By Jason McBride, Head of School
Hello IGBIS Community, another week with a lot to share!
First, a big thank you to our entire community for taking part in the CIS and NEASC accreditation preparatory visit this past week. Through countless online meetings, dozens of virtual class visits and a large number of student, staff and parent interviews, the Visiting Team’s exit report was very positive. As always there are areas to grow and improve, but overall I would have been happy to have finished after the exit interview’s opening line of “overall you’re a really good school!” Thank you to everyone who helped put our best foot forward in honestly sharing where we stand and where we hope to go in the future, especially Ms. Spracklan who is our IB/CIS/NEASC Coordinator who kept us on track and where we needed to be. We await the final report which will arrive in the next few weeks as it helps guide the self-study process over the next 12-18 months.
Second, students, staff and parents might have noticed if you pass by the main reception that the Head of School’s parking spot is often empty. That’s not because I’m never here, but because our family’s second car is … a bike! I love that my daughters and I live close enough to the school to commute on two wheels for health, environmental and financial reasons, except of course when we have to wait 10 minutes for the afternoon rain to pass. I realize that not all families will be comfortable with allowing their children to ride to school from the surrounding areas—or have children old enough yet to do so—but for those who are riding or considering riding, to enter and exit campus on a bicycle you must wear a helmet. Although it is not a requirement in Malaysian law quite yet, we ask that all students and staff buckle up to be safe (that could be said for cars too!). I will be honest that I sometimes forget to wear my helmet on short trips, but I will lead by example from here on out.
Third, the project Paint the Whole School is underway. We have wonderful facilities and we are grateful for them, but the last two years of recurring EMCO’s have made it almost impossible to patch, paint and maintain the building to the standard we hold for ourselves. Over the course of this school year, Mr. Steven and his Facilities Team have plans in place to paint the entire building from top to bottom and they have already begun on floor two in the car park. Our colours remain the same, with the exception of the bright green on Level 7 which will be replaced by the IGBIS silver (apologies to anyone who has Kermit Green as their favourite colour!). We are proud of the teaching, learning and overall programme at IGBIS and we want the campus to reflect that pride; it’s amazing what some paint and a few plants can do to make a space more pride inducing.
Finally, please see Mrs. Parratt’s section below about supporting our long-standing relationship with the Zomi Education Center this festive season. The holidays are a wonderful time to reflect and be grateful for what we have and if that gratitude leads you to ask what you can do to support others, then taking part in our drive to support the children at the ZEC might just be what you’re looking for. Although receiving gifts or buying ourselves something is fun, the happiness we feel is often fleeting, whereas doing something for others is more likely to lead to genuine happiness…and who doesn’t want to be happier?
Have a wonderful weekend,
By Simon Millward, Elementary School Principal
This week we have had some virtual visitors come to the school to start the accreditation process for CIS and NEASC. They have spoken to some of our students, had virtual visits to our classrooms both homeroom and single subject lessons, had meetings with parents across the school and had meetings with our teachers too. The process so far has been very positive from both the visitors perspective and ours. I am extremely proud of those people who met with our visitors, especially our students who spoke very well and represented the school as it is- according to the visitors. They will write a report, share it with us and then the process of self-reflection and action will begin in more detail.
This week we also had another ES assembly. There was a lot of great learning shared.
Some cool, groovy and funky things have been happening in design. The grade 4’s have been meeting some AR mythical creatures and exploring balance.
Our Grade 3 students were creating their own clothing designs based on nature.
And our Grade 1’s have been programming the Bee Bots to move and even choreographed a dance with their Bee Bot.
The Grade 2’s took us on a tour of their learning lounge that they have designed sharing their lego, marble run and train area. They were very proud of sharing how they are organising their learning spaces.
The Grade 5 Spanish class shared their learning as they have been exploring greetings and clothing.
Our Grade 1 and Grade 2 students in Chinese have been learning about directions and positional language. Which has been important for our Grade 1 students as they have been learning all about maps in the homeroom class.
Mr. McBride also celebrated the birthdays of students.
There is a lot to be thankful for and I am really enjoying the variety of learning at IGBIS.
If you want to learn more about assessment and reporting in the PYP you could attend Ms. Aga’s virtual parent workshop that will be happening next week on Wednesday 1st Dec 1pm – 2pm (This date has changed since the last newsletter). I hope lots of you will be able to attend the session.
By Sandy van Nooten, Secondary School Principal
We certainly know how to pack a lot into a week at school.
