As I write this, our Year 13 French students are about to enter the examination hall for their final International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) examination. Other students finished their examinations earlier this week: the culmination of the last 18 months of perseverance, dedication, and sheer hard work. Invigilating in some of the examinations has given me the opportunity to see this culmination, and to appreciate (and remember) just how challenging it is to sit at a small desk for a fixed amount of time and apply all that you have learned throughout your courses to one examination paper. The myriad of expressions that flash across students’ faces during an examination is amazing: I have seen frowns, smiles, deep concentration, and even excitement at the sight of a certain question. As always, I am so impressed and inspired by our students and the way in which they have handled the pressure of this exceptionally busy and challenging period of time.
I have heard the IBDP described in many ways by students in the time that I have been teaching - some descriptions more favourable and polite than others! - but there is one thing that has been a constant and, for me, it is the highlight. Seeing our students care for each other in the lead up to and during the examinations, congratulate each other when they come out of an examination, commiserate with one another if they found an examination difficult, and celebrate with each other when the examinations are finished - this, for me, is the highlight. While there is no doubt that the IBDP is a demanding and rigorous qualification, its rewards are far greater than ‘just’ a points score. The programme develops our students in so many ways - the IB Learner Profile illustrates this perfectly - but, in addition to this, we witness BIS students develop great friendships, camaraderie, positive relationships with their teachers, and a gamut of strategies and approaches to managing time, pressure and challenge which will be invaluable as they go forward into the next chapter of their lives.
Of course, the real culmination takes place tomorrow with our Graduation Ceremony and Evening Event: we look forward to welcoming families to the Park Hyatt tomorrow morning to formally recognise all that our students have achieved.
Many of our students have been with us for far longer than the last 18 months, and it can be difficult to say goodbye to the place and the people that have been such a significant part of this journey. But we say goodbye knowing that our students will go out into the world to do great things, to create impact, and to change things for the better. That said, we always welcome our alumni back with open arms and encourage all of you to keep in touch with your news in the next exciting stage of your lives.
To our IGCSE students and families: not long now! You, too, will be able to celebrate soon and we continue to wish you luck for the examinations still to come.
Next week, our Week Without Walls will present our Year 7 and Year 8 students with a variety of activities ranging from CSI Investigations to Archery Tag to a History Amazing Race to Mindfulness - all designed to foster collaboration and communication, and to encourage students to step out of their comfort zone and try something different. Staff have been busily preparing for the different events that will take place, and we look forward to students embracing these new experiences.
Year 10 and Year 12 students begin their End of Year Assessments and will be on study leave for this period of time: please remind students to sign in and out of campus, and to have their study leave cards with them at all times.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend.
Saturday 25th May: Graduation Ceremony, 11am to 2pm, invitation only
Monday 27th to Friday 31st May: Year 7 & 8 Week Without Walls, BIS Secondary Campus
Monday 27th to Tuesday 4th June: Year 10 & 12 Exams Week, Secondary Campus Auditorium
Monday 27th to Sunday 2nd June: Year 9 Borneo Expedition, Camps International
Saturday 1st June: ABRSM Practical Examinations begin
Sunday 2nd June: PTG PreLoved Fair, Secondary Campus Auditorium, 9am to 12pm
Wednesday 5th June: BIS Night of the Arts, Secondary Campus
Thursday 6th June: Year 6 Transition Day, Secondary Campus
Friday 7th June: PTG Quiz - open to Year 6 students, Secondary Auditorium 4 to 6pm
Saturday 8th June: BIS Triathlon, BIS and surrounds, 6.45am to 10.30am
Thursday 13th June: Year 10 Geography Trip, HCMC
Have a wonderful weekend,