BIS Principal's update 6th November 2014

Dear Parents,
After the initial disruptions to this school year school is almost back to normal. We have reverted to a five period day academic classes finishing at 2:35pm followed by after school activities until 3:35pm.  However, in order to save valuable class time a number of events are taking place on Saturday's this month:
·         Saturday 8th November  School Open House to which prospective students for the 2014-2015 academic year are invited with their parents to visit the school.  Between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm we will be running a series of talks, activities and question and answer sessions to give a flavour of life at BIS.

·         Saturday 15th November Parent teacher conferences. Teachers will be in New Horizons between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm to meet with parents to discuss pupil progress. Students may attend with their parents and are not required to wear school uniform it being a Saturday. In the run up to the end of term and the first examinations of the current year these meetings are crucial in setting the strategies to support each child's learning and academic performance.

·         Saturday 22nd November Annual Inter House Sports. 8:00 am – 12:30 pm. This is classed as a regular school day and all students are expected to attend in their PE kit and take part. Parents and friends of the school are most cordially invited to come along and watch the competition.

In addition to the above Saturday events the Parent Teacher Association of BIS  will be holding its Annual General Meeting in New Horizons on Wednesday 19th November at 8:00 am. All parents are most cordially invited to the AGM.  May we also remind parents of the need to pay the annual PTA levy, funds which are used by the PTA to support events throughout the school year. 
Last year the PTA ran a very successful Christmas Fayre at which funds were raised for the swimming pool project. This year the PTA is running a Food Fest to be held on Saturday 6th December. The Fest will include various food stalls, a number of trade outlets and games- more details to follow. Currently the PTA is raising funds to help us upgrade the ‘theatre’ facilities in New Horizons and we would encourage all to buy the raffle tickets for the draw that will be held at the Food Fest. Prizes are still being drawn together but a number of air tickets have already been secured.
If any member of the school community is willing to help with this project in any way please contact the Principal’s Office or the PTA directly.
With the upcoming PTA AGM this is a good time to say thank you to all who have been actively involved over the last year. Through their hard work and considerable generosity we have been able to add to the schools technology, in the coming weeks we will take delivery of 10 new lap tops to support the work of teachers,  and support a number of in school events. Without the support of the parent community in all its facets the learning environment in this school would be a much poorer place- again thank you all and we hope your support will continue.
We are delighted to announce that a room in the school's administration block has been set aside as a waiting room for parents. Newly decorated and furnished we hope parents visiting school and waiting to meet with teachers etc are able to enjoy this new facility. As the room is developed we hope to use it as a venue to display student work.
Unfortunately only small number of students registered to go on the Ski trip early next year and we have therefore postponed it. Any funds paid in will be refunded as no bookings were made. However, we hope to repeat last year's very successful trip to France and particularly Normandy. Should you be interested in your child taking part in this cultural trip please ensure Mrs Halstead receives your consent form and a deposit of GBP500 is paid into the accounts dept before Friday 14th November. This trip takes place next March/April but we must make our bookings early to secure places for our students. We also need as much time as possible to secure the necessary visas for entry into France.
After a good deal of planning and effort in fund raising the swimming pool project is now well underway. The walls of the changing rooms are up, a large hole has been dug and a good deal of the technical equipment is already on site. We look forward to opening this new facility at BIS in the early part of next year.
As you are aware the school is totally dependent on fees for its income and sadly we have had to chase a small number of parents to ensure that these are paid on time occasionally resorting to the threat of removing children from school for non-payment. This is the very worst part of my position here as head of school and something I would like to avoid if at all possible. I do apologise if we have asked for payment after it has been made and we hope that this can be avoided if all parties are kept fully informed. Nevertheless to ensure the viability and sustainability of our school it is a necessary task  and I hope all understand why such letters are issued.  It would be very remiss of me at this point not to say a huge thank you to the vast majority of parents here at BIS who ensure all fees etc are paid in a very timely manner.
Lastly may I say thank you for the many messages of condolences and support following the sad loss of Mr Baker. Please have a look at the tribute paid to Mr Baker in the next edition of the school’s student newspaper. It says it all.
Should you have any concerns with regard to school issues please feel free to contact my office.
With all best wishes

Mr. Peter Yates