Tag Archives: BISS

Dads and Lads plus a Girlie night out

Saturday night was the Annual Dad’s and Lad’s campout at BISS.  Owen was not looking forward to this as his arm is still in a cast and he definitely does not like sleeping on the ground anymore!  However, Oliver was very excited to be camping out, in a tent, with his Dad.

They certainly looked like they were packing for a week and not just 1 night!  Tent, sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, sleep mats….. plus a change of clothes and toiletries!

Matt and Ethan arrived at 2.45pm to collect them.  Then they met all the “Emerald Dads and Lads” at our Clubhouse so they could travel to the school together.  Once they arrived, they were directed to a place on the athletic field ready to pitch their tents and settle in for the night.

Chilling with Daddy

Chilling with Daddy

After an  afternoon of activities, food and fun, it was time to go to sleep.  Oliver and Ethan watched a movie on Owen’s iPad and once Ethan had fallen asleep, it was lights out for Oliver too!!  Once he was fast asleep, it was time for Owen to chill with the rest of the Dads.

Bedtime in the tent

Bedtime in the tent

While the boys were away, it was girlie time!  Emma and Ava came to collect us very soon after the boys had left.  We had appointments for pedicures together!  We were early enough to enjoy a leisurely coffee and enjoy the wine celebration going on at the Kerry Parkside.

We all had a fantastic experience at Dragonfly:

Pedicure time!

Pedicure time!

Nails, nails, nails.  Isabelle (Flower) and Ava (Rose), Emma (Red) and Sara (Pink)

Nails, nails, nails. Isabelle (Flower) and Ava (Rose), Emma (Red) and Sara (Pink)

After all the pampering it was off to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner!  Back to our house for a girlie movie and to wrap up a lovely afternoon and evening with just the girls.

A Rainforest Butterfly

Today was the last day of the Rainforest topic at BISS for Year 3 and all of the students of Year 3 went to school dressed with a Rainforest theme.

Isabelle had chosen to go as a Butterfly (a Monarch Butterfly to be precise).  Owen had managed to order some wings in the UK and he picked them up on his last medical trip over.  She wore a sparkly blue top and black leggings to complete the outfit.

Blue Sparkles and Butterfly wings........  Ava is a toucan, Maddie is a Rainforest Girl and Sarah is another Butterfly.

Blue Sparkles and Butterfly wings…….. Ava is a toucan, Maddie is a Rainforest Girl and Sarah is another Butterfly.

Isabelle told us that most of the boys dressed up as monkeys!  She also thought the best outfit was a peacock – because it had real feathers all over it.

She has really enjoyed this topic and has become very knowledgeable about the Rainforest and its role in our fragile earth.

Check out my wings!

Check out my wings!

Dinosaurs and Volcanoes

Reception were studying Dinosaurs last term.  Oliver has absolutely loved this topic and can rattle off the names of many of them.  He can identify them by shadow flashcards and has an opinion on why they died.  I say all this because I love his enthusiasm for learning!  He has built his own dinosaur out of “junk” (packaging, toilet rolls, etc that are recycled in these school projects) that had an impressively long neck and was beautifully painted.

I was lucky enough to spend a couple of hours with him at school where he was excited to show me all that they had completed.  He had helped to make a volcano and I was there to see him and some classmates paint it.

Painting the volcano

Painting the volcano

He also did some Dinosaur excavation – a really cool kit that allows kids to learn about fossils!

Excavating for his dinosaur

Excavating for his dinosaur

Here is the finished result!

Here is the finished result!

Gymnastics Competition

Last Sunday, Isabelle competed in her first gymnastics competition.  She has only been doing it since January so this was a big deal.  She was in the second round of 7-8 year olds and so we had to be at school by 11.00 for the start of this.  Each group had 3 rounds of competition: the floor, the beam and the vault (horse).  Isabelle’s first routine was on the beam and she did a great job.  Apparently all the girls decided what they wanted to do so they were showcasing their best skills.

Then she moved onto the Vault.  She got to have 2 attempts at this.  This was her least favorite and her confidence was much lower on this one.  Her final round was on the floor.  She has been practicing hand stands for hours every day so I was very proud when she did an excellent one in her routine!

All the medals and cups!

All the medals and cups!

It was a very professionally arranged event.  Isabelle attends Gymnastic classes every Monday after school as an ECA (Extra Curricular Activity).  The competition was against girls from all over Shanghai in her age group.  There were girls of all ages competing all day.  The cups were for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Coach giving a pep talk!

Coach giving a pep talk!

Isabelle's floor routine.

Isabelle’s floor routine.

After the victory parade around the gym.

After the victory parade around the gym.

Receiving her medal!

Receiving her medal!

