A message from Alison Colwell, Principal
Well, the year we all want to forget about, but the year we will always remember! What a year it has been in so many ways. However, after going through the most draconian lockdown in Europe last school year, with children being out of the school building for 6 months, I was determined, on our return, to have, as much as possible, business as usual. I stressed to our staff, back in September, the “C” words that are far more important to us than the current pandemic one – curriculum, children, culture, character, care, compassion, creativity, curiosity, challenge. This term we have continued with outstanding teaching and learning across the school, and in addition held a wealth of extra-curricular activities and events, that are such an important part of a great school. We held science week, recycling week, kindness week. We held inter-House competitions, ran a debate club, organised sporting fixtures. We held highly successful online parent consultation afternoons and hosted numerous webinars to give parents additional information, on myriad matters from our sixth form, English as an Additional Language support, revision for exams and the transition to secondary school. We are currently rehearsing for our pantomime, yesterday we recorded our carol service, our students and staff are today sporting colourful Christmas jumpers, and, as I write this, I can hear Year 5 practising their Christmas rendition of “Rockin' Robin” to perform, socially distanced, at pick up this afternoon! It is a source of great pride to me to see how my team’s tremendous skill, professionalism and dedication to our students has been so much in evidence this term, as well as the resilience, adaptability and all-round wonderfulness of our students.
I keep getting asked the same 3 questions by staff, parents and, indeed, students, so thought I would take this opportunity to answer them! Do I regret coming here, have I ever, as a school leader, known a time of such challenge and how long will I stay! Regret coming here? - never, not for one second. Leading BIC is a privilege and one I am relishing and giving my everything to. No, I have never gone through the challenges of the last year, but then I am quite sure that all of us can say the same. Personally and professionally it has been daunting, but with the excellent team I have around me, the support of Orbital and yourselves, and staying focused at all times on my mantra of, "children first", it is a challenge I hope I have lived up to. And as to the third question, I have no plans to go anywhere else, and all the time that there is a job to be done here, and my (by now) well-known ambition to make BIC the number one school of choice on the island. I am surrounded by outstanding teachers, and delightful children and young people, and have actually, in the year that we have all gone through, never felt more blessed.
Thank you for all the support and encouragement that so many of you have given to myself and my team, through your kind emails and positive feedback. I wish you and all your loved ones the best Christmas possible in the circumstances, and here's all looking and praying for a happier and healthier 2021.
BIC Sa Porrassa
Mrs Elizabeth Compton - Head of Primary
Dear families and students,
Our first term has been unforgettable and one full of memories I will look back on fondly. Of course we have faced challenges but I am so proud to be the leader of our primary department. I am so passionate about our school and most of all value the time spent this term getting to know all your children even better, or supporting them to settle in if they are new to BIC. We continue to welcome twenty new students to our school in January!
Reading the highlights of the term for each of our Year groups makes me reflect on how much your children have grown, achieved and enjoyed this first term, in addition to the tireless dedication of our teaching and non teaching staff. Personal highlights have been the carol singing, Rainbow day and Friendship week. These events have really boosted our spirits and supported the children's confidence, collaboration and the teaching of key curriculum areas.
I never underestimate the responsibility and privilege I have to lead the team that educates your children. We have such a wonderful community of students who share their smiles with me each and every day - what is not to be thankful for! A huge thank you to all the support from our families, and to our teaching staff who have risen to all the challenges and continued with high standards and excellent teaching throughout this term.
I really hope you enjoy our primary Christmas video message, led by Mr Darlow, and I wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas.
I look forward to welcoming your children back in the new year, refreshed and ready to learn!
Ms Elizabeth Compton
Head of Primary
Early Years with Ms Wardle
We have come so far since our first days back at school in September. The children are now very confident and happy with their daily routines and are becoming very independent little learners. I have been amazed by the energy and excitement the children have for playing and learning this term and I am delighted with their progress. Our favourite times have to be science day, odd sock day, Halloween and the day Santa came to the classroom. I would like to thank all of our Early Years parents for your continued support.
Key Stage 1 news - Year 1
Year 1 has had a fantastic first term of achievements. They have settled into Year 1 very well and already made great strides in their learning.
