11th January 2019
It was such a pleasure to welcome all the children back to school this week. In our first assembly of 2019 we looked at New Year’s resolutions. We explored what the word ‘resolution’ means and how some children around the world have made resolutions to improve the lives of others in their community. We explored this theme further and made some group resolutions as a Primary school. These were:
• Ensure we are bringing a healthy snack to school of fruit, vegetables or sandwiches.
• To speak English as much as possible in school as it is the one common language we share.
We will continue to maintain these resolutions and try to beat the statistic that state that 90% of resolutions are broken by the end of January!
Some important dates for next week.
Our Term 2 CCA programme will start on Monday 14th. Please see the email communication about which clubs are affected by the Primary Parents’ Evenings on Monday and Tuesday of next week.
On Monday you received links to sign up to meet your child’s class teacher and discuss their learning. These sign-up sheets will be available until Sunday. They will then be removed to help teachers prepare for the meetings. Our specialist music, PE, EAL and Hungarian teachers will also be available to meet in the dining room by prior appointment.
Please do reread your child’s report that you received before the holidays. This will form the basis of your discussions and will be a vital document to help support your child’s learning and the home-school partnership that is key to their success.
Have a fun, warm and restful weekend.
14th Dec 2018
The Primary school finished the term with a fun festive singing assembly this morning. We covered the classic Christmas songs to carry us all into the well-deserved holiday period.
It has been a tremendous term of learning experiences, challenges, personal growth and of course fun. Many thanks to all Primary parents for supporting your children’s schooling along with all the activities and events that make BISB special.
I wish you a restful and relaxing break, enjoying family time together and I look forward to welcoming you all back to school on 7th January.
7th December 2018
There have been many opportunities for the community to come together this week and celebrate children's successes. The Year 4 parents enjoyed an ancient civilisations exhibition, Year 1 parents a spectacular Winter Sing Along and Early Years parents an opportunity to ‘Stay and Play’ with their children. Thursday was the conclusion of the Year 6 students' Young Entrepreneurial Scheme (YES). This is a unit of work that supports children's collaboration, strategic planning and budgeting skills amongst other skills. The YES project requires teams to plan, design, budget and then make a product to sell. Market research must be completed and all the appropriate budgeting compiled before they apply for a ‘start up loan’. This loan is used to start the project and must be repaid at the end of the project to avoid credit penalties. The products are advertised using the persuasive techniques studied in Literacy and all the money raised will be donated to The Robbie Burns Foundation who, in turn, support a local children’s hospital.
Our Co-Curricular Learning programme for next term is now available to view. With this in mind, I would emphasise the value and aim of this provision. The aim of the programme is to provide students with an opportunity to enhance their personal development, deepen their interests and broaden their horizons. Activities are designed to enable students to extend their learning in areas not necessarily provided for in our more ‘formal’ curriculum. The majority of the activities are run by BISB staff and are free of charge. Next term I am pleased to announce a new activity to our CCA provision with the introduction of a Gardening Club that will be run by a parent, Mr Bart Van Laerhoven.
When selecting the CCAs your child would like to attend, please be mindful that it is a something they are personally interested in and want to attend. Further to this, consider if the number of CCAs your child attends is suitable for them. Attending a larger number of activities can be very tiring for smaller children.
CCA brochure available to view Friday 7th December (HERE)
CHQ sign up open Tuesday 11th December at 6am
CHQ sign up closing Thursday 13th December at 11.59pm
CCAs start Monday 14th January 2019
Have a wonderful weekend.
Yet again the week in Primary has been full of wonderful learning experiences including a visit from some canine friends we are supporting through our charity and community partners.
Students from Early Years were able to meet Indigo and Ikon, two trainee guide dogs who were brought into school for the children to understand and appreciate the important work guide dogs do in the community for the visually impaired. Similarly, Year 1 were visited by Domé, a dog rescued and supported by the Etyek Dog Shelter. Both these experiences were organised to help the children connect to the charities that they are supporting through the stalls they are organising for the school’s Christmas Fair.
Below are the details of all the charities we are supporting in Primary. Please do ensure you visit all our stalls to help raise funds for these worthy causes. The money we raise will be boosted by the PTA after the Christmas Fair totals have been calculated to ensure we are providing fantastic support from the BISB community to each of our chosen charities.
Hungarian Guide Dog School
Etyek Dog Shelter
Cseppkő Children’s home
Year 3 & Year 4
Budapest Bike Maffia
Robert Burns Foundation
We were also treated to a wonderful learning showcase this week by the students in Year 3. To conclude their topic based on ‘Chocolate’, the students performed plays, songs and sketches sharing what they had learned in recent weeks. This learning ranged from understanding how chocolate was discovered by explorers, through to how Fair Trade chocolate is a much more equitable way to enjoy a sweet treat!
Next week we have many opportunities to come and see what your child has been learning in school.
Tuesday Winter Concert
Wednesday Winter Concert
Primary Mikulas assembly
Thursday Year 4 Roman showcase
Year 6 YES project sale
Friday Early Years Stay & Play
Year 1 Christmas Sing-a-long
Leavers’ and Top Dog assemblies
The teachers are busy writing comments at the moment for our new Primary reports. The reports have been redesigned to provide a broader description of your child’s learning but also provide parents with attainment and effort grades. To help explain the reasons for the changes and how to interpret your child's report, I would like to invite you to a "Parents In Partnership" on Thursday 13th December at 9am in the Dining Room. Reports will be available at the end of school on 13th December.
Finally, I do hope to see many of you at the Christmas Fair and wish you the best of luck in our fabulous raffle!
The week has seen a great deal of additional maths activities in and out of school to celebrate Primary Maths Week. The week has enabled students to experience a range of maths activities including using Tangrams, Lego creation experiments, 3D paper shape challenges, distance and gradient experiments, mental calculation relay races and an even a maths themed scavenger hunt. The EY children also got involved and explored the forest to find natural features to match the numbers represented by Numicon. Numicon is a multisensory approach to maths that makes numbers ‘real’ for children through a visual and tactile approach that uses a concrete object to represent a number. The benefits of this teaching resource, along with many other practical ways in which maths can be supported in our daily lives, was showcased during our Early Years maths Parents In Partnership session on Thursday. The session led by Ms Higson and Ms Szalontai explained how the EY Centre approaches the teaching of mathematics to form a strong conceptual understanding and the foundations of mathematical development throughout the school. Please see our social media channels for more information on this action-packed week of learning.
This week I would like to thank all the parents who have taken time to come to school to support the running of the PTA Book Fair and who supported their children by attending the Pop-In.
These events are crucial to a thriving community such as ours. They actively model to children how we should support and appreciate the efforts of others who are trying to enhance, improve or support our community.
As adults, our behaviours are constantly being monitored and mirrored by children. Collectively we need to shape our children’s views not only through words but also with our actions too. So once again, thank you for supporting the Book Fair and Primary Pop–In and taking time to show your children that our school and community and their learning is as important to you, as it is for them.
Winter draws in and the layers of clothes keep arriving at school. As previously mentioned, misplaced labelled clothing is generally returned to its rightful owner. Clothes without named labels are often never located. A community effort on this is required. Firstly, please make sure all items brought to school are clearly labelled. Secondly, please return to school any unrecognised items that are brought home. Thirdly, have a discussion with your child about taking responsibility for their belongings. Hopefully if we all follow this, we will see a reduction in misplaced property.
Finally, I would like to thank the members of the Primary Student Council for helping the school celebrate World Children’s Day on Tuesday. The group had an idea which they developed and resulted in asking our wonderful kitchen staff to make over 1000 jam filled pancakes as a treat for all students on this special day.
Have a wonderful weekend.
We have certainly had a diverse week of experiences in the Primary school.
Wednesday was Roman Day for our Year 4 students, a continuation of the work they have been doing on Romans. The variety and accuracy of the costumes was tremendous and set the tone for a day of active and memorable learning. Activities included Roman script writing, pottery and a variety of tasks designed to make the students reflect upon how life for Roman civilisations differed from the present day. When asking a group of students what they had learnt about Romans, their overwhelming response was that life in Romans times was very hard because people had to do so many things by hand and didn’t have machines or computers to help!
On Thursday Mr Payn led the next stage of our STEAM competition by running a ‘Brain Bar’ for students. The purpose of this was to get their feedback on initial ideas of how they could ‘Hack The Tube’. In assembly, Mr Payne and I gave examples of what could be achieved and I presented my ideas of a spaghetti measurer and a machine that only releases a remote control once household chores, homework and reading have been completed! It was great to hear children’s responses and Mr Payn’s feedback on how I could improve my designs. I am pleased to report that the children attending the Brain Bar had many great ideas and got some excellent advice on how to improve their own designs. The deadline for submitting ideas for this competition is 14th December, so there is still time to get involved. Please see previous newsletter articles on what this exciting project involves.
Our Peer Mentors have had another great week supporting students on the playground. This week due to popular demand we have introduced more badminton equipment to provide another activity in which children of all year groups can come together, interact and play.
Next week will be our Primary Maths Week, a whole week of fun, challenge, puzzles and competition.The week will consist of extra daily maths activities in the classroom, online and during lunchtimes. The main theme of the week will be shapes and measures but the online component using Mangahigh covers all aspect of maths. Mangahigh is an interactive way to develop a wide range of numeracy skills. It encourages children to compete internationally against other schools to win awards and become Numeracy Ninjas! High scoring students will also receive a medal that will be sent directly to school.
