Dear Parents and Friends
As I write, I have just returned from the first BSB ski weekend that we have held for quite a while, and it was fantastic. We went to the resort of Jundushan, just outside Beijing and, as ever, our BSB students excelled. Their attitude and behaviour was exceptional, they tried so hard in everything they were asked to do and, as a result, everyone made great progress. They were an absolute pleasure to be with!
Elsewhere in this newsletter you will find details of another skiing opportunity; the chance to participate in the International School ski competition at Wanlong. This is very late notice – the entry date is the date you receive this newsletter – but we really wanted to check out the quality of the organisation before fully recommending them to you. On the basis of our experience at the weekend, we are very happy to do so. Please let me know if you register for the event – we are not intending to organise a formal BSB team for this year (that will be for next year) but I would like to link up anyone who is going.
Looking back, the weekend before last really was something quite spectacular in school. We took on the ambitious task of hosting two major events in one weekend, with the ACAMIS (Association of China and Mongolia International Schools) u19 Basketball Tournament and the AISA (Association of International Schools in Asia) Math Mania Challenge and Leadership Conference, meaning that we hosted teams from ten other schools in total, as well as our own teams. Both were a roaring success, with the basketball played in a ferociously competitive spirit, but with a sense of fair play and sportsmanship that was quite moving to see at times. The Maths competition was…..difficult. Very, very difficult! And it was amazing to see the way the teams engaged in stretching themselves to solve problems that were well beyond school level, even for the best of them. And, to epitomise what we aim to do in creating great learning for tomorrow’s leaders, we saw 60 or so young leaders from across Asia showing us that the future is in very safe hands. Our BSB teams were marvellous hosts, and I should like to particularly thank Messrs Washko, Carlisle, Readdy and Mounter, along with the PE staff and our GCSE PE students who gave up their entire weekend to ensure the events were a success.
The best comment of the weekend came from a teacher at another school, when saying thank you and goodbye: “we’re really scared now because we are hosting next year and we have to be as good as this!”
Looking forward, we come to that really special time in the Chinese calendar as we celebrate the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival. It’s always a big occasion in school and I am very grateful to our Chinese team for decorating the school so brightly and for putting together a really strong and exciting programme of activities for our day of celebration this Thursday. As I have said many times, it really is a great privilege to be in a school in this truly amazing country, and this is a time of year when we can celebrate that fact to the maximum.
Whatever you may be doing next week, whether staying here in Beijing, travelling to be with your family in your home town, or simply taking the chance to holiday somewhere, I wish you all a really enjoyable, fulfilling and safe Chinese New Year holiday.
With very best wishes for the Year of the Sheep!
A few weeks ago, I sent out a draft of the school calendar for 2015/16. This received no adverse comments from parents, so I am pleased to confirm that this is the ‘final’ calendar for the coming year. I say ‘final’ because, as you know, the Chinese holidays, particularly the short ones that are taken in lieu of weekend days, are still subject to change.
Please see attached below, a copy of the Calendar.