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St. Paul’s is listed as one of the world’s top schools by Spear’s

We are very proud that St. Paul’s has been listed in the Spear’s Schools Index as one of the world’s top schools. 

The index listed the 100 best private schools around the globe. It was produced by Carfax Education, the leading global education group, and Spear’s, the award-winning magazine for high-net-worth individuals. Categorised by region, prospective parents and pupils can now access a list of the top 100 schools across the UK, Switzerland, Europe, USA, Middle East, China, Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.

In addition to formal criteria such as academic results and preparation for university entry, schools are ranked on their unique ethos, their reputation both locally and internationally, and how adequately they prepare students for life beyond academia. The guide provides a comprehensive overview of curriculum and fees as well as practical information such as travel times to local airports.

“Worthy recognition of our outstanding commitment to educational excellence and great to be counted amongst such distinguished company”, said Mr Titus Edge, our school’s headmaster. 

Brazilian culture reflections during our Semana da Cultura Brasileira

This week our school community celebrated the traditional Semana da Cultura Brasileira. 

Although the current pandemic situation means we cannot enjoy our traditional shows and workshops at the school, the Prep Portuguese department have prepared a range of different activities for pupils to enjoy throughout the week. Videos and activities about the Brazilian folklore, gastronomy and costumes were sent to all pupils and families, who were challenged to reflect on key themes and even cook and taste some Brazilian recipes.   

Also in the Prep School, our young musicians prepared a special performance as part of the week’s celebrations, and you can watch it here: 

In the Senior School, pupils reflected on the topic of Women in Brazilian culture, considering the key role that women play in Brazilian society today, and some of the challenges they faceForm 1 and 2 took part in a competition during their tutorial sessions talking about inspiring women in our history, and reflecting on how easy it is to think of famous women in key professional roles. Forms 3, 4 and 5 have been producing responses to some videos about the sexism that still exists in some areas of our society. Sixth Form pupils have been watching some inspiring words from influential women and also reflecting on how stereotypes can be changed.  

IGCSE results for St. Paul’s pupils

Our new Lower 6th had cause to celebrate during the last few days as the IGCSE results were released. Owing to the pandemic, these pupils were confronted with the extraordinary situation of not be able to sit their exams last term.

Initially, grades were calculated by the Cambridge Assessment International Education Board (CIE),following the submission of data by the school. However, after a change to the way grades were awarded back in the UK, CIE have recently published a revised set of IGCSE results, with pupils awarded grades no lower that the teacher predicted grades submitted by the school last term.

Although these pupils did not get a formal assessment opportunity, which they had been preparing for in order to demonstrate their talent and commitment over the last two years, very many received outstanding grades that fully reflected their abundant ability and hard work.

With a 100% pass rate (A*-E), for the first time in many years over half of the grades awarded (57,5%) were at the top level of A* and A and the proportion of pupils scoring A*-C grades has increased for the third year in a row.

Particular congratulations go to the six Pauleans who achieved all A* and A grades and to everyone else we say a big “well done” for a truly excellent effort. There is, of course, so much more to a St. Paul’s education than exams success but this news will have given these pupils a huge boost as they start their International Baccalaureate studies. Well done to all!

A warm welcome to St. Paul’s School new Headmaster, Mr Titus Edge

We are delighted to announce that Mr Titus Edge has now taken over as Headmaster of St. Paul’s School. Mr Edge was Headmaster of Gordonstoun, one of the leading independent schools in the UK and a global leader in character education. In that sense both schools have a lot in common, as at St. Paul’s we believe in the power of a holistic education, preparing our pupils with strength of character and broad skills to face the challenges of the modern world. 

Mr Edge’s appointment also marks the first step in an exciting programme that will lead to the St. Paul’s centenary in 2026 and beyond. 

Mr Edge is a History graduate of Newcastle University and undertook his PGCE in Secondary Education at the University of Oxford. He has taught at several independent schools, including City of London School and Dulwich College, both as a teacher and in management positions. He also remains a governor at a leading prep school in Scotland. He is married to Marina, an Old Paulean, and knows São Paulo well. They have one daughter and twin sons. Everyone who has met him has been impressed with his energy, vision and collaborative approach. 

 In his own words, following his appointment, Mr Edge commented:

“I am hugely honoured to take over the headship of St. Paul’s. As one of the great British international schools, St. Paul’s stands out as a beacon of educational excellence in Latin America. I look forward to working with everyone at the school – pupils, staff, governors and parents – to build on the work Louise Simpson has done and ensure that this thriving and successful school approaches its centenary with confidence.” 

