Did You Know


"Did You Know" Series: Part 1

At BCIS, we recently started a tradition of sharing information with our community through a series titled, "Did You Know?" Staff members have begun to contribute both interesting facts and anecdotes about our school. For the first part of our series, Mr. Allen Lambert, Director of Communications, focuses on the BCIS mission. Please read further to learn more.

Did you know that the BCIS Mission is intended for parents, as well as staff and students? It is.That's why we ask parents from their first meeting in the admissions process about how they live the mission. Then, we revisit the mission again and again through our publications, workshops, and parent visits to the campus. It is our hope that all members become a meaningful part of our BCIS Community and take the mission to be compassionate, inspired, challenged, and empowered to work for the good of all into their hearts and deeds. After all, we believe our parents really do love the BCIS mission and choose BCIS for their children because they want to see these same values instilled into their children's lives.

Recently at our Family Picnic and Movie Night, I was standing by the gate as most of our parents entered for the evening. I was touched by the way they smiled and greeted me, as well as each other. Some were met by Ayis or delivery men bringing their picnics for them. I watched as they treated these individuals with care and respect. Some parents even handed their children to the guards, as they arranged their packages, who smiled and played with the delighted children. Later, in the gym, I saw that the families really enjoyed each other's company, with the adults happily chatting and the children playing together. At the end of the film, there was also almost no clean up needed, as each family took care of their own area. When we shared that the profits from the blankets on sale went to the Help A Child Smile organization, several families stepped up to buy one.

By seeing parents live the mission, the staff and faculty are always inspired to continue and promote the vision that each of us shares, to see our students grow up as caring, inspired individuals who work for the good of all. We thank our community members for being such good role models for us. We will continue to support our BCIS family in this good work.

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"Did You Know" Series: Part 2

The importance of Keeping It Engaging, Relevant, Challenging, and Significant

By: Alan Cox, Early Childhood Principal

At BCIS, we recently started a tradition of sharing information with our community through a series titled, "Did You Know?" Staff members have begun to contribute both interesting facts and anecdotes about our school. For the second part of our series, Mr. Alan Cox, Early Childhood Principal, shares some of the behind-the-scenes action regarding our school's policies, procedures, and curriculum. Please read further to learn more.

With regular visits to the school, social media platforms, or online portfolios, one will note how often teachers change and update the learning experiences available to the students. Through regular formative assessments, teachers evaluate and modify their plans to ensure that resources presented stimulate and provoke learning amongst the students. And while it is easy to see these revisions take place within the school's physical learning environments and the learning activities your children participate in, parents may not be aware that a similar process takes place with the school's policies, procedures, and documented written curriculum – ensuring that learning experiences for all remain engaging, relevant, challenging, and significant.

Considered best practice, the Council of International Schools (CIS) recommends that the school's

a) policies and associated operational procedures are embedded in practice, consistently implemented, effectively communicated, widely understood by faculty, staff, parents, and students where applicable, and subject to regular and systematic review.

(Domain B: Governance, Leadership and Ownership, Standard 8)

b) curriculum review process is informed by contemporary research and through networking with leading international practices in order to address students' changing needs.

(Domain C: The Curriculum, Standard 6)

Developed by BCIS, our curriculum documents are reviewed using different national curriculums from America, Australia, the United Kingdom, and China. Each of these subject scope and sequence documents are reviewed on either a two-year or three-year cycle, which allows us to ensure our documentation is current and relative to what is happening around the world and reflective of children's needs.

Likewise, our school-based policies and procedures which reflect the school's educational philosophy, as well as bring consistency and clarity to school operations, are also regularly reviewed:

Language Policy - reviewed every three years

Assessment Policy - reviewed every three years

Academic Honestly Policy - reviewed every three years

Teacher Appraisal Policy - reviewed every three years

IT Responsible Use Policy - reviewed every three years

Child Protection Policy - reviewed annually

Health & Safety Procedures - reviewed annually

University Guidance Policy - reviewed annually

Teacher Handbook - reviewed annually

Parent-Student Handbook- reviewed annually

And though such changes, updates, and reviews are not as visible to parents, doing so is an important part of ensuring that BCIS remains dynamic and continually improves over time.

