A message from Alison Colwell, Principal
Our focus in the newsletter this week and next is on the more creative subjects in the curriculum. We feel very strongly that developing children’s creative skills is of great importance. Subjects such as dance, drama, art, music and sport require many different strengths and attributes, and also of course help students to acquire important personal skills and qualities including working together, speaking in public and persevering with things that may not come naturally.
I believe that one of the most important values, qualities, skills, strengths - call it what you will - is confidence. Acquiring confidence, such that you believe in yourself, you’ll attempt something even if you feel apprehensive, you’ll try new things and you’ll stand up for yourself and what you believe in - these to my mind are very important and desirable states. Of course, to be over confident is as undesirable as to lack confidence: nobody warms to the arrogant or the entitled. But in school I still see far too many children and young people who lack confidence and it is something we all strive to address.
When I was studying for my A’levels my school wanted me to apply for Oxbridge. Oxford or Cambridge University are, of course, two of the best and most prestigious in the world. I would have loved to apply - but I did not believe in myself, did not believe I’d get the high grades required and did not have confidence in myself, even though I was a high performing student. So I didn’t apply - and then I got straight A grades in all my A’levels. This has stayed with me throughout my life - not so much regret I didn’t go to those universities but that a lack of confidence prevented me from trying.
Through presenting in class (and assemblies when we can), participating in debates, joining in House competitions and events, getting involved in the forthcoming pantomime, applying for student leadership roles - these are all ways in which we try to help our young people to grow in confidence, as well, of course, as through recognising and rewarding excellent work and conduct. Our students have so many gifts and so much potential, and we are all committed to building that belief in themselves.
Principal, BIC Sa Porrassa
Mrs Elizabeth Compton - Head of Primary
As Einstein cautioned, "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." Curiosity and creativity are closely linked, and both are essential for generating innovative solutions. Similarly, both can be hampered by a lack of confidence or fear of failure. With young learners it is essential to build the foundations of their confidence. Our team works consistently to develop a safe and supportive environment where our students can be confident. Some key methods are;
Building Skills for Creative Thinking - It’s not possible to be confident in an area without mastering the skills for that domain. From a creative confidence perspective, we must develop creative thinking skills that can be used in problem solving.
Setting the Right Expectations- An encouraging environment where teachers provide validation of their students’ ability to be creative, and one where failures are part of the process, is an important factor in developing creativity.
Giving Opportunities to Practise- having lots of opportunities to work the creative muscles can do wonders in building creative confidence. Starting with smaller creativity challenges is better than starting with something big, which can be intimidating for students. As students tackle simpler problems, the small wins build up confidence to tackle more challenging ones, and solving those leads to even larger confidence gains.
Science Week at Baleares International College
Each year, World Science Day encourages students to consider how science can support peace and development in our ever-changing world. As human development affects more and more ecosystems, never before has it been so important to make peace with our planet.
The aim of the science events this week in KS2-3 at BIC was to look at challenges being faced by animals in polar regions. With global scientists currently working on the pandemic, it is important that we do not lose sight of the very real challenges facing the inhabitants of planet Earth. The following photograph of an ice sheet in the Llulissat region of Greenland was taken in 2016 by Daniel Beltra. The dark patches show cryoconite which is formed by a mixture of dust, soot and ash particulates. In the attached photos, you will see how our students investigated polluted and unpolluted ice samples.
Other than wanting the students to have fun and learn, the events this week allowed us to build up a very clear picture of some specific skill areas in science horizontally, across Year groups and vertically, from KS2 to 3. As you know, lots of work has already been put into the curriculum plans here at BIC. This allows us to take things further and explore how we can support students as they work as scientists in school.
By investigating current issues in science, we hope that the students will develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing the Earth and the organisms that we are privileged enough to share it with. It has been a pleasure to work with the teachers and students in KS2 this week as the children worked as environmental scientists. Recent headlines have suggested that it is not only greenhouse gas emissions that are driving global warming and climate change; recent findings have also shown correlations between black carbon deposits (soot) and the melting of global ice caps. The students this week investigated the rate of melting of different polar ice samples before evaluating the reliability of their data and writing conclusions. I won’t go into what the results were or why they were important as that is something that your children will be delighted to share with you. Please thank the children for their passion and effort in science at BIC and enjoy some of the photographs that we have taken during the events this week.
The students have also competed in quizzes this week, feel free to try them at home (find them here).
Next week, we will be running a science session on Zoom for students (and parents) in Years 6 to 9. This will be an opportunity to enjoy learning with your child about a popular science topic. Spaces are limited, please express your interest here and then Mr Wolfenden will contact you with further details. If it is not possible for you to join us this time, there will be other opportunities in the future.
A message from Miss Turley - Secondary Science teacher
A key priority is to work as closely as possible with our primary colleagues and to get to know the primary students as much as possible.
