I hope you are all safe and well.
We have held several webinars in recent weeks with current and future parents, and during them there have, understandably, been many questions about next school year. I can assure you that thoughts and plans for the return in September are at the forefront of my mind. As you know from recent communications, we are preparing actively for this. As you also know, we will be constrained by whatever restrictions the government has in place but it is absolutely our intention, if possible, to have all the students back in the building.
Having been out of the school building for so long I am keeping my focus on two main areas. The first is the emotional well-being of the children and young people. Many of them will be feeling anxious and maybe even fearful. Some children have taken to e-learning far better than others, inevitably. Everyone has missed their friends and their teachers. It will not be a normal "back to school" for any of us and we will ensure that we have excellent provision to ensure their happiness and build a sense of security for our students. Nor will this be a one-off; the students will adapt to the return in different ways and at different stages, and we will continue to manage and be acutely alert to their well-being and anxieties throughout the first months. I am confident, however, that we will be able to give them a warm welcome and a successful return.
My second focus is on the curriculum. Many students have made excellent progress and this is reflected in the reports that you are receiving today. However, I am also aware that some of our students have struggled with some aspects of their learning. We will be assessing students thoroughly on return and will be putting in place groupings and lessons that will best meet the unusual situation of not having been in a classroom for nearly six months. The curriculum that they will need in September may not be the one they have all year, as we will have a particular focus on core academic subjects including English, maths, science and Spanish, and we will ensure that any slippage in literacy, numeracy, oracy and even handwriting is robustly addressed. Of course, the curriculum will still be broad and balanced, and the subjects that have not been able to be as effectively delivered during lock-down - PE, art, drama, music - will feature along with the humanities, but there may be some changes to your child's timetable to accommodate this. Of course, all will be communicated to you prior to return.
The last thing I can guarantee you when we return is a careful revisiting, for all the students, of our rules, our expectations, our high standards and how things will be in BIC in September and onward. I have previously told you about a number of new staff who will be strengthening our great team; as I have recruited, I have deliberately sought to appoint people who share my own high ideals and aspirations; who think impeccable behaviour is essential and the norm; who care deeply about children and their well-being; who have a clear moral purpose as teachers; and who want to help me and my staff continue on our journey to reach my oft stated destination: to be the number one school of choice on the island.
Wishing you all a good weekend.
BIC Sa Porrassa Virtual Information Session - The Transition to Secondary
Thank you to all of you who were able to make it to our Virtual Information Session with the important topic of The Transition to Secondary.
We know that some of you were not able to attend, therefore we are delighted to share with you the recorded session for you to be able to view it and ask us any questions you might have.
End of Year Solidarity Challenge Against Coronavirus - Race Against Hunger
The Action Against Hunger team would like to welcome you to the 23rd edition of the Race Against Hunger, an international and educational initiative that encourages the youngest members of society to embrace values such as solidarity, teamwork and responsibility.
In 2019, 286,000 students from more than 1378 schools in Spain and Andorra (including BIC) took part in the run to bring an end to hunger worldwide, raising a total of more than 3 million euros, which is the equivalent of 75,000 child malnutrition treatment packs.
This year the organisation, Acción contra el Hambre have mobilised to intervene both in Spain and in the countries where they work and that have been affected by the health emergency of COVID-19. The Race Against Hunger team has also joined this urgent and necessary fight. We cannot leave anyone behind.
They are committed to bringing the Race Against Hunger home. A sporting and solidarity challenge to mobilise teachers, students and family members from their homes, with a firm idea ahead: between all of us, we will be able to face this health emergency and help people in vulnerable situations. Please watch the video to see how you can help. Thank you in advance and join us live on Friday 19th June at 11:15am to race against hunger.
Big congratulations to Evan Cooper
Evan Cooper has been on his Muay Thai Journey for just over a year now and last year he won his first international competition. Evan has been training hard with his trainer Paul Hamilton and now Evan's training video is being used by the international federation of MuayThait boxing in Spain! Big congratulations Evan and keep up the hard work!
