On Wednesday, the 22nd of September, the members of the CAS Club represented the IBSB community in delivering part of the ‘Back to School Collection’ to community partners Casa Agar, Touched Romania’s maternal shelter.
Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the staff and a couple of residents, including Alexandra, who is eleven years old, and was very excited to receive the donations on behalf of the other resident children at school at the time of our visit. She was also very happy to receive Vlad’s illustrated letter (year 2), which read: “Draga invatacelule, iti urez noroc la invatat, sa fii cuminte ca mine si sa iti faci multi prieteni.” (translated: Dear little learner, I wish you good luck with your studies, be just as good as I am, and make lots of friends).
An IBSB student present, helping with the delivery, Qichao (year 10), said he was really impressed by how many people donated to the charities- as sorting the donations into categories took an entire club session. The donation visit itself was quite short, but rewarding, according to Augadh (year 10) who said, “I loved delivering the donation to the children, and I look forward to doing so again in the future.” The rest of the donations were delivered on the same day to Punctul Nordic Corbeanca.
Thank you to the entire IBSB community for all your support and generosity! These small acts of kindness, joined together, make a considerable difference to the lives of those in need of our support. Well done IBSB!
With the new school year now underway, the IBSB Pastoral Care System is now is full swing there to help child settle into the new school year, to ensure children feel safe, valued, and grow in confidence and maturity both academically and socially as the school year progresses.
by Ms Cristina Latcu
IBSB Student Counsellor
Being a school with many students, there will of course be instances where bullying behaviour is brought to light and addressed. The way that we approach the issue of bullying is from a multidisciplinary perspective, acting proactively to reduce the level of bullying both within school and outside school, and reactively to resolve issues quickly when they arise.
As a school fully committed to maintaining student wellbeing, we take the time to teach our children from a young age how ‘to behave’ and how ‘not to behave’. We also teach them what bullying is and what bullying isn’t, so that they each know how to identify bullying if they experience it personally or see it happening to someone else. Just to be clear, bullying is not a single incident of one student being unkind to another student, or for example pushing them while in the playground out of anger or frustration. This is certainly inappropriate behaviour, but it is not bullying.
Bullying is the deliberate and intentional behaviour of one student or group of students intended to cause harm and suffering to another over an extended period of time.
Students at IBSB are made aware in no uncertain terms that IBSB maintains a no tolerance approach to bullying, but one that is also educational toward this issue seeking to help those who are doing the bullying to understand why it is wrong, whilst empowering those who may on the receiving end of bullying to know how to best address this issue if it arises.
Thankfully the level of bullying at IBSB is very low, with just minor level incidents happening on a less frequent basis, so we are confident that our pastoral care system is working well.
Having in mind that children spend more time with their peers than with their parents, it is very important for parents to know what signs to look for in order to identify if someone is being bullied. You can find all the signs explained here, along with some other useful information: statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/35910.
Childhood bullying can have serious effects on a young person’s health: physical, psychological, and social. There can also be serious long term effects, which may include low self-esteem, social anxiety and agoraphobia, decreased performance, suicidal thoughts, night terrors, addiction, and poor interpersonal relationships. You can find an informative article on the possible long-term effects of bullying here: adc.bmj.com/content/archdischild/100/9/879.full.pdf
It is of the utmost importance that we work together as a whole school community to provide a safe environment where our children can enjoy the experience of growing up and maturing into young adults.
If you have any concerns about an issue relating to bullying as the year progresses, please write to your class teacher and the relevant Head of School to inform them of your concerns. You can also arrange a time to speak with a student counsellor to ask for advice, as we are always happy to help.
Have a great year, with many happy memories collected along the way!
Eight of our students returned on Sunday, the 12th of September, from the Adventurous Journey Camp organised in Sovata, by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for Young People in partnership with Outward Bound Romania.
The participants on the trip had the opportunity to complete their ‘expedition section’ of the Award and join in team building, rope course, climbing, and hiking activities on the Via Transilvanica section of the Gurghiu Mountains.
James Hudson (History teacher) and Joy Murphy (Science teacher) joined the expedition in the roles of supervisor and assessor, respectively, saying the trip was a great success, full of excitement, fun, and an amazing learning experience for all those involved. The students forged new friendships and challenged themselves to be better in everything they undertake, which is one of the reasons we are so keen to encourage our students to participate in this programme.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme is available as a part of the Senior School Club Programme, for students in Y10-13. To find out more about this programme please visit the school website.
Developing effective communication skills is central to the future job market, which is why our summer school programme is not simply focused on improving English, but on developing effective listening skills and speaking confidence. Each lesson begins with a fun speaking activity, to encourage students to use English in everyday situations, with students rotating from table to table, talking about topics of common interest. What better way is there for students to regain their social confidence and improve their English speaking skills after a long period of isolation, than joining the IBSB Summer School Programme.
In Week 1 of the IBSB Summer School Programme, students in the Young Explorers Class attempted to break the world record for stacking M&Ms as their ‘warmer activity’ before continuing on to read the news article Tallest stack of M&M’s record broken by 23-year-old Brit | Guinness World Records and complete a number of fun activities intended to develop their English skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The current IBSB record for M&Ms stacked in a pile is 3. Can you beat that?
Congratulations to our Primary School PE Teacher, Paul Georgescu, for completing his 100km ultramarathon swim at the Lia Manoliu Olympic Pool on June 30, in a time of 34 hours, 42 minutes, and 46 seconds.
Paul was swimming to raise awareness of Autism and support for Centrul Aspera, the first centre in Romania offering a multidisciplinary therapeutic approach for children on the autistic spectrum.
Battling fatigue and sleep deprivation through the later stages of his swim, Paul still managed a beaming smile for the many who turned out to cheer him on as he counted down the final laps, thanking all those who came along to show their support and to those who made a donation.
Paul is a wonderful ambassador of the IBSB Student Mission: Aspire, Strive, Achieve, and a compelling reminder to us all that even the seemingly impossible can be achieved with hard work and unfaltering determination.
If you haven’t yet donated to Paul’s worthy cause, and would like to do so, please click on the following link: https://bit.ly/3w8oeLo
Video of Paul finishing his swim: Facebook
On April 21st, the Animal Welfare CAS Team visited the Bruno Shelter for the first time in 2021. It has been a particularly challenging year for all of us due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which affected our operations in a number of ways. Nevertheless, we have continued to work hard and move forward, undeterred by recent events, determined to still achieve our goals, and were particularly excited to be able to visit the Bruno Shelter once again.
The trip out to the Bruno Shelter from IBSB took around an hour and a half, and upon arrival we were immediately greeted by the incredibly friendly caretakers who offered us treats to give to the dogs. The dogs stationed near the entrance were some of the most friendly dogs I’ve ever meet; they were so happy to see us, and approached us wagging their tails excitedly, and played with us energetically. We even had the opportunity to interact with some of the baby goats on site- it was like visiting a small animal farm.
We then entered what felt like a small hallway with dogs stationed on either side, instead of walls. This group of dogs seemed a little more lively and less friendly, as they barked excitedly in harmony when we got too close. One of them seemed a little too friendly, very keen on nibbling at my fingers when I offered a treat.
There were many highlights on this trip, including interacting with two huge Rottweilers, who let us hold and play with their puppies. Another highlight was watching this one dog constantly bark at me, while standing on top of an old washing machine. Just ordinary dog shelter business.
Some of the other main attractions were Emma, a very friendly husky, more baby goats, a massive blind dog who acted as the shelter’s mascot, and of course, the moment when we proudly handed over the funds we had raised in the last two years.
As we walked out, I stared at the nearby lake, reminiscing on this incredible year at IBSB with my fellow colleagues, all of whom have been incredibly committed to the Animal Welfare CAS Team. For those of us in Y12 who will still be here next year, we know that the next academic year will provide new opportunities to support Bruno Shelter even more than we were able to do this year, and so we can’t wait to get started and looking forward to visiting all the new friends we’ve made in 2022.
Y12 Bruno Shelter Team member
Community Action Service
Every year, a group of students in our school undergo a big change in their lives, moving from the Primary School to Secondary School. Most of the students look forward to this change with a sense of excitement, seeing it as an opportunity.
Ana Maria Dobre
International British School of Bucharest
Every year, a group of students in our school undergo a big change in their lives, moving from the Primary School to Secondary School. Most of the students look forward to this change with a sense of excitement, seeing it as an opportunity to start anew, with greater independence, with experiences to be enjoyed, and new friends to make. For others though, the first day of Secondary School can be in equal parts exciting and terrifying: new classmates, new courses, new teachers, and new expectations can all be sources of anxiety for them.
From both groups, we can expect questions regarding social interactions (being around older children, not knowing the rules) and academic expectations (having different teachers, extra lessons, and more homework). This transition is a big stepping-stone, which can seem a little intimidating to parents and kids.
Thankfully we are doing a lot to help both the students and parents prepare for this transition. One way we are helping as a school is by maintaining a mentoring relationship with all the children, having opened conversations about what they can expect (for example: their responsibilities, the programme, new lessons, getting around the facility, behaviour expectations, break times and socializing with older pupils), inviting the Year 7 students into the primary school to talk about their experience moving from Year 6 to Year 7 and life in the Secondary, and offering the students a chance to experience Year 7 lessons, with the Secondary School teachers coming across to the primary school to teach a lesson and answer questions the Year 6 students might have, and finally arranging time with the school counsellors.
The children from Year 6 have 3 key sessions with the school counsellors to discuss personal values in connection with school values and the social, emotional skills needed to thrive in the secondary school environment – relating to building positive, healthy relationships, communicating effectively, effective time management, maintaining personal care and safety, and community participation.
Through our conversations and actions, we can all help (parents and teachers working together) the children to deal with their fears and identify the positive aspects of the move to middle school.
Here are some books that can help parents to better understand and support the pupil’s transition:
Adolescent children can pose great challenges to their parents in both positive and negative ways. As a matter of fact, developmental psychology informs us that the time of one’s life that is most stressful.
Ana Maria Dobre
International British School of Bucharest
Adolescent children can pose great challenges to their parents in both positive and negative ways. As a matter of fact, developmental psychology informs us that the time of one’s life that is most stressful is in fact the time when we parent teenage children.
The main reason for the perpetual conflictual state some families find themselves in, is the way natural developmental tasks conflict with parental beliefs about how a young person should act.
While adolescents struggle to find their identity and address their need for greater autonomy, defining one’s identity, self-worth, and enjoyment, parents usually stress the importance of high academic results and impeccable behaviour for their professional future.
While young people figure out how social relationships work outside the family, many parents set their personal expectations as the benchmark for them to have relationships, only allowing them to meet with people that match their set of values. Due to age and life experience difference, the values of the child and the values of the parent are often very different, and while everyone means well, everyone also makes mistakes.
To avoid ourselves becoming caught up in a whirlwind of conflict, groundings, and children lashing out, we need as adults to be aware of three important aspects.
Balance of Boundaries & Rules
All people need structure, to feel emotionally safe, but if the rules are too strict, too many or not clear enough, the teenager will tend to rebel against them in ways that can put them at risk.
Rules are for the entire family, not only for the children. If we have a rule that children are not allowed to insult anyone, we must respect that rule as well. Boundaries are important for both sides. If we want our children to respect our boundaries, then we must respect theirs also.
Boundaries that are too loose or not age-appropriate can determine disruptive, uncalculated risk-taking behaviours. Balance is the key-word here.
Be aware of the developmental tasks adolescents face and while guiding them, leave them enough space to become their own people.
Some of the teenage developmental tasks have been listed in the introduction to this article, but I strongly suggest that adults who have a duty of care towards adolescents read more about this topic here.
I can’t stress enough how important this one is. Make sure your teenager feels safe enough in their relationship with you so that if something bad happens, they trust you enough to tell you. Often teenagers that are afraid of their primary care adults’ reactions or ashamed to talk to the adults around them, hiding important things to the point where there is not much that can be done to prevent them.
Some of the things young people do can create extreme anxiety in parents, but it is very important to find meaningful, non-violent ways of communicating that will support finding solutions together rather than making things worse. Never let your anxiety or frustration override your calm.
Some young people don’t feel safe in their own homes, hurting their emotional well being and stability in the long term, just as much as families that have violent children are hurt. Not feeling safe at home, will often lead to serious anxiety problems and long term complex trauma. One does not need to abuse a child physically for this to happen. Verbal and emotional violence are just as hurtful and damaging.
The best thing a parent can do for their child is to be a safety net for them, so that the child knows that no matter the mistake they make, they have a safe relationship to turn to for advice, help, and support.
Bucharest Homes is your friend and partner in the adventure of discovering BUCHAREST and its treasures. The founder, Andreia Lewis, was an expat for 10 years in various cultures (Asian, European, American) and returned home “to grow roots and wings”. The love for her country, its architectural beauty and culture, also her experience as an expat, made her dream to assist expats in their journey in Romania, with professional real estate service and with extensive information on everything they might need. She learnt that being in expats shoes, in many difficult situations, when she promised she won’t waste anyone’s time. Dream came true!
Passionate about people and beautiful homes, Andreia is explaining us that she is a broker, meeting the offer and the demand, always in favor of the deal. Starting with Bucharest Homes logo, we can see her passion for the beautiful architecture of Bucharest.
“By selling old architectural jewels we are making a small contribution to Bucharest “face lift”, which is becoming more and more visible nowadays. We always encourage landlords to restore what they have so the property reach an international standing where I can see an expat living and encourage clients to buy those unique gems to transform them in practical living architectural assets that will definitely increase the value”.
On the rental side, Andreia is working with expats and assisted many of our parents who registered at IBSB to find a suitable accommodation in the area or nearby. The area of the school is the historical area of Agricultori and Mantuleasa, with beautiful villas, mature vegetation, legendary stories and some cobble stone streets. A real residential area, an ‘up and coming one’, where you can walk and bike, with easy connectivity to other lovely areas as Universitatii or Icoanei. Andreia can be reached by mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the site www.bucharest-homes.ro
Once again, the students from IBSB were honoured to be invited to attend the annual LSE MUN Conference for 2021. It was even more of an honour this year, when our students discovered they were in fact the only students from an international school joining the many UK based British schools for an event which typically attracts the brightest students from the top schools around the world.
Our student delegation, representing the People’s Republic of China, joined the online LSE MUN conference, running February 26-28, dressed in suits and ties, in the roles of both young diplomats and journalists striving to find solutions to global problems.
Maria Sticlea (Y11) joined the Security Council, with 3 students attending General Assembly committees:
1) Rares Sas (Y12) – UN High Commission for Refugees
2) Vlad Nedelcu (Y10) – Disarmament and Security
3) Medeea Constantinescu (Y11) – Social and Humanitarian Committee
We also had 3 students, including Matei Bitu (Y13), Tamara Boaca, and Iulia Badiu acting as journalists representing Global News, Die Zeit, and UN News perspectives in the committees they were assigned to. Matei, being an exemplary MUNer in his last conference, reported for Global News on the South China Sea negotiations within the UN Security Council. Here are some of the articles Matei wrote during his attendance at the event:
At the end of the conference, all students agreed that it was an extremely worthwhile experience, with three of the students being presented with the following awards:
Rares Sas – Best Delegate Award
Maria Sticlea – Honourable Mention
Vlad Nedelcu – Honourable Mention
A big thank you to Ms Blessy Savu for supporting the students in their preparations for this event, and for joining them in attending the LSE Online MUN over the weekend. We hope 2022 will allow our students to once again return to London to attend the LSE MUN in person.
Head of Primary School
Wellbeing in schools is now being discussed more than ever around the world and for good reason. There are increasing numbers of articles about the long term effects of this pandemic on our communities and our children’s wellbeing. Anecdotally, we can see this in school too since our return back in February, in small ways. Whilst we are rightfully astonished by the resilience shown by the children, it should not be taken for granted and we are doing all we can to ensure wellbeing is front and centre. And this means accepting that things are not perfect and talking about it.
Children are readjusting to life back in school, to the routines, to their friendship groups, to being outside and wearing masks all day, to the expectations we place on them to achieve and behave. They have to work at rebuilding relationships and trust with teachers and colleagues in an environment that must have protocols to keep them distant. For some, this is harder than others and we accept that. Add to this the pressure many feel to catch up academically returning to school after a disrupted year. Little wonder so many articles are being written, we need help to process this and find a balance.
Wellbeing is essential for learning, and learning benefits wellbeing – it is an interdependent relationship.
A recent Impact Study carried out by Dr Ariel Lindorff at Oxford University, looked at international research over the last 10 years, to better understand links between wellbeing and academic attainment as well as other educational outcomes. The study concluded that there is strong international evidence to support the claim that ‘whole-school approaches’ to promoting wellbeing can influence academic attainment and have positive effects on a wide range of other educational outcomes, including mental health, motivation and behaviour.
As I said, our task is to consider how to marry the two in an authentic, harmonious and sustainable way to ensure our children flourish academically and in their sense of wellbeing. We encourage all to embrace the concept of collective responsibility for wellbeing within our school community, but these are a few of the little things we are doing to try to help:
Firstly, we need to be aware of it, show patience and understanding. For example, we are encouraging those children who are a little rusty on the ideas of fair play and tolerance at break times to reflect on this. If they can, they will be in a much calmer frame of mind to focus in the next lesson and therefore achieve more.
Secondly, every morning, Ms Emilia greets the children as they enter school with a smile and asks a simple question to see how they are feeling that morning. This helps build trust and helps us monitor pupil wellbeing and support where needed. Moreover, before the Easter break, we will survey the children asking them about their sense of wellbeing to help us measure it and further identify areas that we can improve and support.
Thirdly, Year 6’s transition programme has been adapted and brought forward to ensure they are mentally ready for the move to Year 7. This week and next they will enjoy lessons with Secondary teachers and have some counselling sessions to support their mental health and manage expectations.
