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          Middle School Handbook 


Table of Contents     Welcome from the Headteacher 

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Welcome from the Middle School Leader

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Academic Calendar 2017-2018 


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School Hours

5

Arrival & Departure Procedures

5

Security

6

Curriculum

6

After School Activities

8

School Uniform

8

What Your Child Will Need For School

10

School Lunch

11

Behaviour

11

House System

12

Attendance

13

Health and First Aid

14

Role of the Parent

14

Homework

14

Home/School Communication

15

Using English in school

16

Educational Visits & Residential Trips

16

Meeting Student Needs

17

Summary

18

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Welcome from the Headteacher    Dear Parents and Students,     It  is  our  pleasure  to  welcome  you  to  the  2017-2018  school  year  at  The  British  International  School  of  Marbella  (BISM).  We  extend  a  very  warm  welcome  to  all  new and returning students and parents.     Our  aspiration  is  to  provide  a  World  Class  Education  for  all pupils within the BISM community.     We  are  fortunate  to  be  governed  by  the  Executive Board  of  The  British  Schools  Foundation,  (BSF),  a  network  of  schools  established  across  the  globe.  We  are  looking  forward  to  providing  your  child  with  an  outstanding  educational  experience.  The  Foundation has an excellent  reputation  worldwide  and  we  will  continue  to build on that as we seek to meet the needs of all students  enrolled  in  our  school.  Our  staff  members  are  enthusiastic  and  passionate  about  teaching,  and  bring a  wealth of experience and expertise.     At  BISM,  we  have  created  a  stimulating,  safe and positive learning environment, with high expectations  of  achievement,  endeavour  and behaviour. We are committed to making the curriculum accessible to all  students  through  utilising  a  range  of  teaching  styles and state of the art technology, which will motivate  our students to develop independent, lifelong learning skills.     As  BISM’s  Headteacher,  my  role  is  to  establish  a  culture  that  promotes  excellence,  equality  and  high  expectations  of  all  students.  We  value  the  opinions  of  our  parents, therefore please feel free to send an  email,  call  or  arrange  a  visit.  Parent  input  is  invaluable  and  I  look  forward  to  working  with  you  in  the  most important job you have - educating your child.     We  hope  you  will  find  this  handbook  useful  and  look  forward  to  working  closely  with  you to ensure the  success of BISM and our students.     Yours sincerely,     Ms Sian Kirkham  Headteacher   

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Welcome from the Middle School Leader    Dear Parents and Students,     A  warm  welcome  to  the  Middle  School  of  BISM.  What  an  exciting  time  to  be  a  member  of  our  school.  Building  on  the  strong  foundation  laid  in  the  Primary  school,  Middle  school  students  are  set  to  embark  on  the  next  stage  of  their  educational careers.     Students  from  Year´s  5,  6  &  now  7  will  form  the  Middle  School  of  our  expanding  international  community,  furthering  our  reputation  for  excellence.  We  have  expanded  rapidly  since  opening  in  2010  as  a  small  infant  school.  And,  as  the  school  continues  to  expand,  an  additional  year  group  will  be  opened  each year.       Transition  to  the  Middle  School  represents  a  significant  increase  in  the  demands  placed  on  the  children.  Students  will  be  challenged  to  demonstrate  the  charter  values  which  we  hold  central  to  our  educational  philosophy:  There  is  a  greater  expectation  that the students become more independent in their thoughts and  actions.  They  will  have  to  be  able  to  work  collaboratively  as  part of a team whilst at the same time be willing  to  lead  their  peers.  Their  effort  will  be  rewarded  as they develop their self-discipline. As they mature they will  be  confronted  with  situations  which  require  them  to  become  more  self-aware  and  reflect  and  cultivate  a  positive  presence  in  the  communities  to  which  they  belong.  Their  courage  will  be  tested  in  a  variety  of  scenarios and through it all they will be encouraged to be caring, responsible and decent young people.     We  pride  ourselves  on  the  broad  and  balanced  curriculum  we  offer.  Our  students  are  expected  to  do  well  academically  but  not  as  a  goal  unto  itself.  Our  aim  is  to instill a lifelong love of learning and the realization of  potential  across  a  variety  of  fields.  We  have  just  as  high  expectations  of  our  students  in  the  sphere  of  arts,  and on the field of sport, as we do in the classroom.     In  the  Middle  School  students  will  be  taught  by  a  series  of  subject  specialists  with  the form tutor having the  important  pastoral  role  of  coordinating  all  aspects  of  the pupil’s academic and social development. The form  tutor  will  deliver  the  Personal,  Social  and  Health  (PSHE),  programme  which  includes  global  citizenship  and  health education.     The  academic  programme  is  based  on  the  English  National  Curriculum,  but  is  not  bound  by  its  constraints.  Instead,  we  apply  the  most  appropriate elements and enhance the curriculum where necessary to provide an  innovative,  challenging  and  creative  programme  that  is  crucial  in  laying  the  foundation  of  core  knowledge,  skills  and  understanding  required  to  embark  on  the  Key  Stage  4  IGCSE  programme.  Lessons  and  materials  are adapted to our international and local context.    Students  study  English,  Mathematics,  Science,  Geography,  History,  Drama,  Art,  Computing  and  PE.  In  addition,  students will continue to study Spanish to the level prescribed by the Spanish Ministry of Education,  allowing  them  to  further  their  education  at  a  Spanish  university  should  they  choose  to  do  so.  Their  individuality is also catered for through a broad range of extra curricular and enrichment activities.     I  invite  you  to  join  us  on  this  voyage  of  discovery  which  will,  very  soon,  have  its base camp at a state of the  art, purpose built campus.     Yours sincerely,     Mr. Herron  Middle School Leader/Deputy Head Teacher  

