Preschool "People who help us"
The Preschool have been learning all about "People who help us" and were very lucky recently to have visits from members of two of the local emergency services. Last week two members of the local police station came with one of their dogs. The children sat in the police car, had a demonstration on how the police dog helps the officers in their duties and asked some questions.
This week two firemen came with a fire engine. The children had a chance to sit in the fire engine, sound the siren, use a fire hose and try on the firemen's helmets. The youngsters were very impressed by the big shiny red fire engine and with the force of the water from the fire hose.
We are very grateful to these professionals, who were kind and patient with the Preschoolers and made a real impression on them.
Milepost 1 Puppet Show
Milepost 1 performed two short puppet shows for their families on the last day of half term. The students made their own puppets with much delight, especially over the smelly socks they used from Mrs. Charlesworth's lost socks bag. In two groups they moved onto making scripts and devising names for their puppets. This wasn't an easy task for them, as they had to work together, but they did well and helped our new students fit in. "George's Jungle Birthday Party" and "The Gross Shopping Day" were the end results and, although there was some chaos during the performance, it was wonderful to see how much the students enjoyed performing for their families.
(- Tanya Charlesworth, Milepost 1 teacher)
Milepost 1 and Milepost 2 had a delightful time at the train museum. We were all very impressed with the trains, especially their size. A few of the trains had wheels bigger than our students. Our guide Uri was wonderful and took the time to answer all our questions. We had the chance to climb onto an old steam train and take a closer look at the mechanics. After looking at all the trains we went into the next section of the museum and had the opportunity to see old-time uniforms, telephones, bicycles and communication systems. All the students loved the interactiveness of the museum.
(- Tanya Charlesworth, Milepost 1 teacher)
Trip to the Market
Last week we took our students (Year 5/6 and the Secondary Section) to one of the most beautiful and liveliest markets in Europe – Plečnikova tržnica in the centre of Ljubljana. Its designer, Jože Plečnik (1872–1957), was a well-established Slovenian architect, who practised architecture in Vienna, Prague, Belgrade and Ljubljana. He was in favour of a new, organic mode of decoration rather than the heavy decorative motifs of the European Secession. The market got its current image in the mid-1940’s, when it was connected to The Triple Bridge (Tromostovje).
The purpose of the trip was to offer our students a "real life experience" practising their Slovene. Since we had been learning all about food, the market seemed to give a perfect ending to the topic. We also wanted to emphasize the importance of buying locally-produced fresh food whenever possible. The students had to buy themselves a healthy lunch, which was definitely a bit challenging: vendors were speaking fast and in several different dialects (there are around 50 Slovenian dialects!). Some students and teachers bought herbs for their home gardens (coriander and rosemary were especially popular). In order to have a nice lunch with a wonderful view over the Ljubljana valley, we climbed up to the Castle. Students did well with their purchases – they acquired spelt buns, fresh homemade cottage cheese, rocket for their sandwiches, lots of fresh strawberries and cherries and even freshly-squeezed orange juice. Well done! Ok, a pizza was bought as well.
After some tasty food, we were ready to visit our last stop: the fair trade shop 3 MUHE in Stara Ljubljana (the old part of the city). Students were familiarized with the basic principles of fair trade (although Year 7 had already visited the topic earlier in the year), tried various exotic instruments and tasted some chocolate too. People at the store were charmed by our students and mentioned they were excited to start a long-term relationship with our school.
(- Anda Eckman, Slovene Teacher)
Visit from the German Consul
(- Ms Stacey McCullough, Year 7 German Teacher)
Part of the Slovenian educational communtity
This week saw one of an increasing number of opportunities that are emerging for us to share current best practice with teaching colleagues here in Slovenia. Our Deputy Head, Iain Garioch, hosted a visit from Gimnazija Bežigrad's Sebastjan Zumada to talk about the effective use of current educational technology tools in the classroom. Iain enjoyed showing Sebastjan the Promethean+2 boards that we have in all of our primary classrooms (and have also installed in two general classrooms shared with Vito Kraigher), and to explain how they, together with laptops, online collaborative resources and interactive voting systems, are used in various learning-focused situations. Sebastjan was enthusiastic about sharing this with his colleagues at Gimnazija Bežigrad.
