IGBIS Newsletter | Issue 179

Dear IGBIS Parents and Community Members,

While I was staying at IGB’s St Giles Hotel in London, I was able to meet up with two of our alumni: Miki Wong (class of 2016), who is studying at Goldsmiths, University of London and Dickson Chong (class of 2017), who is studying at University College London. Both students are doing very well in their studies. Miki has just submitted her dissertation and showed me a copy of it – part of the requirement was to use innovative art and design techniques in the presentation of the dissertation. I was really impressed! Miki only has a few months to finish her degree which included a stint as an intern working for Vogue magazine. Dickson came straight from a group meeting where students were preparing their pitch for a proposal, again very impressive. Our best wishes to Miki, Dickson and all of our other ex-IGBIS students for semester two of their studies.

Our Chinese New Year assembly was again a fabulous event full of wonderful performances and an opportunity to learn more about the cultures in our school. It was especially interesting to hear about all of the different countries that celebrate the new year or Spring Festival at this time.

To everyone who is celebrating Chinese New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Have a wonderful holiday ahead.

Mrs Anne Fowles | Head of School

Dear parents,

We had a wonderful Sports Day this past Tuesday, and what stands out for me was the wonderful leadership of our senior students throughout the day. Through the house chants to the events, our oldest students set an excellent example for our school community through their participation and interactions with others. My thanks to the PHE department and the Grade 10 House Leaders for their planning and leadership. Congratulations to Terra for their victory!

We are looking forward to our Learning Expo on February 12th and our Parent-Student Teacher Conferences on February 13th and 14th. Please see the emails that have been sent out with more details and how to book your Conferences. Two of our Grade 9 students came to our Kopitiam this week to share their Innovation project. They did a wonderful job in presenting how they have created their App. Well done!

As well, we will conduct our annual ISA testing on February 11th and 12th.

It was a pleasure to see our entire community together for the Chinese New Year Assembly. It was full of wonderful performances and a lot of fun to watch. I wish everyone a restful and enjoyable break.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Arcidiacono | Secondary School Principal

We had a great start to this week as we saw the Elementary School come together for the Grade 2 to 5 sports day. It was wonderful to see the Fireflies, Early Years, Kindergarten and Grade 1 students join the ‘create your house chant challenge’.

As the sports day progressed I was truly impressed with the camaraderie of the students as they ran, jumped and threw together. Competing but caring for each other, the whole atmosphere was relaxed, fun and when it needed to be, competitive. A big thank you to Mr. Lovesey and the PE department for the organisation of the day and also to the teachers that melted in the hot sun as they walked around with their classes supporting and organising the students at each event.

Friday also saw the culmination of weeks of preparation for the Chinese New Year assembly. It was a fantastic atmosphere and the performances were fitting for such an occasion. Thank you to all those involved in preparing performance pieces and especially the Chinese department for bringing their ideas to fruition.

I hope you have a safe and relaxing Chinese New Year holiday and we look forward to seeing you back on the 11th February.

Dates for your diaries

  • Monday 11th and Tuesday 12 February: ISA tests for Grades 3 to 10
  • Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th February: Parent Teacher conferences
  • Monday 18th to Wednesday 20th February: Grade 4 Camp
  • Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd February: Grade 5 Camp

Simon Millward | Elementary School Principal

Dear IGBIS Community,

We’ve reached the second semester of our school year and with that opened doors to new ventures, initiatives and projects. The PYP never rests, however, some months are definitely busier than others and the next three to four months will be particularly exciting.

Come February, students who enjoy tinkering, making and creating will have an opportunity to participate in Inventors Challenge – a global project IGBIS runs in collaboration with Imagination Foundation. Children will use the design process to create and prototype solutions to problems in their local community. We will celebrate our young inventors with a special Inventor’s Challenge Festival in early April.

