THE INTERNATIONAL VOICE - IBSB News and Views By the Students for the Students
Issue 2: February 2014 International British School of Bucharest
Staff Editorial Team Journalists/Contributors Lena (Year 8), Matei (Year 8), Loren (Year 9), Anita (Year 10), Maria I. (Year 10), Mihnea (Year 10), Andreea St. (Year 11), Andrei D. (Year 11), Yagmur (Year 11), Denisa C (Year 12), Ruxandra (Year 12), Zoe (Year 12), Alexandra A. (Year 13), Anemona (Year 13), Kira (Year 13), Mamta (Year 13) Sebastian (Year 13) Contributing Staff Mr Kendall Peet Mr Robert Hewett Mr Ciprian Tiplea Mr Neill Lee Coordinators Student Editor: Sebastian (Year 13) Student Assistant Editors: Alexandra A. (Year 13), Ruxandra (Year 12) Teacher Coordinator: Mr Trevor Kingston Junior School Whiteboard: Ms Camelia Nicolau Layout: Mr Florin Ghita & Ms Lea Cohen
Office Staff Contact Information: Address: 21 Agricultori St. District 2, Bucharest, Romania, 021841 Tel: (+4) 021.253.1698, Fax: (+4) 021.253.1697 Aura Bogdan Executive Director
E- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of all the office staff, and teachers we would like to thank the students and parents for contributing to a smooth start to the 2013-14 academic year. The school continues to grow and develop with each year and we are interested to receive your feedback. If you have time and would like to be more involved in the school, please come along to one of our PTF meetings. We look forward to seeing you there.
Ana Maria Stere
Extraâ€“ Curricular Services
Contents Page 4
Year 5 `Writer’s of the Future’
Assistant Editor’s Note
Mad Mathematical Scientists– Year 4 and 6
Head of School Message
Teaching Spanish in the Primary School
Making the Best Possible Choice at IGCSE & A Level
44-45 UN Day
Parent Workshops at IBSB
46-47 World Scholar’s Cup
Meet the Head Boy and Head Girl
Key Stage 3 Outward Bound Trip
Secondary School Ski Trip
14-15 Secondary School Star of the House
Standing up to My Fears
16-17 Duke of Edinburgh Final Expedition
52-53 From Inside the Tempest
Clubbing Together at IBSB
Raising the Tempest in the Winter Show
Autumn Examination Results
Christmas Choir Delight
56-57 COBIS World Debate
20-22 CAS Update
Who Let The Dogs Out?
Trick or Treating at Sfanta Macrina
60-61 Teacher’s Favourite Cultures
Snow White of Bucharest
A Man without a Pulse
Exciting Christmas Break
28-29 New Teachers in School
Stock Exchange at IBSB
Going Wild with Pre-School and Reception
Year 1 `Winnie the Pooh Day’
66-67 Creative Writing IGCSE
Year 2 Trip to National Art Gallery
68-69 Valentine’s Day Special
Year 3A Learn about Chocolate
Year 3B Study Volcanoes and Earthquakes
Year 4 Secret Garden Project
Primary School Ski Trip
Earthquakes Reach a Shattering Record
Editor’s Note Before I begin I would like to use my introduction to remind all of you about something very important. This issue has been a ‘trial’ for the current assistant editors, meaning that this issue has mainly been developed by Ruxandra R. and Alexandra A. and I think that they have done an excellent job. I hope that this will become a tradition, seeing as I myself went through the same process, and I can safely say that it is quite a challenging task. However, I think both have dealt with the pressure in an exemplary fashion and have produced an issue which is at least the equal of its predecessors. Now let us proceed to the part that we all love, the part where I become philosophical, or reflective. One thing which I have noticed recently is the confusion of the difference between rules, and laws. We as people tend to draw a fine line between rules and laws. Rules are often overlooked, either because the repercussions don’t affect us as much, or because we don’t look at the long term consequences. Maybe it’s because, to a certain extent, laws are agreed upon by the public, however rules are determined by the institution. Either way, ask any teacher and they will tell you that laws are just as important as rules, and this isn’t just so that they can reprimand you and give you warnings. You would be surprised by how many crazy laws there are out there, and what better place to look at than the land of freedom, America. In Pennsylvania, one must never sleep on a refrigerator, yeah that’s right. Sleep, on a fridge. Now I don’t want to get into politics or law, but what I want to underline is that the rules here at school are here to help you, just how laws (generally) are there to help citizens. It’s up to us to respect rules, but we have the right to contest the enforcing of these rules sometimes if they are applied inappropriately. None of us are perfect and all humans make mistakes – and yes guys, teachers are human!
I’ll be very honest, as a kid (and even now) I generally only liked listening to my own set of rules; that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the school’s rules, it just means that sometimes I don’t agree with them. I learned to accept that throughout life there will be several situations which will challenge your ideals and principles against those of either a superior or an institution. Conflicts like these generally end up with you adhering to the rules of the higher power. Sometimes it’s easier said than done however. I know I can get headstrong sometimes, and ignore what others say; many people do. I hate saying it ,but ‘at this confusing age’ we get to learn about the limits of how far we can stretch these rules. So, what is the purpose of this whole rant about rules? Well, it’s to remind you that rules are here to build you as a person, even though sometimes it seems as if the rules are completely out of place. I mean who is ever going to sleep on a fridge, besides perhaps a snowman! And then the rule makes sense, because if the central heating is switched on, he will regret that dumb decision in the morning! I hope this community aimed monologue has inspired you. If you have made it this far, I applaud you, and I would urge you to make sure you read through the rest of the issue, reading it page by page, and inspecting every line rigorously. If you are interested about writing for the TIV, about anything really, then make sure you come either to the TIV Club / Meetings or even come to us directly. It’s great to see so many eager writers, and I believe in the saying, “The more, the merrier!” I would like to leave you with a couple of thought provoking questions. Do smooth seas make skilful sailors? What makes our thoughts and perspectives unique to everyone else’s? Does a world without rules mean a world of chaos? Give those all a think, and if you want maybe you can share your opinions in the next issue! Sebastian M. (Year 13)
Assistant Editors’ Notes For me the TIV came before the school – I saw a copy before ever setting foot on the hallowed artificial turf of IBSB - and holding it with awe I did not imagine I would be involved in the magic of making it one day. After flicking through it the first time, I was quite intimidated, for the image that I formed in my head was that of a humongous school whose students took a break from academic performance only to exceed in sports, read the communist manifesto or do charity work. It looked like my days of all night TV show marathons were numbered. But what the magazine could not tell me, because it is rather difficult to capture through words, is the incredible warmth of everyone here and the happiness all around.
tea to making green origami paper cranes, to holding a copy of the TIV after weeks of hard work. Thus my wish for the TIV is that it brings positive emotions to those reading it, whether it is pride to see their articles published or those of the readers learning about the multitude of activities going on in our school. As of next year, I will have the great honour to be the editor of the TIV. I want to keep up the good work and make sure that it reflects the wonderful spirit of friendship, acceptance, kindness and creativity of our school. I hope to carry on the tradition of our school magazine and I am glad to be part of the TIV team of students, teachers and other staff members.
Moving to this school I learned to take pride in what makes me happy, even if it may seem silly to some; and I encourage everyone to do the same. There is no universal recipe for happiness; it can be anything from drinking mint and liquorice
Enjoy our latest edition and marvel at the wonderful school that is IBSB! Ruxandra R. (Year 12) The TIV student editorial team. From left to right: Ruxandra, Sebastian and Alexandra
As this second issue came together, I was proud to see the team working happily and efficiently. You will see throughout these pages that this time we have a more extensive section on free time, starting from the current bestselling books to upcoming shows or festivals. If you enjoy this new addition to the magazine and feel that you have more ideas for it, do not hesitate to contact the editors. We are always looking for new voices and, by default, new writers! As far as events go, I want to draw your attention to this summer’s upcoming Colour Festival, which is, in my opinion, a new and refreshing idea brought to our country. On the 31 st of May, the people of Bucharest can take part in what can be named “the most colourful intercultural global event ever brought to town”. The Colour Festival, best known in India as the Holi Festival, will feature local (as well as international) DJs, shows and exhibitions and sees its culminating point in the
simultaneous launch of several powdered colours. Each participant is advised to wear white, because at the end of this colour “fight”, everyone will look like veritable contemporary works of art. Pouches of coloured powder will be given out with the tickets. I advise you to look out for this new event! Lastly, as a new exam session approaches, I wish everyone good luck and remind you all that this is a stressful period of time we are entering. However, do not let the tension get to you! Having recently studied stress in my A-level Psychology class, I cannot emphasise enough how dangerous it is to not be able to control the stressors in our lives. Therefore, always make sure you are in touch with your inner self and give yourself a little time to breathe when things begin to seem too overwhelming! Remember, calm down, this exam will only determine the rest of your life! Alexandra A. (Year 13) 5
Head of School Message The Changing Frontier of Education There was a time when ironically education was behind the times, when what was taught in school and indeed at university was out of sync with what was happening in the world beyond education, in the cities and businesses for which education is supposed to prepare our children. Some people may say that this is even more so today than ever as technology widens the gap between generations, and as such between those teaching and those learning, as those teaching struggle to kept pace with those learning, let alone ahead of those they are teaching. Maybe it is for this reason that education has been undergoing such an incredible transformation in recent years as the educational systems move away from knowledge per se toward skill sets, seeking to help guide the next generation toward solving the next generation of problems that await them.
Changes to the National Curriculum of England and Wales By now I am sure most of our parents are aware of the radical curriculum changes taking place in England and Wales. UK based British Schools adhere rigidly to this curriculum and are assessed on their ability to do so in the three yearly Ofsted inspections, on which schools depend so desperately for funding and in many cases student admissions. However, the winds of change are is the air as recent OECD reports on the level and quality of Education worldwide have placed England much further down the ladder than they would like, ranking 26th in Reading, 28th in Mathematics, and 16th in Science. http://ourtimes.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/oecd-educationrankings/#science
It is rightly so that the UK therefore take considerable pause for thought, to reflect of the latest statistics and figures published by the OECD on education worldwide. Serious questions are being asked and a mandate for change has been issued with a sense of urgency, with seemingly unrestrained power granted to enable the new Secretary of Education Michael Gove the opportunity to bring about the overhaul to the UK Education system long overdue. In a recent statement, Michael Gove said “Young people in this country deserve an education system that can compete with the best in the world, a system which sets and achieves - high expectations.” Michael Gove, https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/oral-statement-oneducation-reform Gove is asking all the right questions, which is to say he is questioning everything, from the school term, which was based on the old agrarian society, when everyone was needed over the summer months to help harvest the crops-leaving parents nowadays to keep their children busy for anything from 8-12 weeks- to the subjects taught, the content taught within each subject, methods of assessment, allowing schools and teachers much more flexibility, but within clear guidelines intended to raise the level of education across the board from kindergarten right through to post graduate education. The winds of change are not just in the air, they are blowing a gale and the bulwarks of education are struggling under the strain of steering a new bold course ahead. This is not to say that Gove has the answers, for the intense level of criticism in regard to some of his proposed changes re extending the school day, etc., have not exactly warmed the teaching fraternity to him, but the fact that he seems intend of questioning everything from the ground up is always welcome for it is only by examining what we know to be true with a fresh perspective and a keen eye do we find that the truth has in fact changed and that old truths no longer apply.
These are concerning numbers for a country that prides itself on its high level of education. They are also concerning numbers for a country with so much riding on the education system THE UK is Not Alone financially, with the total earned from international students in the UK rising dramatically from £23 billion in 2001-2, to £28.5 What is interesting is that the UK is not alone in turning its billion in 2003-4, to almost £50 billion currently, with an attention to the quality of education offered to the next generation. It seems that almost all countries are now additional £20+ billion earned in education exports. universally asking the questions that need to be asked at a time In total the worldwide market for education is now worth when not just the state of education is in need of a major approximately £3 trillion pounds (£3,000,000,000,000), which revamp, but the very world we live in. In publications that focus for us EU citizens translates to close to 4 trillion euros. Not an on education across the world we see reforms taking place in education. Below are just a few titles taken from newspapers insignificant sum by any means of the imagination. around the world in the last month: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-push-to-grow-uks- ‘United Arab Emirates teachers consider new models for 175-billion-education-exports-industry teaching, learning’ ‘Alberta, Canada, schools redesign curriculum for flexibility’ 6
‘Australian curriculum is falling short of goal’ possibly make- as long as we continue to do this, the writing ‘Lobby for more maths, science support in New Zealand's that is currently on the wall is likely to become the epitaph of primary schools’ our civilization. In every country, including Romania, students, parents, With this said, it is nothing less than inspiring to look at the teachers, and politicians are looking to the future, seeking out a students we have at IBSB, for they all give us hope for the new model of education that supplies the needs of children future. Flicking through the pages of this issue of TIV, I am filled today in this rapidly changing world. with an incredible sense of pride both in the students and the staff at this school who are making a considerable difference to Global Issues the lives of so many around us. We are a relatively young school, still going through the process of growth and change, The US Secretary of State John Kerry recently declared that it is and yet already we have and continue to achieve so much time for the world to take action to tackle the issue of global which bodes well for the future. warming and the changing climate. The sad aspect of this is of course the fact that scientists have been calling for this for over I would like to leave you with this final quote, which applies to twenty years, with the US adopting a decidedly ‘the evidence is education as much as to each of us individually: as yet inconclusive’ response. In classrooms for the past ten years at least we have been teaching our children about the “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of importance of looking after the environment, about the issues us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from related to global warming, before sending them out into the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human world where big business clearly doesn’t and countries likewise history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts seem to have taken little interest in the issue. It is not until the to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he US itself suffered the worst snow storms in 250 years and sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a droughts in California that threaten the entire food supply of million different centres of energy and daring those ripples build the US that the US was finally decided to take action. http:// a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/16/john-kerry-to-make oppression and resistance.” ― Robert F. Kennedy -clarion-call-for-more-action-on-climate-change We face many issues and the education systems adopted and improved by countries and schools around the world are the only possible solution, for it is from today’s schools that our children, tomorrow’s leaders, go out into the world. We need to educate our children to believe that `one’ can make a difference and that it is only by all the individual `ones’ joining together into a whole can we hope for any sustainable change to come. Too long have we individually been throwing our hands up in the air, saying I am just one person, what difference can I
Kendall Peet Head of School
IBSB - Making the best possible CHOICE at IGCSE and A Level I have decided to write this, article as recently we have had more and more parents asking us about the final goal of our students at IBSB – both in terms of university and future career. Believe it or not, we have parents in the Primary School who are asking us about what universities their children can attend when they graduate from our school. Being a father of a one year old boy myself, I have to admit that I have not projected into the future yet, trying to see what my son might do when he is eighteen or twenty five years old. In the end I think we all end up saying, our children should be whatever they decide they want to be, as long as they are happy, healthy, have a clear understanding of life,
Key Stage 3 Year 7 - 9
have a strong educational background, know how to make the right choices, and learn from their mistakes. There is so much we can say about this particular topic, but for this article I will try to give the reader a very simple structure of what IBSB does at the moment in order to support students to make the best possible choices. To begin with, let’s take a quick look at the academic programme offered and how this leads to University Options. Although there are a number of projects in the Primary School related to careers, we will start our journey in the Secondary School where one of the real focuses is exam results leading to university choice and career paths.
