Tag Archives: BISS

Christmas at BISS

 

The children are certainly getting into the Christmas spirit at school.  Friday December 7th was a busy day at BISS.  In the morning Oliver had his Christmas concert and then we were back again in the evening for the school Christmas Carol Concert.

The concert consisted of 5 nursery classes and 3 Reception classes, all dressed in a different Christmas theme and singing their little hearts out!  I think they might have all been over-whelmed as they were on the stage in the Theatre with all the lights on them, and the Theatre was packed full of parents!  (Owen was in the UK and unfortunately missed his performance – thank goodness for video cameras!)

Different themes for different classes.

Different themes for different classes.

The Concert lasted about 30 minutes with lots of different songs about the Holiday season.  All the children were so good – singing loudly, sitting in the correct places and generally not much crying!  There were a few who got upset when they saw Mum or Dad!

Oliver's class were Christmas presents and he was wearing a lovely top underneath.  His costume was a surprise!

Oliver’s class were Christmas presents and he was wearing a lovely top underneath. His costume was a surprise!

Oliver had also had a trip to the post office last week to send the Christmas card he had made:

Oliver's Christmas card.  It arrived in our mail box after a Class trip to the Post Office!

Oliver’s Christmas card. It arrived in our mail box after a Class trip to the Post Office!

The inside of Oliver's Christmas Card.

The inside of Oliver’s Christmas Card.

We had Emma, Ava and Ethan over for dinner in the evening and then all of us climbed into our van to go back to school for the Carol Concert.  It was a lovely performance with all years involved.  We had a couple of dance performances – ballet, jazz and tap.  The band played a few songs – there is a very talented saxophone player who improvised one song!  And, of course, the different school choirs – from the very youngest (Rainbow Choir) up to Secondary/Senior school.  At the end, it was a sing-along for everybody with favourites like Silent Night and We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

There was even an interval so we could enjoy mince pies and mulled wine!

Ethan, Ava, Isabelle and Oliver at the BISS Christmas Concert.

Ethan, Ava, Isabelle and Oliver at the BISS Christmas Concert.

International Food Fair at BISS

Last week was International Week at BISS.  There are 47 different Countries represented at BISS (2000 students) and each year they spend a week specifically focused on these Countries.  The children are invited to share traditions, culture, clothing (national dress), customs and food.

Friday was the International Food Fair.  Owen had been part of the UK committee planning the British representation.  They decided on an 80’s music theme with retro party food.  The team of 8 spent the last 6 weeks planning everything down to the last detail and then making the “set”, organizing the dress code, selecting and cooking for the big day.

The British International Food Fair Committee

As you can see, the team looked FABULOUS!  They went off to various markets (there are markets for EVERYTHING in China) and found the material for the dresses, shirts and waistcoats.  They were all made within a week!  Off to another market (hotel market) to buy dishes for pennies!  Yet another market for the flags – yes, there is a flag market. The commodities market supplied headbands, (Oliver’s party bags) and other bits and bobs and also the stationary market for paper and cardboard.

Owen and John spent many hours creating the big records and building the shelving.  The couple of days before the big event was a flurry of cooking to get everything ready.  Marks and Spencer and Tesco both sponsored the event by providing food and drink – incredibly generous of them!  They were recognized with their logos on records!

Table 1 – “United”

Table 2 – “Kingdom”

The menu included: cheese and pineapple, iced gems, sausage rolls, yorkshire pudding with roast beef, scones with jam and cream, jam tarts, sausages, cheese and onion puffs and crisps.  Food colouring provided the red, white and blue lemonade!

“British” lemonade – the kids loved this!

John & Owen

Each class in each year came through and visited all the tables.  They were all dressed in clothes representing their Country and Isabelle and Oliver were so excited about this!  They both thought that the British stand was the best by far (they had to say that, of course!!)  but they also enjoyed Peru and New Zealand (they just served ice cream!).  Owen thought India was the 2nd best – after UK!

Isabelle visiting Daddy at the British stand

Oliver visiting Daddy at the British Stand

The Headmaster was most impressed when he came round.  Apparently, the British display was not very good last year with several other Countries putting on a far better show.  Not the case this year!

