A word from Mr Travis

Block 2 Week 4

Halloween has descended on BISL this week!

In just a couple of short hours the PTA magically transformed the school into a spooky haunted house using all kinds of weird and wonderful decorations. We have a plethora of events awaiting our students next week, including a ‘haunted door’ competition, food stands, games and other performances. Should be a week to remember!

Another event we are also preparing for is Remembrance Day. There will be poppies available from reception each morning next week and families can send a small donation to the Royal British Legion via their website if they wish. The Royal British Legion has been supporting service men and women, veterans, and their families since 1921.

Humanities block continues apace, the week beginning with their annual bumper quiz. The Humanities subjects offer limitless opportunities to inspire and motivate young people. Students at BISL are encouraged to investigate, ask questions and have the freedom to be creative. BISL Humanities teachers seek to broaden horizons by inspiring students to challenge the world around them and think outside the box. This philosophy has embodied all the lessons I’ve seen on my learning walks this week. Wonderful to see!

External examinations have been continuing this week with candidates coming from Zagreb, Ukraine, Vienna and Trieste International School. In addition to A Levels and IGCSE, we have been hosting admissions tests, assessments required for applications to top universities in the UK, including Oxford and Cambridge. This week candidates took the Biomedical admissions test. Thank you also to Mr Batson and Mr Malden for hosting parents at our University Guidance meeting this week. It was very well attended and parents were treated to a wide range of useful information that will help students prepare for their university applications.

There have been more successes in Mathematics competitions, with our students receiving certificates in the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT) senior online competition. Congratulations to our Year 11 student Georgi who came top in the school, whilst competing against Year 12 and 13 Mathematicians. Well done to Georgi and good luck to him and the rest of the competitors in the intermediate Mathematics challenge on 1st February 2023.

Please be sure to read the latest Update from the Principal and I wish everyone an enjoyable weekend.

*Important Message for all Secondary Parents*

I wanted to provide some clarity regarding Leave of Absence Requests during term time.

BISL is a caring and compassionate community and we pledge to work with parents where possible on this issue. However, we have a duty to ensure that all children are meeting the attendance targets set, for the sake of their own learning. International research proves that there is a direct correlation between student outcomes and attendance and we want all students to achieve their very best. Our provision at BISL is not optional and any requests for additional leave during term time, however small need to be sent at least 3 days in advance and submitted using the official school form.

While we cannot apply a blanket policy to approve or reject all applications, we must make it clear that leave of absence will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. We understand that a doctor’s appointment is unavoidable, however additional holiday days will not be approved. Continual unapproved absences are a breach of BISL school policy.

Hopefully the table below will provide some clarity as to what we can/cannot approve. This is a 'best-fit' model and obviously doesn't cover every eventuality. We have to judge each request on its own merits.

*Medical and dentist appointments should be scheduled outside of school hours, wherever possible. We understand that sometimes this is impossible due to availability.

Thank you for your understanding.

Kind regards,

Jonathan Travis

Head of Secondary

Mr Jonathan Travis, Head of Secondary

Hallowe’en Dress Down Day

Students, teachers and our wonderful leaders all dived headfirst into the fun of Hallowe’en on Thursday this week. Every year the costumes seem to get better and better. Here is a quick taste of some of the imaginations of our community.

mr. Malden

Sixth Form news

Monday morning started with a celebration of the success our year 11, 12 and 13 students achieved in their Cambridge external examinations, which took place in June 2022 and also the UKMT Senior Mathematics competition. Students were then asked to question themselves regarding their path to success. Mr Batson presented students with a timeline from now until their graduation and entrance into university, introducing the ideas of target grades and the methods by which those grades could be achieved. Students were briefly shown the work of Nate Kornell PHD, a psychologist who through his extensive research has indicated that if you want to successfully commit knowledge to the long term memory, to truly remember and understand the content taught in class, it is best to space out learning rather than cram. Students were also shown the VESPA model for success and how this model can be used to improve student attainment. You can see the presentation by clicking the following link.

English News:

Year 9 have been preparing poetic responses to the question of "Who am I?". They did fantastic work on “Mr Dooper,” creating cut out poetry, and reflected on who they are as people.

Year 10 have been working on tension in “Crumbs from the Table of Joy,” and have examined the aftermath of the racist attack on Godfrey.

Year 11 spent the week looking at chapter 10, a critical turning point in the novel and the fall out of these events in “Purple Hibiscus.”

PE news

Throughout PE lessons this week, we focused on playing for understanding in a competitive environment, across a range of sports. Year 7 undertook some competitive singles and doubles tennis matchplay, with Year 8 and 9 doing the same when playing badminton. Year 10 and Year 11 participated in a competitive, round robin volleyball tournament, focusing on teamwork and court positioning.

Mr Hayes, PE Department

Maths news

Year 7 students displayed excellent knowledge of multiplying and dividing decimals with 10, 100, 1000 and were eager to crack the code on a decimals codebreaker. They also recalled how to add and subtract decimals and perfected their techniques.

Year 8 students diligently performed the four operations with decimals, using appropriate techniques. With peer feedback, they corrected their errors and were confident to move on to a new topic, statistics.

Year 9 students practised all four operations with decimals through an escape room activity. They had to demonstrate their skills in decimals, as well as to decode hidden messages. Starting a new topic, statistics, the students recalled methods to calculate the mean, median, mode and range on a list of numbers. They also recalled methods to estimate the mean, find the class containing the mode or median from a grouped frequency table. This was excellent preparation for the upcoming group Statistics project, led by Miss Jaarsma, a student intern from the Netherlands.
Year 10
students battled their way through solving exponential equations successfully and were excited to learn an easier topic, standard form. They also started a two lesson project called study group, where students engaged in autonomous learning about Venn diagrams.

Year 11 students learnt how to solve quadratic equations using three different methods:
factorisation, the quadratic formula and completing the square. All three methods are an important part of the IGCSE syllabus and the students could be tested on all three of the particular skills in their external exam.

Year 13 students practised applying their skills of logarithms and trigonometry and sat in their Block 2 quiz.

Maths challenge wall:
All secondary students are welcome to solve problems published every week in front of room 316.
The prizes for correct answers are House points, so do not miss the challenges!

Ms Zupanc, Maths Department

Science news

Today our year 13 student did her practical AS Physics exam where she had to study the balance of a bottle on an inclined plane and studied the relationship between the electric current and the magnetic force. Y7 made copper sulphur crystals.

MFL News

Slovene Advanced

It was a spooky week for Y9 Advanced Slovene lessons as they had to write a “Bu-hu” story for Halloween following the spooky reading aloud. From Ms Kotnik - the teacher who is “afraid, very afraid.”

Ms Kotnik, MFL Coordinator

Computer Science

A small group of year 7 robotics enthusiasts submitted entries to our student-led Halloween robotics competition. The students only had 30 minutes across two lunchtimes to come up with the design. The winning entry was a spooky marshmallow over an open fire by Maarja-liis and Shadi in 7B, with a halloween carnival float as second runner up by Daniil in 7A.

Ms Burtrand, Computer Science teacher