Germany and Poland trip leaves an impression on our students

Twenty-six students and three teachers braved a wintry central Europe to visit several important places in both Germany and Poland over half-term. No sooner had we landed in Berlin, than we were out braving the cold and exploring, beginning immediately with a visit to the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag - Germany's parliamentary building. Our focus in Berlin over the course of our visit shifted between Nazi Germany and Cold War Berlin - some standout highlights being the Berlin Wall, the Stasi Prison, Cold War Bunkers, the Olympic Stadium and the Topography of Terror. Our four days in Berlin were extremely rewarding and very enjoyable.
Next, our trip moved onward to Dresden some two hours south from Berlin. Here, we were greeted by our first sighting of ice and snow. Nonetheless, undeterred our students braved this wintry feel to visit Germany's newly-renovated Military Museum and Dresden's old town. Here, they learnt extensively about the Dresden Bombing Raids during World War and about life in post-war East Germany. Our stay in Dresden was only limited to two days as we had to move westwards to Krakow in Poland but the students really did enjoy visiting Dresden.
Our visit to Krakow began with a visit to the infamous Schindler's Factory, where an excellently designed museum introduced our students to life in Krakow both pre-World War Two and during the war. The museum helped to introduce different aspects to the war, for example resistance and survival, whilst informing them about the inspiring story of Oskar Schindler. The next day was arguably the most poignant but certainly the most chilly. Arriving to Auschwitz early morning, we were greeted by considerable snow and bleakness. Our students were guided around both Auschwitz I and Auschwitz Birkeneau and engaged maturely with what they witnessed. Our visit to Auschwitz was complimented on our final full day with a meeting with a Holocaust survivor. She emotively told her story about her survival of the Holocaust from an impossibly unique perspective - something I am sure our students will remember for a long time. - Mr Wheatley

'Matilda The Musical' - an absolute triumph for BISA!

This week saw the culmination of months of effort and hard work with BISA's production of 'Matilda the Musical' being performed to audiences in Nairobi, Arusha and Dar-Es-Salaam.

Based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book of the same name, Matilda follows Matilda Wormwood, a bright little girl who immerses herself in books. Matilda is discarded and belittled by her dimwitted parents—her father insists on calling her a boy and harps on her “stupidity” for preferring reading to watching the telly—and her hostile headmistress, the outrageous and wicked Miss Trunchbull. Reclusive, but with an ever-growing imagination and sharp mind, and with a caring protector in her teacher Miss Honey, Matilda dreams of a better life, daring to take a stand against unjust forces and to grasp her destiny in her own, tiny hands.

With a cast made up of everyone from Year 7 to Year 13, and an incredible set that was adapted for every different theatre as they toured, this truly was a whole school effort. The cast of eccentric, hilarious and sometimes truly outrageous characters were brought to life by our students and they did an incredible job. Their comic timing and commitment to character was truly delightful to watch.

The musical itself was written by Australian musician-comedian, Tim Minchin, and is filled with catchy songs like 'When I Grow Up', 'Revolting Children' and 'Miracle' which our students clearly loved performing alongside the huge amount of physical theatre and choreography.

The final result was a truly spectacular show that will remain in the memories of audiences and performers for years to come. An absolute triumph! Congratulations to you all.

'Matilda' Goes On Tour

It's an exciting two weeks for the BISA Performing Arts students who have taken their production of 'Matilda The Musical' on tour. They left for Nairobi on Friday and, on arrival at Braeburn Garden Estate, were quickly put to work unloading the set and getting into rehearsals.

Based on the famous Roald Dahl book, and with music and lyrics by Australian musician/comedian Tim Minchin, 'Matilda' tell the story of the extraordinary title character and her encounters with the nasty Miss Trunchbull, the delightful Miss Honey as well as a cast of colourful characters in her school and in her home.

This really has been a whole school effort and we can't wait to see you all perform back here in Arusha. See below for all performance dates here in Arusha, in Nairobi and in Dar-Es-Salaam. 

Year 6 get a taste of things to come!

The Year 6s had a taste of Secondary last week when they came up for two days (17th and 18th of January). Their timetable is always arranged to give them a cross section of what Secondary will be like. They kicked off with an introductory and team building session with Mr. Magambo and Mrs. Stubbs. This session showed them that when working as a team it is not all about winning, but taking other people’s feelings into consideration is important too. These activities also showed how vital perspective and interpretation are. Following this they sampled Mathematics, Science and Art. The next day they experienced sessions of English, History, Cooking, Computing and a final evaluation lesson.

On evaluation the students stated that they loved History- they were spotted on their hands and knees in the classroom looking for clues! Well done, Mr.Wheatley! The students say writing in chalk in Art was a challenging experience.

Ella said, “History was fun and so was Cooking.”

Serena said, “I loved History and ICT.”

Sameer said, “I enjoyed Cooking, Science and team building.”

As you can see the students enjoyed a wide range of lessons. They also really liked being able to buy ice lollies from the Business students. We have more fun in store and welcome to Secondary!

The Benefits of Field Trips and Travel for Learners

This term holds many adventures for our students. Our Secondary History students are travelling to Germany and Poland and our Performing Arts students take their production of 'Matilda' on tour to Dar and Nairobi, as well as getting ready for the UK Culture trip later in the term.

As our secondary students prepare for their upcoming travels, we reflect on the benefits of field trips and travel for their education.

More and more, teachers around the world are integrating international school travel into their curriculum. Since 2010, the number of schools offering international trips to students has increased by 127%. International school travel is no longer an “extra” learning activity only offered in certain schools, but a beneficial experience to help prepare students for the future.  

We all know, most of the important lessons learned in life take place outside the classroom. Here are four educational benefits of international school travel.

1. Reinforce classroom material by exposing students to real-world situations

Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study and experience. As all teachers know, the purpose of it is to prepare students for life, and each student has a unique learning style. Some students are intrapersonal learners, while others flourish in social environments.  

Incorporating real-world experiences into your curriculum helps students understand why what they’re learning is useful. Not only does it increase engagement in the classroom, it also gives students valuable insights into the real-life application of the skills they’re being taught, and where these skills can take them in life. 

  2. Motivate students in the classroom 

Exposing students to real-world applications of theoretical concepts, world-class facilities, and new experiences, can have a positive impact on their engagement in the classroom. Many teachers have reported students who were lacking in confidence or resilience prior to embarking on an international school trip have flourished in the classroom upon arriving home. 

International school travel gives students the chance to experience different styles of learning and see a new side to their subject of study. When they can understand the concepts, they have learned about in books being applied in a real-world situation, they often return to the classroom with a deeper connection and greater motivation. 

3. Expose students to new cultures

Giving students the chance to experience a new culture can be beneficial for their personal development as it may help them to develop a broader perspective. International travel gives students the chance to step outside their comfort zone and experience the challenges that inevitably arise when exposed to a new way of life.   

Experiencing a new culture on a school trip can be even more meaningful for students than if they were to travel with family and friends. This is because they are encouraged to step outside their comfort zone away from the comfort of friends, family and familiar surroundings. In a new environment, students expand their worldview, witness a new way of life and better understand people, history and culture.

 4. A once in a lifetime experience 

 For teachers and educators, giving students an educational experience outside the classroom can be an extremely rewarding professional achievement. Your students will be given the chance to connect with people from different cultures and grasp learning concepts in real-world situations. They will be exposed to potential career opportunities, and most importantly, will gain confidence in themselves at a personal level.