THE FOBISIAN November 2022, Term 1 Issue 40

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FOLLOW US ON TWITTER LIKE US ON FACEBOOK LIKE US ON INSTAGRAM LIKE US ON LINKEDIN VISIT US ON YOUTUBE VISIT OUR WEBSITE CONTENTS UPDATES 5 From Our Chair 6 From Our CEO 8 Queen Elizabeth II 10 FOBISIA CEO Making Connections 12 FOBISIA Connect 13 FOBISIA Leadership Conference 14 In Person Once Again! 16 FOBISIA Webinars 16 International School Awards 17 Affiliate Members 17 Friends of FOBISIA GUEST CONTRIBUTORS 18 WomanEd Asia 20 Calling all Art Teachers / Creating an Art Network 22 The future’s looking bright for FOBISIA drama… STUDENT EVENT HIGHLIGHTS 24 Online Battle of The Bands 2021-22 26 FOBISIA Drama Devising Challenge 28 The Most Marvellous Minecraft HOLE-IN-ONE Competition 30 Foundation RACE4GOOD 32 FOBISIA Online Maths: Code Breaking Competition 2023 34 FOBISIA Short Story Competition 42 FOBISIA Poetry Competition 48 Our Member Schools 50 Our Affiliate Members UPCOMING EVENTS 21 FOBISIA Photography Competition 2023 25 FOBISIA Battle of the Bands 2023 27 FOBISIA Primary Art Competition 2023 27 FOBISIA Online Coding Challenge 2023 38 FOBISIA Short Story Competition 2023 41 FOBISIA Online Chess Tournament 2023 2

Rowlands Chair Principal British International School Ho Chi Minh City

Matt Mills Vice Chair and HQ Support

Head of School Bangkok Patana School


Head of School Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School
Principal St. Christopher's International School, Penang
Duncan Stonehouse Treasurer Martin Towse Secretary & Membership Dinah Hawtree Student Events - Sport
Nick Magnus Heads' Support Nick Sheehan CPD
Principal Prince of Wales Island International School, Penang
Rachel Dent Communications Director The British School New Delhi Principal Jerudong International School Brunei Principal British School Jakarta Headmaster Dulwich College (Singapore)
Butcher Student Events - Academic Head Harrow International School Beijing Vanita Uppal OBE Safeguarding
39/4 Todsamon Clubhouse
THAILAND Headquarters
Building, Mezzanine Floor Soi LaSalle
Sukhumvit 105, Bangna, Bangkok 10260 THAILAND
John Gwyn Jones MBE
Executive Officer
Safeguarding Executive
Shana Kongmun Executive Operations Manager Swati Sinha Bedi CPD &
Bunjopporn (Yoke) Kittrell Communications Design Executive
Dawn Jones Marketing & Communications Executive Jitsaman (Pheung) Chan
Salinee (Tai) Chooputtaphong
Janine Minchin Student Events Executive SINGAPORE SOCIETY 95 Portsdown Road, 139299, SINGAPORE


This term has been an exciting one with lots going on. The news of the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth ll brought sadness to the whole FOBISIA Family, however we had the opportunity to celebrate her remarkable life and we are all so grateful for the wonderful memories she has given us.

We are therefore thankful that so many events and efforts made by the FOBISIA family made this term also so exciting and magnificent. Starting with our FOBISIA CEO John Gwyn Jones with his countless travels around the region to represent FOBISIA and make new connections.

We also successfully launched “FOBISIA Connect”, our new online community platform in which staff from our FOBISIA Member Schools can connect. We are happy that already more than 900 staff have registered and recognised its potential for the community.

Also, various Committee meetings have taken place, including FOBISIA PE & Sport Executive Committee, FOBISIA Music Executive Committee, FOBISIA Drama Executive Committee, and FOBISIA Safeguarding Executive Committee and important topics could be discussed and decided – finally face to face!

A very important milestone this semester for FOBISIA was the start of “Friends of FOBISIA”, a new membership category for British Schools outside Asia to expand their community and ours. We welcome our new members and look forward to connecting with many more in the future.

Our new guest contributors in this edition; Jess Gosling - “WomanEd Asia”, Paul Cruz - “Calling all Art Teachers / Creating an Art Network” and Holly Sullivan & Paul Hannon - “The future’s looking bright for FOBISIA drama” have enriched this edition and we are very grateful – thank you. We always welcome new and exciting contributions.

Finally and most satisfying have been the Student Events such as Online Battle of The Bands 2021-22, Foundation RACE4GOOD, FOBISIA Short Story Competition and the FOBISIA Poetry Competition. Congratulations and respect from us all for their great achievements.

Happy reading!


Jess Gosling

Taipei European School

Paul Cruz

Garden International School, Eastern Seaboard, Thailand

Holly Sullivan

The Alice Smith School Kuala Lumpur

Paul Hannon

The British School Manila

Jeremy Meddows-Taylor

Bromsgrove International School, Thailand

Matt Trearty

Regents International School, Bangkok Glenn Malcolm Bangkok Patana School

Tracey Brownrigg

British International School, Ho Chi Minh City

Andrew Chambers

British International School Phuket

Gavin Donnelly

British International School Ho Chi Minh City

Matthew Green

Taipei European School

Vector images from


A termly eMagazine for sharing events and news among the membership. Three issues are published each academic year

Bunjopporn (Yoke) Kittrell PUBLISHER FOBISIA EDITOR Bunjopporn (Yoke) Kittrell CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE Anthony Rowlands British International School HCMC & FOBISIA Board John Gwyn Jones MBE, Shana Kongmun, Janine Minchin, Dawn Jones, Swati Sinha Bedi FOBISIA HQ
FOBISIA now accepts payments via credit card (subject to 3.5% processing fee*) *email for a payment link
If you would like to contribute, email: 4

It has been an exciting start to the academic year and we are pleased to see so many of our schools back to in person learning this year, it is encouraging that so many countries have opened up. However, we are aware that some schools still face challenges and urge everyone to offer support as part of the FOBISIA family.

It has been a busy Term 1, with many schools taking part in FOBISIA events and activities. There is the start of the FOBISIA Friendly Games, the upcoming CPD Conference to be held at Bangkok Patana School, and our first inperson Heads' Business meeting in 3 years, ably hosted by The British School New Delhi.


Anthony Rowlands

I am pleased to welcome 19 new Heads this year, and one new school that joined us in October. Please be sure and extend a warm welcome to Nick Gallop (BCBK), Paul Holyome (BVISHN), Richard Bartlett (CHA), Garry Russell (DCS), David Massiah (DCSZ), Dr Stephen KendallJones (ISB), Diane Vaughan (NAIS), Palinyakone (Gift) Panyathip (PIS), Andy Edmonds (REGB), Robert Millar (SHR), Charlie Grayhurst (StAGV), John Nixon (TES), Sian May (KLASS), Mike O'Connor (BSKL), Hannah Wells (BSC), Tim Richardson ( BSG), James Worland (ISP), Marc Mesich (ISPU) and our new schools Paul Friend at North London Collegiate (Singapore), Bruce Grindlay at Rugby School Thailand, André Nel at The British School of Tashkent, and Joseph Pine at Amnuay Silpa School in Bangkok.

I would like to offer my thanks to John and the team at FOBISIA HQ for supporting the Federation and ensuring we have so many opportunities to connect, to learn, to play and share practices. Our strength is in our connections and these are strong, and growing.

