Your guide to all news at school.
Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
We have held a number of events so far this school year that mark specific times in a child's education, whether that be starting a new school, the transition to secondary school, choosing GCSE options in Year 9 or thinking of the Sixth Form. At the end of this term we are hosting a really important event that, even though it might seem to be more geared towards older students, is very much for all - thinking about careers and life after school. Indeed, it could be argued that everything a school does is in preparation for the moment when our young people leave school - aiming to equip them with, yes, excellent qualifications but also manners, character, values, principles - as Mr Barter writes so powerfully when he describes what the top universities are looking for in young people, it is always much more than just academic success.
On April 1st we are holding our second ever Careers and Futures Fair. We want to expose our young people to as wide an array as possible of careers, professions, courses and options, hearing from women and men from all walks of life and backgrounds, describing their jobs and their journey, and hopefully inspiring and informing our students about the limitless opportunities available for them when they leave school. We will be doing a range of activities across the school, in all Years, about this, so that all our students can think about and learn what life can have in store for them. This is about opening their eyes to the endless opportunities and exciting careers and lives that lie before them, with hard work and dedication. We are reaching out to all our parents and families to get your input into this event, with your advice and expert opinion on your own professional experiences, whatever path you have taken and whatever field your expertise lies in. Please do get in touch with us if you are able to support with this.
Baleares International College, Sa Porrassa
Ms Alexandra Tomlinson, Head of Secondary
Nurturing Future Leaders at BIC
As we prepare for our Careers and Futures Fair we are also encouraging our students to consider what skills and qualities they need to ensure their success as future leaders in their future fields of work.
The best schools ensure that their students are expertly equipped and prepared for life beyond university. Skills such as teamwork, leadership and other character traits which are vital for success in the professional world are taught both explicitly at BIC through our curriculum but also through Activity Afternoons, Awareness Afternoons, Inter House competitions, sport at break, lunchtime and after school and via our extra curricular after school programme.
We ensure that our students not only excel at memory and exam technique but also that they are furnished with those human and entrepreneurial traits so crucial to the 21st-century workplace.
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
Regular readers of my Sixth Form newsletter pieces will know that I often stress the need for students to develop knowledge, skills and awareness beyond their academic subjects as, soon enough, they will be leaving BIC and home, and will need to stand confidently on their own two feet. For those who have fully prepared, this will still be a challenge, but they will have a grasp of strategies to see themselves overcome potential difficulties. Those who have not engaged in these wider aspects of their school opportunities would be much less prepared and the challenge may be all too much. So, through our Global Citizenship programme, registration activities, Awareness Afternoons, Activity Afternoons and other extra-curricular activities we hope to ensure that all of our leavers will be ready for independent life and everything it will throw at them.
One of the challenges our students will face post-BIC will be starting ‘new lives’ at university or in employment; this will give our students plenty to test them. In doing so, they are also likely to embark on new relationships and there is a good chance they will be working towards having life-long partners. This week we have held an Awareness Afternoon for Years 12 and 13, on the topic of coercive relationships; not an easy topic to deal with in the comfortable surroundings of school, much harder having left school, when immediate sources of support are not immediately available. Our students are wonderful human beings, but not everyone in the wider world is so nice and we wanted them to think through how such people may, at first, appear wonderful, but alter their ways to the detriment of those close to them. We wanted this Awareness Afternoon to allow our students to be aware of the signs of being groomed to be controlled and to think through potential strategies for dealing with these events. After the event, we sought the opinions of the student participants. I am pleased that they found it interesting (7.4% average rating) and useful (7.5). Some chose to rate the whole event in general (although it was not required), giving it an average score of 8.3. Whilst these are not perfect 10s (and we will be responding to the students’ suggestions for improvements on the next afternoon), we thought these scores represented positive outcomes. Asked what they had learned, students said things like:
· ‘I learned what coercive control is, what the signs are that it is occurring, and how to helps if it happens to a friend or family member’
· ‘Be normal, be kind, treat everyone how you want to be treated’
· ‘How important it is to look for signs/red flags in the early stages of a relationship and that it is important to stick up for yourself’
· ‘To be confident to stand up for yourself and leave any relationship where this happens’
Although we tried hard to make the afternoon interactive and to have group-based activities, several of the students have asked that, for future Activity Afternoons, we have more of such student activity/involvement; so we will ensure this happens. Some have asked if we can look at healthy relationships and how to get them, so this is likely to be an area of focus in the future.
