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  • Did You Know?

    We provide international education to over 1,100 students ages 1-18. We are at the heart of our community, a hub for many expat families in living Beijing.

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    Through the Nord Anglia University we focus our teachers professional development to ensure that your child receives high quality teaching experience.

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    You will immediately recognise one of our students when you meet them by their evident respect for others, their intellectual and social confidence.

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    We are a high achieving school with excellent academic success. We believe in bringing out the best in every student of all abilities.

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    We teach the English National Curriculum, offer a German curriculum at primary level and IB Diploma for Years 12 & 13 students.

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Teacher Profile Nov 2020 – Chris Planchant

Click to read in Chinese and Korean

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For each newsletter, we will interview a BSB Teacher so that parents and students can get to know interesting facts about our teachers. This month we interviewed Mr. Chris Planchant, our Secondary Humanities Teacher who specialises in Geography and is also our Head of Year 12 & 13.

1. What brings you to BSB Shunyi?

I am always interested in the Far East and being a Geography teacher, I had always wanted to travel to a country with such a different, rich and diverse culture. Geographically, China has so much to offer from the northern grasslands, to the lowland coastal plains and towering snow peak mountains in the south east. In addition, my wife and I were keen for a new challenge and I had always harboured an ambition to work in an International school. The challenge of working with students and teachers from diverse backgrounds was exciting and teaching the IBDP was something I wanted to experience and become good at.

When we first came out to China in 2017 my children were very young, my son was 2 and daughter 4. We felt that we were giving them an opportunity that we never had, and many other children might never have - too good to pass up.

2. Please describe your role and responsibilities at BSB.

At school, primarily I am a Humanities teacher who specialises in Geography. I teach Key stage 3 History which I enjoy very much because I think our curriculum at BSB is particularly varied and interesting. In Geography, I teach through all secondary ages from Year 7 through to Year 13.

When I first arrived at the school I was the sole Geographer and therefore took on the role of developing the new IBDP curriculum. The course is now well established, successful and something I am very proud of. I know I’m biased but, I do feel very passionate about my subject and as US politician Judy Matz once said, “Everything has to do with Geography”. In a world that is continually changing climatically, politically, socially and economically geography encapsulates more and more of us, who we are and what we may become. Who wouldn’t want to study it?

I also hold the pastoral role of Head of Year 12 and 13. This role keeps me very busy. It also enables me to work closely with colleagues, ensure the welfare of our students and have influence over their attainment whilst they study at BSB. I enjoy forging relationships with students and parents and endeavor to do this with a smile on my face.

3. What kind of support is BSB providing for our Year 12 & 13 IB Diploma students?

BSB is the most supportive school I have ever worked at when it comes to student welfare and helping students fulfil their potential. Pastorally, I work with a fantastic tutor team that go the extra mile when it comes to looking after each and every one of their tutor group. The pastoral system ensures that students are cared for whilst in school; encouraged to always try their best and rewarded for their efforts. We also maintain high standards that I know parents and staff are particularly proud of.

4. What's "A Day in the Life at BSB" for you?

Well, I’ll be honest here. No two days are ever the same so, I’ll give you an average day. I cycle in to school and arrive around 7.10 in the morning. This gives me ample opportunity to check and send emails to colleagues and students whilst having a rather large coffee! I then aim to get around to some of the form groups to see the students and tutors. When form time is over, my teaching day begins. Lessons are normally fun and I always try to make them as interesting as possible and teach with a smile on my face. Teaching is a ‘people’ profession and to be a good teacher you need to show your personality so that the students engage, this has always been my mantra. After school may involve meetings, ASA’s, academic support or marking.

5. What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I guess I have already alluded to this. The variation is important but watching children grow into young adults, develop new skills and mature in to ‘exceptional’ young people is very satisfying. Particularly pleasing for me is seeing our students achieve or exceed their goals and obtain outstanding exam results and go on to study Geography at higher education at some of the best universities in the world.

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6. Are you involved in any ASAs?

As an ex-professional sportsman I always try to get outside of the classroom after school. Currently, I coach cross-country running and fitness. I also coach my sport, rugby, in season 4 and have previously helped out with volleyball and basketball. In term two, my attention switches to academic ASA’s and revision for exams in Geography.

7. Please tell us about other members of your family in Beijing and any interesting places you’ve visited in China?

I am married to my wife, Nia. She was a lawyer in the UK and now works as an assistant to the board of trustees of another international school, a job she thoroughly enjoys. My children Annabelle and Wilf also attend BSB and are currently in Years 1 and 3. Annabelle loves dancing and has many friends at BSB. I spend most of my free time taking her to parties and picking her up from friends’ houses. Wilf is sporty and is quite competitive like his dad, I’m hopeful he will become a sportsman and I can spend my retirement following him around the world as his manager.

I have been very lucky to visit several places in China mainly on residential trips with the school. I have been to Fujian, Yunnan and Sichuan. All of which were fantastic experiences for the students and staff. We get to bond with the students outside of the classroom whilst immersing ourselves in the culture, cuisine and outdoor pursuits on offer.

8. Please tell us about your hobbies.

My free time is usually enjoyed spending time with my family. However, I do get to enjoy some hobbies. Even at the age of (nearly) forty, I still occasionally play rugby for my expat rugby side - the Beijing Devils. My wife tries to stop me because I keep on getting injured. Since arriving in China I have managed to split my eye open receiving 15 stitches; fracture my eye socket and I have broken my thumb in several places (the latter requiring surgery!). May be its time to give up!

When I’m not getting injured, I ride my bike daily, use the gym and run a lot. Last year I even managed to complete a half marathon and the Beijing full marathon. Apart from exercise, I enjoy socialising with friends, cooking and when I can, read a good book.

Click to read more about Chris.