Welcome to the start of the 2018-2019 academic year at BSM and the first edition of the Lion’s Roar for the new school year. It has been good to meet returning families this week and to welcome new members to our community. We also have enjoyed welcoming our Year 7 students and families as they have made the transition from Primary School into the Senior School at BSM.
Our Year 13 student leadership team introduced a new initiative this year, with a welcome day for new BSM students on Friday 10 August. We hope that this helped to smooth the transition for any new students and is something we plan to build upon in future years.
In this edition of the Lion’s Roar we introduce you to the new members of staff that have joined the Senior School for this academic year. For each new member of staff we have produced a short biography to give you an insight into their qualifications, background and interests. All new staff are experts in their respective fields and passionate about the subjects they are teaching. They bring with them much enthusiasm and will add huge value to the work already taking place in the Senior School.
New Senior / Whole School Staff Biographies:
Tim Costello: Tim joined the BSM team in August 2018 as Head of Music. He was previously the Director of Music at Nexus International School Malaysia for six years, Head of Music in the Middle East for three years and before that he worked on the Senior Management Team, at Ringmer Community College in East Sussex. Tim is a Trumpet player and Music BA (Hons) graduate from Dartington College of Arts. After a year travelling around the world, he then went on to study for his PGCE at Sussex University.
Tim is passionate about lifelong learning and he recently furthered his own learning at the National College of School Leadership in the UK, and has successfully completed his NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship).
During his 14 years at Ringmer Community College, Tim was nominated for the Teaching Awards by his pupils and parents; he was awarded ‘Secondary Teacher of the Year for the South East of England’ in 2007. Since winning his award Tim has been working as a Teaching Awards Judge. He is passionate about empowering learners to work independently, collaboratively and using many styles of learning as possible.
Outside the classroom Tim is also a Yachtmaster, an Enriched Air Rescue Diver and he loves spending time on or in the water. He also aims to pass on some of these skills to the learners at BSM.
Tim was married to his wife Jo in April 2018 and they are both very excited about their new life in the Philippines.
Stuart Gilmer: Stuart grew up on the West coast of Scotland, memorising word for word every David Attenborough, Steve Irwin and nature show he could find. Stuart has always had a passion for wildlife, leading him to study a BSc (Hons) in Animal Biology at Stirling University, Scotland. As a student, Stuart worked part time at a Safari Park, as a sea lion keeper and volunteer educational officer, paving his way to complete his PGDE at the University of the West Coast of Scotland, and a future career in teaching.
Stuart began his teaching career in Aberdeen, Scotland, and most recently has been teaching in Jiaxing, China, as Head of Science. He has a strong philosophy for providing his students with choices and opportunities to decide how they want to learn. Stuart is every student’s biggest fan, and his door is always open (even when it’s closed).
Stuart is delighted to be in the Philippines, a country he loves and has visited many times. When he is not working, he can be found performing and enjoying live music, chasing adventures and camping under the stars.
Neil McCulloch: After a quarter of century in International Education, Neil is delighted to be joining the British School of Manila. He is looking forward to working in a vibrant school
community, as well as living in a country with a rich history, heritage and culture. He hails from the Emerald Isle and the province of Ulster where he completed his schooling. Neil moved across the water to complete his undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow and then subsequently moved south to London to complete his Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) at the University of Greenwich. He began his teaching career at Magdalen College School near Oxford in England before moving to the New English School in Kuwait in the Arabian Gulf. He then spent four years at the International School of Lusaka in the wonderful country of Zambia. For the last fifteen years he has been at the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore, although between 2011-2012 he took a sabbatical, using this time to study for a Masters in Education at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He is mainly a Business Studies / Management and Economics Teacher and will also be teaching Theory on Knowledge at BSM. In his spare time he loves to travel and has visited fifty countries. He enjoy treading the fairways and greens of a golf course. Neil is also an avid ‘foodie’ and is look- ing forward to tasting some of the delicacies of the excellent Pinoy cuisine.
Patricia Ransom: Patricia grew up in a small town in Northern Ontario, Canada but dreamed of expanding her horizons. After completing her BSc and BEd through Brock University, Patricia landed a job in Kent, England where she spent five years in a large public school. During this time, she became a Co-ordinator of Science and Head of Science, overseeing a department of over 20 staff.
Patricia’s British husband also yearned to experience teaching abroad, so together they embarked on an international journey. This brought them to Kingston, Jamaica for three years where Patricia discovered a love for diving, coconut water, and Blue Mountain coffee. She was introduced to the IB diploma program and enjoyed learning the level of rigor, standards and opportunities for self-development. During this time, they also welcomed their son Jack who will join BSM in the near future.
