Your guide to all news at school.
Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
The first term seems to have whizzed by, but we have packed so many wonderful things into it. One of our many initiatives we have in school to promote writing, reading and general literacy is the word of the week - hopefully you know about this and your children have impressed you already this term by using new vocabulary. This week's Word of the Week is zenith - and in the spirit of the initiative, I must confess to finding it very hard to describe my zenith of this first half term, there have been so many high points.To list but a few: all the wonderful photos of the start of year House bonding trips, which were so successful in enabling our young people to mix and meet new students in their House; seeing the older primary students acting as Reading Buddies to younger children, a fantastic way of helping their own reading, as well as that of others, and displaying kindness; the huge pile of harvest offerings donated by so many to help the homeless, a visual symbol of compassion, one of our important school values; the incredible Halloween decorations across the school, the work of so many parents (thank you) and which have caused excitement and joy all week; seeing the Sixth Form students helping in classes, supporting younger children, or acting as Spanish assistants speaking one-to-one with older students; being in the new science labs and seeing the outstanding teaching that now has the facilities to match; and of course, being in many, many lessons and seeing first hand the excellent teaching that goes on across our school every day.
My job as principal is such a privilege, and I would like to thank the senior colleagues who work so tirelessly alongside me to educate and care for your children, as well as all the extraordinary teachers and support staff we have in our school. This term we also welcomed a new Regional Head of School, Jonathan Dey, who introduces himself in this newsletter, but who you can get to meet in person, should you wish, when he visits the school for the first time in our first week back. Until then, I wish you all a safe half term break, filled with rest, enjoyment and hopefully more sunshine, and we look forward to welcoming your children back on Monday 7th November.
Baleares International College, Sa Porrassa
Mr Jonathan Day, Regional Head of Schools
A quick introduction:
Held Principal posts in the UK, UAE and Qatar – and this year marks my 30th year in education. Worked with bilingual curriculum schools for the last 7 years. Was a Country Director for another high-profile private education company in Qatar.
Last position as CEO/Principal over a family of 4 schools (FS to Y13) with nearly 500 staff and 4300 students. 70% Arabic first language speakers – world class Cambridge results at iGCSE, AS and A2. Also worked for the regulator as a Hub Leader for 7 UAE Schools.
Tribal Education International Inspector.
- Home base in Derbyshire UK, having returned with my wife, who is also an educator, in July after 10 years in the Middle East. Professional Passions:
Teacher and leadership development – NPQ Facilitator, University College Associate Lecturer, PD facilitator for many years
Cognitive Science and impact on effective learning and teaching
Professional dynamics and effective teambuilding
Mr Philip Brown, Head of Secondary
Looking back on my first half term at BIC I cannot believe how much has happened and how the time has flown.
Upon your return on the 7th November we will be beginning with an assembly to celebrate the many achievements of the last two months and to recognise the truly outstanding achievements of our students across the school.
By the time you are reading this, you should all have received your first reports of the year with our feedback on how you have performed in each of your subjects.
It has been fascinating for me to sit down with each of our subject leaders this week and hear the stories behind those grades and the plans we have to ensure that those of you who could be aiming their ambitions a little higher are reaching their full potential, and how to make sure that those of you who are giving us your absolute best work know how proud we are of you.
It is the end of a tough half term and we are all feeling very tired now, but that positive type of tiredness that comes at the end of having done important work.
I wish you all a wonderful half term break and I can't wait to see you all in November.
Head of Secondary
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
For me this half-term has been the most positive since I came to BIC. The Sixth Formers have really bought into what we expect from them, academically and socially. They have been more work (and future) focussed. They are playing a greater part in school life through Community Leadership and also through Activity Afternoons, the Debates, University Challenge Competition and organisation of the Halloween Disco. We have had two major trips out: firstly, the bonding trip to Can Pastilla and secondly the trip to the International University Fair. Years 11, 12 and 13 have bonded through these trips as well as in their combined tutor groups; there is a good deal of learning from each other’s experiences and advice. It is nice to see friendships extending across these Year groups.
I guess that as Head of Sixth Form you would expect me to present a positive outlook. So I thought it would be helpful for you to see what the students are saying. I have been consulting with Year 12 students about the positives of their first half-term in the Sixth Form. The primary purpose was to be able to understand how they feel and to better support them in the future. However, a bi-product has been that I can quote them directly and you can judge for yourself how positive these last eight weeks have been.
One student new to BIC told me, ‘I made more educational progress in 2 weeks than I did in 1 year in my old school.’ Another told me, ‘Out of the many schools I’ve been to in the past, the teachers here are the best I’ve had. They really care about what they’re teaching us and put effort into it. This school is much more strict, which to me is a positive. The students are more disciplined and responsible. I get along with most of the people in my class.’
Others, previous BIC students but also new students, have focussed more on what it is like to be a Sixth Form student and say things like:
Sixth Form Student
Since being in Sixth Form I've felt a lot more independence and I've liked how much easier it is to discuss things with my teachers. Having chosen subjects I actually wanted to do, I have been more interested and excited about going to lessons. Free periods have definitely helped me stay on top of homework and make me feel a lot less stressed and overwhelmed.
