Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
Last Tuesday the staff were treated to a sumptuous feast, lovingly prepared by members of the PTA. To say we were overwhelmed is an understatement! To celebrate World Teacher Day, to show appreciation for the fantastic work that goes on in our school, many families baked, cooked and prepared an amazing spread that our staff enjoyed all day, and indeed took plenty of delicious leftovers home as well. As a keen cook and foodie, I was truly amazed by the wealth of talented chefs we have in our parent body - it was an incredible array of different dishes of exceptional quality. Parents also decorated tables in the staff room and the whole atmosphere at lunchtime was one of joy and gratitude. Our deepest thanks to everyone who contributed. I will let the teachers speak for themselves:
"I loved the veggie curry and the lentils. Thank you so much to all the thoughtful parents who contributed time, food and effort."
"The sausage rolls in particular were amazing! Fabulous, please pass on our appreciation."
"I was having a challenging morning but thanks to the generosity in terms of food, time spent, and appreciation, I am smiling now. Everything was delicious in an international spirit as we have been able to try different types of food. Thank you so much PTA".
"Gluten free - they've really thought about everyone!"
"I would like to thank the mystery baker of the incredible tiramisu! My goodness, it was divine. As a huge tiramisu fan myself, I literally could have eaten the whole dish - it was so good!"
"Thank you, parents, from the bottom of my heart, for providing us with such a wonderful array of culinary delights. I was overwhelmed."
"The food was truly scrumptious - baked with love, generosity, and warmth; received in the same spirit - with love and huge appreciation."
"The vegan curry was absolutely amazing! I really appreciate the parents catering for different diets."
"We can not believe the generosity of the PTA - amazing variety and it was really hard to choose what to have."
"I think we have been very spoiled - a lovely addition to the day."
" Entering the staff room and seeing the tables with colourful tablecloths and flowers, helped to start the day with a smile on your face!"
"Amazing generosity from parents, I've never experienced anything like it."
Indeed. And from my point of view, the meatballs, chicken curry and tortilla were outstanding!
Have a lovely weekend
Baleares International College, Sa Porrassa
Ms Alexandra Tomlinson, Head of Secondary
BIC observes Black History Month
This month we have a number of events and lessons in school which focus on Black History. Why?
On August 28, 1963, in front of the Abraham Lincoln memorial in Washington DC, Rev Martin Luther King Jr delivered one of the most important speeches in American history. More than 250, 000 people from all different races and faith denominations, who had marched on Washington that day to demand civil and economic rights for African American people, were there to hear him speak.
To watch the film of May 25, 2020, showing a Minnesota policeman kneeling on the handcuffed George Floyd’s neck, causing his death, you might be forgiven for thinking that little has changed since King’s speech in 1963. Countless other such violent deaths in America and around the world certainly support that view. But I’m more hopeful today than ever. Why? Because what has changed is that people around the world stood last year and are still standing together against racism in numbers unlike anything that has ever been seen before, and that from this groundswell of outrage at the killing of George Floyd change for the better will surely come.
Systemic racism is embedded in our own society. The disproportionate harm suffered by BAME people throughout the COVID‐19 pandemic has highlighted profound inequalities, marginalisation and injustice both in the UK, Europe and the United States. The peaceful Black Lives Matter protests that took place in our towns and cities last year reflect the understandable anger that so many people feel about this. We all have a responsibility for actively promoting racial justice. Whenever we ignore racism or dismiss BAME people’s experience of it, we are complicit in violations of human dignity. I hope that our students will feel that they can become part of a profound change and oppose racism wherever they witness it not only by calling it out but, when they can, by joining marches in our own cities as one powerful way of showing that we too oppose the evil of racism in society. There are ways of taking such a stand every day: in what we say, and in how we act, and in what we think in our hearts, and in not standing by when others are mistreated.
B.I.C rejects racism in all its forms and stands with the peaceful ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in America and throughout the world in calling for an end to discrimination and the promotion of racial justice.
Head of Secondary
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
What makes a perfect Sixth Former? For me a perfect Sixth Former knows where they are heading but is fully aware that they are a work in progress; not the finished article. This person is ready to accept challenges and will meet them directly, despite tiredness and potential distractions. This person is ready to work positively with peers and teachers, but equally willing to put hours into independent study (at school and at home) in order to master skills and content. This person recognises that she or he is part of a learning community and needs to subscribe to the values of that community. At BIC this means that the student accepts the values of ‘excellence’, ‘respect’ (for self and others), ‘responsibility’, ‘integrity’ and ‘compassion’. She or he will be here on time, dressed appropriately and will, obviously, have all the materials necessary to support the day’s learning.
