IGBIS Newsletter, Issue 226

Mrs Anne Fowles, Head of School

Dear IGBIS Families,

I hope the week has gone well and you are now in somewhat of a routine at home. The continuation of the MCO has meant we can not go out and do the things that we are used to doing, but at least we are all safe and healthy at home. Our teachers are in a similar situation and also juggling their teaching commitments with their home lives and anxiety about their relatives and friends in their own countries. I overheard someone saying in one of my husband’s classes, that this is probably the first time in the history of mankind that no matter where we are in the world, we are united by one thing as we individually and collectively do our part to beat COVID-19. Even if it is by keeping ourselves healthy at home.

I would like to thank the many people in our community who contributed to our food drive this week to help the Zomi Education Centre. Some people were extremely generous and even drove directly to ZEC so that there was no delay in helping the families there. Thanks are also extended to our school driver who ensured that our donations reached the centre yesterday (Friday, April 17).

With the health and economic impact of COVID-19 in Malaysia and globally, the school is very pleased that we have been able to help our families through this year with the fee freeze which in comparison to our competitors has effectively given a 4-6% decrease on fees throughout the 2019-20 school year. 

The School Board has discussed the tuition and other fees for 2020-21 at length and would like to again help our families during the time ahead. This will be shared in the next few days along with the call for re-enrolment.

Dr Michael Arcidiacono, Secondary School Principal

Dear parents and guardians,

As students progress through secondary school they become increasingly skilled in evaluation, one of our key Approaches to Learning skills. Eventually, this leads into university where they may conduct academic research and assess the strengths and limitations of particular situations, arguments, or hypotheses. In some ways, it feels like we are living through a giant research experiment right now, as schools, teachers, students and parents manage a significant shift from our normal model of education.

With this shift comes strengths and limitations.  There is, therefore, a wonderful opportunity for us to evaluate this change in a variety of ways. Our surveys of students and parents on the topic of student well-being is one way, and I am thankful to our students and parents who took the time this week to provide feedback. I have also been evaluating in other ways and in this week’s newsletter, I would like to share a few of the strengths I have found in these past few weeks of Distance Learning.

One strength is the ability to visit the virtual lessons of multiple classes, almost simultaneously. Without the burden of physical travel, I can enter a PHE lesson and participate in a workout, switch to a Psychology lesson and hear a student presentation, and then attend a lesson in English Language Acquisition where students are participating in a quiz as part of reviewing content. In the virtual environment, these visits take place seamlessly and quickly, whereas before I would have been traipsing around the school for a part of the day to attend all these lessons. This immediate access is a real strength and an opportunity that we can develop further.

Another strength has been the opportunity to foster connection in our community. This week we held a parent focus group with some of our Class Parents on the topic of student well-being, and I am very grateful to those parents who attended and provided feedback. Prior to the meeting, our secondary leadership team held a call with the Student Council executives, to discuss the same topic and hear their input. The use of group video calls in the virtual environment has also been a strength, an opportunity for everyone in the community to up-skill themselves on this technology, and also a chance for us to connect immediately with colleagues, students and parents. This week we also hosted a call with numerous members of the graduating class of 2019, and it was a real treat to see and hear them, listen to their experiences in the first year of university, and provide an opportunity for them to connect with each other. Whereas before a meeting participant may not have been able to attend for a particular reason, physical distance is no longer an issue, and we have the opportunity to connect. 

These are a few examples and there are certainly more, as we now have the opportunity to think differently about our model of education and put our skills of evaluation to good use.

Enjoy your weekend!

Marvin Chong, on behalf of SPAC

We can’t leave our house and make friends. Can we still make friends? Yes, we can, with the help of social media platforms.

We can’t leave our house and go to a restaurant. Can we still eat meals provided from outside? Yes, we can, with the help of food transportation services.

We can’t leave our house and go to school. Can we still do homework? Very fortunately, yes, we can, with the help of Google educational services.

We can’t leave our house and perform. Can we still perform? YES, WE, CAN! With the help of SPAC, and the launch of Interwebs Got Talent!

On behalf of the Secondary Performing Arts Committee (SPAC), I would like to first thank the musicians and performers who have taken risks to develop their inner-performing artistry over the years in IGBIS. We would not have been able to make it this far if it was not for the tight-knit community.

SPAC is meant to propel the performing arts of the school forward, and that will stay true until the end of time; no obstacle too large, and no task too small.

But with the recent events of the epidemic, limitations are now placed on the community… But that does not mean we stop performing! That only means that we are performing in our own comfortable spaces. Thus, SPAC decided to put forward an online platform for performing arts, and so, Interwebs Got Talent was born.

We were genuinely pleased with how the community responded. It is very difficult to get people to perform when you cannot convince them to join a friendly face-to-face conversation. However, in just a few days after launch, we have already received enough videos that could already create a rhapsodic recess! 

To the rest of the community still reading this far, never forget why you did performing-arts in the first place (and we all have because we are IB learners), and never let anything stand in the way between you and your inner-performing artistry.

If you would like to submit a video and have not already, you can see the full details in our ManageBac post. 

Best wishes, and stay safe.

Heidi Robinson, Grade 5

Thank you to everyone who participated with Meatless Monday this week. Here are some photos of delicious vegetarian / plant-based meals that you have shared with me. You can also view the shared photo album and upload more photos here

Please continue to support my PYPX action by not eating meat on Mondays April 13th, 20th, and 27th. If you need more information, please see my video or email me at heidi.robinson027@igbis.edu.my if you have any questions.

Julie Arcidiacono, Community Support and Services Coordinator

Celebration of our diversity

The many parents, staff members and students who have diligently worked in preparation for International Day 2020 might have remembered that the big day had been rescheduled to Saturday, 18 April. International Day is our annual celebration of IGBIS’ wide cultural diversity. The event has historically offered opportunities for students, parents and staff to broaden their horizons and learn more about their peers’ cultures, food and language. 

In honour of what would have been our school’s 6th International Day, we invite you to share a little bit about your culture with the rest of the community. On 18 April, look out for an IGBIS social media post on International Day and leave your comment with anything related to culture or diversity – a selfie of you dressed in your country’s outfit, a photo of a hometown destination, a favourite family recipe, an excerpt of a book or a quote to help others with their homesickness…. the possibilities are endless, as all of us are truly global citizens of the world.