A message from Alison Colwell, Principal

Dear Parents,

In this week's newsletter, to mark World Rainbow Day, we are celebrating the extraordinary work of people - and our children and young people are certainly extraordinary. I have been so impressed with our students from day 1 - with their manners and politeness, their attitude to learning, their warmth and friendliness, their incredible talents - academically but also musically, creatively, in the sports arena or on the stage, linguistically (in some cases fluently trilingual!) as well as displaying the important values and attitudes that we hold high and seek to nurture in our young people: kindness, resilience, adaptability, integrity and altruism. A month into the new school year and with all its challenges and regulations, our young people have positively shone in the way they have managed, have got on with their lessons and learning and have risen to all the challenges with such a positive attitude. As we reflect on individuals who have made such a difference in the world, I acknowledge and thank all of our own extraordinary children and young people here at BIC, for being so wonderful.

Kind regards

Alison Colwell

Principal, BIC Sa Porrassa

Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form

Love her or loathe her, Greta Thunberg is an inspirational figure for all young people. She is the young Swedish woman who has raised world consciousness about climate change. Our students, their children and grandchildren are likely to inherit an increasingly different planet than the one we adults have enjoyed, unless the world's leaders take a policy detour. Greta is certainly trying her best to engage in evidence-based arguments to ensure that her requests do not fall on deaf ears. As a result she was Time magazine's 'Person of the Year' in 2019 and was included in the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women in the same year. However, she is clearly not motivated by awards, but by the ticking clock of climate meltdown, as she sees it. Having been awarded 1 million euros for winning the Gulbenkian Award, she donated the money to organisations involved in the fight to raise consciousness about climate change.

For the students of BIC, Greta Thunberg shows that young people, despite their lack of voting rights, can be politically active and can influence adults with thoughtful and well-developed arguments, presented through appropriate forums. This is central to a free and fair democracy and to life in general. Having been diagnosed with a 'special need' of Asberger's syndrome, Greta shows that young people don't need to be held back by being different; she has re-defined it as her super-power as it helps her to remain single-minded and not to be deflected from her aims. Some have criticised her for being a child who should be in school learning and not taking time to take her arguments to the leaders of the world. However, if any of you saw the first US election debate on tv this week, you may well have been questioning the 'childish' nature of two men in their senior years; maybe they could learn from how Greta conducts herself?

Although we don't have any students with the global reputation of Greta Thunberg, I do think BIC has many students with the same inspirational qualities. They are interested in their world; local, national and international. They do not stay silent if they see something they consider unfair or inappropriate and they bring it to staff using appropriate channels to ensure improvement for individuals and for all. This week, we have started the recruitment process for new House Captains, House Council Leaders and Sports Captains. Next week the candidates will be selected by their peers on the quality of arguments in their speeches or, for the senior positions, by senior staff through an interview process. They will then represent their peers to ensure their BIC world becomes a better place. This week, Year 12 presented me with a petition of requests which they had debated in form time. I think all these different approaches will show that our students have inspirational qualities of Greta Thunberg; they may well go on to inspire global change in the future.

Mr John Barter

Head of Sixth Form

Looking to the future: Aiming for University

Year 13 students are now busily preparing their university choices and applications. In particular, they need to be working on their personal statements - 47 lines where they describe themselves and what they offer universities. If the students are applying to Oxford or Cambridge University or for medicine, veterinary or dentistry, the closing date for applications is 15th October; we need it before then, to be able to write and add the reference to the application.

Whilst it is essential for Year 13 to be doing this research and prep, it is something that younger students can be doing at any time too, especially Year 11 and Year 12 students. There is a wealth of information online for students but we will also try to make them aware of alternative sources of information too.

