Category Archives: School news

St. Paul’s pupils achieve top results in Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards

Two of our pupils have received prestigious awards from Cambridge Assessment International Education to acknowledge their outstanding performance in the June 2018 Cambridge examination series. Guillermo and Santiago, two of our Senior School pupils, received Top in the World for Cambridge IGCSE Foreign Language Portuguese. Cambridge Top in the World awards are given to learners worldwide who achieved the highest standard mark in the world for a single subject.

The Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards programme celebrates the success of learners taking Cambridge examinations in over 40 countries around the world. Cambridge places learners at the centre of their international education programmes and qualifications which are inspired by the best in educational thinking.

“We are delighted that our pupils have received these awards, which recognise the talent, dedication and commitment of both our learners and our staff. The results are a reflection of the enormous talent not only amongst pupils but also within the teaching profession”, states our Head, Ms Louise Simpson.

“Arabian Nights”, St. Paul’s Senior School Play

This year’s St. Paul’s school play is an adaptation of the book of the “One Thousand and One Nights”. It tells the story of a Persian king who, after being betrayed by his queen, develops a deep hatred and distrust of women. Because of this, each day he takes a new wife only to have her executed the following morning before she has a chance to betray him.

A brave young woman, Shahrazad, the daughter of the prime minister, then takes it upon herself to do something to stop the violence. She asks to be married to the king and plans to tell him a story every night, yet never finishing it. By doing this, Shahrazad hopes to survive each night and save as many women as she can from the headman’s axe.

Arabian Nights” is not only a journey into the beautiful culture of the Middle East, but it is also an important reflection on the power of storytelling as a force for good and an alternative path towards a culture of peace.

Come along and join us in this adventure!

Thursday 29th November, 7.30pm*

Friday 30th November, 7.30pm*

Saturday 1st December, 5pm*

*Arrive 30 minutes before the performance to visit our “Persian Market” where there will be food and drink from Almanara, and items from the Katmandu store on sale

Tickets cost R$ 20 and can be purchased from the Production team at school or on the Sympla website (below). You can also contact for more information.

Thursday 29 November

Friday 30 November

Saturday 1 December

IGCSE results for St Paul´s pupils

Great results yet again!

We are delighted with this year’s international GCSE results, which the current L6th pupils received last Tuesday (14th). Their first ever internationally recognised public exams, these are a watershed moment for the new IB diploma pupils and recognition of two years of hard work and commitment through the IGCSE course. These two year courses include coursework and examined components and are a benchmark assessment, used in British and international schools in the UK and overseas.   

The overall results are fabulous, with 48% A*/A (the top two grades) which put our pupils on a par with UK selective independent schools. In particular 16 key individuals deserve to be proud of all they have achieved, scoring 8 or more A grades: Carlos, Gonzalo, Nicole, Luigi, Sophia, Estela (all A/A*), Pedro (all A/A*), Rafaela, Zahra, Laura (all A/A*), Julia (all A/A*), Valentina, Aida, Gian Luca, Arthur (all A/A*), and Lorenzo. “It is extremely challenging to prepare so thoroughly for so many subjects across a diverse curriculum and these boys and girls deserve many congratulations”, said the school’s Head, Ms Louise Simpson.   

This year, as part of the ongoing integration of our Brazilian and British curricula, we have expanded our curriculum offer so that all pupils now complete an international qualification in the arts (music, music technology, visual arts or drama) and we have added a new subject, global perspectives, to the humanities. Pupils now, typically, do 9 or 10 IGCSEs rather than 7 or 8 as in the past. In addition, this year the pupils have all completed an AS level qualification in Portuguese literature, in order to prepare them for the IB even better. The AS is a UK 6th form qualification, designed for 17 year olds, and we are delighted with the overall success in these results, which bode extremely well for the IB Portuguese 1st language course which the pupils have just embarked upon. The results for these papers are remarkable – with 86% of the grades being A or B (the top two grades).   

Across the board some subjects deserve special mention at IGCSE too: the benefits of a bilingual education are clear for our pupils – with 100% of the foreign language IGCSE papers in Spanish and Portuguese scoring A and A* grades and 89% in French.  Our pupils show great promise in science too, with 55% A*/A in the three sciences. And in the new subject of global perspectives, pupils have shown their internationally minded approach by scoring 56% A*/A.  In maths, we are delighted to see that the results are building on last year with encouraging improvements.   

