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Message from our Head of Primary

  • Chris Russell

22nd January 2021

There is one thing that BISB is never short of and that is infectious excitement. The children are thoroughly enjoying getting into their new and exciting topics and the conversations about their learning are spilling over into the corridors and playground.

Year 4 have started their work looking at explorers and adventurers and are beginning to understand the ambition and courage that explorers require to achieve their goals. Year 3 are studying sound and can be found hunting sounds and measuring decibel levels around the school. Lower down the school Year 2 are studying transport and I have had two wonderful lessons with Year 2 Blueberry this week exploring the history and science behind hot air balloons. We completed many failed experiments to make our own hot air balloon fly and used our observational skills to adapt, amend and try and make our creation work. We have yet to succeed but we will persevere on our quest.

I would like to congratulate David and Yejun from Year 6 for the completion of a wonderful recycled model making competition. They presented their concept to Mrs Russell and then planned and delivered an engaging competition that many children took part in. Congratulations go to Valentina in Year 2 and Joyce in Year 4 for the winning entries. 

 

Art winners

Thank you to all those parents who supported children in the task over the Christmas break.

This week children in KS2 may come home with information about some competitions and activities that they can complete at home. The first activity is related to coding. We have entered the students into the COBIS coding challenge link:

 https://form.jotform.com/discoveryeduk/cobis-coding-challenge?source=COBIS_website&jumpToPage=2 

Whilst many children are already developing their coding skills within school, this is a perfect opportunity to apply those skills in a competitive environment. Please do ask your child's class teacher for details if they have not yet been shared.

The second opportunity is access to Mangahigh, an online maths platform. We have one month's access to use the platform and win medals for our school. The site uses a variety of games to challenge and support all aspects of mathematical development. Once again, if you have not yet received your child’s log on details, please contact your class teachers.

Have a wonderful weekend

Mr Russell

________________________________________

15th January 2021

We have had a wonderful first full week of learning. I have been impressed with how the children have returned to their familiar routines which I believe are so important for children in these uncertain times.

While it is important to have established routines and expect that some things in our world are predictable, it is also vital that we teach children to be flexible and adaptable. This is not only in their critical thinking and problem-solving skills but also in real life when things do not go according to plan.

Fortunately, we have a fantastic group of teachers at BISB who value the importance of flexibility and can model this attribute. A perfect example was last evening with the failure of the Parent Evening Booking System. Once we were aware that some parents were having difficulty, we contacted the developer who explained that this issue was affecting many schools around the world at that time. Faced with this issue the speed in which our teachers reacted saved many meetings.

I do appreciate that this was frustrating for parents and I am disappointed that the software did not provide the high standards of service and reliability I know parents appreciate and expect from BISB. Rest assured we will be rescheduling missed appointments. Your child’s class teacher will be in touch.

Although we did have a technical issue for some time, I am pleased that over the course of the two evenings we did manage to meet most parents. I trust you found the meetings informative and useful.

Finally, please do look through the whole newsletter to see the explanation of our new vocabulary drive which is entitled Word Of The Week.

It is forecast to be cold this weekend which creates an ideal opportunity to stay warm indoors and complete our Parent Satisfaction Survey that can be accessed through the link you have been sent.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mr Russell

________________________________________

8th January 2021

Happy New Year and BUEK!

Yesterday morning there was a palpable energy and excitement in the playground with the start of the new term. The children came prepared for learning and delighted to be reunited with their friends.

Before the children returned, we had two productive days of professional development for the staff. We prioritise staff professional development to maintain and improve the quality of teaching that you have come to expect and appreciate at BISB, but also to help us look at new initiatives. Our training days had both elements.

We have been looking at assessment data to explore the learning profiles of our students and look at ways in which we can enhance their learning. This enables us to support and challenge every child to ensure their ambition to succeed is suitably guided and directed.

The days also included many high-quality sessions from Mrs Deborah Wafer on a range of learning needs that are typically found in schools and how these needs can be supported in the classroom.

Finally, we had a focus on our teaching of phonics by engaging in some Sounds Write training sessions. Sounds Write is an approach to teaching the building blocks of reading in a logical and systematic way that is proven to be highly effective. As part of the training, we organised a live session with the CEO and founder of Sounds Write, Mr John Walker. John explained the guiding principles of the scheme and answered questions from staff about its use and implementation in our specific school context.

If you are interested in how we teach phonics, there are two online courses delivered by John for parents. These can be accessed free through John’s profile on Udemy.

For further reading around the development of children’s literacy, you may also want to follow John’s blog.

Next week we will start some new initiatives that the children can take part in.

As Year Five commence their Healthy Habits topic, they will be looking at children’s snacks and celebrating children who have the healthiest snacks of the week. As a reminder, snacks in school are designed to be simple for parents or children to prepare and should be fruit, vegetables or a sandwich. Mr Payn will be leading this drive to re-establish good eating habits. Winners will be celebrated in our assemblies.

The second initiative is designed to widen children’s vocabulary with the introduction of “word of the week”. Through our assemblies we will share some new vocabulary. One of the first words we will be highlighting is the word “lavish”. The challenge will be to think of synonyms and antonyms for lavish and build this new vocabulary into a sentence. Merit points will be awarded to the children who use the word of the week correctly in their spoken or written work. As I know BISB parents are heavily invested in their children’s education, we will also be sharing these words in the newsletter so you can practise with your children at home. Look out for Ms Sand’s posts in future newsletters.

We have many parents already signed up to the online Parent Evenings planned for 12th and 14th January. These sessions will start at 4.30 pm to allow parents to travel home and be online ready for their planned meeting. This also enables staff to return home and start the meetings and avoid travelling home after the 8 pm curfew. Some great news is that the meeting software now allows two parents to join the meeting from separate locations.

Have a wonderful weekend.

 

Mr Russell

_____________________________________________________________________________

16th December

At the end of quite a remarkable term, I would like to extend my thanks to the community for all your support this term. This has been through the positive messages we have received, from the understanding of the reasons leading to any operational decisions we have made and for families taking individual action outside of school to keep our community safe. So, while we must remain vigilant, we can also feel proud of what we have achieved. 

The staff and children are certainly ready for the break; this will allow them to rest and re-energise ready for another active term of learning. They have worked hard under trying circumstances but have remained positive throughout. Their resilience has been commendable. 

Christmas is a time of reflection and a time for appreciation of special people in our lives. We may not be able to see all the people important to us this year, but we can take time to look forward to better times ahead. I for one feel thankful to have family around me, my health and to be part of our school community.  

Take care and have a wonderful break. 

Mr Russell 

______________________________________________________________________  

11th December

As we roll into the last few days of term I would like to thank all the parents, teachers, LSAs and children who have helped us complete an amazing term of learning in the most trying of circumstances. The personal resolve and determination of the staff to give the children the best opportunities have been commendable. A well-deserved break is due.

Before we depart there are some key pieces of information that I would like to share about the events that have happened this week and about the end of term arrangements.

Mikulas and decorations

I am convinced that Zsanett who has ignited the Christmas spirit into school is secretly Mrs Mikulas! She has brought so much joy by guiding her team to decorate the atrium, dining room and auditorium but also by inviting Mikulas to visit us. Mikulas and his Elf had great fun joining our online assembly but also visited the Year 1 and Early Years classrooms. Mikulas commented on how well behaved all the children were and that he did not have to give out any Virgacs. High praise indeed.

Student leadership

This week we have seen some wonderful student leadership action. Firstly, we had the final of the football competition that was organised by Tudor and Jules from Year 4. We also have had new initiative for more girls’ football at lunchtimes with dedicated spaces for them to play. Luri in Year 6 has driven this initiative and has had over 20 girls taking part.

Following on from our food waste work during the international days the Smart Schools Council decided to complete a food survey to look at how we can further reduce waste. A committee and survey was formed and the findings presented to our school chef, Laurent. Laurent was delighted to be able to have this opportunity to work with the students and will incorporate the students’ views into his new menus and ideas in January. Wonderful student leadership that that led to real action!

The last piece of student leadership news is the announcement of a competition for the holidays. Yejun and David in Year 6 have designed a winter themed model making competition using only recycled materials. Ask your children about this competition and feel free to get creatively involved yourselves.

Reports

These have been emailed out to you today. Please check your inbox for an email from Mrs Renata Brown. Our suggestion is that you read and discuss these documents with your children and think through any questions you may have for the upcoming parents’ evenings that will take place on Tuesday 14th and Thursday 16th January. The sign up for these online appointments will be open on Tuesday 5th January.

Supporting local Charities.

Our Christmas spirit and vibrant colours non-uniform day has raised some much needed funds for the following charities:

Early Year            - Hungarian Assistant Dogs

Year 1                    - Etyeki Dog shelter

Year 2                    - Cseppko Orphanage

Year 3                    - Wesley Janos children’s centre

Year 4                    - Csodalampa

Year 5                    - WaterAid

Year 6                    - UNHCR

Traditionally we have supported these charities through our Christmas Fair, which had to be cancelled this year. Thank you for all your support and donations. In total, we raised over 280,000 HUF

Travel reminder

Please do refer to Mr Dyer’s emails about travel restrictions and following our quarantine rules. If your children are travelling over the break, they must remain at home (in Hungary) for 10 complete days before rejoining school. As one of our guiding statements is ‘act with integrity’ we are relying upon the honesty and trust of the community. Diplomatic and business privilege do not apply to our school, I’m afraid. If we have reason to believe that your child has travelled, we will contact you directly to ascertain the details and act in accordance to our previously shared policy.

Last day collection arrangements – half day on Wednesday December 16th

In line with our staggered end of the day, please be advised that these times will be adjusted to accommodate the half day on Wednesday. The times to collect your children will be:

Early Years

                1145      Ms Sarah’s group

                1150       Ms Agota’s group

                11.55     Ms Jillian’s group

                12.00     Ms Emma’s group

Year 1 and 2

All classes can be collected from the classroom doors from 1145-12.00

Year 3 to 6

                All classes can be collected from the Basketball Court or Sports Field at 12.00

 

Have a wonderful restful break and if you celebrate during this period, Merry Christmas. I look forward to welcoming you and your children back into school on Thursday 7th January 2021.

Boldog Karacsonyt

Chris Russell

Head of Primary

______________________________________________________________________

4th December

First, I have to share some COVID news. I have been in contact with Mikulas who has agreed to complete a health declaration form, sanitise his hands, wear a mask and keep his distance from any people he may encounter from the BISB community. So please do not worry about whether Mikulas will come this year; he certainly will for all those who deserve it.

Today we have asked the children to leave shoes or an image of their shoes on the windowsills in school to await the special visitor. To help prepare for Mikulas’s visit- I am delighted that the school will be decorated by a band of supportive parents this weekend. The decoration of the school will help lift the spirits of the children and staff as we enter the final weeks of term. I’m sure Mikulas will appreciate this too.

Non-uniform day Friday 11th December

Traditionally we support local charity partners by raising funds at our Christmas Fair. As we have not been able to hold this event we have decided on a simple and fun non-uniform day next Friday. We are encouraging the children to come in fun and festive colours or Christmas outfits. We appreciate that not everyone celebrates this season and so any fun and bright clothing can be worn. We are encouraging a voluntary contribution of between 500-1000 HUF that can be handed to the class teachers who will pool the funds and redistribute to the assigned charities.

Reports to be emailed next Friday for children in Years 1 to 6

Your child’s written report will be emailed to you on Friday 11th December. Written reports form one of the many ways in which we share the progress and information about your child’s time in school. Alongside the reports are your weekly learning logs, access to See-saw and Kinteract and parent evenings. Collectively these are designed to complement one another and give you a fuller understanding of your child as a learner. The next opportunity to discuss your child’s progress will be on 12th and 14th January 2021. Details of times and how to book an appointment will follow shortly.

Chris Russell

Head of Primary

_______________________________________________________________________________

As we approach Thanksgiving weekend, I think we should all take a moment to reflect and think about the things that we should be thankful for.  

Our Students 

We are extremely fortunate to have a diverse and vibrant student community. A school full of children who work collaboratively and support one another in our inclusive environment. They arrive daily, full of smiles in anticipation of the fun and engaging learning. They return home full of stories of their adventures during the school day. This week we have had a real example of how community-minded our students are, with the running of a student-led football competition. Tudor and Jules from Y4 planned and organised daily football matches involving over 80 students, were supported by hordes of excited spectators.  

Our Community 

The support we have had from the community, especially through recent weeks, has been highly appreciated. Despite changes in our usual routines to prevent the pandemic from affecting the opening and running of the school, the messages of support and thanks have helped the staff maintain their resolve so that they can continue to provide the children with a high-quality education. This week I have been overwhelmed with the support from Zsanett who has approached the school with plans to decorate the school for the staff and the children in the approach to the festive season. I appreciate the thoughtfulness of Zsanett and her team to give their time and energy to do something for the staff and children and look forward to seeing their wonderful creations. Please do ask your class reps how you can get involved. 

Our Staff 

In a time when many people are working remotely, our staff have continued to come into school for the benefit of the children and all the community. Often this involves long commutes, but they arrive daily with a positive attitude and energy to work through these challenging times together. The teachers and LSAs fill the classrooms with joy and create environments that are familiar and welcoming, safe havens for children in today’s uncertain world. Our catering staff ensure we eat healthy balanced meals and the cleaning and maintenance team ensure our facilities are among the best in Budapest. Collectively this is a wonderful team of which I am immensely proud to be part. 

I wish you all a wonderful weekend and, if you are celebrating, a Happy Thanksgiving 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________________________________

20th November 

World Children’s Day 

I would like to start this week’s newsletter by wishing all the Primary Students a happy World Children’s Day. This was marked in school by a special lunch selected by the students and a lunchtime disco. It has been wonderful for the children to see how their individual and collective opinions through voting and our School Council can lead to enjoyable outcomes such as they had today. 

Student leadership and empowered students 

Developing empowered students is at the heart of our school’s vision and today I would like to share some wonderful opportunities that have been run by our empowered students. Part of our Smart Schools Council provides the facility for children to set up action teams and start activities and clubs. Sponsored and guided by staff, this provides great leadership challenges. Currently, we have a number of these actions running in school that I would like to share. 

Aeroplane flight competition. Last week some Year 6 students ran a competition to design an aeroplane that would fly the furthest. This required them to plan, advertise, measure and record the entries. Over 80 children took part in this successful event. 

1

Writing is fun. This club has been designed by some Year 6 boys who have a passion for writing. Children can join their outdoor writing club to share stories and create new ideas on Tuesday lunchtimes in the pavilion. 

Recycling club. This was generated by a student who wanted to check our internal recycling system and to investigate if they are being used correctly. It involves students checking the classroom wastepaper bins and giving guidance on their usage. 

Football tournament. This event will run next week during afternoon breaktimes for students in Years 3 to 5. The idea was generated and developed by two Year 4 students and will be supported by Year 6 referees. The event will take place each afternoon with the semi-finals and finals being held on Friday 27th. The event requires students to sign up via their class teachers as numbers are limited. 

Art club. Children interested in drawing and art activities can come and join a group of like-minded students on Monday breaktimes in the pavilion. This wonderful club has been generated by a group of Year 5 students. 

Skipping Club. Children are invited to join this energetic club designed by our Year 4 students. Children can go and skip individually or in groups during Wednesday afternoon breaks.  

3

I’m sure you will agree that this is a great set of activities that are student-led and staff-supported.  

Children and parent well-being 

In a previous newsletter, I shared the importance of starting new healthy winter routines that maintain and develop children's physical development during the winter months. On Wednesday I emailed a new document that has been created by our school counsellor, Anka Mate. Please do have a read of this document as it is a great resource for you and your children in the coming weeks. 

Kindergarten news article

As many parents are aware there was a news report this week on 24.hu that suggested English language nurseries would no longer be able to operate in Hungary. The article did include additional information which explained that this does not affect international institutions. The comments were referring to English language education within Hungarian state schools. 

Virtual School and Agile Staff 

I have been extremely proud of how the staff and students in Year 1 Grasshopper and Early Years have switched to Virtual School this week. The staff were prepared for all eventualities and executed their contingency plans within hours, ensuring that the children’s learning was not affected. We are very fortunate to have dedicated teachers and supportive parents. Thank you. 

Have a safe weekend 

Mr Russell 

___________________________________________

13th November

Inspiration from Diwali

Tomorrow is Diwali, known as the “festival of lights,” which will be celebrated by many members of our school community. Diwali is based upon the story of Rama and Sita who were exiled into the forest before Sita was kidnapped by Lord Ravana. This is a beautiful story of how good conquers evil and provides optimism that good times always lie ahead.  

When Rama and Sita were reunited their journey back to their hometown was lit with small lanterns called diyas that guided them back to their home and the previous life they longed for. 

It was through studying the traditions and celebrations of Diwali with Year 2, that I realised the comparison to the pandemic we find ourselves in. Just like Rama and Sita, we seem to be exiled from the life that we had, and long for a guided path back to our pre COVID lives. 

Rama and Sita were helped by Rama’s brother Lakshmana and the monkey god Hanuman. They worked together to fight evil and return Rama and Sita to their rightful home. 

We must also work together to fight COVID. One thing we can all take do is not take risks. If you or a member of your family is feeling unwell, please keep your child off school.  

Should you or your child prove to be COVID positive after they have been in school, we may be forced to close your child’s class and switch to Virtual Schooling. We rely upon individual action to protect the community. 

Please do rest assured that this is a scenario we are prepared for. This was evidenced this week with a successful transition into Virtual School for one Year 6 class. However, we would prefer not to be forced to make this decision and your help is vital in this drive.  

