Keeping it Real: Authentic Math

FullSizeRender 59Authenticity is at the core of our practice at BISS, as we regularly design “real” learning experiences, instead of relying on hypothetical tasks or textbooks. In this way, our curriculum becomes relevant, complex and exciting.

Authenticity is often achieved by venturing off-campus to a professional industry (such as a medical lab – Gr 5, or an organic farm – Gr 3). We also utilise BISS experts (such as Mrs Burslem for experiments, or Mr Mac for robotics), and guest speakers (such as authors, doctors & professors, to connect their expertise to our inquiries). In Mathematics, children solve genuine problems (such as measuring the track – Kinder), rather than filling in worksheets.

Read on for the story of a wonderful “keep it real” math lesson!

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Jacqueline Harvey asks for ideas!

IMG_6622Jacqueline Harvey is working hard on her new book about Alice-Miranda in China. She is home in Australia doing lots of thinking, planning, writing and re-writing sections of the story.

And now…she needs some help!

Jacqueline Harvey would like to ask BISS students to be her consultants.

That means, she wants your ideas, to help her make decisions for the story.


Jacqueline Harvey says:  I’ve been writing about a Chinese family with the surname Wang. There’s a grandma, a grandpa, an eldest son and a youngest son (and the sons’ wives). They are a very good family, except one of the wives might be a baddie! The family owns an amazing Acrobatic Troupe in Beijing. In the story, they are going to sell the Acrobatic Troupe and use the money to open a school, just like BISS! The school will be called The Bright Star Academy.


  1.  Can you help me think of a fantastic name for the Acrobatic Troupe?  It can’t be The Beijing Acrobats. It has to be more exciting.  Can you think of a name that has something to do with stars? Are there any English or Chinese words that have a meaning related to stars? Can you suggest a name for the acrobatic troupe?

2. Do you have an Ayi? One of the children in my story will have an Ayi. Can you tell me how your Ayi helps you and your family?  What kind of relationship do you have with your Ayi?

If you’d like to give Jacqueline Harvey some ideas, please leave a reply.

Best-selling Author Visits BISS

IMG_6674Best-selling children’s book author, Jacqueline Harvey, visited BISS this week.

Her Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series have taken the world by storm. This week marks the 1 millionth copy sold of Alice-Miranda at School and the launch of a television series.

A talented presenter and former teacher, she captivated our students with hilarious tales of her childhood and career. She encouraged all children to be storytellers who embrace feedback to improve their own writing.


Read on for more pictures, video and news from her exciting visit!

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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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While you were gone…

BISS teachers spent the whole day learning!


Dylan Wiliam is a leading researcher and author in education. His current world tour started today, right here at BISS! 125 teachers gathered to listen, learn, discuss and reflect on how to become better teachers for our students.

Dylan Wiliam explored the challenges of educating students for an unknown future. He focused particularly on the power of formative assessment to improve teaching (and student achievement), through engagement and responsiveness.

Read on to see Ms O’Dwyer’s highlights from a BIG day of thinking.
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Welcome to BISS!

Welcome!  Your family is now part of an eIMG_9009xceptional learning community. At BISS, you will find a place to grow, a place to connect and a place to belong.

Here, each child is known by name and celebrated for the unique talents they bring to our school.

We aim to instill in every student a sense of confidence, a yearning for knowledge and a love of learning that extends far beyond their elementary years.

Read on to learn more about our educational philosophy and priorities at BISS.

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