Dear Parents and Friends
The end of the school year at BSB is always so incredibly busy and this year is no exception. Events pile up on yet more events, our students are still flat out with examinations, and on top of all that, there are a succession of events to say farewell to those who are leaving us, and who have shown such enormous commitment to the school over their time in the family.
I have to of course mention the Summer Fayre, which was a phenomenal event, bringing together the entire BSB and wider community in a day of enormous fun, which also raised very significant sums for our chosen charities ‘Couleurs de Chine’ and the Nepal Earthquake Fund, both such worthy recipients and who have both been extremely grateful for your support. Thank you so much to those who attended on the day (approximately 3,000 of you) and made it so fantastic. My particular thanks also go to Eli Puttock and Anna Jin, who led the whole event absolutely outstandingly, and to David Cairns and Jamie Hughes, who brought together ‘BSB’s Got Talent’ as a great centrepiece for the afternoon, as well as the music team who also provided excellent entertainment. I definitely also want to pay tribute to the unsung heroes of these events, our maintenance and ayi team, who worked tirelessly throughout Saturday and Sunday to make sure everything ran smoothly, and somehow managed to get the school back to normal and ready for business by 8 pm on Sunday evening – they are amazing. And above all, thank you to every colleague, parent and student who did their all to make sure that it was a day to remember!
As I write, our Primary FOBISIA team are enjoying a fantastic week in Penang, Malaysia. They have trained so hard and we are really proud of them and their coaches – I feel certain that in the next newsletter we will be able to report on some terrific success on the pitch and track, and in the pool. Above all, I am already getting reports of what excellent ambassadors they are for their families and BSB, and this stands them out so much from the rest. And then, of course, next week is the week of Primary Residentials. I know that the children and teachers are super excited about what is to come and I look forward to hearing all the news on their return.
The two big events in Secondary at the moment are this week’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) week during which students have enjoyed a whole series of challenges, visits, competitions and events to celebrate these core subjects in our curriculum and take their learning further, culminating with liquid nitrogen on Friday. Next week is one of our major Creative and Performing Arts events of the year, our Summer Soiree, where we invite ALL parents from any part of the school to come along and see the almost unbelievable talent of our students, nurtured by their teachers. I have already seen the Art exhibition and some of the DT work that will be on display, and it is no exaggeration to say that it is of professional quality. We have had just a few tasters of our exceptional musicians and that will provide the focus as the evening goes on, along with several Drama performances. Please do join us if you can – it promised to be highly enjoyable and I know how much the students appreciate your support. And then, we have our inaugural house chess competition tomorrow (Saturday) here at school, starting at 9.30. We decided fairly late to add this to the programme but have over 20 enthusiasts coming to play – we are planning for bigger and better next year!
I am, of course, also really excited about seeing the Early Year production next week – always one of the highlights of the year!
There is one more newsletter before the end of term but, in the meantime, may I wish you a lovely last few weeks of the school year, and great pleasure in what is turning out to be a truly beautiful Beijing Spring.
May I first of all thank those parents who took the time to respond to our survey. I know that some parents do not like the idea of constant consultation, and we will be very careful about that, but your views were really helpful to us in coming to a decision.
The significant majority of response told us clearly that you do not want the uniform to change except in minor ways. We are therefore making the following slight changes to policy – please note that these will not be implemented until WINTER uniform in October:
- For boys in Years 1 and 2, we will replace the shirt and tie with a polo shirt and a smart school sweater. This will be a big help when children need to change during the day. Because of this, the school blazer will become optional for these year groups, although I know that a lot of parents will still wish to buy one as they look so smart on more formal occasions, and I would encourage you to do so;
- For girls in Years 1-3, it will be allowable to wear a white turtle neck shirt (available in the shop) under the pinafore dress, or the polo shirt – some parents felt that the dress was a little cold at times and this will hopefully help;
- Students in the Primary School will be allowed to wear EITHER the blue polo shirt OR the white polo shirt. We have had no problem with this this term – our students look very smart in both, and it gives children and parents a degree of choice which we believe is healthy;
- We will not be changing the girls’ skirts in the immediate future but will review this again for summer 2016 when we have had a chance to look at a range of options;
- Most parents did not want the introduction of trousers for girls so we will not be making this change at this stage;
- Finally, although one or two parents were in favour of introducing ‘skorts’ – skirts with shorts integrated in them, the majority were not, but several parents did ask that we make it more public that it is acceptable to wear cycling/gymnastic shorts under the skirt. We will make sure that we do this, as I feel that this is a very good solution.
With many thanks again for your input and helping us to remain the smartest school in Beijing!
With very best wishes