As part of their Travel and Tourism A Level, Harriet, Maisie, Cameron and Nina organised a trip to go paintballing for the Sixth Form. Over 30 students, plus Mr Drumm, Ms Bernie and Mr Barter, went on the trip. It is clear that it met the group's aims of encouraging mixing between Year 12 and Year 13 students and of ensuring that everyone had a great time. Next week, a second group, composed of Lisa, Natasja, Kristy, Luca and Natalia are taking a trip to the Quest Quest Escape Rooms in Palma.
Head of Sixth Form
Duke of Edinburgh International Award
Year 10 students completed their practice journey for their DofE bronze award earlier this month. Hiking from Soller up the formidable Barranc to Cuber reservoir, carrying all their camping kit on hefty backpacks doubled the challenge. Students learned the importance of teamwork and focus on direction and preparation (ie they got lost!).
All students enjoyed a fun and relaxed camp ahead of the second day push to Pollenca.
Our regular participants are leading the way. Lily insisted on carrying her full kit the whole distance driven by the challenge - she is unstoppable. Toby has grown into a strong hill-destroyer of a hiker. And Lara has shown a strength of character that is ferocious and positive. Accepting and relishing these adventures allows our students to find hidden depth and show us their mettle in ways that we could never imagine. Outstanding work Year 10.
Whole School House System news
House Points Totals Update - Term 2
House Points Totals Update - 2021/22
A message from your Heads of House
Miss Xidakis, Head of Parks House
Well done to everyone who reached the finals of the Bleep test on Tuesday and on Thursday. It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and team spirit. I enjoyed taking part with you and I was very proud of the finalists and how well you competed against the other Houses. It was brilliant that Parks came first in the Primary Bleep test on Tuesday.
Miss Mayes, Head of Roosevelt House
Congratulations to all students who took part in ´Matilda´ last week. It was simply an incredible performance, and I am so proud of all of you. The hard work in rehearsals paid off! Huge congratulations to all of our students who have competed in the bleep test finals on Tuesday and Thursday. What a fantastic achievement. It was so lovely to see team spirit from non competitors as well, cheering for their fellow students. It´s been an exciting couple of weeks - keep up the momentum until the holidays!
Miss Turley, Head of Galileo House
Well done Galileo. We are still in the lead!
A massive thank you to everyone who took part in the Bleep test competition and for those that came to show their support. Congratulations to Mac Cumber for coming third in the Primary final and to Carlitos Feliu Blasco for coming second in the Secondary final. It was a fantastic event.
Well done to those who were part of the Matilda production. It was absolutely amazing. You are all so talented and I am proud of you all.
Mrs Florey, Head of Winton House
I knew the Bleep Test would be Winton’s time to shine! Well done to everyone who took part- there were so many of you in the final. I want to say an extra special well done to Oliver Balazs for coming second in the Primary final and to Teo Oppenheimer and Daniel Meynell for coming first and third respectively in the Secondary final. Teo won with a score of 11.6! Well done!
Bleep Test Grand Final
This week was Bleep Test week at BIC. Students from Year 3-11 have been competing in their PE lessons over the last few weeks to reach the Grand Final. Years 3-6 raced on Tuesday and Years 7-11 on Thursday. All of the finalists put so much effort in and ran their hearts out to the encouraging cheers of their classmates.
1st- Kai - Parks House
2nd- Oliver - Winton House
3rd- Mac - Galileo House
1st- Teo - Winton House
2nd- Carlitos - Galileo House
3rd- Daniel - Winton House
Maths department news
Key Stage Problem of the Week
Over 30 students have been involved in this key initiative this half term. The competition is fierce with last term´s winner Samuel again producing some fantastic problem solving to take the lead. Ivan, Pavan, Emma, Arjuna Cornwell and Carlitos are hot on his tail!
Emma´s wonderful solution to last week´s volume problem is below:
Year 11 Revision Clinics
GCSE preparation clinics continue to run every Monday at 4pm in U10 and U12. These clinics can make such a difference to students´ chances of achieving their desired outcome in their summer exam. All students are strongly encouraged to attend.
Languages department news
These students have a say in literature. The aim for them was to provide a practical book recommendation to Year 9 students and to spark a natural sense of curiosity and wonder.
To address this challenge they recorded and edited visual book reviews providing the other group with further information and opinions, going beyond learning benchmarks.
Year 9 Spanish -Be inspired.
