A message from Alison Colwell, Principal

Dear families,

I hope you are having a good March as we enjoy a little bit more freedom, if a little bit less sunshine.

Digesting the annual survey, the words that were used again and again to describe the school by you, our parents, were "warm" and "friendly", and it was repeatedly stated that your children are "happy". As you know, I am committed and determined to making this the number one school on the island, and a warm and friendly school with happy children is a vital part of that. We have been working tirelessly to promote kindness and to stamp out any unkindness, using a tough but restorative approach - which is the most effective way, and with long term results. We have, and will, act immediately, robustly and fairly whenever there are instances of unacceptable behaviour. We promote respect for difference, fairness, equality and compassion, and teach awareness and understanding of different cultures, nationalities, religions and lifestyles. If you hear anyone say that the school does not deal with things, is not taking even small things seriously, is not tackling problems, then quite simply - they are wrong. We are.

But I cannot stress strongly enough the part that you, as parents, have to play in this. We can only act if we know about things, and whilst we are all vigilant it is invariably a parent that a child will talk to first. In today's world it is a fact that most unkindness between youngsters goes on outside the school gates - on the various social media sites that are now, sadly, the norm for our children and young people. If you are not monitoring their screen time, do not know what they are saying to each other online, do not help them to understand what is a good use of technology and what is a very poor and damaging use - this will work against our mission to create a culture of total kindness and respect in school. You, as parents, hold the key to that success.

Our PTA - Parent Teacher Association - is a vital part of our school. I met with members of it yesterday to discuss further how we can all work together for the good of the school and our children. We are creating a fifth committee to complement the existing ones of Welcome, Expertise, Environment and Events. We are creating a Culture Committee that will help to strengthen even further home-school links and ensure that, where there are concerns or problems, the school is alerted swiftly and acts immediately. More importantly, it will help us to create more opportunities to develop our kindness culture and promotion of good deeds and kind words.

You can find the Year group members of the PTA on the web site page, and in the meantime if you want to get involved, please contact the chair of the PTA Paula Cannady on paulasuecannady@gmail.com

Wishing you all a good weekend.

Alison Colwell


Ms Elizabeth Compton, Head of Primary

Dear families,

Another week bursting with books, brimming with excitement and buzzing with learning! We have been fully focused on reading and held assessments this week in primary, some of which will continue into next week.

Assessment of your child is ongoing throughout each lesson, week, term and year in a variety of ways. However, we ensure that each term we know in depth how your child is progressing against their own targets and for that of children their age. Students complete some independent evaluations in core subjects. It is important all students try their best, and regularly begin to experience tests in a pressure-free, positive and constructive way to prepare them for future years. Test-sitting teaches vital skills to students about reading instructions, time management, checking and editing and most importantly how to improve their work by acting on the feedback given from their teachers. Our staff work to create an environment where children want to show what they know and, as I say to many students, if you don't know how to do something then teachers are here to support, revisit and review.

Virtual parent meetings will be held at the end of this term but please contact your child's teacher or myself at any stage for updates on their progress and learning. We also recommend you visit your child's Canvas course for current homework and areas of learning.

My team and I have met and connected with other Orbital schools this week to further develop the use of Canvas, our virtual learning platform, to support you and your child. I welcome your feedback on any areas of learning you would like to know more about or parental support for your child.

This week I was interested to read about the benefits of subtitles in reading. In my house I regularly turn on subtitles to support the learning of both English and Spanish and I have found this to be very helpful. However, I must say picking up a book or physical activity should prioritise any screen time to support learning.

Turn on the subtitles



Reading with your child

Some questions to ask your child whilst reading together:

  • Look at the front cover. What could the book be about?
  • Who is the author?
  • What is an illustrator? What do they do?
  • What does that word mean? Read the words around it to help you figure it out (context).
  • How can you read an unfamiliar word? Can you sound talk and then blend?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • How do you think that character feels? Why? How would you feel in that situation?
  • Can you predict how the book will end?
  • Who is your favourite character? Why?
  • Is there a hidden message in the story? What is it?
  • Can you retell the story in your own words?
  • Do you like how the story ended? Can you think of another way the book could have ended?


Early Years and Year 1 News with Mrs Wardle and Mr Fairless

This week in Year 1 we have had a very busy week. The children have worked hard practically finding fractions of amounts, expanded their vocabulary by learning new adjectives to describe and enjoyed reading activities to celebrate World Book Day. They particularly enjoyed listening to stories told by Serena´s English Puppet Theatre.