Great food from India!

Sweden

Ice Cream from New Zealand

Indonesia

Malaysia

Japan

Hong Kong

Italy

Korea

The Danish team (there are only 2 Danish families at BISS, so this was a 100% effort!)

Taiwan

South America – Colombia, Peru, Chile

Mexico

Stetsons and denim from America

Africa

Singapore

Isabelle and Oliver thought it was a brilliant day – non stop food!  Owen served nearly 2000 kids and was exhausted at the end of the day, but said it was a great day and a really well organized event all round.

Showing off the Tesco record for the Tesco Executive who came to check it out!

BISS Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night)

“Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I see of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
‘Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below.
Poor old England to overthrow.”

So the saying goes.  To celebrate this tradition, bonfires are burned with effigy’s of Guy Fawkes on top and fireworks are let off.  Last year, we went to fabulous display in Chalfont St Giles, England.  We were all bundled up in coats, scarves, gloves and hats.  This year we needed long sleeves, but it was still a mild evening!

BISS has a tradition of celebrating this very British event and so on Saturday night we were off to the school.  There were lots of local restaurants selling food, the PFA were selling sparklers, glow sticks and wine and beer!  They had challenged the students to create a “Guy” to burn on top of the bonfire and there were 7 Guys in the competition.

Oliver and Isabelle by the bonfire

Oliver and Isabelle by the bonfire

Oliver & Isabelle showing off their glow sticks and glow earrings

Oliver & Isabelle showing off their glow sticks and glow earrings

I love this photo as it looks like Owen's hair is on fire!

I love this photo as it looks like Owen’s hair is on fire!

A mild evening and roaring bonfire!

A mild evening and roaring bonfire!

Enjoying a beer and glass of wine before the fireworks start

Enjoying a beer and glass of wine before the fireworks start

I took over 20 photos of the fireworks and this is the best of the lot!  I really admire the professional photographers who manage to get spectacular shots of the fabulous displays……

The best photo of the fireworks!

The best photo of the fireworks!

After the fireworks, Emma, Matthew, Ava and Ethan came back to our house to continue the fun.  The boys disappeared upstairs to play.  It was awfully quiet and when we went up to check on them, we could see why!  Oliver had found the face paint from Halloween and painted Ethan:

Oliver's artwork on Ethan's face

Oliver’s artwork on Ethan’s face. And, doesn’t he look smug!

Meanwhile the girls had changed into party dresses and had been practicing dance moves to Psi’s “Gangnam Style”.  (30 second video clip below!)  I love when an impromptu evening is so much fun!  

BISS Halloween Activity Day

Today was Halloween Parade at BISS.  Isabelle and Oliver both got to wear their Halloween costumes to school instead of their uniforms.  So, Dash and Violet Incredible came out for the third time in 7 days!  I rode on the school bus with the kids, which they thought was the coolest thing!  (I will remind them of this in 5-8 years time when I am no longer cool!)

Once at school, I walked Oliver to his classroom and then joined the other Mum’s (and Dad’s) in the Secondary lunch room for a coffee before going into the Theatre for the Halloween Parade.

The 3 Reception Classes all in Costume for Halloween Parade Day

The 3 Reception Classes all in Costume for Halloween Parade Day

The Reception Classes came in first and Oliver’s class – Reception Alder, was the first on the stage:

Reception Alder.  Oliver is Dash Incredible.

Reception Alder. Oliver is Dash Incredible.

All 3 reception classes performed a wonderful dance to the Skeleton Song (knee bone connected to the thigh bone, etc!) and then there were 5 Nursery classes who joined them on the stage.  What a wonderful sight to see so many lovely children in so many different costumes.

A full stage - 3 reception classes and 5 nursery classes in costume!

A full stage – 3 reception classes and 5 nursery classes in costume!

