The Memorial Service for Jeremy Hibbins
The Memorial Ceremony to remember and celebrate the life of our founder and headmaster Jeremy Hibbins took place, on Wednesday, November 20 at Arboretum restaurant.
The school was closed for the day as a mark of respect.
Headmaster & IT Manager in accident
1965 - 2013
It is with deep sadness that we have to inform you with the tragic news that our Headmaster Jeremy Hibbins was killed in a car accident over the weekend.
Jeremy was one of life’s visionaries: he had a dream to establish an international school in Ljubljana, and realised it through inspirational leadership, energy and passion, building it from 30 pupils when it was opened by HM The Queen in 2008 to over 180 today.
All of us at the British International School will do our utmost to build on Jeremy’s legacy. It is what he would have wished.
Jeremy will be greatly missed by the pupils and by his many friends and colleagues. Our thoughts are with his family.
1986 - 2013
Tadej Prijatelj was our IT Manager from the beginning of this academic year. Tragically, he also lost his life in the same accident at the age of 27.
He was a valued and dear colleague here at the British School and all the work that he did for us was appreciated by all the staff and also the children. Tadej, although shy, always had a smile on his face and he was working his way into all our hearts. His sense of humour cheered us up on many occasions. Tadej was always proud of his achievements here and no task was too much for him. He will be sorely missed by our school community. Our thoughts are with his family.
Y2 & Y4 trip to the Waterworks
Have you ever wondered why the water tastes so good in Ljubljana or where the waste water from your house goes? Well, just ask the pupils of Year 2 or Year 4 because after our visit to JP Vodovod we are all a lot wiser. The children were given a short lecture and introduced to Cveko the company mascot, and learnt that the drinking water does not need cleaning in Ljubljana because it comes from water under the ground and is naturally clean. They were taken down to the bottom of one of the 44 wells, climbing down many steps to a depth of 25 metres. Very dark and very exciting! After a short trip in the bus we then went to see how the dirty water from our sinks, baths and toilets is cleaned so that it can be released into the Ljubljanica where it travels out into bigger rivers and eventually into the Black Sea.
Both classes have learnt about the importance of clean water in people’s lives and the need for us all not to waste water. This trip supports the IPC topics ‘Water World’ in Year 2 and ‘Different Places, Similar Lives’ in Year 4. Today’s trip will stay in our minds for a long time and hopefully we will be less likely to waste or pollute water.
Autumn Adventure Weekends
The new school year has seen a major upgrade to our Adventure Weekends programme under the leadership of our PE specialists Aleš Brumen and Mitja Doljak. This term there were three weekends: one for Years 7, 8 and 9; one for Years 10 and 11; and one for Years 12 and 13. Each was held in a different region of Slovenia. For the first time, the programme for the older two groups extended to three days. We are aiming to have a clearer sense of progression to the Adventure Weekends, with the challenges becoming steadily more difficult with the students' age. The activities during the weekends are also designed to tie in with the Expedition component of the MEPI programme (known internationally as the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award), which is offered to our students from Year 9 onwards.
This term's Adventure Weekends included team building games, a morning run, campcraft, hiking, canoeing (Y10/11), raft building (Y12/13) and ziplining.
Caring for the Community: Litter
Our first Caring for the Community activity for the new academic year of 2013-14 saw our three youngest members ever go out to the local area and collect rubbish. They loved using the pincer rubbish collectors (Nifty Nabbers) and wearing plastic gloves from the Science department. They sorted the rubbish out into plastic, glass and paper and placed it all into the correct recycling bins. They showed great understanding of why we need to have a rubbish free playground - "Otherwise the birds would eat the red balloon thinking it was a worm and die!"
- Tanya Charlesworth, C4C Coordinator
We have started the new school year with some changes to our school uniforms. The Primary and Secondary uniform is now almost the same, with a different tie. The old sweatshirts have gone, as has the plain green embroidered lettering. We now have a range of coordinated garments smartly embroidered with the logo from our website. Students have a choice of a blazer or fleece as before, but there is now also a choice of a sweater, a cardigan or a hoodie. There is a new tie for the Secondary students.
