Dear Parents, Staff, Students, and Friends of BST,
The BST community to the fore
I, as many of you may know, am a passionate advocate for the collective and our responsibility to each other. The role community spirit plays in an international school such as ours is undeniable and enduring.
The pandemic has accentuated the strengths of the BST community as we have needed to unite to overcome its many challenges. Indeed our school community has provided a support system and a source of comfort for us all.
Before the pandemic, we may have taken the presence of community spirit for granted, as the idea of not gathering regularly was so unthinkable. Many of the highlights of a school involve in-person concerts, performances, ceremonies and shows and being denied the chance to celebrate our students' talents through live events has been difficult for us all to accept.
Equally, the pandemic's limits on social gatherings have been tough to tolerate. Who would have imagined in 2019 that so many marquee events in the BST social calendar, including the Spring Fair and Mr Steven’s legendary coffee mornings, would be mothballed for two years? As we know, social gatherings enrich our lives and sustain our wellbeing, even for semi introverts like me! That said, heralded by the onset of Christmas, this term we have embarked upon a return to normalcy.
Christmas concerts and farewell to Mrs Pressdee-Rudd
It isn’t surprising that this week’s Primary Christmas Concert in The Green Hall at the Showa campus was such a success. It was brilliant to hear the children perform and for parents to attend. Congratulations to all the students who participated and the Music Department and staff for their support. We are sad to see Mrs Pressdee-Rudd leave BST next week as she returns to the UK with her family, but she does so with all our very best wishes as her impact upon Primary music has been outstanding. In addition to the return of various other community Christmas events, this week's concert has been long-awaited and much appreciated.
Annual Fund celebratory event hosted by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)
Last night’s celebratory evening supporting the Annual Fund was also a triumph. The PTA Committee are fantastic, and we are so fortunate to have such a dedicated group supporting the school’s development and committed to the wellbeing of our community. It was also wonderful to see so many parents in attendance, not only in support of the inaugural Annual Fund but also enjoying each other’s company. The evening’s success was due to the efforts of many people, but the contribution of BST’s Chamber Orchestra and the cast of the drama production Breakthrough was superb. Congratulations and thank you to all the students and supporting staff.
A huge thank you to everyone who attended last night's event. It was great to talk through the Fund's essential features and place its launch within the context of BST's journey thus far. As you know, the Annual Fund has been established to enhance learning experiences and provide additional opportunities for our students that could not otherwise be funded. At last night’s event, I had a chance to highlight several exciting projects the Fund will support.
The first project involves a collaboration between BST and the renowned Japanese artist, Satoru Aoyama. Aoyama-san has agreed to partner with the school as BST’s first-ever Artist in Residence in Term 2 of this school year. We are excited at the potential of this project, especially as we hope it will lead to an exhibition of our students work and an installation piece reflecting our school community’s British, international and Japanese identity. More information on Aoyama-san can be accessed here.
The second project the Annual Fund Committee has eagerly agreed to support is a Literary Festival at BST in February of this school year. As part of the festival, a series of workshops and masterclasses are being arranged for students with leading journalists, authors and poets in Japan and further afield. Additionally, Mariko Nagai, the renowned writer and associate Professor of Creative Writing and Japanese Literature at Temple University Japan, will be our Author in Residence working with primary and secondary children. More information on Professor Nagai can be accessed here.
Both these projects promise to be hugely inspiring for our students and, hopefully with support to the Fund, the first of many stellar opportunities for students of all ages that accentuate the “BST Difference". If you were unable to join the event, I encourage you to access more information on the Annual Fund and how to donate here. We welcome your support, and whether large or small, your donation will make a real difference and have a direct and immediate impact on the education we can provide.
Trustees and SAC Meetings
Finally, this week the SAC and the Board of Trustees met at our Showa campus for their final meeting of this calendar year. Interesting discussions took place on a range of topics at both meetings. Minutes of the SAC meeting can be accessed here, while minutes of the Board meeting will be published in due course.
There has been much more to celebrate and report this week, but I will leave the other highlights to Mrs Loran and Mrs McCallum. As always, if you have any questions about the topics in today's newsletter please or would like to meet with me, please let me know.
Best wishes for the weekend