Colder days 

With windows remaining open for ventilation and the colder weather drawing in, please add layers underneath your children’s uniform to keep them warm. Similarly, please do read the email from Ms Crawley about the correct and warm PE uniform that is required as we approach winter. 

The latest restrictions in Budapest will mean that we will all have quiet family weekends, but rest assured we will be here on Monday ready to welcome your children back into school for some much-needed routine and regularity. 

Please do take care and keep safe and, for those families celebrating this weekend, Happy Diwali. 

Mr Russell 

___________________________________________________________________

6th November

5th November is the day in which a very British traditional celebration takes place, Bonfire Night. This is a night of bonfires and fireworks to remember the failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605 by Guy Fawkes and friends. To help children remember this historic event, a 17th Century nursery rhyme is often recited. 

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November 
Gunpowder treason and plot 
I see no reason why gunpowder treason 
Should ever be forgot. 

The start of the poem made me think about our current COVID crisis and how we all need to remain alert and remember the key messages of how to keep our community safe. We should always remember and never grow complacent. 

With growing infections in the country, BISB is a central place that can track, trace and isolate cases that come onto our campus. This is no easy task but one that we can all contribute to together. To do this we need a common understanding that all our actions play their part in fighting the pandemic. 

The most supportive things that we can do as a community are: 

  • Inform health@bisb.hu of any symptoms or worries. 

  • Read the Community COVID Updates sent by Mr Dyer. These give all the latest news and policy changes. 

  • Send your children to school with 2 clean masks a day and a reusable water bottle. 

  • Be mindful of social interactions outside of school and always protect your family against COVID.  

  • Don’t take a risk; we depend on individuals to take individual action that supports the whole community. If you think you or your child are infected, please let us know. The short term disruption for your family could prevent a larger whole community problem. 

On the theme of remembering, I have been proud of our House Captains who have been selling poppies in the playground this week to help mark Remembrance Sunday. They were wonderful in explaining the symbolism of the poppy and its history. As a school we will be attending the annual remembrance service in Solymár this Sunday, run by the British Embassy. This is a public event that everyone is welcome to attend. Please see previous social media posts for details. Guests should arrive at Commonwealth War Cemetery of Solymár by 1045am on Sunday, 10 November for the 15 minute ceremony which starts at 10.55 am sharp. I do like to think that we create lasting memories for children in their formative years of schooling. This is through the quality of the education they receive, the progress they make but also the experiences they have at BISB. Following the events of our Maths Week, we have created many positive memories and lots of fun for the children. Some examples of this successful week have been daily maths challenges, a school Ken-Ken competition and of course our Mathelete day. A great week of fun but importantly, great learning too. Please see our social media posts for pictures and information. 

I do wish you a safe and restful weekend. 

Chris Russell

Head of Primary

 

_______________________________________________________

30th October

Hallowe’en 

Today we celebrated Hallowe’en in school with a series of events organised by our Peer Mentors and House Captains. The student leaders judged the best costume competition and had a full range of outfits from fairies, ghosts and superheroes to choose from. All the children proudly displayed their outfits, taking on their chosen character roles. We had so many wonderfully carved pumpkins arrive in school which made the perfect backdrop for our outdoor lunchtime disco. A fun time was had by all including the staff who joined in with the dressing up and dancing fun.  

Maths Week 

Next week we will be celebrating mathematics learning in school. During our Maths Week we have puzzles, competitions and in-class problems that will challenge the children’s mathematical skills. Please see the information in this newsletter for more details. You will find out more about our special Friday event in which children can come to school dressed as ‘Mathletes’ in their House colours. During the day the children will be completing physical challenges to create data sets that will later be interrogated and used in the classroom. Points for participation will be awarded that will filter into our weekly House point totals. 

Linking mathematics to Hallowe’en, try this problem. The answer might surprise you. 

This morning 100kg of pumpkins were put in the sun. They were 99% water, but through the day they lost moisture to evaporation and now they are only 98% water. How much do they weigh now? 

Masks with windows trial

Our Early Years and Year One staff have been trialling the use of windowed masks to help children’s phonemic and language development. The initial feedback is that the windows are great to model mouth shape for the correct pronunciation of the various phonemes. The trial will continue as we explore if these masks would be beneficial in older year groups. I wished to share this news as this was raised through my Core Parent Representative meeting before the break. 

Colder weather means time for new wellbeing habits 

I meet with our school counsellor Ms Anka Maté every week. This week we were discussing the improvement in the physical development and wellbeing when children play outdoors.  We have noticed that lockdown has impacted children’s physical strength and capabilities but through our Physical Education lessons and outdoor learning environments, we have begun to see these improve.  

Our concern is that as the cold days and nights draw in, children may have fewer opportunities to be outdoors and exercising. Despite the cold and rainy days that are about to arrive, it is important that we still provide opportunities for children to be outside. I do like to set tasks for the community and so I ask that families do try to establish or continue their healthy winter habits of outdoor exercise. Doing this will support the rebuilding of these vital skills that have been affected due to the lockdown. Ms Maté will be compiling some more useful information to parents around this theme that will be shared next week. 

Year 2 and an unexplained visitor 

On Wednesday morning the Year 2 children arrived early……at school to find large footprints and multi-coloured feathers outside their classroom. Inside there were shiny jewels spread around the rooms. This obviously caused intrigue and excitement for the children and the start of their day. They spent the morning developing hypotheses about what the creature could have been, why it came to visit and what it would look like. This served as an excellent ‘hook’ into their new Talk 4 Writing topic based around the text “Kassim and the Dragon”. This was an excellently planned activity by the Year 2 staff that has inspired the children to be ambitious in their writing.  

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Mr Russell

________________________________________

16th October

It was wonderful to see our school alive with colour on Thursday as children celebrated their personal heritage by arriving in their national costumes and their flag colours. Whilst we have been looking at one of our key mission statements of ‘Embracing Diversity’ this week, we have also been asking children to look at the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12, which focuses on responsible consumption and waste reduction.

An article published by the British Food Journal in 2018 states that the average household food waste per person in Hungary amounts to 68kg per year. This is equivalent to about 140 meals per year, per adult. The study suggests that around 50% of this waste is avoidable.

To help explore this issue we have been running a school inter-house competition to assess which house produces the least amount of food. The numbers have been very interesting with an equivalent of 100 children’s meals being thrown away by primary children each day. This activity is being expertly run and managed by our primary house captains Jayden, Ivan, Hyunseo and Szofi.

The reduction of food waste is important as we must consider the resources and energy required to produce these wasted meals. Furthermore, the waste creates excess methane gas which is one of the main gases responsible for the climate crisis.

There are many education points that we need to explore with these findings. These include the size and type of snacks the children are bringing to school along with which school meals are being thrown away more often. I feel it is vital that we help the children understand the privileged position we find ourselves in. We have an abundance of food readily available, but we are also fortunate that we have the ability to make a positive change in waste reduction for the world. 

Parent Evenings

We had over 95% of all our available appointments taken this week. This was a very successful event that will be repeated after the end of Term 1 written reports in December. More details on dates and times to follow.

Morning drop off and temperature checks.

Please remember that we only have supervision for children arriving on the campus from 8.00am to be supervised in the playground. We do not have supervision available before 8am.

Children in Year 1 and 2 can enter the classroom from 8.30 am and Yeasr 3,4,5 and 6 will line up in their designated place at 8.40 when the bell is rung. 

Even on rainy days, the children must come into school at their usual monitored entrance because we have teachers placed at these stations who will support children if needed.

Dance Craze Academy helping us move our feet and keep upbeat!

This week the children have been perfecting their performance of the latest dance craze of Jerusalema. We have excellent video support from Budapest’s Dance Craze Academy and the children followed the step by step tutorial to be involved in the whole school dance party which took place on Thursday. Please see our usual social media channels for the upcoming videos.

Hallowe’en

In previous years we have had a wonderful Hallowe’en party planned and delivered by our supportive parent community. Obviously, this is not possible this year, but we are planning to have some small class-based events on Friday 30th October. I share this news as you may wish to plan your child’s costumes over the half term break.

Football Free Friday returns.

Last week we had our first Smart Student Council question for the children to debate and discuss. This was based around reinstating the ‘Football Free Friday’. Overwhelmingly the students voted to have the Sports Field free of football games on Friday to allow the space to be used for other sports, games and activities.

Wishing you a fun family half term.

Mr Russell

_______________________________________________________________________

9th October

This week many classes have been taking advantage of the nearby green and open spaces in Kiscelli Woods. We are so fortunate to have a campus with such facilities on our doorstep and yet so close to the city centre. Taking advantage of the space, the Early Years students completed their usual Forest Schools activities whilst our Year 4 students used the surrounds as inspiration for their Tanka and Haiku poem writing.  Furthermore, Year 5 students used the woodland to study habitats and wildlife and complete a comparative study of shadow lengths to compare with a data set captured a couple of weeks ago.  

Parents In Partnership – Reading 

On Thursday we had around 80 parents involved in developing their understanding of how we teach reading in school and how they can support their child with reading at home. The session was expertly led by Ms Corrighan with input from Ms Sands and Mrs Ronaszeki. They outlined the taught stages of phonemic awareness and how our reading books in school support the sounds that are being taught in class. The parents were also shown a recorded phonics session by Mrs Ronaseki so that this methodology could be seen in practice. This was followed with information on how to approach reading at home, some common errors to be aware of, and how to support these. If you missed this opportunity, the presentation has been emailed to parents of Early Years and Key Stage 1. 

Talk For Writing Staff Training 

As you will be aware, there is no school for the children on Friday 16th October. On this day we will be completing some further staff training on Safeguarding but also adding the next layer of our Talk For Writing implementation based upon writing non-fiction texts. The training will be conducted remotely by Maria Williams in the UK and staff will connect to the sessions here in school. 

Parents Evening next week: Monday and Wednesday

Thank you to all parents who have arranged their appointments for the Parents Evening next week. This is the perfect opportunity to understand how your child has settled into their new class, adapting to all the new routines and reintegrated from a virtual learning environment back into a school again.  

Snacks for Years 3 to 6 

It has come to my attention that the snacks being brought into school are moving away from our set expectations. We aim to make the rules simple for parents to send in a healthy snack. The expectations for a suitable snack is: 

  • A piece of fruit 

  • Some chopped vegetables 

  • A sandwich 

We are seeing cake bars, salty pretzel sticks and crisps as snacks. Please support our drive to keep children healthy by considering what snack you prepare for your child entering school. 

Drop Off Zone 

Please remember that the official school drop off zone is inside the car park. Families dropping their children at the steps on Kiscelli köz are causing long delays for families using the approved and extended drop off zone. Whilst a drop off at the stairs may save you a minute or so on your journey, it is causing much long delays with queuing traffic along neighbouring streets. Please be mindful of how your individual actions can adversely effect the rest of the community. 

Indoor shoes

This year children from Years 1-6 have not changed their outdoor shoes into indoor shoes as they enter the building. This decision was made to prevent the grouping of children during the current pandemic. The main reason we initially started this routine many years ago was to prevent dirt and mud from entering the school and classrooms. Early Years students do change their shoes as their outdoor learning environment includes clay pit usage and also the ability to climb on the natural landscape of the hill.  

Our beautiful Primary playground is surfaced with all-weather safety grass that is durable, clean and protective. Because of the outdoor surfaces, the children typically do not get their shoes dirty. If any dirt did enter the building it is immediately cleared as our cleaning protocols are set to sweep and mop corridors after breaks and lunchtimes. In the coming winter months, we may consider a change to this procedure. 

School photographs 

Please note that the school photographs will be taken between Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th October. The finalised details will be communicated to you by email next week. 

International Days – National Dress and Flag Colours 

On Thursday 15th October children are invited to come to school in their national dress, colours of the flags that represent their heritage or a national sports outfit ( not club outfits, please). The main theme of our week will be celebrating our diverse community in school with a focus on reducing food waste by running a House Competition in Primary. Thank you in advance for all the parents who have agreed to be part of this week and offering presentations and talks virtually to our students. 

Have a great weekend. 

___________________________________________________________

2nd October

This week you may have noticed we have been clinging onto the last wisps of summer by erecting structures that hold the new sun shades protecting the playground equipment. These will be highly beneficial next summer in protecting the children from UV light and enabling them to keep safe in the sun. After these had been tested, the rains appeared almost instantaneously and provided the first test of our end of day procedures in the rain. I was impressed with how a swarm of umbrellas emerged from the steps into the playground, gracefully collecting children and then elegantly departing.   

As a gentle reminder, please provide your children with clothing for all weather as we will always try and get the children outside for exercise and fresh air, even in slight rain. We do believe in the old saying that ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’.  

Parents In Partnership – Supporting Your Child To Read.  

This will be held online via Zoom on Thursday 8th October at 9.30 am. The session aims to explain our approach to reading but also to share some techniques and advice on how best to support your child's reading at home. This session, which will be led by Ms Sands and Ms Corrighan, will be aimed at younger readers and older Primary children who are developing their English language proficiency.  

For additional security, the Zoom link will be sent directly to you via your child’s learning log.  

International Week  

This year we will need to have a different International Week from previous years due to COVID restrictions. This sadly means less parents coming into school to share their cultural heritage and we will no longer be treated to the gastronomical delights of the famous food court. However the learning and appreciation of our diverse community will continue in class. If you would like to be involved by presenting virtually to your child’s class, please do email their teacher with a proposal. Zsofi and Laurent, our dietician and chef will be preparing a range of international dishes which will be served for school lunches.  

On Thursday 15th October we will invite children to come to school in their national dress or colours of the flags that represent their personal heritage. Whilst we cannot have our usual flag parade, we will still be able to enjoy this traditional aspect of the week.  

One key focus running through the week will be raising the children’s awareness of how they lead their lives in relation to excess consumption and waste. This relates to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals number 2 – Zero Hunger, number 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, and number 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production. (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ ). To help children understand this we will be running a food waste House Competition to see which House can produce the least amount of food waste during our International Week. We hope that this drive will help encourage children to appreciate the need for nutritionally balanced meals and that waste can be avoided or reduced.  

Parent Evenings 

As previously shared, our Virtual Parent Evenings will be held on Monday 12th and Wednesday 14th October starting at 4.30pm. The sign up for the meeting will open on Monday and will be conducted through our Parent Evening booking system. This will be live on Monday 5th October at 9.00am and will close on Monday 12th at 12.00pm. After this time no further appointments can be scheduled.    

Finally, many of you will be aware of the redevelopments in City Park. If not, I can highly recommend the playground as a facility that offers a good physical challenge and entertainment for all children. It is in the fresh air, provides children with the opportunities to develop their physical condition, and is free to use. A perfect complement to a day here would be the addition of a bottle of hand sanitiser! 

Mr Russell

___________________________________________

25th September 2020

We have been spending the last couple of weeks listening to children, building teams in the classrooms and helping them transition back into school. Our RESTORE plan for this was outlined in my newsletter published on 28th August. Whilst this plan continues, the teachers use many other techniques to get to know and understand your child and their unique personality. One of the techniques is the use of ‘check-in’ questions in the morning. These are used to assess a child's mood but also give an insight into their views, wishes, likes and dislikes. These have proved highly beneficial for all and are a fun way to start the day.  

This week I would like to share another activity that happens in Year 6 designed to help students share their special talents and allow them to practise their presentation skills. During ‘Talent Friday’ each week, a different student presents why they are unique and what special talents they have. The children share their talent in their classroom, give a background to the development of their talent and why they are passionate about this skill. There has been a range of talents shared so far, from students working on their freestyle football skills to sharing regional and national successes in sporting competitions. The students look forward to these sessions and cannot wait to see what talents will be revealed! 

Activities such as ‘Talent Friday’ are a way in which we support students in their speaking and listening development. These skills are important as children must be able to express themselves verbally before they extend this into the written word. This is the basis of our Talk for Writing activities. Talk for Writing is a methodology where children use images and actions to retell familiar stories before using this framework to develop their own written pieces. This week Ms Viranyi- Fontan shared how this Talk for Writing methodology has transferred into her French lessons. Under her guidance, the Year 3 students have been retelling traditional French tales accompanied by actions. Not only am I impressed with their ability to verbally retell a French story, but it is also wonderful to see their speaking and listening skills being transferred into other areas of the curriculum.  

Parent representatives  

This week I met with our parent Class Representatives online. I’m delighted that we have such a dedicated set of individuals that are willing to help the community with their time and energy. I will now be forming the Core Parent Group. I will continue meeting all Class Representatives from time to time. A big thank you to all those who have already agreed to support the school in this key role. If you would like to become involved in school as a Class Representative, we still have opportunities in the following classes:  

Early Years – Ms Sheppard  

1 Caterpillar - Ms George  

2 Ocean - Ms Hobbs  

2 Sky - Mr Holeczy  

3 Daffodil - Mr Hogan  

4 Lilac - Mr Guest  

4 Plum - Mr Catalinac  

Please contact renata.brown@bisb.hu if you would like to fill one of these vacant roles.  

Finally, as the colder weather approaches, please do send your child to school with the correct school uniform. We will be keeping windows open during the cooler months to aid ventilation and so now is the perfect time to purchase new school jumpers. Our school uniform can be purchased at https://unimode.hu/bisb/   

Please have a quiet and safe weekend. 

Mr Russell 

____________________________________________________________

18th September

The students and staff have had another amazing week, delving deeper into their new topics and enjoying the engaging lessons prepared for them by their dedicated teachers. Alongside curriculum delivery, we have started to complete assessments to help us develop a deeper understanding of students’ strengths and areas that may require additional attention. The teachers will be analysing these results and adapting their lessons to take account of their findings in the coming weeks.