     

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Academic Calendar 2017 - 2018 
Autumn term  Fri 1st Sept  Thurs 12th Oct  Mon 16th Oct – Fri 20th Oct  Wed 1st Nov  Tue 20th Dec       Spring term  Mon 8th Jan  Wed 28th Feb – Friday 2nd March  Fri 23rd March     Summer term  Tue 3rd Apr    Mon 30th April – Tue 2nd May Mon 11th June  Fri 29th June    

First Day of Term One Spanish National Holiday  Half term break  National Holiday  Last Day of Term One 

First Day of Term Two Half term break  Last Day of Term Two 

First Day of Term Three Half term break  Local Holiday  Last Day of Term Three 

School hours     Middle School   08:30 - 08:45 Registration/Literacy Skills  08:45 - 09:45 Lesson 1  09:45 - 10:00 Morning Break  10:00 - 11:00 Lesson 2  11:00 - 12:00 Lesson 3  12:00 - 13:00 Lunch/Break  13:00 - 14:00 Lesson 4  14:00 - 15:00 Lesson 5  15:00 - 16:00/16:30 Lesson 6/7    Registration time is used to register the students and to work on their Literacy targets. It is essential  that students arrive at their classrooms for the beginning of registration so that they can be properly  registered and take full advantage of the Literacy skills lessons. Please understand that teachers are  not available to meet with parents during this time.   

Arrival & Departure Procedures     It is, of course, essential that our students are supervised at all times for their security and safety.  Therefore, we request that students should not arrive before 8:30am. This is to ensure that teachers  have sufficient planning, meeting and preparation time at the beginning of the school day. All students  should, however, be in class at 8:45am at the latest.     Please ensure that you or your designated guardian collects your child from a member of staff at the  end of each day from the playground. Please collect your child at 4:30pm every day. On the last day of  each term, school finishes at 12:00 noon.       5 


Pickup Points    Middle School students are to be collected from the playground. It will help the end of school routine  enormously if parents do not enter the school building unless there is a specific reason to meet with a  member of staff.     Please be aware that a member of school staff needs to hand your child over to you. Therefore, please  assist this process by ensuring your teacher is aware you have received your child.     If, for any reason, you have been delayed, please telephone the school so that we are aware and can  inform your child to avoid any unnecessary anxiety. If you are unable to collect your child, please inform  the school at your earliest convenience as to who will be collecting your child. For security reasons,  teachers will not release a child to an unauthorised person. 