Our secondary and Sixth Form students together with our science teacher Miss Turley have prepared a wonderful video to tell our younger students in primary all about why science is so amazing! The goal of this project is to help our youngest appreciate the importance of science as well as make them excited about what to expect when they move to secondary school! Watch out for the fantastic practical demonstrations!
Early Years with Ms Wardle
The story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears was enjoyed by all in Early Years this week. We made porridge, sorted objects by size and sequenced the story ourselves, putting pictures in the right order. The children's vocabulary and conversational skills are developing daily as we share these much loved and well known stories.
Key Stage 1 news - Year 1 and Year 2
On World Science Day Year 2 enjoyed investigating gloop, an interesting mixture with a unique texture made from mixing cornflour and water. We found out that gloop acts both like a solid and a liquid. When you roll the mixture in your hands or apply pressure to it, the mixture feels solid. If it is left to rest or is held up and allowed to dribble, it feels like a liquid. We also used a mix of primary food colouring to change the colour of our gloop. It was slightly messy but a lot of fun!
During our art session, the children painted pictures of poppy fields as part of our work on Remembrance Day, they used a number of painting techniques to create their beautiful pictures.
Lower Key Stage 2 news - Year 3 and Year 4
It's been a busy time for Year 4 this week with assessments but we have been so impressed with the way that all the children have tackled their tests with positivity and determination.
With World Science Day on Tuesday, we had some fantastic discussions about what scientists do and the questions that they ask. We looked at different questions and decided if they were something that could be tested scientifically or not. The children were introduced to the terms independent variable (things that we change) and dependent variable (things that we measure). This is really important as we start to prepare our own science investigations and write our own scientific question to test.
4W thoroughly enjoyed their lesson with Mr Wolfenden from the secondary science team. They got to be proper scientists carrying out investigations and understanding why and how the polar ice caps are melting. Needless to say, they loved it! 4A are looking forward to working with Mr Wolfenden next week.
We have also had some very interesting discussions about Internet safety and the children have enjoyed sharing their ideas about how to stay safe. This week we have learned about being ´Internet Sharp´ and knowing what to share and what not to share with others online.
Upper Key Stage 2 news - Year 5 and Year 6
Our Year 5 classrooms are full to overflowing with amazing examples of our students' creative efforts and they have really impressed us with how skilled and imaginative they can be; making Viking Longship models or collages, dragon’s eyes from clay or even the “simple” sketches of an eye using pencil.
Much of our art work is cross-curricular; our history this term is the Vikings and our English text - How To Train Your Dragon, and the students have been incredibly enthusiastic about all we have done.
Many children are able to express their creativity using words when writing, however others, for whatever reason find it difficult to put their ideas down on paper. Some of these children find it much easier to use physical mediums such as paint, clay, pencil or crayons to be creative.
Oracy is also an important skill and we asked all the Year 5 children to stand in front of their peers, a daunting task for some, and explain briefly how they designed, then created their model or collage. One or two children who were more nervous or thought they lacked sufficient English to speak, had some help from a friend but every single one of them managed their presentation brilliantly and then answered questions.
I really enjoyed doing my dragon eye because you could mould the clay into all sorts of shapes. I also enjoyed painting the dragon with water-colours.Marc - Year 5 student
My experience with the dragon’s eye was messy but fun. I preferred doing that than the other art because I love working with clay.Lara - Year 5 student
I really enjoyed doing the dragon eye in clay - it was so much fun! The Viking longship was too but it was also quite hard to get it right!Lilly- Year 5 student
The dragon eye wasn’t easy but I am proud of the way it turned out.Beatrice - Year 5 student
This week Year 3 and 4 students were learning about individual balancing positions using different body parts. Children absolutely loved the range of balancing activities and being really excited about starting the gymnastics unit.
Year 5 students have started to practise volleyball- a sport that is easy to learn and can be played in a gym, at the beach, or on grass. Playing volleyball will students will develop a wide range of ball skills, movement skills, as well as teamwork and communication skills.
The earlier athletes are introduced to the sport of volleyball the more likely they are to develop the correct technique. Our young volleyball players were having a task to catch and throw the ball over the net and try to get their opponents to misplay the ball or ground the ball on their opponent’s side of the net.
Languages department news
This week during Spanish lessons Year 3 learnt stressed syllables. Señorita Lahoz's group practised with some games. First we clapped the syllables of different words, in that way it was easier to know how many syllables a word has. Then we used clothes pegs to select the stressed syllable of the cards we had. It was such fun work!
Whole School House System news
House Points Totals Update
Pumpkin carving results
Thank you to everyone who voted for your favourite pumpkin on our Facebook page.
Each receives 10 House points for their House. Well done everyone who entered.
The winners are:
A date for your diary! We would love to see as many people as possible come to help with the Palmanova beach clean on Sunday 22nd November. We will award 5 points to those that do take part. The week commencing 23rd November is recycling week at BIC so this is an excellent way to kick things off.
