Giving back to the community

Students helped in organizing food baskets to help the “Adopt a family campaign” for Easter. Items collected will be given to families in need from Larnaca.

A special thanks to class 3D for helping in the organization and the French Club for donating a big sum of money.

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SPIMUN, How can I resist you?

By V. Evgeniou, Y5

St. Petersburg: a city of history and culture, a city where every year young people are offered the spectacular opportunity to take a glimpse at the world of politics and diplomacy through the Saint Petersburg International Model United Nations Conference (SPIMUN). SPIMUN was founded in 1996 by Gymnasium 157 in the city centre celebrated its 20th Anniversary this year. The conference brings together students from all over the world who discuss contemporary issues as well as experience life in St. Petersburg first hand.

The day after our arrival in St. Petersburg we had the chance to enjoy a day full of sight-seeing around the city learning about its fascinating culture and extraordinary history. We explored the past of the splendid sights; from the Church of the Spilled Blood, to Saint Isaak’s Cathedral as well as Peter and Paul’s Fortress. Moreover, we enjoyed a jaw-dropping ballet performance, which had some of us crying. Not only that, but we also visited the world’s most distinguished and incredible Hermitage Museum, where each room was decorated according to the history of the monuments it hosts from Ancient Greece to Leonardo Da Vinci and Ancient Egypt.

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After the sight-seeing, undoubtedly came the hard work. The official opening ceremony was magical where all delegates and directors had the opportunity to listen to the inspiring speeches of past SPIMUN delegates, enjoy choir and drum shows and deliver opening speeches representing their countries for the first time. Three students of our school delivered confident opening speeches representing Sweden and Canada and getting across the main issues of these countries successfully. Following the opening ceremony was Lobbying and of course debating. This is the part where delegates are asked to ally with other countries, merge their ideas and introduce new suggestions to come up with the best resolution possible regarding their topic.

This year our students represented Canada and Sweden and discussed subjects ranging from ‘Ensuring the right to education for Young Refugees’ to the ‘Promotion of Social Engagement of Elderly People’.

At the closing ceremony, we had the chance to enjoy Russian Folklore Dancing proudly see of our student Andreas Koryzis representing Canada in the Baltic Forum receive the Best Delegate award for working the hardest and for participating the most in his committee. George Vrangas representing Sweden in the Political Committee and Chloe Louroutziati representing Sweden in the Disarmament and International Security Committee received a special thanks. Congratulations you have made our school proud! Finally, the conference was officially closed, after all the students from all countries enjoyed the flag show and sang together the SPIMUN song dedicated to its 20th Anniversary.

Of course, this conference would not have been as much fun if it wasn’t for the group of students – and teachers that created those awe inspiring memories. 11 students that barely knew each other developed out of this conference to become the best delegates and the closest friends. Thank you all for this remarkable experience. Also, we want to give special thanks to our outstanding teachers, Mrs. Andri Antoniou- Pssalti and Mrs. Sophia Millosia, who were always by our side to support us and help us whenever in need. We cannot forget our one and only Russian speaking member of the group, Minas Eleftheriou, who was our translator for the entire trip.

Thank you, Academy

By A. Hadjidemetriou Y7

Dear School,

I think I have still not come to realisation as to where I am at this point in my life.

I mean, I can still remember the open day, when I came to this school for the first time, how excited I felt to be guided through the halls of my soon-to-be school, how enthusiastic I was to be taking a new step in my new life. I can still remember the first day of school, desperately searching to find which classrooms I had to attend on that day, feeling alienated and terrified in a world which was soon to become my second family. I can still remember the first time I entered the classroom, not knowing where and who to sit with, going to Weir Camp for the first time as a small boy and then as a helper, being indecisive when it came to choosing subjects, spending endless hours on coursework – and of course going on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and feeling so blessed when I’d return to my home sweet home.

But the one thing that wedged its way onto my brain, the hardest, is how I used to look at seventh year students with enthusiasm and awe, how I’d think that our age difference was ‘huge’, how it felt like it was going to be such a long time until I became like “those senior students”.

And now? We are those seventh year students. We are the people we used to admire, the people we never thought we’d come so soon to be, the people we used to look up to and the people, the young ones are now looking up to… And it’s just so unreal – how we’ve grown so much from children to mature adults. I can’t seem to understand how these seven years literally flew past me.

What made me reminisce about the past and understand my whereabouts in life was the Top Class show. During our ending, when we were all sitting close to each other, holding hands, we understood just how much we grew and that a large part in our life was about to come to an end.

I can remember getting those adrenaline rushes when I was about to get on stage; to have the pleasure to perform with my friends was a privilege since most of us hadn’t done something like this before. There was no fear – instead all of us tried taking advantage of this opportunity to the maximum by having as much fun as possible and trying to enjoy every second of it.

