Your guide to all news at school.
Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
Supporting the character development and mental wellbeing of our students is as important to us as ensuring they fulfil their academic potential. We have done a lot of work this term on explaining and exploring our school values, and discussing ways we can demonstrate compassion, respect, responsibility and integrity, and strive for excellence in all we do. In our end of term rewards assemblies, alongside awards for academic success, we will be acknowledging the best examples of values in action, and it will be a very tough decision to make as so many of our lovely young people display our school values so frequently.
This term we have seen some very important and successful events. Year 9 are starting to think about the subjects they will choose for GCSE and most of them and their families joined us in our successful webinar on how to make the right choices. We have also had a Sixth Form taster afternoon when students at BIC and from elsewhere had the chance to experience what being in our Sixth Form and studying for A'levels means. This week we held another successful Awareness Afternoon based around inclusion, where all the students looked at issues of diversity, discrimination and difference. A huge well done to Jane, Louisa and Demi who represented our school beautifully at Mallorca Radio One this week by talking about what Christmas means to them. And yesterday our webinar on languages at BIC explained the excellent provision we have here for supporting students in learning a language, whether it is English, Spanish, Catalan German or French. If you weren't able to join us please do try and find time to watch the recording, as we gave a host of useful ideas, tips and strategies of how you can support your children in their language development.
We may only have 12 more days of school left but we intend to continue to fill every one with a wealth of outstanding teaching and learning, as well as a good sprinkling of Christmas fun!
Here's to a relaxing weekend, and - please, please, please! - one without rain!
Baleares International College, Sa Porrassa
Ms Alexandra Tomlinson, Head of Secondary
Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation. - Gandhi
One of the very best aspects of working in an independent international school is the celebration of difference. Not only of different cultures, but of individual difference, of idiosyncrasy and yes, eccentricity. It is only by fostering a love of difference that we can truly allow our students the self expression which leads to a strong self -confidence and sense of purpose and self worth.
Top schools around the world see that the future gain and happiness of their students will depend entirely on a person's ability to respect, understand and interact with people, ideas and beliefs from a fabulous and colourful strata of humanity. This is borne out by many of them appointing a Director of Diversity to ensure that students are well imbued with the skills required to interact and engage successfully with values, ideologies, cultures and societies which vary from their own. I am also reminded of Darwin's theory of evolution in a nutshell: ´It is not the strong who will survive, nor the cleverest, but the most adaptable´. Being adaptable and flexible in today's world and in the future means putting aside one´s own pre-existing beliefs or assumptions about others and embracing the new, the distinct, the extraordinary.
Only in this way can we live at peace with one another and strive for global good.
Head of Secondary
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
This week we have been proud to put the Sixth Form on show to students of Year 11 and their parents. They have come to the point of making decisions about Sixth Form/pre-university education for a September 2022 start. The Sixth Form represents Year 12 and Year 13. In the old days, Year 7 were called Year 1, so the oldest students were in Year Six (upper and lower); the name stuck even after the changes in names. In the UK, Sixth Forms are associated with quality and are held in high esteem as these are the most successful students (having made it through their IGCSEs with fantastic grades). I like to think the same of our Sixth Form and its students; I am certainly very satisfied with the quality of both.
Students and parents have been reminded about the things that make BIC’s Sixth Form so special:
- High quality teaching and learning from well-qualified teachers
- Wide range of subjects; over 20
- Excellent results; 59% A*- A last summer
- Continuity and familiarity for current students
- A big welcome for newcomers
- A caring community for all
The growing number of students in our Sixth Form suggest that these factors are having a favourable influence on members of the wider community, as well as within BIC
To be eligible to study A Levels at BIC, students need at least 5 IGCSE passes at grade C or 5 and above (including mathematics and first language English), or the equivalent if they are coming from another schooling system. For specific subjects, such as mathematics and physics, grades may need to be higher. These grades may well be lower than other local rivals as we have full confidence in the ability of our teachers to lift students to levels beyond what they thought possible, however, younger students should be working hard to ensure the best grades possible at IGCSE. Students must be fluent in written and spoken English in order to meet the demands of the A Level courses at BIC. For BIC, it is also important that the applicant is a nice person, who wants to make a positive contribution to the Sixth Form learning community and the school in general. Applicants should be ambitious for their own futures and should be enthusiastic about improving their skills and qualifications still further. It is likely that applicants will be aiming for a top university; we are skilled in supporting students to university entrance all over the world.
