The British International School Istanbul

Zekeriyaköy Mahallesi,Kilyos Caddesi
No:227/1,2 Sarıyer-İstanbul,34450

Tel:       +90 212 202 7027 Ext 111/112

Week in, Week out
A School publication

Welcome back for the start of the new academic year. We'd like to extend a warm welcome to all of our new students and families who have just joined the BISI family, and of course, our returning students and families who are continuing their BISI journey. We're so happy to have you all here and look forward to guiding you into the 'new normal at BISI'. 

This has been a year full of huge change, adaptation, uncertainty, and one which will never be forgotten. A year which has required us all to adjust to a new way of learning and living, and to connect in new ways through various forms of technology. After the technical issues which ensued at the start of the first week back, due to Turk Telekom issues, we're happy to see that the new school year is settling down and our students are hopefully adapting to their new schedules and routines and fully immersing themselves in to the new academic year. 

We'd like to thank all of our BISI community; our teaching staff, students and parents for your patience, diligence and resourcefulness as we continue with our remote teaching and learning journey. 

We were delighted to welcome our Early Years Foundation Stage Students back to campus on Monday of last week; the first time since 13th March when the school closed and switched to online learning. We share with you some pictures this week of our youngest students leading the way for the 'new normal at BISI' and hope this brings some lightness and cheer to you all as we wait for our older students to join us on campus. Hopefully that day will come soon! Well done to all of our EYFS students for following the guidelines and displaying excellent adaptation skills during such challenging times. 

The campuses have been very busy over summer, adapting and changing to ensure all safety precautions are implemented so we can be ready for the return of our students, once the decision has been approved by the Ministry of Education. We'll share with you this week some highlights of the journey as we prepare for a new school year and all the challenges it will bring. We've missed the BISI community and our regular schedule of events, but have been thrilled to see the active participation from students and families since March and hope that soon we can see one another in person . But until then, please continue with the positive spirit we experienced in our final school term during the last academic year and let's support one another through these challenging days until we can resume our regular schedules in school. 

Major updates have been made to our mailing list through the Communications department. If there are any issues receiving either emails or sms messages, please contact the department at:

For those of you who are new to Istanbul and may not have a local phone number yet, please be sure to update us with your new number once the details are confirmed and we'll add you to the school sms system straight away!

We hope you enjoy the first newsletter of the year. A glimpse into the daily life at BISI and the things that are happening even when you're not here. 

Enjoy the read!
Volume 3 Number 1
EYFS First Week Back 
This week was the first week back for the EYFS Students. With safety precautions in mind students have been happily adapting to the new norms by having lots of class and play time in the Botanical Garden, lunch served outdoors, wearing masks and sanitising regularly.
Introducing the New Senior Leadership Team at BISI 
Introducing Richard Robinson: Newly appointed Director of Secondary

Mr Richard Robinson’s Background:
After graduating from the University of Kent with a degree in Chemical Physics, Mr Robinson went on to postgraduate research at the University of East Anglia, gaining a Master of Science degree followed by a PGCE in 1994. 

He began his teaching career in 1994 in South London, where he worked for 4 years as a Science, Maths and Chemistry teacher. In 1998 he moved to the Amman Baccalaureate School, Jordan, where he taught IGCSE and IBDP Physics. Following this, Mr Robinson moved to Jerusalem in 2000, where he worked as a teacher of IBDP Physics, Maths and Chemistry, then additionally as MYP Coordinator, IBDP Coordinator, and then as Director of Studies.

In 2005 Mr Robinson made the move to BISI where he took on the role of Director of Studies, IBDP Coordinator and teacher of IGCSE & IBDP Physics at BISI. In 2014, he was appointed to the new role of Deputy Director of Secondary School, working alongside Mr William Bradley.

We are delighted to welcome Mr Richard Robinson as a continuing member of the Senior Leadership Team in his new role, and hope you will all join us in offering him your warm welcome and congratulations. 
Mr Russell Gunnell’s Background:
After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Literature and Drama, Mr Gunnell’s first appointment was supporting hearing impaired and deaf undergraduate students at the University of Worcester. This afforded travel and his first visit to Turkey in 1997. Previous TEFL work in Greece enabled him to secure a teaching position in Ankara. During this time Mr Gunnell extended his ESL experience through several British Council trainings before becoming himself a teacher trainer. 

In 2002 Mr Gunnell returned to the University of Worcester to complete his PGCE and begin his teaching career in the UK. Fast-tracked, Russell was awarded Advanced Skills Teacher status just one year after his NQT year as an English teacher. Outreach work provided him the opportunity to visit many schools located in the Midlands and develop coaching skills as he worked alongside educationalists dedicated to school improvement. In 2006, as County AST and Literacy Advisor, Russell increased his Outreach work further when he joined the Worcestershire Local Authority Link Inspection team. These formative inspectorate years helped to embed strong pedagogical knowledge, develop critical analysis of practice, and gain experience in managing and implementing professional development to address a variety of schools’ improvement plans.

In August 2008 Russell returned to Turkey and joined BISI as our Head of English. During his tenure he has reshaped the English department and created a team of highly reflective English teachers focused on improving literacy and the delivery of literature. For many years Russell has had a strong voice within the Middle Leadership of the school. We are delighted now in welcoming Mr Russell Gunnell to the Senior Leadership Team where he will continue to support us in maintaining and improving standards.
A Warm Welcome to all New Staff at BISI

We would like to extent a warm welcome and introduce all our new staff for the 2020-21 Academic year.


Elizabeth Smith – , EYFS2 (Reception) Class Teacher
Bridget Reed –  Year One Class Teacher
Liam Fawcett –Year Five Class Teacher
Sean Dennison –  (National and International), Music Teacher
Violetta Isupova - (National and International) Physical Education Teacher


Louise Dominey – EYFS2 (Reception) Class Teacher
Eda Nur Kuş –  Year Two Class Teacher

Middle School (Year Five) :
Elif Kamilçelebi – Turkish Teacher
Ayşenur Uyma – Mathematics Teacher
Meltem Vurkun – Science Teacher
Elif Yılmaz –  Social Studies Teacher
Gülden Arsoy –  Religious Studies Teacher
Dilek Çimen - Counsellor 


New and Returning teachers: 
Briley Habib - Geography teacher
Sepehr Taheri - Physics teacher
Amy Sozer - History teacher
Aftab Hamid - English and ESL teacher
Parent's Guide to BISI Secondary 

As a parent, we'd like to share with you a useful guide to secondary, containing lots of contacts and other useful information relating to the Secondary School. 

Please click here to access the guide.

2020 Sing Along Digital Choir 

On the 11th of March 2020, thousands of singers across the world came together to sing There's a power in the music by Lin Marsh. Our very own BISI primary student's also joined this event. Click here to view the video (BISI students are featured at 2:37)
Filming the 'New Normal' at BISI

This week we have been filming all the changes made at BISI and the safety precautions implemented so we can be ready when our students join us again at school. All staff are fully prepared and ready for the new school year and we're all excited for the day when we can finally be together again at our campuses. We'll keep you updated on the news as the Ministry make further announcements. 

We're looking foward to sharing this video with the school community soon. Stay tuned...
Please keep checking your emails for school updates. We'll be keeping you up to date with all important developments as the days and weeks progress. Thank you again for your hard work, patience and understanding during this difficult time. 

Wishing you all a peaceful weekend. 

Stay safe and follow the guidelines!

Best wishes,
BISI Communications