Category Archives: School news

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!


Science curriculum and online learning: challenges and creativity

Our science curriculum is developed around giving pupils the opportunity to learn through discovery, and working with materials and chemicals gives pupils a more profound understanding of science. With our school moving to the online learning approach, not being able to do experiments in the laboratory has been a major challenge for St. Paul’s science teachers and has forced them to come out of their comfort zone and be creative in how they teach practical work.

One example of this is a software that is being used to create virtual experiments where pupils can have an experience of doing practical work and designing experiments, making observations and collecting data, processing the data and making conclusions from it.

Form 3 pupils are currently studying rates of reaction, one of the most practically based topics on the chemistry curriculum. Teachers used a virtual experiment software to create a lesson where pupils can add chemicals together and watch as the mass changes or volume changes and then record the data. Pupils collected their data using a spreadsheet and used spreadsheet functions to calculate the rate of reaction, and then took this data to create a graph showing the rate of reaction for different surface areas and concentrations of acid.

Of course, conducting the virtual experiment is not quite the same as doing the real thing and we can’t wait to get back to our hands-on experiences here in school. However, the key skills of observation, data collection, data processing, conclusion and evaluation are still clearly being tested, allowing pupils to develop their scientific thinking in new ways.

Remote learning at St. Paul’s: community and creativity

In English we say that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and that is exactly what we have seen over the last few days and weeks in our school. Due to the social isolation determined by the coronavirus pandemic, we have just moved into our third week of distance learning, and we see that our pupils are quickly improving their own skills and resilience as they fall into a new routine. Teachers are also looking for more and better ways to connect with pupils and to support parents in the process.  Well done, Lions! We are proud to see how well the community has come together to face this issue, and to see how effective communication has helped bring us all together at this difficult time. 

Junior School

Remote learning is of course a huge experiment for primary educators everywhere and over the coming days and weeks we hope to be gaining greater confidence with the tech tools that we are using and creating content with increasing quality. It has been fantastic to see the learning flooding in from home. From PP1 to Prep 5 we have seen great engagement from pupils and families. In the Pre-Prep, we have seen home made bear caves, science experiments on how ice is made and how capacity works, and parents enjoying engaging with their children’s learning through board games and reading books together. 

Senior School

Now that the remote learning arrangements are underway, we are glad to have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from pupils and parents. We knew that our pupils, as true Lions, would knuckle down in the first days, and put time and thought into the tasks that they have been set. 

Digital leaders
Our St. Paul’s digital leaders have been providing a support service to any Senior School pupils who are having problems with technology during this period of online learning. It has been delightful to see so many of our young leaders encouraging anyone with questions or concerns to get in touch with the team

St. Paul’s to represent Latin America 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 – have achieved a place in the Knowledge at Wharton High School (KWHS) Investment Competition world finals. 

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 organized and run by the Wharton Alumni Association of Brazil.

In the competition, each team is tasked with trading its own portfolio of virtual cash over 10 weeks, using Wharton’s Online Trading and Investment Simulator (OTIS). This is to gain foundational knowledge and understanding of financial markets across the world. The competition, though, begins in earnest when teams move on to design their choice of an investment portfolio for a designated person. They had to research it considering financial, personal, ethical and wider-world issues to develop the most suitable range of investments.

Based on their unique portfolio, the teams write an in-depth report justifying their choices with sophisticated financial indicators and models. They also include personal, and group development considerations, such as teamwork, communication and hi-tech usage and are rewarded for creativity. The reports are submitted directly to Wharton where a panel of judges decide, on the quality of this content, the top ten teams in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

The St Paul’s Lions of Wall Street gained a place in the Latin America finals, out of a total entry of 60 Schools across the region. On Saturday 15th February, they were invited to give a live presentation on stage at BTG Pactual to a panel of judges, made up of prominent financiers, and in front of a live audience of Wharton representatives, local financiers, parents and peers. The competitors were judged on the quality of the investment portfolio, the creativity of delivery, and financial acumen. They also faced some hard questions from the judges.


“I am so very proud of them. These pupils spent the past six months working with dedication and determination well beyond the call of duty and outside normal class time. They were learning, designing, writing, rehearsing, communicating, collaborating, working together as a team and being fantastic ambassadors for St. Paul’s School. They worked really hard with the help of their volunteer mentor, Mrs Rebeca Ouro Preto” explained economics teacher, Mr Robert Cooper Blanks.

As a recognition of their outstanding performance, they were awarded second place in the Latin America and Caribbean regional finals and a place in the world finals to be held in May 2020, at the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania. All our best wishes will fly out with them when they depart. 

Equality and kindness, key themes for St. Paul’s School

Equality and kindness are fundamental to the human existence. This week they were the focus across our school. During this week’s activities, we considered the importance of these key themes with pupils and looked at their wellbeing as a consequence. 

This year we were delighted to be joined by Grace Barrett, musician and co-founder of The Self-Esteem Team, who has led pupils, staff and parents to reflect on the importance of mental health and self-esteem.

“Our Equality and Kindness week aligns well with our approach to pastoral care and good mental health for pupils and we hope that our children enjoyed the week. Thank you to all those who have supported this week’s activities”, said Ms Louise Simpson, our school’s head.


St. Paul’s School featured in the Independent Education Today magazine

We are delighted to share this article written by our head, Ms Louise Simpson, published in the latest issue of Independent Education Today magazine. In the article, Ms Simpson says taking a different approach to lesson observations has resulted in real benefits for teachers.

