Hello IGBIS Community,
So good to have a full week of school behind us to get into the swing of things and start building routines again. So much energy, enthusiasm and hope at the beginning of a new school year, especially when we are face-to-face! It was wonderful to host 75 parents at our first coffee morning this past Wednesday, the presentation for which you can view HERE or via video that you can watch HERE (7 minutes). In both formats, we invite all parents to get involved as volunteers and help support the school community through a variety of roles. The different opportunities range from class parents and language liaisons to social committees and special events; there is something for everyone. A link to the signup form can be accessed via the presentation above or by clicking HERE. You are needed so please get involved if you can!
After the strong start, we are glad that the vast majority of our school is healthy with less than a handful of students out due to COVID (get better soon if you are away). A reminder that if a student does test positive, log it in to your My Sejahtara and email us at email@example.com to alert our COVID response team as soon as possible. The members of that team include me as the Head of School, the two Principals, our Nurse, the Head of Student Services and the Head of Marketing and Communications.
To put names to those faces if you have not met some of those people yet, please see below where we share two important staff lists so you can see who is who on the academic and operations sides of the school. The most recent information regarding close contacts (April) and testing protocols (May) are included below to keep everyone up to date.
It has been great having a full week back at school. There has been a lot happening as we establish our routines and procedures with our students. Many of the children have enjoyed starting the day either playing in the level 1 playground or on the field.
I have been fortunate enough to spend time with our youngest learners (Fireflies and Early Years) this week, and I can safely say they had a lot of fun, especially during messy play as they were exploring water and bubbles.
I managed to drop into Grade 5 as well and they were busy collaborating and thinking about the IB Learner Profile. All around there has been great learning happening and I am looking forward to seeing this develop as the year progresses.
I enjoyed meeting parents at the coffee morning on Wednesday and I also look forward to meeting many of you next week when we hold our Back to School (meet the teacher) afternoon on Thursday 25th August. You will have received an email and Toddle announcement about the ‘Back to school’ afternoon already.
Sandy van Nooten
A smooth start – We have just finished our eighth school day. That’s once through our 7-day schedule and a repeat of Day 1. I hope that all our new students, new teachers AND all our Grade 6 students are starting to find their feet. It is a busy place and things can seem a bit overwhelming when you first arrive.
No more split lunches in secondary – Starting on Monday (22nd Aug) all secondary students will have lunch during the first half of the lunch break. Gr.6 to 10 will be in the Cafeteria, Gr.11 and 12 in the Cafe. Any student who would prefer to eat their lunch outside in the covered area is welcome to do so. Here is the updated table that shows students where they can be before school, during break, lunch and after school.
Back to School Afternoon (BTSA) – A reminder that all secondary parents are invited to come in and meet your child’s teachers on Wed 24th Aug (from 1:30 to 4:15). We are running 10 minute classes with 5 minutes to transition to the next classroom. It will involve a lot of people moving around between levels 2, 3, 6, & 7 so wear comfortable shoes. Here is a link to the BTSA schedule. Secondary students will join their parents to help you navigate from class to class. No need to RSVP to us, but please let your secondary child know if you are coming so that they can join you in the Theatre and guide you from there.
Here’s a message from Mr. Craig Wilson who is our new CAS, Service and Athletics Director.
Let Service Learning Begin! – The Grade 11 students were introduced to their CAS (Creativity, Activity, and Service) and SL (Service Learning) programs on Friday. CAS and SL are a core component to the DP and CP Programs. The first activity was focused on understanding the definition of just what service learning is. Small groups came up with some excellent examples which can be seen below.
Gr.9 & 10 Credits – Ms. Amanda Lopez (our HS Social & Emotional and University counselor) met with Gr.9 and 10 students today to talk about credits, graduation progress and transcripts. The slide deck was sent to Gr.9 and 10 parents via email today. Ask your Gr.9 or 10 student about the meeting. It was a lot of information and they asked some excellent questions. We will arrange a session for parents soon.
Now that we can have parents back in the school, we are working on a schedule of workshops for parents, including CAS, Service, ManageBac, Assessment in Secondary, University Counselor meetings, Introduction to the MYP, Class trips and more. Please let me know if you have an idea or a need for a future workshop through the link in Mr. McBride’s note up top.
It was fantastic to see so many parents at the morning coffee on Wednesday. Thank you for coming in, we are really looking forward to working with you this year.
Hope you have a great weekend
Ms Maheen Habib, Subject Leader (Mathematics)
All MYP/DP/CP students are required to have a calculator for their Maths class. MYP students are required to have a scientific calculator, and DP/CP students are required to have a graphics display calculator. If you are interested in ordering a calculator through the school as a bulk order, please see the calculator order letters below. Calculator orders and payments are due by Friday August 26th.
Goh Wei Fung, Grade 12
Last Tuesday, the IGBIS Eco Club kicked off the year with a recycling training session led by the environmental protection branch of Tzu Chi Foundation, a non-government organisation from Taiwan whose mission is “practising environmental protection to live in harmony with Mother Earth”. The training firstly consisted of educating the students on current environmental issues in both international and local contexts. It also stressed the importance of making an eco-friendly individual decisions in order to collectively protect the environment.
The highlight of the training was a practical activity carried out by the students where they had to physically sort out bags of mixed everyday items into the respective recycling bins. This taught them about the recyclability of various materials and how to properly separate them when recycling. The students were shocked by the surprisingly numerous ways materials needed to be divided and realised how limited education and awareness was about proper recycling.
By the end of the day, the participants left the training session with a renewed sense of motivation to carry on developing the scope of the Eco Club this year.
Leanne Harvey, Middle School Counsellor
“This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change”. (Taylor Swift)
As a school, transitions or changes are something we spend a lot of time focusing on at the start of the year. As parents, you will also notice that the start of the year is about helping your young people with the many changes that are happening around them. Our counseling team at IGBIS has also been placing an emphasis on supporting students in transition. The time we spend supporting transitions and providing strategies to help students and parents understand the changes that are happening in their lives is valuable. The quality time spent doing this results in a more connected, successful, calm and inclusive community.
We are so fortunate to have a wonderful student body who are supportive, inclusive and accommodating. Because of this, our 50+ new students across the school have all transitioned very smoothly. Comments from both teachers and parents are a strong indicator of this.
The secondary counseling team (Ms Leanne and Ms Amanda) have connected with new students at break times and in classes. Today they organized a special Donut Social (Donut fear being new) for new students to come together and debrief their experience of being new at IGBIS. This was definitely a fun way to welcome and support our new friends.
In Elementary, Mr. John is seeing the new students and checking in with their teachers and will continue to check in on them to make sure they feel comfortable and are fitting in.
We are looking forward to continuing the year in the amazingly positive way that it has begun. Have a wonderful weekend and know that the counselling team is available to both students and parents.