Young Observer

Year In Review: Bermuda High School

  • Problem solving: students work together during Steam Week
  • Top team: The Flying Dutchman, consisting of, from left, Kameron Young, Sacred Basden and Thélise Dyer
  • Future leaders? Michael Dunkley talks to students
  • Special guests: dignitaries open the Early Years Programme
  • Top experience: from left, Sabree Botelho, Maya Luthi and Skye Oliveira
  • New mascot Torch

Over the summer holidays Young Observer’s “Year in Review” series we will be featuring highlights of the school year in some of our middle and senior schools. We hope you enjoy our salute to Bermuda High School.

A close shave, for charity

Bermuda High School hosted their first St Baldrick’s fundraising event on March 7.

A total of 44 students, staff and parents took part in shaving their heads and/or donating their hair to Locks of Love.

With an initial fundraising goal of $15,000, the girls far surpassed that, and raised more than $100,000. Tracy Renaud, a Year 6 teacher who helped organise the event with Year 9 student Leila Prado, said, “Kindness is one of the most important lessons that we can teach our children.

“Over the years, I have had the privilege of witnessing many children cutting their hair for Locks of Love or shaving for St Baldrick’s.

“However, this year is particularly special as we have such a large number of girls taking part.

“They are truly shining stars and exceptionally courageous.”

Teamwork key during Steam Week

Secondary students participated in the third annual Steam Week in June, tackling projects that encouraged them, as a team, to come up with innovative ways to solve a problem or create something.

This is a great way for students to expand their education in a fun and engaging way at the end of the school year.

Students were given a choice of 12 projects to choose from and were placed in teams to complete their task.

Initiatives such as Steam Week are just one more example of how BHS is integrating this style of learning into the curriculum, and students are benefiting from an innovative and rigorous educational experience at BHS.

Making waves in Canada

Last month, 15 students from Bermuda High School headed to Canada to spend their last few days before the summer break at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, designing a sail boat, geocaching, building a robot and solving a crime.

The trip also gave the girls the chance to experience university life.

BHS was the first international school to be invited to UOIT last year, and was happy to send a contingent of students again this year.

Programme’s grand opening

Bermuda High School officially launched its Early Years Programme on September 29, with Michael Dunkley, then premier, then minister of education Wayne Scott and then shadow minister of education Lovitta Foggo in attendance for the ribbon cutting. Staff, students, and trustees also attended the opening in front of Curling Cottage, which was completely renovated to provide a nurturing location for EYP.

Bermuda High School has been a Round Square member since 2005, and is the only school in Bermuda to be in the international organisation.

The Round Square programme gives BHS students fantastic opportunities to travel and experience different cultures through conferences, exchanges and service projects.

Round Square is a coalition of 150 schools around the world that share a commitment to personal development and responsibility based around six Ideals: Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service.

Project helps Thailand village

Over the Easter break, 12 Year 10 and 11 students had the experience of a lifetime when they travelled to Thailand on a Round Square Service project with the aim of building a water tank for a small village. The Bermuda High School group of students mixed concrete by hand to plaster the walls of the water tank and some even braved the heat to plaster the interior walls. They also visited a remote Karen village and spent time sharing songs and dances with the students.

Youngsters give back to the island’s parishes

On November 18, 460 students from Year 5 – IB2, took part in Round Square Day, the theme of which was “BHS giving back to the island”.

Student leaders led groups of students, who were assigned a location in their home parish, and working with Keep Bermuda Beautiful and the Parks Department they spent the morning cleaning up their area.

And in the afternoon, they engaged in team-building exercises, discussion groups (known as Barazza Groups in the Round Square community), and trust exercises.

A group of Year 5 and 6 students also built 12 new bikes for children in need who received the bikes for Christmas.

Argentina adventure

Over a week in April, Natalie Calderon, Year 10, Elena Menendez-Sanchez, Year 9, and Olivia Taylor, Year 11, travelled to Argentina with teacher Mhairi Flood and took part in the Regional Round Square Conference hosted by the Belgrano Day School.

The theme of the conference was “Embrace the Opportunity” and there were students from 23 schools from the United States, Colombia, Peru and Canada in attendance.

Dream trip to Big Apple

In April, Sabree Botelho, Year 9, Skye Oliveira, Year 9, and Maya Luthi, Year 7, had the experience of a lifetime when they attended the Round Square of the Americas Conference in New York. They enjoyed five days of planned activities, discussion groups, educational outings and the experience of living with a host family.

Year 6 girls take a journey back in time

White House wonders: Year 6 girls travelled to Washington DC with Mrs Renaud, Mrs Chlebek, Mrs Hillen and Miss Cordeiro. The girls visited historical monuments and memorials, museums and then explored Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg to learn more about the early settlers and the important connections to Bermuda.

New mascot Torch

On May 18, Bermuda high School revealed their new school mascot, Torch, to coincide with the printing of their National School Salute magazine in The Royal Gazette.

Last-year students, alumni and staff were invited to submit proposals for a school mascot, and the dragon was selected after a school-wide vote. The new mascot represents the history of the school which is celebrated every year at the Torch Ceremony, and the flame which is passed on from generation to generation of BHS students. Not to mention the fact that Torch is fearless and fierce — just like the school’s students!

School raises more than $7.5 million for centre

Bermuda High School announced the launch of its Leading the Way Campaign for Innovation to raise funds to build an Innovation Centre and Arts Wing on March 20.

As of press time, BHS had raised more than $7.5 million towards their Capital goal of $10 million.

The BHS Innovation Centre will be a 14,000 square-foot facility with five Science labs, including a Robotics lab, two Computer Science labs, a Design and Creation Space or Fab Lab, an Entrepreneurship Centre and a Digital Media Library and Resource Centre.

The renovated Arts Wing at BHS will combine Music, Drama and Visual Arts into one building, allowing for better collaboration. It will include three new Visual Arts studios, including Ceramics, Pottery and Digital Art, improved Music classrooms and practice rooms, a Drama studio and a Black Box theatre.