‘Putting your best foot forward’ sums up the attitude that we are looking for in a perfect Sixth Former. This person would be willing to give their best efforts on a consistent basis, and to ensure that she or he is seen in the best light. This doesn’t mean being literally perfect (who is?) but it means that the student is working to become the best approximation. She or he may mess up on occasions, but it was not by design and often by trying to do the right thing elsewhere. Juggling all the challenges of Sixth Form life is not easy and mistakes are made. How students respond to mistakes is the mark of their character. In fact Oxford and Cambridge universities ask for schools, in their references on applicants, to identify times where students made mistakes and to detail how they responded. Other universities ask students in their personal statements to be self-reflective and to similarly identify mistakes/errors made and solutions employed. Universities know that undergraduates make mistakes too; how they respond is the important thing and universities prefer to know that students have ready-made solutions and responses.
This week, in Global Citizenship, we had a Balloon Debate, a public speaking competition. Everyone contributed to the ideas in the speeches; many actually delivered speeches (as you can see in the photographs). As I outlined above, we will be asking more from the students than just completion of work for their A Levels; we are aiming to help build the whole person. Being confident to speak in public, at university and at work, will be an essential feature of our students’ futures. Developing these skills ‘safely’, with the support of peers and teachers, is part of putting the best foot forward. We will be working on other skills in future Global Citizenship lessons.
For our new Year 12s, the challenge of Sixth Form is just beginning. The honeymoon period, where everything is new and exciting, is coming to an end. The reality of deadlines and routine, and the weight of expectations is now hitting the students. How they respond will determine the outcomes for this year and next. On Wednesday, next week, we have a Parents Evening for Year 12 students. I am confident that most parents will hear really good news. In a few cases it will be less good, but it will be well-timed and it gives us all time to help the student respond appropriately. Either way, I hope that you will be able to join us. You can make appointments on Schoolcloud via the parent portal. I look forward to meeting with many of you in the coming week.
And finally, I would like to remind those of you who think your children may be interested in applying to universities in the USA that we have a Millie webinar coming up on how to achieve 'SAT Success'. It has been specially put together for BIC students and parents. Many US universities require students to sit SAT tests as well as their school exams, to test their general abilities and to determine whether students are worthy of scholarships. This webinar will give everyone a deeper picture of what they can expect from SATS. It takes place on Thursday 14th at 4.00pm. You can join the Zoom based webinar at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89479163876#success
Head of Sixth Form
Grow a greener School! The school garden project
We have two new clubs in school, both with a focus on a healthier and more sustainable environment. The Horticultural Society meets as part of our fortnightly activities afternoons, and the Eco Club is a new extra curricular club. The clubs are working together on a collaborative project to create, develop and maintain a school fruit and vegetable garden.
Eventually this will be self funding but to get things going, the clubs would welcome any support in terms of gardening equipment, seeds, seedlings, anything gardening related that we could use.
The space is intended for all; students across the school will have the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the garden, to create cross curricular links, and learn about food science and healthy lifestyles.
For more information, or if you want to contribute or take part, please do get in touch.
Whole School House System news
House Points Totals Update - Term 1
Last week saw the first of our inter-House competitions. Students throughout primary and secondary competed in their Houses to test their general knowledge. In primary, students took part in a general knowledge quiz. It was fantastic to see them so excited and working so well together as a team. Secondary students also had a general knowledge quiz and some students also took part in the University Challenge style quiz. Lots of students came at lunch time to support their House and it created such a wonderful atmosphere. It was amazing to see students of all ages cheering each other on and the competition really helped to promote our Vertical Tutoring system in secondary. Thank you to everyone who was involved and congratulations to Roosevelt House who were our overall winners.
Water sports trip
A message from your Heads of House
Miss Xidakis, Head of Parks House
I’d like to thank Parks for all of their hard work. We are currently in first place on the leaderboard due to your amazing efforts. It has been great to see the House representatives in our first House council meeting where lots of brilliant ideas were shared. Well done to everyone who participated in the University Challenge; we didn't win but your enthusiasm was wonderful to see. Keep up the fantastic work Parks.
Miss Mayes, Head of Roosevelt House
I would like to say a huge well done to the Roosevelt University challenge team. We certainly have an excellent amount of general knowledge in our House, and I was exceptionally proud to see you win the first inter-House competition of the year - what an incredible start. Your enthusiasm for challenges is inspiring and I know that will be maintained throughout the year. Thank you to our House representatives for your participation in the recent House council meeting. Keep up the good work!
Miss Turley, Head of Galileo House
Well done to everyone in Galileo House for continuing to work so hard. It has been lovely to get round to see you all in both primary and secondary. I very much enjoyed meeting with the House and Vice captains last week. I know you all have some great ideas. Well done to everyone who competed in the University Challenge quiz. Even though we didn’t win, you were fantastic and we had the best supporters. We are currently in second place for House Points- well done, but let's get up to where we belong, 1st!
