Students raise £130 for Cancer Research UK

As part of the Creativity, Activity and Service programme, Daphni, Grade 12 student, organised a running event. On Wednesday 15 March, parents and students from across the school, participated to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Students ran 4km, 5km or 10km. Students and teachers helped out in the event to ensure it ran smoothly and they raised over £130! 

Halcyon London International School’s MYP Personal Project Exhibition 2017

What is the Personal Project:

The Personal Project is a requirement of the last year of the IBMYP (IB Middle Years Programme). It is a student driven project, completed over an extended period of time. It enables students to pursue research in a topic of their interest and gives them the opportunity to practice skills that will be essential in the IB Diploma Programme. The project has four stages which are:

Taking action and

The students write a final report which documents the process of the project. 
Twenty-five students set up stalls to present their work to other students, parents and staff. Topics ranged from theatre to perfume and from amnesty to architecture.

Topic examples

Beckett McDowell
“I wanted to create an architectural design for homes that could house refugees who have been displaced from their homes. It was one of the most interesting and challenging tasks that I have attempted.” 

Evy Stumpff
“The aim of my project was to learn how to write a television script and produce a full length script as well as a trailer for this original show. The final product was somewhat of a reflection of life at Halcyon and some of the vibrant characters that walk these hallways.”

Zayaad Mohid
“I want to introduce parents and children to the sneaker culture. I want to show them that such a culture exists and hope that they too would want to start a collection of their own.”

Ellery Cordes
“I wanted to examine the topic of why musical theatre is thriving in London through a documentary. Through this project I developed valuable skills and it introduced me to new perspectives, as well as fuelling my love for the topic.” 

Mentors Reactions:

"Ellery's wonderful music theatre documentary made me very proud to be her mentor. The maturity, confidence and enthusiasm of the Grade 10 students, combined with the incredibly high standard of the projects was a breath of fresh air." Ross McGowan, Halcyon Teacher.

What they learnt:

“I never had any time management before, but I realise when you have a goal and you have steps to reach it, you get it done” Ameen, G10 student.

“It definitely helped me a lot in social skills, critical thinking and time management. If you’re interested in a subject then you are going to do better at it, you’re more excited about it and make it better.” Dada, G10 student. 

“When I printed them and received them and opened the box and realised I had made real and tangible things that I could touch, that was really exciting for me. I developed artistic skills, but also research skills, skills in essay writing and reflecting, really a lot of the things I need for the IB.” Elliot, G10 student.

“I really realised the great importance and the significance planning and general organisation have for success. Not only with my actual product, but also with my report.”  Sam, G10 student.

G7 art accepted into the running for the 4th Plinth School Awards.

Our G7 students have had their etchings accepted for the 4th Plinth Schools Awards.  

This year, the students created their own imaginative creature by making connections to animals from Trafalgar Square.  They also gave their creatures their own inventive names. They used fine etching tools to create line, texture and pattern working in black and white.

Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Date: Tuesday 14 March
Location: Barbican cinema
Time: 1815
Event: Screening of '500 Years' followed by a discussion with filmmaker and activist

At Halcyon we have a 'weekly film festival’ with our Exploration. Last term we were discussing native Americans right through the movie 'También la Lluvia’, and the documentary ‘Living on One Dollar’ and ‘When the Mountains Tremble’. You can have a look at our blog

A great part of our discussions and reflections were based on the Guatemalan genocide and Mayan rights, which provided a link with our Sexual Violence in Conflict conference that G10 held at Halcyon last December. Following that topic, Human Rights Watch Film Festival offers a new movie ‘500 Years’ showing the story of Mayan resistance in Guatemala. After the screening join in a discussion with the film maker, Pamela Yates and Andrea Ixchíu, a Mayan activist. There are not many seats available so please, make sure you contact Ms. Gonzalez over the weekend if you are interested in attending this session. 

See the Human Rights Film Festival listings for the great films on this week. 

