A big welcome back to the start of a new school year to all of you in the BVIS community.
After several days with my staff in school, preparing for the school year it was lovely to finally welcome the students back - ultimately it is they who make the school a school!
The exam results from this year’s IGCSE cohort made it even more of a special start. We were so proud to see how well they had done, with a record 51% of our students achieving A*-A grades. This compares with 20% of students getting the top grades in the UK. It was a fitting set of results for our students who thoroughly deserved them after working so hard. It was equally deserving for their teachers for the tremendous amount of inspired teaching and guidance that they gave to the students throughout their IGCSE courses.
Our week started on Monday when we welcomed our new students and their families to school, and then continued on Wednesday when we had a very different first day of term.
After a welcome assembly the students were engaged in team building exercises for most of the day - where they had to work in groups from across their tutor and year groups - and also across age groups. It was a fun day full of physical and mental group problems to solve.
The purpose of the day was to help our new students get to know their peers in an informal, yet educational way. We know through research that students who can settle quickly into a new school make very good progress, and so helping our students feel welcomed, supported, happy and confident is our number one priority for the start of the term.
As well as new students we were also delighted to welcome new teachers to BVIS. Mr Walsh (PE), Mr Jones (Geography), Ms Goldie (Computer Science and Business), Ms Thompson (Science), Mr Hennigan (Head of EAL), Mr Whiffin (English and EAL), Ms Ramanah (EAL) and Mr Scovell (Maths) have all made a brilliant start to their time at BVIS and I am confident that we have a team of teachers of the highest calibre. I am really looking forward to working with them.
On Friday we were treated to a wonderful assembly from our BVIS UN Ambassadors, Lan, Sasu, Johnny and Minh, who told us of their experiences at the UN in New York over the summer. They addressed the UN Assembly and had a brilliant time working with 85 other students from across the Nord Anglia Group of schools. Johnny even won an award out of 85 delegates for the best paper written for stating the case for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
This year we have 8 parent workshops planned. The workshops are designed to help our parents understand a little more about what we do in school, and how they can help support the work we do at home. The themes of the workshops are going to be:
Learning to Learn
The Teenage Brain
Google Classroom and ICT for Parents
Managing Stress in Children
How to Support Your Children With Exam Preparation
How the Arts Improve Language
I do hope that as many of you as possible will want to come to these workshops throughout the year.
Our first opportunity to find out more about the school comes next week when we are running some Parent Information Evenings, from 4-5.30pm. These will be held over three separate evenings for Years 7, 8 & 9, Years 10 &11, and Years 12 & 13.
We will be detailing what you can expect from us as a school this year and have a chance to meet the tutors of your children.
It is going to be a great year - I hope to see as many of you as possible over the next few weeks.