A word from Ms Andronikos
This week in Secondary, Ms O’Regan utilised the assembly time to thoroughly introduce the English block. Students were engaged in fun English activities, as they were introduced to the many competitions that the English Department are hosting this block. Yesterday was the first with the Spelling Bee at lunchtime, hosted over Zoom, with teachers involved also! Well done to everyone, and we look forward to the staff versus student competition also.
Parent Teacher Virtual Interviews have been scheduled for Weeks 5 and 6 in the same online platform utilised in Term 1. Further information will be released in time next week for parents to log in. This is a brilliant opportunity for parents and students to book a time with teachers to discuss Term 2. It is therefore strongly encouraged that students attend these interviews also, to be a part of the discussion around their learning. Students in Years 11, 12 and 13 are already considering their current grades and the targets that they are aspiring to. There are only a few weeks left for these examination students to do everything they can to improve their marks.
As the weather heats up and Term 3 approaches, the summer uniform will come into effect at the start of next Term. Please check the website for the options available and place an order early, so that it comes well in time.
Please continue to read the Principal’s Updates sent out weekly, and I wish everyone a lovely and warm weekend.
Stephanie Andronikos, Head of Secondary
Parent Teacher Interviews
The second and final round of Parent Teacher Virtual Interviews have been scheduled for Weeks 5 and 6 of this block with the format the same as Term 1. Bookings open on Monday 1st March at 8am, and instructions for the system and logging in will be resent Monday morning via email for all parents. Bookings close on Sunday 14th March.
Here are some of our snaps of our students still learning online. They may still be learning at a distance but they still are at the heart of what we are doing at BISL this block. We can’t wait for them to be back in the classroom and off their computers!
Photos from around the school
Here are some photos from around the school this week, students have settled in well, and are still enjoying being with their peers. We can feel the fun coming from these photos.
Teacher Spelling Bee
Congratulations to Ms Dascalescu and Mr Brad for winning the teacher spelling bee, and thank you to all the students who took part in choosing the most difficult words. All students who ‘bet’ on the top teachers have been awarded house points.
Well done to all teachers who took part (Mr. Batson, Ms. O’Regan, Ms. Dascalescu, Mr Brad, Ms Drofenik and Mr. Dalton) in the spelling bee, with Mr. Batson making it to round 4, with several teachers getting out in round 2. A huge thank you to the girls from 9b for hosting the spelling bee in their lunch break.
We hope students feel inspired to take part in the student spelling bees and challenge themselves on March 9th and March 10th. Each Form will be nominating 2 students to take part.
There will also be a teacher vs. student spelling bee at the end of the block, with Ms Dascalescu and Mr Brad going up against our top students in KS3 and 4 spelling bees. May the best speller win - with the prize of an additional box of chocolates (we may need to start thinking of healthier alternatives to chocolates).
English Block Competitions
Short Story Competition
To celebrate English Block, we are hosting a short story competition. We encourage students to write a short story (max 800 words) titled one of the following, “The Haunting”, “The Game” or “The Enchantment”.
Thank you for all the entrances so far! We have over 20 submissions.
Please send your entries to Ms O’Regan by 12th March.
We are also having a poetry writing competition. Students are encouraged to write a poem on any subject/theme they choose.
Please send your entries to Mr Kirwan by 19th March.
Prizes: Box of chocolate for the best entries per key stage and 10 house points (per key stage) - that is x4 prizes up for grabs and 3 house points to all entries!
English Block Spelling Bees
As part of English block we have organised two spelling bees, one for teachers, and one for students.
Our student spelling bee for KS3 will be on 9th for round 1 and 15th March for round 2. The words will be sent out next Wednesday . Each form must nominate x2 students to represent their Form - all students who take part will receive x3 House points. The winner of round 2 will win a box of chocolates and an additional 10 House points.
Our student spelling beefor KS4 will be on 10th March for round 1 and 16th March for round 2. The words will be sent out next Wednesday. Each form will nominate x2 students. All students who enter will receive 3 house points - and the winner will receive 10 house points and a box of milka chocolates.
Forms will be nominating students on Monday!
World Book Day
Next Thursday is World Book Day. As a school we started to prepare this week. Our head boy and girl, joined with some other 6th form students recorded themselves reading books for early years and key stage one classes, to be played to the classes leading up to World Book Day.
Year 7 spent this week feeling frustrated and angry as we introduced them to using Emotive Language techniques. We looked at a poem written about the inhumane and cruel bloodsports that used to take place in many parts of the world. We read and analysed the poem "Badger" and worked on our own story about tormenting animals.
Year 8 worked on a unit about the making of the film "The Lord of the Rings". We read about the challenges faced by the team of people in charge of creating all the spectacular scenes of this much loved book and film.
