Communication from the Headteacher - BJAB - British Junior Academy of Brussels

Communication from the Headteacher

BJAB Day, 29th June 2020

Mrs White’s End of Term Letter, 29th June 2020

With the release of the final Reports, I usually write a letter which summarises and highlights the events of the whole year. It now seems a cliché to talk about the effects of Covid-19 as being ‘challenging’, ‘uncertain’ and ‘unprecedented’ but perhaps these words are necessary as the world is still in the throes of the pandemic and our lives have changed.  
Like all educational establishments, our year was dominated by the Distance Learning period and I am fully aware of how that affected everyone.  However, I invite you to acknowledge the positive elements and to join me in congratulating all involved in making it a success. From the first day of lockdown, each child had the opportunity to continue following BJAB’s rigorous and broad curriculum through carefully planned and executed lessons and activities. The teachers, administration staff and I, remained in close contact with every member of the community and pastoral issues were still dealt with in BJAB’s characteristically caring manner. As soon as we were given permission to open school, with a keen eye on safety, we did so. I believe BJAB’s unique environment  helped us to open fully.  Once again, I thank my colleagues for their professionalism and care since March.  I would like to say a particular thank you to the administrative team of Ms Benitez and Mrs Mace. They have worked incredibly hard in support of the school and the last months have shown how creative, flexible and professional they are. 
As much as the recent circumstances have dominated,  we have achieved a great deal. 
At the start of the year we welcomed pupils into our inaugural Year 7. The curriculum, in the usual BJAB philosophy of a stretching and broad experience, included a camping trip, a ski trip, specialist lessons from a range of teachers and strong leadership from the three form teachers. The pupils in Year 7 took the opportunity to immerse themselves in this ground-breaking experience with enthusiasm and a spirit of adventure and I applaud their achievements. 
Activities in the rest of the school included a new raft of sports fixtures at other schools; a Science Week in January; a Musical Soiree; the Carol Concert in Holy Trinity Church; the Ruck Sack charity appeal; the visit of St Nicholas; tree planting in Flanders for the Jane Goodall Institute and a mixed media International Day and Sports Day. We had numerous visitors to the school and a wide variety of trips, all organised by the wonderful staff.  
The Pizza and Pyjama party was held with its usual success and the Friends of BJAB simultaneously held a lively quiz for parents. The autumn mud run was suitably energetic and, as always, well-attended. Although the Ball had to be postponed I thank the Friends, in particular Sallie Payne and the Class Representatives, for all the preparatory work.  I hope it will be possible to stage the event next year. 
It has been a particularly successful year of LAMDA examinations. Over 97% of all pupils achieved Distinction or Merit. A noteworthy performance.  In another example of literary success,A pupil in Year 6 was awarded Highly Commended in a  national poetry competition which was open to a pupils up to age 13, with a beautiful poem entitled Ebony and Ivory. Year 6 girls also brought the school an accolade by winning second place in a computer coding competition and, in another example of BJAB linking with other international schools through our various networks, we were runners up in a quiz, led by us, for IAPS schools.   
It now remains for me to wish everyone a relaxing and healthy summer holiday. For those of you not returning to BJAB in September, I wish you heartfelt good wishes for the next chapter in your lives and I extend an open invitation to visit whenever possible. For those who are returning, I assure you of an exciting year ahead as we take the school into a new era. 
With kind regards, 
Sarah White

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