BISM Newsletter September 2017 F

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The British International School of Marbella

NEWSLETTER A Newsletter for Parents, Students and Friends of our School

September 2017




Headteacher’s Message Dear Parents & Students, Welcome to the first newsletter of the new academic year. Inside you will find articles about the children’s learning and updates regarding events, as well as current educational issues that are being explored at school. Thank you for taking the time to read it, I am sure you will find it very useful. The new academic year has begun with motivation, enthusiasm and (most importantly) big smiles. The children were very excited to see the changes that we have made to the first floor to accommodate our new Middle School phase. The most popular addition is our brand new Science Lab. The children have really enjoyed their lessons in here, especially using the new desks that also double as whiteboards allowing children to actually be allowed to write on their desks. The Middle School has been a smooth transition for our children, embracing the changes and challenges that come with this Secondary style approach to their teaching and learning with ease. Not just the Middle School but all the children across the school have settled into their classes with their new teacher and curriculum subjects. All of them seem very happy to now be ‘a year above’ and are rising to the new expectations even as young as our Nursery class. It was wonderful to see so many of you at our first two events of the year. Firstly, our Phase Picnics and then our European Languages Day. It’s great to see that the new families have settled in well and are already forming friendships within the BISM community, these two events have certainly aided this.

Pre-Nursery Family Matters

Roald Dahl Day was another highlight of the month where the children were involved in a variety of creative learning experiences while having lots of fun with the different teachers in their phase. Don’t forget to keep checking the Parent Portal for news, announcements and updates, particularly the second week of October when the Settling In Reports go live. I look forward to welcoming you to the first PTCs of the year in two weeks (please check your email for more details). With very best wishes, Sian Kirkham Headmistress

When children first start school, it is important in those first few days to foster those crucial links between school and home. In Pre-Nursery, this was done by using pictures of the children’s families to support the learning in class. The children found this to be particularly comforting and not surprisingly, it created a lot of communication and language. To begin, the children looked at pictures of their family on the interactive whiteboard. They happily pointed to and named family members, with some children telling us who they were and what they were doing when the picture was taken. The next activity involved the children adding pictures of their family to an outline of a home. We introduced new vocabulary and incited discussion about the children’s families and who lives in their house, including pets. Welcome to your new BISM family Pre-Nursery. Mrs Rutherford Pre-Nursery Teacher





Funny Faces Nursery Class have been very busy learning all about ´Ourselves.´ To help them take this learning further they looked at their facial features. They were able to tell us that they have two eyes and ears, and one nose and mouth. When we focused the children’s learning on shape, the children decided to make some incredible shape faces. They took their new knowledge of facial features and applied this to their knowledge of shape; choosing appropriate shapes to represent their eyes, ears, nose and mouth. When making them, the children were very keen to tell us which shapes they had chosen to use and even counted how many sides it had. Well done Nursery Class, lots of cross curricular learning. We were very impressed with their efforts and accuracy when making their shape faces and when naming the 2D shapes they had used and learnt. Miss Nixon Nursery Teacher


Reception Pattern Power Reception children loved answering the question ‘What comes next?’ when looking at patterns in September. Patterns help children understand sequencing and to make predictions which leads to mathematical skills, logic structure in algebra, and to establishing order in life. The children looked at days of the week and the months of the year as they located their birthdays on our class calendar and at the end of the month, noticed patterns in day time routines. They all enjoyed learning the line ‘a pattern is something which happens again’. They organised counting cubes into patterns based on their colour and they made patterns with grapes and bananas on skewers before gobbling them up! They made patterns with musical instruments, linked to shapes, and patterns with actions, such as clap, clap, pat, pat, clap, clap… They also got messy printing patterns, and in the year ahead we will be looking for patterns all around us in the world and you can at home too. Mr Holden Reception Teacher Foundation Stage Leader





Year 1

Five Minutes Peace

Year 2 Endangered Animals Wow Day

Silhouettes of London

Fire Wow Day

I think we have a very creative class full of wonderful ideas. During Art lessons this month the children

You may wonder why you can hear ‘just five minutes

have been creating silhouettes of London during

peace!’ coming from BISM’s Year 1 classroom as

The Great Fire of London in 1666.

you walk down the corridor, but this is because we have been looking at a fantastic book by Jill Murphy., called ‘Five Minutes Peace’.

