Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
Great organisations depend on two main things - culture and leadership. Here at BIC Sa Porrassa we have a wonderful culture of "can do", positivity, solutions not problems, and collaboration. We have a fantastic staff who care deeply about your children, have high standards and expectations and who frequently go the extra mile.
I am also blessed with outstanding leadership across the school. All of us are leaders to the children, recognising our responsibility as role models and our duty to provide an outstanding education. I am surrounded by a senior team who lead on their various parts of the school with a dedication and professionalism that you would be hard pushed to find in other schools, and they do so with warmth, wit and wisdom. Our House system and vertical tutoring is led by our four brilliant Heads of House, who work tirelessly to support and encourage the students in their respective Houses, and to build an ethos based around the school's values of compassion, respect and independence.
This week the children in Years 7 to 10 have gone out on their House bonding trip; these have been really successful, the children getting to know students in other Years in their House and the company who organised the activities commenting on how polite and well behaved our young people have been, a credit to themselves, our school and to you, their parents. We have an inspiring, talented team of subject leaders who lead their various curriculum areas to ensure outstanding teaching and learning, and this year I am really excited to welcome new leadership to maths (Mr Cacchia), to English as an Additional Language (Mrs Cruttenden) ,and - hot off the press news - to Srta Rodriguez who takes on the leadership of Modern Foreign Languages across the school. And of course, another hugely important set of leaders are our wonderful students themselves. On the trips this week so many of them displayed great leadership, and Ms Tomlinson and Ms Hodgson write today of the student leadership roles we have in school and their importance to our school community.
The former basketball player and coach Phil Jackson said, "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” I am blessed with a wonderful team of staff and students here at BIC, and, as you have heard me say many times, leading our great school is a privilege. We are all so pleased to be back, and are really looking forward to the year ahead.
Enjoy the weekend,
Baleares International College, Sa Porrassa
Ms Alexandra Tomlinson, Head of Secondary
One of my favourite satirical books is the cult classic, ´Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun´. In this New York Times bestseller, its author, Well Roberts, outlines what qualities and actions made Attila the Hun a superb leader. It is a little tongue in cheek but also comes with a serious message around the principles of leadership.
Attila was one of the most fearsome enemies the Romans ever faced. Indeed, he was responsible for the better part of the destruction of the Roman Empire, building his own in the face of its defeat.
A powerful piece of advice comes at the beginning of the book, where Attila meets his chieftains around the fire and explains what he looks for and what his nation needs, in his leaders. He says:
“There is no quick way to develop leaders. Huns must learn throughout their lives - never ceasing as students, never being above gaining new insights or studying innovation procedures or methods - whatever the source. In order to skilfully lead our nation we must have chieftains who possess the following essential qualities - loyalty, courage, desire to lead, emotional stamina, physical stamina, empathy, decisiveness, anticipation, timing, competitiveness, self-confidence, accountability, responsibility, credibility, tenacity, dependability, stewardship.”
We are looking forward immensely to next week where our own future leaders will step up with courage and tenacity during their hustings during House assemblies, in a bid to become House Captains and Vice Captains for their House. Good luck to all of our students who have had the sense of service and will to put their names forward. This is exactly the spirit that we foster at BIC - not just the desire to lead but also the determination and guts to compete in challenging experiences that may bring defeat, or build an empire.
Mrs Alexandra Tomlinson
Head of Secondary
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
Back in the BIC Groove!
I am pleased to report a really positive first full week back in the Sixth Form. Our fifty sixth formers have approached all aspects of school life with enthusiasm and big smiles. Most of the new Year 12 students have been fully confirmed on their A Level choices, but a few have been trying out different subjects to help them come to definitive decisions; all have now chosen their programmes of study and parents have confirmed their acceptance of these programmes. If you think this is not the case for you, please do contact me.
Some students have not yet gained a grade for iGCSE Maths that would confirm acceptance to universities across the world, so we have added extra maths lessons to the Sixth Form curriculum; Mondays and Tuesdays after school, 4-5pm each time, plus two hours for the first term of Activity Afternoon choices. Even though this was only formally announced this week, there were 11 students attending on Tuesday afternoon, which was very pleasing. Thank you to Mr Cachia for putting on these extra lessons. Shortly, we will be making an announcement about extra Spanish lessons for beginners, for those students who have arrived in Spain over the summer.
Year 13 students are now back in the groove and showing strong leadership to the new Year 12. On Wednesday, Eli (Head Boy), Olivia (Head Girl) and Jess (Student Ambassador) spoke to these younger students in Global Citizenship (see the photograph of the big audience that faced them) about their hopes and expectations for the year, including working and talking together and developing some joint Year 13 and 12 social activities. There is a recognition by both Year groups that if they get used to working together, they will have a very enjoyable and fulfilling year. The older students also talked about the importance of planning internships for the summer between Year 12 and Year 13. Over the last summer, Olivia worked at a marketing company in London and Nik worked in a medical project in Ghana.
Year 13 students have also started on their university applications, particularly those intending to go to study in the UK, who will apply through UCAS; applications have now opened and I have advised that UK applications are finished by October half-term (even though the official closing date is in January). Earlier applications tend to be considered more favourably and sometimes get lower conditions for entry than later ones. Students and parents should be aware that next year is likely to be a competitive year in terms of university applications, whatever the country; many students did not go to university this September, even though they could have done, as they wanted to see how Covid would affect face-to-face tuition and hoped that by doing something productive this year, they would then apply to go to university in 2022. So there will be these applicants, on top of the ‘normal’ cohort of applications. If you feel, as a parent, you need any support in understanding the university application process, please do contact me.