Importantly, our teachers have identified areas in the curriculum that need more input, focussing on those areas in class and putting in place some intervention programmes for individuals or small groups of pupils who need it more. We also delayed the GL Progression Tests, usually in May, will now take place in June.
These are just some of the things we are doing to support wellbeing and attainment, because we know that happy and motivated pupils behave better and achieve more. This pandemic has made that more challenging for everyone, but, like all things, it will pass. But whilst it is here, noticing the little things matters. For example, have you noticed that wearing masks has reduced your water intake? A little thing that can have big consequences, so allow me to finish with a little tip from Irene in Year 3 to boost your wellbeing and attainment.
Did you know?
Lack of water is the Number 1 cause of being tired during the day – University of Washington studies show that a decrease of 2% water in your body may temporarily lead to memory loss, difficulty in basic maths calculations and difficulty in focusing. If you drink 5 glasses of water you can decrease by 45% the occurrence of serious disease.
As parents, we naturally want the very best for our children. We witness the wonder of watching them grow, learning to crawl, then walk, and eventually talk, and we sense their incredible potential.
The question to be asked and answered is how do we unlock that potential? Unfortunately, there is no definitive guide to good parenting, no universally accepted manual we can refer to unequivocally to navigate our way through the many challenges and choices we face as parents during early childhood and adolescence. We effectively make it up as we go along, doing the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time, hoping in the end that we are making the right choices and that everything will work out okay in the end.
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes we make as parents is thinking that the most important schooling years are in high school, when our children are preparing for exams that will decide which university they are accepted into.
Whilst choosing a good school, with a proven track record of high exam results and university offers from top universities, is certainly important, secondary school is not where you build capacity. It is during primary school that the brain of a child is most permeable, undergoing hyperbolic growth and development, and it is in the primary school where the foundation for future success is formed.
By the time our children arrive at secondary school, their intellectual capacity will already be self-evident, with some children able to communicate in multiple languages, and with a reading speed two or three times that of other children. It is in the primary school years essentially, that you form the base of your pyramid of knowledge, and the wider and deeper your base, the greater the potential for future growth.
In addition to starting early, Carol Dweck, a lecturer at Columbia University and Harvard University, and author of The New Psychology Of Success, reveals that another key factor of success is not innate talent or intelligence, as many believe, but resilience, being the ability to persevere and grow through adversity.
Dweck provides compelling evidence to show that it is not generally the most talented athletes that make it to the Olympics. Talent itself is not enough. It is individuals prepared to do the work day in, day out, through the pouring rain, the biting cold, and soring temperatures, through injury and short-term disappointments, never giving up on their dream, who eventually go on to achieve success.
Developing a ‘Growth Mindset’ is just one of the corner stones of ‘High Performance Learning’, arguably the most important development in education in the 21st century supporting our growing understanding of nurturing human capability. Another corner stone of High Performance Learning is the key breakthrough in understanding that the brain structure and function is not fixed and unchangeable, which is to say that mental ability has little to do with genes or DNA and a lot to do with the learning environment. This is an important belief in HPL Schools, where all students are considered to possess the potential to be High Performance Learners.
In a High Performance Learning School, students are not placed along the traditional bell curve spread of learners, from low ability to high ability, but rather are placed on a journey moving for the current level of ability for each student toward a high level of ability for all students.
Another important aspect of High Performance Learning, is working closely with parents as partners. Again, in a traditional school, it is normal for parents to drop their children off at the front gate, handing over responsibility for the process of their children learning to the school. In a High Performance Learning School, this is not the case. The parents are given a manual, and ongoing training and support to become ‘High Performance Parents’ working with the school to support their children on their High Performance Learning journey.
“It is essential that parents are involved in the learning process. Without ongoing parental support and involvement, it would not be possible to achieve the results we do,”
Kendall Peet, Head of School at the International British School of Bucharest since 2011
The International British School of Bucharest is currently the only High Performance Learning School in Romania, and with 87% of their students being offered places in the top 5% of universities worldwide this year, it is clear that the school is achieving incredible results.
“We are extremely proud to be the first school in Romania accepted into the global community of High Performance Learning Schools, which will ensure we remain at the forefront of teaching pedagogy, preparing our students with the key competencies to succeed, not just academically, but in life.”
Matthew Tansley, Head of Secondary School at the International British School of Bucharest since 2018
The International British School of Bucharest is the only fully accredited British international school located in the city centre, on a modern, purpose-build campus connecting their students to the world.
To find out more about High Performance Learning, contact the admissions team at email@example.com.
This year, two of our students Christie Vernon (Deputy Head Girl) and Max Mihailovici (Head Boy) applied to study at Oxford University, one of the oldest universities in the world and arguably one of the most difficult to gain admission to, being No.1 in the World University Rankings 2021 | Times Higher Education (THE) in 2017, 18, 19, 20 & 21.
The application process itself takes approximately three months, requiring students to complete a UCAS application by October 15, with an expected A-A* average at both IGCSE and A Level, followed by a tough subject specific Oxford University Aptitude Test, and the submission of written work, which the student has worked on independently.
From approximately 23,000 applications, around 10,000 students are selected to attend a series of final interviews on a single day, from which 3,300 students will receive a formal offer.
We are very proud to inform you that both Christie and Max have made it through to the final stage of the application process; an incredible achievement, and even more so considering they are applying two of the most prestigious colleges: Christie is applying to study science at the Magdalen College www.magd.ox.ac.uk, with an impressive list of alumni, including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Oscar Wilde, and 5 Nobel laureates (3 in medicine, which is Christie’s current career choice); Max is applying to study history at Merton www.merton.ox.ac.uk, with an equally illustrious alumni, including Walter Scott, Sir Roger Banister, T.S. Eliot, and J.R. Tolkien, to name just a few.
On behalf of the entire IBSB Community, we would like to congratulate Christie and Max on their tremendous achievement, making it through to the final interview stage. You are both wonderful ambassadors of high performance learning and role models for the generations of IBSB students to come. We wish you the very best for your final interviews in the week ahead.
Congratulations to Daria, Fibi, Andrei, Diana, Irina, and Mario who completed a three-day hiking expedition in the Ciucas Mountains. They displayed excellent planning, preparation, teamwork, and resilience in overcoming all the challenges the expedition entailed (from the additional measures related to SARS-COV2 prevention, to navigation in poorly marked areas, and simply finishing 20 km walks and over 1000m vertical ascent per day).
Also, we are happy to announce that the DofEIA programme is growing in our school, as three members of staff were trained as ‘leaders’ last week: Ms Carmen Raducanu, Mr Anthony Varden, and Mr James Hudson. The role of the leader is to mentor the participants and ensure that they have the necessary support to achieve their personal goals in every section of the programme (Skills, Service, Physical Recreation, and Adventurous Journey).
With Carmen, Anthony, and James now on hand to help programme coordinator, Ms Johanna Croci, we have no doubt that our students will continue to receive the best possible support on their Award journey.
Congratulations to the 12 students who joined Ms Croci and Mr Hudson on their Qualifying Duke of Edinburgh Adventurous Journey.
Last week the students all successfully completed their practice journey, which took them from Bucuresti – Cheia (Prahova) – Pasul Bratocea (1263m) (red line trail) – Saua Tigailor (1745 m) – Vf. Ciucas (1954 m) – Cabana Vf. Ciucas (1595 m) – (blue cross trail) V. Berii to Podul Berii (1050 m). It was a memorable trip that luckily returned them to the bus just minutes before the rain started to fall.
This week, the students were off again, this time on their Qualifying Journey, departing Bucuresti en route to Cheia (Prahova) – (yellow line trail) Cabana Muntele Rosu (1280 m) – (red triangle trail) to La Rascruce (1805 m) – (red cross route) to Vf. Gropsoarele (1883 m), Vf. Zaganu (1817 m) Poiana Zaganu (1336 m) – Cheia (900 m). It was to be another incredible experience, as you can see from the photos.
You can check out their routes on the Ciucas Mountains map and online at: muntii-nostri.ro
A special thank you to Ms Croci and Mr Hudson for providing support both before, during, and after both expeditions. Without your dedication to the Duke of Edinburgh International Award programme, and the participating students, worthwhile experiences such as these would not be possible.
This year our Head of School once again had the opportunity to join some of the Y13 students in their sixth for garden area for his traditional start of year pep talk.
At the meeting, he gave each student a sheet with the statistical breakdown from the previous exam year, asking each student to circle the subjects they are taking and the grades they hope to achieve.
This informed the students what percentage of the world they need to be in to achieve that grade: you don’t need 80% to get an A in Business Studies, for example, you need to be in the top 13.1% of the world, based on the 2019 exam results.
Click on the link below to see a full review of grades awarded from the June 2019 Exam Session.
Mr Peet then went on to discuss the university applications process and to congratulate the Y13 students on both their work ethic and their results achieved to date, saying that they are very likely to achieve our best exam results ever, with 50% of the students currently on target to achieve an A-A* average in their final year.
Next week, Mr Peet will be speaking to the Year 11 students, having already spoken with the Y12 students last week, to ensure every student has a clear goal in mind- because, as he said to the students, it is much easier to achieve a goal when it is clear in one’s mind from the outset.
Congratulations to IBSB Student, Luca Dobronauteanu (Far left), Year 13, an aspiring ATP tennis player, for reaching the U18 Semi-finals ITF Junior Tournament in Oradea last weekend.
Luca is one of many students studying at IBSB with an individualised educational learning programme, designed to allow him to train toward his sporting dreams, whilst completing his studies.
Congratulations to Maria Sticlea, Y11, who received the ‘Best Delegate Award’ at the BYMUN 2020, organised by YMTS at Casa Universitarilor last week.
For the uninitiated, MUN is a simulation of the United Nations, with each delegate representing a country in one of several committees.
This is what Maria has to say about her experience:
“Because of the coronavirus situation, the conference was held outdoors and restricted to just two committees; I was lucky enough to be offered a place in the EU Council, representing Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, on the topic of ‘Addressing the rise of right-wing extremism in EU member states.’
As my first MUN outside of school, I didn’t really know what to expect, so was pleasantly surprised to discover that the experience was by far much better than anything I could have imagined.
I didn’t know anyone when I first arrived on Day 1, so it was a little scary to begin with, but soon made friends with many of the delegates, who all seemed to share similar interests.
The weather on Day 1 was rather overcast, so the improved sunny weather on Day 2 was a welcome change, with everyone arriving eager to start debating and negotiating.
In the middle of the conference, the CRISIS Committee (who were re-enacting the Biden vs Trump 2020 presidential elections) called me over for an impromptu Q&A session as Angela Merkel, which was unexpected, but very pleasant.
At the end of the conference, different prizes were handed out, and I was given the honour of receiving the Best Delegate Award.
Overall, it was an amazing experience that I would definitely recommend to other students.”
Maria joined IBSB in 2013 (Year 4). During her time at IBSB, Maria has been a student representative on the School Council and a senior member of the IBSB Middle School Debate Team, which has won numerous debate competitions. She has also attended a number of international MUN conferences and has been the recipient of the Academic High Achiever Award for her year in the last 4 years.
Congratulation to Tamara Minea, one of our Y13 students, selected alongside three other students to represent Romania in the International Economics Olympiad taking place next week.
Here are a few words from Tamara on her selection:
I’m very excited to in in the Romanian team selected to represent Romania at the International Economics Olympiad next week. During the summer.
For those of you not familiar with the Olympiad Competitions, there are three stages in the competition: economics, finance, and business.
Economics stage: knowledge beyond the A Level syllabus is required, so I have been preparing for some weeks, learning new terms and theories to be ready to complete a multiple choice and essay component.
Finance stage: involves an online simulation of the stock market where one must invest, and after each turn see whether your money increases or decreases consequently.
Business stage: each team has 24 hours to complete a project based on a given topic to present to a panel of judges.
I expect the whole of the competition to be challenging, but nonetheless an exciting experience.
Students like myself from around the world will be participating and hopefully all going well, Romania will reach the top tiers.
We wish Tamara and the rest of the Romanian team the very best as they make their final preparations.
Stay tuned for future updates!
This week the staff at IBSB have been busy preparing for the start of the new school year.
An important aspect of this preparation process is ensuring staff receive the necessary ‘Health and Safety’ training, which this year included completing the following six certified courses:
• Online Safety
• Preventing Bullying
• Fire Safety
• Child Protection
• Mental Wellbeing for Children and Young Adults
• Medic First Aid
In addition, to these courses, select staff have also received updated training in safer recruitment, student counselling, and special educational needs support.
When it comes to ensuring student health and safety, there are no staff better trained and prepared to look after your children.
On behalf of the entire IBSB Community, we congratulate our primary school PE teacher, Paul Georgescu, for setting a new Romanian record for the longest swim. Paul started his swim at 03:00am on the morning of August 14, swimming a total distance of 104km along the Danube from Old Moldova to Iron Gates 1, in a time of 21 hours and 40 minutes.
Paul is the first Romanian to swim over 100km, and used the swim as part of his preparations to swim across the Gibraltar Straight, as the 4th leg of his Seven Oceans Challenge, having successfully completed his crossing of the English Channel in 2016, the Catalina Channel in 2018, and the Molokai Channel 2019. Paul is also the current Gold Medalist for the 500m freestyle from the World Ice Swimming Championships in Russia, and holds the world record for the fastest ice mile swum in the Antarctic circle.
In every way Paul is and inspiration to our students and wonderful role model for our entire school community, showing us that anything is possible if you are prepared to work hard to achieve your dreams.
There are an increasing number of private schools in Bucharest saying they offer a ‘British Curriculum’. Many have not been inspected by the Department for Education, and few have qualified, experienced international teachers.
Some even display the COBIS logo on their website. There is, however, an important difference between the COBIS ‘member’ logo for ‘non BSO inspected’ schools and the COBIS ‘Accredited member’ logo for DfE ‘BSO’ inspected schools:
|COBIS ‘Accredited’ Member|
‘BSO Inspected school’
‘Non BSO inspected schools’
AoBSO is THE ONLY association for solely DfE Inspected British Schools.
|AoBSO Accredited School|
For DfE Accredited British Schools
When looking for a true internationally British Education, look for the AoBSO logo, and be sure to check they have qualified, experienced international teachers, with proven exam results, and a graduate record that shows the school delivers what it promises.
In 2020, 87% of all IBSB graduates were offered places in the top 5% of universities worldwide.
Your children deserve no less. Accept no imposters!
With the highest quality education, everything is possible!
To find out more about the programmes IBSB have in place to support student success, click on the link below or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment with a member of the admissions team.
There are many schools which claim to offer a British Curriculum. Few if any deliver to the high exacting standards set by the International British School of Bucharest (IBSB)- the first UK inspected, COBIS Accredited school in Romania – also the first High Performance Learning school in Eastern Europe.
“Our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Programme, for children aged 3-5 years, received the highest rating possible in our most recent Quality of Education inspection, showing that we deliver what we promise.”
Alan Cornish, Head of Primary
All our classes have a qualified, experienced native English speaking teacher, with a second teacher present to ensure every student receives the individual support needed to become confident, successful learners.
Student wellbeing and happiness, creativity and physical development are as important as numeracy and literacy in the IBSB Early Years Programme.
Officially opened in January 2020, our new EYFS Centre offers our young learners a warm friendly learning environment full of colour and natural light. Curiosity and creativity are positively encouraged by our modern design concept, which allows students to move freely from the interior learning environment to the outdoors, where their learning journey continues.
It is not surprising therefore, with this much care and thought invested in the learning process, that our students make above average progress: 87% of our graduate students in 2020 were offered places in the top 5% of universities worldwide.
As one of the Secondary School House Games activities this week, the students were invited to write poems relating to the current Coronavirus pandemic, school closure, and online learning.
Here are just a few examples of the poems submitted.
ZOE P. 8H TRANSILVANIA
School is Closed
Please notify us
We can pull over
Get a big mac
Now we can kick back
All the suffering is done
Now we can have fun
Teachers, this is our revenge
We will continue to torment
No school food
No more time in the cantine
We feel no gratitude
Now we get more medicine (for cv, not for anything else)
No more algebra
We have more stamina
No more tests
Just give it a rest
KYRIAKI M. Y13 TRANSILVANIA
google meets you’re free.
but yo imagine if we,
graduate through thee.
RUCSANDRA C. 7E TRANSILVANIA
School has closed
A virus is spreading
The streets are deserted
The shop shelves empty
At home I remain
All alone in my room
Trying to find something
For me to do
We still have school
But lessons aren’t the same
instead of a classroom
We have online lessons
Assignment after assignment
Homework is due
I miss school but
We must stop the virus spread
Following on from the successful Y13 visit before the February Mid-term Break, it was Y12’s turn this week to visit the National Library of Romania located along Bulevardul Unirii.
The reason for the visit was to show the students an excellent location for them to study for their end of year A Level exams during the study leave period. At home there are often many distractions, including the fridge, the television, friends visiting, and at times other family members. School can be just as distracting, for those easily distracted, and so the National Library, which has 5 large study rooms, with between 50-80 study desks in each room, each with its own lamp and plug-in terminal for a laptop is an excellent option.
It is free to enter (Photo ID needed only at the point of entry) , and is open from 08:00-18:00 Mon/Wed/Fri, 08:00-20:00 Tues/Thurs, and 09:00-17:00 Saturday.
Membership enabling you to take books out is also free, and they even offer a service where the will bring a book from another library in Europe within two week absolutely free of charge if they don’t have the book in their library.
There a snack machines, coffee machines, and the temperature is careful controlled year round to ensure all present are alert and able to study effectively.
It is not used by many people, with less than 5 people in each study room during our two visits, and is mainly used by university students, which is another good reason for our A Level students to use it as they prepare to go to university themselves.
According to clichés, boys and literature do not match together well. But our male students who chose to study German literature at A-Level have proved it is in fact quite the opposite, having enjoyed their experience of reading their first novel in German.
