These range from creative writing, code club, chess and art to basketball, swimming and football. There really is something for everyone and I strongly encourage students to participate in trying something new. A number of the ECAs have been oversubscribed for this term so we’ve provided alternatives where possible – we’ll also look at prioritising students who didn’t get their first choices next term.
Over the last ten days we have held Information Evenings at the school for parents and students on Achieving Success at Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9), IGCSE (Years 10-11) and IB (Years 12-13). Thank you to all of you who supported the event and the positive feedback provided. The aim of the sessions is to provide key information on what your child will be studying and the various ways in which we (as parents and teachers) can support them on a path to academic success. This is whilst recognising their wellbeing and so there was also plenty of information and tips on how we can ensure that develop resilience, enjoy their time at the school and stay healthy.
We were fortunate to hear from Year 12 students who have a proven track record of success at IGCSE level – thank you to Milan Patel, Anna Loasby and Bhavya Ahuja for providing an insight into their own personal experiences of studying at this level and the tips that they shared. Similarly, at Key Stage 3, a big thank you to Thomas Roberts, Arush Garg, Chloe Chaize and Verlaine Bergeret for their presentations.
So what were their tips to students? Below (and in no particular order) are a few of them….
- Organise your locker, your school bag and your study space at home.
- Use your planner.
- Familiarise yourself fully with moodle.
- Check your ODIN every day.
- Contact your classmates in the first instance to discuss homework if you get stuck.
- Your teacher can also help you – use Showbie for reflections and discussions in Maths.
- There are plenty of other Apps that can support learning – e.g. Class Timetable, Pages, Keynotes, Garageband, Numbers, Quizlet and iMovie.
- Take part in ECAs – for example the school production – (this year it will be ‘The Muppet’s Christmas Carol’). There are plenty of sporting ECAs that can ensure balance from your academic commitments.
- Participate in competitions and other events – e.g. The Rube Goldberg Challenge, FOBISIA Sports and Music Festivals, the Tanzania expedition, photography and writing challenges.
- Support the BISS community charities – The Giving Tree, Qingpu Xiulong Migrant School or the Huaxin Rehabilitation Centre.
- Practise past papers regularly and use mark schemes to ensure a full understanding of exactly what the exam requirements demand.
- Plan your time effectively – use a calendar to plan revision activities.
- Be creative in making revision cards, notes, mindmaps and questions about topics.
- Don’t leave topics or concepts misunderstood – talk to your friends and teachers to ensure you understand them.
- Plan in relaxation time carefully, whether that is meeting up with friends or talking to your family!
- Avoid distractions in terms of music and electronic devices when studying.
- If you feel the pressure building up the talk to your Form Tutor of Year Leader.
I hope that you find these tips useful for your own child. I am a great believer in the need for us all to work together to ensure success for all of the children at the school. So as parents, we can also help. We encourage parents to encourage a growth mindset to talk to your children everyday about what they’ve been doing at school (ODIN helps with this), checking through planners with them, encouraging routines and providing a quiet working environment at home.
In summary, we want your child to be as successful as possible: I hope that these tips are useful to you. As teachers, we also have a key role to play in providing subject specific guidance and pastoral care and support. By working together on these strategies, we hope to be able to foster a sense of achievement, enjoyment and curiosity amongst all of us as learners.
Andrew Lancaster, Head of Secondary