They used chalk and card as their materials and

The children have enjoyed acting out the story

with their fingers to create a fiery scene. The card

they blended the colours of the chalk in expertly was cut into shapes of buildings from London

as the four masked elephants, writing about Mrs

during that time. I am sure that you will all agree

Large in detail and describing the setting of this

that the outcome is quite special.

book. They even did an extended writing piece all about the Large family going on holiday to our

The enthusiasm the children have for Art lessons

chosen country for European Languages Day, The

are to be applauded and long may it continue for


the rest of the year.

As a cross-curricular link, in Art the children have

Mr. Llion Thomas

also been learning how to draw elephants in the style of Andy Warhol. Miss Lawrence Year 1 Teacher

This term the children in Year 1 are looking at Endangered Animals. We had a great time during our Year 1 Wow Day, dressed up as lots of animals from many parts of the world. The variety of animals ranged from polar bears, lions, pandas…..and we even had a snail. During this term we are going to create some fantastic artwork, look at some specific endangered animals in depth, locate habitats on world maps and find out the reasons why these poor animals are endangered. Lots of fun to be had by all. Miss Lawrence Year 1 Teacher

Year 2 Teacher and Lower School Leader

What a Wow Day we had in September. The children were learning further about The Great Fire of London and also about fire safety. The class came to school all dressed up and ready to go for a super day. They wrote stories based on what we had read during the week about a boy called Billy that worried about everything. Some stories included him worrying about birthday candles. During the afternoon everyone played interactive games using the laptops in which they had to apply their knowledge of The Great Fire and find the right answers in the games. The children had so much fun and consolidated their learning. Later in the day we even had a little barbecue in which we roasted some marshmallows and sang some campfire songs. What a wonderful way to end a special day. Mr. Llion Thomas

Year 2 Teacher and Lower School Leader




Year 3 Punctuation Thief Year 3 were horrified to discover that a thief had broken in over the weekend and stolen all the punctuation from their Big Write books. They soon discovered who this mischievous thief was…a punctuation enthusiast who proclaimed that the class would not get their punctuation back unless


Year 4 TREE-mendous Wow Day

Awesome Atoms

Rotten Romans Wow Day

The children arrived eagerly to school and were

Did you know that every thing on Earth, no matter

Wednesday 20th September was different, really

how big or small, is made up of microscopic atoms?

different, for me and my classmates because this

This term our new Science topic in Year 4 is called

day was the Year4 WOW day! The day began like

States of Matter.


We started off learning about gases by dropping

I walked into school with my armour and sword

raisins in lemonade. Why did we do that? Billy

getting ready for action. As soon as I walked into the

explained that, “the raisins floated up because the

classroom I saw lots more warriors like myself but to

welcomed into the rainforest through the vines that had grown over our classroom door. They listened to the sounds of the rainforest while searching for interesting facts in our rainforest topic books. Facts such as, half of the earth’s species of animals and

they proved to her that they could use it properly.

plants live in the rainforest and that it can take 10

The class worked tirelessly to show off their skills,

thick canopy to the floor. That’s amazing.

bubbles started carrying the raisins up. The bubbles

add to that, there was also Julius Caesar. Soon after

had gas in them. Some raisins floated down again

meeting all of them we began learning about Roman

The children then learned about tribes of people that

because the bubbles had been in there a long time

Numerals and how to write them. It was interesting

and the gas started to go away. This was a fun and

and we wanted to do more but it was time for break

exciting experiment.”

so we went outside. We learnt about the history of

ensuring they had capital letters, full stops, question marks, commas and exclamation marks! What a great job they did. Luckily, the devious thief was impressed by the children’s efforts too and agreed to give every last capital letter and full stop back. Let’s hope that is the last Year 3 see of the thief and that the children’s punctuation can live undisturbed in

minutes for a falling raindrop to travel from a rainforests

live in the rainforest. They created their own tribe and worked together to decorate their faces in the style of the tribes of the Amazon. To finish off the exciting day, the children had an

their Big Write books.

