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“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

17 September 2015

The subject quote by Robert Collier is one of my favourites.  It encapsulates the positive attitude of our students and I am fortunate enough to see this day in, day out at the school.  In recent blogs, both my colleagues and I have made references to the success of our students in many different ways: from their academic achievements with IB and IGCSE examinations, to their sporting success in volleyball, rugby, swimming and netball.  

  • Head of Secondary Message

So what are the keys to success?  Andy Joy and the IB team gave a fascinating insight into the IB Diploma Programme to Year 12 pupils and parents at the school last Thursday, signposting strategies for achieving success over the course of two years.  He discussed Carol Dweck’s work on fixed and growth mindset and how we focus on the latter at BISS to encourage success with our students.

The list of success stories is indeed a long one, but this doesn’t happen by accident.  I am often at the school outside normal school hours and regularly arrive early or leave late in the day.  But inevitably, on most occasions, I still see our students here, out on the rugby pitch at 6.30am or training in the swimming pool at 8.00pm.  Parents are there late in the evenings too, encouraging our children to practice and improve.  Yesterday morning, I asked a Year 11 student in reception why they had arrived so early.  Their reply was simple, yet telling; “To help mentor a student in Year 7 with their homework”. 

What we often see as we cheer our children on at sports events, or join in rounds of applause at celebration events, (as well as what we read about in newsletters) is the end result of their efforts.  We don’t always see the hard work of students modestly helping each other in their learning; the commitment to practise playing an instrument or learning scripts for school productions over and over again; or swimming twenty–five lengths of the pool before most of us have had breakfast!  It is these small efforts, day in and day out that add up over time and make our students shine.  Our children are fortunate to have the facilities that they do at our school, and staff that promote a growth mindset, but we must remind ourselves of the wonderful commitment that they show which makes us as parents and teachers so proud.

Examples of our students’ dedication and personal achievement are omnipresent. Our International Award (Gold) students returned at the weekend and were very successful in completing their expedition to Qiandaohu, camping, cycling and kayaking.  Additionally we held our inaugural Swimming Gala on Friday where we had the opportunity as parents and teachers to see pupils across the school striving for their personal bests. 

Finally, thinking of those less fortunate, this week is Raising Awareness for Giving (RAG) Week and Year 12 students have been busy across the whole campus promoting the work of the charities that we as a community support, namely ‘The Giving Tree’, the Indochina Starfish Organisation, Qing Pu Xiu Long Migrant School, Huaxin Therapy and Rehabilitation Centre and Support Nepal.  Thank you to parents too for your continuing support of these charities.

Andrew Lancaster, Head of Secondary


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The British International School Shanghai, Puxi

111 Jinguang RoadHuacao TownMinhang201107Shanghai


金光路111号华漕镇上海市 闵行区201107

Nord Anglia Education

4th Floor, Nova South
160 Victoria Street
LondonUnited Kingdom

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