For more information on the type of activities Mangahigh offers, please see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qJleT4Mo5o
To continue the theme, the week will conclude with a Ninja Day where children can dress as a Ninja and bring in a gift for the Christmas Fair tombola. Please do try and support the Christmas Fair on this day by bringing a small tombola gift.
On Thursday 22nd November at 9am there will be a Parents in Partnership meeting on the teaching of Mathematics in Early Years. This will be a practical session to explain how mathematial concepts are formed and nurtured from within our EY centre.
Also on Thursday 22nd November we will have our PTA Book Fair and a ‘Pop-In’. Please look for a leaflet containing additional information in your child’s bag or refer to last week’s newsletter for more details and how to support your child buy new books from the UK at greatly reduced prices.
In addition, on the 22nd from 2.45pm and 3.25pm there will be a Primary Pop-In for Years 1-6. This is an opportunity for you to come and have a tour of your child’s classroom and for them to share their learning with you.
Have a wonderful weekend.
This week the Primary teachers have taken the good weather as an opportunity to use and appreciate local attractions that enhance Primary students’ learning.
On Wednesday 7th November, Year 4 visited the ancient Roman site of Aquincum as part of their topic on Romans. We are really fortunate to have wonderfully preserved ruins of a Roman town only 15 minutes from school. The students were accompanied around the site by knowledgeable guides who talked about the history of Aquincum and explained how the town functioned. The children received an insight into what it was like to live during Roman times and saw some of the town's features. Some features they saw and learned about were the public baths including the impressive hypocaust, an underfloor heating system, an aqueduct which brought in fresh water into the town, market places and the shared bathrooms. In the afternoon, students participated in a variety of practical Roman crafts including mosaic designs and bracelet making. The teachers have planned to link this learning and experience to their Year 4 Roman Day next week when they will dress up like Romans, take part in a Roman feast and continue to build on the experience of what it was like to live like a Roman.
Year 1 students are studying seasons and changes and as part of this topic our Year 1 students had a thoroughly enjoyable day on Margit Sziget on Thursday this week. They explored the colours and appearance of the trees in contrast to their walk on the island a few weeks ago. The students completed an ‘autumn treasure hunt’ to collect items such as a red or yellow leaf, a pine cone and an acorn. Once back in school, the students used their findings to make natural mandala artwork in the style of Andy Goldsworthy.
To encourage the reduction of vehicle use and help the students to engage in more exercise, Year 5 decided to walk to their Science Museum trip in Kolosy ter on Thursday. This was the starting point of their new topic ‘Investigators’.
This Science Museum has a very strong hands-on approach which helped the students to develop their experimental skills, encouraged them to think more scientifically and to try to predict possible outcomes. Disciplined inquiry is an important part of our mission statement and the museum’s memorable experiences reinforced this. Back at school, the students will be conducting a series of investigations, thinking scientifically, proposing hypotheses, making predictions, designing tests, gathering evidence and drawing conclusions. All this will be made real by the students being able to draw upon the experiences of the visit.
Upcoming Primary Events
The Primary school will take part in their Mathematics Week 19th - 23rd November. This will be an action-packed week of learning including Mathematics related House Competitions, playtime activities, challenges and puzzles. For this week we will be competing with other children in British international schools around the world on a piece of software called MangaHigh. The week will be organised by our Mathematics Co-ordinator Ms Rebecca Cummins and will conclude with a ‘Ninja Day’ where children can come to school dressed as ‘Numeracy Ninjas’. On this day we encourage all children to show support for the PTA Christmas fair by bringing in a Tombola gift as a “fee” for dressing as Numeracy Ninjas.
PTA Book Fair - Thursday 22nd November
On Thursday 22nd November our PTA will organise their tremendous bi-annual book sale. On this day students can purchase up to 3 books priced at 1000 HUF each. Older students can purchase up to two more books at 1500 HUF each. Please look out for additional information from the PTA coming home with your children soon.
Primary Pop-In for Years 1 to 6 – Thursday 22nd November 2.45-3.20pm
The purpose of ‘Pop-In’ afternoons is to allow our students to share their learning with their parents. This event complements the twice-yearly reports, the parents’ meetings and the use of the online portfolio, Seesaw.
We look forward to seeing as many parents as possible in school at 2.45pm. At 3.20pm, the Pop-In will finish, parents will leave the classrooms, and the teachers will start their normal end of day routine and safely organise children to be collected by parents or travel home on the school bus.
I appreciate that some BISB families have a number of classrooms that they would like to visit. If you find that you do not have enough time to visit all your children’s classrooms on the day, please contact your child’s class teacher and arrange an additional time to look at their work.
Our Pop-Ins are a great opportunity for your child to show their work to you, and for you to discuss their learning. I hope you find you find this an informative and enjoyable afternoon.
Our Early Years Centre will have their Stay and Play on 7th December from 9.15-10.30am as communicated in last week’s Weekly Learning Log.
Finally, we were given a great insight into the Diwali celebrations this week when some members of our Indian community came to enhance our Primary assembly. A big thank you to those parents.
I wish you all a restful weekend and for all our celebrating families, Happy Diwali.
Student voice is important in our community. Under the guidance of Mrs Glenda Hughes, our Student Council meets weekly to look at improvements we could make in school and what events or challenges the Student Council can arrange. This week our Student Council ran ‘surgeries’ in the playground to ascertain the real issues that are important to our Primary students. Once all the ideas have been collected I will meet with the Student Council to see which issues we can address. More details of the story can be found here.
Mr Payn has introduced an exciting MIT challenge to the students this week called ‘Hack The Tube’. This challenge, usually given to MIT undergraduates, is one that requires the children to think of innovative ways to ‘hack’ or adapt a standard tube in interesting and creative ways. Whilst the students in the Primary STEAM club will certainly be involved in the challenge, it is also open to all Primary students. For more information please see or email Mr Payn email@example.com. More information can also be found here.
Possibly due to some colder weather, there are more and more pieces of clothing accumulating in our lost property. To help relocate missing pieces, please ensure that all items are named. Next week we will be displaying this huge amount of lost property in the pavilion on Monday and Tuesday. On a similar note, if your child does come home with items that do not belong to them, please return them to school.
Finally, a huge thank you to the members of the PTA who have been around school sharing Halloween treats today. A nice way for us all to start the long weekend.
This week I feel we have truly celebrated diversity. It has also been a community celebration. We began the week with an introduction by Mr Matyas Bendek from UNICEF. The focus of the week has been the Sustainable Development Goal 4 which is how education opens opportunities for children and adults around the world and why education should be available for all.
We achieved this by providing students with a range of opportunities that were carefully planned and developed by the staff. These included children exploring school meals from different parts of the world, understanding the challenges faced by people trying to access education with physical disabilities through to reasons why many children do not get the opportunity to attend school at all because of the need to work.
Years 5 and 6 focused on the journeys that many children have to make around the world to get to school. They discovered some children endure scaling cliffs, rafting on rivers or walking vast distances to get to school.
On Wednesday, I joined the Year 6 students and staff as they walked from Heroes’ Square to BISB as they reflected on a case study they had read. They mimicked the 7km walk to school they had studied and the actual journey helped bring about an appreciation of what a 7km journey to school truly feels like. After just over 2 hours of walking, the children arrived back at school! They were certainly jaded by the end of the day but the reflection and compassion that was observed was tremendous.
I extend my sincere thanks to all the parents who helped out this week. We had an amazing number of parents come in and share their cultures, skills and cooking! Whilst there were many highlights of the week, one for me was learning how to do Bollywood dancing along with Mr Payn. It was quite a sight as we awkwardly tried to follow the elegant twists and turns that were so beautifully modelled for us.
Our food court was a great opportunity for children to sample food from around the world and again, I sincerely thank all the families who took time to create and supply food giving another wonderful experience for the students. Very special thanks go to Akansha and Caren for coordinating the event and ensuring it ran smoothly.
Finally, a huge thank you to all the students who were open minded about the week and who embraced the challenge to think about their place in the world. Their self-reflection has been an important part of the week and will hopefully empower the students to try and make a difference to this important goal by its target completion date of 2030.
On a very simple level, I doubt any Year 6 child will grumble about having to walk from the top car park to be greeted by our caring teachers in wonderful facilities in the near future!
Have a wonderful break and we will look forward to seeing you all on 29th October.
Next week is our annual International Week. During this week we will add weight to the celebration of our cultures with the launch of a renewed focus on social responsibility in line with our mission to cultivate responsibility. In partnership with UNICEF, we focus this year on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 4, which concerns inclusive and equitable quality education for all. There will be a range of classroom activities and events to support this. The week will be enriched by several parents who have volunteered to come to classrooms to share their cultural heritage and traditions with the students.
On Friday 19th October, we ask students to come to school in their national dress or in flag colours that represent their personal heritage. We specifically request that students do not wear sports club shirts e.g. Barcelona, Chelsea, Juventus etc. National team sports shirts are permissible, though, such as a Springbok rugby shirt.
We will have a flag parade on Friday morning to welcome students into school in their national dress. This year we are truly embracing diversity by asking Year 3 students to hold and proudly wave any flag of a nationality we are proud to have in our community.
The details of this fantastic week can be seen here.
Have a wonderful weekend.
