We come to the end of a very exciting week for our Secondary students as Years 7-11 and 13 have completed their residentials. Feedback from the groups has been that they have had an amazing time – I hope that you have been able to follow their progress through the daily blogs. Residentials are a key part of our provision here at BSB; they are a time when year groups can really bond together, and where students can experience things they have never experienced before, often pushing themselves a little outside their comfort zone and attempting things they may have previously not thought possible. Amidst all the excitement, there is this essential educational purpose and, as with everything we do, we are reviewing whether we could improve the programme for next year, perhaps including more of a ‘service to others’ element, as well as the range of exciting activities. We’d really appreciate your feedback on the entire residential programme – please do email Steve Lewis (Head of Secondary), Peter Carlisle (Deputy Head) or myself if you have any thoughts you would like to share.
On a different note, it is that time of year where we are seeking parents to join three very significant consultative groups within the school. Please do consider whether you would be able to give a short amount of your time to one of the following:
School Advisory Council.
This meets five times a year, in the evening, to advise the Principal and Executive Leadership Team on matters of policy and strategy. It is not a decision-making body as such but plays a very important role in giving parent and staff feedback and advice into the direction the school is taking. Parents are chosen, following application, by the members of the Council. We currently have vacancies for three parent representatives. If you would like to be considered, please send in a short statement as to why you feel you could contribute, including your experience and what you believe you could contribute. In the past, some members have included a résumé – this can be helpful but is not necessary. Please let me have any expressions of interest by Friday 14 November.
Every year Nord Anglia Education, our parent company, makes available a substantial amount of funding for our school as seed funding for major charitable works. We have an excellent and committed group of parents, teachers and students that lead and coordinate our charity work and ensure that any funds are spent appropriately. Only in place for the past six months, they have already established an exciting vision for the future and need three or four more willing parents to be part of the Board – which meets in the early evening approximately six times per year – and help in any way. Please let me know if you are interested; there is no selection process and, if we have too many, we will simply try to find roles for everyone.
Just over a year ago, we established a food committee, which is made up of four teachers, four parents, four students and various members of our support team, and which meets with our catering supplier to work to improve the quality of the food in our canteen. They made great progress last year, in changing the entire food service provision, revamping the salad bar, refurbishing the canteen, improving the queuing process, and bringing about menu changes in line with parents’ and students’ wishes. The natural process of turnover in international schools means that we now need two or three parents to join this committee, which meets approximately once a month in the morning on a school day. Once again, there is no selection process and we will try to accommodate those interested in some way, without making the group too large. Please let me know if interested by Friday 14 November so you can join the next meeting.
Whilst talking about parent involvement, we are also trying to increase the profile of the Parents’ Association and make sure it serves the needs and aspirations of all our parents. Please watch your emails and newsletters for further information soon.
Finally, I hope you will by now have seen the details of the school closures around the APEC conference. If not please follow this link: http://www.nordangliaeducation.com/our-schools/beijing/shunyi/article/2014/10/22/update-from-the-principal-on-apec-and-revised-school-closure-dates. It has brought to light one slight problem for which I can only apologise – in the very first version of the calendar, which was produced at the end of last academic year, Monday 17 November was shown as a training day. This was changed and the calendar replaced on 5 August 2014, but I don’t think we publicised this well enough to parents and I know that some have taken the long weekend for a trip away, based on the previous version. Please do contact me if this is causing you any problems and we will arrive at a solution. In general terms, please do use the ‘live version’ of the calendar on the website for all information, but I am sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.
I hope you have an excellent weekend and look forward to seeing many of you at the opening of our Dome tomorrow.
With very best wishes