Year 9: 9a are working on Shakespeare's classic MacBeth this week, and are learning all about the cunning plans of Lady MacBeth. Whilst 9b have continued with Orwell’s Animal Farm, and are right at the end where a shock death happens. Students also enjoyed performing a music number of Animal Farm. We are focusing on getting away from Laptops and hands on learning, such as acting out the book, and discussions in person. Next week we will be finishing the book and writing a book review about it. Maybe another musical number might appear in our lessons.
Year 10: This week have continued exploring poetry by Carol Ann Duffy, including the poem Death of a Teacher, the Darling letters and We Remember Your Childhood Well.
At the beginning of the week, students week we continued to explore the poem death of a teacher with open discussions and analysing it together as a class, and in breakout rooms.
Year 10 continued onto their next poem, after voting against doing an essay on the poem Death of a Teacher and choosing to do an essay on the next poem. Students exploded the poem The Darling Letters, and got to grips with the implicit meaning of the poem, and the rich imageries of death - is it even poetry if it isn’t about religion, death or love/sex? Or all three together! Students completed an essay based upon the imagery in this poem on Thursday, and I can’t wait to mark them and see the feedback students have taken on board from their essays last week.
On Friday we started the poem We Remember Your Childhood Well. A poem rich with nostalgic tones, and again images of death, which seem to be a common feature in Duffy’s poems and the students have definitely clocked onto this, with the majority of her poems having a reflective tone. Duffy is definitely a poet who enjoys looking through the photo album and pondering what could have been if she had chosen different paths. Which leaves us with the question, is it healthy to be lost in the memories of the past?
Year 11: This week year 11 have been revising 1984 and The Crucible for their literature papers. 11b have practised their essay format, and revised content throughout the week both independently, in small groups and with teach led power point presentations.
Students also dedicated the areas they want revision to focus on for next week. It is great seeing students take control of their learning, reflecting on the areas they struggle with to help rectify this before the real exams in May/June.
Next week students will continue to revise 1984, and the Crucible. Students will look at and practise analysing extracts, making sure they are exam ready.
Year 13: This week year 13 explored two new poems by Emily Dickinson, which means they have almost finished all 34 poems by Dickinson, and are getting closer to being exam ready. We also continued to explore King Lear, and get to grips with all the betrayal and the humour from the 1600s. We can definitely image the crowds in hysterics!
English Riddle of the Week
Email Ms O’Regan with the correct answers by next Thursday. Correct answers will get 5 house points.
Miss O’Regan, Mr Kirwan, and Mr Eve, English Department
This week in P.E., secondary students continued to work on their student lead projects and have begun to research their thought-provoking statements of exploration. Two important sport knowledge acronyms, S.P.O.R.T. and F.I.T.T., were studied by the students in teacher-led lectures. Students then used these acronyms to help create teacher-guided individual fitness plans for the block.
Secondary students also engaged in dynamic teacher lead workouts working through different exercises and fitness routines to use in fitness plans. Additionally, a mock check-in quiz was given, going through the first nine key terms on the block, allowing students to assess their independent study skills and retention of the sports knowledge material.
Ms Fairchild-Gojkovic, Mr Damjan and Mr Cerni - PE Department
Slovene Second Language
Let’s see diversity in Year 9 who work in three colourful groups and support each other in every Slovene lesson. Today, Maria took the role of a teacher for a few minutes and explained the 5th case to the class. She put lots of effort in her explanation and shared her already gained knowledge based on the 5th case.
Meanwhile, students have been working on different topics, from clothes to buildings of our pretty capital Ljubljana. It was nice to see their enthusiasm while they were working in the groups. We totally agree that group work is very efficient and enjoyable to share our own ideas from different perspectives.
Well done students!
Ms Kosec - Slovene Teacher
The next few lessons will be very creative for Year 9 at Slovene Advanced Lessons. This week, students had been drawing the cover page of their favourite book and needed to write their favourite thought from that book as well. I am really looking forward to seeing their final products!
Ms Drofenik - Slovene Teacher
"Verbs winners" in Y9A.
To repeat verbs we had a domino competition.
Félicitations! Très bien joué!
Business and Economics News
Congratulations to Year 10 business, who all did fantastic on their unit test, with the average being 65%, with everyone getting A/B grades. A special mention to Kevin and Uma putting in a huge amount of effort and achieving top marks.
Year 12 businesses have been prioritising their revision, looking at sum economics concepts that affect business, such as international trade and globalisation. Year 12 will soon be ready to launch their own business project...keep an eye out for this in future newsletters.
Year 13 businesses have been finishing their finance unit, and looking at the financial ratio for profit, liquidity and investments. A special mention to Eva who has been leading her group project so well.
