The PYP Graduates of 2016!

IMG_2188We are very proud of our Grade 5 class, who graduated from the Primary Years Programme last week. This class will be remembered for their energy, larger-than-life personalities and great leadership of the Elementary School.

Dressed in suits and skirts, they certainly looked grown-up and ready to join the Secondary School! Mr Hawke reflected on their growth as problem-solvers. Chihiro (Grade 5) spoke about his personal journey as a language learner and the culture of caring at BISS. Dr Underwood explained the value of persistence for their future endeavours.

Most touching, were the students’ messages to each other. Each student acknowledged the way a classmate embodies a Learner Profile attribute.

And, with their final dance moves, we were reminded that this class is one-of-a-kind!

We will certainly miss you in the Elementary School, Grade 5. Congratulations on reaching this milestone in your education!


PYP Exhibition 2016

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What a powerful Exhibition! Grade 5 provoked us all to think about the Earth, our responsibility as humans, and the importance of conflict resolution.

We are extremely proud of their commitment, independence, collaboration, communication, and deep analysis of local and global problems related to Sharing the Planet.

Thanks to the whole ES teaching team for investing in this inquiry: Mr Hawke (Gr 5), Ms Jennifer (PYP Coordinator), Ms Vicky (EA), Mr Dopart (ESOL), Mr Mac (E-Learning), Wu Laoshi and Li Laoshi (Chinese), Miss Collins and Miss Tracy (Art), Miss Carolina (Music), Mr T. and Mr. Leo (PE), Ms Atkins (SS Drama), Ms Lara, Ms Inna, Ms Annie & Ms Bernadette (Mentors) …who ALL ensured that skills were honed and concepts explored at deeper & deeper levels, transcending schedules and subjects.

Through their presentations, performances & action, Grade 5 assured us that they are peace-makers, change-makers and custodians of a brighter, better planet.

And will we respond to their challenge?

BISS Tweets for Humanity

is the new LITERACY.  

In 2016, it’s not enough for our children to be able to read and write.

Effective communication is the ability to create of a powerful message AND project it to a global audience.

FullSizeRender 21At BISS, we teach students to create text in many forms (written, verbal, images, films). They learn to write accurately for different purposes, using rhetorical and persuasive devices, and applying contrast, balance and multi-media techniques to enhance their message. They learn to make decisions about “temporary & private” vs. “public & permanent”, by considering the content, audience and intent of their message.

We also teach students to use networking tools such as blogs, Twitter, WeChat, Facebook, Vines, Instagram. (Or more often, the children teach us!) Actually, the tool is not important. The digital landscape is ever-changing. By next year, this list will be different. Remember MySpace?

However, by embracing social media in our classrooms, we have a very important goal. We support students to build learning networks.

Read on about the power of connectivity for 21st Century learners.
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Student Leaders’ Spirits Soar

crazy hairThanks to our Gr 5 Student Leaders for organising Crazy Hair Day – a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate creativity, individuality and school spirit!

This is just one of many student-led initiatives, which make BISS a happy, united community of learning.

Look our for the Gr 5’s next leadership project: Lunchtime Safety Patrol!  Helpers and friends are headed our way!

The Power of Fun in Learning

IMG_4752“Fun is the genetic payoff of learning.” – William Glasser

At BISS, we take fun seriously. If you walk into any classroom, the joy will be palpable. You will see it the faces of students and the body language of teachers.

But let me be clear, fun is not synonymous with free time, unruliness or lowered academic standards.

To the contrary, fun at BISS means that joy is injected into daily learning experiences in planned, purposeful, challenging ways.

Why? Because fun increases brain activity and drives academic success.

Read on to find out more.
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On the road again…

DSC03803After months of planning, pre-visits, risk-assessments & purchasing… BISS students are on the road again! It’s the most exciting week of the year!

As I write this, there are 3 grades sleeping away from home, many classes off-campus at museums, art galleries & parks, and challenges such as hiking, farming & canoeing taking place.

Children are learning beyond the BISS campus, in the real world! They are taking risks, developing independence and forming deep friendships.


Read our BISS on the Road Philosophy to understand WHY we plan this transformative week.

Check out the homeroom blogs for photos & updates on each adventure!

Challenge + Courage = Confidence

IMG_4693-1lsr467-e1440866535250It’s Challenge Time at BISS and that means one thing – rock climbing!

Every day, young athletes scale the wall, using all their strength, flexibility and strategy to reach new heights.

Teachers and classmates cheer on the climbers, as they stretch, grasp and push to achieve personal bests.

Read on to find out why this challenging PE Inquiry is so important for our students.
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Have you done your homework?

DSC03592This is the question every child dreads.

Let’s talk about homework in the Elementary School!

At BISS, we make evidence-based decisions about the education of your child. Research confirms that hours devoted to traditional homework do not improve achievement in the elementary years.

In fact, too much homework (or the wrong kind of homework) is actually detrimental to academic progress, as it causes stress, reduces motivation and consumes precious time which should be spent on brain-boosting activities (such as reading, research, play and conversation).

Therefore, homework at BISS is not “busy work”. It should not take hours nor cause tears at bedtime. Read more about our goals, grade-level examples and tips for parents.
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A New Year of Learning!

IMG_9308What a wonderful week in the Elementary School!

We have been impressed by a great sense of calm, as students have quickly settled into routines and embraced learning with purpose and enthusiasm.

We are amazed by the growth, in both height and maturity, of our returning students across the school.

Read on for more news from our first week at school.

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