A message from Alison Colwell, Principal

Dear families,

School is about so much more than just academic learning.

Over the last few weeks, that fact has never been more evident here at Sa Porrassa. Children have been taking part in House captain elections and in the debating competition. This week we have been promoting and reflecting on Friendship Week, what it means to be a great friend, and how to look out for others. We have held a Sixth Form presentation evening when our in-house expert Mr Barter has spoken with warmth and wisdom about what it means to be a sixth form student, and what sixth form life contributes to our young people's personal growth, as well as talking about life after school and how to get into the world's most prestigious universities. We have all stood in silence as one school community under a brilliant blue sky, reflecting on Remembrance Day on those who have given their life for others. Science Week saw a wonderful array of exciting experiments and activities. We are planning for next week's focus on recycling and environmental awareness, and we have been rehearsing for the pantomime. Our fantastic staff and wonderful students mean our school is a happy, vibrant and exciting place to be. The weather has been lovely (other than today!) and our young people get to run around safely and happily at break and lunchtime, playing and chatting with their friends.

We may be in the midst of a pandemic but at times it is easy - and lovely - to forget this and to focus on business as usual.

Kind regards,

Alison Colwell

Friendship Week - A picture is worth more than a thousand words!

Harvest Festival collection

House Captains met this morning to hand over the food from our Harvest collection to the Zaquero food bank. Representatives from the charity met and talked to the House Captains and shared with them just how desperately the food is needed given the significant increase in demand for food that has arisen as a result of the Covid pandemic. BIC has a long tradition of working with the charity and we are committed to another food collection next term. We would like to greatly thank all families who have collaborated in this initiative.

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Harvest Festival collection

Mrs Elizabeth Compton - Head of Primary

This week's newsletter highlights Friendship Week, just one of our many enrichment events arranged throughout the school year. At BIC we strongly believe in high standards and academic excellence; however as Ms Colwell mentions above, school is so much more than this. We combine knowledge, skills and values to create a curriculum that builds confident and well rounded individuals. Memorable moments this week were Odd Socks day on Thursday and students wearing their creative personalised friendship t-shirts on Friday, which both highlighted how we must celebrate and respect diversity and differences in everyone.

In primary we talk frequently about choices. Children will inevitably make mistakes and have conflicts with friends; it is essential we teach them to make good choices and the skills to deal with such conflicts or who to speak with if they need adult support. This is done through form tutors, teachers, daily interactions in and out of class, assemblies and a weekly PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) lesson. PSHE is our primary school curriculum subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy, safe and prepared for life in and out of school.

We encourage you to talk to your children about what they have learnt this week, support them in making new friends in and out of school and when they make mistakes help them learn how to rectify the situation with increasing independence.

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CAT Tests

Next week students from Years 3,7 and 10, in addition to any new students joining in the last academic year, will be sitting a Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) during normal lesson times. The test is a diagnostic assessment that is designed to help students and their teachers understand how they learn, and what their academic potential is. It assesses how students think in areas that are known to make a difference to learning.

While many tests focus on a child’s attainment in core subjects, the CAT4 is designed to give schools a much broader, more rounded view of each child, their potential and how they learn. Results help teachers decide about the pace of learning that is right for a student and whether additional support or challenge is needed.

Tasks involve thinking about shapes and patterns (Non-Verbal Reasoning), words (Verbal Reasoning), numbers (Quantitative Reasoning) and some questions are answered by mentally generating and transforming visual images (Spatial Ability).

CAT4 is based on years of research and development. The current edition took five years to develop and the involvement of 25,000 students across the UK. It is a well-known assessment in schools; teachers value its ability to provide an understanding of what a child is capable of rather than defining them by their understanding of a body of knowledge in particular subjects.

Due to the nature of the test, your child will be unable to 'revise' so should not worry about a lack of preparation.

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CAT Tests

Early Years with Ms Wardle

Early Years and Year 1 worked together in PSHE this week with a big focus on friendship. The book Simon Sock by Sue Hendra helped us to see that we don't need to be identical to make a good pair and have a good friendship. In assembly the children talked about, described and drew their good friends.

We made friendship bracelets for one another and in Year 1 we wrote sentences using adjectives to describe our wonderful, kind, helpful and caring school friends. The children have really embraced our Friendship Week and we have seen some very nice acts of kindness between them this week.

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Early Years with Ms Wardle
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Early Years with Ms Wardle

Key Stage 1 news - Year 1 and Year 2

Year 2 have thoroughly enjoyed Friendship Week and it clearly highlighted what a kind, caring, helpful and friendly group of children we have in our Year group! We talked about which qualities make a good friend, and the children also wrote about and drew how we could be even better friends. They were also very confident at identifying different types of friendly and unfriendly behaviour.

