A message from Alison Colwell, Principal | Mrs Alexandra Tomlinson, Head of Secondary | Mrs Elizabeth Compton, Head of Primary | Mr John Barter, Head of Sixth Form
Book Week at Baleares International College
Next week we are celebrating the magic of books and reading in our annual BIC book week. We have a series of activities and competitions from Tuesday to Friday, and we are excited to share some of these with you.
- Wednesday and Friday: Online author visit | Clive Pig will be presenting to Years 3 to 6.
- Wednesday: Puppet theatre show | Early Years, Year 1 and Year 2.
- Thursday: Dress up day | All classes will dress up as a favourite book character ready for the primary parade!
- Thursday: Dress up day | Dress up as a book character or author, or wear an item that represents an author or a book character with the regular school uniform.
- Friday: Online author visit | Dave Cousins will be presenting to Year 7.
- Take a shelfie competition | More information will be shared with students next week.
- Guess the teacher’s favourite book competition | In classes all next week.
- By Thursday, 4th March: Extreme reading competition | Please email your photo to Ms Turley.
We will additionally be reading together as a school during in-class ‘Drop Everything and Read’ sessions at various points throughout the week, so please encourage your child to bring a book or two so that they have plenty to read.
Library activities including a book swap and a book recommendations box are being organised by the PTA - thanks to Mrs Smith and parent and student volunteers - so please take a look at your bookshelves over the weekend for any books to swap during BIC book week.
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form - Sixth Form Taster Afternoon
It is with great pleasure that I write to tell you about the Sixth Form Taster Afternoon we held for Year 11 students on Tuesday. The students had the chance to try the subjects they had expressed a preference for in November or to try a wild card subject to see if it could tempt them to take it in September.
The aims for the afternoon were:
- To give Year 11 students a flavour of a range of potential A Levels. When asked if we had met the aim, 100 % said ‘Totally’ or ‘Mostly’.
- To help Year 11 students understand how learning at A Level might be different from learning at iGCSE. When asked if we had met the aim, 67% said ‘Totally’ or ‘Mostly’.
- To help them confirm their Sixth Form subject choices in their own minds. When asked if we had met the aim, 100% said ‘Totally’ or ‘Mostly’.
- To give Year 11 students the incentive to keep working hard because they know this will have a pay-off in Year 12. When asked if we had met the aim, 80% said ‘Totally’ or ‘Mostly’
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The Taster afternoon was clearly an important exercise and two hours very well spent. What pleased me most was that when asked to respond to the statement ‘I am excited about joining the Sixth Form in September: 75% said ‘Definitely’ and another 20% said ‘Mostly’.
On top of that, this week I have seen another three prospective students from outside of BIC who are very able and very keen to bring their enthusiasm for learning to the school, having heard such positive things from current students and their parents. There is every chance that our Sixth Form in September will be double the size that it was a year ago; this means that we can be more secure in our offer of subject range (and perhaps add further subjects to our offer in the future) and that we can attract the best quality teachers when we need to replace those who move on. Most of all, it means that parents and students are giving us their trust and believe that we will not only lead our students to the best grades possible, but that they will be doing this in a positive and vibrant learning community. So, like the vast majority of our Year 11, I am ‘definitely excited’ about September!
Head of Sixth Form
Travel and Tourism
Today the Year 12 Travel and Tourism students have pitched their planned trip to the Year 10 and Year 11 iGCSE art students. They plan to take the art students to Es Baluard Museu.
in Palma on Friday 5th of March. The announcement by the Balearic government on Tuesday has made the trip more possible and the gallery is happy to receive us. The Year 10 and 11 art students will be able to explore different artists and hopefully gain some inspiration and useful information, which they could later apply to their own artwork and portfolios for their iGCSE. The group says, 'We aim to ensure that each and every student who decides to come on this trip has the most incredible time, with their friends, and uses this trip as an opportunity to gain some valuable experience in the art pathway.' The Travel and Tourism students have worked very hard over the last six months to develop the trip and to make sure that it complies with all safety regulations (Covid and otherwise). We hope that parents of the Year 10 and Year 11 iGCSE art students feel they can support the trip. We will keep you updated on how the trip goes.
A Parent webinar: Improving attainment in GCSE Science
Dear parents and families,
We are delighted to invite you to our next Information Session on Wednesday 3rd March at 5.30pm. Our Science team will be launching a new study programme in Year 11 science that will have a significant impact on the progress and attainment of the students. The aim of this programme is to help our students gain confidence as they improve their memory and retrieval skills. We would like to give parents an overview of this upcoming programme as their collaboration will be vital to achieve greater impact.
