Secondary School Newsletter 2016

News from the BMS Secondary School


Dear Secondary School Parents,

We welcome you to the 2nd Semester and the beginning of the countdown towards our first IB DP graduation at BMS. We are nearing a very important milestone in the history of our school in less than 4 months and are excited and humble at the same time to be close to completing this significant achievement.

We would like to use this opportunity to share a very positive and important piece of news with you. Many of you are aware of the fact that BMS hosted its 4-day preliminary visit for the accreditation bodies CIS (Council of International Schools) and NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges) with the aim to receive permission to start the accreditation process. Before the winter break, we received the information that we were successful and received permission to start the actual process. The final accreditation visit will happen at the beginning of November 2017. We now have 18 months to prepare our institution for the the most challenging and rewarding accreditation process available to international schools. The accreditation process also offers BMS a very important step in becoming a recognized player in the scene of international education.

The feedback we received from our visit will be both our starting point and guidepost as we begin the process of planning for the next academic year – the hiring season starts, program conception is underway, and scheduling begins. We will update you about our preparation as the planning process unfolds.

In order to begin collaborating with the Secondary School Parent Representatives, I met with your parent representatives on Tuesday, January 26th to provide the context of our current plans and future endeavors. The follow-up to this meeting will take place on Thursday, February 18, 2016 where we will work on several questions brought up by our parent community. Current topics on our agenda are: communication lines between parents and the schools, "Life Skills" program as part of the curriculum, improvement of integration of parent reps in future developments, and further improvement and transparency of our pastoral care within the house system. If you have more questions and ideas we as a group should discuss, please email your respective parent representatives.

If you would like to stay informed about the discussion and latest updates, email your parent representative to disclose your email address to receive further updates.

We hope you find the newsletter helpful and informative.

With best wishes from BMS,

Silke Friedrich

Executive Director

News from the Middle School

Welcome to Semester 2!

Students in Grade 6 - 10 were issued with their report cards for Semester 1 on 29th January 2016. Parent-Teachers-Conferences on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th February present a valuable opportunity to discuss you son/daughters progress with their teachers. Sign up sheets will be given to students within the next week. In order to maximize the available time slots we are going to commence the evening 30 minutes earlier at 4.30pm and finish at 7.30pm.

Our focus for the Middle School throughout Second Semester continues to be Teaching and Learning. This is a great opportunity for students to improve on their First Semester results and maintain their high standards. Please take the opportunity to speak with your children regarding ways to improve before the final examinations.

The second Semester is particularly important for Grade 10 students as they approach the start of their IGCSE and MSA exams in April. February should be used as a time to build up both knowledge and exam technique for their different subjects. Teachers will be happy to provide past exam papers and advice on how to improve IGCSE and MSA grades.

After school CCEP activities continue in the Second Semester and present a wonderful opportunity for students to develop interests, learn new skills and take part in a variety of activities. Please contact the CCEP team to sign up for these.

Mr. Philip McCormick

Please feel free to ask questions or place your inquiries.

News from Senior School

The final Grade 12 mock exams are underway, the big dress rehearsal for final IB exams from May 2nd to May 20th! Our senior students are sitting through multiple exams in all their subjects, ranging from English to Economics, from Philosophy to Physics and of course Maths! Apart from demonstrating knowledge and skills in all these subjects, students are also familiarising themselves with the exam protocol, which is getting tighter each year, as developing technology makes new forms of Academic Misconduct possible. Last year, several students were caught with study notes downloaded onto a smart pen - but of course, this would never happen at BMS!

Teachers are equally busy marking the exams, both in time for Grade 12 reports, which will be issued on 4th March, but most importantly to identify strengths and weaknesses and to give students specific feedback for optimal preparations in the run up to finals. After the mocks there are six more weeks of teaching until Spring break, followed by four weeks of revision (two in school and two at home) before the first paper on Monday 2nd May. Lots of time to consolidate learning and really hone those essay writing skills etc.!

Grade 11 in the meantime have received their first reports and have started their second semester in the IB Diploma Programme. For some, reports have been a rewarding experience, others need to address shortcomings in one or more subjects. It is crucially important not to create a back-log of missed content, as the IB train never stops!

In other news, the BMS Model United Nations group have been given their countries for the upcoming MUN Assembly at the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on from 10-12th March. We will be representing Chile and, coincidentally, Germany! Two of our students, Maria Budig and Francesca Bladt, have even been selected for a further MUN Assembly in Zurich later this year. Congratulations to our MUN team! You can read about their first MUN experience here:

College Counseling Update

1st March: ESMT European School of Management and Technology and the non-profit initiative Startup Teens will hold an event on entrepreneurship for young people from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in Berlin, Schlossplatz 1

2nd March: Workshop for Grade 11 “Studying in the UK- How to choose the course, UCAS system workshop”

7th March: University of South Florida, Tampa, USA – 8.30am in Library

9th March: Hotelschool The Hague, Hospitality Business School, Netherlands – 8.30am in Library

16th March: Presentation for students and parents of Grade 11 and 12- Studying Medicine in Germany (PlanZ- Zukunft mit Plan), 6.00pm library

This March, The College Board is launching a new SAT (Scholastic aptitude test) for the first time in 11 years. Changes include a new structure, a new score, new sections, and even a new approach to testing. The New SAT will impact students in the class of 2017 or younger.

We have a link with an external provider for SAT and ACT preparation. Please get in contact with Mrs. Petricic for further info.

Mr. Alex Wreth

Please feel free to ask questions or place inquiries.

News from our House System and Pastoral Care

"Gang up for Good" started before the winter break and has continued into the new Semester. Please see a short video clip highlighting the Random Acts of Kindness and Sorry Notes which our students took part in. You will also see the "Wall of Nice" created by our House Tutor Groups! Just type in password: BMS.

Mr. Sebastian Saunders

Please feel free to ask questions or place inquiries here.
Our House actions continue with Air House Tutor group 2 raising 73 euros for refugees in Berlin by taping me to the wall, as seen by our interactive pictures above!

Upcoming Events

February 8 - 19, 2016: IB DP Mock Examinations

February 24 - 25, 2016: Parent-Teacher Conferences

March 9, 2016: IB DP Subject Expo

March 14 - 17, 2016: IB DP Art Show Week

March 18, 2016: Professional Development Day - School closed

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