Your guide to all news at school.
Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
In our last newsletter we spoke about the many benefits of us being one all-through school. Of course, in such a school there are many exciting points of transition - joining for the first time, moving from the primary to secondary, beginning iGCSEs in Year 10, entering the Sixth Form in Year 12 - and indeed the last transition, from school to the world of work or university. Our wonderful staff are highly experienced in managing these key moments in a young person's education, ensuring that as well as a smooth academic transition, there is a strong emphasis on the well being and happiness of each member of our school community.
Yesterday we had a very successful webinar when we met virtually with families of Year 6, both of students in our school and elsewhere, when we explained what the move to secondary means, hopefully allayed any fears and answered some great questions. I can recall vividly my own move to "big school", and can still remember the mixture of anxiety and excitement! Of course, for our own Year 6 students the move should be smooth - they know the building, they know some of the teachers, have seen most of them and we hope that the excitement and enjoyment of this important milestone are the overriding emotions. Our heads of school, Mr Barter, Ms Compton and Ms Tomlinson write more specifically about their own areas of the school in the lines that follow, but whatever age or stage your children are at - rest assured: ours is a very friendly community and we know that the students who join us from other schools and countries always receive a very warm welcome
Have a lovely weekend
Baleares International College, Sa Porrassa
Ms Alexandra Tomlinson, Head of Secondary
It was so lovely to see so many parents at our Transition Webinar yesterday evening where we spoke of the sense of community, care and support that our students experience and receive in their transition from Primary to Secondary at BIC.
Indeed at every entry point, our students´ needs are really so well catered for and testament to this is the confidence and happiness that I see in our students so soon after they have joined our school.
Any change or move is of course always going to be a challenge. Here at BIC we are well equipped in turning thoughts of worry, nervousness and anxiety around that challenge by helping our students to embrace the new, the different and the unknown. Only happy students who are full of self-esteem, a sense of humour and purpose, character and drive can navigate uncharted waters with enjoyment and greet the new as a challenge rather than with fear. The support and encouragement which runs through all that students experience and all that we offer from day one and before, enables your sons and daughters to do just that.
Head of Secondary
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
Transitions: What are universities looking for?
In a recent conversation with a representative of a Dutch university I was told ‘We are looking for students who enjoy studying’. It would seem obvious that this is the case, but what she was really saying was that there must be a passion for learning, particularly in the chosen subject. But, like BIC, her university was also looking for nice people. This particular university expects that students will live on campus for the first two years of the degree and contribute to the life of the university in many other ways; talking with students from other subjects to widen awareness, contributing to plays or music events, taking part in the Model UN or debating clubs or taking part in sports teams. As a result, the university becomes a big family but, moreover a big LEARNING family.
One of the Oxford Colleges told me, in response to an application from one of our able Year 13 students:
‘1) It is very important that students choose to study appropriate subjects at Sixth Form so that they have both a suitable knowledge base and adequate experience of relevant analytical approaches and techniques. Achieving excellent results in a sensible combination of subjects is key to any university application, because for academically ambitious students their Sixth Form studies are essential training for university. Students need to focus and put in the hard yards.
2) Students really must explore their subject outside the classroom. For many students this will involve a range of ambitious reading (and thinking!), or working through a body of relevant material which might include, say, Maths text-books and past papers which are different from those used at school. A lack of appropriate engagement outside the classroom can hold back even well-qualified candidates. Remember, it’s not just about knowledge, it’s about relevant analytical skills and flexibility, and these take time and practice to develop. How do you get better at literary analysis? Do more literary analysis! How do you get better at Maths? Do more Maths!’
This commitment outside the class may include work experience. A recent survey showed two thirds of employers look for graduates with relevant work experience because it helps them prepare for work and develop general business awareness. Importantly, one third of employers felt that applicants did not have a satisfactory level of knowledge about their chosen career or job. However, work experience (directly relevant to the degree or not) is also desirable to universities as it shows the applicant has the confidence to stand on their own two feet and can work with other people. Rules on employment in Spain make this much more difficult for our young people, but there are still routes to gaining positive work-related experiences, often using family contacts in other countries. There are also companies like Investin that offer work related experiences; we often post their different opportunities in the school Noticeboard.
