Ms Alison Colwell, Principal

Dear families,

One of the phrases I have heard the most over the last 18 months is, "This is a small island". I have come to understand what this means! Many people have told me that news travels fast, and everyone knows everyone, but the downside of this is, of course, when rumours and misinformation circulate. This is not unique to Mallorca or BIC. In my last school I was asked, every year, several times, "We've heard you are leaving?" to which I had frequently to say, "Well, that is news to me!"

What I have been able to see over the last 18 month is the great commitment of our families, the hard work of our students and the great collaboration within our community. It is today proven that the strength of word of mouth does indeed exist on the island. We have been receiving an overwhelming increase in interest in our school from both families in Mallorca and those who are looking to relocate. Our good reputation is growing every day and I can assure you that I am committed to making BIC an outstanding school, with exceptional teaching, high standards and expectations, a broad, balanced and challenging curriculum; a school where the children and young people love their lessons and their learning, have their curiosity and creativity sparked, where they are inspired and excited; and a school where any type of unkindness or prejudice is not tolerated, and kindness, respect, and a celebration of diversity and difference shine through.

As the principal of this school it is my duty to give you facts. The children and young people in this school are overwhelmingly lovely. Every time I meet a student one-to-one - which I do often - I am unfailingly impressed by their politeness, their manners, their friendliness and their commitment to school. Children make mistakes - we all do - and when they do, if appropriate, they receive punishments but always accompanied with a conversation, advice, an attitude of learning from mistakes and moving forwards. If there is unkindness - which is rare - it is acted upon swiftly, severely, robustly, but again always within a framework of restorative justice and, as well as making amends for hurt caused, learning lessons. A school has a duty to teach young people more than just the formal curriculum, and to develop character, nurture responsibility and kindness, focus on well being and safety, and prepare them for life beyond the school gates. This is how we operate here, and how we always will under my leadership, so that our school remains the safe, happy and inspiring place that any great school should be.

Warm regards,

Alison Colwell

Principal

Ms Alexandra Tomlinson, Head of Secondary

It is a privilege to work in such a busy and vibrant school. As I close my eyes and look back on the week, I see images of Year 9 students out on the field performing their Shakespeare scenes from Romeo and Juliet, Year 5 and 6 students performing their poems for Poetry Week whilst cartwheeling! Sixth Formers hosting a Poetry Booth for Secondary students to come and record their own poems or recite well known poetry. Heads of Department, Year 9 tutors and subject teachers meeting with Year 9 as a whole and talking with them one to one to care and guide individuals to ensure the right choices are made, as well as our Options Webinar for parents. Year 8 in their own clothes today as their prize for winning the Carnival competition. Teachers in earnest conversation with parents during Year 7 and 10 parents evening, from which I have received so much positive feedback from parents, thank you - and of course, finally, students carrying in teddy bears bigger than themselves, sipping on hot chocolate, wrapped in blankets and with their cosy socks on, for our Safety Awareness afternoon on Thursday, followed by our Internet Safety Webinar for parents in the evening. This is only a snapshot of a typical week at BIC - I could go on and on! What a wonderful set of happy memories and experiences for us all to carry into the weekend and beyond.

Special Congratulations

Rafael, 7C for creating and publishing a fantastic website in computer science on bullying and the issues surrounding it - an exceptional piece of work that is being used as a piece of exemplar work for all Year 7. Laura-Marie and Jolin, 8C, for making huge improvements in maths and always being focused and participating 100% in class. Evie, 9B, for an in-depth understanding and analysis of a cybercrime case study. Finley, 10I, for determination, focus and a willingness to keep trying in completing a series of 12 increasingly difficult programming tasks in Computer Science. Alejandra, 11I, for a marvellous revision of her tenses in French. Year 13 biologists, Masha, Anna, Nacho and Nico for continuous hard work which has paid off with their excellent January exam results they received recently.

Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form

Je ne regrette rien.

To celebrate (I am sure that many of you may say ‘desecrate’) International Poetry Day, and encouraged by the sociologist and young poet, Amanda Gorman (mentioned in my notes for International Women’s Day), I have taken an alternative form for my thoughts this week. I hope it shows all the youngsters at BIC that anyone can have a go at poetry. I am sure it indicates that they can do better (especially with the support of our wonderful English Faculty)!

I’m nearer the end than I am the beginning,

A sad fact, I know.

My Greek landlady often told me,

‘John, there are only two things guaranteed in life…

…Death

…and Taxes’.

I’m very happy to pay the latter for a very long time,

As long as I can put off the other!


But with that sad fact, comes the benefits of life experience.

Experience to know that each new day, month and year,

Brings a range of exciting new possibilities.

Lots of ‘old’ experiences that are safe, loved and locked away.

