Greengates School

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Greengates School
Circunvalación Poniente No. 102
Balcones de San Mateo
Naucalpan C.P. 53200
Mexico State
Coordinates 19°29′03″N 99°15′41″W / 19.4843°N 99.2614°W / 19.4843; -99.2614Coordinates: 19°29′03″N 99°15′41″W / 19.4843°N 99.2614°W / 19.4843; -99.2614
School type Private, coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) None
Established 1951
Founders Edward Foulkes and Frank Whitbourn
Status Open
Headmaster Rupert Cox
Faculty approx. 110
Grades 15
Years offered Kinder 1 to Upper VI
Gender Coeducational
Age 3 to 19
Enrollment 1150 (2005)
Sixth form students 82 (Class of 2015)
Average class size 12
Education system International Primary Curriculum IPC, IGCSE, IB
Language English
Schedule 8:15 – 2:55
Hours in school day 7
Campus Suburban
Campus size 2.9 ha (7 acres)
Houses Foulkes, Whitbourn, Brightman, Edinburgh
Colour(s) Red, Yellow, Blue & White
Slogan An Education with a Global Perspective
Sports Main: Football, Rugby, Basketball and Volleyball
Nickname GG
Team name Lions
Test average 93%
Newspaper The Roar
Graduates (2014) 72

Greengates School (Spanish: Colegio Greengates) is a British-style international school located in the Balcones de San Mateo neighbourhood in Naucalpan, located north-west of Mexico City, Mexico.[1] As of 2005, it has approximately 1,150 students of some 50 nationalities, derived mainly from the diplomatic and international business communities.[2] During Forms 4 and 5 (Grades 9 and 10 in the American System), students study for the IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations, while in their last two years of high school (Sixth form), students prepare for the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

The school preserves the philosophy of its founding statement: " provide an education for students which seeks not only to impart knowledge by the means of acquiring knowledge; to develop character and personality through self-discipline and service; to equip its pupils not only to earn their living but also to live creatively and happily in the world which they must inherit" Greengates School is perhaps the most international place in Mexico, catering for some 25 different nationalities. Under the administration of Clarisa Desouches, Ph.D. The school has acquired more land, modernised its facilities and has leading edge technology, without increasing the number of students. Greengates School is nowadays regarded as more of an academic school in Mexico[citation needed] with satisfactory achievements in both, the IGCSE and IB courses.


Greengates School was founded by Edward Foulkes and his partner Frank Whitbourn in a house in Lomas de Chapultepec in 1951. Originally, the school had no uniform and only one school bus. Over the years, it moved several times to accommodate an increasingly larger enrolment. The school, originally meant to cater to the sons of British and Commonwealth diplomats and citizens in Mexico City, was becoming more popular with wealthy Mexicans living in Lomas de Chapultepec who sought a high standard of education for their children, which they found at Greengates.

In 1961, Foulkes left to start a new school, what would become the Edron Academy in the south-west of the city. Henry Coehlo bought his stake and began transforming the school. Soon afterwards, Andre Desouches bought Whitbourn's stake, and the Coehlo and Desouches families continue to own the majority of the school. Henry Coehlo stepped down as managing director in 2007, a post he held for over 40 years, and was replaced by Clarisa Desouches, the daughter of Andre Desouches and who holds two PhD's, one in Latin American Literature and one in Latin American studies[3]

The initial parcel of land upon which the current San Mateo campus was built was bought in 1964. The project, designed by architect Innes Webster, broke ground December 1969, with the first brick laid by HE the British Ambassador, Sir Peter Hope, while Andre Desouches was headmaster. The final project was completed in 1971, although the school has undergone major renovation and expansion. A domed room, called 'The Dome', used as an alternate concert venue to the gymnasium and as the biggest examination hall, was built as a third floor on top of the science labs in 1997. In 2001, an insignificant six-room expansion was made at the back of the Senior Block.

In 2010, a 3000 m2 plot of land was purchased at the end of the school to increase green spaces. The land underwent turfing and several picnic tables where placed on the new lawn. In addition, a huge structure designed by famous architect Javier Senosiain, named Moctezuma's Lion was placed to the right of the lawn and was designed to integrate a piece of art with a playground so children can climb and play on its stylised benches, steps and slides, which variously represent the arms, legs and body of the lion.