So, whether the aim is university or employment after BIC, having a passion for learning, good team working skills and an awareness of vocational situations will all help BIC students on to the next level. If you think you need more support with this or just to talk ideas through, please do contact me.
Head of Sixth Form
Model United Nations conference in Bilbao
From 27th to 31st January 10 ‘delegates’ from BIC went to their first Model United Nations (MUN) Conference in Bilbao. Representing the countries of Japan and South Korea our budding diplomats joined students from around Europe in trying to come to agreement on important contemporary issues and in passing resolutions.
Two of our delegates talk about their experience:
Eero - Year 11
My experience in Bilbao showed me a colourful array of new and unforgettable experiences which taught me how to go around handling a conference and how I should prepare for one in the future. Interacting with other delegates who were learning from both watching and sharing their experiences brought more depth and variety to the conferences, and made them feel more alive. Overall, the experience was vital in our career as a MUN school, and I cannot wait for our next conference.
Manuel - Year 11
We had a great experience as delegates of South Korea. It was a great experience in which I learnt to improve my public speaking. We were able to talk with other delegations from other schools. I recommend this to future people as it has been a great opportunity and I have learned lots.
Whole School House System news
House Points Totals Update - Term 2
House Points Totals Update - 2021/22
A message from your Heads of House
Miss Xidakis, Head of Parks House
It is impressive to see all the hard work that students are putting into the Matilda production, please remember to buy a ticket online if you haven't already. Now that the mock exams are finished I hope you found it a good experience. Many of you have taken part in the Bleep Test trials during sport lessons and I have seen real motivation to reach the next level in the test, well done. I am looking forward to the Bleep Test finals.
Miss Mayes, Head of Roosevelt House
Congratulations Roosevelt on your continuing hard work and success this term. I know many of you are in our Matilda production next week, I can´t wait to see your incredible performance. Parents if you wish to watch please find the ticket link above under the Drama news, we anticipate this will sell out. Thank you to all the House and Vice Captains who attended our House Council last week, I loved hearing your ideas, which will be put forward at Student Council next week. Finally, I have been seeing and hearing all about the Bleep Test heats and practices in PE lessons, I am really looking forward to the final!
Miss Turley, Head of Galileo House
Thank you to the House Captains and Vice Captains who attended the House Council last week. There were some excellent ideas put forward. I am very much looking forward to Matilda and the Bleep Test Competition, both of which are coming up soon. I know those taking part will give it their all. Keep up the great work earning House Points.
Mrs Florey, Head of Winton House
Well done to Winton House on such a fantastic start to the year. We had an excellent House Council meeting last week where the Captains and Vice Captains met to discuss student wellbeing. I am looking forward to seeing some of those ideas come into force soon. Our Bleep Test competition is well under way with the heats happening during PE lessons. The finals will take place the week of the 14th February- I think this is our year to win! Go Winton!
Maths department news
Mangahigh Challenge 2022
We had a fantastic response from students in Years 1 -9 to the Mangahigh Challenge. Our final report is below. The key figure is that students spent a total of 159 hours completing Mathematics quizzes and games during the seven day period. This is a wonderful level of engagement and all this practice will positively impact their progress in Mathematics.
Special mention must go to the following students.
Ivan in Year 8 and Maksymilian in Year 6 who both earned over 200 points and will be awarded with a Mangahigh certificate. A terrific achievement by both students.
Genevieve in Year 6, Eadrick in Year 7 and Kali in Year 5 also deserve great credit for their impressive points totals.
Intermediate UKMT Challenge
On Wednesday and Thursday this week, 70 of our Year 8, 9 and 10 students participated in the prestigious UKMT Intermediate Challenge.
The Challenge is a great test of our students´ mathematical understanding and problem solving ability. The students completed past paper questions in class and during homework to prepare themselves. It was an exciting chance for students to compete globally and we look forward to receiving the results in the next month.
Key Stage 3 Problem of the Week.
We continue to receive fantastic work from our Year 7 -9 students on Key Stage 3 Problem of the Week. See last term´s winner Samuel´s clever solution to last week´s problem below.