All the competitors received a medal for competing.  The organisers made a big deal out of stating that gymnastics is a solo sport and it takes courage to perform.  They were impressed with all the competitors who tried their very best.  I was delighted that Isabelle wanted to take part, as it was optional, and I was thrilled that she had the confidence to get out there and “just do it”!

Showing off her medal!

Showing off her medal!

BISS Art in Action Auction

Year 3E Art.  The Queen's head is made up of photos of the entire class.  The 10p is a clever play on the theme of 10 for BISS's anniversary.

Year 3E Art. The Queen’s head is made up of photos of the entire class. The 10p is a clever play on the theme of 10 for BISS’s anniversary.

BISS is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year.  BISS is also very proud of the impact that they provide to the local community in Shanghai.  Every year the school, parents, students and friends raise over £60,000 for several charities that are chosen each year.  This year, the 10th Anniversary event was in the aid of Shining Star.  It is very exciting to know that the Art in Action event last Friday evening raised an incredible 85,100RMB (approximately £8,500) for the selected charity, Shining Star.  Their Operations Manager has confirmed that this amount is enough to provide the operations required to restore a childs sight!

Back of the 10p

Back of the 10p

The back of the 10p had the entire class signature’s – students and teachers.  We also bid on Oliver’s class art work.  They had created bi-lingual glass jars with English numbers on 1 side and mandarin on the other.  We also won this although we will be sharing the glass jars with other parents of his class.

Oliver's class - Reception Alder Glass Jars

Oliver’s class – Reception Alder Glass Jars

During dinner there was a live bid.  The school had selected 10 pieces for this and Owen was very excited because there was 1 other piece that he really liked.  After a couple of to-ing and fro-ing across the room with the bids getting dangerously close to our upper limit, suddenly the others dropped out and Owen won.

Our other winning bid.  What do you see when you look at this?

Our winning bid during the live auction. What do you see when you look at this?

It was a lovely evening.

Sara and Owen

Sara and Owen

The art work was phenomenal.  There were several pieces that I really liked.  All the students are so talented and so creative.

A bid going on display at the live auction during dinner.

A bid going on display at the live auction during dinner.

This was my very favorite piece of art – I think it is a great representation of China and would spark memories for me years after our time here.  Obviously I was not the only person to think so as this piece generated a fierce bidding war!

We also bid on this piece which we both liked very much.  However, it went for way more than we could afford!

We also bid on this piece which we both liked very much. However, it went for way more than we could afford!

After the dinner, there was a fabulous band playing great music.  We danced into the wee hours!

Suzanne, Emma, Sara, Owen and John.  Towards the end of the evening!!

Suzanne, Emma, Sara, Owen and John. Towards the end of the evening!!

World Book Day – Miss Trunchbull and Kipper

Friday March 9th was World Book Day.  The Junior School at BISS events included a week long book fair.  Isabelle spent some of her own pocket money on some books.  She also participated in the World Education Games, competing with students all over the world in maths, science and literary competitions and quizzes.  The end of the week the students could dress up as characters from a favorite book.  (Instructions came home to say that they really did not want to see super hero costumes!)

Isabelle dressed up as Miss Trunchbull from Matilda by Roald Dahl and Oliver dressed up as Kipper from The Magic Key book series.

Miss Trunchbull and Kipper

Miss Trunchbull and Kipper

At first glance, it might appear that Isabelle is really acting like Miss Trunchbull, but she is sulking because she really did not want to have the mole on her face!  We had to convince her to keep it long enough so that the teachers could see at school and then she could wipe it off!

Oliver’s teachers were very impressed with his outfit.  So, were we because he picked this character himself without any prompting.  Amazing how a big aluminium covered cardboard key can transform a little boy into Kipper……

Daddy Daughter Winter Wonderland Ball

Saturday night was the Winter Wonderland Daddy Daughter Ball.  This is one of the premier events that the PFA (Parents and Friends Association) of BISS organize each year.  The girls absolutely love this event and have been talking about it since Christmas!  It is held in the ballroom of a local hotel and is very fancy – full black tie evening wear.  No mums are allowed.

Winter Wonderland Ball invitation.

Winter Wonderland Ball invitation.

Isabelle had designed her own dress and we had it made at the local fabric market.  It is so cheap to do this and her finished dress was less than £60/$90.  It was absolutely stunning.

Saturday morning dawned and Isabelle and I were off to the hairdressers so she could have something fancy done with her hair.  They french braided the front of her hair and then curled all the rest.  It was so pretty.  I told her that she could not do anything else for the rest of the day so it would not be ruined!  Later in the afternoon, she was at her friend Maddies’ house where 4 of the girls all had their nails painted.  Of course, Isabelle had to have blue nails to match her dress!

Phoebe painting Isabelle's nails!

Phoebe painting Isabelle’s nails!

Ava and Isabelle showing off their painted nails.