Security    There is no issue that the school takes more seriously than the safety of our students. All families will be  asked to have their photographs taken by the BISM team or send in electronic photos so that ID cards  can be made for any adult picking up a child. No adult will be allowed on the school grounds without  their ID card. Please support us in this.     It is essential that we have an accurate record of who is authorised to collect your child and their  photograph in order to make an ID card. We will not release a child to the custody of a different adult  unless we have received notification from the child’s parent.     If you need to collect your child during the school day please ensure that you inform your class teacher  in advance. Parents will need to sign in then a member of staff will collect the child from the classroom.  Early Release Slips will need to be collected from the front desk before leaving the school premises and  all children collected early will need to be signed out. Parents should provide the school with at least  two contact numbers in case of emergencies. It is vital that you inform the school of any changes to  these contact numbers.     Please be aware that school closes at 5pm. If your child stays after school for a club or tutoring, the  lead adult will bring your child to the gate at pick up time. Parents and visitors are not permitted onsite  after 5pm. 

Curriculum    Weekly Curriculum Allocation: 

 

Hours per week 

Year 5

Year 6

Year 7

Maths

5

5

4

English

7

7

4

Science

2

2

3

6


Spanish

6

6

6

Music

2

2

2

Computing

1

1

1

1.5

1.5

3.5

1

1

1

PSHE

1.5

1.5

2

Drama

-

-

1

4.5

4.5

4

1

1

1

32.5

32.5

32.5

Humanities/Cu ltural Studies Art 

PE   Total 

All subjects  are  delivered  by  Specialist  Teachers.  Each  class  is allocated a form tutor. The form tutor  will  be  responsible  for  their  pastoral  care  and  are  the  parent’s  point  of  call  should  a  parent  wish  to  discuss anything. Please see below the allocation of Specialist Teachers for 2017/18: 

  Subject 

Teacher

Subject

Teacher

English

Mr. Anthony

PSHE

Form Tutor

Maths

Mr. Kuhn

IT

Mr. Herron

Science

Mr. Herron

Drama

Miss Conliffe

Humanities

Mr. Herron

Art

Miss Flannigan

Form Tutors:  Year 5: Mr. Herron  Year 6: Mr. Anthony  Year 7: Mr. Kuhn     Sports Programme 

  Our aim in Physical Education is to introduce students to a wide variety of sports and activities with the  hope that they leave BISM recognising the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle after developing a  love for physical activity. Children participate in sports at least four times per week and throughout the  year are involved in sports competitions and inter-house tournaments that help develop key skills such  as communication, leadership and teamwork.     Children participate in swimming lessons all year round. Swimming is part of the curriculum therefore  not optional. If a child cannot attend a lesson due to illness then the question has to be asked whether  the children should be at school at all. If there is a medical condition, such as a skin allergy, then a  doctor’s note is required and the children will need to be collected at 3pm; they will not be able to join  another class due to the disruption this causes to teaching and learning.     7 


Music

  In addition to their English National Curriculum Music lesson, all Middle School children take part in the  Primary/Secondary School Instrumental Programme, designed to develop each child’s understanding  and appreciation of music. Each child’s musical experience is built up through learning to play a range  of musical instruments to a basic level.     In addition, Middle School students are given the opportunity to join the Instrumental Music Programme  (IMPs) in which they receive individualised music lessons once a week in their chosen instrument.     Spanish    We are very aware of the enormous opportunities that are available to us being based in Marbella. We  are at the heart of southern Spain, a rapidly transforming area with a growing influence on Spain and  the world at large. We recognise that an understanding of Spanish culture and a command of the  Spanish Language will be invaluable assets for the future. Children receive six hours of Spanish lessons  per week. Other languages are available as part of the After School Activities programme (ASAs)   

After School Activities    The  ASAs  programme  offers  a  range  of  activities  including  Sports,  Music,  Art,  and  Modern  Foreign  Languages  (MFL).  The opportunity for students to develop interests beyond the classroom is an integral  part of the school.     The  ASAs  are  organised  by  staff  members  and  outside  instructors.  ASAs  generally  start  near  to  the  beginning  of  each  term,  once  the  usual  routines  are  established.  You  will  be  notified  of  the  clubs  on  offer in advance so that you can assist your child in choosing the preferred activities.     Once  an  ASA  is  chosen  for  each  term,  it  is  important  that  the  student  remains  committed  to  that  activity.  Certain ASAs may require a commitment across more than one term. Students and families will,  of course, be made aware of the requirements of the activities that they select.      

