Beyond the School Walls
Karachi is one of the world’s megacities, but at times it seems like we live in a small bubble, which limits our exposure and our experiences. Therefore, as a school, we encourage and support our students to explore the city, the country, the region and the world through organized trips and activities.
To facilitate a more outward-looking approach the school is a member of a number of international organisations: the British Schools of the Middle East (BSME), Round Square and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. First and foremost our memberships are designed to reinforce our values and ethos and opportunities for our students to travel, to explore and to experience different cultures, environments and pursuits is a part of that.
For many years the BOS has been committed to our students exploring beyond our walls. For the younger children local excursions might include a local theme park or play area; for older children, an architectural tour of Karachi or a trip to the cinema. For secondary students local trips are often of the more traditional educational variety, such as to St Patrick’s Cathedral, Mohatta Palace or the mangrove wetlands. Whatever the location, the aim is always to broaden horizons and elevate understanding.
Although the BOS is a small school, we field teams, across age ranges, in football, cricket, basketball, dance and swimming. The BOS is a co-educational school and we actively promote these teams for girls and for boys.
Our school teams compete with schools in Karachi in a range of inter-school tournaments – including our own BOS tournaments. Teams also travel to regional competitions, usually held under the banner of the BSME. Most recently our Under-11 Football Team competed in a BSME tournament in Bahrain and our Dance Team took part in a BSME competition in Abu Dhabi.
Our debate team is very successful, taking part in competitions at home and abroad. Recent trips for competitions have included New York and Istanbul. The team benefits from the cultural experience, but also from the intense practice, competition and sense of accomplishment when they bring home accolades – as they frequently do.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme
The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme (DofE) is an important element of our philosophy of exposing our students to new experiences that challenge them – their beliefs, preconceptions and self-awareness.
In 2018-19 our first cohort of students took part in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, which required them to develop a skill, undertake community service and participate in a demanding outward-bound expedition.
True to its reputation, the Award has proved challenging, particularly the final expedition in Oman. However, by overcoming these challenges, our students have learned that they are capable of much more than they thought – in terms of their resilience, determination and stamina as well as their leadership skills, ability to work as a team and to make sound decisions.
In 2019-20 the BOS will be introducing a junior version of the DofE – the Junior Award Scheme for Schools. It too has Bronze, Silver and Gold award levels and promotes similar, those less challenging and age-appropriate, ideals to its older sibling. We are expecting it to be just as successful as our first steps with the DofE.
The BOS is a global member of Round Square, which is a UK-based organisation that promotes the following IDEALS:
As with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, our membership of Round Square is to further our own philosophy and aims for our students. Round Square offers students and staff the opportunity to undertake community service all over the world as well as to attend international conferences to discuss ways in which the IDEALS should be promoted.
In recent years our students and teachers have travelled to Toronto, Canada; Belfast, UK; Chiang Mai, Thailand and Nottingham, UK.
However, Round Square is much more than an opportunity to travel. Its IDEALS have been incorporated into the daily life of the school. Our efforts are co-ordinated by the Round Square Student Committee.