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Pleased to Meet You...Student Council Presidents

08 October 2014

This week, we spoke to Tristan Smith, Year 13 and Michal du Plessis, Year 12, the two new elected Student Council Presidents. Find out what made them want to run and what they intend to do with their time as Presidents.

  • The new student council presidents at the British International School, Puxi
What made you want to run for school council president?

Tristan: Since I arrived here at BISS Puxi I have been impressed with the countless facilities which I could only dream about at my previous schools. The amazing school campus, the quality of teaching and strong teacher - student relationships which make class feel like a warm environment for the students to learn in while enjoying their time. The only thing missing from the school in my opinion was a medium for the student body to communicate directly to the people who can help make the students’ goals and dreams for the future come true. The Student Council that was introduced last year is a great way to do this so I was very keen to run for President.

Michal: I only started at BISS Puxi this year so have not been here long enough to apply for President due to pride in the school or any reason of that nature. I felt that the initial speech in front of the secondary school body and being in a leadership position would both be interesting and difficult challenges with valuable experience to be gained.

What are the main things you want to do with your time as president?

Tristan: While we do have a defined list of things that we do want to achieve, it's not the little things that matter - it's the overall picture that matters. We want to establish an even closer bond between students and staff, perhaps through conjoined extra curriculum activities where even teachers can join in. We want to create a more enjoyable school experience by helping put forward any hopes or goals that students may have and we hope to ensure the students have another successful and positive year at what I believe to be one of the best establishments in the world.

Michal: We want to implement, or at least get everyone involved in discussing, as many of the ideas and suggestions of the students as possible and we will ensure that we maintain an open minded approach to each.  Apart from that, a more concrete goal would be to ensure that most of the initial changes we promised to deliver are implemented.

What are your plans to involve the rest of the school in the school council?

Tristan: I'm a very approachable and social person, so people have no problem coming up to me and simply just asking or having a short chat about things which we think would help improve the learning experience at school.

Michal: Having student council meetings will be essential in communicating the students’ opinions and suggestions into relevant discussions. I also believe that approaching various students on a regular basis and speaking to them to hear their opinions will increase their involvement and interest in taking part. Giving students a chance to express their ideas during form class would also contribute.

What do you enjoy about benig at BISS Puxi?

Tristan: I have three main things that I love about BISS Puxi. The first thing is the quality of teaching here - it's simply unlike anything I have experienced before. Teachers don't just read to you what a book tells them: the teachers here are genuinely extremely intelligent, they teach in a way everyone can understand, and they ensure everyone understands - no one gets left behind. The second thing is the teacher-student relationship at BISS Puxi. The teachers and students are all very approachable and kind. If you need help, don't understand something, anything, they will always be willing to help 150%. The last thing I love about BISS Puxi is the countless ways they ensure your experience at school isn't solely about academics. Outside of school, ECAs such as Rugby or Football create a great bond among fellow students and helps make school a more enjoyable experience.

Michal: I enjoy the freedom inside and outside of the classroom for obvious reasons. Apart from the enjoyment, I feel that it promotes creative thinking while encouraging a sense of responsibility and independence.  The IB students wearing business attire is also something that I have taken a liking to as it creates a sense of professionalism.  I really enjoy being exposed to people from various cultures and nationalities even though many of them find it difficult to understand what I’m saying most of the time, due to my accent!

Tell us a bit about yourselves.

Tristan: I’m 17 years old, turning 18 this year. I’m originally half Canadian half German, but I have travelled most of my life. I’ve moved around from Thailand, Germany, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand again, and finally Shanghai. This is my second year studying in Shanghai. The main ECA that I do is Rugby as I love the sport and find great enjoyment in it. I’m hoping to study business in university.

Michal: I am from South Africa and we have been living here for about a month now.  My ECAs include rugby, cross fit and photography. I am not too sure what I want to study yet but I am considering doing something in the engineering field.

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