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Our Principal Writes: Term 2 Draws To A Close

Dear Parents,

It is important to look back on each sub section of the year and reflect upon the triumphs and tribulations. The last two weeks of term seemed to have included so many of the elements that contribute to the success of our community.

The warmth of the welcome that people receive at our school was commented on by the guests that joined the happy throng last Saturday evening at the PTA International Food Event. There was a lovely, open and friendly atmosphere as people socialised and enjoyed the food with many of them attending a PTA event for the first time. The celebrations continued all through the week with international food for the students in the Primary Theatre and international week which culminated in the eye catching international parade this morning. The event concluded a highly successful and very busy week of international themed activities.

The last two weeks have also been packed with lots of other exciting experiences. The school's production of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" and Monday evening’s IB Visual Arts Exhibition served to illustrate the quality of the work being produced by our students in the creative arts. We have also enjoyed input from some high quality visiting speakers who have come to help enrich our work and further inspire students. Last week children's author Neil Griffiths spent a day in school working with students and staff and this week we welcomed Dr Beccie Dow who gave a session in the secondary school on “Cognitive Skills and Learning” to Year 11.

We have continued to field a myriad of BISS Lions sports teams who have all enjoyed some success and been very well supported by parents and staff, most noticeably the Under 9 rugby team who won the CISSA competition and the Under 19 boys’ football team who are battling for the title in the Shanghai Football League.

Themed days have brought the curriculum to life and given parents more opportunities to come in and see what their children have been learning and thinking about. The Year 5 Victorian Day was very well attended and much enjoyed by parents who were able to come and see for themselves how their children had been exploring Victorian England.

We have also seen a number of examples of the regular high profile academic success that our students are enjoying in competitive situations. You have just received tracker reports which will give you up to date information on your children’s progress and please feel free to ask for further information from staff if you wish to.

The sharp end of the academic year is approaching with public exams looming on the horizon for, in particular Year 6 (Key Stage 2 SATs), Year 11 (GCSEs) and Year 13 taking their IB Diploma. A great deal of extra effort is being put in at present in preparation for all of these upcoming challenges, with revision sessions taking place after school, at lunchtime and at the weekends.

We can certainly look back on all of this activity with a real sense of pride. It struck me as I was writing this blog post that the key element to all of this success is partnership and support. In all that we are doing we are seeing strong elements of cooperation, commitment and collaboration between students and staff: links between home and school.

There is one piece of staffing news to share with you and that is the departure of Mr Ross Hill who has been teaching PE and taking BISS Lions sports teams. He has had a real impact in a number of areas, in particular our volleyball and gymnastics. He is returning to the UK to take up a coaching role at one of Britain’s most successful gymnastics clubs, where he will be developing British Olympic gymnasts. Ross will be replaced for the summer term by a member of the CETA team, Mr Cinto Casanova, who has a strong academic and coaching background.

I hope you all have a restful and relaxing break and that you enjoy and make the most of your time together as families.

- Kevin Foyle, Principal