Experience enough to know that the university on your CV can open doors

And that hard work in education was worthwhile.

Experience to know that,

as a person,

there are things that I wish I had done differently;

Things that I wish I had done better;

But still I look at what I have done,

What I have achieved,

The relationships I have made,

And I think, I haven’t done badly with the time I’ve been given.


When the end comes, I won’t be regretting the things I didn’t do,

but celebrating the things I did.

Who could ask for more?

I wish you all a pleasant weekend and lots of joyful moments in verse!

John Barter

Head of Sixth Form

john.barter@balearesint.net

Weekly highlights - Languages at Baleares International College

At BIC the Languages Faculty takes every opportunity to celebrate excellence and students´achievement. These are some of the highlights of this week.

SPANISH AND CATALAN

In the last few lessons, Year 7 Catalan students have been researching the political organizations in the archipelago, especially the Parliament of the Balearic Islands. They have found out its origins, how it is organised and what it is used for. When they have finished their project, presenting some slides explaining their findings, they have taken part in the 17th edition of the Parliament's Drawing Competition, making it clear that they understood the functions of this political body and the fifteen words that are its engine. Good job and good luck to the contestants!

Year 12 students have been doing research and an analysis of the use of social media in Spain.

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Our Year 13 students have been studying the living conditions of different groups during the Franco regime and analysing how they affected the Spanish people. They have also looked at the impact of restrictions and censorship during that period in Spain.

As part of their independent approach to this political section of the course, students have prepared a presentation on the Valle de los Caídos, the death of Federico García Lorca and the bombing of Guernica.

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Year 13 - BIC Sa Porrassa

Y12 and Y13 students attended an exciting suite of online webinars on Hispanic Literature and Culture offered by Radley College in Oxfordshire, with the University of Liverpool, the University of California, Berkeley UCB and the University Complutense of Madrid taking part in some of these remote learning experiences.

As a result of this, they transferred their information into different digital formats as knowledge organisers:

Knowledge organisers. Themes Volver film

Pecha-kutcha 20x20

PechaKucha is a storytelling format where a presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds of commentary each. On this occasion, the presenter is Eli Anderson, who introduced us to the work of Mariscal, artist and figure of the cultural movement from Madrid.

To immerse the audience into this charismatic artistic breakthrough, and showcase the atmosphere from the 80´s, Eli composed an original soundtrack to accompany the presentation.

Mariscal

To celebrate World Poetry Day, the Year 7 students in Ms Rodríguez’s group have been practising their creative writing skills by writing short poems in Spanish on the topic of “My free time”. They have also presented their fantastic work to the rest of the class.

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Languages - BIC Sa Porrassa

The students of Year 8 in the group of Señorita Montes have been working on the structure of a piece of news. Then, they have written their own. Well done everyone!

In the lessons dedicated to Social Studies, Year 9 Catalan students have been learning about the Middle Ages. With the aim of knowing how the daily life was during this period, students have researched the living conditions of people in the Middle Ages. They have chosen a topic and have made their own research. After that, they have made an oral presentation. Well done!

The Year 7 students in the group of Señorita Lahoz have been working on the future tense planning a trip. We have been visiting a lot of countries virtually. ¡Buen trabajo, chicos!

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Languages - BIC Sa Porrassa

FRENCH

In Year 7, we have been studying how to describe people physically and psychologically.

The class has created some “on recherche” (“wanted”) posters to practise the content covered in class.

Year 9 have been giving their opinion about the school uniform: advantages and disadvantages.

And you what do you think about it? Et vous, êtes-vous pour ou contre?

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Charline in Year 9 has made an independent study on Mars.

Have a look:

One of the big challenges in Year 11 is to be comfortable with a wide range of tenses and to use them properly.

In order to help the pupils, they have had to create some mind maps with all the tenses necessary to succeed in their exams.

GERMAN

Year 8 is reading the novel “Quintus geht nach Rom” - together with the protagonist Quintus we are discovering ancient Rome and will try to solve the mystery behind the Circus Maximus.

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Year 12 is reading a play for AS Level literature in German.

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Languages - BIC Sa Porrassa

Science department news

Year 8 students have recently been learning about the mechanisms behind ventilation in the body. A deeper understanding of ventilation allows the students to speak with greater precision and accuracy about changes to breathing rate and pulse rate during exercise (this is a common question at IGCSE level).

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Science - BIC Sa Porrassa

Year 8 students also investigated the nutritional content of food as part of their recent unit looking at the human body.

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Science - BIC Sa Porrassa

Year 9 students were also investigating the nutritional content of food as part of their revision of KS3.

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Science - BIC Sa Porrassa

Year 10 biologists are currently learning about inheritance. Here they are extracting DNA from a kiwi.

