By Jason McBride, Head of School
Hello IGBIS Community,
The teaching staff has been talking about how fantastic it has been these last few weeks to have the vast majority of our students in class, face to face. Although the team has done a remarkable job pivoting in and out of teaching online for nearly two years, there is no question that to bring an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning alive, there is no substitute for being at school, in person. We are social animals and our ability to discuss, debate and create—the things that make us human—are far better in the three dimensional world rather than a two dimensional Google breakout room.
We know that many of our families and some of our staff are traveling over the December break to see family and friends, perhaps for the first time in a long time, so we will continue to be flexible the week of January 10 for those who are still in quarantine and need access to online learning. However, as of January 17, online learning will no longer be an option unless a family is outside the country because they are unable to enter Malaysia or are out for COVID-related reasons (eg. following a close contact, etc.). Students who are unwell and cannot come to school should absolutely stay home and rest; we do not expect them to be online. But for students who are healthy and figure they will just log in from home as a choice, that will no longer be an option so get dressed and come on in so we can make the most of the time we have together!
Wishing you all well as we head into the final week before the break.
By Simon Millward, Elementary School Principal
This week our students have been thinking about what it means to be an inclusive school- during our inclusive schools week. They have been sharing their thoughts on the display boards on arrival at both level 1 and level 2 turnstiles. I smiled this week when the KG students said that ‘inclusion is….laughing together’, they were more serious when they said we are ‘caring and kind’ in our actions towards each other.
I had the opportunity to read the book ‘What makes us unique’ written by Dr Jillian Roberts and it was heartening to get some replies to my Loom video from the grade 5 students. Here is a selection of their responses below.
Grace“Everyone should be treated kindly and nicely to others cause that’s how you would want to be treated. even though you might be from a different country that means you should still show respect to them”.
Hann“I like the video. It’s ok to have differences, people, family and home”.
Yewon:“I learned a lot about what makes us different! I learned that our jobs, how we look, our personalities, and our family makes us different. I also learned that we should respect others even if they are different”.
Siwoo“Wow! There are a lot of things to think, about what is differences in people!”.
Just reading these responses makes me feel proud to be a part of the IGBIS community, the students really show how caring, open-minded and reflective they are and this can only be good for the world at large.
On a completely different note, I always enjoy dropping into classes. What is wonderful when I am walking around the school is that I don’t have to go very far to see the learning that is fun happening. Today on my way to my office I passed Grade 3 and they were having a great time as they were making Play-Doh. I did ask what they were going to be using it for and they were not able to reveal that to me today. I am really intrigued and can’t wait to find out how they use it. Watch this space!
By Sandy van Nooten
After another big week of assessments, today’s shenanigans during AMP were a welcome pressure release. Our lovely StuCo ran a Homeroom Christmas Door decorating competition. The session was brilliant. There was joy and laughter, creativity and humour and a beautiful togetherness that quite literally brought tears to my eyes. Some happy snaps below… and a little bit of hallway dancing here 🙂
Just 5 school days left. Don’t forget we have a full-school Christmas assembly on Friday, 17th (from 2 pm). More details to follow.
Have a fabulous weekend.
By Leanne Harvey
Middle School Counsellor/Secondary School Learning Support Teacher
This week IGBIS has celebrated Inclusive Schools week for the fifth consecutive year. Inclusive Schools week is a time when we stop to reflect and celebrate the fact that we are an Inclusive School. The fact that we are an Inclusive School is something we want to shout loudly and proudly about. IGBIS has set its future direction based on five ‘pillars’; inclusion, innovation, wellbeing, international mindedness and empowerment. Identifying Inclusion as one of it’s ‘pillars’ elevates this concept significantly and indicates just how important it is within our whole community.
IGBIS is an Inclusive school. We stand here with you. You are safe here! We are inclusive of; all spoken languages, all abilities and disabilities, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations, all races and ethnicities, all gender identities and all religions.
According to the IB ”Inclusion is an ongoing process that aims to increase access and engagement in learning for all students by identifying and removing barriers”.
As we come to the end of Inclusive Schools week it is wonderful to reflect on what we have shared, discussed and actively engaged in as a community. In the lead up to Inclusive Schools week (to help set the scene and ensure students had the necessary prior knowledge) students viewed and discussed a number of Pixar Shorts exploring the important concepts of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
This week our Leadership Team and members of The Student Services Team shared stories or facilitated discussion across the school, focused on different aspects of Inclusion. Sharing these resources with you provides another fantastic opportunity for you to view and continue the rich discussions with your children at home.
As well as shared stories and discussions, students and staff have contributed thoughts and ideas on sharing boards around the school. These boards have discussion starters and questions to ponder and think deeply about.
The contributions from all involved was inspiring. This week has really amplified the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion and we are thankful to all of those who engaged, shared, reflected and celebrated with us.
They say a picture paints a thousand words….My word count is well and truly up but I will leave you with some inspiring thoughts and images from the week.
The exhibition will take place until 16 December. If you’re visiting Mid Valley this weekend, do visit our visual arts exhibition in The Gardens Club, Gardens Mall, Mid Valley, KL. The gallery will be open from 10 am until 6 pm. This exhibition showcases the artworks of our PYP, MYP, DP & CP students. See you there!