Our new Peer Mentors begin supporting at lunchtimes

Our Peer Mentors have supporting students in the playground for the first time this week. Their enthusiasm for collaborative games and shared play opportunities has been infectious and thoroughly appreciated by the students who took part. The Peer Mentors will continue to provide activities every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the year.

Parent Representatives

This week I have contacted all our parent Primary Class Representatives to thank them for volunteering for this important role and to help them establish positive and supportive WhatsApp groups. Please refer to Mrs Brown’s previous emails which contains the details of your Class Representative and the various ways in which you can contact them.

Beginning and end of day

We are beginning to see the time taken for parents to drop off and collect their children reduce significantly. Thank you to for everyone for collectively supporting the slightly staggered start and finish to the day. I would like to remind you that the official school drop off zone is in the car park and not on Kiscelli Köz. The school drop off zone has the capacity to accommodate 8 or 9 cars at one time and its use would alleviate pressure on the surrounding neighbourhood.

Upcoming dates – Parent Evenings

Please note that Parent Evenings will be held on Monday 12th and Wednesday 14th October this term. These meetings will be held online and are an opportunity to have a focussed conversation on how your child has settled in their new class and, of course, their learning up to this point.

I wish you a safe and family orientated weekend.

Mr Russell

__________________________________________________________

 

11th September

Student Leadership – House Captains and Peer Mentors 

In my newsletter piece last week, I said that the Primary Student Leadership positions were being finalised. The successful candidates were chosen by other members of their year group who believe these students have the skills and attributes to rise to the challenge of these positions of responsibility. 

I am pleased to announce that these Primary Leadership roles are confirmed. 

House Captains are: 

  • Hyunseo is the House Captain for Calypso House which is the Blue House Team. 

  • Jayden is the House Captain for Kontiki which is the Red House Team. 

  • Ivan is the House Captain for Discovery which is the Green House Team.  

  • Szofi is the House Captain for Endeavour which is the Yellow House Team. 

 

In addition to these roles we have eight Peer Mentors who completed their after-school training with our PSHE co-ordinator Mrs Russell on the use of Restorative Approaches to support student conflicts.  
 

Our Peer mentors for 2020-21 will be: 

  • Ada 

  • Samuel 

  • Kwinten 

  • Evie 

  • Finn 

  • Leon 

  • Elsa 

  • Annabelle 

I would like to congratulate all these students on their new role and I thoroughly look forward to working with them throughout the coming year. 

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Skipping in the playground

With the slightly cooler weather there has been a resurgence of a skipping trend in school. This interest was started by a group of Year 4 students and has been promoted by Ms Nugent with songs, rhymes and techniques. This week we have had lines of children trying to improve their ‘personal bests’ and pushing one another to increase the number of skips in one attempt. At the time of writing, the current record stands at 51 skips, a number that I’m convinced will soon be beaten and improved upon. 

Masks and safety precautions

I have been proud of how the children have responded to wearing masks in class. Undoubtedly this is a challenge for both staff and children. The wearing of the masks is one of the many steps we need to take to keep the school open and the community safe.  

I am aware that there are some questions being raised about lunch being served in Primary classrooms. This is something that we explored in mid-August to look at the feasibility, practicality and safety of such a move. We decided that the Dining Room with all our catering safety enhancements, increased cleaning and sterilisation is the best option for the school at this time. We will continue to stagger the lunch times and keep children in class bubbles to eat.  

Community Safety – family social plans and children’s parties

Community safety is something for which we are all responsible. We need your support by asking you to consider your own and your family’s social activities outside school as Mr Dyer mentioned in his letter to the community earlier this week. With this in mind, I ask you to think about any children’s birthday parties you may be holding.  

Please think about which children are invited and try to keep any gathering small with only children from your child’s class. Secondly, think about the venue. Outside in the fresh air is the safest option as it avoids any overcrowding, ventilation, cleaning or infection issues. Finally, and possibly the hardest option, is to hold the party just for the children and not adults too. Actions and infections that spread outside school have both direct and indirect effect on the running and operating of the school and could lead to a possible closure that we are trying to avoid.  

Please, have a safe and quiet family weekend. 

Mr Russell

_________________________________________________________________

 

3rd September

Thank you to all the parents who have taken time to join our Parent Information Evenings this week. I hope you found them informative and useful. Please do email any questions you may still have about your child’s learning in the year ahead to your child’s class teacher. 

Staggered drop off and collection for Key Stage 1

I have been delighted to see so many families collect their children early this week. This resulted in fewer adults on the premises and a change in the availability of parking spaces. I would like to thank all parents for wearing masks on-site and ensuring they are suitably distanced from one another. We will continue to monitor this for everyone’s safety. 

Changes to our everyday routines

I have been amazed at how quickly the children have adapted to their new routines and our additional safety procedures. The increased handwashing, sanitising and mask wearing seem to have become embedded through teachers setting these expectations and supporting the children to meet them.  

Whilst teaching in Year 2 this week it really brought home how much the children have learnt about keeping themselves safe. This happened when I was starting a ‘healthy living’ Science-based topic and I posed the questions, “How do we keep ourselves healthy?”  

In any other academic years, the children would have provided answers such as brushing their teeth and eating vegetables. Overwhelmingly the answers were all about keeping themselves safe during a pandemic. The children shared, with ease, what precautions they should take and how it helps to keep them safe. It was clear that they had listened to the messages we had shared in school through our PSHE lessons and also our assemblies. Of course, the constant messages that are also mirrored at home do help greatly. Thank you to all parents who are supporting our current procedures.  

One area the Year 2 children mentioned that I would like further support with is measuring your child’s temperature. On Monday I asked the children in our Zoom assembly to share if they had taken their temperature that morning. It was only around 25% of students. Whilst we do complete random temperature checks in school, a home check strengthens our safety measures. Any child with a temperature of 37.5 or higher must remain at home for 72 hours. Please follow the example proudly set by 2 Blueberry!  

Another area of support would be by providing our youngest children with masks that fit their faces. This means that they correctly cover their nose and mouth. Some children are arriving to school with adult size masks which results in staff needing to alter and adjust mask sizes to become effective. 

Student leadership 

This week the Year 6 students have voted for who they would like to be the Primary Peer Mentors and Primary House Captains. These are prestigious positions that help build the collegial feel of the school and support the emotional wellbeing of students through creating mixed aged play opportunities. Once these positions have been ratified I will share who our new Student Leaders will be and outline their responsibilities.  

Parent representatives

Following our Parent information Evening, we have had a number of parents show interest in being a class representative. Thank you for offering to become more involved in the school community. We do still have some open positions in the following Year Groups. 

  • Early Years 

  • 1 Apple 

  • 1 Caterpillar 

  • 2 Blueberry 

  • 2 Ocean 

  • 2 Sky 

  • 3 Daffodil 

  • 3 Lemon 

  • 4 Grape 

  • 4 Lilac 

  • 4 Plum 

  • 6 Bronze 

If you would like to be involved, please email renata.brown@bisb.hu  

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Mr Russell 

_______________________________________________________________

28th August

It has been an absolute joy to welcome new and returning families onto the campus this week. The children have clearly enjoyed making new friends, reacquainting themselves with old friendships and meeting their new teachers.   

Returning to school  

Returning to school after the campus closure takes lots of careful planning, including students' safety and students' curriculum. We do this because we appreciate that the students have had many differing experiences during lockdown: some have thrived on the independence, but other children learn better in a more social and collaborative space. Whilst our Virtual School Experience provided great new learning for the children at BISB during the crisis, inevitably there are inconsistencies in the skills and knowledge the children have retained.  

To support this, the Primary staff are reviewing and assessing the students and then using this information to adapt and plan their curriculum to support any areas of need.  

With equal importance, we are undertaking several steps to help children understand the recent crisis and how it has affected them and their world. We are using the acronym of RESTORE as the foundation of this work. This acronym and what work we will be undertaking is explained in more detail below. 

RECOGNITION of what’s happened and that children’s experiences during the pandemic are all different. We aim to encourage everyone to share stories of their experiences of the pandemic so far.  

EMPATHY for the mix of emotions that we have at home, in school, the community and in the wider world. We will help students respond with empathy and compassion to fellow students, staff and parents.  

SAFETY for the students in our care, both emotional and physical safety. We will work to re-establish a sense of safety for this ‘new normal’ so that students can learn and thrive.  

TRAUMA will be explored on an individual and collective level. We will support students who have had traumatic experiences during the crisis as well as students who feel they are facing an even more uncertain future.  

OPPORTUNITY to change what needs to be changed, to reflect on what matters to us and consideration of we may do differently. We will support students to learn from this experience and question what is important to us now and in the future.  

RELATIONSHIPS. Students will be helped to reconnect and rebuild inclusive and responsive relationships.  

ENGAGEMENT. We will help students understand their own health and well-being, and the issues that affect them. This will include students understanding themselves and their place in the world during a pandemic. We will encourage a sense of agency in their own lives to act on the issues that are important to them.   

Co-curricular Activities start  

It is with regret that I must share the news that we will not be starting out our CCA plan for Primary children this half term. Currently, in school, we are working tirelessly to keep groups of Primary children together and in ‘bubbles’ as much as possible.   

Running CCAs would require children to mix with students from other year groups. Additionally, many clubs are taught by outside providers or in large groups. The differentiating factor between Primary and Secondary is how students' days are structured. Primary children spend the majority of their day in one room, with the same children and adults. Secondary students move from room to room and mix their classes depending on curriculum options and ability groups.  

We are taking many small steps and initiatives that cumulatively help us be as safe as we can. The pausing of our CCA programme needs to be one of the steps we take. We will review this in the coming weeks for a possible start later in the term.  

Parent Information Evenings 

This is a great opportunity to find out more information about the curriculum your child will study and important information to help you and your children have a successful year of learning. These events will be held online on Tuesday 1st September for Years 1 to 6 at 5pm. Early Years will hold their online event on Thursday 3rd September at 5pm. Further information will follow from your child’s class teacher. For those unable to attend the presentation, the information will be sent at a later date. 

I wish you a wonderful and safe weekend.  

Chris Russell   

______________________________________________________________________

26th June

This week signals the end of our academic year. This has been notable for so many reasons, but I would not like the COVID situation to be our overarching memory. We should take time to think through the successes of this year, big and small to see the positives that have come from these experiences. 

We must look back at how proud we have been of the children, teachers and school in achieving an ‘excellent’ grade for our ISI inspections. We must also look at how the community has come together for so many wonderful events such as International Week and the Christmas Fair. So many educational trips, visitors, assemblies and memories that we must savour. 

In addition, we must also see the many positives in our Virtual School Experience. There have been huge benefits in the adaptability and independence of the children and their learning has continued to be progressive and moving forward. Alongside this, the teachers also enhanced their skills by developing and innovating online methods to maintain engagement with the children with great success. A perfect example of this was our Virtual Sports Day yesterday which was very well attended and resulted in the Red House being victorious. 

Whilst the children were taking part in their sports day, we had almost all the parental community take part in our Virtual Parents Meetings. I trust you found these informative and useful to complement your child’s school reports. One clear message from parents from these meetings was how our Virtual Schooling was a wonderful opportunity for parents to see how their children learn and the ways in which the school support and structure children’s learning.   

I could not finish the year without saying a few words of thanks. Firstly, I would like to show my appreciation to all the class representatives in Primary. This is a vital role that helps maintain the flow of information between school and the parents. I’m sure many of you will appreciate that their help has been fundamental in supporting us all through recent weeks. 

Finally, I would like to thank all the parents. I acknowledge that supporting younger learners through our VSE has been challenging and we have all experienced difficult times as we adapted to our new routines. I appreciate that working families had an additional level of difficulty trying to manage work commitments alongside supporting their children. A well-deserved summer has finally arrived. 

To all our departing families, I wish you well in your new adventure and thank you for being part of our community. Please do come and visit us again one day.  

To all our returning families, I look forward to welcoming the children back into school in August. 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

19th June

Reports to parents 

Today we have started to send out the Primary School students’ reports.  Your child’s report will be emailed to you. Most reports have been delivered already but there is a delay, we ask for your patience while this arrives over the weekend. 

Item collection and farewells on site next week

We are pleased to welcome over 200 students on site next week in addition to our day care students. Thank you for all the families who have supported this opportunity; the staff are extremely excited to see the children in school again. As a reminder, the children will be collected and returned promptly at the times that have been shared by your class teacher from the car park. If your child’s class teacher has not yet shared this information, please contact them. 

We appreciate that many parents will wait in the car park whilst their child is in school. When doing so, please switch off your engines and when talking to other parents we advise that a mask is worn and social distancing is maintained. Parents are the school’s first line of defence and so your support is appreciated. 

Alterations to the Virtual School Schedule 

On the days that your child has been given the opportunity to be on site, there will be no live taught sessions. However, work will be set on the usual platforms for the children to submit. As the staff are in school and working with the visiting children, there will naturally be a delay in feedback being added to any submitted work. 

For all year groups, the last day that work will be set is Wednesday 24th June. 

In the morning of Friday 26th June, all classes will have their final online sessions to say goodbye to departing friends and wrap up the academic year. These details will be shared by your class teachers 

Next week, Ms Sziraki will run her Energy live sessions on Monday and Wednesday as normal. 

Ms Kiss will only run her library session on Tuesday. 

Parent meetings – Thursday 25th June 

These virtual meetings will happen on Thursday 25th June. The sign-up for these meetings will end on Wednesday so please book while the system is still open. As the meetings are timed sessions that automatically start and end, I would advise you to prepare some questions from your child’s report in advance. 

Virtual Sports Day – Thursday 25th June 

We are proud to announce our Virtual Sports Day will take place on Thursday next week at the following times. 

Early Years and Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2): 9.00-11.00 

Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6):   13.00-15.00 

There will be 6 events that the children can try. They can try as many of the sessions for the Key Stage as they like. The more they get involved, the more House points they can win. 

To support the event, we would like your child to wear their house colours on that day. The PE department will then be able to award points to all children who are trying the events from the different Houses. 

The events scheduled for the day are: 

Tablazat

The event will be online via Zoom and the codes will be shared on your child’s learning platform. The event will contain fun activities that only require equipment that can easily be found around the home (laundry basket, toilet rolls, A4 paper, spoons and towels). Videos will be shared prior to the event so that children can practise but live demonstrations will also be given on the day. 

We will end the academic year with some high energy sessions and so I suggest a relaxing and restful weekend! 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

12th June

Plans for opening in August 

This week I’m proud to announce that we have made further increases to the number of children on site. We now safely welcome over 80 children back to school daily. While we have had 80 students on site this week, we look forward to welcoming back all students in August. We have been planning how we can do this safely and responsibly and will share how we will manage this in the coming weeks.  

Parent meetings and reports 

This week you received an email from me outlining the booking procedure for the upcoming parent meetings on Thursday 25th June. This is an opportunity to discuss your child’s learning and ask any questions about their report which you will receive on Friday 19th June. Sign up for these meetings will open on Monday by accessing your parent Firefly account. 

Virtual School Ending Wednesday 24th June. 

Wednesday 24th June will signal the end of 13 weeks of our Virtual School. I have been proud of how the school community has come together to embrace this challenging time. The children have learnt new skills, parents a better insight into their children as learners, and teachers new ways in which to engage and inspire the students. One way the teachers have maintained children’s enjoyment of their lessons is by inviting some visiting ‘zoomers’ to our Virtual School. 

Year 1 had the pleasure of Dr Dan Riskin joining them to share his expert knowledge on bats. They also had a discussion with Farmer Chris from Ireland who talked through life cycles using his own live hatching chicks as an example. 

Csaba Borbelya PhD student at Szent Istvan University in Budapest, ran a Zoom for Year 2 about insects. Csaba gave an informative talk answering all the questions that the children had previously prepared to extend their knowledge. 

01

02

Mr Dyer has also been a star guest when sharing his experiences and knowledge of rainforests in Asia with Year 4. He highlighted the environmental impact of increased agriculture on indigenous tribes, wildlife and the removal of natural habitats. 

Year 5 has had a number of visitors. To link to their work on persuasion and adverts, they invited Mr Nicholas Wittman to join a Zoom. Mr Wittman has starred ia number of films and adverts and so was the perfect guest to highlight the key components of TV advertisements. The children then used this knowledge to produce their high impact adverts. 

Year 5 also met Mr Wittmans twin brother Jake! Jake was another expert who supported their tourism topic by discussing responsible tourism by sharing how his company organises treks in the Smokey Mountains with reduced environmental impact.  

These are just some of the amazing opportunities the teachers are creating for our children! 

Opportunity for children to collect forgotten items in school and say farewell to their teachers 

Next week I will email the details of an opportunity for your child to come to school, collect any equipment or clothing they have left and say goodbye to their teachers. Your child’s class will be split into two groups (maximum group size being 11). When forming these groups, the teachers will try to accommodate friendships as much as possible. Teachers and LSAs will meet the children in the car park area, escort them into school and return them to the car park at the agreed time. We will take their safety and the safety of the staff seriously by having various safety protocols in place. These include steps such as children and staff wearing masks along with extra hand washing and sanitising. We will ask parents to complete a health declaration form for any child wishing to enter school. 

Any items not collected will be safely stored and returned in August should you not wish your child to enter school at this time. 

Please await more details on these opportunities that will take place between Monday and Wednesday in the last week of term. 

Have a safe and restful weekend. 

