Richard Thornhill
15 December, 2020

Principal’s Update – 15th December, 2020

Dear Parents

It has certainly been an interesting year in the life of BSB! As we approach the end of term and the end of the calendar year, I would like to spend a few moments reflecting on a year that has had no parallel in recent times. Our school closed during last Chinese New Year holiday. We managed to reopen for some year groups during the course of the year and we all had to get used to on-line learning and the development of this as a methodology of teaching and learning. Initially our greatest worry was our year groups who were sitting their examinations last summer. I am pleased to say that both our students and teachers stepped up to the plate and these year groups achieved some outstanding results. For example, 57% of our IGCSE results were graded A* - A. This is extremely good by any measure. Our IB average points score was 34 points, well above the global average. This again is very good. So a big well done to all of those involved in getting through these uncertain times, staying focussed on the job in hand and achieving such outstanding results. Click here to read more.

Our youngest students found the online provision the hardest and they were away from school for the longest. We continued the online provision for these students and our primary students well into the summer vacation and and we will have an EYFS Winter School in the classroom over the Christmas holidays.. During Term 1 of this year we saw Saturday school and extended day provision for the first time for many of our students. In the coming term, additional time will be made available to our Years 7 – 9 students. These are some of the examples of ways we are delivering not just academic support to our students but trying as best as the virus control measures allow to ensure that every students learning is where it should be.

Our ongoing task is to continue with the process of re-introducing key elements of the whole school experience and not just the academic programme. We hope that we will be able to begin to have inter-school sports fixtures with other local schools, continue with our performing arts programme and hold student led conferences under the BRITMUN banner. Arrangements for these are well under way. It was with great regret that we were unable to hold the Christmas Fayre this year but a big thank you to our PA who worked with us to ensure that our Santa’s Secret Shop event went ahead. The students really value this event and it was lovely to have the festive spirit in the school after such a challenging year.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our parents for their support over this period. As you know there are still many constraints in place, not least the strict controls of who is allowed on campus. These controls look like they will remain in place for some time yet but I truly appreciate you support and understanding in these matters, it is greatly appreciated. I would also like to acknowledge the great efforts of the staff both those who have been in China and those who were stuck overseas. They have worked tirelessly to support their students and sometimes in the most difficult situations. For some, they have not been able to see family and loved ones for a long time and this has added an additional level of stress for them. So I would like to say a big thank you to all our staff for their hard work and dedication.

This term has seen us reopen for all year groups and we have enjoyed a disruption free term. Our students have settled back into school well and there is the same friendly feel to the school as we return towards what could be regarded as normal. Our hope is that this continues after the Christmas break and we are able to further develop the opportunities for our students. The speed of this process will be, to a certain extent, dictated by events in greater China and also the rest of the world. So we hope that the global situation will ease and controls are able to be relaxed in a safe and planned way.

It only remains for me to say a big thank you to the whole school community for all their efforts, understanding and resilience during this difficult period. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone the compliments of the season and hope that you and your families stay safe and well and are able to enjoy a well-earned rest.

I look forward to welcoming you all back to school in the new year and let us all hope for a peaceful and safe festive season.

Best regards as always

Richard Thornhill



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