Mrs Florey, Head of Winton House
I want to say a huge well done to Winton's University Challenge team for getting through to the final. You all wowed us with your general knowledge and impressive speed on the buzzers. We also had an excellent House council session last week where our fabulous captains and vice captains brought their ideas together in preparation for School Council this week. I am excited to see the impact you are all going to have on the school.
Maths department news
The Key Stage 3 Problem of the Week continues to be a great success! We have had over 50 students attempt at least one problem. Please keep encouraging students to get involved! An excellent solution from Arsenii Babkin in Year 7 to last week´s problem.
This week, in the spirit of Space Week, the Year 8 and 9 students have been completing Space related tasks for homework.
Year 9 had to plan a mission to Neptune and Pluto just like the inspirational women in the film Hidden Figures. Here are some wonderfully presented posters full of mathematical detail!
Meanwhile, Year 8 had to set up a base camp on Mars, taking into account the costing, area restrictions and the morale of the astronauts. Here is an excellent example of the map and table they created from Holly Hannigan. She stayed under budget and managed to accrue a very high amount of morale points. Well done!
Languages department news
Presenting a topic in front of other people can be an art. Our Lengua Castellana group in Year 7 chose a topic that they are passionate about and presented it to their entire class. We have learned about octopuses, cooking, horses, we traveled to Japan and much more… ¡Buen trabajo, chicos!
German - Black history week!
Siegfried Lenz: Lukas, sanftmütiger Knecht.
In this story Siegfried Lenz is writing about the relationship between the Kikuyus and white farmers in Kenya at the beginning of the 20th century and the growing conflict in the country
After reading the exposition of the story we found out about the place, the atmosphere and the main characters:
How does the story go on? Write down your ideas!
Maxi K. in Year 9 wrote:
Der Mann mit dem Messer kam ohne eine Miene zu verziehen auf mich zu. Er hatte mehrere tiefe Stigmen im Gesicht und an den Unterarmen. Man sah, dass seine Kleidung dreckig und zerrissen war. Bestimmt hatte er eine schlimme Vergangenheit mit vielen Kämpfen hinter sich. Als er vor mir stand, hielt er mir das Messer an meine Kehle und blickte mir fest in die Augen. Ich erstarrte vor Angst und der Schweiß lief mir kalt den Rücken runter.
Plötzlich hörte ich eine bekannte Stimme, es war Lukas. Er hielt den Mann von seiner Absicht, mich zu töten ab, indem er ihm beruhigende Worte zuflüsterte. Er sagte zu ihm: “Wir brauchen ihn noch für den legalen Vertrag.” Der Mann zögerte kurz und stieß mich in Richtung Kenia Berge. Als wir die ersten Anhöhen erreichten, war dort eine Höhle, die ich noch nie gesehen habe. Ich erkannte viele bewaffnete Kikujus, die den Eingang bewachten. Sie brachten mich in die Höhle, wo ich viele weiße verängstigte Männer traf.
Schon kurz danach kam ein großer Kikuyu in die Höhle und gab den Ton an: “Ihr habt Glück, dass ihr noch lebt. Normalerweise habt ihr das verdient, denn ihr habt uns unser Land weggenommen. Eure Kinder und eure Frauen haben wir schon umgebracht, aber ihr sollt nun für uns schuften, nachdem ihr uns euer angebliches Land überschrieben habt. Wer nicht unterschreibt, wird nicht überleben.”.....
Humanities department news
On Monday 27th September the Year 11 geographers went on a field trip to Magaluf. The aim of this trip was to investigate urban change and redevelopment in the area. They conducted environmental quality surveys, took photos to compare with historical ones to view changes, and interviewed members of the public, both residents and visitors.
We were very impressed with how the students conducted their interviews, in a polite and professional manner and once they had nervously asked their first member of the public they were on a roll!
Field trips give the students the valuable experience of conducting an enquiry, and the skills and understanding acquired will help them with their final exams this summer.
Black History Month
The History Department has begun to celebrate black people as part of Black History Month. Ms. Pooler has found a number of inspirational geographers and has created a display in her classroom to recognise their contributions to the subject.
All students attended assembly this week and the focus was recognising the achievements of black people in the past but also in the current world.
Sports department news
This week we have had so much fun during Year 9 PE lessons.
Students were developing their service and receiving skills during a volleyball match.
We were so impressed with their amazing sportsmanship, supporting and encouraging each other all the way!
We are excited that more secondary students than ever before have signed up for extra curricular clubs. We are working with other schools to try to arrange some fixtures so that students are able to experience the pressure and enjoyment of competition against others on the island and we will bring you news on this as soon as we have it.
