since our living value for the month of February is “love”, KG I students sang a song about love during their assembly. During this month, KG I students are learning about the five senses. For that, the students are busy tasting sour, salty, and sweet food. As for hearing, teachers provided sounds for students to guess what they are hearing. Finally, for smelling, they smelled perfume, onions, and coffee.
- To emphasize the value "Love", KG 2 students pricked a red heart and gave it to their loved ones. KG 2 students enjoyed letter-related activities, such as: for letter s, a spider shape craft was made and hung by thin ribbons. For letter j, each student chose his/her favourite juice flavour and accordingly coloured the letter j, stuck a straw on it and traced "j is for juice". For letter a, they coloured an apple, cut it and pasted it on the big tree cardboard outside the classroom. As for the science activity, KG 2 students cut parts of a plant and stuck them in the correct order on a white paper.
- KG 3 students enjoyed listening to the story stone soup and prepared the same soup. It was delicious! They celebrated Valentine’s by creating and decorating a February calendar full of hearts.
- Our counsellor Mrs. Zeina Nakhle with the Head of Infant Section Mrs.  Nada Khoury Bu Jawdeh introduced a new concept for KG 2 and KG 3 students. The concept is being a PREFECT. We believe that children need to experience duties and responsibilities that come with being a member of a community in order to help them prepare to play an active role as citizens. The students watched on you tube the following: The chosen student will be in charge of his/her class for one week (all students will have their turn).  A designed pin is given to the chosen one.
- We want to remind parents that chips, candy sticks, and chocolate are not allowed. The aim of this policy is to ensure a healthy, well-balanced snack for children, thus promoting a healthy lifestyle. By encouraging healthy eating patterns, we educate children for later life.
- Please note that teaching commences at 7:45am every day. It is vital that children are in their classes ready to start work for the day on time. Please be aware of the disruption to classes by latecomers.


On 19 November 2018, the Old Scholars Association hosted a Special Festive Edition Round Table discussion entitled ‘Beauty by Leila’ at the OSA House in Brummana. Our guest speaker was Mrs. Leila Obeid who is an old scholar and a leading name in the world of beauty and makeup. Mrs. Obeid shared her expertise with the attendees and gave them valuable tips in both beauty and health. She also demonstrated one of her signature glamorous makeup looks in an easy-to-follow and fun way with her “Master-class Auto Makeup” routine. The attendees who were old scholars, friends of old scholars, as well as members of the BHS PA, had a great time and were given the opportunity to experience Mrs. Obeid’s easy to prepare miracle face masks as well as participate in a live makeup tutorial. Since it was the festive season, a raffle was held, and Mrs. Obeid gave away many valuable gifts and promised to have a follow-up session in the New Year. Stay tuned to find out about all the upcoming BHS OSA activities!


Gr. 1A student Ilias McDowall for donating books to the Lower Elementary, Grade 1A classroom.
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