Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
One of the earliest things we did at the start of last school year was to relaunch the Parent Teacher Association (PTA), led so ably by the fabulous Paula Cannady. As a school, as an international school, the relationship with our families is of the utmost importance to us, as we all work together for the same thing, the best interests and outcomes for our children and young people.
This week we held a meeting with several members of the PTA to plan a range of varied activities for next school year, events that will bring our families further together, promote our school community, develop relationships and welcome new families, and - just as importantly - to have lots of fun. We have scheduled a grand black tie ball, a Christmas and spring fair, a quiz night, an art fair, a summer festival and a family sports day. We will be sending out the dates before the end of term - please put them in next year's calendar already and save the dates! And if you have suggestions for other events and activities we could organise, please join in the discussions.
We are looking forward to welcoming nearly 100 new students (and therefore their families) to our school in September, and the role of the PTA is a really important one in helping them to feel settled and welcome. We have various committees within the PTA and we are really keen that as many of you as possible get involved, at whatever level. Some of you, led by Nadine Smith, are doing tremendous work with the library, which is looking really fantastic (thank you to everyone for their endeavours), and we are very energised at the thought of everything we can do together, for the good of our children, in the years to come. The possibilities are limitless!
I am also really pleased to introduce you through this newsletter to our incoming new head of maths, Mike Cachia, whose passion for maths and vision for the subject are hugely exciting. Alan Sparks is stepping aside from leading maths, which he has done for the last three years, to focus on his role in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme (as well as teaching maths!). We are very much looking forward to welcoming Mike, Barry Drumm and Gilli Hawksworth to our school community in September, three excellent new teachers to join our already outstanding teaching team. Although we are all looking forward to a summer break, next year is set to be fantastic!
Enjoy the sunshine this weekend,
Ms Alexandra Tomlinson, Head of Secondary
A very busy end of term!
We have such a wonderful set of events in the build up to the end of term, happening over the next few weeks. Highlights include the BIC Olympics next week, culminating in the finals next Friday 18th June and our Secondary Speech day which takes place on the afternoon of Friday 25th June at 3pm. Additionally we have our Health Minds and Bodies Awareness afternoon next Wednesday 16th June where all students have been encouraged to bring an exercise mat or cushion to get comfy in our meditation session. On top of all this we have year group trips, subject trips, outside speakers and our regular set of end of term webinars. There is even a Year 7 German group sleepover in school on the last day of term!
All details are shared in the Noticeboard as well as the weekly Newsletter.
Luis, Year 7, for creating a beautiful Haiku poem in his homework. Alfonso, Year 8, for pushing himself in Spanish to produce the best work he can. He is continuing to grow in confidence and becoming more independent and should be proud of the outstanding progress he has made so far. Florian, 9B, for an excellent attitude in Science, great contributions in class and an amazing test score on his latest test. Amber, Year 10, for her commitment to the choir on Fridays.
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
Endings and Beginnings
This week we officially came to the end of our exam season for Year 12 and 13; it has finished with a ten-hour art exam spread over two days. It has been wonderful to see such beautiful pieces taking shape over this marathon of an exam. I would like to send out a public and formal ‘well done’ to all of the Sixth Form students for the way they have conducted themselves over this exam period. We asked them to be great role models to the younger students and they have done this; we are very grateful.
Year 13 has now come to an end; the students have done all they can and are now looking forward to some well-deserved relaxation over the summer, before they move on to university, employment or internships, military service and other gap year activities. We would like to thank them for the positive contributions that they have made to the school; some for more than a decade! In talking about the Year 13 mathematicians, Mr Sparks described them as ‘just fantastic’ and ‘outstanding’; I think this is how all the Year 13 teachers feel about the students. We will miss them all and hope that they will keep in touch and let us know how they get on.
Year 12, equally, have come to the exam season and this week, most (except the AS Level artists) have had a couple of days R and R, before they come in again on Monday to start Year 13. The second year of A Level is another intellectual jump, so the more quickly they can adjust the better. Hopefully these next two weeks and two days will give them a good introduction to what is required. The summer will provide opportunities to fill in knowledge and skills gaps and to build towards the requirements of these challenging Year 13 modules. On top of this, several will be starting their International Project Qualifications, taking on a slightly different sort of challenge. I am looking forward to working with these students and seeing how their work develops.
