School of Tomorrow: Freedom to Learn

Chief Executive’s Newsletter
October 2011
Dear Parents,
Welcome to the 2011-12 school year! The
start of this year has been rather 'eventful'
in many parts of the country, hence the
delay in sending this newsletter.
As always, I would like to take this
opportunity to share with you some key
developments that have taken place at
Beaconhouse over the last 12 months along
with our plans for coming years.
School of Tomorrow:
Freedom to Learn
Celebrating 35 Years in Education
In November 2010 - on the occasion of the
35th anniversary of Beaconhouse - we
organised the School of Tomorrow:
Freedom to Learn conference which
continued to explore new ways of teaching
and learning. This was the second in a
series of international conferences under
the 'School of Tomorrow' umbrella. This
year's conference built upon the following
four themes: 'New Ways of Teaching and
Learning', 'Reframing Early Childhood
Education', 'Teacher Education for
Sustainable Development' and 'School
Leadership, Innovation and Development'.
The conference was inaugurated by the
Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Yusuf Raza
Gilani, while the keynote speaker was Mr
Richard Mark Gerver, author of Creating
Tomorrow's Schools Today (2009). The
conference also featured 41 other speakers,
moderators, panellists, and workshop and
discussion leaders from the U.S., U.K.,
Australia, New Zealand, India and, of
course, Pakistan. The findings of such
conferences further strengthen our resolve
to make learning more meaningful and
engaging for ever y child across
Chief Executive’s Newsletter
Tomorrow's School, Today
The opening of Beaconhouse-Newlands
in Lahore in September 2011 marked a
major milestone for the group. Headed by
seasoned educator Mr Phillip Straw,
Beaconhouse-Newlands is strategically
located on 7.5 acres of land in DHA Phase
VI, Lahore. It is a comprehensive, purposebuilt campus from Pre-Nursery to A Level
and features an underground auditorium
(the first of its kind in Lahore), technologyequipped classrooms, and unparalleled
sporting facilities including a large
swimming pool, horse-riding facilities,
football field, running track, and more. In
addition to the facilities available on
campus, we plan to extend sporting
activities to a 25-acre plot of land that is
owned by Beaconhouse on nearby Bedian
Road which is being converted to a Sports
hour dedicated to completing homework
Beaconhouse Parents
Portal & Feedback:
under the guidance of teachers. The school
features a modern curriculum supported
We are pleased to announce the launch of
to-use platform will provide you with an
by IT-equipped classrooms and suites. A
the Beaconhouse Parents Portal! This
efficient medium of communication with
typical day at Beaconhouse-Newlands
resource will take you to the next
your child’s school and will ensure that
ends at 4.00 pm.
generation of school engagement,
your comments and suggestions are
providing you with a secure, online
forwarded to the appropriate people,
Established in collaboration with Newlands
environment where you can interact with
promptly. Your feedback counts and
School, UK, Beaconhouse-Newlands will
your child's school and oversee his or her
allow real-time interaction between
your response may help shape
learning, attendance, achievements and
students in UK and Pakistan, enabling them
important decisions. Over a period of
overall progress.
to participate in projects that address
current global issues.
This innovative initiative will exponentially
improve communication between the
Senior students at Beaconhouse-Newlands
school, parent and child - a key component
will have the unique option of doing one
in your child's success. Some of the portal's
term at Newlands, UK at the same fee that
key features include: a secure login for
they are paying in Pakistan + boarding
parents/guardians, a detailed feedback
mechanism, your child’s curriculum
information, academic calendar,
Beaconhouse -Newlands is a 'day
boarding'/extended curriculum school
where students complete a regular school
day followed by after-school sports and
extracurricular clubs - and even a study
October 2011
time, this information will assist us in
enhancing the quality of our overall
provision with the aim of improving the
teaching and learning experience where
it counts - the classroom.
Please note that your feedback will be
treated with the greatest possible
Beaconhouse-Newlands, Lahore also offers
upcoming events and result
full boarding facilities for A Level boys from
announcements. (In future, we will add
To access the Parents Portal, please go
across Pakistan. We expect to establish
other functions like your child’s assessment
separate boarding facilities in September
repor ts, attendance repor ts, etc.)
Beaconhouse staff may also provide their
2012 for girls as well.
We are particularly proud of the Feedback
valuable feedback using the same
section on the Parents Portal. This easy-
mechanism - but through BEAMS.
Chief Executive’s Newsletter
TNS Beaconhouse - soon
in DHA Lahore!