Having always wanted to explore Asia, Patricia and her family moved to the Philippines in 2016 to the German European School of Manila where she taught IB Biology and Environmental Systems and Societies and IGCSE Biology and Chemistry.
Having had two years’ experience living in Manila has helped to ease the transition to BSM. She understands the many quirks living in such a big city has and is still enjoying exploring new areas every day.
Adele Turner: Adele graduated from the University of South Australia with a BEd in Secondary Art & Design in December 1998. In January 1999, Adele travelled to the UK in order to see firsthand many of the works of art and design that she had studied during her four year degree, whilst also teaching Art in East London. By this stage, the desire to explore as much of the world as possible had well and truly kicked in, and Adele spent the following eight years teaching in Turkey and Thailand, before moving home to Australia in 2009. She has spent the last six years working at a large independent college in South Australia, gaining experience as a Head of House, Gallery manager/curator, and Head of the Arts Department.
Adele is a passionate advocate for the Arts, and a keen practicing artist and designer. She has shown her artwork in numerous exhibitions, and also freelances as a graphic and textile designer.
Adele is joined in Manila by her husband Adam, who is also an Art teacher, and their two young daughters, Ihlara and Sarai. The girls, who are enrolled in the Primary School at BSM, are as excited as their parents to be embarking on a new adventure in the Philippines.
Joanne Cuthbert: After graduating from Worcester University with a BEd in Design Technology Jo started her career in rural Lincolnshire as a Food and Textiles Technology teacher. In 1999 she moved to Brunei where she also took on the role of Head of Year and, eventually, Head of Upper School. Collaboration with the Learning Support and EAL teams formed a significant part of her work in Brunei and proved to be both fascinating and rewarding so, in 2006, Jo decided upon a change of direction. She returned to the UK and to full-time study at the University of Leeds where she completed her MA in Special Educational Needs. Since then, she has worked as Head of Learning Support/SENCo in the UK and Singapore.
Jo has continued to develop her understanding of students’ learning through a postgraduate diploma in literacy difficulties and the diagnosis of specific learning difficulties. She is also an Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association (AMBDA).
In her spare time Jo is either cooking, trying new foods or planning her next adventure – planning is as much fun as the travel itself! Jo has loved the welcome she has received so far and cannot wait to get to know the BSM community and the Philippines better.
Claire Ireland: Claire has a background in psychology and education and has worked as a counsellor in Switzerland, the UK and Malaysia. Prior to that she was a Primary Teacher for many years, a job she also loved. Claire is an Integrative Therapist so uses a variety of tools but her core approach utilises Acceptance Commitment Therapy. She is very interested in Positive Psychology as it guides us in creating environments that maximize wellbeing schools. She wants to encourage students to develop their character strengths and values to maximise their potential. She would like all students to develop emotional intelligence skills including Mindfulness to enable them to be resilient, self-aware and compassionate.
Claire loves living in Asia and feels really at home in Malaysia, she is excited about the prospect of moving to BSM where she understands a great priority is being placed on pastoral care. She had nieces and a nephew in BSM so knows the people in the Philippines are warm and friendly and is excited about the move. Claire has a son in China and another in the UK, she uses her holidays to see them as much as possible and pursue her interests. Claire is very interested in Indian holistic health, Ayurveda and meditation. Her favourite sport is skiing but due to geography may soon well be diving- once she gets over her dislike of putting her head under water!
This year MFL are welcoming four new members to the department. Alex Van Lierde, a French teacher who will be teaching Primary French, as well as three new Language Assistants. Margarita Santacruz for Spanish, Alex Sihl for French and Aina Tan for Mandarin who will mostly be supporting our primary programme. Their support will be vital to enriching our language programmes and supporting our students’ flourish as linguists.
Over the course of the next few weeks we will be running a range of information sessions and welcome events. You will receive letters outlining events that are relevant to you. We strongly urge you to attend these meetings as essential information will be shared about the year and your child’s educational journey at BSM; You will also have the opportunity to meet your child’s Form Tutor, along with other key members of the Senior School Team.
Our key methods of communication with you will be via your BSM email account for information specifically relevant to your child(ren), as well as through targeted information sessions and workshops. In addition to this more general information about BSM and the Senior School will be shared via the weekly Lion’s Roar and through the BSM Family Portal, which can be accessed through the British School Manila website. We do suggest that you read the family handbook along with key policies on the website, as well as regularly checking your BSM email account. Whilst we use electronic communication for general information, we are more than happy to meet with you should have any specific queries or concerns, or if you would like to find out more about your child’s learning at BSM.
As we start the new school year we ask for your support with your child’s academic journey, working with us to ensure your child develops as a well-rounded, balanced and happy learner.
Next week is Week B.