Principal's Message

Principal's Message - Term 2A Week 2
Paul Tough

Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Friends of BST,

"Don’t stop movin' to the funky funky beat” – S Club 7

Fragments of the same 1990s pop song have been repeating in my mind all this week rather than the usual eclectic mix of genres. Not that I have ever been a devotee of the 1990’s British pop group, but S Club 7’s popular lyrics seem to capture the school’s feel and mood over the last seven days. Indeed, there have been countless examples of dynamic, challenging and above enjoyable learning taking place every day this week. Highlights have included Year Five’s excellent Viking Assembly, Year Three’s reciprocal visit to Tokyo Jogakkan and a sneak peek of the Secondary Production, The Addams Family. It has also been a busy week of sporting competition with BST teams involved in various hockey, football and basketball games. While this weekend BST primary and secondary students are representing the school at the annual Harrow Sevens Tournament in Bangkok. Indeed the vibrancy of the school at the start of term augers well for the year ahead.  

The theme of school pride has also been prominent this week with school uniforms in the spotlight. It was pleasing to see the response of our students to the heightened focus upon school uniform expectations. As noted in my email to parents on Wednesday, we will be extenuating every opportunity to show pride in our school moving forward this year. As such, I passionately believe that wearing a smart and presentable uniform not only promotes a sense of pride but also engenders a sense of community and belonging towards the school. Additionally, as I have previously noted, the BST uniform distinguishes students in and around the city; as such, the BST uniform should be a representation of the school's high expectations and standards. Thank you, therefore, for your support in this endeavour. 

Continuing with the theme of pride I’m delighted to make you aware that the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) has accepted BST’s application for membership and will be sending representatives of its Executive to the school in April to ensure that we meet the necessary criteria. Following the visit, we hope to have our membership confirmed relatively quickly and as a result, the school will be able to access the countless opportunities provided by the organisation for students and staff. More information on FOBISIA and its benefits for BST is available at the following link: https://www.fobisia.org/

I think we would all agree that reading is such a strong feature of BST school life and as a result, we are aiming over the next 12 months to refresh and enhance the primary library environments at both Shibuya and Showa campuses. Starting with the Shibuya library this year, the intention is also to ensure the library space becomes more accessible and available for children to use independently, in small groups or as a class. The PTA Committee will be supporting Mr Steven and the Primary Leadership Team with this exciting development. With this in mind, I am pleased to let you know that the PTA Committee has generously agreed to focus their fundraising efforts for this year on the Shibuya library enhancement project. 

Finally, a reminder that I will be hosting a series of interactive workshops for parents on the “Why of BST” later this half term. The purpose of these sessions will be to evaluate the school’s existing guiding statements, including BST’s mission, vision and goals. If you intend to join the sessions, please sign-up using the following link. http://bit.ly/feb2020forum

Best wishes for the weekend.

Paul Tough

Principal

Principal's Message - Term 2A Week 1
Paul Tough

Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Friends of BST,

Happy New Year and welcome to the new term after what I hope was an enjoyable winter break for everyone with friends and family.

I’m anticipating an extremely positive start to the new term with staff and students once again enthusiastically engaged in teaching and learning across the school.

I am also incredibly optimistic about the year ahead. We are all fortunate to be part of a fantastic school, and I’m confident that the school community will continue to support our efforts to make BST the best it can be.

The term has started at pace with BST staff involved in a productive day of professional training on Monday, new students starting classes on Tuesday, the School Advisory Committee meeting for the first time this calendar year on Wednesday and a successful Fire Drill taking place at the Shibuya campus on Thursday.

This week also marks the beginning of the various winter experiences for the students in Secondary with the first ski and snowboard weekend taking place under the capable leadership of Mr John Morris and Mrs Nora Yamada.

The term ahead also promises to be very busy with highlights such as the Spring Fair, Book Week, the Secondary Production and various other winter residential in Primary and Secondary.

Building on the success of last term’s parent forums and as the next step in the school’s development, I will be hosting this term a series of interactive workshops for parents on The 'Why?' of BST. The purpose of these sessions will be to evaluate the school’s existing guiding statements, including BST’s purpose, mission, vision and goals. I would be delighted to see as many parents in attendance as possible. If you would like to join one of the sessions, please sign-up using the following link: bit.ly/feb2020forum.

The School’s teacher recruitment process for 2020 is well underway. We have already received many excellent applications for teaching positions in both Primary and Secondary phases. The Leadership Team will be interviewing shortlisted candidates over the coming weeks. We will make you aware of the outcome and appointments in due course. 

Finally, I wanted to make you aware that this week as school staff, we are celebrating the contribution made by our colleague, Emi Kubota, to BST. Emi is the recipient of a BST long service award following an outstanding contribution to our Showa Admin Team and as Primary Receptionist. The School’s Administrative and Business Teams are the unsung heroes of the school, as their work is often unnoticed and takes place behind the scenes. Nevertheless, without their endevaour, the school would not function. BST is a thriving school community due to the contribution made by many people in many different ways and I’m happy that we can start the new term by recognising the invaluable work of our staff and their dedication to all things BST.

I hope you all have an excellent start to the year. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the above.

Best wishes for the term ahead.

Paul Tough

Principal 

Principal's Message - Term 1B Week 7
Paul Tough

Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Friends of BST,

It is a privilege to be the Principal of such a thriving school community where high aspirations and a caring ethos are at the heart of what we do. As the the first term of the school year comes to an end, it is with immense pride and joy that we reflect on a memorable period for the school.

