Tomorrow’s world; presents us faster and more challenging changes than ever resulting from economic and social dynamics due to population growth and rapidly disappearing resources. Schools should embrace these challenges and changes and educate students as individuals who can analyze and manage these concepts without compromising the universal values of humanity. As Açı Schools; we believe in the power of knowledge and the constructive role of universal values with the understanding that we’re all responsible for improving the existing living conditions of humans and the natural habitat.
- Honesty (Integrity, justice and truth)
- Respect (Fellow humans, cultures, living beings, environment and individual differences)
- Responsibility (at personal and social and community levels)
- Productivity (contributing member of community)
- Awareness (Personal and regarding human condition)
Açı Schools equip students with 21st century skills, empowering them to pursue higher education at the world’s most competitive institutions and to add value to the world they live in.
Açı Schools offer learning opportunities and different programs considering individual differences and the requirements of different professions.
Welcome to the short history of Açı.
The years that we left behind may seem like a short period of time, yet they are extremely meaningful for all of us as the members of Açı. This is a story of a journey from one address to five addresses, from one building to fifteen buildings, from one school to five schools, from 28 students to approximately 2000 students.
Açı’s founders took the decision of building a school at the current location of the primary school building in Akatlar. Just like all the Açı Schools to follow, this first building was designed by Erginoğlu and Çalışlar and was completed in a very short time frame of only two years.
Açı’s first teachers began to work on the educational and instructional philosophy and curriculum of the school which would start education the following year. The basis for many of the practices adopted at Açı today was founded in this year.
Açı started its academic life, in the main building and its small garden in Akatlar with only first and the second grades and with 28 students and 9 teachers. This school year proved to be very useful in terms of putting into action the preparations made in the previous year and in terms of application of Açı’s philosophy.
With the awareness of how important it is to educate our students before primary school for our own philosophy and curriculum, we began our Açı Preschool program, which consists of ages three, four, and five (preparation for primary education) classes in the main building in Akatlar.
This year the preschool program was very productive in general, especially in terms of being a preparatory program and a connection to primary education. In the following years, the most important applications that will affect the success of the Açı and their standardization marks the 2001-2002 school year.
This is the first year of expansion in terms of space in line with the needs due to the increasing number of students. One of the villas adjacent to the main building in Akatlar is opened to serve preschool classes after being renovated.
Another villa adjacent to the villa that was incorporated to Açı the previous year, now became a part of Açı too. As a result of renovation work during winter months, the building and yard were prepared for the upcoming academic year.
It was time for Açı to separate the preschool from primary school since it had reached two hundred and fifty students from the age of three to sixth grade, in fifteen classes. As a result, the preschool buildings located in Levent were incorporated and an intense construction project started.
The Açı Preschool Program started to function in its new building. Our preschool buildings with its eleven classes, continued to be recognized by the community thanks to their curriculum as well as their physical properties.
In the same year, a new process started as to search for a new place for Açı High School which would be the next learning institution for our students who were to graduate soon from primary education and the preparations of the new building found in Bahçeköy started.
It was a very meaningful summer for all stakeholders: Açı produced its very first middle school graduates. In a very short time, as little as three months, the construction of our current high school building was completed, yard and areas were landscaped.
In September of the same year our students started pursuing their education in this building as the first preparatory class of Açı High School. Just like Açı Elementary Schools beginning years ago in Akatlar, the high school opened with only eight students.
2006 was an intense year. While our students were studying at Bahçeköy high school building, a new school building was built from scratch after demolishing the adjacent buildings. This building, consisting of twelve classrooms, a theater and an art studio, was prepared to serve as the second building of the high school.
Growth continued: Numbers, classes, teaching programs, club activities, rhythm groups, events, sports teams … Another breakthrough took place and a third villa was added to Akatlar campus. This building which had been demolished and reconstructed, not only made a significant contribution to the number of classrooms in primary education, but also created a new area for our students with its architecture and yard.
That same year, the second building in Bahçeköy was also put into service. Along with this building, construction of an in-doors sports facility in the yard was also completed.
