Internationalism at BISS Puxi: How our students are making a difference

By 2019-12-20 15:23:55

I often discuss with pupils the importance of our school vision and how this impacts upon their curricula and experience at The British International School Shanghai. It’s important to us our ‘Be Ambitious’ philosophy shapes what we do and why we do it. As you may be aware, Internationalism is one of the five pillars that underpins our ambitions. We encourage our students to be internationally-minded, to understand the different cultures and societies in which we live and to appreciate and support different communities. We want them to step up and take the lead when required: be compassionate, responsible and respectful. If you look at the activities our pupils have led this week, you will have seen all of these values in action.

Firstly, a big ‘shout out’ for our Year 12 students and our upcoming Christmas Fair (Saturday 30 November 11:00am-3:00pm). They’ve been busy preparing games and crafts for your child to take part in at the Fair, including the ever popular ‘Sponge the Teacher’, ‘Pin the tail on the Reindeer’ as well as the Bouncy Christmas Castle. You’ll be able to buy a wristband for 30 RMB at the entrance to the fair which will give you access to all of these exciting activities. They’ve also been busy sourcing and wrapping up our raffle gifts, including some great prizes to win – five magnificent Lego sets (my favourite is the Harry Potter Castle!); Disney Shanghai gift vouchers; scooters, skateboards, art sets and seasonal gift baskets of food. Please do ensure that you buy your raffle tickets in the week ahead and at the Christmas Fair itself.

These activities form part of the service element of Year 12 students CAS element of the IB Diploma Programme. They are supporting the Indochina Starfish Organisation, which helps to provide education for the poorest children in Cambodia – each year students travel there and take part in activities to support the project. Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) is a Cambodian charity with over 13 years of experience using education and sport to change lives. In Cambodia, less than 5% of youth will finish high school. The poverty many children live in not only strips them of their childhood but it also means that they miss out on an education and vital life skills that are taught through peer interaction and play. Our Year 12 pupils are supporting those most in need to build a brighter future.

World Children’s Day

Thirty years ago, world leaders made a historic commitment to the world’s children by adopting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – an international agreement on childhood. It’s become the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history and has helped transform children’s lives around the world. But still not every child gets to enjoy a full childhood. Still, too many childhoods are cut short. Marking its anniversary at The British International School Shanghai on Wednesday, 45 students set about raising awareness about UNICEF as well as funds for the organisation to help it to tackle inequalities amongst children worldwide. Our pupils took part in a sponsored silence, lots of cake and bubble tea was sold and between them, these students raised a total of 8200RMB for UNICEF. We underestimated somewhat the power of bubble tea, which proved to be hugely popular, along with homemade cookies and red-velvet cake! A special mention to the girls who prepared the bubble tea - Peggy, Heidi and Jay in Year 10 who did an amazing job. Thank you also to students from our Charity Committee who worked on WCD - Feliz, Aieshanie, Paula, Hou Dren and Ayush.






… And in Tanzania

Further afield, fourteen of our adventurous and spirited Year 9 students are currently participating in our expedition to Tanzania where they are carrying out their own community service through our alignment with the Seeway Project. This group supports sustainable development close to Arusha in northern Tanzania.You can find out more here. Our students have worked with vulnerable families in different communities, from up on Mt. Meru amongst banana and coffee plantations, to the dry flat plains south of our Nord Anglia basecamp. Families have received goat sheds, solar-powered systems, and fuel-efficient rocket stoves - all built or installed by our pupils. They’ve also been heavily involved in building within the community; working in extreme heat and humidity, they have dug, mixed cement, plastered walls and laid bricks. Well done to the students for their international-mindedness, and for making a difference to the lives of children in these northern Tanzanian communities.

And finally….

All of these activities help to shape and develop our children’s value, to develop a global perspective, to be reflective about their own lives and to engage in the world around them in a responsible and caring way. This is the key to our ‘Internationalism’ pillar and I am immensely proud of the efforts that students make and the achievements that they reach through these activities.