Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award

Sep 8, 2014   //   by jhaynes   //   Blog, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

BIStopia has been awarded a Commonwealth Bank Financial Literacy award of $10,000. These awards celebrate the achievement of BIStopia as a learning experience by providing funds to be spent as the school sees fit to enhance the program.

Principal Jen Haynes was proud to accept the award on behalf of current and past staff members who have helped shape BIStopia into the amazing, immersive experience it is. She said, “We will be using this money to expand the existing program so that we can invite students from other schools to visit and enhance their financial literacy skills.” The school is also documenting the program so that other educators can run similar programs in their school. Part of the $10 000 will be spent on a range of resources to enhance the financial literacy program, including international currency collections and toys for the younger years that focus on the role of community in managing an economy.

Term 2 is all about BIStopia: a deep and intense exploration of how economies and communities work. The students investigate the role of the individual, the community and wider systems like the financial system. Students play with rates of exchange and taxation as well as the postal system, health system and parliamentary system. BIStopia culminates with the BISmark floated as a currency while political parties vie for votes. It is a busy time, with normal study paused for a week as students set up businesses. In addition the younger students (Big Cats) create a hospital and the middle group (Penguins) set up a post office. The older students (Dolphins) have their hands full running a bank and forming government.

The learning that students engage in over the term is rich with depth and full of real experiences that enable them to find purpose in learning about history, science, English and math.

Keep your eye out for BIStopia in 2015 during term 2, we love having visitors come to visit.

Pet Day

Jul 28, 2014   //   by jhaynes   //   Blog, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Term 1 is a focus upon the self, how we understand ourselves and connect to others. Pet Day and Toy day are key parts of this as they allow the children to express themselves but also connect with their classmates. The development of the individual and supporting them in developing the ways that they can share themselves safely with others is a core part of our tripartite curriculum.

This year, with your increased numbers we had to change the format a bit and have our presentation in class rather than as a whole school. Students without pets bought in soft toys or photos and everyone got to have a hold or a cuddle of each other’s pets. Oli’s snake was one of the highlights, Mesmo’s cuddles were a little too scary for Jen the Principal who spent the day with the snake’s cage behind her desk. “I am quite scared of snakes but I had to stroke Mesmo because she just means so much to Oli, but I am really glad she has gone home.”

Focus days are an important part of life at BIS and we love having special days like Toy Day, Bike Day and Pyjama Day. Bike day is such an important event that the State Government has given us $1200 to spend on signage and transport training materials. By listening to the kid’s passions and interests we try and balance the practical need to get through a range of Federal Curriculum outcomes with those of the student’s and the BIS community.

The BIS community welcomes the Goey family into the fold

Jul 28, 2014   //   by jhaynes   //   Blog, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Up until early this year the Goey family (Grace, Ronan and parents Kelly and Paul) lived in a wonderful community in Toowong, where the children freely played in the street with neighbouring children. Kelly and Paul felt incredibly lucky to have found a street with like-minded folk with young kids of their own. Like many BIS parents, the Goeys have juggled family aspirations with significant career demands (Paul lends his construction expertise on a fly-in fly-out basis out in the Pilbara in Western Australia and Kelly runs a busy Spring Hill cafe with her sister). The Goeys had an open mind when planning for Grace and Ronan’s education and visited BIS several years ago, ultimately opting to enrol in the local state school.

 

 

 

Says Kelly, “The year was incredibly tough for all of us—I watched my little girl’s confidence in her own brain and ability erode, and in hindsight, my own confidence as a parent was diminished also. We visited speech therapists, podiatrists and occupational therapists, with recommendations of more specialists, and endured telephone calls throughout the year from the guidance counsellor asking what we were doing about Grace. I dreaded drop off and pick up and steadily avoided eye contact with her teacher for fear of yet more negative feedback… and then I finally remembered what was important to me and my family.”
Kelly’s story is similar to many BIS families.
Principal Jen Haynes says, “Sadly, the Goeys’ story is quite common. The State School system has made a lot of progress in recent years and it certainly works for a lot of kids but we do get a good deal of interest from families looking for a framework that allows children to be individuals, that doesn’t try to put them in lock-step formation, and that is more attentive to the unique quirks and learning pathways that all children have.”
For Kelly, the first day at BIS was like coming home. She says, “I felt so relaxed and excited for the kids, saw the spark of recognition amongst the parents. We want them to flourish in their wonderful discovery of self, that we want them to be supported to embrace all that they are… including the tricky stuff!  It was in such contrast to the first day at Prep last year, as we put Grace into her too-big uniform and chunky no-climbing-in-these shoes, dutifully restrained her hair and joined the group of parents entering the classroom all looking as scared as if it was our first day of school all over again.”
Kelly has watched Grace slowly settling into herself at BIS and letting go of the stress. She is grateful that Roman has the benefit of knowing no different, having started Prep at BIS. And Kelly herself is slowly settling back into herself and letting go of the stress. “We made the decision over Christmas to move closer to the school and so, left our beloved community and rented out our house in Toowong. I really didn’t know how all of that was going to feel… but as with a decision that is right the whole move to BIS has just kept feeling more right as the weeks roll on. Last Friday morning, over breakfast Grace was busying herself with something, when we got to the car she showed me the “Best Teacher In The World” badge she made for Tim.”
Kelly advises parents sending their kids to Prep at other schools to trust themselves and to ask questions and be proactive. “If you can develop a relationship with your child’s teacher that will allow some space for your child, then do it.  If you can’t, seek an alternative. You will never regret putting your child first.”

