New Yorkers bowled over by cricket on the curriculum

The Times June 06, 2006

New Yorkers are bowled over by cricket on the curriculum
From James Bone in New York

NEW YORK is finally getting a school where children can play cricket, eat shepherd’s pie, and pronounce tomato so that it does not rhyme with potato.

Come September, genuine British schoolchildren in natty red-and-grey uniforms will be seen on the streets of Manhattan with the opening of the city’s only British school.

Located next to the UN school, the British International School will serve British expatriates and Anglophile New Yorkers who want their offspring educated with a proper accent and can pay $26,000 (£13,800) a year in fees.

“We are looking forward to the fact that she can spell ‘colour’ with a ‘u’ and we do not have to say ‘zee’ any more,” said Robin Kent, a British expatriate who is moving his eight-year-old daughter Grace from an American school. “The fact that she can learn to play cricket as opposed to baseball is also a real treat,” said Mr Kent, who moved to New York five years ago as the chairman of Universal McCann, the media agency.

The new British School is the brainchild of Elizabeth Perelstein, an American who founded a business called School Choice International when she moved with her financier husband to Britain. Her company placed American children in British schools when their parents were assigned abroad by big Wall Street firms. On her return to New York, she began placing British children in American schools.

“I worked with a lot of British families and they were all asking me, ‘where is the British school in New York?’ They were devastated that there was no British school in New York,” she said. “I began to feel that there was a real void here. Although there were a lot of excellent schools in New York, none catered to the needs of British families,” she said. “The British families are thrilled, but it appeals to many more families than we had envisaged.”

“More than 50 per cent of enquiries are coming from non-British or expatriate parents. They are coming from US parents who like the idea of what we are offering,” Andrea Greystoke, the school’s co-founder, said.

The headmaster, selected from 200 applicants, will be David Morse, who has never lived in America before but spent over a decade teaching in the Middle East before becoming head of Clevedon House in Ilkley, Yorkshire. He said that British children start school at four — a year earlier than their American counterparts — and fall behind their peers at home if they enter an American school.

The new British school will offer the English national curriculum, so parents know when their progeny are expected to master certain tasks, such as their times tables.

The new school is importing all its textbooks and library books from Britain to ensure that the spelling is correct. But some British favourites will disappear as a concession to American habits, notably the much-loved half-term holidays.

The initial intake will be of 50-75 children, aged from four to eight with plans for eventual expansion to 200 pupils. Although the first intake includes pupils from Australia, Singapore, Japan, Morocco, Mexico and the Netherlands, only 30 per cent of the children come from expatriate families.
#2  Top Rated Post
NYC has lots of cricket clubs but no high school varsity cric. I wonder if they'll play rugger against St Francis Xavier???

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