St. Paul’s pupils IB results 2020

This has been far from a ‘normal year’ and yet, the Class of 2020 has done themselves proud with some outstanding IB grades this year. We are extremely proud of the group of 69 pupils who, despite the challenges that are specific to this year, managed to score an average of 35 points (5 points above the world average) and have shown themselves to be truly world class!  

The IB diploma programme is internationally recognised as an extremely robust and academically challenging two year course. Pupils study six subjects across the curriculum with a core programme of academic research, philosophy and action, creativity and service activities.  The maximum score is 45 points and we are especially proud that over 90% of pupils achieved the bilingual diploma, studying both Portuguese and English as a first language, and that our modern languages continues to be a real strength in the school. For the second year running, all pupils studying a modern foreign language scored only a 6 or 7, and in Portuguese as a second language every pupil scored the top grade – 7.  This truly is remarkable and our teachers of foreign languages and their pupils must be both pleased and proud of all they have achieved this year!  

Brazilian social studies, a relatively new subject at the school, also scored only 6 and 7 grades, and higher level maths, acknowledged as an extremely challenging course for the strongest mathematicians, scored 90% 6 and 7 grades – the budding engineers, statisticians and economists in this group will go a long way with such excellent maths scores as they head off to university. 100% of our theatre pupils secured a 6 or 7, for the first time in some years, and they must also be congratulated.

Achieving 40 or more points is a great achievement, and only 2% of candidates globally succeed in this; this year we have 9 pupils in this category and we send them our special congratulations.  Very well done to Isabella, Gonzalo, Luigi, Pedro, Laura, Aida, Gian Luca, Amelia and Estela. These are extremely impressive young people and they should be very proud of what they have managed to achieve, in such challenging circumstances.  

This group of young men and women now look ahead to life beyond school and many of them have excellent offers at the best universities in the world. As they become Old Pauleans, we wish them success and happiness for the future, and we thank them, their parents and teachers, and all those who have contributed to this fabulous set of results. Parabéns to them all!

More scholars to start at St Paul’s for the next academic year

From FSP’s blog:

After completing their year-long preparation course – much of it in under remote learning – the 2020 scholar selection process has finally come to an end. From the eight candidates, four were chosen to join St Paul’s School in the next academic year.

In the second half of last year, the candidates commenced their preparation with a six-month English immersion course, receiving tuition at St Paul’s and at Cultura Inglesa. Then from February until early June, they have been ‘coming to school’ for St Paul’s Masterclasses online, led by volunteer teachers from the school. Some subjects were completely new, such as Global Perspectives, whilst the familiar ones were presented in a whole new way.

The candidates have demonstrated incredible commitment throughout the whole year and impressed both the St. Paul’s teachers and the FSP staff. It was abundantly clear that all eight were wanting to get the most out their preparation not only because they wanted to join St. Paul’s as scholars, but because they wanted to become better students and more conscious citizens.

Candidates during Prep Course in 2019, with some of St. Paul’s pupils

Virtual prep course

The foundation adopted a 100% remote learning from late March – including all tests. But the candidates’ dedication to the course didn’t waver when we had to move the lessons to the virtual environment. On the contrary, they engaged in more lessons and asked for extra activities to improve their knowledge.

After nearly 100 hours of preparation sessions, plus interviews with the family members and psychological assessments, the foundation team, alongside the St. Paul’s Head and the volunteer teachers, proposed that four of the candidates become scholars to join in forms 4 and 5. In early June, the St. Paul’s Foundation board accepted this proposal in its entirety. “All eight of the candidates were amazing and so the selection process was particularly tough this year. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donor community the foundation could afford to accept all the proposed candidates, doubling its 2019 scholar intake and thus becoming the biggest family in the school” says James Wilkinson, Chair at Fundação St. Paul’s.

The foundation informed their supporters and sponsors about the new scholars in an online “Foundation Family Thank You” event on 9th June, in which Louise Simpson announced the new scholars. The guests had the opportunity to see the “thank you” video produced for the occasion (below). Mr Titus Edge, as new head, made a guest appearance from Scotland and committed to supporting and growing the scholarship programme when he arrives in August.

Once a Lion, always a Lion

As I write my final blog post of the academic year, it is hard to imagine life beyond St. Paul’s, but that is certainly what awaits me, and a ‘new normal’ that none of us could have imagined just a few months ago. 