 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

05th June

This week we have welcomed a total of over 70 students from Early Years and Years 1 to 5 into school. In mixed age and isolated social bubbles. The children in Years 1 to 5 have engaged in their set Virtual School tasks independently with great success. Next week we are delighted to be welcoming even more Early Years children on site who now wish to rejoin our school campus. 

Parent meetings and reports 

In line with our usual routines, the teachers have been writing reports in recent weeks. These will be emailed to you on Friday 19th June. Following this, there will be an opportunity to discuss the report and your child’s learning in a parent meeting.  

These meetings will be slightly different in a number of ways. First, they will be online. This will be managed through the Parent Evening Booking system that has previously been used to book your ‘face to face’ parent meetings. As a reminder, this booking system is accessible through your Parent Portal Firefly account. It is not accessible through your child’s account.  

Once your appointment is booked, you will re access the software which will then connect you to the teacher at the booked time. Parents with children in Year 7 and 8 will be familiar with this process having recently used this system. We will contact you in the coming week and invite you to sign up for an appointment. Please take some time to familiarise yourself with accessing your Parent Portal Firefly account ready for the sign-up period. 

As noted, these meetings will be virtual using video conferencing. They will also be different as they will take place during the daytime of Thursday 25th June. Kindly note that as the teachers will be online all day and this will be the penultimate day of the academic year, there will have some impact on our Virtual school provision. 

Summer camp 

Several parents have asked about Summer Camp at school. This is confirmed to be for 2 weeks from June 29th to July 3rd and July 6th to 10th. Please see additional details in the newsletter about costs and the sign-up process or contact Mr Walker chris.walker@bisb.hu  

 

01

02

Classes for the next academic year 

The staff have started to look at classes for the next academic year. At BISB we always develop classes based around learning. We form balanced groups based on many factors including learning needs, learning strengths, language ability, nationalities and gender. We also try and find a balance of new students in each class. We start this process now, but we do not finalise the classes until we a few days before the students return. This enables us to add the new students who join our school over the summer months. We anticipate sharing your child’s new class, teacher and learning assistant by August 23rd. 

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

29th May

We have had an extremely busy week planning and preparing to welcome even more children back on site from Tuesday. 

With the Government decree permitting the opening of our Early Years classes we are delighted to have a total of over 40 children from our Early Years Centre join us in socially isolated pods of 8. These groups will be spread across the Early Years Centre and the Year 1 classrooms. Whilst it would not be safe or responsible to open our doors to Early Years children without this approach, the new arrangements still allow children to have fun whilst safely engaging in their activities together again. 

As you will have heard, we have surveyed parents to ascertain the need for day care supervision from next week. This is all we are allowed to provide under the current decree. Considering the many variables we have this is the safest and most responsible action to support working families and ensure staff can focus on providing our Virtual Schooling for everyone. I do appreciate that the array of parents’ views is wide and varied and the reason for parents wanting children to return to school differ greatly. Our provision is designed to be safe, morally correct and legal. As the pandemic is still a real threat to lives, we cannot fail to act responsibly at this time. 

We received 32 (28 Primary) requests for day care supervision. As a result, we will be pleased to have around 80 children on site including the Early Years students from Tuesday. Many thanks for completing this questionnaire. 

One of the many benefits of being the first international school in the city to open to our children two weeks ago is that we already have ‘tried and tested’ comprehensive safety procedures that can be extended to accommodate the children we will welcome on site next week. 

We are looking at ways in which we can provide an opportunity before the end of term for children to come into school for a short period to collect forgotten items and say goodbye to their teachers. Once again, this would be a safe and managed situation to minimise the risk for all the BISB community. We will communicate how we will organise these equipment collection sessions as soon nearer the time. As this has been such an unprecedented academic year, this would be a fantastic opportunity for our students to have closure on their year of learning. 

Finally, please remember that there will be no Virtual Schooling on Monday as Pünkösd is celebrated. 

Have a wonderful 3-day weekend.

 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

22nd May

I would like to open my newsletter to you with two numbers that I will reveal the significance of later. A small teaser for you to think through whilst I share some other news. These numbers are 3298 and 2641. 

International Writing Successes 

Through our online assemblies, I was able to publicly celebrate the children who have been highly commended or who were placed in the top three of an international writing competition we entered earlier in the year.  

The competition was set by the website “Kids World Fun”. Through encouragement from Ms Sands, our English leader, the students were challenged to submit a creative writing story.  

Usually, these competitions are based around a theme but this one was designed to allow the writers to choose their own topic. This was a fantastic opportunity for the children to put their Talk 4 Writing skills into practice and exercise their imaginations.  

Reading the pieces, I was particularly proud of how the students had taken into account their reading audience; this was evident in their entries. This is one of the key objectives we share with children when supporting their writing development and so I was pleased to see it being used with great effect. 

Below are the commended writers: 

Student 

Award 

Category 

Gergo Kapus 

Winner 3rd Prize 

Junior  

Diana Di Leo 

Highly Commended 

Sub Junior 

Ruixi Wang 

Highly Commended 

Sub Junior  

Alisa Wang 

Outstanding 

Sub Junior 

Siqi Wu 

Outstanding 

Sub Junior 

Chang Gao 

Outstanding 

Sub Junior 

Sarah Costa Spagnol 

Outstanding 

Sub Junior 

Laura Soós 

Outstanding 

Sub Junior 

Lauren Zhang-Kim 

Outstanding 

Sub Junior 

Yuxin Wang 

Outstanding 

Sub Junior  

Daniel Pap 

Outstanding 

Junior 

Akos Torok 

Outstanding 

Junior 

Gergely Szabo 

Outstanding 

Junior 

Evie Russell 

Outstanding 

Junior 

Jayden Zhang-Kim 

Outstanding 

Junior 


Well done to all our budding young authors. 

Parents Evening and Reports 

I would like to inform you that teachers are currently writing school reports that will be shared with you by email on 19th June. We will also be organising virtual parent meetings with the teachers following the receipt of the reports. More information on these points to follow. 

Virtual School at BISB. 

In my previous newsletters I have shared how many schools have decided simply to consolidate learning but how here at BISB we have been ambitious for your children by continuing to provide new learning during Virtual School. This has helped them continue to grow academically and supports their transition into the next year group.  

Despite some schools just providing online learning for part of the week, we continue to support children for the full week along with giving them access to Nord Anglia’s Global Campus activities, Virtual CCAs, Mr Walker’s Curriculum Challenges, assemblies, library sessions and much, much more. This brings me to those numbers......... 

The numbers I shared at the start of this piece are data from our Seesaw academic activity for just Years 1 and 2 in the last 7 days only. 

  • 3298 is the incredible number of tasks set by teachers plus the returned work by children.  
  • 2641 is the number of feedback comments given by staff on Seesaw. 

I will leave you with these amazing statistics from our younger learners to reflect upon as I wish you a restful weekend. 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

15th May

It has been great to hear children’s voices gently sound across the school campus again this week. Although in small and isolated groups in Early Years, the children’s joy being back in familiar surroundings is palpable and I know the staff enjoyed being back with the children again. 

Virtual School places challenges for all concerned but we must also look at the many positives this situation has brought us. In recent weeks we have launched our Nord Anglia Global Campus activities which have been further enhanced by Mr Walker’s Primary challenges. All challenges are designed to provide new opportunities or complement the children’s current Topic learning. These are wonderful topics and challenges to widen children’s experiences and have a great deal of fun whilst learning. 

Our Virtual CCA programme has been expanded further with Mr Rosie adding a Primary choir, a ukulele group and a recorder club. These are additional ways in which we offer new and exciting opportunities during our Virtual School Experience at BISB. 

I would also like to share some examples of how children (and families) have learnt new skills and how they have shared these with others. Gergo Sebok in 6 Copper decided that he should show his class how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Your immediate question may be, “why?” This idea was born out of the understanding that working parents may not have time to prepare food and so if children can make their own lunch, this can help the whole family. To take this one step further he has also made instructional videos on how to make tacos and burgers. All these videos can be found here,here and here.

To continue the theme, I must also highlight Jan and Leon ter Huurne’s videos from Year 5. Their cooking videos show us how to cook a full English breakfast and also a Dutch dessert called Knieperkes. Again, two great instructional videos that can build children’s independence and life skills whilst studying at home. These can be viewed here and here.

Finally, I feel I must bring some joy into your life by sharing the following example of an activity that was set by Year 1 staff this week. This video as an example of how your children’s teachers and Learning Support Assistants are going above and beyond to keep the Virtual School engaging with lessons that are supporting their learning, I love it. We are very fortunate to have our staff and school community to work together through these challenging times.  I hope this video of Mrs Ronaszeki is a great start to your weekend. 

 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

8th May

I would like to start by congratulating the students on another successful week of Virtual School. The tasks they are being set are both challenging and engaging and we are delighted at the work that is being returned. Throughout this journey, our students continue to acquire a new range of study and technological skills that will be truly beneficial for their learning upon our return to school, which we hope will be very soon. 

Again, I wish to thank parents and staff for all the involvement in creating and supporting our Virtual School experience. I do appreciate that this is a challenging time for all concerned. 

Last week we made yet more enhancements to our provision. I do hope that the extra English as an Additional Language (EAL), Hungarian and PE lessons have been well received.  

Early Years partial opening for childcare 
I’m delighted that, following Government’s announcements, we can now begin to welcome some of our Early Years students back into school. This can only be facilitated for a limited number of children due to the strict regulations which state only 5 children per room, but we have devised a plan to use the EY Centre and some Year 1 classrooms. I have received some questions about Year 1 opening. Unfortunately, because Year 1 is not classed as part of our Early Years provision we are restricted and unable to do so at this point. It is the school’s designation of “kindergarten” which is used in determining which groups to welcome back. 

Online assemblies start next week
I’m pleased to announce another addition to our live online provision. Starting next week, we will have sing-a-long assemblies and messages at 8.30am on Monday for Key Stage 2 children and at 8.30am on Friday for Early Years and Years 1 and 2 children. This will be a chance to congregate and sing together in the comfort of your own home. The codes for these sessions will be placed on the master timetables and shared through your child’s Kinteract, Seesaw or Firefly portals. 

We will be using some songs and resources that are well known to the children. To help prepare the children I have added the songs and music here. Of course, parents are very welcome to sing along and I will be looking for the most enthusiastic singers from our parent community. This could be an opportunity to fall in love with singing and join the school’s Community Choir. 

Online Zoom security updated 
We have been informed this week that all future Zoom meetings now need to be password protected. We initially chose Zoom as our means for sharing live content for its ease of use. Throughout our time using this software we have had to adapt to their software and security changes which has prompted this move. The teachers are currently adding a simple and memorable password to all sessions which they will communicate to you via email. As this newsletter is shared outside our community, my newsletter is not the most secure method for sharing that information. 

Transition 
On Wednesday evening I joined the Year 6 families in a virtual transition evening with our Secondary school colleagues. This was an opportunity replicate the comprehensive provision and support we give to our Years 6 students as they move into the next phase of their education. It was wonderful to see so many families engaging with this and we are delighted that our ability to provide support for our students does not change despite the current situation. 

Have a wonderful weekend, 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

30th April

As we near the end of our fifth week of Virtual School, I would like to inform you of some further enhancements that will be taking place in the Primary School. As of next week, all students who study Hungarian in Years 2 to 6 will be getting online live sessions with their teachers. Additionally, there will be PE classes online from Early Years to Year 6 when the staff will set physical activities and challenges for the children. 

We appreciate that students in school who are in the early acquisition stages of their English language proficiency miss the additional contact and support they receive in school. In response to this, additional online sessions for some children have been developed. Finally, Year 6 will be adding an extra online lesson to their students each day and Early Years 2 children will be having reading sessions with staff. 

Parallel to this, there are several additional new activities that children can access. These are investigations, activities and challenges that have been created either by Mr Walker or Mr Brown. Some of these activities are taken from our Global Campus, which is a unique feature of Nord Anglia schools.  

Activities are linked through your Key Stage 2 child’s Firefly account. As Mr Walker adds more age-appropriate content for Key Stage 1 pupils, we will link this through their SeeSaw profiles. 

The activities are designed to be self-explanatory with videos and presentations to help children complete these independently. Many activities are created to complement the class topics that are currently being studied. 

Currently the activities available: 

  • Create your own Origami frog – links to the Year 4 rainforest topic 

  • Zen pencil reading activity from the Global Campus for Year 5 and 6 students 

  • A music competition on Global Campus for children in Years 3,4,5 and 6. 

The next wave of activities will be: 

  • A marble run challenge – suitable for all year groups 

  • Crystal making challenge – links to the Year 3 Dinosaur and rocks topic. 

  • Flower-pot volcano challenge – links to the Year 3 Dinosaur and rocks topic. 

  • Bird and butterfly feeders challenge – suitable for all year groups 

I trust you can see that we have been looking for opportunities to further enhance the Virtual School Experience and that we have made considerable changes from when we first launched in March.  

All our changes are discussed with the teachers and designed with learning at the centre. Many schools globally have decided that there should be no ‘new’ learning during school closures, only consolidation. As a Primary staff, we wholeheartedly did not believe in that approach.  Our aim is to continue to help your children grow and make progress academically and be ready to return to school in the very near future.  

I am extremely proud of our staff who are creating new content daily, formatting and adapting activities to be accessible online and differentiating the work to be accessible for all. Whilst doing this they are trying to replicate the kinds of ‘in school’ activities that keep children engaged and excited to learn. This is a creative way of teaching and a pedagogical style upon which children thrive. A more didactic or lecture-type sessions are often suggested as the way Virtual School should happen. I would challenge notion as this style is less effective for young learners and is not what your children are used to when school is in normal operation.  

I acknowledge that supporting your own children is a challenge for some families. I also appreciate that many families are thriving on spending time getting to know their child as a learner and understand how young people grow and develop under the guidance of the teachers and the work they are setting. 

I wish you a fun and restful long weekend. 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

24th April

Dear Parents

The teachers have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with the children again this week after the Easter holiday. I trust you found the additional Easter resources we shared useful. I will leave these accessible for you in the coming weeks. These can be found by clicking here.

It has been wonderful to see the children eager to learn again this week. As always, I would like to thank you for supporting your children in their Virtual School and balancing your own work and life pressures. We appreciate that this is no easy situation that we find ourselves in. 

You will have noticed after our announcements on Monday that there has been an increased online presence for the children. This has been designed to try and strike a fine balance between didactic teaching and independent work for the children. Of course, this balance varies greatly according to the age and stage of the children and something that we will constantly review. The main focus will be on supporting children’s learning in focused learning groups. 

This week we also had Ms Sziraki’s Energy Live! Sessions and Ms Kiss reading a story from the library. For future sessions, we kindly ask you to ensure that all iPads are named so that we only admit our known students into the rooms. Following Ms Kiss’s story, The Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, I challenged the students to make their own creation inspired by the drink ‘Juicio’ from the story. I have to congratulate Chen Xi for her creativity by making this cucumber, tomato, lemon, pear and orange refreshing drink. This is a recipe I will have to try. 

juice

Tonight I will conduct a special reading event for Early Years and Year 1 and share two stories that I have spent many hours reading to my daughters over the years. Please see the individual communication from your child’s class teacher for the event code. 

Have a wonderful weekend and if you need a little spring in your step to start your ‘happy’ weekendclick this link. Enjoy the video and enjoy guessing who the Primary teacher is in the mask! 

Chris Russell

_____________________________________________________

3rd April

As we finally approach our Easter break it is a good time to reflect on the progress we have made with our Virtual School Experience in recent weeks. I’m delighted in how the staff prepared the students to use their well-known platforms in a new way. The students responded positively and are becoming increasingly confident and independent with this new way of working. Parents have played a huge role in this too by supporting the challenging and exciting work that has been set by the teachers. 

Earlier today you received an email from me about the enhanced provision designed for Term 3. 

The premise of our additional live provision is personalised group teaching which supports and enriches children’s learning. The rationale for this approach is to try and replicate a Primary classroom experience within the current constraints. It is designed to target, support and stretch learning by taking groups of children and give them added connections to their much-loved teachers.  

I appreciate that some parents feel that full lessons may be better for their children. While this may be viewed as a way to reduce the need for parent support, it will not remove this need completely. In this scenario, children will still need help, guidance and feedback even if a topic is introduced or explained by a teacher. This is how children learn and how we support them in school. Children are grouped and support is given to them that targets their needs. A vibrant and interactive classroom cannot be replicated online; our provision will try to mimic this as closely as possible, however.  

This enhanced provision has been developed by the class teachers and learning support assistants. They have designed the provision to reflect the age and stage of development of your children. They have created this with leaning in mind, increasing support to aid their academic development.  

I am mindful that as travel is restricted, many families will remain at home over the holiday. The Primary staff appreciates that this may be a challenging time for families as they manage work and supervising children. As a support to the community, the staff have collated some creative and fun activities that you can complete with your children. They have also gathered useful links to education sites, online museums and places of interest.  

Whilst the children need a period of rest and relaxation, there will be families who want to continue a more structured day. For these families we have also added Home Learning study packs from reputable education publishers. This is available on our website by clicking HERE.

Finally, thank you for all your emails of support and thanks to the staff; they have been shared and greatly appreciated. 

I wish you all a restful, fun and, above all, safe holiday. 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

27th March

I would like to say a huge thank you for all the work that you are completing to support children’s Virtual School Experience. These are challenging and unprecedented times that require us all to work together to ensure that our provision is sustainable, supportive and productive. 