All of our children have worked very hard getting to grips with new phonic sounds and begun to transfer these and use them in the development of their reading and writing, at every level of ability. I have been particularly impressed with the commitment, effort and progress the children have shown me so far this year in the development of their writing. Using the ´Talk for Writing´ approach the children have learnt to retell the story of The Little Red Hen, including actions. This oral rehearsal has helped greatly in being able to comprehend the story and to be able to produce a great written version of their own.
The children have also worked incredibly hard beginning to understand and learn the basics of addition and subtraction. Working in everyday contexts, they have related addition and subtraction to activities they carry out. This along with learning new models and images to support their learning has seen great progress made by all the children.
I am proud of each and everyone of the children's achievements this term and look forward to more fantastic learning after the Christmas break.
Key Stage 1 news - Year 2
We are very thankful that we have been able to spend almost a whole term in the classroom. The children have quickly settled back into school, we have seen amazing progress and enjoyed a lot of learning. We are extremely proud of all of our children, but a special mention must go to those new to our school who had very limited English back in September; we are amazed at the enormous increase in their vocabulary in such a short time. The support that all of our children receive from home makes an enormous difference, and we thank you for your continued support.
The children have particularly enjoyed our topic on animals and during the last couple of weeks, we have focused on those found in the Arctic and the Antarctic. The Emperor Penguin has proved to be a firm favourite and the children have loved learning facts about these fascinating creatures.
This week our festive activities began with our mini carol concert, when we beautifully sang Little Donkey and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer to our parents. We have been busy creating colourful Christmas cards and crackers, enjoyed weaving baskets (to be filled with festive treats) and further developed our sewing skills making a Christmas pug or penguin. We hope that you like our ‘Cheeky Elves’ decoration, a reminder of 2020, the year that we stayed at home!
Throughout December we have listened to lots of Christmas stories, and this week the focus was on The Jolly Christmas Postman. We have used the book to talk about directions and routes, discuss the well-known characters in the book, write a book review and re-enact the story using puppets.
The highlight of our week was Christmas Jumper day and our party. We enjoyed playing some socially distanced party games before receiving a gift from Santa. We had great fun and learnt some ‘old fashioned’ party dances from the 1980’s!
We hope that you have a wonderful Christmas, and look forward to seeing you all in the new year.
Lower Key Stage 2 news - Year 3
What a very busy time in Year 3 this week, preparing for our countdown to Christmas and ending our autumn term. It has been lovely to complete a whole term back in the classroom with the children and we have worked extremely hard but with lots of fun and laughter along the way. The teachers have been so proud of each and every one of you for your amazing approach to this term´s challenges and new learning.
I love learning and wanted to get better in everything and I enjoy making new friendsRebecca
I love my new schooSarah
When I came back to school the first thing I wanted to do was hug my friends but I will still have to wait a bit longerSebastian
It was really lovely to be back in school and seeing my friends againKe´ra
We saw some very talented children from Year 3 take part in the finals of the Inter House Talent Competition. A huge well done to Imogen for her fabulous gymnastic routine, Alex and Benji for their amazing beat-boxing, Mahek for her lovely poem and Cheo for his beautiful singing. Here we are receiving our certificates.
We have all so much enjoyed our topic of Africa. We completed this humanities study this week and we explored more facts about the different animals which live there. It was really important to understand why some of these animals are endangered and why animals are important to regions of Africa. We each chose a different African animal to research and we created an informative fact leaflet. In art, we also learnt how to draw these beautiful animals and made them into place mats.
Learning all about the Maasai tribe and their culture and traditions was very interesting. We loved listening to and watching video stories about children who live in Kenya and we were able to have some in-depth discussions about how our lives compare and contrast to theirs.
I really enjoyed making the necklaces which the Maasai tribe women wearLilien
I loved learning about how children in some parts of Africa liveImogen
One of the most popular topics this term was science and our most used resource was “Sammy the Skeleton”.
We certainly enjoyed learning the scientific names of all the different bones in the human body and locating them using Sammy. I think that we may have some future doctors among us!
My favourite part of science was learning the names of the bones and finding the bones on Sammy, I loved putting the sticker on the correct bone!Emma
I loved learning about the body, it was such fun!Romeo
We have been feeling very festive this week and our practical learning has consisted of using our imagination and creative skills as well as being able to follow different sets of instructions. We started by making our reindeer hats to wear for our carol concert, where we sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Away in a Manger. The children sang beautifully and the singing was accompanied with some sign language which made the performance very interesting to watch. We also continued our reindeer theme into our Christmas cards. The children further designed and decorated a gift box, which we are sure some of you will find under your Christmas tree this year!
