“Our enthusiasm to develop and move forward, every moment of every day, is what motivates the whole community,” says Ashot Alikhanyan, Head of Shirakatsy Lyceum International Scientific and Educational Complex in Armenia. In 2014, the Lyceum gained International Baccalaureate (IB) certification for its primary, middle and senior school, making it the only school in Armenia to offer a comprehensive IB programme.

Founded in 1990, the Lyceum is also Armenia’s only member of Round Square, a worldwide association of schools with a commitment to international and environmental awareness and to nurturing leadership skills. “We address educational, social, health and civic activism through our academic programme, after-school curriculum and supportive learning environment,” says Alikhanyan.


Fulfilling potential

The school’s campus in Yerevan caters for more than 1,000 students, and special provision is made to identify gifted and talented children, with teaching staff developing appropriate strategies with help from the school’s Psychological Service and Psychological Research Laboratory. Students identified as having special educational needs also benefit from the support of the Psychological Service.

The Lyceum’s teachers create study programmes tailored to each student’s needs. “The result is self-confident students who realise their full potential,” says Alikhanyan. “School activities and actions are implemented in collaboration with parents, creating a constructive school-parent-student relationship.” The Lyceum supports parents with regular meetings and education and parenting training opportunities.

The school element of this relationship refers to the highly experienced staff, 20 of whom have a PhD. Teachers regularly take part in training programmes offered by the IB as well as courses provided by the British Council. Senior staff also design and run courses for their colleagues. Shirakatsy Lyceum graduates who have benefited from these high teaching standards have gone on to study at Harvard, Cambridge, Chicago and Toronto, among other universities, the vast majority on full scholarships.

The school’s facilities, which include modern science laboratories, a library with print and digital resources, excellent sports amenities and a range of after-school clubs, all help keep students enthusiastic and motivated from kindergarten to graduation. It’s an ethos that saw the Lyceum named one of the 56 most innovative schools worldwide by Microsoft in 2012, in recognition of its ability to connect with its most gifted students and to extend that teaching excellence and insight across the whole school.