St. John's School, Cyprus

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St. John's School
Motto "Excellence, Learning and Leadership"
Established 1960 (58 years ago) (1960); new school 1974 (44 years ago) (1974)
Type Service Children's Education school
Acting Principal Mrs Alex Kerr
Location Episkopi, Limassol District
DfE URN 132416 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Gender Co-educational
Ages 11–18
Houses Apollo and Poseidon
Colours yellow and blue

St. John's School is a secondary school located within the British military complex Episkopi Cantonment in southern Cyprus and is run by the Service Children's Education (SCE). It is one of two schools serving the military families and employees of the Western Sovereign Base Area (WSBA). Younger children attend Episkopi Primary School.

It is a sister school of King Richard School, the main secondary school at the Dhekelia Garrison, Eastern Sovereign Base Area (ESBA).


St. John's School was established in 1960, just after Cyprus gained independence from the British. The school celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010.[1] It was founded to exclusively educate children within the military community but has since opened its doors to a small number of local English-speaking expatriate children.

St John’s School opened in April 1960 with a pupil population of 36, the only secondary provision prior to that time being in the Retained Site of Berengaria, within Polemidhia Village, Limassol. Two years later, all secondary pupils were attending St John's and the original buildings were proving inadequate for the pupil numbers. Teaching staff numbered 32 in 1962 and had grown to over 100 in 1974. Similarly, pupil numbers of 500 had grown to 1,500 and the initial two-storey school building was surrounded by a huge number of Cyprus and Twynham huts. All that remains of the original St Johns now is the Episkopi Primary School hall.

The current buildings were in the course of construction when the Cypriot coup d'état and subsequent Turkish invasion of Cyprus took place in July 1974 and had enormous impact upon the school. As the headteacher, Mr D A Ellery, reported in the 1975 school magazine, "much of our energy this school year has been expended in placing over 1,000 pupils and 50% of our staff in schools in the United Kingdom".

The new buildings were occupied in 1975 – and the remaining 400 pupils and 45 staff enjoyed amazing facilities and huge open spaces. Part of the school had been reallocated to Episkopi Primary School which moved to a new location, having previously been some distance away. Huge reductions in the number of service personnel in Episkopi and Akrotiri, and the withdrawal of families from Limassol, meant that whilst the pupil numbers steadied and grew slightly, they never again reached the huge population of 1974.

The school motto, "Haec alim meminisse Juvabit" (which means "To look on these days will give us pleasure"), proved to be applicable in the vast majority of cases for both pupils and staff. The wide range of activities available within the school and local community and the wonderful facilities afforded to specialist areas within the school had a direct influence upon the educational experience of those who enjoyed the settled days of the late-20th century in the Sovereign Base Areas of Cyprus.

Sport has always been prominent, as has music and drama, and the ability to take part in The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme in the wonderfully challenging Cyprus hinterland has been present since the earliest days of the school. The comprehensive nature of the school's organisation gave opportunities to all, and the curricular support given by SCEA and then the SCE to successive headteachers and staff ensured appropriate development in line with UK schools.

In 2009, St John's School was federated with King Richard School in Dhekelia. In 2010, the school community celebrated the golden jubilee of St John's and many former pupils travelled from around the world to join in the celebrations. Both schools continue to serve the needs of British Forces Cyprus.

Academics and school activities[edit]

Like all SCE schools, St. John's follows the National Curriculum and is regulated by Ofsted.[2] In the 2014 inspection it was rated good with outstanding features. Sporting and extra-curricular activities are often run in partnership with King Richard School, such as sports day, swimming gala and ski trip.

St. John's is a coordinator school of the Cyprus Music Service ([dead link] which runs music programmes and lessons for SCE schools in Cyprus.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [dead link] "September 2009 newsletter"
  2. ^ [dead link] "Curriculum". St. John's School.
  3. ^ [dead link] "Music". St. John's School.

External links[edit]