Hello IGBIS Community,
After a week full of conversations and activities based around what it means to be inclusive, one of the themes that linked many of those talks and events was the importance of communication. The Learner Profile highlights communication as one of the 10 attributes of an internationally minded person, and together with being open-minded, sets the stage for respectful, meaningful discussion and dialogue.
Sometimes, however, conversations are needed to clarify a misunderstanding or to address a mistake and when that happens, it’s important for parents and students to know what to do and who to go to. The full version of our Procedure for the Communication of Concerns can be found by accessing the link, but the shorter version is this.
When questions or concerns arise, students and parents are strongly encouraged to speak with the teacher or staff member closest to the concern first. The vast majority of issues are solved by asking questions of the person most closely associated with the source of the issue; in most instances involving students and their learning, this is a classroom teacher. Going directly to that person not only often resolves the problem, but it also helps build trust and understanding between the people involved.
We know that language barriers may be a challenge for some, but we can help with translation support when needed. Cultural barriers may exist as well where there are differences in someone’s comfort with potential conflict, but know that we are all here to support our students — your children — so we ask that we err on the side of discomfort rather than not knowing how to help or that a concern exists.
As you can see in the chart below or in the link above, if going to the person closest to the concern directly does not solve the issue — or the issue is about that person — then you move on to speak with that person’s line manager; often a Principal or a Department Head. If the situation continues to not find a solution, they generally end up on my doorstep as the final step. There are usually a lot of steps between me and the issue, just know that my door is always open if it gets to that point!
There is at least one special circumstance where you would not go through this process, the most important of which is if you have a child safeguarding concern. We have spent much of the last 12 months upgrading our team’s training and making sure our safeguarding policies and procedures are in line with international best practice — information we will be sharing in the next few weeks — but for now, just know that if you are worried about the safety of a student (neglect, abuse, etc.) to contact our Designated Safeguarding Lead (Mr. John Schuster, ES Counselor) immediately as per the red path below. All students will be listened to, believed and supported by any adult in the school, and there are five members of the Child Safeguarding Team that the students are being made aware of, but our DSL Mr. Schuster is the most direct path for parents should the need arise.
For all other worries, concerns or clarifications, let the dialogue between the right people continue or begin.
Have a great weekend,
What a great week it has been this week. So much going on during our ‘Inclusive School Week’, our first PYP parent workshop of the year and the Grade 2 assembly which is where I will start.
The Grade 2 students shared a variety of their learning and they spoke clearly and with confidence. A big shout out to Teeya and Ariq for acting as the MC’s for the assembly. I enjoyed listening to the students sharing their understanding of place value in maths as they showed us how they use materials to understand hundreds, tens and ones. They spoke clearly and with confidence.
The Grade 2 students also helped us with some strategies that we can use in the playground should there be some kind of conflict. They are using Kelso’s choice wheel that gives them options like ‘talk it out’, ‘share and take turns’, ‘wait and cool off’, ‘walk away’, ‘tell them to stop’ etc. This is very good advice and I hope other grades will have heard this message.
The students demonstrated their creativity and imagination as they were inspired by ‘It’s not a box’ written by Antoinette Portis. I had to smile at some of their ideas. The students got us up and moving as we played ‘freeze dance’. I liked the simplicity of the movements (as I was able to follow along with the students on stage). They even shared their learning from Music (their inquiry into melodies) and Art (their future artist selves- sharing their goals).
The highlight for me was the ‘Kung Fu punctuation’- ask your children if they can remember this part of the assembly.
Inclusive schools week has brought a flurry of activities that have brought the focus of what inclusion is to the students. Ms. Stacey read to all grade levels and facilitated a mini workshop with them, we had first language (mother tongue) stories read by members of the community. It has been wonderful to see so many students taking the opportunity to listen to a story in another language. As these have happened at lunchtime they have actively made the choice to engage in this experience which says a lot about our students. The students have created a paper chain with words that highlight inclusion, and contributed to the community mural by adding their unique person. There were also some physical challenges too.
Thank you to Mr. Harvey for being a risk taker and leading our first PYP workshop of the year ‘Digital citizenship and tech tips for parents’ and all the parents that attended. Next Wednesday 5th October we have a very important workshop about assessment in the PYP. It would be great to see lots of parents attend this session. This workshop is taking place in the music room on level 3.
As you are all aware on Friday we have our 3 way and parent teacher conferences. I look forward to seeing you all at your conference where the children from G2 – G5 will be sharing their learning journey so far with you.
Sandy van Nooten
This week there have been lots of activities all over the school with a focus on Inclusion. There have been special sessions in homerooms, in classes and during breaks. There have been opportunities to build murals, make paper chains, read stories, participate in physical activities and much more. Thanks to Ms. Leanne and her team for their creativity and leadership.
This week we held our second big university fair. We had another 24 universities here on campus to speak with students and parents. Thanks to Ms. Amanda for making this happen.
On Thursday, our over-15 boys team played in the KLSL tournament here at IGBIS. The team won all four of their matches and conceded only one goal, winning the tournament. Thanks to everyone who came out to cheer them on. They richly deserved their win. Congratulations to the team and their coach, Mr. Gagan.
Today, we enjoyed a fabulous assembly led by Gr.9 to 11 students. We were treated to an amazing singing performance from Won Ho, some musical items from the Gr.9 music class, a ‘Saturday night fever’ dance from Kimaya, Suhani and Chen. An inclusion poem from all of Gr.10 and a lot of cheers and build-up for the House Council elections. Thanks to everyone who was involved in the planning, performances or running the booth.
