The 11th edition of Work in Progress

Last week we celebrated the 11th edition of Work in Progress, the biggest and most beloved art exhibition in our school. Ever since November, our students from primary and middle school made use of their creativity in various multidisciplinary activities. This year, our main focus has been Design in its various forms.  

Students from middle school learned how to create clothes from scratch – they learned how to use a sewing machine, experimented with decorating techniques and prepared a fashion show in which they presented their final products.

Students from primary school created a pastry shop – they imagined, designed and built a product from idea to its physical form, using both analog and digital techniques and software. They experienced both digital 3D modeling, clay modeling, and 3D printing bringing together both analog and digital means of production.

It was also a great opportunity for our high school students that study Art and Design to share their projects.

Here are some words from our teachers:

Andreea Geamănu: This year’s challenge was to get all students excited about fashion design and the process behind creating a piece of clothing. All the pieces in this fashion collection were entirely created by our middle school students, from choosing the fabric, understanding how to use a sewing pattern, assembling all pieces using the sewing machine, experimenting with decorating techniques and creating the overall look. Each class created at least one item of clothing or accessory and every student had a contribution to this process. If you look at the displays next to the mannequins, you will see that there was a complex creative process behind this final product, a series of drawings, collages, magazine inspiration and you can also see some of our middle school students in the middle of the action. 


The students from the Printmaking Club came up with a big challenge for themselves: to find as many ways as possible to use stencil art, a very versatile technique that they learned during our lessons. They are proposing an interior design and fashion design approach and they created a thematic wallpaper, tapestry, curtains and an outfit, all with the “Tropical” theme in mind. They decided on the theme, chose the elements, cut out the stencils and proceeded to print different types of materials. When you visit the minipark art station, expect to see a wide range of materials and get transported right away to an exotic resort. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a look at the artworks created by the Book Illustration Club.


The students from the Book Illustration Club found themselves in a fantasy world, where Santa lives in Greece and plant pots play the guitar. They created 3D paper illustrations based on the surrealist short stories imagined by students at the beginning of the school year during the art lessons. They chose to use this medium because they considered it a little different than the usual illustration style they see everywhere. Together with the illustrations, you can also see some typographic experiments. The students wrote the surrealist short stories letter by letter on paper using wooden letters traditionally used in letterpress machines. 


Bogdan Topîrceanu: Before we get into the theme of this year’s exhibition, we think we must clarify the reasons behind this year’s endeavor. Usually, Work in Progress displayed an array of expressive and colorful fine art drawings and paintings. This year though, we thought we might switch gears in order to show that art can be more than just a relaxing activity. 


We often fail to conceive just how important drawing and art are in everyday life, because we are used to seeing art as only something hanging on the walls of a gallery. That is what we are taught, through the prism of the institutional theory of art: that art is dependent on an art audience and an art space. But “art” is only a word which we started using 500 years ago, during the Renaissance. And drawing and craftsmanship have been present in the human experience way before that. 


The oldest intentional drawings made by Homo Sapiens go back to roughly 73.000 years ago, but the oldest drawing traces go back to roughly 500.000 years ago, to Homo Erectus. Drawing has shaped the human brain in ways that might not be evident at first, but which unravel at a more serious scrutiny, by being one of the first technologies developed by our minds. And yes, we said technology, for it is the basis on which mathematics was first developed, and further on, written language, two of the main elements of human science, knowledge and ultimately civilisation. Drawing is the means through which our brains manage to turn physical elements into abstract concepts, around which we can more easily wrap our minds around. And thus, we do not think it is a coincidence, that all, and we mean ALL human made objects rely on a drawing, or a mental image of the future object we are going to build. You see, drawing is not only a sketch on a white paper, but a mental blueprint for objects not yet in existence. 


Society regards the activity of art making as a child’s play, and easily dismisses artistic endeavors as unserious and maybe even pretentious, in the face of more “serious” fields, such as science and technology, regardless of the fact that both heavily rely on drawing and imagery in order to further their development. Art, theory and technology all are interwoven, and cannot exist one without the other. And this is something that we strongly believe we as teachers should highlight in our classes, in order for students to understand how the elements of our world connect to each other, and understand that what they learn in an art class, is not only a therapeutic activity, but can become a useful tool for testing and developing their own ideas.

And this brings us to the second part of this explanation.


This idea of art, theory and technology as a single organism permeated into this year’s activities. While imagining the curriculum for 2022, we had this idea of teaching entrepreneurship using art. And what better way of doing that if not by challenging the students to imagine their own brand and business. Thus students were able to gain real world skills, which they can also use outside class, and even further on, when they grow up. As we experimented in the past 2 years, children can learn in parallel how to develop both analog and digital skills in resolving the same tasks, thus gaining better control over both the immediate reality and also the digital tools at their disposal.


While brainstorming ideas for what type of business might be fun and interesting for them to do, some images of Claes Oldenburg’s The Shop (1961) popped into our minds. A collection of handmade fake pastry products, built out of common materials and painted with industrial enamels. Thus, the theme was set: a pastry shop for the students to imagine from scratch, with the main objective: to imagine, design and build a product from idea to its physical form, using both analog and digital techniques and software.