On Friday 25th, Year 12 will spend a day working on the university research and applications process across a range of countries; they will finish the day with a first draft of their personal statements which are usually 47 lines that describe who they are, their skills, learning and aspirations. Personal statements are not easy to write at 17 years of age as the students require a lot of self-knowledge and they have to emphasise their positives, which is challenging at that age. So, we will have a lot to achieve in a day! Linking with this day, several subjects have lined up Zoom talks with university departments and admissions officers, to help the students do more thinking about where they see themselves going after BIC. We hope that they will do further university research over the summer so they are much clearer about their potential post-BIC destinations when they return in September. UK university applications can be sent off from 7th September; the earlier the students apply, the better chance they have of being accepted as, through the early application, they will have shown enthusiasm and commitment.
A parent has asked me what else the students could be doing over the summer. Ideally, the students would have some kind of work experience, but companies do not appear to be ready to take students in, when they are still facing Covid restrictions; it may need the support of a personal contact if it is to happen. Teachers will give the students a little bit of work to keep them ‘ticking over’ and to reduce the possibility of learning deficit. However, those students (and parents) who want to extend themselves could go to Future Learn (https://www.futurelearn.com/courses), which is a portal of free online short courses; I am a big fan of it (as regular readers of this section will know). The range of courses is mind boggling and it gives students a chance to extend themselves on a topic that links with their A Levels, but is not directly on the specification. It also gives them the opportunity to show universities they are extremely interested in the course they are applying for because they did some extra work on the topic. For parents, it offers some light deviation.
As always, if you have any further questions or concerns, please contact me.
Head of Sixth Form
Key Dates to Remember
|Monday 14th June||Secondary Police Talks - Year 7 | Secondary Olympics - Team Sports|
|Tuesday 15th June||Secondary Police Talks - Year 10 | Year 8 Swimming Gala|
|Wednesday 16th June||Secondary Police Talks - Year 9 | Year 9 Swimming Gala | Secondary Olympics - Team Sports|
|Wednesday 16th June||Year 2 excursion to Jungle Park|
|Wednesday 16th June||Awareness Afternoon (Whole School) - Healthy Hearts and Minds|
|Thursday 17th June||BIC Olympics: Year 7 Swimming Gala | Secondary Olympics - Team Sports|
|Thursday 17th June||Secondary Police Talks Year 8|
|Thursday 17th June||Year 7 Mindfulness Talks (External Speaker)|
|Friday 18th June||BIC Olympics | Sports Day|
|Monday 21st June||International Yoga Day|
|Monday 21st June||Parent Information Session - Exciting upcoming news - Vertical Tutoring and Activities Afternoon|
|Tuesday 22nd June||Year 5 Excursion to La Victoria | Year 3 Excursion to Puig de Na Morisca (Stone age settlement)|
|Wednesday 23rd June||Year 6 excursion to Cabrera | Year 5 excursion to Jungle Park | Year 3 Sone aged theme day|
|Thursday 24th June||PUBLIC HOLDAY!|
|Friday 25th June||Transition Morning|
|Friday 25th June||Secondary Awards Ceremony|
|Monday 28th June||Year 2 Performance | Year 6 Celebrations | Early Years and Year 1 Picnic and Water Play day|
|Monday 28th June||Parent Information Session - Reports and Assessment|
|Monday 28th June||Secondary Trip Day: Year 7 - Jungle Park | Year 8 -Water Park Alcudia | Year 9 - Porto Cristo Caves | Year 10 - Water Park Alcudia|
|Tuesday 29th June||Year 4 Performance | Primary Pirate Party and Water Fun | Early Years and Year 1 Performance summer songs | Year 3 Performance|
|Wednesday 30th June||Last day of School! | Year 5 Performance|
Awareness Afternoon - Healthy Minds and Bodies - 16th and 17th June
16th-17th June: Healthy Minds & Bodies Awareness Afternoons
On Wednesday 16th June students are going to have an off timetable session with their tutors focusing on how neurotransmitters in the brain affect things such as motivation, sleep and general well-being. They will then use these ideas to look at the effect of drugs, receiving education surrounding the dangers, language, and how to manage some of the social pressures surrounding the issue. The afternoon will finish with an introduction to meditation. Students can bring a mat or a cushion if they want to get comfy!
On Thursday 17th June there are going to be sessions running throughout the afternoon with a mental health specialist from Mental Health Mallorca. These will focus on dealing with stress, anxiety, and social isolation. We hope that these sessions will provide extra support to our students who have done amazingly well dealing with all of the added difficulties that the current world situation has placed on them.
