Learning environments inspire us in many different ways - here is an interesting perspective of the view to the future, present and past from the top floor!

The view to the future from the top floor by Chloe, Year 13

As final year students, my classmates and I are very much looking forward to experiencing the brand-new university life which is approaching in a couple of months. Since the start of this year, we have been actively looking through not just the course overviews but also all aspects of practical matters such as housing, tuition fees, the cities, etc. This entire process is slightly overwhelming, but very exciting. Stepping into university feels like starting a new chapter of our life, as it will give us a chance to deepen knowledge in our area of interest, to broaden our horizons, and to mature and develop as an individual in society. In order to fully prepare ourselves for the transition from high school to university, we have started to learn about cooking, making budget plans, and how to deal with homesickness…

Fortunately, we have received a number of useful suggestions from parents, teachers and friends in terms of the techniques for studying in university, how to set up our own social circles and cope with culture shocks, and how to make this three-year’s experience the best memory of life. We genuinely can’t wait for September to come and I am sure that it will be interesting for my classmates and I to travel to different countries and see each other!

Chloe, Year 13

The view of the present from the top floor by Nikolay, Year 12

Currently in Year 12, we are in a mock period, along with preparation for the final exams, which are not too far from now. Looking ahead, this will be a first time experience of external examinations for all of us in Year 11 and 12 and most students in Year 13, due to the cancellation of examinations in the last two school years. As the syllabus for most subjects are complete, our classes consist of putting into practise effective revision techniques and strategies, which have been aiding us for our mocks. I am hoping these mocks will identify learning gaps for all of us, which we will be focused on correcting. Currently we are still having full time classes, which are focused purely on revision, in order to help us all achieve the best grades possible. We have many methods of revision including the gathering of appropriate notes, past papers, online material and developing model answers. Apart from this, all of us are doing our own independent learning. Our mock exams are currently taking place in the new building, similar to how it was during the January mocks and how it will be in the external examinations, in order to recreate the environment for the real exams and get us used to the conditions that will happen in May and June.

The most important part of the upcoming examinations is that our official AS grades will be used for university application in autumn/winter 2022/23. Therefore we are all aiming for high grades in order to give us the broadest of options going forward into the future.

Nikolay, Year 12

The view from the past from the top floor by Mr Batson, Head of Sixth Form

As I look out from the top floor window and see the sweeping mountain ranges in the distance, I can’t help but think about the distance we have travelled as a school and as a community. From our formative years in Bežigrad, to the outstanding success we have been enjoying in recent years in examination results, number of students and of course our BSO inspection. My role over the years has progressed from a part time teaching assistant, to a full time teacher, and now to my current roles and higher responsibilities. As I have seen myself develop over the years, so too have I seen the school develop in many ways. I think about our first year of examination results, I can compare them to the last four years and it is clear that progress has been made on an incredible scale. I think about the standard principles that we, as teachers, agree upon and follow, which allow us to deliver quality education in every lesson. I think about the number of our students, how that number has grown and grown, the friendships that have been made over the years, the support our students have given each other and those valuable connections that have been made for life. I think about the equipment we now have in our classrooms, the extensive textbooks, workbooks, online support, the laptops all staff now have, and yes, the much appreciated coffee machines in the staff rooms.

But it is the view from the top floor that really astounds me, not just the incredible scenes that, when the light is right, can resemble a beautiful watercolour painting, but it is the fact that I am sitting in a brand new building, looking out towards Šmarna Gora and I am thinking about all the possibilities we have for the future. As the view from the top floor seems endless, so too does the potential we have as the BISL community.

Mr Batson, Head of Sixth Form