It is hard to believe that September is nearly over. What an exciting term it has been so far. With our new enrichment programmes up and running, the football teams having their first training sessions, the new classrooms and learning spaces looking amazing, the Juramento de la Bandera celebrated, the teachers reporting on the great work of the students and the students themselves exploring so many ways to develop their passion for learning and their independence.
Last week I saw some fabulous lessons: students were learning map skills; holding high level discussions about literature; answering challenging exam-style questions; singing protest songs; conducting experiments to understand how food travels through the digestive system; learning the national anthems and playing instruments in an ensemble with perfect rhythm. These are just some snapshots of the variety of outstanding learning that takes place every day here at BSQ.
Year 4 in the science lab
Juramento de la Bandera
Last Thursday we celebrated the achievements of our Year 13 students with the annual Juramento de la Bandera. As always, our students were a wonderful public example of how hard they work and committed they are to their school and to their studies.
Congratulations again to all the students in Year 13 and to the students who received special recognition for their achievements during their secondary years.
Our team - the Reception, Admissions and Marketing team
Many of you are familiar with this team as they are often the first port of call when you arrive at the school. Always working hard with such positivity and pride in the school, the reception, admissions and marketing team help everyone to feel happy and welcome at BSQ from the moment they make an enquiry to their first day as members of the community and beyond.
All our primary parents are now on Canvas and using it to read about the learning in lessons, homework and other exciting activities. Soon all our secondary parents will be able to share in the homework logs of their children from Year 7 upwards. These are exciting steps and part of the Orbital network plans to help parents, students and teachers to learn together using the latest technology.
As you know we work closely with the Little Kickers group to provide our brilliant coaches for students of all ages and as part of this partnership, this year Little Kickers is offering a discount in enrolment for families who are interested.
Trip Opportunities Project
We would like to invite you all to share the wealth of experience and knowledge of our community with our students. We have produced a short survey to fill out for those of you who would be willing to either come in to school to talk about your business and profession or for our students to come and visit your place of work to gain first-hand experience of the rich opportunities you can offer. Please state whether this is available to all school children or certain age groups. This information will be held in our school database and be shared amongst our teachers for enriching our curriculum.
Please find the survey link here: BSQ Trip Opportunities Survey
Mrs. Helen Dávila
From the Staff and Students
Continuing with our teachers and their stories about learning in the classroom this term. This week we hear from Mrs. Sally Madden and Year 9 students in Secondary and from our Reception team in Primary.
Mrs. Sally Madden – TOK and Humanities Secondary Teacher
Making the move from Primary to Secondary School is an important step for the students at BSQ. With the support of the teachers at BSQ we have tried to make this transition as smooth as possible. As one of the Year 7 Tutors, I have spent the last few weeks answering questions, resetting email passwords, returning lost items and supporting the students during their transition. The students have been learning more about independence, organisation, friendship and what it is like to be a Secondary student. So, what is it like to be a Secondary school student? I asked Year 7 the very same question and would like to share some of the answers with you:
“Being in Secondary is cool”
“I like how quick the day passes”
“My favourite thing is all the support I get from the teachers”
“You are free to move around the school and do more things”
“You do fun things like House competitions”
“My favourite thing about Secondary is that we have to be responsible”
“The main change was with homework. It wasn’t too difficult to settle”
“The changes are the times of the day and it is difficult to think about listening”
“I have really enjoyed learning about everything”
It was my birthday on Wednesday and I enjoyed spending my break time with the excited students from Year 7 and Mr Edwards with a surprise chocolate cake which they helped me eat. I look forward to continuing to support them throughout the year.
Our students in Reception have made an impressive start to the year. After just four weeks, we know our routines, we are making new friends and exploring new challenges in continuous provision every day!
Last week, we started our home reading program. Students in Reception read every night with an adult or older sibling and share ideas about the story. We begin Read Write Inc phonics this week and we will be learning new sounds and how to blend them into whole words. We have enjoyed philosophy, meditation and active outdoor play as a Reception team every day before lunch.
Dates for your Diary
October 2nd – Open Day for Admissions 2020-2021. 9am – 10:30am
October 3rd – Reading Workshop for Parents from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. 8am at the Library
October 19th – Global Citizenship Day
October 21st - 25th – CAS Spirit Week
October 25th – Halloween Dress up Parade
Being BSQ – Primary Update
Following on from our newsletter article about Reading, Mrs Farag and Ms Armas are presenting a Reading Workshop on Thursday at 8am in the Library, aimed at parents of Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 students. This will give you lots of tips about how and when to read with your child and give you some important information about the phonics programme we use here, Read Write Inc.