Please click here to register for the Information Session: https://orbital.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_WFzKzVJ9RNSNgXBm9JqEbg
We look forward to welcoming you. Kind regards,
Head of Science
Weekly highlights - The Science department at Baleares International College
Perseverance has been the theme of the week owing to the landing of the most recent Mars rover. As you will shortly read, Ms Turley has coordinated a wonderful sequence of lessons where the students were able to really get under the skin of what is involved in a mission to Mars to undertake research in astrobiology. Astrobiology is a relatively new field of study in world science and we are blessed that we have staff who are flexible and creative in bringing current events in science into the classroom.
Our students this week have been blown away by the achievements of Dr Swati Rohan who is the mission commander for Perseverance. Breaking many glass ceilings, Dr Swati is an immigrant who left India as a child before arriving in the USA, working incredibly hard, studying at MIT and then working on the Cassini mission to Saturn and the recent mission to Mars.
We want to ensure that our students at BIC have opportunities such as this; opportunities where they can reach for the stars. Figuratively speaking, when we say reach for the stars, those stars might be a career in architecture or medicine, as a sports coach or marine biologist, or in fact literally in the stars as an astronaut. It is for this reason why we have been working hard as a team to build on the strong foundations of science here at BIC to give our students an experience that is second to none on the island. We look forward to working with you in order to ensure our children can reach for their dreams.
Please enjoy this snapshot of what we are currently working on in science to support your child whilst also having a brief glance into what is happening in the classrooms.
The Science Team
Year 11 Intervention Programme
Our students have persevered through the most difficult of global circumstances. Little over a year ago, we did not have any real comprehension of what was about to befall us. This has had an impact upon all students’ learning journeys. As you will know, the students completed their mock examinations in January before being provided with personalised feedback for each of their science subjects. As a department, we have made it very clear that the purpose of the mocks at this stage was to highlight areas for development, areas where we can improve our understanding of science. We said this to all students in our science assembly this week. The mocks are in the past and what comes next is more important. Here is an example of our personalised mock analysis that every student received in Year 11.
The Year 11 Intervention Programme will be fully outlined to parents during a BIC Webinar next week (Wednesday 3rd March at 17:30). Students have been provided with a personlised copy of a revision guide book for their science subjects.
In order to support the students’ retrieval skills, they have been set the challenge of revising key content on a weekly basis, before being supported by retrieval activities and a weekly end of unit test. As scientists, we are passionate about evidence-based practice and, for this reason, we have been implementing strategies with a proven record of success based on metanalyses from John Hattie and the user-friendly suggestions from Kate Jones (pictured below).
As you know, there is abundant strong evidence regarding the benefits of parental involvement with learning. For that reason, here are some links to the biology, chemistry and physics revision booklets where you will find the learning content, exam tips and the schedule of learning and assessment (see the back pages) that we will be following as part of our teaching going towards the summer. If we can support you in supporting learning at home, we will. We would welcome any feedback that you would care to share. As part of our intervention programme, the students will also have the benefit of practical science extended sessions in biology, chemistry, physics and computer science. We are also running supervised study sessions where help will be available on Friday afternoon from 16:00 to 16:50.
Planning for the future (Years 7-9)
In supporting some of our younger students here at BIC, the science team is currently redeveloping the KS3 curriculum. Starting with a thorough analysis of historical performance of our students in iGCSE, specialist teachers have been able to identify areas where students need further guidance or perhaps a different approach. After the Easter holiday, the students will have access to a full KS3 Learning journey together with a suite of resources that will help learning at home, supporting the development of an 11-year curriculum. Taking feedback from the parent survey, we know that there is an appetite to support learning at home and we want to be able to provide you with the tools to do so. Each unit or work will have a support booklet that will look like this:
The booklet will provide the objectives that the students will be studying in class (including mastery pathway objectives), retrieval activities that can be used at home for revision, a knowledge organiser to help students know what they need to learn, prior knowledge expectations, pictorial challenges to support our EAL learners and disciplinary literacy as well as a resource aiming to dispel common misconceptions in science.
The idea is that the students and parents will have one interactive user friendly document that will accompany learning within and between Years, identifying the full common core curriculum and mastery approach. This will be especially useful for students who join us part way through KS3 and those who leave us due to relocating to another country. We hope that you will find these resources useful. We are very excited to be developing these so that we can give our students the best possible learning experience. We look forward to welcoming you to our KS3 Curriculum Change Webinar shortly (date to be confirmed).
Current events in our galaxy
On the 18th February, something amazing happened. I am sure many of you will have read about this in the news. NASA’s space rover Perseverance landed on Mars after a 7 month journey.
