top of page


Communications: Text

Conference Speaker

Nord Anglia Education China Regional Conference 2022 'Growing our Own - CPD in the Primary School'

Qatar Foundation Education Development Institute Teaching & Learning Forum 2018. 'How We Engage Students in Experiential Learning.'

Nord Anglia Education Middle East & South East Asia Regional Conference 2018 - Full STEAM Ahead 'Project Based Learning throughout the Primary School.'

Shanghai Primary School Maths Teachers' Conference 2016 with 2000 delegates. 'Similarities and Differences between Chinese and UK styles of teaching.'

Nord Anglia Education China Regional Conference 2012 ‘Supporting children with ASD in the mainstream classroom’

Communications: Text

Extract from a live Q&A session with parents

Communications: Text

Video Subtitle

Communications: Video

Community Events

March 2021 - Primary Parent Workshop - Assessment, Reporting and Rewarding.

November 2019 - Primary Parent Workshop - Assessment and Reporting.

October 2019 - Primary Parent Workshop - Student Wellbeing

Co-hosted with Marlon Devonish, elite athlete and performance coach.

2012 - 2021 A number of Korean Coffee Mornings

2014 – 2017 (Founding) TOK Community manager for Nord Anglia University

Communications: Text

Example of my weekly 'Friday Thoughts' to staff

It’s Friday and it’s the end of term 1. I have just written my end of term newsletter article and a thought piece to accompany it for anyone who is interested. (For those of you who read the newsletters, this will save you the trouble!) Before I do that, here are some bits which are just for you. They are a bit disjointed but they are all the things I want to say so thank you for humouring me!

I think it only really sank in that it’s the end of term today when I watched the panto this morning and what a great job the team did! I have to admit that I worried on behalf of BISS when Liz Wood left that the staff pantos wouldn’t be the same, however Neil has definitely found his calling and has done us proud for the past 3 years. Am I allowed to say that today was probably my favourite...? The announcement has now gone to parents to say that I am leaving and the one line which has stuck with me is this because it is so true. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” The inimitable words of Winnie the Pooh. Moving from my oldest favourite book to my new favourite, I would like to leave you with 'The Boy, The Fox, The Mole and The Horse.

“We all need a reason to keep going.” said the horse. “What’s yours?”

“You three.” said the fox.

“Getting home.” said the boy.

“Cake.” said the mole.

“I’ve discovered something better than cake.”

“No you haven’t.” said the boy.

“I have.” replied the mole

“What is it?”

“A hug. It lasts longer.”

As you probably know, I’m not a massive hugger, but here is a huge virtual one for all of you. My tag line of the term has got to be ‘Couldn’t have done it without you!’, so thank you once again and I will leave you with my Spotify playlist.

When I started writing, I had returned to my ‘Now That’s What I Call Christmas 2020’ playlist which then moved on to a playlist radio based on it. I now find myself listening to one of my graduation songs, good old Take That and ‘Never Forget’. It’s over 25 years old (what did we do before Wikipedia?!), but it still resonates. We shouldn’t forget any of it and we really do need to remember just how far we have come and just what we have learned along the way.

Just in case you were wondering Becca and Diane, I did manage to avoid telling the parents about my musical tastes! 😊

Merry Christmas everyone!

Communications: Text

Example of my communication with parents

End of Term newsletter article for parents

Now that we have reached the end of Term 1, I would like to take this opportunity to explore and celebrate different aspects of what we have achieved together during this time. I am in no doubt that all of this was only possible because we all had the support of our pride. Within school, we have all supported one another in a whole variety of ways, both adults and children. Outside of school and in the wider community, we have continued to receive support from you, our parent body, as well as from some local businesses. Through necessity, we have learned how to both support and celebrate remotely. Just as the school building did not come alive until we had children inside, not being able to welcome parents inside has meant the school has a different feeling again. As I wander the corridors at various times of the day, I no longer see parents hearing readers or supporting with specific events such as helping students in the cooking room, nor do I see proud parents watching their children as they swim or learn ballet. It is these chance meetings and conversations that I truly relish because they are moments of connection. Those are ‘just’ the daily connections I treasure; we have also missed welcoming parents for class assemblies, soloist recitals, learning showcases, concerts, productions, sports awards, SDS events and so much more. However, our staff and students have once again excelled in their creativity. They did not spend time in self-pity, they sought more creative solutions not only looking for ways to share with you, but also for ways to support eachother and celebrate as a community here in school.