The last few years have been challenging and difficult for us all, but we look forward to the new “new normal” and hope that our schools that still face challenges can join us in person for our activities in the coming year.

FOBISIA Chair - March 2019 to present Principal, British International School Ho Chi Minh City




It has been a very exciting few months for us at FOBISIA HQ. The team returned to work in the first week in August and we have all been busily preparing for what is a very busy academic year ahead. The flurry of emails you received reflect this, and I am sure many of you are pleasantly surprised as to what is on offer to your schools. This is the value that Membership to FOBISIA brings, as we not only enjoy a dynamic and supportive network, but also offer amazing events and activities for everyone within your school community. We are very fortunate in having a great team at FOBISIA HQ that are so enthusiastic in supporting our membership.


The school year has certainly started with a big bang. We have:

• Welcomed 19 new Heads and Nick Magnus has done a great job buddying each one up with a current FOBISIA Head.

• Launched the Friends of FOBISIA Membership which has already generated an interest. We are predicting that we will have at least 4 Friends of FOBISIA Members by the end of this first term (maximum 18 members).

• Been in touch with 28 Aspirant Schools (schools that have expressed interest in becoming members of FOBISIA), added three new schools and have one new school applications in process.

• Communicated with all 109 of our Affiliate Members regarding the renewal of their membership and are confident that this category of membership will continue to see growth. (currently 97 have renewed their membership)

• Announced information on the 70 + events this term, which includes Conferences, Job Alike Work Shops (JAWS), Webinars, Student events and Executive Committee Meetings hosted by HQ.

• 32 schools and 700+ students took part in the FOBISIA Under 15 Friendly Games in November, which is fantastic.

• Around 50 member Heads met face to face at our Annual AGM and Heads Business Meeting hosted by The British School in New Delhi in November

• Organised meetings for FOBISIA Leads, new Heads of PE, Music, Drama, Safeguarding and CPD Leaders with each of the respective Executive Committees

• Launched our new communication portal - FOBISIA CONNECT - which allows our community to interact, share good practice and exchange resources…. and more. Please encourage your staff to join the community and take part in conversations with their peers across Asia. We currently have 950 staff registered on the platform.

So as you can see, we have been busy maximising the benefits as well as the value-added activities that membership to FOBISIA brings to your school.

Of course, we are very mindful that we remain in a pandemic and are conscious that some locations have greater challenges than others. It is, however, very encouraging to see that most borders are now open with very little restrictions, and long may this last and continue. For our schools that still have restrictions placed on them, we will fully support you by making our activities as inclusive as possible.

Do make us aware of any special events that you have planned in your schools so we can celebrate these with our community. We also ask that you promote the FOBISIA activities with your staff, students and parents. Do please display the FOBISIA Member Badge on your website, letterheads, social media etc. as this is a “stamp of approval” and recognises the status of our

schools in them having attained the extremely high expectations, quality and international standard that is associated with FOBISIA. It also gives your school a sense of belonging to a community of THE premier British International School organisation in Asia - FOBISIA!

Let us wish you all a wonderful academic year ahead. We remain very passionate, committed and supportive in providing you all with the very best services we can offer.


The FOBISIA community were deeply saddened at the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her dedication and service are an inspiration to us all, she was an anchor for the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world. While we grieve her passing, we also celebrate her life; the many remarkable contributions she has made, and our wonderful memories of her.



FOBISIA CEO John Gwyn Jones has been out and about in the region to represent FOBISIA and make new connections.

At Bett Asia.


HE Under-Secretary of State for Exports Marcus Fysh, HE Mark Gooding, MBE, British Ambassador in Thailand, and HE Deputy Minister of Education, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Madam Khanthaly Siriphongphanh and her team. At the Asian Summit on Education & Skills (ASES) in Bangalore, India with Sir Steve Smith. HSBC presents the Triple Asset Award to FOBISIA for client solutions.
With Principal Richard Dyer visiting Dover Court International School in Singapore. Participating in a panel at EDUtech Asia in Singapore. At North London Collegiate School (Singapore) with Principal Paul Friend. With Head of Secondary Zayne Essop at Panyathip, The British International School in Laos. FOBISIA Board Meeting at The British School of New Delhi.

FOBISIA CONNECT is the new online community platform for staff from FOBISIA Member schools to share ideas, ask questions and connect with each other. Launched this term, it’s already providing the ideal place for our community to get to know others, answer questions, and give recommendations.

The PE & Sport Network is growing day by day allowing our Member Schools to network with each other across the area of PE and Sport. Already there is sharing of articles, CPD opportunities and support for one another. Whilst in its infancy, this platform will grow and enable more colleagues to benefit from our shared expertise."

The platform hosted by Mighty Networks, also has an easy to use App so you can access FOBISIA CONNECT on your phone to keep updated with the latest posts. Be sure to download the App.

If you haven’t already joined follow the link on the FOBISIA website:

In case you have already registered you can see the FOBISIA Connect Feed here.



During September and October this year, FOBISIA HQ were delighted to host four of our Executive Committees, Drama, Music, PE & Sport and Safeguarding, for in-person meetings at our HQ office in Bangkok. The CPD Executive Committee is yet to meet in person, but will do so during the CPD Leaders Conference in Bangkok in November.

Whilst a few colleagues still had to join virtually, we were pleased to finally meet the teams we have been supporting and see Executive Committee Members, old and new, coming together for the first time in over two years. There has been a natural changeover of personnel during this time, with some colleagues simply moving on from a FOBISIA school to others reaching the end of their committee tenure, such that none of our Committees had ever met face to face in their current line up. After two years of Zoom calls, Google meets and Teams sessions, it was fantastic to give our Committees the time and space to re-establish relationships, bond with new colleagues, collaborate, laugh and plan together. The teams appreciated meeting in person and enjoyed having their dialogue face to face.

FOBISIA PE & Sport Executive Committee Meeting

Our Committees normally meet in person towards the end of each academic year to plan for the coming academic year, but with travel improving, the FOBISIA Board was very much in favour of bringing the teams together sooner rather than later to create that valuable in-person connection. The sessions were hugely useful in providing a platform for our committees to review the experiences of the last couple of years and make plans for the future. COVID brought many challenges to all our schools, and for many of our Region C schools these sadly still continue, but with those challenges have come innovation, new initiatives and ways of working. Discussions covered what to keep, how to build on successes and how best to support our communities as we move into the ‘new normal’.

HQ would like to thank all our Executive Committee Members for their attendance and the initiative they undertook to meet in person. We also thank the Heads of their schools for their continued support of FOBISIA.

FOBISIA Music Executive Committee Meeting FOBISIA Drama Executive Committee Meeting
FOBISIA Safeguarding Executive Committee Meeting



We were proud to see so many of our Member Schools shortlisted for the International School Awards 2023 hosted by ISC Research. They received 291 applications this year from international schools in 61 countries, so to see 8 of our schools amongst those shortlisted is amazing.

The judging panel complimented all schools that submitted applications on their commitment to improving student learning. The shortlisted schools were congratulated for their innovative initiatives, many of which are student-led and embrace the entire school community as active partners.

The award winners and special awards will be announced during a live virtual ceremony on Tuesday 24th January 2023 hosted by ISC Research. More information see here.