School Uniform   School uniform is compulsory for all students attending the school. We believe that wearing school  uniform in a proud and smart manner promotes positive self-esteem and, therefore, is integral to the  ethos of the school. All students are expected to arrive at school every day in uniform, worn in a tidy  manner. We expect our students to take pride in their school uniform.     Students take part in sport every day and therefore are expected to bring their PE uniform to school  each day in a separate bag. You will be informed about these days at the beginning of the academic  year.     The Headteacher will give guidance regarding the dates when summer and winter uniforms are to be  worn, according to the seasonal weather conditions. Summer uniform will be required at the beginning  of the year.           8 


Below is the set uniform for Middle School students:        

  Girls: blazer, white shirt, skirt, blue, black or grey socks, tie, parents to purchase black leather school  shoes separately.    Boys: blazer, white shirts, shorts or long trousers, blue, black or grey socks, tie (blue/yellow stripe),  parents to purchase black leather school shoes separately.    PE: T-shirt, Shorts, White Ankle Socks, trainers to be purchased by parents separately, house shirt  (Red, Green, Yellow and Blue), bathers, splashback, swimming at, towel.    Additional Items: school rucksack, jumper (optional) sun cap, hairband.    Pupils are also encouraged to bring their own stationery (including blue and green pen/biro),  mathematical geometry set (ruler, protractor, compass, set squares) and scientific calculator.     Other Items:  Footwear is an important aspect of the school uniform; the correct socks and shoes complete the  uniform (see above). Shoes should be black leather and worn each day.     On PE days, students must wear appropriate footwear for the activity on offer - normally training/sports  shoes. All students should wear regular PE uniform for lessons and house colours for competitions and  events only. On swimming days please provide a swimming costume (one piece for the girls), swimming  hat, goggles, pool shoes and a towel.  9 


Use of coats and anoraks are encouraged during cold and rainy days, and sunhats on sunny days.     We encourage independence in our students. This does mean at times that items can go temporarily  missing. With this in mind, please label all items of school uniform with your child’s name and class.     General Appearance     For safety reasons the wearing of earrings (except studs) or other jewellery (a small necklace can be  worn under shirt provided it is removed for sports) must not be permitted. They represent potential  hazards to all participants. Medical, professional and occupational safety advice confirms that they  should be avoided at all times due to the active day the children are engaged in.     Hair should be worn in a neat style (long hair tied up), while mohicans, tramlines and bright colours are  not considered appropriate hairstyles for school. If a student attends school with a hairstyle that is  deemed inappropriate, the Headteacher will inform the parents and request a more suitable style.      

What You Will Need For School

Water Bottles:   ● Each student will be asked to bring their own reusable water bottle to school 
  ● The bottle should be individual and never shared with others 
  ● It should be clearly labelled with the name and class of the student 
  ● The bottle will be returned home at the end of each day to be washed 
  ● Only water should be contained in the bottles - no juice, carbonated drinks or flavoured drinks 
  ● Water dispensers will be available at school for refills whenever required     Storage & Usage: 
  ● Water bottles will be stored neatly in class and students will be able to carry them to specialist   lessons 
  ● Teachers will establish clear routines in their class to ensure drinks are available to students at   certain times, but do not interrupt their lessons in anyway 
  ● Please note that students may not be permitted to use water bottles in locations which are   deemed hazardous, e.g. in the vicinity of ICT and/or electrical equipment 
    Resources 
  While we will have the necessary resources in class, it is a very good idea to start the year with a small  pencil case with personal items students will need for a school day. These items include a ruler, pencils,  coloured pencils, rubber/eraser and pencil sharpener. These should be brought to school in a bag  where other personal items may be kept.  
 Prohibited Items  
 It is school policy not to bring the following items to school:  ●        S   harp or pointed instruments (e.g. scissors)  
 ●        C   hewing gum and sweets  
 ●        T   oys or games unless at the request of a teacher  
 ●        M   usic-playing systems, mobile phones or any other electronic devices not supplied by the 
school.   This is to ensure that students’ belongings do not get damaged or lost. If a parent needs to   contact a student urgently a message can be passed through the school office.  
   

