Thursday, 30 August 2012

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

ABRSM update

Congratulations to all those BIS students who achieved such a high standard of playing to pass their ABRSM practical exams at the end of June.  Special mention should go to Thanh Viet Tran (Y8), Sean Neo (Y10), Linh Dan Tran (Y9), Se Jun Park (Tony) (Y10),  who all achieved distinctions in their respective exams.
Look out for information to follow soon on the 2nd High Scorers’ Concert which will feature performances from these students and more! This will be held on 22nd September here at BIS, AP2.
The deadline for the next session of ABRSM theory exams is fast approaching -7th September. Remember you need a pass at grade 5 theory to take grade 6 and above. The exam will take place on Saturday 27th October.
Mr Alexander

Friday, 24 August 2012

First Day Practicalities for new families

Practicalities – getting you started on Monday

Monday morning 0745 – Parents welcome to drop off.  BIStro open. 
New students in Undercroft met by head of year.   Y7 in BIStro.

Lunch cards are used for all purchases.  If a student forgets their card, they can get a loan card from Reception to enable them to buy lunch on that day.  We rely on parent support in paying back the cost of this.

Packed lunches
Students are welcome to bring in lunches from home and eat them in the BIStro or Underground.  A fridge is provided next to The Underground for student use. 

Welcome to new families!

Welcome to New Families
Friday 24th August 2012

A very warm welcome to all new BIS families.  You join a well-established, successful school and a warm, friendly and supportive community of students, parents and staff.  Our students come from a wide range of cultural and national backgrounds and are energetic, motivated, confident, caring and eager to make their mark on the world.

Teachers at the school are recruited from the very best schools internationally.  They have the success and well-being of your children as their main priority and have the skills and experience to ensure that we enable all students to achieve their potential.

Where to find information
All important information is in the Parent Handbook and the school website.  Weekly updates come via email in BISbuzz.

Successful students
Students at BIS are successful.  If they stay with us through to the end of Year 13, we ensure they have access to the very best university education across the world.  Our students go on to study at such renowned institutions as Stanford, Pennsylvania State, University College London, King’s College London, University of British Columbia and University of Melbourne.  

In order to do this, we need to prepare students for success in external examinations, and they do very well indeed. 

This year 99% of our 15 and 16 year old IGCSE students gained more than 5 passes with grades A*-C, compared with only about 70% of students taking GCSEs in UK schools.  A more useful figure is the number of grades that are the top A and A* grades:
Over 63% all our grades for the IGCSE were A & A* this year compared to only 22% for GCSE in the UK.  Our top students earned nine IGCSEs, at A*.

Our 17 and 18 year olds are equally impressive.  Students gain an International Baccalaureate Diploma by scoring 24 points or more out of a possible 45.  Our average score this year was 34.2 points, well above the world average and equivalent to more than three A* grades in English A Levels.

All this is occurring against a backdrop of continuing growth:

Individual care
Our students don’t succeed through examinations alone, however.  One of the strengths of the English curriculum and the British style of education is that excellence and achievement focuses on all aspects of a student’s moral, physical, emotional, aesthetic and social development as well as academic achievement.  We focus on individuals and the achievement of each student’s personal best.  Here at the secondary campus of BIS, that development is supported through superb teaching, of course, complemented by the guidance and support of Form Tutors, Heads of Year, and the Heads of Lower Secondary, Middle Secondary and Sixth Form.  Together, these people for the Welfare and Guidance team and are the first point of contact for parents.  Here’s how it works.

Your first point of contact is always your child’s Form Tutor and often also the Head of Year.  You will get a chance to meet the Form Tutors and Heads of Year during the parent information evenings during September.

For non-academic matters, for enquiries, and when you are simply not sure who to speak to, parents and students, Mrs. Susan Wilson on reception.

Wide range of co-curricular activities
Our co-curricular activities programme is one of the defining features of the school.  We are proud of our extensive selection, including the usual football, swimming netball athletics and basketball, and encompassing sports such as fencing, Frisbee and kick-boxing, creative and intellectual challenges such as computer programming, knitting and chess, outdoor education through the International Award for Young People and plenty of opportunities for community service with the many local schools, orphanages, charities and wildlife concerns that we support. 

We expect students to make full use of what is on offer.  Such activities not only support and complement the academic work, that also prepare students for the core of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, which requires a commitment to creativity, action and service.

You will all get a booklet describing the activities on offer.  There will be a period of on-line sign up, with full instructions given in the booklet and through form tutors.  We have enough activities included to allow every single student in the school to do at least 3 a week.  We arrange many more activities through SSA and other private instructors at a good price.   We are also a centre for ABRSM and offer private instrumental tuition and exams.

Relationships with parents
Maintaining good relationships with parents is highly valued.  We have a complete programme of parent-teacher-student conferences that take place throughout the year, where you and your child will meet with the teachers and discuss achievements so far and how to ensure, together, good progress in the future.  I encourage all parents to attend these, even if you come from a system where such a partnership is not common.  For the Vietnamese speaking parents we always have bilingual interpreters on hand to assist.

The Parent Teacher Group (PTG) is an extremely important part of the school community.  The essential but sometimes unwritten roles of the PTG include helping people settle when they move to a new and somewhat bewildering city, creating a real community from a disparate group of parents, teachers and students, and providing a sense of security so that students can quickly settle down to the important task of learning.  The PTG meet once a month and to start this year off there will be a coffee morning specifically for new parents on Tuesday 4th September.  Full details are in the information pack that you received.  The PTG also have a large role to play in some of our big community events such as International Day and the Christmas Bazaar.  Do get involved.

The aim of the orientation day is to provide all the information you need to get settled into the school.  Much of this is in the welcome pack.  Your key sources of information are the Parent Handbook, the school website ( ) and your child’s form tutor.  It is also a chance to make contact with other parents of similar age children and if you are new to the country, not just to the school, start to make some new friends.

Welcome again to BIS.  I wish you all success in your new school and I look forward to meeting you all personally over the coming weeks.

Mr. Richard Dyer
Head Teacher