A message from Alison Colwell, Principal
People sometimes talk about change as a negative and view it with suspicion. Personally, I embrace change and renewal with optimism, seeing opportunities and positivity. Of course, change for change's sake is never sensible, and when running any organisation a sense of stability and certainty is very important, but schools like any organisation must never stay standing, but should always look for ways to improve and do things better. We need to sometimes steer our way through choppy waters, but we should not be daunted by this, but remain focussed on the greater good, the mission. We carry, after all, very precious cargo.
Our school has been through some significant change over the last 18 months, not least change imposed from the outside through the pandemic. This year has made many of us look at our lives, our loved ones, our priorities. We are sorry that two long standing members of staff have decided to change their lives and leave BIC at the end of the term. Lynne Wade and Helen Taylor have made the difficult decision to move away from teaching. Both have given great service to the school over their time here and will, I know, be sorely missed, including by myself. They will say their own few words further in this newsletter, and nearer the time I will say my own to them, to thank and acknowledge the work and service they have given. (I will give next week details of their replacements.)
Mr Fitzpatrick will also be (temporarily) leaving us in a few days, as he and his partner Lauren have their first baby, and in his paternity leave absence I am delighted that Mr Aidan Cruttenden will be stepping into the leadership team as acting Deputy Head of Secondary. I am equally delighted that Mr Drew Wolfenden (who was featured in last week's newsletter) will be taking on the role of Head of Science after Christmas, as Mr Cadman steps aside from leading science to focus more on his senior leadership team role in the school. Both Mr Cruttenden and Mr Wolfenden, new to BIC this term, were appointed to these roles through a highly competitive application and interview process (which reminded me, should I need it, of what a wealth of talent we have in our school). Between them, they have an enormous range of experience and expertise in education, and have already established themselves as outstanding teachers and highly professional colleagues. Finally, you will read later in this newsletter about our new Spanish teacher who will be joining us after Christmas, Snra Claudia Rodriguez. When we advertised for this role we were inundated with high calibre applicants. Snra Rodrigues jumped out to me as an exceptional teacher who will bring passion and sky high standards along with outstanding teaching and learning.
Mrs Elizabeth Compton - Head of Primary
Another wonderful week of learning in the primary department embracing the environment, continuing discussions from Friendship Week that support strong relationships across our community. I have felt extremely proud of our students this week, as I move around the school I am greeted by smiles, kind welcomes when showing around new families, children holding open doors and overall displaying excellent manners. Such simple details that have such a profound effect on all of us and how we experience life at school.
This week Mr Fairless, Ms Wardle and I shared some of our knowledge with parents of our youngest learners of how to support their children's learning. This webinar is just one in a series that we will continue to offer throughout the year, so please let me know if there is a particular topic you feel would be of benefit to you as a parent. It was a clear message from our team that one simple way to support any child's learning is to read, read and read some more! In addition to this, limiting screen time.
In secondary department news this week, media is a key feature. Media in its varying forms can have positive effects on education and students as can positive screen time for younger learners. Children growing up in the 21st century need to understand the full range of media available to them, both as sources of information and entertainment, and as a means of communicating and sharing ideas. In an increasingly digital world, media education is an essential part of good teaching, not just as a tool to teach the more traditional aspects of the curriculum, but in its own right as an essential part of literacy across the school.
Interesting articles for parents:
Early Years with Ms Wardle
This week the children have been doing what they do best - investigating, experiencing and creating as they play. Play is very important to a child's development, it is an integral part of a child's Early Years Foundation Stage and supports their learning journey too. Young children can develop many skills through the power of play. They may develop their language skills, emotions, creativity and social skills. Take time to play with your child and incorporate as much as you can.
Key Stage 1 news - Year 1 and Year 2
This week the children have again worked very hard in Year 1 and astounded me with their creativity. Through our humanities lessons, ´The Magic Toymaker´, the children have created some fantastic pictures showing where they think the Magic Toymaker might live. There were some really imaginative ideas! Afterwards we presented our work and explained what we liked best about each other's work.
In English this week we have continued rehearsing and learning the story of “The Little Red Hen”. The children enjoyed making split pin and painted versions of The Little Red Hen to help them with their retelling of the story.
Lower Key Stage 2 news - Year 3 and Year 4
This week Year 4 have furthered their skills as budding scientists. Following our whole school focus on science two weeks ago, the Year 4 children have been using some of the skills and scientific language learned. Getting their hands dirty (quite literally) they planned an investigation to see how different drinks affect the surface of our teeth. The children planned a fair test, ensuring that only one variable (one thing) would change in their experiment, to enable them to obtain a measurable result. After leaving our substitute “teeth”, in this case egg shells, in five different beakers of drink for a week, the children were able to observe the changes to the egg shells and draw scientific conclusions from this.
