This year the children also brought their own sunshine with them. It was lovely to see such keen and enthusiastic faces. They were so happy to return to school and meet friends and their new teachers. They have all been eager to share stories of their holidays and have already demonstrated that they are enthusiastic and ready to learn. They demonstrate how grown up they are getting; we see it not only in the way they seem to have stretched over the holiday, but also in the way they move around the school and have developed more independence.
However, for some of our ‘new starts’ this has been a challenging week. For many of our smallest children this is their first experience of life outside of home and away from family. For others it is their first experience of a foreign country and a new school where English is spoken. It can be quite daunting, scary and strange. But our staff are very experienced in these matters, and we know that they will all settle and grow to love school as the other children do. Each child is different and we work with parents to support their individual child. Leaving your child when they are upset is hard and we understand that. But we also know that our skilled staff are expert and have vast experience in settling even the most upset child. They quickly build up positive, trusting relationships with all the children, and parents will often comment that the teacher becomes a very important person in their lives. Most parents will get tired of hearing the sentence that begins, ‘But my teacher says…..’!
Often it is the new classmates that make the difference to the apprehensive child. Our children empathise with the nervousness of the first few days because they have been there themselves. They are keen to welcome, help and support new arrivals; many of them are selected as ‘buddies’ and all take the responsibility seriously. We are proud of the way they chat, advise and assist our new arrivals – much credit goes to them in the way new children settle so quickly.
And so as this new school year begins it is lovely to see old friendships revisited and new friendships forming. Our BISS community is one that changes, but it is one where everyone quickly feels cared for as part of our large BISS family – and that is the best foundation for the exciting learning to come.
Eleanor Jess, Head of Primary