Our boys found out just how seductive German literature can be in comparison with previous reading experiences. From the very first pages read they kept wanting to read more and more, as they could identify themselves with the main character. Who would have thought that a book read at the exactly perfect time could have had such an impact on the students’ motivation and even on their lives.
The book they read is all a boy their age could have wished for from reading. Their eagerness to expand the vocabulary could not have been achieved if it were not for the theme of the novel and for the boys’ open-mindedness. They felt so inspired in fact that they insisted on teaching their younger siblings some of the vocabulary from the novel to be able to better explain it to them.
Radu and Alex S., two of our A Level German students said that they were inspired to want to see beyond the text, to better understand the author’s intentions, picking up on specific details and debating on them passionately in class, whilst filtering the plot through their own perspective and appreciating how much the book has inspired them to develop themselves as people and to analyse their own personality.
This is when and where reading becomes an important life experience in itself, and adding this to the chemistry between all involved parties resulted in their reading experience being truly memorable. The learning process goes far beyond the knowledge of the story itself, which is the one of the wonderful insights gained by reading.
A Level German Teacher
It’s the last night of secondary school ski trip, and we continue to enjoy heavy snowfall here at Poiana Brasov. It’s been a successful trip with great fun had by all, and so the students are already talking excitedly about returning next year! For now though, we’re all feeling rather tired after a busy week of skiing and are simply looking forward to returning home to a good night’s sleep, and a weekend enjoyed in the company of good friends, and family.
Laura Hawkins & Simon Astbury
Year 8 are an excellent model of self-discipline and proficiency. During the registration sessions, each student in turn takes the responsibility of preparing an activity to engage his/her fellow colleagues. There has been healthy degree of competition in doing this, not only among the students as a group, but also on account of the House Competition, with activities being awarded house points which contribute to whole school house scores, and sometimes even include small prizes for the winners, which makes the competition even more exciting. We should be proud to have such exemplary students in our school who take their role seriously and prepare these activities to the very best of their ability.
To support Y13 students in preparing for their final A Level exams, we took them to visit the National Library, near Piata Unrii. This is an absolutely brilliant place to study, as the library is new, spacious, modern, and clean, with individual lamps and laptop plug-in points at each desk, and plenty of desks available for both individual and group study. There are 5 independent study rooms with over 300 study desks available., with the temperature specially controlled to be promote study- not too warm or too cold.
As a part of the trip, the students were offered a personalized tour of the library, highlighting the many benefits to be gained by visiting there to study or just to enjoy some quiet reading time. There are books in all languages, and any book that you want that is not available can be requested from another library in Romania or anywhere in Europe absolutely free of charge.
It is hoped that for those students finding it difficult to study at home, with the television, the fridge, and other distractions present, the National Library will offer a place to study more effectively after school, during the weekend, and over the study leave period. Entry is free, with the majority of students studying there being university students, who are there to work, serious and focused, acting as positive role models of good study habits for our students who will soon be at university themselves.
Address: Bd.Unirii nr.22, sector 3 030833 Bucharest
Phone: +40 21 314 2434
Congratulations to the IBSB Senior Debate Team, Winners of the 2020 COBIS World Debate Competition Silver Plate.
Taking place in Marbella, Spain, this year, the IBSB Senior Debate Team, consisting of Thea (Y10), Andrei (Y10), Tamara (Team Captain, Year 12), Milena (Y12), and Max (Y12), debated teams from around the world across two days of intensive debate, facing The British School Azerbaijan in the Quarter finals, The English International College of Marbella (Two time world champions) in the semi-finals, and the British School of Amsterdam in the finals.
This is the third year in a row IBSB has made it through to the finals at the COBIS World Debate Competition, confirming that the IBSB remains one of the best schools in the world for public speaking and debating.
IBSB will also have the honour of hosting the inaugural COBIS U16 Debate Competition 2020, with teams flying in from around the world in late March to enjoy the warmth of Romanian hospitality and two days of intensive debate.
Extra-curricular enrichment is just one of the experiences that make an international school education so valuable to students in the increasingly global economy. For the Y9 students this week, this included a trip to Virgin Radio and Europa FM.
At Virgin, the students had the chance to talk live on air about life at school. The presenters, noticing their ties, compared them favourably to characters in the Harry Potter movies, so our students took the lead and eagerly talked about the IBSB House System, with Transylvania, Dobrogea, and Muntenia, competing in events like the Sports Day Cup. It was a great tour, which ended with each of the students being very excited to receive a Virgin Radio gift pack, including hoodies and key chains.
At Europa FM, the students were again invited into the studio, this time listening to the news being read live, which impressed them greatly. They then each had a chance to record themselves, and were given a copy of their recording to keep as a memory.
With high academic standards in the classroom, and a value-added extra-curricular enrichment programme, it is easy to see why the international British School of Bucharest has a waiting list for most of their classes.
When lessons become practical, the learning atmosphere becomes inspirational. Inspiration translates into enjoyment. Enjoyment motivates. And motivated students end up acquiring the knowledge more easily and more effectively. This is what the students in Year 7 and Nina in Year 8 achieved in an applied German lesson, in which they had to prepare a milkshake following a German recipe: wash the strawberries, peel the banana, chop the strawberries, slice the banana, pour the milk, put all the ingredients into a mixer, DO NOT forget the ICE CREAM, then mix. Everything poured in a glass. Crowne your milkshake with cream and decorate it with sparkles. Now it’s time to celebrate and enjoy the reward: The Milkshake.
As I walk around the MUN committee rooms, I have come across true to life representation and as well some unexpected policy approaches. For instance in DISEC, the delegate of Indonesia spoke up strongly against China’s use of drones, notwithstanding their ASEAN and trade relations – a risky move I dare say, but surely our Indian representative, Irina, is happy with this scenario as her nation has a lukewarm (at best) relation with China.
In the most dynamic of all committees, the joint cabinet crisis, Matei’s task is to play out a balance between diplomacy and warfare stemming from a historical 1853 crisis within the Qing Dynasty due to the Taiping Rebellion, with outcomes that resonate in current-day China. His leadership, ease of contribution, and interest on this 1st day of committee sessions was exemplary; the room filled with his allies representing the Qing Cabinet are constantly checking with him before they write up proposals, entering into geographical detail in mapping out their strategies for military action, negotiating terms for a potential British alliance, and more. Fake news of their attacks against the British unfortunately led to a breakdown in negotiations; propaganda and all sorts of complex minute by minute twists are taking place as I write.
In ECOSOC, as China is a crucial member of this committee that is debating tarriffs and trade, our delegate Leo stepped in, switching on short notice today from India to representing China, to fill the gap. The flexibility and confidence of our delegates, even those without prior MUN experience helps move debates forward. It is going to be an intensive late night for Leo as he researches more in depth about China’s position and arguments and juggles between China and India – a complex task at hand.
In the HRC, Melissa, representing India, argued for the need for pooling funds from WB and international agencies to finance treatment for HIV/AIDS.
More interesting outcomes will surely be revealed in the next feedback session.
Day 1 Diary
Busy first full day in Poiana. Our first chance to hit the slopes and show what we could do. Everyone was initially put into groups in order to be assessed, and then, as of tomorrow, the chance to perfect and challenge our skills begins! This afternoon, we have been split into 3 activity groups. One for climbing, one for swimming and one for the escape room. A great first day!
Skiing Day Two
We were on the slopes bright and early and everyone was assigned to their instructor. The beginners were able to practice in the fun park, while others polished their skills on Bradul or pushed themselves further up the mountain. The weather was great and lots of progress was made!
The weather put a slight halt to proceedings on day three as the wind prevented any use of the telecabina, gondola and the majority of the ski lifts. The majority, therefore, worked on their technical ability on Bradul, with only a small number of children venturing down on lupului. Fingers crossed for a better day tomorrow.
With our flight to London at dawn, and catching rush hour on our way to the hotel, we had to table our plans to join the public gallery at the House of Lords. We did get our fill of art and culture, however, in our visit to the National Art Gallery, before exploring the high streets of Kensington. From our group of seven students, it is the first time to London for three of them, and as far as first impressions go, the standout comment was that all the students said they can’t wait to study in London.
On Friday we joined a walking tour of LSE, visiting their seven storey library, regarded as the most modern library in London, which offers 1-2-1 support sessions organised there by tutors, a women’s only library section, and dedicated study areas for each faculty – with kitchen areas and showers also included, and much, much more. The library also hosts free public lectures by politicians from around the world on a regular basis.
We then visited the LSE Student Union Building, with a fully equipped gym, and free 1-2-1 practice sessions for job interviews and support finding internships. The university also has 150 sports societies on campus and no classes scheduled on Wednesdays to allow for extracurricular activities.
After the tour, we undertook some training and then headed to the Opening Ceremony at Clement House, mingling with British students from schools from around London and the wider UK, talking politics and history in friendly chatter getting warmed up for MUN! It was impressive to learn that 60-70% of the LSE student body is comprised of international students.
The COBIS World Debate Competition has once again proved to be an enriching experience for our students as they have had the opportunity to experience Andalusian life first-hand, with our students and staff beginning the day visiting the sights of Malaga on a Segway, a two-wheeled, self-balancing personal transporter. The day included a visit to Picasso’s Museum, the Malaga Cathedral, lunch in the old quarter of town, and an official welcoming Gala Dinner, with tapas, fine dining, and one of the best performances of Andalusian dancing you could ever have the good fortune to see, bringing an incredible day to a perfect end. Tomorrow the debating starts, with the students looking forward to enjoying some high quality debates over the next two days with students from around the world.
What a fun and fantastic morning we had in Year 1 as we visited Climb Again. This term we have been learning about real life superheroes such as Louis Braille and Florence Nightingale to name just a few. These people inspired us and we wanted to make a difference too. Climb Again is a centre that helps people with disabilities by providing climbing therapy sessions and our class collected donations to help out.
Even though some parts were scary, our teachers were so impressed with how we overcame our fears and became brave superheroes ourselves! We definitely can’t wait to go back!
‘You better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I’m telling you why, cause
(Santa Claus is coming, is coming to town)’
This year’s carol service began with Head of School, Mr Peet, welcoming all present and thanking Ms Evi and the students for all their hard work preparing the carols and the readings, and Father Terry for once again allowing the IBSB community to hold its annual service at the Biserica Anglicana. He then reminded everyone present that Christmas, above all else, is a time of giving: to give thanks for all that we have, and to give to those in need, going on to thank everyone for supporting the various IBSB student-led charity initiatives. He also encouraged everyone present to commit to a New Year’s resolution that would contribute to solving global warming, by buying eco-friendly products, recycling, individually reducing our use of fossil fuels, or eating less meat, saying that it is up to each and every one of us to ensure a greener, cleaner world for future generations.
With the formalities out of the way, it was on to the carols and readings. The student readers for this year included Carla Dumitru (Y6), Ana Wang (Y6), Priya Vijaykumar (Y6), Melissa Aydogan (Y11), Irina Chemencedji (Y12), Alex Serban (Y12), and Max Mihailovici (Y12).
The carols selected by Ms Evi, and performed by the IBSB Student Choir, included ‘Salve Regina’, ‘Joy to the World’, ‘Adeste Fideles’, ‘Ode to Joy’, ‘Carol of the Bells’, ‘Hallelujah’, and ‘Deck the Halls’.
What better way to bring the first term to an official end, than for the IBSB community to come together to give thanks, to celebrate, to look to the future with a sense of hope and promise, and to sing Christmas carols, wishing peace and goodwill to all mankind.
Wishing everyone a very ‘Merry Christmas’ and a ‘Happy New Year!’
On Wednesday, December 18, several of our senior school A Level History students joined Mr Hudson in attending the ‘30 years of Freedom Conference’ organized by the British Embassy and British Council at “Carol I” Central University Library in Bucharest.
The conference focused on the history of freedom in Romania, beginning with the December 1989 moment and the years leading up to it, and covering the decades of change that followed, with a focus on future opportunities.
Keynote speakers included: BBC World Services journalist John Simpson, who was in Romania in December 1989 and broadcast the month’s events to international audiences, the British recent history professor Dennis Deletant, himself a personal witness of the Revolution; actor Ion Caramitru, director of the National Theatre in Bucharest and the first Minister of Culture in Romania after the Revolution; Prof. Dr. Bogdan Murgescu from the University of Bucharest; British writer Jessica DouglasHome, President of the British-Romanian foundation, Mihai Eminescu Trust; and television translator and film critic, Irina Margareta Nistor, amongst others.
“Today I had the honour of representing IBSB at the ‘30 years of Freedom Conference’. These are 3 things I took away from the conference:
– The outstanding level of knowledge, understanding, and genuine passion for Romanian history and desire to help Romania;
– I had the opportunity to ask many questions and interact directly with the speakers;
– I also had the opportunity to take an interview with Radio Free Europe.”
Y12 A Level History Student
Senior School Prefect
Thank you to the British Council, and in particular Gabriel Ivan, for the invitation extended to our students to attend this conference, and to Octav Ganea & Inquam Photos for the permission to publish the photos accompanying this article.
In preparation for the CAS St Nicholas Christmas Fair taking place this Friday, the primary school charity committee began the week by creating their crafts under the supportive guidance of some PTF parents. Our students designed festive faces and items of clothing to apply on their Christmas themed tea lights. They glued a ribbon to the top of all their crafts which will allow it to be hung on your Christmas tree. All the committee members are really excited to sell these items at the fair in order to raise more more for their chosen charity.
Congratulations to the U16 IBSB Debate Team, Maria, Milie, Kiki, Melissa, Andrei , and Aryan, on making the grand final of the European U16 Public Debate Competition for the second year in a row. A huge achievement!
They debated St George Sofia in the final, and did a wonderful job, narrowly losing, but representing IBSB in the very best way possible showing great poise, sportsmanship, and humility. We couldn’t have been prouder of their performance and their achievement!
Congratulations also to St George for their win, and to all the other teams participating in this year’s competition.
Year 5 are learning about World Wars in our cross-curricular topic. The students visited the national military museum to enhance their learning and experience some artefacts that have been collected over many decades and centuries, relating to warfare.
Each year the students, staff, and parents of IBSB shake the dust of their trainers and head out into the streets of Bucharest to participate in the various events of the Bucharest Marathon last weekend on Saturday and Sunday, October 9 & 10. This year saw another large turned out on both days, with the Primary School out in force with Mr Georgescu on Saturday, and with six IBSB relay teams on Sunday, including 3 teacher teams, 1 teacher-student team, and 2 student senior prefect teams. It was a fun weekend, with everyone enjoying participating and some impressive results achieved, including Paul Georgescu, Alina Barbu, Andreea Albu, and Ana Nanau coming 36/224 in the adult relay, in a time of 3:30. Well done to everyone who took part. We are now officially on the countdown to the Bucharest Half Marathon in May, 2020.
The last step of the induction to the CAS programme for the KS5 student volunteers were the Basic First Aid workshops led by the Romanian Red Cross volunteers. For two hours the students learned about the responsibilities of the first aider, the primary survey, resuscitation, the recovery position, asphyxia, wounds and bleeding. They also had the opportunity to practice the procedures demonstrated and ask questions. We are now ready for the CAS visits.
It’s much easier to study if you have answered the big question WHY?
Universities fairs are one proven way to answer this question, bringing added meaning to what students do each and every day in the classroom.
Developing a clear understanding of the university application process and the prerequisites for each university and the courses they offer helps connect the work our students do now, as they prepare for their IGCSE and A Level exams, to their future dreams and aspirations.
As our students work around the hall of exhibitors from table to table, speaking with the admissions officers, asking questions and collecting brochures, they begin to understand what is needed to turn their dreams into reality, and in doing so return to their classrooms more motivated to learn, prepared to do the work needed to make their dreams a reality.
We would like to thank the British Council and the many universities that took part in the university fair today at IBSB for being an important partner in the education of our students.
The incredible success of IBSB Student Graduate Programme is a direct result of the IBSB Community and the strength of our community partnerships.
Following on from their recent success crossing of the English Channel, Ana N. (Y8) and Andreea A. (Y9), joined forces with another junior member of their English Channel swim team, Alissa P., to achieve a 2nd Place podium finish in the Women’s Open Sprint Triathlon Relay over the weekend- 750m Swim, 20km Cycle, 5km run. Well done to the entire team and to all those IBSB participants, who participated in the Mamaia Tri Challenge over the weekend, including IBSB parent Andrei Pietruschevici (placing 3rd in the Sprint Triathlon in his age category).
Find our more at www.trichallenge.ro
Photos taken with TYR staff (sponsors), Andreea A. (left), Ana N. (right), and Head of School, Kendall Peet
Congratulations to Lisa, Eva, Anastasia, and Ioana, who have just returned from successfully completing their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Qualifying Expedition in the Ceahlau mountains.
The team was supervised by Ms Johanna Croci and assessed by Mr Octavian Gavrila, who said the participants’ involvement was excellent from all points of view: planning, communication, research, behaviour, drive, and determination.
Following the completion of their objective to explore the flora of the Ceahlau Mountains, with the purpose of creating a digital herbarium comprising 100 exhibits, the students were invited to speak in front of the entire national team of supervisors and assessors about their experience, and in so doing won the appreciation of all present.
Year 5 have been enjoying the natural wonders of the Danube Delta on their 2019 residential trip.
“We are currently staying in Murighiol, in the southern part of the Danube Delta. Having travelled here by coach, we haven’t seen wheels since – it has been boats all the way for us! We have been visiting different areas of the Delta, including a cruise on Monday, a Caraorman Forest expedition on Tuesday, and a Sfantul Gheorghe adventure today, which means we have done a lot of sailing around: the different branches of the Danube are interconnected by smaller channels, and our river pilots really need to know their way around. Along the way, we have seen many different species of birds and wildlife, as well as frogs, snakes, and even wild horses! It really has been a fantastic trip, and I think we will all be a little sad to leave tomorrow, but thankfully we still have Quiz Night and some morning activities to look forward to before we depart.”