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"Did You Know" Series: Part 3

We Are Lifelong Learners

The BCIS mission is to challenge and empower students to be compassionate and inspired people, who act for the good of all and for the sustainable development of the world.

At BCIS, we strive to create the safest and most comfortable learning environment not only for our students, but also for our entire faculty. As we highly value our students as learners, we also value our teachers and staff members as lifelong learners. That is why we support everyone to be well-informed of international trends and research in education to grow as a professional by proactively seeking to improve their expertise in their respective areas. In order to facilitate this, we regularly hold "Professional Development" (PD) days. We recently held two productive and interesting PD days where the entire faculty learned from each other and outside consultants to expand our professional goals, as well as plan for a successful future.

As the third part of our current series titled, "Did You Know?" Ms. Sally Richmond, Elementary School Principal, shares in-depth knowledge regarding our staff's professional development. Please read further to learn more.

Did you know the ways we empower our teachers through professional development?

The BCIS Philosophy is a very important part of our lives at BCIS and both students and teachers strive to live and learn through it. 文 Wén is the first part of this philosophy and it has been unpacked further to allow to gain a greater understanding of its meaning.

Wén

  • curiosity, seeking understanding and enjoyment of lifelong learning
  • academic achievement, physical well-being, and personal success
  • knowledge developed from diverse perspectives
  • awareness and understanding of local and global issues

As you will have noticed, the first line states: curiosity, seeking understanding and enjoyment of lifelong learning. We believe that every person in the BCIS community should strive to be a lifelong learner.

We are very lucky that the school board places strong emphasis on teachers remaining lifelong learners, working to improve their knowledge of current practice and always looking for ways to gain a better understanding of their own teaching and the ways in which students learn in the classroom.

When we think of professional development as teachers, there is sometimes the assumption that we need to leave the BCIS campus to find experts in different fields. Whilst this is an important part of what we do, there is a much bigger pool of human resources within our own four walls. At BCIS, we provide professional development for our teachers through:

Professional Learning Communities: Groups read a professional book together, meet regularly, and have discussions about what they have learned, how it may impact student learning, and what is needed in order to facilitate this learning. This takes place over several weeks.

Professional Ponderings: A small group of teachers meet together to discuss an article, a video, or a podcast which leads to conversations about how student learning could be adapted or changed for the better. These are often short meetings (two hours or less) and provide information which can often be applied immediately to a teacher's repartee.

Observations: Teachers are encouraged to go and watch each other; to go and watch someone teach a different class in a different grade level or even a different division. We have recently had October Observations in which teachers, teaching assistants, administration, and other faculty members were encouraged to go out and visit a different class at least twice during the four-week period.

Teachers Teaching Teachers: Our school is full of experts in different areas that are on-site and can offer short training sessions on anything, from the app "Seesaw" and linguistics to using the MakerSpace.

Article Sharing: Each division has either a daily or weekly bulletin which all faculty members read. Links to useful articles in online journals, educational magazines, or blogs are often shared this way. There have also been a number of teachers from BCIS that have had articles shared in a variety of online places.

In-house Professional Development: An outside consultant is brought into school for a period of time to work with a larger group of teachers, provide model classes for teachers to watch, and work with teams to plan and implement new ideas.

External Professional Development: There are some requirements placed on an IB school for teachers and administrators to have regular professional development from IBO certified trainers. In addition to this, there are a number of different companies that provide expert training, which teachers are invited to attend as well.

Professional development often, but not always, challenges teachers' previous thinking, inspiring them to consider a different way of completing something in their classroom or helping to them to gain a deeper knowledge of the students they teach. It helps them to stay up to date with current trends and methods of working. It helps them to understand the many different ways in which students learn. It allows them to remain lifelong learners and, above all else, it helps them to help your child reach their full potential.

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"Did You Know" Series: Part 4





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"Did You Know" Series: Part 5



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