IGBIS Newsletter | Issue 189

Dear IGBIS Parents and Guardians,

It has been another very exciting and successful year for IGB International School and planning is well underway for the new academic year. Our graduating classes can be proud of their achievements with excellent IB Diploma results, and we are confident that the current Grade 12 students will do just as well. Some of our students are enrolled for the IB Career-Related Certificate in partnership with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and others are undertaking the IGBIS High School Diploma. As the only school in Malaysia authorised for all four IB Programmes with international accreditation awarded by both the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, IGBIS is well placed to offer students academic excellence in a range of pathways that best suit their needs in school and beyond.

WIth the support of staff, parents and students, IGBIS again hosted several successful community and professional events such as the 24 Hour Race involving over 1,000 students parents and staff; IB regional workshops, the EdTechTeam KL Summit, Model United Nations, and the annual International Day which was combined with our ‘5 Year Anniversary’ celebration. The students were involved in a multitude of arts, sporting and cultural activities both within the school and in inter-school competitions. Beyond simply being involved, there have been many instances where students have planned and led initiatives in these areas. Student leadership and initiative across the school is a real strength of IGBIS.

It is now time to invite your children to return to IGB International School for the 2019-20 academic year. The Admissions Office will be sending you a link to the online re-enrolment process on our Open Apply system so that you may indicate your intention to return to IGBIS in 2019-20 and update family contact and medical details. This is very important to us as with many new students joining the school in August, we need accurate records for class lists, scheduling and resources and most of all, to ensure that our returning IGBIS students are given first priority. As our student population continues to grow we are once again looking at the possibility of opening additional classes to cater for expansion in 2019-20, alternatively student numbers may be capped in some grade levels. Hence it is doubly important for families to complete their re-enrolment.

IGBIS prides itself on the high quality of its teaching staff. The vast majority of our teachers have overseas qualifications and experience teaching outside of their own countries, in addition to accredited training and experience in the IB programmes. This quality comes at a significant cost which, with ongoing increments, is a large portion of our operating costs and coupled with the service tax, electricity increases and the need to offset currency fluctuations, impacts on the IGBIS operational budget.

The School Board has discussed the tuition and other fees at length and has now set the school fees for the 2019-20 school year. You will be pleased to hear that despite the increase in operating costs and the fee increases announced by our competitors, the IGBIS Board has decided to honour our 5 Year Anniversary and our parents commitment to the school by freezing our fees for one year. There will be no increase to tuition fees for 2019-20. We have also decided to continue discounts to the enrolment fee in all grades this year, to ease the financial burden experienced by families when enrolling their children.  

Ongoing Discounts that will continue in 2019-20:

  • Discount of five percent (5%) is applicable for advance payment of the full amount of the total annual tuition.
  • A sibling discount for families with two or more children attending IGBIS at the same time.
  • Significant discounts on the Enrolment Fee for new students or additional siblings who begin in 2019-20.

Loyalty Discount for all IGBIS Families

In recognition of families who are loyal to IGBIS long term, an additional discount has been offered from 2017-18 onwards:

  • Tuition discount of 3% after three years of full-time study at IGBIS
  • Tuition discount of 5% after five years of full-time study at IGBIS
  • Tuition discount of 7% after seven years of full time study at IGBIS

As you can see, the school very much appreciates the commitment and loyalty of its families, all that they have done and continue to do, to make IGBIS an outstanding learning environment for students. If you have any queries or would like to know more about the discounts, please contact our Admissions staff. In order to hold a place for the 2019-20 academic year, please ensure that the Open Apply re-enrolment link (which will arrive in your school email) is completed no later than May 8th, 2019.

I look forward to the successful completion of the current academic year and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuing support of the IGBIS community.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Anne Fowles|Head of School

Dear parents,

This week we welcomed back IGBIS Alum Miki Wong, who put on a workshop for some of our secondary students. She touched on the topic of skin whitening in Malaysia, through the medium of graphic design, her course of study in university. It is great to see what our graduates are up to and we plan to build more opportunities for stronger alumni connections in the future.

This week parents received a time for their Student Led Conference booking on Saturday. I hope everyone will enjoy the day in a celebration of the learning that has occurred this year. A favorite part of the day is the Teach-It! activities, where students teach their parents a new skill from their recent studies.

