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BROADCAST Beijing BISS International School

Issue 1, August 16th

Communication Methods at BISS Welcome to our first issue of a new updated Broadcast! I want to begin by saying how privileged I feel to be your new Head of School, and I look forward to working and learning with you all this coming new school year. I will be sharing more about how I would like to begin getting to know you and the school more via an “Entry Plan” next issue, but for this issue, I wanted to summarise the many avenues BISS offers you to ensure we have clear, open lines of communication. This will be helpful not just for new families, but also those who have been here for some time as it can clarify where to go for what: • Direct contact (face-to-face, telephone, email Letters, and/or video-chat) - communicating with the teacher or the relevant person for school issues is critical, and direct contact is


Secondary School Welcome Elementary School Welcome Developing a Love of Reading BISS Buddies/Orientation Counselor’s Corner (SATs and University Visits) • BISS Sports Update • Mr Bourke’s Beijing Poem • Elementary Art News

the most effective way for individual issues. • School Handbooks (mailed home at the beginning of the year and also saved on EBISS) – are full of valuable information about every aspect of school life! Please ensure you read this, as it will save you time when you have questions. • Broadcast (whole-school newsletter) - please take time to look at the Broadcast each issue. In addition to the articles on topical areas of general interest, you get to see what our students are doing via the student work that is showcased. • StudyWiz ( password protected) - this is a virtual learning platform where Secondary School (SS) teachers can interact virtually with students anytime.

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ASA’s begin

22nd August Meet the teachers evening 29th August Welcome to new parents 10th-11th FCD - Freedom from September chemical dependancy event

BISS is an IB World School serving the international community, committed to the ideals of the International Baccalaureate. Our Mission is to educate and empower our students to attain personal excellence and positively impact the world.

Continued from page 1 • Blogs ( – we use blogs to encouraging student to write, consider their audience, and display their learning and products. • Wikispaces ( - wikis are used for collaborative projects and hosting portfolios. • BISS Website ( - The BISS website offers a wealth of information about all facets of the school. One page that you may want to check out now is the Staff page (in the “About Us tab) that introduces the new teachers! I hope this helps you to be aware of the different sources of information available to you, and that we are able to maintain the best communication lines possible through them. Please let us know if you have suggestions for any improvements. Regards, Dr. Gwyn Underwood Head of School

Welcome to the New School Year! Dear Secondary Parents, I hope you had a restful and relaxing summer holiday with your family. Whether you are a returning parent or are new to the BISS community, we have a great year ahead, with many opportunities for your children to learn, grow and be the best they can be. I am thrilled to announce that BISS has again achieved outstanding success with our Grade 12 results! All of our students were awarded the BISS Diploma. In addition, for students who chose to take the IB Diploma Program, we had a 100% pass rate! For a more detailed breakdown of our results, please see additional information on the next page. To start off the year – as published in the school calendar – we have Meet the Teachers night, next Thursday August 22. We invite new and returning parents to come and meet your child’s teachers. We will start the evening with a brief presentation in the Annex from 4:00 – 4:20pm, followed by the opportunity for you to follow your child’s schedule for a day. The evening will end at approximately 6:20pm. Continued on page 3

BISS Broadcast: Issue 1 August 16th 2013

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Continued from page 2 Please note that this evening is not for parent teacher conferences. Parent teacher conferences will take place at the end of quarter 1. We hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to Meet the Teachers and learn about your child’s teachers and schedule. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday August 22, at 4:00pm in the Annex. Yours Faithfully, Ms. Danielle Fredericks Secondary Principal

BISS Does it Again! 100% Pass rate!

Our IB Diploma pass rate is 100% and has constantly been well above the world average. This is a remarkable achievement in itself, and especially given that BISS is a non-selective IB World School. Unlike many other schools that offer the IB Diploma, we do not register only our most academically gifted students to take the exams. A large majority of the graduating class take the full IB Diploma each year, while only a very small number of students opt to sit selected subjects. All our courses are based on the IB curriculum and prepare the students for their university studies. In 2013, more than half of our full IB Diploma students graduated with bilingual IB Diplomas. In order to obtain the bilingual IB Diploma, students must demonstrate the ability to meet high academic standards using two languages.