For lower primary, we mostly focused on drawing and coloring, introducing a couple of notions of typography and lettering which they used in imagining their shops’ names. For the upper primary we upped the game and expanded the project, from a few weeks, which was the regular Work in Progress timeline, to a few months. This extra time let the student experience a much more diverse learning process. Thus, they started out with a blank business canvas, which they learned how to use and on top of which they built their brand, both in name and image. They researched other pastry brands and branding ideas using Behance, they vectorized their hand drawn logos using Vectornator, they designed their 3D printed products in Tinkercad, and designed their packaging using Sketchbook, Procreate and even Notes. They learned about the difference between a logotype and a logogram, the anatomy of letters and how to build new, interesting and intricate typefaces. They experienced both 3D modeling and clay modeling, bringing together both analog and digital means of production, and also made their first attempts at building a functional and aesthetic container for their products. All of these individual activities have been reunited in one design, representing the facade of their pastry shop.

The pinnacle of their efforts: an intricate display containing all the elements they managed to assemble in the last 5 months of sustained work. This whole endeavor represents a STEAM pilot for primary, from which we have learned on a pedagogical level, at least as much as the students did following our lead. We identified both opportunities and challenges for both ourselves and the students, which we will use only to further develop and adjust the idea onto their own needs. 

”Cum facem față fricii de război?”

”Cum facem față fricii de război?”–  un webinar dedicat comunității Avenor, a fost organizat pe tema conflictului din Ucraina și a emoțiilor generate de acesta, cu sprijinul doamnei psiholog Oana Cueșdeanu

Războiul care se întâmplă în acest moment în Ucraina este o realitate pe care nici unul dintre noi nu și-a imaginat-o posibilă. Cu toate acestea se întâmplă, este foarte aproape de noi și are efecte negative în principal asupra ucrainienilor, victime directe ale acestui conflict de neînțeles, dar are impact și asupra noastră și mai ales asupra copiilor noștri.

Oricât am încerca să protejăm copiii și adolescenții de zgomotul acestui război, este sănătos să conștientizăm că ei vor găși surse de informare – fie din mediul virtual, fie de la școală sau din interacțiunile cu prietenii. Nu avem o previziune clară asupra situației actuale, nu știm când se va încheia, dar categoric pune presiune pe noi toți. O presiune care se transformă rapid în anxietăți de pierdere, de abandon, de moarte. 

În acest context, cu sprijinul doamnei psiholog Oana Cueșdeanu, am organizat un webinar cu tema ”Cum facem față fricii de război?”. 

Timp de o oră, doamna psiholog Cueșdeanu a încercat să le ofere părinților informații despre cum să își gestioneze propriile emoții și mai ales cum să îi ajute pe copii să se exteriorizeze, să povestească ce știu și ce părere au despre ceea ce se întâmplă și mai ales cum să se descarce de emoțiile negative care uneori pot fi copleșitoare.

„Tu ce crezi?”

Așa ar trebui să înceapă orice discuție pe care ne propunem să o avem despre război cu copiii noștri.

Apoi, ce spunem?, cum spunem? și când spunem? sunt cele trei întrebări pe care trebuie să le avem în minte înainte de a porni o conversație așa sensibilă cu ei.

A fi liant emoțional în aceste momente este ”un must” pentru orice părinte. Și pentru asta avem de înfruntat barierele noastre interne și de a discuta deschis, echilibrat și adecvat vârstei lor. Webinarul este o invitație la  dialog deschis, în care ne așezăm ideile despre cum să vorbim cu copiii noștri despre război. E o invitație pentru părinții suficient de curajoși să recunoască că suntem vulnerabili.” – Oana Cueșdeanu,  psiholog și supervizor în psihologie clinică, psihoterapeut și trainer în psihoterapie pozitivă, părinte în comunitatea Avenor. 

Înregistrarea integrală a webinarului este disponibilă mai jos.

Alexandra – the success story of the Avenor scholarship holder

Motivated by the example of her older colleagues Avenor scholars, Alexandra wanted more than anything to be one of them. She applied, was rejected and applied again the following year. She is now involved in four volunteer projects as a scholar and is motivated to move forward with them. Her story is inspiring for any student who is considering applying for a scholarship.

Avenor: Tell us about yourself and what does it mean to be a scholar student at Avenor?

Alexandra: My name is Alexandra and I am a 9th grade student at Avenor College. I am benefiting from the Avenor scholarship since 2019 and I believe that this status motivates me to be a role model for my colleagues – both behaviorally and academically. I strongly believe that the Avenor scholar should be a mentor to his colleagues and a friend who can be approached at any time with any problem.

Beyond the student life, I am a 15-year-old girl who likes to dance and spend time with friends.

Avenor: What made you apply for the scholarship?

Alexandra: The first time I heard about scholarships I was in the 5th grade at the graduation ceremony where the Avenor scholars from that year were introduced. Everyone went on stage and presented the scholar project, explaining how it works, how he collaborates and interacts with other colleagues, what is the project’s impact on the community and so on. Their enthusiasm, ambition and perseverance amazed me. It seemed incredible that students only a few years older than me are able to carry out such projects, with such ambitious goals. That ceremony stuck in my mind and I thought about it for a long time during the semester and when the scholarship programme was launched, I decided to apply and try my luck, motivated by what I had seen during that festivity. I thought at the time that it was an opportunity not to be missed.

Avenor: What is the story behind your scholar projects, because you are the scholarship holder with the largest number of projects?