SHORTLISTED: Ethical Values
• Rugby
• North
• Tanglin
• Jerudong
Education Award
Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong
Tanglin Trust School, Singapore
and Creativity in Learning Award
School Thailand
The Alice Smith School, Malaysia
London Collegiate School, Jeju
The British School of Tashkent
Leadership Award
Trust School, Singapore
International School, Brunei Darussalam
Wellington College International Shanghai
offers a range of engaging webinars to its members including Member School Webinars, Affiliate Webinar Series and Sports Club Socials. Through these webinars we aim to provide a platform to open up conversations with our membership on both social and academic topics. There is no cost in participating for our webinars. Don't miss out on our next live webinar! Click here


One of our valued membership categories is our Affiliate Membership. This is open to reputable educational organisations, individuals and suppliers whose services and products are of interest to Member Schools and their communities.

We are proud of our Affiliate Members and the range of products and services that they offer.

If you are on the lookout for something for your school, it’s possible that one of our Affiliate Members can help. Take a look at our website where you will find all of the Affiliate Members listed in their numerous categories and get in touch with them directly. Many offer discounts for FOBISIA schools so don’t forget to mention you are a FOBISIA Member School.


We have recently added another category of membership to our FOBISIA Family! Friends of FOBISIA is now open for a limited number of British international schools located outside of Asia, in order to strengthen our connections beyond the region. The schools will meet the same expectations as full FOBISIA Member Schools and will need to have been fully accredited or inspected.

FOBISIA are proud to announce the first members of Friends of FOBISIA as The British School of Brussels, The British International School Stockholm and Nord Anglia International School, Dubai. We look forward to welcoming these schools into our community.


WomenEd Asia:

A growing network growing and empowering female leaders

WomenEd is a global grassroots movement, led by volunteers. The organisation connects aspiring and existing women leaders in education and gives women leaders a voice in education. The original UK network was cofounded in 2015 by Vivienne Porritt OBE, Liz Free, Keziah Featherstone, and Jules Daulby, all based in England. The Asian networks are a rapidly growing group as before 2019, WomenEd had been predominantly UK/Europe based.

WomenEd’s mission is for more women in education to have the choice to progress on their leadership journey. To achieve this, WomenEd work to remove systematic and organisational barriers to such progress and to empower and enable women to achieve their next leadership step, if they choose to progress in leadership roles.

The current Asian networks include Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan. Three of the four networks were set up by FOBISIA school leaders and teachers (Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan).

This article will detail the three FOBISIA schools and their work with WomenEd.


WomenEd Malaysia, led by Rebecca Findlay (School Leader), Karen Morgan (University Dean), Tracy Lewis, and Katie Tomlinson (School Leader) launched in November 2020. Their events have included: Females in February Webinar Series, Wellbeing Wednesdays and Break the Bias. The Malaysian network has a key focus of bridging the local and international community as well as shining a spotlight on women who had developed successful careers beyond the education sector. The webinars have attracted a large audience of not just educators, but industry professionals and parents and inspired, motivated and supported by their peers as well as women whose paths they would not usually have crossed.

WomenEd Taiwan was founded by Jess Gosling, and now led by Jaya Hiranandani, and Jessica Wang Simula. Jess has since left the network to pursue a teaching plus a leadership role in Poland. WomenEd Taiwan was established in August 2021. Their focus is to build an empowered community of educators, as there were no similar networks such as this in Taiwan. To date, they organised face-to-face meetups, including a presentation by a female school leader and university professor. Online, they led a Wellbeing conference with speakers from WomenEd Spain and also a successful CEO, who discussed confidence in the workplace. Last year, they also held a Zoom webinar with Q and A about creating CVs, hosted by Jess and a recruitment consultant, talking through and reviewing quality CVs. For their #BreaktheBias event, they brought together the community by discussing gender bias scenarios, whereby they problem-solved to support one another. The network aims to bring together a range of teachers from international schools, language schools, and those working in the local school system. The WomenEd Thailand network was created in 2021 and is currently led by international educators Karly Evans, Jacqui Brelsford, Rebecca Owens and Thai educator Neetirat Pungdach. The aim of the network is to help both Thai and international educators across Thailand to forge connections, seek support and advice and become 10% braver in an international context. In its first year the network has hosted several events including WomenEd’s first SouthEast Asian #WomenEd International Career Clinic hosted by inspiring female leaders across the network with over 80 educators across several countries signing up to participate. This event began with motivating words from WomenEd Co-founder Vivienne Porritt and Malaysian Network Leader Katie Tomlinson, followed by a selection of workshops to facilitate a more bespoke experience and an engaging Q and A session with a diverse and experienced panel. Additional events have included a Thai language TeachMeet, coffee mornings and most recently their June panel discussion ‘#WomenEd Leadership: Reflect and Plan This Summer!’ aimed at providing potential and existing leaders with practical advice prior to the next international recruitment cycle.


Calling all Art Teachers / Creating an Art Network

I am keen to reach out to the wider FOBISIA community. I absolutely love my school and enjoy being responsible for the art curriculum.

Having seen the collaboration and events offered through other FOBISA groups such as PE, Drama and Music, I am very keen to begin to build something similar for our subject. Whether you are like myself and working in a department of one, or from a larger school, I believe FOBISIA offers us a great opportunity to come together and and support each other, giving us a chance to share best practice, cross moderate and, in general build up the subject and opportunities we can offer.

My name is Paul Cruz, I’ve been an art and design teacher for the best part of thirty years, mostly in the state system in the U.K. My international career started in 2019. I teach across Key Stage three, four and five at Garden International School, Eastern Seaboard, Thailand. Before coming to Thailand I taught G.C.S.E. ‘A’ Level art. The step up to I.B. Visual Art was certainly a challenge and continues to be as I reflect on my teaching approaches and enjoy getting to grips with the weighty expectations of the I.B. Diploma. I still really enjoy being in the classroom and imparting skills and knowledge about my subject and I’m always thrilled when students come up with something new and creative.

When I worked in the U.K. I was always part of a team in an art department. Colleagues popping into your room, sharing ideas and looking for support or reassurance was pretty much a day to day occurrence. There was always someone to turn to. As a natural collaborator who now finds themselves the only art specialist in the room,

I think there is an opportunity to support each other more, which is why I've begun to contact colleagues working at other schools within my province and Bangkok. Like me they are mostly working in isolation and would very much appreciate the chance to share ideas, share good practice, cross moderate exam work and ask for advice or simple affirmation that what they are doing is right and appropriate sometimes.

Does my experience hit a note with you? If so, let’s get together! If you would like to be involved and be part of a supportive network, please get in touch and let’s do something!

Complete the form here to give your details.

Hope to see many of you there!


The future’s looking bright for FOBISIA drama…

Holly Sullivan & Paul Hannon

Respecitvely: Head of Creative and Expressive Arts Faculty, The Alice Smith School Kuala Lumpur, and Chair of the FOBISIA Drama Executive Committee; and Head of Drama & Theatre, The British School Manila, and Teacher Events Rep, FOBISIA Drama Executive Committee

After two years teaching our practical subject via Zoom, Drama teachers the world over are excited to get back into our studios and start making theatrical magic with our students once again. The FOBISIA Drama community have hit the ground running with a number of exciting events for the new academic year.


FOBISIA Drama Annual General Meeting

The AGM, hosted by the Alice Smith School, Kuala Lumpur, saw Drama teachers from across the FOBISIA community come together via Zoom to celebrate the fantastic events for students and teachers of the past year, look ahead to the events already planned for this year and to launch the exciting new communications platform FOBISIA Connect. Our thanks to everyone who contributed and attended.

