Zero Discrimination Day

Lead Article

Zero Discrimination Day is an annual day celebrated on 1 March each year by the UN and other international organizations. Originally set up in 2014, each year has a theme, with this year’s theme recognising everyone’s right to health. When working in an International School with over 30 nationalities in it, we work hard to ensure that every single child feels comfortable in our space. Free from feeling discriminated against due to their culture, religion, skin colour, gender or sexuality. I am proud that we regularly receive feedback from children saying how happy they are at the school. However, we know we always have work to do. Part of our desire for zero discrimination, and in line with the theme of this year’s celebration, the Student Council have once again decided to work with our young women in the Secondary School to provide suitable sanitary products in the girls’ bathrooms. 

A growing number of our staff have worked in International Schools before joining us here in RS, and as we continue to identify and appoint experienced international colleagues, how we support and develop a school built on zero-discrimination will also continue to flourish.

I hope you all enjoy the start of spring!

School Legends

Events / Trips

At the beginning of spring, not only did we count the snowdrops, but also the most talented students of our school, who performed on Thursday, February 15th 2024, in the School Legends final. 

Young and older students, accompanied by their teachers, supported their classmates, creating an amazing atmosphere in the Cinema Hall. We were all very happy to take part in the event and we also appreciate the efforts of PTFA, who supported the event by preparing different snacks for our students. The competition was judged by three professionals from the artistic world. They evaluated our students’ performances, nominating Cezar Furtună as the winner of the competition. The popularity prize was awarded to Magnus Fuerst from Year 9. Congratulations to all the participants! 

We look forward to the next edition of School Legends, an exciting opportunity to celebrate talent, courage and determination. We are proud of our students and we will continue to support them to combine educational activities with the extracurricular ones for a harmonious development. Congratulations to our talented students!

New term, new opportunities!

Creative writing announcement: Creative Writing Competitions – Round 2

Just after wrapping up our Poetry Competition and the Black Sea School Groups Creative Writing Competition, an exciting new possibility for Secondary students is already on the horizon: enrol now for the 16th edition of the Shakespeare School Essay Competition!
This year’s theme is ‘The Magic of Imagination,’ using the photo below as a prompt. Send your work to by March 25th, making sure that you respect these conditions:

Word count: Key Stage 3 – 200; Key Stage 4 and 5 – 250

In your essay, you could include or develop one or more of the following ideas:

● Explain why life is considered complex and how imagination plays an important role in it
● Discuss aspects of life that you find particularly complex, such as relationships, nature, or personal challenges. Explain how imagination can help us in these situations
● Share a personal story or observation that illustrates the power of imagination in life
● You must make direct reference to specific visual elements from the picture
● Describe the impression the picture makes on you.

Happy writing!

Genes or Environment - Which is More Important?

Well-being – Ana, Y12

Most information on the genetics of mental illnesses is done on conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, autism, ADHD and bipolar disorders, and thought these are definitely not the only disorders with genetic backgrounds, these will be the most often referenced illnesses in this essay as the research done on them provides the most factual proof for the points I will be making.

It is important to note the fact that environmental and genetic factors are not always necessarily separate things. Environmental factors can affect how genes code for different proteins and so change a person’s responses, potentially leading to the development of mental illnesses. We each have a sequence of genes in the DNA of each one of our cells, and these genes code for different proteins. The proteins that are then made influence things such as our appearance, personality, and even mental state. 

However, not every gene in our DNA sequence is used for coding, the genes that are not are called silent genes, defined as “DNA sequences that are not normally expressed or expressed at a very low level.” (Stasiak, M., Maćkiw, E., Kowalska, J., Kucharek, K., & Postupolski, J. 2021) The interesting thing about these genes is the fact that they can become expressive genes through mutation, which in turn can be influenced by environmental factors. This shows that the environment that a person lives in can change how their brain works and in turn their behaviours, potentially leading to the development of mental illnesses. There is research that shows that the way that genes are expressed and what proteins they code for can be influenced by a person’s environment, for example, when someone experiences a traumatic event what can happen is that “the experience of trauma, […] causes satellite molecules to latch onto a person’s DNA.”(Higgins, E. S. 2008) In short, what happens is that the amount of specific proteins being created is changed, which in turn can change certain processes taking place in a person’s brain leading to the development of certain mental illnesses. “Either alone or in combination, psychosocial and physiological stressors can interact with genetic vulnerability to alter brain chemistry and thus alter the individual’s mental health.” (Schmidt C. W. 2007). For example, “young people who go through emotionally stressful situations, such as losing a job or a romantic partner, are more prone to major depression if they inherit a variant form of the serotonin transporter gene, which participates in brain cell communication.” (Schmidt C. W. (2007). 

However, it is important to state that just because a person is genetically predisposed to certain mental illnesses it does not mean that they will definitely develop them, even in extreme or traumatic environments. Different people respond in different ways, even when faced with the same situation. “What may be an experience of significance for one person may not be for another, related, at least in part, to the unique aspects of their genetic, psychological, and biological constitution.” (Stoewen D. L. 2022) At the same time, if two people were to have the same genetics but different environmental influences throughout their lives they would be unlikely to develop the same mental illnesses if any at all.

Ana Câmpian, Y12

A Journey from Casual Kicks to Club Commitment

Sports – Andrei, Y6

At just 10 years old, this young football enthusiast has a story that resonates with the pure love of the game. His adventure with football began at age 8, marking 2021 as the year when playful kicks evolved into a serious passion. “Back when I was 8, I began playing football just for fun. It wasn’t long before I realised I was getting pretty good at it, so joining a football club seemed like the next big step for me.”

Although he hasn’t chosen a favourite player yet, his dedication is anchored to Real Madrid. With a chuckle, he says, “Choosing between Messi and Ronaldo? That’s off the table for me.” He opts to stay impartial, gracefully sidestepping the intense rivalries that define the football world.

One of his most cherished memories is scoring the winning goal during a school match right before Christmas break—a triumph preceded by an impressive five goals in the previous game. He values teamwork above all, acknowledging the challenges and rewards of collaboration. “Sometimes it’s not easy, but practice makes us better,” he asserts, emphasising the importance of communication and joint effort.

For him, football is more than just a game; it’s a learning experience that teaches teamwork, fairness, and social skills. Even a setback like having to pause for health reasons couldn’t dampen his spirit. “I practised at home, improving my dribbling and moves, determined to return to the field,” he shares, his resilience shining through.

To kids contemplating joining a football team, his advice is simple: “If you’re thinking about joining a football team, I say go for it! It’s fun, you get stronger, and it’s good for you in so many ways. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for football practice, but I go anyway because I know it’s important. And balancing school and football? Well, my parents help me a lot with that. Just remember, you’ve got to be patient and see if it’s for you.”

His story not only highlights the personal growth and joy derived from football but also serves as a beacon of inspiration for other kids. It’s a reminder that exploring one’s passions, especially through sports, can lead to discovering a fulfilling and engaging path in life.

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