Odd Socks Day was a great way to practise counting in 2s, identifying which numbers are odd and which are even, and also designing our own odd socks and describing them using some very descriptive sentences. Year 2 are improving their extended sentences by remembering to use adjectives and some conjunctions too. Please continue to practise this when you are writing your weekly spelling sentences.

All of the children had fun designing their friendship t-shirts, which they enjoyed wearing to school.

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Key Stage 1 news - Year 1 and Year 2

Lower Key Stage 2 news - Year 3 and Year 4

This week in Year 3, as part of our PSHE lessons, we have been celebrating differences and promoting the awareness of diversity. We understand that we are all similar and we are all different, each and everyone of us are all unique! The pupils have been exploring a form of non-verbal communication and have been learning how to use sign language. Sign language is great fun to learn and helps children communicate with one another, from both the hearing and deaf communities. It also promotes an understanding and acceptance of others who use another language which is not in the spoken form. We have learnt how to sign the alphabet and we have been practising how to say our names. We continued this learning into “Friendship Week” and we have learnt how to sing and sign the song “Friends Forever”. Take a look at some of us signing “Friends” and “Forever” as well as signing along to the song.

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Lower Key Stage 2 news - Year 3 and Year 4

I really enjoyed learning the alphabet and signing my name

Imogen - Year 3

I loved learning sign language because I can talk in secret to my friends!

Lilien - Year 3

If I ever met someone who was deaf then I would be able to talk with them

Rebecca - Year 3

My favourite part of the song was singing me and you and friends forever

Romeo - Year 3

“In a world where you can be anything, be kind” is a phrase that captured the hearts of people worldwide this year. In Year 3 we gave great thought to this and decided to explore the meaning of kindness and we encouraged each other to think of ways that we can be especially kind to others every day. We made our own random acts of kindness charts, which we are going to use both at home and at school. Some of our acts of kindness include - saying hello to someone, helping at home, holding doors open for people and playing with others when they look like they are on their own. Every time that we complete an act of kindness we receive a star for our chart. Let us see how much kindness we can spread!

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Lower Key Stage 2 news - Year 3 and Year 4

In maths we have been focussing on learning about 3D shapes and their properties. We started by revising the names of the different 3D shapes and talking about where we can see these shapes in the environment. We have been learning to identify and classify 3D shapes using their properties, using such terms as faces, edges and vertices. We have also been studying money and its value, using real coins to make different amounts and place these in jars.

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Lower Key Stage 2 news - Year 3 and Year 4

It was so much fun!

Bella - Year 3

It was really amazing and really good to do with friendship this week

Sebastian - Year 3

It was enjoyable and we used lots of different colours

Mahek - Year 3

It was super GOOD!

Sarah - Year 3
Friendship Week
Friendship week in Year 3!

Upper Key Stage 2 news - Year 5 and Year 6

Friendship week

We have had so much fun this week celebrating ‘United Against Bullying’. Discussing conflicts and finding solutions is such an important part of growing up and therefore we have dedicated this week to talking about what makes a good friend and the role we play in eliminating any form of bullying or unkind behaviour.

The children have talked at length about empathy and understanding. We read some beautiful poems highlighting the importance of human kindness to others and wrote our own to share with our peers. Mr Darlow, Ms Roberts and I would agree that our Year group shows a lot of respect and encouragement towards their friends and peers but we realise that these friendships and relationships have to be nurtured. There will, inevitably, be misunderstandings but if the children have the right tools and compassion to deal with these conflicts then we have all taught them well.

As well as writing poems, sharing positive opinions about each other in our student planners and dedicating time to discussions we have also decorated t-shirts to demonstrate our thoughts on friendship and worn odd socks to emphasise and celebrate our acceptance of different cultures, different characters and different points of view.

We feel it has been an extremely valuable week of learning and developing our children’s emotional intelligence.

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Upper Key Stage 2 news - Year 5 and Year 6
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Upper Key Stage 2 news - Year 5 and Year 6

Language department news

Little Foodies Year 6 Spanish class

Engaging multiple senses and modalities reinforce learning and understanding, as you learn Spanish words for everyday foods, utensils, numbers, methodology, and procedures – at the same time having fun in the class creating something delicious to enjoy together. Our little foodie linguists wrapped it up with kitchen accessories at home and truly enjoyed making them real.

As winter comes, Year 6 added a recipe note to the class starting an autumnal cookbook. All of them agreed to three golden rules: each recipe would be simple, heartily healthy and would lift up your spirits once tried.

Please keep your heart warm with a sample of this Year 6 foodie project.

Video and recipe courtesy of Year 6 Victoria (Chef & Editor)

Pictures and recipe courtesy of Year 6 Daniel (Chef & Photographer)

Mary Berry, Delia Smith, Jamie Oliver, Ferran Adriá would be as deeply proud as I am of all of them.

Ms Luengo

Secondary, GCSE & A-level Teacher

Sports department news

We have now appointed Sixth Form Captain who, once they have followed a short training programme, will be leading lunch time activities for primary students in able to keep them fit, active and engaged during their lunch time.