TNS Beaconhouse was established in
September 2007 in Gulberg, Lahore in
response to the first 'School of Tomorrow'
conference in 2005. TNS is based on the
philosophy of experience-based (or
experiential) learning which is applied
through an education strategy known as
project-based learning in which learning
is completely interdisciplinary.
Based on the overwhelming response to
the original TNS, we are now establishing
a new TNS campus on 20 kanals of land in
Phase V, DHA, Lahore. In January 2012,
students from Years 4-8 of TNS Gulberg
will transfer to the new Defence Campus
and, soon thereafter, all class levels from
Nursery upwards will become available
at TNS Defence. The original TNS in
Gulberg will function in parallel as an Early
Years and Lower Primar y school.
TNS Defence Campus is a purposedesigned school and will offer students a
large number of sporting and extracurricular activities in addition to a large,
underground gymnasium, swimming pool,
underground parking, a three-story library
block, and much more. An upcoming 25acre Beaconhouse Sports Complex on
Bedian Road will be in close proximity to
students of TNS Defence.
TNS is currently a 'candidate school' for the
International Baccalaureate (IB)'s Middle
Years Programme (for students aged 11 to
16) and expects an authorization visit from
the IB Organisation in October 2011. Many
IB schools worldwide offer the Middle Years
Programme in conjunction with the CIE O
Levels (or IGCSE), giving students the
flexibility of entering either CIE A Level or
the IB Diploma. This is a strategy that TNS
too expects to follow under the able
guidance of its Head of School, Mr Clive
Barnes, who has run several IB schools
around the world.
October 2011
The Access Centre:
Opening Doors to Further Education
In a bold new move, Beaconhouse Central
Region has set up The Access Centre, a
professional college placement and
educational advisory unit exclusively for
its students. The Access Centre is headed
by Mrs Zarene Malik, former Manager for
Education Advising and Fulbright Outreach
at the United States Education Foundation
in Pakistan. While it will initially be housed
at the Beaconhouse A Level Garden Town
Campus, Lahore, its services are open to
all senior students of Beaconhouse Central
Region, as Access Centre Advisors are
expected to regularly visit A Level schools
across the Region. During these visits,
Access Centre Advisors will help students
chalk out their career paths, make lists of
colleges to apply to, fill out college
applications, write accompanying
essays/personal statements and complete
financial aid forms, if required. The Access
Centre has links with the world's topranked colleges and universities and will
arrange for representatives from these
institutes to hold information seminars at
our schools from time to time.
Meanwhile, Beaconhouse Northern and
Southern Regions continue to work on our
existing model of school-based Career
Advisors while we evaluate the benefits of
establishing the Access Centre in these
regions as well.
Short Visits to Newlands UK
in Summer 2011
In today's global community, we believe
it is becoming increasingly important to
expose our students to the wider world.
In this spirit, hundreds of students from
across the Beaconhouse School System
visited Newlands School, UK in summer
2011 in several groups for 'Short Study
Programmes' of two weeks each. Based at
Newlands School in Seaford, UK, students
were able to explore a new culture through
day expeditions in and around London.
The programme also incorporated
coursework on subjec ts such as
photography and the history of life-altering
discoveries in the UK.
Students were offered a rich schedule over
two weeks that allowed for maximum
exposure under the guidance of Newlands
UK staff and accompanying teachers from
Pakistan. Learning extended beyond
excursions as the programme also allowed
for professional coaching sessions at
Newlands for cricket and football. Students
were encouraged to interact with
Newlands students to develop the ability
and confidence to communicate with
people from around the world.
With 660+ applications received, the
response to this two week programme was
truly overwhelming. Despite our best
efforts, however, we were only able to
accommodate about 500 students. It is
likely that a similar programme will be
offered in summer 2012 in which
eventuality we will offer first preference to
students who we could not accommodate
in 2011. Please refer to your school office
sometime in early 2012 for more
The Beaconhouse Times
Online - Launching
November 4th!
Friday November 4th, 2011 marks not
only the 36th Anniversar y of
Beaconhouse but the launch day for The
Beaconhouse Times Online (TBT Online)
- a news portal that connects the
Beaconhouse community across 9
countries. We have already established a
network of student and teacher
correspondents across Beaconhouse
Pakistan who will provide us with campus
news on a regular basis - and plan to appoint
correspondents at our international schools
soon. The positions of TBT Correspondent
and Assistant Correspondent have also been
added to Student Councils at our O and A
Level schools.