As mentioned by Jason, this week was our preparatory visit for our upcoming accreditation. We had 3 wonderful, knowledgeable and incredibly perceptive virtual visitors from CIS and NEASC.Huge thanks to Ruth Spracklan who got everyone organised and everything ready for this trailblazing visit. She is a rockstar.
This week, Magnus kicked off the transition process for Gr.10 students who will soon move from MYP to DP/CP. There will be many information sessions about the IB programs, the subjects we offer, opportunities to speak with past and present students, teachers, the University Counselor and (of course) Magnus Drechsler (DP/CP coordinator) and Adam Gagan (Assistant DP/CP coordinator). We will ask Gr.10s to fill in a preliminary subject selection form before the break to give us an idea of their plans and aspirations.
Our new look Student Ambassadors are calling for interested students to join this important leadership team. The lead ambassadors (Hani and Josh) have visited all homerooms to promote this opportunity. Applications close on Monday (29th Nov).
Our Secondary StuCo has been very busy. They have lots of plans for the last few weeks of the semester. They’ll start with a homeroom competition where students will go all-out decorating their HR door for Christmas. There’s also a Christmas card event where students are encouraged to write a note to fellow students (to be delivered by elves on the last school day). Finally, they are partnering with the ES house captains to create our ‘Christmas around the world’ Assembly for the last day of school.
The second round of e-sports is underway. Next cycle, we’ll shift from Mario Kart to Just Dance. During the last week of school we’ll run competitions to find the champions of each grade and finally the top e-athlete for the school. Thanks to Steven Harvey for organising everything.
This Saturday (27th Nov), a group of 16 students from Gr.7 to 11 are participating in UNIS Hanoi’s virtual MUN conference. The delegates will participate in councils such as Disarmament and International Security, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, UN Environment Assembly, Human Rights Council, and SDG 5 Council. We wish them luck as they discuss and debate on important current issues!
An update on lunch deliveries. As mentioned in a previous newsletter, with SOPs as they are, we cannot currently accept lunch deliveries for students from parents, drivers, grab etc. However, if your child forgets their lunch at home, please contact Usha via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 61454670 to arrange the delivery. She’ll either meet you at reception or she’ll make arrangements with security or reception to receive the lunch. We certainly don’t want anyone to go hungry.
There are only 15 school days left in this semester. Enjoy them. Time sure does fly.
Have a fabulous weekend.
By Aga Chojnacka, PYP Coordinator
From November 6-7, 2021, IGB International School in Malaysia hosted its first Community Conference, a not-for-profit community-sourced and EARCOS sponsored event that brought a variety of professional learning experiences to the school and to the global educator community.
The IGBIS Community Conference in numbers was quite the sight for life-long learners’ eyes:
The conference centred its learning engagements and dialogue around three main themes – inquiry, wellbeing and inclusion – with each theme represented by a selection of community-based nano-PD presenters and two great keynote speakers: Trevor MacKenzie and Andy Vasily.
Trevor MacKenzie opened the conference with an impassioned keynote on “Cultivating Curiosity, Belonging, Agency and Inquiry.” An experienced teacher, author, keynote speaker and inquiry consultant, Trevor challenged attendees to reflect on the characteristics of an inquiry classroom and an inquiry-driven educator. His session encouraged the teachers to take stock of what their key practices and teaching strategies currently do for their learners in terms of fostering belonging, curiosity and agency. His heartfelt storytelling, kind demeanour, and student-first philosophy got the participants positively charged for his follow up workshop on the features and culture of an inquiry classroom. Trevor’s inquiry practice-driven books are: Dive into Inquiry; Inquiry Mindset Elementary Edition; Inquiry Mindset Assessment Edition.
By Leanne Harvey,
Over the Deepavali holiday the weekend was flipped somewhat for IGBIS faculty and staff. Thursday and Friday were holiday days and Saturday and Sunday became work days. November 6 and 7 saw these people participate in the IGBIS Community Conference with a focus on Wellbeing, Inclusion and Inquiry .
One of the speakers, Andy Vasily, spoke extensively about ‘Growth Mindset’ and how to integrate this into our classes. Over the years at IGBIS we have worked with our students and teachers exploring the concept of ‘Growth Mindset’ based on the work and research of Psychologist Dr Carol Dweck. Dr Dweck places a strong emphasis on helping students to realise the power of ‘YET”. ‘I can’t do this…., I don’t know this….., This doesn’t work……..YET.
