Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Friends of BST,
Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire.
Elgar, Parry and Blake would have been impressed by the rousing rendition of Jerusalem, which concluded a fantastic Summer Concert in Hitomi Hall last night. Such a fitting crescendo to the concert and the School year. This was the first time the Summer Concert had taken place since June 2019, and the recently renovated concert hall was a marvellous setting for its glorious return. I challenge anyone in the audience not to have been impressed by the quality and range of performances - a parallel to the "Last Night of the Proms" at the Royal Albert Hall was manifest for all to see.
Thank you to everyone who participated and in particular to BST's fantastic Music Department (Ms Casey, Mr Drew, Mr Musson, Mr Knill, Ms Goto, and the peripatetic team) under the leadership this year of Mr Simon Beston. Congratulations, of course, to all the students who performed and contributed superbly. Each one was outstanding, and we are very proud of them.
A sense of pride was also on show at BST's inaugural Primary (Year 4-6) and Secondary Award Ceremonies earlier in the week. The Awards touched on various areas of school life, including curriculum subjects, extra-curricular participation, wellbeing, school values, and attributes of the BST Learner Profile and the BST Way. The ceremonies celebrated achievement and success, recognition of targets, goals obtained, and progress made. I speak on behalf of the school community when I state that we are immensely proud of all the award winners.
We are also proud of all BST's students. Their brilliance is recognised daily, and in the coming years, there will be opportunities for all students to receive awards at the annual Award Ceremonies. Students who did not receive an award this week are equally stellar and their contributions to the School have not gone unnoticed or unvalued this year.
Board of Trustees and Senior School (Year 12 and Year 13) Curriculum Review
This week The Board of Trustees met for the last time this year. The meeting included a discussion about finance, well-being data in Primary and Secondary, the School's development agenda, The Annual Fund, facilities, and the Year 12/13 curriculum review. I will be hosting several forums reviewing our A Level provision and international curricula next year. I will write to all parents about the review and discussions at the start of Term 1.
Today marks the end of this summer's external examinations series, with A-level Computer Science the last to be sat by students. This examination session was the first to be completed in its entirety since the summer of 2019. Students in both Year 13 and Year 11 have responded incredibly well, and I hope they enjoy the upcoming holiday as they wait with anticipation for their results in August. Thank you to the School's examinations officer Ms Honda for administrating the IGCSE and A-Level examinations so professionally. Also, a huge thank you to Ms Woods for leading the School's response to the examinations this year and over several challenging years. Ms Woods, as you know, is leaving BST this summer, and we will always be grateful to her for her outstanding leadership in this area of the School's provision. I know students, parents and staff alike are incredibly thankful for her efforts.
Best wishes to all the students participating in this weekend's international symposium involving BST, Showa Women's University (SWU) and Temple University Japan (TUJ). This is the second year for the symposium to occur, indicating the ever-closer ties between BST and the universities. Also, an indication of the capability of BST students as tomorrow they will be debating undergraduates on the themes of sustainability and environmentalism.
Parent Teacher Association Chairperson
Finally, I wanted to express the School's sincere thanks to Gabriela Mandrea, who steps down as Chair of the PTA at the end of this term. Gabriela has been outstanding in her role throughout the last three years. A passionate advocate for the school community, Gabriela has devoted her time to ensuring the PTA's success and supporting opportunities for the entire BST community. Gabriela's calm and pragmatic approach has been invaluable during the tough days of the pandemic when large social gatherings were impossible. As a result, she has ensured that the PTA has "weathered the storm" and is more robust than ever. Gabriela will remain part of The Committee and support the new Chairperson, Naomi Iwase.
Best wishes for the weekend.