BIG BIS

Jul 28, 2014   //   by jhaynes   //   Blog, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

After twenty years of being a teensy weensy school 2014 has swollen to a marvellous 59 students. To support this increase (we are aiming for 75 by 2017) we have increased our staffing so that we have a teacher aide in each classroom. This means that our teaching and learning has even more depth for our students as there are some great opportunities for the multi-age groups to both be supported and extended as needed. As part of this we would like to welcome some staff:

Richelle Robertson – Richelle comes to us with many years of teaching experience in varied settings around Qld within the state system. She has jumped into the BIS system with enthusiasm after volunteering last year for a day per week. Richelle is working with the Penguins.

Caroline Gray – Caroline has come all the way form England to work at BIS. She found us last year and saw in BIS her dream school. After an enormous amount of passion and trust she moved herself and her daughter to Brisbane in a two week period to start working here on the first day of school. She is the teacher aide for the Penguins.

Andrew Rowlands – Andrew has had a varied career in the service industries but realised, on becoming a Dad that working with kids was his calling and has started studying education. He has his own small children but seems to have limitless patience as he is always so calm with the BIG cats (and with Tim) who he works with.

Kay Ward – With years of teaching under her belt, we are very lucky to have Kay join our community as a teacher aide. Her experience gives her the perfect insights to be working with the Dolphin crew alongside Linda (who started teaching last year).

Kirsten Hartel – a new graduate with lots of enthusiasm Kirsten is teaching Spanish on Mondays and sharing with Linda teaching the Dolphins on Thursday and Friday. Kirsten has her German upbringing and her love of Spanish to keep our linguistically interested kids on their toes.

Welcome to you all!

BIS Strides Ahead in Caring for the Environment

Jul 28, 2014   //   by jhaynes   //   Blog  //  No Comments

 We demonstrated our green credentials at the Green Heart Fair at Chermside, winning Runner-up in the Brisbane City Council annual Green Heart Schools Showcase Awards, for the “Big Strides” category.

 

 

Principal Jen Haynes said, “I felt so proud of us as a community to have come so far in our goal as a sustainable school.” Student Amity Welshe (pictured) was presented the award by the Lord Mayor. Jen said that the school now engages in a range of great sustainable practices including:

  • 100% Green Power purchase
  • Double sided default printing
  • Habitat boxes for birds and possums
  • Keeping exercise books in use until they are full even if that means keeping them until the next year
  • Phasing out the use of Glue Sticks and moving back to the old clag glue in reusable containers
  • Collecting green waste to go through the compost, chickens or work farm.
  • Sensor LED lighting for emergency light
  • Air conditioning in only one room
  • Natural light design in all the classrooms with big glass doors and louvres near the ceiling
  • Organics

Term 3 every year is focused around the idea of stewardship. Jen adds, “This focus is ongoing through out the year, but term 3 is when we reawaken the passion.”  The $200 gift voucher that was part of the prize will be spent on two new compost bins to get a renewed focus on waste management.

The school is currently working on its School Environmental Management Plan and reviewing all its documents and policies. Jen says, “Next year we are going to win and be the most sustainable school in Brisbane!”

If you would like to come out and see what the students have been up to at the end of term 3 please book September 17 into your diary and come along to the presentation night.

Open Day 2014

Mar 22, 2014   //   by bisadmin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Event Description:

Come Join Us On our Annual Open Day!

Event Date

06/14/2014

Event Time

From: 10:00 – To: 02:00

Event Venue

Brisbane Independent School

Event TimeZone

(GMT+10) Australia/Brisbane

Integral Human Development – Dr. Tim Mansfield (Second Session)

Mar 22, 2014   //   by bisadmin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Event Description:

You are invited to attend a lecture by Dr Tim Mansfield, Futurist and Integral Practitioner.

Dr Mansfield has visited Brisbane on a number of occasions to share his specialist integral

training with those first stepping into Integral or those wanting to make contact with a

wider community. Sponsored by Brisbane Independent School, an Integral school, the

Lecture promises an in-depth and fascinating evening based on the ego development

research of Dr Terri O’Fallon.

Event Date

06/05/2014

Event Time

From: 18:30 – To: 20:00

Event Venue

Brisbane Independent School

Event TimeZone

(GMT+10) Australia/Brisbane

Integral Human Development – Dr. Tim Mansfield

Mar 22, 2014   //   by bisadmin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Event Description:

You are invited to attend a lecture by Dr Tim Mansfield, Futurist and Integral Practitioner.

Dr Mansfield has visited Brisbane on a number of occasions to share his specialist integral

training with those first stepping into Integral or those wanting to make contact with a

wider community. Sponsored by Brisbane Independent School, an Integral school, the

Lecture promises an in-depth and fascinating evening based on the ego development

research of Dr Terri O’Fallon.

Event Date

06/05/2014

Event Time

From: 01:30 – To: 03:00

Event Venue

Brisbane Independent School

Event TimeZone

(GMT+10) Australia/Brisbane

Social and Emotional Learning (Second Session) – Free Talk

Mar 22, 2014   //   by bisadmin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Event Description:

Social and Emotional Learning

How does your child develop their Emotional Intelligence?

Jen Haynes – BIS Principal

Event Date

05/22/2014

Event Time

From: 06:30 – To: 08:00

Event Venue

Brisbane Independent School

Event TimeZone

(GMT+10) Australia/Brisbane

Social and Emotional Learning (First Session) – Free Talk

Mar 22, 2014   //   by bisadmin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Event Description:

Social and Emotional Learning

How does your child develop their Emotional Intelligence?
Free Talk by Jen Haynes – BIS Principal

Event Date

05/22/2014

Event Time

From: 01:30 – To: 03:00

Event Venue

Brisbane Independent School

Event TimeZone

(GMT+10) Australia/Brisbane

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