The English School, Nicosia is a selective co-educational school in Cyprus. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious secondary schools on the island.
The school was founded in 1900 by Canon Frank Darvall Newham and since its inception the school has offered a British-style secondary level education to children from all the communities of Cyprus. Originally it only accepted the children of the British rulers of the island and was located within the medieval walls of Nicosia. It moved to its current premises in 1939.
The school started off as a private venture but control was transferred to the British Governor in 1930. Following independence from British occupation in 1960, control passed to the Cypriot Government. In 2007, the school's status and eligibility for state grants was challenged at the Supreme Court.
From September 2003 onwards, the school returned to its bi-communal status by enroling Turkish Cypriots. It is a highly selective academic co-educational secondary school and most of its leavers attend universities in Great Britain.
It follows British educational models in its emphasis on the all-round education of the whole pupil and offers an exceptional range of extra-curricular activities, including sports, music and drama.
Based on the model of the best British independent secondary schools, for the first three years all students follow a broad curriculum designed to lay foundations for public examinations and give them a taste of all the subjects on offer.
At the end of the 3rd year, students begin to specialise by choosing their programme of GCSE subjects. The compulsory core subjects are English Language and Literature, Mathematics and Modern Greek and students choose a number of optional subjects. In the 6th year, all pupils must take five AS Level courses including Modern Greek, Ancient Greek or Classical Civilisation, and in the 7th year, pupils choose to continue with 4 subjects at A Level.
The school has the following 15 departments:
Arts, Biology, Chemistry, Design & Technology, Economics, English, French, Geography, Greek, History, ICT, Maths, Music, Physical Education, and Physics.
A Religious Instruction department also exists, but classes are optional as they are available only to Greek-Orthodox, Armenian-Orthodox and Maronite-Catholic students. This is so as there are also Muslim, Protestant and Roman-Catholic students which are not required to take these classes.
Staff are all qualified graduates of British or other English Language universities, or, in the case of the Greek Department, of Greek universities. The school is heavily oversubscribed and entry is by competitive examinations.
The school hosted the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships in 1995, 2000 and 2005.
The school is situated in a semi-wooded parkland near the centre of the capital Nicosia and is one of the largest schools in Cyprus. Recent updating of the school's academic facilities came with the completion of the Science building, a modern science wing.
The school's extensive sport grounds include 2 full size football fields, running and athletics tracks, 3 tennis courts, 2 squash courts, a (lawn) hockey field, 2 basketball and 2 volleyball courts. The school has a large multi-purpose indoor sports arena completed in 1992.
* Dimitris Lipertis, poet and writer, former teacher.
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