Alexandra: I am currently involved in four projects: a literary circle, “From Left To Right”, a talent show, “Avenor’s got Talent”, a series of interviews with Avenor’s teachers, “Alexandra’s Interviews” and a magazine math, “MATH-LY-NEWS”.

I got into these projects over time, over several years. My first project was “From Left to Right” which was born out of a desire to create an open and safe space – judgment-free – in which avenorians passionate about literature could explore their passion and cultivate their talent.

“MATH-LY-NEWS” is a project initiated by the math teacher Mihaela Ancuța, which I coordinate in collaboration with my colleague, Tudor. In this project, we publish articles, problems and mathematical projects. “Alexandra’s Interviews” and “Avenor’s Got Talent” were taken over this year from a former scholarship holder who went to college, Ioana Andrei.

The Avenor scholarship, through these projects, allows me to enjoy distinct passions at the same time.

Avenor: Was there a time when you felt like giving up one of your projects? Was there a turning point? If so, how did you overcome it?

Alexandra: Although it consumes a lot of my time and requires a lot of involvement, it is impossible for me to give up my projects. I admit that there was a moment when I felt that I could no longer, that I could no longer handle everything and I considered giving up the literary circle. But, attending a “From Left to Right” meeting, I realized how connected I am with the cenacle’s participants and I realized that it is impossible for me to abandon the Avenorians dedicated to this club.

The conclusion I have reached after these years of being a scholarship holder is that you attach yourself to the projects you are involved in, to the teams you work with, to the collaborators you have and no matter how hard it is, you can’t give up and leave everything behind.

Avenor: How do you manage to get involved in all your scholarship projects without this affecting your school results?

Alexandra: I admit that it was not easy for me, especially at the beginning, but with the help and support of my teachers I learned how to manage my time properly so that I can successfully combine school and extracurricular activities.

Avenor: How much free time does a 10th grader with 4 volunteer projects have?

Alexandra: It is essential to learn how to manage your time properly, how to keep a balance between school and free time. Personally, it is impossible for me to excel academically if I do not have free time to go out with friends, for moments of relaxation and fun. A balance between academic and social life is what allows me to maintain my school performance and get involved in my projects.

Avenor: What advice do you have for a student who is tempted by the Avenor scholarship programme but does not have the courage to apply?

Alexandra: The first time I applied for the Avenor scholarship, I was rejected. This rejection demoralized me a little but I didn’t give up and the next year I applied again because I thought it was an opportunity I shouldn’t miss. Thus, I recommend to all students tempted by the scholarship idea to apply with confidence because it is a chance for a better future.

At Avenor College we offer annual high school student scholarships for 8th and 10th graders (Year 9 and 11). Scholarships cover between 25% and 100% of the schooling fee and are awarded until the end of the education cycle.

We are looking for students who demonstrate exceptional academic and co-curricular results, who are role models, with a proactive attitude towards learning. Avenor scholar fully participates in school events and is a good colleague and friend.

For details you can write an email to

Avenor scholarship – Tudor’s chance for excellence

Tudor Manole, a 9th grade student, was looking for an educational system that encourages student development at all levels. He applied for an Avenor scholarship because he identified with the school’s values and because he wanted to develop and reach his full potential.

His scholarship project is the school’s math magazine – MATH-LY-NEWS, for which he provides graphic design, a project that complements his school experience and helps him connect with others.

Avenor: Tell us about yourself and what it means to be a scholarship student at Avenor?

Tudor: My name is Tudor, I am 15 years old, I am in the 9th grade and I am an Avenor College scholar. For me, the status of scholar is an honor, but also an opportunity to develop, to evolve, to reach my full potential.

When and how did you decide to apply for a scholarship at Avenor College? How did you find out about the scholarship programme?

Tudor:I was considering the option of attending high school in a different education system, so I studied the entire educational offer existing at that time. Avenor was my first choice, because I wanted to finish high school in the British system and because I felt that I identified with the values ​​of this school. I found out about the scholarship programme on the school website and made the decision to apply out of a desire to complete my academic training in an education system that encourages the development of the student at all levels.

Avenor: How was the application process?

Tudor: The application process is a complex one. Without focusing only on academic results and extracurricular projects, it evaluates the student from several points of view, taking into account his potential.

During middle school, I accumulated very good results both at school and in the competitions or activities in which I was involved. All this gave me confidence and support in the application process. Of course, the emotions were present, but they disappeared after the selection process actually started and I became familiar with the system.

Avenor: How do you work on a scholar project? Who helps you – whether we are talking about colleagues or mentors?

Tudor: The projects initiated by Avenor scholars are both for them and for their colleagues, a plus that completes the school experience. These scholar projects allow us to expose ourselves to unique experiences. We learn new values, we discover ourselves, we create and grow interpersonal relationships, we learn more about who we are and how to work with people around us. The work environment is friendly and welcoming, an ideal place for development, where there is no fear of making mistakes and the ultimate goal is learning.

No scholar project would be possible without the help of colleagues and mentors, each with their own role. In my project’s case, MATH-LY-NEWS, my colleagues are full of enthusiasm and new ideas, each bringing a personal style to his articles. Along with all this, the experience of the coordinating teacher ensures the completion of the project, in order to create something new and challenging every two months, when the magazine is published.

How did you get involved in the MATH-LY-NEWS project?

