I hope you have enjoyed a great summer break, and are looking forward to the new year as much as the Secondary staff and students are! Welcome to new friends, and welcome back to old acquaintances. It’s been another busy summer.
First of all let me introduce you to our new Secondary teachers. If you’d like to know more about them, look at their staff profiles on our web site or keep an eye on the “Meet the Teacher” series on our Facebook page. In English we are joined by Ms Karolyn Mandy. In The Art Department we have Ms Helen Bramley. Mr Jorge Godward joins the Maths team, and we have 2 new musicians, Ms Claire Ryan and a new Director of Music Ms Haley Clark. In Humanities we have Mr Tanu Chakraborty and Mrs Hannah Watson, and in MFL we are joined by Ms Susanne Rosenboom and Mr Blas Piñero Martinez. We have 2 new Mandarin teachers, Mrs Lucy Lu and Mrs Tracy Pan.
Meanwhile, in building work, on the third floor we are continuing to develop the space outside the library into a welcoming place for exhibitions, meetings and university fairs. We now have a lovely café up there, and some nice exhibition space. All are welcome to use the café and to browse our library collection. The cafeteria has been refurbished, and the food seems to have become even better!
The best news this summer has been the IGCSE exam results. I’m very pleased to share with you that these are our best results ever, and by no small margin. To give you an idea of the progress we are making in Secondary, since 2013 we have more than doubled the 5 A* and A grades our students achieve. This year a staggering 55% of all grades were either A or A*. Considering all of the IGCSE exams taken this year, 91% were grade C or better. This is absolutely remarkable for a school that does not select by ability and does not ‘selectively enter’ students for exams. We are truly a school for everyone, and we pride ourselves on our promise to you that you will achieve more here than at any other school.
In amongst some fabulous results, there were lots that stood out. Perhaps the most noteworthy is one of our students who achieved 12 A* grades. There were 2 other students who achieved 11 A*/A grades, and many more who achieved multiple passes at A or above in all subjects taken. Overall our new Year 12 students made both teachers and parents proud, and we are delighted. Of course we will be holding a celebratory presentation assembly when we receive the certificates later in the year, and all parents of Year 12 students will be invited.
This year we also posted our best ever A level results, increasing the overall pass rate by a significant 10%. Personally, although the pass rate is important, I feel that the number of students who are able to go to their first choice of university is more so, and once again here we are very happy, and so are our students. Tim Lyddiatt, our university guidance counsellor has also contributed a piece to this newsletter about our students and their destinations, so I will say no more about it here.
All in all this has been a summer to remember, and it augurs well for the new academic year – on behalf of all of the Secondary staff welcome, or welcome back, and we are looking forward to working with you to get even closer to making BSB the Best School in Beijing!
Update from: Mr. Steve Lewis, Head of Secondary School