IGCSE results for St Paul´s pupils

IGCSE results for St Paul´s pupils

“We could not be happier with the overall 79% A*/B and we wish the Lower 6th many congratulations as they celebrate and now settle into their IB diploma programme as the term progresses. I am sure that they will enjoy celebrating with their families, all of whom have contributed significantly to the success of these hard working boys and girls”, said Ms Simpson.   

St. Paul’s selected as a Microsoft Showcase School for 2017-18

We are delighted to announce that St. Paul’s School has been recognised as a global leader in the successful integration of technology with teaching and learning  

 In a special ceremony on 10th May, Microsoft will award St. Paul’s School with the prestigious Showcase badge in recognition for its excellence in transforming and enhancing its physical and online learning environment to deliver more personalised education to its pupils.  

By receiving the badge, the school joins an exclusive community of some 850 premier schools from around the world, in recognition of its pioneering efforts and innovation in rethinking teaching, learning and assessment in order to drive deep 21st century competencies.   

In July 2017, and with the appointment of a new Head of Digital Learning, the school invested heavily in a six-point digital learning strategy for developing digital natives for the millennial generation. Through the implementation of the strategy, the school’s infrastructure has been transformed and enhanced, pupils have been given greater access to a wider range of devices and resources, and staff have embarked on a professional development programme to ensure that technology is effectively embedded into all aspects of the school’s diverse curriculum.  

All teachers have been assigned a tablet or laptop to connect to their smartboards, allowing them greater flexibility in adapting their classroom set-up to reflect pupils’ needs. All Prep pupils (aged 6 to 11) have access to devices on a 1:1 basis, and in the Senior School we have implemented a highly successful BYOD (Bring Your Own Device programme.) The introduction of Office 365 and cloud-based working has also opened up new opportunities for collaboration and flexible learning.  

 “Being selected as a Microsoft Showcase School is a great honour, and we are delighted to be receiving recognition for our staff’s passion for creating the best learning environments possible,” said the school’s Head, Ms Simpson. “We look forward to sharing our experiences with other schools in our community and the world to continue finding innovative ways to equip our pupils with the best possible tools for success within the classroom and beyond.” 

 As a Showcase School, St. Paul’s will work closely with Microsoft to lead innovation in education and communicate a vision for education enabled by technology, by hosting and mentoring other schools in the community on transformational educational practices. 

 “Microsoft Showcase Schools are shining examples of those applying purpose-driven innovation in a variety of ways to build connection, motivate pupils and to create community in and out of school, ” said Anthony Salcito, vice president, Worldwide Education, Microsoft. “These schools are truly transforming learning and providing more personalised education to pupils empowering them to achieve more.” 


St. Paul’s pupils support the elderly through the FBB’s Programa Multiplicar

St. Paul’s School is a proud supporter of the important work that the Fundação Britânica de Beneficiência does. As part of our comprehensive enrichment programme, which is a key element of the holistic education we offer at St. Paul’s, many of our pupils enjoy volunteering for the Fundação’s extended programme (Programa Multiplicar), which exists to assist the elderly in São Paulo who face situations of extreme vulnerability.

A group of our Senior School pupils recently visited Casa Madre Teodora dos Idosos, where they spent an enjoyable afternoon playing bingo, singing songs and getting to know the residents. The project offers a fantastic opportunity for exchange, where our pupils learn from the elderly and immerse themselves in another reality quite different from their own. Indeed, they certainly benefit from and enjoy these enriching visits as much as the residents do. You can read a full report on the visit on the FBB’s website at

Healthy Hearts, Healthy Minds

The fourth edition of the St. Paul’s School Education Conference, held in São Paulo on 24th and 25th March (with pre-conference workshops on Friday 23rd March), was a resounding success. The approximately 400 delegates who attended from schools in Brazil and other countries in Latin America through our connection with the LAHC (Latin American Heads Conference) spoke very highly of the event, the calibre of the speakers, and the networking opportunities afforded. The positive learning atmosphere and engagement of all those who attended were tangible throughout the weekend. These delegates came together with world-renowned speakers to discuss the importance of placing pupil wellbeing at the heart of classroom practice, and came away inspired with practical strategies for implementing in their own schools.


