High School Graduation

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Class of 2015

A graduation ceremony at an educational institution is an incredibly important event and especially so in our context; in our (almost) 25 year old history, on the 2nd of October 2015, RIS oversaw the graduation of 33 Advanced Level students out of which 31 have been with us since pre-school, a landmark moment.

We are incredibly proud and sad to see these faces; once tear-stained 13 years ago but flushed with joy and filled with the exuberance of youth and young dreams today and our Principal Mr. Ananda Athukorala says it best:

“After 13 years of formal education, time has come to recognize the schooling years of those who graduate this  year, 2015. They worked with hope and determination to face the nation wide competitive exam. We, at RIS are confident of their success. However, the management of the school take this opportunity to congratulate the class of 2015. 
Each of the graduates will scatter to a news horizon and a new location. Finally, the words,”’Get a life” will suddenly will take on a new meaning. For the most part, fond memories will replace the last 13 years. It will never be high school again!
Your parents can probably remember the first day they put you in our care. At the same time you were probably a lot nervous. Well, it all  worked out and now, sooner than any of you expected, you have returned to the beginning- to start those feelings once again.
Do not forget the teachers who groomed you. The parents who nurtured you. May this new beginning bring you happiness, and become a life long learner. RIS will always be behind to support you.”

Long and successful futures await each and every one of you. We know you will make us proud. Congratulations to the Class of Twenty Fifteen!

New Sport Facilities

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There is this saying which goes around – “Sports do not build character.They reveal it”

This is a fundamental goal in any educational institute. We are here to not just build character; we are here to provide opportunities for our children to reveal their character. So it was with great pride and pleasure that we unveiled the newest additions to our school, our latest attempt to provide our students with opportunities to further themselves in the form of a basket ball court and a practice cricket net.

We thank everyone involved in making this dream a reality and these two additions are just the beginning.

Alumni Talk 4.0

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It was really difficult to delay publishing this given the exciting heights this particular old boy of RIS has hit in life but given that we are just days away from breathing new life into the Royal Alumni, welcome to the 4th segment of Alumni Talk!

It is Priyal Ranasinghe, Mental Health Specialist in the US Army & Marketing Specialist for the Department of Behavioural Health, that we have the privilege to hear from/read about today. Working with soldiers who experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression personality disorders while coming up with marketing strategies for the Madigan Army Hospital in the USA, Priyal aims to further himself in the psychology field.

Q. Describe your time at RIS? What sort of a student were you? 

I attended a government school before RIS and knowing the difference first hand I knew I was lucky to be there. I understood attending RIS was a conscious choice and it made me try hard to excel. I was considered smart but that also made me  little lazy but I had a great faculty to push me to reach my potential.

Q. What is your favourite memory from your schooling days?

I met my best friend there and had the best time in class with him. I later bought the house next to his and he studied with me at the University of Texas during my bachelors

Q. Who was your favourite teacher & what was your favourite subject & why?

It’s really hard to pick one, many great teachers played a big role in my life, Ms. Sonia from English class particularly. She paid special attention to me and always pushed me to my limits and achieve high. I enjoyed learning English and a good grasp on the language gave me the confidence to move to the US at the age of 18 and to start my life over here.

Q. What did you do once you finished school?

I finished my O/Ls and went straight to my Associates.

Q. Three things you would tell our current students?

Understand that you’re at an International School because you want to be there; its not the system pushing you through the assembly line, you pay fees and attend RIS instead of the government schools because your parents see a lot of potential in you. Live up to that potential.

I still keep in touch with my RIS friends from continents away. Cherish your friends, they are some of the best you’ll make in your lifetime.

No matter how high you rise through the echelons, always remember; work hard & stay humble.

Thank you for taking the time to do this Priyal and we are just so excited over the things you have achieved in your life right now. We are incredibly proud of you!

Dear Alumni, for those who haven’t joined up yet, we have an official Facebook group and you can always contact us via email: royalalumnigroup@gmail.com

Alumni Talk 3.0

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Welcome to the 3rd segment of Royal International’s Alumni Talk where we engage with our past pupils and find out what exciting things they have achieved in post-school life in addition to getting a tiny hint of how these now prominent personalities were like during their school days.

Today’s segment sees the Royal Alumni team catch up with its 241st student, Vengadeshvaran Sarma.