Our Mission states that we balance innovation with the best of the British tradition and we are delighted to be able to exchange ideas with colleagues in local schools. We are keen to be "part of the landscape" in Slovenia and, although current legislation marginalises international schools, it is heartening that other schools, as well as the teaching faculties of the Slovenian universities and the Institute of Education (Zavod za Šolstvo), are taking a real interest in our work.
In recent weeks, Headmaster Jeremy Hibbins has given presentations at the 2009 Sirikt ICT conference in Kranjska Gora and at the Hiša znanja conference in Celje, organised by the Zavod za Šolstvo and publisher Mladinska knjiga.
Year 7 Presentations
On Thursday we enjoyed a variety of presentations from the students in Year 7. The students had been looking at the theme of Tuned In or Tuned Out and had developed personal projects varying from fairytales to the earth's magnetosphere. The presentations used the interactive white board, models, demonstrations and PowerPoint. The students eagerly rose to the challenge of showing their parents, teachers and other students what they had been learning. The fascinating artwork of John Baus provided a more literary backdrop to the practical demonstration of the Solar wind, using a hair dryer and glitter. The home made robot juxtaposed (see photo left) some demonstrations of how electricity and magnetism are inextricably combined. We are all much more aware of seismic activity, how it is measured, and how problematic it is to predict! It was great to see parents of all the students involved here, supporting the learning of their son or daughter. As we reflect on what we saw and how much we have learnt we look forward excitedly to our next theme of To the Moon and Back.
(- Iain Garioch, Deputy Head)
Secondary trip to Škocjanska jama
We left school in torrential rain and as we drove down the A1 towards the coast, we wondered if the seemingly brilliant idea of bringing our geography books to life would be washed away. But we were going to look at caves, so what did the weather matter? Caves are by their very nature indoors; ask any troglodyte! You may be forgiven for thinking this, however we weren’t just going to explore the breathtaking galleries carved out over millions of years by the subterranean river ‘River’, we were hoping to look at one of the best examples of ‘Karst’ scenery found anywhere in the world. This includes the spectacular Dolines or collapsed caves, which have their own microclimate and an amazing diversity of plants and animals very rarely found in the same ecosystem.
The gods were smiling on us (and luckily so was the sun). We had an exciting guided tour around the world heritage site caverns, during which we were shown not only all the rock formations we had expected, like standard stalactites and stalagmites, but also weirdly twisted shapes that had been formed by the action of air currents and a feature which consisted of such perfect, semicircular ponds, it was a struggle to believe they were not man-made! The most spectacular sight, however, has to have been the view from the bridge which crossed the underground gorge fifty metres above it. It was a fantastic way to understand the power and scale of the river and the cavern it had created.
Then out into the sunlight as it made the spring greenery almost luminous at the mouth of the cave, followed by an interesting and informative walk around the very well thought out heritage trail that took us around, down and back up the large and small dolines. As we climbed back into the vehicles to return to school, the first drops of rain began to fall and by the time we hit Ljubljana it was raining as hard as when we left. Our friends at school were thinking we might have had a disappointing day because of the weather: they couldn’t have been more wrong!
(- Ayesha Christmas, Secondary Humanities teacher)
Milepost 3 Changing Materials topic
(- By the MP3 students)
New Honorary Patron
The Headmaster is pleased to announce that Her Majesty's Ambassador, His Excellency Andrew Page, has kindly consented to assume the role of Honorary Patron of our school. During an hour-long meeting, the Headmaster outlined the history of the school so far and the Ambassador expressed his enthusiasm for finding ways to help the school to thrive.
The Ambassador is a Cambridge Classics graduate, as well as being a keen linguist, speaking Russian, Ukranian and French fluently, along with his degree studies in Ancient Greek and Latin. He is now enjoying the challenge of getting to grips with Slovene.
We very much look forward to welcoming His Excellency to our school in the coming weeks and thank him for his kindness in supporting us.