We have our 3-Way Conferences (3WCs) on Friday Oct 7th from 8:00am to 4:30pm. Secondary 3WCs will be online (Elementary 3WCs will be face-to-face). We hope that your secondary students will join you at the conferences. We’d much rather talk to them than about them :). There will be no regular classes on this day. Parents are invited to book a 3WC with each of your child’s teachers. Let us know if you have any difficulties with the booking system.
We hosted two workshops this week. One virtual meeting on MB (hosted by Ms. Flavia) and one on Assessment procedures. Thanks to all the parents who came in.
Have a lovely weekend.
The Counseling Team
As we moved through Inclusive Schools Week, we continued to place a spotlight on Inclusive Language and Inclusive Behavior. In Secondary School we aimed to add depth and build on previous conversations and information that had been shared with students. We used Inclusive Schools Week as an opportunity to go into each grade level to share information, facilitate conversations and build skills around the actions of ‘Calling In’ and ‘Calling Out’ behaviour or language that is unacceptable.
Please take the time to look at the information that has been shared with the students and spend some time reflecting on these and discuss them as a family.
We are extremely lucky to belong to a community that is as inclusive as IGBIS. While there may not necessarily be the need for students to take action and use these skills frequently now, it is most certainly a skill they can use outside of school and well into their adult lives.
Have a super weekend.
The Counseling Team
What an amazing week we have had celebrating Inclusive Schools week and continuing to build “Unity within our Community”. Please stay tuned over the upcoming weeks as we reflect and share the details about the different activities and events. A big thank you to everyone involved … staff, students, and parents. A special mention to some amazing mums — Pauline, Ivy and Rie — who came into school to support the morning activities. I look forward to sharing details of the individual activities over coming weeks.
(on behalf of the Inclusive Schools Week Committee)
Wednesday, 5 October is a BIG & BUSY DAY at IGBIS
More information for each of these events is below…
Wednesday, 5 October, kicks off our What’s Next? Wednesday Series for the year. The What’s Next? Series will walk us through applying around the world to the most popular destinations that IGB students have historically applied. Come and get information about why to apply and how to apply to different locations around the world. Invitations and RSVP information will be sent out for each session prior to the date.
On Wednesday, 5 October we will host the following universities from Canada:
Lakehead University, Trent University, University of Victoria, Huron University College, York University, Ontario Tech University, Queen’s University, Memorial University Simon Fraser.
A general information session will be held from 11:45 – 12:45. Students must register to attend this session as it is being held during class time. Please register in Cialfo.
ALL students are invited to attend the general fair from 12:45 – 1:30, in the DP/CP Lounge.
Grade 9 – 11 students have now all been introduced and onboarded to Cialfo. As a reminder, Cialfo is our career and future planning platform for IGBIS. Communication regarding events like university fairs and open days, and resources, like help with creating a CV, will all be communicated through Cialfo starting 1 October (no more duplicate emails!).
This week has been busy! We hosted Canadian Unis: University of Waterloo and University of New Brunswick, Imperial College London (UK), and US institutions: College of the Holy Cross, University of San Francisco, and Foothill & De Anza College. And on Thursday morning we hosted our 2nd Uni Fair!
College You Should Know…
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University of San Francisco
Education in Ireland is having a Study in Ireland Virtual Fair on the 5th of October (Wednesday) from 5 – 9pm. 18 Irish universities will be joining and students can hear first-hand experiences from the International Student Ambassadors. Slots are limited but registration is free.
Register through this link: https://asia.educationinireland.live/
The “soccer” essay. The “family challenges” essay. And, of course, the “inspiring grandfather/grandmother/person who is not the student” essay. How can students make common topics like sports, music, or extracurriculars work well, or come up with alternate topics that might work better—and how can they tell the difference?
In this pay-what-you-can mini-course, I’ll be partnering with Tom Campbell (former admissions officer at Holy Cross & Pomona College) to share practical techniques students can use to uplevel a personal statement in as little as twenty minutes, using a range of real essay examples from recent students.
More info and register HERE.
More information HERE.
The Development Bargain: why elites gamble on growth, held at the London School of Economics. Investing in markets is now more popular than ever. Thanks to many online brokers investments are available for almost anyone, but it can still be very risky and yet people do it. Why? 29 September. Relevant to anyone interested in economics or mathematics.
Cambridge Science Festival, hosted in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Interested in all things STEM? If yes, this festival is something for you. Hosting a wide range of events, lectures and challenges, both online and in person, this festival can help you gain further insight into many fields of current research. 3-9 October. Relevant to anyone interested in science, engineering or newest tech.
Coping When Life is Hard: can Philosophy help, organised by the London School of Economics. We all have our share of hardships in life, but how to deal with them? No matter whether you’re looking to study philosophy at university or simply doing it for fun, it can help. 12 October. Relevant to anyone interested in philosophy.
Grades 9 – 12 Universities Counseling & Social/Personal Counseling
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
To schedule an appointment
We have Kukri’s leggings of various sizes in our Uniform Shop now. Parents/students can get them directly from our Uniform Shop instead of ordering them from Kukri’s website. Come visit our Uniform Shop if you want to be the proud owner of a pair of IGBIS/Kukri leggings 😊.