Looking into next week, on Monday 29th April in the afternoon we will host the opening of the Community Project Presentation, as the Grade 8 students have now completed their service work and project. On Tuesday 30th April in the morning we will host the Grade 5 students and parents for their transition meeting, as these students get ready to enter the secondary school. Also on Tuesday there will be a second showing of the student-led production “A Bunch of Tourists”. The production was a tremendous success and there has been a lot of interest to see it again. Parents are invited if they wish to attend.

Finally, we are looking forward to the Duathlon on Thursday 2nd May and the Staff Appreciation Lunch on Friday 3rd May.

Enjoy your weekend,

Michael Arcidiacono |Secondary School Principal

It has been a wonderful week for Exhibitions. This started early in the week when I visited the EY art exhibition located in the Level 2 exhibition space. Inspired by their assembly performance the EY students wanted to continue with sharing their learning. The art is a combination of pieces created as part of their ‘Sharing the Planet’ unit of inquiry in the classroom and the art class. It showcases the process of their learning as well as their final products. I encourage you to visit this exhibition during the student led conferences or whenever you are in school as it will be on show until the 3rd of May.

On Thursday and Friday the Grade 5 students shared their learning from their final Elementary school year independent project, IB PYP Exhibition. A huge amount of work has gone into this exhibition from a multitude of people in the community, students, parents, associate teachers, Elementary teachers, Secondary teachers and business and support staff. What has been particularly noteworthy is the amount of action that has taken place and is taking place as a result of their learning. Already I have met with two students who have presented some action that could positively impact the school community.

We have it in our mission statement ‘to provide an inclusive learning community, embracing diversity by offering a challenging IB education which empowers its members to be caring, global citizens’.

As I was walking around the IB PYP Exhibition I was struck by how much it embodied our mission statement, in front of me was a living breathing example of our students living our mission, and the most recent guidance from the IB, ‘learning for all students, regardless of their background or ability’. (IB From Principles into Practice: Learning Community, p4).

On Friday our students shared their learning with other IB PYP schools in Kuala Lumpur and the community within and beyond IGBIS as part of our Open Days. This was a great opportunity to celebrate the students journey and to highlight the wonderful learning opportunities that are on offer at IGB International School. Congratulations to the Grade 5 students: you have made your parents and us proud.

Finally, on Saturday we had our Student Led conferences, where all students in the school could share their learning journey with their parents and extended families. I have always found these days to be interactive, informative, and a great way to learn about how our children learn in school. This coincided with an Open Day too, so prospective families could see our learning pathways in action.

Dates for Your Diaries

  • 24th April – 3rd May: EY Art Exhibition L2 Exhibition Room
  • 30th April: Intelligent Lives movie showing: 7pm IGBIS Theatre (information sent by email)
  • 1st May: Labour Day holiday
  • 2nd May: Duathlon
  • 3rd May: Staff appreciation lunch: 12pm – 1.30pm
  • 3rd May: KL League swim meet: 12pm – 4.30pm
  • 6th May: Ramadan starts
  • 9th May: Kopitiam with the ES Principal

Simon Millward |Elementary School Principal

Dear Parents

By now you will have received an email about re-enrolment for next year.  We require this information to be completed by 8 May. For parents wishing to withdraw your child at the end of the current school year, it is important to remember that in order to receive a full refund of your deposit, you must submit a completed Withdrawal Form to the Admissions Office by 14 May. Copies of the Withdrawal Form can be collected from reception.

Wayne Demnar |Admissions Director

I’m writing to inform the community of some work I’ve undertaken recently regarding the Splash Page. It also provides a window into the kinds of decisions we make throughout the week.

A few weeks ago we experienced some difficulty keeping the original version of the Splash Page up and running, which was related to the internet outage we had. While I could have fixed it, it would have taken at least a few days and since the problem happened suddenly, I had to make an executive decision: Do I make it difficult for users for a few days and fix it, or do I make a temporary one now and work on that one instead?

