A word from Mrs Železinger
Dear Parents and Students,
We have come to the end of the second Block and I would like to express my gratitude to all students, parents and staff for working together through these challenging times. It is due to the hard work and support of the whole community that has enabled BISL to maintain the high quality of care and education for our students. This is further highlighted by the high attendance of 72% on site this week, with even higher attendance for online learning, and the overwhelmingly positive feedback from both parents and students.
This week on Tuesday 3rd November we celebrated Founder's Day in memory of Mr Jeremy Hibbins, who founded BISL in 2008. The Year 1 and Year 2 Student Council Representatives tied colourful ribbons on the Founder’s Tree and the Year 2 class performed a song to honour this day. It is with absolute certainty that Mr Hibbins would have been extremely proud of what we have achieved as a community, with growing numbers of students and staff, expanded opportunities for learning and developing of the school facilities, including the new building and surrounding woodland area.
Next week is the school break and time to reflect, recuperate and plan ahead for Block 3 starting on Monday 16th November. Please check the latest Updates from the Principal and the upcoming events in the sections below and on the school website.
I wish everyone a safe and lovely break.
Head of Primary
Class Teacher Reports
In Early Years we have been outside this week to plant some seeds. The children wanted to plant the pumpkin seeds and then make signs for the patch.
We have also been making mud monsters with socks and rocks for eyes, as well as journey sticks. It has been an excellent opportunity to practice making signs and applying our phonic knowledge!
As block 2 draws to end it's a nice time to reflect on all the progress and memories children have made in Year 1!
In English, Y1 continue to develop reading skills through phonics. Mr Hughes has made a video for parents on how to support phonics from home, take a moment to watch.
We have also been developing communication through drama this block, acting out classic children's books, developing confidence in English speaking and improving cognition.
Next block we look forward to studying poetry to develop spoken language, practise memorisation, try out performance skills and inspire powerful writing.
In Maths, Y1 are mastering confidence with numbers from 0 through to 100, focusing on place value and addition and subtraction over the past weeks, we will now look to applying our new-found knowledge to measurement, combined with a view of problem-solving skills. We will complete this unit through fun practical investigations, with a combination of indoor and outdoor learning.
In Topic, Y1 have been exploring our world - specifically animals and the environment. This week we looked at the life cycle of a butterfly, mothers and their young and habitats. A particularly fitting focus point as it links to our whole school humanities block. Linking Topic to our English theme, we used our acting skills to memorise habitats and animals/mammals that live there, it's been a fun method of learning that is inclusive for all learners especially EAL. Next block our new topic will be celebrations, linking Art, internationalism, geography, science and history.
Thank you to all parents for being supportive during these unusual times, have a relaxing block break!
Year 2 has had a fantastic end to block 2! This week, we started our days with a video call from Ms Harris. We loved hearing her read Paddington every day.
In literacy, we have learnt all about verbs and how we can use them to improve our writing skills. Next block, we will use these skills to create some incredible stories. In Maths, we finished our unit on shapes. The students have been fantastic at identifying the properties of different shapes.
We finished our topic unit with our daily yoga and mindfulness activities. Next block, we will start our topic unit on celebrations. Thank you for another great block, have a wonderful and safe break. We look forward to seeing all the Year 2's in block 3!
This week was distance learning part 2 for Year 3 as they continued to adapt well to their new virtual classroom. In Maths, this week the students covered adding two 3 digit numbers as well as subtracting 2 digit from 3 digit numbers.
In English, they have begun their studies of science fiction stories and have been gathering ideas for story writing by coming up with their own recipe for making a monster, inspired by the story of Franny K.
Stein, a mad-scientist third grader who loves to invent things. And in Topic, the students conducted an experiment over Zoom, which tested the effectiveness of various household materials as chocolate bar wrappers and later wrote up a report on the best materials available for the job. Well done to the students for taking part and for all their great contributions throughout the week.
After a crazy block 2, I bet everyone is looking forward to a well-earned rest over the holidays. Year 4's have been showcasing their creative genius with their amazing habitat dioramas, coupled by their information booklets which are full of spectacular sketches of animals and plants.
A sneak peek is included alongside this article, but we hope to showcase the real models when students return to school. In preparation for holiday time, students have been brushing up on their 12 and 24 hour clock reading skills, so no matter which time format your family follows, be sure not to wake them before 10:00 each day and have them tucked in tight well before 00:00. Happy holidays everyone!
Y5A have all become poets this week by using alliteration, rhyme, rhythm and personification to create incredible poems about the classroom environment. Teamwork in Year 5 has been important this week with breakout rooms being used to discuss poetry, in addition to students helping each other in Topic and Maths.
Year 5 are looking into the differences and similarities between 'economically wealthy countries' and 'economically developing countries'. As a starter, they were asked to write two lists: what they need and what they want. It was lovely to see what they wrote, especially for needs:
- several new shelves
So many of our students ranked family, friends and school extremely high in their lists, showing us the importance of community, especially in these trying times.
This week the students were completing their second English Unit - focusing on Poetry.
This unit explored the power of imagery using ‘Rabbit in the Mixer Survives’ by Roger McGough as its focus. ‘Pike’ by Ted Hughes, ‘The Sea’ by James Reeves and ‘Fog’ by Carl Sandburg which provided ample material for exploring simile and metaphor. At the end of the unit, students created their own poems in free verse which described a sea creature, using extended metaphors and personification:
I am a Blobfish, a slug,
a revolting freak of nature.
