Development Plan 2021-2022
Tuesday, 31 May 2022
Share this article:
Amidst the changes and uncertainties of life in Lebanon, BHS development planning has gone ahead as forecast at the start of the year. There have been 3 whole school development plan items and one Development plan item for each of the 4 sections. In this document I am reporting on the whole school development plan items only which were:
- The full and comprehensive implementation of the Cambridge curriculum
- A feasibility study to establish a Brummana High School sports club for school families
- Establishing ways of further instilling the school values of individuality, respect, tolerance and peaceful resolution in the educational life of students at Brummana High School.
The recommendations alongside the findings of each of the working parties looking at these items have been presented to the Senior Leadership Team. The outcomes have been as follows:
- The full and comprehensive implementation of the Cambridge curriculum at Brummana High School.
The working party, led by Georges Rizkallah, looked at the experience of teachers with the new Cambridge press textbooks, changes in teaching methodology in the classroom affected by using Cambridge resources and the new textbooks, effectiveness of resources and how frequently teachers used them, and finally an examination of the next steps to implement the Cambridge curriculum and other related recommendations.
With regard to the experience of teachers using the new Cambridge press textbooks, it was agreed that language development had occurred in all subjects and not only in English. The students had been exposed to different language techniques according to the context and the audience and this was apparent from the earliest of ages. Critical thinking had been emphasised thoroughly in a well organized, methodical and consistent way. Topics in Science have proved to be very exciting to students in the Lower School while the use of the English language in Science books and in KG3 had proved to be relatively hard for the BHS students and consequently teachers had had to move slowly in covering the syllabus and spend a lot of time in teaching the language of science. At this level, some mathematical concepts also proved to be difficult. In the Primary section, teachers had noted weaknesses in grammar and spelling and had had to supplement materials in the form of extra learning activities.
Teaching methodology in classes had been considerably affected. There was evidence of a greater spirit of inquiry; resources made it easier for teachers to apply differentiation, and in science hands on activities had been promoted to the full. There was greater evidence of student centred classrooms.
With regard to the resources provided by the Cambridge programme, while they were used by many teachers, there was no consistency about this. It is important that in the future, these resources which are freely available to the staff, should be used systematically, more fully and widely.
The following recommendations were made by the working party and approved by the Senior Leadership Team for implementation:
- Cambridge assessment should be introduced for grades 3, 6 and 8 with effect from the start of the 2022-2023 academic year. This can be achieved through acquiring check point. Moderation will be undertaken by BHS teachers.
- Cambridge development workshops will be provided for all new teachers in KG1 and KG2 from the start of the 2022-2023 academic year.
- The number of science lessons in the Primary sections would be increased from 2 to 3 with effect from the start of the 2023-2024 academic year.
- Feasibility study to establish a Brummana High School School Club for School families.
This working party led by the Bursar, Mr. Raymond Feghali, thoroughly investigated the possibilities of establishing a sports club along the lines described. It was concluded however that the staffing costs and need to employ additional staff together with other costs would outweigh the potential income very substantially. However, a number of ideas were raised and investigated and recommended to the SLT who approved them.
These included the following:
- Football field: the running track would continue to be available to users free of charge except during the Summer Camp when access to the football field would be limited to after 2:00pm under adult supervision.
- Parents wishing their children to use the football field would need to book the field following the procedure that had been published on the school website. A BHS representative would be responsible for the supervision and to follow up received bookings.
- The booking procedure would be translated into Arabic and both versions (English and Arabic) would be fixed on the fence next to the Guards’ hut. It was suggested that the booking fee for example for the football field could include the cost of a referee who would at the same time be responsible for supervision.
- Vending Machines would be placed next to the Guards hut particularly for the sale of items such as water.
- The Football field would become a potential income stream through the marketing of birthdays and through providing associated catering services outside the field in the amphitheatre. This initiative has already begun with bookings for 4 children’s birthdays already in place.
It was recognised that with the growth of football field usage, a team would be needed partly dedicated to its operation.
The Sports Hall (next to the multigym): It was recommended that the sports hall could be rented out for a maximum of 10 players at a time during the winter season under the same booking procedure as the football field after 5:00pm for mini football or Basketball.
The Multigym: It was recommended that the multigym could be rented out to individuals or groups of not more than 5 with their private trainers. They would be charged per session. A percentage of the paid amount would be allocated to the trainer and the balance would cover the cost of usage of the Gym. It was recommended and agreed that about 1/3 of the amount paid by users would go to the trainer. The hiring of trainers would not be undertaken by the school, but by the individuals or groups hiring, although Brummana High School would have a list of trainers available if required.
All recommendations were approved and it was recognised that if these measures were successful, it could lead to a further expansion of the use of school facilities outside school hours for the benefit of parents and families in future.
- To establish ways of further instilling the school values of individuality, respect, tolerance and peaceful resolution in the educational life of students at BHS.
The working party set out each of these values along the lines that each child is unique, that the opinions, bodies , property, privacy of others should be respected, that tolerance should foster inclusiveness and acceptance of others, and that peaceful resolution involved reflection, evaluation of problems, taking responsibility, brain storming solutions and affirming, forgiving and thanking.
The recommendations were that a practical and interactive session led by the Heads of Section should take place during induction and Inservice training days, that questionnaires to investigate students’ perspectives on each of the values should be issued by Heads of Section and the Head of Professional Development, that there should be a calendared value week led by the Heads of Section and the Marketing Manager, that the Heads of section and advisors should ensure the effective teaching of PSHE lessons and that the 4 values should be made a focal point of assemblies. In addition there were a number of other recommendations which included:
- To ensure the visibility of the values, for example on the website, social media, at events and perhaps on devices such as laptops and desktops where they could be used artistically as screen savers.
- The Heads of section and Marketing Manager would promote events which promoted the 4 values.
- The reflection process would be further developed to deal with behavioural concerns by Heads of Section.
- Heads of section would train Prefects on peaceful resolution and Upper School Prefects would be assigned as mentors of Upper Primary Prefects.
It was agreed that this working party had undertaken important work to instil and cement the values of Brummana High School which are widely spoken of and are at the heart of the holistic education which the school provides. I shall report to staff fully on the individual Sections’ Development plan items in due course.