Whether your child is in Early Years or in the last years of schooling, if you would like to know more about the Sixth Form, please do contact me. If you have friends outside of BIC who would like to know more, please suggest that they join our Sixth Form webinar on Tuesday 30th November.
Head of Sixth Form
The Duke of Edinburgh International Award
Last Friday our hardy DofE recruits hiked from school at the end of the day, across the coast to an undisclosed pick up location. Heading off straight from the bell was a wonderful start to the weekend as it cleared our minds from the stresses and pressures of the week and reinvigorated our bodies and souls. Despite the week being beset by shocking weather, Friday was clear and crisp. Hiking in the dark really helped our appreciation of group dependence, appropriate equipment and the accurate and consistent use of maps and timings. Special mention to Ellie who managed to smear her map with blood from a flesh wound that, if anything, only spurred her on. Leading the pack again in terms of energy, positivity and her infectious beaming smile was the remarkable Daniella.
We really have some amazing young people in our school, and the DofE award really allows them to shine!
Whole School House System news
House Points Totals Update - Term 1
We would like to congratulate all of our finalists for the House talent competition. The final will be held next Thursday 2nd December at 4.30, and the question will be answered - ´which House has the most talent?´ As well as an overall winning House, our judges will also be selecting Primary and Secondary champions. Letters have been sent out to all of our competing finalists, and we look forward to welcoming you to watch them perform. We would also like to thank in advance our House Captains and Vice Captains who will be helping us with this event.
The Christmas Card competition is also still on-going. The theme for the design is ´Compassion at Christmas´. You can send your entries via email or in person to your Head of House, and the deadline is Tuesday 30th November. The winning entry will be used as the design for our school Christmas e-card this year.
A message from your Heads of House
Miss Xidakis, Head of Parks House
Another great week Parks - although we are now in second place in the leaderboard, let's keep earning House Points and climb back into first place. As we are approaching December there are new Christmas themed competitions taking place so if you have time please enter the Christmas card competition and the Science Christmas tree decoration competition. Remember every entry earns a House point for our team. Plus, now the weather is getting cooler we need to try and keep our bodies active consequently, every Friday starting at 8:25 Ms Izabela is running a morning club called ´Morning Mile´´ and everyone who participates earns a House point too; so bring your trainers and we will see you there. Lastly, I cannot wait to see the Talent Show on the 2nd December. It is evident that we have many talented students and I know it is going to be a wonderful event for everyone.
Miss Mayes, Head of Roosevelt House
Congratulations Roosevelt House on another impressive week. It was excellent on Monday seeing you all actively participate in our Awareness Afternoon. Mr Kingston-Bray´s form were having some incredibly interesting conversations and debates, Ms Hatton´s form created some very thoughtful poster designs, and all of you were engaged and respectful throughout. We also had some amazing entries for the talent competition, and I was thrilled to announce our finalists this week - congratulations to Elisa Ploch De Silva, Elena Tuke, Matthew Mansour and Sophia Brown! I can't wait to see you compete in the final next week. Please keep the entries coming in for the Christmas Card design competition. Remember every entry earns an all important House Point. The deadline for this is 30th November. Next week in assembly we will be announcing our first Roosevelt winner of the month. Don´t forget you can post your nominations for this in our nomination box which is now beautifully decorated. This can be found in Ms Hatton´s room. Keep up the great work as we head to the end of this term.
Miss Turley, Head of Galileo House
Well done to everyone in Galileo House. We are currently in the lead! Keep up the great work so we are the winners of term 1. I know we can do it. Make sure to enter the competitions that are running. The deadline for the Christmas Card Competition is 30th November and the deadline for the Science Christmas Decoration is 10th December. We won that competition last year so I am hoping for a repeat performance.
