A word from Mr Travis
Block 3 Week 1
I hope that BISL students and parents had a splendid break and return to school fully energised and ready for the challenges ahead. Even though the cold and the dark are drawing in, our programme of learning continues to inspire and motivate both students and staff alike. Together with a large dose of Christmas cheer, Block 3 promises to be a ‘cracker’!
Thank you to Mr Bradley and the Humanities team for a fun filled Block 2 - the Performing Arts team, ably led by Ms Kenealy, take on the mantle in Block 3. With the Christmas pantomime fast approaching and a Christmas song in the making, as well as various student-led activities designed to raise awareness to the importance of the Performing Arts, we are all excited about the days and weeks ahead. Thank you in advance to her team for working so hard on this. The Performing Arts encourage young people to use their imagination and develop their own unique voice, as well as fostering lifelong learning skills such as creativity, collaboration and communication. Vital skills in the modern world!
Since starting at BISL, I have had the pleasure of reviewing our Assessment practice in the Secondary School. I have been guiding middle leaders and teachers towards the true purpose of assessment - not to simply weigh and measure with exam-style tests, but rather to move learning forward by allowing teachers and students to evaluate the impact of their efforts and adjust the teaching and learning accordingly. Assessment, if used carefully and creatively, is a tool that promotes learning. I will be holding a meeting with parents detailing the full changes to our assessment and reporting processes, in due course. Parent-teacher interviews are scheduled to take place from 5th-16th of December. Parents will soon receive an email from myself detailing the process of making appointments via the School Cloud, our platform for conducting the meetings this year.
Thank you to Mr Batson for hosting parents at our annual IGCSE Options evening on Thursday. Although early in the year, it is a very important moment for Year 9 students to think about which subjects they would like to specialise in at IGCSE level. BISL encourages students to take subjects that they are passionate about, first and foremost. Students should also consider carefully where their strengths and weaknesses lie. It was great to see parents and students exploring various subjects and asking questions to our Head of Department team.
Finally, this was Anti-Bullying Week, during which students and teachers were invited to wear odd socks! This concept was developed by the Anti-Bullying Alliance in the UK and has been exported to schools worldwide. Odd Socks Day is an opportunity to encourage people to express themselves and celebrate their individuality and what makes us all unique. Bullying of any kind is not tolerated at BISL - we embody the principle of diversity in its entirety. Whatever the difference - age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, education, national origin - there is a home for your here at BISL.
Please be sure to read the latest Update from the Principal and I wish everyone an enjoyable weekend.
Mr Jonathan Travis, Head of Secondary
Sixth form news
Year 12 mathematicians began work on the topic on permutations by attempting to solve a sorting puzzle. It was great to see students using their mathematical knowledge and problem-solving skills to find a solution to a puzzle – a perfect way to see mathematics in practice. Combinations and Permutations are one of the more difficult and confusing topics in A level statistics so the fun and enjoyment I saw the year 12 students experiencing in the lesson will balance out the inevitable hard work and at times frustrations they will face later on in the block when we cover the more challenging areas of this topic. It was also interesting to see that the year 12 students managed to solve it in a time period only a few minutes less than the year 4 students who I gave the same challenge earlier in the week. Therefore, I will take the optimistic view and say that we have some great Mathematicians in year 4 already.
Welcome to the Creative Arts block
This block there are lots of exciting things going on throughout the whole block and across the whole school.
We have our fantastic Christmas pantomime Peter Pan, showing to primary on the 8th and to secondary on the 9th of December after lunch, with the show for parents happening on the 12th at 16:30.
We will be running a competition for the design of the poster and tickets, which is open to years 5 and above. Information for this will be given during assemblies.
We will also be keeping to tradition and getting the whole school and staff involved in our Christmas cover video. This year we will perform a rendition of ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’ by Wizard. There are 9 solo spots available and also an opportunity for singing in the whole school chorus. Here is a link to the song we will be singing.
Please also see previous years songs for examples.
The Cobis Art competition is a brilliant opportunity for young artists to compete internationally and showcase their talent. The deadline for submissions was the beginning of this week and students esponded to the theme of “Who am I?”. The competition is open to all COBIS schools and only 2 entries can be submitted for each Key stage. We will announce the finalists during our assembly next week, so keep an eye on our social media as we reveal the finalists for Key stages 3, 4 and 5.
Last year all students in art participated in the homework task of recreating either a famous piece of art or a well-known album cover using photography. This year it will be open to the whole of secondary (staff too!). Choose an image to recreate, photograph yourself, family, friends or complete it in groups depending on how many people are in the original piece. Please send your entry with the original to Ms Hawkins by 02/12. Some will remember the virtual art exhibition that we had last year. This block we will be showcasing all the best recreations in our virtual exhibition. Will you make it to the gallery wall this year?
