Our Executive Principal’s Five Highlights of the Week

Some weeks can feel longer than others, while others fly by in the blink of an eye – and this week has certainly been the latter! As I drove home yesterday evening, ready to see all my Chatsworth Heads friends at our monthly meeting, I was thinking about all of the things that I could mention in this week’s blog. The list was long! However, I have landed on the following as my top five things! Enjoy!

  • The senior boys leading a presentation to the primary classes, on the theme of the Holy Month of Ramadan. I was genuinely blown away by the level of preparation the boys went to. We had quizzes, slides, skits, dates, competitions, and even food presentations. But what impressed me most of all was the beautiful and respectful way in which the boys navigated and answered the incredible questions the younger pupils had. The pride that they hold for their religion and heritage was so clear to see, and I was immensely proud of each one. 
  • Seeing our pupils taking part in the National Day for Talent and Creativity (as part of the Ministry of Education’s Mawhiba program). Saudi Arabia is quite rightly investing a lot of time and effort in supporting schools to identify and support talent, and we’re proud that so many of our children have so many talents and skills to contribute. Just this week, we’ve had spelling bees, piano recitals and incredible singing performances. I love the way that the focus isn’t just on the academics, but also includes the creative arts. I look forward to seeing where the pupils take this next! 
  • The pupils presenting an amazing assembly about Ramadan, which followed a superb staff presentation for expat staff like me – who have yet to experience the Holy Month. It’s so wonderful to be part of a community where it’s okay (indeed, welcomed) to ask questions and be inquisitive about the way in which others lead their lives. Many of the non-Muslim children want to fast in order to experience what their friends are doing, and I am sure many of the teachers will, too. I love how inclusive and supportive our school is.
  • We were hugely proud to see Beech Hall School Riyadh win the Inclusion Award from IFIP. I wrote the nomination filled with pride about what we do, and it’s such an honour to see the school recognised in this way, and on an international scale! We strive every day to live and lead inclusion and its many forms. We’re always looking for ways to do more, and be the best we can be for our children and wider community. Well done to all!
  • Celebrating International Women’s Day in style! The girls and staff members have more than embraced it, and we have a whole series of social media posts to mark the occasion, showcasing just how proud we are of our girls and staff. Watch this space! It was also a huge honour to be asked to be a founding member of Ladies WhoLaunchED! – a platform for women who have launched or pioneered a project. When Anita Gleave (founder and CEO of Chatsworth Schools) and I launched our Tapestry framework, we did so because we believed that children deserve better. We are so proud of the impact it makes across all of our schools, and to be part of the team who imagined, planned and launched BHSR will always be one of my greatest achievements. Onwards!

In a nutshell, this week has been a whirlwind of talent, inclusivity, and celebration within our school community. Reflecting on these moments fills me with pride and excitement for what lies ahead. Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

Clemmie​ Stewart,
Executive Principal