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 Alexandra Tomlinson, Head of Secondary
It was a pleasure to see everyone who attended the Year 10 webinar on revision and preparation for mock exams this week. The week ended with a Year 10 assembly where I shared the timetable for the Year 10 mocks as well as a revision plan for students. Year 10 have an intensive three weeks coming up but I have every faith that they will rise to the challenge. We had our first (socially distanced!) choir rehearsal today and it was heartening to see students from Year 5 all the way to Sixth Form singing together. It was so wonderful to feel a sense of togetherness and community in this way - a true salve for challenging times. A huge thank you must go to the sixth form who helped out, once again demonstrating the way in which our students role model and care for one another with dedication and love. We are looking forward very much to the Year 11 Leavers Assembly next Friday which will be a joyous occasion celebrating the heart and soul of a fabulous year group.
Manu, Year 7, for obtaining 100% in Spanish and Catalan tests this week. Anaya, 8B, for voracious reading across the Carnegie and her own books. Greta, 9I, for settling into her new form so well and for demonstrating conscientiousness in her work. Jack, 10B, for consistently working hard at every detail and being able to move his Spanish skills forward demonstrating quality work at every opportunity. Logan, 11C, for making superb progress in English. Theo, Year 12, for an excellent attitude in the build up to his biology exam.
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
International Project Qualification
I am sure that you will be aware that, at BIC, we are constantly looking to increase the quality of learning outcomes, so that students are properly equipped to compete in applications for the most in-demand course and universities, as well as meeting the requirements of discriminating employers. We also want the students to enjoy their learning and to challenge themselves to achieve more than they thought possible. With these principles in mind, this week I introduced the Cambridge international Project Qualification (IPQ) to our Year 12 students.
The IPQ has the same academic level as A Levels; the outcome is worth a little more than a standard AS Level. It is, essentially, a piece of coursework, in an appropriate style for the topic being investigated. It should not be directly linked to any of the student’s subject specifications, but it can develop a theme linked to one or two, or it could focus on something completely separate to any of the subjects being studied at A Level. The student devises and develops a research question, collects then analyses and explores the results or evidence, drawing relevant conclusions based on the evidence. It should be close to, but not exceed, 5000 words, so it is a challenging piece of work.
The aims of IPQ are to enable students to develop:
- a research project on a topic of their own choice, reflecting their academic interests
- an understanding of the research process and appropriate research skills
- a critical approach to sources of information
- a reflective approach to learning and research
- independence and confidence, preparing them for study in higher education and/or future career development
- improved skills of planning, research, reflection, analysis, evaluation and communication
Universities love this qualification because it helps the students to develop these skills. It also gives them confidence when offering undergraduate places to students; if students can see the IPQ through to a successful outcome, there is every chance that they will cope with the demands of learning at a university.
Those students who want to take up the IPQ will have an introductory curriculum day on Monday 14th June. We will use the day to explore possible research questions, research approaches and timelines. Students will develop a formal research proposal, then start to research. Most of the data/evidence, unless there is a very good (and agreed) reason, will be collected over the summer. In the autumn term, students will complete the coursework write-up in consultation with Mr Barter and/or another teacher with specialised subject knowledge. Our hope is that students taking the IPQ will write summary updates for the newsletter to let you know how their work and their skills develop.
If you have a son or daughter in Year 12 you might discuss this opportunity with them. What does he or she think of it? If he or she was to do it, what might he or she do it on? Do you have contacts that could help with the supply of evidence or data? As usual, if you have any questions for me, please get in touch.
Head of Sixth Form
Weekly highlights - Computer Science at Baleares International College
It has been a very productive and practical term so far in computer science for all our students.
See below some of the fantastic highlights!
Analysis is a key element in computer science. Our students have worked on data collection, analysis and modeling using data from surveys exploring social media use amongst key stage 3 students.
Our Year 8 students have learned all about social media, compulsive design, internet addiction, healthy screen use and cyberbullying. One key element and focus in computer science is to teach our students how social media affects our daily lives, the safety requirements of its usage and how to address any misleading information on these platforms.
Year 9 have learned all about how computers represent images, using digital manipulation software to create album cover art. Our students have made some impressive progress - have a look yourselves.
Year 9 Stretch and Challenge
In our famous Stretch and Challenge programme our students have been mapping the first DofE International Award group walk - from Portals Velles to El Toro - plotting height and distance to graph the elevation of the route.
Our Year 10 students have been preparing for their exams later this term, and brushing up programming skills by taking on challenges such as writing a program to calculate how many lego bricks it would take to recreate the earth, and a progressive set of 300 problems to solve with code.
Year 11 are immersed in lots of exam practice questions on all the new topics studied so far. Have a look below
Congratulations all round for facing their first exams in a long time, the AS Level Information Technology theory and practical papers. Renat, Jessie and Lauren worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to prepare. Well done!
Humanities department new
In Year 7 Global Citizenship students have been learning about key Hindu beliefs. It did not take the students long to work out that this version of Snakes and Ladders was all about the concept of reincarnation.
Year 10 geography students have really enjoyed active learning in their lesson this week. They were challenging themselves to learn the names of all the different countries in the world.
Performing Arts department news
Year 9I have been working on understanding technical set design. Have a look at their model sets for a production of ´Aladdin´ below.
See below the fantastic work from Kira, Lily and Nathaniel - well done!
Year 12 drama students got the chance to discuss their upcoming devising coursework with a drama university student. Rebekah Wotton has just completed her 3rd year on the drama and theatre studies course at Chichester University in England, and completed her dissertation on the playwright and theatre practitionerthat Jess and Olivia from Year 12 are using for their devising project. They were able to ask her questions, listen to her ideas and discuss what they have already learned with her. This was a great experience which the girls learned a lot from, and has given them a great start to their research.
Science department news
We would like to thank the children and parents who attended our key stage 3 Science Parent Workshop last week. Hereis a copy of our session should you want to take a look.
This week in science the students have been enjoying a wonderful range of practical activities to support their learning. Here you will find one of our wonderful Year 8 students directing the class as they discover the links between temperature, kinetic energy and particle theory.
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