Following the AGM, FOBISIA Drama in association with British School Manila launched straight into the two day Ready, Steady Fly eConference 2022.

began with a practical masterclass conducted by renowned UK verbatim theatre company The Paper Birds. Hosted by Tanglin Trust School Singapore, participants explored The Paper Bird’s five point approach and examples from current and past productions for creating new, original and contemporary theatre. Thereafter participants chose from a variety of peer workshops to attend including Live Cinema and Performance, The use of Half Masks in Drama, Reflection in Drama, Technical Theatre and Solo Performance.



focused more on pedagogy and the individual professional. Participants spent time considering inclusion and representation in their teaching and classrooms. Thank you to Thea Williams and Denver Castillo from British School Manila for sharing their work-to-date and many immediate strategies for fostering safe and inclusive spaces in Drama and Arts Education. In preparation for yet another busy year ahead, Nicole Glisson from Applied Wellbeing in Education guided attendees through a workshop exploring The Upside of No and the self esteem triad: emotions, needs and boundaries.

During the plenary, FOBISIA Drama was excited to launch the newly rebranded Drama Thursdays now called Spotlight On… The first Spotlight On was planned to explore the CIE Pre-release material for IGCSE Drama (Zone 4 and Zone 5) and collaboratively create teaching resources.


FOBISIA Stage Make-Up Challenge

This brand new event is FOBISIA Drama’s first foray into online challenges for technical theatre students. If you have any budding make-up artists in your midst, get them to share their talents at the FOBISIA Stage Make-Up Challenge. Judged by West End MUA Tanya Noor, students can enter categories as diverse as fantasy to celebrity, halloween to heritage. Get your beauty blenders at the ready and get involved! For more information email

Keep an eye our for Term 2 and 3 students events, our first face-toface festival post-Covid, Children for Change hosted by the team at Garden International School, Eastern Seaboard Thailand, the new evolution of our annual Monologue Challenge ‘Modernising Shakespeare’ hosted by Garden International School, KL and a new event on the calendar - the Mask Creation and Performing Challenge hosted by BISHCMC. More information to follow.

If you would like to find out more about any of these events, please join the FOBISIA Drama Connect page by clicking on this link. Or email any of the committee

• Holly Sullivan, FOBISIA Drama Chair at

• Paul Hannon, FOBISIA Drama Teacher Event Lead at

• Matt Trearty, FOBISIA Drama Student Event Lead at

• Joe Wyatt, FOBISIA Drama Media and Communications Lead at



Jeremy Meddows-Taylor

Head of Performing & Creative Arts Faculty, Bromsgrove International School, Thailand Co-Chair of FOBISIA Music Executive

From October 2021 to March 2022, the FOBISIA Music Executive Committee was delighted to host the FOBISIA Online Battle of the Bands 2022. Involving over 220 students from 29 member schools, it was fantastic to receive entries from 40 different bands!

Schools were invited to prepare a video submission between three and five minutes long, either of a recorded live performance or an edited virtual performance. The competition was divided into two categories: Lower Secondary for Key Stage 3, and Upper Secondary for Key Stages 4 and 5.

The competition was judged by a team of guest music professionals, who had a very rewarding time watching the various performances. The judges making the difficult decisions in the Lower Secondary category were Nicholas Philip and Tyler Dodds, while Eugene Kok, Jia Jie Lee and Zaim Zaidee took on the Upper Secondary category. You can find out more about our guest judges here: onlinebotb2022/judges.

In the end it was Tanglin Trust School and Garden International School, Bangkok who were victorious in their respective battles! However, top three placings were awarded in each category:

Lower Secondary:

1st Place: The Bin Rats - Tanglin Trust School

2nd Place: The Storm - Shrewsbury International School, Bangkok Riverside

3rd Place: Jazz You - North London Collegiate School Jeju

Upper Secondary:

1st Place: Buzzkill - Garden International School,Sathorn, Bangkok

2nd Place: Ukiyo - Tanglin Trust School

3rd Place (Joint): Sixth Form Band - Discovery Bay International School Toxic - Harrow International School Bangkok

Each competing band was also awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze for their performance, and the full list of awards can be seen here: onlinebotb2022/results.

All the entries from 2022 can be watched here: onlinebotb2022/performances.

We are now looking forward to the FOBISIA Battle of the Bands 2023, which is being hosted by Bromsgrove International School Thailand. This hybrid competitive event is open to Secondary students in all FOBISIA Member Schools, and will have both live and online categories to enter. For all information and to register your school’s participation, please visit the event website.



Regents International School, Bangkok

In June the latest in FOBISIA Drama’s range of initiatives to get students involved in Drama and the FOBISIA community took place: the Devising Challenge. This allowed students from any of our member schools to use the stimulus of M. C. Escher's lithograph print, Relativity as a starting point and devise a performance of their own volition.

Over a dozen entries were submitted from a range of schools all over Asia, from schools in differing situations; from entries being acted out over online teaching, to groups working face to face and it was lovely that all the students could take part in this challenge. In total, nearly 2 hours of new and original devised material was created and performed!

This was all celebrated in an awards ceremony hosted by Regent’s International School, Bangkok and held online. In the ceremony the awards were split into four categories and the winners for each were as follows:

Most Creative Response to the Stimulus

Mad Dreams - Wellington College International Shanghai

The Best use of Ensemble and Drama Conventions Untitled - The British School Kathmandu

The Most Impactful use of Technology Get Out - The British School Manila

Best Overall Production Unmasked - Nexus International School, Malaysia

Well done to all the schools and students who took part. Your creativity was amazing and the theatre you created a joy to watch.

You can see the awards ceremony and all of the submissions at the website.



Gaming is sometimes a questionable word where young people are concerned and the constant draw to playing time is a constant parental battle. The complexity of games and the interactions of language, collaboration and ultimately teamwork in a competitive gaming environment sometimes stumps many adults as to 'why' children are drawn to these types of pastimes when, as children many years ago we roamed fields and played sport. However, as a child you may have played computer games at your friend's house all huddled around one screen with maybe four players in Golden Eye on the Nintendo GameCube or SNES. This was how we strategised and collaborated and, essentially connected with our friends for hours on end.

This was 25 plus years ago and those interactions, while very much similar in fun and competitiveness is the main reason I set this competition up. Minecraft has evolved to such an extent that the Education Edition now embodies so many scientific elements such as chemical reactions, coding robots and electrical circuits that to dismiss this source of interschool wonderment to embolden community spirit would dishearten many children.

Competing within Minecraft this time round was themed around golf and the motion the ball takes from teeing off to the final putt. To task students with building a Minecrafty method of teeing off from green as one would in golf and then putting would take their level of ingenuity to newer heights within the game. This action, while expertly demonstrated by Traill International school, Bangkok, is a relatively difficult task for a lot of children - even those who are very adept at the game.

The reason this is so tricky is that there are hidden elements in the scoring as well as those within the way I wanted the children to demonstrate how to make the ball travel. Within Minecraft's Redstone circuitry (Redstone is the name of the electrical system within in the game) children are able to transfer the energy from one type to another. So, if a block is dropped, say, a piece of concrete, this can land on a pressure plate, that in turn sends out a pulse to another block that is made to receive that signal - in many cases a dispenser. As the name suggests, this dispenser can send out an object that can, for a short while, fly while being launched. If this such block, an arrow for example, then depending on the block it hits can continue the electrical 'pulse' ad infinitum. This is where the Rube Goldberg Machine element enters the children's thinking and the team leaders for every competing school.