Tudor: I was looking for an idea for ​​my own scholar project, when I found out about the existence of MATH-LY-NEWS magazine, a magazine whose purpose is to inform fellow mathematics enthusiasts about current events in this fascinating field. The choice was a natural one, mathematics being my passion since primary school. Moreover, the project allows me to combine several of my passions: computer science, history and, more recently, graphic design. Thus, researching and preparing the materials needed to illustrate the articles is a real pleasure.

Avenor: What did you find out about yourself when you started your scholarship programme at Avenor?

Tudor: Avenor scholarship programme helped me learn how to manage my own project, to take on responsibilities, to manage my time so that I could get involved in as many activities as possible.

Avenor: What advice do you have for a student who is tempted by the Avenor scholarship programme but does not have the courage to apply?

Tudor: I recommend to every student who has been trained during the middle school years to have confidence in their own strengths and in this system that honestly gives equal opportunities to everyone.

At Avenor College we offer annual high school student scholarships for 8th and 10th graders (Year 9 and 11). Scholarships cover between 25% and 100% of the schooling fee and are awarded until the end of the education cycle.

We are looking for students who demonstrate exceptional academic and co-curricular results, who are role models, with a proactive attitude towards learning. Avenor scholar fully participates in school events and is a good colleague and friend.

For details you can write an email to

Alexandra’s Interviews: The joy of being a teacher

Mr. Paul Barrie moved from Brazil to Romania this summer and aims to provide Avenor students with the best learning opportunities and tools, the best lessons, and a well-structured curriculum. All this contributes to helping our Avenorians achieve their goals and attend top universities.

But who is Paul Barrie as a man and as a professional? Find out from the first article part of the new series, Alexandra’s Interviews, dedicated to the passions and talents of the members of the Avenor community.

Alexandra: Tell us a bit about yourself. What/who inspired you to pursue a career in education?

Paul Barrie: Looking back, I believe I had 2 or 3 teachers in highschool who I respected immensely, perhaps even idolised. I learnt a lot from them. They supported me both emotionally and academically throughout my entire high school journey and proved to be both inspirational and motivational in my further life. They kept me going. I believe they were my inspiration, or rather my motivation, to pursue a career in education.

I’ve come to realize the main reason why I became a teacher was to give something back. I’ve just always been very keen on working and supporting young people, the next generation.

Alexandra: What is your favourite part about working with children?

Paul Barrie: I know it’s a cliche, but I love how truly different each day is, the lack of repetition and monotony. We have 100 students just in high school, so everyday must be different when you’re engaged with so many wonderfully unique young people, however equally lovely. I find that working with older students is particularly rewarding. It always leads to deep, well-structured and innovative discussions and debates.

It’s so hard to narrow it down, honestly it’s just a whole range of different things. However, I would say the most joyous part of teaching is watching a student understand a concept. It gives me the motivation to carry on. Seeing students understand and enjoy my lessons is by far the greatest part of my job!

Alexandra: What are some of your hobbies/interests?

Paul Barrie: I have a 4-year old son so most of my hobbies have come to revolve around him. My main hobby is football, particularly watching him play football. 

Some of my hobbies that exclude him, which I usually try to make time for when he gets to sleep, are watching movies and reading, something I’ve loved doing ever since I was a little boy. I believe allocating at least 20 to 30 minutes a day to reading can make such a noticeable difference. I am currently reading all about Romanian history, culture, which I’m finding particularly fascinating. However, my main hobbies are definitely sports and travel, generally average hobbies I would say.

Alexandra: What do you consider to be your duty as Head of Secondary?

Paul Barrie: I never think of my job as a duty, but rather a privilege, since my job allows me to look after the wonderful young people of Avenor. To support and care for them, as well as ensure their safety and well-being, is what I believe my job entails. My duty is to make sure everyone comes to school with a bright smile etched onto their faces. I strive to provide students with the best learning opportunities and tools, the best lessons and a well-structured curriculum. All of which meant to help our Avenorians reach their goals and attend their top-choice universities.

My job not only focuses on students, but on teachers as well. It is my duty to provide our teachers with the support and guidance deserved, so that they can  improve and consequently grow, just like our students, since life is a continual learning process. What my job is really about is helping everyone, both students and teachers.

Alexandra: What are your long-term goals/ aims for the Avenor community?

Paul Barrie: First of all, we want to continue the progression of results. We all strive for those high A level results, in order to continue Avenor’s long history of academic success. But also to develop our career and university programs, which offer the guidance needed by students to enter their ideal universities. Additionally, we are constantly searching for creative ways to develop that ambition in students, that determination and motivation to work harder and only strive for the best.

We have a very strong strategic plan set in place, focusing on how we can send our Avenorians out into the world as distinguished, creative and balanced young adults who will achieve great things in their lives.

Most importantly, I hope that, with time, I can become someone students can trust and consult with. I want both students and teachers to know that my door is always open.

Alexandra: You have recently moved from Brazil. What are some cultural shocks you have experienced during this transition?

Paul Barrie: The main one is also the most obvious one,the chilly weather! In Brazil it’s never cold.

What I’ve also found is that here, the paperwork and bureaucracy is so much more organized, something I am very thankful for. However, culturally I’m still learning, getting accustomed to the people, culture, even food. The food here is delicious, although very different. Everyday I learn something new!

