Your guide to all news at school.
Ms Alison Colwell, Principal
Earlier last term we consulted parents on a range of issues as part of our commitment to good communication and community involvement. I have now had the chance to look carefully at all the votes and comments. We asked about 5 topics and there was no single consensus on any of them, such is the nature of consultations I guess. There are strong and differing views, but it was still useful - all feedback is helpful and welcome.
There was very little interest in a school bus, but there was a keenness to encourage and promote more carpooling. Similarly, there was no take up on the idea of a UK summer school experience, although overseas trips are clearly popular (and I am delighted that we are currently planning 4 for this school year).
The dates of the school holidays are always a topic that gets lots of debate and very opposing views! My preference for a two week October break was supported by a quarter of votes, and the same number of families would like to see a May half term, as in the UK. Some families said they thought the summer holiday should be shorter (I agree) and an equal number thought it should be longer! We are hoping to have the school calendar for 2023-2024 approved very soon, and it will be published as soon as we do, but we are not planning anything very radical.
The item we sought your views on that had the highest level of consensus was school uniform, where there are clear concerns over price, quality and availability. This is an area we are actively pursuing in response to these concerns, which have also been raised previously - watch this space.
Wishing you a lovely weekend,
Baleares International College, Sa Porrassa
Mr Philip Brown, Head of Secondary
Last week was a week of visits for the school; with our owner, Mr Kevin McNeany, our Regional Head, Mr. Jonathan Dey, and the inspectorate from the National Association of British Schools in Spain, it has been a great week for us to show off the wonderful things going on in BIC Sa Porrassa. We also began this half term with a whole-school assembly in which we celebrated the achievements of students across the school, particularly our House Point top scorers who were Lily and Clio in Year 7, Maximilian and Rio in Year 8, Rafael and Vito in Year 9, Ismene and Aiken in Year 10 and Sofia and Evie in Year 11.
Our school visit from NABSS last week coincided with the 11th November, which has been designated as Remembrance Day for over a hundred years now. Early in the day we took a moment of silence to reflect on the gravity of this day and its message to us all. I think we all will have a deeper understanding of this important day thanks to Dr Cruttenden´s outstanding assembly on the topic in which he made it clear that the threats and injustices of war have never been confined to the pages of history, and it is only through our collective efforts as individuals that we can resist a return to the types of scenes we saw in Europe's darkest days.
This week has been no less eventful with Ms Austin and her debating team hosting the Rotary Club´s debating competition this Tuesday morning which I shall let you read about in the English section of the newsletter… suffice it to say I am very proud of our team! I am also very excited by the little glimpses of the upcoming Christmas Performances and Talent Show that I am catching in the various rehearsal spots around the school.
This half term began by considering David White’s description of the importance of rest. “To rest is not self-indulgent, to rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves, and to perhaps, most importantly, arrive at a place where we are able to understand what we have already been given. Rested, we are ready for the world but not held hostage by it, rested we care again for the right things and the right people in the right way. In rest we reestablish the goals that make us more generous, more courageous, more of an invitation, someone we want to remember, and someone others would want to remember too.” In this spirit, I wish you all a restful weekend and I look forward to seeing you all on Monday.
Head of Secondary
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
Never under-estimate your contribution
When your children are in primary school it is easy to feel that you can make a contribution to their education. The tasks they do are relatively simple and it is easy to feel that you can help them with their homework. Primary aged children also seem much more willing to share their days with you, whereas at the top end of secondary, particularly in the Sixth Form, the work can seem much more complicated; it may be well beyond your experience. Teenagers can also seem less willing to talk to you; an ‘OK’ can appear to be a too often used word to many of your questions. But please don’t under-estimate the contribution you can make to your older child’s education and how much your child will value it. Your interest and encouragement is just as important. You may just have to accept that you won’t get immediate thanks, but it will come….eventually!
Year 13 students are currently making applications to universities. We have asked them to talk with you about it and to solicit your ideas and opinions. Given that you may well make a financial contribution to their fees and living costs, you have every right to be involved in the decision-making process. My understanding, from conversations with them, is that they are doing this but, if you need our support in any way, please do contact us.
Year 12 students are now firmly bedding into their A Level courses but they will still be encountering challenges. Helping them to organise themselves and to make time at home to study will be valuable. They have mock exams in just six school weeks, so helping your son or daughter make a study plan, even just by asking questions about how the revision planning is going, would be very helpful (to them and to us).