In the summer of this year, as the last neighboring villa was incorporated to Akatlar campus, our yard and indoor areas became spacious and the campus took its final form.
In May, a breakthrough crucial for the growth of the Açı Schools took place and pre-school, primary and secondary school investments were made in Bahçeköy. Renovation and reparation works of the campus encompassing an enclosed area of 18.000 m2 on a 14-acre site continued during the whole summer and our new school was put into service at the beginning of the academic year.
This year, the science-mathematics building of the campus was completed. The high school campus continued to grow with four large laboratories, a cafe-bookstore for students, two lecture halls and classrooms.
The year 2011 started with the inauguration of a new gymnasium in the high school campus, with a capacity of hundred spectators, locker rooms and different sports areas.
The summer months saw an intense preparatory work being undertaken: The third preschool campus’s preparatory work started in Kemerburgaz. After an intensive preparatory period, Kemerburgaz accepted its first students in 2011-2012 academic year.
In the same year, apart from K-12 schools, Açı Music School opened. Açı Music School, with the collaboration of London College of Music in terms of the program, started its education in the afterschool hours, in Akatlar and Bahçeköy campuses.
The year 2011 witnessed another important event for all members of Açı: Açı High School gave its first graduates. The education service and programs of Açı now achieved a structure extending from the age of 3 up to high school graduation.
In line with the “4 +4” education system announced at the beginning of 2012, Açı elementary schools were recategorized as; primary school and secondary school. According to this reorganization, the fifth grade students joined the secondary school and started the academic year in Bahçeköy campus. Açı expanded its educational programs and services, apart from K-12, with the music school established in the previous year, as well as sailing school and sports club.
The year 2013 brought many important developments such as; in addition to the first Ivy League College admission, there were other successful university admissions both inside and outside the country; learning with one to one iPad project completed the year successfully; GETÜT hosted high school students from all over Turkey.
During the past ten years, Açı performed intensive work in various areas:
- Constantly changing academic programs and contents were revised with the aim of achieving a learning student. These efforts ensured not only the class curriculums but also the coordination between the schools to reach a certain standard.
- New approaches emerging in our country and in the world were followed and transferred to the learning experience of Açı. Especially STEM, Maker Lab, iPad use, case study, interdisciplinary studies were outstanding applications.
- The social responsibility projects of all Açı Schools got increasingly prevalent and found themselves a range of application, as the future leaders acquired universal values and became aware of their social responsibilities. In the same year, more than 20 social responsibility projects implemented in all schools continued to make very important contributions.
- Besides the academic program, the clubs and activities widened their range; the learning objectives of the programs got into more depth. As well as acquiring significant achievements both nationally and internationally in fields such as MUN, Debate and Destination Imagination, also many organizations were made on different interests and needs of the students such as Açı Short Film Competition which took place in our schools.
- Açı High School completed successfully the accreditation process of ‘Community of International Schools’ and became a member of this important organization. Having successfully completed the audit process which was repeated in 2017, Açı High School continued to serve as the Cambridge Examination Center.
- The Music School serving more than 200 students of which 100 students followed the London College of Music program.
- Sports Schools and Açı Sports Club gave an opportunity to more than 300 student-sportsmen to exercise in more than 10 branches of sports and enter competitions. Demonstrating a success such as participating in the Turkey Championship Finals indicated that our teams train skilled athletes at the same competitive level of professional sports clubs.
- An evaluation system of Açı education programs’ success based on external examinations and university results was established. An objective structure to assess the success of the school was achieved through international exams such as; assessment of English with Cambridge exams, French and Spanish with DELF and DELE exams, preparation for universities abroad with Advanced Placement, SAT I and SAT II exams, English language proficiency with IELTS and TOEFL exams.
In the short history of Açı, some years only one, some years several steps were taken. From now on, we will see where we’re going altogether and try to update our progressive history every year. This chronological space and structure expansion, which seems to be a history of the buildings, is actually a concrete symbol of the educational achievements of the students and teachers who use them. We, as Açı employees, will continue to fulfill the responsibility bestowed upon us as best as we can, keeping in mind our starting point and our beliefs. We thank all Açı students, teachers, administrators and parents.