Sixth Form Student
I have a nicer experience with teachers because they see us more like adults so you can talk with them in a calmer and a more adult way.
Sixth Form Student
The teachers have taught me a lot.
Sixth Form Student
I improved in English a lot.’ and ‘I have progressed very well in retake English.
Sixth Form Student
More engaging and in depth learning within a subject one actually enjoys is really important. ‘Being able to do more specific subjects I enjoy more than the obligatory ones from IGCSE.
Sixth Form Student
I’ve found myself enjoying coming to school more frequently due to the fact I actually get to learn subjects I find interesting and enjoyable that will benefit me in the future.
Sixth Form Student
The Bonding trip was generally fun and they were fun activities….Meeting the people in my year and making friends, as they all have been welcoming and I find it very easy to get along with them.
Sixth Form Student
Even when things go wrong, students are managing to find positives; talking with teachers and learning how to better manage their activities: ‘I had a bit of a wobble when I thought that I should drop ‘subject X’ because it was getting difficult but I talked to my teacher and he encouraged me to keep it up and said that he definitely thought I could do well, which gave me more confidence in myself so I am not going to drop it.
I think even the most sceptical would have to agree that the evidence is that this has been an excellent start to the new academic year in the Sixth Form.
On Wednesday 23rd November, we have our Sixth Form Open Day and Evening. If you have friends with children aged 15 or 16, you might recommend that they attend (Parents and children) the different activities to see what we have to offer.
Head of Sixth Form
Wear it Pink Day!
A HUGE thank you to everyone who contributed and celebrated Pink Day with us today! The school was filled with pink vibes all around and throughout the day! It was a wonderful whole school effort and together we raised a significant amount in support of AECC Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer Illes Balears and Breast Cancer Awareness. We couldn't be more thankful for this fantastic effort of raising awareness among our community, and we would also like to express our special thank you to Mrs Von Waberer, Wellbeing Lead at BIC Sa Porrassa, who has led this project with extreme passion! THANK YOU!
Whole School House System news
House Points Totals Update - Term 1
A message from your Heads of House
Miss Xidakis, Head of Parks House
Congratulations for a successful half term Parks. It has been a busy half term with the University challenge, pantomime auditions, selection of House captains and vice captains across the school, House council meetings and much more. I am continually impressed by the hard work and resilience of Park students each week. Let's keep this up next term to continue earning House points and rise up in the leaderboard. I wish you all a wonderful beak.
Miss Mayes, Head of Roosevelt House
Congratulations Roosevelt for a very successful first half term. There have been many things for us to celebrate, from our amazing House bonding trips, to winning the university challenge and consistently challenging for the top of the House points leaderboard. I also want to thank Lukas and Elisa for representing us at our first school council. I wish you all a restful half term and look forward to continuing this success when we return.
Miss Turley, Head of Galileo House
Well done Galileo. We are ending the half term in first place. Thank you to all of you for gaining House points. There have been many highlights this half term including the House bonding trips and University Challenge week. I hope you all have a well deserved break over the holiday and I look forward to continuing our great start to the year when we are back.
Mrs Florey, Head of Winton House
Well done to Winton for a fantastic first half term. We have enjoyed trips and competitions and we even made it off the fourth place podium in time for the end of term! Let’s keep this upward trajectory going after half term and make sure we are in first place by Christmas! After half term we have the talent show to look forward to - we can’t wait to see all the amazing skills and talents that Winton students have.
English department news
Rotary Inter-school Debating Competition
Last week was the first debate of the Rotary Inter-school Debating Competition in which our BIC debaters were victorious. Debating on the fascinating topic, ‘A noocracy is better than a modern day democracy’, Manuel, Imogen and Ava demonstrated their skills of oracy, performance and logic - with a touch of passion - to triumph over their opponents from Lycée Français.
Congratulations to the team; we look forward to the second round debate against Montessori after half-term!
- Manuel, Imogen and Ava receive their debating certificate.
In our first whole-school English competition of the year, students from across the school submitted their poems for the poetry competition in the hope of representing BIC in the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) inter-school poetry competition.
The standard of the entries was very high, with Elena Tuke and Alex Nica deserving a special mention for their wonderful entries. After much deliberation, Mrs West and Ms Austin chose the brilliant Alice Nuwen in Year 7 as the winner. Alice will now represent Key Stage 3 in the COBIS competition. Congratulations, Alice! Read Alice’s poem below.
I Am Myself by Alice
I never felt like I belong
My life to me is a downcast song
I felt excluded, I felt thrown out
Like walking in a deserted drought.
Why was I put out of place?
I was threw out, alone in space
I felt hopeless, I felt unseen
Until the brightest idea put a spark in me.
What if I just make a change?
My own self, a meticulous range
I won't listen to those words, I want to be me
All I needed to do this whole time was just see.
I am unique, I'm one of a kind
These uplifting feelings, into the heart of mine
I can change, I don't need wealth
Because all I need to do is be myself.
