Our Spring Fayre was our most successful ever with parents, staff and students enjoying wonderful weather and raising over HUF 1,000,000 (EUR 3,330), to be split between our two nominated charities, a local orphanage and a local animal shelter, both visited and nominated by our students.
Exam and graduation time
The eldest students are sitting their Cambridge Internal Examinations and we are confident they will follow the successes of recent years. This year we can already announce that two of our students are heading for leading Ivy League universities in the USA: Bryn Mawr and Stanford.
Our Year 13 graduated on 4 May with a lovely ceremony in school, witnessed by all the students from ages five to 17. Britannica continues to believe that CIE exams, including the “Gold standard” A Level exam, provide the best preparation for rigorous university study.
For those of you unfamiliar with A Levels, the British A Level that is offered at Britannica International School from the University of Cambridge is accepted for entry by universities of the European Union, on a par with the French Baccalaureate, the German Abitur, etc. It is also recognised by the Ministry of Education for automatic entry to universities in Hungary.
University course credit and advanced standing is often available in countries such as the USA and Canada, and good grades in carefully chosen A Level subjects can result in up to one full year of credit. A Levels are highly specialised qualifications and a student will normally take three subjects, although occasionally exceptional students take four.
They are taken throughout the world, sometimes as the national examinations of certain countries (such as Singapore and Mauritius), sometimes in international schools and sometimes in bilingual government schools alongside the national exams.
A significant benefit of A Levels is that they do not prescribe which subjects must be studied and they offer students the opportunity to specialise in a particular area (such as the sciences or languages) or cover a broad range of subjects of their choosing.
A Levels provide the option to focus on a smaller number of subjects in more depth while also allowing for the study of a number of AS Levels, which carry half the credit with universities around the world, including in Hungary. For instance, students taking two or three A Levels, with another two subjects at AS Level, have the satisfaction of knowing that they are succeeding in a broad and demanding curriculum.
For other students the flexibility of A Levels enables them to tailor the curriculum to their abilities – perhaps taking only one A Level in their strongest subject backed up with a larger number of AS Levels to fulfil university entry requirements.
The experience of Britannica International School over recent years has been that A Level qualifications have served the students well and places have been secured at prestigious universities in the UK, USA, Canada, Hungary and elsewhere. These include MIT and Chicago in the USA, Imperial College and Kings College in the UK and other universities in Europe. It is a splendid achievement by our students.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
A development at Britannica next year will be the introduction of the International Award, sometimes known as the Duke of Edinburgh Award because it was he who founded it in 1956. Britannica International School has now become a licensed centre in Hungary for this world-famous award for young people, and those seeking to achieve this highly sought-after prize will start to take up its challenges from August.
It is a rewarding self-development programme available to all 14- to 25-year-olds.
Over seven million young people worldwide have taken up the challenge since 1956 and the award is currently operating in 130 countries. It is tough but it is about individual challenge, not about reaching specific standards set by someone else.
Young people design their own award programme, set their own goals and record their own progress. The only person they compete against is themselves, by challenging their own beliefs about what they can achieve.
Available in three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, participants must complete activities of community service, skills, physical recreation and the notorious “Adventurous Journey”, which can mean a climb up a volcano or a trek across a desert.
Steve Colliver, the geography teacher at Britannica International School and the leader of the awards team, has also run the scheme at other international schools. He comments: “In order to complete the award students will need to devote a considerable amount of time and effort – commitment, determination and perseverance is what it is all about. The rewards, however, are well worth all the hard work.”