Our students celebrated Pust (Carnival), which this year fell on the same day as St Valentine's Day, 14th February. Last week, Year 1 and Milepost 2 students presented acts from their Circus IPC Topic in front of a large and appreciative audience in the gym.
Several of our students were involved in Abba The Show, which played to a large audience at Tivoli Hall on 20 February. The children, who had been rehearsed by music teacher Miss Železinger, joined friends from Vito Kraigher School for the songs "Thank you for the Music" and "I have a Dream". After the show, the youngsters had a chance to "hang out" with the stars, which include Abba's original saxophonist, and to have their commemorative t-shirts autographed.
The Primary students went to the skating rink in Tivoli Park on Tuesday afternoon as part of their afternoon activities and clubs programme. They enjoyed a lesson with a qualified local instructor and then had the chance to practise their new skills.
World Maths Day
We did it, we helped to set a new World Record, and the students managed to answer more than 110,000 questions correctly. Congratulations to Anna for achieving an amazing 18,755 correct answers and for appearing on the leader board for most of the competition. She was squeezed of the board with only a few hours to go. At least 10 students achieved more than 4,000 points, with 44 members of the community contributing to this fantastic total. The new World Record is 479,732,613 correct answers in a 48 hour period. The World Maths Day web site is now closed. Thanks to all who participated and we look forward to a greater contribution from parents and teachers as well as the students next year.
- Iain Garioch, Deputy Head
On the final morning of term we were honoured to have a visit from our Honorary Patron, UK Ambassador Andrew Page. Mr Page joined us for a presentation from two representatives from UNICEF Slovenija to explain how the money raised by our school community will transform the lives of six Rwandan street children.
After this was our traditional Termly Review, in which about thirty photographs of events from the term are displayed on the interactive whiteboard and the Headmaster invites a member of the school community to tell everyone about the photo. One of the photos was of His Excellency showing some of the children how to play croquet during the Garden Party which he kindly hosted at his Residence in September. Mr Page kindly took part in the Review and refreshed our memories. We are grateful to Mr Page for his visit and for his generous on-going commitment to our school.
School finished at 12:00 and will remain closed until Monday 11 January 2010 at 07:30. We wish all of our visitors a very Merry Christmas and all possible health, happiness and prosperity for 2010.
Carol Singing Season
In the last week of term, our students, staff and parents had three chances to join in singing traditional Christmas Carols. On Tuesday, the Primary Section children went to visit the residents of the local retirement home to sing a selection of carols. They took the opportunity to wish everyone "Happy Christmas" in their own mother tongue. Some of these retired people have been working with our children to make decorations for our recent Charity Bazaar.
On Thursday, our Primary Section children joined their colleagues from our host school, Vito Kraigher, to sing some traditional songs in both English and Slovene. The session ended with a rousing rendition of "We wish you a Merry Christmas / Želimo Vam srečen božič" by all assembled performers and audience.
On Friday, after term ended, a group of parents, children and staff assembled in Miklošičev Square to sing to passers-by. They were treated to hot Christmas tea and one of the stall-holders very kindly agreed to put our Christmas cards on sale until the fair closes on 31 December.
Charity Bazaar 2009
On Friday 11 December we held our annual Christmas Charity Bazaar. Items on sale included christmas decorations and greetings cards, cakes, jewellery and crafts. For a small sum the visitors could pick a lucky number in the tombola, guess the weight of a cake, guess the number of sweets in a jar or bid for a lucky number. One of our Middle School students entertained us with a wide repertoire of background music to help with the atmosphere. We were really pleased with the numbers of guests - parents, families and friends, as well as some of the students from Vito Kraigher school. In total we raised 1,247.60 Euros for UNICEF
, which is a fantastic achievement for a school of 64 children in less than two hours! A very big thank-you to everyone who came and supported this and spent so generously.
Visit from St. Miklavž
Last Friday afternoon our Year 10/11 students, who learn Slovene as a foreign language, had a short presentation on their autumn topic "All about Time". They prepared a set of questions for Preschool and Primary pupils. We were very happy to see some of our younger non-native speakers joining in answering their questions. At the very end we found out what is Lucy’s, Harry’s and Filip’s favourite holiday – Christmas for all three!
After the applause, everybody was ready to leave… But then a kind man named ‘Miklavž’ (a part of a Central and Eastern European Christmas tradition) stopped by with his helpers and brought some delicious dry fruits for our children. Everybody was pleasantly surprised and had lots of fun.
Thank you to all the Secondary students for their help and enthusiasm.
- Anda Eckman, Slovene teacher
Preschool dance at SILA Bazaar
We were honoured to be invited to give a presentation at the annual SILA
(Slovenian International Ladies' Association) annual charity bazaar on Saturday. Some of our Preschool children presented dances from around the world, guided by their dance teacher Petra Škofic. The children's performance, prepared during their dance lessons three times per week, was received very enthusiastically by the large audience. A big thank-you to the parents who came to support. We were also pleased to be involved with the SILA "Tastes of the world" charity cook-cook, by helping with proof-reading. Several of our mums are members of SILA and we are pleased to be able to support their fundraising efforts on behalf of underprivileged children within and outside Slovenia.
We are now CIS Regular Members
We are proud and delighted to announce that we have today heard from Richard Tangye, Executive Director of the Council of International Schools (CIS), that we have been granted Regular Membership of CIS, an association comprising 700 of the world's foremost international schools.
In his report, CIS Visitor Nick Bowley described BISL as a "very good school" and commented that he had "rarely seen such open and respectful relationships between students, staff and parents". He observed that the staff are "a highly dedicated and competent team with a genuine passion for student learning and well-being, and a strong commitment to their school." He noted "an exemplary approach to meeting the individual needs of all students. It is rare to see such care and attention given to students, from the moment they are individually greeted by the Headmaster at the start of the day." In his conclusion, Mr Bowley stated that "there is a spirit of unity and sense of purpose that permeate every aspect of school life. This is reflected in the demeanour of the students and the support afforded to the school by the parents. One senses that this is a true learning community."
He observed areas where there is room for improvement, too, of course. One of the most valuable aspects of such a visit is to have an impartial specialist give advice on aspects of our operations which deserve our attention. For example, we have to establish and practise rigorous procedures in case of earthquakes, bomb threats, lockdown and "invacuation", as well as coordinating fire drills with our host school (we currently do these on our own). These and the other recommendations, alongside the helpful comments made by COBIS Visitor Dr Jennifer Bray in March, will inform and guide the continuing process of school improvement to which we are totally committed. We therefore look forward to the next stage of embarking on the CIS Accreditation process when we and CIS deem appropriate.
A very big thank-you to Nick Bowley from the whole BISL community for helping us with his professionalism and insight.
Today is Thanksgiving, a major American holiday, which remembers the arrival of original founding forefathers of the American nation in their new homeland. We were delighted and privileged to have a visit from Brian Cristiani, who is one of our parents and works at the US Embassy in Ljubljana, to lead our morning Assembly.
Mr Cristiani explained about the pilgrims' journey in the Mayflower and how the festival is celebrated today as a family holiday with turkey and all the trimmings. We have several US citizens amongst our student body, who are looking forward to a real feast this evening when they return home from school!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
Grandma in school
The Primary Section children have "Clubs and Activities" every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. For this five-week period, they are visiting elderly people in a local residential home, to make Christmas decorations and cards with them. We are also delighted to welcome some of the children's grandmothers to our school to help with this. Craft-lovers of all ages had a fantastic time on Tuesday afternoon when half a dozen grandmas came in and made wax paper stars and collage Christmas cards with our younger students.
A big thank-you to everyone who came in and made this such a special afternoon!