By Simon Millward, Elementary School Principal
There has been a hive of activity this week especially in Grade 5 where the students were sharing their learning from their digital citizenship and safety online unit of inquiry. The students researched and then devised different ways to share their learning. These could have been a part of a Kahoot quiz or animation and slideshow presentation.
I was particularly pleased with the thought-provoking content and the way that the students confidently shared their work with the community within the school including parents. The way the students learned through the unit and then worked in small groups to create their content is very much modelled on the PYP Exhibition which will take place later in the year. The MiniX format is great scaffolding for the students as they can analyse what worked well, what they would like to improve and also whether they would like to share their learning in other ways.
I now look forward to seeing the students in action and following their own advice as they navigate the online world safely and responsibly.
This week I was fortunate enough to be approached by a grade 3 student (Sophelia) who was seeking approval to continue her ‘book making’ club which she had started during distance learning, in one lunchtime in the rotation.
We talked about her vision, the plans of the group and whether she had considered who would supervise the group of students. She spoke knowledgeably, confidently and had planned for our meeting very well. The decision was an easy one, yes of course we could support this initiative.
I am looking forward to later in the year when I may be able to report back as to what books the students have created.
I am hoping that this is the first of many examples that I can share of our learners taking action themselves and showing leadership.
Thank you to all the parents that attended Ms Aga’s assessment and reporting workshop this week. The recording and slides are now available for you to view via the Toddle family app.
By Sandy van Nooten, Secondary School Principal
Only 10 more school days. Crazy huh!
This week was a mammoth week of assessments for our students. We are really trying to spread things out but we definitely need to get better. Hopefully, after this week, students will be able to look up and see the light at the end of the tunnel and start getting excited about the holiday.
On Wednesday, Leanne Harvey spent time with the Gr.6 class focusing on ‘Random Acts of Kindness’. The results were very touching. Some students wrote to friends or teachers to thank them or to let them know how much they mean to them. Some messages were posted via email, some delivered by hand. Students also wrote positive messages to post around the school. The Gr.6s engaged and joined in with characteristic gusto :).
There is a lovely collaboration happening between Gr.11 Chemistry and Visual Arts. The Chemistry students are creating paints and glazes for the Visual Arts students. They will explain how the colours work (chemically speaking) and the Art students will show how they are used to create art and how the paints and glazes are applied on a canvas or a pot. Here are some photos from the first few lessons.
In Spanish class this week, students were roleplaying medical health scenarios as doctors and patients (all in Spanish, of course). Ms Hernandez somehow managed to involve all students regardless of whether they were face-to-face or online.
A note about exams from Mr Drechsler (DP/CP Coordinator). Our G11 students have just completed one of their first milestones in their DP/CP journey, the end of G11 semester 1 exams. The week was filled with nerves, excitement and perhaps some last-minute revision. It was great to see the student’s organisational and self-management skills, as well as their high level of responsibility.
To keep up the wellbeing through this period, we provided an exam chill zone that students can use before their exam to be in a calm and quiet space and possibly take their mind off the exams for a couple of minutes by colouring in some mandalas. There were optional wellbeing sessions like yoga, art, free play in the sports hall to recharge their batteries.
You have great kids and we are always grateful that you entrust them to us.
Have a fabulous weekend.
By Stacey Short, Head of Student Services
Prior to returning to work and school, around the world, there have been many articles published and discussions about how we can prepare ourselves to be with people again. As we settle back in to face to face work and school, and I check in with colleagues around the world, another discussion is emerging about how personality traits influence our coping.
An article, published online in verywellmind.com, entitled How Different Personality Types May Adapt to Life After COVID-19 says that depending on your personality type, you may have been eager to jump back into school/work in person, or you might have been dreading the transition. Research has found that personality traits can play a role in overall mental health and people’s ability to cope with stressful or traumatic events. A study published in the journal American Psychologist found that people high in extroversion were also the least likely to comply with some restrictions (such as home quarantine) during the pandemic. One study found that some people who were more introverted actually thrived during lockdown because of reduced commute times, more time with immediate family, and increased online communication. Recommendations on How to cope? = Practice Self-Care, Lean On Your Coping Skills, Find a Balance, Talk to Other People, Practice Mindfulness and Go Slow. Please follow the link above for more detailed information.
Edutopia (a great resource!) recently published an article focused on social-emotional learning entitled “Helping Students Reacclimate to Being With Others All Day”. This article acknowledges that we all may need some reacclimating in order to get comfortable being with other people again. The article explores creating activities to activitate attachment. “Compassion for others draws upon brain networks for empathy, and when these networks are activated, we develop the nervous system states that cultivate kindness—and kindness is the most therapeutic practice for transformational change.” Recommendations: The article includes suggested activities such as board games, sharing worries and celebrations, partner work and group work. Please follow the link above for more detailed information.
