Dear Parents and Friends
As I reflect back on the first month of this term, I feel we have a lot to be grateful for. We really have seen some wonderful Beijing weather (although the last few days not quite so good) and been able to enjoy to the full this fantastic city in which we live. In school, we have seen our new students and staff settle incredibly well, and begin to play a very full part in the life of the school already. I have been struck by how many new students are already throwing themselves into sport, music and other extra-curricular activities, and also by how rapidly they have adapted to ‘BSB family’ life and the ethos we expect from all our community. They really are such a pleasure to be with every day. If new parents do have any ‘settling issues’, however, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our team or me myself; we are always here to help.
One of the highlights of the past week for me has been in Secondary School where our aspiring student leaders for the coming year spoke to the whole school about their plans in order to try to win votes. This year we have changed our system of student leadership into a broader one, with the Chairs of three Student Committees – Academic Committee, Social and Community Committee and Charity Committee – being our senior leaders, supported by their teams and the elected Student Guild. We are very excited by the opportunities this creates for true student voice, and the ways this will link with the excellent work of the Primary School Student Council. I was truly inspired by the amazing speeches of our leaders of tomorrow – they all spoke with passion, a genuine pride in their school (it is so great to hear students now speak of the Best School in Beijing and really believing it), and a total commitment to continuing to make it better for current and future generations of students. They are all worthy of election and we are very proud of them indeed; I really look forward to working with them, and the entire Student Guild, over the coming year.
Looking forward, we have an exceptionally busy month (nothing new there!), especially with activities on offer for parents. On October 10th, it is our first parent excursion of the year, and we have nearly 200 parents signed up to come to the Huanghuacheng Reservoir and Great Wall area – one of the things I immediately loved when I joined BSB was the chance to have these great social events with the whole community and I am looking forward to it very much. Then, on October 14th, as part of our weekly series of ‘Wednesday workshops’, we have a very important meeting for parents regarding how to gain access to the top universities. This will look at the entire process of support and application, how to choose the best universities, and what we do to help your child get there. We will be joined on the day by our newly appointed Nord Anglia Education Regional Director for Higher Education, who will explain her role in supporting our own team of counsellors to make sure it happens. We will of course be having evening events later in the year for those parents who cannot make daytime events, and a whole series of university visits to school, starting on 20 October (details elsewhere in this newsletter).
Please also put the next workshop – 21 October – in your diary as this will be a workshop on Living in Beijing. Of particular interest to newcomers to the school, this will cover a variety of topics but perhaps most importantly health and air quality.
And finally, leaving the largest until last, October 26 sees one of our biggest parent events of the year, and always one of the most amazingly enjoyable days of the year, International Day. Beginning with a parade of nations in national costumes and colours, with live Chinese performances, a whole day of exhibition of the 60+ nationalities who make the rich and vibrant BSB community follows. There will be displays and activities from the different nationalities and a range of performances of song, dance and culture. Please do join us if you can – it really is a celebration of cultural diversity that never fails to inspire.
But before that, we all have the Mid-Autumn Festival, National Holiday and Golden Week and I wish you all a fantastic ten days, wherever you maybe and, for those of you new to mooncakes, an excellent first experience of the type of celebrations that are central to the culture of this wonderful country.
With very best wishes