The students in this competition had to split their 'drive' from the tee into three sections: Tee-off, drive and putt. Each section had to have clear changes in state yet maintain the same block as a the 'ball' at teeoff and putt. So, as in the example above, the children could choose a glass block, dispense this with a switch as the electrical input, land on a pressure plate, release the signal to a minecart and the rail system can take it further to the green and trigger another dispenser to drop the glass 'ball' back into the cup on the green.

This is, for a seasoned player, relatively simple if making simple inputs and outputs. Yet the name of the game is the 'Most Marvellous Hole-in-One'. So the idea, as in a Rube Goldberg machine, is to make it as unnecessarily ridiculous as possible with as many changes as possible along the way.

So which schools entered? We had 127 teams from 11 countries enter the competition which is absolutely amazing as we only expected around 20-30 at the most. There was a four team limit per school, however there could be as many players per team as you could use in your school. Many schools chose to play as an ECA as we did which was the plan from the outset - to allow schools time to run an after school club to facilitate this.

What was most impressive, was that many schools entered the competition without having had any knowledge of Minecraft, how to set up teams, external access to open games hosted on-site or even have accounts for children to log into. To do this shows a lot of tenacity from the tech leaders in the FOBISIA schools who are ready to put themselves into a very uncomfortable setting in order to provide a fun and creative outlet for their students. And, for this alone, I say a huge thank you for all the adult leaders who participated in this event as well at the students - who I hear had a lot of laughs and built solid camaraderie over the course of the 6-7 weeks.

These are the list of winners with a special mention to the team at Traill International school who managed to create such a precise launch system, that when I saw the video of the submission, I honestly thought this was too short to be a higher-level entry. How wrong was I!

All round, what an amazing experience by all who supported their students and to the students themselves and their ingenuity.

*In light of fairness, this was an ECA that was organised and supported by a staff member who had nothing to do with the competition setup and only offered support with their time on the ECA. This was communicated with team leaders in the competition.

Let's take a look at the winners 12-13 age range: TTS Team 3 - Tanglin Trust School, Singapore. Link to game.
range: TES BEARS 1, Taipei European School, Taiwan. Link to game.
age range: c h e e z y c h i p s, Bangkok Patana*, Thailand. Link to game.
age range: Traill Team Year8, Traill International School, Thailand. Link to game.


In May this year, a team of thirty-four Year 7 and 8 BIS HCMC students participated in a competition which was like no other. A unique experiential learning and social impact experience which took them on a journey of empathy and compassion!

Race4Good was founded by renowned international humanitarian, Linda Cruse who saw an opportunity to bring together schools from around the world to take part in a series of ground-breaking races aimed at uplifting communities in need. Over the course of the competition, the students learn team-building skills, critical thinking, entrepreneurial business development, budgeting and presentation skills. They increase their intercultural competency as they tackle real-life critical issues and develop their practical problem-solving skills.


The focus was on a small village in Haiti where the students engaged virtually with a single-parent family of three children who survived on an average monthly income of $30. As they were taken on a tour of the family shack and introduced to their single goat, the students were struck by the abject poverty of the family and that of the surrounding community. The first mid-race challenge was to economically uplift this family with a budget of 150 GBP and just 72 hours to draw up a business plan which outlined both short and long term outcomes, prepare a detailed budget, as well as, deliver a video presentation of their proposal. As their supervisor, it was humbling to watch these dynamic young people collaborating, researching and innovatively exploring possible sustainable solutions. I needed to remind myself that they were only 11 or 12 years old – their leadership, creativity, perseverance and discipline was truly inspiring!

Their commitment and hard work was rewarded when they were declared the winners of this challenge. Their solution? To equip the family with training and resources to begin making soap out of goat's milk! Within 2 days their business plan had been implemented and we had received a video showing the process ( watch here ).

A couple of weeks later a letter and photographs followed which explained that the family were in full production and had begun selling their soap at the local market, enabling them to generate a regular income. The realisation of what they had achieved affected the students in varying ways with one tearfully exclaiming “this hasn’t just been an exercise, this has been real life!”.

Race4Good provided a unique opportunity for our students to recognise their ability as leaders and changemakers and to authentically impact lives! We look forward to joining other FOBISIA schools in the upcoming weeks as we engage with vulnerable indigenous people from across the Arctic and again, hope to leave a legacy of change!



British International School Phuket recently successfully hosted the FOBISIA Online Maths Code breaking competition. This was a huge success with 76 schools taking part from across Asia. Students had to work through a variety of codes, and those that cracked all codes in a level got to add their names to the leaderboard. An incredible 10,335 students managed to complete at least one level - a fantastic achievement. There is a close link between mathematics and code breaking which made this a natural fit as a mathematics competition. The skills that make good mathematicians, problem solving, logical thought and perseverance are the same skills that make great code breakers.

FOBISIA had this to say about the event:

"The FOBISIA Maths Codebreaking competition is the first FOBISIA Student event to finish this academic year, and what an event! With 75% of our Member Schools participating and over 10,000 students involved, the hosts British International School Phuket have set the bar very high for future events this year. We hope the students involved enjoyed the experience and thank you to BISP for adding this exciting event to the 2022-23 FOBISIA Student Events Calendar”

It was fantastic to see thousands of talented mathematicians from across Asia coming together to test their code breaking skills. Many thanks to all the teachers who worked hard in organising their school’s participation and who gave their students a chance to see some real life applications of mathematics outside the classroom.

There was a lot of very positive feedback about the event. Some quotes from teachers included:

“The students absolutely loved this competition. We will likely add more code breaking challenges to this year’s lessons in light of how much the students enjoyed them.”

“It gave us an excellent opportunity for enrichment of our maths curriculum. It was wonderful walking around the classrooms and observing pupils and teachers truly engaged in the challenges.”

“This was a fantastic event, being both inclusive and challenging to all of our students.”

Who knows, maybe some of these students will go on to work in encryption and decryption as a future career. Well done to all who took part!



Amnuay Silpa School

Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School

Bangkok Patana School

Brighton College International School Bangkok

British International School Hanoi

British International School Ho Chi Minh City

British International School, Phuket

British School Jakarta

British School of Cordoba

British Vietnamese International School Hanoi

British Vietnamese International School Ho Chi Minh City

Bromsgrove International School, Thailand

Charter International School

Claremont Senior School (*)

Colegio Britanico de Cordoba (*)

Crescendo HELP International School

Denla British School, Bangkok

Dover Court International School Singapore

Dulwich College (Singapore)

Dulwich College Seoul

Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong

Dulwich College Suzhou

Eaton International School Malaysia

elc International School

Garden International School Eastern Seaboard Ban Chang

Garden International School Kuala Lumpur

Glenunga International High School (*)

Haileybury Almaty

Harrow International School Bangkok

HELP International School, Kuala Lumpur

Hornbill School

Hua Hin International School

International School Brunei

International School of Busan, South Korea (*)

Island School, Hong Kong (*)

Jerudong International School Brunei

Kellett School Hong Kong

King Henry VIII College

King's College International School Bangkok Nexus International School, Malaysia

North London Collegiate School (Singapore)