Bottle !t: A student-run ‘for profit, for good’ company

The Halcyon Social Entrepreneurs Exploration founded the company ‘Bottle !t.’ The aim of this company is to produce a sustainable Halcyon water bottle. This team of students have been working on the research, design, marketing and finance since October 2016. Right now we are developing a finance plan in order to follow through with the manufacturing and distributing process. We would like to sell our Water Bottles to Halcyon students, parents and teachers. 

At this moment we’re looking for investors, like you, to help us raise £450. 

Invest £15 or more today for a good cause! As a ‘for profit, for people, for planet’ social enterprise, Bottle !t commits all its profits to serving a community. The company has decided to invest in our education by donating all profits to the development of the second floor space at Halcyon. 

We are confident that this company will be profitable and we will return your investment. Note: This is subject to the success of our product sales. 

Fill out this form if you are interested in investing!

Thank you! 
The Bottle !t Management Team
Elisabet, Lucia, Rita and Sabrina

Halcyon Quiz Night and Auction - Tickets on sale now!

Date: Thursday, 30 March 2017
Time: 1845-2200

Join us for an evening of fun, trivia and prizes for Halcyon’s first ever digital Quiz Night and Auction! Many fun items are being auctioned on line as well as on the night. These events are designed to bring our community together, have a great time and raise funds for our exciting renovation, Learning Reimagined

Tickets on sale now, check out the brochure to browse the auction listings!

Its not too late to support the Auction with a Prize

To make Halcyon’s auction a great success we are hoping for more great gifts to tempt everyone to bid on fun and unique items, services and experiences all to support our fundraising efforts including creative items from Halcyon staff! So far we have wonderful home made dinners created by our international parents, great holiday homes, makeovers from a professional make-up artist, theatre and sports events and creative offerings from Halcyon staff!  So if you have season tickets or access to some great site or a holiday home or you’d like cook up a storm, please complete thisform.

If you have questions, please contact Stacey Ciauri, Jennifer Gupta or Orit Samuel.

Celebrating World Book Week at Halcyon

This year Book Week was organised by our Grade 6 students and kicked off with Literary Kahoots. On Tuesday we ate cake as we raised money for the school charity in our bake sale and prepared for our Mad Hatter's Tea Party! Wednesday was a more sleepy affair as we enjoyed reading in our Pyjamas and sharing our quotations on 'Sleep and Dreams' before delving into the Book Bin and enjoying our Book Swop! Today was our grande costume finale and our Mystery Readers revealed! 

Well done Grade 6! 

Thank you to the parents who attended the talk; Adolescence in Perspective - Challenges for Teenagers and Parents.

Thanks to our wellbeing programme,Gareth Jones organised an engaging evening, which was thought provoking and informative. Our presenters Heli Sarin-Yates and Elizabeth Howell referred to a number of books on the evening and for your information they have been captured above. Parents were asked for their key takeaways:

“I liked when Elizabeth said parenting is not a natural skill so if you parent “naturally” you are most likely parenting how you were parented. And if you didn’t like any of that…think about what you want to change.” Another offered, “when bicycles came out, they were the “devil” because children could leave their own neighbourhoods for the first time. Now it may be mobile phones. So the challenges keep changing, but focusing on respectful and thoughtful communication is always the goal”

If you have any questions left unanswered or you did not want to ask on the evening, you can contact Elizabeth or Heli.

Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany

Grade 11 and 12 History students attended a conference at the Institute of Education, University of London called Democracy and Dictatorship in Germany on Monday. Students heard lectures from leading historians about the impact of World War I and the Treaty of Versailles on democracy in Germany as well as life under the Nazis.

'The story of Dr Nadine Rossol's Grandparents finding love during a time of war was both genuine, moving and educational. Her drive and emotion could be seen from a mile away, and any historian should cherish her words and live by her passion'. Said Misha Grade 11.

London Google Educator Bootcamp at Halcyon

"The tips and tricks I learned today will help all of us, not only in school, but for our personal organization as well." Halcyon parent.

