Our school is noted for its family atmosphere and warm, welcoming, supportive environment. It is an inclusive community where a child in Form 1 can approach a 6th Form student without feeling intimidated; where differences are appreciated, not made fun of; and where relations between students and teachers are marked by mutual respect and cooperation, not confrontation and conflict. This encourages students to try new things, to take risks and to give their all. Newcomers, whether students or teachers, always find this highly refreshing and settle in very quickly.
Class Teachers are responsible for the welfare of all the students in their class and have a very special bond with their students. They are always available to help students with any issue whether academic, personal or social and every child knows they have someone they can go to with a problem. They also take the lead in teaching students the values of self-discipline, fair play and respect for others on which the school is built.
In the Junior School, the What Shall I Do? programme addresses a number of personal, social, moral and health issues and helps the children to understand the difference between right and wrong. At the Senior School, there is a full programme of Personal and Social Education in which a wide range of issues that might affect students are discussed by different teachers. Annual age-appropriate sex education sessions led by a doctor begin in Junior 5 and continue throughout the Senior School.
An in-house school counselor is available for consultation for any issues that students may wish to discuss.
Leadership skills are fostered by appointments as Student Leaders throughout the school. At the Junior School, a new Class Prefect is appointed each week so all children have a chance, and this significantly enhances the students’ confidence. There are also House Captains, Prefects and Head Prefects selected from the senior years of both schools, as well as Junior School Sports Captains and Club Presidents and Sports Captains at the Senior School.
Our Senior School has an ongoing and dedicated programme to improve our students’ leadership skills. Each year, students from Form 3 and above have the opportunity to attend Leadership Camps, designed to build their leadership and teamwork skills by challenging them in unfamiliar situations. Students go to Kitulgala and take part in a range of extreme sports and outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, abseiling and canyoning, organised by qualified professional staff.
Senior Students are encourage to do internships during their holidays and these include placements at Beijing University, The United Nations in New York, Game Parks in South Africa and Rwanda, a hospital in Colombo for kidney transplant operations, Flying School in Ratmalana and offices of architects, lawyers and IT firms in Colombo.
Giving students responsibility encourages them to act responsibly. Leadership skills are fostered by appointments as Student Leaders throughout the school. At the Junior School, a new Class Prefect is appointed each week so all children have a chance, and this significantly enhances the students' confidence. There are also House Captains, Prefects and Head Prefects selected from the senior years of both schools, as well as Junior School Sports Captains and Club Presidents and Sports Captains at the Senior School.
Our Senior School has an ongoing and dedicated programme to improve our students' leadership skills. Each year, students from Form 3 and above have the opportunity to attend Leadership Camps, designed to build their leadership and teamwork skills by challenging them in unfamiliar situations. Students go to Kitulgala and take part in a range of extreme sports and outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, abseiling and canyoning, organised by qualified professional staff. A typical comment by a student after a trip was: 'I learnt how to speak out, how to work as part of a team, and how to respect and listen to others'.
Our teachers come from 14 different countries and bring with them teaching experience backed by tertiary qualifications from Oxford, Cambridge, Hardvard and Yale. A wonderful sense of teamwork exists in both schools with teachers working together to help get the best out of students and to share ideas about how to teach a particular lesson or get the best out of a certain pupil. This stimulates all the staff to strive for the very highest standards in all areas of school life.
Continuity is a key reason for this success. We are fortunate that the majority of both our local and expatriate staff have been at the school for a long time. This promotes consistent leadership, facilitates long-term planning and means that both teachers and senior members of staff know every student and what they are capable of. When a child establishes a rapport with a particular teacher, they can rely on that teacher being there throughout their time at the school to encourage and support them.
Our in-house training seminars succeed in keeping teachers abreast of the latest developments in the field of education. These regular workshops, which include an Induction Week at the start of each academic year, provide an ideal opportunity for teachers to learn from one another, and help to strengthen the team dynamic.
Junior School Staff
Our Junior School staff comprises a mixture of local and expatriate teachers, all of whom are experienced and qualified in their fields and passionate about educating young minds.
All full-time teachers at the Senior School have university degrees in their specialised field. Their varied backgrounds mean that different teachers have experience of different teaching methods and the latest developments within different education systems. This leads to a tremendous fusion of the best practice from different countries and makes the school a wonderfully exciting place to teach and learn.
The student body is normally around 500 students between the Junior and Senior Schools and is limited to this level to preserve the school’s family atmosphere. Overall, the number of boys and girls is approximately even, while the ratio of students to staff is roughly 6:1.
Elizabeth Moir School has welcomed students from more than 75 different countries on every continent since the school opened. Few people are lucky enough to visit half as many as countries in a lifetime as are represented in our school. Growing up in this multicultural environment means that acceptance of religious and cultural differences comes naturally to our students. They all value the wonderful opportunity they have to learn from their friends about the world and different cultural traditions.
When a student enters the school, he or she is placed in one of four houses: Armstrong, Columbus, Fleming and Hillary. Throughout the academic year, these houses compete in a number of events, in and outside the classroom, across different age categories. House points are accumulated and, at Founders’ Day, the overall House Champions, from both the Junior and Senior School, are announced.
At Elizabeth Moir School we instill a sense of social responsibility and an appreciation of privilege in all our students. Both schools are involved with raising funds and awareness for good causes, and have long-term links with orphanages and organisations like the Foundation of Goodness and Sarvodaya. .
The Junior School participates in several fundraising projects a year. Staff and students from the Junior School also regularly visit the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital in Colombo and donate money to families who are unable to pay for their children’s treatment.
By the time they enter the Senior School, students take part in a Community Service Project with their class every year. Projects have included visiting a home for the mentally and physically handicapped, painting orphanages and teaching English at the Salvation Army Boys Home every week. .
Elizabeth Moir School was the first international school to join the Sri Lanka Unites organisation, which aims to foster reconciliation in Sri Lanka following the end of the Civil War. Our Prefects have attended Sri Lanka Unites conferences in Kandy, Jaffna and Galle, which have enabled Tamil students from the North and Sinhalese students from the South to meet each other for the first time. The Senior School also has links with Trinity College, Kandy, St Johns College, Jaffna and Royal College, Colombo.