Last year students in secondary art submitted work to an international poster contest to honor heroes working to further one or more of the UN's sustainable development goals. This could have been produced in any material of their choice and our students chose to submit digital art work. We have recently received the news that 3 of our students have been selected as finalists for the competition and have been invited to their Virtual Art Celebration and Awards Ceremony for the finalists in the Portrait Contest and Poster Contests on December the third. Congratulations to Naomi from Year 10 and our former students Maria N and Ema B. We have everything crossed for further success!
By Maria N
By Ema B
Year 8 experienced the death of Conor's Mum - and discussed the difficulties of grief and coping with it through the context of the novel “A Monster Calls.”.
Year 9 Started reading “DNA” by Dennis Kelly and enjoyed the annoyance of Leah, the strange quiet of Phill, and the rest of the gang, as we started to look deeper into the murder that had brought them all together.
Year 10 Finished their study of “Crumbs from the table of joy.” After getting a lesson in how to be a good teacher, students are preparing to be the teacher planning to give lessons on key themes within the play.
Year 11 Worked on “Purple Hibiscus” chapter 12 and concentrated on key exam skills as the mock exam rapidly approaches.
This week, we began our sports knowledge units across all areas of secondary, focusing on some of the theoretical elements of PE. We also completed some fitness assessments, with Year 7 through to 11 undertaking the bleep test - in order to measure their cardiovascular endurance levels. Mr Hayes, PE Department
Year 7, 9 and 13 students sat in their Term 1 assessment this week. They prepared for the assessment through independent studying and a variety of classroom activities to cement their knowledge.
One of the activities was a practice test, where they had to come up with the perfect responses collaboratively. Other activities included practice through an online classroom - Desmos classroom - where the students could choose the topic they wanted to revise.
Year 10, 11 and 8 students have been diligently preparing for their upcoming Term 1 assessment next week. They solved numerous examination-style questions and made sure to identify their mistakes, so they can avoid them in the future. They also enjoyed a round of competitive Maths through Quizziz.
In addition, Year 8 students combined Maths with History this week and learnt that the metric system was established during the French revolution in order to uniform the units. That enabled more efficient and accurate tax collection amongst other benefits.
Maths challenge wall: Do not miss new challenges published next Monday, in front of classroom 316, and collect House points for correct answers!
Ms Zupanc, Maths Department
Science News: This week our own Mr. Ogrin has made a magnetic non-contact mixer for mixing chemicals in a beaker. Such a device is very useful in lab work when mixing different chemicals and to observe how they mix creating a vortex.
MFL News: In Year 7 in Slovene Foundation, we have been talking about timetable and school subjects. First students listen to an audio tape and had to figure it out what is the text about. They were very motivated and focused on the task and they quickly found out what we were going to learn about. Great job so far!
Ms Drofenik, Slovene teacher
In order to organise these events, the PTA volunteers are always trying to find ways to raise funds, since the group does not have any allocated budget from the Orbital group or the school. As an example, this autumn the PTA organised a very successful Second-hand uniform sale, where we were raising funds for the Teachers appreciation breakfast, Halloween and future events.
How can you help:
If you have time we are always looking for new volunteers to help with the planning phase of the events and/or during the events. You can also help by bringing any items that are needed for specific events (such as baked goods or decorations etc). And you can always donate to the PTA budget (we need funds to buy or replace items needed for different events, for food/drinks, performances etc), and we would especially appreciate your donations if you are visiting the PTA events as a guest.
So, Dear parents, if you feel that you would like to get to know each other better, build up a great community around BISL and find out more about school life and especially if you wish to make the school experience even better for your children - PTA is indeed a great opportunity. We meet after every ‘Coffee with the principal’ at school. Feel free to contact us via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or through your class representative.
BISL Make a Wish project
At Christmas time, presents and snow are just around the corner. This is the happiest and the most magical time of the year for many children. But not for all. This year we would like to work together again, to bring smiles to the faces of those children to whom magic does not come by itself.
In partnership with two charity organizations, Zveza Prijateljev Mladine Ljubljana Moste-Polje and Trije Zimski Botri and with the ongoing support from you, the parents and our students, we are aiming to make 160 wishes come true this year!
Next week, children will pick and choose the letters in class and will bring the printed letter home with them. All the information about the project will be shared on our website, social media and via e-mail. Parents will also receive a PDF version of the letter that their child will pick by e-mail.
We are thankful to have such an amazing community here at BISL and grateful for your ongoing support of this project.