North London Collegiate School Jeju Panyathip International School, Laos

Prince of Wales Island International (Primary) School, Penang

Prince of Wales Island International School, Penang Regent's International School Pattaya Rugby School Thailand

Seoul Foreign School

Shrewsbury International School Bangkok City Campus Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong Shrewsbury International School, Bangkok Riverside Singapore International School of Bangkok (Pracha Uthit Campus)

Sri KDU International School, Kota Damansara

Sri KDU International School, Subang Jaya St. Andrew's International School Bangkok St. Andrew's International School Sukhumvit 107

St. Andrew's International School, Green Valley St. Christopher’s International Primary School, Penang St. Stephen’s International School, Bangkok & Khao Yai

Taipei European School

Tenby Setia Eco Park

The ABC International School

The Alice Smith School, Kuala Lumpur

The British International School of Kuala Lumpur

The British School in Colombo

The British School in Tokyo

The British School Manila

The British School New Delhi

The International School @ ParkCity

The International School of Penang (Uplands)

Wellington College International Hangzhou

Wellington College International School Bangkok Wellington College International Shanghai XCL International School



Last term we announced the winners of the 2021-22 FOBISIA Short Story Competition hosted by BIS Ho Chi Minh City. In this edition of The FOBISIAN we are delighted to share the winning short stories written around the theme of ‘Memories’ with you.

School’s Name: North London Collegiate School Jeju

Student’s Name: David Kwon Category: Year 3 & 4

Organising Teacher’s Name: Ms. Meghan Peters Organising Teacher’s Email Address:

The Memory Café

When you walk into the Memory Café, chimes tinkle to announce your entrance. A smiling waiter guides you to your table and hands you a menu. All kinds of tea are available, but they are not normal tea. No rooibos or chamomile here. The teabags have a secret. They are infused with memories.

Sad Memory tea is matcha-green and has an achingly numbing taste. Many people take it with a spoonful of tears, so there is a tinge of salt to the aftertaste. Happy Memory tea is shimmering lavender, which you can slurp down like a carnival slushie. It tastes like fluffy clouds of cotton candy. Once you swallow, it makes you giggle, like an invisible hand tickling your tummy.

Angry Memory tea is dark blue. It’s a spicy tea that tastes like sour cherries and pepper. Some people order painful memories - why, we don’t know. Burning a furious red, the painful memories explode in your mouth, like spiky cacti flowers, and they prickle your throat when you swallow. They come in small espresso cups, and you have to suck it in with a straw, because painful memories are hard to bear and you have to drink slowly, in little sips, to relive them.

The Memory Café only appears to people that need it the most. A girl whose dog just died can walk in and have a cup of happy memories. A man who hates his job can drink a Sad Tea and realise that actually, his job isn’t as terrible as when he peed in the swimming pool and his whole class laughed at him. There are important people sitting in the corners, sipping painful memories when


they are at the brink of huge decisions; a politician who is about to declare war, drinks a painful memory that shows him the horrors of violence. He calls the war off, remembering what it was like to be a helpless boy, bruised by thugs.

At the end of your life, the Memory Café appears one final time, to offer you a special drink. The All-Powerful-Teabag creates a personal memory movie of your life. Nobody has ever lived to tell the tale, but legend says that this rare blend has a fizzy taste when you start to drink it, like a tiny spark at the tip of

your tongue. It then fills the rest of your body, before exploding into a weird and wonderful flavour. They say it tastes like all the bitterness and sweetness in your life. People who had a good life can enjoy a delightful cup of tea, while people who were mean to others must drink tea tasting like stinky blue cheese. Then you see all your memories, from the moment you stepped into the Memory Café just now, to the moment when you were just a tiny baby, not even born yet. So be careful with your choices, because memories are all you can take to the other side.

School’s Name: Prince of Wales International (Primary) School, Penang Student’s Name: Rae En Cheng Category: Year 5 & 6 Organising Teacher’s Name: Claire Boyle Organising Teacher’s Email Address:


I glared at the hovering paper crane behind me. “Why won’t you leave me alone?!” I groaned desperately. It only stared vastly back, flickering in and out of a heat wave. The smoldering sun blazed on my back as I trudged along the brittle road. Glancing back, I anticipated to see the crane gone but it continued to shadow me. I sighed and continued walking. Ever since the accident happened all I can think about is her.

It happened one stormy night when we were driving up the west coast. The sea below churned and quarreled with the rocks, causing a strong gust of wind to push us off course. I never saw her again.

Struggling to push back any tears, I vainly tried to ignore the paper crane gazing at me. I quickened my pace, determined that I wasn’t going to let a dead tree see me cry. Seeing that it could still keep up, I increased my speed even more and made a run for it. Down the hill I ran, past the fields of barley and across tarred roads. I dodged pedestrians jay-walking, slipping in and out of the busy roads filled with honking cars and flashy bikes.

Towering buildings became trees, cars became bushes and abruptly, instead of the deafening sound of honking cars and the never-ending chatter of people, a pleasant sound of murmuring waves wafted through my senses as I took in my surroundings. A blanket of sand engulfed my legs and I could feel every grain of sand between my toes.


Banshing the lingering thought of the crane, I slowly walked downwards, across the sand, soaking up the soaring breeze as it lifted the trees, causing them to dance wildly.

Instantaneously, a flash of blue and silver caught my eye, I peered around slowly. Ambivalent eyes rested on a rusty swing with peeling white paint, revealing shimmers of silver. Perching birds fled at the sound of my footsteps as I sat cautiously on the bygone figure. The swing rattled and wheezed, having not been sat on for years. I gently began a rhythm and soon the melody of waves were accompanied by the beat of the swing creaking back and forth.

Memories filled my half-conscious mind of the times I shared with her. When I fell from a swing and she brushed away my tears, (I was always very soft), her smooth voice when she read to me, the time when she built me my first swing and how she stood up to the bullies at school. It was like being wrapped up in a blanket, the most unimaginable and magical, weaved from the bittersweet memories of the past. A rustling of paper pulled me back to reality where the crane lay on my lap unmoving.

Taking in a deep breath, a wave of warmness and fulfillment curdled knowingly in my stomach. I delicately placed the crane on an awaiting riptide and walked away, the sound of flowing waves rippling, leading the paper crane home.

School’s Name: International School of Penang (Uplands) Student’s Name: Yoonsong (Elizabeth) Choi Category: Secondary Organising Teacher’s Name: Ms. Kerry Organising Teacher’s Email Address:

Our Street

This was our street, Paula and I’s. It was narrow and lined with rough cobblestone blocks that had cracks and were crumbling in some places. Cramped tightly together were swollen brick houses and if you walked only a few meters ahead, numerous corner shops littered the land. Its ragged neon billboards would flicker on and off sporadically through the night, infringing on the night’s darkness before retreating again. There was little greenery except for an oddly placed oak tree that loomed over the dusty path. It would surrender its leaves to us every fall, its brittle foliage crinkling and crunching under our weight as we dived into them each morning.

We learned to ride our first bikes on this street. They were silver with gold stripes and glittery pink streamers that Paula’s sister helped attach so that they formed delicate ringlets that danced with the wind when we raced each other home from school. On rainy days, we would speed through puddles, purposely trying to splash each other until our mothers called us in for dinner. Hair plastered to our foreheads, mud staining the bottoms of our pants, and completely soaked to the bone, I still remember our mothers’ chastising tones that rang throughout the neighborhood as they took in our bedraggled states.