After a great time together last week, Year 5 and 1 decided to come together again and this time for some buddy reading. Year 1’s reading has really improved and they were able to showcase their impressive skills to Year 5. It was then Year 5’s turn to enchant Year 1 by reading a book of their choice and they were mesmerised due to the expressive delivery of the stories.
The Year 9 Tourism Project was an opportunity for the students to present and be judged on their group startup projects; combining their new found knowledge of business with the history and geography of Romania.
The aim of this project was to enhance independent research and presentation skills within the context of a tourism market place, highlighting the many atteactions of Romania to prospective tourists.
The students had a wonderful morning, many of them commenting on how much they enjoyed the learning experience, asking to do more of these types of activities in the future.
The judging panel, made up of Corina Boronea, Camelia Platt, and Dr Blessy Savu looked at various aspects of the group presentations: Ms Boronea, who works within the travel industry, was particularly impressed by the depth of knowledge of the country and some of the websites that the students had created; Ms Platt felt that the bar had been set much higher than the previous years and discussed the importance of accessibility; whilst Dr Savu ejoyed looking at the projects from a business viability perspective.
All visitors and guests agreed that students did an incredible job and should be universally congratulated.
The winners for 2019 were declared ‘Peony’ – well done to Maria, Angie, Ioana, and Li, who each receive a cinema ticket as their prize.
We are so fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful colleagues here at IBSB. This week, Year 5 and Year 1 came together to start a buddy relationship. They partnered up to work together on a piece of symmetrical art. Year 1 have already studied animals in their ‘Creepy Crawlies and Marvellous Mammals’ topic and Year 5 are looking at the topic ‘Blue Planet’ this term. It was a great opportunity therefore to come together and share some work on the topic. Year 5 were superb at guiding Year 1, sharing what they knew about symmetry. Year 1 enjoyed getting to know their older peers and are looking forward to doing more things together in the final few weeks of school.
Following on from the success of winning the Sir Winston Churchill European Schools Debate Competition in November, and coming 2nd in the COBIS World Debate Competition in February, the IBSB Junior Debate Team have finished off what has been a standout year for the IBSB Debate Club by winning the European U16 Debate Championships last weekend, in a closely fought final with St Georges, Sofia. Best Debater Award for the tournament went to IBSB student Jeremy Smith. Well done to all our young debaters, including Melissa Y10, Jeremy Y10, Ronny Y10, Maria Y9, Millie Y8, and Thea (Kiki) Y9. Its looks like the future of debating at IBSB is in safe hands.
The Year 9 students had a well deserved day out of the classroom on Thursday this week.
We had been keeping an anxious eye on the weather forecast, but were lucky as it didn’t rain!
The purpose of their visit was to help with their preparations for their Romanian Tourism Project.
We met early at the Gara De Nord, but were hindered by the late arrival of the train, by 1 hour. However, we didn’t let the time pass, the students were set to work undertaking their Environmental Quality Study and Tourism Questionnaires in the train station.
On arrival in Sinaia the students did the same studies in their groups on the main high street. After lunch, we reconvened to trek up to the Peles Castle complex. Their final field study group work took place in this location.
The students commented on the enjoyable day that they had and how they want to have more trips out of the classroom. The trip increased their fieldwork skills and gave them plenty of practical information about tourism; to help with their projects which will be presented on the 30th of May. Mr Astbury, Mr Hudson’ and Ms Baker enjoyed their day accompanying some lovely and well behaved students.
Our topic this term is Wonderful World! We have learn so much already this year about the world around us, and now it’s time to continue by looking at plants. Did you know that each part of a flower has its own special purpose? After learning about these we planted our own seeds, making sure the flower had everything it needed to grow. We are already excited to see that some stems are starting to peek through the soil. Like us, the plants grow a little different to each other. Some shoot up quicker than others, but we will make sure they have enough sunlight and water to be the best that they can be. Next week we are going to see what happens to a flower that doesn’t have sunlight or water…we wonder what we’ll see!
It’s Easter! In Year 1, we have been learning about what Easter is all about and why we celebrate it. We have also learnt about some of the traditions. As a treat, our teachers created an Easter hunt for us. We had to use our special Maths skills to solve problems that would give us clues about where to find Easter symbols, such as the cross and tulips. Once we had found all of the clues, this lead us to some chocolate eggs and special Dojo point eggs!
Six students from IBSB are attending Middle School MUN this weekend, offering our junior students a taste of MUN, representing China, Iran, and Indonesia, as they debate the way forward on tackling climate change, the repatriation of cultural heritage, the need for continued security in Afghanistan, and protection of refugees. We also have Kyriaki, a senior student and Y12 Prefect, joining us as a seasoned MUNer, chairing the Environmental and Cultural committee.
By the end of the first day our delegates were successfully rounding up support with 5 signatories each: Maria, Melissa and Patrick have all pushed forward resolutions within their committees, which will be debated on Saturday.
There’s a long day ahead tomorrow, so our delegates have all headed home to do further research and speech prep, hoping to sway more countires in their favour tomorrow.
On Saturday morning, my colleagues and I participated at a contest called Wordfest with Mr. Ennion. Full of joy, I participated in a funny play and told a Greek myth.
Before going in the room , I felt as scared as a mouse having to meet a cat. But then, I didn’t look at the judges or the other children. I just looked at my colleagues. It was all timed. There was a clock in my mind ( tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock ). After I finished, I sighed and smiled to myself.
At the end, at the prize ceremony, our school won some of the prizes. It was a wonderful experience to participate in Wordfest and I hope I can join in next year again.
by CARLA D. Year 5T
Stefan and I were really nervous. We were first, and when I went to the front I knew how all the children would feel. We all performed really well and in the end everything was fair. Some people were quiet, some were LOUD but all had done an amazing job so it was really difficult and close – but in the end we won first prize in the storytelling category!
by FELIX D. Year 5E
WordFest was a new event for us this year. It was a contest based on speech, drama and poetry, with children competing in six different categories: Impromptu Speaking, Group Acting, Individual Acting, Persuasive Speaking, Poetry and Storytelling. All categories presented different challenges, but the one thing they had in common was the work the children and parents had to put in to prepare for the event. We at IBSB know that hard work pays off, and we managed to walk away with 3 first prizes, 3 second prizes and two third prizes, which is testament to our students’ confidence, effort and ability to speak beautifully (we all know they love to talk!).
The scariest part for their teacher was during the prize ceremony when first prize winners had to perform again for everyone who attended the festival. However, in front of around 150 people, our four winners showed no nerves to impress and amuse the audience and sow they were worthy winners. Mara’s performance of her poem to a packed lecture theatre was truly spectacular.
A big congratulations and thank you to Mara, Sonia, Theo, Ecaterina, Sumi, Milo, Carla, Sandra, Felix, George, Alis, Anastasia and Stefan for representing our school so well. They showed respect, supported each other and worked very well as a team to impress the teachers, judges and other contestants at WordFest. We are already looking forward to next year!
by. Mr. Peter Ennion
At the start of the week we were lucky enough to be visited by Miss Ella and Miss Raluca from ClayPlay (www.clayplay.ro). You can probably guess what activities they brought with them!
With the ClayPlay instructors’ careful guidance, our students were able to fashion objects from red clay which will be delivered to us after they are fired and finished in the ClayPlay kiln. It was particularly thoughtful of the ladies to facilitate creations based on the cross curricular theme in each year group, for example, Year 5 made Ancient Greek cornucopias and hygea vases whilst Year 1 made clay bears to fit in with their theme of toys.
The children discovered that working with clay is fun but requires patience and concentration. Miss Ella and Miss Raluca were very impressed with our students’ artistic skills and are looking forward to visiting us again in the future. If you are a Primary school parent then you can expect a new handmade addition to your mantelpiece to arrive home in the next week or so!
Our topic in Year 5 this term is Ancient Greece.
The Ancient Greeks are well known for their skill in making beautiful pots and vases. The finest pots were made in Athens between 550 and 300 BC. These were famous because of the high quality clay that was used and the reddish brown colour it turned once it was fired. A lot of the pots were made for use in the home but many of them were also exported to other city-states and other countries.
Even though the pots were often made for everyday use, they were beautifully decorated in different styles. Often, black figures were painted onto the pots and vases showing scenes from everyday life and depicting scenes from the myths and legends of the Greek gods and goddesses.
The students decided to take inspiration from these Greek pots to make some Greek pot scratch art work!
They applied their choices of warm/cool oil pastel colours to a Greek pot template.
Then, they painted over the whole pot template we had coloured in with black acrylic paint and allowed it to dry. In a later lesson, they decorated their pots with patterns and a Greek scene by scratching into the black paint with a fine sharp tool to reveal the coloured pastels underneath.
Patterns were very important in Ancient Greek culture and are just as important to get right as the main design. The students looked at some examples and paid attention to where they are usually applied: around the neck, handles, and base of the vase/pot.
Saturday, November 10, saw an excellent turnout from the IBSB community to support the U9 & 11 boys and girls football teams in the Autumn Cup. As always the level of competition was extremely high, making for an exciting experience not just for the players, but also for the parents and supporters on the side-lines. In the end, the teams collected three trophies from four competitions, including U9 Girls 2nd Place, U11 Girls 2nd Place, and U11 Boys 1st Place, with an excellent performance also from the U9 boys, who only narrowly missed out on progressing on from the group stage. All students played exceptionally well, but more importantly were ambassadors of fair play and good sportsmanship!
Congratulations to all the students who participated, and a big thank you to the staff and parents for their continued support and encouragement.
Following on from the students observing 1 minute of silence at 11.11 on Friday morning, Head Girl Luiza R. and Deputy Head Girl Lisa P. joined our Head of School, Mr Peet, along with many ambassadors and dignitaries, at the Commonwealth Graves Cemetery at Tancabesti on Sunday, November 11, for the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice Ceremony to lay a wreath on behalf of the IBSB community in remembrance of those who lost their lives in times of war. It was a touching service, with the children present given carnations at the end to lay on the graves of those buried, before departing for an official lunch with the British Ambassador.
Monday October 29 was an exciting day for all the staff at IBSB, who came together to review the latest approaches to blended learning, as IBSB moves toward becoming a Google Education School, using Google Classroom as a tool to support student learning. The main objective of the day was to provide staff with time and support needed to set up their new Google Classrooms, which will be rolled out to our students in the weeks ahead. More to come!
In an effort to strengthen relationships between International schools in Bucharest, the Deutsche Schule Bukarest (the German School of Bucharest) put together a small meeting Wednesday morning. It featured students discussing ways in which we could cooperate – for example art competitions, balls or student exchanges. I’m really happy with what we accomplished and excited to see what the future holds.
Christie Vernon – Student Council President
After the students had their assessment test, Ms Marascu rewarded the Year 8 group with a fun lesson working on a unique and interesting project called: “Do you have the perfect face?”.
The students had to work in pairs to measure each other’s face to find out which girl and boy are closest to ‘The perfect face’. They used rulers to measure from nose to chin, eyes to lips, etc., calculating the mean of all of our measurements. They wrote the answer on the board and the girl and boy that had the mean closest to ‘THE GOLDEN RATIO’ won. The results showed that people in our class who are the most beautiful/handsome are Alexandra and Haidar.
Getting feedback from the students, they said that they had lots of fun and they hope to have other activities like this one.
“Overall we had a blast and I think that after all the hard work we’ve done, a fun lesson is always welcomed!”
By Ms Cristina Marascu
Head of Math and ICT department
Exploring the history and vibrant life in Athens, our students were first treated to the sights of the Acropolis museum, impressive not only in the content, but also in its layout, juxtaposing the artefacts from the Acropolis with a view of the Acropolis itself through the modern glass structures of the museum. They chanced upon the official changing of guards in front of the Hellenic parliament, an impressive ceremonious display, and explored the markets, shops and restaurants in the city centre at Syntagma Square. It was a wonderful start to the CSMUN, with the students returning their hotel full with the day’s adventures and the delights of gyros and souvlakis, ready for the MUN conference on Day 2.
Recently our Y5 & 6 students studying German had the opportunity to visit “Hermann Oberth School” as one of the activities organised to celebrate German National Day. During our visit the students spoke to the children in German, sang the German National Anthem with the other children, had fun learning a traditional German dance, and even got to eat some German donuts. The students also got to paint a traditional German (Sasesc) print, following either a traditional pattern or their own design on little wooden plates. Everyone had a great time and made some new friends, so we are all looking forward to our next trip!
Standing on the side-line as a blur of red blue and yellow passes before your eyes, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the students competing in their house colours for the annual IBSB Sports Day Cup. This year was no exception, with emotions running high as the students moved from station to station collecting valuable house points along the way.
Sports Day has and will continue to be one of the highlights of the IBSB Calendar. You could say that it is the sporting activities themselves which are the main attraction, with the traditional track and field events for the secondary school students, including for example the 100m sprint, high jump, long jump, and shot put, and the rather more quirky and colourful activities for the younger primary school students, such as the sack race, the egg and spoon race, the dressing up in funny hair relay, and gumboot throwing, to name just a few.
Maybe it is the teamwork and comradery that comes with competing side by side in your house colours, yellow cheering yellow, blue cheering blue, and red cheering red, with the mentality of ‘one for all and all for one’.
For some it is the quest for gold and individual glory, and every year there are a number of incredible, standout performances revealing hidden talents, but more often than not are a honest and true reflection of the passion and intensity that has gone into training day in, day out, in all weather, with other opportunities forgone in the pursuit of excellence.
As a school, Sports Day offers our students a valuable opportunity to grow and mature as individuals, learning what cannot be taught in a classroom, which is the importance of fair play and sportsmanship, how to be gracious in the wake of defeat and humble in the fortunes of victory, to celebrate the achievements of others, building character as you test yourself by exploring your limits, and learning about yourself as you explore the full gamut of human emotions.
It was as it always is, an incredible day enjoyed by all in attendance, with Dobrogea shining through in red as the deserving victors, lifting the House Cup for the second year in a row. For Transylvania and Muntenia, will always be next year to look forward in the hope that the winds of fortune below in their direction.
Special thanks go out to our community partners BORSEC, Sun Wave Pharma, World Class Gyms, Danone, Mega Image, Nescafe Alegria, Aqua Carpatica, and Tinmar for contributing to make the day such an incredible experience for all our students.
On Tuesday morning we hosted a visit from the University of Essex. All Year 12 & 13 students were off timetable for one lesson to take part in the presentation. Andrew Marriot was asked to concentrate on the areas of interest of our students at the moment; primarily writing personal statements, the application process to the UK and student finance available. All of these areas were covered in depth, along with some information on the University itself. Our students had the opportunity to ask questions and look at examples of good and not so good applications that the university has received. I know that our students thoroughly enjoyed their hour and left much more informed.
The RIUF university fair is next weekend (6th & 7th October) which has been extensively advertised to our students. It is highly recommended for parents and students in Years 11 to 13 to attend. Maybe I will see you there.
On Thursday 20th September the IBSB English Department entered ‘JAWS’: not a death-defying encounter with a great white but actually a new educational initiative: ‘JAWS’ stands for ‘Job Alike Workshop’ and the idea is to get departments together from across the International schools in Bucharest and to share ideas, questions and solutions. This we did. it was a very successful afternoon and all the schools involved benefited from the shared experience. Some new ideas also formulated and we have all returned to our respective schools ready to try new things; all in pursuit of delivering even better English classes. Other departments will be rolling out similar workshops over the coming months, IBSB will soon be hosting the Maths department meeting.
Positive reinforcement can work, especially when pizza is involved! The year 11C class celebrated their A-average results on the Second Language exam on Tuesday with a pizza party hosted by their teacher. Early last year, whilst preparing for the exam, a tradition set by the current year 12 class dictated that if the class could get an A average, multiple pizzas would be involved. (If only it were always that easy!) Congratulations to those students making the grade and now it’s onto First Language and Literature. Andiamo!
Although as parents we often feel that learning is the realm of teachers and schools, there is much we can do as parents to pay an important role in the lives of our children in the learning process. Primarily we can be there to encourage and support them, taking and active interest in there learning progress by asking them about their day and what they enjoyed most. It’s important that this should come across as sincere interest, rather than an interrogation from the Spanish inquisition. Ask them open ended questions that encourage a longer, more in depth reply, rather than auxiliary verb (is, are, did, does, etc.) yes/no questions.
Even better would be to share the leaning journey with your children by talking about something you are learning, perhaps a course you are taking or a book you are reading. Our school vision statement is ‘to build a community of passionate, lifelong learners’ and we see parents very much as partners in this journey, both working in close partnership with the teachers, but also playing a key role in the lives of their children as a role model for their children of a lifelong learner themselves.
If you have not yet heard about the online platform Coursera, I would very much encourage you to visit and sign up. You will have access to the largest selection of university courses around the world, many of which are free. There are currently 30 million users with the number increasing daily.
I myself just saw a course titled Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects
by McMaster University & University of California San which recently piqued my interest, so I actually just signed up and will start this weekend. It looks like a course we should all take both as learners ourselves, and as parents. We should never be too old to learn.
Below are a few of the most interesting practical tips relating to learning that are discussed on the MOOC website:
Get sufficient sleep in order to think well – We often hear the advice that a good night’s rest will help us to think more clearly. The material in the MOOC gives us great animations that help us understand why: when we sleep, our brain cells shrink a little bit, and that allows fluids to wash out the toxins that accumulate in the brain. Thus, if you pull an all-nighter before an exam, you are literally “going in to take a test with a poisoned brain”
Use the Pomodoro technique to battle procrastination – When we are faced with something that we do not like (e.g., working on a math problem), pain centers in our brain will initially light up. There are two ways we can react: we can quickly shift our attention to something else in order to avoid the feeling of pain (that is, procrastinate), or we can continue to work through the pain—after 15 to 20 minutes, it will fade away. Thus, we need to trick our brains into not taking the easy way out, and just persevere a little bit. A popular technique for helping with this is the Pomodoro Technique in which you set a timer for 25 minutes, work on the task at hand for that time, then take a 5 minute break, at which point you reward yourself.