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School Lunch   A hot and nutritious lunch is served to all children in school. School lunches are paid for in advance  along with tuition fees. If you have not already informed the school that your child has dietary  restrictions (whether for health, religious or allergy reasons), please do so immediately. We will inform  the school kitchen and special arrangements will be made to provide proper suitable alternatives.     Snacks  Students are encouraged to bring a healthy snack for morning break. This should consist of fresh fruit  or a wholesome, nutritious snack. BISM discourages sugar-laden foods for health reasons and also  because they can often have a negative effect on concentration and learning. Under no circumstances  should snacks be shared amongst students. Please note that, due to existing serious allergies present  within the school, snacks with nuts must be avoided. BISM is a nut-free zone.  


 

Behaviour   Our school’s code of conduct aims to achieve a positive atmosphere in which more time is spent on  teaching and learning. We recognise that the school has a critical role to play in developing  self-discipline in students. We aim to establish acceptable patterns of behaviour and to encourage  students to develop a sense of responsibility, self-respect and a respect for other people, property and  the environment.  
    It is essential for parents and the school to work in partnership so that the values encouraged by home  and school are mutually reinforced. The following outlines the key expectations we have of students:  
    ●      T   reat everyone with respect and courtesy  ●      B   ehave in a way that aids learning during lessons  
 ●      W   alk at all times when indoors  
 ●      W   alk on the left in corridors and staircases  
 ●      H   old doors open for others  
 ●      R   emove coats, jackets and hats during lessons and at lunch  
 ●      M   ake sure that classrooms and playgrounds are kept clean and tidy; litter should be placed in 
bins  
 ●      G   reet the teacher and guests in the school  
 ●      S   peak and listen in turn  
 ●      A   lways look after classroom resources and ensure that furniture and resources are tidy at the 
end of   lessons  
 ●      K   nock and wait to be invited into the room if late for class or visiting another class/office  
 ●      D   o not leave the classroom without the teacher’s permission  
 ●      N   o eating and drinking in the classroom – except water, and with the teacher’s permission  
 ●      S   tudents are responsible for clearing trays, plates, etc., after break and lunch     All students are encouraged, taught and expected to demonstrate high standards of behaviour. We  value highly the qualities of self-discipline, self-respect and respect for others and their property.     We encourage all students to act as positive citizens and bullying will not be tolerated at our school.            

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House System   On entry to the school, each student will be allocated a ‘House’; members of the same family being  placed in the same house. We always seek a balance of male and female students in each one. The  house names and colours are as follows:                                      The whole school is involved in the merit system and each teacher and assistant teacher will be part of  a house. There will be regular house assemblies held throughout the year. The first meeting elects  house captains for each house (one boy and one girl).     The House system comprises two parts:  1) Merit system, where students gain house points for individual awards relating to their progress  and efforts in all aspects of school life.  2) Inter-house competitions such as sports days, swimming galas, poetry and music competitions.    

Merit Certificates in the Middle School     At BISM, we believe that great efforts should be rewarded and recognised. With this in mind, we have a  house point system designed to encourage high standards and positive action from our students  throughout the year. House points, therefore, will only be awarded when students do their very best.     During the year, students will be awarded house points for excellent work, effort and progress. Teachers  award points to each student when deserved and it is the responsibility of the student to enter their  house point on the chart displayed in the class. This can be a coloured square or a tick alongside a  name. There will be no negative actions such as minus house points. Certificates will be awarded in  assembly to successful students. Certificates are presented monthly depending on how many have  been earned (bronze: 40, silver: 50, gold: 60). At the end of each week, the house points from each  class are collated, with the winning house announced during the next assembly. The house captains  from the winning house will be responsible for changing the colours displayed each week to the winning  house colour until the next assembly. A house point cup is awarded to the winning team annually at  Speech Day.     It is the expectation of all students to apply enough effort to receive at least a bronze certificate. If it is  felt that your child is not applying minimum effort then you will be asked to meet with the class teacher  to discuss possible solutions.     12 