Also, a massive well done for all the great work you did on the Awareness Afternoon. As I was going around classes I was so impressed with the thoughtfulness and effort you were putting into the tasks.
Mrs Florey, Head of Winton House
In our House assembly last week I announced our first ‘Winton Winner of the Month’. Marley, one of our fantastic House Captains came up with the idea and made a beautiful nomination box in our House colours. Students could nominate fellow Wintons for anything they thought should be celebrated. This could be something impressive they have achieved, a kind gesture or showing compassion or acting with respect, integrity or responsibility. I was so impressed with all of the nominees- we truly have some amazing students in Winton House. All of the nominations were considered by House Captains and the winner was chosen. So, I want to say a huge well done and thank you to our winner for November 2021 - Amber Worrall for being such a fantastic role model and showing kindness and compassion to all. We are all proud of you!
Awareness Afternoon at BIC Sa Porrassa
On Monday 22 November the whole of BIC Sa Porrassa left their normal timetable to take part in an Awareness Afternoon with the theme of respect and diversity. It was fantastic to see students so engaged and enthusiastic all afternoon. The quality of some of the class discussions was excellent and many tutors were impressed with how much some of their tutees actually knew already. We knew that our students were a precious resource but this really brought it home to us. The students spent the last part of the afternoon on project work, making posters and videos to promote diversity and fight discrimination. There were some amazingly high quality productions achieved in a limited time. We would like to thank all the students for their contributions to the success of the afternoon.
English department news
Last week, BIC won the second heat in the Rotary Debating Competition in a strongly contested debate against Lycée Français. The BIC students - James Middleton, Palak Mirchandani and Ava Bland - argued against the motion: we should pay for social media instead of receiving unsolicited advertising. Damien of Lycée Français took the crown as best debater, while Palak was commended for her excellent contribution and progress since the first debate. A huge congratulations to the three debaters, and we look forward to finding out what the next stage of the competition might bring.
Maths department news
The inaugural BIC TTRockstars Competition was launched on Monday for Year 6, 7 and 8. This initiative is aimed at improving students’ timestables.
We are hoping that during the competition students will get into the habit of doing 10-15 minutes work on their timestables each day. Please encourage them to get involved!!!
The first week leaderboard is below. It is wonderful to see such large coin totals already!
International Online Maths Challenge
Eight students competed in the International Online Maths Challenge on the 12th and 13th of November. Over 5000 students competed in the Challenge from 96 different countries. We are delighted that five BIC students achieved a Bronze Award placing them in the top 45% of their category.
Congratulations to Ismene Von Waberer, Neithan Martin Diz, Quinn Wachtviel, Manu Stano Lopez and Matthew Mansour.
It was a wonderful challenge and experience for the students and we are planning to enter even more students next year.
Key Stage 3 Problem of the Week Update
With the inaugural Key Stage Problem of the Week Competition coming to a close in the next three weeks, we are in for an exciting finish. There are a number of students who are in with a chance of winning the overall competition and entering the random prize draw. Every problem is going to count.
Here is an excellent solution to last week´s problem from Max Knoetsch in Year 9. I am so impressed by the ability of our Key Stage 3 students to both solve problems and demonstrate their working.
Languages department news
The Year 12 students have been learning about the novel Der Vorleser from by Bernhard Schlink and they have been working on the historic context of the novel. They have produced this impressive mural.
Humanities department news
Year 8 GC lessons this week have been providing an opportunity for Year 8 students to better understand the justice system as they held a mock trial about a murder case.
Sports department news
On Saturday 20th November our young volleyball BIC players attended The Superleague Volleyball match at Son Moix, Fenie Energia Voley Palma - Ushuaia Volley Ibiza
Our pupils and their parents together with BIC volleyball coach Miss Izabela Zborzynska went to see volleyball at the highest level on the island, with the Mallorcan team playing in the highest league in Spain.