Also in February, Grade 4 and 5 students will work on their independence, responsibility and self-management, while engaging in their Camps – children will trek, explore the outdoors and foster new team-building skills. Grade 5 student’s return from Camp will mark the opening of another exercise in student agency, the PYP Exhibition. Grade 5 learners will choose and explore a real-life issue or opportunity over six weeks of student-driven unit of inquiry. Children will develop their inquiry by collaborating on the central idea, lines of inquiry and questions, research and design possible solutions and engage in authentic Action (that impacts them directly or their community). In their final PYPX Sharing and Celebrating Learning showcases, on April 25th and 26th, children will demonstrate to the school community and teacher and student guests from other schools their understanding and application of: the Learner Profile, concepts, skills and knowledge. These are but a few things that will be happening during those Semester 2 months. You can also look out for more information on the upcoming variety of sports fixtures, school musicals and performances and student council events coming up, so stay tuned to IGBIS Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the school website.

Aga Chojnacka | Primary Years Programme Coordinator

Sports days for elementary and secondary students were both held this week. All of the students tried their hardest throughout the day and it was great to see so many students being risk takers and trying new events. It was also amazing to see how caring students were to one another, not just to those in their house but to all students involved. Students were encouraging, cheering and supporting each other all day long.

After a competitive two days, Terra walked away as the dominant house winning both the elementary and secondary sports days. This was a fantastic achievement taking them to 1st place in the house competition.

A big thank you must go to all staff who took part supporting students and running events, especially the PE team who worked tirelessly over two days.

I hope the students had a great time. We are so lucky as a school to have so many keen and enthusiastic athletes.

Sean Lovesey | PE Teacher

Everyone who has selected to participate in this year’s event via last week’s survey should have received an email from me addressed to everyone who had selected the same country. If you would like to participate in organising a booth, please e-mail julie.arcidiacono@igbis.edu.my and I will put you in touch with fellow parents and staff members. At the moment, we have parents and staff from the following countries interested in having a booth during International Day:

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Myanmar
  • New Zealand
  • Poland
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • UK
  • Venezuela
  • Global Citizens

International Day will be on Saturday, 16 March 2019 from 9:00am to 12:00 noon. At 9:00am, we will assemble at the field to photograph the Number 5. At 9:30am, we will move to the Sports Hall where a performance will celebrate the opening of the event. There will also be items available for purchase from external vendors, including ‘jumping time’ at bouncy castles on Level 6.

The school will provide at least one rectangular table (6×2 ft) and two chairs for each country booth. Other furnishings will be available at a first-requested, first-served basis.

All country booths should aim to:

  • Display typical or colourful decorations,
  • Prepare at least 500 units of food samplers/tasters.

Even better if the country booth is also able to:

  • Have activities to entertain children (and possibly adults too!),
  • Organise a performance to present on the stage, either outsourced, solo or presented as a group.

The Sports Hall will be available for set-up on Friday, 15 March from 12:00 noon until 4:00pm, and then on the day of the event, Saturday, 16 March from 8:00am onwards.

There will be an International Day meeting after the CNY break where I will clarify any questions and share a draft layout of the Sports Hall. Each group will need to assign a country representative and have this person attend the meeting or confirm with me before 15 February that your country would like to have a booth during International Day.

International Day meeting

  • Friday, 15 February 2019
  • 8:00am – 9:00am
  • PVO Room, Level 2

Looking forward to hearing about all the exciting developments!

Julie Arcidiacono | Community & Events Coordinator

IGBIS Events


  • Tuesday, February 19, 3pm – 6pm in Room 7-21/23

The PSAT/NMSQT is tightly aligned with the redesigned SAT and provides educators and students with the chance to check in on student progress. The exams will support all students with a clear focus on the skills and knowledge that matter most for college and career success. Scores from the PSAT/NMSQT are used by several organisations to identify candidates for their awards or recognition programmes if they plan to complete higher education in the USA. Students who take the SAT or the PSAT/NMSQT can opt in to Student Search Services, making their names and information available to scholarship programmes as well as colleges.