International Week Poetry
I would like to start this week’s newsletter with a poem written especially for BISB. Mr Paul Delaney, a performance poet and author from the UK has written a piece entitled, ‘All the world’s a stage!’ Paul agreed to write this piece after visiting our school and observing how we ‘embrace diversity’ within our school. The poem will form an important part of our upcoming International Week 15th-19th October. You can read the poem below and watch him recite this here.
All the world’s a stage!
Are all the creatures of the sea the same?
A similar size and colour and name?
Dive into the oceans in a yellow submarine.
And discover a world, an incredible dream.
Green Sea turtles and Royal starfish.
Mythical mermaids, granting a wish.
Turquoise corals, clinging to their reef.
Hammerhead sharks sharpening their teeth.
‘All the world’s a stage!’ said William Shakespeare.
It doesn’t matter how you sound or how you appear.
We’re all very different, just spirits in disguise.
Sharing Mother Earth, like clouds sharing skies.
Rise up above, soaring high in the sky.
Do you dream about birds, their ability to fly?
Not every single bird has the power of flight.
Blackbirds are black and pelicans are white!
A woodpecker, a Hawfinch, and a singing thrush.
A timid tree-creeper seeking solace in a bush.
A hungry golden eagle on her evening prowl.
A swan on her river and a wise old owl.
‘All the world’s a stage!’ said William Shakespeare.
It doesn’t matter how you sound or how you appear.
We’re all very different, just spirits in disguise.
Sharing Mother Earth, like clouds sharing skies.
Trek through a rainforest. Those amazing sounds!
Creatures make noises - above, below, around.
Some of them chatter. Some of them grunt.
Some eat plants but most of them hunt.
Marmoset monkeys and cheeky chimpanzees.
Snoozing two-toed sloths in tall, emerald trees.
Glass-winged butterlies and tiny tree frogs.
Scarlet Macaws and hungry, hairy hogs!
‘All the world’s a stage!’ said William Shakespeare.
It doesn’t matter how you sound or how you appear.
We’re all very different, just spirits in disguise.
Sharing Mother Earth, like clouds sharing skies.
Walk around a famous city. Look at everybody’s face.
They’re as different as the planets in deep, outer space.
A palette of colours like shoes on a rack.
Enormous variety, the toys in Santa’s sack.
Children from different parts of the world.
Long hair, short hair, straight and curled.
You’re ‘One of a kind’ in your own special way
with your own song to sing and your own words to say.
'All the world’s a stage!’ said William Shakespeare.
It doesn’t matter how you sound or how you appear.
We’re all very different, just spirits in disguise.
Sharing Mother Earth, like clouds sharing skies.
© Paul Delaney October 2nd 2018 www.pdelaney.co.uk/
For the children of the British International School Budapest
Analysing and exploring the poem is just one of the aspects of our International Week. During the week we will be exploring one of the United Nations Global Goals as chosen by NAE. Global Goal No 4 is Quality Education - ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. The teachers have been planning the activities for the week to include the parental sessions that have been offered to celebrate children’s cultural heritage. If you feel you have something to offer do please contact your child’s class teacher. More news on plans and activities in next week’s newsletter!
This week I have received my knitting needles and become part of the community ‘Nutty Knitters’. This is a group of students working with Mrs Marcu in our Primary Service Project to support the Wesley Janos Nursery School in Budapest by knitting scarves for the pupils and staff. All the ‘Nutty Knitters’ have the names of the children they are making scarves for and collectively we look forward to helping others. If you would like to be involved, please contact Mrs Marcu firstname.lastname@example.org
On Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th October there will be Primary Parents' Evenings. This is your opportunity to meet your child’s class teacher to discuss the start to the school year. You will also be able to meet your child’s French, EAL and PE teachers. You will be sent an email on Monday 8th October with links to the Parents Evening booking forms.
Staff training opportunity
Finally, I will be spending Saturday with our Early Years and Year 1 teachers who will be joined by 20 other staff from around Europe as we host training from Early Excellence. Early Excellence is an established UK leader of pedagogy, provision and practice, specialising in young children’s education. The day will be spent looking at contemporary practice, educational policy and the leadership of early education. We are proud to host and facilitate such high-quality training and showcase our school with European colleagues.
Thank you to all the parents who attended our Parents In Partnership session yesterday. Mrs Mawdsley and Mrs Ronaszeki ran this energetic presentation about reading based upon the simple principle that we need to ‘learn to read so that we can read to learn’.
Rather than students reading increasingly difficult books they explained the importance of breadth and comprehension in the development of a child’s reading. In recent years we have invested greatly in our reading resources and re-organised our books schemes into coloured bands. The volume and variety of texts that we have at BISB aids the breadth and depth of student’s reading.
During the presentation, Mrs Mawdsley and Mrs Ronaszeki showed a video relating to the 44 basic phonic sounds used to support students’ reading. This is a very useful aid to any parent wishing to support their child’s reading at home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqhXUW_v-1s
Please allow your child’s reading to grow and develop naturally. Take time to share books in English and your home language and make the sharing of books a special time to help nurture a love of reading. To support families in gaining access to English language books, we hold PTA and Usborne book fairs in school during the year. Our library is open from 3:00-4:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays for parental use too.
You will have already received an email about our school photographs next week. These will happen for Primary students on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th. Please see your child’s weekly learning log email to get the exact date.
Our online See Saw portfolios are one of the many ways in which we like to share your child’s learning. If you have not yet signed up to receive pictures and updates please do so. It is an amazing window into the classroom.
Volunteers for International Week 15-19th October
A gentle reminder that we are looking for volunteers to support the Primary school during International Week on the Sustainable Development Goal of inclusive and equitable quality education for all. This could involve giving a presentation about education or schools in your home country or sharing with us a school story or experience you have had in another country where you have lived. Please contact your class teacher if you have anything to share.
Parents' evening Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th October
Our first Parents’ Evening of the year will be held shortly. Please save the date. An online sign-up will be sent to you via email during the week beginning 8th October. Please be mindful that late sign-ups or approaching teachers on the night of the meetings will not give staff adequate time to plan and prepare for a mutually beneficial meeting.
As usual we started the week with an assembly based around a key theme. This week we looked at the importance of telling the truth. With the help of two of our Peer Mentors, Stella and Lilla, we shared a role play showing some common scenarios that adults face when trying to find the underlying cause of incidents and problems that may occur. The children debated who they felt was telling the truth before realising that it is an almost impossible task if children do not act with integrity and show honesty.
One of the scenarios, based around a stolen item, culminated in Stella acting the role of a child telling the truth. This was the catalyst for us to run through the school’s restorative questions to ascertain why she had made the decisions to steal the item.
When used, these questions are a fantastic way of understanding why choices were made. Additionally, they form a process that enables children to share their emotions and understand how their actions affect others. The restorative questions we use in school are:
- What happened?
- What were you thinking at the time?
- What are you thinking now?
- Who has been affected and how?
- What needs to happen now to put things right?
I covered restorative practice last year but wanted the new members of our community to understand the School's first line of approach to behaviour management and remind continuing members. We have had great success in school using this philosophy and even our Peer Mentors have been trained to support any playground fall outs using this model. These questions do work wonderfully in the home environment too!
Finally, we are supporting families of children who are not wearing our uniform correctly by sending emails directly to families who need this support. As a reminder, our uniform expectations can be found here along with links to our uniform shop.
From 15th-19th October we will be holding our International Days in school. In Primary we will be focusing on the Global Goal 4, which is based around providing a quality education for all. More information can be found here: https://www.globalgoals.org/4-quality-education
The week will be full of celebrations and learning, focused on children’s access to education and the differing educational experiences children have around the world. Part of the week will be a celebration of the many personal heritages we are fortunate to share in our school. If you would like to become involved by sharing an activity, story or game from your personal heritage, please contact Ankansha email@example.com with a simple outline of the activity and which year groups you are happy to work with. This could be two 20 minutes exercises, one 30 minute session or half a day, whatever time you feel you could donate to enhance the experience of our children. All offers gratefully accepted.
Wishing you a well behaved or restoratively enlightened weekend.
A Talking Mango
I was a little confused this week when I heard the Year 2 students discussing a talking mango in the playground. They were excitedly discussing how a special fruit had been delivered to the Year 2 classrooms! The mango would speak to the teachers but was too shy to start speaking to the students. The interaction between the students was quite beautiful as they debated if a fruit could actually speak followed by justifications to support their views.
In actual fact, the visiting mango was a stimulus for the students to begin their first Talk4Writing unit. ‘The Mango That Spoke’ is a story that the students are learning. The aim is for them to retell the story using key phrases and vocabulary they learn in class. A vital part of the process in retelling the story is for students to use illustrations and actions. With this approach the children become immersed in the story before they start to innovate and create their own version of the tale.
Listening to and retelling stories is a great way to help children develop their vocabulary and the structure of their written narrative work. This method is one of the foundations of the Talk4Writing process. With this in mind instead of reading a bedtime story to your children this weekend, why not reverse the roles and ask them to share a story they know and love?
Building A Community Together
We have a great community at BISB. Have you thought about by donating your time and helping out? An example of parents who are already doing this can be found in the email you have had this week introducing your class representatives. These parents have volunteered their time to help share community news and events related to your child's class. Additionally, we have parents who have donated their time to come into school to support students’ reading development. Such positive influences in our community are always welcome and set a great example for your children.
