On Saturday 11th June 2016, close to 650 happy pupils, parents, staff from London, Paris and Lille, family and friends gathered in Bedford Square Garden to officially inaugurate our school.
As our 190 pupils began to sing the song On Ira by French singer Zaz, the lyrics evoking themes of tolerance and global awareness set the tone for the ceremony.
The speakers celebrated the accomplishments of the school and thanked all those who had contributed. This was a special day to remember, honour and spread the vision of our founder, Jeannine Manuel while expressing enthusiasm for what the future holds.
Bernard Manuel, Chairman of the Board and Jeannine Manuel’s son, reminded us of the school’s dedication to UNESCO’s four pillars of education: “Learning to Live Together, Learning to Be, Learning to Know, Learning to Do,” therefore aiming to educate “talented, adaptable and open-minded young adults.” Head of School, Pauline Prévot, used an African saying: “Il faut tout un village pour éduquer un enfant,” to express gratitude to all.
Following a moving film featuring staff and highlights of the year, two 6e pupils from the Student Council gave a speech about the school’s mission. Alice Ripoll and Alexandre Nakicen spoke with ease and confidence about the pride of belonging to such a diverse school, a diversity which was reflected in the 40 flags hanging in the garden. President of the Parents Association, Alexandra Blaringhem, gave warm thanks to the staff for their creativity, competence and commitment.
To close the ceremony, the choir sang Happy by Pharrell Williams, a feeling shared by all that day, and young Allegra and Daniel from the Mini Student Council cut the red ribbon…
Champagne! Guests then enjoyed a delicious High Tea with a myriad of baked cakes from parents. “I am really moved by how strongly we can feel the school spirit today,” said Head of Primary and Master of Ceremony, Coralie Manhes. The rain stopped just in time for everyone to enjoy the garden, for children to queue at the popcorn stand and play in Bedford Square. “It is amazing to see what my grandmother built,” said Laurent Manuel, who was among the four descendants of Jeannine Manuel present and who helped during the construction work at the school. “I am glad I was able to help. It is so nice to see everything brought together and continue to grow!” A vision undoubtedly shared by everyone.
– – with Marie Trotzier, from the PA – –