This is a good example of the kind of problems that a computer scientist, or business manager, might have to make: given the available resources, which course of action will result in the least amount of interruption to services? In this case, an additional fact was the deciding factor: for the last few months I have been working on the next version of the Splash Page, which I have been gearing up to launch by the end of this academic year.

Working in an IB World School is fascinating because we talk about problem-solving in our curriculum all the time, and we also practice what we preach. The new Splash Page will have similar features of the original one, but will be built with more sustainable technology from Google, and can be updated more regularly. It will also work better on mobile phones.

So, because I knew that we were going to move to another version of the Splash Page in the near future, I decided to spend my energy doing that, instead of fixing the original one. That’s why today our Splash Page is part of our IGBIS website.

However, I also have the exciting news that we are currently looking hard at the latest creation. If you are interested in being a beta tester, do not hesitate to contact me at adam.morris@igbis.edu.my.

Adam Morris | IT Systems and English Teacher

“Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else.”

Sydney Gurewitz Clemens

It is at this time of year that we can become tired, and students can run the risk of having a creative wilt. With new units appearing (the last of the year) students are energised and excited for the last remaining classes.

In Early Years, students have been exploring a brand new unit where they are following their own creative journeys, focusing on self and how we can express ourselves in different ways. They are working out the feeling associated with creating, including what gives pleasure, what passions we have and how we can be proud of something. We are also beginning to present our work starting immediately with our own curated exhibition.

Grade 1 students are exploring the wonder of ‘illusion’ and how art can manipulate the way we see and understand something. Beginning with Op-Art, some students have even found that art can give you motion sickness!

Grade 2 students are also on a journey of exploration. Beginning with creating ideas for their own projects, questions are already being asked about how to transform some of these clear passions into something that can be investigated, explored and turned into artworks.  It’s not easy, but Grade 2 are showing perseverance and keeping an open mind.

Grade 3 students are finishing up their textiles designs and have explored multiple ways of working with patterns, fabric dye and batik. Their stunning designs can be viewed outside the Junior Art room.

In Grade 4, students are thinking about food. Sushi, milkshakes, strawberries, steak, hot dogs and frothy coffees are just some of the creations that are making up the sculpture unit ‘Miniature meals and massive mouthfuls’. Does changing scale and proportion affect how we interact with an artwork?

Finally, Grade 5 students have finished their comic books in time for their exhibition. This is the culmination of their sequential art unit in which they have looked at visual storytelling, resulting in a comic book that ties in to their PYPX Global Goal.

Exhibitions / Art Events Coming up

Please come to see our hard work, EY – Grade 4 at the student-led conferences in the junior art room. April 27th

  • April 24th to May 3rd – Early Years showcase, L2 Exhibition Room
  • May 17th to 27th – L2 Exhibition Room

Ms. Elli and Mr. Pendlebury |Elementary Art Teachers

At an Inclusive School like ours, taking action towards inclusion is a never-ending task. Throughout April, we have been reflecting and learning about Autism. Our parents, teachers and students have had opportunities to learn more about it, discuss and ask questions, and find ways of supporting these students with different needs.

We must always be searching for ways to inform our community and influence our practices. This in turn, leads to greater awareness and deeper understanding and acceptance of differences. Reflecting on long-held assumptions is the best way of removing stigma and fear.

On April 30th we will be challenging our ideas further, with a movie screening that looks at intellectual disabilities and whether IQ’s define our potential. A group of parents, committed to the ideal of inclusion, have sponsored the screening of this movie which we hope will challenge our ideas and lead to greater discussions of what inclusion can and should be. Please join us at 7pm for the screening as well as for a conversation and question/answer session about inclusion at IGBIS following the movie. We look forward to seeing you all on April 30th.

Lizzie Hudson |Elementary Learning Support Teacher

Staff Appreciation Day is coming up on Friday, 3 May 2019 and traditionally, a potluck lunch is organised by the parents for the teachers and staff. We are IGBIS parents Suzana Tan and Preeti Raghunath and we have offered to help in organising this year’s lunch.

If you would like to participate by contributing food or beverages please inform either one of us or your class/grade representative of your contribution. It can be a savoury, vegetarian or dessert item, or even hot or cold beverages. Please make sure foods are nut- and pork-free. Label beef/chicken/lamb accordingly and prepare enough to serve approximately 6-8 people. Plates, cups, mugs and cutlery will be provided by the school. (For your reference, there are about 150 staff members in total, including kitchen, security and cleaning staff.)

