Dear Parents and Friends
Well, it has been an immensely busy start to the term at BSB. Nothing new there, but this term has been a little different because we had barely started when we had a long weekend then, three weeks later, we have a long ‘Golden Week/Mid-Autumn Festival’ holiday. This is such a lovely time of year in Beijing that we all want to make the most of it, and we do, but we are also very aware that this term, particularly for examination classes, is the ‘engine room’ of the school year; it is the work done in the period from September to December that really brings the rewards when the examinations come around. Our teachers are therefore working extra hard to make sure that we don’t lose teaching because of the lost time.
It was great to see so many of you at the Welcome Back Picnic, despite the variable weather on the day. These community events are a really important part of the BSB family and we always appreciate the effort that parents and families make to join us. Please do always feel free to give feedback – we don’t believe in changing things for the sake of changing them but we do want to always do things that families like to do. Elsewhere in this newsletter, you will find details of our first family walk of the year, which is normally a fantastic event – we will be going to Huanghuacheng reservoir, where there is a really well restored piece of the Great Wall, but also a lovely lake, walking trails, boat trips and great places to picnic. Please do join us if you can.
Talking of community, may I commend our wonderful Chatterbox café to new parents. This really is the hub of our school for families and friends (as well as serving the best coffee and cakes in Beijing). It is run by volunteers – more are always welcome and this is an excellent way to make new friends and get involved in the life of the community – and raises a huge amount of money each year for charity. Please feel free to drop in any morning after you have brought your children to school, or at any other time – a warm welcome is very much guaranteed.
It was my great pleasure to meet so many parents at our recent Information Events for Primary and Secondary parents respectively. The presentation slide shows from these two events are being placed on the website – clearly, these are only bullet point presentations so please do not hesitate to contact Mr Allman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mr Lewis (email@example.com) if you have any questions or would like any clarification.
And finally, I will turn as I nearly always do to our students. Every year, every week, every day, I never cease to be amazed and humbled by what they do and the commitment they give. This year they appear to be rising to new heights in every way. Academically, teachers are telling me that our new examination classes in Year 10 and Year 12 have shown the most outstanding enthusiasm in starting their courses, whilst Year 11 and Year 13 seem to go from strength to strength. The ethos of learning whenever I visit the Primary School is stunning – the children are polite, enthusiastic and very happy in their learning. The sign-up for sports this term has been almost beyond belief – to give one example, under 19 volleyball now has well over 50 students training three times a week, whereas last year it was normally less than 20. And our new Director of Music is telling me that she is seeing just the sort of drive she was looking for to take music to the heights we want – continuing our excellence in elite music whilst at the same time involving many more students in music and the performing arts.
This all only happens with your relentless support, for which we are very grateful and, if the year continues the way it has started, we are going to have a really great 2015/16!
With very best wishes