In Key Stage 3 students study a set academic programme following the National Curriculum of England and Wales. This means that all students will be studying English, Mathematics, Science, ICT, Humanities, Art, Music, a Modern Foreign Language (French, German or Spanish), PE and PSHE. In addition to this students will also study Romanian (Language) twice a week until the end of Year 9. The main objective is for all students to be able to accumulate basic knowledge in all these areas, so that at the end of Year 9, we can talk about their options for the IGCSE programme.
So, the end of Year 9 becomes very important as this is where students will be asked to start thinking about what subjects they would like to study at IGCSE - the International General Certificate of Secondary Education. This is the point where we say - in Year 10 you will study four compulsory subjects (English, Mathematics, Science and ICT) a Modern Foreign Language (French, German or Spanish), PE, PSHE and two/three different options. The options are: History, Geography, Business Studies, Economics, Sociology, Art, Drama and Music. All these subjects (the compulsory ones + the MFL + the options) will culminate with an IGCSE exam by the end of Year 11. The IGCSE qualifications will determine the choice of Advanced Level subjects which eventually will be used for application to university. Therefore, the choice of subKey Stage 4 jects at the end of Year 9 is very important as these subjects could determine a certain career path. (Years 10 In IBSB, the vast majority of the students will complete their secondary education (KS4) with a minimum of seven IGCSE and 11) qualifications with grades between A* to C. This is where we start talking to our students about CHOICES for Advanced Level Courses and University Preference.
So, the end of Year 11 becomes crucially important as this is where students will be asked to make very important decisions which will determine their career path and a big part of their future. Choosing Advanced Level subjects can be a challenging task, if all the right things are not in place. At the end of Year 11 students finish their Secondary Education and move on to what we call the Sixth Form or Key Stage 5. This is the final stage of education, before the higher education (University or College). This is where students are told to choose four or five subjects to study in Year 12. The choice must be based on two very important criteria: 1. The IGCSE grade in that respective subject must be very good (A or A* if possible) as this shows sufficient background and a certain passion and aptitude for the subject. Key Stage 5 2. University preference (if known) - students are advised to choose courses depending on what they want to study at (Year 12 University and 13) Once the choice is made, students will study these four/five subjects in Year 12 and sit an Advanced Subsidiary exam in all subjects at the end of the year. They will than take three of these subjects in the following year - Year 13. In year 13 the last year, students will prepare for their final exams in these three subjects and will sit an Advanced Level exam in each subject at the end of the year. The vast majority of students in IBSB will graduate with three Advanced Level Certificates and one AS certificate. Application to University - the actual process starts at the beginning of Year 13 when students start applying to universities with the support of our counsellors. The academic requirement for a successful application to the top universities is 3 AL certificates, 1 AS certificate and 5 to 8 IGCSE certificates. Students’ portfolios will be enriched with a Personal Statement, references and other important certificates achieved. 8
The previous table represents an overview of what we do in IBSB from the academic point of view and how subject choice and CIE examinations will determine important aspects of University preference and career paths. However, this is just one side of the coin. In addition to academic preparation, students will have a lot of opportunities to develop their character and personalities. IBSB has a rich extracurricular programme running across the school year, which includes: weekly assemblies, trips, Citizenship Days, House Games, Student Council Projects, the school magazine (TIV), drama productions, cultural events like the UN Day, clubs, Career Days, PTF projects, a Prefect body, interschool debates, talent shows, interschool sport competitions, work experience
PSHE programme with a focus on career counselling and university application in KS4/5
Career days - within our PSHE programme
programmes, the Dragonâ€™s Den competition, international academic competitions across different subjects, etc. All of these are intended to give our students a better understanding of the world, develop their critical thinking and help them become independent learners ready to make important CHOICES - which in the end could determine their future career path. The diagram below is a representation of what we do in IBSB (in addition to or academic programme) in order to support our children to discover their strengths and passions, develop new skills and ultimately give them the right tools in order to follow a career suitable to their personality, passion and abilities.
Work Experience in KS4/5
Receiving University visits
Trips to Universities KS4/5
Individual counselling based on personal skills and interests - related to career paths
Choosing the right subjects Application to University
Interschool debates, sport and cultural competitions
Finding a suitable career
Parents are involved in the University application process through continuous information
Tracking students progress across KS3/4/5
Attending University Fairs for KS4/5
Year 13 Prefects talking to KS4 students about AL subjects
Individual counselling based on outcome of the tracking
CAS programme KS5
Option Evenings IGCSE and AL for parents and students
This is just a quick description of a process which is developed over the course of a few years. It involves all students in the Secondary School, a good number of teachers, and obviously parents. The ultimate goal is to make sure students know well in advanced what career path is most suitable for them and ensure they choose their subjects accordingly. There are a number of other projects IBSB has planned for further development of this area. We invite you to follow future TIVâ€™s as, from now on, we will carry an article about careers and new IBSB initiatives in this area in each edition - Career paths in IBSB - number 2 to follow! By Ciprian Tiplea Deputy Head of School
School Updates “Home to school” Parenting Workshops at IBSB At IBSB we take care of everybody: children, teachers and parents. We want to make sure that our students develop themselves into happy, resilient, empathic grown-ups. In order to reach this goal, we need our parents support. Our children are different than we used to be. They have the same basic needs, but they also relate differently to life. We look at our students from a holistic perspective, taking a keen interest not only in academia, but also in their personal development. In short we try to address all of their needs, not only those related to school life. For us, school represents much more than a process based on information exchange. Here, we try to connect to the students’ personalities, to support them emotionally, to guide them through adolescence and through life in general. Being a parent is a 24h job. There are no holidays or winter breaks… In order to become a better parent, we must first understand our children from all angles, to learn about their personality, to discover their strengths and weaknesses, in order for us to better help and support them when facing the challenges of life. Our parenting workshops are educational, supportive, and customised to the needs of participants. Workshop sessions offer parents the opportunity to meet other parents, to share concerns about children and family life, and to learn more about children and positive parenting. The meetings are fun. We work together, share ideas, and discuss useful educational strategies. We learn from one another and we find out who we are, as parents, but also as human beings. Many of our exercises are meant to help us all, not only our children. We started these workshops last year with...the beginning: Who is my child? Do I really know my child? What is my child’s learning style? Do I know how to handle his character 10
and type of personality? We learnt how to discover our children through their drawings or through their actions and reactions in different situations. Never forget that parents are the first teachers of our children. From day one we teach them how to become independent, strong, happy people. In order to better understand our children we must also understand the changes they go through, including the environment they live in and the school they go to. All of these are very important and as parents we must do the best we can for our children. We are their teachers also, We then moved on in session 2 to …us. What kind of parents are we? What is our parenting style? Together we discovered what we did well, or not so well, in the long educational journey of our children; and what to do next. Finding out answers to these questions helped us in moving forward to our next topics for this year. This year we have been looking at specific parenting issues. We started with one of the hottest concerns for parents: Homework. What should we do, as parents, in order to help our children develop efficient study skills from the early years in school? Another interesting and very important topic was building Resilience. This is all about teaching our children how to face the challenges of life. This is an important asset for them and for us. It is never too late to learn, to become more resilient! More information and the workshop presentations are available on the website, in the Parent’s section. Please check it out and consider if the sessions may be of help to you We hope to see you at our next workshops!
By Aida Ivan - Student Counsellor
Meet the Head Boy and Head Girl of IBSB 2013 2013--14! leave, both the teachers and the students. I am looking forward to university, but at the same time I know I will be very nostalgic about my time spent here. Any sneak peeks at awesome events or occasions for this year? This year is probably going to be the most packed year at IBSB so far, both academically and socially. We encourage all students to get involved in all the clubs we have on offer, such as the Debating and MUN clubs. I am also very excited about and the first Movie Night in over 4 years!
How does it feel like to have been chosen head boy this year Seb?
Have YOU ever wondered what really goes on in the heads of our illustrious Head Prefects? After weeks of preparing for the elections, writing statements and speeches, sitting through exhausting interviews and making huge efforts in *cough* trying *cough* to follow the dress code religiously, we have finally arrived at what is known as this year's Perfect, sorry that should read, Prefect Body. So let us start with the ladies - this year's Head Girl, Catrinel Vlad who gives us an insight into what it means to be Head Girl. So Catrinel, how do you feel about being head Girl of IBSB? To me it's a dream come true as I have wanted this ever since I was in Year 5! I feel it is the perfect opportunity to give back to the IBSB community, which has been my second home for the past 13 years.
What are your feelings about your upcoming graduation this year? It's going to be the bomb! Literally the funniest, most exhilarating experience ever encountered. But enough about the party! Emotionally, I will miss the school when I
It is an honour and a pleasure and at the same time it is a position which creates very high expectations of myself, as I'm under pressure to perform. And yes, sometimes we worry because prefects are, contrary to the opinion of some, human too. But challenges are good and I am confident that I will meet expectations. How do you feel seeing as this is your last year with us at IBSB? Iâ€™m not leaving for a year yet! But it will pain me to leave this institution behind because I have had such a wonderful time here. But I will stay in touch and watch as the school continues to flourish into its full potential. And over the next year I intend to play a leading role in helping the school to make still greater strides forward. Any hints as to your vision of how the prefects will operate this year? I hope the prefects will come together to form a strong group of leaders, one unprecedented in terms of unity, cohesiveness and effectiveness. That and I want them to get me my coffee of course! Caramel macchiato, Zoe. Whipped cream, no ice. Chop, chop, Iâ€™m thirsty! By Zoe Alexandra S. (Year 12)
Secondary School Ski Trip Innsbruck, Austria
What more can you ask of a School Ski Trip- any ski trip for that matter- than amazing weather and perfect snow. Great accommodation maybe, and an indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi- which we had! For the entire trip we all enjoyed spectacular conditions, trying out a new ski field every two days- never having the opportunity to get bored with any one slope. It was a trip for everyone, from beginner to the most experienced, with different levels of skier or snowboarder able to try out the different slopes to challenge their skills.
Overall, it was more than we could imagine, utterly breathtaking, especially when we each made our way down the various runs. Thankfully we had plenty of help from Mr Ciprian Iacob, our accompanying IBSB Ski Instructor and god of speed, from Ms Cristina Marascu, the ever helpful hand, and Ms Ioana Anghel with her impeccable German. The accommodation was great, complete with an indoor pool which we used each night, a chillin' in the sauna, and the outdoor Jacuzzi with a mesmerizing view of Innsbruck- the perfect way to unwind after a busy day of skiing. And so eventually Saturday arrived, which was all about shopping- the whole day! Super fun and chill for everybody that still had some money left to spend. What a great time we all had! I think all of us are looking forward to the next trip to relive similar great memories.
From the moment we arrived in Austria, it was impossible to ignore the splendour and wonder of the mountains surrounding the idyllic little ski resort town- you only got closer to the heavens and truly gasped at the skies when you were actually up there on that peak themselves; then you truly felt the absolute rush of adrenaline as you let go and raced down the slopes. 12
A big thank you to Mr Iacob, Ms Marascu and Ms Anghel for taking good care of us - all 30 of us- and for being such a lot of fun on the trip. See you all next year!
Secondary School Star of the House Team
The first term has passed and the time has come to elect the Transylvanian of the term.
The first term has passed, and so accordingly it is time to
All of you have done a great job and served your house well yet one individual has done an outstanding job, not just for the House but for the school in general. He has been an exemplary student and a great help. With no further delay we would like to announce Mihnea R. â€“ Year 10 as the Transylvanian of the term. Let him be the first and an example for you all! Transylvania has seen great progress, but we have to work on our attendance in meetings and learn to understand that the House Heads are always trying their best.
It is very hard for me to choose because every one of you has
Do not forget Transylvania, if we are to be victorious, then we must keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities to help. Do not forget you too can be a true Transylvanian and together we can be victorious, as a team!
nominate the Dobrogean of the Term! done an outstanding job in participating and helping our team. However, this student is an example not only to the Drobrogeans but to the whole school. He has been a great Dobrogean this term because of all the help and the house points he has amassed. He will receive his well-deserved award for all the work he has put into helping the team. I would like to announce Andrei D. - Year 11 as the Dobrogean of the term! And to all you Dobrogeans out there, I would like to call on you to more active in getting house points for the team. With your hard work, we will be victorious!
Thank you Transylvanians! Ludus Super and we wait to see the joint effort!
Zoe S. & Alex O.
House Captain and Vice-Captain of Transylvania
House Captain of Dobrogea
Dear Muntenians, I would like to congratulate everyone as you all did an amazing job this past term. Letâ€™s continue to work hard and do not forget to ask for house points for all your help and activities. One person that got many house points for his effort this term is Steve S. - Year 11. The Muntenian of the Term award goes to him for his dedication and passion that he puts into everything he gets involved in. He is a model for all Muntenians.
