Katy Wrench, Marketing and Communications Coordinator

I actually dropped into Marketing and Communications rather by accident. I had finished my degree in Anthropology and Geography and was unsure what to do next. Randomly, choosing a masters in Disaster Management made sense at the time, but I am not so sure how useful that topic was… However, it enabled me to meet a student who did a communications internship in Thailand and through that I experienced nine months of galavanting around southeast Asia.

Living abroad in a non-english speaking country taught me some hard earned life lessons; including how to remove a mouse from inside the workings of your refrigerator, how to politely refuse a sit down meal with 5 chosen potential ‘life partners’, and that travelling alone as a young person is tough! But, since then, my love of travel has only grown. I worked in New Zealand for one year and got into hiking, surfing and kickboxing. My other interests include photography, dancing, Thai kickboxing, books, unusual anime and video games.

I found that my studies enhanced my new-found knowledge of communications in a new way: Knowing your target audience and the best way to communicate information to them is key in both a disaster situation and in everyday life. High levels of empathy; putting yourself in other people’s shoes and understanding what they need to understand make a good communicator and marketer. Studying different societies has helped a lot too.

My international experience has allowed me to see techniques being used in small, medium and large companies, both internationally and nationally. Marketing automation techniques in particular are key to helping an organisation grow. I'm keen to keep ahead of the curve, utilising a variety  programmes and tools for a fast reaction time to keep students and parents informed with interesting and relevant news. Keeping our communications authentic and as close to the source (our students, staff and families) as possible is high on my list.

I can bring bundles of energy, excitement, and a smidge of expertise to what is already a fast-moving and innovative school and I am pleased to be able to meet so many talented staff and awesome students.

Fun Fact: I was among 1000 people dancing in the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony as a 80/90s ‘Raver’. It was a shame I was not of that era… but great fun!

Spanish Immersion Trip this Spring Break

Our first trip to Spain has begun 15 - 23 April! Halcyon students are staying with local families and working alongside peers in the local high school on a variety of projects and activities and visiting Madrid and Cuenca. During their trip, they will be posting their adventures on their Google Site under the page 'Viaje a España'. You will be able to follow their experiences daily. ¡Buen viaje, chicos!

Thank you parents for your wonderful Ofsted Parent View responses

We were delighted to have almost 100 responses from our parent community to the online parent survey. The inspectors reviewed the results on Thursday and were hugely impressed with the level of parent engagement and the overwhelmingly positive responses. Thank you very much for playing your role in the inspection.

During our end-of-inspection feedback meeting, it was clear that the school had done very well in all areas, and we are now looking forward to receiving  the official report on 4 -6 weeks.  We will share Ofsted’s findings with you as soon as we can. Thank you again!

NEASC Candidacy Accreditation Recieved

“In a very short time, Halcyon has created a true learning community. The school is a ‘Thinking Community’ and that ethos is evident in the reflective nature of the work being done.” NEASC accreditation report.

We have successfully passed the first stage in our New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation.

A globally recognised standard of excellence, NEASC accreditation attests to substantial compliance with established qualitative standards, integrity in statements to the public describing the institution's programme, institutional commitment to improvement, and sufficiency of institutional resources.

The NEASC Visitors left Halcyon in February 2017 with an extremely positive view of the school: "The community is a reflective, exciting environment where there is a palpable sense that everyone is focused on one goal: meaningful, authentic learning!”

The Visitors also acknowledged that the school “has created a culture of transformation.” Perhaps the strongest statement indicating the school’s commitment to the ACE Learning Principles is the following: “The community values student voice, autonomy, and self-directed learning to such an extent that it has created a very special learning experience for its students.”

A full report summary will be coming next week. We are thrilled and honored to reach this stage in the accreditation.

Jennifer Thiessen, Human Resources and Compliance Manager

What can I say about myself other than the fact that I am a millionaire… An emotional millionaire! :)
I think that I represent a vast majority of the population who are chocoholics (Personal best is 10 big bars a day), and I balance that out with equal amounts of fruit, veg and being outdoors. In fact, I spent a lot of my childhood barefoot, climbing trees, building huts and roaming the beautiful countryside around Lake Constance (where Germany, Austria and Switzerland meet), indulging in both my own thoughts and tête-à-têtes. Sharing in someone's stories is one of the most fascinating and important things for me, which is probably what I loved most about being a physiotherapist, one of the many jobs I have done.  

- I have worked in places ranging from psychiatric clinics, fishing boats, offices and national parks.
- With people ranging from bedouins, corporate boards, politicians and entrepreneurs.
- Within a variety of sectors such as technology, banking, research, retail, culture and education.
- I have been fortunate to run projects ranging from community healthcare, employee rewards and training, to charity projects, language workshops and running a windsurfing centre.

Today's sweeping statement is that I think we are all born good. I have researched this extensively by travelling the world, living and working in many countries including Turkey, Italy, Spain, Brazil, France and Egypt which has reaffirmed my innate belief in the goodness of human nature - if nurtured. So you can imagine that being surrounded by the living legends that frequent Halcyon is a real dream for me!

