Y2 City visit

For our IPC topic Structures Year 2 students walked to Ljubljana from school to view lots of different buildings and structures. On the way we saw the Catholic Church designed by the famous Slovenian architect Plečnik (St. Cyril and Mehodius), the Exhibition Centre, the new shaped triangular apartments near the Railway Station and the Stone Statues in the park. We discussed what these structures were made of and why, how they were different from other buildings which served the same purpose and whether we found them appealing or not.

When we arrived in Ljubljana we viewed the different structures in Prešeren square and we learnt a little about Prešeren and his love for Julija. The students sketched the surrounding structures of their choice. The bridges were another of our structures to view and compare, we all liked the romantic locks on the Butcher’s bridge but were split on whether we liked the statues there. Ms. Anja took the time to explain about seccesion art from the start of the 20th century and how it is prevalent in city centre buildings. such as the Union Hotel and buildings opposite it. We took a look at the Cathedral of St. Nicholas to compare with the first one we saw. After this we took the funicular railway to Ljubljana Castle and ate our lunch there. The students especially loved the sightings of the dragons that we made.

We were very lucky to be invited to view a parent's 500-year-old apartment in the centre of  Ljubljana, where the students were treated to hot chocolate and cookies.

Cricket champions

We are proud of our A-team cricketers, who decisively won the Ljubljana schools' cricket tournament on Sunday 7 November. Their team captain, Sam, was also named "Male player of the Tournament" by the organisers. The B-team, although less successful, really impressed us with the sportsmanship and effort they showed in their three matches against older children (their average age was just 9). The winners received a trophy and individual prizes and the school was awarded with a TV by the sponsors, BTC department store Harvey Norman. The students, aged 8 to 13, come from Slovenia, India, USA, UK, Japan, Australia and Austria.

I was great to see a dedicated and enthusiastic group of spectators in our mums and dads, whom we would like to thank for giving up a large chunk of their Sunday to support the youngsters. Thanks, too, to Matthew and Jaša for their coaching. Well done everyone!

PTA Club: Dr Ann Morrison Clement

The PTA Club has its inaugural evening session on Wednesday 4 November. These Club evenings will see a variety of lectures, presentations, workshops and other events for parents, teachers and friends of the school.

We were honoured to welcome Dr Ann Morrison Clement, eminent US child psychologist, to tell us about children's learning styles and special needs. Ann explained how the class teacher and family provide vital input into the process of helping to identify the nature of any special support needed to help children learn. Specialist diagnosis helps to complete the picture and determine the best ways to adapt the school's programme to meet individual children's needs.

Headmaster Jeremy Hibbins then explained how the British School operates its Learning Support systems, in the context of the school's mission and Caring for Each Other Policy, which promotes the concept of every member of the community enjoying that of each other which makes us all unique, whilst being sensitive to those aspects about which a person may be self-conscious, for example. A lively discussion followed, with parents and teachers contributing.

We would like to say a big thankyou to Dr Clement for her fascinating and informative talk.

Treasure!

In their IPC lessons, Years 3 and 4 have been learning about the meaning of the word 'treasure' and its relevance to archaeology. A great starting point was, quite naturally, a Treasure Hunt and so, in the first week, the children were invited to come to school dressed as pirates.  It was a great day, some of which was spent hunting for golden (chocolate) coins in the playground with the help of a map.  There were many clues to uncover and dangers to be avoided but in the end all the pirates were rewarded with gold. Later on in the term the children visited the Skofja Loka museum. After a very interesting and informative PowerPoint presentation on local prehistory, the children were able to handle many of the artefacts found around Skofja Loka. One of the most valued items seen was a boar tooth necklace that was found in the cave at Lubnik and so the children were then invited to make their own version of the necklace using clay. A tour of the museum was then conducted and the children were able to see the excavations that exist under the castle. Much to the delight of the children, the exciting finale to our day was the raising of the castle's drawbridge after which we all took the bus back to school. Archaeology had really been brought to life for the children.

- Stephanie Pojak

Preschool visit by Fire Department

On Thursday 21 October (the second anniversary of our presentation for Queen Elizabeth when she visited Ljubljana) the Preschool had a visit from two members of Ljubljana Fire Brigade and their enormous bright red fire engine. The children were thrilled by the siren and flashing blue lights and also all had a chance to climb inside and to try out the high-pressure hose.

This visit was part of the Preschool "People who help us" topic, which has included a look at the work of the emergency services as well as teachers and others.

Chocolate Factory Visit

All their wildest dreams came true when Years 3 and 4 visited the Gorenjka Chocolate Factory at Lesce. In their IPC topic on 'Significant People'  Year 4 had researched the people who founded chocolate factories in Europe. Whilst Year 3, having studied the IPC topic on 'Chocolate',  already knew a great deal about how and where the cacao pods grow and how the beans and pulp are extracted.  After the amazing and very informative tour of the factory they were able to put the whole story of chocolate together and see how the bars of chocolate end up in their packets. But needless to say, a lot of sampling had to be done before the final packaging and both Year 3 and 4 were more than keen to oblige!  Gorenjka staff could not have been more helpful and generous and each child was able to make their own bar of chocolate to take home. The staff back at school were also happy to receive two boxes of broken and rejected chocolate bars! A huge thank you to all the Gorenjka staff and to Mrs Kirn (Sofija's mum) for helping to organise the trip.