The range of feedback we have received is very varied from too much work to not enough, from too challenging to too easy and finally too much screen time to a request for more time on screens. In a diverse community such as ours, we will never be able to satisfy all needs, but will certainly listen to all feedback. I very much appreciate that different families have different amounts of time available to support their own children’s home learning. Children, likewise, have different capacities for independent work, which not only varies with age, but prior experience and disposition.  We appreciate that some parents with limited time would prefer their children to have more time on calls with their teachers. 

To support this, we added daily check-ins this week. These have been very well received and I know that the teachers and students have appreciated the opportunity to see each other online.  If you have been part of these calls you will see that the children still need time to learn how to use these platforms. The children are developing a new set of skills such as understanding when to speak and how to manage their devices to enhance everyone’s call quality. This is just as it would be in a classroom, but the social influence and cues are not as easy for small to pick up on screen! 

As with all systems, there are limitations. Such platforms do not replace the learning environments of our school, the way we teach and the way we support all children with their difficulties and extend the more able learners. The reality is that our younger learners need support, some more than others, and this can be a source of great frustration for parents.  This week, suggested times have been placed on tasks and I would suggest you try and use these to avoid any unnecessary conflict and pressure in your day. 

Some parents feel having children complete online lessons would be the solution to this challenging time. The reality is with even some teacher input, young learners would still require some level of parent support. The only way we can remove this need for support is to provide low challenge, low interest and low skill lessons. Our teachers want more for your children and while the lessons often require support, we aim to maintain standards, progress and curriculum coverage.  

We will continue to investigate the feasibility of online lesson options for our upper Key Stage 2 students (Years 5 & 6) as teachers naturally experiment next week and test internet capacity. As a community, we can refine and develop our Virtual School Experience. This is only possible with your patience and appreciation of the pressures all members of the community are currently feeling. The current uncertainty is unsettling and I’m proud of how our teachers, children and parents are responding. Any developments and changes need to be mindful of staff, students and parents well-being ensuring that as a community we can maintain our provision over a longer-term if needed. 
My final note is to give my thanks for the ‘Grateful in glasses’ initiative we tried today. Random acts of kindness and a sense of humour at times like these will see us through and support our children to maintain perspective. Stay safe and well. 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

20th March

Dear Parents,

I hope that your first few days of our virtual school experience has been successful. Many thanks to all parents who have taken the time to contact teachers and share words of appreciation for our chosen profession!  

We also understand that these are very challenging times when you are tasked to support your child at home. In school, our classrooms are interactive, social and varied. Teachers support all children both in their strengths and things they find challenging. This is the joy of teaching. Supporting a diverse community of students and guiding their learning to make positive steps forward takes time, experience and patience. 

Behind the science and research of how students learn, are the relationships and teachers’ knowledge of the students they teach. Of course, this cannot be replicated completely at home. Relationships between parents and children are different from that of teachers and children.  

Yesterday would have been our Pop-In which is an opportunity that we provide for you to gain a better understanding of the curriculum we are teaching your children. Parents' Evenings give more information about your child as a learner and their progress. Home learning is a perfect amalgamation of both these facets. I’m sure you are now seeing the areas of the curriculum your child needs support and guidance with and also where they thrive. 

At BISB we are constantly striving for children to be independent. From students changing their shoes in EY and serving their lunch, to gradually being responsible for their school equipment and homework. We plan gradual steps in independence and personal development to stretch children to think and act for themselves.  

Independence is a key attribute in learning. In this home learning period, more independent children will thrive. Children who need reassurance that they doing the right thing on how complete a task will need support, even with the differentiated activities they are being set. This will be the same at home as it is in school. I know this causes tensions when families have their own working lives to complete and inevitably there will be some tough times as families adapt to the new routines.  

To support this, I would like to share a common technique called 'See three before me'. This is a method where children are asked to rely upon resources, previous work or other children before asking for help from an adult. 

Step 1: Brain - What do they already know from previous lessons, reading etc. What could help them with the task they are asked to complete? 

Step 2: Buddy - Ask a friend for help. This could be a sibling or possibly a friend in a daily forum that exists for some of our Key Stage 2 classes.  

Step 3: Bits and bobs – Use resources. What resources such as books, iPad, calculator, ruler, and dictionaries does your child have available to them that could help them understand how to do the task? Most activities we set have additional information, Powerpoints, video or both to help support children.  

Step 4 - Ask the boss. If students are still stuck after going through the previous three steps then they can ask for help. I would ask them to verbalise the steps they have taken first. Then ask how this helped. This process will help students develop their independent problem solving strategies.   

In an everyday classroom, children may not always finish all the tasks that have been made available to them. This is mitigated partially by teaching differentiated tasks at different levels. Staff then also provide support, extension work or feedback to scaffold and advance students’ learning.  

At home it will be the same. Not all children will be able to finish all their work set. This can also be a source of tension for parents. To help, teachers will now give a rough estimate of how much time to spend on an activity. This will be no more than 55 minutes unless a project has been set. Key Stage One children are able to concentrate for less time than older children. and so activities could be designed for 20-30 minutes. At the end of the suggested task time, ask your child to finish and upload. Spending hours agonising over work builds unnecessary stress. 

Daily routines help children and adults feel secure and manage their time. We have all had our routines disrupted this week which is disorientating and stressful. My advice would be to set a routine and incorporate small breaks. Make it clear to your children when you are available to support them and when you are not.  

We are always discussing and adapting what we can do to improve our virtual school experience. Whilst we were quietly preparing for a school closure, actions had to be taken swiftly to provide the current comprehensive provision in a short space of time.  

I do have some news on adaptations we are exploring. As the week has progressed all classes have received a recorded video introduction to the day. This has helped set the context of the learning and help give students the security of seeing their much loved teachers. In addition to  this, Mr Brown and I have spearheaded a working party on video connectivity along with other teachers from other NAE European schools. We have been looking for a viable video feed option that is suitable for Primary children.  

I would like to make it clear that this would not be a constant live feed or lessons. We are exploring the opportunity to have live ‘check ins’ with Primary students to answer any questions but, most importantly, stay connected. We have to find the right balance between teachers being online, marking and responding to the work they are setting. We have conducted a successful test this morning with a class of EY, Year 2 and Year 6 and will share any enhancements with you soon. 

Finally, please do ensure everyone has breaks; breaks from one another and breaks from screens. Please take advantage of gardens, courtyards or parks if you feel comfortable to do so, get fresh air and much needed exercise. 

Have a great weekend 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

13th March

As you can imagine this has been quite an interesting week. However, during the current COVID 19 situation, we have continued to provide high quality learning for the children in school. We have maintained the usual routines and expectations for our children, helping them have a sense of normality that is vitally important. 

One of these has been the celebration of our Book Diorama and Spelling Bee winners in our Monday assembly. 

chris 01

 

Chris 02

To maintain the normal and safe operation of the school we sadly had to cancel our collective celebration of 15th March today. Instead, our resourceful Hungarian Culture teachers filmed and recorded their presentation which was shared as a multimedia file with all the classes so we can mark this important event.

From today we have also rearranged our Top Dog celebration assemblies. We will still celebrate learning and achievements but these will not be large group gatherings; instead, they will be held in classrooms with the class teachers. Our much loved weekly whole school assemblies will also be cancelled until further notice.

Parallel to this week’s in-class learning, we have been preparing and training the students how to access our Home Learning plans, should we need to activate them. By taking advice from other schools in the Nord Anglia family and optimising the online tools we already have in school, we are well prepared for all scenarios. 

However, we remain vigilant. We are using sanitising gels with students, have increased cleaning procedures and continue to remind the children to wash their hands regularly. We also immediately send home any child who is unwell. These practices along with encouraging exercise and healthy eating (a constant drive for our community) remain the best advice at this time.  

Acting with extra vigilance, we have decided to cancel all swimming lessons from immediate effect. Additionally, I am sorry to announce that we will need to cancel our Pop-In which was planned for next Thursday. I’m sure you appreciate the reasons for this decision. 
Wishing you a happy and healthy weekend.

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

6th March

Our English week has certainly been action-packed and full of adventures! You may have seen from our various social media platforms how Ms Sands created a memorable week in which we have celebrated the love of English learning, books and language. 

From visiting authors to spelling bees, the children have had a multitude of activities and lessons to help them celebrate the week. The diorama competition put me in a very privileged but difficult position when having to choose the winning entries. The range of genres and book titles was extensive and it was clear the children had taken pride in their final designs. The final winners will be announced on Monday and will receive a PTA sponsored book at the Book Fair on the 19th March.

01

I would just like to thank all the staff this week for all their energy and input. All the extra activities and challenges required additional planning on top of our usual curriculum expectations. To add to this we had a tremendous array of costumes that the staff had made, bought or borrowed to look amazing on Thursday.

02

Thank you for all parents who attended the residential meetings for Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 on Tuesday. Our residentials are a great learning and personal development opportunity for our students. The best advert for these trips are children who have attended them before. Just ask them all about their experiences. The trips comprise of action-packed days filled with challenges and activities to help children appreciate Hungary and its flora and fauna.

The deadline for sign up is next Friday 13th March. Following this, invoices will be sent on 1st April with a payment deadline of 24th April. This is the deadline that we have set taking into account the changing status of COVID-19 in Hungary. I would encourage all interested families to sign up by Friday 13th March so that we can continue to plan these adventures whilst monitoring the current situation.

Finally some dates for your diary. 

Thursday 12th March 9.00am – Parents in Partnership. 

The importance of play. This session will be led by our Early Years staff who will talk around the topic of child development and the importance of play to support children’s personal and academic growth. This session will take place in the Dining Room with a target audience of EY, Year 1 and Year 2 parents.

Thursday 19th March 2.45pm – 3.20pm Pop In Y1-6.

This is an opportunity for your child to share their learning and learning environment with you. Our classrooms will be open from 2.45pm until 3.20pm at which time we ask parents to leave the classroom to allow the staff to facilitate a smooth and safe end of day routine. 

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

28th February

Celebrating diversity and personal heritage is something we proudly achieve at BISB. This week, it was in the form of an old English tradition of pancakes and pancake races. This tradition allegedly started in a village of Olney in Buckinghamshire in 1445. A lady who was busy making pancakes and was late for church. The legend describes the lady still in her apron running to church as the bells chimed with a pan in her hand and pancake cooking, getting fresh air and exercise! This has led to an annual race in the village to celebrate Shrove Tuesday and the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday.  

You may have seen on our social media channels that Mr Payn and the Year 5 team organised a house pancake race competition with the Green team being victorious. A fun way to start the day, get fresh air and exercise! 

Pancake

pancake 02

English Themed Week Next Week. 

Next week we will have our English Themed Week. This is a celebration that will have many facets including a visiting author, Mihaela Cosescu. She is a Romanian author who has written many books including The Enchanted Bicycle. This story matches many of our school values of hard work, empathy and supporting other people. More information on this book can be found here https://carturesti.ro/carte/the-enchanted-bicycle-323492788 and you can purchase a signed copy of her book from Mihaela in the BIStro on Wednesday afternoon from 3.30pm. 

You will find attached to this article all different activities that will be taking place next week but I would like to highlight just a couple that you will not want to miss. 

Firstly, every morning we will be offering a ‘Relax and Read’ from 8.00am in the Library when we will be open to welcome children and their parents to come and indulge in a riveting read! 

Next, I must mention our World Book Day Dress Up Day. This will be Thursday 5th March and we encourage all children to come dressed as a book character.  

The greatly anticipated Book Fair will be rescheduled to 19th March which is also Primary Pop-In day. 

 

English week 02

Residential meetings with child care. 

For parents of children in Year 2 to 5 we will be presenting information about the upcoming residential trips. Whilst this information has been emailed to you this week, we are also providing an opportunity to come and hear about these exciting programmes from the teachers. 

Two sessions will take place on Tuesday 3rd March at the following times. 

  • 4.00pm - 4.30pm 
  • 4.30pm - 4.50pm 

The first will be a fuller meeting explaining the rational, expectations and outcomes for the residential programme and also the practicalities of the activities, timings and how to help prepare your child for this experience. The second will be a condensed session only talking about the practicalities and not the rational. 

There are deliberately two sessions as we appreciate that some families have more than one child involved in our residential programmes. The second session is designed for these families in mind. 

Whilst each session is happening, we will provide another room within the year group where we will supervise children. This will only be for families attending the sessions and will finish promptly at 5.00pm. 

I wish you a fun and restful weekend ready for an activity-packed week ahead. 

 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

14th February

We started this final week of the half-term celebrating our students ‘Aspiring to Excellence’. During our weekly assembly, we were treated to a drum performance from Nimrod (Year 4) followed by Laura (Year 4) and Aron (Year 6) on their guitars. These performances helped frame the celebrations of our internal creative writing competition. The competition was based around the book called ‘Stepping Stones’ and explores what home means to children around the world. This initiative came from Nord Anglia’s Global Campus which is currently selecting the worldwide winners.  
As a school, we had so many excellent entries that we also wanted to celebrate them internally.  
There were two main winners, Inju in 6 Amber and Vivaan in 2 Blueberry. To share the quality and complexity of this work, Ms Sands read this section from Inju’s entry to the amazement of the Primary school: 

It went on for 2 hours, the same haunting sound of crackling fire. Scorching flames were swallowing the towering trees one by one as the blistering wind spread red sparks. Never ending screams were echoing through the cloudy sky wanting to be heard. 
 
After those suffering hours, only silence bleached the empty forest. A few cries of devastation filled the air. I could still taste ashes in my mouth and my skin was as dry as sand. My home was burnt down and nothing was left, if you don’t count the brown crisped logs and the snapped twigs which were scattered on the floor. 
 
As winners, both Inju and Vivaan will be able to choose 2 books from the upcoming book fair on Friday 6th March, courtesy of the PTA. 
Several commended entries will be able to choose one book from the PTA fair. These were: 
Teo - Year 6 Amber 
Kwinten - Year 5 Sapphire 
Jayden - Year 5 Cobalt 
Evie - Year 5 Cobalt 
Haodong Hu - Year 4 Plum 
Jacob - Year 3 Lemon 
Shreya - Year 3 Marigold 
Sandra - Year 2 Ocean 
Aakhash - Year 2 Ocean 
 
I do hope those of you who attended the safer internet talk with Mr Jon Taylor found it useful. The sessions he held with the students were relevant and informative giving them advice on the suitability of the apps and games they use, and how to keep themselves safe online. Mr Taylor also shared how students' actions at an early age could affect their future life unless they are aware of their ‘digital footprint’. His visit complemented perfectly our Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum. Tuesday’s presentation plus other useful documents have been emailed to parents directly, please do take time to read through these if you could not make the session. 


Finally connected to Mr Taylor’s sessions this week, Year 5 Wave’s assembly and Farsang, I would encourage you to be active with your children during the holidays. We helped by celebrating Farsang on Friday with Hungarian Folk dancing and traditional noise making to scare away winter. We certainly exceeded in our noise making hitting 115 decibel which is equivalent to a pneumatic drill.
So now that we have scared away winter, we have learnt about healthy habits from 5 Wave, I wish you an active and fun half-term break. 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

7th February

Last week I shared our school’s view of swimming and the expectations of swimming attendance. I’m pleased that we have seen an improvement in this area and I trust this will continue with our new swimming rotation which is due to start soon.  

This week we have had Anita Ugyan visit and talk to Year 4 about her conquest of Everest and being the first Hungarian lady to reach the summit. Please see a more detailed article in the newsletter about this amazing opportunity.  

Anita

Year 1 had a visit to enhance their in-school learning based on their topic of toys this week. They visited the toy museum in Obuda to see toys from the past. These are toys with which their parents and grandparents may have played. This was the basis of their work to compare and contrast historical toys and for inspiration for future designs. 

toy 01

toy 02

toy 03

Both these experiences helped children in Year 1 and 4 connect their learning. Being able to speak to driven individuals such as Anita can motivate and encourage children to dream big and be ambitious in their learning. 

Another amazing outcome from these two experiences emerged through children’s play. During lunchtime, students from Years 1 and 4 spontaneously started working together to build their own Mount Everest in the sandpit. The conversations and knowledge they shared with details of where the base camp would be, including the difficulties of living there was a true reflection of how powerful such visits can be for our students.

Mt Everest 01

Mt Everest

Mt Everest 03

As we head towards the end of the half term I would like to inform you of some upcoming events. 

Safer Internet Day and parent seminar 

On Tuesday all classes from  Year 1-6 will have sessions to support safer internet usage. These will be conducted by Mr Jonathon Taylor, an expert in his field. He will be visiting our school from the UK for two days. Mr Taylor will also be presenting to parents at 2.30pm on Tuesday in the dining room. I would encourage you to try to attend. Please refer to the email you were sent on Wednesday for more information.  

Environmental Fair

This wonderful idea has been a drive from the students to look at our impact on our world. Supported by Ms Hodges we will have items on sale including wax cloths to wrap up your child’s healthy snack. This fair will also be an opportunity to buy cakes made by some CAS students who are working with Primary students to raise funds for WaterAid. Another fundraiser they are organising is a football tournament on Friday 14th February. For an entry fee of 500HUFs, students can take part in the tournament. This will be deemed extra special as Friday is usually ‘football free Friday’. If your child would like to take part, they can register at the football pitch at any point during lunchtime.  

Farsang 

The last afternoon of the half term will be a celebration of Farsang. All the children will have the opportunity to learn traditional Hungarian dancing with live music during the morning. In the afternoon, children in Year 1-6 are invited to bring any Farsang costumes into school to wear. Early Years children can arrive at school in their costumes. 

Another part of the celebrations will be our annual attempt to scare away winter by making as much noise as possible on the basketball court. To support our Secondary CAS students who are raising funds for WaterAid, we would like to suggest that children bring in a small voluntary donation up to 500HUFs for this afternoon. Of course, we will be having traditional Farsangi Fank that will be delivered by some very special and surprise guests!  