Our students are also being educated to see the benefits of helping their community. We are proud to announce that we now have eight Peer Mentors from Year 6. To become a mentor the students had to prepare a speech which they presented to the other Year 6 students who then voted for the successful candidates. One of the many tasks they will complete will be to run playground games and activities for the Primary students. This will take place on Monday and Wednesday lunchtimes. The Peer Mentors are quite rightly proud to be selected and are already feeling the benefit of providing service and commitment to our community.
Have a wonderful weekend.
This week has been filled with celebration, thought-provoking trips and unusual visitors to the school.
We started the week by celebrating the awarding of The Council Of British International School’s (COBIS) Student Achievement Awards to Kwinten Van Der Veen of Year 4 and Thomas Shelley of Year 6. Congratulations to them. You can read more information about this award in another part of the newsletter.
We understand the importance of giving students real experiences to help them comprehend and deepen their learning at BISB. This is achieved by inviting people into school or taking students to the numerous museums, attractions and places of interest in and around Budapest. This week the Year 6 students have visited the Invisible Exhibition at Milenaris Park to complement their current study of light. You can find out more about this visit elsewhere in the newsletter.
On Thursday we had some special visitors in school: two African Pygmy Hedgehogs. These visitors came into the Year 3 classrooms to help the children connect and appreciate the adventures of Max the hedgehog, the book they are studying in Literacy. This Dick King-Smith classic follows the adventures of Max who has a sense of awe and wonder about the world. This leads him on a journey to explore new horizons before receiving a bump on the head. Dazed and confused Max becomes muddled in his words and starts referring to himself as a Hodgeheg. This visit helped students contextualise the book and also provided them with inspiration for creating their own texts using The Hodgeheg as a model for their writing.
Next week I will be meeting our new parent Class Representatives to discuss the social and community aspect of their role. Following our meeting you will receive an email inviting you to connect and share your details with your assigned Class Representative so that you can be included in any social events happening with your child’s class. These roles are another way in which we like to build and support our community and we are grateful of people’s support. We do still need Class Representatives for the following classes:
If you would like to volunteer your help please contact Melissa Shaw firstname.lastname@example.org or come to our Class Representative gathering on Tuesday morning at 9.00am in the Dining Room.
Finally, I would like to thank our community minded parents who have started their journey as volunteer readers in school by attending Thursday’s Parents in Partnership session. Mrs Mawdsley guided the parents through our approach to reading. She gave details about correct phonic sounds and how to support children as they learn to read. Once again we are still looking for additional help and new volunteers can become part of this exciting movement by emailing email@example.com
Have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to seeing you at the PTA social evening tonight.
Firstly, I would like to thank all parents who to attended our Parent Information Evening last night. It was a pleasure to see so many new and returning families and I hope that it helped set the tone and direction for the year ahead.
One of the new changes I highlighted last night was the introduction of weekly learning logs. On Friday every week, a short email will be sent to parents by class teachers with a brief overview of the week’s learning and the planned learning for the week ahead. This is just one of the ways in which we will keep you informed of your child’s learning.
Today you will receive your first learning log and a copy of the presentations from last night. Please do take time to talk to your children about what they have been learning and the planned learning for their week ahead.
On Monday we celebrated Thomas Shelley in our weekly assembly. Thomas was awarded a certificate for his success in an international writing competition for his narrative piece. His story, entitled ‘A Better World’, described the story of Jake who was transported to a better world away from his fears and disappointments of war, pollution and deforestation. This was a well-structured and captivating piece that showed Thomas's imagination, writing flair and ability to connect to his reading audience. I would like to pass on my congratulations to Thomas for his success.
Next week we will be welcoming new and returning students into our Early Years Centre to begin their full days at school after a successful ‘staggered start’ to their new learning environment.
Once again, thank you for supporting our Parent Information Evening and I hope to meet many of you at the PTA social gathering next Friday 7th September.
Have a wonderful weekend.
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you back to school for the new academic year.
Yesterday morning the playground was a busy and exciting place as families found their new classes, old friendships were reunited and new friendships began forming.
The children have had two wonderful days finding out about each other, developing class rules, understanding new routines and becoming new collegial class groups. There has been an abundance of exciting collaborate games and activities to help children transition back into school. These included circle times, friend fact finding and even marshmallow tower building.
In our Early Years Centre, new and returning families have had a chance to visit the learning environment with their children and new EY1 families have had home visits from the staff to support a smooth introduction into BISB.
However, we also appreciate that a new school year and its associated changes are new for parents too. With this in mind, I would like to draw your attention to our Parent Information Evening on Thursday 30th August from 6-7pm. The meeting place for this evening is the Dining Room. From here, teachers will direct you to your child’s new classroom to hear more specific information on the year ahead. Classroom sessions will run for around 20 minutes and will be repeated to allow parents of more than one child to attend all sessions.
This is a wonderful opportunity for parents to connect and an opportunity to meet your child’s teacher and Learning Support Assistant (LSA).
I wish you a wonderful weekend and I look forward to seeing you on Thursday evening next week.
In my final newsletter of the year I would like to thank all parents for their support this year. We have had a fantastic year of learning and enrichment and the progress and growth of the students has been wonderful to see.
As you start the summer break and thank your current child’s teacher some of you will naturally be thinking of next year. I shared the news earlier this term that the process to mix all classes for the new academic year has already begun. Classes will be organised to ensure we have a balance of abilities, nationalities, languages and educational needs. We do, of course, look at the social aspect of school and try to place friends together. Ultimately the decision is based on providing the best learning opportunity for your child. The new classes will be sent out by email on Friday 17th August. The reason for this date is to enable teachers to allocate those students who enrol at BISB during the summer months.
The end of term 3 is always a sad time of year as we say goodbye to friends and families who have been integral in our lives. With this in mind I would like send my best wishes to families who are moving onto new ventures and encourage them to remain in contact with the school and come back to visit us one day in the future.
For our returning families I wish you a fun and restful break and I look forward to welcoming you and your children back to school on August 23rd.
Today sees the end of our Residentials as our Year 5 return from their two-night excursion to Borzsony. Our students have spent their days hiking, taking part in adventurous outdoor activities, learning about local wildlife and have even tried archery. This was complemented by swimming and of course, the much-loved talent show.
On Monday and Tuesday this week, Primary staff participated in Professional Development on a new process to improve children’s writing skills called Talk4Writing. Talk4Writing was designed by Pie Corbett (teacher, author, poet and trainer) and Julia Strong (former English teacher and Secondary Deputy Head). Talk4Writing is a powerful teaching method as it enables children to imitate/emulate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. This involves children knowing tales orally and with actions that make it engaging and interactive. It certainly helps children build their vocabulary and provide them with a structure on which to create and develop their own written pieces. Here is a short clip of some students in 4 Heather who were showcasing their skills to the delight of our staff and trainer.
Thursday saw Year 6 perform ‘Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits’ for their end of Primary show. Full of quips, dances, songs and amazing acting, the students excelled in their high class production. We commend them for their hard work and dedication as they aspired for excellence during their last few days as Primary students. For more information, please see the students' own views of their production in next week’s newsletter.
Finally, I would like to remind you of the sports days next week.
Monday morning: Years 3 and 4 9am - 11.15 am
Monday afternoon: Years 5 and 6 1.00pm – 3.15pm
Tuesday morning: Years 1 and 2 9am-11.15 am
Please see additional information from Ms Sziraki about these events in this newsletter.
I look forward to seeing you at the sports day events after a restful weekend.
The rain this week has not deterred us from powering on towards the end of term. This week our Early Years students made over 100 muffins to sell in support of Budapest Bike Maffia. The sale raised more than 25,000 HUF which will be used to feed the homeless here in Budapest. This child-led project is one of the many projects that go towards the community action and service element of our curriculum. The Early Years children showed great satisfaction when they realised what a difference they had made to the lives of others.
Thursday night was the first night of Matilda Highlights. This was a truly captivating show with dance, drama and foot tapping songs that proud mums and dads knew so well. Congratulations to all the ‘Sing and Movers’ and of course Ms Noemi for her hard work and dedication to this project. All the pictures can be seen in the article elsewhere in the newsletter.
I would like to share some news of an opportunity for you to save money and reduce waste. The Eco Warriors club have negotiated with the school BISB Café to offer a 10% discount on all drinks served in your own reusable cups. This was launched by the Eco Warriors on Thursday by loaning cups to members of our community to help change their mindset on consuming ‘one use’ cups. This would not be possible without the support from Bartolo La Cava and his staff who are always looking for ways to offer good service to the community in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Finally, I hope you have safely received your child’s report that was given to your child this afternoon. Please do spend some time talking through this report and discuss the comments with your children. This discussion will help them become a more reflective learner and see their next steps for progress in the new academic year.
Wishing you all a relaxing weekend and I will look forward to seeing many of you on Monday and Tuesday for our final parents evening of the year.
Today saw the return of the Year 2 children from their residential in Kerekegyhaza. This trip is the start of our residential programme that runs from a one night adventure to a full week in Year 6. The residential has been a great experience for the children who have had horse and cart rides, watched a horse show and completed crafts with local artisans. Above all, these trips help children develop their independence in looking after their own equipment and general increased personal responsibility.
As we edge closer to the end of the year, we still have many activities and events scheduled. These are shared below again for your convenience.
Sing and Move concert Thursday 14th and Friday 15th June (tickets available from today)
School reports to parents Friday 15th June
Parents’ evenings Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th June
EY Stay and Play Friday 22nd June (9.30 -11.00)
Sports days KS2 Yr3/4 Morning of Monday 25th June.
KS2 Yr5/6 Afternoon of Monday 25th June.