‘animals of the rainforest’ treasure hunt. They had

Miss Allen Year 3 Teacher

hidden in the playground, and identify which animals

to find various pictures of animals, which had been they were. It was a tree-mendous way to kick off the topic, well done to the children for listening so well and being so

the Roman Empire and how much they conquered Then the class learnt about the how the atoms differ

in their time. We drew maps of the most the Romans

in solids, liquids and gases and perfected their acting

ever conquered.

skills by demonstrating how these atoms behave in different states of matter. Can you guess which photo

Once the time came for lunch (even though not all

shows the class acting like atoms in a solid?

of us finished) we went to eat our lunch and then went outside. At the end of lunch we stayed outside

Miss Marseglia Year 4 Teacher

and didn’t go back into class. The explanation for that was that we were playing a game called “Capture the Flag”. The aim of the game is to capture the other


team’s flag which was like conquering countries. Yet

Miss Allen

have to save you. They can only catch you if you’re

Year 3 Teacher

they could catch you and your teammates would in their half. At the end of the day we had a Roman feast where our servants (moms and dads) gave us food to eat while lying down. Everyone loved it. When we finished everyone went home. By Amirlan Sabyrbayev Year 4





Year 5

Year 6

What a fantastic start to the year. The children look fabulous in their new uniforms and have risen to the challenge that their graduation to the Middle School has brought with it.

In Year 6, the children have been reading and

Fantastic Start To Year 5 This month, the children have focused on one of our charter values, decency. They have thought about how they can be good role models for the younger children and have considered how they can demonstrate decency on a daily basis. Continuing with the theme of responsibility, Year 5 have elected their peers to various positions such as school counselors and peer mediators, with more roles to be created. The children have adapted very well to the secondary style model of moving between classes and teachers. They have been managing deadlines across different subjects and are taking more responsibility for their own learning. This month has them being challenged to be better mathematicians with a focus on mastery of the topics covered. They have been tackling more engaging and mature texts in English, discovering who The Maya were and even considering their own place in the Universe in Science lessons. One of the highlights of the month was the celebration of the author Roald Dahl, during which the children used their maths skills to analyse data, their English ability to rewrite some of the great man’s work, and their scientific imagination to create their own ‘marvellous medicines.’ September finished with a celebration of the diversity in the culture and languages of Europe. Year 5 focused on Germany, learning about the history and geography of the country. We discussed famous Germans and brands that hail from Deutschland. They looked at some amusing differences in pronunciation and learnt a traditional German song. The children also had a go at making the popular German dish Currywurst which they sold alongside alpine hats and bracelets they’d made. Mr Herron Year 5 Form Tutor Deputy Head Teacher

Back To The Present

Tasting Lentejas

studying the book “Eye of the Wolf” which tells the story of a friendship between a boy and caged wolf. The children have been focusing on the author’s techniques to weave a story together by using flashbacks to provide history and reasoning for the characters feelings and motives. We imagined that the book had been adapted for a film and how the flashback scene could be written as a screenplay. Camera shots, stage directions and narration were all used to storyboard a series of scenes which would take the viewer back in time. Once the storyboarding was complete, we explored and empathised with the characters through using drama and responding to our ´directors´ instructions. The children now have a firmer idea of what a flashback is and now face the exciting challenge of transferring this skill from the screen and into the written narrative. Year 6 Tutor

Mr Anthony

Year 6 were treated to a visit from a pupil’s mother who shared her knowledge of the Spanish dish ‘Lentejas’ which originates from the mountain villages of Andalusia. Before the dish was served, Anita (Celia’s mother) explained the history of the dish. The children learnt about the ingredients, why it was made and that it is traditionally served as a winter dish to warm people up on cold nights. The recipe has been passed down through the generations of Celia’s family and is a story of heritage and identity. After the lesson on its origins, the children all had a bowl served with bread. The consensus was that it was a delicious dish and many went back for more. A big thank you to Anita for sharing this experience with us.