Once the Parade was over, all the parents went back to their little one’s classroom for Halloween activities.  It was so much fun to spend an hour with Oliver helping him decorate a cup cake, paint a trick or treat cup, make a spooky eye, play a halloween memory game, and stick 20 pumpkins on a sheet in the right order.  He was so happy to have me there and it is moments like this that I treasure.

Oliver painting his trick or treat cup.

Oliver painting his trick or treat cup.

Decorated cup cake and spooky eye.

Decorated cup cake and spooky eye (which he did not want to eat because it was an olive!!)

Halloween artwork

Halloween artwork

Proud of his previous artwork that is on display

Proud of his previous artwork that is on display

I love that his pizza has the most toppings!

I love that Oliver’s pizza has the most toppings!

A lovely start to my day.  Memories made for both of us.

BISS “Ourselves” day, Roman Day, Picnic Day and others……

The school that our children go to, British International School Shanghai, (BISS) is a great school and I am so grateful that they are happy there, getting a fantastic education and having fun!  The school sets high standards – above the standard UK government recommendations and so the expectations are that our 2 should do incredibly well here.  I particularly like that they involve parents in many of the topic and class activities.  For example, a couple of weeks ago, Oliver was finalizing his topic on “Ourselves” which included building his own family tree, learning about the different parts on him, things that people have in common as well as the differences between him and many of his classmates (it is an International school with many different colours of skin, accents, languages and cultures – all of which are discussed and celebrated).  I got the chance to spend a couple of hours helping him finish his family tree and then the finale – draw around him and help him finish his “Oliver self portrait”.

Oliver with his finished "me"

Oliver with his finished “me”

I drew around him and he did all the painting, cutting and sticking on of everything.  It was so much fun!

One of Isabelle’s recent topics has been on the Romans and the finale was to dress up as a Roman for the day:

I am a Roman Goddess!

I am a Roman Goddess!

Showing off the cape......

Showing off the cape……

Walking like a ....... Roman!!

Walking like a ……. Roman!!

Another parent involved day was to assist with a practical on following instructions.  In class, Isabelle brainstormed different sandwich fillings and all the elements that go into making a healthy sandwich.  The next day she had to take those ingredients in and make her sandwich.  This was the parent inclusion aspect!  She was so excited when I arrived in class (about 50% of the children had parents there to watch!)  Then we all went to the football field to enjoy a picnic with the finished result.

Isabelle enjoying her self made sandwich with friends

Isabelle enjoying her self made sandwich with friends (Ava, Sophia, Maddie, Sarah and Mayha).

I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to participate in these events every now and then – it really makes the difference to my life and to the kids!

Oliver's class - Reception Alder. Teacher is Miss S

Oliver’s class – Reception Alder. Teacher is Miss S

Oliver's artwork - his pasta name!

Oliver’s artwork – his pasta name!

 

Another year at BISS – First Day of School

Monday August 27th was  the first day of school for the education year of 2012/13.  This year Oliver started in Reception (Kindergarten) while Isabelle is now in Year 3.  My 2 gorgeous children were not at all nerves as we had all been to the school the Friday before for orientation.  We met their teachers, saw their classrooms, they knew where their backpacks would go – all ready with their names!  There is a new Principle/Headmaster this year and he gave all the parents an introduction to himself, the other new teachers and plans for the coming year.  He also announced the results – outstanding that over 50% of the A Level class got A* or A grades and the list of Universities that the pupils are going onto are the very best in the world.  Phenomenal achievements and a wonderful reflection of the quality of the education at the school that our children are at.

No nerves here!  Just excitement.....

No nerves here! Just excitement…..

Lovely hugs

Lovely hugs

 

Ready to board the school bus on the first day of school

Ready to board the school bus on the first day of school

On their way.......

On their way…….

2 weeks into the new school year and they are both settled into class, like their teachers, are thrilled with the friends in their classes and are full of the days activities each night at the dinner table.  Isabelle has more homework this year than last and that is taking some adjusting to.  Oliver has started bringing his first books home to read and is all excited about learning.  It was Extra Curricular Activities registration this week, and Isabelle was keen to do Arts and Crafts and Chinese Cooking.  So, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s will be a late night home for her as she will be having fun doing those.