KS1 Yr1/2 Morning of Tuesday, 26th June.
Only grey uniform trousers and shorts for boys
As you begin to think about the next academic year, kindly remember that the blue uniform trousers for boys will not long be a part of the school uniform. This was communicated at the end of last year and we extended the phasing out period from Christmas until the end of Term 3.
We look forward to all the boys wearing grey trousers (or shorts), as sold in the uniform shop or various other outlets. The trousers that are the expected uniform from August are grey fabric and not denim.
For help in understanding our uniform expectation please click HERE.
This week the staff have been completing one of our regular writing moderation exercises. This is an exercise where we look at, analyse and debate children’s writing examples from within the Primary school. This cross year group activity is one of the many quality assurance processes that we have that ensures we have continuity in our judgments of children’s writing, but it also enables us to benchmark and compares ourselves against UK standards.
Information about your children’s writing progress will be shared in their school report which will be available on June 15th. Following the delivery of the reports, we will have our final Parents’ Evening of the year. A sign-up link will be emailed out on Monday 11th June with the available time slots.
I have had a number of reports of the reserved parent and baby parking spaces being used by people who are not eligible to do so. If you witness this, I would urge you to follow one of the three S’s we shared with children in the Primary school – Speak out. This is where we urge the students to stand up for themselves by sharing what is upsetting them but, more powerfully, Speak out if you see someone doing something wrong, unjust or unfair. I thank you for your support on this.
Finally, I would like to let you know that we are now beginning to look at our class structures for next year. The current teachers in the year group will create new classes using the wealth of knowledge they have on your child. Classes are organised to make sure we have a balance of abilities, nationalities, languages and educational needs. We do, of course, look at the social aspect of school and try to place friendships together. Ultimately the decision is based on providing the best learning opportunity for your child. The new classes will be released on Friday 17th August to enable us to allocate new BISB students to classes.
This week started at 06:45 with the gathering of our Year 6 students as they embarked upon their week-long residential. This was the first time we have taken Primary children outside Hungary for a residential and the first time they have been away for a full week. The change was instigated by the teachers who felt they wanted a more progressive experience and increased challenge for the children at the end of their Primary education. Their expectations have been met with a range of activities from a 10km hike, rafting, zip lining, climbing, team challenges and even making their own packed lunch! These wonderful experiences have taken place against the beautiful backdrop of the Alps in the Salzburg region of Austria.
As the Year 6 began their challenging residential week, our Primary assembly had a focus on challenge too. We explored the concept of challenge and how we personally approach different challenges. We started by looking at some challenges that the Year 3 and 4 children faced on their residential camps. We then moved onto asking the children to reflect on how they would work through comprehending a difficult French text or a Maths problem. We talked about whether children would persevere and work hard, as described through our learner attributes, or if would they give up. To help highlight this, we challenged the Primary staff to perform the ‘back pack’ or ‘floss dance’. The teachers took this challenge with great enthusiasm. They showed the children that even though they approached the activity with some anxiety and a lack of confidence that if they worked hard and persevered, they could be proud of their results (which were slightly mixed!).
One idea for the weekend is to ask your child to set a challenge for you to see what active learning feels like and reflect on how you manage your anxiety towards new learning. Whatever this challenge is, ensure that you persevere, work hard and enjoy your success. Finally, if you need any advice on the ‘floss dance’, I can direct you to some very nimble and coordinated Primary teachers!
Have a great weekend.
Firstly I would like to thank all the parents who attended our Pop-In this week. It clearly gives the children so much joy to share their learning with you and helps them realise that they are integral to the process of reflecting upon their learning. This event is one of the many ways in which we like to share students’ learning and progress with their families.
Secondly I would like to thank the members of the Primary Parent Group who have sorted and sifted through many bags of unclaimed lost property which we have collated over the years. Due to the success of the Lost Property Clearance sale we will be repeating this again next academic year. We managed to raise over 100,000 HUF which will be used to benefit the students in school.
Year 4 have had a wonderful experience in Szilvásvárad on their 2 night residential. The group had some great experiences with wildlife walks, study tours and catching a very welcome forest train after a long and tiring hike. On Thursday they completed a comparative study of their jumping and stretching abilities compared with that of animals in the wild. New skills of pottery, horse riding and archery have been tried and enjoyed. Talents have been shared in the greatly anticipated talent show. This has been another wonderful trip that bonds the year group helping them to appreciate Hungary, its traditions and cultures.
I would like to give you some advance warning of upcoming dates:
Year 4 Pop-In 3.00pm Wednesday 30th May
Sing and Move concert Thursday 14th and Friday 15th June
School reports to parents Friday 15th June
Parents’ evenings Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th June
EY Stay and Play 9.30-11.00am Friday 22nd June
Further details will be communicated about the timings, sign ups and ticketing of these events in due course.
Have a wonderful weekend and I wish the Year 6 students a thrilling time as they start their 5 days residential in Austria next week. I look forward to seeing the students at 7.00am on Monday for a prompt departure. Please don’t forget your passports!
Thursday 24th May will be an opportunity for you to come into school for a pop-in. This is another chance for your child to share and discuss their learning with you. Like previous times, this event will run from 14.45-15.20. At 15.20 the teachers will kindly ask you to leave to begin the normal end of day routine. Due to the Year 4 residential, the Year 4 pop-in session will be on Wednesday 30th May from 15.00 -15.25.
Our great lost property retrieval event will run before and after the Primary pop-in session on Thursday 24th May and at drop-off time on Friday 25th May. This is organised by the Primary Parent Group who want to make a positive influence in our community and raise funds that will directly enhance the Primary school. Any items that you wish to be reunited with can be collected for a ‘storage fee’ voluntary contribution. If you see items that you could reuse, please pay a ‘new home’ voluntary contribution.
Year 4 Assembly
This week we have been treated to another truly spectacular performance in the Primary school. Classes 4 Plum and 4 Grape combined their recent studies on rainforests and play scripts to perform a rainforest assembly. Touching upon the themes of deforestation and the destruction of valuable flora and fauna the children explored the value of the forests and how we can, and should, protect this fragile ecosystem.
Prepared for playtimes
Throughout the week all staff have playground duties where we supervise and monitor children’s safety and well-being in the outside spaces. This is often a highlight of my week as I get to witness children exploring, playing and socialising together. This week the EY children enjoyed a sudden downpour which created puddles that they jumped in with great delight.
The sudden change of weather soon dried up the puddles which led to the children discussing how they could make them come back. This resulted in them working together and being resourceful with the equipment they had, to create the biggest puddle they could in their playground.
This made me reflect upon how suddenly the weather can change in May. With this in mind, please send your child to school with suitable clothes for all weather. For advice on sun safety why not ask one of the children in Year 1 Caterpillar who would happily share their recent work and posters on how to keep safe in the sun?
As we head into the long weekend, I wish you a restful weekend.
I would like to thank all the parents who attended our Year 5 and 6 swimming gala this week. This was a great event to celebrate students' swimming success and provide them with an element of competition in a safe and supportive environment. It was wonderful to see the children encouraging each other as they swam for points in a bid to be the victorious House. The gala was concluded with relay races which added additional merit points to make the Green Team – Discovery the champions! In order to showcase younger swimmers, the Physical Education Department is planning swimming 'pop ins’ lessons next year to allow parents to see their child swim.
Next week Year 3 will go on their residential trip to Zanka. This is the start of our residential season which sees children from Years 2 to 5 visiting various sites in the countryside to appreciate the cultures and traditions of Hungary. Alongside the learning that takes place on these trips, we always see the children grow in their independence and collaboration skills. These are vital traits that then transfer directly into the classroom to enhance learning upon their return.
The Parent Group’s great lost property retrieval
You may recall from my newsletter on Friday 9th February that we have a Parent Group that meets monthly to raise and discuss issues within the Primary school. During our discussions we have decided that we also want to make positive additions to our community. To aid this our first event will be on Friday 25th May at the end of the school day. This will be the great lost property retrieval!
We currently have a huge back log of items that have not been collected. These range from water bottles to shoes, jackets and of course school uniform. We will display all these items so that parents can look through them.
Finding an item that belongs to you
If you find an item that belongs to you please collect it and pay a ‘safe storage and return’ voluntary contribution.
Finding an item that you could give a new home to
If there is an item that you, or your child could use, feel free to take them and pay the suggested voluntary contribution.
All money raised from the sale will be collected and used directly to benefit the Primary school.
Finally, as I sit finalising this newsletter, I am sipping a refreshing lemonade made by our Early Years children. This was a project the children had developed to make and sell refreshing drinks to Year 1 children and raise money for charity. The charity they have been working with is Budapest Bike Maffia and the proceeds of the lemonade sale will go towards providing food for the homeless in Budapest.
I wish you a restful weekend and for parents of Year 3 children a happy collaborative residential packing time!
Live Theatre production
This week we were pleased to offer the children studying Hungarian the opportunity to watch a live theatre production. The Szabad Ötletek Színháza theatre group came into school on Thursday to perform a traditional tale translated as the ‘Three Tailors’. We were delighted to host the show as another way in which we can support the children's Hungarian language development and guide their appreciation of performing arts.
The performance tracked three characters who wanted to be trained by a master tailor and his brother Peter by becoming their apprentices. The positions were only open to men, so a woman dresses as a man and joins her friends in being successfully accepted on the apprenticeship programme. During their training, they realised that the master tailor is trying to take control of the family business by cheating his brother Peter out of his share in the business. The three know this is dishonest and work with Peter to reclaim what is rightfully his. The story concludes with Peter and the woman falling in love and justice being restored.