Parents will be glad to know that the children were easily able to observe minimal damage to the egg shells left in both water and milk. In contrast, the children saw first hand the devastating effect on the shells when left in high sugar drinks such as cola but more strikingly apple and orange juice. Naturally the children were quick to declare that high sugar drinks are bad for their teeth and quickly swore off drinking too much of these in the future.
Our humanities topic of Ancient Egypt also allowed us the opportunity for another scientific investigation into the art of mummification. The children had great fun creating an incision in the side of the “body” of a plum tomato and scooping out the “organs” as an Ancient Egyptian mummifying a Pharaoh might. The tomato “body” was then packed inside and out with Natron, a combination of salt and bicarbonate of soda. The children used their scientific skills to write their observations and predictions before the mummification process began.. We will now leave the tomatoes in the Natron for two weeks to dehydrate. Who knows what will happen? Why not ask your children in a few weeks to find out what happened.
Upper Key Stage 2 news - Year 5 and Year 6
This week Year 5 have been delving deep into the hilarious world of Riddles.
Riddles can be tricky, and require a bit of creative thinking. This kind of activity is a really good way to free up children’s imagination and encourage them to think outside the box. Plus, the Year 5 pupils felt very clever when they solved them! As well as solving riddles, Year 5 have written their own riddles by coming up with creative and descriptive sentences.
How does these writing riddles activities help children's literacy?
Writing riddles provides a fun way for children to practise many essential skills. When writing riddles, children have to think aloud to explore and collect ideas. It helps build vocabulary to enable them to choose appropriate descriptive words, as well as drafting and re- rereading to check that their work makes sense to other readers.
Investigating the science behind recycling.
Year 5 were delighted to have a special science lesson delivered by the new Head of Science, Mr Wolfenden. As this week is Recycling Week, the lesson focused on the environment and the effects of burning waste.
Mr Wolfenden challenged the children to provide evidence to help save polar bears. Fortunately the weather was sunny and the children were able to work outside to conduct their experiments. Year 5 loved the opportunity to burn, melt and measure their results. They thought carefully about fair testing and were also encouraged to ask themselves whether their results were reliable. And if so why….
They learnt that dark surfaces absorb more heat, that burning fuel can cause pollution and finally that black ice (polluted ice) melts faster than pure ice. The children concluded that pollution has a direct effect on the environment especially the polar bears. We can all make the world a better place by recycling.
Delightful Dragons’ Eyes.
Year 5 are extremely proud of their dragon’s eyes that they designed and made from clay. They have worked carefully and taken their time , but as I am sure that you will agree, the end results are well worth it….
Languages department news
Pupils in Year 6 have worked on the challenging grammatical topic of how to conjugate a verb in French. They have observed some models, found out the patterns and how to do it, in order to finally produce beautiful posters where they conjugate all different verbs.
Sports department news
Last week Year 3 and Year 4 students were exploring gymnastics body shapes - a great way to challenge their minds and bodies.
Children learn how to move their body as well as explore how to manage and control their body. As soon as these skills or ideas have been learned, children were practising how to put them together into a sequence. The outcome of the lesson was to perform different body shapes with accuracy and control.
Take a look at some of the routines which have been created!
Whole School House System news
House Points Totals Update
House News and Activities
Recycling week at BIC
This week, we have been highlighting the importance of recycling through assemblies, form tutor activities, work in science and House competitions. We are very much committed to recycling here at BIC and we now have recycling boxes in all classrooms.
Students have been learning about the 3R’s of waste management along with the reasons why we should all recycle.
The perfect lunchbox
Form tutors and class teachers were impressed to see so many students enter our lunchbox challenge for recycling week. Keep up the great work!
Palmanova Beach Clean
A massive thank you to everyone who joined the beach clean last Sunday in Palmanova. It was amazing to see so many students and their families, and it really highlighted what a wonderful community we have here at BIC.
Recycling Poster Competition
A reminder that the deadline for the recycling poster competition is Monday 30th November. Your task is to design a logo/poster which will encourage students (and staff) to recycle as much as possible. Every entry will receive a House point, and the winning entry will receive 10 House points.
BIC House Council
The Heads of Houses met with the House Captains this week to set up the House Council. The House Captains will work closely with Heads of Houses in organising events and competitions. They will represent the views of their Year group in meetings to help improve the school. The House Captains will be speaking to students next week to get their ideas.
BIC HAS TALENT!
The Inter House Talent Competition for students in Years 3 to Year 13, will take place from Monday 30th November. Finals take place from 3.30pm on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th December. Students please sign up with your Form Tutors.
