Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
Whenever I talk about our school, I always highlight how we are an inclusive school. This means that we welcome students of all abilities, and do not ask students to sit an entrance exam. This inclusivity is very much the hallmark of outstanding British schools, where all children, whatever their academic ability, will be supported, stretched and challenged, taught well by outstanding teachers, who have the highest of expectations for all, such that all students make the best progress they are capable of.
I am proud to work in an inclusive school, one that has a climate of warmth and welcome, and is dedicated to ensuring all students reach their potential, whatever that might be. We put no ceiling on success and what our young people can achieve. Students who may struggle will be expertly supported, both by their skilled class teachers and by the excellent support staff we have, in our fantastic team of Learning Support Assistants, led so ably by Ms Cull, who has a deep and detailed knowledge and understanding of barriers to learning that children might experience, and how teachers can help children to overcome them. Equally, we have many very bright and able young people in our school. Part of our mission here is to ensure students are really stretched, that they find work challenging, they find it hard, but through great teaching they feel the pride and satisfaction that comes through achieving great grades. Some of our children, especially in primary school, come with limited English. Through the expertise of teachers trained in how to support children for whom English is an additional language, these children make rapid and impressive progress, such that within months - even weeks - they are fully accessing our curriculum, and improving their spoken and written English.
An inclusive school is also about ensuring all children feel safe and welcome, that they feel nurtured and nourished, that they know who to turn to when they face difficulties, and know that they will be supported and guided. The caring, inclusive atmosphere in our school is one of its many strengths. Indeed, it is only through children feeling happy, enjoying school, and knowing they are cared for by their teachers that they will do well in the classroom.
Wishing you a happy and sunny weekend,
Ms Alexandra Tomlinson, Head of Secondary
“Memory, the warder of the brain” (Macbeth, Act 1 Scene 7)
Exam season is now in full swing and soon Year 10 will be starting their Mock Exams on Friday 4th June. Parents are invited to a Revision Webinar next Tuesday 18th May at 5.30pm where we share approaches and strategies for securing information for successful retrieval under the pressure of timed situations. Below are two very current ways of thinking about knowledge retention:
Spaced Learning and the Forgetting Curve
Relax - 5 mins before you start to revise use breathing exercises to relax your mind.
Understand the info - read over the knowledge and ensure it makes sense.
Change the info - condense the info in a mind map or a bullet point list.
Look at the info in different ways - convert it to a diagram, a chart or a table.
Link the info - make notes on your notes from c and d to link this to other topics you have done.
I look forward to welcoming parents to our Revision Webinar next Tuesday.
YEAR 10 - Parent Workshop - Revision Webinar
Dear Year 10 parents,
We would like to invite our Year 10 parents to our next Parent Workshop on Tuesday 18th May starting at 5.30pm. The aim of this session is to talk to you about revision, how you can best support your sons and daughters as they revise for their upcoming mock exams, as well as to answer any questions you may have.
We look forward to welcoming you,
Head of Secondary
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
This Saturday represents the UN International Day of Families; a day worth celebrating at any time. I write this on the day that I have received an appointment for my first Covid vaccination that will allow me to see my own family (some for the first time in nearly two years, all for at least a year). Family is something that is clearly etched into my thoughts (and I suspect yours too for similar reasons).
In A Level sociology, students study the functions of the family and the experience of family life for its members, the pros and cons. A key element of this is ‘socialization’, the process of learning culture and behavioural expectations. When I first studied the subject, the focus was on how parents ‘teach’ their offspring. Increasingly sociology students now also focus on what offspring teach parents and grandparents. The theme for this year’s International Day of Families is the impact of new technologies on the well-being of families. This is one area where students can and do influence older members of their families, especially with so much more of life taking place online. Parents can reciprocate with guidance and discussion about acceptable online behaviour. Increasingly, sociologists see family life as ‘negotiated’ with parents, children and wider family members bringing ideas to the table and finding mutually acceptable outcomes.
I am sure all parents will sometimes feel there is a little too much negotiation and that sometimes children just need to be told and to accept they have to do ‘it’. If there was one such area, I am sure that my colleagues would request that parents tell their sons and daughters in Years 11, 12 and 13 to keep going to school right until the last lesson before Study Leave. We have the professional knowledge to be able to guide our students in their learning and revision so that they focus on the things we think will come up in the exam. During the stress of this school season, students can feel that they need to stay at home and focus their revision on their specific needs; it can lead to mistakes and underperformance by those students. Parents can be torn by the need to refer to the knowledge of experience and the need to negotiate and preserve a peace at home. Whilst we teachers understand that, we ask that this is one argument that you do your best to win.
If you need help from specific subject teachers or from me, do email into school. We have been through the exam season many times before and will often have good advice to offer if you need it.
Best of luck to us all, parents, teachers and, most of all, students!