The story beautifully matches one of our school imperatives of ‘acting with integrity’. When the apprentices realised that something was unfair, they acted upon this despite the risk of them losing an opportunity for a brighter future. It also has the significant message of equality and the need to remove gender barriers in contemporary society.
Swimming Gala for Year 5 and 6
Next week, between 12.00 and 15.00 on Thursday 10 May, we will be holding our Year 5 and 6 Swimming Gala at the Romai Tennis Academy (Budapest, Királyok Utja 105, 1039). The children have already selected their races and will be transported and returned to school through supervised school buses in order to keep their usual end of day routines.
Please note that as the weather becomes hotter, we will be encouraging children to wear hats and sun cream when outdoors. We do have sunscreen in school but children arriving at school with cream applied and with a sunhat is greatly appreciated.
Finally, I would like to wish all mothers reading this newsletter an entertaining and restful Sunday and for those who celebrate this Hungarian tradition, "Boldog anyák napját"!
Use of the playground after school
As the summer approaches, it is wonderful to see children and parents socialising after school in the playground. Unfortunately, we have noticed some equipment from the Early Years and Year 1 outdoor learning spaces disappearing along with a large volume of waste accumulating after 4 pm. I kindly ask you to help us with this matter when supervising your children after school. To support this, I have also spoken to the students during assembly time.
The Primary school was proudly represented in the Bratislava Big Sing last weekend. The Big Sing is an opportunity for NAE school choirs from across Europe to join together and collectively sing. This year there were 180 children from 10 different schools. We were doubly proud when Maja Torma and Lili Bota were chosen to sing solos against tough competition. The children performed their pieces again to the whole of Primary in our Monday assembly. This started a fantastic week of performing arts.
Monday also saw a wave of reading excitement as the children purchased books from the PTA Book Fair. This is a great event that makes English language books readily available to our students to support their passion for reading.
Year 4 Heather gave a wonderful assembly on Tuesday that captured one of our school mission imperatives of ‘embracing diversity’. The students dramatised the story of two groups who feared each other's differences. The groups finally overcame their preconceptions, embraced each other’s cultures and found that they actually had many things in common. This was a powerful message for our children.
Ms Stubenvoll provided showcases for our Year 3 recorder and Year 4 ukulele players this week. The theatre was the perfect surroundings for the children to share their learning progress and development since August. The children thoroughly enjoyed performing for parents. It was a rewarding experience after their perseverance and dedication to practise throughout the year.
On Thursday, Year 1 students had a trip to Margaret Island. Based on their science studies, the children were looking at seasonal changes and comparing the island to their last visit in autumn. After games and investigations, the children returned to school with their findings to continue their themed work on seasons by planting seeds and nurturing their growth.
The final performance of the week was held this morning by our Year 2 students who gave a performance based on their interpretations of Julie Donaldson’s books. With colourful props and costumes, the children retold the stories of ‘Room on a Broom’, ‘Stickman’ and the ‘Snail and the Whale’. This performance complemented the classroom learning literacy based around these texts. With confidently presented lines and beautifully performed songs, the Year 2 were rightly proud of their achievements.
Year 5 and 6 Swimming Gala
On Thursday 10th May there will be the Upper Key Stage Two Swimming Gala held at Romai Tennis Academy (Budapest, Királyok útja 105, 1039). This event will run from 12pm to 3pm. The students will be transported to the event and returned to school by 3.30pm to enable the normal end of day routines to take place. Next year there will be an opportunity for the Year 3 and 4 children to showcase their skills at the end of their swimming blocks with ‘pop in’ lessons.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Huff and Puff
I would like to thank all parents who supported our Early Years students during their ‘Huff and Puff' sports event on Monday. There was a fantastic array of skills needed to complete the various challenge stations. The children were required to complete balancing, throwing, climbing, shooting, swinging and running activities before being awarded their medals. We must also congratulate the parents who won the tug-of-war competition against the staff and the Secondary Student sports leaders who helped run the event.
Year 5 Memento Park Trip
On Wednesday, the Year 5 children and staff visited Memento Park in Budapest. Memento Park illustrates a time before Hungary embraced a free market economy and is filled with historic statues from the communist era of Hungary. These statues were used as a reflection point to think of people who have been ‘Champions for Change’ and how individuals’ contributions have resulted in a positive change in society, such as Martin Luther King; Mother Teresa and movements like the Suffragettes. The students have also been examining the different political systems around the world.
End of school routines and playground use
I have noticed an increasing number of parents in the building at the end of the school day. Whilst we do not want to prevent any opportunities to meet and talk to our staff, our end of day routines and assemblies are being hindered by noise and additional adults in high traffic areas. There are two areas where I ask for your support: the auditorium and the corridor outside Year 2 Blueberry from Reception to the auditorium. The auditorium is a space used for celebration assemblies and is a special time for children to receive their much anticipated Top Dog award. The value of these awards can be lost when noise projects into and around the auditorium. At the end of the day we like to return students to waiting parents quickly and safely which is proving difficult at present due to adult traffic in the corridor outside Year 2 Blueberry. I kindly ask you to wait in the designated areas at the end of the day.
PTA Book Fair
Please remember that on Monday next week 23rd April, we have our PTA Book Fair. This is an opportunity for children to buy new books direct from the U.K. for 1000 HUF. More advanced readers are 1500 HUF. Class teachers will escort the children to the fair. Please support this by sending your child to school with money in a sealed and named envelope on Monday to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.
Parents in Partnership—reading and homework.
Some advance notice of our next Parents in Partnership session. On Thursday 26th April in the dining room we will hold a session based on how we structure our reading scheme in school and how you can support with reading at home. We will also have a focus on our philosophy of homework in the Primary school and what to expect. New families may find this particularly useful.
Have a wonderful weekend.
We are now in the third term of the academic year and are looking ahead to support our students as they take their next steps on their educational journey.
This week, the Year 6 students have begun their Secondary Transition programme. This programme is designed to prepare the students for the social, academic and organisational challenges they will face in their secondary education. This process has many phased layers from ‘buddying’ with current Year 7 students, taster days, and the trial of Secondary lunchtimes to a change in their homework schedule. All activities are aimed to mimic what they can expect in Year 7. In addition to this, Year 6 parents and their children are invited to our Transition Evening on Tuesday 17th April from 5.30 -7.00pm where they will learn more about the exciting transition that lies ahead.
Lower down the school we have an equally important transition; our Early Years students will transition into Year 1 in August. The newly created outdoor learning space in Year 1 was established by our Year 1 teachers in order to provide a familiar feel to the Early Years students' previous learning experiences. The Year 1 staff are planning how they will gradually change the learning environment and experiences for the children throughout the 2018-2019 school year. This will make the move for our existing Early Years students into Year 1 a very a smooth one and will also support new students into our community. This process is supported by the Early Years students visiting the Year 1 classrooms and completing shared projects with our current Year 1 students as the term continues.
Year 4 visited the Ludwig Museum in Budapest this week, complementing their learning of “Journeys” last term. The students travelled through the galleries of different countries and reflected on the feelings and mood provoked by the artworks. The students even had the opportunity to see some very rare and original Picasso paintings which appear to have been one of the most memorable parts of the visit for them.
Finally, I would like to give you some advance notice of our upcoming school Book Fair on Monday 23rd April. The PTA has ordered a large volume of new books from the UK available for purchase by students. The students will be supported in choosing books throughout the day by our Primary staff. Book prices range between 1000 and 1500 HUF.
Have a wonderful weekend.
It appears as though Spring is beginning to tease us with its presence this week which was certainly welcomed by the children. Playtimes have been spent free from winter wear, enabling the children to cartwheel, run, dance and bug hunt.
I would like to thank all the parents who have taken time this week to come into school. It has been a busy week of residential meetings, exhibitions of work and of course our well attended Pop-In.
It was not only parents who have visited us this week, we also had a collection of rabbits, ponies and even a lama on the premises! This visit was planned by our Early Years team because our Early Years children have developed an interest in animals through their recent project work. This was a fantastic opportunity for the children to feed and pet animals they would not normally have access to and ask many questions to further their learning.
On Thursday this week Laura Careless, our Juilliard dance partner, performed for all the Primary children in assembly. A selection of children, who regularly participate in dance and drama classes, were also given the opportunity to take part in a workshop led by Ms Careless. This was a world-class experience for the children and has inspired them to nurture their ambitions within the performance arts sphere.
I have mentioned in earlier newsletters about schools forming positive and lasting memories for children; this week has certainly been an example of that. Whether it was an experience of sharing their class work with parents, learning more about Shetland ponies or showcasing their work in the theatre, it has been another rich and varied week for the students of BISB.
I wish you all a very pleasant break and look forward to welcoming you and your children back to school on Monday 9th April.
We have a had a great week of Performing Arts, plus a celebration and commemoration of the 1848 revolution with songs, poems and dances in a special assembly on Wednesday. This of course is the reason for our long weekend taking us into the final week of the term. Here are some reminders of events next week.