BIC Shoe Box Appeal
Christmas is getting closer and this is being reflected in school activities. We would like to join the BIC tradition of collecting shoe boxes for the foundation Montesión Solidaria, based in Palma, who care for families at risk, including over 1000 children. We intend to collect gift boxes for children which we can give to Montesión Solidaria to try to improve their Christmas a little. All shoeboxes will need to be handed into school by December 11th please, so maybe this is something you could think about this weekend?
Arts department - Mallorca Fashion Outlet Drawing Contest
Our students from Year 5 to Year 7 have participated in the Inter-School Mallorca Fashion Outlet Christmas drawing contest. We have been very impressed by the fantastic entries we have received and we can’t wait to know who will be the finalist! All drawings have now been picked up by Mallorca Fashion Outlet this week.
A donation of €1000 will be made in the name of the school to the NGO of its choice, for every winner in each category (1 winner per category, a total of 3 prizes of € 1000 each). Mallorca Fashion Outlet will be showing the drawings submitted to the contest in the centre. The drawings will be identified with the name of the school and Year but not the
student’s name. The winning drawing of each category will be communicated on the 15th of December on the centre’s social media and digital supports.
Teacher Feature - Mr Adam Fairless - KS1 Teacher and Specialist
I believe I am lucky enough to have one of the best jobs in the world. One that is varied and that can be joyous. It has been my pleasure to be involved in the education and care of children for many years now, having originally started as a teaching assistant in Manchester some years ago.
In my opinion, Year 1 is the springboard for children into a successful and enjoyable school career. In this sense, I very much see Year 1 as a foundation year, where the children learn how to learn, and it ensures the children are ready to access the curriculum through the primary years and beyond. Fostered through previous personal and professional teaching experiences, I have a strong commitment to inclusive learning and thoroughly believe in providing a fun and enjoyable environment in which children can flourish. It is heart-warming to see the difference in each child from when they first commence Year 1 to the progress they have made by the end of the year, both academically and socially. It is a privilege to be part of this process and witness each child´s transformation. This is where I find the most fulfilment professionally and personally. It is the reason I am a teacher and the reason I love my job.
A very warm welcome to Ms Rodríguez - Spanish Teacher
Currently working as a Deputy Head of Spanish in Latymer Upper School, London, Ms Rodríguez graduated from the University of Barcelona/University of the Balearic Islands, with a BA (Hons) in Hispanic Studies, after which she completed a MA in Education at the London Centre of the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.
After 8 years teaching in London and extensive experience in the independent educational sector, Ms Rodríguez has decided to return to her native Mallorca to teach at BIC. She is committed to bringing the best of the British education to our school, where she looks forward to sharing her passion for languages, and to establishing international links through exchanges, trips and activities for the students.
Ms Rodríguez loves theatre and is a drama aficionada, a hobby that she combines with her biggest passion: hiking in the Serra de Tramuntana.
Upcoming Virtual Events at BIC Sa Porrassa
EAL - English as an additional Language at Baleares International College - Thursday 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.
BIC Connect - Virtual Information Session - The Transition to Secondary - Wednesday 9th December starting at 5.30pm.
We are delighted to inform you that we will be holding a Virtual Information Session on Wednesday 9th December starting at 5.30pm. The aim of this session is to give parents an overview on the transition to Secondary, and will be hosted by our Principal at BIC Sa Porrassa Ms Colwell, our Head of Primary Ms Compton and our Head of Secondary Ms Tomlinson.
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 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 focused School located in the wonderful neighbourhood of Sant Agustí, Palma
- Tuesday 15th December 2020 - To register by clicking here
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 - 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
BIC Connect: Virtual Information Session - Understanding Reports (Primary and Secondary) - Friday 11th December starting at 4.15pm.
We are delighted to inform you that we will be holding a Virtual Information Session on Friday 11th December starting at 4.15pm. The aim of this session is to give you an overview and explanation of the end of term reports system, in both primary and secondary, and will be hosted by our Principal Ms Colwell, Mr Cadman, Ms Compton and Mrs Tomlinson. This is timed to coincide with the publication of the reports.
BIC Connect: Virtual Information Session - Revision Webinar (Year 11, Year 12 and Year 13) - Thursday 15th December starting at 5.30pm.
We would like to invite you to our next Information Session on Thursday 15th December starting at 5.30pm. The aim of this session is to talk to you about revision, how you can best support your son and daughter as they revise for their mock exams, as well as to answer any questions you may have.
Cineciutat Movie Morning - Cineciutat Collaboration
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 a special Christmas Movie Morning for all of our parents and children on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December at 11:00am. The screening 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.