Year 6 Tutor

Mr Anthony





Year 7

Special Events

Year 7 have been instrumental in promoting one

The first week got off to a very social start during

of our charter values - decency. Throughout the

our Back To School Phase Picnics. Staggered on

week they have been investigating what the word

different days, Foundation Stage, Lower School and

‘decency’ means to them and their own interpretation

Middle school children, staff and parents got together

of the behaviour it presents. There were many

to catch up as well as welcome new families to

quality discussions around what underpins this kind

school. Thank you to everyone who came and for

of behaviour and where it might overlap with other

your delicious picnic contributions.

Decency Project

positive characteristics and traits we want to display at BISM. The children were presented with a choice as to how they will showcase their findings to the rest of the students. Everyone showed great creativity and insight and produced presentations that really stood out. It was great to see with how much confidence the Year 7 students went about delivering their work on what it means to be decent. Decent work, everyone. Mr Kuhn

Year 7 Tutor

Phase Picnics

Special Events Roald Dahl Day

“If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books.” Roald Dahl What a great start to a new academic year; celebrating the birthday of one of the world’s best loved authors. Roald Dahl’s stories are timeless and his inspiring and wacky characters continue to live on today, more than 40 years after they were originally created. At BISM, the day began with children bouncing into school dressed as Matilda, The Witches, Charlie, Fantastic Mr Fox and, of course, Willy Wonka. Curriculum lessons were themed around Roald Dahl stories and the classes took part in phase carousels; visiting different classroom within their phases and having lessons with different teachers. At break and lunchtime, lots of children were running around the playground with a pencil and paper, trying to answer as many hidden Roald Dahl questions as possible. For some children, the day didn’t end at 4:30pm. The homework that week was linked to the activities that the children had been taking part in during Roald Dahl Day, and some incredibly impressive poems, stories, science experiments and artworks have been submitted. Thank you to all of the children, teachers and parents for making this an unforgettable school day. Miss Marseglia Year 4 Teacher and English Coordinator.




Special Events European Day Of Languages


Year 2 Assembly Great Fire Of London What a performance we witnessed. The children performed incredibly well in the first class assembly of the year. They were full of confidence and enthusiasm during the run up for the performance. The class worked hard to learn their lines, remember when to deliver them and what to do when - such a lot to remember. The costumes that were provided were excellent and one could tell that the children had been well prepared at home, well done. Not only was it a great team performance but they learnt so much about the Great Fire while rehearsing; learning in action. I think we can all agree that we have some future stars for the stage in Year 2.

On September 29th we celebrated European Languages Day ending a week of focussed learning on this theme. The main aim of this day is to show people across Europe how important languages are, and what fun can be had learning them, so that’s what we transmitted to our students. To start off the week, each class had chosen a country to study its language, culture and traditions. All classroom doors were beautifully decorated according to the chosen country. We also had Language Taster lessons in Dutch, Basque, French and Danish, so our students could have an insight of those languages spoken not only in Europe but also in other countries around the world. Thank you to the mothers who volunteered for this, you did a great job and children definitely learn some phrases in your language. The week culminated with a Friday full of emotions. In the morning we had a special assembly in which the students had the opportunity to show what they had learned completing a quiz. They were split into houses and the winners were...The Normans. The fantastic day continued with a fair in the afternoon in which the parents were serenaded by our students who sang in several languages. They were also able to buy the crafts that the children created during the week for a charity purpose. To everyone who collaborated...Gracias! Thank you! Danke! Merci! Grazie! Alba Escribano Spanish Studies Teacher

Mr. Llion Thomas Year 2 Teacher and Lower School Leader




Spanish Spanish Studies


Music Lower School and Foundation Stage Lower school and Foundation Stage have got off to a flying start in their music lessons. We have been singing our European songs, giving informative and musical assembly performances and using our bodies to feel the rhythm and the pulse. Year 1 have been getting their fingers around the keyboard, Year 2 have been tooting their way to musical success on the recorder and Year 3 and 4 are on their way to mastering the ukulele. In Foundation Stage we have a wonderful time playing a variety of different instruments, joining in with singing games and rhymes and freestyling with the outdoor learning musical crew. Lower school choir is up and running and I am delighted by the commitment and enthusiasm of all the singers. You will hear more from them later on in the term. Miss Conlan Lower School Music Teacher Upper School It has been a great start to the musical year. The Upper School has been very busy getting the choir and rock band up and running again for an exciting year ahead. We also have the new addition of our first BISM school orchestra, which is very exciting. As well as following our music curriculum, we are learning lots of instruments and being creative musicians in and out of the classroom. In Year 5 and 6 we are learning the guitar and have lots of catchy songs in the pipeline to perform and get you on your feet dancing along. Year 7 has been very busy creating their own ensemble and we look forward to seeing what they can do. We have all been doing lots of singing so far this term, particularly on our European Day where we sang in Spanish, French, German, Italian, English and Welsh!

