Thursday 15th March, 2018
I am extremely grateful to David Laird for giving me this opportunity to introduce myself to you. In taking up the baton of Principal from David later this year, I realise that I have very big shoes to fill and I am keen to do all I can to ensure as smooth and efficient a handover as possible.
My visit to BSB Sanlitun in January confirmed to me that I will be joining a vibrant and dynamic school community where all the students from pre-school and Early Years through to the final year students in Year 6 are valued as individuals and given outstanding opportunities to discover and develop their talents and interests. In talking to some of the teachers during the selection process, I was particularly moved by their passion for the school and their determination to be strong advocates for the pupils in their care.
I have been involved in education since the 1980s and a great deal has changed during that time. For schools, and for parents, technology and the impact that it has made in the world of work, for example, has meant that we have had to re-think our ideas about the kinds of skills and capacities that our children are going to need if they are to thrive in the future. Creativity, assessing risk and reward, problem-solving, invention and collaboration are now all central themes in a progressive teaching and learning environment and I have seen much evidence of these at BSB Sanlitun, as well as at the other Nord Anglia schools I have had the opportunity to visit. I look forward to exploring and developing such ideas over the coming years with the talented and dedicated teaching team at BSB.
One thing has not changed in the last 30 years however, and that is the need for a school to have a strong and shared set of values by which it operates and goes about its daily business. Whatever the future may hold, kindness, respect, tolerance, sense of humour and service to others will always be the hallmarks of a sophisticated and progressive society. I feel honoured to have this wonderful opportunity of working with you, the teaching and support staff, and of course the students of BSB Sanlitun, and very much look forward to meeting you in person.
With best wishes.
John Brett MA