Dojos are awarded for social development and citizenship. Parents receive notifications when children receive both positive and negative dojos. Although the option is there, please do not use the dojo app  to message Teachers; always use email.     In Middle School dojos are only awarded in relation to the BSF Charter Values (Teamwork and  Leadership, Independence, Courage, Self Discipline, Decency, Presence and Awareness). When the  students have demonstrated these qualities their Charter Card will be ticked. When each value has  been ticked three times their card will be framed and presented to them in assembly.  

Attendance    Regular daily attendance is essential if students are to achieve their potential. We ask that parents  support attendance at school wherever possible. Absence from school for reasons which are neither  health-related nor involving an emergency are strongly discouraged and should be kept to a minimum,  since frequent absence can result in the student falling behind - perhaps seriously - in his/her studies  and/or missing key assessments and can have a negative impact on friendships.     Parents who are aware of such future absences should inform the class teacher/tutor and seek  permission as far in advance as possible.     If students are unable to achieve the standards required to enter the next year group due to poor  attendance, the following actions may take place at the discretion of the Headteacher:  1.  The student will be asked to repeat the year  2.  The student may be asked to withdraw from the school     Please note that it is not school policy to provide work for students who are absent. Parents will receive  notification of the number of absences in the class teacher’s report at the end of term.     Absence Through Sickness  While regular daily attendance is important, sometimes absence is unavoidable through sickness.  Please inform the school if your child is unable to attend school for health reasons. Please telephone as  early as possible after 8:00am and leave a message for the class teacher.     In order for us to ensure the health and safety of your child, please advise us of any medical problems  your child may have when there is an allergy to materials or food. Please ensure that the health  questionnaire has been completed.     If your child becomes unwell and the class teacher feels that s/he may not be well enough to participate  in lessons, the student will be referred to the Headteacher. After further observation, if the student is  clearly not well enough to return to class, you will be telephoned to collect your child. Please be aware  that it is the responsibility of the parents to collect an unwell child and that the school cannot provide a  driver in such circumstances. Please ensure that school always has updated contact phone numbers.      If a child has suffered a tummy virus, please be aware that it is school policy that the child cannot return  to school within 24 hours of the last episode to avoid further infection.     If a child has live head lice you will also be called to collect your child.                13 


Health and First Aid    All  staff  are  first aid trained who can deal with day-to-day matters such as cuts or bruises, and students  who  feel  unwell  whilst  at  school.  If  there  is  an  accident/injury  at  school  and  the  child  needs  to  see  a  doctor  the  parents  will  be  called  immediately.  If  you  have  private  medical  insurance  you  can  take  your  child  to  your  preferred  doctor.  If  you  would  like  to  use  the  school´s  medical  insurance  provided  by  Mapfre  insurance  you  will  need  to  go  to  the  Clinica Ochoa, Avenida Severo Ochoa s/n, Marbella. If you  decide  to  take  them  to  the  Clinica  Ochoa  you  will  need  to  take  along  an  accident  declaration  form  which has been filled in by the school, signed and stamped with a unique file number.     Medicine For Students  Academic  Staff  are  prohibited  from  giving  any  medication  to  students  while  on-site.  School  Administration  require  a  prescription  from  a  doctor  with  the  doctor’s  signature  and  stamp  in  order  to  administer  any  medication  to  a  child.  If  this  cannot  be  provided,  a  family  representative  known  to  the  school will need to give medicine to the student. 