Year 12 economics have been prioritising their revision topics, looking at the first two which are transitioning from a command economy to a mixed economy, and privatisation vs. nationalisation.
Year 13 economics have finished their macro unit, where we looked at foriegn direct investment, foriegn aid and barriers to development. We are now starting macro intervention.
Mr Dalton - Business and Economics Teacher
Well done to all year groups who sat in their maths assessment this week. Be proud of the knowledge you have demonstrated and take this weekend to reflect on your most common mistakes and how to avoid them, as well as revise the topics you felt the least confident in.
Year 12 and 13 Mechanics 1 students were creating their own questions and mark schemes based on the topic they felt the most confident in their latest assessment. Here are two excellent examples:
Maths question of the week is:
Students who solve the questions send the answer to my email by Wednesday 3rd March.
Ms Zupanc, Maths Department
Performing Arts News
Year 7 and 8's are learning to play their own chosen song on the ukulele. They are concentrating on learning the chord patterns and finding a strum pattern that fits well with their chosen song.
Year 9's are currently looking at computer game music, in particular 8-bit computer games. They have been composing character motifs and have produced some impressive work so far.
Mr Hulse and Ms Kenealy, Performing Arts Team
Chemistry Y13 - Micky carried out a very interesting cross-curricular presentation in which she voluntarily and very interestingly linked the concept of thermodynamic entropy with the sociological concept of entropy or disorder, as well as its applications in business, illustrating both with examples such as the Kowloon Walled City.
Here's the slide of her presentation where she mentioned it:
The Y13 physics were this week back in touch with experimental practice, carrying out a very creative activity, where they were given many different equipment options to plan five different experiments where they could test for any of the physical concepts which they have learnt during their academic year.
They were thrilled with the opportunity to access live experimental physics they had been long awaiting for during distance learning, and they were able to successfully set up some of the plans themselves without further assistance.
The images below correspond to the usage of an oscilloscope to read alternating currents and signals:
Mr Herrera - Physics and Chemistry teacher
After a quieter week last week, our two MEPI groups came together for a joint Zoom meeting this week. Hosted by Ms Tušar (and co-hosted by Mr Irving), it was a first for our participants this year, and a real pleasure to be in each other's company. As well as the usual admin and ORB duties, the meeting was focussed on a brand new MEPI initiative.
After a rather random and rather entertaining 'warmer' (What would you do if... questions), Ms Tušar introduced the concept of 'Triglaving' and 'Everesting', using a website called 'Padlet'. A challenge was needed that would either help get our participants ready for their next expedition or at least stay active during the COVID times! It is both a group and an individual challenge.
The idea is that a participant should challenge themselves to complete a series of hikes (of their own choosing), and record (on the website) the height gained on each hike until they have reached a total height gain equal to the elevation of Triglav or (as an extended challenge) that of Everest! There are alternative 'distance' challenges for cycling and running also. We look forward to seeing who will rise to the challenge as we watch what is logged on Padlet. We also include a link to a video (in Slovene for now) that promotes this initiative.
Mr Irving, MEPI Coordinator
Uniform - get ready for summer
In Block 6 we are excited to welcome the Summer Term for this year. With that comes the option for students to wear the BISL polo (with BISL logo). There are also tailored shorts available for the boys to wear as opposed to long trousers. These are available in the uniform shop.
Should students not have the BISL summer uniform, they are able to wear the short sleeve collared, buttoned shirts with ties, also available at the uniform shop, or just their usual long sleeve uniform. Please place the order now for it to arrive well in time for Summer!
We welcome back Mr. Oliver Hughes, who returns to BISL next week. Mr. Hughes will assist and support Primary classes for the remainder of Term 2, until the end of the school year. He is looking forward to rejoining the school community.
Teacher Feature Series
Welcome back to our Teacher Feature series in Block 5, starting with another long-standing member of the BISL team, Mr Bishop, Year 4 Class Teacher and Primary Mathematics Coordinator, who has been with us since 2011.
We finish the week with the sun shining and the wonderful sound of our students around the building enjoying their lessons. This week, I walked around with the leadership team and popped in to see many lessons, and spoke with students to see what they are learning. The atmosphere has been very positive, productive and friendly. Now in the second week back at school, the students have settled in very well to lessons back in the building and the teachers have continued to work extremely hard during a very important time at school. We hope that guidance will soon allow for our Years 10-12 to join their peers in the building again too.
Dates to Note
Thu, Mar 4th
World Book Day
Fri, Mar 5th
Mon, Mar 8th
International Women’s Day
Fri, Mar 12th
Mar 15th - 19th
Parents Evening Week
Mon, Mar 22nd
World Water Day