KUWAIT: The British School of Kuwait (BSK) has celebrated the achievements of their Year 11-13 students with a glittering graduation ceremony held at The Regency Hotel recently. Following the national anthems of Kuwait and the United Kingdom, Year 13 student and Deputy Head Girl, Reem Elassy delivered a reading from the Holy Quran. This was followed by the first speech of the evening, offered by BSK Chairman Sadiq Al-Mutawa when he delivered his Welcome Address, reflecting upon both the efforts and successes of all involved in utilizing technology in support of learning as well as the joy of having students back on campus once again.
The school was also privileged to be able to include within the event program a speech from Guest of Honor Dr Salman Al-Lafi, Director General of the Private Education Department who congratulated the graduates and spoke of the bright futures ahead of them, praising the efforts of the school to promote both the academic excellence and personal growth of their students and the distinguished reputation of the school.
The roll of honor included the graduation tiers of 180 recipients as well as details of the subject prize and commendations awards. For Year 11 this was read by Assistant Phase Coordinator Emily Beaton and Assistant Head Teacher Renee Richards, with the Sixth Form rolls of honor being delivered by Assistant Head Teacher John Leonard.
Another highlight of the evening was the music provided by the BSK Orchestra under the guidance of Director of Performance Music, Emily Jeffcott. This includes the playing of the March of The British Grenadiers that accompanied the entrance of the graduates and Johann Strauss’ Radetzky March to which they exited the ballroom following their graduation, as well as their excellent rendition of Mishal Al-Arouj’s Watani Habibi.
In delivering his address the Principal of BSK, Paul Shropshire, spoke of the importance of adaptability in times of change and of the strength of relationships between students, parents and teachers that was essential in facing the challenges of both online and hybrid learning. He also recognized the efforts of colleagues in supporting one another during the toughest times of the pandemic, as well as the joy of life-long friendships formed by graduates during their time at school.
The special awards section provided an opportunity to recognize some outstanding individual achievements. Academic Excellence Awards were conferred upon the highest achieving students in each year group. In Year 11 these awards went to Omar Badr, whilst in Year 12 Ibrahim Elhaj and Seung Woo Shin were both recognized for their outstanding grades, as was Year 13 winner Harshul Patel.
The Student Leadership Awards went to Head Students Ashira Sidhu and Husain Akbar on account of their excellent leadership of the student body this year, with the Service Award going to Head of England House Julia Charaf. The prestigious Head Teacher’s awards were also awarded to one student from each of the three-year groups, with the accolades going to Fatima Alkandari (Year 11), Sohaila Ibrahim (Year 12) and Diya Sharda (Year 13).
In her address BSK Founder and Director Vera Al-Mutawa warmly congratulated all graduates on their achievement, reflecting upon all the hard-work, sacrifice and resilience they have shown over the past few years as well as the importance of staying connected to one another. She also offered her thanks to parents and families for their continued support and to the entire staff of The British School of Kuwait for their tremendous efforts. Her speech was then followed by the awarding of the most coveted award of the evening, the Founder’s Medal of Honor, which this year was bestowed upon Deputy Head Girl, Reem Elassy.
The penultimate item of the program was the much-anticipated Head Students’ Address, with Head Girl Ashria Sidhu and Head Boy Husain Akbar offering their thanks and reflections on their time at BSK on behalf of the student body, as well as their hopes and aspirations for the future.
Having held the last in-person graduation back in 2019 this was a much-anticipated return to what is the highlight of the school calendar and so the rousing finale of the event was the presentation of the Class of 2021-22 by Head Teacher Simon Amura – a fitting end to mark the achievements of an exceptional graduating class.