Principal's Message

Deputy Principal's Message - Fri 30th Sept 2022
Lowly Norgate

Message from Deputy Principal – David James

Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Friends of BST,

Clubs and Activities

It has been great to see students across the school engaged in a wide variety of clubs and activities this week. With over 130 clubs on offer this term, there have been many opportunities for our students to try something new, develop their passions, and unearth hidden talents. Students have been able to choose from an array of clubs which cater for a wide range of interests across four key areas:

●     Extracurricular Clubs

●     Music Clubs

●     Sport & Physical Activity Clubs

●     Language Enrichment Clubs (Primary School only)

From our Photography Club to the Global Cooking Club through to our Lego Technics Club, students in our Primary School have had the opportunity to participate in clubs that enable them to be creative, innovative and globally minded - key outcomes of our extracurricular clubs programme. Likewise, students in our Secondary School have been able to participate in a diverse and inclusive clubs programme ranging from Robotics Clubs, to the Model United Nations, through to a Music Production Club.

Our Sports and Music Clubs have also provided opportunities for students to continue to develop their interests and passions through a variety of recreational as well as competitive clubs. Students have been able to participate a diverse and inclusive clubs programme that includes: ultimate Frisbee, multi sports, recreational swimming, mini-tennis and tennis, Rock Band, Choir, world percussion, ukulele and Recorder Karate.

We were also pleased to extend opportunities for students seeking to enrich and develop their language skills through the introduction, for example, of a Japanese Language Club in Year 1, a Spanish Club in the Secondary School as well as the opportunity for students to study towards the Japanese Language Proficiency Tests.

SchoolsBuddy

Following a period of reviews and feedback last year, this year we also implemented a new online platform to support the registration, management and communication of these clubs - SchoolsBuddy. Feedback so far has been very positive. Parents and students alike have been able to view the clubs on offer, state their preferences and view the clubs allocated to them in a personalised calendar. Thank you to parents who have contacted the school for support in accessing this new platform - please do contact us directly at clubs@bst.ac.jp if you are experiencing any difficulties accessing SchoolsBuddy or have any queries about our clubs programme.

Operation Green

This week also saw the continuation of our sustainability project with Showa High School - Operation Green. On Monday, BST students met with students at Showa High School to explore issues connected to sustainability and explore how we can address socio-environmental issues on campus. Discussions were facilitated by staff from Earth Company joining us online from Nagano and Bali! At the end of last term, students identified three Action Categories where they will look to enact change: Foundation, Waste Management and CO2 Reduction. It was great to see students engaging with each other in a fully bilingual environment as they considered, ‘What can they do?’, and ‘How are their actions related to larger environmental issues?’.

Next Monday students will meet again to finalise our actions and develop a plan to implement initiatives to address challenges in these three areas across campus. We look forward to welcoming staff from Earth Company on campus to facilitate and lead these discussions in person. More on this to come in the coming weeks. 

COBIS Accreditation

And to finish. Next month we look forward to welcoming back to BST the evaluation team from COBIS and completing the COBIS accreditation process. As you may remember, last October we were delighted to welcome members of the evaluating team to BST (online) to evaluate us against the ‘compliance’ aspects of the accreditation standards; safeguarding and safer recruitment practices, student welfare, facilities, Governance, and Ethos and Values. The team met with a range of staff, students and parents to explore these areas of the school.

When the team returns next month their focus will very much be on teaching and learning as well as the many enrichment and extracurricular opportunities we provide to students at BST. We look forward to sharing more about this closer to the time.

Best wishes for the weekend.

David James

Deputy Principal

djames@bst.ac.jp

Principal's Message - Fri 23rd Sept 2022
Paul Tough

Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Friends of BST,

A momentous week across the campuses

It has been a historic and momentous week. The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday was a moment for individual and collective reflection. At the same time, the United Nations Peace Day on Wednesday offered another opportunity to consider world events.

World Peace Day and BST's Guiding Statements

World Peace Day was poignant, of course, when we consider the gathering of world leaders in New York this week and the continued war in Ukraine and the country's occupation. This year's theme for World Peace Day was "End racism. Build peace." - devoted to creating societies that embrace equality - where everyone can flourish and achieve their full potential.