Chief Executive’s Newsletter
TBT Online will serve as a one-stop
information portal enabling students,
teachers and parents across the
Beaconhouse world to stay connected with
each other. It is expected to be the ultimate
access point for all national and
international Beaconhouse schools,
allowing us to share the achievements of
Beaconhouse students, teachers and staff
members across the world. Some
interesting features being launched on TBT
Online include: Student Diaries, Discussion
Forum, Online Competitions, Daily Student
Poll, Education Features, Upcoming Events
and Latest School News. So, on November
4th, be the first in your school (or your
child's school) to log on to
2011 O & A Level Results:
Continuing Academic Excellence
Beaconhouse students achieved yet
another spectacular O and A Level result
that saw the highest number of As in both
O and A Level examinations across the
nation. In the class of 2011, 544 A Level
students secured 2 or more As while a
staggering 1,211 O Level students achieved
5 or more As!
students, Ibrahim Shahid, scored 23 A*/As
in his O Levels and set the world record for
the same. This year, another of our
students, Zohaib Asad, achieved an even
more spectacular 28 A*/As in his O Levels
coupled with an equally impressive 10 As
in his A Levels in 2011. Zohaib is currently
enrolled at McGill University, Canada, on
As you may recall, last year one of our
a scholarship.
October 2011
Beaconhouse wins
Brands of the Year 2011!
The 'Brands of the Year' award is an annual
distinction given to leading organisations
in the country. Beaconhouse is the only
school system in Pakistan to be awarded an
A+ rating by the Brands Foundation of
Pakistan, a public company monitored by
the government of Pakistan that works in
collaboration with the International Brand
Council. The award was presented to us by
the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Syed Yusuf
Raza Gilani, in a ceremony held at the
Governor House, Karachi on July 31, 2011.
Solar Energy Project:
Beaconhouse Going Green!
I am pleased to announce the installation
of an integrated solar energy system with
a 10 KW power generation capacity on our
A Level building at Beaconhouse Canal
Side Campus, Lahore. This is an important
pilot project for Beaconhouse and is based
on a feasibility study conducted by the US
Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).
Led by Mr Nassir Kasuri, Director,
Beaconhouse, and Mr Rao Mahmood Elahi,
Director Energy for the group, this project
has helped Beaconhouse take the first step
towards leading Pakistan to a 'greener'
future. Solar energy is a sustainable and
ultimately cheaper alternate to thermalbased electricity especially for countries
like Pakistan that have no deficit of
This venture is also a great learning
opportunity for our students, as a group
of 10 students have received training on
how to monitor the activity of the solar
panels which they will be reporting to the
project in-charge on a regular basis.
Based on the outcome of this project,
Beaconhouse will evaluate the possibility
of 'going solar' across Pakistan in the years
to come, thus potentially easing the
burden on the nation's much-encumbered
power generation capacity.
Chief Executive’s Newsletter
Beaconhouse South Leads
the Way with 'Bubbles'
'Bubbles' is a Beaconhouse-developed, oneyear playgroup programme for children
aged 24 to 36 months. Launched by four
schools in our Southern Region, Bubbles
will help children enhance their creativity,
make independent decisions, develop social
and interactive skills, boost self-confidence
and develop a life-long love for learning.
Bubbles is currently offered at four of our
schools in the South: Defence Campus,
Gulshan KG-II, North Nazimabad KG-I and,
last but certainly not least, Qasimabad
Campus, Hyderabad. We hope ultimately
to offer this programme at more of our
schools across Pakistan and perhaps even
launch it on a stand-alone basis in major
At Bubbles, parents, teachers and children
work together, forging stronger connections
between home and school. This makes for
consistent adult influence that helps the
child feel secure in his/her environment. It
is an acknowledged fact that when children
feel secure, they are more likely to explore,
experiment and learn.
October 2011
Early Years'
ETAC Programme:
Technology from Day 1
In my previous newsletter, I had announced
the launch of the Emerging Technologies
Across the Curriculum (ETAC) programme
for Early Years with a pilot programme at
Les Anges Montessori Academy, 51 FCC,
Lahore. Since then, we have decided to
expand the programme to at least six Early
Years schools across Pakistan - all of which
will come 'online' by early 2012.
The ETAC programme uses technology to
strengthen teaching and learning in Early
Years. The programme features a revised
curriculum, teacher-training sessions and
an overall improvement in the classroom
environment for an enhanced teaching and
learning experience.
Maintenance & Renovation
Enhancing Quality at the School
Beaconhouse continues with its large-scale
Maintenance & Renovation Programme
(MRP) across our schools to standardise
and uplift the quality and design of facilities
available to students and teachers. The
first phase of these activities include:
• Upgrading & renovating student
• Installing modern drinking fountains
• Revamping staff rooms and
reception areas
Over the last two years, we have completed
pilot programmes at several branches and
plan to expand these programmes till all
Beaconhouse schools have been upgraded
in line with these new standards.