The most amazing part of having a Top Class show was being able to create new bonds between people — people you never had the slightest idea you’d have such a great connection with; our top class show enabled us to get even closer together as a year group and ‘break the ice’ by talking to people we wouldn’t normally talk to. To have such an astounding outcome by working on it for only a short time period encapsulates our will and motivation to create something that would stay in the memory of many. From the background, creative sketches, and acting, to our inspection theme and dances, I truly believe that the Top Class show 2015 was one of the best so far! Don’t blame me, I’m biased.

With our final year in the Academy coming to an inevitable end, I think it’s time to look back with pride and appreciate all the memories you have graciously given to us. Thank you dear school, for all the friendships you helped create, all the opportunities you offered, and all the knowledge you gave. I wouldn’t trade any memory for anything. And in a few years I am sure most of us would want to do anything to be able to return back to you as students, and relive once again these fond, unforgettable, undying memories.

Thank you for everything.

Smike, The Musical: Our Journey

By A. Pipiou, Y4, S. Stylianou Y4, V. Evgeniou, Y5

We asked different members of the production to share their Smike experience. What follows are their responses.

M. Anastasiadou Year 5– Smike: “A golden page in my book of memories. I’m just grateful for having been a member of such a passionate cast. Smike undoubtedly had a huge impact on me as a person and it will remain unremarkable.”

A. Filippou Year 6 – Headmaster/ Mr. Squeers: “Smike was my first ‘actual’ experience in taking part in a musical performance and it motivated me to seek other acting opportunities by giving me more confidence and reassuring me of my abilities. Many would expect me to complain for the countless hours of rehearsals, but why would I complain for doing something I love?”

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A. Pipiou Year 4 – Miss Grant /Fanny: “The musical was an unforgettable experience that will always remain in my heart. I had the chance to create friendships and also to feel like an actress for the first time. The bonds evolved out of this spectacular experience will remain unbreakable.”

E. Pekris Year 6 – Mrs. Squeers: “One of my favourite quotes has always been: ‘One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.’ After working on Smike for 3 months, I can’t exactly say the experience was completely painless! But in the end, it truly was one of the most amazing experiences of self-learning, taking responsibility and making friends who will stay in my life for a very long time to come.”

C. Elia Year 6 – Mr. Nicholls /Nicholas Nickleby: “They say that acting is a talent and a responsibility. Being in a play is something very magical indeed and showing responsibility in your art is a huge part in that. Being in Smike challenged our sense of being responsible and made us go beyond what was expected and as a result surprise audiences. Truly a great experience.”

Smike was, indeed, a truly great experience. As confirmed by the incredible cast, Smike the Musical was one of the most remarkable shows our school has produced for years.

Smike is a pop musical based on Charles Dickens’ “Nicholas Nickleby.” The play begins in a modern school ruled by a strict Headmaster and a harsh Drama mistress. Smeeton, being an orphan, is victimized and marginalized by the staff and his classmates until Mr. Nicholls arrives and wins his trust. This teacher with progressive ideas wishes to put “Nicholas Nickleby” to music and, although outraging Miss Grant, the headmaster approves Nicholls’ proposal. Along with the children’s enthusiasm, the audience is transported back in time to the Dickensian period; to Dotheboy’s Hall. Smeeton, now portraying Smike, along with his fellow students, is seen suffering at the cruel hands of the devious Squeers family. The pupils find support from Mr. Nickleby who helps and cares for them, eliminating Mr. Squeer’s power over them. In the end, the audience goes back to the modern school where a benevolent and compassionate atmosphere prevails. Smeeton is accepted and loved as one of the group and the headmaster becomes understanding and considerate.

It was a Friday when it all started- the first rehearsal. Unknown faces seen for the first time, unknown experiences awaiting. It was stressful, tense, yet overwhelming in its own way. During those three endless months, there were tears, shouts, fights- it was chaos. It was a… beautiful chaos full of laughter, fun, bliss and euphoria.

The excitement of the rehearsals and the pulse of the music flourished in our hearts. The faces were not unknown anymore, but soon became part of our everyday lives. We became “one little family- partners in performance.” Professional relationships developed into friendships…

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And after all… success! The performance was outstanding and the result of months of hard work was jaw- dropping. It wowed the audience from the very beginning with its astonishing scenery (thanks to the art department of our school), impressive costumes, talented orchestra and superb acting and singing executions. Being on stage with such amazing people was wonderful and the feeling was spectacular.

Of course, this would not have been possible without our charismatic teacher and director of the play Mrs. Antoniou-Pssalti, who guided us all the way through this thrilling journey. We would also like to give special thanks to Mr. Fairhead for his musical direction and his full commitment, as well as his delicious brownies. Additionally, we would like to express our gratitude to Mrs. Metaxa- Michael and Mrs. Eleftheriadou who showed dedication and helped all throughout. Thank you to Mrs. Wilbur for her marvellous choreography and Mr. Fairhead for the acoustics. Needless to say, we cannot exclude our back stage crew, led by Mr. Poulides. And, undoubtedly, we want to thank our dearest parents for being our personal drivers 24/7 during those 3 months.

