Breaking News at BCIS! How Our Students Gain Essential Communication Skills

Breaking News at BCIS! How Our Students Gain Essential Communication Skills
Breaking News at BCIS! How Our Students Gain Essential Communication Skills

"No matter what you choose to do, you are going to need writing and communication, and it's going to be critical to your success in life," said Mike, the CEO of True Run Media, in a lecture with our Grade 10 students. Mike, who is the executive of the media company in charge of popular local news outlets like "The Beijinger" and "Jing", took time out of his busy schedule to deliver a great learning opportunity to our Secondary School students. His advice was helpful both to the writing they will do in English class and also extended to the communication they will need in their daily lives.

With decades of experience in journalism and editing, Mike is an expert at telling stories about the community around him. His work with the students was a great chance for them to learn how they can develop their own style of writing. How can they use their voices to share important stories with our school? BCIS offers many great opportunities for students to hone their communication skills, and to share their stories with others. These opportunities come both inside and outside the classroom. After meeting with Mike, our Grade 10 students will take what they learned and apply it to their own writing.

Our Secondary School values the importance of using "authentic assessment" to give our students transferrable skills they can use in the future. The Grade 10 students will be assessed as journalists in this unit, using the profound advice from Mike to create their own newspaper article. This activity also ties into our Secondary School's approach of "project-based learning". The students are currently studying a unit about "Tales of War" in which they study writing related to wars in history to practice their critical thinking, and creative writing skills. Several students explained that they have already gained valuable analytical skills by analyzing texts, posters, and news related to wars.

While the students in our Secondary School gain valuable transferrable skills in English class, they also have a myriad of opportunities to explore storytelling beyond the curriculum. One such opportunity comes in the form of one of the many great Enrichment Activities: "BCIS Editorial", where students create and share news from around the school with the greater community. This student-led activity empowers the members to gain practical experience writing, editing, and publishing news, and creates an amazing platform where our community can learn from our students.

Much like the reasons behind why Mike formed his media company, "BCIS Editorial" came from the desire to connect a community and share interesting and relevant information. "We felt that each grade was a bit disconnected, so we wanted to share interesting things going on with the whole school," explains Alison a BCIS alumni and one of the founders of the Editorial. Another of the founders, Henry, describes how the Editorial was a way for students to reach the wider community of parents, staff, and other students, saying, "Our original intention was to provide a platform for the community to understand the school from our students' perspectives."

Although it started small, with its members writing and publishing short news stories on things happening at the school, the EA soon grew into a large-scale media project. Members of the "BCIS Editorial" found various ways to create and share pertinent content, such as posting articles on a WeChat account and sharing fun interactive videos of interviews with teachers and students. Alison was thankful for the help she received from the teachers at BCIS in making this content, saying, "If we say we're from "BCIS Editorial", they'd be willing to help us and take time out of their schedules to interview with us." These short videos, which feature funny edits and candid conversations between students and teachers, were a hit among the BCIS community!

"What you do now in high school matters, but not in a way you realize or could possibly anticipate right now," our guest speaker Mike advises the Grade 10 students. Although not all our students will go on to be journalists, working on creative writing projects in their classes and EAs gives students important communication skills that they can apply and transfer to other aspects of their lives. Alison feels that she gained many important "transferrable skills" from working on the "BCIS Editorial", such as "writing and editing skills that [she] could transfer to university and work." Henry also explains that founding the student-led initiative gave him "self-confidence and patience." These traits are helping him to solve problems in his daily life and ones he may encounter in the future.

A variety of opportunities to develop essential communication skills is one of the many advantages BCIS students enjoy. Students will also be able to use those skills to pursue their passions in journalism and media. Working on EAs such as "BCIS Editorial" and attending presentations from industry leaders such as Mike are just some of the awesome activities our BCIS students get to actively take part in. After doing some critical thinking exercises with the Grade 10 students, Mike left them with some final advice. "If you want to be great at writing, just write, write, and write some more!" he said. Our students at BCIS, and those on the "BCIS Editorial" team will certainly continue to write and share their stories with the BCIS community!