By Simon Millward, Elementary School Principal
Sometimes I wonder where the week goes, there is always something great to watch in school and I love it, even more, when I get invited into a class. This week the Grade 3’s were sharing their personal inquiries, some of which they shared at the recent assembly.
As I was watching the presentations I was struck with how much thought and research had gone into their personal inquiries under the transdisciplinary theme ‘where we are in place and time.’ The big idea the students were inquiring into was “How we learn from the past and present can help us in the future”.
Engaging in these learning experiences early helps students as they progress through the school which culminates in the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition. As a first experience presenting in front of an audience I was impressed with their risk-taking, they spoke with loud voices. It is not easy to speak in front of your peers and they did very well. I know the teachers will have taken note of how they can assist the students further with their presentation skills, especially maintaining eye contact with the audience. This was such a valuable experience and I hope the students felt proud of their learning and sharing.
Take 3: At last, I can now share with you some images from the Grade 5 MiniX: interactive diorama learning engagement.
Here we can see the grade 3 students exploring and interacting with the dioramas. I am now looking forward to seeing the Grade 5’s creativity as they share their learning from the PYP Exhibition in late April.
Workshop Wednesday: 9th March: 10 am
Literacy workshop #2: Literacy around us: Re-Engaging Your Children in a Constantly Changing World.
By Sandy van Nooten, Secondary School Principal
Congratulations to Magnus and Adam Gagan, for arranging and running the mock exams. Students will start to get their graded exams back soon. Hopefully, this experience will help focus everyone’s efforts for learning, re-learning, and revising through the home stretch.
Our StuCo and House Captains are running our first live face-to-face assembly for ages. I can’t wait! Unfortunately, we can’t invite parents yet but we’ll take photos and some videos to share next week.
We’re almost halfway through the 9-week marathon between our LNY and April breaks. I’ve had the pleasure of getting into a number of classes this week. Your kids are fantastic.
At lunchtime today, I asked if teachers had any photos of teaching and learning to share with you all. Within minutes, I received dozens of examples of kids and teachers doing great stuff. Here are just some of the happy snaps from around the building this week.
From Laura Hernandez – A role-play in Spanish. It was the unit of “Clothing and Fashion”. They were in a Spanish shop buying clothes, accessories and shoes among other things. They all took different roles and used the vocabulary and the grammatical structures that they have been learning in class for the past few weeks. They had a lot of fun and gave each other constructive feedback after the role-plays. Tim Howe also took part in our lesson!
From MJ: Grade 8 Design students have been making creative cushions. Here are some photos of that journey.
From Steven Harvey – Grade 8 students analysing design in existing products (as part of a unit involving innovation and adaptation). Gr.7 students making clocks.
From Hector Vargas – Grade 11 Spanish students Preparing ‘chocolate santafereño’ in the student kitchen.
From Magnus Drechsler – Grade 12 Group IV day. Analysing the crime scene
From Rasyid Amin – Grade 11 Malay Literature HL and SL were introduced to classical poetry through music.
From Maheen Habib – Clay pots made during Innovation yesterday.
Grade 12s re-enacting the crime in front of a Grade 7 audience.
Grade 9s analysing the impact on COVID-19 to different stakeholders in Malaysia.
Tuning in to the Statement of Inquiry and Key and related concepts on Grade 8 Design.
Grade 10 – Debating in AMP.
Sharing info about home countries.
And here are some kids jumping in puddles… just because they were there 🙂
Have a great weekend (don’t forget RTKs on Sunday)
The Power of Play for Older Students.
By Leanne Harvey, Middles School Counselor – Secondary School Learning Support Teacher
As an experienced and passionate Early Years educator I have always believed that play is fundamental in the development and education of young children. While I know and believe this is important for our smallest learners, as my professional journey has taken me into middle and high school I have come to realize just how important it is for older students as well. Research and experience have shown us that play is essential for children and young people of all ages. Let’s not stop there, play is also proven to have significant benefits for the mental and physical wellbeing of adults.
Right now, as our oldest students conclude their ‘mock exams’ I have had the opportunity to stop and reflect once again on the importance of play for everyone. According to mental health professional Heather Hayes, play is particularly important for adolescents as their brains are still developing right through until their mid 20’s.
There are a number of different types of play. The two types of play that I have enjoyed helping to facilitate and provoke over the last few months with the secondary school students are social play and independent play.
This involves young people playing with peers or with adults. They may, for example, kick a ball around casually, create formal or informal competitions between themselves or form bands, make their own music or put together dance groups. In the MYP learning lounge, we have seen students playing board games and other interactive games as well as constructing and solving jigsaw puzzles together.
When young people play alone they may, for example, write or tell stories, enjoy crosswords or other puzzles or construct things using tools and materials. While video gaming has at times been criticized, in moderation it has its value and is a source of play for teens. Completing sudoku puzzles, playing with Rubix cubes and rising to the challenge of mini cube brain teaser puzzles are all examples of play that has been observed recently.
Through play, young adults develop intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically. Researcher Hilary G. Conklin says that play, ‘fosters creative thinking, problem-solving, independence and perseverance’. I personally am committed to the philosophy of play as a means of building community. These photographs are wonderful evidence that our IGBIS students are growing, learning, connecting and developing every day through play.
As a family, one of our favourite past times is playing board games together. I encourage you to try and build more play into the lives of every member of your family. My challenge to you is to go out (or stay in) and play. Any photos of your family at play would be very much appreciated! You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can further celebrate the power of play in our community.
Have a wonderful weekend!