Have you met Simon?

IMG_3755This Grade 3 student can solve Rubik’s Cubes of all sizes, shapes and complexities in seconds.

His talent amazed and delighted his friends, when he demonstrated it as part of a home learning task. Since then, Simon has taught patterning, logic, algorithms and manual dexterity to his classmates so they, too, have become successful 3D puzzlers.

Mathematics is a child-centred, diverse and always engaging experience in Grade 3! Thanks Simon and Ms Bernadette!

BISS Has Talent

BHT collageAnd the winner is… confidence!

An unprecedented number of performers (52 in total!) took to the stage this year. Children aged 2 – 12 made us laugh, cry and cheer, as they shared talents of singing, dancing, piano, and even magic! It was especially wonderful to listen to Tian Yi (Gr 3) and Haiku (Gr 5) play traditional Chinese instruments.


Unlike many talent contests, there was NO winner. This event is non-competitive by design, to encourage risk-taking, creativity and expression. While it is important for children to experience winning and losing, competition is better placed in activities which provide opportunities to reflect, repeat and improve. Our Chess, Robotics and Basketball ASAs allow children to strive week after week to improve their skills in competitive situations. Instead, BISS Has Talent is a celebration of students’ passions and performance skills. It is an opportunity for children to choose to participate and shine on their own terms. This autonomy was evident in Eric’s (Gr 3) blog reflection. Take a moment to read about this exciting event through the eyes of a student!

Flashlight Reading – just for fun?

IMG_3337 2Last week, 150 children, aged 2 – 12, cuddled up for BISS’ Biggest Read-In. With pillows plumped, lights out and flashlights focused – the reading began!

Sounds like fun, right?!  It certainly was!

But was there a point? An educational purpose? Did they learn anything?  Yes!

This event sent several memorable messages about literacy. Read on to understand our purpose.
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She’s back!

                                                                     Jacqueline Harvey’s Virtual Visit


Random House Australia

Four months ago, best-selling author Jacqueline Harvey travelled to Beijing to conduct research for her next book, Alice-Miranda in China. She made a special visit to BISS, where the children shared their experiences of life in China, and suggested plotlines for her next story.

This week, Jacqueline Harvey checked in via Skype to share her progress. She showed her half-finished manuscript (already over 100 pages!), explained her gruelling schedule (7am – 6pm on writing days), and read funny excerpts aloud. We were among the first people in the world to access this sneak preview!

Read on for more details of her virtual visit. (Original image from Random House Australia).

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Student-Led Conferences


Peek into Grade 1A! Photo credit: Annie Madigan

This week, we marvelled at reflection, responsibility and independence, as teachers sat back, parents leaned in, and children took charge of assessment in the PYP!

With parents in tow, students from Pre-K to Grade 5 conducted conferences about their growth as learners. They shared  portfolios, as well as authentic inquiry experiences from daily life at school. Math investigations, writing activities, coding, blogging and even drumming ensued. BISS was buzzing with proud children sharing what it means to be an ever-improving learner.

Thank you, parents, for listening, asking questions, and affirming your child’s reflections. We hope you gained insight into their developing knowledge, understandings, skills and attitudes.Thank you, BISS teachers, for facilitating such a successful day of reflection.