One phrase that I have constantly heard working in a number of International Schools is that the students live in a bubble, that is, being in an international education inevitably means that they are far removed from living in the ‘real world’. However, our recent International Day celebrations, made me wonder how true this belief is. And whether or not, being at our school actually makes a student more of a part of the ‘real world’ than being educated in the home country ever could. Certainly watching children from over sixty nationalities celebrating the unique culture of each country and proudly talking about this with their friends showed very impressively that BISAD is like a micro-world in which so many countries and cultures are both represented and celebrated. Your children are gaining an amazing international exposure through being here.
Of course it is not only on events such as the International Days when this happens. For example, debates and discussions in class get to a whole new dimension – the international dimension. I think that your children learn about a wide array of other cultures, customs and traditions through their classmates. They learn to be understanding of differences and to have an open mind: they learn to adapt to other points of view and how to respect diversity. I believe that they begin to understand how the world works at the global scale. The experiences which your child gets each day at school enables him or her to challenge ignorance and stereotyping. In our interconnected world, these skills are priceless and hard to gain outside an international environment.
It is an accepted cliché to talk of the world being a global village. It is a cliché because it is true. Our school is a microcosm of the world. By the very fact of being here, your son or daughter is well on the way to being prepared to succeed in this global village. So I would argue that, far from being educated in a bubble, the very opposite is true; our students truly are global citizens and global citizenship is, above all, an extremely valuable skill for citizens of the 21st. century. Perhaps it is students who are not educated in International schools who are in the bubble.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many of you for providing so much wonderful food at the recent International Food lunch. I am sure that I can speak on behalf of all students and staff when I say what a great variety of food you collectively provided.
Finally, can I remind you that we have another Parents’ Information Evening next Monday, 11th. November at 6.00 pm. This evening is for those of you who have sons or daughters in our current Year 11. The purpose of the evening is twofold. Firstly, to explain what we will be doing to provide additional support for Year 11 students between now and when the examinations begin in May 2014. Secondly, we will be talking about our International Baccalaureate and AS/A level provision for September 2014. This will give you the opportunity to ask any questions which you may have about the choices which face your son or daughter as they consider the next stage of their education.