The English College in Prague, the first IB school in the Czech Republic, opened in September 1994 as a 6-year grammar school with high academic standards, offering the IB Diploma together with the Czech Maturita. Its Founder Patrons were President Václav Havel and HRH The Prince of Wales. The Graduation Ceremony serves two purposes: Graduates with outstanding achievements in both academic and co-curricular work during their IB studies are awarded prizes and all Graduates of 2023 are presented with their graduation certificates.
This year it was an honour that Mr Oswald Kittel presented the new Oswald Kittel Prize for German personally.
A NEW PRIZE IN 2023 – The Oswald Kittel Prize for German
Oswald Kittel (here is his speech) has been co-operating with the College since 2016. Every year he brings his friends to meet our students on their Exploring History trip to Česká Kamenice. This is how students hear about the unique life stories of Germans who had to leave Czechoslovakia after the war. It helps them to understand the difficult history of Sudetenland in the 20th century and to contribute to reconsiliation.
The LORD HOLME PRIZE FOR SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY – Selma Kaymakci, Jan Barta Scholar
A conscientious and caring member of the English College, Selma’s achievements over the course of this past year make her a very deserving winner of the prestigious and much sought after Lord Holme Prize. Top of these achievements was her project-management of the Václav Havel Scholarship concert. She has played an integral part of this event for several years. This involved chairing meetings, organising the various facets of the programme and hosting the event on the night.
Initiative for Ukraine
Selma utilised a similar set of skills when she was one of the driving forces behind the school’s response to the events in Ukraine last year. Her team raised 57,724 Kč for the People in Need charity. Her reflections on this (as part of CAS) really gave an insight into the extent of the work involved. They also showed her drive and determination to help those impacted by the war.
Selma was also the student leader for raising money for the relief effort as a response to the recent earthquake in Syria and Turkey as well as during Roma awareness week. Striving to make a difference in how the EU deals with equality in education, Selma was a part of the “Claim the Future” conference in the European Parliament. She attended this event as a Czech delegate to the EU policy-making process. This focused on internet safety for the youth of today and involved presentations and communication with the EU Commission and the Ministry of Education – a nod to her future career ambitions perhaps!
Selma’s enthusiasm for helping those in need is infectious. She has contributed greatly to the positive and healthy ethos within the school community over the past four years. We have no doubt whatsoever that Lord Holme would have been very happy to see Selma receiving the prize that bears his name.
THE JAN BARTA PRIZE – Kryštof Folbrecht, Prince of Wales scholar
Kryštof is one of the most unconventional students we have ever had at the English College; he is extremely intelligent, but balanced in his lifestyle and a true adventurer in every sense of the word. He pushes himself to take on new challenges both academically and personally. His sunny approach to life lightens the mood of everyone around him. His work with Ukrainian refugees at the Polish/Ukrainian border last year was outstanding, displaying leadership skills beyond his years. He made real connections that brought much needed hope to people in distress – several of whom he has kept in touch with – in the most challenging of circumstances. Kryštof truly epitomises the spirit of the Jan Barta Prize.