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.

Preschool Dance Performances

On 18th June, some of our Preschool students danced together with other children attending the Buba dance school before an audience of parents.  The weekly dance classes, organised in Buba Club by Maša Prašnikar and taught by Petra Škofic, have been an integral part of Primary educational programme this year. The students performed a number of dances before receiving a Dance Diploma. 

The class also performed for the parents, students and teachers of the BISL during the  International Day on Tuesday 23rd June, on the theme of 'Indians'.  After a great show, they proudly collected their Diplomas.

Y10 International Graphics Museum Trip

On 18th June, the Year 10 students visited the International Graphics Museum in Ljubljana, to learn about the technique of silk-screen printing and view a collection of exhibited artworks in the museum. 

The purpose of the trip was two-fold, the first being a part of their project 'Evaluative Study of Marc Chagall', in which they studied the life and art of the artist, including symbolism, surrealism and various printing techniques used in his works.  For the final stage of the project, students drew their own designs to be printed on a T-shirt using silk-screen print. Designs were to be a reflection of themselves, their feelings, thoughts, personality or even points of view.  The students observed and actively participated in all stages of the printing process.  In exploring the fascinating museum exhibition, the students further gathered some ideas for future art projects and themes.  All the newly acquired skills, knowledge, and the final outcomes, were documented in students' individual evaluative study folders.

Secondly, this was to be the last trip for the Year 10 this academic year, and it was nice to come away with a souvenir that will remind them of their achievements, as well as, memories of the past school year.  A small group as they are, they have been very supporting of each other and helped others to achieve better results. The T-shirts portray statements of individuality and imagination, team-spirit and mutual respect for one another's work.

Well done team. Wear your T-shirts with pride!

(- Katarina Zelezinger, Creative Arts teacher)

Visitors from Uni-LJ

Headmaster Jeremy Hibbins today welcomed Dr Janez Krek, Dean of the Faculty of Education at Ljubljana University and Vice-Dean Dr. Tatjana Hodnik Cadez, for an introductory visit to our school. Our guests were interested to see what we do and discussed possible ways in which BISL might be able to work in conjunction with the Faculty to enhance the international aspects of their programme. We were heartened by their response and look forward very much to exploring ways in which we can work together in the coming months and years.

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