A special visit from the Policia Local
The secondary department is happy to welcome to school the Policiía Local next week. The authorities will come and meet with our pupils from the different Year groups from Year 7 to 10.
The purpose of these talks, which are a part of our awareness programme is to provide concrete information and explain to the pupils how to use social networks, their risks and the consequences.
BIC BIG Green Champions
This week we have been celebrating Environment Week here at BIC to celebrate World Environment Day and World Ocean Day. In celebration of this, we have been appreciating the beautiful, natural world that we are very lucky to have around us here in Mallorca. We have been excited to run a joint creative project between both BIC schools on the island, BIC Sa Porrassa and BIC San Agustí. To enter the project, the students were asked to produce something creative connected to the environment, such as a drawing, a painting, a sculpture or a craft. At both schools we have had an amazing response and a real showcase of the students’ creativity, with absolutely astounding work entered into the project. Ms. Colwell certainly had a very hard time judging and selecting the winners here at BIC Sa Porrassa, and could have chosen so many. I am delighted to announce the winners below, and I would like to thank each and every one of those that entered and put so much thought and work into their creations.
BIC Olympics 2021 and Swimming Galas
We are excited to remind you that next week will be the BIC Olympic Week 2021 where all students will take part in a swimming gala, a field activity and the traditional athletics activity.
For more details please access the information sheet and schedules: BIC Olympics and Swimming Galas
Whole School House System news
Now that sports day teams have been chosen for all houses, we have been watching with great anticipation students practising hard in their PE lessons. At the moment it really is too hard to call as to which house will gain the most points! It really is all to play for as well, as we could see a change to the leaderboard for which house will be victorious for the year after sports day. Keep your eyes peeled for the next 2 weeks for all the updates!
House Points Totals Update - Term 3
Overall total House Points
Today we would like to send a special congratulations to Evan and Harley in Year 10. They became Balearic Champions for their weight categories in Muaythai and Kickboxing! We are very proud of their well deserved achievements, commitment and hard work!
Weekly highlights - Languages department at Baleares International College
This week the highlight is languages and we thought of sharing some amusing facts about Catalan, Spanish, French and German cultures and traditions.
The "ñ" originally comes from another "n" that was written above the larger one at the top, as an abbreviation. Over time it would flatten out until it reached the shape of a line called “virgulilla”. Opposite to what we usually think, the letter “ñ” is not exclusive to Spanish, but we can also find it in other languages such as Aragonese, Galician, Euskera, Aymara, Mixtec, Zapotec, Breton, Filipino, Guaraní or Quechua.
The logo of CHUPA-CHUPS was designed by Salvador Dalí in 1969. The inventor was Enric Bernat, who had a revolutionary idea in 1957: to mount a sweet on top of a short stick. In 1995, it became the first sweet to be consumed in space.
The astronaut suit was invented in 1935 by Emilio Herrera Linares from Granada, it had a cooling system, microphone and a visor to stop ultraviolet rays. It was later used for the development of costumes for NASA astronauts.
When someone visits the Louvre, very often people think that it is impossible to see everything… On one hand, it is true. The Louvre is the biggest museum in the world. In order to see each piece of art, it is necessary to spend 4 full days, which means 96 hours spending 10 seconds per masterpiece.
More than half of the roundabouts in the world are in France. Eugène Henard (1849-1923) has invented the roundabouts. The most famous is the one of the “Place de l'Etoile” (1906) in Paris. In France, there are more than 30.000 roundabouts.
The cinema has not been created in Hollywood but in France. The first time that people had to pay to go inside a dark room in order to watch a movie was in Lyon on 13/02/1895. The Lumière’s brothers are the inventors.
The inventor of the traditional American jeans Levi Strauss was born as Löb Strauss in Bavaria
Typical Mallorcan houses have very specific characteristics. The origin of these constructions goes back to Roman civilization, when the richest people from society built big houses called “domus”. These houses had their inner courtyard, different rooms for each activity, a tank to collect rainwater as well as latrines separated from the main house. If you visit a typical house of any village in Mallorca, you will check that they follow almost the same structure!
Students have studied the structure of these buildings, they have learned the name of each zone and even recreated a typical Roman house using the popular computer game MINECRAFT.