NowVengadesh is currently a Teaching Fellow & PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham’s Malaysia Campus and has as his current research areas voluntary and forced migration with an aim to make a significant contribution to global, regional and local migration policy. Read more about him here.

Q. Describe your time at RIS? What sort of a student were you? 

A. Shy, less engaged; I think those two words describe my time at school best. However, I did transform to be more independent and probably a bit more outspoken during my last few years.

Q. What is your favourite memory from your schooling days? 

A. There are so many of them. But I think what I remember best was coming back to school after having received our A/Level results and seeing Mr. Liyanage overwhelmed with joy, he was happier than my parents!

Q. Who was your favourite teacher & what was your favourite subject & why? 

A. That’s a hard one, I liked both Mr. Liyanage and the late Mr. Ellepola. I remember being really really sad when I heard Mr. Ellepola passed away, it was a school day, and we went on the school bus to the funeral. If he had continued, I probably would have chosen science.

But after I had chosen to do commerce subjects, I was really happy to have Mr. Liyanage. I remember him saying one day, probably just a couple of weeks before our O/Level exams:

“I say… (the rest in Sinhala & loosely translated into English), you won’t understand it now, but there will come a time, when you’ll drive fancy cars &  stop when you see me & you’ll say to me “Sir I’m so and so, I studied under you.” You’ll appreciate me then and I too will feel full-filled”

Over the years,  I have come to appreciate and understand what he said, and have quoted this exact phrase in almost all of my teaching related interviews (including the current job).

My favourite subject had to be Accounting because it made sense back then, and it was always easy to know if you were right – you had to balance those accounts. After university, and having worked at an audit firm, I now have little interest in the subject/area, although occasionally I do have to teach it.

Q. What did you do once you finished school?

A. Right after my A/Levels, I came to Malaysia with a part-scholarship to pursue a degree in Finance and Accounting at the University of Nottingham’s Malaysia Campus (UNMC). I then graduated in 2009 and was offered a scholarship to do a PhD, which I took up. In 2011, I had to take a break for personal reasons and during that time I worked at an audit firm for about 4 months before joining a private school, initially teaching 8 year olds all about Mesopotamia, growing lima beans on wet paper towels etc. before teaching Maths to 13 & 14 year olds.

Eventually in 2012 September, I came back to UNMC and took-up a teaching fellowship, and resumed my PhD.

Q. If a kid walks up to you right now, what three things would you tell him or her?

A. Make sure you work hard, only you can help yourself, everyone else can support, but in the end it all falls on you.

Don’t worry if you haven’t got your entire career planned-out when you are sitting for your O/A Levels. I was in those shoes, and from experience I can say as long as you do your part, things will fall into place.

When opportunities arise, seize them if they are right; regrets are too costly to bear.

Thank you for taking time out of your schedule for Alumni Talk and we at RIS wish Vengadesh the best of success in his mission path; we are proud of you!

Our past pupils can enroll in the Alumni by filling this form and get in touch with us at royalalumnigroup@gmail.com if any further details are required. Looking forward to hearing from you all!

Alumni Talk: Segment 2

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Continuing on from our last edition of Alumni Talk, here is Segment 2 where we talk to our 296th student, Sajeev Manoharan.


Sajeev is currently the Senior Analyst for ICRA Lanka (an associate of Moody’s Investors Service) where he heads the Research & Rating function for the Sri Lankan financial sector. Currently reading for his MBA from the University of Greenwich – writing his thesis on the Consolidation in Banking Sector of Sri Lanka – Sajeev is also one of the youngest qualified members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in not only Sri Lanka, but also the world (Read his – one of several! – interview here)

Sajeev eventually plans to develop the Sri Lankan financial services sector and to become one of the leading experts in the same field; a target he is well on his way to achieving.


Q. Describe your time at RIS? What sort of a student were you?

A. It was enlightening. There were different groups of people with different backgrounds, a balanced mix between academics, sports, entertainment and above all fun. I was a motivated student during school working hard with specific goals in mind to achieve.

Q. What is your favourite memory from your schooling days?

A. Winning the Inter-School Quiz competition was definitely among my favourites! Going for cricket practices and playing football after school..these are other memories which have stayed with me.