Head of Sixth Form
Duke of Edinburgh International Award
Last weekend students taking part in the DofE continued their preparations for their adventurous journey with an extended hike from Costa d’en Blanes over to the Na Burguesa Fire Tower and then north east to Puig Gros de Bendinat. Taking four hours on a Sunday to develop navigation and team building skills is a mark of the commitment and dedication required to achieve the DofE bronze award. These are just some of the qualities our young people are displaying as they flourish under the challenges they hungrily accept.
Although a fine achievement - climbing to the pinnacle of the Serra de Na Burguesa overlooking the entire Calvia coast and beyond - there was an omnipresence, a whispering… almost taunting us… As in the distance we could always glimpse the implacable peak of Galatzo. Our students are chomping at the bit to take on our locale’s most obvious topographical challenge. And I doubt they will rest until it has been conquered.
Weekly highlights - Mathematics at Baleares International College
Recent weeks have been hectic and splendid. Year 11 students have completed their maths iGCSEs and the amount of hard unrelenting grit and graft by most students has been humbling. They know who they are. We salute you. Our sixth form students too are finalising preparations for their assessments with fantastic dedication, intelligence and maturity. They are a special group of young people. We are lucky to teach you. Thank you.
In key stage 3 we have been celebrating mathletics World Maths Day with some unusual and exciting maths, taking our learning away from the textbooks and injecting some life and spontaneity into our lessons. Exploring maths, free from the usual bounds of the curriculum, is a critical and exciting aspect of learning. As teachers we do not know the paths students will take, the questions they will ask or where the journey may take us. Responding to this and celebrating the ideas, observations and conclusions of our students is the best part of being a teacher - especially when you are a teacher of the richest, purest, most wonderful subject on the slate.
Some of our Year 7 students have been exploring maps and vectors
Others have been solving the frogs puzzle and then spotting patterns to predict future results. Those who achieved this were able to extend and challenge themselves by applying algebra to the rule. This is a perfect example of the ‘low floor, high ceiling’ tasks that we love in maths.
Some groups used counters to calculate the number of moves.
In other classes...
Following on from their studies of probability, Year 8 played a game of Spoof.
Spoof is played by any number of players in a series of rounds. In each round the objective is to guess the aggregate number of coins held in concealment by all the players, with each player being allowed to conceal up to three coins in their hand.
At the beginning of every round, each player conceals a quantity of coins, or no coins at all, in their closed fist, extended into the circle of play. The initial player calls what they think is the total number of coins in play. Play proceeds clockwise around the circle until each player has ventured a call regarding the total number of coins, and no player can call the same total as any other player. The call of "Spoof!" is sometimes used to mean "zero". After all players have made their calls, they open their fists and display their coins for the group to count the total. It is illegal for a player to open their hand without making a call. The player who has correctly guessed the total number of coins withdraws from the game and the remainder of the group proceeds to the next round. If no player guesses the total correctly, the entire group continues to play in the next round. The starting player for each subsequent round is the next remaining player, clockwise from the starter of the previous round.
This first guesser has the initial advantage in that all possible sums are available for his or her guess, but also lacks insight into what the others might be holding, as indicated by their subsequent guesses.
This week in maths Year 8 have been using probability to become masters of the dice game perudo! They have also been using logical deduction to optimize solutions to the rich frog puzzle!
Year 9 probability game tactics
Sometimes the most simple games can be the most intriguing. By exploring this simple 8-card game (where you even know what cards your opponent has!) Year 9 had to consider number sense, proportions and probability as well as tactics and game theory. Try the game at home for a real head scratcher. What would be the best hand to be dealt with in the first place?
Science department news
Parents and Students, here you will find some further information about our practical science day to support iGCSE terminal assessments.
Week on week, we are lucky enough to share with you so many photographs of our students enjoying learning through practical science. Behind every excellent science lesson there is an excellent science technician. We count ourselves very lucky to have secured the services of Afra Pascual who currently leads our technical provision. Here is a little bit about Afra:
Hi! I am Afra Pascual, the new science technician at Baleares International College. I am a biologist specialising in genetics. I am from Girona but my studies brought me to finish my bachelor thesis in Belgium. I am captivated by science and thus I feel I fit like a glove in the laboratory. Being able to do practical experiments in school was what made me want to study biology. I think that being able to help the science department with their practicals and experiments can make other students discover the amazing world of science and research! I believe that science is crucial for society: we need to be able to teach independent and critical thinking.
Here are some practical activities that have taken place in science this week.
Thank you to our key stage 3 students who have been working hard to reflect on their learning and prepare for summative assessments at the end of their reproduction unit.
Whole School House System news
House Points Totals Update - Term 3
Overall total House Points
School Senior Choir (for Year 6 upwards)
Come along and sing for pleasure! Regardless of whether you think you have a good voice or not! If you think that you would like to sing, then sing! We sing purely for pleasure this term - it´s all about building up your confidence. We will be singing a range of music - from popular to classical. Singing is wonderful for stress, self esteem, self expression, making new friends, the heart and lungs!
Come along to L3 every Friday lunchtime (bring your lunch) from 1.15pm.
Senior Choir is led by Ms. Mayes, Ms. Tomlinson and Dr. Cruttenden