Halcyon is the kind of school I would have wished for myself and I believe that many of the world's challenges can be tackled and turned into something good by learning to understand ourselves and others, to be understood and be a part of our community. I hope to do my bit to help our wonderful staff to help our wonderful students.

Myco Doan-Tran, Admissions Director (maternity cover)


I am immensely proud and delighted to join the Halcyon community as the Admissions Director, covering for our wonderful Maria, who goes on Maternity Leave "as we speak".

A seventies child who received what the rest of the world would compare to a 19th Century style education, my standard classroom housed 40+ children, where we would only ever get noticed if our end of year grades ranked us in the top 5. Whilst we were not caned for forgetting our timetable and national poems, our motivation for memorising was only to avoid public humiliation if we were called to recite to the rest of the class. Our most exciting homework was the opportunity to write about a unanimous topic, such as 'describe a black cat' or ‘describe your teacher’! I can't remember any of my essays ever being marked but it was the rare opportunity to be able to share our own thoughts and dump any creativity we had in us on paper.

My uninspiring experience of education - having grown up in the Vietnam - propelled me to specialise in psychology and education in my later academic career, to understand how we best learn and re-programme myself from my earlier educational experiences. One of the things that drew me to Halcyon was the belief that every child is already a somebody, who just needs a support structure to nurture (and draw out) their unique potential.

Having worked at five different international schools in the last 10 years, I am excited to be in a position to promote our innovative and student-centred education to prospective families. I have not seen creativity and passion operating in education quite to this level until I arrived at Halcyon.

I look forward to meeting you all.

IBDP Creativity, Activity and Service Presentations.


Grade 12 have finished their programme of Creativity Activity and Service (CAS), part of the IB Diploma Programme. The primary purpose of CAS projects is for students to actively learn from doing tasks beyond the classroom and providing opportunities for authentic engagement with the local community. They have kept records and evidence of all their experiences, had their final interviews with the CAS Coordinator and shared their learning outcomes with Grades 10 and 11.

'Reflection gave me a chance to comment on my projects, to see how I was achieving the learning outcomes and seeing where I was lacking. It has helped me develop as a person, you learn how to become more active with the projects and see how beneficial they are.'

'CAS helped me step out of my comfort zone as I used to be really afraid of sticking out. People are more broadminded than you think.'

'CAS helped me to notice how I have an impact. I could notice in guitar lessons when I was learning about music theory and history with my teacher and just when I play it reflects a progress in music. There are lots of ways that music impacts society, music can change the lives of people who don’t have a lot. I like to make connections with things you might not expect.'

'CAS helped me realise the benefit of working collaboratively. I don’t like asking for help. I like to show I can do things alone, but I am recognising that I need to ask for help.'

'I had a lot of problems communicating in the beginning. In the end I worked much harder on communicating and it worked out much easier than I thought it would. It taught me that collaboration is very difficult, but it produces amazing results. I am actually looking forward to collaborative projects in the future. CAS is the main subject that helps you look at the world through different eyes, what are the problems in the world and how can we solve them, You have to do research which makes you more aware.'

'I really want to continue some activities at university, such as MUN, kickboxing and football. I have started these and CAS let me make time for them. I enjoy them so much. I am happy that CAS requires me to do these activities.'

'I can do a lot to fix a problem or help a global issue. Before CAS I felt one person can’t do anything. CAS pushes you and helps brings motivation and shows one person can have an impact.'

'My biggest achievement was assisting in the organisation of the MUN conference. Seeing it happen again today and not being involved made me see how big a challenge it was. I have helped to establish MUN as a big thing at Halcyon, which has set the bar for it being a central part of school. It has created a legacy at school.'

Street Art Tour


Date: Saturday 06 May 1300-1500
Location: Begins at Old Street Tube Station (between exits 1 & 2)
Price: 10 GBP per person - RSVP

Have you wandered around London and come across fantastic art outside and want to know more? Who paints this city? What are the works about? Why is street art so popular in London? Come join us to explore East London. Our guide has worked in Street Art for the past seven years, and will share with us some of her favourite art spots around East London’s street art scene. Discover the city’s canvas, learn about the artists behind these beautiful works, and gain insight into the appeal for East London’s street art scene.

Questions? Contact Stacey Ciauri 07557520442 or stacey@ciaurimedia.com 

Halcyon Digital Quiz Night and Auction - Buy your tickets today!

Date: Thursday 30 March 2017 1845-2200
Tickets are selling out! Don’t miss this fun event! Join us for an evening of trivia and prizes for Halcyon’s first ever digital Quiz Night and Auction! We have a great student team planning a fabulous digital quiz and games.
Meet with parents and friends and support Learning Reimagined! Tickets are on sale now

On-line Auction
Date: Through 01 April
Many fun items are being auctioned on line as well as on the night. Check out the brochure so you don’t miss out!

Holi Festivities

Sarika G7 and her parents hosted a Holi Festival Party for the class in celebration of the Indian festival. Holi is known as "the festival of colours". The festival that celebrates the arrival of spring (light, love and good) and the end of winter (dark, cold and not so good). In India it is usually a wet festival (think coloured water guns, water balloons, etc), but as it was so cold in the UK, they did it with dry colours!

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