English department E-Learning news
Students in Year 9 have been reading John Steinbeck’s short novel The Red Pony and have been thinking about the value that the love of animals and the responsibility of caring for them can add to our lives. But they’ve also had to think about what happens when the loved animal dies and whether it is better to have gained from the experience even if it ends in sadness or whether it is better to avoid the sadness by not caring for the animal. The decision was split!
Students in Mr. Cunningham’s 7N class last week studied about the various jobs in the theatre. They looked into great detail at the roles of the theatre director, costume director, stage production, and set design. Students were asked to design their versions of costumes for the play they have been studying this term; The Tempest. Well done to Lilly, Kate, and Stella for their excellent costume designs.
Year 8 have been continuing with their study of myths and legends and have created their own poems and diary entries based on them. Here are some examples from Ms Cadman’s class.
Ms Cadman’s Year 10 group have been analysing unseen poetry and have made recordings of their findings. They’re obviously really enjoying the activities and are showing an excellent understanding of the choices that writers make.
Ms Bernie’s Year 10 class have been writing their own poetry for entry into an international competition, the "Through Their Eyes" Poetry Writing Competition held by YoungWriters.co.uk. The students have been using the skills and knowledge about writing poetry which they have learnt by their study of the IGCSE Poetry Anthology and a range of unseen poems since January this year. They have obviously really enjoyed and absorbed the poetry they have been reading because their poems are just beautiful. The students have worked in small groups to produce their poems and here are two of them, in their first draft form, for you to read. The poems are:
Reflection by Elle McCue, Harriet Armstrong, Nicole Cozos, Palak Mirchandani & Selina Schaal
We Are Not Safe by Alejandra Del Rio, Lavinia Ruth, Nina Jasberg & Louis Charnley
Creative Arts department E-Learning news
Jamie Dellar is one of the students who has kept me inspired since the lockdown began. He has sent me outstanding sound recordings and videos, assignments showing huge effort and has even asked for extension work. The music industry is a hard one to crack but Jamie is showing all the signs of a dedicated, passionate and yet consistent worker who always wants to make progress! Thank you Jamie for reminding me why I care so much about music education!
Maths department news
This week, students have been exploring our new elearning resource https://uk.ixl.com/math/
As we constantly look to improve our digital provision we are enjoying the exciting features of this impressive software. The development of elearning over recent months has been exceptional, and teachers’ understanding of how to use these resources best will change education forever. We have to be a little skeptical as to whether a new resource is actually a genuine improvement or not, but there are clearly opportunities to be taken. The most exciting facet of many of these providers is how specific individual information on students’ learning can be used to inform and improve our own teaching. Inspirational times.
I set a question a couple of weeks ago that I taunted could be easier to solve for preschoolers than their parents. Well I admit that I gave up after 10 minutes, while my wife… who is not naturally mathematically inclined, shall we say… solved almost instantly. I’ll give you the answer next week!
Languages department news
Year 10 students have learned how to buy train or underground tickets, how to express their opinions about travel and have been able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of public transport in their local area.
This week students have thoroughly enjoyed learning the different parts of a car in preparation for their next topic in Spanish, which is reporting a car breakdown.
In German Year 9 is reading the novel “Damals war es Friedrich”- the story of a friendship of two boys in the Third Reich. Friedrich is Jewish and his life is changing drastically.. To understand the situation we have been working on the historical background and learnt about the Jewish religion as well.
Humanities department news
Some of the Year 9 historians have been working independently this week on the causes and consequences of the Hungarian Uprising. The students were given a choice of activities and the work below shows fantastic understanding of the events. Dual coding (converting text to pictures or pictures to text) is a fantastic revision skill - Well done Théo Pereyra
Sports department news - The Weekly Challenges!
Being fit and active is a very important focus for us during a time when staying healthy is such a big concern. Wellbeing is an important part of our community at BIC, and our PE Team have started a fun initiative for us to follow.
Find below our weekly challenges - We invite everyone to give it a try!