Teacher Feature - Luke Darlow
My name is Luke Darlow and I have had the great pleasure of joining the Year 6 team at Baleares International College this year.
Teaching is rewarding on so many levels. Not only are we able to enjoy our students’ creativity, passion and curiosity on a daily basis, but we also see them grow and flourish over the course of each year as happy, confident young people. One day they will be the leaders of politics, science, industry and the arts. It is therefore crucial that we make learning as enjoyable and meaningful as possible, so that they can make the future world a better place.
Over the past ten years, I have enjoyed teaching across key stage 2 in schools in the UK, Malaysia, Colombia and Germany. The fantastic thing about working in schools around the world is learning from others; not only from my wonderful colleagues, but also from students and their families. A real highlight was making the pilgrimage to the Batu Caves for Thaipusam with Hindi friends from school, following pilgrims who had pierced their tongues with skewers and carried offerings hooked into the skin on their backs. How incredible to be a part of something so different to my own lifestyle!
It has been a real privilege to share different cultural experiences with my school communities and I can’t wait to find out more about Mallorca from the staff, students and families at BIC.
Friendship Week and Odd Socks Day
Next week in Primary we will be celebrating 'Friendship Week'. We have lots of exciting activities prepared for your students and we hope they will finish the week with a deeper understanding of what bullying means and how they can play a part in ensuring it is never an issue we face in school and beyond.
We would like the children to bring in a plain white T-shirt from home at the beginning of next week so they can decorate it with joyful messages of friendship and kindness. The children will then be able to wear their T-shirts on Friday to school in place of their school shirts.
On Thursday we will celebrate 'Odd Socks day' to emphasise and teach the importance of celebrating differences and individuality among us all. Please could the children come to school that day wearing two different, colourful socks.
We hope you agree that the children will benefit enormously from this focus on friendship and how to create a safe and understanding environment.
|Monday||United against Bullying|
|Wednesday||KS2 Cyberbullying and Kindness|
|Thursday||Odd Socks Day ‘Celebrating Difference’|
|Friday||World Children’s Day - wear your Friendship T-Shirt Day|
BIC CONNECT - PARENT WORKSHOPS
- Early Years and Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2) - How to support your child's learning - 26th November 5.30PM
The aim of this parent webinar is to give you useful advice about how you can support your child's progress and learning at home.
We hope you can join us to further explore the strategies and methods used in school to allow the students to develop their learning skills. During this session, we will also have time to answer any other questions you may have.
This session is suitable for the parents of students in Early Years and Key Stage 1 (Children aged 3 to 7) and we warmly welcome all parents.
- EAL - English as an additional Language at Baleares International College - 3rd December 5.30pm
The aim of this parent webinar is to tell you all about our English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme at Baleares International College, and give parents some useful advice about how you can support your child at home.
We hope you can join us to further explore the strategies and methods used in school to allow the students to develop their initial English skills. During this session, we will also have time to answer any other questions you may have.
This session is suitable for the parents of students across all Year groups, who have EAL needs or are new to Baleares International College.
Open Days at Baleares International College
Our next Open Days will be held in November and December across both BIC schools, Sant Agustí and Sa Porrassa.
Dates and registrations:
To register for our Virtual Open Days please click on the following link:
- BIC Sa Porrassa - a whole through from school ages 3 to 15 accommodated in a large, custom-built school situated in the beautiful, rural environment of Calvià.
- Thursday 10th December 2020 - To register by clicking here
- BIC Sant Agustí - an Early Years and Primary specialised School located in the wonderful neighbourhood of Sant Agustí, Palma
This is an ideal opportunity for you and your child to gain an insight into student life here at BIC.
Following the opportunities to tour our facilities, BIC Sa Porrassa and BIC Sant Agustí will be holding a Virtual Open Day to offer families the opportunity to get a better idea of our schools. A Virtual Open Day is a great opportunity for you to learn about our School and enter in a live Q and A session with our Principal and Leadership Team.
In order to organise a tour at either or both schools, please contact us directly:
- San Agustí - firstname.lastname@example.org | (+34) 971 403 161
- Sa Porrassa - email@example.com | (+34) 971 133 167
We look forward welcoming you to Baleares International College
Cineciutat Movie Morning
We are delighted to share with you further information about our collaboration with Cineciutat Nins, located in the heart of Palma. - https://www.cineciutat.org/en
"We are a cinema and sometimes a theatre. We are a school and we are memories. We are ideas and innovation. We are culture. we are non-profit and self-managed by its members".
Cineciutat will be hosting the first Movie Morning if the academic year for all of our parents and children this Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November at 11:00am. The screening for this Saturday will be: "The Secret of Kells".
We kindly invite you to join us for this fantastic concept and to share with your family and friends.
You will be able to purchase TICKETS HERE
We look forward to seeing you all there.