Assistant Teachers in KG
You may be aware that, over the last few
years, we have introduced 'Teachers
Assistants' for Pre-Nursery and Nursery
classes across Beaconhouse. The addition
of a second adult in these classrooms has
had a very positive impact on classroom
management and indeed on teaching and
learning. We are now pleased to announce
that, as of September 2011, we have added
'Assistant Teachers' to our Kindergarten
(KG) level. The Assistant Teacher model for
KG is based on a different philosophy from
the 'Teacher’s Assistant' for Pre-Nursery
and Nursery.
This initiative has involved a complete
revamp of our Kindergarten curriculum
and teacher training programme. As I
write, most of our Kindergarten classes
across Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad have
Assistant Teachers while others are
involved in the process of hiring and
training their ATs.
We expect to extend this initiative to other
cities across Pakistan soon.
Chief Executive’s Newsletter
2010 Flood Initiatives
In my last newsletter, I wrote about some
flood-relief activities that Beaconhouse
was engaged in at the time. At that point,
we were dispatching trucks laden with
relief goods to flood-affected areas. Since
then, a total of Rs. 35.5 million has been
contributed by students, parents,
employees and Beaconhouse itself for
flood-relief effort. We have utilized these
funds for a number of projects, key
amongst which are the following:
Beaconhouse Central and Southern
Regions collaborated on and completed
the following two projects (the combined
value of which was Rs. 20 Million):
• Construction of a village in Moza Lal
Shah (110 Km from Rahim Yar Khan)
consisting of 25 houses. This project,
valued at Rs. 13.6 Million, was
initiated under the 'Adopt a Village
Pro g r a m m e ' b y t h e Pu n j a b
Government through the Provincial
Disaster Management Authority
• Construction of a co-education
primary school in Moza Lal Shah for
300 to 400 students valued at Rs. 6.4
Meanwhile, Beaconhouse Northern Region
reconstructed the following three schools
in the District of Nowshera:
• Government High School for Boys,
• Government Girls Degree College,
• Government Girls High Secondary
School, Akora Khattak
This rebuilding effort was undertaken in
collaboration with the Army Headquarters
11 Corps. The combined value of these
schools is Rs. 4.5 Million.
Sadly (though not unexpectedly), floods
have hit again in 2011 - particularly in
Sindh. We are currently working on a new
strategy for Flood Relief 2011 and will keep
you posted on developments.
October 2011
Beaconhouse Sports
Beaconhouse believes that it is our national
responsibility to promote the development
of sports in the country by nurturing and
grooming talent from a young age. Sports
and physical education are also essential
for a healthy and stress-free body and mind
and play a key role in the development of
character and of important life skills like
teamwork, collaboration, problem-solving
and time management.
Over the last one year, we have laid
tremendous emphasis on the ongoing
developoment of our sports programme
at Beaconhouse under the leadership of
Mr Nassir Kasuri, Director, Beaconhouse,
and Mr Ali Raza, Acting Director of Sports,
Beaconhouse. Some of these activities
• Intra and Inter regional competitions
in cricket, football, basketball,
badminton, table tennis, athletics,
volleyball and throwball were
held. Though such activities have also
taken place in the past, this is the first
year that we have organized these
events systematically at this scale.
• A completely revised spor ts
curriculum has been implemented
for classes 1 to 4 nationally. A revised
curriculum for class 5 has been
piloted in the Central Region and will
be deployed nationally next year.
• We initiated a complete
Anthropometric study (the scientific
study of the measurement and
proportion of the human body) of all
students from classes 1 to 5. This is
the first time that an educational
institution in Pakistan has conducted
such a study at this level. This study
was conducted to provide pertinent
data to parents regarding the growth
characteristics of their child/ren. In
addition to this, we are also
conducting general physical fitness
testing for students from class 6
onwards. These tests will provide
information regarding your child’s
strength, speed, endurance, flexibility
and agility. Such information will
help us identify those physical
activities in which your child may
reach his/her maximum potential.
We Value Your Feedback
As highlighted on page 3 of this newsletter,
we have established a new Parents Portal
that will ultimately offer a host of functions
to parents. At the moment, a key function
on the Parents Portal is a structured
feedback system. I strongly encourage you
to use this new system when providing us
with your valuable feedback, suggestions
and concerns. We value your privacy and
assure you that any information you send
us will be handled with the greatest
possible discretion. Please note, however,
that it is not possible for us to entertain
anonymous feedback (or emails) as we
cannot ascertain whether or not they are
from bona fide parents.
Finally, let me take this opportunity to wish
you and your child a successful school year!
Yours truly,
Kasim Kasuri