It has indeed been an incredibly positive time with many outstanding moments and memories. This week's various exhibitions of learning, assemblies, concerts and nativities were stunning and a fitting crescendo to the term. Moreover, throughout the term, the energy, talent and enthusiasm of our students in all facets of school life have been inspirational. As we all know, BST students are exceptional and continue to deserve the very best the school community can provide.

Equally, we are all very fortunate to be part of an active community at BST, and I remain acutely aware of the time and energy invested by staff and many parents into the life of the school. Working together with the common purpose of supporting our students to achieve their potential continues to underpin all that we do.

At the start of Term One at various forums and meetings, I indicated that I would spend time listening, consulting and evaluating the school. I hope the school community feels that I have achieved this objective. As the end of the term is upon us, I believe I now have a good understanding of the school’s significant strengths and the areas where I hope to work with the community to make a difference. This consultation process will culminate in a new strategic plan for BST later this school year. This vital document will set out our shared vision for the next five years and I look forward to working closely with staff, students and parents in our pursuit of excellence in everything that we do.

On a final note, for those students, staff and families who are leaving us at the end of term, please remember that wherever you may be in the world, you remain part of the BST family and we look forward to hearing about your future successes and accomplishments.

Best wishes for the holiday season ahead and I hope you all enjoy a joyful Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Paul Tough 

Principal 

Principal's Message - Term 1B Week 6
Paul Tough

Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Friends of BST,

As the adage goes, “time flies when you are having fun," and this term has positively flown by.

As we head into the last week of term, there has been no time for slowing down with a cavalcade of brilliant events taking place across the school. During the week, sporting competition has maintained its strong profile with BST students competing in various hockey, basketball, volleyball and football competitions. The creative and expressive arts have also been a significant feature of school life with an outstanding Primary Winter Show and a superb Nine Lessons and Carol Service taking place. Thank you to all the students, staff and parents for their contribution to the array of activities and events which have taken place over the last week and the entire action-packed term.

I also wanted to acknowledge the generosity and kindness of all the students and adults contributing to the Second Harvest and United World Schools projects. As I have written before, our school has a strong community at its core and modeling compassion, care and responsibility through our individual and collective actions is so important.

A big thank you to all the parents and staff involved in this week’s traditional Christmas events at the Shibuya and Showa campuses. I know the Winter Wonderland and school discos will have been a great success. Much gratitude in particular to our outstanding PTA Committee members for their continued commitment to all things BST. Having such a supportive group of parents is fantastic. However, I know the Committee would appreciate even more volunteers. Please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the PTA Committee if you are in a position to help.

This week the Board of Trustees met at Showa, where a variety of areas including staffing, finance, facilities and education were discussed. The new School Advisory Committee (SAC) also met last night for the first time and I’m grateful to all the staff and parents in attendance for contributing to the lively discussion. Please do let me or another member of the SAC know if you have any proposals or questions for discussion at our monthly meetings next term.

We are now looking forward to next week’s annual Whole School Christmas Concert. The concert has become a real highlight of the school calendar as it provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the joy of Christmas through music and song with the broader BST community.

A few weeks ago, I referenced the importance of self-respect and respecting others. In a similar vein, I think most of us would agree that having pride in our appearance and pride in our school community is so important. Indeed, close-knit, smart looking and aspirational schools enable students to become independent, confident and successful young adults. With this in mind, from the start of next term onwards, we will be placing a heightened focus upon the importance of pride and respect through our shared expectations as a school community for uniform, manners and behaviour.

Best wishes for the weekend ahead.

Paul Tough

Principal

Principal's Message - Term 1B Week 5
Paul Tough

Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Friends of BST,

The school’s three Cs - confidence, conviction and consideration were writ large this week.

Today’s Primary Winter Show at Showa’s Hitomi Hall was a tremendous example of BST’s three Cs in action. The children performed brilliantly and it was a joy to see how happy, enthusiastic, and confident they were. All of us in attendance were treated to a wonderful afternoon of music and song. Thank you to all the parents who attended the concert. Thank you also to all the staff involved in providing the children with an opportunity to excel. In particular, a big thank you to Ms Casey and Ms Pressdee-Rudd for their impeccable leadership and hard work.

This week BST students have continued to impress me with examples of their learning in different contexts. I was particularly pleased to join the Shibuya Student Council meeting, where the children showed conviction and commitment to their important roles as primary school leaders. While the beaming smiles of Year 4 children Akari, Erika, Grace and Lila acted as a real tonic when they dropped into my office for lunch on Thursday. The girls confidently talked about their pride in the school and what they enjoy learning about the most. Additionally, the day I spent following a class in Year 9 was brilliant too. The students’ creative talents and confidence was on show during some impressive learning in many lessons including Visual Art and Music. I was also very impressed by the Poppies and Bluebells of Nursery, who asked lots of original questions during this week's storytime sessions.

On a wider note, last Friday night, the school community’s ability to show care, kindness and consideration for others was evident at the 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Ball. It was a great night with a significant amount raised in support of United World Schools (UWS) and our project in the Batase area of Nepal. The event was a great success with nearly 300 parents, staff and friends of the school in attendance. Most pleasing for me was the conviction demonstrated by the BST students involved in the UWS project as they spoke to the guests with passion about the importance of service to others. Thank you again to everyone involved in making the evening so successful and in particular, Lowly Norgate and Carmen Monksmith for their outstanding event management.

We are now looking forward to this weekend’s first-ever Model United Nations (MUN) conference held at BST. The conference has been organised by Year 13 students and Mr Grant Fraser and will involve 60 delegates from five international schools. Next week also promises to be another exciting week. Highlights include the school’s annual Christmas Carol Service, the first meeting of the new School Advisory Committee and the final Board of Trustees’ meeting of 2019.

Best wishes for the weekend ahead.

Paul Tough

Principal