The Graduation Ball is a traditional Czech social event, which marks the beginning of the graduation process and always attracts a very large gathering of students, parents and friends. It is a formal event held in one of Prague’s traditional ball venues and the dress code is black tie.
Year 6 students usually start preparing for the Ball in Year 5. They are supported by the Deputy Head (Co-Curriculum), the Bursary office and the Marketing Manager. Students always decide on the theme of the Ball, which determines the design of the posters, tickets, sashes and tableau and also sets the tone of the evening’s programme. Students prepare a surprise dance, in which most of the year group is involved and it is usually the grand finale of the evening.
The organisation of the Graduation Ball is challenging and requires many skills. Students have to support each other and work together, developing a good team spirit. Students in Year 5 also help them, which is a very important experience for the organisation of their own Graduation Ball the following year.
The Graduation Ball is not only a highlight for the graduating year and their families, but also for Year 1 students and their families, as they are officially welcomed to the College.
An essential aspect of encouraging students to express themselves creatively, is the opportunity for their work to be published. The ECP Times is a monthly paper to which any student may submit articles. It is supported by the Journalism Club and its members are encouraged to contribute on a regular basis. Money raised from the sale of the paper goes towards a charity chosen by the student-led editorial team. Each year, the library runs the annual COBIS poetry competition and a short story competition. All the entries for these competitions are published in an annual Literary Journal. In addition, students are encouraged to submit their own artwork, poetry or creative writing throughout the year. This provides a wonderful opportunity for students to share their creative work with one another and the wider world. All students who contribute work to the journal receive a free copy.
Providing Opportunities and Building Bridges
In 2011, four ECP students decided, after finishing their IB exams, to raise enough money to provide an education at the English College for a young person from a less fortunate background, who would benefit significantly from the same opportunity that they themselves had had. Thanks to a very successful auction, they were able to raise a large amount of money, which laid the foundation for the Václav Havel Scholarship. Václav Havel, our Czech Founder Patron, allowed his name to be used for the Scholarship.
It was agreed that the Scholarship would support primarily Roma students, as ECP recognizes how important it is to build bridges between Czechs and the Roma people, who historically have been at the margins of Czech society. ECP staff and students believe that education can help to solve problematic issues but also, that by learning about the Roma community, its culture and its challenges, we can change the stereotypical views many have about Roma people. At ECP there are many students from different nationalities and all are welcome, as each individual enriches the school community with their unique culture.
In 2012, thanks to the Václav Havel Scholarship and support from ECP, a young Roma, Marek, became an ECP student. He successfully graduated with the IB Diploma in 2018 and studied Ancient History, History and Culture of Islamic Lands at Charles University. Thanks to him, many students have changed their opinions, which had often been based solely on prejudice.
Then in 2016, a team consisting of ECP scholars followed up on the project started by their four former classmates. Their aim was to provide the same opportunity for another Roma boy or girl, that Marek had had. Their efforts came to a successful aim and in 2021 a new Roma student Adam started his journey at ECP and he became a very active member of the team.
Every year the team of scholars organizes a benefit concert, and a Roma/Diversity week. During the lockdown students also started to organise the art competition for children in the Czech Republic. The competition helps them to spread information about the Václav Havel Scholarship and raise awareness about the Roma community in the Czech Republic.
See the Václav Havel Scholarship website.
ECP’s Asian Festival is an annual celebration of Asian culture organised by our Asian students. Delicious food representing many different Asian cuisines, togetjer with music and dance performances, make the afternoon very special and very popular with students, staff, parents and the wider Asian community.
Thanks to the Festival’s very good reputation and professional organisation, students are supported by several ASEAN embassies, which send their representatives to support the Festival’s programme. The money raised at the event is donated to a charity chosen by the students. At the moment students are supporting the education of two children in India through the programme ADOPCE na dálku. (Caritas Prague)
Open Mic is organised mainly by students, supported by the Head of Music. It provides an opportunity for any student or teacher to perform in an informal environment. The evening has a very special atmosphere thanks to the variety of the individual and group performances. The great atmosphere is created by the music – the best language in the world – along with the students’ and teachers’ enthusiasm and creativity.
Caritas Programme, Pre CAS projects and IB charity projects
Let us help everyone believe that they are not alone in any troubles they may have in their lives.
A very important part of the school life is the Charity work, which is established in the school programme in a number of areas and it’s at the very heart of our school ethos.
Caritas Programme – Helping nature and the environment, Helping children and young people, Helping elderly people, helping ill or disabled people,Helping people facing difficult life situations, Helping the places where we live
Caritas Programme offers many charity opportunities in different areas to any student interested. The Latin word Caritas stands for the Greek expression AGAPE, which was, according to the Ancient Greeks, the highest form of Love – the love that forgets about oneself in order to help someone else. By helping those who are less fortunate, students realise how important solidarity is and also acknowledge the value of making sacrifices to benefit other people. They also appreciate what values are important and how communication and good relationships are both meaningful and can change life for the better. Thus the Caritas programme gives students a unique opportunity to play an active role in making this world a better place.