A research article in the Frontiers in Psychology Journal entitled: The Influence of Personality, Resilience, and Alexithymia on Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic surveyed individuals to gather data about coping. Their research results showed that individuals who had a better emotional response during the lockdown were characterized by high emotional stability and high resilience. They noted that younger people were more concerned about the implications for the future of the pandemic. Students were more affected by the negative effects of lockdown including life changes, such as daily interactions, place of residence, and social life. Stronger resilience abilities were noted to help individuals to recover in less restricted (recover) phases from the stress accumulated during lockdown/quarantine/stricter restrictions.
Recommendations: Focus on enhancing individuals’ coping strategies to alleviate stress in emergencies. Long-term interventions aimed at alleviating anxiety and depressive symptoms should focus on alexithymic tendencies and personality constructs. Please follow the link above for more detailed information.
One additional article, published by the CDC, entitled COVID-19 pandemic: Helping young children and parents transition back to school – includes tips and a podcast.
In conclusion, as we learn more about personality traits and health outcomes (wellness and coping) it is important to remember we can all learn more about strategies for coping and prioritizing self-care.
Leanne Harvey, Middle School Counsellor
The topic of Third Culture Kids in transition is of particular interest to me, having used this as the study for my Masters Thesis. David C Pollock, one of the most significant researchers in this field, suggested that in order to enter well, we have to leave well. He recommends building a transition RAFT as a helpful strategy. While we are not actually building a boat, RAFT is an acronym for Reconciliation, Affirmation, Farewell and Think Destination. When we follow these steps it is as if we ARE building a ‘life raft’ for success.
Reconciliation is just that: reconciling with people, making the relationships right. Just because you leave a place doesn’t mean the problem goes away. It doesn’t – instead, it goes with you. Research has been done on health-related issues due to unforgiveness. If there are bridges to build, build them before you go.
Is there anyone you are super thankful for? Anyone who has helped you greatly while living in KL or while attending IGBIS? Tell them. Let them know how much you appreciate them and what they did for you, for your kids, for your family. If this is difficult, write a letter to tell them – it does not matter how, but just tell them. You have the opportunity to make someone feel appreciated – and you’ll feel great that you did it.
This is the not so fun part; saying goodbye. You immediately think of all the people you want to say goodbye to. Don’t forget to say “Farewell” to places and things as well. This may sound strange, but it really helps to bring closure. This one is important for kids as well. Plan these “events” on a calendar so you get them in.
It’s just that – think about the next place. How will it be different from where you are now? How will it be the same? Go through this dialogue with your kids as well. It will help them in the process. Use the internet and read about the new place and the exciting adventures that await. Check it out on Google Maps. Reminder: It’s okay to feel excited about the new destination as you say goodbye to all the old things. It’s normal.
These times of transition are difficult for me too. Not because I am leaving but as a faculty member who has been at the school from the very start, it always feels like I am being left behind. Adults need to remember that we need to help manage this transition time for those who are staying behind. For me, to say farewell and good luck to those who are leaving I try to build parts of my RAFT too. Some of the things I do for those who are leaving are: write a special note or email, share special photos, give a special memento or gift and make sure I have contact details.
Whether you are a parent, or a student, someone who is leaving or someone who is being left behind please know that the counselling department is here should you have any questions or need assistance or support with issues around transition.
I would like to say have fun building your RAFT but I know that it is not ‘fun’ so I will say make this time special and cherish every moment of the time you still have with friends and teachers. This is an important time.
Mr John the ES counsellor and myself (Ms Leanne the MS counsellor) will be holding an online session for parents on Tuesday, Dec 7th at 10 am. While the session is going to focus on managing transitions and building our RAFT, we are aiming for a broader audience than just those parents with students who are leaving. We are here to support the leavers and those who are staying. We hope that we can provide guidance to the whole community and offer support at all points in the transition cycle.
Workshop Link | Date: Tuesday, December 7th 2021 | Time: 10 am
By Usa Chankasem, Learning Resources Coordinator
Christmas is only 3 weeks away!
Visit our lively library and check out the lovely Christmas celebration books to read with your friends and family.
We are very lucky to have a large selection of library books and we encourage students to borrow the books to read for pleasure. Enjoy reading!
By Ruth Spracklan, Athletics Director
HOUSE captains brought you the challenge of Now waste November. Well done to those who took part, and THANK YOU for doing your bit for the community!
1st place: TERRA
Joint 2nd place: AQUA and IGNIS
3rd place: AER
Below are a couple of snaps of some of our students collecting rubbish and recycling in their local areas, keep up the good work!
We’re excited to announce our Visual Arts Exhibition at The Gardens Club, Level 5, The Gardens Mall from 5th – 16th December.
Join us and be part of this 12-day special occasion to witness artworks from our talented students from 10am – 6pm daily.
We look forward to seeing you. Don’t forget to bring your friends and family along! Safety measures are thoroughly applied to ensure a safe environment for all attendees.