Well, this was my original text for the newsletter:
With our public holiday on Friday, this is a shorter week than usual but there is still a lot happening and a lot to be achieved. This week our secondary students will be responding to a survey called PASS (Pupil Attitudes to School and Self) designed to explore how they feel about their learning, their study skills, their achievement and their school life generally. From this we develop an action plan to further improve our provision and student well-being. (This is now postponed until the following week.)
Of course, we have now not been at school since last Wednesday when we had our very successful Open Day and welcomed over 20 new families to visit our school and meet our staff and students.
We are all hoping to be back at school tomorrow but will keep you posted through emails and Facebook.
In a couple of weeks, the Orbital CEO, David Pottinger, will be visiting our school and we look forward to welcoming him. Orbital schools are growing around the world and recent announcements about investments and appointments demonstrate this. You can read more about it here.
In addition, Orbital Education received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for their services to British International Education last week and you can read about that here.
Save the Date – Bonfire Night
We are already starting to think about the organization of this event and hoping that the weather is kinder this year! Remember that rain! Firstly, auditions will soon be held for the talent show. Our tradition is that this is not a competition but a CELEBRATION of talent so let’s see as many of the students as possible on the stage.
PA announcement: Talent Show
Our Bonfire Night Event is coming soon. We would like to kindly invite all of you to participate in our Talent Show. All BSQ community is invited: all students, parents and teachers, so we hope to count with the participation from all classes.
Our team- the EYFS team in Nursery
As with subjects, there is no year group more important than any other in the life of a student at BSQ, but making a strong start is particularly critical to how developments continue to take place through the following years. Here at BSQ we are very proud of our Early Years provision and, of course, that is led by our team of professionals who make sure that every day is full of opportunities to learn and grow for our youngest students.
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. Aditi Sadotra in Secondary and from Mrs. Catherine Farag in Primary.
We live and learn together with respect and care for each other.
We live and learn with a happy and welcoming attitude to everyone.
We live and learn with an active and determined approach to our ambition.
We are all familiar with these values and do our best to uphold them in all of our actions within the school community. They ensure that every student has the opportunity to be successful in school through being in an environment in which they are happy and supported by their peers and staff.
To develop this further within the student body we are going to start rewarding students based on these core values in partial 2. House points will now be rewarded based on the following six areas:
If a student demonstrates any of these values they will be awarded a house point in that area. These will accumulate to give students larger rewards based on these qualities and traits.
I have seen some recent examples of these values being demonstrated in our Secondary Student Council, which started on the 20thof September 2019. The students, who put themselves forward, showed ambition. The returning members welcomed new students to the group in the first meeting. Respect was shown through listening and discussing every member’s ideas without judgment. All have shown care and determination to make a positive change to our school community.
We all are very much looking forward to seeing all the different and creative ways are students will demonstrate these values in the coming weeks!
Ms. Aditi Sadotra
Strategies for reading at home with your child
Reading is one of the most important skills your child will learn at school. You can support your child in their reading development in many different ways - here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Establish a home reading routine. Read aloud with your children everyday. Ten minutes for each child around:
a. Their RWI book if they have it home
b. Their Oxford Reading Tree book or whatever book they take home
c. A book of their choice
- The reader holds the book! There is a lot of power and control in the world of reading. The reader needs to have the power.
- During home reading time, turn off electronic devices and give each child ten minutes of your undivided attention.
- Before you read a book, set your child up for success. Reading is not a test! Reading time is only ten minutes so do some of the following: Keep the introduction short – one minute is enough. Talk about the illustrations and the title. Read the blurb and talk about the author, talk about any unusual words, read a page here and there as your child flicks through the book, discuss the characters. This is a short introduction, not an interrogation. If the book is already a familiar one, then this step is unnecessary.
- If reading time is stressful, move the reading to a new location. Instead of sitting at the kitchen bench, move to the lounge room floor, or go outside and sit under a tree or take the books to the local coffee shop.
- Find a reading time that works for your family. Limit the time and set the timer if reading in the past has always been difficult. It is better to have an enjoyable 10 minutes than a laborious 30 minutes where everyone is left feeling frustrated.
- At the end of the 10 minutes, ask questions that encourage discussion, for example: What was your favourite part? Tell me about the characters. What do you think will happen next? What did you think about that setting? What do like/ dislike about this book? There is no need to interrogate the reader. Make it a conversation as you would in a book club.