When supper comes, “I’ll eat it later”
“Why so ugly” you ask.
“Are you a demon or just wearing a mask?”
“Why are you such a vulgar chunk of flesh?”
“A nasty, revolting, piece of mesh?”
The truth is, it wasn’t always that way,
I remember a wonderful spring in May.
I was a beautiful swan, a delightful angel,
But now I’m a mutant, with a nose at an angle.
Before, I was shiny,
A pocket full of change.
I’m so odd, bizarre and strange.
I remember so much,
That I start to weep
And I almost go to sleep,
Like farmers counting sheep.
I was the king of the fish, their friend,
We would swim together without end,
until night, when we would lean down and sleep.
So quiet, so quiet, till I heard a beep.
I saw the sun,
Climbing out of the water.
I saw a boat,
And I began to falter.
I remember that day, that day, that day.
Never before was I scared that way.
In a blur, I watched as a net came.
I was lifted out from the water and never was the same.
Tears fill my eyes,
Ad I begin to sob.
Thinking of that day,
I became a blob.
As black as coal, all I saw was dark.
So dark, so dark, not even a spark
And then it happened, my skin began to bubble.
As my features, my life turned into rubble.
Now here I am, a hideous freak.
Tortured and taunted, throughout the whole week.
So now, when you call me nasty or crude,
I get it so much, it’s no longer rude…
- Shaun, Y6
Great job everyone!
This week is the final week of gymnastics block, therefore some Zoom gymnastics assessments are in process. Older students are creating their own gymnastic routines, which include different balances, stretches, jumps... while the younger students have slightly different challenges.
Here are some of the photos from this week's PE lessons:
PE Department would also like to wish everyone a nice break and encourage students to exercise during the block break and spend as little amount as possible in front of their computers.
This block we were celebrating the 18th European Day of Languages. We took the time to inform each other about our diversity, mother tongues and share our pride!
Our curious Primary students expressed their creativity on paper. They created amazing drawings as you can see on the display board in the photo above. Well done students!
Miss Košec, MFL Department
In the last week of this block, Year 1 students have been working on their knowledge harvest, summing up everything they've learned in Slovene lessons. They loved the Halloween event and learning the spelling of the word witch - čarovnica. They say they enjoyed being outside, writing the words tree, leaf, flower, stick, and singing songs in their Slovene lessons.
Year 3 and 4 have been learning how puppets are made, the process and the team, which professions are needed for a puppet show to come to life. They themselves became puppeteers, designing their favourite puppet and describing it with powerful adjectives.
Can you guess which book, written by an English author, Year 5 and 6 are reading? Do you recognise the illustrations?
Clue: He wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Year 3 have been busy studying days of the week and months in French, while Year 4 have been learning about fruits and which ones they like and dislike.
Year 5 and 6 have joined forces to create a new song "Corona minus": with some advice on what to do and what not to do during corona time: Respectez la distance!, Lavez-vous les mains! Ne faites plus de bises! etc.
In this last week of Block 2, the EAL lessons have become more serious in a part of the week and a bit more relaxed at some other points. Most of the EAL classes have done some assessments on the knowledge acquired during the block, while the others will undergo the quizzes at the beginning of the next Block. Like everything else, the assessments over online learning were challenging but with great perseverance, the students have overcome all the trials set in their way.
Speaking of trials and errors, we also put our pronunciation and reading skills to the test with some rather challenging tongue twisters and alliterations. Hopefully, we will be able to share with you some of our own creations in the next block! But in the meantime, you can have a go at one of these classic ones:
Three switched witches watch three Swatch watch switches. Which switched witch watches which Swatch watch switch?
Coming soon, BISL winter accessories will be available on the uniform webshop, we look forward to sharing these with you soon.
We welcome our new Slovene teacher, Ms Anja Drofenik, to join BISL from November 16, teaching the Slovene Advanced classes. More information will be shared introducing Ms Drofenik with the community directly via email.
As we wrap up our Humanities theme in Block 2, we’d like you to dig a little deeper in getting to know our brilliant Head of Humanities, Mr Gary Bradley, in this week’s Teacher Feature.
Many of us have felt a little stranded recently, but where there's a will, there's a way, and MEPI is no exception. Once again we, like our mainstream classes, have found a home on Zoom. It has proven invaluable to keep in contact with each other, and stay on course with the programme. Although we face our individual challenges, participants are choosing and adapting activities which can be undertaken 'at a distance'. The training for the Adventurous Journey section is being adapted to online learning, with more practical applications to follow (either individually, or in small groups at home as the situation dictates). We are all here to support each other, and our friends at the MEPI National Office complete the team. We wish everyone continued success!
A year on since the planting of the Founder's Tree, we can reflect upon a great deal of change, improvements and steps forward for BISL as a school.
During these challenging times, we have once again come together as a community to proudly celebrate Founder's Day, remembering Jeremy's vision and the progress we have made towards this thus far.
With outstanding academic outcomes, exciting learning experiences, new facilities, a growing school and above all, a positive energy together, we are excited by what the future holds for us as a school.
We are honoured to present the annual Founder's Awards to the following students:
Academic Achievement Award - Micky W., Year 13
Music Award - Ivan L., Year 13
Community Award - Elena C., Year 12
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support during what has been a very busy block. Please take a moment to read through my extended Update from the Principal here.
Wishing you a relaxing and restful block break.
Dates to Note
All of our upcoming events and term dates can be found on our website with further information, links and details here.