BIS Principal's Newsletter 18th April 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are pleased to welcome everyone back for the third and final term of the academic session and extend a particular welcome to new families who have joined us.

We have just held our calendar committee meeting for this term and the online calendar will be updated very shortly. Please note the following items which are important in the short to medium terms.

Swimming Pool Update
I am very pleased to report that a huge amount of work has been going on with the pool and that we hope to be using it shortly. At the time of writing the water is being tested for the balance of its chlorine levels and all of the pumping mechanisms are working perfectly. The paving around the edge of the pool has been upgraded and we are now following official guidelines in terms of pool management and health and safety. We have almost completed the process of appointing the relevant staff in terms of pool manager, lifeguards, instructors and technical operatives.

During the course of this week, we will be writing to parents individually requesting background information on the swimming ability of our students. From there, once the pool is fully operational, each child will be individually screened as to his or her current level and potential. The completion of this form is essential to our preparation and no child will be able to participate in swimming until it has been completed and returned. In addition to the pool being used in PE classes, it will also be used for separate Lower and Upper School swimming co-curricular activities as well as training for our swimming team. It has been a long journey, but the end is in sight!

CAT 4 Testing
Last Tuesday we were delighted to welcome Mr Matthew Savage to BIS to talk about the use of data in guiding learning, teaching and pupil progress and in particular a baseline testing method known as CAT 4. Matthew is a renowned practitioner in this field and as well as holding a training session with our heads of department, he met with a group of parents and a group of students. Some twenty Year 8 BIS students had trialled the tests in school last term.
CAT 4 is a battery of tests that identify aptitude and potential in terms of student learning. Alongside these tests students also undertake a survey aimed to identify their attitude to learning. The reports generated from these tests are delivered in appropriate language to students, parents and teachers and form a strong basis for the learning process as it goes along, encouraging both debate and reflection. Progress tests at the end of each year show how well students have done in relation to their potential and helps in our analysis of the effectiveness of teaching.

I am pleased to announce that we will be adopting CAT 4 as a key part of the educational process here at BIS. More detailed information will follow in due course.

Leavers' Ceremony
Our leavers' ceremony for Year 11 students who are about to take their IGCSE examinations will take place on Friday 29th April. All parents of Year 11 students are cordially invited to this very special event which marks a significant turning point in their school career. Parents are asked to arrive at the school at 12.30 pm for a 1.00 pm start. The ceremony will take place in New Horizons with a reception for leaving students and their parents afterwards.

Successful Alumni
It is always nice to celebrate the successes of former students. This week we heard from Ridley College in Canada where two BIS alumni, Bolade Fatade and Mohammed Musa have done very well and gained entry to some outstanding universities.

Mohammed has won a Dean's Admission Scholarship to Queen's University as well as an award as outstanding international entry scholarship to UBC. 
Bolade has gained admission to Carnegie Mellon, the University of Toronto and Boston University. We are very proud of both of them.

With best wishes for a good week in prospect,
Yours sincerely,
 Howard Bullock.