This week our Christmas parties/Christmas lunch/end of term celebrations have looked different again. We were unable to facilitate the tradition of crackers as part of our lunch, so instead they made an appearance at parties instead. Anecdotal stories from teachers highlighted what we hoped for among our students and, rather than the small plastic toys being left on the tables only to be thrown away with the other lunch debris, they were an apparent highlight of some parties; some were swapped and shared while others provided some quiet amusement and a sense of achievement. Indeed, I saw one boy in 1P with a very small hoopla and the sense of achievement he showed when he was successful in getting a tiny hoop over the stick was just wonderful. Sometimes in this digital world the simple things really can still bring pleasure.

Something which has not changed since my first Christmas at BISS Puxi is the annual primary staff panto. This year was a truly fine example with our very own ‘Hansel and Bissel’. As always, the staff performed brilliantly and the students loved it. A window of ‘normal’ in such abnormal times and it is, yet again, all of our staff who I have to thank for that; not just those who performed but also those who supported. The two key words from this academic year really do seem to be ‘different’ and ‘resilient’. We also have to remember that ‘different’ is not necessarily negative and ‘resilience’ is actually a positive. Positivity is going to be our word for Term 2! I would just like to finish by saying that all of us are incredibly appreciative of everything that you, our parent community have done with us and for us. Thank you wholeheartedly and I wish you all a safe and restful break. See you in January! 

Accompanying Thought Piece – What Does Being a BISS Lion Mean to Me?

In addition to looking forward to the Gregorian New Year, we are also making early preparations for Chinese New Year in February. Every year, Ms McConnon leads our celebrations and begins by reminding us which zodiac animal is next and what characteristics that animal has. This year is the year of the White Metal Rat and, according to the Chinese zodiac, rats are often wealthy and successful in life. Next year is the Metal Ox and, once again according to the Chinese zodiac, the Ox is an honest, earnest animal.

For as long as I can remember, we have identified as Lions here at BISS Puxi. My thoughts went from characteristics of oxen to the characteristics of lions and what does it actually mean to be ‘Part of the Pride’? Not only do lions have an unmistakable presence of nobility, they move with the unruffled calm of a cat and the dignified gait of someone in command. Every now and then, the lion will play to its gruff reputation, but underneath all that hissing and scratching, it's still a pussycat at heart. I can only assume that, when the lion was chosen to represent our school the decision was indeed made based on a lion’s characteristics because when I think about what we want for our students, and the traits we wish them to develop, many of them are indeed lion-like.

Lions are also:

Protective (of territory, themselves, their young and so forth)

Brave and courageous

Willing to fight (if necessary)

Hunters (although they may or may not find it)

Group members and yet loners in the big scheme of things

If we take the idea of a lion as a leader (one of the characteristics we wish to develop in our students), we definitely need to see ourselves as part of that pride. We also need to seek ways of staying positive, no matter how crazy things are around us. We have to deliberately assemble our group - small or large - that will assist them in their - if I may use this word - survival. Lions aren't part of prides for no reason. There's a reason. We need a "pride" of our own if we are to "survive" in our positive place. So, what does it mean to me? It means pride, it means safety, it means ‘home’. However, it also means the unquantifiable feelings that these concepts bring with them. BISS Puxi is my home away from home and the community are my extended family. I am protective of each and every one of you, I will fight for you if that’s what I need to do and I will never stop hunting for something which improves your time here. As you are now aware, I will be leaving the ‘Pride’ at the end of the academic year. I need to return to where I can spend more time with my own family and once again be part of that one. It has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever made because BISS Puxi is so close to my heart and I am so incredibly proud to have been part of everything we have achieved.

Communications: Text

"If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve, not because they are not good enough but because they can be even better, there is no limit to what they can achieve."

Professor Dylan Wiliam

Communications: Quote
bottom of page