Humanities department news
The Humanities Department wants to say a huge thank you to the staff and students who went on the Model Union Trip. Over the next term there is going to be a big focus on public speaking. Students in Year 7-9 will be trained how to give a presentation during their humanities lessons. We are also going to provide guidance on being an active listener. Speaking and listening are fundamental academic skills and will help our young learners to progress in school and the workplace. More details will be provided after half term, in the meanwhile encouraging your children to speak publicly in as many different contexts as possible will help them to gain confidence.
Students who attended the trip to Bilbao have excelled in public speaking.
In Year 9 geography, students are learning how to assess and evaluate. They have started learning how to write (and are writing) essays on the strengths and weaknesses of China as a global superpower.
Lilly, Laia, Maxi and Luis have all made very good starts!
English department news
In Year 8 the students are studying Romantic poets.
Below is an example of outstanding research on ‘The Big Six’:
By Avi, Year 8 (below)
The students were asked to write their own poems based on those they have read of Keats, Shelley and Wordsworth.
Here are a few brilliant examples of some poets in the making we have here at BIC:
In Year 9 the students are currently reading William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
They were asked to research contextual information about the Elizabethan Era. Here are a few great pieces of work by our wonderful students:
By Poppy, Year 9 (below)
By Gisele, Year 9 (below)
Some students designed a topic cover page:
Here are a few examples of a character study on Romeo:
Here the students are creating a freeze frame of the infamous Balcony Scene in Romeo and Juliet:
Absy as Romeo and Poppy as Juliet (below)
Creative Arts department news
Final rehearsals are in full swing for our production of ´Matilda´ next Tuesday at Paguera Auditorium. We are incredibly excited, we know it will be fantastic. Don´t forget you can get your tickets via our booking formhere. Deadline for booking tickets is Monday 7th February. Please be advised as per our Government laws on COVID19 restrictions all audience members will be assigned their own seat, and will need to provide vaccine certificate, recovery certificate or proof of a negative test taken 48 hours or less before the show.
Meanwhile, in lessons Year 7 have been learning about developing character through our ´Zombie Survivalist´ unit. Here we can see them giving character presentations.
Sports department news
Last Saturday our BIC volleyball players were helping out during the Super league Volleyball match. Our students and their parents together with BIC volleyball coach Miss Izabela Zborzynska went to see volleyball at the highest level on the island.
The purpose of the trip was to give the dedicated volleyball club members the opportunity to see how the game is played at the highest level, encouraging the young people to spend their free time actively and above all, group integration. The match ended with the score 3:1 for the team from Mallorca!
During the match, our students had the opportunity to be at the centre court and after the match take a picture with the players. There was an extraordinary sports atmosphere at the match, and we had a great time. Massive thanks to the parents of our young athletes for their support and great cheering during the match!
Thank you @clubvoleypalma for giving us the opportunity to see and enjoy the best Balearic volleyball.
Science department news
Dear parents and families,
We are delighted to invite you to our next workshop on Thursday 10th of February at 18:00. You can sign up here and I will send you a link to the Zoom Conference. Our Science team will be launching a new study programme to support Year 11 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. All Year 11 students have been provided with bespoke revision guides that can be written on. It would be beneficial if you could bring a guide to the workshop.
We look forward to seeing you there.
The Science Team
Students in KS3 and KS4 science have continued to learn about a variety of topics from human reproduction to forensic science! A special shout out to Jess in Year 13 who donated some wonderful crystals that Year 6 have already enjoyed in class this week!
A Level Biology
Year 12 students have been studying cell division. They have prepared and stained a root tip squash to observe the stages of mitosis.
Year 13 have been studying the stages of respiration; glycolysis, the link reaction, the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. They have been using respirometers to determine the rate of respiration in germinating seeds and have been using redox indicators to investigate respiration in yeast.
Languages department news
German Year 8 (First Language course)
Year 8 has been working on a reading project, completing their studies in grammar and language. In “Der Gurkenkönig”, a family suddenly finds a strange creature in their kitchen which looks like a dressed up cucumber and speaks in a strange way.