Year 11 students will now be engaging in the research and planning stages about transition to post-16 education. We hope that next stage will be at BIC but, even if it is not, parents and staff at BIC can make a positive contribution to this process. As you will be aware, we have our Sixth Form Taster and Information Afternoon on Wednesday 23rd November. Our Year 11 students, and some students from outside of BIC, will attend to find out more about the Sixth Form possibilities offered here at BIC. Starting at 2pm, students will have a presentation in the dining hall, followed by three 30 minute taster lessons, of their choice. After school, at 4.15, there will be a short presentation for the students and their parents before they will go upstairs to meet subject teachers, who will be waiting for them with subject-related information, ready to excite them about the possibilities of studying that subject at A Level and to answer any questions students and parents have. It would help us if parents/students have registered in advance (an email to me would be sufficient) so that we can serve you in the best way possible.
The planning for post-16 education can be life changing. The choice of A Levels can maximise (or limit) opportunities in the future. The greater the level of discussion that takes place between students, parents and teachers, the more we can ensure that future possibilities are enhanced. So, if your child is in Year 11, please do attend our Taster and Information Afternoon and do ask us at school (as well as your child) as many questions as possible. We look forward to talking with you on the 23rd November.
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
I hope everyone has settled back into the new half term and are excited for the events taking place this term. Coming up in a couple of weeks, we have the school Talent Show and I am excited to see the vast variety of talents in Parks. Please advise a House Captain if you would like to take part and share your talent. Well done to the House captains that met with the school visitors last week, the feedback was excellent. I wish you all a lovely weekend.
Miss Mayes, Head of Roosevelt House
It has been a busy start to this half term and there are many exciting events coming up soon. I want to thank our House Captains who took part in our School Council meetings with our visitors last week. Our Talent Show is fast approaching in two weeks time, and I am excited to see the talents we have in Roosevelt House. If you are not participating, but would like to attend and support our House, details will be sent home very soon with how seats can be reserved.
Miss Turley, Head of Galileo House
It has been a great but busy few weeks back after half term. As always it has been lovely to see everyone back in school and happy. I am very much looking forward to the Talent Show which is coming up soon and to speaking again with our House Council who have already come up with some excellent ideas this year. Keep on pushing to get those House Points everyone.
Mrs Florey, Head of Winton House
The time has come for me (Ms. Florey) to go on maternity leave. It has been an absolute pleasure to be your Head of House this academic year and I very much look forward to returning after my leave to carry on in that role. I am delighted to announce that Ms. Wilson will be taking over as your Head of House until I return. Thank you all for your fantastic effort and contributions to the House this year!
Maths department news
Online International Maths Challenge
Ten of our top Year 9 and 10 students have been spending their lunchtimes preparing for the Online International Maths Challenge. The students will sit the challenge this weekend and be competing against top students from over 1000 schools across the world. Here is one of the questions we were working on this week!
Do get in touch if you can work out the answer. Very, very challenging problem solving! We wish them all the best!
Key Stage 3 Problem of the Week
Problem of the Week returned on Friday with another complex problem. It is a very tight leaderboard this term. Please do encourage your child to get involved.
English department news
Rotary Debating Competition
Congratulations to Ava Bland, Imogen Moore and Manuel Jimenez Fernandez who this week won their second debate of the Rotary Inter-school Debating Competition. Ava was recognised as ‘Best Debater’ in the debate against Montessori school in a convincing argument for the motion ‘the benefits of space travel do not justify the cost’. We look forward to learning of the motion for the final!
Humanities department news
Students learn very well when they have a chance to think about an event in a creative way. Year 7 students have certainly done just that! Lessons have focused on life in the Middle Ages this term and students were given an opportunity to make their own castles. In addition to this they were able to present these to their peers in lessons to further develop their oracy skills.
Year 8 have been learning about the English Civil War and wrote an historical story to show their understanding of what it would have been like to live during this time.
Mannat Lalwani in Year 8 has shown herself to be an excellent historical writer.
Science department news
The students continue to throw themselves into all activities in science whether working as botanists, or debating the transport options for a cleaner and more sustainable planet.
Languages department news
Alles Gute! All the best! As one of the reasons to say “Alles Gute” is when you want to wish a Happy Birthday to someone, Year 9 wrote their own invitation letters for the parties.
Do you want to sell your house? Ask Year 10 students for help, by now, they are experts in announcements!
Creative Arts department news
Drama and Music
Year 7 students are busy practising for our upcoming Christmas performances. Not only do we have our own Christmas concert here in school, we have been invited to return to perform at Son Amar Winter Wonderland, and the Portals Nous Christmas market. Last year these performances were such a great experience for our students, and we are excited to attend again this year.
Meanwhile, Year 11 drama students have been participating in ´hot seating´ activities this past week. This is where they answer questions as the character they will be performing as for their exam. Not only does this exercise help them with character development, but it is a great confidence and communication exercise.
Sports department news
Racquet sports are in full flow this half term in secondary PE. Below you can see two Year 8 students putting their skills into practice.