Milepost 2: Post Museum

As part of their IPC Topic on Communications, Milepost 2 had an exciting time traveling to Polhov Gradec on the regional bus. Once there we had a very short walk to the Polhov Gradec Castle, which houses the Museum for Post and Telecommunications. We were pleasantly surprised that we were the first English speaking group ever to come to the Museum. Our guide was great and took time explaining all the telecommunications in the museum, such as the morse code machine, the telegraph and old fashioned systems for phones. The students loved having a go on the equipment, but our favourite was the set-up which demonstrated how the telephone exchange works. One student would go into the telephone booth and the other would turn their back to the booth and face the telephone exchange which was laid out floor to ceiling. The student in the booth would dial a particular phone number and the other student would with absolute delight wait for the phone in front of them to ring, and then the conversations would begin.

Primary Section Hiking

Despite the weather forecast, Milepost 1, 2 & 3, along with many parents and primary teachers, took a coach to Katerina to brave a walk. The day turned out perfectly and the fog lifted during our walk up the beautiful hill. Thanks to Mr. Nino Kokalj, we were very pleased to meet two of the teachers from the school at Katerina who became our guides, along with some of their students on the walk. The scenery was picturesque as we passed by rolling fields, farms with animals and fruit filled gardens. Despite the long walk up and down, the students were still full of beans and played running games with Mr. Majer and many of the parents when we returned to Katerina's school's playground.
A big thank you to all of the parents who came along with us and to the students and teachers at Katerina, who were so giving of their time.

Otroški bazar

We had a stall at the annual Otroški bazar (Children's Bazaar) event at Ljubljana's exhibition halls between 10th and 13th September. With several thousand visitors, this is one of the city's premier events for providers of everything for children, from bedroom furniture to books, from police dog handler demonstrations to a climbing wall.

We handed out a thousand bright green balloons filled with helium and printed with the school's logo, which proved immensely popular with the youngsters. We also had an opportunity to meet dozens of parents who were interested in exploring alternative solutions for their children's education. We will be holding an Open Day on Wednesday (16th September) afternoon, during which the people we met are invited to come and meet the teachers and see the school in action.

Milepost 2: Cycling

Milepost 2 had a great time demonstrating their cycling proficiency last week as part of our IPC Unit on Transport. On their own bicycles and wearing their safety helmets, students performed a number of different tasks such as manoeuvring around witches' hats (cones) and stopping just short of Baby Bjorn; thus demonstrating control over their bicycle and the ability to stop quickly.  

Understanding blindness

Ms. Erika was kind enough to join Milepost 2 and give a talk about blind people and the tools they use to make life easier for them. Our students thoroughly enjoyed this, especially having a chance to be blindfolded and walk in our classroom using a cane for blind people. Ms. Erika taught us the correct way to help a blind person cross the street. The tools Ms. Erika brought in were very interesting and included - a braille type writer, playing cards, adapted chess board and pieces, a ball that rattles, a talking clock and a cube for different games. Ms. Erika concluded her talk by giving us each a copy of the Braille alphabet and a booklet with hints and tips on how to be kind and courteous to blind and short sighted people.

Garden Party

On Wednesday 2 September the British Ambassador, His Excellency Andrew Page, who is the school's Honorary Patron, very kindly hosted a Garden Party at his Residence in Rožna dolina for the school's teachers, parents and children. 80 people came and enjoyed tea, coffee, juice and cakes, whilst the children particularly enjoyed being shown how to play croquet on the lawn by the Ambassador himself.

In a short speech to those present, Mr Page said how pleased he was to be asked to be our Honorary Patron and said that he looked forward to regular visits over the coming years, to get to know the staff and students better. Headmaster Jeremy Hibbins thanked the Ambassador for generously hosting the Garden Party and presented him with a school fleece in readiness for the impending cooler autumn days.

The following day, the Headmaster delivered to the Embassy an enormous yellow Thank You card which was made by the Milepost 2 children.

Milepost 2: Muffins

As part of our unit on Instructions in Literacy the students in Milepost 2 made Banana Maple Muffins. We learned about the different sections in a recipe - ingredients and instructions. The students practised their reading and measuring mathematical skills as they followed the instructions. The students worked really well together and washed up everything. Quite a lot of the students and all the teachers at the school got to eat the muffins and we all agreed that they are absolutely delicious!

New school year

August 24 saw the school open for its second academic year. We are opening a week earlier than local schools, which enables us to offer more breaks through the school year, which is organised into units of 5 weeks.

