Your guide to all news at school.
Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
Reading is something all the teachers at BIC Sa Porrassa feel very passionately about. Reading brings so many pleasures and helps to develop so many skills, and it is an aim of the teachers here that we try to build a lifelong love of reading in our students. You will see that staff promote what they are currently reading in their email signature, and we welcome parents and families similarly sharing their recommended reads. Also, we have started a new initiative of having, on every classroom and office door, a poster promoting what the teachers are reading and what students are too. Earlier this year you may recall that I set myself the target of reading a book a week. I have to confess here that I have not succeeded entirely with this target but I HAVE managed to increase the amount I read and the frequency, by prioritising reading over TV, or mindless phone scrolling and carving out time in the evenings, weekends and holidays to pick up a book rather than my phone. Let's all try together to get our young people to do similarly.
Our work on establishing a library here met a bump in the road last year when some essential building work meant we had to re-think some of the teaching spaces, and the original library base had to be used as a classroom. However, let no one be in doubt that the BIC SAP library project is still very much alive and kicking. In fact, Ms Compton who is leading on this, has got a really exciting vision for what it will look like and it is going to be even bigger and better than originally planned. In the meantime, all the sterling work that a number of parents assisted us with - cleaning donated books, cataloguing, filing - is continuing to be built on in school. Watch this space for further updates.
Have a lovely sunny weekend
Baleares International College, Sa Porrassa
Mr Philip Brown, Head of Secondary
The theme of this week has been maintaining standards. We begin every year with the best of intentions and a well-rested sense of optimism as we float out of the summer holidays and into a fresh new year. So what matters most in October is finding the stamina and the structure to make good on all those great intentions we began the year with. What sorts of study-schedules, exercise routines, classroom strategies are going to be sustainable, and sustain us for the next eight months?
Something I’ve enjoyed about the last two weeks has been the introduction of our BIC ‘Words of the Week’ and seeing the ways these words are adopted and reused by each of the departments. Last week we had ‘panacea’ and this week we have been finding ways to use the word ‘superfluous’. There are few things more satisfying in my life as an English teacher than seeing a young person whose mental software has been upgraded by the installation of a new word and I am incredibly happy to see this taking place all along our corridors.
I have been grateful to watch Ms Coutt’s incredibly important assemblies this week around the theme of Black History month. The infographics she displayed about wealth distribution across different social groups will have given our students some serious food for thought and certainly got me thinking about what BIC can do to point students towards a more equitable society.
I hope that the public holiday this Wednesday was a well-earned opportunity for resting with family and friends. I have to extend my sincere gratitude to Mr Barter and Ms Vardon-Smith who came in on Wednesday to supervise a public examination for our students and to Snr Herrero for opening the school and walking round the playground with me to discuss the distribution of benches!
As ever, this week ends with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude towards the staff, the students and the families who continue to support one another in making BIC Sa Porrassa such a special place to be. I wish you all a wonderful weekend and I can’t wait to see you all on Monday.
Head of Secondary
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
What do we look for in a BIC Sixth Former?
Many BIC parents ask me what it takes to be a BIC Sixth Former. As in most educational systems across the world, the pre-university years require a minimum standard of education to have been reached, to ensure that the student can then step up again at university. I am proud that the minimum entry requirement at BIC is as low as any school I’ve ever known; just five grade Cs and/or five 5s at iGCSE (or the equivalent in other systems that new applicants may have come from), including English and mathematics. This entry requirement is necessary as A Levels are challenging and require students to have reached a certain level of knowledge and skills. However, the relatively low entry level reflects our belief in young people to make changes to their lives and approach to school; that they can find confidence and passion for learning that will enable them to make great strides in these last two years of school. It also reflects our confidence in our teachers to get students through the challenges they will encounter. Ideally, to ease entry to universities or employment later, students would have much more than the minimum.
However, the entry grades are just the first thing we are looking for. We are also looking for a range of personal characteristics. Top of the list is that the student is a thoroughly nice person; we want them to be part of a positive ‘team’ that makes great strides together. We want them to recognise their status as senior role models. Younger students will look up to them and copy what they do. Therefore, our Sixth Formers must be the best kind of role models, exemplifying the school’s five values in all they do (excellence, respect, compassion, integrity and responsibility).
We are looking for excellent attendance; we cannot teach students if they are not in front of us. 90% is an absolute minimum. We are looking for students who are resilient. As I have already said, A Levels are challenging; we need students who don’t give up at the first hurdle but instead show grit and determination to overcome their challenges. We are looking for students who will, if they cannot resolve their own study or relationship problems, seek support from their teachers and fellow students to find solutions. Students will need to love their subjects and have a passion for learning. This will also help them to negotiate problems that arise.
To really understand what it takes to be a BIC Sixth Former, why not watch this short video with James (Head Boy), Maya (Head Girl) and Clementine (Student Ambassador) offering their views. They really do exemplify everything we are looking for.
Head of Sixth Form
Whole School House System news
House Points Totals Update - Term 1
A message from your Heads of House
Miss Xidakis, Head of Parks House
Congratulations to those who were selected to be a House Captain or Vice Captain this week. It was lovely to meet at breaktime today to discuss the important role for the academic year ahead. Thank you to the students who continue to work hard and earn House points. We are climbing the leaderboard again, let's keep on going until we are back in first place. I wish you a wonderful weekend.
