A message from Ms Alison Colwell, Principal

Dear Parents,

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.

Alison Colwell

Principal

BIC, Sa Porrassa

DATES ON DIARY

Date Concept
Thursday 14th and Friday 15th November - 4.00pm Second Hand Uniform sale
Thursday 28th NovemberYear 11 Options Event
Thursday 28th NovemberSixth Form Taster Day and Open Afternoon
Friday 6th DecemberPublic Holiday - School closed

Maths department news

Additional maths classes are taking place for Year 9 students every Tuesday from 4.10 until 5pm. These classes are aimed at Mr Sparks’ group and will be tailored to the needs of those who attend. Together, we will explore higher level thinking skills and applications beyond the scope of the iGCSE. Expect challenge, intrigue, creativity and fascination.

Physical Education department

Year 11 students had the opportunity to take part in American ‘flag’ football in lessons this week due to the visit of one of the players from the American football team based on the island. The team are looking for players from 16 years of age and upwards and train at the Son Moix sports centre just outside Palma. For those who are interested, please get in contact with Miss Izabela.

Friday 15th November is the booking deadline and deposit due date for the Ardeche 2020 toutdoor adventurous activities trip that takes place in June 2020. Please use the Booking Form on the school website - Click here to access the Booking form.

If you have any questions then please get in contact with Mr Fitzpatrick

Science department news

Primary - Secondary Physics Project

Year 6 learnt about and built Trojan horses in primary as well as collaborated in secondary physics to make their models move. Here they are with their finished designs. Congratulations and well done everyone!

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Year 6 and Secondary Students - Baleares International College, Sa Porrassa

Humanities and Business department news

Entrepreneur and BIC parent Alexander Skora spoke to Business and Travel and Tourism students before the half-term break. Alex shared his experience in setting up http://www.happygoluckyhearts.com/ hotel in Berlin. The students greatly enjoyed his anecdotes about being creative, innovative and positive-minded when facing regulatory challenges as a business person in the tourism industry. The Faculty welcomes parents who may be able to provide tourism and/or business talks to our students.

Contact - beth.coutts@balearesint.net

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Travel and Tourism Students at Baleares International College, Sa Porrassa. A Level Projects

Halloween Disco

The Halloween Disco for Years 5 -8 was well attended and the students had a fantastic time. They loved being scared in the Horror Chamber and danced all evening. The sum of €757 was raised for charity. We would like to thank everyone for their support and we look forward to many more great charitable actions!