I hope that you will agree that we have undergone quite an educational revolution in the last three months. Moving to 100% virtual learning almost overnight, and seeing just how important our ICT investment has been to support pupils and staff as they have worked from their homes. It has saddened me to hear plans of ‘back to work’ in the press – as they have not given credit to the incredible staff teams who have supported children to maintain their continuity of education throughout this quarantine period. We have certainly all been working (harder than normal!) and so whilst it might be ‘back to school’ it is certainly not a resumption of work, since we never stopped! 

At the start of ‘lockdown’ the concerns from all sides were primarily about the educational offer for pupils. With time, we have come to realise that it is connectivity, community and wellbeing, which are the prime concerns in our online lives, rather than content. Those of us who have faced a period living alone during quarantine, especially those who are not used to a solitary life, have perhaps found it harder than others. I certainly realised the importance of Betsy, the beagle, when living alone in São Paulo to keep me exercised and feel connected. Our daily walks were crucial for my wellbeing, and as we walked around the Jardins area, often encountering members of the school community on their own perambulations, the lion community spirit really showed through. We felt more connected than usual. 

My new normal will be post-Lion, in a provincial cathedral city school in the south west of England. Exeter is a relatively small city, certainly after São Paulo, and Exeter School has a long and proud tradition and a fabulous community, which I am keen to get to know and integrate with, as I have done in Brazil. Arriving as a new head offers many exciting challenges – and certainly arriving to a school which is getting back on its feet after a pandemic is not something most heads will have had the chance to do before. But, I have learnt much in Brazil, I have developed my skills as a leader and an educator, been able to face new challenges head on, and, hopefully have enough strategies in my toolbox to face whatever challenges Exeter will bring. 

My time as a part of the in-situ Lion community comes to an end, but as we all know, Lions are for life, and I will now (and always) be an Old Paulean. As I look forward, what a wonderful experience I have had, and what amazing Lion-memories I am taking with me. Thank you all! 

#lionsforlife 

Coming together to share a book

During this online learning period, our pupils have been following their lessons using different tools to develop a wide range of knowledge areas and skills. One aspect that has been sadly missing, which is enormously important and popular, is the experience of sharing a book together.

In an effort to provide the children with something approximating the classroom shared reading experience, teachers have been filming themselves reading books for their pupils. In Prep 5 class, teachers have been sharing a story designed to appeal to children of all age groups, ‘Far Flung Adventures of Fergus Crane’ by Paul Stewart, illustrated by Chris Riddell.Prep 5 children have been enjoying the story already, but anyone is welcome to watch and listen on YouTube.

St. Paul’s International Day 2020

This year, we celebrate 20 years of International Day, our school’s most important annual fundraising event, organised by the PTA.

We are proud of our commitment to these five worthy charities over the years: TUCCA, Liga Solidaria, ACER Brasil, Colégio Mão Amiga and the Fundação Britânica de Beneficência. Each year, it has been possible to increase sponsorship and proceeds of the event, thanks to the strong St. Paul’s community spirit and the incredible generosity shown by all involved.

This year, every one of us is facing unprecedented challenges, which call for unity and strength but there are so many people who cannot help themselves despite their best efforts. Join us for our first ever Virtual International Day and help us make this year the most successful yet!

 

St. Paul’s well represented in the Wharton Investment Competition World finals

We are delighted to share that a group of St. Paul’s Lower 6th pupils (Lorenzo, Julia, Annie, Raphaella and Victoria), who formed the investment club Lions of Wall Street – has just participated in the Knowledge at Wharton High School (KWHS) Investment Competition world finals. 

After months of hard work, the team won second place in regional finals and were then awarded a place in the world finals, which took place this week in an online event. The pupils encountered a board of judges online who asked questions about their presentation previously sent.Unfortunately, the team did not classify into the top 3 teams at this final stage, but they are truly grateful for the experience and pleased with what they have learned.

This competition is all about creating an investment strategy for a given client, giving pupils the opportunity to gain an insight into stock market investment and understand investment concepts. The competition is divided into phases: a final report, regional finals, and finally, the world finals. Each of these phases were eliminatory, so the competition starts with 572 teams and only 12 get to go to the world finals.

“The KWHS Wharton Investment competition has provided us, the Lions of Wall Street, with a remarkable opportunity to grasp investment concepts and understand more about how the investment world works”, the team emphasised.

KWHS has a mission to provide pupils and educators around the world with a deeper understanding of business and finance and to equip them with the skills needed to excel in the global marketplace. It is a part of the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania. The Latin America and Caribbean region competition is organised and run by the Wharton Alumni Association of Brazil