English department news
Promoting Curiosity and Wonder
Space week has given us many opportunities to wonder at marvels of space, and this term students from across Years 9 and 10 have been challenged to wonder more about the world around them. After all, it is curiosity that is the catalyst of learning. The students contributed their wonderings to the ‘Wonder Wall’ on such varied and impressive ideas. Join us in wondering about ideas like:
the time it would take to get to the Andromeda galaxy;
why cats meow;
the interpretation of dreams;
the death penalty;
children with disabilities experiencing zero-gravity;
the Taliban in Afghanistan;
how speech was created;
appearances in comparison with the reality;
the Republic of Rose Island;
the anatomy of a black hole…
Year 8: Louis Sachar’s Holes
This term, the Year 8 students are studying Louis Sachar’s much-beloved novel, Holes. We have been thinking about characters’ different perspectives, and last week we wrote an interview between two characters before challenging the main character on ‘the hot seat’.
Rotary Inter-schools Debate Competition
The activities afternoons have been a great success, with three students from Years 11 and 12 going forward to this year’s Rotary Inter-schools Debate Competition. Ava Bland, James Middleton and Palak Mirchandani will be going to Agora Portals International School for their first debate on Tuesday 19th October to debate on the colonisation of Mars being essential for the future of mankind. Their second debate will be on Thursday 18th November when we will be welcoming Lycée Français de Palma to BIC. Best of luck to our three debaters!
Creative department news
We are thrilled to announce our upcoming school musical ´Matilda´, which will be performed in the spring term. Students from Year 6 to 13 took part in auditions and we are incredibly lucky to have so many talented students. 35 students will be taking part, and rehearsals have started this week. We will also be including students from Years 3-5 virtually; they will be learning songs and being filmed and the videos will be included in the performance. Details about the performance and how families can come and watch this spectacular show will be coming out before Christmas. We can't wait to share with you all the goings on from the Wormwood family and Miss Trunchbull, and watch Miss Honey save the day! Have a sneak peak at some photos from rehearsals below.
Year 13 students have been working on creating a modernised version of ´The Tempest´ by William Shakespeare in preparation for their exam. They have been studying the theatre company ´Punchdrunk´ for inspiration and learning about immersive theatre. This has influenced their ideas. You can see from the brainstorm work from Olivia Taylor and Jessica Gilson the level of creativity and thought going into this work - these mindmaps are just for one short scene!
Year 8 students have been considering how set design is important when devising short scenes. They have been studying ´Harry Potter and the cursed child´, and over the next 2 weeks they will be converting the drama studio into the common rooms from Gryffindor and Slytherin House, whilst performing a short original scene they have devised giving a tour. I can´t wait to see their finished products! Here are some of 8/2 planning this.
Science department news
This week has marked the start of Black History Month and World Space Week. There will be so much to share with you in the next newsletter. Students have benefited from a menu of activities taking in a range of different school subjects focusing on equality in science. We are particularly looking forward to the Baleares International College Space Night tomorrow when the students will be enjoying some wonderful space themed activities organised by Mr Warn. The event will include an outdoor cinema event showing Hidden Figures.
Yesterday we enjoyed a Zoom session looking at star birth! You can find the instructions for making a nebula in a jar here in the recorded session.
On Tuesday, we were lucky enough to see the Soyuz MS-19 space capsule launch into space via a live video link from NASA. As you can see, our students were delighted.
What was even more special was the lucky event that happened later in the day. As Year 8 tracked the capsule on its way to the International Space Station, we were lucky enough to catch it flying over Mallorca.
Key Stage 3 classes have been learning about light. They have been doing a series of practical lessons investigating dispersion, reflection and refraction. After being inspired by Ms Turley’s lesson, some students in Year 8 built an annotated model of the ear.
Year 10 biology students have been learning about biological molecules. They have also been learning about the biochemical tests that can be carried out to identify these molecules.
Year 10 students also had the opportunity to build eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells in class before devouring them! Thank you to Amy and Nora for the delicious cake! The students were learning about cells in the context of World Space Week. Recently, Japanese scientists have established that some bacteria can survive for more than three years in space! For this reason, it is essential that space probes are thoroughly cleaned before they are sent into space to look for life!
Year 12 biology students have been investigating the vitamin C content of food and drink using DCPIP. DCPIP is a chemical that is reduced in the presence of vitamin C. The resulting colour change and calculations allow us to find concentrations of unknown solutions.
BIC computer scientists have been busy exploring all aspects of space exploration and computers. Year 8 have been creating e-learning platforms to educate and test user knowledge on the topic ´Computers and Space Travel´ - from the Mars Rovers to simulating hostile environments in order to train astronauts, to the robotic arms that maintain satellites and the ISS. Year 9 have been creating programs to calculate their ages on other planets andYear 10 have progressed through the process of developing programs - analysing requirements, modeling with flowcharts then coding their final solutions, which involved calculating space ages on other planets, and the time taken for signal to reach earth from the Rosetta mission to land on a comet The KS5 group have been using space exploration as a springboard to research the technologies we now take for granted on earth that were initially developed for space travel.