Use spaced repetition to help remember key facts – There is a trend to move away from rote memorization to emphasizing engaging learning experiences, like working on real-world problems with your peers, and this is a good trend. However, memorization is still an important part of learning—you need to have a store of relevant information with which to make higher-level connections. Barbara advocates the use of Anki, a free spaced repetition software tool to help reinforce facts periodically before you forget them (and incidentally, so does the irrepressible language hacker, Benny the Irish Polyglot).
To test whether you’ve really learned something, try recalling it – When students read textbooks, for example, many try to reinforce what they’ve learned by extensive highlighting or re-reading the information. Barbara points to a series of studies that show that these techniques are inferior to simply trying to recall the information—you can create flashcards to test yourself, or simply glance away from a page and recalling what you’ve just read.
Try learning in different locations – Research shows that you have the best recall of things you’ve learned when you are in the same settings. Thus, if you are a student, one approach might be to do all of your studying in a classroom, which is where you will take the test. But Barbara has a much better suggestion, and that is to vary where you study so that you don’t become attached to any specific environmental factors, thus making your learning more robust.
The IBSB Senior School End of Year Award Ceremony is always a night full of excitement, emotion, and a few surprises, as the award recipients are announced and the graduates of 2018 step forward to receive their graduation diplomas.
In keeping with tradition, Head Girl, Elena Urzica offered a touching farewell speech, before Head of School Mr Peet, surprised everyone with a reading of The Lorax, by Dr Seuss, as a timely reminder of the urgent need for humanity to live a sustainable lifestyle. Head of Secondary, Mr Tansley offered a review of the school year and heartfelt congratulations to the both the graduates and the award recipients for both the effort and their achievement. HE the Dutch Ambassador to Romania, Ms Stella Ronner-Grubacic spoke about the opportunities offered at Dutch universities. Deputy Head Mr Tiplea and DOEIA Coordinator Ms Johanna Croci joined SLT on stage to help present the awards, and finally Ms Baker and Ms Croci joined forces to introduce the graduates as they individually came up on stage to receive their graduation diplomas.
The night ended with the graduates tossing their caps in to the air to shouts of jubilation and everyone raising a glass to officially toast the graduates of 2018, who leave us to join an ever expanding group of IBSB Alumni around the world.
Friday, June 15, was a memorable day as the Year 6 students stepped forth one by one with confidence and beaming smiles to receive their official graduation diplomas at the Primary School Graduation Ceremony. In an emotional ceremony, which included Head of School, Mr Peet, offering the students a few words of advice from Dr Seuss, and Head of Primary, Mr Alan Cornish, reflecting on how fast the time had passed, it was the students who took centre stage as they thanked their teachers and parents for all their support over the years.
The ceremony also included the presentation of the prefects awards, house captain awards, and the awards for academic and sporting and excellence, and community support.
On behalf of the entire IBSB community, we offer our congratulations to both the award winners and the graduates of 2018!
We hope you all enjoy your summer break and look forward to welcoming you into the Secondary School next year to begin a new journey and a new adventure.
The Year 9 Tourism Day was a resounding success. All Year 9 students worked in their groups to create a Market Place to showcase their tours to enhance Romania to tourists. A panel of 5 guest judges visited each market stall and asked a series of searching questions. The students created a whole host of promotional ideas such as websites, mobile phone apps, presentations, flyer, business cards and even their own branded t-shirts! The winning team of Ishika and Melissa will receive their well-deserved cinema vouchers as a prize in the coming days with their Hidden Treasures of Romania Tour. Ronnie, Nanduka and Giovanni were a close second place the NRG Treasure Hunting Tours. Well done to all groups.
The Key Stage 3 students offered a variety of live performances including musical pieces, poetry reading, narrative reading and informative text with live performance entertaining the students, parents and teacher in attendance. It was a morning to celebrate the abundance of talent evident in Key Stage 3. Well done to all the students and thank you to the teachers for support and parents for their attendance.
Congratulations to Andrei Peli Y5E for winning the National ‘Friends of the Piano’ Competition. Andrei has been playing the piano for 5 years and performing publically for 4 years, which is proof that practice does make perfect. He will be performing at the end of week assembly for the entire Primary School to enjoy and celebrate, hopefully inspiring other students to learn a musical instrument.
This project was initiated earlier this year with the intention of teaching informative (expository) writing and having some fun along the way. Each student wrote and prepared their favourite recipe and the class even got to taste test most of them over the course of a few weeks. Delicious! Andrew Long volunteered to design the cover, scan the recipes and get them printed; one book for each member of the class. I can honestly say we all had a great time with this class project and now we will have the memories to savour for a very long time!
As you may have already heard, Cervantes Day is celebrated on Monday, April 23. Therefore, the MFL Department from Primary School has organized events and visits to a Spanish Restaurant to enhance students’ awareness of the Spanish culture and cuisine involving children from the Spanish groups.
On Monday, April 24, we celebrated this special day in Primary School with different activities and workshops with the class Spanish teacher. The children brought some traditional Spanish dishes and had a taste of the Spanish cuisine. All children learning Spanish at IBSB wore a T-shirt with the colours of the Spanish flag or with a message written in Spanish.
On Tuesday, April 23, the Spanish students from Year 3 to Year 6 were invited to Pata Negra Restaurant. They had their lunch at the restaurant tasting some of the most famous Spanish dishes like pan tumaca, chorizo, paella with chicken, sangria without alcohol and crema catalana. Besides the delicious food the children had the opportunity to speak in Spanish with the owners of the restaurant as they have been living in Spain for many years. A moment to remember was the one when Andreea, the owners’daughter, who was one of the persons serving their lunch, explained them in Spanish why she is helping her parents and the children were impressed by her motivation and hard work.
Years 1 and 2 celebrated this event in school. On Tuesday, Key Stage 1 children had some fun activities during the Spanish lessons together with the year 6 Spanish group. All of them loved this activity and we promised to do it more often.
It looks like it was a very successful event and the students have enjoyed this celebration all over the Primary School.
There has been success for IBSB mathematicians in the annual UKMT Mathematics Challenge, with a number of year 10 & 9 students competing to solve the fiendish problems in the Intermediate challenge. Congratulations to Mario G. (Year 10) and Melissa A. (Year 9), both receiving Silver certificates, and Leo Ye (Year 10), who received a Bronze certificate. The Junior competition will be held on April 26th, and our younger mathematicians are currently working hard in preparation. The United Kingdom Mathematics Trust was founded in 1996 to advance mathematics education. Each year, they run a series of competitions designed to challenge students and stimulate a passion for mathematics. The questions are carefully designed to develop creative problem-solving skills and encourage students to investigate patterns, skills that are at the heart of mathematics. For those considering further study in mathematics or the sciences, the challenges are an excellent opportunity for development as they introduce an open-ended style of problem, similar to those studied in university courses. If you would like to take part in the challenge, please speak to your maths teacher and come along to the UKMT club on Wednesdays.
The Secondary School play this year was Lady Windermere’s Fan, a witty comedy by the English playwright, Oscar Wilde, performed by a talented cast of KS4 and 5 students.
The venue for this year’s show, the Metrolpolic Theater, offered the perfect setting for this late Victoria play, being both small and elegant. The students were able to use the actors changing rooms and had to find their way through a rather complicated backstage area, giving our students a real taste of thespian life.
In the end the students all had a lot of fun, with a number of hilarious moments shared both during rehearsals, and on stage- which is often the case when performing comedies. The entire team enjoyed the experience, learnt a lot about their colleagues as people, and the boys, in particular, also learnt what formal attire really means and how it should be worn properly.
Director of the play, Ms Ioana Dumitrescu, said “It was a great experience, with excellent team work, and everybody got an opportunity to show their talent for both acting and stage directing. We tried to be as professional as we could, to raise the standard each year and I think we achieved this. Thank you to our Year 13 students who, more or less, took charge of the entire team and helped the younger students, including organising the costumes and the props.”
It was a wonderful show for all in attendance boding well for the future of drama at IBSB.
Today the students in year 7 received their well deserved reward for displaying a positive attitude towards each other and towards learning throughout the whole year during the German lessons. They are not only a role model of hard work and dedication in their learning but also they set an example of respect among each other and of efficient collaboration. They demonstrated themselves that they can work together towards achieving a common goal and contributing to create a pleasant and positive learning atmosphere. Apart from the refreshments they brought from home, which they shared together, they watched their favourite German movie series “Muzzy” especially designed with interactive activities to learn languages.
Congratulations to all the students who were able to participate in the interschool swimming competition. Unfortunately, we were unable to enter our full team this year, due to a number of other commitments, but still managed to finish on the podium, coming 3rd Place overall. An incredible achievement! Next year with a full team we’ll be back for gold!
A blizzard of apocalyptic proportions could not prevent the suited and booted delegates from beginning their MUN journey. Debates, discussions, clauses, amendments, resolutions all flew out of hard drives and pens! Then… of into the centre of town for a traditional Romanian meal: 110 students from around the world, enjoying their experience at Bucharest.
It was an exciting day for everyone participating in the annual COBIS MUN Conference on Day 1, with the students up bright and early for their city tour. The Kings College students being hosted by IBSB students were dropped off by 8:30, everyone fed and ready, and so the tour departed for Peoples Palace and the Village Open Air Museum in Herastrau Park where the students enjoying a taste Romanian culture and a lot of snow.
The afternoon was dedicated to the mock Model UN session as a lead up to the Opening Ceremony at “Carol 1”Biblioteca, with the line-up of speakers including Ionut Simon, General Country Manager of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Colin Lovering, Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce, Hannah Porritt, COBIS Representative, and Peter Built, the UN Representative to Romania.
Next up was the Diplomatic Diner at the InterContinental with a number of ambassadors present, seated at the tables with the students, including the Austrian, Nigerian and Indian Ambassadors, the Canadian Charge D’ Affairs, the First Secretary from the Belgium Embassy, and several representatives from the British Embassy, including Doyin Adele-Shiyanbola, Head of Political Section, to name just a few of the invited guests. It was a wonderful night with more speeches over dinner, some traditional Romanian dancing, and plenty of conversation in good company. It really was the perfect start to what will surely be a memorable MUN for all.
Well done to Melissa A. 1st place winner of the NASA Ames Space Settlement Design Contest 2018. This competition organized by NASA required students to design a space settlement able to accommodate a minimum of 10 000 people plus an addition of a minimum of 500 visitors taking into consideration factors such as the cost (which ended up being $167 520 000 000), protection from space radiation, materials, position, education, life support system, society, and many more. Melissa spent 5 months designing her 87 page project and says the project was inspired by an irrational number which can be found everywhere: in your DNA, famous paintings and even nature. Melissa said that the scale of the project almost led her to give up at certain points, but in the end it was all worth it when the final result came out. Her Project Phi was selected from approximately 2,500 submissions from an estimated 10,000 students. Well done Melissa! You are an inspiration to us all – perhaps one day we will be living in your Nasa Settlement on some far distant planet!
The AS students have been working hard developing their practical skills in preparation for their upcoming practical exams. On this particular occasion, they were investigating the effect of an enzyme on milk; this enzyme curdles the casein in milk helping young mammals digest their mothers’ milk and can also be used to separate milk into solid curds for cheese-making and liquid whey.
Pi Day is always a big day at IBSB. Not only do the students and teachers at IBSB love celebrating PI Day, they also enjoy being creative in the way they celebrate Pi: for example, this year some of our Year 8 students decided to blend Maths with English for a truly unique learning experience, which you can see for yourself below. Happy Pi Day everyone!
“We love PI
like we say HI
Every day and night
we learn to fight
over who knows more
numbers of PI
Pie is a cake
Its not a shake
Pi is made of numbers
We can learn while we slumber”.
We LOVE PI!
In preparation for World Book Day, the students in 7P have been making, what else, books! Their first challenge was to prepare a guide book to a fictional boys’ camp called Camp Green Lake. Inspired by the novel HOLES, the students were asked to design a helpful guide for new arrivals; information someone would find more than helpful in terms of surviving this thinly disguised desert prison for wayward felons. The guide books are colourful and visually pleasing but they also contain advice that could save your life, such as, how to avoid the fatal bite of the yellow-spotted lizard, or the wrath of the greedy Camp Warden. Visit English Room 1 to see the books in real time.
Colour Easter Eggs (a popular Romanian tradition)
Younger children and even the older ones sometimes, love painting and preparing Easter Eggs for Easter. In Romanian we have the tradition to colour the eggs and then to crack them for good luck. Maybe this year instead of just colouring them a single colour you can get a little more creative and colour eggs with a variety of patterns. It may get a bit messy, but it is sure to be a lot of fun.
Prepare an Easter Egg Hunt
I was lucky enough to grow up with a big yard and with parents who took the time to arrange an Easter Egg hunt for us as children every year. It was an amazing time and I remember being so excited as I ran from point to point reading the cryptic clues and collecting eggs along the way. It takes a little time to arrange, but is well worth it as it will be a memory for your children for life.
Arrange a few Easter Egg Games
In addition to organising an Easter Egg hunt, you can add other interesting games, like an egg and spoon relay, or setting up an obstacle course using eggs as markers, or playing a game where you have to try to roll the egg into a circle, etc. There are many different fun games you could play. Children are incredible creative, so more than likely then will come up with their own fun games.
Make Hot Cross Buns
You can celebrate Easter with these yummy breakfast treats quickly and easily. They are fun to make and great to eat with lashings of butter melting on them fresh from the oven.
Share the Story of Easter
Another great idea is to spend some quality time reading a traditional Easter story or watching an Easter movie together. In time, this might become an annual family tradition that your children look forward to and you too!
If there is anything we are am proud of at IBSB, it is the situation where we see students teaching students. This is something that is a regular occurrence as IBSB, with teachers regularly peering students together in such a way as to challenge those with the knowledge to share it, with those needing supports, with one receiving support and the other reinforcing their learning. It can also happen in a specific lesson where an entire lesson has been organised to enable the older, more experienced students to share their knowledge and experience with younger students. The later is exactly what happened this week when four Year 10 students, Tamara, Max, Christie, and Milena visited a Year 6 class to share their experiences learning to debate and winning the Silver Plate at the COBIS World Debating Competition this year in Dubai.
The lesson started with a presentation of their trip and a description of what took place, debate by debate, as well as the extracurricular events organised for the students whilst there. The Year 6 students were then divided into four groups with Tamara, Max, Christie, and Milena each working with one group, reviewing a page of possible motions to explain how a team goes about analysing a motion in order to develop a winning team argument- and they should know as they did not lose a single impromptu debate the entire competition. The students really enjoyed this group work session, so much so, that they didn’t want to go on break, which tells you how well this activity went.
After the break the students watched a short video of a WSDC (World School Debating Championship) final between England and Canada, to get an idea of the format and structure of debate, then prepared for their own class debate, which for many was their first live debate. In groups the students worked to prepare their arguments, with one debate on whether capital punishment should be banned and the other on whether football players get paid too much. In both cases it was the proposition that successfully defended their position, but in truth everyone was a winner as all the students had a wonderful time and 3 hours passed by in what seemed like minutes.
At the start of the session three students put their hands up when asked if they were interested in joining the Primary School Debating Club. At the end of the lesson, every single student said they now wanted to learn to debate and to debate in the Key Stage 3 International School Public Debating Competition next year (which IBSB won last year also), so well done to Tamara, Max, Christie, and Milena for successful inspiring the next generation of IBSB debaters. It is clear that the future of debating at IBSB looks very bright indeed!
On Saturday January 27, IBSB had the honour of hosting the ESU Junior Public Speaking Competition for the sixth consecutive year.
In total, more than 60 finalists from International and Romanian schools all over Bucharest came together to deliver speeches on the theme: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better, it’s not”: a tricky and profound statement taken from the Dr Seus story ‘The Lorax’.
The children presented speeches discussing far reaching topics on Human Rights; immigration; bullying & poverty, but mostly the environment.
All those who had the privilege to witness these young children speak were universally impressed with their content and delivery – it was easy to forget that the chikdren speaking were just 8-11 years old, as they spoke with a sense of confidence and conviction far exceeding their years.
Thank you to Mr Ennion, who prepared a programme for all children from Year 4-6 to write and deliver their own speeches in front of their classmates in the weeks leading up to the competition. This experience gave them the opportunity to discuss important topics, express their views, challenge each other, and, more importantly, organise their thoughts by writing and delivering a speech. All vital, transferable life skills fundamental to an IBSB education.
As a school we are extremely proud of our pupils’ achievements and participation, with special congratulations to our 6 finalusts, two of whom were awarded 2nd place prizes in this year’s competition – a tremendous result!
Thank you to those teachers who were involved in running the internal rounds to select the pupils to represent IBSB, to the staff and parents who came along at the weekend, to Ela Nicolae the event Director, and to Prior, the event sponsor, but mostly importantly to the children themselves for being so fantastic.
Why focus on kindness?
Ask parents what they want above all for their kids and most will say “happiness.” It’s what we’re all seeking, really. And we’re seeking it all the time, regardless of age, race, gender, or religion. But for some, happiness can be hard to find.
The big question is this:
It turns out – and to borrow the words of a wise man – yes, we can.
The life-changing magic of being compassionate
“Our mind works significantly better when positive than when negative, stressed, or even neutral!”
Our personal experience of happiness is determined by three main things:
The first two are more difficult to control. The easiest and most powerful way to influence our own happiness is by far through the third item: Intentional positive actions that we commit to practicing every day. Studies have shown that this can determine how happy we are by up to 40%. The positive actions that have been scientifically proven to be most effective at increasing our sense of happiness include: Acts of kindness, expressing gratitude, journaling, and meditation.
