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An Update from our Principal - 5 April, 2016

05 April 2016

  • BSB Shunyi vertical logo Aug 2015

Dear Parents

Parent Update meetings

I have no doubt that many of you have been following the significant developments at BSB over the past few months, and you also know that the door is always open if you wish to discuss anything at all.

However, it has occurred to me that it is sometime since we had a meeting to inform you of what is happening, and also what is planned for the future. In Secondary, this includes our continued success in promoting high academic standards as well as reporting back on the implementation of the IB Diploma; in Primary, the developments in the British National Curriculum and our response to it are now very important for our future direction. But there is much more than this – we have further plans for building development, some great new opportunities for our students, and some new teachers for next year to introduce (although our staff turnover will be much lower this year than it has been in the past).

At our recent coffee mornings and information events, there were some parents who felt that it would be good for me to explain further about some things which still cause them confusion:

-  Why we follow the curriculum we do at BSB and what is the difference between the British and the ‘American’ style curriculum;

- The standards in the Secondary School and our university destinations and links;

- The training, recruitment and development of our teachers;

- The reasons behind our policies on admissions;

- How we keep the promises we make to parents which are displayed in the foyer.

We do genuinely believe that we are growing into BSB, the Best School in Beijing, but continue to believe there is work to do, especially in Secondary School, to get us to that position.

I should therefore very much like you to attend one of these meetings, both of which take place on Wednesday 13 April:

8.45 am – there will be coffee/tea and pastries available from 8.30 and the meeting will last for approximately one hour, with a presentation by myself, followed by questions and discussion.

6.30 pm – with coffee/tea available from 6 pm and a similar format to the meeting, but obviously with a chance for working parents to also attend.

Korean and Chinese translators will be available to assist AT THE MORNING MEETING, but we do not intend to translate the entire presentation. If ANY nationality group feels, however, that they would like to have a separate meeting with translation in their own language, please do let me know and I will be happy to arrange it.

Most of all, however, we want this to be an opportunity for us to get your feedback and answer your questions on whatever topic you may wish.

Please also don’t forget the chance to meet Mrs Nonie Adams, our new Primary Headteacher, from 8.30 am on Wednesday 6 April.

Uniform consultation outcomes

Many thanks to those parents who responded to our consultation at the end of last term regarding school uniform. I am very pleased to report the outcomes to you:

- From winter uniform 2016 onwards, we will be allowing our female students, of all ages, to wear either trousers or a school skirt. This seems to be highly appropriate in the 21st century, and also considering the Beijing climate. Smart uniform will remain absolutely essential at BSB, so we will only be allowing trousers that are purchased from the school shop – samples of these will be available in the coming months.

- Boys in the secondary school will be allowed to wear tailored shorts (again, only the uniform style purchased from the school shop) in the summer months, starting with summer uniform 2017 – again, we have allowed for a delay in order to ensure that we can get a suitable style designed and made, with samples available for parents to examine at the appropriate time.

- We are currently working with our suppliers to look at possibility of developing a summer skirt which is made of a lighter material, but still remains smart and appropriate for school wear.

- The opinions on the wearing of ‘skorts’ were mixed (literally 50/50) as they were last time we asked about this. Some parents definitely favour skorts, whilst others appreciate the freedom offered by sticking with the skirt but allowing (as we do) the wearing of ‘cycling’ shorts underneath. We will consider looking into the provision of skorts as an optional item, but obviously will need to think carefully about the amount of stock this might entail, so will not make any promises in this respect.

With many thanks once again for your input but also for your support for our smart uniform, which we do believe is one of the hallmarks of our school.

With very best wishes for the term ahead.

Andy Puttock