“Smike the Musical” has made its mark in the history of the American Academy.

 

Non-Uniform Day: Do you fit the stereotype?

By D. Ellina & V. Evgeniou Y5

Non-uniform days are always relished at the American Academy Larnaca and this year was definitely no exception. Those of us who have been around for longer, can trace a pattern. We all expect the classic, stereotypical looks and Friday’s non uniform day did not disappoint.

The Newcomers

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It is always a hard decision to find the look of your very first non-uniform day- it HAS to be perfect. These Year 1 princesses are rocking it!

Too-Bored-To-Buy-A-Sticker

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There is always that guy who doesn’t want to buy a sticker for the simple reason that he is too attached to his school uniform- that strong bond is just unbreakable.

The ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’

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Even though it’s not that cold in Cyprus, it’s still fun to act like it is: the Christmas spirit is in the air!

The Identity Crisis

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You come to a point in your life when you seriously miss those good-old school years; so, why not go back to them?

Le Président

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Of course, we cannot forget the one and only…our president! He is a stereotype of himself.

Onesie Wonderland

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Getting dressed with normal clothes on non uniform day is just too mainstream. The easy solution? Get out of bed and tada!

The Beanie Babes

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Beanies are the new trend and these people never miss a chance to weave it into their outfit, especially on non-uniform day.

Fitness Fanatic

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Why dress up when you can dress down and feel comfortable?

Back to Black

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Every school day is a just another day that’s not the weekend for these people. The struggle is real!

A long-standing tradition: MUN Club visit to the Presidential Palace

By G. Pipiou Y7 & D. Ellina Y6

Like every year, our school’s Model United Nations Club was invited to attend the splendid ceremony for the United Nations Day celebrations at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia. On Wednesday, 25th November 2015, 22 club members in their immaculate school uniform took their seats among world diplomats and dignitaries, to celebrate along with them this indispensable institution.
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The guest speaker was none other than the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Anastasiades, who delivered an appreciation of the UN’s role in international affairs stressing, particularly, the organisation’s relentless efforts in maintaining peace in our conflict-ridden island, through its Peacekeeping Forces (UNFICYP). The President went on to say how our faith in the organisation’s competence should not be shaken by the conflicts sprawling around the globe – a sentiment that only intensified with the recent Paris terror attacks. This is because the world has indeed become a better place since 1945 (when the organisation was founded) due to the plethora of humanity’s achievements: the prevention of a major global war, the chartering of human rights, de-colonisation, the eradication of deadly diseases and the democratisation of many states around the world.

MUNThe speeches were followed by a delightful potpourri of folklore songs from all over the world, performed by the choir of CYTA employees with a combination of  a long list of multiethnic songs such as La Cucaracha and the Russian Kakalin! .

Even though all this was enjoyable, the best part was the chance to take selfies in front of the flags and the presidential podium: a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was fun pretending to be president!

The UN Day Celebration was another reminder of our school’s active role in the island’s community and its continual involvement in the world of national as well as global politics.

Reviewed: Shakespeare’s Hamlet

By G. Spyrou, Year 4

On Monday, 9th November, the English Society organised a trip to Limassol to watch Hamlet at the Rialto Theatre. This, however, was no ordinary play as it was being screened from the Barbican Theatre in London through NT Live. Over 400 years after William Shakespeare wrote the play, the theatre production, starring acclaimed Oscar- Nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC Sherlock, The Imitation Game) was one of the most anticipated Hamlet productions, breaking records at the Barbican Box Office.  Director Lyndsey Turner unfolds a truly astonishing masterpiece.

The play is a tragedy set in ancient Denmark that follows Prince and heir to the throne, Hamlet, returning to Denmark after his father’s death, only to find that his mother Queen Gertrude has married the deceased king’s brother, Claudius. Hamlet, distraught by the events, describing the marriage as incest, is visited by his father’s ghost, telling him that he was murdered by his own brother. In the agony of his grief and anger, Hamlet is torn between trying to avenge him while pretending to be insane in order to observe the interactions in the castle. However, he finally confirms the ghost’s reliability, and decides upon killing Claudius. Of course, the theme of death, madness, complexity of action, incest and many more enrich the story of Hamlet, with the infamous appearance of Yorick’s skull.

Cumberbatch’s performance as Hamlet is incredible, portraying the character and delivering one of the best known lines in theatre history “to be or not to be” in his own unique way. Anastasia Hille as Gertrude, Ciaran Hides as Claudius and the rest of the cast delivered amazing performances and together with the director and crew did justice to one of the best plays ever written with amazing special effects, costumes and music for intense emotion.  This masterpiece was worth the late night we spent on a school day in Limassol.