Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
This week we were due to enjoy a visit by Karl Wilkinson, our Regional Head of School. I was really looking forward to showing him the fantastic work that goes on all around the school. Unfortunately, in the end, he was not able to make the trip. I think a lot of the staff were also disappointed as we wanted to show off the excellent teaching and learning going on, and for him to see your children engaged and happy around school. I wanted him to see all the outside learning that is currently going on, to meet the fantastic new staff who joined us this year, adding to an already great team, and to join in the student House Council meetings. Next time!
In last week's newsletter Mr Barter wrote about the importance of our older students attending every lesson, booster session and (of course!) exam in the current summer exam series. He spoke about how the last minute teaching, revision and support can really help to ensure the students achieve the best possible grades they are capable of, so we have lots of happy faces in August when the results come in. We have kept our students in school during the start of the exam period for this reason, so they benefit from the teachers' expertise (and the camaraderie of their friends).
However, from Monday 31 May, students in Year 11 will only need to attend school for their booster sessions and the exams. By then, most of the exams have been sat. This period of study leave should be used for just that: to continue to study at home for the remaining few exams. Students know their timetables and it is imperative that they are in school at the correct times. If you wish your child to continue to come to school for the full day (maybe you drop off siblings and don't want to make an additional journey, or maybe they get the school bus), we will ensure that there is a supervised study area available for them, to continue to revise in preparation for the exams.
Once the exam period is finished, Mr Barter is planning a series of taster A'level lessons for Year 11s, so even when the exams are over please encourage them to keep their study hats on right up until the end of term! Details will follow at a later date.
And finally, we are very sad to say good bye today to Astrid. Astrid has been here for nearly 5 years and many of you know her very well. She has been a fantastic member of staff - willing, flexible, friendly, versatile and doing many, many things way outside of her job description! She knows our children and you, our families, really well, the children love her and the staff respect and like her a great deal. We are really sorry to be saying farewell, but very excited for her as she embarks on the next stage of her career, working as a copy writing specialist, based both here and in the UK. We will all miss her, and we thank her for her hard work, her commitment and the help and support she has given to so many students and families over the years
Wishing you a happy and sunny weekend,
Ms Laura Hodgson , Acting Head of Primary
Another wonderful week of learning, fun, and challenge for the primary department, this week we have had a particular focus on the outdoors. Yesterday we celebrated Outdoor Classroom Day, a global movement to inspire and celebrate outdoor play and learning, at home and at school. Take a look at our weekly Year group features to see what they have been doing.
Children, in general, have been spending less time outdoors than ever before and this is not simply due to the pandemic. It can affect their health, wellbeing, and development. Time outdoors – not only on Outdoor Classroom Day but every day – will make children happier and healthier, as well as equipping them with the skills they need for life.
We are privileged at Sa Porrassa to have extensive space and a suitable climate to promote and increase outdoor learning. We are also continually reviewing our outdoor facilities and provision and ways we can further increase these opportunities next year.
Outdoor learning is often seen as simply a focus to support the teaching of science or geography topics, where it provides an opportunity to illustrate or exemplify classroom learning. However, growing research supports that it can provide opportunities for learning across many subjects, and also support children's holistic development. Outdoor learning is used in various formats to support children's personal, social and emotional development. This can be through group work, team building, and the development of social and communication skills.
Outdoor learning environments are less structured and formal than classroom environments, allowing more physical activity and it has been shown to impact children's educational attainment positively. Excursions, especially those that focus specifically on risk and adventure, pushing students beyond their normal “comfort zone” to cope with new challenges and develop skills to overcome them, are essential to an enriching curriculum and our team is already preparing these opportunities for the next academic year.
Wishing you a wonderful outdoor weekend,
Acting Head of Primary
Ideas for parents
Early Years and Year 1 News with Mrs Wardle and Mr Fairless
Early Years revisited the story Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. The children know the book so well they recited it all with great enthusiasm, confidence and actions. This week was all about space, shape and measure, and we introduced 3D shape names. We did some experiments to see if the shapes were good to stack, slide or roll. We used junk modeling materials to make animal homes and measured plasticine playdough snakes and ourselves. On Thursday we celebrated Outdoor Classroom Day and enjoyed our morning fruit break and lunch outside. We often take our daily learning outdoors and make the most of the natural learning environment.
Year 2 News with Ms I'Anson and Ms Bakes
This week, Mrs I’Anson’s phonics group has worked incredibly hard to finish biographies on Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart. To finish our display, the class used thesauruses to find words to describe these explorers.
Each child has enjoyed watching their sunflower grow and filling in their ‘Sunflower Diary’. This week they were observing the texture of the leaves, and they measured how tall the stem had grown and also the diameter of the leaves.
On Thursday we thoroughly enjoyed Outdoor Learning Day. We started off with a scavenger hunt. We worked in small groups, and had to read descriptions before finding objects that fit the criteria in the school grounds. Luckily, a cement mixer arrived to work on our fabulous new pool, and we could all fill in our ‘something noisy’ box!
We also deviated slightly from our plant topic, to investigate shadows and how they change during the day. Most of the children predicted that the shadows would get longer as the day went on, so it was a surprise to discover that the opposite initially happened.
We created a human pictograph in maths, when we each chose our favourite fruit. Bananas were the firm favourite.
In our science lesson, we looked at ‘Plants as Food’, and sorted some fruits and vegetables according to which part of the plant we usually eat.
Finally, we enjoyed some parachute games, and a well deserved fruity ice lolly. It was a wonderful day.