Literature for personal enrichment, La Casa de Asterión (The house of Asterión by Jorge Luis Borges)
Year 9 students made a real effort to internalise concepts like empathy and courage. They lead the work toward deeper understanding. More importantly, they tackled themes and perspectives on isolation, bigotry, and fear—a standard much higher than any found in a language textbook.
These students benefited from having an authentic and real audience, since the Year 8 group was to be introduced to the mystery of the Mediterranean mythical figure of the Minotaur and its symbolic labyrinth.
Let’s keep rich literature alive in a big way.
Humanities department news
The humanities department are constantly developing ways to help our students to become independent learners. Many of the students have been writing essays over the past few weeks. Careful preparation for an assessment is an important study skill, but so too is the development of editing, proofreading and reflection skills. In history and geography the Year 9 students were given self-regulation sheets. The aim of these is to help the students to correct work both before the teacher reads the work and to make corrections once feedback has been given.
As time goes on the students' self-reflection should become automatic and students should be able to make improvements on their own without a teacher even asking them. This is excellent academic training.
English department news
Year 7 students are currently exploring poetry. This week’s focus has been poetic techniques, analysing poetry and creating their own poetry, using the techniques studied.
Storyboard analysis of Prelude 1 by T. S. Eliot:
By Coco- Year 7 (below)
Writing their own poetry, using rhyme. Here is a poem called, In The Classroom by Faba, Y7:
Poetic Techniques Crossword:
By Luis - Year 7 (below)
Tweet about Robert Frost’s poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening:
By Lisa - Year 7 (below)
Year 9 students have been working hard on various homework assignments for their study of William Shakespeare’s, Romeo and Juliet.
Here are some outstanding contributions from our fabulous students:
Year 10 students are currently studying William Shakespeare`s Macbeth as part of their iGCSE English Literature course.
A Visual study tool-Macbeth Mind Map:
Here is a Shakespeare Fact File:
By Aaron - Year 10 (below)
Year 12 English Literature students are reading Brooklyn by famous Irish writer, Colm Toibin. The class was assigned a research project on various topics for their contextual study of the novel.
Here are their findings:
Science department news
Thank you to the parents who joined us for our Raising Attainment in Science Webinar (Year 11) last week. Here you will find access to the following:
Last week we enjoyed shining a light on International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The students were asked to draw an engineer in the context of learning about material properties. On balance, approximately 15% of students asked drew a picture of a male engineer. Research shows that students learn early on what they perceive to be gender specific roles. Take a look at Irene, one of our engineers as drawn by a Year 8 student (thank you Lisa) before watching this heartwarming video where students realise that they can do anything.
British Science Week is almost upon us and, with that in mind, we are putting the students firmly in the driving seat across the school. We are looking forward to planning some sequences of learning that are wholly student driven!
During a science team meeting this week, Mr Clark treated us to some training! Thank you Mr Clark.
Here is a selection of what our KS3 and KS4 students have been up to over the last two weeks in science.
Our Year 12 biologists have been studying about stem cells and their uses. As part of our Teaching and Learning focus on literacy and oracy, students presented to each other their research on the potential uses of stem cells in treating diseases.
Creative Arts department news
Wow, what can we say? The performance at Paguera theatre last Tuesday was simply incredible. The venue had a perfect stage and screen for our hybrid performance, with our live lead characters and incredible videos that supported the live show. The audience particularly enjoyed seeing the character of Amanda Thripp being thrown over Western Water Park by Ms Trunchbull - huge thanks to Mr Darlow for his incredible video editing skills!
The students performing live were outstanding. So many lines and songs were learned perfectly, and they really brought the comedy of the script to life; the audience were constantly laughing with even Ms Tomlinson admitting she was in stitches throughout. I think she secretly enjoyed being picked on by Mr Wormwood (played by Ava Bland) and the start of Act 2! With so many fantastic performances from our large cast it is difficult to highlight any one performance, however special mention really should go to Clio Von Warberer (Year 6) who played Matilda, and Amber Worrall (Year 11) who played Miss Honey for singing solo songs live as part of the show. Please enjoy the photos below from the performance. We are already thinking and planning for next year - so watch this space!
Year 8 students have been studying different theatre practitioners, and this week they have looked at Bertold Brecht. They have been learning some of the key techniques he used to make sure his audience were critical, and used what they had watched at the theatre to inform change. Here are some of them in action with their scenes they have created.
ART - Year 9 mask making