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.
Today, we had a Fire Drill with the nice weather, as this is a requirement for us to complete regularly. All students and staff were exemplary as they left the building in a respectful, orderly and calm manner. These are excellent safety checks that we take pride in, to ensure the safety of everyone on site.
As normal, we have requested further police presence during this term to ensure that the traffic along our main road and entry into the school car park travel at the speed limit. In a school community, it is paramount that we encourage all drivers to be as safe as possible. Please keep driving slowly, paying attention whilst maneuvering and being aware of children at the main entrance of the school. Thank you to all parents who follow the guidance, just this morning I saw two or three acts of kindness whilst driving and this positively impacts others dropping their children off too. Thank you.
Please keep following the safety procedures during pick up and drop off as sent out. Please note: there is no after school provision as of yet, except for Early Years and Year 1.
Quality of Education
I also had a great opportunity to collect from every class in the building copies of the feedback that teachers have provided for students. This is a standard check that many schools perform termly following the training and expectations we have set. I am very pleased to report that the standard of the written feedback across the school is excellent, consistent and follows our school feedback policy. This is an ongoing area of teaching and learning and as professionals we need to continually focus on this as it is essential for the development of our students, gaining new knowledge, skills and understanding in all academic areas.
New Teaching and Learning Resources
Following on from the online learning lessons and returning to the classroom, we have further enhanced our teaching and learning resources at school.
A delivery of new laptops for ALL teachers has arrived at school, which will undoubtedly help in the classroom/online and improve the learning for the students. This is a significant step forward for us as a school, a great investment and a very exciting time for us to be able to provide these new resources for our wonderful teachers.
We have already started rolling these out to our teachers and will be done very soon. This is the first time in the history of the school that all staff have been issued new laptops and I am very proud of the progress we have made recently. We look forward to sharing with you new ideas, projects and ways in which this new technology has further improved our quality of education at the British International School of Ljubljana. Our students should immediately feel the impact of this technology on their learning in class.
Following on from my Principal update last week and the week before, I have already had several opinions from parents via email about the calendar for next year who unfortunately cannot attend my next Coffee Morning.
No decisions have been made yet, as we are in no rush and we will publish our 2021/22 calendar at the start of the summer term with full dates for next year as normal. As always, we will make a final decision that is in the best interest of our students.
As Principal, I am always open to listen, talk and acknowledge your opinions. I also endeavour to respond to every email and question that you might have. Good communication is key, and I thank you for your support as parents in relaying the messages from these updates to other parents, as this is the only official announcement coming directly from me, every week.
Our coffee mornings have been a huge success in the past and I personally appreciate the parents who shared some very positive comments about these coffee mornings in our recent Parent Survey, thank you. The coffee mornings are designed to be very informal, for parents who are free to come along, have a coffee and hear updates about the school. This is not a formal consultation, debate or conference, it is an opportunity to listen, mingle with new parents and share any general information. They’ve been very well attended, and take place on the first Friday of every month.
At BISL, our community has been wonderful in welcoming new families into our school and the coffee morning is a nice opportunity to reach out and help others who might have relocated to Ljubljana recently. At the end, there is a chance to ask me for any further questions, and I then include my announcements in the Update from the Principal immediately after the event. In my update I will also include an agenda of what I will discuss over coffee, in case these areas are of particular interest to parents in certain year groups, for example IGCSE/A Level revision, Options evening, Trips, Sports, assessments, building etc.
Join me on Friday, 5th March, from 9:30am on Zoom for our next virtual Coffee with the Principal.
During this coffee morning we will discuss the following topics:
- Parent Survey results - a closer look at the areas and comments
- Action Plan and timescale
- Main Priorities
- Smaller areas and sub tasks mentioned
- Calendar for 2021/22 - I would like to hear your opinions on the following areas:
- Further aligned with the Slovene school holidays
- A longer / earlier summer holiday
- A two-week Easter holiday to enable a longer break
- More lessons before exams and fewer after
- Aligned with other international schools
- Longer Terms / Blocks
Coffee Morning and PTA Meeting Cycle
The PTA will share further information about the regular Open PTA Meetings for all parents ahead of time through Classlist.
If you get a chance, do take a moment to read our latest Teacher Feature with Mr Bishop, our Year 4 Class Teacher and Primary Mathematics Coordinator for a glimpse into his enthusiasm and passion for education.
We look forward to having physical events return in the summer term when guidance allows, as this is an area of our school that we have had such enjoyment from and fantastic experiences of in the past. Our PTA have played a significant role in supporting the school with major events such as International Day, Halloween and the Christmas Market. This year we’ve also had great support for Pust, to name a more recent event. We really value the input from our PTA and parent body to support such events, as these make them very special for our students. When we return fully with all classes on site, this remains a priority focus from the PTA, parents and volunteers to make sure that our students can have fantastic whole-school events, celebrations and activities as soon as guidance allows.
Thursday 4th March - World Book Day
Friday 5th March - Coffee with the Principal
Monday 8th March - International Women's Day
Friday 12th March - Reports Issued
Monday 15th - Friday 19th March - Parents Evening Week
Monday 22nd March - World Water Day
This term we have talked a lot with our staff and students about the use of social media, apps and your digital footprint. As staff and parents, we can model to the students how we react to situations with care, to think about our language before we post, as this cannot be deleted once it has been sent. Our actions can affect others and we often discuss this with our staff, students and parents at school.
We encourage everyone to think before they post and also to report any online abuse immediately. For some of our students, posting online and wishing they didn't is a great opportunity to reflect and learn, so that in the future they can make better choices, that are better for everyone.
Please see our esafety at BISL page for more information.
All urgent updates continue to be sent via email.
Please monitor your emails for future updates as this continues to be the best way to send out clear and consistent communication to all parents. Check that you are receiving emails, have enough space in your email folder, that they do not go to your 'junk' folder and if you are unsure, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to check your contact email and phone number on record. If you change any contact details, please inform the school immediately.
Please see all previous updates from me below, as I continue to publish a general school-wide announcement every Friday.
Have a lovely weekend.
- February 19 - Pust Celebrations
- February 12 - Staggered Reopening Plans
- February 10 - Block 4 Update
- February 5 - Exam Revision Update
- January 29 - Drop Off Reminders, Testing for Teachers
- January 22 - Staggered Reopening Plans
- January 15 - BISL Strengths, Upcoming events, Parent Survey
- January 8 - New Year's Updates from the Coffee Morning
- January 2 - Operating Procedures ahead of Term 2
- December 18 – Holiday Message
- December 11 - Early Years Show, BISL Art Exhibition & Upcoming Events
- December 4 - Coffee Morning update
- December 3 - First Snow and Outdoor Fun
- November 27 - Upcoming Events
- November 20 - PTA Committee Welcome, Facilities News
- November 6 - Founder's Day, Operating procedures
- October 30 - Halloween celebrations, positive feedback
- October 23 - Measures in place
- October 16 – Transition to online learning
- October 10 - Coffee Morning
- September 25 - House Day, MEPI, Adventure Days
- September 20 - Safety Guidance and reminders
- September 11 – Safety Guidance, BISL Vision & Learning Walks
- September 4 - Safety Guidance & BISL Values
- August 28 - Safety Guidance and Drop off & Pick up Procedures
- August 19 - Staff Training Week
- August 13 - Summer Update