This is my second time as Principal at BIS. I had to come back to this extraordinary school because no other environment offered the incredible experiences that BIS provides. From the precious moments when children are full of laughter and joy with their friends to the intensity of their emotional moments of silence when they are given the opportunity to breathe, think and process.
No other school I have visited has ever had this balance so perfectly in place; freedom and responsibility in balance sit at the heart of courageous learning.
Brisbane Independent School’s mission is to nurture, develop and trust our pupils’ innate love of learning and positive values. This is a big mission and requires a lot of thought and process to make it happen because it is based around our Values . This mission produces graduates who are respectful, confident, competent and self-motivated, with the skills necessary for life-long learning in all facets of their lives. If you want to meet these amazing young people have a look at our Testimonials from our Past Students. Many of our Alumni also visit on the Open Day and keep actively in touch with our Alumni Facebook Group. I see them follow exciting paths that are of their own making, their own choice yet always they remain full of courage.
BIS is just the beginning of their journey.
The BISness of Learning
The process of learning at BIS is about creating the cognitive, physical and psychological grounding to make the adults who will enact the change they identify needs to happen and the pedagogy is designed to facilitate this process.
COGNITIVE GROUND – The decision we make in our child’s primary school years make their first stories of success and failure, their first beliefs about what to expect from life, their first vision of what they can achieve in their future. In their early developmental stages they can easily take on self perceptions that are hard to shake later in life. How many of us say “I’m bad at …” because of a primary school judgement that often has little evidence in your lived adult experience. Consequently, ever experience and interaction matters in building their cognitive self understanding. Their learning is exciting, tailored and allows for mastery and vision. Creative thinking, tempered by critical analysis is what allows all little minds to thrive.
PSYCHOLOGICAL GROUND- BIS begins the journey of awakening awareness to our interior ego and self understanding, with a considered personalised education that nurtures the child’s strengths, works to build on their weaknesses and most of all, empowers them with a self understanding that comes from a deep respect for their individualism. We don’t want our students to be compliant and silent, but we want them to learn how to work with systems as well. Knowing when a battle is worth fighting is a key component of a BIS education. We want them to know they can argue when things are not right, when they don’t feel safe and most importantly, that suffering is not a requirement of life. We want them to have an education where the community knows their name, where their parents are part of the action and welcome in the classroom and where they can feel safe and loved.
PHYSICAL GROUND – Our concrete physical experience is just as important to our learning and development as our more subtle mind and cognition. A BIS education teaches you to notice your senses and use them to stay safe and well. The importance of staying aware to what feels safe and good with your body is essential for your safety now and for a physical body that will carry you into adulthood. We honour the cycles of your body during your time at school. Practically this means you can get something to eat when you are hungry ( not just at break) and that going to the toilet is not a request that can be denied (you just need to tell us you are going). We expand this physical connection through simple things such as allowing no shoes so your toes can wriggle on the ground and you can wear clothes that make you feel comfortable.
These three tenants of our mission are key to who we are and form the basis of our Values. I love being at BIS because everything that we do is considered and coherent because it comes back to this mission. It is a fascinating journey of discovery and learning for all of us. Come and visit and see for yourself.
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