Brazil is a magnificent country, and to have lived there was a remarkable experience, filled with beautiful memories my family and I will cherish forever. 

Nonetheless, now I am beyond excited to begin exploring Romania and all the marvelous sights it has to offer! 

Alexandra: What about in regards to education?

Paul Barrie: I like to think there are a lot of similarities between the two curriculums. After all, students are still students, regardless of geographical location, all hard-working, ambitious, hoping to excel and gain acceptance in their top choice universities, in order to pursue careers they are passionate about. 

However, what I can state with certainty about the students here is that they are all bright, motivated and polite young adults. I’m really looking forward to getting to know them even better.

Alexandra: What do you believe is the place for technology in the classroom, especially taking into account the COVID-19 ongoing pandemic?

Paul Barrie: Although this pandemic has been very hard on all aspects of our daily life, it has also familiarised us with various technological learning means, which is truly a wonderful thing.

I believe the point I would like every school to be at is becoming computer literate, teachers, parents, students especially. It is essential that we comprehend the benefits of technology in the classroom. I want students to be comfortable with their usage, curious about new platforms, apps, web-sites etc. I want everyone to appreciate how technology can enhance learning.  However, it is crucial that we get back to the traditional pen and paper from time to time.

We must learn how to link traditional and modern learning tools in order to create the most efficient lessons.

Additionally, we should also ensure that, although technology is a marvelous tool, we will not let it take over our lives and distract us from what is truly important.

Alexandra: How would you briefly describe your teaching philosophy? How has this changed over the years?

Paul Barrie: My qualifications are in German and P.E. I am also an International Baccalaureate examiner for history and German. I have gained a lot of experience from teaching in so many different countries, teaching so many different students and subjects. Consequently, I’ve come to realise teaching, or at least for me, is all about detailed planning, engaging activities and most importantly, constant feedback as well as encouraging questions and debates. This allows both me and my students to grow and improve!


Avenor Christmas Charity Fair – The tradition goes on

Hello! I am Clara from Grade 10, and this is my first year in the Avenor Christmas Charity Fair Organizational Team. I’m the Coordinator of the Marketing and Communications team.

As you know and probably remember from the past years, the Avenor Christmas Charity Fair has become a tradition at Avenor College. We value this magical event which brings back the charity spirit every Christmas. Every year was amazing and meaningful for us all. It is a privilege for the organizing team formed of high school students, and a joy for the whole Avenor Community.
My sister, Ana-Caterina, is the Coordinator of this project and over the past four years, I have been inspired by her work on this project, and tried to help and support her project as much as I could from the sidelines.

This wonderful tradition started back in 2017, when some students in our school came up with the idea, and every year it has improved, the students have become more involved and we managed to raise more and more money. Last year, because of quarantine, there were some difficulties. But my fellow students and project organizers didn’t want to lose the Christmas spirit and the opportunity to be kind and generous, so they adapted to the situation, and came up with the wonderful idea of raising money through an Avenor Christmas online event – The Avenor Charity Advent Calendar. Every day until Christmas Eve we offered on the Facebook and Instagram pages Christmas-themed virtual surprises in exchange for online donations.
Even though we didn’t raise as much money as in the previous years, when we managed to raise 45 000 RON for the first Children’s Hospital for Pediatric Oncology built in Romania, we were still very proud and thankful for everything!

Work behind the event

This whole event is 100% student lead! I believe that this year, the willingness of the students to participate in organizing the fair has been very clear. This is obviously because it is one of the most anticipated and loved Avenor events, but also because last year, we didn’t get the chance to experience it physically.

This year we have the biggest organizational team ever for this event. The 12th Grade students: Ana-Caterina Ciușcă- the project Coordinator and Tiberiu Frățilă- the project manager, have started out the recruitment process of the organizational team, by sharing a Google Form to the whole high school, and anyone that wanted to take part of the organizing team completed it, by expressing their interest and what they would prefer doing. We now have six departments: the logistics team, the marketing and communications team, the human resources team, the finance team, the photography team and the graphics design team. Each team has two coordinators and six team members.

Every department has a whatsapp group, we have one for all the coordinators and one with the whole high school. We also have a very well structured Google Calendar on which our project managers set dates with our tasks and their deadlines, categorized based on which team is responsible. We also have a Google Drive folder for each department, to which every coordinator has access to. This might as well be a Google sponsored event…it’s not, unfortunately, but we definitely get a lot of use out of it.

Besides all of these online communication methods, we have weekly coordinator meetings, and every department has them as well. Every high school student pours their heart into this, working on their tasks even on weekends or late at night, trying their best to make this event as profitable and fun as it is possible. We really value planning and communication, especially since we only have one month to plan this big two-day event.

Why we do this, our charitable cause:

Around Christmas time, we all become more aware and thankful for everything that we have. We receive but we desire to give as well. We desire to help those that don’t get the same opportunities as us, the same resources, the same love and support. We, the teens of Avenor, want to help the teens of Ferentari.

Everyone who has heard of Ferentari, the neighborhood on the outskirts of Bucharest, has heard of ghettos, drugs and garbage. However, it is also a place full of hopeful people, who want to create a better life for themselves and help others get the opportunities they didn’t have growing up. That was the idea behind PlayHood: a community of young people who combine education with a passion for arts of all kinds: theater, video editing, audio production, creative writing and storytelling. Children from Ferentari have the opportunity to participate in workshops related to arts, but also to learn basic skills such as reading, writing and critical thinking.