It has been fantastic to see all the children again looking tanned, happy, excited and full of enthusiasm

What fun we had and what a great start to an action packed year of music.

to keep learning more Spanish.

Miss Stone Upper School Music Teacher

During the first week we did activities and games to “warm us up� into the school routine. The children played games to get to know the new students and to better consolidate the relationships with the ones they already know, but they also competed against each other when revising contents from last year. Refreshing their brain after the long summer was much needed. Children have also completed their baseline tests for Spanish and now they are fully immersed in the new and interesting curriculum for this academic year, where they will be facing new and challenging topics. We hope that the children give the best of themselves this year too. In the last week of September we had a special event at school, the European Day of Languages, for which we contributed through creating different handicrafts with each year group and selling them in at our stall on Friday afternoon. We loved seeing you there and thank you for your support. The Spanish Department




PSHE Decency This month at BISM we have been focusing on the charter value of ‘Decency’. Alongside phase assemblies, each class has participated in PSHE lessons on this value, creating a range of work from quotes in Nursery, to posters in Year 2 and poems in Year 7. In Pre-Nursery, the children have been learning how to follow new routines and have been making new friends. They have been encouraged to show decency by helping each other. In Nursery, they talked about the ways in which people could be decent to each other. Savraj shared his experiences of decency - “My Mummy helped me when I hurt my knee. She took me to the doctor.” In Year 7, there were many poems showing that the children have really been thinking about what it means to show decency. Richard created his own acrostic poem using the word decency D is for Dynamic, radiating positive energy E is for Energetic, a motivated personality C is for Considerate, thoughtful towards people E is for Excited, a thrill to be with N is for Never, bully others C is for taking Care of the people around you Y is for You should always try your best! It is lovely to see how the children can all focus on the same theme throughout the school, at a level appropriate to their age. Next month’s charter value is ‘Independence’. Mrs Rutherford PSHE Coordinator


Big Writing As some of you may already know, the children complete a Big Write each week to put into practise all of the skills that they have been learning about in their English lessons over the course of the week. Every week, each teacher chooses a Big Writer of the week who has put an especially big effort into their writing that week. Our Big Writers of the week are celebrated in assembly and we now have some exciting new display cases to show-off our children’s work in the reception area. Please come and have a look next time you are in the school’s reception. So far this month, we have celebrated the wonderful writing of: Reception - Franky and Josh Year 1 - Carmen and Isabella Year 2 - Sofia C and Istvan Year 3 - Taisiya and Egor Year 4 - Sacha and Amirlan Year 5 - Jasmine and Olympia Year 6 - Edward and Emma Year 7 - Felix and Victoria Furthermore, one piece of truly fantastic writing will be shared with the parents each month in this very newsletter. Please see Emma Gabarron’s work below; our first Big Writer of the month. Well done Emma, amazing work. Miss Marseglia English Coordinator




Talking Point Resilience “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” Abraham Lincoln Some people seem to be born with the ability to overcome setbacks with relative ease. It’s a trait that experts call resilience. “People with resilience have a greater sense of control over their lives, says psychologist Robert Brooks, PhD, that makes them more willing to take risks. “Also, because of their optimistic outlook, they are more likely to develop and maintain positive relationships with others, as well as live more meaningful lives”, Brooks says. He co-wrote The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life. Whether we are born with the natural ability to be resilient or not, we can all develop resilient attitudes towards all aspects of life. During our assemblies and PSHE lessons we have been exploring what it means to be resilient and how this can help us in our day to day lives both inside and outside of school. Here are some of the children’s posters to illustrate what being resilient means to them. Please find below an excellent article on the importance of encouraging resilience in our children in order for them to be successful in all they do. -