Role of the Parent    At  BISM  we  acknowledge  the  importance  of  involving  our  parents  in  their  child’s  education  and  we  encourage the support of parents throughout the school.     Parents are often invited to support class assemblies, activities, open days and curriculum days in order  to  be  involved  in  school  life  as  much  as  possible.  Parents  are  invited  to  join  the  EFC  (Events  and  Fundraising Committee) to support school events and charity work.     Other opportunities to get involved:  To  be  involved  in  school  life  as  much  as  possible  parents  are  invited  to  take  part  in  the  following  activities:  ● Reading with children in class (support booklet is given) 
  
 ● Helping with class trips 
  
 ● Helping with cookery or art lessons 
  
 ● Supporting class assemblies and other activities     Please  get  in  touch  if  you  would  like  to  offer  some  of  your spare time in school. We would love to have  your input. 
  
  

Homework    In addition to your role within school we also encourage your support with your child’s learning at  home. Although the teaching and learning your child experiences during each school day is more than  adequate to ensure most of our students make expected progress, there are certain disciplines such as  reading, spelling and mental arithmetic that will certainly be beneficial to your children’s progress if  worked on at home. Tasks related to these disciplined will be allocated on Friday to be completed on  Thursday.     Monthly optional homework projects are also assigned which are designed to build the students  resilience, self-discipline as well as their creative, problem solving skills. All tasks are email to the  children as well as posted on the Parent Portal. A corresponding sheet may also be sent home.     This said, we also understand that the school day is long and that evenings and weekends should also  be a used for quality family time as well as resting and playing. Therefore, homework is not compulsory     14 


and we trust parents to use their judgment rather than dictate to them how they should spend their precious time with their children.    

Home/School communication   At BISM we greatly value working in partnership with parents and guardians to ensure the very best for  your children. As part of this, we place a strong emphasis on opening up many avenues of  communication between parents and teachers. Please take the time to read the following to help you  understand the different ways that we can share information with each other.     Daily Communication:   ●       P   arent Portal. Most communication from the school is provided via the online Parent Portal.  Therefore, it is essential that all parents review all of the information on the Portal regularly. Not only will  information from key staff members be presented there but also important calendar events that we  would hate you to miss.     ●       E   mail. Critical/individual communication can also be maintained by email, though we ask you to do  this selectively and concisely so that email communication remains manageable for teachers and they  can focus on their classroom work. The class teacher would be the first point of contact on most issues.  When appropriate, they will refer any important issues to the Senior Leadership Team. If you wish advice  on administrative aspects of school our admin team are always happy to help.     Weekly:  ●       W   eekly Blog. Teachers will inform you of learning experiences that took place during the week and  upcoming events via the weekly blog that is posted on the Parent Portal.     Monthly   ●       S   chool newsletter. This will be published on the Portal and the school website every month. It  includes articles from staff and students and photos celebrating what the children have done  throughout this period.  Termly:  ●       C   urriculum Letters. At the beginning of each term, a curriculum letter is sent out to inform parents  of the topics and objectives that will be taught in the coming term.     ●       S   chool Reports. Each term you will receive a written report on your child’s progress and  attainment.  
    ●       P   arent Teacher Consultations. These take place 5 times a year and give you the opportunity to  talk one-to-one with the teacher about your child’s progress, development and targets.    

Additional Information and Correspondence during the Year:    ●       C   urriculum Evening. Before the start of the academic year, a Curriculum Evening will be held,  during which time parents will be invited to visit the classroom of their son or daughter and gain an  insight into their new class and teaching staff. It is also an opportunity for the teachers to share  important information about class procedures and expectations.     ●       C   lass Timetable. This timetable indicates which activity your child is doing at what time during the  week.      15 


●       C   urriculum Overviews. These will be posted directly onto our school website and is an overview of  what the year group will be addressing.     ●       N   ews. We have regular updates of school activities provided by the news coordinator on each site  via newsletter, website and postings.     ●       F   ace-to-face. Class teachers/tutors are happy to discuss concerns you may have about your son  or daughter but are unable to do so during teaching time. Any small issue that can be discussed briefly  at drop off or pick up time must be completed outside of lesson time.     Teachers will gladly arrange for you to make an appointment (with class teachers) to discuss any  important topics that you wish to raise.     In order to maintain consistent lines of communication, we ask that you ensure that your contact details  including mobile phones and email addresses remain regularly updated with the school office.     If you have a question or concern, please arrange a meeting with your class teacher. If you are not  satisfied with the result of the meeting, then please meet with the Phase Leader. If the issue still cannot  be rectified, please meet with the Headteacher.     If you have a grievance to bring to our attention please always use a polite and respectful tone at all  times. All BISM staff work very hard for the good of your child and we expect them to be treated with  the respect that they deserve.      Student Work and Portfolios  Parents will have regular opportunities each term to see the work being achieved by the students as  part of the parent teacher consultations. Portfolios will be collated throughout the year and shared at  these meetings. All student books will normally be sent home at the end of the year (with the exception  of examples required for inspection or display purposes). 