We offered our community the chance to get certified, WIN a Chromebook, and learn about very effective educational and organisational Google tools. London's first Google for Education Certified Educator Level 1 bootcamp was led by the talented Dean Stokes. This bootcamp provided engaging learning experiences in a digital environment for anyone and a path to become a Google Certified Educator. The event hosted 27 delegates including our staff and a Halcyon parent. It covered a range of tools from Gmail to Groups and Classroom to Forms. All staff (teaching and admin) will take the final exam at end of March. 

Exploring nature: Following your passion and where it can lead you

Inspiring Voices Speaker Series - Save the date!

Date: Thursday 04 May 2017
Price: Students/Staff: £5 Adults/Friends: £15

Location: Halcyon School
Time: 1830-2000
Please share the attached flyer with family and friends who may want to attend.

Gabriel Jamie is a rare breed who is following his passion for natural history. Gabriel is a PhD Zoology student at Cambridge. He will share his journey which started with a love of bird watching as a child in Cape Town which has taken him around the world. Gabriel's story gives him a unique perspective on education and the role of science in the world and what we can learn from it. Gabriel will be in conversation with Tim Dee a BBC reporter, author and accomplished bird specialist himself.

Please save the date and share the event with students, friends and family for another inspiring evening. The Inspiring Voices Speakers Series focuses on younger, innovative and fascinating speakers sharing their not always traditional paths of success. It also broadens our community learning and raises funds for Halcyon. This year the focus is on our new learning space, Learning Reimagined.

Please RSVP through the flyer or here. Questions? Contact Rita Halbright.

Watch our previous Inspiring Speakers event for an idea of the kinds of discussion.

Convention vs Innovation?

By George Elia, Halcyon Music & Music Technology Teacher

Do you remember what communicating, travelling, learning, working, etc. were prior to the smart phone? Society has moved on and we have experienced some monumental and innovative/technological changes. Whether one wishes to accept it or not, innovation and technologies are forever evolving and we have an obligation or responsibility to embrace them.

Since arriving here at Halcyon mid August 2016, I have experienced a whole range of technologies I didn't even know existed. From a personal perspective, it has been a steep learning curve where new and innovative cutting-edge approaches have been at the forefront of Halcyon’s driving force. The philosophy and open mindedness which form the foundation of its principles, have totally removed the “red tape” and “tick box” cultures which I was accustomed to for so many years . 

I have discovered that here at Halcyon there is no ceiling to the learning for both students and staff. Staff are encouraged to explore and learn new technologies to bring into the classroom to enhance and enrich student engagement, learning experiences, and overall knowledge. It is imperative we prepare our young people for the “current”, the “relevant” and the “future”. Thankfully, this has reignited my passion and enjoyment of teaching and I have delved into a world of combining a range of technologies while still valuing and recognising the importance of conventional practices.

It is clear the ethos and philosophy at Halcyon supports the notion of encouraging both students and staff to explore, discover and implement a variety of technologies which enrich the learning and teaching. Currently, the Google suite of apps is at the foundation of Halcyon’s communication and transparency across the community. All resources are available twenty-four hours a day all year round and from any corner of the globe. The paperless and digital society at Halcyon has paved the way for setting a trend that exploits the use of innovative technologies across a range of disciplines to promote innovation, transparency and accessibility. At the same time it is clear that conventional methodologies are also practiced alongside technology.These form the base of our knowledge and understanding across subjects. 

Convention and Innovation in successful combination are preparing our students for the current and future workforce as well as equipping them with industry skills.

Inspiring Voices Speakers Series

Bravo - great event and fun launch.
— Parent
The speakers were so inspiring. I’ll tell my friends to come next time.
— Student

Thanks to a group of energetic and inspired students and parents, Halcyon launched it’s Inspiring Speaker Series last night. We were delighted to boast a full house for our first event! With a great turnout from the whole community our speakers David Benigson and Eric D. Collins, were in conversation about David’s interesting path to founding Signal Media and Eric’s rise through a variety of top name companies in both North American and the UK. The speakers shared a passion for ingenuity and Artificial Intelligence, but their paths started out quite differently.