I would like all of you to try harder to get house points this following term and show more enthusiasm about the house games that are coming up. We may not be in first place yet, but there are 2 terms left in which I'm sure, with the right determination, we can catch up and win the House Cup again this year.
Anemona B. House Captain of Muntenia
Duke of Edinburgh Final Expedition use maps, how and what to pack, had basic first aid and training on observation and recording skills. We also took two preparation journeys: a 6 hours walk in Bucharest... and a practice journey!
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for Young People is an exciting self-development programme available to all 14-25 year olds worldwide, which equips them with life skills to make a difference to themselves, their communities, and the world. To date, over seven million young people, from over 136 countries, have been motivated to undertake the huge variety of voluntary and challenging activities offered by the Award Programme. The Award concept is one of individual challenge. It presents to young people a balanced, non-competitive and fun programme of voluntary activities which encourages personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility to themselves, and service to their community. Our school became affiliated to the Award last year and we now encourage every pupil over 14 years of age to discover the amazing opportunities that this programme presents. In the autumn of 2013 we celebrated the first group of young people from our school who completed the first level on this quest for self discovery and development, and presented them with the Bronze Award. They are Adriana Bajescu, Alin Badea, Steve S. and Taolun L., and this is their story...
“Yes, it is all meant to be a great adventure, in the great outdoors, but to be able to succeed out there, in the wild, we had to prepare quite thoroughly. We’ve learned how to 16
For our practice journey we chose to go to the Diham chalet, from Busteni… is this a good time to mention that we had never gone hiking before? We stopped every 30 minutes initially, partly because we felt we had to contemplate the stunning beauty of nature, but mostly because we felt tired or at least we thought we were… it turned out that we could actually walk for 4 hours uphill. Talking about overcoming limits? After putting up our tents at Diham we continued our journey for 3 more hours on forest tracks and realised that the warning signs saying “Warning! The area is populated by brown bears” were actually true when we heard the roar of a bear in the forest. We got back to camp at dusk and prepared our own vegetable soup made from scratch (yes, we had actually brought potatoes and onions and tomatoes and even ginger!). Some friendly people offered us their camp fire for cooking. One of the first lessons we learned was that the majority of hikers are friendly – people say hello and smile up there in the mountains, even if they don’t know you. And nature isn’t out to get you, either; if you show respect. Another bear came to inspect our camp in the morning but it left as soon as it realised we hadn’t left any food around. (We were really happy that we took that advice!). We also practised our map reading, learned to use the compass and to pay attention to signs. Oh, you see the mountains behind us?
We actually wanted to get up there for our final expedition – hike the Bucsoiu Mt. and get on the highest summit of Bucegi – Omu. Our plan was to hike to Babele (2292m), Omu Peak (2505m), Bucsoiu Peak (2492m), Costila Peak (2490m), and Caraiman Peak (2291 m) and experience the “view from above”. However, a sudden change in weather made us change our plans as it was already late autumn. Our scheduled expedition was postponed because the entire area of Bucegi was covered in snow! But we didn’t lose hope. And as soon as our autumn exams were (almost) done and there were signs of good weather, we packed our bags and hit the road again… errr, not before we actually had a new route and the “all clear” from the Award Authority & the Assessor! All the stars aligned perfectly for us on that week-end (910/11/13). We enjoyed the journey so much that we even decided on a two hour detour, visiting the Ialomitei Cave, and cleaning up some litter that was spoiling the view on the way as part of our commitment to environmental protection. We arrived at our camping destination, Zanoaga, after sunset, and started fresh at sunrise on the following day. The next day brought new challenges: our map skills were tested when we lost our way and had to go back over 3 km to find the correct route. It was a great feeling to find the right track again! Most of the hike was uphill this time. It went through the forest, the alpine meadow, and a muddy valley before it went up again for the last time to 2000m.
end we made PEACE and learned to listen to each other. What we all enjoyed: It was fun, adventurous, and beautiful! The views were amazing and we became friends. Getting back on track made us realise that we are still able to use our heads quite well, even if we like to use technology in our everyday lives, and that if you have a good team you can achieve almost anything! We loved the feeling of achievement and growth at the end – being able to say that “WE’VE MADE IT”! It was challenging, tiring, and even dirty, but we found strength within us, support from our team mates, and trust that we’d be able to pull this through.
What we achieved: A better knowledge of what we can and cannot do (for instance, some of us learned that they can survive for 2 days without a phone, and some that they can hike for 24 km of rough terrain with massive differences of altitude in one day). We took responsibility, worked as a team, and achieved all the goals that we had set for this expedition. This was our final step towards completing the Bronze Level of the International Award for Young People and we encourage every young person in this school and elsewhere to enrol in the programme and to benefit from it and enjoy it as much as we have. If you are looking for adventure, or opportunities to develop personally, or both, you should take part in the Duke of Edinburgh International Award for Young People!
The challenges: We walked A LOT!!! On the first day we walked for over 6 hours. On the following day we climbed a difference of altitude of 600m – the equivalent of climbing a 200 story building (with rugged stairs). We missed some signs and directions, but we retraced our steps. We had many arguments (you don’t want to know how many) but in the
By Johanna Croci Head of Humanities and CAS Coordinator 17
Clubbing Together at IBSB The start of this academic year brought about an exciting change to our daily schedules: the addition of the club time. From Monday to Thursday every week students can now choose to spend 30 minutes in one of the many interesting clubs. From music to chess and debate - there is a club for everyone on offer.
My favourite is without doubt the MUN (short for Model United Nations) club, run by Mrs Blessy Savu. The club meets every Tuesday to prepare for our first international MUN conference, the HMCE (Harvard Model Congress Europe) which we will attend in spring in Madrid. At first glance participating in a Model United Nations conference sounds incredibly glamorous, but representing a country means a lot of hard work and research. However, according to some MUN veterans, it is also a lot of fun.
There are also outdoor clubâ€™s running every day, from football to table tennis and badminton to running. In good or British weather the school grounds are bursting with energy: the guys engage passionately in football games, students in running club, accompanied by Mr Rob Hewett, sprint out the gates, whilst others are awaiting their turn at table tennis.
Inside the school it is quieter, unless you happen to pass by the music room. Practicing the song for the weekâ€™s assembly or for competitions such as talent shows, the school band and everyone else who joined the club are usually having a lot of fun.
By Ruxandra R. (Year 12) 18
From music to chess and debate - there is a club for everyone on offer. Last but not least, the school has its very own photography club, run by our resident student photographer, Mihnea R. They help us out with the photos for the TIV and the Yearbook, including the photos accompanying this article!
Autumn Examination Results
Moving in the Right Direction with Improving Exam Results A common expression in English is that a picture tells a thousand words. For a statistician or perhaps an economist it would be a graph. Below you see the results of a number of changes made over the past year to help improve the level of teaching and learning and support systems in place to enable students to achieve the best results possible. Both IGCSE and A Level had the highest pass rates ever, with a 94% percent pass rate in IGCSE and also a 94% pass rate in A Level exams, up 10% from the previous summer exam session. This result is the combined effort of close collaboration between the students, teachers and parents, with strong student and teacher mentoring systems now in place, effective tracking systems to help keep students on track, and regular communication home to ensure parents are informed and able to provide support and encouragement where needed. Congratulations to all our students for this fantastic achievement, and to the students and teachers for the mentoring support which is clearly making a difference. We look forward to the summer exam session approaching, and wish all our students well in their three month countdown to exams.
CAS CAS Update It was most difficult to start off this article, because I can only repeat all the praises that I have already made in the last issue. Therefore, I will keep this brief and instead let the photos from
As Ms Senzaconi and her group led the way, the Berlin students asked questions and proved to be both curious about and surprised by our CAS Programme, not sure what to expect from the upcoming hour. The building can almost go unnoticed in the maze of small streets, if not for the large sign generically reading â€œSchool for the Visually Impairedâ€?. Once inside, the hallways are wider than expected and the stairwell proofed with rubber edges for safety measures. We were greeted by the Headmaster of the school, a lovely woman who already familiar with the IBSB group, smiled widely and was beyond happy to bring us to the class.
this last term convince you of the great work and dedication our CAS groups have once again proven. The first team that I assisted was Light Into Europe, who in October invited our guests from Berlin on their trip to the school for the visually impaired, a small location only five minutes away from IBSB.
Light into Europeâ€™s objective is to help the Romanian sensory disadvantaged children and young people to improve their lives, to expand their possibilities and to become active and accepted members of the Romanian society. Light into Europe started in 1986 with medical and humanitarian projects across Europe. Since 2004, we focused our efforts on developing support for two Cinderella groups: the sight impaired and the hearing impaired. It is worth noting that their latest programme brings into Romania the first official guide dog training and the organisation has gained high praise and much support for what is truly an impressive feat.
To say that the children were ecstatic is an understatement. With cries of joy and small happy dances, the children immediately identified the perky Zoe and the stoic Seb Z, who were quick to engage them all in games and laughter. Alex O. then initiated a game that would involve some foreign language learning, in which Alex P. and the Berlin students taught the children how to count in German and the rest of our students contributed with the English version of it. Not one single class member seemed to be overwhelmed by the exercise and everyone looked determined to remember everything being said. The following game had us collaborating with them in an attempt to guide them with our voices around obstacles in the class. What I took as a challenging and rather frightening task, the IBSB students took as an opportunity to show responsible and almost parental behaviour. The children from Light Into Europe shone and asked for the game to be repeated over and over again, proving that nothing can stop them.
The second team that I visited was our very own Paper Tree students, who were veritable busy bees as usual. The most important thing worth mentioning about them thus far is that they have been planning several events for this year. Among these is what should now become a tradition for our school – the year groups from the Primary School will all at one point be given a plant to care for in an environmentally-loving challenge. Other plans include repeating last year’s Valentine’s Day success with origami flowers and customizable cards for students to send around and a new display to grace the school’s hallway. As I’ve been observing their work for quite a while, it is worth reminding all of you eco-friends out there two simple tips which would help our group very much: 1. Do not crumple the paper for the Paper Tree anymore 2. Paper Tree baskets are only designed for...well...paper. So make sure to separate your plastics and your trash from it! Sfanta Macrina may sound like a familiar name and the banner I have attached here will certainly give you a feeling of déjà-vu, yet only a few of us realise that this placement centre is located right behind our school, and we all pass it every day without glancing at it once it contains the football field that can be seen from our hallway windows. The Saint Macrina Foundation is a non-governmental organisation, set up in 1996. The statutory purpose of the foundation is providing social services for the social integration of homeless children and young people and the prevention and removal of the causes that generate the homeless children phenomenon.
“We, at the "Sfanta Macrina" Centre, are a family. We have been guiding these children for 10 years to become people. We have had a lot of successes. And we rejoiced in our turn to receive help. Be a part of the wonder that happens right under our eyes.”
“The Saint Macrina Foundation is a non non--governmental organisation, set up in 1996”
For many children, “Sfanta Macrina” is a home. Abandoned children, orphans that have no one to look after them reside here. While the girls try their hardest at helping them with homework, Seb is yet struggling to keep his pride intact, overwhelmed as he may be by the group of young football players. Meanwhile, Speranta Pentru Tine was heavily involved in our annual Winter Show preparations, as they met up several times with our students to set up the usual stalls at the entrance of Tandarica Theatre. The results, we found out, were satisfying, with the children’s handmade objects bought by many enthusiastic parents. By now, it is no secret that Ms Katie has become somewhat of a mother figure for them, as she has always been first to raise funds and school items for these children and has even spent Christmas with them, inviting them to her home or going iceskating together.
YanYang, Mamta, Kira and Sebastian Serban have all taken a liking to these children and have provided them with help on various levels, academic or hobby-wise. 22
Although not particularly tied in with our own CAS Programme, I would like to take this opportunity to send out the best of thoughts to our partners at Fundeni Hospital, who have been undergoing a tragic few weeks this January, after the catastrophic plane crash that left one Fundeni doctor injured and an intern dead. I am sure that the CAS group involved in this partnership have all been able to feel the tension hovering above the entire medical environment and we all send our kindest thoughts.
By Alexandra A. (Year 13)
Who Let The Dogs Out? It seems as though yet another issue has been revived and added to the mélange of controversies that has been surrounding Romania for the past few months, from political scandals to the controversy over Rosia Montana. However, this particular issue is of a slightly different nature from the rest, as it concerns us all on multiple levels, even personally. I said it has been “revived” because this matter has sparked debates in Romanian society on and off for the past decade or so, gaining international attention each time. Before I dive into details, allow me to give you some background information. Forty years ago, when Ceausescu came to power in Romania, one of the policies he implemented as part of his regime was that of systematisation, which in essence involved people being forced to move out of their homes into standardised apartment blocks – the ones you see in Bucharest today. Many of these people had pets, which they were forced to abandon on the streets due to lack of space in the new apartments. Over the years these dogs multiplied in numbers and we now have 64,000 to 100,000 of them on our streets. The problem is that we have reached a point where street dogs and humans can no longer peacefully coexist. But who is to blame? And what is the best solution to this problem? According to the Matei Bals Institute of Infectious Diseases, in 2012 16, 192 people were bitten by dogs in Bucharest, out of which 3,300 were children. In the first eight months of 2013, the same institute treated almost 10,000 people for dog bites for Infectious Diseases. The street dogs have also been responsible for a series of deaths. In 2006, a Japanese businessman was bitten by strays on Victoria Square. The man died as a result of haemorrhagic shock caused by one of the many dog bites that severed an artery. Tragically, on 2 September 2013, a four-year-old boy was attacked and killed by stray dogs in a park in Bucharest. This particular case made headlines for days and weeks to follow and is actually what determined the Romanian government to amend the stray dog laws and adopt the current euthanasia programme. This is where the controversial aspect comes in. Is it right to kill the stray dog population in Bucharest? Some argue it is. When we had the Berlin British School exchange programme, I asked the two teachers – who had never been to Bucharest before – what they thought of the city. The first thing they told me was that they had never seen so many stray dogs. They are not the only foreigners who were shocked to see so many street dogs; in fact most, if not all of them, are. Mr Kingston also told me he had a similar experience and Ms Carman was even bitten by a stray in her first months in Bucharest. Plus, they destroy public areas, especially parks where they sometimes claw the benches and run on the grass, not to mention that now in Bucharest you must watch your every step because you may walk into dog faeces. They really are detrimental to the image of our country; they drive tourists away, which is something that affects our economy, and most of the time they are a
nuisance, even to the point of being lethal, as explained above. In addition, they have a very harsh life out there on the streets and many of them die a painful death due to lack of food or poor health. It is a problem we have created and it is our moral obligation to fix it. But is euthanasia the solution to this problem? It seems that the answer is no. A FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN) paper explains how capturing, neutering and putting the dogs back where they were found is what will eventually reduce the stray dog population to zero. According to the paper, the problem with euthanasia is that it will reduce the population until a certain point. After that, the reproductive rate of dogs will increase because they will have less competition, and in fact the dogs become even more aggressive because they would want to defend their territories. Since the reproductive rate increases, the population will go up and thus a vicious cycle is formed; whereas if the female dog population is neutered, this will inhibit the reproductive rate. The dogs must also be put back to where they were found to prevent issues with territories as much as possible.
