With the end of the summer holidays, a wave of students arrived on campus, re-energizing King’s Academy with youthful energy and enthusiasm at the start of the 11th academic year. King’s welcomed 214 new students to school this week, bringing the total of students to 665, its largest student body yet, representing over 35 different countries from all over the world. The number of teaching faculty is also at its highest, with 103 teachers from Jordan, the United States and various other countries.
King’s held three orientation days this week, for new and returning Upper School students on August 19 and 20, and for the Middle School on August 22. Headmaster John Austin addressed parents and students at the Abdul Majeed Shoman Auditorium focusing on the school’s mission and His Majesty King Abdullah II’s vision for the school, which he described as a call to action.
“[The mission] charges us to develop habits of independence, creativity and responsibility,” Austin explained. “It charges us to live ethically. It charges us to embrace diversity and pluralism. It charges us to pursue excellence. It charges us to pursue leadership. And it charges us to cherish one another.”
“We aspire to be a school of kindness where the dignity and individuality of all students is recognized and honored — every day and in every way, in how we interact with one another, how we speak to one another and how we speak about one another,” continued Austin, encouraging the school community to embrace that spirit of inclusiveness and kindness.
With that in mind, Upper School students took advantage of the many fun and interactive activities taking place during orientation — such as the inter-house competition Madaba Games, a scavenger hunt and an international food fair — to reconnect after the holidays and make new friends. At the house welcoming ceremony students energetically demonstrated team spirit with cheers and banners, Jordanian music and dancing as they rallied behind their houses, including the new dormitory, Mizan House. The Madaba Games concluded with Sulafat House as the winner with 527.5 points, Murzim House in 2nd place with 395 points and Janah House in 3rd with 380 points.
Meanwhile, the Middle School kicked off its second year by welcoming 92 students in grades 7 and 8 – up from just 65 last year – and their parents at orientation. Dean of the Middle School Reem Abu Rahmeh shared with parents and students the faculty’s enthusiasm for the start of the new academic year: “We have a wonderful team of faculty who are anxiously waiting to teach and inspire students and to be inspired by them,” she said.
At the school’s opening meeting, Headmaster Austin asked students to give themselves fully to the opportunity of the education they receive at King’s, and to engage deeply.
“This school has the potential to help you discover strengths and talents that you don’t even know you possess,” Austin said. “It has the potential, quite simply, to help you become the best possible person you can be.” He reminded students that King’s was there to challenge them and he exhorted them to “get ready to think!”