David Benigson

David Benigson

David, found the traditional British school environment too rigid for him and the learning style not conducive to his needs. Reading English followed by law, his first job in a law firm consisted of mind-numbing tasks. He believed he could do something more imaginative and purposeful. 

The idea for Signal Media was born: software that sifts and synthesises information from hundreds of thousands of publications in over 100 languages so companies and individuals can sift through the noise and gather relevant data; creating a unique thumb print for your stories. As any “real start-up” should do, Signal started in a garage in Belsize Park. Now this £7 million start-up caters to clients such as Deloitte and Tungsten.

Eric D. Collins

Eric D. Collins

Born in Alabama to a university professor in the segregated South of the United States, Eric continued to Princeton University followed by a law degree at Harvard Law School. Using his intelligent and thoughtful approach, Eric’s career path broadened to include Sales & Marketing and then Revenue and Distribution. Working for organisations such as Tegic and Swiftkey, who he saw through a very successful acquisition by Microsoft. Now a COO at Touch Surgery and an adviser to up and coming leaders in his field. His and David’s paths crossed and now the two speak almost daily.

Last night, our guests talked about the role of education, success, entrepreneurship and thinking big and digging deep. What kind of people are they looking for in their businesses? Eric: “Coachability -  taking feedback on board. I’m looking for people who think about how 1 + 1 can equal 15. It’s not about 1 + 1 = 2.” David, referring to the start up mindset: “I’m not thinking about 10 years ahead. I’m thinking about the next three weeks.“ One recent job applicant asked where David sees the company in five years. For him that was the end of the interview. That’s just not how he thinks. At least not now.

Many thanks to Halcyon’s stupendous parent and student teams who helped to organise this fantastic evening. There are many people to thank, but the lead players this time around were parents Moira Benigson, Josefina Petrus and Karen Rivoire with G12 student Dina organising the film crew and meet and greet team.

A great Halcyon collaboration - all for a good cause - our second floor renovation campaign ‘Learning Reimagined’. Many thanks to all supporters, attendees and, of course, David and Eric.

See The Schools Halcyon Students Have Come From…

My kids have blossomed at Halcyon...It’s like a lightbulb went on and they now have a thirst for knowledge and achievement. I commend Halcyon for taking things to a higher level.
— Current Parent

We are pleased to see our community evolve from both local British schools as well as from schools overseas. Many London-based families are finding Halcyon to be their school of choice for their child(ren)’s secondary education. Please see our students’ previous schools below.

Halcyon London International School selects students who:

  • will thrive in an International Baccalaureate environment known for its academic rigour and diverse assessment methods
  • appreciate and respect the benefits of digital integration
  • are self-disciplined and able to engage meaningfully in independent inquiry
  • are collaborative and internationally-minded
  • have an appreciation of the value of learning additional languages
  • possess the appropriate level of academic readiness (average to above-average)

As an international school we offer a rolling admissions process which means that:

  • we accept applications for each intake, Grades 6-11 (11-16 years old) 
  • you can apply at any point in the year 
  • applications are reviewed and an outcome is communicated shortly after completing the admissions process
  • our staff, students and community are eager to include newcomers in a welcoming atmosphere

Halcyon prides itself on creating valuable relationships with a number of local London schools and further afield with schools around the globe. Halcyon’s Director, Barry Mansfield, and Admissions Director, Maria Rosengren, are very happy to visit and communicate with schools. Forming these personal school-to-school relationships is an important part of Halcyon’s philosophy to focus on the unique potential of each student. This also improves the likelihood of a wonderful fit between student, family and school. 