However, the problem is that this process takes too much time and it will still not prevent the dogs from biting people. On the other hand, not all dogs bite, in fact, most are friendly and inoffensive. At every point there is an argument and a counter argument. How can we distinguish between a “good” dog and a “bad” dog; and if we cull, isn’t it immoral to kill innocent creatures? But then who is to say that if you let them live they will not give birth to a potentially dangerous dog? Can we really kill these animals just because they are an inconvenience us? But aren’t they more than just an inconvenience since they have killed people? Who decides this? As you can see, this debate can go to fill the entire issue of this TIV by itself, so I am going to stop here. But that doesn’t mean you should! Tell us what you think, because this stray dog issue affects you, too. Write to the editor with your point of view on this matter. We are looking forward to reading your opinions!
By Andrei D. (Year 11) 23
Trick or Treating with the Sfânta Macrina Orphanage Toddling along between the seasons of autumn and winter, in the cleft between warmth and cold, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition and one of the oldest holidays. It is celebrated today in a number of countries around the globe and this article is about how IBSB linked up with the orphanage in the neighbourhood – Sfanta Macrina – to celebrate Halloween.
On the 31st of October, the CAS group – consisting of Yan Yang Xin, Kira H., Mamta M. and Sebastian Serban - and assisted by Ms Katie Bickell – helped orphaned children to enjoy a very thrilling experience of trick-or-treating. The Halloween Party kicked off with the little children debating which of the donated costumes to wear (thanks to all those that donated). There were more than enough costumes, ranging from Spider-Man to Pretty Fairies and Princesses to Buzz Lightyear. You could see the excitement in the children’s eyes as they picked their favourite characters’ dresses and hurriedly wore them, not waiting for Ms Katie’s instructions for the impending games.
The next planned activity was to decorate your own bag with colours and stickers. Children drew masks, pumpkins, flowers and what not, bringing life to the once pale paper bags.
By this time, the Humanities room was a total mess. But it was perfect for playing musical chairs, with the children running and dancing to the spooky music as they competed to win prizes.
All the children at Sfanta Macrina had a great time and many left with pumpkins as souvenirs! They also learned a new phrase in English - “Trick or treat?” of course! By Kira H. and Mamta M. (Year 13) 24
Snow White of Bucharest OK, she hasn’t been officially declared “The Fairest of them all” yet, but many more Christmases like the last one, and surely English teacher Ms Kathryn Bickell will receive a nomination or two for canonization when she eventually shuffles off this mortal coil. Of course, we all like to do things for charity, but for most of us that involves a monthly direct debit contribution to a cause of our choice, a few coins or small notes in a collection box or maybe giving up half a day to a venture like cleaning up Baneasa Forest. However, if we are honest, we rarely, if ever, step outside of our comfort zone; it is Charity Lite, charity without the burden of breaking sweat. But for Ms Bickell, dipping a toe into the Charity waters isn’t enough; to do her bit, she has to go to the top board, dive in head first and turn two complete loops on the way down! How else can you explain volunteering to look after not one, nor two, nor three…but SEVEN orphans over the Christmas period? Most would call that mad; but Ms Bickell’s response was “If there are seven in need of a home over Christmas, how can I take just one…or two…or five…or six?”
And of course, IBSB being what IBSB is, we couldn’t let Ms Bickell do that alone. So, in the spirit of community that typifies our school, students raised over 700 Ron to support the venture, staff donated another 1400 Ron and CAS also made another significant financial donation, helping Ms Bickell to stay just the right side of bankruptcy and ensuring that there was no skimping over the festive period. And this is what Christmas is truly about. Yes we love to receive presents, but we must always remember that it is a festival of giving, a festival to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, when we give gifts just as the Wise Men from the East offered their presents to the baby born in the manger. We cannot, sadly, transform the lives of all the orphans in Bucharest and around the world, but Miss Bickell did absolutely everything she could to bring joy instead of pain to seven children less fortunate than ourselves – and I know she wishes to pass on her thanks to all who supported her in this crazy, but truly wonderful venture.
And so it came to pass that the Bickell home opened its doors to seven young children in need over the Christmas period, with Ms Bickell doing everything she could to provide the children with the best Christmas they had ever experienced. That meant presents, Christmas dinner, trips to the Mall and to Laser Quest – things we all take for granted, but which for these children was like something out of a fairy story.
By Trevor Kingston - Head of English
White Board Head’s Lines Welcome to the Primary School section of the TIV. In these pages you will see the diversity and enjoyment that our school offers to its pupils and teachers and the range of trips and work that we do. There are opportunities for each of our children to shine in the classroom, in assemblies, in competitions, during trips or even on stage. And, believe me, our children dazzle. But we must not forget our teachers who guide and encourage our children – without them, none of our achievements would be possible. It is their creativity, commitment and skill that provides our children with new challenges, knowledge ,and ways of thinking and for that I thank them. The events and work you will see in the following pages are testament to our teachers’ imagination and our pupils’ willingness and ability to succeed – a very effective and positive relationship.
Looking ahead we have the Spring Show next term. The children and Ms Hunter Ms Cazacu & Mr Ennion have all been working extremely hard to make sure we have the best Oliver play for you to enjoy. I love school plays because they make people smile and feel a sense of pride in their achievements (or the achievements of their children). And for me this one is quite special as I remember performing this when I was at school many moons ago. I still remember the nerves before the curtain went up, the performance and songs and then hearing the applause and taking a bow at the end, relieved and happy. So I hope you enjoy reading our section, reflecting on the good times of the year so far, and I wish you a great half term break. By Alan Cornish - Head of Primary
New Teachers In School Why did you decide to become a teacher? I became a preschool teacher because I wanted to convey my love of discovery to others and get kids fired up to be life-long learners. Learning is a lifetime experience and I love helping children learn while I learn with them. What was the best thing that happened to you as a teacher?
Ms Corina Dobritoiu Why did you choose IBSB? I’ve chosen IBSB because I had the opportunity to work in a well-organised and open-minded institution, with a clear mission statement and a challenging curriculum.
Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs, and yes, it has its challenging moments. I love children and enjoy watching them learn. I love it when they finally understand a new concept. Describe yourself with three adjectives. I might say that I’m enthusiastic, extremely friendly and hardworking as well. What hobbies do you have? My hobbies include: reading, dancing, and travelling.
Do you enjoy teaching Y5? Why or why not? Yes, it is a very lovely class, and most of the children want to learn more, and more, and it is great. Have you learnt any Romanian words? If yes, which do you think is the most difficult to pronounce? Yes, a sentence : “Eu nu vorbesc romaneste.” Where do you come from? Ms Mioara Cucu
Brazil. Tell me an interesting fact about your country.
Have you ever been to Spain? Which is your favourite city? Yes, I have been twice to Spain : in Madrid and Barcelona. If I were to choose, I would say that Barcelona is definitely my favourite city.
It’s beautiful, and music is in everybody’s blood. In the centre of Brazil there is a wonderful place called Pantaval, and not many tourists know about it.
Where are you from? Why did you move to Bucharest? I am from Constanta, a city near the seaside. I moved here due to job opportunities and now I think it was also destiny as I met my husband here. What other language would you like to learn? I would like to learn Greek or Portuguese. What is your favourite Spanish food? Pff, hard choice. I think paella, but the one you serve in Spain. What did you want to become when you were a child? When I was a child, my dream was to become a doctor as my uncle was a vet, but then I’ve changed my mind.
Mr Simon Quysner What is your favourite food? Yorkshire Pudding with peas and gravy. When did you know you wanted to become a teacher? I knew I wanted to be a teacher from when I was small. What things did you know about Romania before coming here? I knew about mici, Ursus (the beer) and sarmale because my wife is Romanian. What job would you have if you weren’t a teacher? I would have chosen to be to be a bad actor. What is your favourite music?
Ms Silvia Hewett
My favourite music is the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.
What was your first impression of IBSB? It was very nice because it looked like a homey school.
Going Wild with Preschool and Reception This term, Early Years have been discovering the amazing world of animals, exploring different types of habitat, tackling various hands-on activities and games, experimenting with starch, ice and salt, cooking, building igloos out of sugar cubes, ice painting, and role-playing. They will have a great opportunity to extend their vocabulary as well as their interest and curiosity about environment. Moreover, they will be encouraged and challenged to use their creative thinking skills in order to develop and deepen their own understanding.
As part of our holistic approach to the curriculum, they are going to visit the Antipa Museum as an extension of our term’s topic and be ready to discover new things. This educational visit is an important part of our commitment to widen pupils’ awareness of the world around them and to add value to the curriculum being studied. …to be continued…
By Ms Corina Dobritoiu
Year 1 Discover `Winnie the Pooh Day’ Year 1 has been having lots of fun this term. We started our topic of Countries and Cultures and are learning about lots of places, people and things around the world. The most exciting day so far has been when the children and teachers from Acorns came to visit us to celebrate “Winnie The Pooh Day” on Friday January 17 th. The Year 1
class hosted 18 children and two teachers from Acorns in our classroom and learned about the history of the character Winnie the Pooh. Ms Fiona told us about A.A. Milne and the real story of Christopher Robin and his friend, the real bear, Winnie at the London Zoo. We read stories and then did a craft together with the Acorns children as well as colouring a Winnie The Pooh picture. We got to know new friends and shared Winnie The Pooh story books and toys from home.
It was a great day with lots of interaction and getting to know new people. We are looking forward to this term and are sure it will be a load of fun!
By Ms Chelsea Corvino 32
Year 2 Trip to the National Art Gallery
On Thursday the 16th of January, Year 2 were fortunate enough to visit the National Muzeul de Arta. The trip brought to a close all of our hard work learning about and comparing London and Bucharest in Term 1b. We had already studied the Royal Palace as a Landmark of the Romanian capital, so to visit in person was very exciting. The exhibition “Out of Great Britain” featured many paintings of Central London and the surrounding suburbs, some really interesting sculptures, and a video installation set on the River Thames. Our guide encouraged us to look carefully at a few selected art works and offer our thoughts on what we could see and how they made us feel. After our tour of the gallery we were taken into the education room and given some paper and oil pastels to produce our
very own work of art. Imagine waking up one morning only to find that your house had been moved to the most wonderful location you can think of. Well, that’s exactly what we had to do. We thought hard about what we might see when we looked out of our bedroom window. And we drew. From rainbows and unicorns to rockets and roller-coasters we put our imaginations and our artistic talents to the test. After a final chance to explore some of the paintings we missed the first round it was back to school for clubs with plenty of new learning to share. By Mr Simon Quysner
Year 3A Do You Like Chocolate? Do you like chocolate? Year 3A certainly do and they couldn’t believe their luck when Mr Jones told them their theme for Term 1b was all about chocolate. They studied the history of chocolate; did you know that the first people to drink chocolate were the Mayans (strangely Maya is in Year 3A!) They looked at the way milk chocolate was made from bean to bar, in the Hershey factory and the Cadbury factory. The children also did a science experiment where they melted solid chocolate and then let it solidify on a biscuit (then ate the biscuit!) However, one of the best parts of the whole term must have been our trip to Ana Pan factory where we saw different cakes and sweets being made as well as decorating our own Christmas biscuits. Best of all perhaps was that we got to taste everything and had a real feast at the end. Also, throughout the term we read Roald Dahl’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; it was a great book to read and it’s amazing how similar Ana Pan factory was to Willy Wonka’s factory. It was a very interesting theme to study and over the holidays many of the children made great PowerPoint presentations about chocolate, which showed Mr Jones and their families that they had learnt so much. Well done 3A ! By Mr Gareth Jones
Year 3B Study Volcanoes & Earthquakes Year 3b are studying Volcanoes and Earthquakes as the theme for this term. As part of our cross-curricular topic we combined our knowledge of earthquakes so far with creating our own earthquake! We constructed and used a seismograph to demonstrate the measurement of earthquakes. In pairs, one child was the earthquake and the other the seismograph. Each pair had their own individual seismogram at the end of this activity which they were proud of. For the final part of our experiment we arranged our seismograms on our learning board from smallest to largest (wave amplitude). It was a shaky but enjoyable experience for the children!
By Ms Orla Oâ€™Dwyer
Year 4 Secret Garden Projects Last half term (T1b), Year 4 studied Victorians as a crosscurricular theme and children had the chance to do a great variety of activities: we looked at William Morris’ art patterns and we did our own using different techniques like coloured pencils and graphic programmes on the computer, we built bridges using inspiration from
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and we compared school life in Victorian times with nowadays. From there it was only one step to a Victorian assembly, which included travel by time machine into a Victorian school and a scene from the classic book Oliver Twist. In Literacy lessons we started to read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Children had to finish reading or listening to the audiobook at home and then to create a model secret garden based on how they imagined the garden Mary found. First week after the holiday, children presented their beautiful model gardens with lots of emotion, excitement and pride. What do you think? Aren’t these great ?