Q. Who was your favourite teacher and what was your favourite subject and why?

A. Mr Liyanage, my Accounting & Business Studies Teacher. I was always a bit interested in Finance and I was naturally inclined towards the subject and it then became my passion since the first day Mr. Liyanage started teaching the subject. I really enjoyed his classes.

Q. What did you do once you finished school? 

A. I started my career in Finance while studying for ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), completed it and read for my Bsc Hons degree in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University UK.

Q. If a kid walks up to you right now, what three things would you tell them?

1) Do well in academics – develop good academic habits such as reading, being organized and absorb information being taught. This will aid you throughout your higher studies, career and your life.

2) Learn to take responsibility – Learn to be accountable for yourself and learn self-discipline.

3) Learning is a continuous process – “Learning gives creativity, creativity leads to thinking, thinking provides knowledge, knowledge makes you great.” – Dr. Abdul Kalam

Outstanding achievements from an outstanding member of RIS; we have no doubt Sajeev will move on to do great things with his life. We are proud of you!

Once again, a small note to our old boys and girls; please get in touch with us at royalalumnigroup@gmail.com. We have plans to form an organised Alumni for the school; your fullest participation will be appreciated. Await our next edition of Alumni Talk very soon!

Alumni Talk; Segment 1

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Welcome to the very first edition of Alumni Talk, where we sit down and ask five questions from our past pupils. To start proceedings, we managed to get hold of student number five (Index number:102005) Dilrini De Silva.


A bit about Dilrini; she has completed her PhD in Bio-informatics at Queen Mary University of London – which involved studying the evolution of human DNA sequences and their involvement in regulating how and when certain genes switch on and off. She currently works Computational bio-scientist at the University of Oxford (http://modmedmicro.nsms.ox.ac.uk/oxford/) where she interrogates the genomes of bacterial pathogens involved in infectious diseases in order to predict emerging antibiotic resistance. Having taken this path, she hopes to use her skills and experiences to make a lasting contribution to innovation in healthcare or higher education technology and eventually set up a social enterprise within this sector.

NowHaving gotten to know Dilrini a bit, its now Question Time!

Q. Describe your time at RIS? What sort of a student were you?

A. Pretty sure I was a nerd! My colleagues have commented on the diligence with which I approach a challenge and I like to think I had the same attitude at school. I loved reading, watching documentaries and the internet – basically anything from which I could learn from.

Q. What is your favourite memory from your schooling days?

A. There are countless memories from playing drums in the school band, helping launch and run the school canteen with my fellow prefects, organising and performing in stage dramas with my absolute favourite being choreographing a highly criticised dance routine to Wannabe by the Spice Girls (it was the 90’s after all!).

Q. Who was your favourite teacher and what was your favourite subject and why?

A. I fondly remember Mr. Herath our science teacher for the various experiments he set up to make learning more enjoyable for us.

Q. What did you do once you finished school?

A. I moved to Bangalore, India to study Biotechnology and then went on to work in IT before heading to the UK to specialise in Bioinformatics.

Q. If a kid walks up to you right now, what three things would you tell them?

A. One, there is only so much you can learn from books so I encourage current students to take every opportunity to lead as well as work within a team to learn what books cannot teach you. Two, be curious and challenge yourself with new experiences. Lastly, play to your strengths and do what YOU enjoy doing, not what everyone else thinks you should do.

We here at RIS are incredibly proud of what a member of our family has achieved in her life and we wish Dilrini continued success in everything she does.

Small note for all our alumni; you can now get in touch with us at royalalumnigroup@gmail.com. We are a part of one big family; let us stay in touch 🙂

A Journey to Japan

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Group Photo

6 days and 5 nights. That didn’t seem much time at all to spend in the wonderful country of Japan but by the end of our stay, the experiences we gained will last with us for a lifetime.

It all started in early June when RIS decided to send 29 children – all selected on merit – to Tenri, a small city in the Kansai region on the invitation of the Tenrikyo Grand Church with the overall aim being to learn more about the respective cultures and to give the kids valuable exposure. A bit about Tenrikyo – it is a 19th century religion which has as its main aim to spread and promote happiness and a joyous life via acts of charity, good deeds and being considerate about other beings. In their terms, this is referred to as Hinokishin. The values closely mirror values found in all religions – being compassionate towards others.