Discover where Halcyon’s students have come to us from:

London, UK
ACS Hillingdon
American School of London
Burlington Danes Academy
CFBL (College Français Bilingue)
Eaton Square School
East London Science School
Ecole Jeannine Manuel
EIFA (Ecole Internationale Franco-Anglaise)
Fairley House School
GEMS Hampshire School
German School London
Godolphin and Latymer
Hampden Gurney CoE Primary School
Hill House School
Hyde Park School
International Community School
King Alfred School
Latymer Upper School
Lloyd Williamson School
Mander Portman Woodward
Maria Montessori School Hampstead
Marymount International School
Newton Prep School
Northbridge House Senior School
North West London Jewish Day School
Portland Place School
Queen's Gate School
Southbank International School
St. Mary's Hampstead
Sylvia Young Theatre School
Thomas's School Battersea
The Academy School Hampstead

Rest of UK
Hockerill Anglo-European School
St. Joseph's School Reading

Ahliyyah School for Girls (Jordan)
American School of Bombay
American School of Dubai
American International School, Hong Kong
American International School of Vienna
Arapahoe High School (US)
Bedok View Secondary School (Singapore)
Berlin British School (Germany)
Beverly Cleary School (US)
Black Forest Academy (Germany)
British International School, New York
Bundesgymnasium (Austria)
Cairo American College (Egypt)
Copenhagen International School
Crawford College (South Africa)
Creek Valley Elementary School (US)
Dwight School, New York
Earl Warren Middle School (US)
EISP (English International School Padova)
Episcopal School of Dallas (US)
Garðaskóli, Iceland
Grotius College (Netherlands)
Gymea Technology School (Australia)
International School Het Rijnlands Lyceum Oegstgeest (Netherlands)
International School of Luxembourg
Istituto Comprensivo "San Giuseppe Calasanzio" (Italy)
ISF Academy (Hong Kong)
John Adams High School (US)
Ngee Ann Polytechnic College (Singapore)
Oslo Cathedral School (Norway)
Overseas Family School Singapore
Pittwater House (Australia)
Raffles World Academy (Dubai)
Scuola Media Statale Clelia Durazzo (Italy)
Serangoon Secondary School in Singapore
Shiloh Christian School (US)
Skyline Elementary (US)
Solomon Schechter School of Westchester (US)
St. Mark’s School of Texas (US)
Stanley Clark School (US)
Sutherland Shire Montessori School (Australia)
Vienna Elementary School (Austria)
Woodward Academy

EdTech Innovators #BETT2017

Eric in G11 presenting on the Google stand for BETT 2016

Eric in G11 presenting on the Google stand for BETT 2016

Halcyon have once again been asked to present on the Google Stage at BETT, the world's largest education technology exhibition. Students and staff will be showcasing Halcyon’s integral digital commitment and its countless benefits for students, teachers, administrators and parents. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world attend the show; this year promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

In particular, students and staff will be explaining how the new Google Sites platform has been revolutionising the way that things are done at Halcyon; both in and out of the classroom. Student representatives will be joining from the Halcyonite (Halcyon’s student-led e-magazine) and from the Student Council to talk about some of the innovative ways they are using this awesome interactive tool! If you would like to attend BETT, register at Follow @HalcyonSchool on Twitter to keep apprised of #BETT2017 news and updates!

As a Google Reference School and Apple Central Regional Training Centre (schools), this is a particular honour for Halcyon. We are truly seeing the benefits of having dedicated digital integrationists among both our staff and students. When we opened in 2013, we believed that with cutting-edge digital training and support, administrative commitment and conducive learning spaces, we could leverage learning (and administration) through digital engagement. The ripple effect keeps rippling!

Let us share some fun facts about the benefits of seeing devices as educational drivers, not distractors!

  • Halcyon students can be more organised as they carry fewer hard copy books, have access to past, current and future assignments/tasks and can programme reminders for any/all of their devices
  • Thanks to our iTunesU curated courses, students can revise and extend their learning as they wish; parents can learn too!
  • Flipping the classroom has never been easier - learn the lesson at home. Hammer through the tough problems in class with peers and teachers as sounding boards
  • Why collaborate on projects just in class or at the library - Google Docs and many other applications excite students to collaborate virtually and from anywhere in the world
  • Practice your additional language pronunciation with your phone or iPad for feedback from your teacher
  • Organise student led conferences such as Model United Nations completely online including creating a website, making a promotional video, event management and budgeting, mail blasts and document delivery - without printing a sheet of paper or spending a penny
  • Make video presentations to document and perfect your work while aiding visual and auditory learners
  • Student-led, paperless yearbook….until the yearbook gets printed! No printed photos, nothing until the end product

And we are still learning about more ripples administratively!

