Long serving headmaster with an eye for success

By FREDDIE NICHOLAS [email protected]

Freddie Nicholas, on work experience with the Algarve Resident from the International School of the Algarve, had the opportunity to interview the school’s headmaster John Butterworth. He talked with Freddie about recent developments at the school, integration, the recession and his plans for the future.

“Regarding new developments in the school, we are pleased to introduce a new bilingual pre-school, which opened at the start of the school year. The great thing is, there are two full-time teachers in each class, one trained through the Portuguese system and one trained through the English system.

“This means that the children get the best of both worlds, which the parents love. As a measure of how successful the pre-school has been, the numbers of pupils have more than doubled from 25 to 55 pupils.”

Another important development to take place is the success of the after-school speed-skating team, who have developed enormously to become regional and national champions for three years running.

The subject of integration between the national and international sections is something that needs to be worked at continuously.

“There has been an enormous improvement regarding integration since I arrived as headmaster. There have been joint school trips, sports practices and festivals. Just recently there has also been a joint production of The Jungle Book, featuring students from both sections, which was very well received by the audience,” he said.

The economic crisis has hit all kinds of businesses in some way, and the school is no exception.

“There have been no cuts as such and we have been continuing to invest, with the acquisition of interactive whiteboards in every classroom,” said John Butterworth.

“One thing we want to complete by the start of the next school year is to move to two new I.T. rooms, located in the centre of the school.”

However, student numbers have fallen compared to previous years. He added: “We have decided not to increase school fees for three years as we are aware that times are tough. However, the national section has been full and this has given the school some financial stability. Expansion could be an option in the future if we become close to capacity and it depends

on the state of the economic climate.”

The school’s aim, however, is to provide education of a high quality. “We want to stand by our strong reputation as a long-term stable school,” he said.

One project that the school is really pushing to organise is a reunion for former students around the world.

“Using social media, we have been trying to organise a reunion for ex-students, as there are roughly 10,000 out there in the world. On July 29, we have organised an event with former students which will feature a DJ and live music.”

As retirement becomes an option in the next few years for the distinguished headmaster, we asked him what he would like to be remembered for when the time does come around:

“I would like to be remembered for being a good teacher and headmaster who established a good relationship with teachers and students alike,” he said.