This half term, Year 4 will study Robots, a topic that makes the boys happy. A big jump from Victorian times to the latest technology, no? For example, we will visit a newspaper factory to understand how machines have evolved and made people’s jobs easier or even replaced humans in the production process – something we will discuss in class. We’re looking forward to see if a robot teacher can replace Mr Cornish! By Ms Andreea Cazacu 37
Primary School Ski Tip: A Day by Day Journal Day One: Musical Chaos Hello from Poiana Brasov! Our trip began smoothly as we made it to Poiana in time for lunch. After a delicious lunch, we were surprised to find that we would be gracing the slopes a day early! Slowly chaos found us when 38 children and 4 adults had to collect their ski/snowboard equipment. Finally we managed to make our way with our instructors to the slopes and enjoyed the last few hours of light in the snow. From experienced skiers to beginner snowboarders we all started the trip with a couple of laughs and a musical performance from Mr Quysner.
Snow and weather were much better today, although it became slushy towards the end of the day. Everyone has been making good progress in the lessons. It was nice to see the beginners make it all the way to the top and ski (snowboard) down; including Ms Hunter. Children are doing themselves proud by taking responsibility and care for their equipment, being on time and representing the school really well. We rounded off the day with a fiendishly difficult quiz and merits all round. 16 degrees tomorrow, rain on Thursday, but we live and hope!! Day Four: Snowboards Away
Day Two: Persistence and Precipitation Rain, rain go away…that’s what we woke up to this morning. Luckily however, this did not deter us from hitting the slopes and polishing our skills. Skiers skied, snowboarders snowboarded (except Ms Hunter who had a couple of falls and ended up on her backside) and all had fun. After a long day out on the mountain we relaxed with an hour in the hotel swimming pool before a well-earned dinner and a gloriously early night! A night of fresh snow would be nice.
Sleepy heads meant a slow start today, especially for the teachers. But after gathering some momentum everyone began to enjoy the day (even though there wasn’t much snow!). After Ms Becky’s success at snowboarding down the top of the baby slope without falling, Ms Nicolau and Ms Dobritoiu were inspired to take up snowboarding too. This meant that all children had a laugh at their teachers who fell on the backsides! (Though some were encouraging too.) Pupils spent their evening swimming and preparing for the annual talent show tomorrow night! Good luck to all contestants. Day Five: It’s raining, not snowing! Despite the rain this morning we all set of with high spirits. Our beginner skiers graced the top of the mountain without being undeterred by the rain. Everyone got thoroughly soaked whilst watching the snow melt away. After a warm lunch, the older pupils, plus Ms Nicolau and Ms Hunter (who managed to also snowboard from the top to the bottom of the mountain) went back out onto the slopes, whilst younger pupils enjoyed the delights of the pool and Jacuzzi! The last full day ended successfully with the annual talent show where pupils demonstrated their many talents; from singing, to story writing, to dancing, to comedy, all pupils were winners really!
Day Three: More Snow, More Fun
From the all-skiing, all-singing, all-dancing gang 39
The Year 5 Writers of the Future! As part of our English topic Stories From Other Cultures, the Year 5 students have written and published a book of short stories. After reading stories such as “Anancy”, “The Drum” and “Moonlight and Candlelight”, the children discussed the features of a story from another country and chose a culture to research. The next step was to think about the questions to be answered during the research. Using the computers in the ICT room, the children worked independently to answer those questions and gather background knowledge to write their short stories. The cultures chosen were varied, including Canada, Ireland, Jamaica and Spain! Once the stories had been written, our authors created an illustration for the cover and now our book can be found in the IBSB Library. Whenever you have time, come and have a quick look! Superb job Year 5! By Ms Silvia Hewett
Mad Mathematical Scientists Year 4 and Year 6 This term the Year 6s have been looking at Science Fiction, and luckily our fellow Year 4s have been looking at Robots.
Together, during a couple of Maths lessons, Year 6 and 4 pupils designed and built their own robots, whilst using their knowledge of numeracy and shapes. Excitedly, Year 4 and 6 worked in small groups to design their own 3D Robots. Their design brief was simple! Using 2D shapes, draw your own group robot and from that design draw nets of 3D shapes and creating their visions.
All pupils struggled at first to get the size and shapes right, but by the second lesson the Robots started to come alive!! Using their nets and robots, pupils also calculated surface area and the height of their robot. Both Year groups had so much fun creating their own robots, they found working together an exciting experience and hopefully we will see some budding scientists or inventors in the future! By Ms Becky Hunter
Teaching Spanish in Primary This year, in the Primary School we had a premiere as far as the MFL department is concerned; that is, Spanish language was introduced for the first time. I can tell you that Spanish students are very enthusiastic and this is one of the reasons why the Spanish lessons are fun and interesting. If you wonder what we have studied until now, let me tell you a few things. We already know how to introduce ourselves, to say which is our favourite sport, food or colour in Spanish. During our last week before Christmas, we had a special guest in our Spanish lesson. Ms Tiderle, a parent from our school, came and read a Christmas story to our Spanish students, from which it seems that they learnt how important it is to treasure their friends and not the material
things. The students not only enjoyed this experience very much, but they also want to repeat it. We thank again Ms Tiderle for this interesting and wonderful experience and we hope that she can join us again soon. This Term, we are learning about the human body and how to describe ourselves and our dear ones. We are very excited to see what comes next and how our Spanish will improve in the next term. So for now, we leave you with some pictures, saying â€œComing back soon with more news in the future!â€? By Mrs Mioara Cucu
School Events THE EVER GREAT ff--UN DAY!
As ever October at IBSB was enlivened by the wonderful celebration that is UN Day. This is the day when we have the fantastic opportunity to celebrate all the nations around the world: with simply delicious food made by parents and students, entertainment from our own students and from students in neighbouring schools, the extreme delight of our school band, and a host of other entertaining activities.
Whether it is the famous curry, spicy chicken noodles, authentic Italian pizza or lip smacking meatballs specific to Sweden, we have it all! Our international students always bring the most scrumptious cuisine from their native countries to excite the taste buds of everyone celebrating UN Day. Of course, as always, Heavenâ€™s Delight made a special appearance with mouth-watering desserts to satisfy the sweet cravings of people of all ages. 44
While everybody munched on the delicacies provided, others took matters in their own hands and made their way to the activities pitch. There the special task of reading oneâ€™s future was taken on by some of our greatest students and other options included playing ping pong with the best of the best or just simply competing and playing football with all the enthusiasts. One of the most popular activities by far was the face-painting stall, where every idea or image was brought to life by the irrepressible artists of our school.
The day started off with the off-beat musings of our Head Boy, Sebastian M. with our Head Girl, Catrinel Vlad, introducing this day to anyone new and welcoming all of our dear company. As usual, Mr Peet delivered a thought provoking speech urging us all to reflect on our roles and responsibilities in the international global village.
As is traditional in our school, an official welcoming followed in the 19 languages spoken in our school, delivered by students from across both the Primary and Secondary Schools.
This year we were also honoured with very unique guest speakers, with Her Excellency the Indian Ambassador and Sam Stevenson from the British Council taking to the microphone.
We also benefitted from top class entertainment from the Viennese Theatre Company performing a scene from the play called the Piggy Bank and terrific singing from Scoala 11 and the DSBU (Deutsche Schule Bukarest).
Our own students most certainly didn’t disappoint either, with the school band making their appearance with singers such as Anemona B. and Cristine B. performing “Cantec pentru Prieteni” as well as Teodora L., Anita A. and myself singing “The importance of being Idle”.
An excellent performance by Navya, Aryan, Steve and Ken followed as they danced to Bollywood Music making everyone rise to their feet and demand an encore.
A perfect start to an enjoyable break, UN Day was a hit amongst everyone - as it is every year. It is designed to unite everyone, no matter the differences of where we are from or what we believe in. This is the day in which we all celebrate being a tight community, who will always offer support in time of need, a day we offer up as a model for the whole world to follow!
By Maria Alexandra I. (Year 10)
The Wonderful World Scholar’s Cup! This year a delegation from our school participated for the first time in The World Scholar's Cup, at the Global Round in Dubai. Having skipped the Regional Round we had no idea what awaited us when the unbearable heat hit us as we exited the airport but no matter what expectations each of us had, they were easily surpassed as what followed was simply amazing. We travelled in disguise as a family with 8 children as an air hostess kindly noted so as to not blow our cover. Our papers were suspicious as well, Seb Z looking very much like another IBSB student – Mihnea - in his visa photo.
Then Mr Kingston’s dubious luggage was checked, arguably because a member of our group suggested, in Romanian, he might have a bomb in there. Luckily, they let us pass anyway and we all arrived safely at the incredible Marriott Marquis, the tallest hotel in the world. What it lacked in free Wi-Fi, it made up for in spacious rooms with technology too advanced for us. It turns out that Dubai is a country of odd contradictions. Its citizens dress excessively in high temperatures and the landscape changes at the turn of your head from sand dunes to sky-scrapers. You go from freezing in a bus or the hotel lobby to melting outside. However, the weather didn't stop us and the rest of the 1,600 participants from having a great time.
Before I proceed I would like to mention that The World Scholar's Cup is an academic international competition started by Daniel Berdichevsky. In its 7 years of existence and has grown from a little known contest to something close to a global phenomenon (they even sell t-shirts) and this was its largest global round so far.
To be honest it didn't look promising at first. The food they gave us insulted the good name of shaorma and all the liquids were kept at outside temperature. We had to sit through two long speeches and 'what must be the most boring dance ever' to quote Mr Kingston. Turns out in the heat of the Arab Emirates the best dance you can come up with is moving a thin stick up and down to the rhythm of the music.
But better times were ahead of us and our opinion of Arabic traditional dances would soon be reversed. We watched a demo of another academic contest, the History Bee. We learned that alpacas 'pwa'.
And then we had to look for our Scavenger's Hunt teams. What for? To have the Dubai Mall invaded by teenagers running, dancing, taking photos in odd places or doing all at once. We were randomly divided into teams named after different countries and so we got to meet some of our fellow scholars from all around the world. Everyone had a great time and we were exhausted after a day filled with fun, culminating in a barbeque and disco.
That night many of us ended up on a different stage at the Marriott, dancing at the Scholar’s Ball. It’s pointless to say how great a time everyone had, spinning round to the music together with both new and old friends. Alin’s dance moves were especially noticed by a group of girls from Malaysia and the story does not end here.
The following day we were up early and dressed smartly for our first day of academic events. It went better than we expected, not really knowing what to expect. The day started with team debating and we were pleased to find out that each debate took place in a classroom with no one present other than the two three-member teams and the adjudicator. Congratulations to Seb Z (Year 12) and Anemona and Seb M (Year 13) for winning for all of their debates. The next two events were Collaborative Writing, for which Denisa C (Year 12) received an honourable mention, and The Scholar’s Challenge, an individual random… ah I mean… multiple choice paper. The exciting day ended with the Desert Safari, a dinner and show event in the sand dunes. The food was for the first time delicious, the camels bored and the entertainment extraordinary, featuring exciting dance moves and music. We didn’t leave without contributing to the atmosphere by chanting a few popular Romanian tunes on our way back to the buses for the hotel.
Our third day was filled with even more surprises, as after the Scholar’s Bowl (an academic version of ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’) the Talent Show and Debate Showcase followed. We got to witness the, um supposedly, best debaters resolve the motion ‘Globalization can be stopped’. One of them we believe might be the future president of the United States. The next event brought to the stage equally talented people in diverse arts including composing sad original songs.
The last day of the Scholar’s Cup was filled with both joy and sadness as we had to part from most of our fellow scholars and newly made friends. Steve and Seb M were awarded large, fluffy alpacas for being the top scholars in our school for each division and were thus envied till the end of time. Special congratulations to Steve for facing such tough competition in the junior division as he was our only representative! All in all we had an amazing time on our trip and we now know a lot more about the World Scholars Cup and we look forwards to next year. At the end of the day we girls spent a lovely afternoon at the swimming pool and in the evening we all went to the Dubai Mall for some last minute shopping with three of our new Japanese friends. Then on Monday we all crawled out of bed at 5 am, happy to finally be going home to what we call normal weather and yet sad that our fantastic trip had ended. We left with the contact details of our new friends and promises of exciting student exchange programmes in the UAE and Japan. Alin parted with his Malaysian fans who had woken up early to wish him goodbye. Alpacas safely packed away, we made our way to the airport and thankfully the return trip was uneventful even if Steve’s three-in-one passport confused the check-in worker. We will definitely be competing again this year and maybe even with a larger delegation that can make it all the way to the Tournament of Champions. Pwaaaaaaaaaa!
By Ruxandra R. (Year 12)
KS3 Outward Bound
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
I felt so excited. I was wearing a protective helmet and a safety harness. I was standing on a wooden platform like a pirate about to walk the plank. In front of me was the zip line and beneath me was the drop. My heart was beating very fast and sweat was dripping off my forehead. I felt a push in my back and I was flying through the air like Superman! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Super Matei!
We were on one of the best school trips ever, the Key Stage 3 Outward Bound Trip to the mountains. For me the zip line was the best bit, but there were many more great activities. Navya was the best at paintballing, hitting the target 26 times out of 50! There were many people who excelled at rock climbing, reaching the top of the cliff – including me – Super Matei strikes again! Or shoud I say Spider Matei? We also absailed down the cliff, fired arrows at the targets, played football and rode bicycles. In the evenings, after dinner, we had a pop quizz, played golf archery, sang around the campfire, made pumpkin lanterns for Halloween and had a disco.
There were many great moments and it was especially funny when the cows invaded the pitch and tried to play football and when Mr Kingston tried to dance at the disco: needless to say, the cows were better footballers then Mr Kingston is a dancer!