Professional development for staff focusing on concepts such as both of these are essential. Within the IB ATL (Approaches to Learning) skills framework all IB teachers teach and embed self management skills into their learning engagements. Self management skills encompass affective skills including ‘Managing States of Mind’ which ‘Growth Mindset’ and ‘The Power of YET’, are very much a part of.
Over the last few weeks, as Middle School Counsellor I have been working with groups of students to focus on revisiting: activating our Inner Coach and deflecting our Inner Critic. This content aligns very much with ‘Managing States of Mind’. We have had fun exploring these concepts and participating in some engaging learning activities that promote visible thinking, active discussion and positive interactions. Creating human graphs to show whether we have a louder Inner Coach or Inner Critic was interesting. These learning engagements have helped us become more self aware and we have been reminded again to identify when the negative voice is speaking to us. When we can identify the Inner Critic it becomes easier to deflect it and then encourage and activate our Inner Coach.
As well as working on this content with students I was fortunate to be able to facilitate a workshop with the Inclusion Aide group to develop their knowledge and understanding of Inner Coach and Inner Critic. It will be exciting to see this group of staff use what they learned both with the students they work with and in their own lives.
I am looking forward to building more on this work with students, staff and community members in the future.
If you would like to read more about Inner Coach and Inner Critic these simple articles are a good starting point.
By Kerri Chan
The holidays are approaching, which means that the planning for our annual Christmas Assembly has begun but we need your help. This year’s theme is “Christmas Around the World” so we would appreciate your contribution to this year’s assembly by sharing your culture’s Christmas traditions with us in the form of an entertaining video! Attached to this message is a poster containing information and a QR code, leading to the sign-ups. Make sure to sign-up by Wednesday, December 1st to ensure your tradition’s spot in this year’s assembly. Upon signing up, additional information will be sent out regarding video submissions and due dates. We hope you will consider helping out as a member of the IGBIS community! Thank you!
By Allison Parratt, CAS/Service Learning Coordinator
In 2010, around the same time when the National League for Democracy decided to boycott the Myanmar general election due to “unjust” electoral law, Pastor Daniel foresaw there would be a surge of refugees seeking asylum in Malaysia.
Despite the fact that the Malaysian government allows asylum seekers to settle down temporarily in Malaysia, refugee children are barred from accessing the public education system. Therefore, the Zomi Education Center Kota Damansara (ZEC) was officially established in March 2010.
One year after Pastor Daniel established the education centre, it was finally recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Education Unit and has been receiving protection ever since.
Zomi Education Center Kota Damansara is a non-profit organisation that aims to provide basic education to children in need. Despite the fact that ZEC has been established for more than 10 years, more help is needed from the public. The centre has classes in basic English, Burmese, Mathematics and Science. Most of the teachers who are currently teaching in the centre, work on a voluntary basis. However, the student to teacher proportion is greatly out of balance. To learn more about ZEC and how you can get involved to support their community, check out their FaceBook Page and their website. Also, please check out our article titled “Supporting the Zomi Education Centre Product Drive“ to learn more about how the IGBIS community will be supporting ZEC in December and how you can support it.
This December, the IGBIS community can choose to participate in our annual Food and Basic Necessities Drive or the Personalised Shoebox Gift Drive to support the Zomi Education Centre by contributing in the following ways.
Families can bring as much or as little of any of the items listed below. Necessities will need to be dropped off at a collection area at IGBIS. Collection Days are December 13-14, 2021. You will be notified of the drop-off location soon!
Families/Individuals can sponsor 1 (or more) of 81 children aged 0-15 by donating a shoebox of personalised items. As a sponsor, you will receive the name, gender, age and favourite colour of the child along with a shopping list including things such as personal care items, crafts, activities and a “wow” item (eg; toy). This information will be sent to you on December 1st. The financial commitment of this option is 90 – 120RM for each shoebox gift. It is essential that the overall cost to you is not over 120RM to ensure equity in shoebox values. It is essential that everything MUST fit in the shoebox.
!! IMPORTANT !! If you choose to be part of this initiative, thank you, thank you, thank you! To help us plan logistics and ensure we can maintain appropriate safety measures, please fill in this form below by Tuesday 30 November. Scan the QR code below or use the link to take you to the survey.
If you have any questions please contact our CAS/Service Learning Coordinator Allison Parratt at email@example.com.
Thank you in advance for your continued cooperation and consideration of participation in our drive.