How can we help our children to learn to be this way?
Modelling desired behaviour is one very important way to do this. As the saying goes “monkey see, monkey do.” And while our children may not be monkeys, they learn much about the world through observation and imitation. As parents we need to regularly demonstrate kindness and compassion – to ourselves and to others – so we normalize it to our children.
“Not every day is good, but there is something good in everyday.”
The next best thing to do is to build a happiness habit right from the start. By encouraging your child to take several minutes of each day to refocus their mind toward personal aspirations and accomplishments, the most joyful moments of their day, to take note of the kindness they experienced from others in the day, and setting an intention for kind acts tomorrow, can actually reprogram their mindset and behaviour to become more positive in order to create more success, happiness, and reward in their lives. Do this yourself as well!
“Children who learn how to be happy when they are young, carry the lesson throughout their lives.”
The digital age has made it possible for our children to have unregulated access to more content than any previous generation. As a result, it can seem at times as though the world is becoming colder and evermore unkind, filled with negative people and sad events. However, seeing things this way is not only unhealthy but also fundamentally untrue. It’s important and stunningly restorative to teach our children – and remind ourselves – that the world is, for the most part, a good place.
Intensive exercise improves the academic performance of teenagers, according to new research.
The study, of about 5,000 children, found links between exercise and exam success in English, maths and science.
It found an increase in performance for every extra 17 minutes boys exercised, and 12 minutes for girls.
The study by the universities of Strathclyde and Dundee found physical activity particularly benefited girls’ performance at science.
The authors said this could be a chance finding or reflect gender differences in the impact of physical activity on the brain.
Children who carried out regular exercise, not only did better academically at 11 but also at 13 and in their exams at 16, the study suggested.
‘Low exercise levels’
Most of the teenagers’ exercise levels were found to be well below the recommended 60 minutes a day.
The authors speculated what might happen to academic performance if children got the recommended amount.
They claimed that since every 15 minutes of exercise improved performance by an average of about a quarter of a grade, it was possible children who carried out 60 minutes of exercise every day could improve their academic performance by a full grade – for example, from a C to a B, or a B to an A.
However, the authors admitted this was speculation given that very few children did anywhere near this amount of exercise.
Dr Josie Booth, one of the leaders of the study, from Dundee University said: “Physical activity is more than just important for your physical health.
“There are other benefits and that is something that should be especially important to parents, policy-makers and people involved in education.”
The authors of the study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, said further research backing the findings could have implications fore public health and education policy.
The study was funded by a grant from the BUPA Foundation to the University of Strathclyde.
If you were looking for an answer to what makes an international school such a good educational choice for your children, then you need look no further than ‘Citizenship Day’.
The theme for the Secondary School Citizenship Day in Term 1a was ‘European Day of Languages’ combined with ‘International World Sight Day’. Wearing House Colours, the students worked together in their Houses to solve puzzles and answer quizzes in German, French and Spanish, learned tongue twisters in Turkish, Chinese, and Korean, made Japanese origami models, and wrote messages in braille, to name just a few of the activities organised, collecting valuable house points along the way. There was lots of laughter but also importantly collaborative learning with plenty of opportunity for the students to develop their leadership skills, communication skills, and teamwork skills – important skills for the next generation of graduates.
The students taking Economics in Year 11 and Year 12 have both just completed units that relate to the history of money. Economics Year 11 have completed a unit on inflation, looking at the factors affecting the value of money, and the consequences of hyperinflation or deflation on the population. The Economics Year 12 group have completed a unit on the characteristics and functions of money in our current day economy. As such, we visited the Romanian National Bank on Monday, 25th September. Please see below some quotes from the children in our school about the trip and Economics.
“Money has a really important role in our economy; learning the history of it and actually seeing the evolution of the forms of money has been fascinating”. – Siena (Y12)
“Seeing all different types of money, learning about their history and talking about each one in particular was a pleasant and captivating experience”. – Victor (Y11)
“The collection of money from all over the world was quite impressive and the acoustics from the main room was really unexpected. Moreover, learning the brief economic history of my country was extremely fun!” – Alex S (Y11)
“We saw gold bars with very high purity of gold at 24K (99.99% pure): it’s so pure that if you bite or scratch it, you will leave marks because the purer, the more malleable”. – Stefan (Y11)
“A very interesting experience in a building I’ve seen numerous times, however never imagined to be so grand and interesting”. – Alex M (Y11)
“It was an enjoyable experience to see the history of the Romanian currency, how the rate of inflation increased or decreased and how the visual presentation of the bills changed and why”. – Boldizsar (Y11)
“It was very interesting and educational to see the National Bank’s progress throughout the years and how it evolved throughout Romania’s history. – Gekko (Y11)
“I was shocked to find out that a piece of gold with purity of 99.99%, just smaller than the palm of a hand, weighed 1 whole kilogram!” – Ioana (Y11)
This week our Modern Languages Department proposed a rich programme of linguistic and cultural activities to celebrate European Day of Languages. Secondary School students engaged in creative activities that enabled them to think creatively and logically. The diversity of activities empowered our students to get more engaged in their own learning and to understand in more depth the language and the culture of European and Non-European countries.
Our KS3 students explored magnificent places in the world and built famous buildings. Thus, they had the ideal opportunity to learn together more about famous sites and cultural facts from Germany, France and Spain. Teachers witnessed a lot of creativity and use of mathematical, geographical and creative arts skills.
Apart from the multicultural dimension, students in Year 7 enjoyed speaking other languages and were proud to share ways of saying hello in their mother tongue.
We can definitely say that our students are WORLD CITIZENS as they showed a great amount of knowledge, curiosity, respect and compassion!
Year 2O were eager to enter their new classroom last week to begin the new school term. Each child swapped beautiful stories about their adventurous summer holidays and were bursting with enthusiasm to speak aloud. We welcomed Teo, a new student, to our class and we played ice breaker games in order to get to know one another. We also played many circle games focusing on developing our listening skills at the beginning of the new school year. We discussed the importance of speaking nicely to others and using kind words. We listened to the story of Chrysanthemum which focused on showing kindness to others. Following on from our discussion, our wrinkled hearts were clear to be seen. It has been a fun start to Year 2O!
Day 2: Following on from the Day 1 & 2 report yesterday, after lunch we went to the conference room and learnt all about Healthy Eating and Healthy Lifestyles- a well-timed message for our students in these modern fast food eating times we live in. Then, in the afternoon, we headed off to the lake on the campus to try the Tyroliane, where we made friends in addition to the three dogs on the campus- a lizard and a big frog.
Day 3: Today was our best day yet, full with fun outdoor activities and anther conference session. We started with climbing on a special wall before moving on to archery with everyone learning how to use a bow and arrow. Before lunch we also managed to fit in a fun activity on the lake: the children were supposed to swim to a lifeboat, get on it, and turn back with the boat while the other teams were throwing buckets of water at them. Everyone had a great time and laughed throughout. As very good team players, Filip, Or, Radu and Ralph all took care to help their colleagues to get on the boat and from boat on the bridge- well done guys! Thankfully, with all the rigorous outdoor activities, everyone is still in good health with just a few small bruises here an there. Now we are having lunch which will lead into our next conference session on?????
Leaving the damp, leaden skies of Bucharest behind them, Y6 are now enjoying the scorching sunshine of North Wales on their residential trip. After a long journey, which the teachers and children completed together in good spirits, the students arrived at their final destination minus a few pieces of luggage- arriving tomorrow apparently.
Since their arrival at Kingswood’s Colomendy Centre they have been bouldering, climbing, caving, singing, playing, swinging and learning. They also visited Chester Zoo where they completed a course on the environment and conservation…and they saw some penguins! A great start to a trip that is sure to return our students home to us excited, smiling, and full of stories to share.
Day 1 Review: Having all arrived at our destination safely, and settled into our rooms, our students were eager and excited to start the camp with their first planned activity: walking for 4 kilometers, a quater of which was along a tiny river , requiring us to clamber over rocks so not to get wet, which we didn’t managed in the end. At the end of the walk we were all treated to a refreshing, cascading waterfall and had the chance rinse cool down after our walk. After a busy day of travelling and walking, everyone was happy to head to bed straight after dinner for a good night of sleep, knowing that tomorrow will be another full day of fun activities.
Day 2: we started our day with one hour morning sports, with the teachers getting involved too. Then breakfast and off to the swimming pool for a variety of activates and contests… more to follow.
Our final school week started with something rather special organised for our children and staff, as we had a special visit from the Rainbow Fairy, Pongo the Clown, and Oli their golden retriever who together put on a wonderful show with an important message about healthy eating.
The show was arranged by Noi Orizonturi Familia, a not-for-profit association in Romania, to raise money to enhance the quality of life for all members of the community, especially those who are poor, suffering, or are otherwise disadvantaged.
In the show named “Let’s grow beautiful, grow healthy!”, Pongo (Victor) has a sore stomach and is wondering why? The Rainbow Fairy (Alina) helps him and together with Oli teaches Pongo how important it is to eat fruit and vegetables, but also the consequences of an unhealthy diet! Interactive games, humorous skits, songs, dances, and “Oli’s stunts”, were all a part of the 1 hour show that had our students and staff clapping, cheering, and laughing throughout.
We also managed to raise over 1000 ron for a very worthwhile cause.
If you would like to find out more about this educational presentation by Noi Orizonturi Familia and their work then please visit the following website: www.noiorizonturifamilia.ro. They are always looking for volunteers to help.
This week, Year 5 spent four days in Predeal for their annual residential trip. After leaving at 09:00 on Monday morning, we arrived in the mountains just in time for lunch. The students were excited to see their rooms and meet their instructors: Simona, Mircea, Costin and Radu.
The first afternoon was spent at an adventure park, where the children followed different obstacle trails through the trees, ending with a zipline. They then had a chance to play on the trampolines and test their coordination with a game of swingball. The first evening passed with a disco (and a game of football going on outside simultaneously!).
The weather was beautiful throughout the trip, and so it proved on our first morning. The students spent the morning at an aquapark in Brasov, enjoying the slides, jumps and pools. The bravest children even jumped from the five-metre platform! This activity left our students very relaxed for the afternoon, when they had to stay on the edge of the forest to build some shelters using nature’s materials. They worked really well together, as by this time they had been organised into three teams for the duration of the trip. The idea was that they worked in their teams on every task, earning points for good communication and collaboration.
The second day dawned as brightly as the first, and saw Year 5 trekking up into the mountains. The students were shown how to recognise different tracks on the ground, and were excited to see the footprints of a mother bear and tiny bear cub, very close to our hotel. Our guides advised us to keep making lots of noise in order to frighten away any animals, and Year 5 didn’t need a second invitation. Making noise is one of their specialities, so they sang happily up the hill, foraging for berries and picking flowers as they went.
Another challenging team activity was putting up a tent that afternoon. It actually proved more difficult to take it down again afterwards! This was followed by archery, when one person managed to hit the bullseye four times.
A campfire was the perfect way to end our last night in Predeal before we travelled back on Thursday, arriving back at school tired, happy and ready for school on Friday…
Congratulations of the IBSB Middle School Debate Team for their recent success in the Sir Winston Churchill International Middle School Public Debate Competition, hosted this year by BSB on Monday, June 12. Having a large group of passionate debaters in the middle school debate club, IBSB entered two teams in the competition this year, and for the first time ever won both the 1st Place and the Runners trophies up this year- so well done to all our debaters for this incredible result and a big thank Ms Blessy Savu for running the Middle School Debate Club this year, giving up many weekends to ensure they were prepared and ready on the day.
Below is a short review of the competition from our students who took part:
Junior Sir Winston Churchill Debate Competition By Gekko Ioancio
A healthy mix of competition and cooperation is what makes debate an excellent growth opportunity for the able and talented students of IBSB. With a very young team, this year was all about getting the basics right. The skills that lead to success in debating include confidence, good oratory skills, and a broad general awareness of world history and current events. Developing these wide ranging skills takes time and practice, however, and we have come a long way over the course of the year.
To our surprise, we won both the 1st and 2nd Place Trophies in the competition, attended by 5 international schools from Bucharest. Below a few comments from some of our debaters:
“This event really pushed me out of my comfort zone – it made me realise that I can perform under pressure”- Irina
“I really enjoyed myself, and it was a great learning experience. The debates were exciting and passionate. It was a wonderful experience.” – Christie
“It was a great experience, since we all learned new things. I enjoyed it, and it helped me develop skills, such as public speaking and teamwork. I would definitely participate again.” – Maria
“This exciting experience has taught me how to work under pressure and time limits which I will definitely need in the future. It has also given me insight on what it means to be a public speaker, motivating me to get better.” – Kyriaki
“It was a successful productive day, overall a memorable experience for all. Can’t wait for next time to discuss even more interesting topics relevant to today’s world.”- Milena
“Definitely an event I would rank in my top 10 best things I have done so far at IBSB. The debates boosted my confidence in public speaking, and I know the experience gained will help me later on in life as well.” – Gekko
There is no doubt that the event will remain in the memories of the students for quite some time. For all present, it was a great event to participate in and it really did push both of our teams to do our very best as well as to experiment with newly learned debating techniques.
All debaters are now eagerly awaiting future debate competitions, as debate has brought us closer together. Through these preparations we got to roleplay as successful members of society who debate in order to solve issues concerning modern day problems and one day soon we will be doing just this in the real world.
This week the Science Department organised some interesting interactive sessions for the Year 6 Transition Programme. We involved students from years 7, 8 and 9 who shared their experience in KS3 Science and who also presented some of the projects they completed throughout the year. We also discussed with Y6 about the types of energy, types of forces, states of matter, chemical reactions, levels of organisation, and use of microscopes in lessons supported by experimental work. Here are a few photos from the sessions – the smiles and facial expressions tell the story best.
Last week, on Friday, all Key Stage 2 EAL groups came together for a culinary journey across five countries: China, Japan, Turkey, Israel and Romania. In EAL we aim to support our students learning English across the four skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and are always looking for something interesting and fun to do in the classroom. One of the approaches we use is to create connections to each child’s first language and home culture. Form this we came up with the idea of offering an International Breakfast initiative, I asked the children to each prepare a traditional meal and to present it to their colleagues in the attempt to communicate their cultural identity and share a great time together. We had Mao Tanaka bringing us Temaki from Japan, Zhentai and Tony joined effort to create more than 50 spring rolls, while Aya, Liya, Ariel and Ethan, showed great teamwork spirit coming up with a selection of three main courses and deserts that surprised and enchanted our taste buds. It was a great success – a fun and delightful experience for all the students and teachers involved- one we will surely repeat next year.
On Friday, May 26th, the MFL Department proposed a Year 4 & 5 educational visit to the Cervantes Institute to visit their extensive library, to encourage our students to read more in Spanish, and to enhance our students’ awareness of Spanish culture.
On the trip the students were really excited to discover new aspects about the wonderful Spanish culture. The visit involved educational activities, the presentation of the institute and the library, and even a food workshop (they learned how to prepare guacamole con nachos). In fact, some of the students enjoyed the visit so much that they have decided to go back with their parents to set up an annual subscription. Our visit ended with a quiz about Spain and Spanish culture- all the students did really well and received prizes for their effort.
The Cervantes Institute is a place full of cultural and linguistic interest, and I am sure we will go back there again soon, as the students seemed to have enjoyed it so much.
With another school year almost over, we decided to take advantage of these last few weeks to plan a very special lesson for the Year 5 students learning Spanish.
On Thursday the 25th of May, the MFL Department invited Milena Vergara, a Year 9 student, who is a native Spanish speaker, to join our Year 5 Spanish lesson. You can’t imagine how excited the students were to talk to her. Milena fascinated them with her origins and they were eager to introduce themselves to her. Since our topic for this term has been I am the music man, it was a great opportunity to have a short introspection into South America and its Spanish speaking countries. During the lesson Milena encouraged them to speak about their favourite musical instruments and their favourite types of music and singers. She did a great job by showing them a map of South America, explaining the origin of each type of music and dance, and the students even discovered a new musical instrument “el flauta pan” and its fascinating origin. We then listened to some beautiful Spanish songs which everyone enjoyed. Finally, at the end of the lesson we all then said goodbye to Milena as she returned to the Secondary School, but are excited as she promised to return to speak to us all again soon.
On Tuesday, the 23rd of May, the students from Year 6 attended an exquisite culinary workshop. They went to the London Street Atelier in order to cook a French menu and were guided by the one and only Rachel Sargent- a big fan of local, natural, and seasonal ingredients in her creations. Our students were very excited and curious, asking Rachel a lot of questions about food and cooking. They made their own Quiche Lorraine, having the chance to choose their favourite ingredients, and also prepared a five minute couscous recipe. The best part was the dessert: croquembouche. Just imagine profiteroles piled into a cone and then decorated with chocolate. We will definitely go again!
Year 10 students embarked on a fantastic journey inspired by great French books. With the occasion of the Journée internationale de la Francophonie, our inquisitive French students read French books and created own stories around the characters and plot. The mysterious and fantasy stories transported them to a fabulous world of secrecy, enigmatic clues and vivid descriptions. This was only the preamble of what it was to come: changing identities and becoming detectives or even French spies, reading short riddles and finding clues, looking for missing objects which would save France or a family member! Students seemed to have enjoyed the activities and challenged themselves by creating own treasure hunts. Who knows what will happen in the following lessons?
Following on from the success of our Open, U16, & U14 teams last weekend, the Boys and Girls U9 Teams, displaying a combination of excellent ball skills, speed, teamwork, passion, and good sportsmanship were eventually rewarded for their efforts with the Winner’s Trophies. The U11 Boys and Girls teams were also in action, but with half the team out, were not able to replicate the success of the U9s. Congratulations to all 42 students who played, with special mention to Maria who received
Best U9 Female Player Award, to Alis for receiving the Best U9 Female Goalkeeper Award, and to Andrei, the top goal scorer in the U9 Boys Tournament. You are an inspiration to us all. A big thank you to our junior coaches Paul Georgescu and Magda Caminedis for your unswaying support and encouragement. Let the celebrations begin!