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

31st January

We are all aware that a good diet and regular exercise can help us maintain our health, fitness improve our general well-being. We know this as adults but I was surprised by a rough straw poll I conducted in assembly on Monday of how many children claim they do not eat breakfast. 

All students naturally have a dip in their concentration in the morning. However, those who do not eat breakfast see their ability to focus drop between 50-60% more than students who had eaten according to Wesnes et al (2003). 

Another part of the study showed that students who ate breakfast had a 3-5% improvement in being able to recall facts from memory. Both results point to the benefit of eating a balanced and nutritious breakfast. 

Exercise goes hand in hand with nutrition. We value outside play and challenging physical environments at BISB to help build children’s strength, coordination and flexibility. This begins in Early Years with our philosophy on encouraging ‘risky play’ but also through our visits to the garden and forest, regardless of the weather. 

Of course, our rounded PE curriculum also supports children’s physical development. Participation in all lessons is crucial to help increase student’s fitness whilst developing a wide range of skills. With this in mind, I would like to raise a concern that we are seeing a worrying large number of children not swimming.  

Swimming has many benefits including personal safety, low impact exercising, strength development, co-ordination and flexibility. Because of this multitude of benefits, we expect all children to take part in swimming lessons. Our policy is that if a child is well enough to come to school, they are well enough to take part in all activities such as a mathematics lesson, outside play, phonics sessions and swimming. If a child cannot swim for medical reasons, a note from a medical professional is required explaining this.  

We plan our staffing to ensure that children are adequately and safely supervised whilst being transported to the pool, changing and being taught in the water. We deliberately do not organise our staffing to account for children who do not swim. As you will appreciate we want staff to focus on two things; the safety of children in the pool and the delivery of high-quality lessons. When we have large numbers of non-swimming children to supervise this makes the swimming teacher's role extremely challenging. Your support on this would be greatly appreciated. I will continue to monitor this in the coming months. 

Upcoming events: 

Internet safety. Mr Jon Taylor who is a former internet safety inspector for the Metropolitan Police will be visiting the school again after a very successful visit in 2018. This will be on Tuesday 11th February for Primary students and a parent workshop will be held at 2:30 on that day in the dining room. 

Farsang. This will be celebrated on 14th February. Children can bring costumes to dress up in the afternoon. The morning will be spent dancing with the help of a live music band and folk visiting dancers. 

English Week. This will be held between Monday 2nd and Friday 6th March. This will be a week of celebrating our English curriculum and the love of reading. Advance warning that Thursday 5th March will be our character dress-up day. Why not start planning your costumes now with your children. 

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Mr Russell

_____________________________________________________

24th January

New initiatives 
This week is the week of new initiatives. Following on from our new parent-run knitting and cooking CCAs, we have a new lunchtime club. This time it will be run by the students. Through our Smart Student Council, Marton in 6 Copper and Luka in 5 Sapphire proposed this new board game club. The benefits of playing board games for children are enormous. They teach many skills including taking turns, learning to celebrate other people’s success and additional skills such as problem solving. Above all, when played at home, they help promote family time and family discussion which is something that cannot be replicated by online gaming. For more benefits please see this article: https://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle/2019/10/29/news/why-playing-board-games-is-so-good-for-kids-and-how-to-get-them-to-join-in-1748563/ 

This is a great club that was extremely well attended on Thursday and was another sign of how, through extra time and effort, we can enhance our community offering. If, like Marton, you have an idea of a parent led club you could run, please do email me at chris.russell@bisb.hu

In addition to the board game club, we have a group of students who are working to reduce our school’s impact on the environment. Rashed, David and Floris have been making posters to display in classrooms on the impact of plastic in our oceans with fitting images and facts to help inform their peers.  

In addition to this, they have decided, along with the support of Mrs Hodges, to make sustainable food wraps. Made from cloth and wax, these clothes can be used to wrap snacks and reduce the need for plastic packaging or packaged processed food. You may have seen from our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BISB.PTA/) that the making of these clothes will happen on Saturday 25th from 9:00 am in school. Whilst there is already a group of community and environmentally minded teachers, parents and students signed up to make the cloths, we have room for many more. If you would like to get involved please email maria.hodges@bisb.hu. Once made, these fantastic products will be made available to buy.  

Uniform checks
I would like to give you advance warning of uniform checks I will be performing in the coming weeks. Myself and the Primary Leadership Team will be in classes to ensure that the standards of uniform the children are wearing are fit of our great school. If we see an element of your child’s clothing we would like you to address, we will send a simple document home highlighting our concerns.  

Our school uniform teaches students to dress smartly and take pride in their appearance. It also gives students a sense of belonging to our excellent school and supportive community. As Primary students do not purchase their uniform themselves, your support on this matter would be greatly appreciated. 

Upcoming dates 
We will be celebrating Farsang on Friday 14th February with a visiting music group and Hungarian Folk Dancing teacher. 

11th and 12th February we are delighted to have Mr Jonathon Taylor from Be Safe Online www.besafe-online.co.uk/ in school again to conduct online and internet safety workshops with students, staff and parents alike. Mr Taylor has a wealth of knowledge including working as a Covert Internet Investigator within the Metropolitan Police Child Abuse Investigation Command for 10 years. His impressive biography can read here: https://www.besafe-online.co.uk/?page_id=2 

Please pay attention to our social media channels and future newsletters for more information. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and for those members of our community who are celebrating Lunar New Year, a fun-filled celebration. 

Mr Russell

_____________________________________________________

17th January

It was wonderful to see our parents’ evening so well attended this week. These are key dates in the year that help develop the home and school relationship and ultimately support your children’s learning.   

The cycle of quality feedback and targets is important in the classroom too. Teachers are constantly giving verbal and written feedback to support children with any misunderstandings or challenge their thinking. Teachers are constantly refining and developing this skill. It is such a valuable ‘teacher tool’ that we currently have a group of teachers who are researching the impact of quality feedback on children’s learning in one of our professional learning groups.  

Our recent ISI inspection report did observe how we accelerate academic progress of our students at BISB through aspects such as quality teaching, resources and feedback when stating the quality of students outcomes were a result of:

excellent teaching, the use of a wide range of stimulating resources within well-organised learning environments, feedback against clear learning criteria and the next steps required for learning.

This was, yet again,  further confirmation of the quality of experiences our children are receiving on a daily basis.

On a theme of communication, I would like to share that we started two new clubs this week. Through our Smart Student Council, we had a request to start a cooking club and a knitting club. With the kind support of parent volunteers, we have made this happen. This is a great community achievement and a model on which we can build to extend the CCA programme. Please do email me if you have an idea of a club you would like to run.

I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Mr Russell

_____________________________________________________

10th January

Welcome back to school. I hope you all had a fun and relaxing break. It was wonderful to see all the children returning to school refreshed and excited to be reunited with their classes ready for a great term of learning ahead. 

Our excellent Independent Schools Inspectorate report is a wonderful achievement. This was achieved by lots of planning and preparation but also the support we have received from the community in recent years. We should be proud to be part of a school that has been externally validated to such a high and prestigious standard.  

As a school and community we have developed and evolved over recent years, and whilst we are jubilant at this moment, our momentum to continually develop and provide the very best education for our students does not stop.  

Whilst I do encourage you to read the full report, I would like to highlight some points made by ISI that celebrate the skills, dispositions and personal development of our students at BISB.  

We are proud of how we help students develop their study skills, collaborate and are challenged to be ambitious in their learning. These skills are carefully moulded into lessons daily by our highly skilled teachers. This point was highlighted by the inspectors when they stated: 

Pupils demonstrate excellent study skills, which become highly developed as they move through the school. They work equally well independently and in groups, hypothesising, reasoning logically, challenging their own understanding and that of others. 

In a rapidly changing world, we need these skills and not just knowledge acquisition. 

Along with their academic development, we also support and guide children through their personal growth and understanding of their place in the world. Again, this was a key point noted in the inspection report: 

The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent. The school fulfils its aim to embrace diversity fostering personal responsibility and global citizenship. Leaders, governors and staff are dedicated to nurturing each pupil in order to develop the skills, resources and dispositions to thrive. 

Whilst these are just two quotes from the report, they highlight some of the key differences and benefits of being part of our school. Please do take time to read the full report that was emailed to you earlier this week. Following this, you may choose to complete the Parent Satisfaction Survey! 

Finally, as we reflect and celebrate our report, we will also be providing an opportunity for you to reflect upon Term 1 and discuss your child’s learning during our Parents’ Evenings next week. Please do re-read your child’s report and prepare some questions to make sure you get the most out of the meeting. I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday or Thursday next week. 

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Mr Russell

_____________________________________________________

13th December

The pace of high performing schools such as BISB never really slows, even as we approach the festive season. The last couple of weeks have been a chance for children to consolidate and share their learning in many different forms. 

This week, Year 1 have brought tears to the eyes of many parents with their beautiful Winter Concert. They performed so confidently and clearly in our Theatre and it was a true joy to see how much these children had grown and developed since August.  

Wednesday morning was ‘Stay and Play’ in our Early Years centre. The morning started with songs followed by the opportunity for our youngest students to guide their parents through the centre and share their learning space. I was in the fortunate position to observe and appreciate the joy on the faces of parents and students alike. These are precious and important memories for families, ones that will last for many years to come. 

Year 6 finished their Young Entrepreneurial Scheme by presenting to their parents about the challenges of the projects and what they had learnt both personally and academically from this fantastic experience. In total, the year group raise 181,000HUFs from their efforts. This money will be used to buy some equipment that otherwise would not be available for a hospital in the 9th district. 

Like me, I’m sure you were awaiting 6.00am on Tuesday to take advantage of our CCA programme that begins on 13th January. I am delighted that we have grown our parent-run clubs next term with Mr Sudin and Ms Franco running a cooking club and also Ms Toledo running a knitting club. My discussions with the Parent Group this week explored how we can increase our CCA provision. This can grow if we have parent volunteers to run clubs and compliment what the teachers provide. If you would like to be involved in Term 3, please let kevin.swaine@bisb.hu know your ideas, we would love to hear from you.

Next term we will also be offering Early Years family ‘care support’ on Mondays and Wednesdays again. This is designed for EY children who have siblings in approved CCA sessions. Please refer to the letter sent by the EY staff to see if you can take advantage of this offer. 

Our CCA programme allows children to try something new, widen their horizons and unlock hidden talents. This was exactly the case when the Year 5 and 6 Drama Club performed ‘A Christmas Carol’ on Wednesday. The children depicted this classic tale in a light-hearted and very entertaining way. Once again, the joy of performing was certainly evident especially from a very grumpy Scrooge! 

This week we have temporarily said goodbye to Mrs Waller. I am delighted to share the news that Mrs Waller and her husband will be adopting two boys in the coming weeks. Mrs Jade Leeming will be Year 5 Cobalt’s teacher until June as Mrs Waller takes her family leave. 

My final note is to thank all the parents volunteers, class reps and, of course, the staff for all their work making BISB a very special school this term.  

As you reflect upon what a great term this has been for you and your children, please do take time to complete the Parent Satisfaction Survey, your views are greatly appreciated. 

Have a wonderful break and for those who celebrate Merry Christmas. 

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

6th December

One of the many pleasures of working in schools is the fact that no two days are the same. This is a common response that teachers share when describing their love of the profession. 

The daily well-being check-in that we do in Primary classes can really help the teacher gauge a sense of how the children are feeling and is often a marker of a child’s mood and readiness to learn for the remainder of the day. This can ultimately set the tone for a teacher’s day.

There are some days where you know that children will enter school full of excitement and energy. You can almost predict their mood during their check-ins.  This certainly happened on Monday with the arrival of the snow and today after Mikulas delivered chocolate treats for the children in the shoes they left on the windowsills. We also had the real Mikulas drop in and share oranges too. 

For many of our children, this is a well-known and eagerly awaited tradition. For some children in our community, this is a new experience. To help celebrate this wonderful Hungarian tradition we had a presentation by some Year 6 students in assembly on Monday, organised by Ms Garaine. This was complemented by a medley of traditional Mikulas songs by our Hungarian staff and another song that our Year 5 students had learnt during Hungarian culture. All these aspects helped new members of our community understand the importance and magic around 6th December. Parents also enjoy this time of year and so I hope you were awarded chocolates this morning and not virgacs!

Mikulas Staff

Assembly

I would like to congratulate our Year 6 students and staff for a very successful Young Entrepreneurial Scheme sale. This was the culmination of many weeks of planning, designing and making products to sell. Wrapped throughout this project is a development of advertising and persuasive writing, along with budgeting, profit and loss skills. Whilst the final amounts have not been calculated, it is estimated that the children have made a total of around 1000 euros gross. A tremendous result that will be used to support a children’s hospital in the 9th district that we have previously supported.

Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to seeing you at the Christmas Fair. Be sure to look out for some wonderful crafts made by the Primary pupils and a very special stall organised by our Peer Mentors. To find out what this unique opportunity is, you will have to come and join in the fun between 10.00am and 2.00pm tomorrow!

Mr Russell 

_____________________________________________________

29th November

Thank you to all the parents who supported the PTA Tombola themed day today. Through our Smart Student Council, the students voted for their preferred theme for the day which resulted in a tie between a Christmas or sports-themed event. The result was decided in assembly on Monday and it did cause some disappointment to those whose choice was not picked. This was a great catalyst to discuss democracy, including understanding that we can all have our say and share our views but we may not always get our preferred choice. As some classes had forgotten to complete their discussions, it was also a great reminder that we all have a right to vote which we should use wisely.

Children's learning has been enhanced this week by two very successful trips. The first was to the Erkel Theatre where the Early Years children completed a behind the scenes exploration. They were able to see a range of costumes and props in use, along with watching actors and actresses prepare for their shows. Their experiences will be used to develop some songs to showcase during their ‘Stay and Play’ event on 11th December.

02

01

Year 2 also visited the nearby Szepvolgy cave system as part of their light and dark topic. They explored how shadows are formed and were exposed to complete darkness, a phenomenon rarely experienced in today's modern world. The teachers used the naturally created shapes within the cave network as inspiration for imaginative talk. Discussions were encouraged about what shapes the children saw, what it made them think, with the added challenge of trying to justify their opinions to others. 

Cave

Next week

The week will be full of excitement interwoven with our usual learning. We will be looking at the tradition of Mikulas in assembly and exploring which teachers deserve virgacs or chocolate! The Winter Concert will be another wonderful opportunity for our students to be part of a big performance and everything that developed around putting on such a great event. The Year 6 children are getting ready for their Young Entrepreneurial Scheme sale on Thursday to complete the competition and to make the most profit from their mini businesses. Year 4 will hold their Roman day and Roman feast on Thursday with a carousel of activities to consolidate what they have learnt so far this term. All this before the greatly anticipated Christmas Fair on Saturday.

I wish you a fun and restful weekend.

Mr Russell

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22nd November

One of the many great PTA events that take place to support the school is the Book Fair. Yesterday over 2000 new books sold to excited students. Additionally over 100 books were donated to equally excited teachers for their classrooms. A huge thank you to Nermin Minessy for the overall organisation of the event. Thanks also go to Mrs Monika Vida Girbicz from Year 1 Caterpillar helping to organise the transportation of the books from the UK. Nermin also had a group of keen and supportive parents who helped children select and pay for books throughout the day. This was another great BISB community moment. My sincere thanks to all involved.

I appreciate that, as parents, many of you will have bought books from the Book Fair as you arrived to celebrate your child’s learning during the Pop-In. I do enjoy the buzz and excitement in school during these occasions, especially seeing the expectant children peeking around door frames waiting to invite Mum or Dad into their classrooms.

The joy on students' faces is something staff treasure as they proudly share their favourite pieces of work and explain why these are so special to them. Pop-Ins are special moments between a parent and child and support our continual journey to encourage our children to aspire to excellence in their studies.

This week we have seen the colder weather really take hold. We will still send the children out to play in light rain so that they can get fresh air, run around and refresh themselves for their learning. With this in mind, please do ensure that you check the weather before leaving for school and help your child select the appropriate clothing. 

We are beginning to look at our CCA provision for next term. Currently, our Gardening Club looks as though it will have to stop due to the lack of expertise in this area. This club was previously run by a parent so if you are, or you know a keen gardener, please do email me to offer your help so that this can continue. Similarly, our student body has requested a Cookery Club through our student council channels. Again, we would like some parental help to run this.

However, it is not just these clubs that the parent community can get involved with. If you have a great idea for a club you would like to offer, please do let me know. All clubs will be supported by a member of staff to help make the club more manageable. I already have a knitting club to offer!

My final note is advance warning of a Primary  'Special Themed Day' on Friday 29th November. To help support the PTA in their bid to run a fantastic tombola event at the Christmas Fair we would like to hold a  dress-up day next Friday. We have raised the idea with the students about the theme of the day through our Student Council. The results collated today show that it was a draw between 'Christmas themes and colour’ and ‘my favourite sport’ themes.
 
The final decision will be made in assembly on Monday and we will communicate the result after. The themed dress-up day is for all students, with the hope that people will donate a tombola gift up to the value of 1000 HUF for participating. The tombola gift can be brought into school on Friday 29th November. More details will be available next week.

01

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mr Russell

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15th November

We have had a superb week sharing our learning with the visiting ISI inspectors. The students have been amazing, positively interacting with our guests and proudly representing our school community. Thank you for all your support with everything this week.

In addition to the inspection, it has also been Mathematics Week with exciting activities running at school, online and at home. 