Ava and Isabelle showing off their painted nails.

All the girls displaying the finished effect!  Maddie (with curlers in!), Ava, Isabelle and Amelie.

All the girls displaying the finished effect! Maddie (with curlers in!), Ava, Isabelle and Amelie.

Isabelle was so excited about this evening.  She could not wait to get into her dress.  I helped her get ready and then she walked down the stairs to her handsome prince – Daddy (who looked more gorgeous than James Bond, in his custom made tux!).  Daddy was suitably impressed with his date for the evening.

Owen (Bond, Owen Bond) and our lovely, beautiful daughter.

Owen (Bond, Owen Bond) and our lovely, beautiful daughter.

Beautiful dress (designed by Isabelle).  Owen's bow tie is a perfect match to her dress too!

Beautiful dress (designed by Isabelle). Owen’s bow tie is a perfect match to her dress too!

What a gorgeous couple!

What a gorgeous couple!

Isabelle’s best friend, Ava and her Daddy, Matt, came to pick them and take them to the hotel.  More photo opportunities:

Ready to leave!

Ready to leave!

Owen and Isabelle had professional photos taken as soon as they arrived at the ball.  There were also other activities for them to enjoy – Isabelle, of course gravitated towards the arts and crafts section:

Arts and Crafts!

Arts and Crafts!  (Isabelle’s teacher is in the background – one of the girls chaperones for the evening)

There was lots of dancing, including a “dance-off” between the Dads and the Daughters.  This year the Dads won that!!  The girls danced alot with each other:

Girls on the dance floor together.

Girls on the dance floor together.

And dancing with Daddy:

Pure fun written across these 2 faces.

Pure fun written across these 2 faces.

What a beautiful princess.

What a beautiful princess.

Ice cream at the end of the night.

Ice cream at the end of the night.

While Daddy and Isabelle were having a fabulous evening at the Winter Wonderland Daddy Daughter Ball, Oliver and I were at Suzanne’s house along with all the Mum’s and boys who had been left behind!!  We had a lovely evening – Oliver played with Ethan and I caught up with friends old and new.  All the Dad’s and daughters arrived at 9.30pm and it was fantastic to see all the beautiful dresses on the girls.  All the men looked good in their evening wear too!

Funky Hair Day

Friday was Funky Hair Day at BISS.  For a fee of 25RMB (£2.50/$4.00), Isabelle and Oliver could wear what they wanted to school and make their hair “funky”.  Owen used lots of gel on Oliver to make a mohican and lots of spikes and then sprayed it all different colours:

Oliver's funky hair - mohicans and colour.

Oliver’s funky hair – mohicans and colour.

Even better in daylight!

Even better in daylight!

Owen laughed his socks off when he was reading the instructions on one of the spray cans.  Here are the actual instructions, word for word, with one blank left to your imagination:

“Using the front must is well this article shake the, then f**k the hair for good.
Can use a the sort shampooes a cleaning.”

Interesting translation!

Isabelle had a lot of pony tails and then we sprayed them all different colours:

Multiple pony tails and lots of colour.

Multiple pony tails and lots of colour.

More colour.

More colour.

They thought it was hilarious to have funky hair.

They thought it was hilarious to have funky hair.

Giggles galore this morning!

Giggles galore this morning!

They enjoyed their hairstyles for the day.  It was not so much fun to get it all off at the end of the day!  3 shampoo’s for Oliver and it all eventually came out.  I did multiple washes on Isabelle and she still had blue and pink left in her hair on Saturday!

Fashion Show – 5 year old style

The first half of the school term Oliver has been learning all about “We Can Be”.  This has included using imagination and story telling to help express feelings and opinions.  He explored different characters at the circus and use of magic.  The finale of this topic was a fashion show where all the kids could dress up as a favorite character and strut their stuff on the stage!

Oliver dressed up as Buzz Lightyear for his turn on the stage.  He exuded confidence as he walked down the cat walk with a huge smile on his face.  He rocked out to “I like to Move it, Move it”.  What a cool dude!

All the children did a fantastic job – lots of smiles, strutting, confidence and great costumes.

My Little Man Buzz

My Little Man Buzz

3 Reception Classes up on the Catwalk.  Lots of princesses and fairies for the girls and super-heros for the boys!

3 Reception Classes up on the Catwalk. Lots of princesses and fairies for the girls and super-heros for the boys!

 

Bake Sale – Enterprise and Philanthropy

Over the Christmas holidays, Isabelle and her friend Ava made a rice krispy Christmas tree.  They wanted to sell this at a Bake Sale and had made invites to their friends in our neighborhood to come to this “Bake Sale”.  I stopped them from doing this, explaining that they needed to have more than 1 item to sell and also have more than 1 hour notice to sell something!!

The Rice Krispy Christmas Tree that started it all!

