A message from Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
Homework is one of the most controversial subjects in education, and I do love controversy! Some parents want more, some less, the same for students and for teachers - but everyone has a view on it.
On the one hand is the school of thought that there should be lots of it, every day, from an early age, like in China where children can spend 3 hours or more a night on homework. At the other extreme is the Finnish approach - no homework at all. (However, to me the most interesting aspect of the system in Finland is that teachers have to be extremely highly trained, usually with a Master’s degree, are as valued and respected as engineers and doctors, and there isn’t a private system, so the best school is always the local neighbourhood one, but this discussion is for another time!)
As is so often the case, I am of the opinion that somewhere in the middle lies the truth. I absolutely believe that children should be children, and that time out of school should be used to explore, to play sport, to talk and discuss interesting topics, to cook, to climb trees and, of course, to get enough sleep. I believe passionately that children should spend far less time on tablets and devices and far more playing with their peers, talking with their families, and, of course, here, on this beautiful island, making the most of what lies all around us.
On the other hand, and especially as students move closer to public exams, I do think that some time out of school should be used to extend and embed their learning. Good homework should help students to practise skills and embed new learning, to learn spellings and vocabulary required in languages, to develop independent study skills that will be necessary at university and beyond. I would argue that, despite us living in the Google age, it is still important - vital, even - to build durable long-term memory, and the scientific evidence strongly suggests that revision and self-quizzing are some of the most effective ways to do this. And whatever your view on homework, I am passionate about the importance of reading, which improves all students’ writing, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, memory and attention, as well as, of course, opening them up to the wonderful world of books and expanding their knowledge and imagination.
Whatever your views, what we would all agree on, I hope, is that our school should have a clear policy on homework with a strong rationale. A priority this term for me is to have a clear policy about homework, making sure that whatever is set is valid, appropriate and achieves what good home learning should - but without robbing our children and young people of that most valuable of things, time to be children and time to enjoy life.
BIC, Sa Porrassa
Ms Elizabeth Compton - Head of Primary
Welcome back and we hope you enjoyed your half term break. Students and staff are energised and ready for the engaging learning challenges that have been planned in the run up to Christmas. This week in assemblies we shared the student created ´Golden Rules´.
We are kind and gentle
We work hard
We are respectful
We are honest
We care for our environment
These six rules are a summary of all the ideas given from students across Primary when asked what they felt were the most important areas to support them and the BIC community. This week we focused on the first rule of being kind and gentle. Our younger students shared the well known story of the ́Rainbow Fish ́, which embodies the simple, yet universal message: sharing makes us happy. In Years 3 to 6, we discussed kindness and how our actions affect others. Year 5 students have already been sharing RAK ́s (Random Acts of Kindness) and we shared this with all students to encourage our community to see that kindness also makes us happy. Primary staff are also looking forward to my RAK ́s, however extra holidays aren't included!
Your child will be bringing home a Scholastic book catalogue from which you may wish to order some books. Scholastic is a reputable, international educational company which offers a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books to enhance both your child's learning and love of reading.
In addition to offering quality educational literature to your child, Scholastic also provides a commission rebate to help build additional resources for our school.
Please place your order online at http://eu-schools.scholastic.co.uk/baleares-internationalby Thursday 14th November 2019.
A gentle reminder to please ensure you send your child to school with the appropriate clothing for outside play (a school sweater and jacket) and for PE (black jumper or tracksuit) so we can continue to make use of our fantastic outdoor spaces even when temperatures drop.
Ms Elizabeth Compton
Head of Primary
|Thursday 14th and Friday 15th November - 4.00pm||Second hand Uniform Sale|
|Friday 22nd November - 09.10am||Year 6 Class Assembly|
|Friday 6th December||Public Holiday - School closed|
|Friday 13th December - 09.30am||Early Years and KS1 Christmas Performance|
|Friday 20th December||Last day of Autumn term|
Reception Class with Ms Wardle
The children in Early Years are making good progress in their letters and sounds sessions. They are learning how to recognise and write the sounds and also how they can put them together to make new words to read and write. The children are enjoying all elements of phonics, including singing letter jingles, word eye spy, writing and blending games Teaching how to decode letters into their respective sounds is a skill that is essential for our children to be able to read and write. The children are excited to be learning such valuable skills and are already enjoying reading at home and school.
Year 1 Class with Ms Xidakis
Year 1 have developed a close relationship with Year 5S students through our weekly reading buddies sessions. It is lovely to see how the older students enjoy reading to the younger members of the school. Also, they have worked hard to draw and cut out their shoes and then practise tying their shoelaces. They had their colourful brains turned on (growth mindset) as it was a challenge but they didn't give up!
Year 2 Class with Mrs von Waberer
The children have made a great start to their phonics lessons this week and have lots of new sounds to practise for their weekly spelling tests! They also enjoyed writing some fantastic, descriptive writing about their half term holiday. In PSHE this week the children loved our game of writing compliments to each other anonymously. We hope this has helped in boosting their self confidence and self awareness within the class.
Year 3 Class with Ms Bakes and Ms Taylor
In Literacy this week we have been actors and actresses! We have been learning how to develop characters through movement, use of voice, facial expressions and dialogue. We acted out specific scenes from the book ´The Twits´, where the two characters play nasty tricks on each other. We laughed a great deal! We also gave comments on each others performance.
In PHSE, we have been learning about the importance of giving compliments to one another, how to notice the good things about other people and that compliments make people feel really good about themselves.
Year 4 Class with Ms Walsh and Ms Alonso-McGregor
Year 4 have enjoyed practical science lessons and have been learning how scientists ask questions and then carry out investigations. Before half term, the children put their history knowledge to the test when they mummified tomatoes. They are very keen to see if the process worked as well for them as it did for the ancient Egyptians, however, they only have to wait a couple of weeks not 3000 years! It was fun trying to mummify each other too, but only using toilet paper this time. No organs were removed!
This week, they have carried out an investigation to see which drink causes the most tooth decay and have recorded their observations every day. Using eggshells as a tooth substitute, they have suspended them in popular drinks, such as cola, apple juice and milk. Let’s see if the results persuade anyone to drink more water!
Year 5 Class with Ms Solomun and Ms Demangeat
Year 5 have been researching and learning all about Viking long-ships and how advanced they were for their time. In the coming weeks they will be designing and making their own Viking long-ships using a variety of materials.
Year 6 Class with Ms Roberts and Ms Hodgson
Year 6 are delighted with their finished Trojan horses that they designed as part of their Ancient Greece topic. They collaborated with the Secondary physics department to learn about forces and friction and how to make their models move. Finally each group evaluated their work and discussed what went well and how they could improve it.
Year 4 Volleyball Unit
Our Year 4 sport stars had their last volleyball unit session. They played games between each other and had so much fun.
As a kind reminder, students are still able to take part in the volleyball tournaments outside of school and enjoy the games with other students from many different schools in Mallorca.
We would like to send a kind reminder please not to park on the road alongside the school, the parking prevents people from leaving the allocated parking spaces at the end of the day.
We thank you in advance for your collaboration.
Primary French class
It has been an exciting week for our French experts.
In our Year 3 class this week we have been learning the shapes and the verbs to describe (in French) a picture in our books: what is the person in the picture doing?
In our Year 4 class we have been learning the vocabulary of the bedroom and the basic prepositions with Leo’s bedroom.
Our Year 5 students have been learning to say what time it is in French and they have done a fantastic job!
Year 6 students have learned the prepositions to use with places and countries.
Well done everyone and we are excited to see next week's progress.