Independent Education Today is a monthly magazine that specialises in private sector education. It features the latest news, opinion, features and event reviews from across the independent education sector. It is recognised as a driving force in independent schools and the market leading education magazine to refer to for running and developing your independent school.

Continue reading

School closed Tuesday 11th February

Sent from the Head, Ms Louise Simpson

Dear parents,

We have been monitoring the situation with respect to the weather conditions and traffic disruption in São Paulo.  We continue to put the children’s health and safety and our ability to provide a high quality educational provision and the necessary support services at the forefront of our decision making.

Given that the weather is not likely to get better in the next 24 hours we have decided to close the school on Tuesday 11th February 2020.  There will no lessons for pupils tomorrow.

Please keep a watch on your emails, the website and My School Portal to look out for further messages about the situation for Wednesday 12th February.  The decision will be made and posted at lunchtime tomorrow. 

A reminder, that we will finish at 3.15 pm today and that there are no after school clubs and societies today. 

Thank you very much for your understanding and support.

Kind regards,

Ms Louise Simpson

Creative learning: helping our educators to develop and learn

We often put a lot of focus on our children being creative in and out of the classroom – encouraging creative play in the early years and nurturing creative approaches to learning so our pupils become independent and innovative learners as they progress throughout the school. While this is a fundamental part of what we do, as educators, to prepare our pupils for success in the classroom and beyond, what can we as educators do to ensure we are being as creative as possible? How can we be sure that our creativity in the classroom is having a transformative impact?

With this in mind, St. Paul’s is holding its 5th Education Conference next 28th and 29th March. This follows on from its hugely successful series that addresses continuous professional development opportunities for teachers to help them be better educators and to help them develop as individuals. Investing in our teachers is key to our continuous provision of a world-class education, and every two years we invite specialists from around the world to share their latest research and expertise in current and relevant topics.

In this 5th edition, centred on creative learning, we will have under one roof world-renowned educators who are leaders in their fields in bringing creativity to the classroom, and to our work as teaching professionals. We know that, in our diverse and engaging programme, they will challenge our thinking, help us to look at our own practice and consider ways to do things differently, and, we hope, leave us all inspired to do things better and in a more innovative way with our classes.

Our confirmed speakers include:

  • Phil Badham, Digital Creativity consultant
  • Sue McGonigle, Independent consultant and co-creator of Lovemybooks
  • Anni McTavish, Early Education Associate and Early Years’ Creativity Specialist
  • Mark Steed, AI Specialist and Principal and CEO at Kellett School, Hong Kong
  • David Weston, Founder and Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust
  • Cat Scutt, Director of Education and Research, Chartered College of Training

Find out more about our speakers here.

Furthermore, this opportunity is not just for our teachers and staff, but for those in other schools in São Paulo, elsewhere in Brazil, or indeed even further afield.

Since registration opened just a month ago, some workshops have already sold out. Do take advantage of our early bird registration discount by booking your place before 31st December 2019. Don’t miss out on what promises to be an incredible gathering of like-minded individuals who want to ensure that they can offer the best teaching to their children, through creative learning.    

#Creativelearning #SPEdConf      

Reading week: love your books

Books have been everywhere this week at St. Paul’s, sometimes in the most extraordinary places, as we celebrate reading week. With so many books and authors to choose from, it’s often hard to know where to start. In this article we would like to share the importance of instilling a love of reading from an early age and taking it through to later years. Our Head of Pre-Prep, Amy Clifford, explains why this is essential and what we can do, as educators and parents, to nurture it.

Books offer so much to children, from developing an ear for the music of language to acquiring new vocabulary and generating an interest in new words and their meaning. Reading books aloud to children creates an experience that transforms bedrooms and classrooms into settings beyond the direct experiences of the child. For the reader the world of the book opens opportunities for imagination and discussion, as well as empathy and understanding of lived experiences that are different from their own.

This journey of self is important for readers of any age but particularly crucial for young children as they are learning to understand their own feelings and emotions. For young children it is far easier to talk about how a character feels in a story rather than trying to unpick their own feelings over a loss, quarrel or a dispute. As children’s fictional exploration of feelings and emotions increases, their own understanding develops and they become more confident in recognising their own emotions and building a repertoire of strategies to manage their feelings.

Choosing books that help to reflect children’s own realities is also important; sharing books about a new baby brother, starting school, alternatives to the nuclear family or books that reflect ethnic representation and diversity are important to enable children to see themselves in literature and help them understand that their place is valued in the world. Children’s books are an important tool in self-discovery as well as a key to alternative and imaginary worlds. Books also help to create a sense of togetherness, whether at home curled up on a sofa or enjoyed together as a class. Shared stories unite us in a way that inspire talk and connections through our own experiences.

Reading week in the Pre-Prep School is a time where we can all celebrate the rich reading curriculum that we have in a variety of ways. This week’s focus on reading has been particularly special as it has coincided with the grand opening of the Pre-Prep library, a truly wonderful space that is now home to 4000 books and each book has been chosen carefully to reflect the interests, age and stage of the children in the school. This week the children have enjoyed browsing the books, relaxing on the cushions and reading along with their friends. We have a range of highly acclaimed authors in our selection and it is our hope that the library builds children’s love of books as well as their knowledge of popular children’s authors and illustrators.

Happy reading, now and always.