Miss Mayes, Head of Roosevelt House
It has been another great week in Roosevelt House. I am so proud to see all the House Points you have been achieving - keep up the good work! We have also been searching for our House Captains. The House Captain role is an important one, and I was delighted to see how many students wished to put themselves forward for the role. Our House Captains will be speaking to other members in our Roosevelt House soon following our first House Council meeting to listen to your ideas.
Miss Turley, Head of Galileo House
Thank you to all those that put their names forward for the vital role of House or Vice Captain. It is great to see how many of you want to get involved and take on this responsibility. Well done to all those gaining lots of House Points, we are currently in second place but I know we can claim top spot soon!
Mrs Florey, Head of Winton House
Winton has had another great week as we look towards the first House Council session. We have begun searching for our new House Captains and we are excited to announce this week who will be representing us this year. The House Council will provide our students with a great opportunity to share their thoughts about the school and any issues or concerns they may have. The House Captains will be coming to speak to their fellow Winton tutor groups to find out what they want to be discussed with the Heads of House and the Senior Leadership Team.
University Challenge Final
Congratulations to Roosevelt House who won the final against Parks House in our University Challenge Competition. It was a very competitive final and everyone was impressed with the levels of general knowledge shown by the students involved. It was great that so many students (and staff) came to watch and show their support for those competing.
Maths department news
Key Stage 3 Problem of the Week
We had an excellent start to Key Stage 3 Problem of the Week. There were 26 students who entered a solution! This week´s problem is below! Please do encourage your child to get involved.
International Online Maths Challenge
Next week, our top Year 9 and 10 students will begin preparing for the International Online Maths Challenge in November. We received four certificates last year and are excited to try and grow that number over the next month.
Humanities department news
Year 11 students have made an excellent start to their final GCSE year and it is important that all students are preparing carefully for the rapidly approaching exam season. Mocks will take place in January and the final exams are in May and June 2023.
The students can use a range of revision strategies at home to improve their long-term memories and deepen their understanding of topics already studied.
Students can make multiple choice quizzes and ‘find it and fix it’ grids. It is great to know the answers, but the process of making the activities is excellent revision.
Retrieval challenge grids and retrieval clocks are also helpful active strategies for promoting knowledge recall. The more fluent students are with the content, the easier it will be for them to apply knowledge to exam questions.
Year 11 Geography
We have started our urban fieldwork investigation with a trip to Magaluf to investigate the extent to which urban regeneration has been successful. In groups, students did an excellent job conducting primary research, asking questionnaires to both tourists and residents. Well done to Year 11 Geographers for really applying themselves to their research and thank you to Mr Cadman for his help and sharing his knowledge of Magaluf.
Year 11 Global Citizenship
This week in GC, Year 11 students have been introduced to our fantastic careers platform Bridge U. They each have a log in where they can research jobs and industries, university courses around the world and also find out more about their own strengths and weaknesses. The platform will be used throughout their remaining time at school to help prepare them for their next steps in the world, whether that's straight into a job or to university.
English department news
Read for Pleasure Book Club
Charlotte, Lia, Alice, Lana and Lucy share their love of reading during the ‘Read for Pleasure Book Club’. They are currently reading ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar. Please listen and read along as the girls learn all about Stanley Yelnats and Camp Green Lake.
Each week the ‘Reading for Pleasure Book Club’ will explore a chapter of the novel and share their thoughts. This week the students give you a sneak peek into the beginning of Chapter 4.
All students are more than welcome to join us on our reading adventures. Please come and see Mrs Cadman or the students listed above for days and times.
Lana (Year 7) has written an effective descriptive piece creating a new ending to a chapter in David Almond’s ‘Skellig’.
Lia (Year 7 ) is developing intertextual skills, learning how David Almond was influenced by William Blake when writing ‘Skellig’, whilst also looking at how language is used for effect.
Alice (Year 7) has been developing her analytical writing skills, planning stages of writing a critical analysis on how David Almond creates suspense in ‘Skellig’. Alice has shown she can identify the author’s use of literary devices and discusses the impact this has on the reader
Amelie (Year 8) is developing her analytical writing skills to discuss how Annabel Pitcher creates empathy in ‘My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece ’.
Yuna-Sumidah (Year 8)
Year 9 EAL students discuss character features in Malorie Blackman’s ‘Noughts and Crosses’.
As part of their preparation for their second key challenge on ‘An Inspector Calls’, Year 10 this week wrote questions that would help them to respond to the theme of responsibility in the play. Then they took it in turns to ask one another their questions to support and deepen their understanding.
Science department news
Thank you to the parents and students who joined us this week for our International Fossil Day event. Watch this space for the next event!
Languages department news
Year 7 students have been continuing with their exploration of Shakespeare performance. This week, the 7-2 class have been looking at the play ´The Tempest´. They have explored how the characters would feel by completing a visualisation exercise and creating a storm soundscape. Here they are working on their soundscapes in class.
Year 8 have been developing ensemble movement skills in their Harry Potter and the Cursed Child unit. They have been creating movement sequences that show the new students at Hogwarts using their wands for the first time. Below are some of 8-2 performing their sequences.
Year 11 students have been working on their rehearsals and designs for their performance unit. We have been studying the play ´Splendour´ by Abi Morgan, which follows the story of British journalist Kathryn, as she is sent to take a portrait photo of the president in a European country. Below are some of their rehearsals in action.