This has been another busy and exciting week at the school. We started by welcoming numerous new students and their families to the BISS Puxi community and they have spent time this week acclimatising to their new environment with the help of their buddies, tutors and the admissions team. Many of us will hold recent memories of what it feels like arriving new to Shanghai. Knowing that our children have support, encouragement and lots of opportunities to develop new friendships at the school is both exciting and reassuring.
Our returning students have made a purposeful start and have spent time with their tutors reflecting upon their tracker reports from last term, with an eye on the next steps they need to focus upon to make further progress in their subjects.
This is of particular significance for our Year 11 and 13 students who have only a short time before their final examinations for IGCSE and IB courses. Many have spent their holiday completing elements of coursework or practising past papers in each of their subjects. It is vital at this time that they remain focused, stay healthy and keep a balance of revision, exercise and relaxation. Staff at the school will be challenging your children to be the best that they can be: academically this means that these students will be expected to spend more time revising topics and then applying their knowledge and understanding to exam questions. At the school there are many revision sessions offered in each subject either before the school day, at lunchtimes or through our ECA programme. I would encourage you to discuss these with your son or daughter and check that they are taking these opportunities.
However, we do not want to cause our pupils undue levels of stress during this period. As I have mentioned in previous posts, we care greatly for our students’ well-being and our team of Form Tutors and Year Leaders will always be available to intervene and support. Your feedback to us is also very important at this time and please do not hesitate to contact our staff if you require our support. Students have been given revision guides with lots of tips and hints on how to maintain a balanced approach when preparing for exams. Year 11 and 13 have Student-Parent-Teacher-Conferences in the very near future and this is an ideal opportunity for discussion.
There are many exciting experiences in the weeks ahead to look forward to as a school community. Today has seen the launch of our Global Challenge – students must join forces and design and build their own Rube Goldberg machine . You can see links to what these are through logging into your child’s moodle account with them and accessing our Global Campus – there are some very imaginative examples to see! I know that our students will be creative themselves and look forward to seeing the results.
The rehearsals for our senior school production ‘Threepenny Opera’ continue and I would like to thank the students for all of their hard work during the school week and at weekends too. There are three performances at the very beginning of March for all of us to look forward to and I urge you to reserve a space in your diary.
There are many other events taking place in the coming weeks, both for students and parents – you can access our school calendar to find out more details, but I look forward to another term full of rich experiences and challenge for our students.
Andrew Lancaster, Head of Secondary