Our Executive Principal’s Highlights of the Week

What a whirlwind of a week it’s been – very much reflecting the weather we’ve been experiencing in Riyadh, too! This week’s blog feels like a brilliant summary of what life is like here at Beech Hall School Riyadh, and I’ve also asked one of our brilliant Grade 9 pupils, Zainab, to share a few words.  Enjoy our highlights! 

  • First off, congratulations to all of our children who have successfully completed the Mawhiba Multiple Cognitive Abilities Test! Mawhiba, a non-profit organisation founded by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and supported by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, is dedicated to identifying and nurturing talented students in scientific fields. Its main aim is to establish a national system for giftedness and creativity in Saudi Arabia, and actively contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Zainab was successful in securing a place on the programme, and here are her thoughts:  “I wanted to express my gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the Mawhiba test. It was a nerve-wracking yet rewarding experience. The questions felt like intricate riddles, challenging my IQ in unexpected ways. Despite the initial nerves, I found joy in the mental challenge and the chance to showcase my skills. Thank you to Beech Hall School Riyadh, and my teachers who have believed in me, for this valuable experience.” We are all so proud of you, Zainab!
  • Moving online! The very heavy storms and downpours in the Kingdom saw the Ministry of Education make the very sensible decision to close schools this week, prioritising the safety of all members of our community. However, that didn’t mean learning stopped! We very quickly pivoted to online provision for our Grade 3 to Grade 9 pupils, with lessons coming alive online. I got called into several sessions, and was blown away by the focus and creativity on show (from both teachers and pupils!). The younger pupils got on with exciting projects and tasks at home, supported by their brilliant parents. I was so proud of how the whole community supported the rapid move to online, and have no doubt that the children enjoyed this unexpected opportunity to study in a different way.
  • Cheering our boys on at football! I loved spending Saturday morning on the sidelines, and it was a very different experience to when I used to watch matches back in the UK. I swapped my thick coat for my abaya, my flask for an iced coffee, and my gloves for sun cream! The boys were playing with their peers from across Riyadh, against players from across the Kingdom. Their skills were hugely impressive, as were the values they showed: resilience, respect and humility. They worked so hard to score goals, defend, and battle to the last, and even reached the finals! I loved every minute of seeing them in action.
  • Hosting many admissions tours! Along with a very well-attended open day, we’ve welcomed so many new families to the school recently. Each one is looking for something innovative and unique, and wanting to truly prepare their children for the exciting and ever changing futures ahead. It’s such an honour to meet so many new people, and tell them all the reasons that we’re proud of our school. However, the best ambassadors are the children, whom I proudly placed in front of parents to take their questions. My favourite answer came from Giulia, when asked about what she liked most about the school. After a good think, her response was, “Many schools say that they are inclusive, but actually not everyone is included. Here, we are all included – we are all part of a family.” I, for one, feel blessed to be part of this family! 

As I write this, the storms have passed and the beautiful sun is beaming down on Riyadh again. I wish you all a calm and sunny weekend!