A book’s cover and title can speak a thousand words, telling us a lot about the story we are about to read.
The English team would like you to sit back, relax and read the excerpt below, letting your mind fill with the many images of what the title and the front cover could be. Then we would like you to use your creative skills to draw a front cover that would go with the text whilst including a suitable title.
The real title, book cover and author will be shared in the next newsletter.
House points will be awarded to those who submit their creations to Mrs Cadman. All teachers and families are encouraged to submit their designs.
Good luck; we can’t wait to see your creations.
Reading for Pleasure Book Club
This week the students read chapter 4 of Holes, and give a quick recap on chapters 1-3.
If you are interested in joining, please come along.
Maths department news
UKMT Senior Maths Challenge Success
Eight BIC students have been awarded Bronze certificates in the prestigious UKMT Senior Maths Challenge. The challenge is a serious test of the students' problem solving and mathematical understanding. It is a fantastic achievement by all of the students.
The winners, pictured below, were
Year 11: Florian and Teo, Year 12: Jonas, Manon, Imogen and Nic, Year 13: Maja and Selina
Selina achieved the highest score in the school.
Key Stage 3 Problem of the Week
Our future UKMT Challenge winners have been working hard on their problem solving skills by completing Key Stage 3 Problem of the Week. Over 30 students have been involved so far. It is never too late to get involved! Eadrick´s excellent solution for this week is below.
Humanities department newsAn important way to learn complicated content is to make it into a story. Year 9 historians have been writing stories about what it would have been like to be a soldier during WWI. The skill is to combine accurate historical detail with emotive language and a powerful narrative; Rafael wrote a very moving account.
-December, 20 1916
It is snowing... The rats arrive hungry and by hundreds in our shelters. If at night we have not taken the precaution of covering our heads, we feel the sharp teeth of these cursed beasts on our noses, chins and ears. Even if the guns are silent, the vermin continue to crawl. Yesterday, with my friends, we caught rats as big as domestic cats. How I hate these fearsome creatures!
Zack chose to focus on the tactic of sending men over the top. This is a very powerful piece of writing that made me feel like I was actually there on the front line.
We all just stood there, a foot deep in the murky puddle water. All in complete silence. All together but separate at the same time. It felt as if we were miles apart, each of us in our own bubbles of thought.
“Over the top men. Move it!” the leading Captain hollered.
We all clambered out of the damp dirt, trying to find some traction. A couple of men slid on the slick mud and a couple didn’t leave at all.
We formed straight, inflexible rows to defend the cavalry behind us. It seems to me the Triple Entente were fairly dry on the strategic side of war. These sorts of techniques were ancient.
We marched at a slow and controlled pace
October has been Black History month and this has provided an opportunity to celebrate the achievement of the black community and also to promote reading.
Year 8 geographers have been learning to give each other feedback to improve their describing skills. They have been using a key to help their classmates understand the importance of fundamentals as geographers, such as using points of the compass and giving named place examples in their description.
Science department news
Languages department news
The Lengua Castellana group in Year 7 has been working on descriptions. Every student chose a celebrity and described him/her. We decided to put all the photos of the celebrities together and to read the descriptions of those people to try to guess which classmate described which celebrity. Most of them were easy to discover. ¡Buen trabajo, chicos!
Creative Arts department news
Drama and Music
Year 7 students have concluded their exploration of Shakespeare drama by looking at ´The Tempest´. We experimented with making soundscapes to represent the storm, and, using the opening scene of the play as their inspiration, students created their own scene about being caught on a boat in a storm. They were challenged to include some of the Shakespearian language they have learned, which many of them did! Below are some of our students in action.
Year 9 students have finished studying Bertold Brecht, a hugely influential German theatre practitioner, this half term. Along with some excellent research work, as we can see below from one slide from Beau Hawksworth´s presentation, all students have taken part in a class performance of the play we have studied. This play allowed students to use Brecht's techniques, and understand his style of plays which have a social or political message. Below you can see some of our Year 9 students in action.
6th form students are already rehearsing for the practical exams which come up later this academic year. Julian and Louis in Year 12 will be performing with Lea in Year 13, taking on an extract from the play ´Death and a Maiden´. Below we can see Lea and Louis in initial rehearsals.
BIC Rocks You - Journalist Team - Progress News!
Techs at work!
These 5 techs at work making sure we are ready for the show, each doing one part that they need to do. We have editors and stage managers filming and making notes for our show.
Actors memorising their lines.
These actors are taking a big part of the show; they are memorising lines, acting it out and more.
Artists doing art.
These 3 people are doing the signs and making the backgrounds.
Teachers (supervisors of production)
These 3 teachers have had the time to make a script print it for everyone and then teach them their lines.They have watched over us and are making this work.
Sports department news
Every term our PE Department organises an inter-House competition to build morale and team spirit, and to also encourage active participation in sport and physical activity.
Students from all the four Houses will have the opportunity to participate in netball and football for Year 7 students and Year 8 and above football and basketball tournaments in their Year group.
Congratulations to all the students who took part and earnt a House point for their team.