The theme “Healthy Hearts, Healthy Minds” was approached by each of our speakers from a different angle, thus providing a wide and varied panorama of the meaning of the word “wellbeing”, and the essential role it plays in nurturing pupils who reach their full potential in every possible aspect. Professor Guy Claxton opened the conference by sharing his “Learning Power Approach”, sharing useful strategies for nurturing confident, independent learners. Coaching and positive psychologist Professor Christian van Nieuwerburgh meanwhile reflected on the important role that teachers play as coaches, inspiring pupils to be the best they can be. Cambridge lecturer Dr Nick Baylis reflected on the “science of wellbeing”, and how teachers can help pupils to leverage emotions, both positive and negative, to achieve extraordinary things.  Paralympian and diversity champion Claire Harvey MBE rounded off the conference to a standing ovation in an emotional and inspirational keynote on the importance of inclusion in schools. Delegates had the opportunity to work with each of these speakers in smaller practical workshops, as well as with bilingualism professor from the Open University, Dr Rose Drury, and an influential headteacher from innercity London, Joan Deslandes OBE.

Our charming team of pupil helpers were an asset to the school, and all those who attended were delighted with the support and guidance they provided.

Special thanks must also go to all our donors, exhibitors and sponsors, without whom the success of the conference would certainly not have been possible. We are particularly grateful to our platinum sponsors Care PlusCultura InglesaLATAMSodexo, and WZ Hotel Jardins, to our silver sponsors Atelier Gourmand, and to our bronze sponsors Heleno Torres AdvogadosIntuitivo, and to our own parent and teacher association.

Many positive and transformative ideas arose from the discussions that took place across the weekend, and we are already looking forward to the fifth edition of our conference in 2020. We are delighted that our education conferences give us the opportunity to welcome and learn together with educators from all over the continent. If you weren’t able to make it this year, make sure you come along in 2020!

GreenPower success for St. Paul’s entrepreneurs

This October, 12 of our Senior School pupils headed to Rockingham Speedway in the UK for this year’s international round of the GreenPower racing challenge. This is the second year the school has taken part in the challenge, in which pupils work together to design, build, race, and secure sponsorship for an electric powered car. Started in the UK in 1999, the programme now involves more than 600 schools worldwide. GreenPower is an educational experience aimed at developing sustainable entrepreneurship among young Senior School pupils all over the world. The focus is on improving knowledge in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, developing joint learning, and promoting pupil-led extracurricular activities.

The Lion Racing BR car completed the gruelling one-hour race, finishing in 22nd place. This was a very impressive result considering that this is our second year and we were racing against some teams that have taken part on the GreenPower International Racing event for more than 15 years and a good number of teams take three or four years before being able to complete their first race. Although our car did arrive late, it made a powerful entry, with various teams and leaders gathering around the car throughout the weekend, looking impressed and wanting to know more about the car. This resulted in our team being awarded with the GreenPower IET Engineering Award for the most innovative project. This is a fantastic achievement and is certainly an award to be proud of.

Mozart Requiem performance at Mosteiro de São Bento

Last Saturday the school’s Choral Society performed Mozart’s wonderful Requiem at the beautiful Mosteiro de São Bento in the city centre. It was the first time that the choir had performed outside of the school, and we were absolutely delighted to perform to a huge and highly appreciative audience who rewarded us with a standing ovation at the end.

Mozart’s Requiem had been a significant but highly enjoyable challenge for the choir and we were delighted to perform with the excellent support of a number of fine musicians, including friends from the Teatro Municipal orchestra and soloists from USP, both institutions with which our Director of Music has enjoyed  a close association. Our own Miss Lima was one of the excellent soloists and we were joined by several other members of staff, parents, pupils and friends of the school in the choir.



The St. Paul’s School Choral Society is an amateur choir which comprises pupils, staff, parents, former pupils, parents of former pupils and friends of the school. It meets each Friday from 3.45 - 5 pm at the school with the aim of having fun and making music together. New members are always welcome and we are now preparing for Christmas Carol service in time for the performance on 12th December at 7 pm. Do please contact Mr Ward via our website contact form if you would like to join the choir.

Evidencing Success: How InCAS helps every Prep child to excel

At St. Paul’s School our key objectives are to ensure that we deliver a top quality British education to our pupils and enable them to achieve at the highest standards across all areas. Our pupils follow the English national curriculum delivered through the IPC (the international primary curriculum). Challenges come from the fact that we are a largely Brazilian cohort with regard to our pupils, so we have an immersion approach to developing their English language skills. That said, given that most speak Portuguese at home, this takes longer than it would in a more traditional UK prep school. We believe that each child has the right to excel, and our ambitious aim is to close the gap in reading as quickly as possible and help them move past their chronological age in their reading skills.

InCAS is a tool that helps our leadership team to measure Prep pupils’ progress throughout the academic year, and analyse the areas where they need most help. You can read more about the  unique benefits that inCAS offers St. Paul’s in Mrs Allum’s case study.