BISS Broadcast: Issue 1 August 16th 2013

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AUP in

the Elementary School

Dear Elementary Parents, Welcome to the 2013-14 school year! It has been an amazing week. Your children came bouncing in the doors ready to get to work. Our teachers were eager to welcome them into their newly decorated classrooms. As you all know, we are a school that values the integration of technology into our daily lessons. Your children’s teachers will be using on-line portfolios, blogs, and a multitude of on-line resources in their classrooms. Their pictures, videos, and work samples will be used to create their own digital footprint. In classes the teachers will spend the next week discussing with your children what it means to be responsible citizens in this digital world. Today an email was sent to you outlining our Acceptable Use Policy in the Elementary School. You will find the document to be child-friendly and it would be great for you to talk with your children in their mother tongues about this policy. Our hope is that our BISS students are safe on-line users who make wise decisions on the Internet. Please read the document and sign the permission slip that will come home in your child’s folder. We all look forward to seeing the amazing portfolios, blogs, presentations, and videos that your children create this year and will be posted on-line. Best Regards, Kyra Gailis ES Principal

BISS Broadcast: Issue 1 August 16th 2013

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Developing a Love of Reading This week, your child stepped into a classroom filled with books. Your child’s teacher will provide a rich literacy program, designed to build reading skills and a love of language. Parents are very important in this process. Here are some tips for instilling a love of reading in your child:

• Read to yourself.

Be a role model for your child. Read books, magazines, blogs and recipes. Show your child that you are a reader.

• Read aloud to your child.

Plan a time each day to read to your child. Choose a comfortable place, sit close together and enjoy a great story. Don’t stop when your child can read independently. Instead, take turns to read a page each. Reading aloud in your child’s mother tongue is very important.

• Talk about the book.

Ask questions, chat about the pictures and make predictions. Talk about events and characters as if they are real.

• Let your child take charge.

Allow freedom of choice. Get excited about the book your child chooses at the BISS Library. This month, your child might love graphic novels, comics or joke books.

• Don’t be afraid to stop. Then start again! If a book seems boring or too difficult for your child, put it aside. Help your child find a book that sparks their interest. Ask the teacher to send home a popular book.

• Trust us.

If your child brings home a reader, it has been carefully chosen to suit his/her needs and build confidence. It might seem easy at first. Get excited about the book and praise your child. Ask your child’s teacher privately if you are unsure about the level.

• Ask us!

We would love to pick a great book for your family to read tonight! Happy reading, BISS parents and children! Ms Shannon O’Dwyer ES Language/ESOL Coordinator

BISS Broadcast: Issue 1 August 16th 2013

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BISS Buddies / Orientation Last Friday, I had a wonderful group of returning secondary students who volunteered to come back to school early to help with the new student orientation. They are known as the BISS Buddies and help to create the friendly, caring environment BISS is so proud of. They welcomed new families as they arrived, showed them to the annex where refreshments awaited and then took small groups of new students and parents on a tour of the school, introducing them to teachers who were waiting in their classrooms. The students who came on Friday felt much more comfortable on Monday and already recognized some friendly, familiar faces on the first day of a new school. Thank you so much BISS Buddies! Ms. Karen Shrimpton BISS School Counselor

BISS Broadcast: Issue 1 August 16th 2013

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Counselor’s Corner Upcoming University Visits We are extremely privileged to have university & college admissions officers come to visit our students at BISS throughout the year. I will be publicizing these visits through Broadcast, Naviance and posters on the 4th floor University information notice board. All students and parents are welcome to attend any of these sessions. Bring your lunch and feel free to eat during the presentations.

Monday August 26th - (1:10-1:50) in Language Center • • • • •

Chapman University (CA) Elon University (NC) La Salle University (PA) Lynn University (FL) Santa Clara University (CA)

These five universities are traveling together. Please come along to find out more about what they have to offer and the application process in general.

Monday September 16th - (2:30-3:15) in Art Room during Drama / Music for gr. 12 students – see Ms. Shrimpton if you are in gr. 11 and really want to go.

• California College of the Arts Molly Ryan, Director of Admissions, tel:661.291.3071

Saturday September 28th - individual appointments as requested Washington University in St. Louis Elizabeth Rosen, Admissions Officer

Further information from: Ms. Shrimpton BISS School Counselor

BISS Broadcast: Issue 1 August 16th 2013

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Counselor’s Corner SAT Test Information BISS is a registered test center for PSAT and SAT tests for students enrolled at BISS. We have also just become registered as an ACT test center. All tests take place on Saturdays – see dates below. SAT and / or ACT test scores are very important for any students thinking of going to the USA for University. They are also extremely helpful for students planning to go to Hong Kong, Korea or Australia. Registration deadlines are very strict so please encourage your children not to wait until the last minute.