Coincidentally with these changes, the Slovenian Ministry of Education is considering whether it might introduce school uniforms for Elementary schools. As we are the only school in the country currently to have uniforms, we have had a lot of media interest, with a steady stream of cameras from national TV and press, interviewing our children to find out what they think. Check out some of these links: RTVSLO Infodrom - PopTV - Planet TV
First Whole School Assembly
The whole school, from Preschool to Year 13, assembled in the Staničeva gym on Wednesday 11 September for the first ever Whole School Assembly. This will take place once per five week block, with students from both Primary and Secondary sections presenting. It was a real pleasure to see all 180 students together, celebrating each other's successes, and we look forward to future similar events.
Visit from Royal Couple
BISL was honoured to host a 40-minute visit of Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, is the youngest son of the British Queen Elizabeth II. During their visit to our school, the royal couple saw a presentation of dances and music from our recent show in Vrhnika, "BISL Life". They graciously awarded Graduation Certificates to our four Year 13 leavers and then met the children for a chat. The Governors, Leadership Team and the architects working on our potential new building then had a chance to meet the Earl and Countess. Everyone was delighted with the performance. Those who met the VIPs were charmed by their warmth and kindness and genuine interest in the children. British Ambassador Andrew Page described the presentation as "magnificent". Slovenian TV news coverage can be seen here, and photos from the UK Embassy's Flickr account are available here.
Trip to RTV Slovenija
On Thursday 6th of June, Years 5 to 9 went on a trip to the Slovenian radio broadcaster's headquarters as part of our music programme. The aim of the trip was to experience jazz music, talk with musicians, see a real radio studio and learn how it is to work in a place like this.
The students saw Studio 14, which is the RTV Big Band's rehearsal room and recording studio. There they could listen to the Big Band rehearse and ask questions to the Band director and musicians. Classes 7-9 visited the radio recording studio for the channel "Val 202" where they could see all the features of a radio station and talk with the journalist, producer and sound engineer. The students were amazed at the working environment and asked many questions. After this the two groups swapped studios and the second group in the Val 202 Studio could even be inside the recording booth during a live broadcast, so they had to be very quiet!
- Samuel Gustavsson, Music teacher
Y3 Photography trip to the Zoo
For the last IPC topic of this school year, Year 3 studied visual imagery including photography. What better place to have an outdoor workshop than the zoo?
A member of the local photography club, who is also a parent at the school, came to help the children improve their camera skills. She gave seven tips on how to take better photographs, such as: think about what is in the background of the picture (monkeys in a tree); how to zoom in to one part of the body for colour (zebra) or texture (elephant's skin); how to take an angle shot (giraffe) and how you need move to take a better shot (bears). This made the trip have a purpose and was really interesting for the children as they learned that taking photos is not just snapping but taking time to really compose the picture that you want. The last tip was to review and delete so you only keep the photos that are worth keeping.
- Liz Sparks, Y3 teacher
Y9 & Y10 Trip to Idrija
Thursday 30th of May, Year 9 and Year 10 went on a trip to the small town of Idrija. While there we rode on a bus with free wifi, we walked through a museum inside a villa, we toured a mine and walked around the town of Idrija.
Idrija is a town in western Slovenia. It is known for its mercury mine with stores and infrastructure, as well as miners living in a shaft and miners' theatre. Mercury was discovered in Idrija in 1497, according to the legend a bucket maker spotted a small amount of liquid mercury over 500 years ago. Idrija is one of the few places in the world where mercury occurs in both its elemental liquid state and as cinnabar ore. The mining productions were taken over by the government in 1580. There is a legend that a little troll lives inside the cave, and if you don’t feed him he will steal all your stuff and kill you. If you go inside the cave alone you will be able to hear some weird sounds. The first thing we saw when we entered the mine tunnel was a display of liquid mercury. While we were going through the tunnels the tallest person in our class had a hard time!
Idrija is also known for its bobbin lace making centre. It was founded in 1696 and nowadays it includes a lace making school.
- Shivangi, Ashish and Drake, Year 10
Y5/6 Visit Velenje Coal Mine
As part of our new IPC topic 'Making New Materials', Year 5 and 6 went to Velenje to visit the Coal Mining Museum of Slovenia. Descending at 4 metres per second, the original two-tier iron lift rattled 160m down the shaft to deliver us into the mine, just as it had done for the last hundred years. The children observed the harsh realities of everyday mining life as it changed through the years, including a bumpy ride in a miner's train.
After hanging up coats and hard-hats, the children received a compelling lecture on how mining has impacted the local environment and the steps taken to repair the damage. A walk around the lakes that had been created by the subsidence resulting from the mining work rounded-off the whole learning experience.
- Simon Irving, Y5/6 Teaching Assistant