  • Halcyon has never done a paper mailing to our community EVER - all correspondence is paper free and digital
  • We exist with one printer. A lonely one at that.
  • We manage with much less linear storage space than a school with only hard copy books and space is £££
  • How long does it take our admin team to agree to documents and communications? Very little because it’s all online and synced constantly!
  • How many trees have we saved? We figure 1000’s!
  • How many filing cabinets do we need? Almost none!

What Does Success Look Like Today?

Inspiring Voices - Speaker Series
Date: Wednesday 25 January
Time: 1830 - 2000
Location: Halcyon, 33 Seymour Place, W1H 5AU
Cost: £15 per adult and £5 for students

David Benigson

David Benigson

Halcyon is delighted to present the first event in an exciting series of inspiring speakers. Young, innovative, entrepreneurs will share their paths to success (bumps and all). Each speaker has taken a very different journey to get where they are today.

For our first event, we will hear from entrepreneur David Benigson who by 28 has already raised over £10 million in funding for his media company Signal Media. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Signal helps companies and brands make more informed decisions by turning down the noise and turning up the relevant signals. This year David has also been listed on Forbes 30 Under 30! David’s journey through school, to university and to co-founding a AI driven start up is inspiring. It is a journey about what he has overcome and not just about what he has achieved.

Eric D. Collins

Eric D. Collins

David will be joined by Eric D. Collins who is an AI expert & COO of Touch Surgery. He has advised various start-up founders and has also been part of Obama’s small business advisory. 

Together their stories show that different paths can lead to success!

Halcyon is a not-for-profit school and is currently fundraising for a renovation campaign - 'Learning Reimagined' - which will see our newly acquired space within our building converted into a fantastic innovative learning environment!
Refreshments will be served. To join us for this fantastic evening please RSVP here. Questions? Please email Rita Halbright, Development Director.

Bringing Our Lessons to Life!

Imagine visiting the bottom of the Barrier Reef, behind the scenes of Buckingham Palace or even the surface of Mars all in one afternoon! With Google Expeditions, teachers can take their students on immersive virtual journeys to bring their lessons to life.

Today the Halcyon community was extremely excited to welcome the Google Expedition team for a second time to our school. Students, staff and parents visited:

  • The moon
  • North Pole
  • Aztec ruins: El Castillo, Chichen Itza

To name but a few! Isaac in Grade 9 said:

"My Design class got to visit the London Transport Museum and I felt so immersed in the virtual reality experience!" 

Jon Neale, Halcyon's Digital Learning Leader, organised this fantastic opportunity and said:

"The rate with which technology is changing makes Halcyon such an exciting space to be working as we get to showcase pioneering EdTech! Things like Google Expeditions with their transformative power deepens learning experiences and makes them more memorable for students and staff. I was delighted at how enthusiastic our parents were with the experience too!"

International Showcase 2016

On Monday 12 December the Halcyon Parent Community (HPC) with support of the whole Halcyon community hosted a spectacular International Showcase! The event celebrated some 30 nationalities represented within the Halcyon community from Singapore to Germany and Nepal to Canada.

The HPC, with help from students, organised fantastic activities that included:

  • Passport Control: each attendee was given a Halcyon passport to answer country specific questions and win fun vouchers to local shops
  • Virtual Reality tours travelling the whole world
  • Photo Booth
  • Rakhi bracelet stall: a wonderful Indian tradition of friendship
  • Henna tattoos: celebrating Middle Eastern, South Asian and African culture

"It made me so happy to walk into a buzzing building, filled with smiling kids and parents." - Halcyon Parent

"It was such an amazing evening getting to meet my friend's families!" - Halcyon Student