What’s in a Name?

You might be wondering why we chose the name “Halcyon” for our school and for that matter what it means…

It was very important to the school’s founders that the name reflects the ethos and essence of what we hoped for the school.  We sought a name to match the inspiration we felt in creating the school. There were many discussions that lead us to choose Halcyon.

What does Halcyon mean and where does it come from?

Pronunciation: /ˈhalsɪən, -ʃ(ə)n/

Originally, Halcyon was a reference in Greek mythology to a fabled bird identified with the kingfisher. It supposedly had the powers to calm the wind and the waves while it nested on the open seas during the winter solstice.


By the 16th Century the phrase “halcyon days” had taken on the figurative meaning of “calm and idyllic days”. Shakespeare used the expression in this sense in Henry VI, Part I, 1592:

Assign’d am I to be the English scourge.

This night the siege assuredly I’ll raise:

Expect Saint Martin’s summer, halcyon days,

Since I have entered into these wars.

Note: “Saint Martin’s summer” is what we now know as an “Indian summer”.

Our current use of “halcyon days” tends to be nostalgic and recalling of the seemingly endless tranquil days of youth.  The expression “halcyon years” has come to mean a prosperous or golden period.

It is these figurative meanings that inspired us to call the school Halcyon.

Since the kingfisher bird is one of the genus Halcyon, it is interesting to note that this brightly coloured bird is an exceptional and precise hunter thanks to its extraordinary vision. Their eyes have six lenses that can filter our different colors and glare from the sun. Humans have adopted this ability to allow search and rescue teams to find people lost at sea or in other deceptive environments.

We felt that our school will represent true “Halcyon days” for our students, who will evolve into keen, lifelong learners, with diverse powers of observation as they navigate through the world.

HalcyonWhat’s in a Name?