Currently, the organization has a new dream, “Studiourile Ferentari”. “Studiourile Ferentari” is a space where the visual arts meet digital education and train the next generation of sound and lighting technicians, actors or professionals in audio-video editing.
Our donations will help them improve this studio, as well as buy winter clothes that will help them prepare for the cold!
We want to help these children choose arts and education, not resort to substance abuse or violence, which usually and unfortunately, is the case for many people with similar backgrounds.
All money spent at our Christmas Fair will be donated to their wonderful organization.

Our Christmas Fair is a place to come and meet up with friends, have fun and eat delicious food, but also make a difference!

We, the Avenor Christmas Charity Fair community, would truly appreciate your contribution for this event and process by sharing our initiative with your family and friends. Your support and generosity towards our charitable cause would be our present for this Christmas. If you want to help, please access this link to donate.

Thank you in advance for your positivity and support! Happy Holidays!

Project managers: Ana-Caterina Ciușcă and Tiberiu Frățilă

Ana-Caterina Ciușcă
Avenor Christmas Charity Fair – Coordinator

Tiberiu Frățilă
Avenor Christmas Charity Fair – Project Manager

Avenor Christmas Charity Fair

Limba noastră e o comoară – curiozități despre limba română

Deși suntem o școală internațională, limba română și cunoașterea valorilor identitate și culturale românești reprezintă o preocupare constantă la Avenor College. Ne bucurăm de fiecare ocazie pe care o avem pentru a cultiva identitatea națională și pentru a găsi motive de mândrie autentice pentru elevii noștri.

Zilei Naționale a României este un astfel de prilej de imersiune culturală. De aceea, cu ocazia acestei zile ne-am propus să aducem în lumină limba română, un element profund de unitate etnică și culturală care nu încetează să uimească prin unicitatea ei. 

Dana Papadima, director educațional la Avenor College, iubește limba română și ne învață și pe noi sa o facem în fiecare zi. De data aceasta a cules pentru noi câteva curiozități despre limba română care ne fac să o iubim și mai tare.

 Așadar, știați că:

  1. Româna este singura limbă din grupul limbilor romanice care a supraviețuit în această zonă a Europei în ciuda prezenței valurilor de limbi slavice și uralice;
  2. Româna este o limbă veche de 1700 de ani care s-a conservat foarte bine peste ani. Atât de bine încât, dacă ne-am întâlni cu Mircea cel Bătrân n-ar fi imposibil să ne înțelegem;
  3. Dintre limbile latine, doar româna are articolul hotărât “enclitic”, adică atașat la sfârșitul substantivului. Spunem “fata”, “băiatul”, “tabloul”, și nu “la fille”, “le garçon”, “le tableau”, cum ar fi în franceză. Acest lucru conferă o melodicitate intrinsecă în grai, și concizie în exprimare. Practic, ne este de-ajuns un singur cuvânt, ca să ne facem înțeleși atunci când ne referim la un obiect sau la o ființă anume. Majoritatea popoarelor au nevoie de două cuvinte pentru asta.
  4. “Se scrie cum se aude.” Se scrie cum se aude, dar vine la pachet cu sute de particularități de pronunție (vezi ”ea” din ”ceapa” versus ”ea” din ”Ea merge la școală.”) pe care noi, români fiind, le punem în aplicare ușor, natural, fără să avem nevoie de ore de studiu, cum e cazul vorbitorilor de alte limbi (araba, de exemplu).
  5. Româna se aseamănă cu dalmata, o limbă care nu mai are nici un vorbitor în lume.
  6. Româna e limba cu al treilea cel mai lung cuvânt din Europa. “PNEUMONOULTRAMICROSCOPICSILICOVOLCANICONIOZĂ” – 44 de litere. Cuvantul definește o boală de plămâni care se face prin inhalarea prafului de siliciu vulcanic. Interesant e, că boala nu prea se face, deci nici cuvântul nu se folosește.
  7. Limba română e intrată în patrimoniul UNESCO. Româna a intrat în patrimoniul imaterial al lumii prin două cuvinte: “dor” și “doină”, două cuvinte intraductibile, ce exprimă emoții într-atât de specifice culturii noastre, încât traducerea lor în alte limbi este imposibilă.
  8. Un alt aspect unic al limbii române este faptul că are un vocabular latin care funcționează cu reguli gramaticale de tip slav deși există și cazuri în care cele două registre coabitează. Concret, cazurile dativ și genitiv au aceeași formă (ca în latină), timpul viitor și perfect se formează după o regulă hibrid între latină și slavă, dar infinitivul se evită (ca în limbile slave).
  9. Nicio altă limbă nu folosește atâtea zicători și expresii. Româna e printre puținele limbi în care “câinii latră și ursul merge”. E limba cu cele mai absurde imagini proverbiale, dar și limba în care proverbele, deși tot un fel de metafore, sunt considerate limbaj accesibil, limbaj “pe înțelesul tuturor”. Proverbele acestea, spun specialiștii, exprimă cea mai intimă preocupare a poporului român – sensul să fie bogat, dar fraza să fie scurtă. Cu titlu de curiozitate, cele mai numeroase zicători autohtone au ca subiect înțelepciunea – aproximativ 25% din totalul frazelor-proverb.
  10. Româna este între primele 8 limbi ale lumii ca număr de cuvinte. Ultima ediție a “Marelui Dicționar al Limbii Române” adună 170.000 de cuvinte, fără diminutive (încă aprox. 30.000).
  11. În ciuda vechimii ei, Româna nu are dialecte, aspect fără precedent în lume (vezi triada spaniolă-bască-catalană din Spania).

