Principal’s Welcome

Graham SilverthorneWelcome to our School,

South Island is a proud member of the ESF family but this is a unique school with a particular and very special ethos. Put simply, it is our core aspiration that, during their time with us, every individual student makes a positive difference – a difference to their own lives and a difference to the lives of others.

Our students and our outstanding staff team are our two most precious assets. Such is the calibre of our young people, from over 38 different countries, that we believe that there is no limit to what they can achieve. While we have high expectations and are ambitious for our students, we also know that for them to succeed, we need to provide a caring, supportive and challenging environment in which they can grow and flourish. I believe that this is such an environment.

We celebrate a musical solo as warmly as we celebrate a student gaining an A*, a wonderful painting as happily as a top IB score, a great sporting performance as enthusiastically as a place secured at an Ivy League University. We underscore with all of our young people that what really matters is not gaining qualifications for their own sake but learning – always being open to personal growth, having a mind set that welcomes and tackles problems, being resilient when times get tough. Our alumni have gone on to all of the world’s elite Universities and many have created brilliant careers for themselves – but hopefully they also leave here with a set of values, and a perspective on life that leads them to want more than simply the accumulation of wealth.

South Island offers an extraordinary number of opportunities, both within our taught curriculum and beyond. This is a happy school with great spirit and a sense that anything and everything is possible. If you are reading this to help you decide whether to apply to be a part of our great community, whether as a student, a parent or a teacher, I encourage you to  take the next step – I am extremely glad that I did!

Graham Silverthorne
Principal