It will cost each student MYR90 to sit the test. Specific details regarding timing are being considered and will be shared soon.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at bill.mitchell@igbis.edu.my

Grade 11 Parent Information Session: University Admissions

  • Thursday, March 7, 10am – 12pm in the PVO Room

An Information Session with the College Counsellor to discuss the process and procedures as they relate to the major countries that our IGBIS students apply to. We tentatively have agreement from EducationUSA, British Council and AusTrade to be available to answer questions. If you haven’t already, please use this link to RSVP to let me know if you can attend.

Upcoming University visits

EduCanada ASEAN School Visit Tour Winter 2019

  • Wednesday, February 20, 9.15am – 10.00am in the 6th Floor Learning Lounge and DP Lounge

20 Universities from Canada and representatives from the Canadian High Commission will be present to allow you to explore all that Canada has to offer, and answer questions about student visas and the automatic three year work visa after study is completed.

Click here for a link to university information.

University of Arizona, Wells College, Columbia College (Chicago) USA

  • Monday, February 25, 12.50pm – 1.30pm in the 6th Floor Learning Lounge

Art & Design Roadshow

  • Wednesday, February 27, 9.30am – 10.30am in the 6th Floor Learning Lounge

A good mix of universities that will benefit the students’ choice of application strongly in the areas of Animation, Architecture, Fashion, Film, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Media and Journalism, Music, Photography, and Performing Arts.

Parents and students are strongly encouraged to attend!!

IGBIS Events

IGBIS Career Exploration Morning

  • Friday February 22, 2019, from 7:45am to 10:00am.

Calling all parents!  Would you like to inspire our secondary students regarding their future career aspirations? Do you have an acquaintance that would fit the bill? I am looking for people to spend about 20 minutes sharing their career stories with our students.

You would be free to use the 20 minutes with the students in a way which you believe would help students gain insight and inspiration into your profession or career. However, a suggested agenda for the sessions might include:

  • 2-3 minutes to introduce yourself and share what inspired you to work in your field.
  • 5-7 minutes talking about ‘a day in the life’. Perhaps share a video clip, some photos of your work environment, give an example of a problem you have had to solve recently, share why you are passionate about what you do.
  • 3-4 minutes talking about the pathway that led you to be where you are today. What qualifications did you gain? Where and what did you study? What strengths or character traits are important to be successful? What other jobs have you had through your life.
  • 5-10 minutes for a Q&A and discussion led by students. Students will be prepared with questions they could ask.

Please let me know if you are interested in participating so that I can share further details: bill.mitchell@igbis.edu.my

Follow the secondary calendar or see the College Counselling Events calendar for future visits and events.  

Kuala Lumpur Events

Preparation Programme for the SAT

Mont Kiara International School (MKIS) from 1st to 5th April, 2019

MKIS is graciously hosting Testtakers’ SAT preparation programme over the April break. This programme will cover all aspects of the SAT for students sitting the May 2019 test. Students from other schools are welcome to attend this programme.

Testtakers was selected based upon their ability to provide a quality programme at a special price. Testtakers Managing Director Jeremy Craig is a Columbia University graduate who has worked with thousands of international school students and has been teaching SAT preparation for nearly 25 years. The programme includes 22 hours of classroom time, three computer-scored diagnostic tests, our Study Buddy flashcard box, and the College Board’s Official SAT Study Guide. The fee is S$600, which covers all course materials and instruction. Testtakers runs ongoing programmes with many schools in the region including the Stamford American International School, Garden International School, Anglo-Chinese (Independent), UWCSEA, Tanglin Trust School, Overseas Family School, and the Jerudong International School (Brunei).

The focus of the programme is to learn and apply new innovative test taking techniques rather than tedious practice and rote memorisation.

If you would like to register for this SAT prep course, please click the link below to complete the online registration. Payment can be by credit card via PayPal or wire transfer. Note: there are no extra charges for payment via PayPal and you do not need an account. If you have any questions about the programme, please email Testtakers at: info@testtakers-sg.com.