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Science - BIC Sa Porrassa

Year 11 were focusing on respiration and gas exchange this week during their retrieval activities. The students looked at the respiratory and digestive system of a fish in order to learn a little more about the reactants needed for respiration. From all of the science teachers: Thank you for your hard work Year 11. Thank you also to the parents at home who are supporting them!

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Science - BIC Sa Porrassa

PE department news

In Year 10, GCSE PE students have been completing their coursework, a personal exercise programme to improve their fitness for their sport. They have undertaken fitness tests and then planned a detailed six week training programme, as we can see here from Ava Bland. The plans are ‘live’ and are edited as they go along following an evaluation of how difficult the session was, which explains the crossing out!

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PE - BIC Sa Porrassa

English department news

Monday was World Poetry Day and across the school, from science to humanities, English and languages, we have been celebrating poetry, and even questioning the extent to which AI is capable of writing poetry.

Please enjoy some blackout poetry from Year 7 and Year 10.

  • Esme 7I
  • Alanah 7I
  • Daniel 7I
  • Frank 7I
  • Finia 7I
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Canel, 10I

Creative Arts department news

Year 10 and 11 students this week visited the Anglican Church in Palma to use their hall for their performances of their devised pieces and monologues. The day ran incredibly smoothly, which was largely down to how well prepared students were.

Year 10 students had prepared a devising project which has given them a chance to develop their devising skills ready for their coursework unit next year. Their piece, based on the theme of time travel, famous characters and human selfishness was very creative and very funny! Their piece was well rehearsed and for their first performance on stage in front of an audience of Year 11 students it was of a great standard. I am looking forward to seeing what they can produce next year!

Year 11 students were in 2 groups for their devising coursework. From one group we had a political drama, which focussed on uncovering racism and corruption in the American government, an idea which they created after being given the theme of power and control. This piece was incredibly hard hitting, emotionally driven as well as very well researched and very topical. From the other group we had an abstract piece of drama which introduced us to several different characters all suffering with different anxiety disorders. This group were inspired by theatre practitioner Antonin Artaud and his ´Theatre of Cruelty´, and used a lot of his creative methods to present their piec. There were popping balloons, painted actors as well as exceptionally emotionally driven performances from all in this group. All Year 11 students also performed a monologue each from a scripted play. We had comedy, drama and horror presented to the Year 10 audience, and all Year 10 students commented on how inspired they were by these performances.

Special thanks must also go to Jessica Gilson from Year 12 who accompanied us to act as the sound technician for all performances, as well as Mr Darlow and Mrs Cull who came with us to help with lighting, filming and supporting students throughout the day.

Below you can see some of the Year 11 students in action on stage in their monologues. Overall huge congratulations must go to all Year 10 and 11 drama students for the day, they impressed me greatly with their performance standard, professionalism and kindness and support to each other throughout the whole day.

Whole School House System news

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Whole School House System news

MOVIE HOUSE COMPETITON - Think you are a world class actor or camera whizz?

We have been really enjoying the entries that have already come in for the movie competition over the last 2 weeks - they have been incredibly creative! All of us House leaders have had conversations with students in our House who were keen to get in entries, and with that in mind we are going to extend the deadline for this competition! The new deadline will be Friday 16th April.

For any of you who complete entries over the holidays, please email your videos to Miss Mayes atnicola.mayes@balearesint.net.

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What a fantastic term for Parks. I am so proud of the team for working so hard and maintaining first position this term. Congratulations and let's continue the amazing work.

Miss Xidakis - Head of Parks House

Well done to everyone in Roosevelt House for another fantastic term. I have really enjoyed spending time with all of you this term in our House meetings. I have loved hearing all of your ideas, but also listening to your thoughtful comments on some of the issues we have discussed this term. Congratulations on your continued effort to be your best, and for another amazing term of collecting house points. Let's keep it up next term!

Miss Mayes - Head of Roosevelt House

Well done to everyone in Galileo House. It has been a fantastic term. I have really enjoyed our House meetings and I am very impressed with all your wonderful ideas. A massive well done to Nacho in Year 13 for winning the bleep test competition earlier this term and to Lily in Year 9 for winning the art competition and Lotte in Year 5 for coming 3rd in the Extreme Read competition.

Miss Turley - Head of Galileo House

A huge congratulations to everyone in Winton House. There have been so many successes to celebrate and fantastic efforts to be proud of. A special mention for Rebecca (Yr3), Kenza (Yr5) and Ava (Yr10) for achieving the most House points in the last week of this term. I can’t wait to see all your movie reenactments for the next competition!

Ms Florey - Head of Winton House

House Points Totals Update - Term 2

WintonGalileoRooseveltParks
659577663695

Overall total House Points

WintonGalileoRooseveltParks
1888180120342037