A one-of-a-kind prize day ceremony held yesterday afternoon at The British School of Nanjing (BSN), marked not only the end of the academic year, but also the school’s transition into the hands of its new owners, together with personal milestone prizes for both students and teachers alike.
Such a prize day is not just a celebration of achievement manifest by certification, but also a reminder of the road on which we all walk, that of growth and development plus the remarkable and seemingly impossible destinations that can lie ahead. Head Girl, Ahhjun Jeong (pictured), took to behind the podium to make a moving speech in which she spoke of her 10-year journey at BSN, from a 7-year old who could not say a word of English, to a fluent chatterbox, leading the student body and discovering a love of science that saw her bid farewell to the school today, destination the Imperial College of London, to study chemistry.
To a packed audience of students, teachers, staff and parents, Ahhjun said, “Mr. Shephard, who was my Year 3 teacher, has made a big influence in my confidence. He asked me questions, always found me a role in performances even though I could barely speak English, and never forgot to say ‘well done’ when I asked questions or after a class performance. This has helped me build enough confidence to stand up and speak in front of you all today”.
Ahhjun graduated from BSN yesterday, 29 June, with distinction. She was joined on stage by Head Boy, Gert van der Merwe, and Principal, Matthew Shephard (pictured).
In addition, as a member of the Council of British International Schools (COBIS), BSN was a winner in the organisation’s Young Scientist Film Awards for 2018. Out of 124 submissions from 38 COBIS schools, BSN won “Best Film of an Experiment” for Key Stage 1 and 2, with “BSN Year 2 Young Scientist Experiment”, inspired by a teacher forgetting his umbrella one morning and arriving on campus soaking wet.
Prize day recipients this year also included, somewhat unusually, a teacher, but for veritable good reason. Daniel Plummer, BSN’s Director of Sport and Physical Education, won a Caritas Award for service to the community. His initiative, Sport in the Community, started fairly small, but grew to encompass football, taekwondo, modern dance, ballet, golf, tennis, aqua aerobics and yoga. Reflective of the passion and dedication with which Plummer approached the project, after the conclusion of this year’s football academy in mid June, the 200 plus members of the accompanying WeChat Group flooded the group with comments of appreciation.
Still with sport, and with the 2018 World Cup in Russia in full swing, BSN has within its student body, formidable young footballing talent, in the form of Adam Amro. The soccer legend in the making who has represented the school on many occasions has also been chosen this year as the first foreigner to play for the Nanjing Youth team. Adam received a COBIS Special Award for his contributions to the community.
As one of the latest schools to join Nord Anglia Education (NAE), students and parents were given their first glimpse of a new school uniform which will soon be forming a significant part of their lives. The new BSN uniform features the NAE logo that is is part book, part crown, to symbolise how the company helps others thrive; through the offering of education and leadership.
NAE touts itself as the world’s leading premium schools organisation; a family of 55 international schools, boarding schools and private schools, located in 25 countries around the world, that together educates more than 50,000 students.