If you would like to register for this SAT prep course, please click the link below to complete the online registration. Payment can be by credit card via PayPal or wire transfer. Note: there are no extra charges for payment via PayPal and you do not need an account. If you have any questions about the programme, please email Testtakers at: info@testtakers-sg.com.

Note there will be a 10% early booking discount for payment before January 31st.

University Advising

EducationUSA advisers provide comprehensive U.S. university advising every Tuesday and Thursday. Register Here

Bill Mitchell | Grades 9-12 School Counsellor

What an amazing weekend for the students and staff who attended the ISTA Middle School Festival, “Spirit World” last weekend in Chiang Mai, home of Prem Tinsulanonda International School, the Traidhos Three Generation Community for Learning, and Artist Residency Thailand.

At this festival we explored mythologies, magical realism, ghosts and animist traditions, using the environment and its spirits as a source for devising theatre.

Nine international schools from seven countries participated in the festival: the American International School Chennai in India; Beijing City International School in China; Canadian International School in Hong Kong; Dubai American Academy in UAE; Dulwich International School Beijing in China; IGB International School in Malaysia; NIST International school in Thailand; Nishimachi International School in Japan; and Windhoek International School in Namibia. The teaching staff from all of the participating schools all commented on what a successful festival it was and what great artists, both local and international, the students were able to work with.

New friendships were forged and new skills were developed in a range of workshops and the ensembles developed performances reflective of the festival title. It was simply amazing to see the work they produced in such a short period of time.

The international artists, Rebecca Bell, Edna Lau, Chris Salisbury and Francois Zanini, brought their own original styles and experiences as ensemble leaders to the festival and shared many new ways of developing theatre with the students. The local artists Khun Nat, Movement in Muay Thai, Khun Preaw, storytelling through Thai dance, and a Claire Gordon, mask workshop, added distinctive local flavour to the event and delivered inspiring workshops.

Ms. Hadewych Dujardin | Secondary School Music Teacher

During the December break, I went on a journey to Nepal and the Himalayas to climb to Everest Base Camp. Over the three weeks of the trek I experienced many aspects of the local culture, the natural landscape, and the local people. I traveled from the capital, Kathmandu, to the main airport/landing strip for the Himalayas (Lukla), and began a two week climb to Everest Base Camp and back.

The Himalayan Ice Region.

The journey involved challenging aspects that rendered it excruciatingly tiresome throughout the entire journey. This meant that I had to endure continuous exhausting pain for 15 days, due to the environmental challenges I faced. Firstly, the process of ascending the valley involved venturing into thinner air. While the daily hiking increased my fitness, I didn’t feel the benefits of that increase in fitness because the air got thinner and thinner as we continued. On the descent the oxygen levels increased, therefore making the hike easier from a fitness perspective, however my joints and muscles were so fatigued that it was equally difficult, if not more. Perhaps the most emotionally draining aspect of the journey was the cold environment. It was difficult to rest sufficiently and comfortably each night, due to the fact that the temperatures would often range from -15°C to -30°C.

In addition to Everest Base Camp, we had planned to attempt the Island Peak, however the sherpa guides suggested that it would be better if I did not attempt it. My father attempted the Island Peak, but failed to summit. Sherpa guides explained that December’s cold weather was a large reason why climbing was so difficult.

From an environmental perspective, the environment was generally clean. However, in certain areas such as the settlements, there was quite a bit of pollution, but it was not as bad as it was in Kathmandu. While there are native populations that live their entire lives within the Himalayan region, at this time of year Everest Base Camp itself is deserted. Attempting to climb Everest at this time of year would be impossible, more than likely resulting in death.

Overall, it was an extremely difficult and challenging journey, but I learnt a lot from the 15 day climb and overall 3 week journey, such as appreciating nature, as well as learning to interact with the local people and culture.

Gabriel | Grade 11