Residential Trip meetings
You will have received the brochures and consent forms for our upcoming residentials, if not please let us know. We will also be holding the following meetings to share additional information and provide you with the opportunity to ask questions:
Tuesday 20th March Year 5 Börzsöny residential meeting at 8.15am in 5 Sapphire
Wednesday 21st March Year 4 Szilvásvárad residential meeting at 8.15am in 4 Lilac
Thursday 22nd March Year 3 Zanka residential meeting at 8.15am in 3 Lemon
Friday 23rd March Year 2 Kerekegyháza residential meeting at 8.15am in 2 Ocean
Pop In Thursday March 22nd 2.45pm-3.20pm
The purpose of the afternoon is to allow your children to share their learning with you. This event complements the twice-yearly reports, the parents' meetings and the use of the online portfolio of Seesaw.
We look forward to seeing as many parents as possible in school at 2.45pm. At 3.20pm the teachers will kindly ask you to leave. Finishing at this time allows the teachers to have their normal end of day routine and safely manage children being collected by parents or travelling home on the school bus.
I appreciate that some BISB families have a number of classrooms that they would like to visit. If you find that you do not have enough time to visit all your children’s classrooms on the day please contact your child’s class teacher and arrange an additional time to look at their work.
Our Pop-Ins are a great opportunity for your child to show their work to you and for you to discuss their learning. I hope you will find this both an informative and enjoyable event.
Easter Bunny Visit
On Friday 23rd March our PTA have arranged for the Easter Bunny to visit the school. The Bunny will arrange a small Easter egg hunt for the children.
Following our Literacy focused week, the winners of the various competitions were announced in Monday's assembly. Congratulations to Akos Torok (4 Lilac) on winning our KS 2 poetry competition with his captivating recital of “Strict” by Michael Rosen. Akos showed a real flair for being able to entertain an audience and performed it with such timing and expression that the whole school hung on his every word! You can hear the poem performed by Michael Rosen here.
Another notable and brave winner was Mark Krsko (4 Heather). Mark was the winner of our extreme poetry competition after he was 'snapped' reading poetry in front of an alligator in Florida.
You may recall our launch of Times Tables Rockstars in January. This app has seen great success in helping children increase their speed and accuracy in their times tables. As a school, our percentage of accurate questions has improved dramatically and now stands at 86%. Huge success and congratulations to all!
I ask for your continued support in helping your children arrive at school with the correct uniform. I have noticed an increased number of 'non-uniform' items in school, most notably the following:
Incorrect boys’ trousers
The correct trousers are grey, not tracksuit bottoms and no jeans. Grey trousers can be purchased from a number of retailers and our school uniform supplier Unimode. The old school blue trousers are acceptable for the rest of this academic year only.
Only the official school jumper is acceptable, no non-school jumpers or fleeces please. This item can only be purchased through the school uniform supplier Unimode.
I wish you a restful weekend and I look forward to seeing many of you at the Performing Arts Showcase on Monday and Tuesday next week.
2nd March 2018
Whilst we pride ourselves on offering engaging and exciting learning on a daily basis at BISB, this week we have been on overdrive!
Combining a Literacy focus week on poetry, and online safety, the children have had a host of experiences that they will truly remember.
From lunchtime games and challenges through to poetry bursts and buddy reading, the week has been a stimulating mix of activities to enhance Literacy skills and development. On Thursday the staff and children were dressed as book characters. From Matilda to Funny Bones, the range of costumes were a true sign of how we as a community work together to help enhance children’s school experiences and build lasting memories.
Our online safety part of the week began by Mr Jonathan Taylor talking to children from Year 1 to 6. This is the start of a continued programme that we will run in school to raise awareness of safety issues that can affect all members of our community, including parents. This was expressed when Mr Taylor spoke to parents on Wednesday morning. His main message was that, as parents, we must decide when we think our children are ready and prepared to have technology with internet access. From that point he shared the need for all parents to have open and honest dialogue with their children about what they are playing and how they are communicating online. This is best completed by spending time with your children on the web-based messaging or gaming platforms they use. He concluded by explaining that monitoring children’s behaviour, rather than the apps and platforms they use, is the best way to keep them safe online.
Finally I would like to give you notice of some events in the coming weeks. On Thursday 22nd March, at the end of the school day, we will be opening the classrooms for your children to share their learning with you in our Term 2 ‘pop in’.
The last week of term will also be the week when Year 2 to 5 parents will be invited into school to hear presentations about the upcoming residentials. These sessions will run as below:
Year group Trip to… Parents meeting date
Year 2 Kerekegyháza Friday 23 March in Year 2 Ocean classroom
Year 3 Zanka Wednesday 21 March in Year 3 Lemon classroom
Year 4 Szilvasvarad Thursday 22 March in Year 4 Heather classroom
Year 5 Börzsöny Tuesday 20 March in Year 5 Aqua Classroom
Additional details and exact venues will be shared in the coming weeks.
Wishing you a warm and restful weekend.
16th February 2018
This has been a week of diversity, ambition and excellence!
In many classes this week the students and teachers have been celebrating the Lunar New Year together with the help of parents who have come into school to share presentations, food and games. Both Year 1 Grasshopper and Year 5 Wave have benefitted from the support of the diverse community we are so very proud of here at BISB.
As well as celebrating the ‘Year of the Dog’, 5 Wave have had a Shrove Tuesday inspired maths morning. The planned pancake race was sadly rained off but this did not deter them from making pancakes and using a range of mathematical skills to weigh measure and produce the delicious feast. Once made, the pancakes, traditionally eaten to signify the start of Lent, were flipped. The data from this engaging activity was then collected and used to further the students’ maths skills.
On Thursday we were honoured to have Anita Ugyan, the first Hungarian woman to summit Mt Everest, talk to our Year 4 students. Her visit coincided with their work on explorers and adventurers, which I wrote about previously when sharing some of the fabulous artwork that had come out of the topic. The children learnt that climbing Everest had always been an ambition of Anita’s and that she only achieved this through hard work, dedication and perseverance. This was a fantastic parallel message to that which was shared through the Monday Primary assembly. The children had the opportunity to ask questions and even get autographs! This was another example of our belief at BISB that building lasting positive memories of school will spark enthusiasm for the future and encourage all our students to be ambitious.
After the half term break, we will have a busy first week back with the following events:
English Themed Week
During this week, the children will be ‘growing’ a Poet Tree by adding their favourite poems, phrases or words. In the auditorium, there will be a ‘Shelfie Quiz' where students have to guess who the picture of a bookshelf and the contents belong to. Additionally, there will be book swaps and an Extreme Poetry Competition where children can be photographed in weird and wonderful places reading poetry – a great half term activity!
On Thursday 1st March it will be "dress as a Book Character" day. On this day, the children and staff are encouraged to dress up as their favourite book character.
The final of our Primary School Performance Poetry competition will signal the end of the week. The winners from each year group will be asked to perform in front of the school and a panel of visiting judges who we are delighted to host. These honoured guests include Mrs Bridget Lindsay wife of His Excellency, Mr Iain Lindsay, the British Ambassador.
Online Safety Lessons for Children
On Monday, Mr Jonathon Taylor will visit us from Be Safe Online. Mr Taylor will be working with all children from Years 1 to 6 on how to keep themselves safe online and how to use the Internet respectfully and securely. He will also provide some professional development for teachers and deliver a Parents Workshop on Wednesday 28th February at 8.50am in the dining room, a session I would urge all parents of Primary and Secondary children to attend.
Finally, some Year 6 cooking this week amazed me. During the French lessons with Ms Marion Viranyi-Fontan, the students learnt about food and writing a recipe book. After eating a delicious tart, I was presented with the final recipe book which has spurred me on to dust off my GCSE French and get active in the kitchen this half term break!
Have a wonderful half term break and I look forward to welcoming you and your children back to school on Monday 26th February.
9 February 2018
The snow increased the level of energy and excitement in the Primary school this week but, sadly, it was short lived. However, I did manage to spot a wonderful message that one of our happy students, teachers or parents had carved in the snow!
This week has seen the formation of a new group that will add to our altready established chains of communication in school. I’m pleased to announce the formation of the Parents Representation Collaboration And Communication Group. As you can tell from the title the first task will be work on what we call ourselves!
This group is made up of existing parents representatives who are already committed and involved in trying to improve our community. Meeting monthly, our mission is to share the improvements we are continuously making in school and also see if there are any issues that we could investigate that may improve the learning experience for the children. Children and children's development will lie at the heart of our group.
The members of the group will be.
These representatives will act as a conduit for you, so please seek them out with any general questions or concerns.
If you have any individual concerns regarding your own child and their time at BISB, the procedure for this is will remain the same. For these issues you should approach your child’s class teacher for a swift and personal response.
I do feel that this a very positive step forward for our school. I’m really looking forward to working with this cohesive group of parents and continuing to support the development of our wonderful BISB community.
Have a wonderful weekend.
We have had a tremendous week with lots of engaged learners from all the fantastic lessons and events that have taken place in the Primary school this week.
Year 1 have had a trip to the forest but realised last week that it can get very cold at this time of the year and that hot chocolate would be a great addition to their trip. This initiated a plan which saw the children organise what they would need to do this. They went to the shop, purchased the items and then followed instructions to make the drink ready for their trip. The interconnectivity and cross-curricular nature of these events saw the children become highly engaged in a great deal of learning. This learning then flowed back into the classroom with additional Literacy and Numeracy tasks based on their experiences and findings.
Parents In Partnership – calculation methods and mental calculations in the Primary School
I am pleased to say that it was not only the children who were engaged in learning this week. Ms Gavallar, Ms Higson, Ms Cummins, Mrs Hughes and myself were delighted to present the range of calculations methods we use in school. We also took time to show and share some real examples of the types of mental mathematics activities that the children experience to help them develop this important skill.
