The key element to the news I am sharing with you is continuity. As you will recall today is Vice Principal Stuart White’s last day with us. He is moving on to take up the post of Principal at CATS College Cambridge in the UK. Mr White’s intelligence, his passion for helping others to thrive and dedication to his work as Head of Secondary and Vice Principal means he has made a truly significant contribution to the development of our school over the last five and a half years. We are very grateful to him and we wish him the very best of luck for his future career.
Ms Niki Meehan, presently Head of Primary will step up from 1st August and assume the role of Vice Principal. Her extensive experience, her long track record of success in senior school leadership, her people skills and her passion for high quality teaching and learning make her the ideal replacement and I am very much looking forward to working with her to take the school on to its next chapter of success and development.
Replacing Ms Meehan will be Ms Eleanor Jess who is currently Head of Key Stage 2. Ms Jess is also hugely experienced in terms of primary school leadership in particular, she was for 13 years the head of a very successful primary school in Scotland. Having run Key Stage 2 for two years she also has a deep understanding of the strengths of the school and an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities offered by an international school like BISS Puxi. Supporting her will be Ms Sam Rae who will be Deputy Head of Primary/ Admissions. She will continue to undertake the excellent work she has done for the last two years as Deputy Head of Admissions with whole primary school responsibilities.
The Key Stage 2 phase of the school, Year 3 to Year 6 is sizeable and we have for a couple of years been thinking about dividing it into two sub divisions. Head of Upper Key Stage 2 will be Mrs Beth Westwood who moves up from her current role as Head of Year 5 and alongside her as Head of Lower Key Stage 2 will be Ms Kay Parker who is currently the Head of Key Stage 1. Both ladies have made a strong contribution to our community in their present roles and I am confident that they will respond well to their new roles and the challenges they present. Mrs Ruth Hanson will move from her present role as Head of Early Years Cubs where she has also been both very popular and very successful to take on the Head of Key Stage 1 role. This leaves us with a vacancy for a new Head of Early Years Cubs and we have advertised this opportunity internally and will update you on the outcome of this process shortly.
In the secondary school I am delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Andrew Lancaster as the new Head of Secondary. Mr Lancaster too has more than ten years of senior management experience in the UK and more recently at BISS Puxi, leading both sub sections of schools including 6th Form and also leading teaching and learning. The management structure of the secondary will change slightly with the IB Academy unaffected and its former head Mr Andy Joy returning from West Africa to lead it, replacing Mrs White who has led the academy very successfully over the last two years. The management of Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 will be undertaken by two new Deputy Heads, Mr Paul Kelly who moves from the role of Head of Key Stage 4 and a new arrival Mr Nicholas Rickford who joins us from Harrow Beijing. Mr Kelly will have a pastoral and organisational focus and Mr Rickford will be focussed on the academic performance of students at this level.
In addition of course we have the two other senior leaders Mr Joseph Westwood (Head of Data and Tracking and Ms Fiona McConnon (Head of Global Languages). Together they constitute an experienced, stable, and at the same time, an innovative and forward looking team who I am confident will serve the school extremely well as we move into the school’s second decade serving the international community of Puxi, Shanghai.
Finally I am also very pleased to be able to report that we have nearly concluded our staff recruitment for the academic year 2015-16. We still have a handful of staff to find, but we have already secured some excellent new staff and we will conclude this process shortly after CNY.
All that remains for me to do is to wish you all Xin Nian Kwai Le!
I hope you have a restful and peaceful break.
- Kevin Foyle, Principal