La mulți ani, România!

Romania through foreign eyes

As Romanians, our connection to Romania is much different than the connection a foreigner might have with our country, especially because we cannot change this heritage even if we wanted to. The connection we have here is deeper than just saying our family is from “around here”. We grew up on certain traditions, we experienced certain things and we made tons of memories, which all helped build the people we are today. Our national day is then primarily focused on why we as Romanians should love and appreciate our country, which is fair. However, what if we decided to switch the perspective? We as Romanians can’t change where we’re from or who we are, but foreigners could have gone anywhere to work or live – why Romania? This was the idea behind this project, and I am glad some of my teachers agreed to participate and bring it to life!

The idea for the project came to me for the first time in around January 2021, while I was at the pool, swimming. My swimming coach was not Romanian, so I started wondering exactly what made him come here instead of going anywhere else in the world. I didn’t ask him then, but I did start wondering what made my foreign teachers at Avenor come to Romania. I wrote the idea down, and here I am almost one year later. I interviewed 4 teachers and our new head of secondary, and I filmed all of these interviews as well. All of the footage is now available in a Padlet (the link is at the end of this article), and I recommend you watch it and see for yourself how interesting and sometimes unexpected the answers I got were. I definitely think it would be an enjoyable experience, but I might be a bit biased.

I love listening to podcasts, so I really hoped I could get a similar atmosphere in the interviews I organised. Some of my interviews ended up being longer, some shorter, but the experience in itself was extremely enjoyable. I had prepared a few questions prior to meeting with the teachers, but all of the interviews felt like conversations I’d want to have with or without the existence of this project, so I ended up asking them things I didn’t even think about before the interview started.

The organisational part of the project went great as well. I organised all of the interviews in one week, usually either during lunch breaks or when I had a free lesson. The people at the office saw me about two times every day that week, as I kept coming back to either book another time slot for the room I did my interviews in or to actually do the interviews. I filmed everything on my tablet, and I asked the teachers at every point if they were ok with how everything was set up.

One of my favourite parts of finishing the interviews was how interested some of my friends were to see them. They knew what the project consisted of, and every time I came back from an interview I asked them if they’d want to see what I filmed and the answer was always an excited yes. It was great to see that others found the project as interesting as I think it is.

Living or working in Romania as an expat is a unique experience for everyone who comes here, so it was incredibly interesting to see the range of responses I got for each question I asked.

Gillian Carroll is a Physics teacher and Careers Counselor here at Avenor. Although she didn’t want to appear in the video, she gladly answered all of my questions and was eager to share her wonderful experience with Romania. This is her first time working outside of the UK, but she already thinks that she might want to move to Romania permanently when she retires. Gillian actually got baptised in Romania when she was 50 years old. Her family is half Irish/half Chinese and she grew up in the UK, yet she still considers Romania home more than she does the UK. She is a huge fan of travelling, and has visited most of Romania, with the exception of the Danube Delta. She is a huge fan of the Romanian countryside, with its unique mix of people, foods and experiences waiting to be discovered.

Joshua Norris is an English teacher and Katie Hargreaves is a Media Studies teacher, both of them currently working here at Avenor. They moved to Romania together, and this is their first time working outside of the UK and together in the same school. Funnily enough, they were actually supposed to go to Russia instead of Romania initially. They think Romania will always feel like a home to them, and that’s also what helped them make the decision to get the permanent residency permit at some point. They also got engaged here, which strengthens their connection to Romania.

Olivia Robinson is also an English teacher here at Avenor. She worked in both Mexico and Kenya prior to coming to Romania, and she is still planning on staying here longer. One of the reasons she made the decision to stay here longer is that Romania allows her to feel like a teacher all of the time, which she enjoys. She loves travelling to Romania, but she’s not a fan of the mainstream places, like Sibiu. She’s rather fond of discovering hidden gems. She would love to learn more Romanian but admits that it is very difficult to do that, when us Romanians speak English so well.

Paul Barrie is the Head of Secondary at Avenor. He moved here with his family this summer, yet it was not his first time coming to Bucharest. Back when he lived in Istanbul, he visited Romania together with his wife in order to see our Christmas Markets and get the proper Christmas feel. He lived in Rio for three years before moving to Bucharest, and he is excited that his four year old son will get to see snow for the first time this winter. Him and his family visited some parts of Romania, Sinaia being their favourite so far.

If you want to hear more about their experiences and comments about Romania, definitely check out the videos in the Padlet, which include some of the interviews.

Happy National Day, Romania!

Teodora, student in grade 10 at Avenor College International High School

The implications of mathematics in psychology

Before writing the article for Math-Ly, psychology and mathematics had never appeared that intertwined to Alexandra, but after doing some research she realized how great are the implications of mathematics in psychology and that it’s even a required course for students wishing to pursue a career in this domain.

