By Jason McBride, Head of School
Hello IGBIS Community,
It is an interesting time in Malaysia in terms of COVID because while on one hand we see positive cases skyrocket to the 30,000-cases-a-day level, on the other hand we have quarantine restrictions, close contact isolation periods and other SOP’s relaxing. This mixed messaging is making it difficult to plan second half of the year events because we feel so close to being able to pull the whole community back together again, reuniting around special events and forming or restarting friendships and social connections amongst our wider school community, and yet there is still a distance to go to let this happen. We had been hoping to use International Day—currently scheduled for mid-March—as a catalyst to reunite our community, but with cases so high and the Ministry of Education giving no indication that it is going to change its SOP’s any time soon, that date seems unlikely to happen with a face-to-face event.
The International Day parent and staff volunteers recently met to talk about whether we should aim at an online event or wait until later and the answer was a combination of the two. We are going to look at developing a series of activities in-school and that families can do at home in the weeks ahead so that we can discuss, debate and dive into what it means to be internationally minded, a global citizen, inclusive, etc., while also aiming at an event in late May that would focus on the “Five F’s” of food, fashion, flags, festivals and fun should the COVID situation allow us to reunite on campus. I love it when “either/or” thinking turns into “and/with”.
Finally, while it is good that the omicron variant is a more mild form for most people that do contract it—to those affected we wish you a speedy recovery—please do remember that every positive case is also a chance for another variant to form so we should all continue to be vigilant with masks, social distancing and as always, washing those hands. A big thank you to Nurse Azilah who has been carrying an enormous load helping our community to take care of themselves and follow the appropriate protocols, we would be lost without her.
By Simon Millward, ES Principal
Last Friday I was asked to help out with a grade 4 swimming class. I was interested to see that the students were engaged in a movement composition unit rather than just a traditional stroke development lesson. The students had been working on creating a ‘swimnastics’ routine where they were combining gymnastics creative movements (using rotation and balance) with swimming (strokes, floating, duck dives and rolls and turns). I was viewing the final compositions and offering advice as they were putting their final touches on their creations. I was looking for smooth transitions, use of space, the swim elements and hardest of all synchronisation.
Here are some images from these final compositions.
Last week I shared with you some images from our Grade 5’s who were creating their dioramas, these were in progress. However this week they invited groups to come and view their final interactive creations whilst they were engaged in their single subject lessons, so that our grade levels bubbles could be retained and to ensure we are following the SOP’s.
During our Elementary assembly we had some great items that were shared. On Tuesday in the Elementary school we celebrated ‘Two’sday’ 22/2/22 with a whole variety of learning engagements around 2’s. Here are some of the images from that day.
The grade 2’s shared their latest inquiries around forces. They started with the problem.
The students then set about creating their hypothesis and testing it. As you can imagine there were many different ideas. I am sharing just one here.
It was also great to see how our Bahasa Malaysia class has been integrating with the Grade 4 How we Organise ourselves unit on trade.
The children sure looked like they were enjoying the game and learning valuable language that they can be using.
By Aga Chojnacka, PYP Coordinator
Dear IGBIS Community,
For a number of years now, IGBIS has been embedding elements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in our projects, activities, curriculum and student action.
For example, the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition is driven by our learners’ inquiries and actions to meet SDGs, and many of our MYP learners’ personal and community projects highlight those goals and their importance too.
Through our values of innovation, inclusion, international-mindedness, empowerment and wellbeing we feel drawn to what the SDGs represent and strive for as a global movement.
This is why we would like to encourage our parent community to look into everyday ways of thinking about, logging and making a conscious effort to make a difference and have a positive impact on our local and global communities.
UN ACT NOW campaign was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2018, with a call from Sir David Attenborough in conjunction with the award-winning “People’s Seat” initiative. One of the most impactful projects has been the AWorld App that guides people and helps us live more sustainably.
Mr Simon, Mr McBride and I have been testing it this past week and would like to encourage our community to download it and learn more about sustainability in our everyday lives as well as make our community’s commitment to EARTH-FRIENDLY daily choices visible.
Igniting Minds – Impacting Lives.
Together we can make a difference.
Yours in courage, curiosity and learning.
By Steven Harvey, Design Teacher
“eSports, short for electronic sports, is a form of competition using video games. eSports often takes the form of organised, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players, individually or as teams.” (Wikipedia)
At IGBIS, eSports provides students with an opportunity to participate in a safe, supportive and structured competition while developing positive gaming behaviours and digital wellbeing. Our chosen games are age appropriate and do not include violent content. The games are played on a Nintendo Switch and include: Mario Kart 8, Rocket League, Just Dance 2022 and Super Smash Bros. Joining an organised and structured esports team or league is not about playing more video games, in fact, it often leads to a better understanding of balanced gaming. It is very different to playing at home alone or online.
There are 4 overarching values that are our eSport Pillars and they are in place to ensure that everyone involved enjoys a positive and safe experience. These values are paramount to promoting and establishing positive gaming habits for younger gamers.
Integrity is a foundational value that is important in many aspects of life. Players must develop personal integrity and self-respect. This means not using any negative self-talk when things don’t go to plan. They must also show respect for their opponents, their school and the rules of the competition at all times.
Strength – It’s totally normal to be upset and disappointed when things don’t go to plan. We get it. However, how we handle that disappointment is really important and can help us develop strength of character and resilience. It is therefore important that all players deal with their disappointment positively during all training and competitive situations.
Inclusion – Gaming is for absolutely everybody and can be used as a tool to bring people together. By being open and including everybody, players learn how to conduct themselves and how to interact positively with other players, particularly during game play. All players acknowledge each other and wish one another “Good Luck” at the beginning of a game, which is then repeated at the end of the game with “Good Game”.
Teamwork – Encouraging your teammates and showing team spirit and pride adds to the atmosphere of any event. Learning to be an effective and encouraging team member is another vital life skill.
For now, eSports is being conducted as a lunchtime activity in the Secondary school, four lunch breaks a cycle, and an After School Activity in the Elementary school for Grade 5 students. This will change when SOPs are relaxed to include other grades. Eventually, we would like to develop a team that competes in local and international tournaments, but for now students are in training for House competitions.
By Adam Gagan and Matthew Marshall
‘Was it morally right for President Truman to drop the atomic bomb?’ This is the question that Grade 10 debated this week. It was part of their current I&S unit, ‘Governments and Ideologies’. The focus of this is to analyse how the ideologies of nations influenced how they fought the Second World War. An extension of this is to identify to what extent this global conflict influences national identities today.
Grade 10 AG and MM performed very well in their respective debates. The research was excellent, students accessing a variety of academic sources, and the discussions were both polite and reasoned. The students chose the side they wished to argue for and it was great to see several who wanted to act as judges too. In both cases, they identified the team who were able to use the evidence more effectively. For 10AG, the ‘morally right’ team was successful (Nadia Husain, Zara Akkbar, Tlaloc Llujan, Zara Rowe and Zi Yu Lim). For 10MM, the ‘morally right’ team were also winners (Mehran Rahman, Sylvie Choong, Jia Yu Sam and Julian Lee).
Finally, this was only a practise debate. On 28 February, the two Grade 10 classes will compete against each other for a slightly revised debate question, ‘Was it right for President Truman to drop the atomic bomb?’ This will allow for strategic, political, economic, military and moral arguments too. Two students from each class will be judges but Mr Sondhi has kindly volunteered to be the lead judge, owing to his history background. Both I&S teachers are greatly looking forward to how each team approaches one of the most controversial decisions in twentieth-century history.