Year 4O learned all about electrical circuits in their Science lesson this week. In pairs, we looked at the drawings of circuits and decided and explained which will work and which will not. In groups, we made a circuit which worked successfully: we recorded it by drawing and indicated the purpose of each part; for example, we saw that the battery provided the power. We ended our lesson by looking at a short video clip on the dangers of mains electricity and we discussed the differences between the devices which can be run on batteries and those which require mains electricity.
Well done to all the families who took part in the Bucharest Half Marathon last weekend. It was fabulous to see 40+ children from IBSB competing in the various kids’ races on Saturday morning, and having great fun too! Congratulations also to Team IBSB who joined in the relay race on Sunday. Mr Georgescu, Teodora Albu (Year 1), and Maria Roates (Year 4) achieved the almost impossible, coming 16th out of 529 relay teams entered in the adult race. An amazing effort! The students and staff entered also used the opportunity to raise awareness for ‘Light into Europe’, wearing their bright yellow t-shirts as they made their way around the course. In every way, it was a great event and we look forward to seeing many of you at the Bucharest Marathon on October.
The international schools often come together for various sporting events and academic events such as public speaking and debating, but there is less interschool collaboration in the area of the arts. This is why the Interschool Talent Show is such an incredible night, as it showcases student talent from many of the international schools in Bucharest and this year was no exception. This year Avenor College hosted at the Centrul Cultural Otopeni for the very first time, with 20 acts from six international schools, including students from IBSB singing ‘Shape of you’ by Ed Sheeran. As always it was extremely difficult for the judges to decide, but in the end Best Solo Performance went to Zixuan Jin (AISB), who sang deeply moving ballad in Mandarin, with best group performance going to Avenor College, performing ‘Someone in the crowd’ from the La La Land soundtrack. Well done to all students involved and thankyou to event Sponsors, Senia Music! We hope to see of you back again next year!
I had the great pleasure of watching the IBSB footballers play in the Lumina Competition on Saturday, May 13. It was wonderful to see the determination, the team spirit, and the skills that were displayed by all players. The level of play was impressive by all teams present, and so I have to congratulate the boys senior team who came 2nd in their competition, the U14 boys team who finished third, and the girls team who also collected the trophy for third place. Particular congratulations go to Maria in Year 9 and Yunis in Year 11 both of whom were awarded the Best Goalkeeper Trophy in their respective competitions. Thank you to Ciprian Iacob for his passion in coaching and to all those who came along and supported. The U9 & 11 teams are in action this weekend- we wish them all the very best.
In Year 2, we have just started a unit on plants. In class the children identified the parts of a plant and learned about the life cycle of a plant. We then went outside to enjoy the sunshine and plant some seeds and bulbs in order to do an experiment to see how plants differ as they grow. We divided the children into four groups: each took a plant pot, bedded it with fertile soil, carefully placed their seeds or bulbs in the soil, and then watered them with their hopes and aspirations. The children learnt that some plants need water and light, some plants need water but no light, while others have light but no water, and some plants even have no light at all! In the coming weeks we will checking on our bulbs and seeds regularly to make observations about how plants grow. The children are all very excited are all very excited!
Since mid-February the Year 9 students have been having “Humanities lessons with a difference.” To enhance their research, team work and presentation skills, the students received instruction and help from Mr. Storey (Geography), Ms. Baker (Business Studies) and Mr. Gowen (History). The overarching idea was that each group needed to create a tour or holiday to attract foreign tourists to Romania. The students could choose the type of tour or holiday, conduct market research and create the presentation in whatever format they desired; ready to be showcased to an independent judging panel, fellow students, parents and teachers on Friday the 5th of May.
To assist with the project, the students were taken on a trip to Sinaia where they were able to complete an activities workbook based on Sinaia as a tourist destination. They visited various tourists sites and had the opportunity to visit the Tourist Office to obtain resources for their presentations. Luckily the weather was lovely and we had a fun trip.
The Romanian Tourism Market Place event took place on Friday. The students were a hive of activity getting all of their resources ready to present. The judges arrived at 10am and circulated the teams. Various parents, students and teachers came to view the event. The 8 teams did an amazing job and showed a level of maturity that many people commented on. The winning team “Unravel Romania” were awarded with some cinema tickets and will be accompanying me to the Bucharest Tourism Conference this Friday at The Radisson Blu Hotel. All teams were commended for their outstanding performance by the judging panel, who commented on how difficult the judging was.
Since the event, the students have reflected on the whole project. The comments have been very inspiring to read. The overwhelming thoughts of the students were that they enjoyed this style of learning, overcame shyness, enhanced their team working and presentation skills and learned more about Romania and the tourism industry as a whole. It was a pleasure to watch the students blossom through this activity and I look forward to running more successful projects like this again in the future.
EYFS have been learning about Mini beasts and are now able now to differentiate between insects and spiders. They learned that insects have got 6 legs and 3 body parts, while the spiders have got 8 legs and 2 body parts. They then had a lot of fun outside bug hunting in the garden using nets and magnifying glasses. They were also involved in various hands-on activities like spider hand printing and making spider webs, developing their hand-eye coordination and control and had the opportunity to grasp new mathematical concepts like ’symmetry ’and ’the same’ whilst carrying out their investigations. So don’t be surprised if they come up to you all excited with a bug they’ve caught wanting to tell you all about it!
A struggle to survive,
Insects and leaved trees
All wanting to survive…
Having studied the rainforest and growing an understanding of deforestation, our assembly was the perfect time to share this with others.
Deforestation affects animal habitats, unique tribes identity and the possible discovery of new medicines. Each minute an area of rainforest equivalent to 48 football fields is lost due to deforestation. It’s hard to believe! In our assembly we tried our best to represent the ones who are affected the most by deforestation. We thought of many practical things we could do as a class, such as turning off the lights when we don’t need them, reducing waste, and reusing paper in interesting and creative ways before recycling it. What will you decide to change today?
The Middle School MUN club attended their very first Model United Nations Conference this weekend. We had a wonderful time, and the students found that their background research, draft resolutions, and position papers served as good ammunition in their negotiations within their respective committees. Being a middle school conference, the complexity was reduced, and this helped our first time MUNers ease their way into the proceedings of such a conference. Many of our students are now eager to participate in more complex high school MUNs next year. The event was non-competitive, allowing each student to develop and practice skills at their own pace. The highlight was the alien “invasion” that was debated in the General Assembly. The students threw themselves into the hypothetical positions of their countries, and had a great time doing so as you can see from the photos.
KS3 MUN Coordinator
Before the holidays, the year 7 English students had the opportunity to work in pairs and design an original story book for children. They were also asked to create original illustrations to accompany the text and they all did a super job! Stories ranged from “The Pig in a Wig” to “Frenemies” about a cat and a jealous dog. Now they are sharing their work with children in Reception and Primary school. They all agreed it was a fun project as they got to work with their friends, share with others and demonstrate their creativity.
On Friday, the 31st of March, the students from Year 4 and 5 visited the French Institute in Bucharest. It was a great experience for our pupils, who enjoyed the variety of resources they found there: books, magazines, games, CDs, DVDs, and a lot of linguistic and cultural activities. We hope our children will visit the French Institute with their parents and borrow books, watch a French movie or attend different language workshops. The French Institute is the right place to discover the best of French culture and language.
Ms Carman’s year 7 students are writing and illustrating their own stories to share with the children in Primary school. One story in the works is called “The Travelling Goose” and another is about pigs with wigs. No end to the creativity at IBSB!
With spring finally here, what better way to celebrate than heading out into nature to recharge our batteries! The IBSB Tree Planting weekend gave us the perfect opportunity to do this, and at the same do something good for the environment.
Working with our community partner, the Children’s Forest Association, around 50 IBSB students, parents, and staff headed north on Saturday, March 25th, to help replant the former Vlasiei Woods, located to the SW of Ploiesti.
As you can see from the photos there is a lot of work to be done- not a tree in site- but with so many hands contributing to the project, the woodlands and forests will be back in no time.
Thank you to all those that came along to help out. It was a lovely community event, and a great way to teach our children about the importance of reforestation projects and sustainable living. A special thank you to Ms Orla O’Dwyer and Ms Johanna Croci for rallying the troops and making this event possible- you each get an additional ring to your already bright halos.
This was our first IBSB Green Team Tree Planting outing and it certainly won’t be our last!
For more information about how you can get involved in replanting Romania, please visit: www.padureacopiilor.ro (an environmental NGO working for community development through afforestation (creating forests where they did not exist for hundreds of years). The afforestation program is 100% sustained by private funding, and is working to restore degraded lands in Romania, creating a valuable legacy for the future generations.
Cross curricular lessons for year 3 students are always interesting and challenging. This week in CC , year 3B has learnt how to design a puppet.
The students enjoyed to cut out the shapes for the clothes they want their puppet to wear, then they used running stitch to sew clothes to the front and back of their puppets. Sewing around the outside of their piece of fabric was quite challenging for them.
It was a great week and we hope that in the next term we’ll have again an interesting week like this one.
In Year 4O we are studying rainforests as our topic this term. In art lessons, we have studied the work of French artist Henri Rousseau. In groups, children discussed what coloured plants we would expect to see and the different types of animals that live in each layer of the rainforest. We used very simple pure colours in our art work with clear outlines, and following Rousseau’s idea painted jungle animals in the foreground and lush green plants in the background using defined outlines. Here are some photos of our beautiful creative art pieces.
On Friday, March 17, IBSB had the honour of hosting its third biennial International School Advanced Child Safeguarding Workshop, with a total of nine international schools taking part in the training session this year. Ensuring student welfare is an area of high priority for international schools – it is the first area that inspectors look at when conducting a school inspection.
International School Inspectors look to see if senior staff have been trained to ensure safer recruitment practices are adhered to. This is certainly the case at IBSB. They look to see that staff have received the relevant training to be able to provide the necessary duty of care to students, including the ability to identify signs of child neglect or harm. To this extend, all staff at IBSB receive training each year, completing a total of eight online child safeguarding and health and safety related certified courses each year. Our staff also receive face to face child safeguarding training each inspection cycle from a UK specialist in the field. Staff at IBSB also complete Basic Medic First Aid Training, with 10 staff completing the Advanced Paediatric Medic First Aid Diploma.
The biennial Advanced Child Safeguarding Training, which our IBSB Child Safeguarding Team and Safer Recruitment Team receive, covers the following topics:
On behalf of all nine international schools in attendance, we would like to thank Robin for openly and generously sharing his knowledge and many years of experience with us, ensuring we that we are all up-to-date with the latest policies and procedures, and for providing our respective school teams with models of best practice to help keep our students safe.
Instructor: Robin Watts
Robin worked as a Police Officer and Detective for 30 years, focusing on the area of Child Protection, creating courses for police officers and social workers, training them in joint investigation, achieving best evidence, and for police officers the national ‘Specialist Child Abuse Investigators Developers Program’. After retirement Robin became a Child Protection Adviser and Trainer, working with international organisations such as COBIS, assisting international schools in improving their Child Protection Practices, Standards and Procedures and helping them to prepare for school inspections in the arena of Safeguarding- all of which achieved ‘Outstanding’.
This term Year 2’s topic for their cross curricular lessons is explorers. As part of our literacy lessons they have looked at explorers. First they studied the film “Up” and predicted what might happen after Carl releases the balloons and the house flies away; they then became very creative and thought of many different endings.
In the next lesson they discussed senses and what they would see, hear, smell and touch as the house flew away. Before writing, the students shared their ideas through group work. The students especially enjoyed the carousel activity: they had four stations and at each station they swapped and had to think of just one of the senses and wrote down their ideas. Once they had moved around all four groups, the children then chose their favourite sentences to write in their own literacy book.
On March 7, 2 teachers and 14 students lined up at the Otopeni Airport immigration desk excited about the 4 days ahead. The destination, Amsterdam Airport, and thereafter 6 cities in 4 days to visit and learn all about the many university opportunities available in the Netherlands. Across the four days the students had the chance to visit six university campuses, including the University of Amsterdam, Radbaud University, University College Utrecht, Rotterdam University, Erasmus University, Leiden University, and the University of the Hague. We meet up with IBSB graduates and other students along the way who told us about their experience living and studying in the Netherlands, and also had the chance to attend lectures and get a taste of university life first-hand. We learnt that the cost of universities is 10-30% the cost of universities in England and that EU students qualify for the student load. We also learnt that if you work part-time whilst at university you don’t have to pay fees at all and are entitled to free travel throughout the Netherlands. And for anyone without an EU passport, you have the right to live and work in the Netherlands after you graduate. At the end of four very busy days, I think everyone agreed that it was a great trip, with many compelling reasons to return to study in the Netherlands.
IBSB celebrated Martisor, my favourite Romanian custom, in beautiful, warm, spring sunshine. It was as if the sun knew and wanted to play its role perfectly.
For the children, the PTF and school organised Martisor workshops for every child to make something wonderful for the most important women in their lives. We are so thankful to the ladies who ran the workshops, providing our children with opportunities to be creative. Touched Romania made jewellery from beads- I am sure mums and grandmas are already wearing them. Light into Europe had the children sewing lovely Martisoare brooches, learning new skills, such as threading a needle. The ladies from ipaint created mini masterpieces on canvas- my daughter’s creation is already proudly on the wall at home; and finally, Made by You made a variety of impressive ceramic pieces – we can’t wait to see what they look like after they are fired. We also learnt the legend of Martisor, why we have the red and white intertwined threads, thanks to our Romanian department. It was a wonderful day and I wish everyone ‘o primavara frumoasa’.
In Literacy in Term 2a, Year 2D studied Florence Nightingale and other significant individuals. They found out a lot of interesting facts about her, about the Crimean War, about nurses, and about hospitals in those times. During their lessons they wrote a biography about Florence’s life, a non-chronological report about doctors and nurses, and learned about writing formal and informal letters: they really enjoyed writing a letter pretending to be a solider in the 1850’s writing to their parents explaining how Florence Nightingale improved the hospital. They also created a job advert for a new nurse for Florence’s hospital and came up with some very imaginative stories. In the end everyone agreed that they all enjoyed learning about significant individuals from history and learning about different types of writing, and to finish off the unit, they each wrote a persuasive letter to Ms Deeble-Rogers.
While many students were away on the ski trip, those remaining at school had the chance to enjoy a week of lessons with a focus on science.
The aims of Science Week were to encourage our students’ interest in all subjects science and get them involved in demonstrating and experimenting with different phenomena. The students really enjoyed getting involved with hands-on activities in the classroom, with the week culminating in a Science Fair in the school hall.
In Year 5, we explored the idea of spreading weight over many points of contact by using balloons and drawing pins to create a “bed of nails”. We also explored ways of moving liquids by employing our knowledge of different forces, creating a centrifugal pump and a siphon by using drinking straws.
Most Primary classes had a visit to Casa Experimentelor, where the students had the chance to use different equipment to demonstrate various scientific concepts. Casa Experimentelor also provided some workshops in school, giving children the chance to make a battery from lemons and an electromagnet.
The week was full of fascinating lessons and we certainly achieved our aims.
Special thanks must go to Mr Morrison, Ms Andreea Rus, Ms Ana Maria Stere, and all the drivers for organising resources, trips and captivating activities.
This term the Spanish group from Year 5 studied the planets and our Solar System. The students were so excited about the topic that in the last week of this term we decided to find out more about our Solar System. We discussed about the planets ‘names and their meaning. We also talked about the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses and their connection to the planets. The students drew to scale, that is, the relative sizes of one planet to another planet, and wrote the names of the planets and the governing god or goddesses. It was a really exciting lesson and the students seem to have had a lot of fun.
As we board the bus that will take us to the airport for the final leg home, I cannot help but reflect back on the past 7 days: we have had incredible weather the whole week; the students learned how to organise themselves and to help their peers in the kitchen, bringing the dishes, cleaning tables, keeping their rooms tidy, and packing their daily lunches- it’s been an education in independence; they also learned the rules of the mountain, making sure they stayed safe on the ski slopes and helped their team mates in need, and as their skills grew stronger with each day of practice, they progressed higher up the mountain. Having the right growth mind set has helped the less sporty to overcome tiredness and fatigue learning a new sport, and together we have formed a tighter community, getting to know each other much better over the last week. Watching the students share and bond on the trip has perhaps been the most rewarding experience of all. It’s been a truly great trip with many happy memories collected along the way, but now it’s finally time to head home to our families and friends, just in time to enjoy the midterm break…..yay!!!!!
Dan Boboc and Ioana Nitescu
KS3 Ski Trip Coordinators
The word for today is ‘Breath-taking’. The view here in Zell am See from the top of the mountain are really amazing as we are surrounded by snow-capped mountains under crisp azure skies. You couldn’t ask for better skiing weather. After a morning of skiing on pristine snow, with fun had by all, we decided to head into the town for a short shopping trip and some site seeing in Zell am See in the afternoon, returning to the mountain lodge in time for the farewell barbecue. Tonight everyone is packing their bags, getting ready for the return trip home tomorrow. It has been an incredible experience for everyone here with perfect weather, plenty of snow, and fun had by all. I’m sure we’ll all be back again next year!
Dan Boboc and Ioana Nitescu
Ski Trip Coordinators
Everyone was in a good mood this morning with blue skies once again, This is our fourth straight day with perfect weather, so everyone is really happy. The beginners group have made great progress on the trip and have already moved up one level mastering the T-bar ski lift today. We had another 4-5 hours on the snow and then, in the afternoon session everyone enjoyed the beach volley session. I’m sure we will all sleep well tonight. It’s hard to believe we have just two more days of skiing left until we head home.
