The Senior Department consists of students from Year 7 through to Year 13 [i.e. Students aged from 11 years to 18 years].
Our aim is to work together as a three way partnership – Parents-Students- Teachers – to ensure that the students become independent thinkers and independent learners, and are fully equipped to move on to Higher Education.
Staffing and Facilities
There are 106 staff in the Senior High School. This number includes 87 British qualified specialist teachers, 5 support staff and 14 Arabic and Islamic teachers.
The Senior High School has 9 specialist science labs, 3 computer rooms, a drama suite, a separate English block, a music block, Art Building and a dedicated sixth form centre – The Millennium Centre- for those students who stay on into Years 12 and 13. These students also have their own common room complete with its own canteen.
The PE Department has an indoor gym area, outside courts for basketball and volleyball and a swimming pool in the basement. The park across the road is used for football and for athletics. When necessary the school hires out a sports stadium – for such occasions as the annual Sports Day and Swimming Galas.
The School Day
Students are expected to arrive at school from 7.20am onwards, from which time staff are on duty. There is a flag raising ceremony every day at 7.35am and this is followed by a registration session with a form tutor.
There are nine 35 minute lessons every day except on a Sunday and Monday when there are 10. The school day finishes at 2.15pm every day [again except on a Sunday and Monday when it concludes at 2.30pm]. There are two breaks during the day and there is a tuck shop open at both of them. Alternatively many students and parents prefer to provide their children with a lunch box. Certain items are not allowed [e.g. Chewing gum, canned drinks etc] and these are indicated in the extensive school rules.
A school bus service is available and enquiries concerning this should be made at the main reception desk. The bus routes cover most areas of Kuwait.
Communication with Parents/Reporting and Assessment
In the Senior High School, we view communication with our parents as being extremely important. It is vital that parents are aware of the progress of their son/daughter and are as involved in the educational process as much as possible/desirable.
In terms 1 and 2 there are formal assessments which are sent home to parents. There are two formal examinations every year [in January and May/June] and the results of these are reported to parents in two formal reports issued in February and June.
In addition there are two Parents Days [one in term 1 and the other in term 2] when parents are invited in to discuss their son/daughter’s progress with each of their subject teachers.
Day to day communication with parents is effected through the students homework diary [Years 7-9] or the homework record file [Years 10-13].
In the Senior High School we believe that students should not only be taught at the highest level, but should be guided and encouraged to achieve their best in everything that they do. Hence the mentoring system was introduced, which highlights students who need additional assistance to achieve their potential. Such students will be ‘attached’ to a member of staff who will monitor their progress both academically and socially on an individual basis. Recommendations on who needs this assistance would come through the all encompassing pastoral system which is in place.
Rewards and Sanctions
Good behaviour is seen as a pre-requisite to everything that happens in the Senior High School. Consequently we have a very strong system of rewards and sanctions in place. The rewards include such things as positive comments, merits, credits, certificates and badges.
Our sanctions are extensive and clearly laid out in the information sent home to parents on Day 1 of each academic year. These sanctions include negative comments, demerits, break time detentions, after school detentions, Saturday morning detentions and ultimately suspensions which are few and far between.
The students know exactly what the sanctions and rewards are and these are administered fairly.
Every two years the school puts on a musical production. In alternate years there will be a play and a concert. The thriving Drama department combines academic drama [GCSE, AS and A level] Drama courses, along with drama, dance and movement clubs.
Annually there is a Prizegiving Ceremony and a Graduation Ceremony. The Prizegiving Ceremony is a celebration of academic success, for those students who have proven themselves to be the best in their year group and in particular subjects. Graduation is a ceremony to celebrate those students who have reached the end of their school career and who are embarking on their university education. Both occasions are very grand affairs and take place in one of the local hotels.
There is a vibrant Careers Department which works with the students and parents from Year 9 onwards. Careers lessons are timetabled in Year 9 and the course enables the students to find out about themselves: their strengths, weaknesses and preferences. The system is also designed to take account of parental wishes.
During Year 9 the Head of Careers will interview every student in the presence of their parent[s] in order to advise of the most appropriate options to be chosen to study to IGCSE level. The advice and decisions will be based on the level of academic success along with the students’ and parents’ aspirations.
In Year 11 the students are given further advice and guidance according to the university they wish to apply to and according to the career path that they seem to be moving towards. Further they are given advice on SATS, TOEFL etc exams for applying to the States.
In Years 12/13, again through scheduled Careers lessons, the students are guided through the university application processes – both UCAS applications for UK universities and also the American University process. Applications to universities throughout the world are guided by the Careers staff and over the years with the superb guidance given, we have had students sent to many prestigious universities, including Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London [in the UK], Princeton [in the US], McGill [in Canada], and numerous other universities in the UK, USA, Canada, Lebanon, Egypt, Kuwait, Dubai, Sharjah, Australia, Eastern Europe, Asia and so on.
Homework is expected of all students on a daily basis. It is intended to be an extension of student learning. Students will either be finding out new information in advance for the next lesson, reinforcing topic[s] covered in the lesson that day, revising for a test or maybe just reviewing the work covered that day. Homework is not given as ‘something to do’ to fill up their time, but is seen as a very important part of the students education and the learning process.