Every Thursday, we waited on the tight steps of our houses, keeping an ear out for the tinkling of the melody that signified the old man and his ice cream truck that he would

Secondary WINNER

haul around town, attracting the attention of ecstatic children that tugged relentlessly on the hands of their exasperated parents until they yielded. As soon as we caught wind of the soft tune, we would bolt up and follow the saccharine aroma of sugar and artificial flavoring that pervaded the air, clutching the coins we had collected throughout the week closely to our chests.

Captivated, we would watch the shovel dip into the container and glide smoothly across the semi-melted ice cream. 1 scoop, 2 scoops, not too cold so that we would have to nurse a brain freeze later but also not too warm so that it would immediately melt under the unforgiving afternoon sun; just perfect. Once we obtained our precious snack we would settle ourselves on the playground swings as sweat glistened on our foreheads, drinking in the scent of mellow vanilla and savoring the cold dessert that dissolved on our tongues.

In a flash, the ice cream would vanish from our hands, nothing left as evidence of its previous existence except for the sticky residue left behind on our palms and dripping down our chins onto the front of our shirts. Then, gripping the ropes of our swings, we would soar, ascending towards the sky while air whistled through our ears. “Higher, higher!” we would yell, getting closer and closer to the stars of tomorrow.

Paula used to say that she envied my hair. That she wished to have my long, pin-straight locks that fell flat on my back. However, I didn’t see the appeal. I thought it was limp and stubborn, never listening to combs and always falling out of rubber bands in annoying wisps. In my eyes,Paula’s hair was beautiful. Neither completely straight nor completely curly, an in-between that was so uniquely distinct in a sea of ordinary.

Memories are fickle. Sometimes they are painful, sometimes they invoke joy, sometimes they are so minuscule not even you can understand its significance. Some are

best remembered with others where you can laugh and cry, commemorating, reminiscing. Some are so treasured it feels like a violation to share it out in the open, as if you are broadcasting your most private and intimate moments for everyone to see. But we must remember, for time moves on and our memories will become the only testament in capturing our sorrows, our triumphs, our fears, and our flaws.

Though our faces have been changed by time and we now all walk different paths, let’s yell together, “Higher, higher!” soaring through the air once more, reaching, hoping, yearning for the warm embrace of yesterday, for shiny bikes, for air that smells of vanilla, for our street of comfort.

Gummy grins, plastic dolls. Higher! Yellow clouds, flushed cheeks. Higher! Growing up, growing apart, unspoken farewells. Alone. Faltering, hesitating, then plummeting from the pages of our memories.

If your students enjoyed last year's Short Story Competitons, then please take a look a this years events, open to students from years 3-13. All the posters are on the following pages:


Taipei European School (TES) hosted the first ever FOBISIA Poetry Competition this past spring to huge success! The competition was open to all participating FOBISIA schools, with two primary age groups: KS3 and KS4/5.

Initially inspired by the international community’s shared experience of being beset by the specter of Covid 19, the decided theme for the event was “Survival”. Participants were asked to cap their poems at 40 lines and to relate their poems in some way to the stated theme.

Ultimately, 31 FOBISIA schools from across the region participated in the competition. Competitors’ poems displayed a wide and inspiring range of thematic interpretations, extending far beyond that of solely surviving the pandemic.

The process of selecting winners was extremely difficult, as the pool of talent was so rich. The judging panel – which consisted of all TES secondary school English teachers – were looking for poems that exhibited not only excellent literary merit, but also originality and strong poetic voice. In the end, and after much backand-forth between the judges, 1st, 2nd and 3rd-place winners were selected for both the KS3 and KS4/5 age categories.

The 2022 FOBISIA Poetry Competition winners are as follows:

KS3 Age Category

1st Place: Kay’ien, Taipei European School, Taipei, Taiwan Poem: “What You’ll Never Know”

2nd Place: Ana, Bangkok Patana School, Thailand Poem: “Survival”

3rd Place: Yihan (Laura), Shrewsbury International School Riverside, Bangkok, Thailand Poem: “Survival”

KS4/5 Age Catgory

1st Place: Yoyo, Shenzhen College of International Education, China Poem: (untitled)

2nd Place: Saffron Anna, The British School, New Delhi, India Poem: “Survival”

3rd Place (tie): Timothy, Uplands International School of Penang, Malaysia Poem: “An Enamel Escape”

3rd Place (tie): Abigail, Taipei European School, Taipei, Taiwan Poem: “Thoughts Onboard a Plane”


KS3 1st Place

Kay’ien, Taipei European School, Taipei, Taiwan

What You’ll Never Know

My name is Charlotte, and tonight, I turn thirteen. I am Arya, and the world has lost its gleam.

With sleep burdened in my eyes,

With dust caking those who’ve died, I am facing the enemy; the constraint of time. Being alive feels like a sinful crime. Who cares if today’s another year of life? Hostility smothers the air; Ama’s clutching a knife, If I fail my finals, I won’t survive. She looks at me sternly, “We must survive.”

As a ripe adolescent, I have:

Spent countless hours suffocated by books, Been considered into marriage for my looks, A routine I committed to, but never understood. A routine I feared, but symbolized something “good”. Gazed outside in envy, as the children played, Memorized death by heart, whilst everyone prayed, “Don’t focus on them.” My mother says.

Yet the raspy sirens still resonate these days.

Today, things will change.

A chance to wallow in glory? I accept.

A possibility my brother will die? I decline. Put me on a pedestal, if my plan succeeds. We can’t make this escape if he bleeds. Rid my title as an ostentatious display, A country controlled by the devil’s play, Now, everyone will gawk upon my worth. Please bring hope, and let Syria rebirth.

I apologize for not batting an eye;

Tonight, aircrafts and screams pollute the sky;

It’s survival of the fittest: engraved here ‘til we die.

KS3 2nd Place Ana, Bangkok Patana School, Thailand


Ancient script, forgotten scrolls, patterns in the sand… Words and sounds, lost and found, Exploited for who I am.

Colonised, occupied, left to adapt or die... Conform, Westernise, Learn to write in lines!

Mother tongue lost forever, replaced with foreign slurs Take it slow, don’t shout at me Enunciate your verbs!

Your accents strange, your characters unfamiliar, You can’t spell or speak Are you some kind of imbecile?

You don’t get the joke, slow to the punchline Sarcasm is lost on you Seriously… speak English!

Fake smile and laugh, pretend to understand, Nod your head, don’t attract attention, Say nothing, blend in.

Will I survive this place and people?

Will this language I was born to survive?

The language of my Father and Fathers Father The language of my Mother and Mother’s Mother The language of my heritage, my history

My songs, my food and favourite things

My first loves and my heartbreaks

Bilingual, trilingual, a linguist and polyglot Clever and cultured, I can do the lot!

FOBISIA would like to extend a big thank you to all who participated in the 2022 FOBISIA Poetry Competition, and an extra congratulations to the winners!

KS3 3rd Place

What You’ll Never Know

Red strands bound around feeble bleeding hearts -

Severed by silver moonlight. An intrusion, corrupted bliss settling deep into festering wounds.

Unwound reality rotting into falsehood Promises, anchors with no weight The lyre sounds sweeter when dipped in honeyed lies.

Shattered thoughts draped with flowing jade, Words morph into whitenoise Rust creeping into unwary minds, carving lines up pearly skin.