Dan Boboc and Ioana Nitescu
Ski Trip Coordinators
The students were better at packing their lunches today, but a bit slower getting up at 6.30 in the morning because skiing for four hours from 10 to 12 and 13:00 to 15:00 is taking its toll. Nevertheless, they still found the energy reserves needed for the evening table tennis and billiard.
Dan Boboc and Ioana Nitescu
Up again bright and early and back to the glacier for our second day of skiing. It was a good choice to keep skiing on the glacier because the snow is so much better there than on the slopes near to our accommodation. Today we followed the same schedule as in the first day of skiing, meeting for lunch at the restaurant half way up between the beginners and advanced groups. In the evening we booked the trampolines again and the football pitch because everyone enjoyed it so much on the first night.
Dan Boboc and Ioana Nitescu
Ski Trip Coordinators
All back safely from the first taste of the slopes. Plenty of snow and the ski groups are ready for tomorrow after today’s evaluation. The children are making themselves at home in their new rooms with their new roommates. Lights out as I type this and it is surprisingly quiet. Good, they will need their energy for a busy day on the mountain tomorrow.
This morning bright and early we set off for the Kitzsteinhorn glacier slopes by bus from out mountain lodge to meet the two ski instructors. The weather is incredible and the views from the gondola are breathtaking. We climbed up to the first level to gear up for skiing and beginners stayed at the base level for their first lesson. They climbed on foot up a short slope and then had to do their first” pizza” or snow plow. Make sure they do not cross the skis or “spaghetti”!
The advanced group moved up to third level with Dan to ensure safety and I, Ioana stayed with the beginners fastening ski boots, tapping off snow and shoulders for encouragement. We had a pizza and bowling evening with a few good strikes for the winners.
Dan Boboc and Ioana Nitescu
Ski Trip Coordinators
We just arrived at our accommodation in at the Kitzsteinhorn Ski Club in Zell Am See after a short flight and a long bus drive from Munich airport. The children are tired from the journey, but looking forward to seeing the facilities at the Kitzsteinhorn Ski Club where we were met by our tour manager Wolfgang. We have our own area at the Youth Hostel with 4 rooms- two for the girls and two for the boys, and one for each group leader in the vicinity. We tried out and picked up our ski equipment and then booked our first activity- football and trampoline for the evening. The evening meal was rather interactive because the children had to chance to cater for themselves. All fun and adventure on the first day!
Dan Boboc and Ioana Nitescu
Ski Trip Coordinators
In Literacy this term Year 2D have been studying Florence Nightingale and other significant individuals.
They’ve found out a lot of interesting facts about her, about the Crimean War, about nurses and hospitals of those times.
During their lessons they have written a biography about Florence’s life, non-chronological report about doctors and nurses and informal and formal letters.
Recently they have created a job advert for a new nurse for Florence’s hospital.
They really enjoyed writing a letter pretending to be a solider in the 1850’s writing to their parents explaining how Florence Nightingale has improved the hospital. Some children came up with some very imaginative stories.
After this they then independently wrote a persuasive letter to Ms Deeble-Rogers. They have all enjoyed learning about significant individuals from history and learning about different types of writing.
Do you really know what happens to your teeth when you eat or drink your favourite foods? As we were studying teeth, we decided to investigate and see for ourselves!
First of all, we wanted to find out how much sugar was in some healthy and unhealthy food, so we used our numeracy skills to add, multiply, or divide in order to calculate the correct amount of grams of sugar. We then weighed the sugar and really had a shock with some of the results! It made us think twice about what we were eating. But our investigation didn’t end there.
Our next question was…what effects would the sugar have on our teeth over a period of time? We decided to test it out using eggs. We placed eggs in Coca Cola, coffee, orange juice, water, and milk; some of the most popular drinks we consume. We wanted to see if anything would change over time, and after ensuring we were performing a fair test, the experiment began! We checked the eggs each day for five days. I’m sure you can tell by our faces what we thought of the results! Although some of us had predicted which drink would have the most negative effect, we couldn’t believe how much they had discoloured and changed the shell. Not even toothpaste could erase all of the discolouring! Needless to say, we are excited about next week’s Science Week where we will be able to find out some more wonderful things about the amazing world we live in.
1. The conditions to learn and develop
Children need to be given the conditions to learn and develop. This includes cognitive and emotional development, fostered through access to play in the early years and high quality education in school, and physical development, for example through a nutritious diet. School is a key area of children’s lives where experiences vary greatly and negative experiences have a significant impact on well-being.
2. A positive view of themselves and an identity that is respected
Children need to see themselves in a positive light, and deserve to feel, and be, respected by all adults and other children. Our evidence shows that how children feel about their appearance, whether they are being bullied, and whether they believe that their voice is being heard and opinions respected, are key drivers of their well-being
3. Have enough of what matters
Children’s well-being is affected by ‘having enough’ and ‘fitting in’ rather than being rich or accumulating material goods purely for its own sake. Family circumstances, household income, and parental employment are key factors which determine whether children have access to those items and experiences.
4. Have positive relationships with family and friends
Children want and need positive, loving relationships with the people closest to them. Overall, the strongest driver of low subjective well-being is where children experience weak and uncaring relationships with their family or carer. The structure of the family itself has only a small effect on a child’s well-being. Children also need positive, stable, relationships with their friends, with social isolation a strong driver of low levels of well-being.
5. A safe and suitable home environment and local area
Children need safe and suitable environments at home and in their local area. Where children are unhappy in these environments, often through feeling unsafe, feeling that they have a lack of privacy, or feeling that their home or local area has inadequate facilities, this has a strong association with lower levels of well-being.
6. Opportunity to take part in positive activities to thrive
A healthy balance of time use is as important for children as it is for adults. The need for a balance that suits the individual needs of children means that they should be actively involved in decisions about how they spend their time.
On Saturday the 28th of January, IBSB once again had the honour of hosting the Regional English Speaking Union’s Public Speaking Competition for students aged 8-11 years. This was the fifth consecutive year that IBSB has hosted the competition, which seems to grow more popular among international and state schools alike with each year. This year, we even welcomed a contestant from Cluj, which shows just how much the contest has expanded.
IBSB entered the maximum number of 8 students: 3 from Year 5, and 5 from Year 6. These students were selected based on their performances in our own internal Public Speaking competition; there were many other impressive speakers, but unfortunately we couldn’t send them all to the regional round.
As well as the number of entrants, the quality of the speeches also seems to increase every year. The judges, supplied by the English Speaking Union and other competing schools, had a really difficult task choosing the prize winners. A big congratulations too all the students who took part from all schools, with a special well done to our excellent IBSB students, Zohar (Y6P), who took second place and Vlad (6P), who achieved a third place. Victor (6M), achieved an Honourable Mention prize, with Honourable Mention certificates for Ana, Luca, and Alkyoni from Year 5, so we hope to see them return even stronger next year! Anastasia (6M) and Ilinca (6P) also represented the school with distinction.
We would like to thank all participating schools, the English Speaking Union and, of course, all of the speakers for making this year’s event the best yet.
All students attended their final meetings and thrashed out resolutions. We toured round to help them focus and were happy to witness Radu called up to present a point of information and later to speak from the podium itself; no mean feat for a Year 10 with a bow tie! Well done Radu!
Eventually, after 5 days of thinking and debating and discussing and amending, the two and a half thousand delegates were called to the main World Forum Theatre for the closing ceremony. Fantastic fanfares and farewells!
And then we went to the seaside for the afternoon! The teachers went on the ferris wheel; the students went to McDonalds: ’twas ever thus.
5.00am start tomorrow; but the good news is: the annual THIMUN IBSB Awards will be presented in Bucharest baggage reclaim tomorrow: students are agog!
The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were the model of exemplary behaviour from start to finish and as such were the perfect ambassadors of our school community.
A very successful THUMIN Trip comes to an end.
We’ll be back again next year!
Thursday has been very much like the John Wayne film, The Longest Day, with hours spent amending and crunching the grammar, the sub-clauses and the resolutions. One committee I sat in with Alexia spent 10 minutes demanding that the resolution was that the committee be allowed to go to lunch: there was almost an open revolution! The motion was passed and the chair was relieved. Ironically, throughout the day I caught feeds from CNN and the pressing issues our students are discussing were coming across the screen: child soldiers, nuclear proliferation, the threatening of borders; that’s the theme of this MUN: ‘borders’: how they can restrict or how they might sometimes be a welcome restraining hand: one person’s border is another person’s barrier I guess. The students are sticking to the task in hand with great determination, but they are tired. The final push tomorrow, then home Saturday.
The Year 9 CAS Club members, Irina C., Jamie B., Haesung O., and Maria L. sold hot chocolate and hosted a comfy clothing non-uniform day to raise money for the abandoned babies and single mothers cared for by ‘Touched Romania’. This was entirely a student initiative organised by the students independently! It was Irina and Jamie’s idea and they called on their peers for help and donations. Ioana A. in Year 7 also made a very generous donation. Well done to all the students involved – you are an example to us all with your fantastic Community Spirit.
Day two has ended and day three has begun; yesterday all committees were in session with the issues were being discussed ranging from the refugee and migrant crisis to eco-tourism; from transparency of arms sale to cultural security and development. All students were lobbying and voting; many took the floor and offered views and amendments. It was another high octane day which finally came to a close at 5.00pm. Exhausted, but happy, we made our way back and our delegates beavered away at adjusting their position papers and their resolutions to return this morning with all metaphorical guns blazing. Well done to the students for their commitment, resilience and patience!
This week Year 1 had fun in their music lesson where they learned that it is important to respect each other and work as a team. Each student having received a whistle, followed the teacher’s instructions, paying attention to each other to know when it was their turn to play, and as a result managed to create music in harmony. They all learned how important it is to have patience and to listen carefully to the sounds around them. More importantly, they learned that an enthusiastic attitude and trying your best can create a beautiful song together and were very proud of their result.
Up bright and early on Day 2. Post breakfast, we made our way to the ‘World Forum Convention Centre’ for the first real day of THIMUN, to find ourselves upon arrival in a sea of intelligent, suited and ‘lanyarded’ young people all ready to debate their hearts out.
And IBSB were in there fighting their respective corners.
What a buzz to see our MUNners discussing papers, ideas and resolutions: for some it was panic time; but we worked it all out and they argued and allied with other countries and we have several delegates pushing forward into tomorrow’s lobbying and debates.
It was a brilliant day culminating in the official Opening Ceremony, where Adriana carried our flag with pride.
The key to this event is pushing yourself outside the comfort zone: as I sat here having a coffee at 6.00pm, after a 12 hour day, it was fascinating to deal with a student asking me how to unpick Togo’s attitude towards the transparency of arms sales; we sat down and shared our knowledge and came up with an amendment to a resolution! Job done!!!
We would like to let you know that the IBSB THIMUN Delegation have arrived safe and well in Holland, and are now happily settled into the architectural beauty of ‘The Hague’.
Yesterday we registered and received all the paraphernalia: ID, lunch tickets, travel cards, and so on. After that, we had lunch and returned to check in.
In the afternoon, we boldly set out to go to the seaside. Led by intrepid Petru, we strode out to the tram stop headed North… “Take us to the sea!”, we all cheered, then realized we were going the wrong way and found selves heading into the centrum instead: you see, the ‘growth mind-set’ is alive and well in The Hague; we haven’t mastered the tram system….yet.
Today the first full day of debates and lobbying and networking begins…. More to come!
As a school we are implementing a ‘Happiness Project’ this term. In year 4O, as a part of this project, we have been discussing all about compassion and kindness. We have talked about the importance of being able to share other people’s sad feelings when they are having a difficult time. In our assembly practice we have seen how important it is to treat our peers as we want to be treated and to show love and respect to everyone. We have learned a song called Filled Your Bucket which showed us that even though our bucket is invisible and made believe, there is no doubt in what a kind act can do.
This week in our Year 6 Art lessons we’ve been working on how to improve our technical drawing skills by enlarging pictures using a grid. We’ve been learning how to use a grid to divide a picture and then draw a larger image from it. The pictures we chose were of our favourite film characters, including characters like Ironman, Superman, Ana from Disney’s Frozen, and the penguins from Madagascar. If you could choose a favourite character to draw, who would it be?
Happy New Year to everybody and welcome back to school for the start of Term 2A! Both Year 6 classes had a fun Romanian lesson in their first week back, revising some of the language covered in Term 1 using the tablets to play fun educational language games. In pairs the children were asked to solve the grammar and vocabulary exercises, searching for the new meanings of some words, and in so doing enriched their knowledge about synonyms and antonyms. We also used this lesson to review a few important spelling rules. Here are some nice photos with the Year 6 Romanian native students working in pairs.
As next week is World Book Week here at IBSB, I thought it might be nice to look for some good parenting advice on supporting your children to read more at home, so here are some suggestions on how you can help to make reading a positive experience and encourage your children to read more.
1. Choose a quiet time
Set aside some quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.
2. Make reading enjoyable
Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child. Don’t put pressure on them if they are reluctant. If your child loses interest then do something else.
3. Maintain the flow
If your child mispronounces a word do not interrupt immediately. Instead allow opportunity for self-correction. It is better to tell a child some unknown words to maintain the flow rather than insisting on trying to build them all up from the sounds of the letters. If your child does try to ‘sound out’ words, encourage the use of letter sounds rather than ‘alphabet names’.
4. Be positive
If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don’t say ‘No. That’s wrong,’ but ‘Let’s read it together’ and point to the words as you say them. Boost your child’s confidence with constant praise for even the smallest achievement.
5. Success is the key
Parents anxious for a child to progress can mistakenly give a child a book that is too difficult. This can have the opposite effect to the one they are wanting. Remember ‘Nothing succeeds like success’. Until your child has built up his or her confidence, it is better to keep to easier books. Struggling with a book with many unknown words is pointless. Flow is lost, text cannot be understood and children can easily become reluctant readers.
6. Visit the Library
Encourage your child to use the public library regularly.
7. Regular practice
Try to read with your child on most school days. ‘Little and often’ is best. Teachers have limited time to help your child with reading.
Your child will most likely have a reading diary from school. Try to communicate regularly with positive comments and any concerns. Your child will then know that you are interested in their progress and that you value reading.
9. Talk about the books
There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end, their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
10. Variety is important
Remember children need to experience a variety of reading materials eg. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and information books.
11. Set aside family time for reading
If you want your children to read more, set aside family time for reading. I know of a number of families that do this and it really does work.
12. Lead by example
Finally, it is important for your children to see you reading and enjoying the pleasure of reading. Do just tell your children to turn of the television or their digital devices and read more, do it yourself and lead by example. Children can smell hypocrisy a mile off and usually take a personal offence to it.
At IBSB, our students have the chance to enjoy a number of extracurricular activities during club hour from 3.00-4.00pm each day. There are many clubs to choose from, including the Chess Club, with a Chess Club in both the Primary School and Secondary School, offering beginners the chance to learn and the more advanced players the chance to test their wits against each other or the teachers, for those game enough to try. Knight takes Queen – checkmate!
This term Year 5E have been looking at how World War 2 affected the lives of millions of people. In our English lessons, we have written a news report about Pearl Harbour, read a novel called Return to the Secret Garden (about the adventures of some evacuees), and are currently dong some work about Anne Frank’s diary. We have also learnt a lot about propaganda posters, the Blitz, communications, evacuation, and the precautions taken by people during the war, such as rationing, air raid shelters, and gas masks. We have enjoyed a great variety of activities including using torches to signal in Morse Code, handling a gas mask (kindly lent to us by Mrs Alina Pascale), and on the 9th of December we went to London Street Atelier to cook a meal using wartime ingredients. While we were there, our instructors were very impressed with the children’s level of knowledge, as they were able to answer all of the questions during the introduction! It has been an interesting and enjoyable topic for us, and one which has provided many learning experiences.
The Science Department has been very busy these past few weeks. All young scientists had a chance to explore and research and present their findings.
Y7 tested the validity of some food labels. They used yeast, yoghurt, and milk to test if the microorganisms stated on the food label are alive and active so…… they found out that they can turn milk into yoghurt in a day.
Y8 students researched the sustainable sources of energy and came up with very interesting projects. Some had the chance to present their findings this week and the others will present their projects next week. We were very impressed with their work, which included making a website, building the models of solar panels, wind turbines, hydropower plants from lego pieces. The best pieces of work will be presented in one of the future assemblies.
Y9 students performed experiments for their half term assessment as their practical skills and understanding were rigorously tested. They investigated exothermic and endothermic reactions, displacement reactions and precipitation.
Y10 and some AL students explored the structure of some vital organs. They dissected hearts, lungs, kidneys and liver and their related their structure to their function. Their enthusiasm was not brought down by the unpleasant smells as they investigated the internal structure in a very professional manner.
In the 21st century, it is increasingly clear that computers play an important role in our lives. With this in mind, our computing curriculum has changed over recent years to encourage us to teach children about programming as early as Year 1!
Every Tuesday, Year 1 have been learning the basics of giving instructions to the computer to make things move. The students are working hard in each lesson, concentrating on every move and having lots of fun, and we are very proud of their work. They tell me it is their favourite lesson of the week!
Year 5E love nature and are very good writers. A perfect combination for us. In order for them to improve their descriptive writing in Romanian, we took them on a trip to the National Park, where they observed autumn’s beautiful colours, the shapes and the shadows and looked at the way the nature changes during this season. Inspired by the picturesque views, they filed in a worksheet with examples of personification, similes, and other examples of figurative language. We also got a bit of rain, which made our experience even more realistic.
Back to school, we looked at the pictures we took to refresh our memory, listened to Vivaldi’s Autumn composition and Chopin’s Nocturnes, then started to write ‘An Adventure in the Magic Park’. The students came up with lots of creative ideas which was the proof that our trip reached its target: inspire our students to see the magic of our life behind the appearance of the ordinary things.