The school now has about 60 students, which compares with the 22 we had for last year's Induction Day and 44 at the end of last term. This growth is extremely encouraging, and our Year 1 class is now completely full and the Milepost 2 class has only one or two spaces remaining. Families are still visiting the school with a view to enrolling their children and so we expect that other classes are likely to be full within the coming weeks.

New park opened by the Mayor

Mayor Zoran Janković visited Vito Kraigher School yesterday to welcome the new 1st Grade children and to open the new park in front of the school. The park, which is fenced, features a wide range of top-quality German-made wooden play equipment and conforms to latest EU safety regulations. The park has many mature trees which will provide shade during sunny weather. Headmaster Jeremy Hibbins was pleased to be able to speak with the Mayor and visitors Marija Fabčič and Olga Glaser from the municipality's education department.

No more VAT on fees

We are very pleased to announce that, as of 1st August 2009, we have had the agreement of the tax authority that our school fees are exempt from VAT (DDV). In practical terms this means that our fees are nearly 1000 Euros less than last year. Compared to other similar non-subsidised schools across Europe, our fees represent fantastic value for money. Add to this the fact that our fees are all-inclusive (even down to exercise books and stationery) up to the end of Year 9, and a British International education is now within reach for more families across the region than ever before.

End of Year Celebrations

The final two days of the school's first academic year were marked with a series of presentations.

On Thursday morning, our Preschoolers gave a performance of a selection of the songs they learned during the year which tied in with the topics they learnt about. The parents and older children who made up the audience were very impressed with the confident performances and the announcements made by the children themselves before each item.

On Thursday morning we were also honoured to host a visit from our Honorary Patron, HM Ambassador Andrew Page, for his first visit to the school. The Ambassador kindly said a few words to the school at the end of the Preschoolers' Assembly and then stayed to meet the teachers and students. For all of Thursday and Friday, we were pleased to welcome our Guest of Honour, Dr Jonathan Long, formerly Principal of Aiglon College in Switzerland and about to take up the post of Principal of the United World College in India. Dr Long spend the whole of Thursday with the classes, where the children gave him an insight into the topics they have covered during the year.

Thursday afternoon was devoted to our End of Term Party, which included traditional games such as pass-the-parcel and some limbo dancing.

Friday morning started with an address by our Guest of Honour. Dr Long explained how important it is to focus on the right things and also encouraged everyone to think outside the box. He showed us how to balance a broom on one finger (look at the tip, not your finger!) and told the story of an impromptu  hot-air baloonist who got into trouble over LAX airport.

The next item on the agenda was the launch of the first Annual Review Yearbook.  Every student and teacher receives a copy of this 144-page hardback book, which includes photos taken throughout the year. There are portraits of everybody and examples of the children's work. After the launch, there was an hour to leaf through the book and for everyone to write a personal message and sign each other's copies.

A musical presentation followed in the Music Room, which gave the children an opportunity to show their parents what they have been doing in Music lessons through the year and how this supports their learning.

The climactic finale to the morning was the Termly Review and Presentations. The Headmaster led the community in recalling and reviewing events which had taken place through the previous term. Each student had an opportunity to explain to those present the significance of a photo displayed on the Promethean interactive whiteboard. Dr Long and the Headmaster then presented certificates to those leaving the school to return to their home countries, as well as those "graduating" from Preschool and the Primary Section. Those who were leaving also received a memento from their classmates, who said a few words of appreciation. Next, presentations were made to adults who have helped in the school during the year. The final presentation of the Founder's Award for Special Achievement was awarded to Billy Branks for his extraordinary progress over the whole school year.

A glass of champagne concluded events and the families departed for their summer holidays, to return on Monday 24 August.


International Fest - Day 1

Our two-day International Fest started with a presentation of three songs with movement by the Primary students. As well as a Japanese song, the children performed a conga from India and an Australian aboriginal song, complete with home-made didgeridoos.

At 11:00 we enjoyed three dances by our Preschoolers. Dressed as Native Americans, they performed one Native American dance, one dance about Pirates and their favourite, the Train dance, where the train stops at various destinations and the children dance in the style of the city (Viennese waltz, Czech polka, Russian kossak dance). Many thanks to dance instructor Petra Škofic for her patient work preparing the children for their performance.

Later in the day, parents came and read stories in their own native languages and explained the stories in English. It was interesting for the children to be able to draw some comparisons between Slovene and Polish, Serbian and Macedonian. The Mexican story about Mayan boy Akim was also very well received. Thank you to those parents who helped out.

In the afternoon, Year 7 paid a visit to the German Embassy in the city. We are grateful to the Consul, Carsten Schneider, for kindly hosting the visit and making the students and teachers feel so welcome. He answered the students' questions about the Embassy, Germany and diplomatic life in general.

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