Survival, no longer engulfed by the sea, fractal shores expanding, reaching for the unconquered distance.

Vivid velvet cloths drenched in morning dew, A petition to keep going Signed: you

Spilled blood, glass panes stained red. Close your eyes, worn leather inked with coffee stains

Jagged horizons of forlorn minds, Skyscrapers rebuilt, showing Curved edges of lost identities, The protective embrace of lost hearts. Clutching the remains of ruptured lives.

Stitching, sticking, sealing, Splinters of forgotten identities.

Forming you. Amalgamation of pain, Joy, life, Choice.

Woven stories cloaked, Beneath flaming skin.

Yihan (Laura), Shrewsbury International School Riverside, Bangkok, Thailand

KS4/5 1st Place

Yoyo, Shenzhen College of International Education, China (Untitled)

KS4/5 2nd Place

Saffron Anna, The British School, New Delhi, India


When you’re born a girl, Survival is an instinct.

I’m ten years old. This boy won’t stop making fun of me. “It’s because he likes you”, they said. Is cruelty an act of love?

I’m eleven years old. Walking home in my school uniform, And a man in a car whistles at me.

I’m confused.

I’m twelve years old. I’m going out for a meal with my friends. “Watch your drink,” I’m told. The oath which I am sworn to uphold.

I’m thirteen years old. Going out to buy vegetables, And I automatically find a jumper. It’s forty degrees.

I’m fourteen years old. This man, twice my age, Won’t stop staring at me. I look at the ground, heart pounding.

I’m fifteen years old. I’m wearing a tank top, And told to put on a jacket at school. How dare I wear something so revealing?

I’m sixteen years old. I cover up. I watch my drink. I never go to the bathroom alone. I don’t even go out by myself.

And yet, I am still harassed. I still get catcalled, I still get stares. I’m still scared to go out alone. And I’m one of the lucky ones.

I will fight for my survival, But why should I have to?

KS4/5 3rd Place (tie)

An Enamel Escape

Gummy bears and chocolate bars, Gobstoppers in round glass jars, I stuffed myself with sugared treats, Three meals a day I just had sweets, They partied in between my teeth, Above my gums and right beneath, I stopped to look inside my mouth; My dental health was heading South, Molars black; incisors yellow, Both subjected to too much jell-o.

“Open wide” the masked man cried, While in my mouth, he poked and pried, He shook his head in clear displeasure, Then rummaged through his tools of terror, Pointed scalpels, gleaming blades, Toxic cordials, ready-made, And then he flashed a pearly smile, One that would please a crocodile, “Let’s commence with an extraction” Then rubbed his hands in satisfaction.

I screamed so loud, it shook the earth, The pain I felt outdid childbirth, In my mouth, a gaping hole, I writhed about with no control, Vowing to take this man to court, I sent a prayer in last resort, The one above ignored my plea, Neglecting this poor amputee, Now deficient of one tooth, The public had to know the truth, This man and his reclining chair, They play no role in dental care, But rather, what they do to kids, Is something that we must forbid.

“Drink up now,” he said with glee, I seized the opportunity, Into his face, I spat the potion, Then fled the room in panicked motion. I’m fortunate to be alive,

With witty thinking, I survived.


KS4/5 3rd Place (tie)

Abigail, Taipei European School, Taipei, Taiwan

Thoughts Onboard A Plane

I am heading into the day wearing a skirt, my heart swooping everywhere too fast. I am in an airport. In a cabin. Inside a cigarette’s lungs, where it is dark and uncomfortable. Like doing yoga underwater, the current is mixing me around, meaning I don’t have to do much. Sitting there on the dusty polyester, I am reminded of a day, very long ago, when I had a bowl of noodles in front of me, slivers of meat dotted all throughout the chubby white tentacles, scallions and five spice mix tiptoed on top. Tossed together in a frantic jumble. Like worms in the earth, I squirmed with anticipation. It was a painfully cold winter. My hands were blue as a scissor and the islands seemed so far away. We relied only on faith to take us. Sitting in the heart. Someone breathes too hard, my mother wrenches my hand, too hard, again, to the side, if only for a moment. The passing. The salt. Realizing with a small forgiveness that the windows have blinked closed, and I might not make it off this plane. The ground wobbling like the crazed dance of a dying animal. I can’t quite reach the words when they’re this far away and this pink. A baby is crying, she might not make it off this plane either. She is frozen in time as a baby, and I’ve never held my breath for more than two minutes, much less forever. The drumming of the engine. The salted peanuts in my fist with the blue packaging and yellow trim crack open to reveal not rebirth, or a silver bird, but that my father’s glasses, too, are clattering to the ground and I see myself reflected back in the tender, breaking glass. I have one last thought: I never made up with my brother & I never told him I loved him & now he will never know. Two minutes all it would’ve took. They tell me to put my vest on. Telling us to breathe. Hold the life in front of you , this girlish small thing. Not to think about forever. The fog of the oxygen mask filling up my entire world. The hands in front of me wave blue in the air. Small whispers dancing through the floor. The air. The air! What a funny thought. Whose hands are they? I am asking all the wrong questions. Who will receive what I couldn’t? Who will pay my dues? It doesn’t really matter. They are mine to hold. Could be my brother’s, the dog’s, or even the plane’s, but it is all slipping away from me now, and my fingers might be numb but I am holding onto my parents, my mother’s sleeve and my father’s pant leg, so, so tight.





International School Brunei (ISB)

Jerudong International School Brunei (JIS)


Discovery Bay International School (DBIS)

Dulwich College Beijing (DCB)

Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong (DCS)

Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi (DCSPX)

Harrow International School Beijing (HISC)

Kellett School Hong Kong (KSHK)

Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong (NAIS)

Shenzhen College of International Education (SCIE)

Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong (SHK)

Suzhou Dulwich British International School

The British International School Shanghai, Puxi (BISSPX)

The British School of Beijing, Sanlitun (BSB SLT)

The British School of Beijing, Shunyi (BSB SY)

The British School of Guangzhou (BSG)

Wellington College International Hangzhou (WCIH)

Wellington College International Shanghai (WCIS)


Crescendo HELP International School (CHIS)

Eaton International School (EIS)

elc International School (elc)

Epsom College in Malaysia (ECiM)

Garden International School Kuala Lumpur (GISKL)

HELP International School, Kuala Lumpur (HIS)

Kinabalu International School (KIS)

King Henry VIII College (KH8)

Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar (KTJ)

Marlborough College Malaysia (MCM)

Nexus International School Malaysia (NISM)


Canadian International School, Bangalore (CIS)

The British School New Delhi (TBSND)


British School Jakarta (BSJ)


The British School in Tokyo (BST)


Haileybury Almaty (HBA)


Panyathip International School, Laos (PIS)


The British School Yangon (BISY)

Prince of Wales Island International (Primary) School, Penang (POWIIS Primary)

Prince of Wales Island International School, Penang (POWIIS)

Sri KDU International School (Kota Damansara) (SKIS)

Sri KDU International School (Subang Jaya) (SISJ)

St. Christopher’s International School, Penang (SCIPS)

St. Joseph's Institution International School Malaysia

Tenby Setia Eco Park (TSEP)

The Alice Smith School, Kuala Lumpur (KLASS)

The British International School of Kuala Lumpur (BSKL)

The International School @ Park City (ISP)

The International School of Penang (Uplands) (ISPU)


The English School of Mongolia (ESM)

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