Unbelievable as it may seem, our school has celebrated its 10th birthday this autumn! It has taken us a while to collect our thoughts, settle our impressions and our excitement, and find the time to calmly reflect on all the achievements we have made in all this time... After all, our 10th year anniversary show was so thrilling and eventful that it took us weeks to prepare for it, and then days to just check out all the photographs!
We got such wonderful support from our families and friends, as well of teachers and staff, and even some former Bright Horizons pupils.
To introduce our interview with the school principal Ms Tišma, here is a short reflection on her years at Bright Horizons by our special correspondent, Mia Grubišić, one of our Bright Horizons alumni, who graduated from Year 8 in 2021, and is currently in high school planning her future. Mia has not forgotten about us, but comes to school often to volunteer to read and write with our pupils. Here is her take on our 10-year-old Bright Horizons.
These days, one of the most common phrases you hear children say is ‘I don’t want to go to
school’, but I, however, am glad to have never strongly shared that sentiment. During the eight
years that I attended Bright Horizons, the atmosphere was always positive, creative and made me
curious about the world around me and the things we were learning. At the time I didn’t really
understand it, but now that I’m in high school I see how much of a positive impact the school had
on me. Not only did it provide me with the knowledge necessary to strive, but it also taught me
how to think for myself and learn not by remembering things by heart, but by understanding the
topic and being able to explain why things happen.
The teachers always made every subject interesting to learn about and made sure to help anyone
that was confused. It was thanks to them that I have developed a curiosity for the world around
me and have found my passion for reading and writing. Our education has a great impact on who
we are and who we become in life, and I’m grateful to say that I attended Bright Horizons, and
am happy to see what kind of person it has helped me become.
Thank you, Mia, for being so inspiring!
Our Year 8 pupils prepared some interview questions for Ms Tišma and it will be lovely to see her overview of these past 10 years.
1. Looking back now, how does it feel to have gotten to the school's 10th birthday? Could you have imagined 10 years ago the school developing and growing as it is?
It is still hard to believe that 10 years have already passed since we first opened the school. At the 10th year anniversary celebration, it was very touching to see students from generations past who used to attend our school, to see how they have grown up and to reflect on how the school has grown and developed over the past decade.
From the very beginning, I always strongly believed that parents would recognize and appreciate our school's vision and mission. To be completely honest, even during the sometimes difficult periods, I always believed we were on the right track to offer the best possible education for our students.
2. By the way, a little bird told us that your efforts were recognised by the COBIS board with a special position. Congratulations on this and, please, tell us a bit more about it.
It was such a privilege and honour to be co-opted as a new board member of COBIS. I am so delighted to be able to communicate and share ideas with people who are visionaries of the COBIS association, and to have an opportunity to bring Bright Horizons on the world map of British International Schools. COBIS is an association which requires a high standard of excellence from their school members, and we can be proud to belong to a membership which looks to provide a consistent level of education and to improve.
3. Why did you decide to open the school in the first place?
My main goal was to open a school in which each student would feel like a valued member of the school's community. Through a holistic approach to educating each child, we celebrate their uniqueness. It is also very important for students to feel safe in their school environment, and therefore it's necessary to establish a supportive school community.
4. Were there any sacrifices you had to make along the way?
I strongly believe that when you have a clear goal in your life, regardless of the hard times that may come upon you, it is important to persevere and not give up, no matter what. It's hard to achieve anything without some hard times.
5. What do you look for in putting together the staff for your school?
One of the most important things for schools is to have committed and enthusiastic team of staff members. I'm happy to say that I strongly believe that each and every member of our school understands and believes in our vision, and each individual becomes a vital link in the chain to making this school as strong as it is.
4. Are you happy with where you are right now regarding the progress of the school? Do you want to open a high school in the near future? Do you have any specific future goals for the school?
I'm very proud with everything we have achieved so far. We are constantly evaluating our curriculum, and by the end of every school year we make necessary improvements. This school year, we will finish our Erasmus+ micro project which has been a great success for our pupils in Years 4-8. We would like to also make a positive impact on other schools in Croatia.
Regarding the high school, I think it would be ideal if we would have a continuation of the British program into the high school and to continue to educate students until age 18. This would give us a chance to have an active role in educating students over such a long period of their lives.
5. Can you, please, share with us some of your most cherished moments from the past ten years? What are you most grateful for in this past decade? Would you change anything if you did it all over again?
There are so many cherished moments in the last 10 years which always remind me of the reason why I opened the school. I always look forward to and celebrate the successes of our students and their continuous improvements, and seeing them being willing to take an active part in our community. I am grateful for the opportunity to live and work in such a positive and supportive school environment, for the teachers and employees who choose Bright Horizons for their career, and for the parents who recognize all the work and planning that has been put into this school. I wouldn't change anything because I think that the mistakes we make we also learn through. By going through the hard times, you cherish more of the successes and recognition that come afterwards.
Thank you, Ms Tišma, for finding the time for this interview and for staying true to your vision! And a huge thank you to our families and friends who make it possible for us to have this much fun - please, watch the video below:)!
And here's to another decade of perseverance and fun!