Times Tables Rock Stars
What an amazing sight Friday morning was with all the children coming to school dressed as Rock Stars. The wigs, guitars and outfits really helped build momentum and interest in children working on improving their times tables. In Year 6 we have seen some great progress in the children’s speed and accuracy in their times tables so we look forward to this success spreading. A big thank you to our electric guitarists William Dobson, Cole Michel, Paul Staunton, Petar Dakovski and Tom Benkő who serenaded children entering school on Friday morning. I would also like to thank Akanksha Arya for helping arrange the wonderful ladies from our Indian community to come and give the children henna tattoos. In truth, my words cannot capture this day. Please ask your children about the events, ask them to show you the app and look at the pictures in the article in the newsletter so you can see what a fun and successful day of learning this has been.
Have a fantastic weekend
Welcome back to school and a Happy New Year to all our new and returning families.
This week in our Primary assembly we celebrated the Green Team who were the winners of our cumulative merit point total for the last half term. Congratulations to any student who has been awarded a merit point aligned with our school's mission of:
· Embracing Diversity
· Cultivating Responsibility
· Acting with Integrity
· Nurturing Ambition
· Aspiring to Excellence.
The assembly also focussed on ‘Aspiring to Excellence’. The children were taught that the qualities of being adaptable, being resilient when things do not go well and looking at issues a different way can be very positive indeed. This was highlighted by looking at everyday items such as Playdough, Velcro, Post-It notes and the microwave oven. These items are widely used but have only become part of our world after someone failed to complete a design brief but then thought differently about how their ‘failed products’ could be used.
This is an important message that transfers into children’s learning. Learning is hard and should be challenging. At times it is easy to give up but here at BISB we encourage students to see mistakes as part of the learning process and to look at different ways to find solutions to challenges that they may face.
Upcoming events and dates for your diaries.
As you will know from the communication earlier this week, there will be a Primary Parents' Evening on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th January. This will include an opportunity to speak to your child’s specialist teachers including EAL, French, Music and PE teachers. This year you can also book an appointment with your child’s Hungarian teacher.
Parents In Partnership January 25th 8.50am in the dining room.
This presentation will be based on the methods of calculations we use in the Primary school with a focus on mental strategies used throughout the whole school. The session will also demonstrate the use of ‘Times Tables Rock Stars’ by our Year 6 students. ‘Times Tables Rock Stars’ is a new app with amazing success in increasing the speed and accuracy of children's calculations. The launch and roll out of this initiative will be on January 26th. More information will follow on the ‘Times Tables Rock Stars’ launch.
Farsang 2nd February
On Friday 2nd February we will be celebrating Farsang in school. This traditional Hungarian celebration is held to scare away winter and welcome in the spring months. The history and context of this celebration will be covered in Hungarian Culture lessons. On the same day, we will also have a Hungarian Dance Troop who will teach the children some folk dancing. This is a high energy activity that will be fueled by traditional Farsangi Fank (doughnuts)!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Today signifies the end of a marvelous term of fun, excitement and a great deal of learning. The children left school today full of excitement about the holidays but ready for a well deserved rest. Even up until the last week, the children and staff have been busy completing work which has been put on display around the school. One great example of this is from Year 5 Wave who have shared their winter artwork and poems that entertain the reader by their use of personification, alliteration, similes and onomatopoeia.
Looking back to the blazing August days in which the term started, it reminds us of what a long but productive term we have had. New friendships have been formed and lots of valuable learning experiences shared. I would like to thank you, the parents, for all your support this term. Together we form a partnership that is integral in the children’s personal and academic growth.
Finally, as with all holiday periods, it is a time to enjoy the luxury of family and friends. With this in mind, I wish you a happy and restful break and I look forward to welcoming the children back into school in 2018.
After a fantastic Christmas Fair on Saturday, our Primary teachers have had a busy week working on their final preparations for the various shows and celebrations we have had this week. The atmosphere in the school is positive and the school looks wonderful with all the festive decorations prepared by Mrs Noemi Goodall and other parent helpers.
On Wednesday, we had a brilliant showcase of the children’s learning from their Hungarian Culture lessons in our Mikulas assembly. This assembly, starting at 9am, was a gathering of highly excited children after they had found their shoes filled with the traditional treats of mandarins and sweets in the classrooms. Through songs from the staff and children showcasing what they had learnt, we managed to persuade Mikulas to come back and visit us. He toured all the classrooms to meet the children and present them with a mini chocolate Mikulas. We are always proud of our children, which was ratified by Mikulas as he did not deliver a single Virgasc!
The Young Entrepreneur Scheme
On Thursday, Year 6 completed their The Young Entrepreneur Scheme sale. This was the opportunity for the Year 6 teams to sell goods that they had designed and made. These ranged from bath bombs and erasers through to stress balls, which were all handmade by the students. Behind the sale there was many weeks of hard work which focused on the business and marketing aspects of producing goods to sell. The students had set their budgets, designed jingles and logos, and created their goods. This was truly a cross-curricular project that produced great results and given the children many lasting memories.
Year 4 Ancient Worlds Exhibition
As a conclusion to their work on ancient civilisations, the Year 4 students showcased their independent study projects to their parents on Thursday. Some of the civilisations they shared were Ancient Egyptian, Roman, Indian and Korean. Each child shared their knowledge by producing e-books, models, quizzes and posters.
Year 1 Snowman at Sunset
This morning the Year 1 parents were thoroughly entertained by the performance of, ‘The Snowman at Sunset'. The costumes, songs and acting were perfect for the festive season and the smiles of the children showed how proud they were of their hard work. Following the performance, it was great to see the families join their children for snacks and congratulatory cuddles!
Year 3 Dinosaur Assembly
Following the Year 1 show, our Year 3 students presented their dinosaur assembly. This was a thrilling and lively mix of drama, comedy and music. The audience were taken on a time travel journey from the Devonian to the Cretaceous periods to understand the existence and then extinction of the dinosaurs. This was a great showcase of the children's performance skills and the scheme of work that has established a love for learning in this area for many years to come.
We like to encourage children to be independent in their organisation and in their approach to learning. We feel that being responsible for their belongings is an important skill that transcends both the home and school environment. That said, we appreciate that from time to time items do go missing, these items are taken to our central lost property base (outside Year 1 Grasshopper). All lost property is regularly searched and named items returned. Unnamed items can be found in our regular Lost and Found in the Pavilion for 2 nights at the beginning of each month. Of course, all the lost property can be accessed at any point throughout the month by families. At the end of this term, all the children will be asked to clear their lockers and shoes boxes to allow for our usual deep clean and maintenance of the school. If at that point you find that your child has any items that do not belong to them please return them to either:
- Lost property (outside Year 1 Grasshopper)
- Return to the child who has their name on the item (if known by you). Thank you in advance for your support.
Next week will be our final week but still a week of planned learning for the children. On Monday, we will have another opportunity to see our Sing and Move children perform in our Monday assembly in the auditorium. Parents are welcome to attend.
The times for these performances in the Primary auditorium will be:
· Years 4, 5 & 6 9.00-9.30
· Years 2 & 3 9.35-10.05
On Thursday 14th December, your child (Years 1 to 6) will be handed their December school report. The report is one element of how we share your child’s progress in school. It is complemented by the Parents’ Evenings we have had this term along with the ‘Pop-Ins’ and of course their Seesaw ePortfolio. These reports can be discussed in the next Parents’ Evenings scheduled for 15th and 16th January 2018.
On Friday next week, we finish at 12 noon. On that day children can bring in any non-electronic games or toys to share and play with their friends for the last half day of 2017.
Have a wonderful weekend.
This week the energy and excitement in the Primary school has remained high. This energy has been used to share learning and prepare for our upcoming events.
All the classes have made or collated goods to be sold at the Christmas Fair. These range from candle holders, a toy tombola to homemade biscuits. Please do come and support this great community event and help raise funds for the charities we support.
Early Years Stay and Play
On Thursday morning, parents of our Early Years children were shown around the learning environment by their children. The main philosophy behind events such as this and our Primary ‘Pop-Ins’ is to make children central to their education: the children need to be able to explain their learning successes and challenges. These events complement our academic reports, parents' evenings and online portals in communicating what your child is learning in school.
Young Entrepreneur Scheme- the build-up to the sale
Thursday afternoon saw teams of Year 6 students presenting their products to other students in preparation for their sale next week. Their presentations included video adverts, slogans and persuasive language in a bid to sell all their products and make the most profit. This year the items the groups have decided to make range from bath bombs, sugar scrubs and Pokemon body lotion to key rings, hair bobbles and erasers. The presentations were of a very high standard and displayed how the children had developed their understanding of advertising and the use of language to persuade their target audience. Whilst their presentations were impressive, the sale next week will be the true market test!
Upcoming events next week
Monday: Winter Concert practices for children involved in the evening events.
Tuesday: Winter Concert practices for children involved in the evening events.
Children cleaning shoes in the hope that Mikulas will visit the school.
Wednesday: Mikulas Assembly.
Thursday: Year 4 Ancient World Exhibition.
Year 6 Young Entrepreneur Scheme Fair.
Friday: Year 1 Winter Concert – Snowman at Sunset
Year 3 Dinosaur assembly at 10.30am.
I look forward to seeing you at the Christmas Fair on Saturday.