The purpose of the trip was to give the dedicated volleyball club members the opportunity to see how the game is played at the highest level, encouraging the young people to spend their free time actively and, above all, group integration.
The match ended with the score 3:1 for the team from Mallorca. After the match, our students had the opportunity to enter the centre court and take a picture with the players. For all the participants the event was a great experience and everyone is looking forward to having another opportunity to cheer on our great players. There was an extraordinary sports atmosphere at the match, and we had a great time.
Massive thanks to the parents of our young athletes for their support and great cheering during the match!
We would like to say thank you to the team Fenie Energia Voley Palma for the invitation to the match.
Last Thursday our KS4 and Sixth Form volleyball players had a visit from representatives of the volleyball team currently playing in the Super League. It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to test their skills and learn more about the life of a volleyball player!
It was a great visit and the Super League Team plans to visit our school again.
Creative Arts department news
We are incredibly busy in Year 7 music currently rehearsing for our Christmas singing events. These include our school Carol Concert on 16th December, as well as external performances at both Son Amar Christmas fair on 11th December and Puerto Portals Christmas market on 16th December. Letters have been emailed home from Miss Mayes about these events, where you can confirm your child's attendance at the external events and reserve seats for the school Carol Concert. If you have not had a chance to see this letter yet please find the link for it here. If you have any questions regarding these performances you can email Miss Mayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Year 8 this week students have taken part in their first ukulele group performance. All students played the first song we have learned for the rest of their class. For many of our students this was the first time they have played the ukulele, and for some it was the first time they have performed on an instrument in a small ensemble, and they were very proud of their achievement.
Swans reflecting Elephants by Jessica Year 13
Science department news
This week in science, it has been great to see a creative take on learning about the structure and function of leaves as students were encouraged to design their own. I can only describe the class as being completely zen whilst stretching themselves to think of all the possible plant adaptations that they could utilise in their designs.
In another lesson, one of our chemistry teachers was teaching our students how to apply their knowledge of the periodic table. Whilst chemistry is, of course, magic, the periodic table can be used to rationalise and predict all chemical reactions. Our chemistry expert helped the students unlock the secrets of the periodic table, applying prior knowledge and stretching themselves as they sought to predict chemical formulae based on knowledge rather than magic.
In other areas of the department, the students have used devices in order to gain diagnostic feedback on their learning in physics. This is used by the teacher to plan lessons and by the students to address their personal areas for development now, rather than waiting to do this during revision.
During biology classes this week, the students used their transferable skills from computing in order to more fully describe the role of code in stem cell differentiation. Learning about the one gene-one enzyme hypothesis, the students were able to draw parallels between coding in computing and gene switching in reproductive biology. The students would not have been able to do this without the excellent input from our computing team.
Key Stage 3 students (and Year 6) have enjoyed two more seminar sessions from the Natural History Museum in London. Last week the students were horrified to find out just how close so many bird species came to extinction in Victorian times due to the fashionable nature of feathers. We were impressed by the passionate endeavours of Emily Williamson and Eliza Phillips who started the Society for the Protection of Birds (in 1891), giving a voice to our feathered friends so that they could avoid extinction. This week, the students were somewhat confused by the discovery that several seemingly unrelated species of animals were actually found to be very closely related after the advent of widespread DNA sequencing analysis.
The following pictures show what our students have been doing in the classroom recently in Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. As you will see, the students are learning to use devices to collect, analyse and display data appropriately in science. In the previous newsletter I mentioned that the students were working on the production of an academic poster. Here you will find an example of the student work.
Year 11 biologists have been reviewing biological molecules and how to test for glucose, starch, lipids and proteins using different chemicals. Year 11 biology students can access revision support here through the live links to different topics. The same support will soon be available for chemists and physicists together with a personal revision guidebook.
As part of our Activities Afternoon provision, students have the opportunity to study and develop their mindfulness skills. As part of their development, the students had the opportunity to visit the garden centre and cafe to select and nurture plants that would help enhance their study areas at home.