The schedule by itself was demanding; be up by 6am to do Hinokishin; this mainly involved cleaning the whole compound in which we were staying. Other acts of Hinokishin was performed throughout the day, be it carrying soil to be used for a construction site or getting down on our knees to scrub the Church floor. But Hinokishin is not limited to cleaning; as mentioned above, it is the act of spreading happiness and joy and our hosts went out of their way to make our stay as happy and as joyful as they could. Games, dances, songs (we performed too!), day trips, pool time, dinners, museum visits, street parades, fireworks; there was a bit of everything for everyone. Japan truly felt like home for those six days.

Despite the fun and games, it was the wonderful hospitality on the behalf of our hosts which left us moved and touched. Their unwavering belief in making others happy was incredible to witness and it is these precise values we here at RIS want to instill in our children; to be compassionate, to be kind, to be considerate, to care, to be positive and to do good. It is this message we want them to take forward now and together we can all shape our community for the better.

Arigatou Gozaimashita!

You can see more photos on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Official.Royal.International.School

End of Term

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School ended about three weeks ago so apologies for the late blog post but better late than never! The end to a school term is always chaotically fun; with children free from exams and getting their marks in, teachers glad to get a well-deserved break. So fittingly, both the RIS Primary and Secondary went into the Avurudu holidays with all guns blazing; with the former organizing their annual ‘fair’, an event which never fails to disappoint and full of fun activities, food and drink stalls and the Secondary school presenting their term projects through song and dance on topics such as environmental protection, traditional masks and so on in addition to having their own fun fair, with games, haunted houses and one very delicious ice-cream stall.

However second term is about to start and it will be slightly less entertaining and more focus on studies; but having said that, we absolutely cannot for the end of the term now! A standard has been set for fun and we expect our students to keep it.

See more photos here.

A fun visitor from Austria

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Last week, our pre-school had a visitor from Austria and what fun she turned out to be!

Ursula Löwe from Austria was only here with us for a few hours yet it felt like we’ve known forever by the time she took our teachers through an energetic and entertaining session devised at both empowering the participants by enabling them to express themselves as well as giving them insights to how to teach creatively.

A woman of many talents, Ursula has a background in Anthropology and has worked and lived in countless countries; giving her a deep understanding of people, their psyches and their emotions. She is now working as a dance therapist – with movement, music and creativity as her tools – aiming to bring both adults and children alike to express themselves; a key aspect to an individual’s personal development.

Our UKG and Grade 1 teachers really had a blast; thank you Ursula, can’t wait to see you again!

You can read more about Ursula on her website http://www.tanzklang.at

The Chosen Ones

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Every year, we at RIS undergo an arduous process of attempting to sift through well over 200 prefect applications in both our Primary and Secondary sections. Given the level of competition and the high standards maintained, the selection committee and the interview panel certainly had a few extra grey hairs by the end of it all! However by the end, 90 students from both sections were chosen to become the student leaders of the school.

What does it mean to be a prefect though? Generally speaking, prefects are senior students who are tasked with representing the school and help maintain discipline. They are the crème de la crème of the school, the very best and groomed to be the leaders of tomorrow. But here at RIS, we want our prefects to be more than just ‘good leaders’; as cheesy as it sounds, we want them to be good people, kind and considerate to everyone. As the saying goes, there are three precious qualities a leader should hold; gentleness, frugality and humility. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal and most importantly, avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men (and women!).

So on that philosophical note, congratulations to all those appointed at prefects and special congratulations to our Head Boy Pramud Wickramaarachchi and Head Girl Kushendri Edirisinghe; our Primary Head Boy Mineth Karunarathne and Head Girl Senadini Herath. Congratulations are in order to their deputies as well; Dinendra Karunarathne and Mushfira Mursaleen (both not pictured, sorry! photos will be taken of the both of you) in the Secondary section and to Sineth Mendis and Ravindi Kandanaarachchi in the Primary.

Lastly, special congratulations to our Games Captains for the year; Ravin Bandara, Nusha Fayroze and Vojitha Herath and Venushi Wanasooriya (photos to be added) of the secondary and Primary respectively who while having to uphold to the standard required of prefectship also have to adhere to the spirit of sportsmanship.

Well done everyone, RIS is proud to have you.

P.S. We’re still waiting for the final batch of photos hence the lack of a photo album. We’ll put the photos up ASAP.