End of Year
End of Year
Looking back over a whole school year at BBIS, it should make us proud of what we achieved as a community. Both academically but also in all other aspects of school life, we experienced growth. It is not just quantity (like offering more subjects and events, which we did) but also quality that made a difference. It is impossible and would be unfair for those who missed out, if we tried to list everything.
The number of families leaving due to dissatisfaction with the BBIS services is as low as leaving staff - amongst whom we have the smallest group in many years who seek new employment: five (or 5%). So, the rumours that 40 teachers are leaving are simply unfounded...
Of course, students move on as families are posted somewhere else. We will officially say farewell on Wednesday from 13:30 in our last whole school assembly in the Sports hall. You are welcome to join us on the balcony when we wrap up the year.
The annual summer mailing will go out once I am in a position to comment on the IB CP/DP results, which we expect for 6 July.
One task the director has for you as parents is to fill in the annual feedback questionnaire. This is essential for us to monitor satisfaction rates and generally discover trends in opinions. It is totally anonymous but you are of course are invited to see me directly with observations, positive and critical remarks etc.
We aim for at least 50% of our families to participate (currently we have about 25% in); here is the link to the questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.de/r/LZNBXNG
Wishing you a happy, relaxing summer,
In a recent World Economic Forum report, it was stated that an estimated 65 percent of students entering school today will have jobs that do not yet exist. For us as educators, this raises the question of how we prepare our students for the future and how relevant our approaches to learning at BBIS are.
We know that certain skills, like finding, analysing and solving problems are key to being successful. Looking back at our school year, I would like to highlight some of the great moments of learning that illustrate how we are moving in the right direction.
This year, secondary students interviewed students and teachers in the primary school to find out what new “hardware” they would like to introduce in their classrooms. After analysing their needs, the students designed shelves and other useful furniture for them. They were very proud that the designs they had developed filled a need and that the primary students were so happy to have them.
Designing projects with a real purpose is an approach that is particularly evident in our grade 10 students’ many excellent Personal Projects. One student came up with the idea to store wind energy overflow in individual people’s homes, and then registered his idea as a patent. Another student taught girls how to code as part of a campaign to encourage more young women to think about a career in software design. We believe that allowing students to follow their passions by creating their own projects is a great way to learn and to help them identify problems that are worth solving.
Learning how to Learn
In the past year, we continually encouraged our students to analyse their thinking processes in relation to real life projects. In one instance involving the language and arts classes in grade 7, students created a Living Art Museum for the BBIS community, which explored painters’ personalities, techniques and cultural contexts in a way that was engaging for all. In another project with the Charité University Hospital in Berlin, grade 8 and 9 students had the opportunity to experience how scientists work and research diseases with the aim of finding cures. And in an interdisciplinary project in grade 8, students collected data during fitness tests in PE, which they analysed in Mathematics to formulate conclusions about their fitness levels. Then, together with their peers and PE teachers, they came up with a plan of how to improve their fitness, based on the analysis.
Collaborating with Others
Engaging or working with people who have different perspectives and finding ways to collaborate, is another important skill we want to develop in our students. At BBIS, students from more than 65 different nationalities are used to learning how to listen to each other and to work together every day. Projects like the Model United Nations unit allow our students to also think about global challenges, like child labour or environmental issues, and to present solutions. As part of the MUN project, our grade 7 students even skyped with Dr. Salah Hussein Mandil, former Director of Telemedicine at the WHO.
Throughout this school year, our students have had many very varied activities and fantastic learning opportunities, whether they were related to their musical, athletic, or artistic talents; academic interests; or other passions they have developed and explored.
I would like to thank all of you for all your ongoing support, I look forward to seeing some of you during our last assembly next Wednesday!
Between end-of-year concerts, saying goodbye to some of our classmates and preparing for our final assembly for the year it's been a little hectic to say the least. But when looking back at the year it's incredible to realize how much we have accomplished together. I have put together my thoughts on the past school year and you can read them in full here. It's been a wonderful journey thus far and looking forward to seeing you again in August.
Have a fantastic summer!
.....well, not quite yet.
While the end of a school year can be perceived as a time when things slow down and become less frantic, this would be a MIS-conception. Actually, it is the opposite. While one year is ending, with all the busy-ness that entails, planning for the next one is in full swing at the same time.
While it is true that half of our IBDP and IBCP cohort has departed with the graduation of Grade 12, even as recently as last week their presence was well and truly felt, and celebrated, through the annual Graduate Show. This year saw a performance of Grease and the talented cast of actors and singers performed to a packed house. It provided a wonderful, lasting, memory.
Given that the IBDP and IBCP are two-year programmes, the Grade 11 students have continued to work steadily, and significant work such as the draft of the Extended Essay, has to be submitted before the summer break if there is to a be smooth, relatively stress-free start to the new academic year for these students.
It has not all been work, however. Last week the Sports Awards evening was held at which we celebrated the participation and sporting prowess of BBIS teams and individuals along with being able to show our appreciation for the coaches and parents’ support for this highly valued aspect of school life. While we did not take away the GISST Trophy this year, we did place a very commendable second.
With the whole BBIS community, we enjoyed the annual Summerfest on Saturday, changeable weather conditions notwithstanding.
This week has seen Spirit Week, with enthusiastic involvement by at least some of the students and last night the final music soiree for the year was held.
And so, we rush headlong towards the last day for students on Wednesday.
School reports will be made available for viewing on Managebac on Friday afternoon (23 June) and formal, paper copies will be handed to the students after the final assembly on Wednesday.
It is the nature of international schools that faculty and staff tend to come and go as they seek experiences across the word. Farewell and grateful thanks to the following colleagues as they leave BBIS for a range of global destinations:
Jean Paul Danko; Carmen Montaraz; Jeremy Kopkas; Dagmar Kappel; Mark Bolivar; and Frederick Zalloua (on exchange from Sydney).
My sincere thanks to the whole Secondary IBDP / IBCP team of faculty and support staff for their dedicated work again this year.
I thank you for your continuing support this year and wish you all the very best for an enjoyable and safe summer holiday. I look forward to seeing you, ‘bright-eyed and bushy-tailed’, at the beginning of the next academic year.