Missing children during CCAs 
I would like to remind you of the procedure in this matter. If a Primary child is not attending a specific CCA, please inform the Reception that you are taking your child home. It is important that you do this even if you have passed this message onto your child's LSA or Class Teacher.  

Our CCA registers synchronise with the school register 3 times a day. If a child is in school, the CCA register will indicate that a child is expected at the CCA. Children who do not arrive at the CCA need to be accounted for the club leader. This involves them trying to contact all the parents of unaccounted children. This reduces the time the staff can devote to the CCAs for all the other children in attendance. 

Pop-In Years 1-6 Thursday 21st November 2.45-3.20pm. 
Next week we will have our Pop-In. This is for Years 1-6. Early Years will have their ‘stay and play’ on 11th December from 9.15 am.

The purpose of the afternoon is to allow your child to share their learning with you. This event complements the twice-yearly reports, the parents’ meetings and the use of the online portfolio of See-Saw. We look forward to seeing as many parents as possible in school at the Pop-In. At 3.20pm, the teachers will ask you to leave the classroom, allowing the teachers to have their normal end of day routines and safely transition children who are attending clubs, being collected by parents or travelling home on the school bus.  

I appreciate that some families have a number of classrooms that they would like to visit. Should you not have enough time on the day, please contact your child’s class teacher and arrange another time to look at their work. This is a great opportunity for your child to show their work to you, and for you to discuss and engage in their learning.  

This is an event led by your child to show you their learning. In December, you will receive a school report written by the teachers. You will also be given the opportunity to speak privately with your child's class teachers on the 14th and 16th January 2020. 

PTA Book Fair 
Once again, we are delighted that the PTA have ordered books from the UK and will be selling them in school on Thursday 21st November. During the day, your child’s class teacher will take the children to the fair. Parents will also have an opportunity to browse the books at the end of the day or before Pop-In. 

If you would like to take advantage of this amazing opportunity, please send your child to school with 1000HUFs for books suitable up to Year 4 and 1500HUFs for more advanced books suitable for Year 5 and beyond. Money sent to school should be in a sealed and named envelope. 

Have a wonderful weekend 

Chris 

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8th November

We often get asked in school ‘what can we do to help our child’s education at home’? Besides supporting with reading and homework tasks, the greatest thing we can do as parents is show children that we love and support them. This does not mean that we overly praise our children and shower them with material things; quite the contrary. Research has shown that over-praising children can give them the sense that they are more important than others. This translates into school with social and academic issues, particularly when asking children to work collaboratively. What we as parents should strive to do is to help children to see themselves, and the world, through others’ eyes. 

Supporting your child’s emotional and physical needs is a relatively new area that parents have recently been alerted to regarding academic success. Here at BISB, we pride ourselves on a broad and balanced curriculum that gives children opportunities to be creative and aspire to excellence in all they do. This is most successful for students who lead a balanced life, something we all aspire to do. As parents, we can encourage children to enjoy each other's company, sports and recreation, and in addition to relax. All these aspects help to support children’s personal and academic growth.  

The easiest way to support your child is to get workbooks or textbooks. Whilst these can be very useful, they do not always support effective or deeper learning. On a daily basis, your children are engaged in collaborative, multidisciplinary and cross-curricular activities in school. Activities that are thoroughly planned to excite and stimulate learning delivered by qualified and passionate teachers. While textbooks can be good for some aspects of structured learning, they are quite a different learning experience from what they get in school. 

This week I would like to share two wonderful creative and engaging activities that you can work on with your children in the coming weeks.  

The first is a creative writing competition that is being run through Nord Anglia’s Global Campus. The task is to complete a story entitled ‘What home means to me’. The stimulus is from a book entitled ‘Stepping Stones’ by Margriet Ruurs. This can be viewed by clicking here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gci1mX_azg . Entries must be a maximum of 500 words and must contain a visual element made from natural products. The deadline for this is 13th December, so there is ample time to plan, draft and edit your child’s final submissions. Entries can be handed to Ms Sands or Mrs Maudsley or emailed to marion.sands@bisb.hu or caroline.mawdsley@bisb.hu. Winning entries from all the Nord Anglia schools will be published in a digital anthology. 

Your second opportunity is a mathematics task. As part of our Mathematics week next week, the children will come home with a Maths Scavenger Hunt. This is a set of mathematical challenges based around measurements that your child can complete at home. Challenges such as finding an object that is twice as long as your foot or finding an object that has an approximate capacity of 1 litre. Completed challenges should be returned to Ms Cummins by Friday 22nd of November. Every entry will be awarded five merit points. Additionally, from the 18th November, the children will also be able to take part in the MangaHigh online challenge. This challenge is part of a collaboration with other British International schools around the world and provides an opportunity for students to test and apply their mathematical skills in a bid to win points and possible gold medals! Please see our usual information sources for more information. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend. 

Mr Russell

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31st October

There have been some strange and interesting happenings around Primary this week!  

On Monday the Year 3 children arrived at school to find huge green footprints leading to their classrooms. Later that day they received a letter and a promise of a reward for finding a missing troll. They have spent their English lessons discussing and creating plans on how they can trap the troll and claim their reward by responding to the letter. 

On Tuesday the Year 2 children found what appeared to be Dragon footprints and scorched paper all around their classrooms and I personally saw some strange fleeting shapes glance by my office at around 7.15 that morning. Another curious event that the children are now trying to solve. 

To add to the mischief and intrigue of the week, poor Mr Payn was soaked by a bucket of water on Wednesday morning. After greeting his class in the playground, he noticed a rope hanging from our London bus. He pulled the rope only to find it was attached to the bucket that promptly decanted water all over him. 

I am not sure what the reasons for all these strange events have been. They could very well be due to the energy and excitement surrounding our Halloween party tonight. Whatever the reason, it has led to a great deal of debate, collaborative learning, idea generation and huge volumes of writing! 

My final note complements Mr Dyer’s newsletter article this week about embracing the outdoors, despite the weather. Year 1 did exactly this during their trip to Margaret Island on Wednesday. The children enjoyed the colours and changed autumnal features of the island and, of course, being outside in the fresh air. The children created so many wonderful art pieces from the natural surroundings while having a fun and creative time outdoors. The question is, what could you create from nature over this long weekend? 

Mr Russell 

Chris 01

Chris 02

Chris 03

Chris 04

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16th October

I would like to extend a huge thank you to all in our community who have made our international days so special this year. The week started with stunning Chinese, Hungarian and Indian performances during our Primary assembly. The learning focus of the week has been the 30th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This was introduced to the children in assembly with a video created by a group of Secondary students who attend the Freedom CCA run by Mrs Mawdsley and Mrs Marcu.  

The week continued with learning based around the rights of children which ranged from the right to play to the right to be free from exploitation through child labour. For more details of the work covered please see last week’s newsletter.  

The focus of the learning provided many opportunities for parents to come into school too. Year 5 had a country carousel with cultural learning activities for all, Year 6 showcased their migration work through a student led exhibition and Year 3 ran a fair-trade chocolate and coffee shop. All very powerful learning opportunities that supported the development of many learning skills and attributes, not just content assimilation. This was deep and cross curricular learning which was truly embedded by these experiences. 

The food court is always a highlight of the week. We had over 33 countries producing over 5000 pieces of food which was prepared by our supportive parental community. A great array of food could be sampled from baclava to palacsinta! 

Wednesday was the day in which our national heritage was celebrated with costumes and clothing. The flag parade was a true representation of our diverse community with the Year 3 children carrying a flag from any of the nations that are part of our school. It was a delight to see so many proud parents and children arrive to school on the last day of this half term. 

I would like to express my final thank you to all the students who were open minded this week. They embraced the challenge to think about their place in the world but also their impact on our ever-changing world. Their self-reflections and celebrations have created life-long memories and hopefully helped shaped their minds regarding becoming a positive influence in the world now and in their later years. 

Have a wonderful break and we look forward to seeing you all on the 28th October. 

Chris pic

Mr Russell 

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11th October

Next week we will be holding our International Days where we embrace the diversity of our school and celebrate what makes BISB a truly international community. There are many aspects to these three days of learning and celebration looking at the United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child (UNCRC) in additon to the sharing of traditions and cultures from parent volunteers. 

Below is an outline of the different sections of the school and what their learning will be based upon. 

Year Group​ 

Convention Focus  ​ 

EY​ 

Article 2 – All children have rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they are rich or poor. No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.​ 

Article 31. - the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts ​. 

1​ 

Article 31. - the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts . 

2​ 

Overall recognition of rights and needs of the child.​ What are our rights and what are our responsibilities.

3​ 

Article 36 – the right to protection from any kind of exploitation (being taken advantage of).

4​ 

Article 14 – the right to think and believe what they want and to practice their own religion). 

5​ 

Article 10 - If you live in a different country than your parents do, you have the right to be together in the same place. 

6​ 

Article 22 - the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee (if you have been forced to leave your home and live in another country). 

A simple, video that shares more information on the Convention can be seen here 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COjVj9czgrY 

The week will begin with an assembly on Monday morning with dance performances from our Indian and Chinese communities along with our Hungarian Folk Dancing CCA club. Every lunch time the children will be able to sample foods from around the world which have been lovingly prepared by parent volunteers in their country groups. These samples will be in addtion to and complemented by the school meals from our kitchen team who will be preparing a special international menu. 

On Wednesday the children will be encouraged to come to school in national dress, clothing that matches the colours of their flag or personal heritage. The Year 3 students will be proudly holding flags from all the nations represented in school and preparing a flag tunnel to welcome everyone as they arrive at school. 

Finally, I would like to thank all parents who have booked to see their children's teachers next week. I hope to see many of you around school for the Parents’ Evenings. This is where we share news on learning, building the home and school partnerships that we greatly value. 

It will certainly be a busy few days for all the community next week. 

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Mr Russell 

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4th October

International Days

This year, our International Days will run from Monday 14th October until Wednesday 16th October. During this week the children will be focusing on the Convention of the Rights of a Child. The purpose and historical importance of this convention will be explored at different levels, and each year group will focus on specific aspects of the convention.  

I hope this week can also be punctuated by parent volunteers who join classes to share their cultural heritage and traditions. Please do contact your child’s class teacher if this is something you would like to do.  

Furthermore, the week will be a celebration of national flavours with over 33 countries sharing national dishes with the children in our Food Court every lunchtime. This is an opportunity for the children to sample 3 different foods daily from the various countries, complimenting the international lunchtime meals our school kitchen will be providing. 

On Wednesday 16th October, we will be inviting the children to come to school in their national dress or in colours of their flag that represent their personal heritage. We ask for your support that children do not just wear sports club shirts (e.g. Barcelona, Chelsea or Juventus). National team sports shirts are permissible such as a Spring Bok rugby shirt.  

To welcome students into school in their national dress, there will be a flag parade on Wednesday morning. This year we are truly embracing diversity by asking Year 3 students to hold and proudly wave any flag of a nationality we are proud to have in our community. 

ISI Parental Survey 

During the PTA open meeting this week, Mr Dyer explained that we will shortly be completing the second part of a school inspection from the Independent School Inspectorate. Part of this rigorous process is the gathering of views of students, parents and staff. Children in Years 4, 5 and 6 have completed their questionnaire in school and I kindly ask you to do likewise by completing the ISI parent questionnaire emailed to you earlier this week. 

Year 2 visit to a working apple farm

Cross curricular education and making learning link across subjects is something we are proud of here at BISB. An example of this is the recent Year 2 visit to the Breier Family’s apple farm and the subsequent classwork connected to this experience. 

During the visit the children were using their estimating, counting and measurement skills whilst collecting apples. Next week the apples will be used, along with measuring skills, to make apple cake. The process of making the cake will be written up as an instructional piece of writing to share the recipe with others. Alongside all this curriculum content there is also a great deal of personal development, collaboration and exploration taking place. A huge thankyou to the Breier family for supporting school with this visit, and to the Year 2 team for planning this exciting learning experience. 

Parents’ evening – new way to book your appointments 

We will be holding our first Parent Evenings’ of the year on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th October.  

This year, the way in which you can reserve a slot to see your child’s class and specialist teachers has changed.  

Booking is now only possible through your Firefly Parent Portal. For parents with children in the Secondary section of the school, you will already be familiar with this system.  

For families with solely Primary children there are some quick and simple steps you need to take. Support in how to set up your account is given in the tutorial which was attached to an email I sent all Primary parents yesterday. 

You can create your Firefly account at any time, but the Parent Evening booking system will be open on Tuesday 8th October from 12 noon. 

If you have followed the tutorial I sent and are still experiencing difficulties, Mr Brown and Mr Moruzzi are available to help. They will be available in the Bistro at the following times for support. 

Friday 4th October: 3-4:30pm 

Monday 7th October: 8:40-9:45am, 2:40-3:35pm and 3-4:30pm 

Tuesday 8th October: 8:40-9:45am and 3-4:30pm 

Before consulting with Mr Brown or Mr Moruzzi, it is worth checking the following common issues: 

  1. The operating system on your device is up to date. 

  1. The email address we have for you is correct. It is the correct one if you receive general emails from us and this newsletter link. 

I wish you a wonderful weekend. 

Kindest regards 

Mr Russell 

Chris

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27th September

We had amazing attendance at our Parents In Partnership workshop on how to support your child to read. This session, led by Ms Mawdsley and Mrs Ronaszeki, explained the structure of our amalgamated reading schemes and our approach to teaching your child to read by developing their phonic awareness and knowledge. Mrs Mawdsley explained the important model of how we teach children to ‘learn to read’ so that they can then ‘read to learn’. Ms Mawdsley and Mrs Ronaszeki then outlined the phonemes that we teach first and detailed how our structured approach supports the development of reading.

Reading for pleasure is something that we would like all children to do. It is one way to relax, unwind and expand the mind. Relaxation and looking after our emotional and physical wellbeing are key to developing successful learners. You may notice that every morning our Year 4 students complete ‘The Daily Mile’. This is an initiative that took place in the UK to increase the physical activity of children. It promotes an increase in fitness level and feeds into positive results in the classroom. We have a large sports and recreation section in our CCA programme that supports physical wellbeing and enhances our varied and challenging Physical Education curriculum. All these curriculum and co-curricular elements have huge benefits to your child and are part of the holistic and rounded education BISB provides.

The many benefits of exercise were highlighted by National Fitness Day in the UK on 25th September. In regard to its positive impact on learning, the benefits were advocated on twitter by @Inner_Drive as supporting:

Learning to ‘stick’

Improved concentration

Enhancing mood, self-esteem & wellbeing

Helping deal with stress

Enhancing cognitive functions

Boosting energy

If you have been in our playground recently you will have noticed some new signage to help support our community keep safe on the playground equipment. Please do take a moment to read the signs and remember that direct supervision of your child, next to the equipment they are playing on, will reduce the risk of them having an accident. I am working with our Primary Parent Group and our PTA on how we can help to make this important community facility safe, open and free to use.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Sarah Hag Ali in Year 6 who was the winner of our House Competition. Sarah designed a poster reminding classes to hold their Smart Student Council meetings.

SARAH

Sarah 2

Have a wonderfully active weekend.

Mr Russell

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20th September

This week our Year 6 students enjoyed a challenging but memorable Viking boat experience on the Danube. This was a powerful and important trip that helped ignite their interest in their new topic of migration. The trip provided the students with an opportunity to explore the challenges that migrating populations have faced for centuries in their quest for new adventures and exploration of new lands. The children found this physically challenging and the personal reflection and empathy they showed for migrants once back in school was exemplary.

Class representative and community responsibility

This afternoon I met parent volunteers who will act as class representatives. They are a wonderfully enthusiastic group who really understand the meaning of community and are striving to enhance our school. A huge thank you for their initial, and continued, time and effort to support our school community. In this initial meeting, one aspect I raised was something I have written about in previous newsletters: after school parental supervision in the playground. We have some wonderful new equipment that provides challenge and excitement for the children. After school, these challenges can be safely enjoyed if children are actively supervised by parents. We appreciate that the playground is an integral part of our community for both adults and children but I ask you to be next to your child whilst they are on any of the equipment.. To support this you will see some new signs in the playground reminding everyone of our expectations.

International Days Monday 14th – Wednesday 16th October

Here at BISB we always embrace diversity but our upcoming International Days are a great opportunity to turn the spotlight on this important aspect of our school. Discussions have already begun between some parents, teachers and me regarding how we can share our diverse cultures and traditions during these three days. If you have something that you would like to share with your child’s year group, or to the whole school, please do let your country PTA representative know; they would be delighted to hear from you.

Primary Parents In Partnership - Supporting your child with reading on Thursday 26th October

Next week, on Thursday from 8.50-10am, we will be holding a Primary Parents In Partnership session. This is an opportunity to hear how we teach reading in school but also how you can support your child’s reading development at home. This important session will share how reading is much more complex than just accessing the text. Mrs Mawdsley and Mrs Ronaszeki will guide you through how to read with your children for maximum effect.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Mr Russell

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13th September

We started the week with our usual Primary assembly where we looked at what we can all do to support our community and make a difference. I posed a question to the students, “What is the butterfly effect and how is it important in creating small and large scale social change?”

To make this more realistic and understandable for children, we introduced our Peer Mentors who give their time and energy to support other students during lunchtimes twice a week. This is a great example of a selfless act that benefits our community. I also celebrated Polina, Yuxin and Dasha from Year 4 Lilac who I happened to find cleaning up our playground without being asked; it was simply something they wanted to do to keep our school tidy. I was delighted at their self-driven passion to ‘give back’ to our school and improve the environment for all.