Mrs Taylor, Miss Xidakis and Mrs Sowerby would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. Enjoy the festive season.
Lower Key Stage 2 news - Year 4
There was an air of excitement when we returned to school in September and all the children were keen to learn and pleased to find out the Year 4 topics….the digestive system, Ancient Egypt and reading the class novel of the BFG. As teachers we are very keen that the children learn through visual, auditory and kinesthetic means and this has been our theme all term. Practical investigations, activities and experiences have aided the children's understanding and enabled much fun along the way!
We started the year getting our hands dirty with clay as the children learnt about canopic jars and mummification, which later turned into mummifying plum tomatoes. The children learned about Egyptian hieroglyphic writing by making their own papyrus paper, which was messy but great fun, and discovered the images that were important in Ancient Egyptian culture.
Science was equally practical with investigations and practical demonstrations. I am sure that the children won't forget the journey that the chocolate cake took through the simulation of the intestines! They loved the lessons during Science week too
Throughout the term, we have focused on developing oracy and loved the poems that the children recited with such enthusiasm, expression and clarity and we all enjoyed their short speeches given about their passions.
Writing has been an important focus this term too and the children´s skills have developed through the drafting and editing process. Their writing has been inspired by the vivid imagery of the class reader, the BFG.
As the term comes to a close, the practical nature of our learning has continued and Christmas crafts have formed part of our maths, English and art lessons, allowing the children to practise their skills in a fun way.
We have loved being back at school with the children and look forward to more exciting activities lined up. We would like to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas.
Upper Key Stage 2 news - Year 5
We would like to take the opportunity to say a huge ‘Well done’ to all of Year 5 for a fantastic term back at school! There have been a lot of changes but they have truly amazed us with how well they have settled back and adapted to the new school routines! This first term has been full of great learning challenges and opportunities and we are so proud of their excellent learning behaviour and amazing work.
Year 5 have enthusiastically approached this term’s history focus on The Vikings, in particular creating their very own models of Viking longships.
During their English lessons they have developed their literacy, punctuation and grammar skills through studying the fabulous book ‘How to Train your Dragon’ by Cressida Cowell.
Through this book, the students have become ‘mad about dragons.’ They have thrown themselves passionately into all our dragon activities; descriptive writing, non- fiction writing, sketching, painting and reciting dragon poetry.
And of course the highlight of the term was the wonderful trip to the beach to study the link between plastics and the marine environment.
Miss Hodgson and Mrs Demangeat would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a restful holiday.
Upper Key Stage 2 news - Year 6
One of the main highlights of 2020 in Year 6 was when the children were asked to make a 3D model of an Ancient Greek artefact. Mrs Von Warberer, Mr Darlow and I were extremely impressed by the standard of the work that the children produced. We really felt that they had put so much effort, time and creativity into making them. The children enjoyed examining and asking questions about each other's work and wrote great evaluations on their design and making process. We believe that creativity in the classroom is a vital element of education as,
This week we have been looking at examples of ´Blackout Poetry¨. Year 6 absolutely loved using samples from “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. They used these texts to create their own pieces of Christmas themed poetry. We were overwhelmed by the quality of the work produced.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. All the very best from the Year 6 team.
Languages department news
The three wise men have disappeared and our students of Lengua Castellana have become detectives. To find out where they are, our little detectives have to pass several challenges about Christmas in Spain: Christmas lottery, carols, traditions. We also have been working in the provinces of Spain. We found them! Thanks to our students this year, Christmas can go on. ¡Feliz Navid, BIC!
Sports department news
It’s hard to believe that we have already completed one full term of the academic year!
I am so proud of all of our pupils that continually work hard and try their very best during every single PE class. Pupils have enjoyed taking part in many different group activities and games whilst also participating in inter-House sports competitions.
The children have had a really fun and active first term. Having great Christmas themed activities and games like building a snowman by using PE equipment or playing Santa TAG game was such a great way to bring in the Christmas holiday and have some fun!
It has been great fun from September and I am confident that this will continue through until the summer.
Ms Izabela wishes you all a very restful break and looks forward to seeing you in the New Year.
Science department news
Please enjoy this STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) quiz with 22 of the most prominent STEM Ambassadors from today and the past! These are some of the most influential scientists, engineers and mathematicians of our time, recent and distant past. Enjoy identifying everyone, feel free to use the clues (quotes) on page 2 to help you. Share your answers on the Google Form linked into the second page table (yellow)! There will be prizes available.