- Stephanie Pojak, Year 3 class teacher

Otroški bazar

Our school had a stand at the Otroški bazar (Children's Bazaar) in Ljubljana. We are grateful to our partners Miška for the loan of a Promethean ActivBoard interactive whiteboard (of which we have 11), providing an attractive and interactive dimension to our space, which lots of children found very engaging. We had about 50 families express an interest in visiting the school to find out more. We also welcomed coverage from the Siol.net news portal - please click here to read the article (in Slovene only). Many thanks to the parents, students and teachers who came to help out.

September Update

We are back online! After a major problem with hackers in June, we wiped our website while we considered how best to improve our website security. Thanks to Dean Marshall for his expertise in rebuilding and securing our site. The next stage is to update the content. Thanks for your patience and apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Over the summer, we worked hard to ready our new building in Podmilščakova ulica for use and, bar one or two minor details, we are now installed and enjoying the extra space. We now have 134 students enrolled, with 16 full-time teachers, 5 part-time teachers, 3 administration staff, 3 teaching assistants and a team of volunteer helpers.

Exam results

This summer our Year 11 students took their Cambridge IGCSE exams and OCR GCSE Media Studies. Given that we had only three candidates, we are not going to be publishing statistics this year, but we were absolutely thrilled that all candidates passed their English 1st Language with the top A* grade and the English 2nd Language results were all A1. Well done to those who worked hard for these important exams. The IGCSEs provide a bedrock for study at higher level, and this Autumn we are starting our Year 12 A-Level programme.

150% extra space for 2010-11

We are pleased to announce that we have secured the rental of 404m2 of additional space in a building just 4 minutes' walk from Vito Kraigher School. The contract was signed today by Headmaster Jeremy Hibbins and the Director of OZ Železopromet, Milena Tratar. This additional space, in Podmilščakova ulica 18, will house the Secondary Section's classes in Maths, English, History, Geography and Slovene, as well as providing a fantastic 55m2 classroom for Year 5/6 and some off-street parking. The annexe will also be the base for the school's administration. Along with substantial additional space in Vito Kraigher School (including another classroom and cloakroom space in the roof), this will give us two-and-a-half times the space we currently have in anticipation of our growth to nearly 130 students who are already enrolled, from Preschool to Year 12 (the first year of A-Level), next school year. The Secondary students will still have their Art, Music, Science and Physical Education classes, and lunch, in Vito Kraigher School.

BISL has got Talent!

On Wednesday 5 May, the whole school (students and staff) took part in "BISL has got Talent", to raise money for Dance Club Zebra, which is a wheelchair dance group run by Petra Škofic, our Preschool dance teacher. The event, which played to a packed hall at the Cankarjev dom in Vrhnika as part of their Cankarjevi dnevi festival, raised an impressive 884 Euros.

The acts included the whole school choreographed in Michael Jackson's "Thriller"; a Peace Song written and performed by Year 7/8; Milepost 1 and 2's Circus Act; the Preschool in a song about going to the seaside; a rap by Milepost 3; Year 1 puppet song; a break-dance and two other solo vocal acts; and, as the finale, the Abba number "Thank you for the music". It was also great to have Chris Eckman with us for one number. Three professional tribute acts contributed to the evening, so the audience were delighted to welcome to the stage Robbie Williams (Matt Byrne), Freddie Mercury (Lee Wardman) and Celine Dion (Katarina Železinger, who also organised the whole event) presenting some of their most famous numbers.

A very big thankyou to all who made the evening such a tremendous success, including the PTA for refreshments and front-of-house and volunteers Michael Currie (lighting), Simon Abbiss (logistics), Marion Lintott (makeup), Petra Škofic (choreography), Matthew Charlesworth (beer), John Burn (photos), Ian Weiss (loan of equipment), Elisabeth Karlsson (assistance with Preschool backstage) and Občina Vrhnika for the use of the hall.

Another 20 photos of the event can be seen on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/britishschool, by clicking on the "Photos" tab.

Cleanup Slovenia Day

About forty of our students, parents and staff assembled at various locations around the country to help with the "Cleanup Slovenia in a Day" initiative. Thirty were involved with the clearing of the forest near the Sava river at Črnuče,  just north of the city bypass. An incredible range of litter was found: car tyres, seating, builders' waste and even asbestos sheeting (which we were instructed not to touch). Countless beer cans, plastic bottles, carrier bags and other small domestic waste made up the bulk of the roadside litter. We enjoyed the adventure, working alongside people from the local community, in the warmth of the spring sunshine. We believe that there were 250,000 volunteers and that 20,000 tonnes of illegally dumped waste was collected, so we were pleased to help.

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