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!


BISS Baby coming soon!

BISS BabyA baby bump is certainly a provocation for inquiry! BISS students have watched Wu Laoshi’s pregnancy with growing fascination. In the final week, Grade 3 asked thoughtful questions about her new role as a mother. This dialogue is part of a year-long inquiry into celebrations. Guided by Ms Bernadette, students have studied celebrations of meaning to the class in real-time, including Chinese New Year, Diwali and Thanksgiving. Stay tuned here for conceptual understandings and culminating reflections.

Best wishes, Wu Laoshi!  We have enjoyed celebrating this milestone with you, and can’t wait to meet the newest member of our BISS community!

PYP Exhibition 2016

Ex 2

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?

Crime Scene Investigation Beijing

IMG_22421 crime. 4 suspects. 24 diligent detectives.

This is the case of the missing gingerbread men.

Last week, Grade 2 was outraged to discover that their baking had been stolen.

The thief left a footprint and carelessly dropped a few items, such as a scarf, coins and glasses. Clearly, the thief was in a hurry to flee the scene!  Grade 2 quickly went to work. They photographed and bagged each piece of evidence, wrote detailed descriptions and inferred meaning from each clue.

For example, from one footprint, Kurtley inferred that the thief was an adult (after measuring the print’s length and width, and comparing it to her peers’ shoes), estimated the time of the crime (based on the dampness of the print), and made an informed prediction about the type of shoe and likely gender of its owner (based on the shape of the sole).

Read on to find out who committed the crime, how it was solved and most importantly…WHY all this drama is so powerful in education!
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Living the Learner Profile

The IB World Magazine asked us a great question last week!

 How do students exercise the IB Learner Profile in their daily lives?

635805098819177846The Learner Profile is a set of 10 attributes, which underpin all three programmes (PYP, MYP, DP). In IB schools, students strive for these as they develop into “internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardian of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world” (IB mission statement).


BISS students had no problem answering the editor’s question! Without hesitation, they launched into rich dialogue about how they “live” the Learner Profile every day.

 Read on for their interview responses!

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The Curiosity Curriculum

DSC04037Children are innately curious! From birth, they watch, listen, taste and touch the world around them. As oral language develops, toddlers ask up to 300 questions per day.

At BISS, we capitalise on curiosity by keeping questions at the centre of our curriculum. Children stay motivated as their own wonderings drive personally relevant learning at school.


In each Unit of Inquiry, students’ questions direct the teacher’s preparation of resources, content and experiences. The teacher guides skill development and broader conceptual understanding; however, children retain great control over the direction, depth and diversity of content they explore.

Read more about the curiosity explosion in Grade 3 this week!

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