By Matei C. (Year 8) 48
Performance Morning - Casa Jienilor On the 13th of December, we had our annual performance morning at Casa Jienilor. The day was sunny and pleasant, as if nature wanted to keep it perfect for us. Instead of holding the event in the basement as last year, we gathered together on the first floor – where the sun does shine!
the novel; ‘The Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding spectacularly. During the break, thanks to Mr Militaru’s wonderful guitar playing, we all sang Christmas Carols. “I thought it was a great event for KS3 to communicate with each other and it is an event that I am looking forward to next year,” said Andrei B. from Year 7. Overall, the atmosphere was celebratory and joyous. It was
The daylight poured through the spotless windows. The students and teachers all grinned at each other and sipped their hot chocolate, as the morning sped by. The happiness in the air was unmistakable. Each of the students who participated added creativity, drama and talent to the morning. Lisa P. and Kiki C., both from Year 8, read outstanding writing prompts. Dinu S., in Year 7, read some amusing Shel Silverstein poems and Victor Popa, from Year 7, read a poem he wrote in Ms Bickell’s English class. Navya also blew us away with a superbly sung song.
a great opportunity to show our writing skills to everyone and the parents who came along were both impressed by and proud of the students’ performances. If you were unable to make it to this performance morning, there’s always next year…
By Lena S. (Year 8) There was also some drama! Year 8 performed scenes from 49
Standing Up to My Fears With every step I took my heart was beating faster and faster. With every breath I took I felt like I was losing it. It took a lot for me to process everything… We all want to succeed in life, but we can’t succeed if the challenge is too easy. Then it would mean that we are not achieving to our potential, we would simply be standing still. And the point in life is not winning; it is to rise again each time we fail and to keep moving. There are no impossible things in life; the challenges just take more time to be conquered. And that is a thing I learned recently.
Before the public speaking competition, when I first looked into the assembly room, I froze. I was just paralyzed. There were more than 100 people in the room, and knowing that I needed to stand in front of them all and speak to all of them, that my voice was going to be the only sound in front of the whole school, just made me lose it. And I faced one of the hardest decisions in my life - and that was staying or leaving. I was standing between the hall and the assembly room and I did not know in which direction to move. If I went forward, then it meant that I could not go back, and if went backwards, than it meant that it was over. I wanted to do it, to stand up for myself and speak. It was my chance to shine, and it was my chance to be appreciated, but at the same time I felt goose bumps just thinking about it. I had to make a choice, so I walked forward. I did not want to, I wanted to stop, but my brain was sending signals to my legs to move forward, one in front of the other, and that was what I kept repeating in my head. It was not easy, but I had to do it. Because that is how we succeed in life, by crossing over our limits, and going out of our comfort zone. Succeeding is far more than winning; succeeding is trying. And I succeeded. Not because I won, because I didn’t, but 50
because I had the strength to go up there and do what I never thought I was capable of; because I could look into every body’s eyes and see them looking back, and be proud of myself; be proud of every word that came out of my mouth; and it felt so good!
Well, not at that exact moment because I could not feel my hands holding the paper, but afterwards, it felt perfect. I was proud of myself, and nothing could take that away from me, not even losing, because I felt like a winner. Of course I was looking forward to going into the next round but it took so much for me to remain where I was and I realized then that I can always do more… that to accept defeat and not rise to a challenge is never enough. When it comes to good, it can always be better. And next time it will be.
I don’t know what inspired me for my speech; I guess it just came naturally. Knowing that you can put your feelings on a piece of paper and then showing it to the world can be scary, but at the same time it can be the most wonderful thing ever. This is what I felt. Every single word of it. And I have shared it all over again with everybody now in this article in the hope that I can inspire you to face into your fears and conquer them. By Loren B. (Year 9)
From Inside The Tempest
IBSB is famous for its genuinely amazing students, whether it be debating or participating in an MUN or solving a problem in maths or facing the challenges of science. But I am here, my dear readers, to write about the Winter Production; all the intimate details and behind the scenes information on the wonderful Shakespeare play, The Tempest, adapted and directed so cleverly by the artful hands of Mr Kingston for the enjoyment and understanding of the audience and the actors themselves.
chosen to play the romantic lead of Ferdinand; the role of the beautiful Miranda was given to the appropriately beautiful Adina T.; and the parts of the less than noble Royal Family were assigned to Adriana B, Ruxandra R, Denisa C and - modesty does not forbid me to say - myself.
Casting was managed swiftly: the magnificent Alexandra A. was offered and accepted the main role of Prospero; Steve S. was selected as the gruesome Caliban; Kira H. was
Add in Petru and Yunus for the comic roles of Trincolo and Stephano, and the core of the production was in place. Then there were the Spirits (an invention of Mr Kingston to add a sense of spectacle to the play), the three Ariels (Shakespeare only had one!) and a host of other singers, dancers and minor or invented characters; Mr Kingston even wrote Shakespeare into his own play and by way of illustrating irony, cast Alex O. as the great English playwright! 52
The cast had limited time to rehearse for the fast approaching production, with only two half days in the theatre supplied right before the night of the play and a couple more days of rehearsals within our school. Considering the circumstances, all of our actresses and actors did a brilliant job of remembering their lines, portraying their characters, and knowing their places on stage. Mind you, Mr Kingston was close to exploding when, on the day before the production, some of us (who shall remain nameless Eva) stumbled over lines or entrances and exits.
The night of the play was downright hectic: you could feel the nerves of the actors in the air, with everyone making sure their costumes were in order as they rushed to the restrooms to get ready. But everybody was smiling, reflecting their eagerness and excitement to perform. The parents arrived in droves and as the clock struck six o’clock, began their night by enjoying some of our cool and refreshing beverages - with an addition of a biscuit or two of course. By half past six everyone was seated with their programmes, watching the delightful Primary School’s “Nativity Play”, which turned out wonderfully as they sang joyous Christmas songs.
Then as soon as the young ones finished, it was the Secondary School’s turn on stage and, according to most of the audience, the production was a roaring success.
The melodious voices of our singers combined with the remarkable acting along with the comedic punch lines, created a startling atmosphere that night.
This, of course, would not have been possible without the superb direction of Mr Kingston, the musical talent of Mr Militaru and the commitment of our students to produce a truly memorable play. It is certainly an experience I will never forget!
By Maria Alexandra I. (Year 10) 53
Raising The Tempest in the Winter Show The Director’s Perspective Well, we pulled it off again. Just. But there were times in the build up to the Winter Production when I had my doubts that we would actually see the play through from beginning to end. Once again, my old moan about meeting deadlines and learning lines was heard far too often. The students at IBSB are so good in so many respects, but for an Englishman raised on the virtues of punctuality and preparedness, the ‘Just In Time’ mentality that apparently pervades in Romania can be infuriating in the extreme. This time the deadline was crystal clear: know your lines when we return from the mid-term break. But five weeks later, and on the eve of the show, there were still members of the cast saying, “Yes I’m learning my lines tonight”! And that makes rehearsing desperately difficult! Of course, that gripe did not hold for the entire cast. Some very pleasantly surprised me by learning their lines early, and it is no coincidence that their scenes ran most smoothly on the night. The ‘leave it late brigade’ did well, but they tended to be the actors who stumbled over lines on stage; and there is a life lesson here which, hopefully some will learn based on the experience.
perfect balance between the loving father of Miranda and the tyrannical ruler of the island. Steve S. acted, sang, danced and, along with Kira, even choreographed the show. There were times when he felt the brunt of the frustrated director’s tongue as he stumbled over lines in rehearsals, but he delivered brilliantly on the night. Yunus and Petru played the comic roles superbly, and Adina surprised many with her dedication and final performance, with her scenes with Kira capturing the romantic dimension of the play impressively. The role of Ariel was divided into three and Bianca, Maria and Lena worked superbly as a team when bringing the tricksy spirit to life. But I could go on and on. How good was Victor? How impressive was Maria in the role of Alonso and how beautiful was her duet with Morrissey from The Smiths? And so on and so on. I started by talking about frustration in the run up to the production, but by the end of the evening the consuming sentiment was one of huge pride in a team of students who had given their best and brought a challenging Shakespearian drama to life on stage.
The production was our most ambitious to date, with our biggest cast ever, more song and dance routines than ever before and a richer visual element, in terms of costume, props, lighting and back slides and videos. And here a huge thank you is owed to the parents who ‘went the extra mile’ in procuring the most fabulous period costumes: the photographs of the show are visually stunning! To pick out individuals from the cast is perhaps unfair, but some do deserve special mention. Quite how Alexandra A. committed to memory all her lines, whilst keeping up with her studies and performing her duties as a prefect, is a mystery to me. Typically, she was criticising herself after the show for muddling up one line in hundreds – such is her perfectionist nature. And she was a superb Prospero, the
So I will end by saying a huge well done to everybody; but please guys, spare the director a heart attack by learning your lines earlier next time! By Mr Trevor Kingston - Director and Head of English
Christmas Choir Delight What better way than the gift of music to end an exhausting and stressful first term of school? Every year, before going off to our homes and relaxing into the sheer joy of winter holidays, we have the terrific tradition of the singing of our favourite Christmas carols by our most talented singers. Whilst we are aware of the diverse religions we have in our international school, we believe that everyone can enjoy this melodious event, no matter the religion one believes in, for it is an event that brings people together in a sense of sharing and celebration.
wouldn’t have happened without the help and direction of our one and only Mr Militaru.
Unfortunately, unlike last year, snow did not honour us with its presence but, nevertheless, the day spent in church warmed our hearts and the spirit of Christmas reveal itself in the joyful singing and the congregation’s happy smiles.
It all started off with Mr Peet’s welcoming speech, followed by the musings of our prefects and the wise words of the Reverend Patrick. Then followed the divine singing, backed by our excellent school band. The atmosphere was exhilarating as the audience sang along to carols, which were performed by our singers in various languages.
This task was not easy since the amount of time for practice was scarce and, indeed, almost non-existent. However thanks to perseverance and determination, all the songs including the popular “Jingle Bells” and “Feliz Navidad” were learnt in time and performed superbly. Of course, this
Well, if you can’t smile at the beginning of the Christmas holidays, when can you smile exactly?
By Maria Alexandra I. (Year 10)
Recounting the COBIS World Debate!
There were two main debating contests this year: The Sir Winston Churchill which IBSB hosted on Monday February 3rd, at the Crowne Plaza in Bucharest and The COBIS World Debating Championship, February 6th-10th, which we have just come back from in the Netherlands. Let me first talk about The Sir Winston Churchill, which is for international schools here in Bucharest where the topics (called motions) for the debates must be related to Romania. In all debates, two teams take opposite sides to debate a motion. For example, we debated the issue of stray dogs in Romania from a social, economic and moral point of view. We also had to prepare a debate on the free movement of labour within the EU. We spent a few months planning and practising for these prepared debates with Ms Blessy as we had known the topics since November. We prepared 3 topics, and the one which we ended up having to debate was the EU motion, opposing the motion that â€˜This House believes that the Free Movement of labour within the EU is not workingâ€™. We beat ISB! However, this is not the full story as we also have what are called Impromptu debates. These are topics which we only know about 30 minutes prior to the debate. In this 30 minute period you are required to prepare a case. Impromptu debating tests your quick thinking and wits as you have not had time to write a careful speech and go over it again with your debate coach! Unfortunately, we lost both our Impromptus, and so did not make the Finals. Still it was a very interesting, enjoyable evening and I am really looking forward to next year. 56
But there was no time to rest! Just a few days later was the COBIS World Debate, held in the Netherlands at the British School in The Hague. Like The Sir Winston Churchill, we spent 4 months preparing with Mr Peet and Mr Afzal, often on weekends too, and also had practise debates with BSB, ISB, Lazar and Cosbuc. We also had a practise when the Berlin British School came to visit. It was very exciting for all of us to meet new people from around the world, or in some cases to see them again. Debating is not only about the competition itself, but also about socialising with students and teachers from various backgrounds and networking. In this particular competition we had teams coming from as far afield as the Middle East, Western, Central and Eastern Europe & Africa. It really is quite an experience to be in such an international atmosphere for a few days.
We arrived on Thursday afternoon. After checking in and relaxing for a bit in our rooms, we all met in the lobby to discuss team strategies and make final touches to our speeches, occasionally side-tracking to discussions regarding the meaning of life and world problems. On Friday, the rest of the teams arrived and we had a general assembly in the school’s auditorium, followed by a golf activity in the evening. Saturday was the first day of the competition with the prepared debates. Our team went through the day undefeated, winning all 3 debates. You can imagine how excited we were that day, especially when we qualified to the Cup Competition, which is for the best teams. In the evening, BSN (the school which kindly hosted us) organised a boat cruise for something called the Dutch “ Polders”. As it was dark, I had no idea what I was meant to be looking at, so I still have no idea of what a Polder is, but the cruise was fantastic. On Sunday, we started the day very early, with our first impromptu debate at 8:30. We were declared winners by 1 point, but in a very unexpected turn of events, 30 minutes later we were told that due to a calculation error, we had in fact lost by 1 point, 226-225! It was a hard reality to face and Mr Peet and Mr Afzal talked to us to help us keep a brave face. Unfortunately, sometimes things do not go your way in life. The interesting point though is that the final winner of the competition was the host school BSN, and IBSB beat BSN in the first round convincingly, so at least our team can be happy in knowing that we beat the tournament champions; and I am sure would have again had we met them in the final irrespective of home advantage.
Still, we had a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream vending machine for our comfort food. We all took so much comfort, that by the time we checked out of the hotel on Monday, the machine had a sign on it saying DEFECT! We would like to thank Miss Blessy, Mr Afzal and Mr Peet for their hard work in helping us prepare over the year – and Ben & Jerry too of course!
I will be sad to say goodbye to the year 13s in the team, Victor L., Catrinel Vlad, Sonia S. and Alex P., but life goes on and I am very excited about the prospect of joining with a new team of debaters for next year – with the aim to win so convincingly that no last minute recount can deprive us of the victor’s laurel! By Andrei D. (Year 11)
Student Views Earthquakes Reach an Earth Shattering Record If you have been in Romania in the past few months, you must have heard about at least one of the earthquakes that started from the epicentre in the Galati County. Romania is considered a country with high seismic activity, but the recent tremors have been surprising even for us.