Lastly, please look out for university and other events for Sixth Formers (and younger students) in the BIC Weekly Noticeboard, attached to Holley’s email, in particular the Student World University Fair in October.
Head of Sixth Form
Whole School House System news
House Points Totals Update - Term 1
A message from our Heads of House
It has been wonderful to meet the new members of team Parks and welcome back the rest of the team. The previous academic year was a winning year for Parks and in the welcome assembly we applauded ourselves for the fantastic achievement. The water sports trip on Friday was an amazing team bonding experience.Miss Xidakis - Head of House - Parks
Welcome back to school Roosevelt House! It has been fantastic to see you all settling into your new House tutor groups and to meet all of our new students. This week we had our first trip as a House for Years 7-10, and it was incredible to be a part of it. The team spirit and bonding between you was great to see, I witnessed so many students helping each other out and having fun together. What an amazing start to the year, I look forward to seeing what is to come from our House for the rest of it.Miss Mayes - Head of House - Roosevelt
A massive, warm welcome back to everyone in Galileo House. I am delighted to be back and I know we will all have a fantastic year. It has been great to see you again, and to meet the new students. I have been impressed with you all when seeing you in tutor time, assembly and around school. Our House bonding water sports trip was so much fun, and I was so happy to see everyone having fun and helping each other out.Miss Turley - Head of House - Galileo
Welcome back to school, Winton House! We are very excited to welcome all of our new students into our House and we can’t wait to take part in lots of events and competitions together. This week Yr 7-10 Winton students went on a House bonding trip where they tried out sailing and wind-surfing. We had a fantastic time and I was so proud of all the students. They worked together, got stuck-in and got to know one another. I am excited to go on more House trips in the future.Mrs Florey - Head of House - Winton
House Bonding Trips
This week, Years 7-10 have taken part in a House bonding day at Port Adriano. Staff and students in the same House have been having fun and getting to know each other whilst sailing and windsurfing. The trips have been a massive success and it was great to see everyone working together and helping each other regardless of which Year group they are in. The tutors and Heads of House went with the students and we all had a superb day. We were very impressed with how the students conducted themselves and were amazed at how good they were at sailing and windsurfing (much better than the teachers!).
Maths department news
Key Stage 3 Problem of the Week Competition to start next week!
Each Tuesday a challenging mathematics problem will be sent out for students to complete in their independent time. They need to hand in a fully worked solution by the following Tuesday to Mr Cachia. The initiative is aimed at developing students’ problem-solving strategies, the most important skill in GCSE mathematics. It will stretch students by introducing mathematical concepts beyond their Year level and develop their independent learning skills. There will be termly prizes for the competition winners and a random participation draw for those who complete 80% of the problems. Please do encourage your child to get involved!
Languages department news
Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 students have created these amazing displays with the most important artists, writers and places of the Spanish-speaking world ¡Buen trabajo!
Humanities department news
It has been a wonderful start to the new school year. We welcome Mr. Drumm who will be teaching business studies and economics and Mrs. Hawksworth who will be teaching politics, history and geography.
The students have made a great start to the school year and the excellent GCSE and AS results have resulted in large numbers of students opting to study humanities subjects this year.
Sports department news
The end of last academic year ended in style for the students studying Physical Education at GCSE and AS level. Every student in the iGCSE course achieved a higher grade with two students achieving the maximum grade possible, a grade 9. This demonstrates their outstanding performance across the entire course which includes a range of theory elements, a personal exercise programme that they plan and carry out, and practical performance in two sports.
At AS level, Mathias achieved an A grade with an outstanding performance in his written exam. We now welcome the new Year 10 students to the GCSE PE course.
In core PE lessons, students have been back in our new refurbished pool this week, improving their technique in the front crawl.
Free PE lunchtime clubs will be starting in the sports hall from next week where students will have the opportunity to let off some steam and learn new skills whilst having fun during their lunch time.
English department news
The Year 7 students have been impressing us in the English department in their first week in the secondary school. They have started studying their Year 7 novels and showing off their analytical skills and writing talents. Take a look at some of their exercise books.
Excellent vocabulary and inference skills from Lily Martine Wallen and Amelie Burge.
Ambitious vocabulary and intriguing ideas from Eadrick in Year 7. Well done!
Creative Arts department news
The art department is very proud and privileged to have a number of Year 12s taking the A level Art and Design course, most of whom completed the iGSCE last year with fantastic results! This year pupils in Year 12 have the task of creating a personal portfolio which will showcase their strengths in drawing and painting, looking at famous artists and local practitioners to inspire them. The art department is looking forward to sharing how each pupil's portfolio develops, allowing parents and pupils in the BIC community to follow their progress. Below are some examples of the excellent pieces and research pages made by some of these students last year when they were in Year 11.
Science department news
Year 7 spent the first week investigating the seven life processes. Here they were investigating respiration in cress seeds. One of our aims this year in Key Stage Three is to really target student misconceptions. It starts here as we break down the misconception that only animals respire!
Our Year 12 biologists have been hard at work this week learning about the biomolecules found in living organisms. As part of this, they have been estimating glucose and starch concentrations of unknown solutions using the semi quantitative method.