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  • An international school with a local feel

    We provide a high quality international education in the historically-rich city of Nanjing

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    We offer an enriched English national curriculum with a global outlook

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Message from Secondary

After weeks of home learning through the Nord Anglia Virtual School Experience, it was an absolute pleasure to be able to welcome back to school the older students from senior school on the 7th April.

The students’ return filled our school once again with cheerful banter and energy and I believe they truly were appreciative of all that school has to offer. After weeks of hard work, they were soon joined by Year 8 and then shortly afterwards Year 7 and Year 6. Some of our student community are still overseas and they are missed by their peers and their teachers, but nevertheless we have invited them to join lessons on Teams and it is great to see happy faces, the interactions with their peers and to hear their contributions to the new learning taking place in the classroom.

 

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Of course, there have been many changes to manage since our return; wearing of masks, social distancing at lunchtimes, the new system of registration in a morning, temperature checking during the day, the constant reminders about hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer lesson by lesson. Our students have taken these challenges in their stride, demonstrating their flexibility and their willingness to accept change and of course their growing understanding and maturity about how and why we need to keep safe and protect others too.

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Of course, there have been many changes to manage since our return; wearing of masks, social distancing at lunchtimes, the new system of registration in a morning, temperature checking during the day, the constant reminders about hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer lesson by lesson. Our students have taken these challenges in their stride, demonstrating their flexibility and their willingness to accept change and of course their growing understanding and maturity about how and why we need to keep safe and protect others too.

 

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The pace of learning has been intense over the past few weeks. Below are just a few insights into the learning that has been taking place across all year groups!

Years 10 – 13 have been busy completing their IGCSE and A level courses so that their grades and rank orders can be sent to the exam boards in England. They have worked tirelessly and have produced some outstanding work, showing their absolute commitment to achieving great grades, despite these unprecedented circumstances that we find ourselves in. Of course, we wish them every success for their final grades which will be determined by CIE and Pearson EdExcel and published in August.

In English students have been studying literature. Year 6 have been study 'The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes. After deconstructing and gaining a greater understanding of the language, they have created 'Wanted!" posters for the Highwayman and are now working on a newspaper article about the events in the poem. Year 8 started reading a novel called "Walk Two Moons", a coming of age story about a girl going on a road trip and dealing with the loss of her mother. They have been piecing together parts of the map of the USA map to predict where the main character will stop en route. In the meanwhile, Year 9 have been studying Macbeth and in the last week have been taking lessons in the Valley where they have been getting ready to act out a soliloquy!

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In Science, the students have been enjoying being back in the labs conducting as much practical work as possible to build their skills. Students have been looking at water fleas using light microscopes and they have explored our school grounds looking at different types of soils and how plants grow. Others have looked at the differences between physical and chemical changes, observing how different substances act when added to water and they have learned how to separate a three-part mixture. Whilst Year 7 students have been learning about the different properties of solids, liquids and gases, Year 8 have made pinhole cameras and periscopes in their unit on reflection and refraction. Next up they get to carry out eye dissections! And continuing that theme, Year 10 Biologists have dissected pigs hearts, observing the different structures involved.

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In Music, we have begun using the Juilliard curriculum as our new basis for teaching music following a visit from curriculum specialist Erin White, from the Juilliard School, who came in to make suggestions about our approach to the programme here at BSN. Since our return, Year 8 and 9 have been looking at Jazz music focusing on the classic hit “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” by George Gershwin. The area that we have been looking at is “uniqueness” and students have been preparing themselves to perform their own unique way of presenting this piece. In Years 6 and 7, the focus has been on Bach’s Bourree’s from Suite No3 in C major for the cello. Students have been analysing Bach’s rules and writing their own bourrees, which they will then play to the class. 

In Maths Year 6 students have been busy learning about different units of measurement and how imperial and metric measures compare. They were quick to develop an intuitive feel for measures and their ability to convert measures mentally was impressive. Year 7 have learned about converting units of area and volume and learned amazing facts like there are 1,000,000 cm3 in a m3!! Year 8 were so inspired by their work on graphs and equations of the line that they asked to create a display board showing what they had learned, a truly collaborative effort from the colour scheme to the content! They did a great job!

And in languages students have been discussing many exciting topics. In Chinese students have discussed their life during home learning, making posters to illustrate their routines. In Spanish Year 6 are learning about school life and can now express their opinions including their likes and dislikes! Year 7 have been learning all about places in their neighbourhood and as a special project Year 7 Spanish students are currently transforming a short story into a comic of their own creation. Year 8 and Year 9 students have been learning about sports and wellbeing by making infographics and videos showing and recommending good choices to be healthy and happy. 

Saturday teaching is allowing students to catch up on the practical and collaborative work that they missed during the virtual school experience. We have students working hard in the art studio every week, some undertaking science practical work, others have been improving their research skills whilst students in the younger year groups get to undertake critical thinking in addition to musical, computing, historical, broadcasting and creative writing tasks. For the next two Saturdays we will be hosting Sports Day in two parts to ensure that everyone gets a chance to participate whilst we maintain appropriate social distancing between students and staff. These will be action packed morning of excitement, big hits and hopefully even bigger catches! Who will be crowned Sports Day Champions 2020? Will it be The Noisy Normans? The Roaring Romans? The Valiant Vikings? Or will The Sensational Saxons come out on top for a record-breaking third year in a row? We will soon find out!