Suggestions that fracking may be responsible seem to have been dismissed with the seismic boffins confirming: “We took into consideration two key elements which theoretically could have influenced the earthquakes. Drilling for water had no influence; this theory was rejected a long time ago precisely because of the procedure for the drilling - none of the drilling is allowed to go deeper than 1100 meters. The seismic hotspots were detected at a depth of 5000 metres and drilling does not induce shocks of pressure.” “Water did not enter the zone of the epicentre. According to the measurements, the water is at the surface and considering the position of the epicentre, it was not possible for the water to infiltrate the depths of the earth.”
There has been thorough investigation as to what exactly has caused these spontaneous earthquakes. However, it isn’t just the spontaneity which is surprising, but also the frequency, and it isn’t just local seismologists who are astounded. Japanese seismologists are all baffled by the unique phenomena that is occurring at Galati. After closely observing the series of earthquakes that occurred over a period of 24 hours, the seismologists confirmed the fact that they had never noticed such erratic results: at least 10 earthquakes every 24 hours in October. The fact that they occur relatively close to the surface of the earth means that the earthquakes caused loud noises, and were felt as if they were much stronger than they actually were. The people of Izvorani experienced such conditions for weeks, and they are desperate for an answer. Japanese specialists have agreed to support Romania in this time of confusion and it was decided that they would send seismologists to help explain and hopefully help solve these odd occurrences. After approximately 200 earthquakes and several speculations, the reasons behind these earthquakes were eventually discovered. 58
What-ever the cause, we all need to know what to do should the big one strike. We have practised drills at school and it is crucial that we do not panic and follow the simple Earthquake Safety guide. Let’s keep our heads guys – literally! By Sebastian M. (Year 13)
Teachers’ favourite cultures Mr Afzal Shaikh:
Ms Johanna Croci:
Historians are always careful about these sorts of questions. Putting yourself into a particular time and place is necessarily inviting accusations of anachronism and the benefits of hindsight. Still, if I could get into a time machine, H.G. Wells’ style, I would go to Paris in 1919. The First World War (fought between 1914-1918) which blew apart the verities of the 19th century had led to a Europe, and a wide world, which was in a state of flux and crisis. With the old verities gone, a generation was intent on redrawing a new world, led by the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson (who was determined that the First World War should be the ‘war to end all wars’!). Paris, 1919, was the location of the talks. Representatives from nations great and small gathered to discuss the new world, from Lawrence of Arabia trying to honour his promise to the Arab nations, to Ho Chin Minh, then a young Vietnamese student, who presented a petition to the leading nations asking for independence for Vietnam from the French. I would like to have witnessed the Paris talks when it seemed a new world was possible. Of course, ironically and with hindsight, we know the Paris talks sowed the seeds of the 20th century, the bloodiest century known to humankind.
1. Culture is fascinating, maybe that's why I find it hard to isolate a single culture that I like more than others. I like the ideas behind cultural movements like the Italian Rinascimento or the Golden Age of Islam (that gets unfairly less attention compared to its European counterpart). I like their focus on limitless human potential and capacity for development. If we're talking about countries, I think the country you've lived in most - just like the person you know best - you end up having lots of reasons to love and hate. In my case, I find Romania quite amazing, surprising, beautiful, diverse and full of sentiment, and even if there are things about it that make me mad sometimes, I'll probably keep on loving it for as long as I live. 2. I feel attached to the historical moments where there is a bursting enthusiasm of the masses and a sense of common identity, purpose and solidarity. The 1st of December 1918 the day of the declared Union (when Transylvania was attached to the "old kingdom" of Romania), and the Romanian Revolution in December 1989, which I was old enough to understand and remember, are such moments. 3. I like the Romanian way of making fun of adversity ("haz de necaz"). I think it doesn't just make life bearable in some terrible circumstances, it actually tells people not to take themselves too seriously, and that a witty laugh, even though it might not change things on the spot, is a reminder that circumstances change all the time. I preserve the sense of unity found in most Italian homes and I cook Italian food. I also respect the Japanese sense of honour and duty that I've learned in my karate practice. 4. We live in "mix and match" times. People experience many cultures directly and borrow from those cultures; sometimes they are "just tasting", and on other occasions they immerse themselves completely into cultures that are new to them. From my point of view, to experience a culture you just have to live it, to participate in it - and that's what I'm doing on a daily basis.
Questions: 1. 2. 3. 4.
What culture/country do you admire the most, and why exactly? What part of history fascinates you so much? What part of this country’s culture do you admire (society, food, art…)? If you could change your lives according to this culture, what would you change?
Mr Peter Blythe: 1. Observing the culture or renaissance of Italy and the environments where the modern understanding of the world was forged for the first time, that vast explosion of creativity, art and science. So observing how that worked would really interest me. 2. Roman history is fascinating because of the impact it has left on countries I’ve lived in, for example it’s left its’ mark on Britain, Germany and Romania. Thinking about how it managed to spread and why it didn’t actually last would be interesting once again. 3. Simply the spread of culture and power, not just the micro politics but the entire view on this vast spreading. 4. It would be nice if we could live in a culture where barriers are broken down between art and science a bit more. Then again we can’t go back to the Renaissance days when one man could understand all the sciences. So this cross-over between the two, art and science, is also something that fascinates me.
Even though we do work every day, and live in this multinational society of ours, for me it’s most important thing is that we keep our own identity and learn from other countries. If you ignore your own identity it will be harder for you to comprehend others. Be proud of your own culture! This isn’t nationalism; I simply believe that if you know who you are and you can understand other people and other cultures, you benefit from various perspectives to the world. 2. The resilience of the Romanian people, and this extraordinary power to face anything, be it positive or negative, just facing life as it is. 3. The land, the people, the history and the beliefs of all the people in general. I think there’s a special bond between Romanians, similar to every other culture, we have our own magical bond. Despite all the differences and problems we’re facing, what we’re living today is a turning point in our modern history. 4. If I could, I would really like this summer to visit the Danube Delta; it’s a shame I haven’t been there yet. There are still some hidden remote places I haven’t been to.
Mr Neill Lee: 1. The Romanian culture, because you have a lot of traditions which you are simply proud of and I enjoy participating alongside you, for example the family traditions I’m a part of. 2. I find it fascinating that Ceausescu tried to enforce the idea that working on the land is something we should all be proud of, because of this enforcement people don’t think that way, they went against it. For example my son Alex once went to cut wood at the countryside, and I was told by the people there that I shouldn’t demean him by making him do that, and I said that they should be proud of it! I was also working on the hay, and it was tough; indeed, this 60 year old lady was doing double the work I was and I obviously felt embarrassed. I found it interesting how she said that I was a professor and I shouldn’t do any manual labour alongside her. 3. The work, as I’ve said before, and the family traditions here feel significantly closer, as I feel more attached to my own wife than my parents. 4. If I could make enough money working off the land in Romania, then that’s what I’d do.
Ms Diana Lia: 1. I embrace all cultures, but I prefer the Romanian one because it’s my own culture, even though I really enjoy travelling and I do indeed work in a multinational school.
Ms Jane Broadhurst: 1. The Spanish culture, with the Flamenco, music, all the dancing, the language and even the food. Just about anything around this area. 2. All the Moorish culture (the Moors were these medieval Muslim inhabitants that came from Morocco) and how they’ve influenced architecture, then the Andalucían history in southern Spain. 3. The Alhambra from Granada in Andalucía, Spain, it’s architecture is very unique and magical. Then back to this Andalucian culture, I’d say it’s the stark and true freedom the people have, then there’s the flamenco that’s based around the nomadic gypsy culture. 4. Live in a yurt? Just move around, nomadic, free and travelling. By Denisa Ana C. (Year 12) 61
A Man Without A Pulse If you’ve ever wondered about the possibility of us becoming somewhere near androids, then I’d say question no more, for just a few years ago Drs Frazier and Cohn from the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, successfully substituted a vital organ with an artificial copy. Their patient was a 55 year old man named Craig Lewis, who has set the world record of THE FIRST HEARTLESS MAN according to the World Record Academy, and as such he’s known as the man without a pulse. Craig was diagnosed with a rare condition that didn’t allow him the benefits of a heart transplant. On top of that waiting for a heart in order to have it transplanted takes years, so it would have been too late anyway. Moreover, his body produced abnormal proteins that affected his heart, and there was always the possibility that these proteins would damage another heart he might have received via a transplant. Therefore Craig was stuck with a failing heart and with no way of recovering his former health. For this reason Frazier and Cohn decided to find a solution to Craig’s problem, for whenever such a condition would arise again they wouldn’t be able to cure the patient, and this wall that made them stumble is a wall they had no intention of running against once again in the future.
That’s when they started planning, starting to think of the great solution to such a great problem; and they asked themselves why couldn’t they simply make a heart? Now this idea was spurred by Dr Frazier’s previous interest in totally artificial hearts when he wrote a research paper on this subject in college. So these men built a whole, complete, totally artificial heart.
After the doctors finalised their prototype they had to make sure that it actually worked and wouldn’t damage the organism using it, so they did tests on animals (calves in particular) and discovered that these calves managed to live with the artificial device within their bodies. The next thing was to operate on Craig himself to see the results.
Happily, Craig was cured, and his wife curiously listened to the absence of his heartbeat and heard this continuous hum instead. Craig was perfectly fine after the operation, he ate and talked and felt fantastic. However, Craig’s condition wouldn’t stop at his heart; those abnormal proteins would later spread to his kidney and liver causing these organs to fail. Moreover, some people found a psychological twist to this situation, saying that people wouldn’t take their pledges so seriously since they wouldn’t pledge on a real heart. And who would want to receive a Valentine’s Card with an artificial heart?
So we have artificial intelligence, prosthetic limbs and now a man-made heart (one can’t help thinking it would be much more loving if it was a woman made heart!); are we really so very far from creating the first walking, talking, thinking android? By Denisa Ana C. (Year 12)
Exciting Christmas Break Ioana Catuneanu (Year 12) - Japan: For the New Year’s holiday I was able to meet an old colleague of mine who used to be at this school, Aakriti, in Tokyo, Japan. I checked into a traditional Japanese hotel, where I slept on the floor in those traditional sheets, and one day I joined the locals in their morning prayers out of curiosity. In Nara I saw a bunch of cute little deer walking around, something the city is famous for.
Alexandra Dragic (Year 11) - London and Paris: I first started my holiday shopping in Paris at the Gallery Lafayette. From there my family and I took the sub-ocean train (TGV Eurostar) to London where we checked into this classy hotel with elegant furniture and a fireplace. Right next to the hotel was the tour bus station from where we headed right off. We got off in the area of London with the coolest houses where Prince Harry lives. We visited Madame Tussauds, where there was a whole room with One Direction and my sister went crazy over those wax figures and she took a lot of pictures. I really liked London the most because there's a lot to see and it’s a clean city in the centre.
Vlad Stanoi (Year 11) - Australia : Even if I did not have a great first impression of Australia, being a country full of regulations, it has very nice surf beaches. There I got to surf quite a bit and the highest wave I managed to ride was 2.5 m, more than twice my height. I also went to the Australian zoo “Home Of The Crocodile Hunter”, where I saw some red kangaroos and my mum touched a koala bear. Overall, the best place in Australia in my opinion is Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast. By Denisa Ana C. (Year 12) 63
Riding the Roller Coaster of the Stock Exchange at IBSB How can students be taught about the business world if they don’t do any practical examples and are not rewarded with actual money? In Year 10 students are working on a project that’s as realistic as it can be.
We have to select 10 companies from the FTSE 100 list and choose wisely which ones are worth investing in. Each student will speculate 10 Ron on the performance of our selected portfolio and then watch to see if the value of our virtual investment shrinks or grows. And in whoever’s portfolio is worth the most on Friday June 13 will hit the jackpot and scoop the total of 190 Ron! We will calculate the profit as though we had actually invested £10,000 in each company. Although it sounds simple enough, to succeed you have to do some research on the companies that interest you. I picked Royal Dutch Shell B because, looking over their old share prices, they hadn’t suffered any major collapses for the last year, and since they are an oil and gas company, their share price is most likely to grow if there is not a major oil spillage. Also, my research involved checking to see if their CEO is new or if he has been involved in any public scandals or something else that might affect the business later on in the future. Yes, I did my “homework” but you can’t predict everything and, one week in, Mr Kingston shared with us the news that the company had issued a
profits warning for the year after disappointing returns on new explorations; and so the likelihood is that their share price will fall. I should have picked BP instead!
And I was not alone in making a bad call. Many students in the class selected HSBC and other major UK banks before learning that the financial regulators may soon be imposing huge fines for manipulating key indices and that the leader of Her Majesty’s official opposition, Ed Milliband, is calling for the big five banks to be broken up. Again, that will probably be bad news for the share price! The game really isn’t as easy as it first appeared and simply picking companies that you recognize is not the way to succeed!
But that’s the point: we are learning about investing and, as in the real world, our liability is limited to the 10 Ron we have speculated in the competition. I hope to win but more importantly, I know I am learning and having fun whilst doing so. And that’s when education is at its best!