Last week our Year 3 and Year 4 students were practising the fundamental skills using balance beams. Children got a task to travel with controlled, deliberate movements across the beam - speed was not a goal. Outcomes of the lesson were to balance on an apparatus with different levels and shapes and also to participate responsibly during balance bench activities. Children develop their sense of balance and spatial awareness from an early age - all while having great fun. Well done!

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Sports department news

BIC Sixth Formers - Why would you like to be a Sport Captain at BIC?

Whole School House System news

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Whole School House System news

House Points Totals Update

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House News and Activities

Beach Clean Blast at Palmanova Beach!

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 House 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.

Please note that this event is not organised by the school, but students and parents might want to attend the event. Social distancing rules will of course apply.

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Beach Clean Blast at Palmanova Beach!

A special mention in Science

A special mention to Clio in Year 5 for her great message to others about science.

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Clio in Year 5

Recycling week at BIC

Next week is recycling week and we have lots of activities planned for our students so they can understand the importance of recycling. In tutor time, students will discuss the reasons for recycling and how they can reduce their waste. Year group assemblies will take place encouraging students to think about what can and cannot be recycled. We will also be explaining how we can recycle at school.

In science, students will learn more about the 3 R’s of recycling - reduce, reuse and recycle, as well as looking into greater detail about the impact of our actions on the world.

There are a few House competitions to get involved in which will be formally announced next week.

1 - The perfect lunchbox

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The perfect lunchbox

2 - The recycling symbol is one of the most recognisable international logos. It was designed in 1970 by Gary Anderson for a competition held in America to raise awareness of environmental issues.

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The recycling symbol

Your task is to design a replacement symbol or poster to encourage everyone at BIC to recycle.

Please submit finished entries to your House leader via email or the House Canvas page. All entries will receive a House point.

The winning entry will win 10 House points and will be displayed around school.

Deadline: Monday 30th November

100% Renewable Energy

Live life cleaner by making the earth greener. Baleares International College is proud to further help the environment by using 100% Renewable Energy at both of our schools.

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100% Renewable Energy

Science and Humanities - The Secrets of Earth - Parents as Partners workshop

This week we enjoyed our first Parents as Partners online workshop. Ordinarily, these workshops would run in person. However, given the current restrictions, this is the next best thing. Thank you so much to the students and parents who joined us for the evening. HERE you can see a link to the video where we learn about the history of Earth, continental drift and human evolution. There will be more hands-on practical Parents as Partners coming in the future!

Teacher Feature - Mr Drew Wolfenden

Last June, I was absolutely delighted to be offered the chance to come and work on the beautiful island of Mallorca at Baleares International College. Whilst Mallorca itself has so much to offer, it must be said that what has really impressed me has been the warmth with which I have been welcomed by the staff, students and parents here at BIC. I have been made to feel part of the community and for that I am thankful.

Previous to BIC, I have enjoyed working in Germany, Colombia, Malaysia and England. I have had the benefit of working with fantastic teachers and students over the last fifteen years. As teachers, we are not only involved in teaching our children, we are involved in our own learning journey every day of our career. On a daily basis, we learn strategies that work best to support our students. Similarly, we also find strategies that work less well. As we say to our students, it is okay to step out of our comfort zone and try something new - it is how we learn. Going beyond the day-to-day journey, I am so very thankful to the many colleagues who I have learnt from in my previous schools and I certainly look forward to learning more from my colleagues here at BIC, as we strive to give our students the best experience.

After what has been an incredibly challenging year, especially for those on our island, I feel immensely privileged to not only be employed, but to be employed in a job that I love. To have the opportunity to do something that we love is a chance that is sadly not afforded to everyone. My ambition to be a teacher stemmed from the belief that I wanted the students to have the same wonderful opportunities that have been open to me in my life. I put my hand on my heart when I say to my students that I want them to have just as many doors open to them whenever they choose to leave BIC; doors that will ultimately lead them to a happy and fulfilling life.

I am looking forward to working with the BIC community to provide a happy, challenging and ultimately rewarding learning experience for our children.

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Teacher Feature - Mr Drew Wolfenden

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.

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Early Years and Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2) - How to support your child's learning
  • 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.

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EAL - English as an additional Language at Baleares International College

Virtual Open Days at Baleares International College

Our next Open Days will be held in 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 Sant Agustí - an Early Years and Primary focused School located in the wonderful neighbourhood of Sant Agustí, Palma

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.

This is an ideal opportunity for you and your child to gain an insight into student life here at BIC.

In order to organise a tour at either or both schools, please contact us directly:

  • San Agustí - office.san@balearesint.net | (+34) 971 403 161
  • Sa Porrassa - registrar@balearesint.net | (+34) 971 133 167

We look forward welcoming you to Baleares International College

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Open Days at Baleares International College