Year 3 News with Mrs West and Miss Xidakis
In Literacy Year 3 are reading the book ´The Stone Age Boy´ by Satoshi Kitamura. We have mastered our thesaurus skills by finding synonyms which helped us to develop our vocabulary when describing the setting of the story (a Stone Age camp.)
In humanities this week Year 3 learnt about prehistoric animals. We sorted images of the animals and then sketched and painted a prehistoric animal underneath the table, by sticking the paper underneath each table and pretending to be in a cave like the Stone Age people did. They painted animals on the walls of caves.
- Sebastian ´´This activity is wonderful´´
- Sarah ´´ I think it is fantastic´´
- Mahek ´´ This activity was awesome´´
- Cheo ´´ The was the best in the world!´´
- Filippa ´´It was very fun and kind of Benji to share his headlight´´
First we grouped images of the animals. Then we sketched the design of our favourite prehistoric animal.
Next, we placed the paper under the table and stuck it there with tape.
Lastly, we had lots of fun painting our drawings - in our ´´classroom cave” with the blinds closed and the lights turned off.
In art, Year 3 collected the type of materials that Stone Age people might have made their “paint brushes” with. We then had fun making our own tools.
In Ms. Xidakis´ maths class this week we have been focusing on interpreting and recording data. We have collected data such as the favourite activities that Year 3 like doing and their favourite colour, and then presented the information in various ways, for example in a tally chart and bar chart.
Tally chart work:
Outdoors learning day in Year 3!
Thursday was Outdoor Learning Day and we all had a fantastic day learning in the great outdoors.
In English 3X went on a senses scavenger hunt around the school grounds and in humanities we used our knowledge of prehistoric animals and our maths measuring skills to visually see how large the Andrewsarchus, Sabre-toothed Cat and the Indricotherium were, by marking out their size using chalk and meter sticks.
Measuring the length of prehistoric animals:
3W enjoyed following the secret trail to explore a fairies’ tea party. They then used the mini setting to inspire them to write a story. They also made natural paint brushes and used these to explore textures with paint. To end the day, the children enjoyed performing a piece of drama about a day in the life of a Stone Age person.
In science, Year 3 have been conducting experiments to test the permeability, durability and density of different types of rocks.
In maths this week, Mrs West’s group have been learning about fractions, including equivalent fractions, ordering fractions and adding fractions.
Year 4 News with Mrs Alonso McGregor and Mrs Walsh
This week Year 4 have delved deeper into the rainforest and have explored some of the amazing food sources and resources that can be found there. As a Year group, we are creating our own topic books and the children worked very hard to create pages under the heading ´Nature´s Bounty´.
It was like being in a rainforest in art lessons this week too, where the children learned how to draw a chameleon. Inspired by the work of Oenone Hammersley, a British artist, the children are creating their own rainforest piece in her style. We loved using the watercolours to create a colour wash background and were amazed at just how many shades of green we could make!
Mrs Walsh and Mrs AM were incredibly impressed with the effort and imagination that went into the creation of the rainforest dioramas. The task to show the 4 layers of the rainforest in a shoe box was a challenge but one that everyone rose to magnificently. Take a look!
We loved taking our learning outside again in celebration of the national day of outside learning. Mrs AM´s maths class practised drawing symmetrical shapes using chalk and created symmetrical shapes with their bodies, whilst Mrs Walsh´s class enjoyed PSHE in the open air. What a great way to lift our spirits and be grateful for the beautiful place that we live in.
Year 5 News with Ms Hodgson and Ms Demangeat
BIC has such amazing natural surroundings that we try to get outside at every opportunity. Outdoor Classroom Day was the perfect excuse to spend time outside, adapt our learning and enjoy the space that we are fortunate enough to be able to use. Reading under trees in the fresh air is always enjoyable and maths took a natural turn when we joined classes to work on a variety of tasks; symmetry, fraction walls, sequencing and making shapes all from natural materials.
Year 6 News with Mr Darlow, Mrs Von Waberer and Ms Roberts
Some of us really enjoyed ordering activities or events by the time taken to complete them in maths this week. These varied from the time it takes to boil an egg to how long it takes an oak tree to grow 25 metres. It was far more challenging than we first thought.
We have loved outdoor learning this week and really enjoyed activities tied into our book: Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo. We went wild around the campus, reading maps in an orienteering challenge (with some sneaky comprehension questions thrown in) and then honed our survival skills by making fire with magnifying glasses and flint strikers. One savvy student even burned a hole through a leaf by polishing the bottom of a cola can with toothpaste and reflecting the sun!
Year 6 enjoyed their first lesson of the day (guided reading) outside this Thursday and were lucky enough to have a bit of time for some yoga at the end of the class.
While learning about the creation of Mallorca, we have been studying different plate boundaries. The children made some wonderful videos to model their understanding of how the plates work.
Sports department news
Year 3 students having lots of fun while developing their sprinting technique in PE. Well done to everyone!
Languages department news
Breaking news, our Year 3 students of Lengua Castellana have become professional journalists. Watch the video and get up to date with the latest news!
Whole School House System news
At BIC, we firmly believe in student voice. We are passionate about listening to our students to help improve their school experience. After all, so much of their life is based around school. With that in mind, the Heads of House were delighted to meet with the House Captains and Vice Captains this week so we could listen to their ideas. At the meeting, representatives were chosen from each House in both primary and secondary to meet with senior leadership to share all the wonderful ideas they have. Please encourage your child/children to speak with their House Captains and Vice Captains if they have any concerns, questions or other ideas that they would like to share.
House Points Totals Update - Term 3
Overall total House Points