Using English in School    Bilingualism at BISM is an asset to the pupil and the school, and this is reflected in the way we  approach the use of language in school. English is the first language of the school and we should  encourage it to be used as much as possible. It is the one common language that all pupils will share  and therefore has the capacity to unite all pupils.  
    It is not forbidden for children to use their native language in the school, however our graduation  towards exclusive use of English in the classroom and on the playground grows with the age of the  children and their English language proficiency. Younger children and those new to English, may use  their native language when necessary but move gradually towards more and more English.     
When determining use of native language in school, the age and capability of children is key and all  staff will take a common sense approach. 
Pupils are not reprimanded or sanctioned for using their  mother tongue. Instead, they are positively encouraged to use English wherever possible.  


Educational Visits & Residential Trips    Educational visits are crucial opportunities to learn beyond the classroom. Educational visits are  organised in relation to the topics and themes being taught in class. Educational visits may be to     16 


museums, cultural sites and events or activity centres and are designed to support the learning in the classroom.     In Years 3 to 7, we offer the opportunity to enjoy an annual residential trip. The trip typically takes place  within Spain or another European country for a period of one or more nights. This opportunity is of great  benefit in supporting independence, leadership and teamwork, maturity and self-esteem. For many  students, it is the highlight of the year.     Every effort is made by the organising staff to share information and costs at an early stage. We hope  that all students will be able to attend. For those that are not able to go, a topic-related programme is  offered at BISM during the residential week.    

Meeting Student Needs    EAL (English as an Additional Language)  As an international school, we seek to accommodate students from a range of cultures, nationalities  and backgrounds. We strictly limit the number of students who need significant support to fully access  our curriculum to 20% of any class. This means that effective support can be offered and that English  remains the language of our school and the playground.     EAL students may initially be withdrawn from other classes to work individually or in small groups with  one of our EAL team. Progress is monitored regularly with the aim of being fully integrated into classes  without additional support. An intensive EAL course is available for children with exceptionally low  English at an extra cost.     SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)  Our teachers are skilled at meeting the needs of different abilities within a typical class. Some students  may need additional, specialised support due to a moderate learning difficulty. This can be generally  supported through the development of an IEP (Individual Education Plan) that can be designed by our  Learning Support Coordinator.     However, due to our limited capacity to support SEND here in Marbella, it is the school policy not to  accept students that require more extensive support.     A G & T (Able, Gifted and Talented)  Able students are accommodated by effective differentiation to challenge high ability groups in classes  across the curriculum. All students´ talents and academic potential is recognised. A register recognises  these talents and academic areas of strength for each child and this is updated regularly by teachers, in  collaboration with parents.      We believe that it is important that talented students are challenged and have an opportunity to  showcase their abilities. Some of the practical examples of opportunities for our most able students  include:     ● Entry in COBIS competitions and festivals  
 ● Competitive sports teams  
 ● Leading roles in productions  
 ● BISM talent show competition  
 ● Art exhibitions  
 ● Primary choir, ensembles and recitals  
 ● Intervention groups and streamed sessions for excellent readers, writers and mathematicians    17 


Summary    We hope that this handbook provides an informative introduction to the school. Of course not every  piece of information will be here and if you should need any further guidance, please feel free to contact  the appropriate member of the school for further advice. We look forward to working with you this year.                                                                                                    18 


Calle Jacinto Benavente 29601  Marbella  Málaga  Spain        +34 952 779 264  www.bsm.org.es       

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BISM Middle School Handbook 2017-2018 Final 05.10.17  
BISM Middle School Handbook 2017-2018 Final 05.10.17