By Mihnea R. (Year 10)
Creative Corner Creative Writing IGCSE Captive I was awake, but didn’t need to open my eyes to know where I was; or more importantly, who the person beside me was. I could feel his breath on my hand, warm, constant. I could feel his fingers interlocked with mine; his firm, masculine hand holding my tiny, soft one. If there was any definition for safety, that was him. I couldn’t help it, I had to open my eyes to see his pouty lips and sleepy face. In his sleep, his eyebrows arched slightly, frowning like usual. It was around 6 am. It was cold and dark outside, yet my heart was warm and bright like a flame, his breath, the oxygen that was keeping me alive. He was holding my hand to his mouth, almost kissing it. His luscious lips parted, his teeth matching the bite marks on my neck perfectly. His eyes closed, his long eyelashes slightly shivering, the first sign that he was about to wake up. I leaned over the half-asleep beast carefully, placing a soft kiss upon his forehead; my cold, dry lips pressing upon his pale, icy skin. He tilted his head to the side, his dark locks of hair perfectly fitting the shape of his face. His eyes opened halfway and our gazes met. We didn’t need words; the selfish creature knew I was under his spell. His lips curved into a grin, his eyes glistening in joy because I was an angel, untouched and trapped in the cage our love had formed. He knew he had triumphed as I was still there, in his “life” despite the threats from a few hours before of leaving him. But I was always free to leave, because I will always be welcomed back to stay. He would try to banish me from that room sometimes, but he knew he couldn’t ban me from his heart. As his eyes playfully watched mine, I knew I was the only person he looked at rather than through. People would say he was tough, mean, bad for me. But he wasn’t trying to ruin my life, he was trying to make his better.
Could you blame him? Those dark eyes embraced what everyone else fought against; the fact that humanity isn’t all compassion and kindness; being human means being a scumbag sometimes, being selfish and doing what’s best for yourself. I was selfless when it came to him though: I’d let him ruin me and then fix me in one night; because I was his; and he was mine. His name honey on my tongue, my whole mouth filled with sweetness as I whisper it, my voice dancing on the way to his ear. He answered through a kiss, sealing my lips with the promise of eternal love; and in that kiss I could taste his insecurity, his agony, his shaking trust in me as he admitted to the fact that he was as addicted to me as I was to him. We loved being in love, even if that drained us of patience, words, tears. In that moment, we didn’t care for anything else and the concept of time was just a mortal myth. By Anita A. (Year 10)
“His luscious lips were parted, his teeth matching the bite marks on my neck perfectly”
The white figure… As fragile as a rose, and as pure as a water drop. A single shade of light, falling on her eggshell hair color, nearly invisible, gently touching her pure white shoulders. Her eyes closed, showing off a smoky eyelid, covering her deep midnight black eyes. Me, staying in a corner and observing her. Listening to her breathing, feeling her every move; watching her every tear hidden behind a sparkle in her intense eyes. So intense that you could get lost in them… so easily. The place, so silent and so dark. Everything covered in gloom. I could see her watching me, even with her eyes closed. I could feel her scuttle, even if I knew she was still. Just the sound of a deep silence falling on us. She was nothing but a white figure in the middle of nowhere; a deep, intense, scary nowhere. From time to time, the silence is broken by the sound of a fragile tear hitting the ground. Splashing and laying there, next to her. But suddenly, through the window comes a beloved and awaited ray of light. The darkness breaks apart into pieces and dust rises off the ground, making everything foggy. Her face turns shiny and a smile cracks the sadness and the tears. As soon as the fog rises, she rises as well, letting her big, wet eyes absorb the Sun and light her fragile, white body. By Loren B. (Year 9)
Descriptive Writing The salty breeze rippled through the dense jungle. The pale pink sand formed a silky border to the sea. Flamboyantly-coloured fish glided blissfully through the glistening turquoise water. Like a painting, the ocean reflected the sky in perfect harmony. The birds flitted around, cooing pleasantly. The luscious tropical flowers bloomed, their aroma gently wafting through the air. The amber sky beamed as the sun descended behind maroon clouds. As the moon crept upwards in the east, shining like a beacon, the jungle slowly slipped into a sweet slumber, waiting dreamily for the sunrise. By Lena S. (Year 8)
My Inner Demon I can’t take it anymore These voices in my head will not surrender And I am slowly losing myself In the puddle of my own nightmares Alone. Suicidal. Defeated And most of all damaged. I am torn in such insignificant pieces That I can no longer mend myself I am beyond broken To such a point in which I cease to live I don’t recognize this fragile creature That is staring right back at me in the mirror As if about to burst With the inner screams of exasperation If you could read my thoughts In the middle of the night You would probably be in tears For I always am My mind is playing chess with me Move by move winning all along Checkmate My king scattered on the frozen ground And as I recently found out You don’t need water to feel like you’re drowning When you’re cornered into your own thoughts That are all against you Months later And I still go to sleep with fear Of what I will dream of this time For the demons at night still come to play By Maria Alexandra I. (Year 10) 67
Valentineâ€™s Day Special Teenagers are always talking, singing and writing about falling in love, but they are far too young to know what love really is. Really?
Lust is more of a physical attraction, one that you might feel today and be gone by tomorrow. It's not for a long period of
Love shouldn't have to be defined or judged. Love is whatever you want it to be. For us teenagers, love is perfect, amazing, beautiful, the tears on your pillow, the outbursts of laughter in the middle of class, friendship set on fire, a war between your head and heart, both your enemy and your best friend, what makes you keep going back to that one person who disappointed you from the beginning and pain and happiness at the same time. To give a proper definition, 'love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment'.
time, and it is not as intense. Love, well, love is different. The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you'll see their flaws. That's just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don't last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they're out of money or under pressure. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind, love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice, it's seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to walk away.
Stating the fact that teenagers are far too young to know what love really is is similar to removing from a bird its wings. You take away their opportunity to discover and to experiment by just saying that phrase to them. All their hope will be gone, and they'll feel like they don't have to try and find love at this point in life as they will be convinced they are far too young to know what it really is, when in fact, love at this teenage age is perhaps the most beautiful love anyone can ever experience in their lifetime. Teenagers can fall in love with anything. We can fall in love with a good book, we can fall in love with the rain on a Friday night, we can fall in love with that song on the radio that keeps repeating on every station, we can fall in love with a quote that represents our feelings, we can fall in love with a good movie, we can fall in love with chocolate, we can fall in love with the sound of whatever makes us feel like we're alive. We can fall in love with happiness, and as teenagers, we tend to find happiness in someone else's arms. As many adults out there would say, teenagers at this age donâ€™t really know what love is. They can only feel lust. So what is the difference exactly between love and lust? 68
As a great philosopher, Janos Arnay, said, "In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities." Therefore, it's not impossible for a teenager to fall in love. It's not impossible for them to find its true meaning, and to experience it to the fullest, as each memory passes them by. That's what our teenage years teach us, to fall in love. Just as a baby makes its first steps, it is destined for us to learn what love is at a teenâ€™s age, because it's the most exhilarating feeling that you can encounter. It's beautiful, and easy. It's not marriage, it's not about legal complications and high expectations. It's about finding happiness in the small things, and learning that falling in love at this age can make your youth so much more worth it than ever. There is no exact meaning for love. It's a great thing, a routine that you have to have in your life.
And as your teenage years pass you by, you'll learn that you will fall in love despite the differences between you and another person. And once you do, something rare and beautiful will be created. Falling in love at this age is a funny thing. You start by expecting it to be a world of roses and laughs and perfect moments that you find only in movies. You expect her to always say the right thing, and always know exactly how you feel, or exactly how to react to it. You expect her to calm you down when you're yelling or to chase you when you run away. You expect so much that you will sometimes feel entirely, and utterly defeated when something doesn't exactly match up with all your plans. But that's the thing. Love isn't a plan. It doesn't have to be labeled as something that teenagers can't comprehend. It doesn't have a certain beginning and it certainly has no end or visible finish line to those deeply in love.
Love happens, it is so incredibly messy. People around you can't comprehend why you do the things you do, or why you fight so hard for something that seems to cause you so much pain, because simply, they can't see. They can't see the invisible ring of insanity that surrounds you when you're in love. It's inconvenient and painful and devastating at times, but we can't live without it. What you don't learn is how hard love is. How much work it takes. How much of ourselves we
have to put into it. How it isn't worth it until we are complete and utter idiots about it. Love isn't her calming you down when you yell. It's her yelling, just as loud, just as hard, right back at you, right in your face to wake you up and to keep you grounded. It isn't him bringing you roses everyday. It's after a long fight, that drains the life and bones right out of you both, and yet her showing up at your door the next morning anyway. It's not her saying all the right things or knowing exactly how to handle you. So no, it's not her caressing your hair and telling you everything is going to be alright. It's her standing there, admitting she's just as scared as you are. You have to remember that with love, you're not the only one involved. You've unknowingly put your life, your heart, into the palms of another person's hands and said, here. Do what you will. Mash it into mince meat. Or forget I ever handed it to you. As long as you have it. It makes us crazy. It makes reality invisible and it erases all the lines that we shouldn't cross. Because love isn't about fencing ourselves in; feeling safe, feeling sure about the future. It's about scaring every nerve in our body, not pushing forward anyway. Because all the fighting and all the tears and all the uncertainty is worth it. And it's a lot better than being 100% happy without someone, showing us that there is a world of a difference between feeling 'happy' and feeling whole. So the next time someone says that a teenager doesn't know what love is; the next time someone doubts the ability of a teenage girl or a boy to love with all his heart; the next time someone cuts your wings just as a bird's, all you have to do is think twice, and understand that love is international, love is for any age. Don't underestimate, don't assume, and don't judge one of the most extraordinary feelings in the world, because love is how you stay alive, even after you're gone.
By Andreea S. (Year 11)
Book Selection And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green John Green’s fourth novel was published in 2012, but to this day, it’s still on the best sellers list. This book is absolutely magnificent, because it’s the kind of book that fills you with joy, but then strikes you with sadness. John Green has captured the art of drawing readers to the characters, which is what everyone wants. The book focuses on the love story between Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace, as they fight the obstacles in their way and try to make their dreams come true; while they still can. The title of this book was inspired by a famous line in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. The Fault in Our Stars is soon to be a film, and if it’s as amazing as the book, you won’t want to miss it!
The wonderful author that brought to you The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns is back with his newest book, after 6 years of hiatus. Hosseini decided to write this book with a special theme behind it, making it “an unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.” The story takes place in 1952, following the lives of several different characters. Mostly we are introduced to the aftermath of the situation, after Saboor decides to sell his three-year-old daughter, Pari, to a wealthy, childless couple in Kabul. This devastates the son, Abdullah, who was the one to raise Pari after their mother’s death in childbirth. Plot twists occur and you won’t be able to put the book down, because it will certainly teach you a lesson.
The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
1984 by George Orwell Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while the year 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions. A legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.
If you haven’t heard of the name Mitch Albom before, then let me introduce you to him. Author of The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Have a Little Faith, For One More Day and my personal favourite, The Time Keeper, he was born in New Jersey. However, he has been all over the world throughout his life. The First Phone Call from Heaven is his newest novel, a virtuosic story of love, history and belief. Authors all over the world have congratulated Albom for his extraordinary work: “A beautifully rendered tale of faith and redemption that makes us think, feel, and hope—and then doubt and then believe, as only Mitch Albom can make us do.” —Garth Stein, New York Times. The Story takes place in Michigan and everything starts with a phone call, a voice claiming that they are from Heaven. How is that possible? By Yagmur O. (Year 11)
Telefon: 021.210.89.08 Web: www.prior.ro 71
How to set up blogs Step 2. Which blogging platform to use, self self--hosted or free? Tumblr, Wordpress, Blogspot…blogs are all the new rage today! More and more teenagers and young adults are signing up on online platforms to share anything from their opinions on cultural movements to their favourite artwork. It’s all a great deal of fun and highly useful in terms of expressing yourself and connecting to others, having to communicate with others, settle debates and accept different views; but many people are faced with the greatest challenge before they even begin sharing their views: how does one set up a blog?
Step 1. What will you publish? The most important thing is to decide on the content of your blog. It is always tempting to add photos of kittens together with videos of Metallica and brief passages from your favourite books, but you may end up disappointed if your goal was to gather as many subscribers as possible. There are many other platforms you can share the above-mentioned elements on, but you will find that, even if they are on diverse websites like Tumblr (where basically everything goes), the vast majority of internet surfers have something in mind when they look up a blog. There are a lot of bloggers on the web already. If you want to attract readers, you are going to need to establish your credibility. Don't just blog about anything. Pick a topic you are passionate about and most importantly, have a lot of knowledge of. So, Mr Kingston writes a blog on his favourite football team, West Ham United, and his site has now enjoyed over four million hits.
You can choose to be self-hosted or free. As far as self-hosted is concerned, domains cost about $8 – $12 a year. In addition, you will need web hosting, which costs about $4 – $7 a month. If you don’t have the money, then start with free blogging platforms, such as blogger.com or tumblr.com. Unfortunately, with these platforms you will not get your own address and your blog will be accessible from yourblog.blogspot.com or yourblog.tumblr.com. The downside of a free blog is that it will be somewhat limited (only a few layouts and plugins) and you don’t have much control over it. Bear in mind that your domain name should be: catchy, easy to remember, unique. Mr Kingston uses Blogger and it was so easy to set up that even he could do it – and he’s over 50 years old, so remembers the days before the World Wide Web even existed!
Step 3. Start blogging! Getting the reader’s subscriptions will be difficult at first, but the key in gathering a loyal audience is consistency. If you are committed to your blog, share it often and post there frequently, you will soon find that you will have drawn enough attention and people will begin following you intently. Most importantly, remember to have fun!
By Alexandra A. (Year 13)
Upcoming Movies That Awkward Moment
Genre: Comedy | Romance Coming out on: 31 January 2014 Director: Tom Gormican Three best friends find themselves where we've all been - at that confusing moment in every dating relationship when you have to decide "So...where is this going?" Stars: Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, Miler Teller
X-men: Days of Future Past
Genre: Thriller Coming out on: 24 january 2014 Director: Jorge Dorado A man with the ability to enter peoples' memories takes on the case of a brilliant, troubled sixteen-year-old girl to determine whether she is a sociopath or a victim of trauma Stars: Taissa Farmiga, Mark Strong, Brian Cox
Genre: Action | Adventure | Fantasy Coming out on: 23 May 2014 Director: Bryan Singer The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender
Genre: Action | Comedy | Fantasy | Romance Coming out on: 14 February 2014 Director: Mark Waters Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human/half vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world. Her legacy is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi. This is her story. Stars: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky By Anita A. (Year 10)
international british school of bucharest Education without frontiers