Perseverance is on Mars to search for ancient signs of life and to collect soil samples for a possible return to Earth at a later date.
This is fascinating news for all that have an interest in science, and it could not have come at a better time, with many of our KS3 classes just starting a new topic on Space. One of the great things about science, and one that as a department we really want to share with our students, is that it is not done. There are new breakthroughs and inventions and theories that we learn about all the time. Science is so relevant to society in so many ways, whether that be missions to Mars, new breakthroughs in medical treatments or discovering new and innovative ways to tackle issues such as climate change.
Our students have been learning a lot about Perseverance and other space travel this week. Students have been designing their own space rovers to go up to another planet and have been explaining what current technologies they would include and why. Our students have also been writing some excellent and informative newspaper articles on the arrival of Perseverance on Mars.
Practical science at Baleares International College
Year 9 have been investigating rust protection and set up a simple experiment over the half term break to test their predictions. They investigated the difference in protection using oil, grease, paint and galvanization, and used a control in their experiment.
Here you will find some of our students investigating the speed of moving objects according to the gradient of a slope.
Here is some work from one of our Year 10 students who has been learning about the halogens:
Here is some work from one of our conscientious Year 9 students who was preparing for an assessment at home:
This week in physics Nacho, one of our Year 13 students, brought a rocket into school!
Nacho is currently taking an introduction to aeronautical engineering course with the Delft University of Technology. As part of this he has been designing a rocket and will be using aerodynamics calculations to iterate upon his design.
See below for a video of this week's test launch, and some very excited Year 7s!
Knowing the knowledge necessary to achieve in Computer Science
Our Year 11 students have been provided with a set of knowledge organisers to support their learning and revision.
Languages department news
Harley (Year 10 Spanish) guides us on a magical journey to the mysteries of the Nazca Lines in Perú.
Many thanks to Harley for designing this PechaKucha 20x20.
Click here to see Harley's wonderfulPresentation.
English department news
Year 7 students performing ‘The Seven Ages of Man’ from the pastoral comedy, As You Like It by William Shakespeare.
The Infant: Millie
The Schoolboys: Pavan and Finn
The Lovers: Laura and Seren
The Soldiers: Vito , William and Zephaniah
The Judge: Alexandra
The Pantaloon: Nils
Extreme Old Age: Leon and Ivan
Whole School House System news
Extreme Read Competition - This is your last chance!
A reminder that the Extreme Read competition is closing next week. Well done if you have already sent your photo - we have had some excellent entries so far. If not, you have until Thursday to take your photo and email it to email@example.com. Good Luck.
House Points Totals Update - Term 2
Overall House Points
Next week the PE Department organises inter-House competitions for our secondary pupils.
Students from all the four Houses will have the opportunity to participate in the tournament for their age group. Our selected Sports Captains will join in organising our inter-House tournaments and other sports events. Competitions will take place during school Lunch Club times:
|Year 7||Monday 8th March||Volleyball|
|Year 8||Tuesday 2nd March||Table Tennis|
|Year 9||Thursday 11th March||Badminton|
|Year 10 and Year 11||Friday 5th March||Floor Hockey|
Pupils are currently practising and perfecting their skills during their PE sessions with Miss Izabella, and we will keep you updated with this upcoming competition.
Good luck to everyone!
Teacher Feature - Miss Claire Turley - Teacher of Biology
“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them”
For all those that do not know me, I am Claire Turley, and I have been a science teacher at BIC for 5 years now. I am originally from Leeds in the UK and began my teaching career there. During my time in the UK I had several roles of responsibility including, Gifted and Talented coordinator, Raising Achievement Coordinator for Year 8 and 10 and Head of Biology.
I have a first class honours degree in biomedical sciences which means that I teach all 3 science disciplines to KS3 and GCSE but specialise in biology at A level. I also completed a Masters degree in teaching in the first few years of becoming a teacher.
BIC has been my first international school that I have worked in, and I am so glad that I made the decision to come to Mallorca and specifically to this school. I am constantly impressed by the students in this school, the quality of the work they produce and their attitude towards learning. I also have to say a massive thank you to the staff I work with - they make everyday fun, and I know if I ever have a problem they are here to help.
As well as teaching science, I am also the Head of Galileo House. I am very happy with how our students have responded to the new House system. The role has given me more of an opportunity to get to know our students, and listen and act on their feedback on certain issues or ideas.
As a science teacher, and Head of Galileo (a scientist) House, my goal is to help our students to question what they see and hear on a daily basis. I want to instil a sense of curiosity and wonder. I don’t want them to just accept what they are told but to experiment and gather evidence to discover things for themselves.