University in the UK

In the UK, university applications are co-ordinated by an organisation called UCAS; all university applications are made through them. Students can make a maximum of 5 choices. The full UCAS site can be found at: https://www.ucas.com/

UCAS also offers a course search facility whereby students can search for potential courses and find out where they can be done and what grades the universities would be looking for. It can be found at: https://digital.ucas.com/search

If students want to know more about the reputation and standing of each UK university they can go to: CLICK HERE

Universities across the world

Students and parents may also want to research universities in other countries. They might begin at the following pages:

Universities in the Netherlands: https://www.studyinholland.co.uk/how_to_find_the_right_course.html

Universities in Germany: https://www.daad.de/en/study-and-research-in-germany/plan-your-studies/the-right-university/

Universities in Spain: https://www.topuniversities.com/where-to-study/europe/spain/guide

Universities in the USA: https://www.studyusa.com/en/a/2/choosing-a-college-or-a-university-in-the-usa

Online University Fairs

We have developed a relationship with The Student World, who organise university fairs for students and parents. We have access to an online fair on Tuesday 20th October. Their website can be found at:


On that page, students can find:

- the list of universities participating (18 now; should any other institution register, the page will be automatically updated)

- the platform demo so that students can familiarise with it

- a study abroad motivational video

- list of reasons why studying abroad give you competitive advantages

- list of questions students may want to ask to the reps (in case they don't know how to break the ice)

- registration link

It's really important that students register for the event or they can't access the platform.

We also have a relationship with SRT Fairs, who also run university fairs for students and parents.

They have a number of webinars coming up. You can register for them at: https://srtfairs.com/webinars-landing/ or by clicking on the relevant ‘register’ button:

Study STEM Bocconi University (Italy), Full Sail University (USA)

5th October, 4:00 PM GMT

Study in the Netherlands Radboud University, University of Groningen, Avans University of Applied Sciences

6th October, 3:00 PM GMT

Study in the Netherlands AMSIB Amsterdam School of International Business, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Hotel School the Hague

7th October, 4:00 PM GMT

Study in Spain

8th October, 3:00 PM GMT

Study in France Excelia Group, Kedge Business School

9th October, 4:00 PM GMT

Study in Canada Capilano University, Carleton University, University of Prince Edward Island

10th October, 4:00 PM GMT

Study Engineering Imperial College London, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

13th October, 3:00 PM GMT

Arts and Design Webinar Norwich University of the Arts, LABA Valencia, SCAD (USA)

14th October, 4:00 PM GMT

EUC Exclusive Bocconi University (Italy), EHL - Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (Switzerland), Jacobs University Bremen (Germany), Modul University Vienna (Austria)

15th October, 3:00 PM

Study in Switzerland Franklin University Switzerland, Business School Lausanne, IMI International Management Institute

16th October, 4:00 PM GMT

Community Colleges in USA Edmonds College

19th October, 3:00 PM GMT

Study in Ireland Dundalk Institute of Technology, Mary Immaculate College, University College Dublin

20th October, 4:00 PM GMT

Study Medicine in Europe European University Cyprus, University College Cork (Ireland)

21st October, 3:00 PM GMT

Study Hospitality Capilano University (Canada), Glion Institute of Higher Education (Switzerland), Hotelschool The Hague (The Netherlands), Les Roches Global Hospitality Education (Switzerland)

23th October, 3:00 PM GMT

Study in the Netherlands Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences

27th October, 3:00 PM GMT

Business Schools in Europe WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, European University Cyprus, Kühne Logistics University

28th October, 4:00 PM GMT

Business Schools in USA Bentley University, Coastal Carolina University, Loyola Marymount University

30th October, 3:00 PM GMT

Arts and Design Webinar Northumbria University Newcastle, Loyola Marymount University (USA), Falmouth University (UK)

16th November, 4:00 PM GMT

All about Sport Studies Northumbria University Newcastle, Institute of Technology Carlow (Ireland), St Mary's University (UK)

17th November, 3:00 PM GMT

Study Culinary Arts École Ducasse (France), Johnson & Wales University (USA)

18th November, 4:00 PM GMT