The Rice Krispy Christmas Tree that started it all!

This information had obviously sunk in because a few days later Isabelle said that she wanted to do a Bake Sale to help her with some spending money for a trip to Harbin later in January.  And so started the lesson in business 🙂

First, we talked about what she should sell and how much she should charge.  Then we talked about advertising and how to get people to come to buy “stuff” from her.  Then we talked about the fact that more people would come and buy if they knew it was for a good cause and not just for spending money for Isabelle!!

She decided that she wanted to do the Bake Sale the weekend before our trip to Harbin.  Isabelle wanted to send hand written invites to every house in our neighborhood, and so Owen then educated her about the power of email!  He sent an email to every house in our compound to advertise her venture.  She had also decided on what to sell and between her and Ava, they had persuaded Owen, Emma (Ava’s Mum) and me to make things for them to sell!

The week of January 7th – 12th and Isabelle can talk of nothing but her Bake Sale on Saturday!  Owen had been busy making marshmallows (1000 times better than what you can buy in the shop!) rice krispy treats and flapjacks.  Emma had made gingerbread, banana bread, cookies and cupcakes.  I had made cupcakes.  A lovely friend had also made brownies for the girls to sell.  They decided to sell everything for 10 RMB.  They had to work out the math, after all!!  Owen had a couple of helpers – Oliver and Ethan (Ava’s brother and Oliver’s best friend) were all too eager to lick out bowls!

Oliver and Ethan "helping" Owen with making Marshmallows.

Oliver and Ethan “helping” Owen with making Marshmallows.

Isabelle and Ava had decided to donate 50% of their proceeds to one of the charities that BISS supports – a local orphanage.

Ready for customers!

Ready for customers!

Advertising Isabelle and Ava's Bake Sale!

Advertising Isabelle and Ava’s Bake Sale!

The Bake Sale was on for 1 hour only.  Owen had received some “pre-orders” from people who could not make it but wanted to buy some goodies, so before Isabelle and Ava opened for business they were already in profit!  From 2-3pm on Saturday January 12th the girls sold almost everything on the table.  They were nice to all customers, worked out all the amounts to charge and the right change, packaged it all up nicely and kept a smile on their faces.  I was so proud of them.

A lot of customers!

A lot of customers!  The whole hour was non-stop customers!

Isabelle's labels of all the items for sale.

Isabelle’s labels of all the items for sale.

To all our amazement, the girls made 2300 RMB in one hour.  (Approximately £230 / $180)  The residents of Emerald had been very generous – many of them donating more than the total of items they were buying.  Because they had made so much money, Emma, Owen and I had a conversation about the money and what they thought would be a good amount for spending money.  They decided to take 250RMB each and donate the rest to charity.

On Monday morning, Isabelle took a fat wad of cash – 1800RMB into school to give to her teacher.  Owen had summarised the activities of the weekend and had sent that in with a DVD of photos.  We were so proud when the Head of Primary phoned to say that he was so proud of Isabelle and Ava and their accomplishments.  He had called them into his office and he told Owen that they were articulate and enthusiastic about all they had done (“one of the best 10 minutes of my teaching career” he said!).  He also said that he would be highlighting Isabelle and Ava in the Primary assembly on Thursday.   Owen and Emma attended the assembly (secretly hiding on the balcony and taking video – I was away and so bummed to miss it).  Not only did they spend 10 minutes on stage answering questions about their Bake Sale, but Mr King also wrote about Isabelle and Ava in his weekly blog update:

Student Enterprise and Philanthropy

 On Tuesday I had the delight of meeting two students, who had taken the time to plan, set up and run a bake sale in order to raise funds for a school charity and a trip to Harbin. Ava Rhind and Isabelle Jones displayed enterprising nature and charitable spirit by setting aside personal time outside of school to provide baked goods to the lucky (and generous) residents of the Emerald.
Isabelle and Oliver outside the Primary Head's office.  For all the right reasons!!

Isabelle and Ava outside the Primary Head’s office. For all the right reasons!!

Ava and Isabelle exhibited key attributes outlined in our school’s vision and values

-a strong sense of responsibility

-the importance of kindness and consideration for others

-a positive contribution to the local community

-being a confident and responsible citizen.

It was an absolute delight listening to these two budding entrepreneurs’ recounts of the bake sale and the lead up to it. They spoke clearly and eloquently about their ideas, the support from parents and neighbours and the generosity of those purchasing the tasty treats. I am sure their parents are as proud of them as we are and we all wait with baited breath to see what their next venture might be.

I have only one complaint…where was my cake?

I am so proud of Isabelle.  She was highlighted at school for all the right reasons.  They both raised so much money for the orphanage (1800RMB goes a loooonnnnggg way here) and then spoke about the steps they went through in a clear and articulate manner.