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Mr Richard Dyer Weekly Update: 5th June

05 June 2015

Flea Market

Don’t forget to visit the annual PTG Flea Market at AP2 on Sunday from 9am. Entry is free and many bargains will be for sale as people clear their houses for the summer.  Spread the word!

AP2 This Week

There has been lots going on at An Phu Secondary Campus this week. Click the links below to read the articles:

Graduation 2015

Geography Photo Competition Winners Announced

Romeo and Juliet

BIS Jazz at Bourbon Street Jazz Festival

Support For Nepal

Graduation 2015

Last Saturday our Year 13 graduates gathered at the Rex Hotel for a memorable and uplifting graduation ceremony to mark their transition from BIS.  Ms Lara Vu from UNICEF was our guest speaker, and the Head Students rounded off the event with their reflections on the past and a gaze into the future.  I spoke to the graduates about integrity, that little word at the top of our aide memoire that gets such little attention but that is so important for life. 

It is a very special day for the graduates of the British International School, a day that they have been anticipating for quite some time.  I am sure that for some, it feels like this day has come too soon, as they prepare to leave behind their school days and embark on the next stage of their lives. 

Graduates:  This represents the biggest leap you’ve made so far and the day will be a day tinged with mixed emotions.

  • Relief, that the biggest exams of your life are over. For now.

  • Excitement, about today and about the changes that are about to take place in your lives. 

  • Nostalgia, as you prepare to leave behind a school community where you have grown and, I hope a community you have grown fond of. 

  • And, no doubt, a little anxiety.  I hope that today will be hugely enjoyable and that you’ll leave with affectionate memories of your time at BIS and with wonderful memories of this day itself.

Long after you have forgotten the facts and figures that have filled your minds during your years at BIS, you will remember the people you have shared your time with.  You’ll remember the times that you laughed together, the times you cried, the shared frustrations and celebrations, and the times of discovery and learning.  I myself have many fond memories and feel privileged to have shared these past few years with you.

Cherish your memories, they have great value.  Fix them in your minds to carry with you.  Frame this time of transition in terms of what you take with you, not what you leave behind.  And enjoy today. This ceremony and this evening’s dinner, this is all for you. The only other time that so much attention is focussed on you is when you get married.

For parents, also, it’s a big leap, and one that also for you, may seem to have arrived all too soon.  Alongside the feelings of pride, there will, without doubt be feelings of relief.  We, as parents share the anxieties of growing up in ways that our children will only understand later.  There may be a tinge of anxiety, wondering how your children will get on.  There may be some feelings of nostalgia, remembering when they were small.  Your babies have grown up, your children are about to leave home, many to destinations overseas, and life at home won’t ever be quite the same.

I feel all of these things, but I also feel supremely confident.  I have good reason to be confident that these young people are as well prepared and, of course, as well-educated as they have ever been and they will make us all as proud in the future as we are today. 

We have done our best as a school, you have done your best as parents, and your children will continue to do their very best.  Their future is now in very good hands:  their own.

Graduates: you are ready for anything! Even this, the biggest leap of your life so far.

Have you ever noticed that the projects you tackled during your years at school just got bigger and bigger, took longer and longer?  In primary school, you worked hard to write a page, 300 words, during an afternoon.  Your homework was to bring in your favourite teddy, of a collage of pasta shapes. Now you can tackle the 4000 word extended essay over the course of a year. And it’s not going to get any shorter. The most important projects, the most valuable, take a long time and sustained effort. 

Let me give you two illustrations.

Fifteen years ago, when many of you were starting at kindergarten, the Millennium Development Goals were established by the United Nations.  Eight goals, simply stated.  Where are we now? Target 2: By 2015, all children can complete a full course of primary schooling, girls and boys.  Well, it’s 2015.  We’re not there yet. 58 million primary age children are still out of school. 

At the same time, you, the privileged students of BIS, have benefitted not only from a fabulous primary education, but secondary also, and now have the opportunity for tertiary. This confers great responsibility on you.

Ten years ago, in 2005, the UN Summit and the G8 meeting were urged to support action to eradicate world poverty, to make history by making poverty history.  This was a remarkable success. Has it finished? Is world poverty eradicated?

Big projects – this is the world you are entering, graduates, beyond the Extended Essays, from Group 4 to G8. Longer, bigger, more important.

You are embarking on your biggest and longest project so far: your life. Project You.

Mr Richard Dyer, Head Teacher