As I write, I am just finishing off the last of the delicious snacks which I purchased at Chatterbox today from the wonderful team of Korean parents who took over the café to celebrate their National Alphabet day (which was actually yesterday). This has become a real feature of the school this year, as Chatterbox hands itself over to different nationality groups to celebrate national days and other important occasions. Part of our mission as an international school with a truly global community is not only to understand each other but to really be excited about the diversity within our family, and this has become a very important part of that mission.
I hope you had a wonderful Golden Week holiday wherever you chose to spend it this year. For those who remained in Beijing, I am sorry that we didn’t manage to arrange the usual golden weather we experience at this time of year, but I hope this didn’t spoil your enjoyment in any way.
We now enter the period of the school year which we often refer to as the ‘engine room’ of the year, that is the time when the true hard work and foundations are laid for success in the future. For our examination students, who are looking to match our record results of the past two years, this is the few months before their mock examinations. For others, it is the time when they are past the early ‘getting to know you’ phase with their teachers and time to settle into the rhythm of learning that sets the pattern for the rest of the year.
That doesn’t of course mean that we don’t have some really exciting times ahead of us. Next week will see our secondary students heading off on residential trips – apart from Year 12 who will visit Tanzania later in the year. Residentials are such an important part of what we offer at BSB – it gives students a chance to work on some really important life skills to complement their studies and also get to know each other and their teachers better, in a different light, which is why we always aim to do them so close to the beginning of the year.
During the same week, we welcome the UK National Space Academy back to school for a second visit, following the truly inspirational time they spent with us last year. Once again, they will deliver master classes for teachers and students, both from BSB and our Chinese partner schools, but this time focused on primary age children. There will also once again be a lecture for children and parents delivered by teachers from the academy – those who came last year will know that it was a really wonderful event so please do come along if you can. Journey to Space will take place on 19th October at 6pm in the Theatre.
In early November our minds and focus shift to some really important sports events, with our under 19 boys defending the ACAMIS trophy in volleyball that they won so thrillingly last year, and with a very strong girls team also hoping to achieve great success. The tournament takes place here at BSB from 3 – 5 November and you are of course more than welcome to come along and cheer on our teams. One week after that it is the turn of our under 15 teams to host other FOBISIA teams from across Asia, and once again we should be delighted to see any parents who wish to come along and support.
And of course, before all of this, this coming Friday (14 October) we have one of the most special days of the year, our International Day. Returning to the theme with which I began this update, this is a chance to celebrate the diversity of our truly international community (there are approximately 60 nationalities in the school). It begins with a ‘parade of nations’ at 9 am and then continues, from 10 am, with a number of parent-run stalls (over 30 once again this year) around the school offering displays of culture, music, food and information about many of our countries, along with shows and demonstrations in the foyer and the theatre throughout the day. Students are encouraged to wear national dress or other symbols from their country (e.g football shirts) and it is even better if we see parents who dress up, as many do. It is a really fun and also educational day which is an absolute joy for all of us – please do come along and join the celebration. If you have any questions about the day, please don’t hesitate to ask.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming events, or at any other time.
With very best wishes