All contributions should be dropped off on the 3rd of May at Level 5 Reception from 7:30-8:15am or from 11:00-11:30am. It is important that all items are delivered before 11:30am, as the lunch will be served at 12:00pm sharp to cater to our our male Muslim staff who attend Friday prayers.

Food and beverages will not be reheated or refrigerated, so please arrange the drop off accordingly. The class representatives will help decorate the staff lounge, collect, serve and clean up on this day.

Thank you in advance for your kind attention.

Last Friday, Grade 3 students were introduced to school camping by participating in the Grade 3 Sleepover. It was an activity-filled day at District 21, followed by a return to school to have dinner, get cleaned up and watch the movie, Madagascar. After the movie we all went to sleep in the Level 6 multi-purpose room. In the morning, we had breakfast at school and our parents picked us up at 8am.

District 21 was very exciting and included activities like the Tubby Ride, the Free Fall, trampolines and slides. These were all very popular.

Here is what the children thought:

“I enjoyed the Free Fall because it was fun and cool at District 21.”


“We were risk-takers at District 21 because we did things that looked really scary.”


“I liked the maze in District 21 because it was complicated.” (Deena) “…and it was cool.”


“Breakfast at school was really cool because it was the weekend, and the muffins were really yummy.”


“I really enjoyed the free fall. It was so exciting.”


“District 21 was like Mission Impossible.”


“Before we went to sleep, everybody watched Madagascar. It was fun watching an animal adventure movie. Next morning we had to pack up. It was really sad.”


Over the weekend from 18 April – 20 April, a total of 12 students went to Penang in order to attend the Penang Regional Round of the World Scholar’s Cup (WSC). This was to give our students their first experience of how the tournament will look like. The WSC is an activity in which a total of four different events are conducted. This includes the scholars challenge, which is an individual 120 questions quiz; a scholars bowl, which is a team quiz within a team; team debating; and collaborative writing, where students are asked to write three essays in a given time frame. The theme every year surrounding WSC constantly changes to give students more exposure to a range of knowledge areas, but the six topics are always science, special area, literature, arts and music, social studies and history. The theme this year is A World On The Margins, which describes the impact of different ethnic groups.

While many of the participants were very nervous and had concerns on whether or not we would be able to succeed, we were able to produce great results as we collected a total of 66 medals and two trophies and all the teams achieved high enough scores to proceed to the WSC Global Round. We were very proud as a collective group as, despite suffering setbacks in terms of planning which resulted in delayed preparation times, we were still able to succeed overall and I was very happy with the results. Moving forward however, we need to focus more on preparing for the Global Round where we have another opportunity to learn and be exposed to stronger competition. The Global Rounds are held in many cities around the world and we are planning to make our way to Sydney, Australia, in August, where we will meet other schools from across the globe.

Hong Lim |Grade 11

Last week, a group of students (Aasiyah, Abi, Isabelle and Maia) from Grade 9 visited the Yayasan Chow Kit Foundation (YCK) in order to pass on the money they had raised during a Sports Day bake sale. The students managed to raise RM1000+ and the funds will go to YCK to help them with their groceries.

YCK is a 24-hour crisis and drop-in centre providing meals, activities, therapy, case management, ​and educational programmes for at-risk children of Chow Kit. Abi has worked with YCK for her Community Project previously in order to raise awareness about abused and neglected children. She also worked with them to bring the children to IGBIS for them to interact with IGBIS students for service day. We are very excited to bring the YCK children to IGBIS again this year.

Isabelle Montiero |Grade 9

We are excited to share in Grade 12 student Mathilda Khoo’s filmmaking success. Mathilda is well known around school as a very talented, award-winning filmmaker, and she has recently won another award for a film she entered in the Across Asia Youth Film Festival (AAYFF). Mathilda’s short film, Time, won the award for Best Experimental Film. This year the AAYFF competition had 244 entries from 71 schools in 12 countries. The award ceremony was held at International School Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam. Congratulations Mathilda!