Head of Foreign Languages
Year 12 students in Sra Reyero´s class are practising the uses of the Subjunctive mood, which is key in Spanish.
Year 10 students in Sra Reyero´s class have been using different revision techniques in preparation for their Spanish exam.
The Year 8 group of Señorita Montes have been working on some mythological monsters and their origins. Then, our students have created their own monsters and invented the monsters’ biographies.
The Year 9 group of Señorita Montes have been working on the main features of the advertisements. After analysing some ads, our group has created their own. Have a look at the fantastic publicists we have in our school!
The Year 7 students in Ms Rodríguez’s class have been working on a tourist brochure and a promotional video for Spanish tourists about different cities around the world. They have utilised a wide variety of skills, ranging from teamwork to public speaking or researching. The students have produced some very impressive pieces of work, which would not look out of place in a professional travel agency! Special thanks to Rafael Le Bras, who brought in the Chroma and produced most of the editing of the videos - bravo!
Catalan students in Miss Herrero's class have been researching information about the history and culture of the Balearic Island, discovering amazing facts from the past and getting to understand why the archipelago has been so coveted for many civilizations over the last 9000 years! The students have also been working hard conjugating verbs in a range of tenses through creative games and oral interaction! Molt bona feina!
In social sciences, Catalan Year 8 students have been working on the Roman civilization: periods, important facts, culture, language and religion. One of the most important topics has been daily life in Roman society, as well as buildings and structures. We have studied the structure of a typical Roman house, called “domus” and how the typical Mallorcan houses follow almost the same scheme. Our students have even reproduced a Roman house with one of the activities they like the most: playing Minecraft!
Sometimes, it is useful and important to have different explanations and visions of a grammatical concept. After having Madame Etienne’s version, pupils have checked independently the same concept with a fantastic website on youtube www.https://learnfrenchwithalexa.com
Year 10: Objectif IGCSE!
We have been working on past papers in order to familiarise the pupils with the exam techniques and extended writing.
After the culinary experience in the previous lesson, Year 7 students have revised the recipe we used to prepare them.
A lot of action is going on in Year 7’s novel and the protagonists need to solve the problems with Kolja and his gang. Will the plan work out?
Year 7 students put themselves into Jennifer's place and wrote about the latest adventure.
Year 8 German: Quintus is going to the Circus Maximus: What is it all about? A research work:
English department news
Year 7 students are currently reading Stone Cold by Robert Swindells.
As part of this study, the students are exploring homelessness. They were asked to complete a survey on their attitude to homelessness at the beginning of the book and another one on completion to see if their views have changed.
Another activity was to brainstorm the difficulties homeless people face:
The students explored the author’s use of language:
Year 8 students are exploring diary writing. They were asked to present their findings on a person who inspires them the most.
Here is an outstanding example of true inspiration:
Year 9 students are currently reading The Freedom Writers Diary. They were asked to work in pairs to research an area of historical context of the book . Here are some of their amazing presentations:
Performing Arts department news
In Year 8 students in 8I have been learning all about naturalistic acting, and how it is used on stage and in films. After completing some method acting exercises you can see them practising their realistic acting scenes based on everyday situations below.
Science department news
Our students have had a wonderful week in science. This week, the students have been learning about the function of bones in Year 7.
Year 7s have also been consolidating their learning by designing and playing a retrieval game based on varying levels of question
In Year 8 and 9, the students have enjoyed investigating the biodiversity of different areas on the school site. Feel free to ask them what biodiversity means and how to measure it.
Teacher Feature - A very warm welcome!
Mike Cachia - Head of Maths
Mr Cachia grew up in Fife, Scotland attending Strathallan School in Perthshire before reading Law at the University of Leeds. He qualified as a Mathematics teacher on the Teach First program, completing a Post Graduate Certificate of Education at Sheffield Hallam University and a Masters of Education at the University of Manchester, whilst gaining two years of teaching experience at the South Leeds Academy. Mr Cachia spent four years teaching in Australia at Ballarat and Clarendon College and a year at Gordon’s School in Surrey before joining Blundell’s School in Devon as Deputy Head of Mathematics in September 2019. He is relishing the opportunity to lead the BIC mathematics department next year and is committed to ensuring that every child reaches the limits of their potential in the subject. A passionate sportsman, Mr Cachia has played and coached rugby, football and cricket to a high level. He is extremely excited about moving to Mallorca and experiencing a different culture whilst enjoying the many delights of island life.