2013-2014 - PSAT/SAT/ACT Test dates and Registration deadlines (See Ms. Shrimpton for forms) TEST

Test Dates

Deadlines !!!

Recommended for


Oct 19

Sept 12

Grade 10 & 11

SAT I & 11

Oct. 5

Aug 29

Grade 12

SAT I & 11

Nov 2

Sept 19

Language tests available Grade 12

SAT I & 11

Dec 7

Oct 25

Grade 12

SAT I & 11

Jan 25

Dec 5

Grade 11 & 12

SAT I & 11

May 3

March 24

Grade 10 & 11

SAT I & 11

June 7

April 24

Grade 10 & 11

ACT Test Test Date

Registration Deadline

October 26, 2013

September 27, 2013

Register online @ Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Karen Shrimpton BISS School Counselor PSAT / SAT / ACT test supervisor

BISS Broadcast: Issue 1 August 16th 2013

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Sports Update Volleyball HS Volleyball to Begin on Aug 19th Welcome back to all BISS students! Don’t forget to sign up for all of the sports teams that BISS has to offer. The first season will begin practice on Monday, August 19th for the HS volleyball teams. There will be two girls’ teams and one boys’ team. It’s a great opportunity to learn new skills and meet new friends. Practices will be at BISS from 3:20 – 4:20 on Mondays and Thursday. There are also various matches scheduled throughout the week. The D2 girls’ volleyball team will be coached by Mr. Ellmers again this year and the D3 girls’ team will be coached by our new 4th grade teacher, Ms. Von Jentzen. Ms. Dryer will be coaching the boys’ team. Everyone is encouraged to join the team even if you didn’t play on a volleyball team last year! The end of season ACAMIS tournament will be held on October 24-27 in Hong Kong, in addition to the ISAC tournament in Beijing.

and Soccer

U14 Soccer to Begin on Aug 20th Many BISS students are excited to see the soccer season here again. Both boys and girls in grades 7 and 8 will have a chance to join the team and participate in practices and matches. Practices will be at the Olympic Centre from 3:20 – 4:20 on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Matches will be schedule on Tuesday or Thursday as well. Members of the team will also be able to participate in the soccer exchange between other international schools and the end of season ISAC tournament. All skill levels are encouraged to join. Ms. Thorne will be coaching the girls’ team and Mr. Bourke, a new member to BISS, will be coaching the boys’ team.

U12 Soccer Team

All players will get a schedule of their games at their first practice. Ms. Dryer K-12 Athletics Coordinator

BISS Broadcast: Issue 1 August 16th 2013

All boys and girls in grade 5 and 6 are encouraged to join the U12 team. Practice will be on Tuesday and Thursday at the Olympic Centre from 3:20 – 4:20. There will be a couple matches with other international schools and an end of season tournament on Oct. 26. In the past, we haven’t had enough girls to compete on the team. However, if any girls in grade 5 or 6 are interested in playing soccer, please see Ms. Dryer. Good luck to all of our BISS athletes.

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Mr Bourke’s Poem Hello everyone. I like writing poems. They are like photographs for me. During my first days in Beijing, a fashion statement made by many of the men – rolling the shirt up to expose their bellies, surprised me. It has been very hot this month in the city; maybe I should also become one of the Belly Men of Beijing.

My First Beijing Poem

Humidity Roll your shirt up till the middle is adrift peeled and proud belly men of Beijing all round and sweaty their footprints in the concrete path

BISS Broadcast: Issue 1 August 16th 2013

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Elementary Art News What a wonderful first week back! The students have begun the first Art assignments with enthusiasm and loads of creativity! In the photos you can see the Grade 3’s exploring the work of American Pop Artist, Wayne Theibaud. They are creating their own colour-clay-confectionary which we will then Photograph next week, then explore shadow, texture and colour-mixing with paint. The Grade 1’s are beginning their Pattern People assignment. They are learning pattern vocabulary and designing their own patterns. Next week their patterns will come to life inside figures on the page and life-size figures. Watch this space! Ms. Anna Davies Elementary Art Teacher

BISS Broadcast: Issue 1 August 16th 2013

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Beijing BISS International School - Broadcast - Issue 1 August 16th  

The BROADCAST is a weekly Beijing BISS International School publication, showcasing our students’ academic, sporting, arts and cultural lear...

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