I hope you will agree that this theme is in harmony with our school's commitment to internationalism, diversity, equity and inclusion and is fundamental to our mission and vision here. Of course, one of the most important aspects of life in an international school is the strength drawn from diversity and an enduring community spirit. Equally, even if divergent, sharing perspectives within a respectful culture where core values predominate, such as BST's values here.

BST's Artist in Residence – world-renowned Japanese artist, Satoru Aoyama

This week the school's collaboration with world-renowned Japanese artist Satoru Aoyama began. Aoyama san is working this year as BST's "Artist in Residence", thanks to the generous support of the Annual Fund.

Seeing our students responding eagerly to Aoyama san's inspiration was fantastic. The collaborative installation piece of art will be displayed at the reception of our new Azabudai campus. It will be in tune with this week's events to celebrate the rich cultural diversity of our school community and the aspects that bind us together. 

Aoyama san will be hosting a 30-minute online forum for the BST community on October 6, where he will discuss the "Artist in Residence" project and its intended creative outcome. Please register here if you want to join us for the forum.

"Curriculum 2026" – A Level and IB Diploma discussions

Earlier this week, the first community session evaluating BST's Year 12 and Year 13 curricula occurred. Thank you to all the parents and staff who joined the session with Mrs McCallum and me. An event recording can be accessed here, and the sign-up for the proceeding sessions can be done here. The next session on October 11 is a repeat of the first, but please join if you have any questions or would like to be part of the ongoing discussion. 

Additionally, I would like to convene a focus group of parents to meet with me regularly this term to discuss various topics and questions related to the review, our A-Level curriculum and the IB Diploma. Please let me know if you would like to join the group as we hope to meet for the first time in mid-October. All are welcome; having diverse perspectives and opinions will be great.

Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

Finally, I wanted to thank Naomi Iwase and the PTA Committee for a great start to the new school year. I am delighted that Naomi has assumed the role of PTA Committee Chair, which is ably supported by our previous excellent Chair, Gabriela Mandrea. The PTA Committee are a fantastic group that cares passionately for the school and is willing to give time freely in service to the BST community. This weekend's PTA picnic perfectly exemplifies their community spirit and commitment. I wish Naomi and the Committee all the best this year and thank them for championing all things BST.

Please get in touch with me if you have questions about topics in today's edition of The Lion or want to meet with me in person. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend.

 

Paul Tough

Principal

Principal's Message - Fri 16th Sept 2022
Lowly Norgate

Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Friends of BST,

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Although packed with activity and various events, the week has also been solemn and poignant for the school and the broader British community in Tokyo. Many of us have reflected with sadness and admiration upon Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's life of distinguished service to her people.

Yesterday with BST's Chair of the Board, Comino Tamura, I had the privilege of visiting The British Embassy to convey our community's condolences to HE Ambassador Longbottom in person and sign the official Book of Condolence for Her Majesty The Queen. 

Next week, on Monday 19th September, Her Majesty's funeral will be at 7pm JST with television coverage starting from 5pm. Details here  

An online book of condolence accessible here will be used by students and staff to record their messages throughout the day. As a mark of respect, we will also hold a minute of silence across the school on Monday. 

BST Outdoors

Although it has been a sad week, it has also been pleasing to see the triumphant return of the Secondary School's Outdoor Programme. Last term's return of residentials and camps was a precursor to the full programmer's reintroduction at the beginning of the school year – the first time this has happened since 2019.

Thank you to Dr Steven Reilly, all Secondary Staff, Admin Staff and The Medical Team for their hard work in preparation for and during the week. Many tired but happy young people are returning to Tokyo safely today thanks to their efforts. Congratulations to all students who participated in the various activities. I'm sure memories will be made and personal challenges overcome. Well done! 

Annual Fund Impact Report

You'll be able to access a copy here if you missed the school's Impact Report published earlier this week. The Impact Report summarises the seven excellent projects chosen to receive support from the Annual Fund allocation committee. Thanks to the donations and generous support of community members, Annual Fund projects include:

·  An ‘Artist in Residence' programme.

·  A whole school Literary Festival.

·  A science, technology and mathematics collaboration week with a sustainability focus.

·  Hundreds of new acclaimed Japanese novels and current non-fiction titles in Secondary and Primary Libraries.

·  Live streaming technology for inter-school sport.

