Wednesday 14 December 2016

2016 - What a Fabulous Year You Were, Thank you.

We've had another bumper year for brilliant blog posts.  Ranging from happy, sad, interesting, funny and informative.  Below is a quick round up and reminder of some of the things we have experienced this year.  

We started the year on a really high note - we realised that we had had a 100% pass rate on the Cambridge Proficiency exam which was down to our fabulous students but also down to some pretty amazing teachers. We also became a BULATS testing centre - which has proven very popular with us having students taking the test here at LSI Portsmouth most weeks.

In February, we started our superb Pre-Sessional Writing Tips videos, with Robyn (the Pre-sessional Director of studies) presenting ideas from the team of teachers. They really are an incredibly helpful range of videos, perfect for anyone who wants to improve their writing skills.

This month saw our 'Best Reasons to' videos, with all our Directors of studies and the Principal and Vice Principal describing all the great reasons why someone should study with us at LSI Portsmouth. Also, we had three of our staff; Lea Brophy (the Vice Principal), Lewis Richards (the Director of Studies for Exams) and Sue Hodgson (the Asst. Director of Studies for Executives and Social Media Manager) graduate after 18 long months of hard study with their DELTM (Diploma in English Language Teaching Management).  Also, we had another one of our super fun activities on the social programme highlighted - 'Mug Painting'. which is very popular each time we run it.

The lovely Carlos, our student from Venezuela, made a little video for us to explain how joining the student union at Portsmouth university had helped him so much to improve his English as well as feel part of Portsmouth. We published an article showing some of the other courses that LSI Portsmouth teaches. One of these is off-site and teaches military English. Some lovely photos of the staff and teachers over at the other site. 
A student who visited us on the Executive side was a professional photographer, who took some incredible pictures, which he gave to us to use. A really different view of Portsmouth through his eyes.

A lovely Executive student made a little video for us showing a day in the typical Executive experience. Two of our teachers went over to the Philippines to run a teacher development course and then wrote a lovely article describing their experience. Finally we said a very sad good bye to two popular much loved teachers - Nick and Yvonne.

We were very excited to launch our new general English course for adults over 30, which has since proven to be very popular.  There was a little insight into our Conversation club activity that we run weekly. And we finally, to much fanfare, were able to show our superb brand new Executive Centre. Mark and Rick, the builders, showed what great craftsmen they are, and we had a lot of photos to show the before and after pictures leading to a completely revamped and renewed area.

July was an intense month for the blog, with stories coming through left and right.
First our teacher Jon D had students from his class interview some staff and then they wrote up in the style of a magazine.  The English was so good.  A superb video from Fabian, a Swiss student, showing the day in the life of a typical general English student. Then we had the Americas cup again, and then... Farringdon Bear from Business English UK came to visit us.  We decided to show his visit with postcards, to show some of the activities our Executive students can join.

The height of the summer and two very exciting things happened.  Firstly we were thrilled to launch our new 'Everyday English' videos, showing activities that you may not find in a course book, but with the English explained.  The videos had subtitles in English and many of them had extra vocabulary sheets to download as well. The second event to happen was our brand new self catering student accommodation opened. Not only is it beautiful, but it's also right next to the school, so students can wake up in the knowledge they only have a 2 minute journey to school in the morning!

More videos of the Everyday English range were launched, as well as a month of very helpful articles on all different aspects of learning English; why learning English is so useful, how the language developed and how to speak like the Queen.

October was all about language! This month's articles were about working on your English Grammar and a lot of information about exam English. Then just for fun we had a quiz on the language that is specific to Portsmouth.

Magical Autumn arrived in all her glory, the trees changed colour, and as October changed into November a lot of people also changed colour with their Halloween costumes.  Fireworks made everything go with a bang.  At the end of the month the students rose to the challenge and did the Mannequin challenge, showing once again that LSI Portsmouth is usually the first (and best) with most things ;-)

Once again we are here at the end of the year. We have had a happy and sad time. The Uncountables - the LSI teachers' band played an amazing gig, and then we started to say goodbye to our students as they leave LSI Portsmouth to return to their countries.  It's been an amazing year, and we hope that we have helped entertain you in some small way throughout the year.

See you next year.

Friday 9 December 2016

Sad Farewells - Really Lovely Students Say Goodbye

Just about 100% of our students are the loveliest people in the world.  This really is one of the absolute best jobs in the world for meeting such interesting, funny, sweet, kind people from all over the world.
Two of these students left today after quite a considerable time with us.

Hani Almeghem who has been with us since March. Hani has been on both the General English courses and the Executive courses.
Today he brought in the most amazing chocolate cake with white chocolate (instead of marzipan) and icing on top of that. The cake had photos all over it of the people he has had the most contact with while he was here.  Such a lovely kind gesture, and it was VERY much appreciated by all who were there ;-)

Next is Severin Hug from Switzerland.  Severin left to go elsewhere to study but decided to come back because he just wasn't enjoying it as much as he had when he was here.  He did a little video interview with Csili to explain why he made that decision.

Sadly, today was the last day for both these guys.  Our lives have been richer for knowing them, and we will really notice them not being here.
All the very best Hani and Severin (and all the other lovely students who left today).

Friday 2 December 2016

The Gig - The Uncountables Return

Continuing from yesterday's blog about our annual ‘Great LSI Bake Off’ to raise money for a local charity called ‘Home-Start’, the day continued with the charity theme when the FANTASTICAMAZING Uncountables played their gig at the Edge of the Wedge with DJ Hugo.  Another £300 pounds was raised, and a night of fun, music, singing and dancing ensued. 

The gig was sold out with all 100 tickets being sold (and lots of blackmail going on).  The Band: Lewis Richards, Alan Daysh, Tom Easey and Will Munroe played two sets to an incredible audience of teachers, students and friends of the band and LSI. DJ Hugo played between the sets and then kept the crowd happy until closing time at 1 am.  All in all, Thursday 1st December was a highlight of the year and all in a good cause.


Thursday 1 December 2016

The LSI Portsmouth Bake Off - Super Yummy


At LSI, we are really passionate about fundraising, and have held many charity events over the years to help raise money for some wonderful causes. From fun runs to parties, we have organised many events, and on Thursday 1st December, we held our annual ‘Great LSI Bake Off’ to raise money for a local charity called ‘Home-Start

We decided that as it’s the first day of advent, we wanted the cakes to be Christmas themed! We were completely overwhelmed with the effort that was put into the cakes and pies! There were Rudolph the reindeer cupcakes, Christmas Dinner Pie, snow-covered banana loaf and a strawberry Santa tiramisu (to name a few)!!! Three members of staff were lucky enough to be the judges of the baking competition, and got to try a piece of every single one! They certainly weren’t disappointed! The entries were judged on both taste and appearance.

After the judging took place, all the staff and students were invited to buy all the cakes and pies! A really fun and exciting experience. Some students even bought 5 different things to eat!

The winners to be announced during the weekly leavers’ ceremony, with Anna Rita’s Santa Strawberry Tiramisu winning the top prize on both taste and appearance! Well done Anna, your tiramisu was AMAZING!

We are so impressed with all our staff for baking such wonderful cakes, and we are also extremely grateful to our students for helping us raise so much money! By lunchtime, we had raised over £150!

As well as our bake sale, the school is also organising a charity night at The Edge of the Wedge, with live music and DJs. Four of our incredibly talented teachers are in a band ‘The Uncountables’ and will be performing tonight for staff and students. We have sold all 100 tickets, so we know it’s going to be a crazy and amazing night.