In the final part of our assembly, Mrs Russell introduced our new Student Council format. Our previous traditional model often resulted in only a tiny number of students’ views being filtered through to our Student Council’s actions. With the introduction of our Smart Student Council, we can now use technology to gather views and information from all students right from Early Years to Year 6. This new system helps children develop their discussion and debating skills and helps them to appreciate the important role that democracy plays in society. 

After school child supervision and children taken home early

This week saw our CCA programme begin and I would like to ask for your help on the following points.

  • Supervision in the playground

If you have stayed in school after 3.40pm this week you will have seen me checking the playground to ensure that all children are supervised by an adult. I have collected unsupervised children and they have been taken to Mr Juhasz in the dining room until a parent has collected them. I kindly ask for your support to closely supervise your children whilst on the school premises. Children kept in view by an actively supervising adult have fewer accidents.

  • Early collection

We appreciate that children are collected early from time to time. If you need to collect your child, please report and sign out at the main reception with Balazs or Emese. This helps us know that children are safe with an appropriate adult.

  • Collecting your child at the end of the day but not attending a registered CCA activity

We register all children who attend our CCA programme. This registration is synced with our morning school registers so we know who to expect in clubs. For this reason, it is vitally important that you inform reception if your child has been at school but will not be attending their CCA. Without this information, the club leaders will assume that your child is on the school premises but has not arrived at the activity. This then activates a chain of events to find your child. 

Your support in this matter will save many hours trying to locate children and enable the school to act promptly should there be a problem. We have a safe and secure school and actively supervise children throughout the day. Your help is needed particularly in the scenarios outlined above to support our school and our community.

My final note is to wish you all a wonderful weekend and I hope I have the chance to meet you this evening at the PTA event.

Chris Russell

Chris pic

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6th September

CCA programme starts

Next week, on Monday 9th September, our CCA programme commences. Please look out for an email about your child’s choices or check the CHQ system to see if your child’s place has been approved. Only children on the teachers’ registers can attend the activities.

This year will be supporting Early Years children who have siblings attending activities on Mondays and Thursdays. All Early Years families have been sent a link to sign up for this support if the older sibling is attending activities on these days. The sign up for this is open until Monday. Families will receive emails if their request for support can be accommodated.

Again a polite reminder that all children should be actively supervised and with a responsible adult if on the school grounds at the end of the school day. Please make sure that you can see your children at all times. From next week staff members will be sweeping the playground for unaccompanied children and they will then be taken to the dining room for collection.

Parents In Partnership – Parent Volunteer Readers

Thank you to Ms Mawdsley and Ms Sands for leading a well-attended training session for the parent reading volunteers on Thursday morning. All volunteers are greatly appreciated by the children and our teachers. If you would like to volunteer in school but in a different capacity we are still looking for class representatives. If you would like to act as a social connection for your child’s class please contact renata.brown@bisb.hu or one of our PTA committee members.

Primary Peer Mentors

On Wednesday evening the eight elected Peer Mentors began their role with some training. Led by our PSHE coordinator, Mrs Russell, the children learned about their responsibilities and also how to use Restorative Approaches to solve conflict or upset. The Peer Mentors will initially be running games and activities in the playground on Wednesday and Fridays. Peer Mentors, House Captains and our newly reformed Smart Student Council help students to understand the value of taking on leadership roles. Other benefits include developing their understanding of democracy, rights and responsibilities.

Homework

Your child will have come home this week with some homework activities. We have already shared ways in which you can support your child with their homework but here is a quick reminder:

  • Homework is generally revision or consolidation of things taught in class
  • Children should be encouraged to remember what their own homework is and when they need to return it
  • Support your child by creating a calm and quiet working area for them
  • Set a time limit and expectation of when the work should be completed
  • Help support and encourage their homework but be careful not to take over the task for them
  • Understand the value of working to a deadline and taking responsibility for their learning when asking your child to complete the task.

Of course, your child may at times have difficulties and work may take longer than expected. If this is the case please contact your child’s class teacher rather than make homework a negative issue.

I wish you a fun weekend that is hopefully not consumed by homework.

Chris Russell

PTA News

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30th August

Parent Information Evening

Thank you to all parents who attended last night’s Parents' Information Evening. We place great importance on such events for several reasons. Firstly, it gives us a chance to build our sense of community and meet new parents and secondly, it sets the tone and expectations at the beginning of the year. Your children have been doing the same too. In their first few days they have helped set class rules, build friendships and consequently strong foundations for their year of learning ahead.

I trust the evening gave you an opportunity to gain an overview of the year ahead. Communication is important to us and there will be many additional opportunities to come and see, discuss and celebrate your child’s learning in the coming months. The next opportunity will be the Parents’ Evenings on 14th and 15th October followed by a ‘Pop In’ on 21st November.

Sustainable School

You may be aware that we are already focusing on aspects of our BISB strategic plan: Empowered Students and a Sustainable School. In light of this, we have provided all staff and all students with a reusable drinking bottle. These bottles, with a house coloured top, are a great way to reduce plastic and change the habits of us all. Please support your child in using this bottle and join in our campaign by bringing a reusable cup to the BIStro for a discounted freshly made coffee.

Parents In Partnership—parent readers volunteering in school

We hold many Parents In Partnership sessions throughout the year where we share information on the school curriculum but also offer advice on how to help your child at home. Our first session is directed at parents who would like to offer their help and time to come and listen to children read in school. Please email marion.sands@bisb.hu or caroline.mawdsely@bisb.huif you would like to be a parent reader before attending this session. A general ‘helping your child read’ Parents In Partnership session will be held later this term.

House Captains

Finally, I am pleased to announce that we have appointed our Primary House Captains. Students applied for these positions and then presented their ideas to their peers before a vote took place. House captains are just one of the many opportunities for student leadership in our Primary school. Leadership roles allow students to develop their ability to lead with excellence and integrity, provide an opportunity to build community and personally flourish and encourages them to act in a positive and socially responsible manner. Congratulations to Jerry, Elina, Aron and Xenia.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mr Russell

Pic

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23rd August

Firstly, I would like to welcome you all to the 2019-2020 school year for what is going to be an exciting year of learning.

You will see from the playground that there have been many changes at BISB over the break. It is a delight to see how excited the children are to come to school and how much enjoyment they are getting from these new facilities. Our teachers have been working tirelessly in preparing the classrooms and planning for an active year of learning. Our new bus may be static but our classrooms are dynamic!

In the first few days of school our objectives are to settle the children into their new classes and build cohesive learning environments for the year ahead. An extension of this process is the staggered start for students joining our Early Years Centre. I do hope that our Early Years families have found this useful and I would like to extend a huge thank you to all those families who have accommodated our staff on home visits this week. These visits, which allow children to meet their teachers in their home environment, are a unique but key aspect to our Early Years students having a successful start to their year.

We feel keeping the flow of information between school and home is important and we have many ways in which information is shared with our supportive parent community. The first opportunity will be next Thursday 29th August. Our Primary Parents’ Information Evening Evening will comprise of an opening address from me in the Dining Room followed by presentations from the teachers in your child’s classroom. All sessions will be repeated to accommodate families with more than one child in Primary.

As parents you may be curious to know which exciting topics the children will be learning about which exciting topics the children will be learning and how to support your child at home.  In these sessions you can expect to learn about the curriculum being taught, homework, trips and how we will share your child’s learning journey this year.

I have already had the pleasure of welcoming many of you back to school but if we have not yet had the opportunity to speak or meet, please do find me on Thursday.

Lastly, I want to let you know that yesterday I held an assembly with all Primary children to show them how to use our new equipment safely. The rules and expectations have been set and our staff will be suitably placed and actively supervising during break times and lunch time. I kindly ask you to be equally attentive if you choose to use the playground before or after school. As a reminder, no child should be in the playground or on the school site without direct supervision from an adult.

Chris Russell

 

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14th June

This week has been a week of performances and preparation for upcoming shows. We were amazed at the talents and skills our students demonstrated in the Night at the Circus Performing Arts showcase; the show kept us thrilled and entertained. Also this week, our EY students have been preparing a student-led performance for next Monday 17th June as part of their ‘stay and play’ event and the Year 2 students have been rehearsing for their assembly which will be shared with parents on Wednesday 19th June.

Following tradition, our Year 6 teachers and students are working towards their annual production to be held on Friday 21st June. This year the production is titled, “Rock Bottom” based around a villain called Lady Lava who has a plan to destroy the town in which Bobby Cobblestone lives with his family. A classic tale of a villain and a hero!

Alongside our performances and opportunities to share children’s learning, we also have Parents’ Evening next week. Please ensure that you have booked your times through the online forms that were sent via email last week.

To help you keep up to date with all events in the coming weeks, please see the grid below. I would like to draw your attention to the Sports Days that are planned for Tuesday 15th June (KS1  students starting at 9.00am) and Monday 24th June (Year 3 & Year 4 starting at 9.00am and Year 5 & Year 6 starting at 1.00pm). All parents are welcome to cheer and encourage their children.

Monday 17th June

  • 9.15am EY Stay and Play and production.
  • 4-7.30pm Primary Parents’ Evening.

Tuesday 18th June

  • 4-6pm Primary Parents’ Evening.

Wednesday 19th June

  • 9am Year 5 residential leaves.
  • Year 2 assembly followed by Year 2 Pop-in.

Thursday June 20th

  • 2pm Year 6 production in school theatre.

Friday June 21st

  • 5.30pm Year 6 production in school theatre.

Monday 24th June

  • Year 3 and 4 sports day in the morning.
  • Year 5 and 6 sports day in the afternoon.
  • 9am Key Stage 1 leavers’ assembly in the Dining Room.

Tuesday 25th June

  • Key Stage 1 sports day in the morning
  • 9am Key Stage 2 leavers’ assembly in the Dining Room

As you can see the school is still operating at full capacity and the learning has not stopped. We do expect all students to be present at school to continue their learning and help them prepare for upcoming shows.

Lastly, your child will have come home with their school report tonight. Please take time to read and share this with your child and discuss their challenges and successes from the year. This document will also form the basis for your Parents’ Evening meeting with your child’s class teacher next week.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mr Russell

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6th June

Firstly, I would like to thank all the parents who attended our Parents in Partnership workshops yesterday.

Secondly, I would like to say how delighted we were to welcome so many existing and new families on Thursday morning. Miss Emma Pickering, our Head of Early Years, and Emma Rafferty, one of our Early Years teachers, brought over forty members of our fantastic community together to understand the philosophy and expectations of our Early Years Centre.

On Thursday afternoon, Mr Brown and I gave a presentation to parents on assessment. We explained the many different types of assessments we use and how they are used in Primary. As part of this presentation we gave an in-depth explanation of the GL standardised testing we use in school. The information we learn from these assessments on your child's attainment will be shared with you during our upcoming parents’ evenings on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th June. Please pay attention to the upcoming emails on how to book appointments with your child’s class teacher on those evenings.

I would like thank Mrs Mawdsley and Ms Sands for planning and coordinating our fantastic Primary Performance Poetry Competition this week. The standard of performances was high which led to a competitive and thrilling final. For these final rounds, we had our expert judges; Mrs Bridget Lindsay, Mr Simon Bird, Mr James Payn and Miss Seema Miah provide feedback to our finalists before making a tough decision on who the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 champions would be. I am delighted to share that the KS1 poetry champion was Joyce Wang (2 Ocean ) and the KS2 title was awarded to Sharon Kim (5 Cobalt).

Poetry winner

Poetry winner

Now that summer is here, please be reminded that sun hats and sun screen are needed to protect your child during playtimes. Please apply sunscreen to your children before school. We have additional sunscreen that children can use to reapply later in the day as necessary.

Finally, I would like to draw your attention once again to the many events that are scheduled over the coming weeks. These can be noted in the table below:

Friday 14th June

Primary reports shared with parents. Reports cannot be shared before this date.

Monday 17th June

  • 9.15am EY Stay and Play and production.
  • 4-7.30pm Primary Parents’ Evening.

Tuesday 18th June

  • 4-6pm Primary Parents’ Evening.

Wednesday 19th June

  • 9am Year 5 residential leaves.
  • Year 2 assembly followed by Year 2 Pop-in.

Thursday June 20th

  • 2pm Year 6 production in school theatre.

Friday June 21st

  • 5.30pm Year 6 production in school theatre.

Monday 24th June

  • Year 3 and 4 sports day in the morning.
  • Year 5 and 6 sports day in the afternoon.
  • 9am Key Stage 1 leavers’ assembly in the Dining Room.

Tuesday 25th June

  • Key Stage 1 sports day in the morning
  • 9am Key Stage 2 leavers’ assembly in the Dining Room

Have a wonderful long weekend.

Mr Russell

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31st May

Being flexible, adaptable and maximising learning opportunities is what our teachers at BISB do best. Our Year 6 staff refined these skills this week during the residential trip to Austria. They experienced constant rain and even snow but despite this, the children had some amazing learning experiences wrapped up with a great deal of fun. This wonderful trip is one of the many transition activities that we provide to help support the children as they move into Secondary and are exposed to longer overseas residential camps.

Year 6 Residential

Year 4 and Year 5 really enjoyed taking on the Nord Anglia Super Hero Challenge this week led by Mr Payn. In collaboration with MIT, a challenge was set this year: STEAM Super Heroes, encouraging students to create designs inspired by adaptions made by living organisms in the natural world. Using the 2.009 design process from MIT, students used cardboard, string and wire to design prosthetics for one of their team members to become a super hero. The process uses the cycle IDEATE-MODEL-TEST. Ideate blends ‘idea’ and ‘create’ to encourage people to create many possibilities for a given challenge. Modelling involves turning two of these ideas from 2-D drawings into 3-D models. These models are then tested by an external expert who picks one of the models to develop. And so the cycle begins again. The children loved engaging with the challenge and collaborating successfully to produce the desired outcomes (mostly). Remaining positive, open-minded and at the same time making good evaluative judgements is highly demanding and of great educational value. The students can feel really proud of their learning from this experience.

Poster

Geri in 5 Wave made these learning statements that reflect a deep engagement with the learning process:

  • I learned that you can split up in the groups and not just focus on one challenge.
  • I learned to answer the question: ‘what is the next challenge?’
  • I learned that you need to be patient and even start a cycle again, don’t rush to the final model.
  • I learned how to turn a 2D drawing into a 3D model.

We look forward to employing the 2.009 engineering process from MIT in future challenges to help our students to become problems solvers with the skills, aptitudes and knowledge needed to make our world a better place.

Chris Russell

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24th May

We had another successful residential camp this week. Our Year 4 students spent 3 days in the stunning countryside of Szilvásvárad and despite the unusual spring weather and lots of rain, the teachers and children still enjoyed nature walks, various activities and spending time with friends.

Our school is a thriving and busy community and we have many activities and events that we would like to share with you and invite you to. Below are the key dates and events between now and the end of term to help with your planning.

Monday 3rd June

Year 6 ‘Step up day’.

Tuesday 4th June

BISB Primary Poetry competition final.

Thursday 6th June

  • 9am Year 2 residential begins
  • 9am EY new families and ‘Daisy’ Parents In Partnership session about how to prepare and support your child in line with the Early Years Foundation Curriculum at home. This will be held in the Dining room.
  • 2pm Year 2 – Year 6 Primary reports and test result explanation for parents. An explanation of the test results and information you will receive in the end of school report.
  • 2.45–3.20pm Primary Pop-in. A chance for your child to show you their work and discuss their learning. Please note: Year 2 will be on residential and will be performing an assembly followed by their Pop-in on 19th June.

Friday 14th June

Primary reports shared with parents. Reports cannot be shared before this date.

Monday 17th June

  • 9.15am EY Stay and Play and production.
  • 4-7.30pm Primary Parents’ Evening.

Tuesday 18th June

  • 4-6pm Primary Parents’ Evening.

Wednesday 19th June

  • 9am Year 5 residential leaves.
  • Year 2 assembly followed by Year 2 Pop-in.

Thursday June 20th

  • 2pm Year 6 production in school theatre.

Friday June 21st

  • 5.30pm Year 6 production in school theatre.

Monday 24th June

  • Year 3 and 4 sports day in the morning.
  • Year 5 and 6 sports day in the afternoon.
  • 9am Key Stage 1 leavers’ assembly in the Dining Room.

Tuesday 25th June

  • Key Stage 1 sports day in the morning
  • 9am Key Stage 2 leavers’ assembly in the Dining Room

I hope you find this list useful to help you navigate your way through the exciting and informative events over the next few weeks.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mr Russell

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17th May

We started our week by celebrating the winners of the Year 5 and 6 swimming gala. This was a clear example of children ‘aspiring to excellence’. The swimmers pushed themselves to achieve personal bests and win points for their house. This successful event resulted in Yellow house coming first, Green second and Blue and Red joint third.

Swimming winners

Wednesday saw the first of our residential trips take place. Our Year 3 students had 2 nights in Zanka on Lake Balaton. This Year 3 trip was filled with a visit to the zoo, games and adventures and the highlight, as always, was the children’s talent show! They all returned tired today but full of stories about their time away from home with their peers.

Although we still have many active weeks of learning ahead of us, I would like to explain the process for developing our classes for next year. In the coming weeks our Primary teachers will start formulating possible groups for next year. Groups are devised to ensure a balance of nationalities, language abilities and learning styles. Once these base classes are formed, we add new children to the groups. We use information gleaned from our robust admission observation and testing notes to decide where to place these students. The next step of arranging the classes involves our EAL and Learning Support Department. These specialist teachers check the groups yet again to ensure that the classes are well-rounded and balanced. Finally, a teacher is assigned to