Over the years we have established good relationships with different organisations representing the main areas where help is essential – such as the Military Hospital, Vila Vallila, Woods of Prague, Zajíček na koni and the retirement home in Vysočany For more information about these organisations see the Caritas section in the :more booklet.
Pre – CAS projects
Students are led to acknowledge the importance of Charity work from year 1 through the Pre CAS programme. In order to help students to develop the skills needed for running a purposeful charity project, we have incorporated into Tutor and PSME time, various activities focusing on different aspects of charity work. Students learn how to identify areas of need and how to find the best solution for effective action. They gradually develop their skills and in Year 4 they are encouraged to run their first independent Charity project. The best projects are awarded by Pre – CAS Award at the Founders’ Day.
Pre – CAS programme – building skills needed for running a charity project.
Student IB service projects
IB students have to organise an independent project for their IB diploma. Many of them choose Charity projects. Here are some examples of successful ones:
- Raising money and community awareness of the Ukrainian refugee crisis
- Supporting Ukrainian students by helping them to integrate into the Czech school system.
- Visiting the Elderly house Domov seniorů kardinála Berana in Mukařov or in Domov pro seniory Vysočanská, where the students talk to and play games with the residents.
- Holiday events for children in the village of Dřevčice – Here the students created games and other activities for the kids there. Christmas decorations and Easter egg hunts were two of the main activities which occurred.
For many years our students have been working with the organisation Zajíček na koni, which supports children and young people with a learning disability and their families. Zajíček na koni runs the cafe Ad Astra, which is an ideal place for organising poetry evenings. Students usually choose the theme of the evening, such as the work of Mácha, Karel Čapek or Jiří Orten and prepare a programme consisting of readings of the texts of various writers and also readings of poetry written by students and teachers. Musical performances always accompany the readings to create a very special atmosphere at these intimate literary events.
Student Council and other positions
At the English College in Prague, we work with our students to develop leadership at all levels. We believe that students can show positive leadership in a variety of different ways, so we have built a structure which gives students the opportunity to take on leadership roles and develop their skills. Our House system has a range of opportunities for students to take on roles in sport, culture and mentoring. As well as giving our students responsibility, we also provide training opportunities so that they can develop and refine their leadership skills. We think that people can lead in different ways and with different styles. We encourage our students to lead with integrity in an inclusive and supportive manner.
Student Council Mission and Events
The Student Council is an important student body which cooperates with the management of the school on improving the student experience and plays an important role in school life. It represents students’ views and supports the student community. It consists of Year group and Houses representatives and is led by the President, who is elected by the whole student community in September. The President and Vice President regularly meet the Headmaster and discuss Student Council proposals for improving school life or any issues that may occur from time to time. The Student Council also organises many events and chooses the charity supported by students during the academic year.
Student Council Presidential Campaign
Like any team, the Student Council also needs a good leader, therefore In September a new Student Council President is elected. The Student Council President not only leads the Student Council, but also carries out many responsibilities and represents the student body on formal occasions such as Founders’ Day or meetings with the Governors. It is therefore very important to choose the right person. All the candidates present their programmes at year group assemblies, this is usually followed by many discussions among students, and each candidate has to convince others that they are able to undertake this prestigious role.
Roles in Student Council
The role of the House Captains is:
To decide vision for the house
To lead the house leadership team
To chair a house leadership team meeting once a half-term
To communicate to house members in registrations and assemblies.
To attend all scheduled house captains meetings.
To attend all house events.
The role of the Culture Captain is:
To be a visible ambassadors for the Arts within ECP
To work closely with the Arts Faculty and Senior Tutors
To lead on the Cultural Olympiad event organisation
To maintain active links with tutor groups to promote the Olympiad and inspire participation
To occasionally speak at assemblies in their role/ capacity as Culture Captain
To attend all scheduled meetings and take an active role in planning
The role of the Sports Captains is:
To promote the interhouse sports events in their house
To promote participation in interhouse sports competitions among all year groups
To organise the teams to represent the house at each competition
To be a visible ambassador and participant for the house at each sports competition
To assist the PE Department with the organisation of each competition
To attend all scheduled sports captain meetings
Student Council Events
The annual Christmas Fair is an informal occasion. Each tutor group takes part, encouraged and supported by the Tutor. Money raised at the Fair is donated to a charity chosen by students at the beginning of the school year.
Each term there are cake sales during morning break, organised by the Student Council, individual tutor or charity groups.
Students organise the sale of roses for those who would like to give a rose for Valentine’s Day. “Spreading the Love”, as it is sometimes called, makes the day very special.
Students organise stalls with food and activities connected with Halloween.
Barbecue for Year 6 and ‘Last Bell’ Celebrations
The Student Council organises a barbecue for the whole school farewell to Year 6 students.
The role of Student Librarians is:
To be responsible for a small section of the library
To help process new books
To be an active reader – recommending and promoting titles
To write AR quizzes for new books
To create displays for special events
To assist with the training of new student librarians