Year 2 News with Ms I'Anson and Ms Bakes

This week in Year 2 we have been investigating different materials in science to see which types of materials are waterproof and which are not. The children enjoyed submerging a teddy bear in a tub of water, each one inside a bag made of a different material. They then did a wonderful written report of their investigation.

Year 2 had great fun watching and participating with the marvellous Serena and her puppet show. We enjoyed the stories The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Emperor's New Clothes and St. George and the Dragon.

During Art, Year 2 painted lovely pictures of Florence Nightingale following step-by-step instructions.

We loved hearing the Harry Potter theme tune and dropping everything to read.

Year 2 worked in pairs to complete a story based on a maths investigation, which we all really enjoyed.

Year 2 worked in pairs to complete a story based on a maths investigation, which we all really enjoyed.

Year 3 News with Mrs West and Miss Xidakis

On Wednesday, Year 3 thoroughly enjoyed a Zoom meeting with Clive Pig, the famous story teller. It was filled with drumming, singing and lots of fun and enthusiasm.

Year 3 enjoyed dissecting a variety of flowers in science this week to see the female and male parts of a flower that are involved in the pollination process.

We enjoyed dropping everything to read time (DEAR) as soon as we heard the “reading bells”.

We have been weaving away in art this week. The children have used autumnal colours to complement the landscape they had painted previously.

We have been weaving away in art this week. The children have used autumnal colours to complement the landscape they had painted previously.

Year 4 News with Mrs Alonso McGregor and Mrs Walsh

Year 4 worked incredibly hard with their assessments this week. Mrs Walsh and Mrs AM were very proud of their effort and achievement.

In preparation for their science assessment, the Year 4 children helped recall the key facts by testing each other.

We all loved Drop Everything And Read!

Year 4 absolutely LOVED a virtual visit from Clive Pig, the storyteller! For nearly an hour, he entertained the children with tales from all over the world. They were completely enthralled by his stories, music and props.

As part of our China studies, the Year 4 children designed their own Ming vase, even giving them a price tag! We think that their work is priceless!

What wonderful costumes the children came to school in for World Book Day. Such thought and effort had gone into creating their favourite and well loved book characters. Here are a few of our fantastic costumes. Can you guess who we were?

Year 5 News with Ms Hodgson and Ms Demangeat

This week, Year 5 had a fabulous time celebrating books and reading. The children and teachers alike, came to school imaginatively dressed as a character from one of their favourite books! In mathematics, they estimated and weighed books, converting their findings from grams to kilograms.

In English, the pupils were given the name of a book character and were asked to act out a scene, in which two of the characters met. Some children mimed their favourite book title for the others to guess or gave out clues. Their favourite activity was to design an alternative book cover in the style of Tom Gates. Their final pictures were amazing.

All in all, it was a great opportunity to share stories and enjoy the magic of books.

Year 6 News with Mr Darlow, Mrs Von Waberer and Ms Roberts

In Year 6 , we have had an amazing week and have thoroughly enjoyed our activities for World Book Day. The children loved dressing up as their favourite book characters and sharing extracts from their favourite books with each other.

In science this week, the students have finished their topic on light and enjoyed designing, making and testing their periscopes.

This week the students have started their new topic as they learn how to become taxonomists. Here is one of our students who brought in his science book from home and shared a wonderful photograph of a fly magnified eighty times!

A special mention to one of our other students in Year 6 who has been investigating space at home, he wants to work for NASA! Shoot for the stars!

Languages department news

Learning the poem “Redondo, redondito” is easier and more fun if we do it all together. Year 3 had a great time preparing this poem during Lengua Castellana lesson with Señorita Lahoz. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Year 4 German: So leben wir auf Mallorca: Mein Haus und mein Zimmer!

Unser Deutschland Projekt: Year 5!

Year 5 is learning all about Germany. First we have a look at the geography and later the culture and history. Of course we will try some typical German food as well.

Sports department news

Reception students in their PE lesson below are practising fundamental movement skills. In these images they are practising the accuracy of their under arm throwing. Well done to all of the students for working hard with big smiles on their faces.

Whole School House System news

Extreme Read Competition - Winners and Pictures!

Well done to everyone who entered the Extreme Read competition. We had over 50 amazing entries which made judging very difficult indeed.

The winners are...!

  • 1st Place - Gisele, Year 8 - Winton House
  • 2nd Place - Alex, Year 5 - Winton House
  • 3rd Pace - Lotte, Year 5 - Galileo House

House Points Totals Update - Term 2