- Encourage your child to read independently. A bedside light is one of the best enticements for your child to read before going to sleep. After the 10 minutes of reading with you, the child can elect to continue reading independently.
- The less you interrupt the 10 minutes of reading, the more you are supporting the readers independence, resilience and confidence. Zip your lips, monitor the miscues, and listen as your child reads.
- Avoid judging your child’s reading with words such as: ‘good’, ‘excellent’ or ‘getting better’. Instead say things about the strategies your child uses when reading such as: ‘I like how you read on when you came to that difficult word.’ ‘I like how you changed your voice to be the voice of the character in the story’. ‘I noticed that you reread the bit that did not make sense.’
- If you child is reading independently and has reached the level of chapter books, it is not necessary for you to read aloud together any more. Your job is done. That is not to say, you cannot continue to share reading time because it is what you love to do as a family or that you sit and read silently together or that you talk about the books your child is reading because you are interested in his reading choices. Readers read differently in their heads as compared to reading aloud.
- Visit the local library — make it a family ritual on a set day every week. Let your children select their books while you select books you are interested in reading. Not every book has to be read cover to cover. Your child might select books based on illustrations or factual information about a topic of interest.
- Independent readers pick and choose what they read. They are entitled to read some and reject others. They are entitled to not complete books because they are boring. Readers make choices.
- Model what it means to be an enthusiastic reader. Create a home of readers where everyone reads – It is just what we do in this house! Talk about what you have read. Read aloud what makes you laugh and share it with your child.
If English is your second language, read in your home language. If you lack confidence in reading aloud, the fact that you are reading with your child is what matters. Talk about the illustrations and contribute where you can. Share your excitement for reading and this will be the model your child will adopt.
Mrs. Catherine Farag
Dates for your Diary
October 19th – Global Citizenship Day
October 21st - 25th – CAS Spirit Week
October 25th – Halloween Dress up Parade
Being BSQ – Primary Update
This week we hold our third House Event, with the students from Years 1-6 joining the other students from their house for a range of different activities designed to foster house spirit and our school values. These students are encouraged to wear their House t-shirts on this day, with Nursery and Reception students also encouraged to wear their House t-shirts, if they would like to, even though at present they are not directly involved with these events.
However, the younger students are gradually being introduced to the concept of the House system and will have the opportunity to wear their House t-shirts on many of the Saturdays we are in school, starting with our Global Citizenship Day on Saturday 19th October. This event will be held between 9am and 12pm here in school, with a range of activities designed to reflect the global nature of both our community and also our curriculum and learning.
Please remember that this Friday is a school holiday, so school will finish at 3:15pm on Thursday 10th October for the long weekend. The Secondary students are also holding a Bake Sale on Thursday 10th October to raise funds for their CAS project. If you would like your child to participate, please send in 50c or $1 for them to purchase a cake.
I have started to plan the Nativity Performance for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, provisionally booked for 17thand 18thDecember. As usual, we will be asking parents for support with the costumes and props and I am aware that many parents of older students may have suitable costumes at home that they no longer require. If you have any dress-up clothes or costumes you would be willing to donate to school, please send them in with your child. We will be needing lots of animal, shepherds’ and angels’ costumes!
We also have lots of unnamed items of uniform in both my office and at Reception. Please do come and ask me if your child has misplaced any items, particularly BSQ jackets.
Head of Primary
Being BSQ – Secondary Update
Last Wednesday marked the end of the first assessment period of the year at BSQ. Each Partial, we collect data aligned with four criteria - knowledge and understanding, communication, critical thinking, and study skills - for each student in each subject. This data is then analysed in terms of previous attainment, and against target attainment data generated by the CAT4 tests we conduct in school, to ensure that each and every student is progressing in the way that they should be.
In turn, we meet as a teaching staff immediately after each Partial to discuss this data, and, where necessary, to make subject or whole-school plans to support students who appear to be slipping behind, or indeed those who are showing us that we should be holding them to higher expectations. This is just one way that we use data to inform our teaching and ensure that all students make progress towards success.
Success is one aim, and happiness is the other. Next week we will also be conducting out annual Pupil Attitude to School and Self (PASS) survey. The data generated from this questionnaire will help us in Secondary prioritize the things we need to address to ensure that all students are confident and happy learners, which in turn, of course, will help them learn better.
Head of Secondary
From the BSQ Counselling Team
This week our school counsellor, Andrea Carrera, talks about online safety.