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What’s the highest mountain in North America?

01 december 2016

As we end the last week of November, our Year 11 and Year 13 students reach the end of their mock exams.  Speaking with students over the last few days, it is interesting to gather their perspectives on how well they feel that they have performed, before they actually receive their marks. 

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They know that this week has been demanding, tiring, yet very productive.  They’ve mentioned too that the process does feel very focused and real.  Next week, students will get valuable feedback on their attainment, which they will use to deepen their knowledge of topics or strengthen their skills of analysis.  This whole process of ‘mocks’ will help them to be thoroughly prepared for the external exams in May 2017; only fifteen school weeks away! By adopting a positive mindset with a determination to succeed, I am certain that they will challenge themselves to improve upon their personal best.

Some lighter testing took place last Thursday evening with a traditional pub quiz and a silent auction to raise money to support the work that students will be doing in Tanzania in the early part of next year.  This was a memorable event, but as ever, my memory actually fails me when it comes to general knowledge and quizzes! Do you know the name of the tallest mountain in North America?  Or the name of the main character from the film ‘Falling Down’? And his licence plate? Or to which family of fish the anchovy belongs? These were tackled by parents and staff alike – thank you very much to Chris and Geraldine for organising the challenge.  Congratulations also to the Tanzanian fundraisers on their auction of promises and many thanks to all of you in the community for donating your time and services to support this initiative, or indeed for actually buying these promises.  They will no doubt help to make a positive difference to the lives of people       10 000 kilometres away, in a few weeks’ time.  I thank all of the students, staff and parents that have spent many hours fundraising for this expedition, in such a creative and dynamic number of ways – our pupils have represented the BISS school community so well. 

Finally, the end of this week will see preparations for the Christmas season and you can expect to see the reception area decked out with some amazing baubles designed and created by our Art students, as well as a Christmas tree and some beautiful Poinsettias that will greet you as you arrive.  Students from across the whole school have helped to create calendars for 2017, featuring their own artwork – all monies raised will be given directly to the Indochina Starfish Foundation in Cambodia.  Our Year 12 students will be working with their school in Phnom Penh during Activities Week next year – please support us through buying one or more.  They are bespoke and will be well-received by your family and friends as presents!  On Saturday we are very much looking forward to welcoming you to the Christmas Fair, where there are many activities for children and parents alike.  The exciting experiences continue into next week and on Monday and Tuesday evenings our KS3 students will be performing in our school production ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ – good luck to them all!

Andrew Lancaster, Head of Secondary