What a wonderful week with all the students back at school.
There is a real buzz around the campus as staff and students work together to explore, read, learn, understand, challenge and aspire to even greater achievements this year.
As promised this week, we want to showcase some of the new learning spaces where we can study, play and eat together.
As promised, the primary parents can expect an email from BSQ early this week with the news about how to log on to our new communications platform – Canvas. I talked about this in last week’s newsletter and we are now ready to launch the primary blogs where you can find our all about the living and learning taking place in your child’s classroom. You will receive a code to enter into the website and you can also download the parent app on your phones so that you can keep up with activities whilst on the go!
On Thursday 19th at 3:30pm, Mr Ashfield and Mr Madden will host a parent drop-in session to help anyone who has not been able to access the platform by that date. We look forward to seeing you all on Canvas!
Welcome Back Evening
Thank you to all of you who attended our welcome back evening on Thursday last week. It was wonderful to see so many parents attending to find out about how the students will be living and learning this year.
Our new Parent Association members have been selected and this week we will be electing the Core PA team of President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. Thank you in advance for the hard work of everyone who has kindly offered their time to work with the school this year. Of course, we cannot talk about the new team without thanking the outgoing members. With special thanks to Martha, Pilar, Gloria and Belen for all their help and support since January 2018 and to all the parent representatives. It was a very successful and happy year.
Our team 1 - the Arts Team
With so many wonderful staff at BSQ, it is hard to choose who to showcase first, but we are delighted that we have such a talented, energetic and dedicated arts team this year and so we are starting there.
Music, drama and art are such important subjects for students and with so many schools cutting back on their arts provision for various reasons, we are determined to make sure that all our students have the opportunity to act, sing, draw, paint, play and perform and find out where their talents lie! Welcome to Ms Cano, Ms Arellano, Ms Espinosa.
From the Staff and Students
Continuing with our teachers and their stories about learning in the classroom this term. This week we hear from Ms. Danielle Parker in Secondary.
We've had an excellent start to the new academic year in English at BSQ. Our new teacher, Mr Lee, is a wonderful addition to the team and already making an impact on our students with his skills in modelling evaluative writing. Our year 13s are preparing for the first Written Assessment for the IB Literature course, thinking critically about the graphic novel 'Persepolis', whilst year 12 have dazzled us with their deep engagement with a number of different key IB concepts and questions such as identity and "what is literature?". Huge praise goes out to our year 11s who have made an incredibly focused and mature start to their English studies, already reciting lines of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' from memory whilst year 10 have impressed us with their ability to discuss poetry and write analytically. Exciting projects are underway at KS3, with our new year 7s eager to read the classic "Lord of the Flies" and have the opportunity to consider big questions about human nature. Finally, a big thank you from me to the students who attended the first Equality & Diversity Committee meeting this Tuesday. Their ideas were truly inspiring. Everyone in year 10 and 11 is still welcome to attend the next meeting on Tuesday 10th at 1pm in B22.
Ms. Danielle Parker
Secondary English Teacher
Dates for your Diary
Welcome Back Picnic. Our annual picnic will take place on Saturday September 21st between 11am and 2pm. We are all looking forward to welcoming our families for food, music, dancing and an opportunity to get to know each other better.
September 21st – Welcome Back Picnic
September 26th – Juramento de la Bandera
Being BSQ – Primary Update
The majority of our students have now completed a full week at school and you have all had the opportunity to meet your child’s teachers and find out about how each class is organised and the learning that will take place over the coming months. Please do ask your child’s class teacher if there is anything you are unsure of - once you have received your Canvas login details you will be able to see more information about each class and also share some of their learning.
One thing I am often asked by parents is how they can best support their child at home. Of course, the answer is complicated, not least because every child is different and the same approach will not work with every child. The basics must also be in place first – your child should feel safe, secure and trusted, have the appropriate food, bedtime routines and of course opportunities to play and relax.
The area I would like to focus on this week is how we find out about our child’s day at school. Traditionally, we would ask them ‘How was your day?’ and hope for them to share with us their learning, their thoughts and feelings and any worries they may have had. In reality, they will often respond very briefly, perhaps saying ‘OK’ or ‘Not bad.’ To really illicit more detailed responses to help us gauge their learning and how we can best support them, we must ask them more specific questions that require them to think more and actually reflect on their learning, experiences and feelings. Below are some questions that will help start that conversation:
- Tell me about the best part of your day.
- What was the hardest thing you had to do today?
- Did any of your classmates do anything funny?
- Tell me about what you read in class.
- Who did you play with today? What did you play?
- What's the biggest difference between this year and last year?
- Can you show me something you learned (or did) today?
- What was the funniest thing that happened today?
- What was the nicest thing you did for someone else?
- What new fact did you learn today?
- What challenged you today?
- If one of your classmates could be the teacher for the day who would you want it to be? Why?
- If you had the chance to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
- Tell me something you learned about a friend today.
- What was your favourite subject to study today? Why?
- When did you feel most proud of yourself today?
- What is one thing you hope to learn before the school year is over?
Hopefully, you will all soon be having deep and meaningful conversations with your child about their learning at school and be able to support both their academic and personal development throughout the year. We hope to also have the new Canvas platform ready for you all to access soon, which will allow you to access the learning happening in each class and find out about special events that are happening across the school.
Head of Primary
Being BSQ – Secondary Update
Welcome Back Evening
Thank you to all those parents who made it along to the Welcome Back Evening last Thursday. It is always great to see so many families so committed to supporting our determination to provide the best experience possible for our students - something that requires the concerted efforts of everybody involved involved in a child's education, be it the teachers, the parents, or the students themselves.
Thank you as well for the valuable insight and feedback you provide on such occasions, which helps us to improve and move forward in ways we may not have otherwise considered.
Equality and Diversity Committee
As one of our strategies to offer more and richer opportunities for developing leadership skills and habits in Years 10 and 11, the Equality and Diversity Committee met for the first time last week. Led by Ms Danielle Parker, and with a remit which includes planning and organizing some of our Saturday activity days this academic year, including our Ecuadorian Culture and International Women's Days, this committee will provide the students with the chance to improve important organisation and communication skills, learn more about human rights and diversity at both global and local levels, and create educational experiences for the whole community that will have real, tangible outcomes. If any more KS4 students would like to join, they should contact Ms Parker as soon as possible.
Head of Secondary
From the BSQ Counselling Team
This week our school counsellor, Andrea Carrera, talks about helicopter parenting.