·  Design and creation by students of our skateboard park at BST Nagasawa Ground.

·  New Primary reading materials with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Later this term, the new Annual Fund will be launched, and we are looking forward to beating last year's total of donations and supporting another range of impactful projects for students. I'd like you to please save the date of the PTA Annual Fund Gala Event in your diaries as this promises to be an excellent evening. 

 

BST's Artist in Residence – world-renowned Japanese artist, Satoru Aoyama

One of the projects supported by the Annual Fund is the school's collaboration with world-renowned artist Satoru Aoyama. Aoyama san is BST "Artist in Residence" this year, and he will be working with Primary and Secondary students to produce a piece of installation art representing the diversity of our school community. The final piece will proudly adorn the reception of our new Primary School campus in Azabudai and perfectly reflect our school community's unique nature.

School Advisory Committee (SAC)

This week the first SAC of the year took place in BST's new Senior School Study Centre. Mr David James (Deputy Principal) chaired the meeting, which discussed various topics, including public examination results, university destinations, the school's collaboration with Professor Eeqbal Hassim and the ongoing review of the school's curriculum for Years 12 and Year 13. Minutes of the meeting can be accessed here.

"Curriculum 2026” – A Level and IB Diploma discussions

We also discussed the upcoming "Curriculum 2026" parent forums at the SAC meeting, which I will be hosting this term with BST's Head of Secondary, Mrs McCallum.  Please sign up here: https://tinyurl.com/3dmvxv2h

Again, I encourage parents who have children in the Primary school and Years 7-9 to attend the sessions. More information on the topics covered in each forum and timings can be accessed here, with the first session taking place on Tuesday, 20 September. All sessions will be recorded and posted on The HUB.

 

Please get in touch with me if you have questions about topics in today's edition of The Lion or want to meet with me in person.

In the meantime, best wishes for the weekend.

 

Paul Tough

Principal

 

 

Inaugural Annual Fund Impact Report
Paul Tough

 

Dear Members of the BST Community,

The school's inaugural Annual Fund was successfully launched during the 2021-2022 school year. Through the generous donations of many people, a total of 5.5 million Japanese Yen was raised in support of 7 projects designed to enhance the educational experience of Primary and Secondary students. 

To celebrate the impact of donations to the Annual Fund, we have produced a brief yet informative Impact Report accessible here. We hope you enjoy reading about each project and the benefit for our students. We also hope you will consider supporting this year's Annual Fund when launched later this term, as your donation, whether large or small, will make a real difference and positively impact the education we can provide.

More information about the new Annual Fund will follow in Friday's edition of The Lion. In the meantime, donor enquiries can be emailed to devt-office@bst.ac.jp  or my colleague Nora Yamada (Assistant Head - Partnerships, Development and Alumni) at nyamada@bst.ac.jp or me directly at ptough@bst.ac.jp.

Kind regards,

Paul Tough

Principal 

Principal's Message - Fri 9th Sept 2022
Lowly Norgate

Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Friends of BST,

It is challenging to write the usual update on school life in this edition of The Lion today, as arguably the most significant figure in British society for nearly a century has died.

The passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has saddened us all. As Head of State for 70 years, the Queen acted in Britain as a focus for national identity, unity and pride, giving a sense of stability and continuity while embodying the ideal of service to others.

In June, I wrote on the occasion of Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee that the Queen was a witness to and active participant in 8 decades of history. During this time, she experienced extreme change and uncertainty and demonstrated how to lead with resilience. 

Monarchist or republican, British or Non-British in citizenship, it is hard not to have been impressed by her calmness, fortitude and determination. Equally, the length of the Queen's reign, which included 15 Prime Ministers from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, was unparalleled and inspirational. 

The Queen embodied the qualities and virtues of a different time. She did not court attention for herself or trivialise her role as Sovereign in a celebrity-obsessed self-aggrandising age. The principle of servant leadership guided her actions - the idea that leadership is an act of service, serving the people you lead and the purpose you are working towards. 

As monarch, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Her Majesty was the nation's matriarch. An example to us all, she will be sincerely missed as she embodied the values of integrity, dedication and selflessness throughout her remarkable reign.

We give thanks for the extraordinary life and work of Her Majesty The Queen – a life lived with purpose, conviction and devotion to her people and country.

 

Paul Tough

Principal