I hope the rest of the school year finishes as successfully as the start of it……..

Graduating from Nursery

We have been so fortunate with Oliver’s education this year.  The nursery that he attended in the UK (Jordans) was fantastic.  He loved all of the workers there, especially Miss Chris!  Moving to Shanghai meant a change and for the last term of the year, Oliver was in Mr Alfie’s class.  Oliver adored Mr Alfie – we heard so much about him at every evening meal.  I think Mr Alfie is a big kid which is why Oliver relates to him so well!!

Oliver has made so much progress in the last few months and he has developed a love of learning – for that I am so grateful to Mr Alfie!

Mr Alfie and Oliver

Mr Alfie and Oliver

Oliver’s  graduation from nursery was a fun and (in)formal affair.  All of the nursery and reception classes were in the auditorium performing different songs around the theme of holidays…..  Oliver’s class were all dressed up as though they were going on safari.  Other classes were at the beach, ski-ing or on a cruise.

Nursery and Reception End of Year Celebration in the Auditorium

Nursery and Reception End of Year Celebration in the Auditorium

He was so proud to be singing all the songs on the stage.  And, we were so proud of him!

Daddy and cheeky monkey

Daddy and cheeky monkey

Cheeky monkey and Mummy

Cheeky monkey and Mummy

Oliver's class - on safari!

Oliver’s class – on safari!

Can you guess what we are?

Couple of Jellyfish

Couple of Jellyfish

June 7th was World Ocean Day and the kids had to dress up as a creature from the Ocean.  It was a last minute scramble to find something a little bit creative for them!  Not knowing where to go to buy fish/mermaid/dolphin/shark/whale costumes, we resorted to making them into Jellyfish.

I was rather pleased with the finished effect – it took me ages to glue all the “tentacles” on!   Both children had lots of fun that day and most people dressed up.  They have also learned a lot about the ocean this term and Isabelle’s class did an assembly on it too.

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

BISS has been celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee along with the rest of the UK (and many areas of the Commonwealth).  Friday was the Pudong Big Lunch (part of the global Eden Project) and the kids enjoyed a picnic at school.  After lunch, all the school children let off red, white and blue balloons into the sky. they had 1 each to release.  I wish I could have seen over a 1000 balloons in British colours floating away.  Here are a couple of photos from the school newsletter:

The BISS Jubilee picnic

The BISS Jubilee picnic

Over 1000 Red, White and Blue Balloons were released!

Over 1000 Red, White and Blue Balloons were released!

More Balloons.  Huge British flag on display too......

More Balloons. Huge British flag on display too……

Isabelle also had an ICT project to upload a photo of her face into a picture of the Queen and then type in what she would do if she was Queen for a Day:

If I was Queen for the Day, by Isabelle

If I was Queen for the Day, by Isabelle

I thought she did a fabulous job and think she would be an awesome Queen!

Both children came home with commemorative tea-towels too:

Jubilee memento

Jubilee memento

Summer Fair at BISS

What a glorious weekend of weather – hot, blue skies and plenty of sunshine!  It was the annual fundraiser at BISS on Saturday – all proceeds benefit a local orphanage.  It was very well set up with lots of activities for the kids to do, lots of stalls for the adults to buy things and entertainment from a local group and school kids all afternoon.  I was on duty for 1 hour, manning the coconut shy.  Meanwhile, Owen took Isabelle and Oliver to the obstacle course and all the places to win stamps to cash in for prizes!  They had fun on a surf machine and the water slides – it was nice to cool down after being in the heat all day.

The kids School!

The kids School!

It was an afternoon filled with fun and we came home with bags full of candy, toys and information on lots of local providers.  We have bought a barbeque that will be delivered on Monday, and I have put an order in for a Norwegian raincoat (I am going to need that for the rainy season here!!)  Tesco were promoting their “Finest” wine and we will be placing an order with them too!  Judging by the number of people at the school, I think it will be a very healthy donation to the local orphanage.

Isabelle & Oliver by the BISS Rock

Isabelle & Oliver by the BISS Rock