Linked to this, I want to explore the power of modelling in another area of our lives where we can directly influence the habits of our children – the use of technology. In our increasingly technological world, our habits are often mirrored by our children, so if we constantly have a device in our hand or our face in a screen, children will learn that the device takes priority over humans and real life experiences. Our children’s technology use and screen time is likely to resemble our own—what we do with our device at the dinner table, while driving, or while waiting at a restaurant is likely what they will do in the future. Our children’s chance at living a present, joy-filled life in a distracted world begins with us and our own ability to manage screen time, through modelling of healthy technology use. One of the most effective strategies for reducing screen time and maintaining healthy boundaries between real life and technology is to make a conscious decision to temporarily push aside the daily distractions of screen time and give your undivided attention to someone or something meaningful in your life. This does not mean giving up technology altogether, and it does not mean ignoring your job responsibilities, volunteer obligations, or home duties. Here are some small changes you can make as individuals or as a family that will make a big impact on you and your family’s well-being, now and in the future:
- Protect family time by turning off the notifications on your phone and placing it out of reach so you are not tempted to check it whenever it dings. In addition, shut down the computer until the kids go to bed so a quick look at email or social media does not turn into hours of useless screen time. If your children use devices, have everyone participate in this sacred time of undisturbed connection each day.
- Go to places with no electronic distractions and leave the devices at home. Visit the local bookshop or go on family hikes and picnics. Visit new places on the weekends, such as parks, museums, farmer’s markets and inexpensive sporting events. Taking a break from the online world offers a restorative breather. Within these breaks, conversation flows and memories are made.
- Resist the urge to look at your phone when you are with your children/family in “waiting” situations like the doctor’s office, restaurants, events, or activities. This wait time is ideal “connection” time and provides powerful modelling. In addition, wait time provides much needed time for our minds to wander and process the feelings and events of the day.
- Be an example of what it means to live presently. Let it be known when you make the choice to put away your distractions or limit your screen time. For example, inform the family that you are putting your phone in the glove compartment as you drive or leaving the phone at home when you go out to dinner or take a walk. Express gratitude for sights, sounds, tastes, and moments in life that you would have missed if you were tied to technology.
- Create at least one daily ritual where time with your child is sacred and undistracted. This might include: tucking him or her in bed at night, having dinner together, walking the dog, or enjoying morning snuggles. No matter how distracted the day becomes or has been, your child can count on having that uninterrupted connection time with you. It is incredibly motivating to think that someday your child will remember you holding a leash, a book, a fishing pole, or a gardening tool instead of a phone.
As you take small steps in your life to limit screen time and create space for meaningful living and loving, notice the positive results. What emotions do you experience when you step away from your devices to spend time with a loved one? Do you notice anything special about your loved one that you failed to notice before? Does the importance of your online activities decrease when you are engaged in a moment of loving human connection? Are you beginning to notice more opportunities to connect to what matters to you?
This week, I have sent reminders to parents about the importance of every student wearing a hat in school, even when the weather is cloudy. Please do make sure your child has a labelled hat in school throughout the week – they will not be allowed to play in the open without a hat at school.
Star of the Week
Head of Primary
Being BSQ – Secondary Update
On Friday of last week, Secondary students took part in the first stage of a new process here at BSQ, the Learning Mastery Programme. The LMP is modelled on our own teacher development practices, and is a student-guided approach to addressing gaps and building personal and academic strengths.
It begins with a self-audit of twenty skills, behaviours, and mindsets, all of which are vital for success. On the basis of this audit, students set themselves a goal: one thing they would like to develop this year. They will then meet with their tutors for regular one-to-one coaching sessions throughout the year - this is the reason for there now being two tutors for each class - during which sessions they will be led through a coaching process to identify their own next steps, strategies, and actions necessary to meet their goals. Not only will this result in better learners, but with learners motivated by setting their own agenda. What's more, the relationships developed during the process will enrich learning and school life.
Head of Secondary
From the BSQ Counselling Team
This week our school counsellor, Andrea Carrera, talks about the many shades of fear-based parenting Part 2.