Brand New, Big Changes at BISB
Updated: Jun 25, 2022
By Vikrant Sabharwal
As the new Head of School at BISB, Mr. Thornhill has made one of his first big changes to the school; he and the Senior Leadership Team have recently reformed the leadership structure of BISB.
The changes were largely driven by a desire to better meet the varying needs of different parts of the school. Having certain members of staff in each area of the school, fully incorporated into the school’s leadership, would help do this. These changes also enable current staff members to make even greater contributions to the school and its community. Below are some of the new, major leadership appointments that were made.
New Organizational Appointments and Changes:
Assistant Headteacher of Middle and High School: Mr. Will Corrie
Early Years Coordinator (Toddlers, Nursery, and Reception): Ms. Claire Martin
Early Years and Year 1 & 2 Leader (Toddlers - Year 2): Ms. Lucy Ripman
Years 3 to 6 Leader: Mr. Mark Tugwell
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Leader: Ms. Rathina Sangaralingam
Head of Humanities (Geography, History, Psychology, Theory of Knowledge): Mr. Stephen Wallace
Head of Visual and Performing Arts (Art, Dance, Drama, Music): Mrs. Jessica Smith
A couple more new leadership positions are being added including a Head of Lower School and Head of Middle and High School. The middle and high school have been separated to a greater degree. Having a Head of Middle and High School will help bring more cohesion to the development of students across grades, especially the transition of middle school students to high school. With a major issue of BISB being the retention of Year 9/8th grade students, having a Head of Middle and High School has the potential to improve retention by bringing these benefits to the table.
Joining the leadership of the middle and high school will also bring greater consistency to the welfare support given to students, something that has been missing for years. Bringing more consistency here is something that the current Directors of Student Welfare (DOSW’s) for both the middle and high school, have been working on. Mr. Corrie’s appointment as Assistant Headteacher of the Middle and High School also adds another layer of critical leadership support, to further the benefits given by the change.
Mr. Will Corrie - Assistant Headteacher of Middle and High School
A similar adjustment to the primary school also came with the appointment of a leader for Early Years, Years 1-2, and a leader of Years 3-6. Before this, there was just one DOSW of the entire primary school with no clear head. With the needs of Years 1-2 being so different from those of Years 3-6, this change assures that the circumstances of different primary students are better addressed. This change also comes at the right time because, with the number of students in the primary school at full capacity, its largest level in a while, robust leadership is important to assure that no students are left behind.
Ms. Lucy Ripman - Early Years & Years 1-2 Leader
Mr. Mark Tugwell - Years 3-6 Leader
Another significant organizational change to BISB’s academics consisted of the creation of a humanities department. This is significant because the new department combines numerous existing departments including Business, Geography, History, Psychology, Theory of Knowledge, and other subjects. This move will support a more interdisciplinary approach to the teaching of the humanities at BISB. Under one department, greater links in the curricula will be made between subjects, enabling the students’ ability to make more connections across disciplines and improve critical thinking as a result. While the number of different departments being put together here may seem overwhelming, the oversight and interdisciplinary opportunities that it will provide to improve the quality of teaching and learning, are critical.
Mr. Stephen Wallace - Head of Humanities Department
On the art front, having varied arts opportunities has been a significant focus of BISB for a while, in its overall effort to strengthen the offering of extracurricular opportunities available outside of their strong academic core. The new art department combines the visual and performing arts fronts of the school; forms like arts, dance, crafts, drama, theatre, film, have all come together under the new department. Similar to the humanities department, this will create an even more dynamic experience for students studying arts, especially with the stronger links formed between the teaching of the different art forms.
Ms. Jessica Smith - Head of Arts Department
A brand new position at BISB is The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion leader, a demonstration of BISB’s heightened awareness of representation issues, and their desire to adapt to meet the evolving societal norms of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The role of Ms. Sangaralingam here will be to develop diversity and inclusion programs, develop more inclusive curricula, and support more equitable hiring practices. As an international school with students and teachers from many different cultures, this new position is essential to further foster the diversity that BISB already champions.
Ms. Rathina Sangaralingam - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leader
Overall, it is clear these new leadership reforms will benefit BISB in a wide variety of ways. Mr. Thornhill feels that the changes to the organizational structure will be instrumental to enable continuous improvements in the teaching and learning process. He expects to work with the Senior Leadership Team to continue making significant changes like this one, as the year progresses.