Alexandra and her Math-Ly editorial team, coordinated by their maths teacher, Mihaela Ancuța, interviewed some of the Avenor alumni and discovered how mathematics helps them in their chosen field of study. Read below an interview with Ana and Vanessa, Class of 2020, who are currently studying Psychology at the University.

Alexandra: Tell us a bit about yourself. What drew you to Psychology?

Ana: I’m Ana, I’m 19 years old and I am in my first year of studying Psychology at University in London. I fell in love with Psychology during my first year of A Levels when I started studying it. At the time I was a bit confused as my other passion was Art as well, so I didn’t know what to choose between the two. I was entirely sure of studying Psychology further when I moved to London for my second year of A Levels. I had the best Psychology teacher I have ever met and my true passion for Psychology fully came out.

Alexandra: Was mathematics a subject you enjoyed whilst studying at Avenor? If yes, what particular mathematics topic did you enjoy most?

Ana: I thoroughly enjoyed studying Maths at Avenor, because I had the privilege of having Mihaela Ancuta as my teacher all throughout high school. Mihaela made me absolutely love Maths and she has been the best support system for studying and working so hard to achieve the best results. Pure Maths was my favourite part of Maths, followed by Statistics. My favourite topics from Pure Maths were quadratics, integration, differentiations and I enjoyed probabilities and the Normal distribution from Statistics.

Alexandra: What are the implications of mathematics in Psychology?

Ana: Statistics is the only mathematical part of Psychology, but it is very important. The understanding of Statistics is crucial in Psychology, which is backed up by the use of statistical software which help you with the calculations. You need to understand how to analyse and interpret data, as well as descriptive and inferential statistics (this looks at describing data and making inferences, predictions about data). This is all used to understand the results that you get from the psychological experiments you conduct when you do your own research after University or for your last year of University. It is extremely important to master your statistics in Psychology so you can understand what your research has found and what conclusions you can draw from your participants’ behaviour.

Vanessa: Psychology may be described as the abstract study of the mind, but people shouldn’t forget about the scientific part of it. Whether someone is interested to know if men have bigger feet than women, or if depression occurs more often in people who are frequent social media users than in those who don’t even have social media accounts, psychology needs the help of mathematics to conduct a reliable scientific study.

Alexandra: Are the mathematics concepts taught during high school useful in your current Psychology course? If yes, which particular ones and how exactly?

Ana: Yes, they are, specifically Statistics, as that is a very present and important part of Psychology. Normal distributions and the distribution of data is probably the most important part of high school Mathematics as it is something you will permanently use in Psychology, not matter at what level. On the other hand, the logical thinking and understanding I gained from Pure Maths is also very important in understanding data from Psychology.

Vanessa: Mathematics has been an important asset to psychologists, since in order to present their results to the rest of the world so that everyone can understand what they mean by all of those numbers, psychologists need to calculate them first. Statistical tests such as the “mean”, “standard deviation” and “t-test” are the most popular among all studies. But even if all of these tests get done, the average person won’t understand what they mean. Therefore, another mathematical part comes in handy when presenting results: graphs!

A clear and concise study has an abundance of bar graphs, pie charts, tables, and many more mathematical numeric representations.

The mind is such a complicated thing to study, since everyone sees the world in a different perspective, there is a need for exact science to make sense of what we find out.

Read the latest issue of Math-Ly here.

Interested in Avenor High School?

Our high school students have started their Cambridge exams session

Avenor High School students will sit more than 70 Cambridge exams this year. Our high school students started this week the written exams session, six intense weeks with tests and individual study.

At Avenor College, we have started this week the written Cambridge exams session. Students in Grades 8, 9, 10 and 11 will sit the following exams:

  • Cambridge Checkpoint

This is the evaluation exam at the end of Grade 8 for students following the Cambridge line at Avenor College. These tests highlight students’ strengths and areas where they can develop their skills further during high school. This year, there are 16 students from Avenor College taking part in the Checkpoint examinations in Mathematics and English as a Second Language.

  • Cambridge IGCSE

This is the most popular international certification for pupils aged 14-16. It is recognised by major universities around the world, employers worldwide, and it represents an international passport for development and success.

IGCSE exams are taken this year by 14 Grade 10 students, 18 Grade 9 students and one student from Grade 8. In total, our students will sit 42 IGCSE written examinations on 17 syllabuses:

Biology, Computer Science, Coordinated Sciences, English as a Second Language (Speaking Endorsement), Enterprise, First Language English, Foreign Language German, Foreign Language Italian, Foreign Language Spanish, Global Perspectives, History, Literature, Mathematics (Without Coursework), Music, Physics, Art and Design.

Another 7 oral examinations were held in March and April: IGCSE Speaking and IGCSE Art and Design.

  • Cambridge Advanced

This is designed for students aged between 16 and 19 who need advanced studies to prepare for university. It includes two stages: Cambridge International AS and A2 Level. Universities around the world appreciate and recognise the Cambridge International AS and A Level certificates.

Avenor International High School is hosting for the first time an AS Level Exam session. This year, 16 Grade 11 students sit the AS Level exams on the following subjects:

Computer Science, Economics, History, Literature in English, Mathematics, Media Studies, Physics, Psychology, Spanish Language, Art and Design.

Also this week, the AS Level Speaking exam will be held.

At last year’s IGCSE exams, 80% of our students received scores ranging from A * to C, achieving a 100% pass rate. You can find more information about our students’ results can be found here.