In other STEM news, seven teachers recently enjoyed training from providers such as the Institute of Physics, Institute of Astronomy, STEM First as well as the authors Dr Sheila Kanani (How to be an Astronaut), Ms Claire Grimes (Rosenshine’s Principles Workbook) and Dr Tracey Baxter (Collins Science Author). We look forward to working with STEM First in 2021 as we open a STEM Club.
The training has already had an impact on learning at BIC as we have recently shifted our focus in our final Year 6 evolution project to looking at how Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis engineered their clothes. After reading information from several sources, our students were able to hypothesise that one of our closest living relatives may well have become extinct due in part to the clothes that they wore. Our Year 6 designers designed and made the clothes that our ancient cousins could have worn before testing them for how efficient they were at insulating. Well done Year 6!
With 2021 around the corner and with the recent good news regarding vaccinations, we are hopeful that our students will in the medium term be able to step outside of their bubble, learning in a vertical setting, supported by our older students. Research shows that children form firmly held beliefs about STEM when they are around six years old. BIC primary teachers are passionate about science and this is something that really shines through when you talk to the children. As we move into 2021, restriction permitting, we look forward to opening a STEM club for Years 2 to 6 based on “Engineering Fairy Tales.” This will be a fantastic opportunity for our children to work together, across the age range as they become engineers who will face the problems presented in fairy tales head on!
Whole School House System news
A special message from our House Leaders
I wanted to say a huge well done to everyone in Winton House. You have all made me so proud this term with your enthusiasm and commitment to our team. It has been a pleasure to get to know you and I am really looking forward to seeing more of you in the new year. Have a wonderful Christmas break!
Ms. Florey - Winton House
Well done to everyone in Galileo House. I have really enjoyed my first term as House Leader. It has been fantastic getting to know everyone and I have been impressed by how much people have gotten involved in the different activities we have run. Have a lovely Christmas. I am very much looking forward to seeing you all again (and getting more House points) next year.
Miss Turley - Galileo House
Huge congratulations to everyone in Roosevelt House on an incredibly successful start to the year. It has made me so proud to see you wearing your House badges with pride, and seeing all of your accomplishments. Your commitment to your studies and our House activities has been a joy to see. Special mention to our House and vice captains, who have flourished in their roles so far! I am looking forward to seeing more amazing things from you and hopefully staying top of that House points leader board in the new year! Have a lovely Christmas break.
Miss Mayes - Roosevelt House
Well done to Parks what a great term it has been, full of competitions and events. We have climbed the leader board it just shows you how quickly the leader board can change. I have been constantly impressed by the quality of entries from Parks and I am excited to see what next term brings.
Well done for this term and I wish all of Parks a wonderful Christmas!
Miss Xidakis - Parks House
House Points Totals Update - Congratulations Roosevelt Team!
Congratulations to all students from primary and secondary who took part in the final of our House talent competition last Friday - we were completely blown away with their performances! Students from Year 3 to Year 12 took to the stage, and there was singing, piano playing, gymnastics, dancing, poetry reading and so much more! Our finalists were -
Year 3 - Mahek, Imogen, Alex, Benji, Cheo
Year 4 - Luca, Chloe, Toby
Year 5 - Max, Genevive, Oscar, Clio, Beatrice, Lena
Year 6 - Angie, Alva, Marlene, Elena, Luis
Year 8 - Lilly, Demi, Neo
6th form - Jessica, Malinee
Our winning students were - Imogen from Year 3, Toby from Year 4, Beatrice from Year 5, Elena and Luis from Year 6, Neo from Year 8 and Jessica from Year 12. The House competition was very closely run, but with the highest average score Winton House came out on top. Congratulations Winton!!
Special thank you to our judges Ms Von Waberer, Mr Cruttenden and Miss Xidakis. They certainly had a difficult task choosing our winners, they were spoilt for choice!
Thank you to everyone who came to see the performance, it was a lovely atmosphere and students really felt a huge sense of achievement from their performances.
Science Christmas Decoration
There were so many excellent creative entries to this competition. Well done. Everyone who entered received House points for their House.
The winner, as chosen by Mr Cadman, our current Head of Science is Lily in Year 9 for her wonderful representation of the International Space Station. Congratulations. 10 House Points to Lily.