Grade equivalence[edit]

Mexico US UK Greengates School
Pre-Kinder Daycare Nursery Kinder 1
Kinder Pre-School Reception Kinder 2
Pre-primaria Kindergarten Year 1 Kinder 3
1° de Primaria Grade 1 Year 2 Junior 1
2° de Primaria Grade 2 Year 3 Junior 2
3° de Primaria Grade 3 Year 4 Junior 3
4° de Primaria Grade 4 Year 5 Junior 4
5° de Primaria Grade 5 Year 6 Junior 5
6° de Primaria Grade 6 Year 7 Form I
1° de Secundaria Grade 7 Year 8 Form II
2° de Secundaria Grade 8 Year 9 Form III
3° de Secundaria Grade 9 Year 10 Form IV
1° de Preparatoria Grade 10 Year 11 Form V
2° de Preparatoria Grade 11 Year 12 Lower VI
3° de Preparatoria Grade 12 Year 13 Upper VI


Primary school[edit]

Kinder 1–3, as well as Junior 1, form the Infant school. The Kinders finish school at 13:30 hrs., while the rest of the school ends at 14:45 hrs. They study subjects like basic Mathematics, simple English, etc.

Primary School consists of the years Junior 2–5, and no longer follows the PYP. The IPC has now been implemented at the school.

In these years, a number of "firsts" are achieved. For example, the first overnight trip, the first play, first "museum" show, among others. The Junior fives enjoy an "Experience Day", where they get a taste of Form I.

Secondary school[edit]

Forms I-III take part of the secondary School and study subjects, like Mathematics, Science, Music, Art, French Language and English Literature.

Form IV, Form V, Lower VI and Upper VI are the continuation and part of the secondary school, equivalent to a four-year High School in the American system. The Form III choose their IGCSE subjects towards the end of the year, and are studied over the next two years, with exams taking place at the end of Form V (Except for Advanced Mathematics, who take the Extended IGCSE Mathematics exam at the end of Form IV, and then take the Additional Mathematics exam at the end of Form V). Students are expected to sit eight to ten IGCSE's, and must pass five in order to continue studying the IB at the school, otherwise they are asked to leave.

The Lower/Upper VIs study the IB. They choose six subjects according to the IB programme, and many top students opt to take four Higher Level courses, as opposed to the standard three. Subjects offered at the IB level include French Literature, Japanese Literature, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Psychology and History, among others. Other subjects, such as Anthropology, Film Studies and Business & Management, are offered based on teacher availability and sufficient student interest.[5]

Events and activities[edit]

There are four school houses named: Whitbourne (yellow), Foulkes (white), Brightman (blue) and Edinburgh (red). The first two are named in honour of the founders, the third in honour of the first Headmaster and the fourth in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh, who visited the school at its original Lomas de Chapultepec location in 1965. Every year, students compete in different sports such as football, basketball, track and field events, rugby and swimming competitions for the House Cup, which is awarded on Speech Day, the last day of school.

One of the most important annual events the school caters is the International Fair, where thousands of students, teachers, and parents from different nationalities unite to create a day filled with music, dancing, food and culture from all around the globe. The Fair features national stands, staffed by the school's families and teachers, which offer national clothes, toys and trinkets for sale as well as the country's culinary delicacies. Some of the permanent stands include the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Israel, Vietnam, Argentina, Poland, United States, India, South Korea, Spain, France, Sweden, and Canada. Other stands change every year, such as El Salvador, Chile, China, Denmark, Nigeria, Pakistan and Switzerland, due to the smaller presence of these countries at the school.

Recognition and accreditation[edit]

Greengates School is recognised for its students, consistent high scores on the IGCSE and IB Diploma programmes, and its graduates gaining regular acceptance into top universities all over the world such as Yale, Princeton, Stanford and UC Berkeley in the United States and St Andrews, Imperial and LSE in the United Kingdom, among many others.

Students also attend top universities in Mexico City like ITESM, UNAM, ITAM, Universidad Iberoamericana and Escuela Libre de Derecho with Medicine, Law, Economics and Business Management being the most popular career choices.


  1. ^ "Contact Us." Greengates School. Retrieved on 22 May 2014. "Balcones de San Mateo. Av. Circunvalación Pte. 102. Balcones de San Mateo Edo. de México, C.P. 53200 Mexico"
  2. ^ Greengates School – Mexico City
  3. ^ Greengates History
  4. ^ Greengates School – Mexico City
  5. ^ citation needed

External links[edit]