IGBIS Newsletter, Issue 241

Mrs Anne Fowles, Head of School

Dear IGBIS Community

It has certainly been quite a week! Thank you, everyone, for your support of the school and each other. Everyone has been very caring of our colleague, who is doing fine at present. She and her elderly mother are at Sungai Buloh hospital, as are her two children. It has been really nice to receive messages from people asking how I am doing and other staff have reported the same. It’s at times like these that a good community becomes even stronger.

The deep cleaning and sanitisation of the school were completed yesterday but we are suggesting that staff either take a break or work from home over the coming week of the school holidays, apart from those in essential services who are coming into school on rotation.

A huge thank you to all of our teachers and students who have done a fantastic job of distance learning again this week. Fingers crossed that it is not too long until normal school resumes. This of course will depend on an announcement from the government. We will update you by email and SMS when we know more.

In the meantime, please all remember to continue with the other SMS of social distance, masks and sanitisation.  Stay safe and healthy …and smiling.

Sandy van Nooten

We have just finished our 11th week of school and our first week and a half online.

I’m amazed by how well everyone has adapted to this crazy situation. This stuff is hard. Being online isn’t anyone’s first choice. We miss the personal contact, we miss our 3 dimensional friends and colleagues, we miss the buzz and the hustle, we miss the routine and our resources. We often don’t move very far in the school day yet we feel wrung-out and exhausted. Our eyes are sore, our brains are fried, our backs are bent… we worry about our effectiveness, our relationships, and our wellbeing. Despite all this, I’ve had the pleasure of dropping into a number of classes this week and I’ve witnessed some outstanding teaching and learning happening despite all the barriers and difficulties. There are a variety of approaches, a range of interactions, different apps and tech being used, sometimes the Internet cooperates, sometimes it doesn’t… but universally, I see students responding thoughtfully, helping each other out, and I see teachers who are caring and encouraging to all of their students. We’re all living outside our comfort zones at the moment, stretching ourselves, having some wins and some losses in the process. I think all of us are oscillating between the euphoria of ‘nailing’ a class or a meeting to despairing when nothing went as planned.

This photo below is a screenshot of a Gr.9 I&S class I went to today. The students were debating some big questions including:

  1. What would life and human relations be like in the absence of government?
  2. Do people know “right” from “wrong”? Explain.
  3. Are people naturally cruel, greedy, and selfish (Hobbes) or are people basically reasonable and moral (Locke)? Explain.)

while using GoogleMeet and a site called ‘parlayideas’ (which gives feedback on participation, collaboration and some other aspects of the debate). Amazing huh!

Yesterday afternoon I sent different surveys to teachers, students and parents. 

Here’s some summary info (from the student survey)

Written responses have made for some interesting reading and will feed into what we do next. Very few people love this situation, but there were lots of positive comments about how we’re managing as well as suggestions for how we can get better.

With the daily schedule, if we continue online, most people want shorter classes, more regular breaks, some sort of flex time (for getting help from teachers, working collaboratively etc) and some time out of chairs, moving and getting some exercise. This, of course, is also backed up by research and best practices. We’ll communicate any changes we make if the MCO is extended.

It has been quite a week. I’ve had belly laughs in some classes, goosebumps in others. Be proud of your kids, yourselves and our awesome team of teachers. We set incredible standards for ourselves and those around us. Right now, let’s take a moment to consider what we’re all living through, and marvel at the collective creativity, perseverance, and humanity on display.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Please stay safe.


Rob Pendlebury, Art Subject Leader

The Grade 10 Visual arts students studied the Abstract expressionist movement of the 1940s and 1950s. They learned about gestural brush-strokes and a variety of mark-making techniques. Students then took a stimulus personal to them and attempted to push their creative boundaries. 

Ms Azilah, School Nurse

A Clean Hand Is a Caring Hand

People begin to look for ways on how to avoid getting sick especially with COVID-19 that has been globally affecting the world. COVID-19 spreads via contact and droplets transmission and this means all of us could be potential spreaders of bacteria and virus(es).

Good handwashing technique helps prevent common illnesses so it is our responsibility as a community to work together hand in hand to keep our children safe and healthy.

Common illnesses such as diarrhoea, eye infections, respiratory infections, cold and flu can be avoided by good hand washing techniques, however, the main reason why good hygiene handwashing practises are crucial to mainly break the cycle of germs from spreading out to other people particularly those who have weaker immune systems due to medications, diseases or conditions that could cause serious complications.

When should we wash our hands?

  • Wash hands before and after eating 
  • Wash hands and feet once you return home from school, a hospital visit, the playground or any public place.
  • Make it a practice to wash hands thoroughly after petting an animal.
  • It is very important to wash your hands after using the toilet.
  • Wash hands frequently during an outbreak of an illness in the family or at school.

Hand Washing VS Hand Sanitizer

Soap and water has been proven to be a more effective way to clean hands according to WHO following the step by step hand washing technique for at least 40-60 seconds if covered with oil or dirt, or anytime they feel dirty. The CDC recommends that you must rub your hands with hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available for 40-60 seconds also to allow hands to dry after usage. 

Let’s all be responsible and caring towards our community by keeping ourselves reminded of the little things we can all do that will give a huge impact to stop the spread of pathogens and bugs thus keeping us all safe and well.

Don’t forget to wear masks outside and keep at least 1m distance from one another. 

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Nurse Azilah.

Having first aid knowledge helps increase survival rates and decrease complications?

Test your first aid knowledge here: https://cpr-test.org/first-aid-practice-tests/basic-first-aid-test/

Marc Koster, Head of English Department/TOK

Hi there IGBIS community!

It’s a pleasure to be writing the first ‘English Matters’ newsletter article for you. Each month or so we’ll try to bring you news about what’s happening in the various year levels through the secondary school as well interesting bits and pieces about our wonderfully, frustratingly rich and rewarding English language.

‘English Matters’ in Secondary

For parents and friends of grade 10 students doing “Language and Literature”- did you know the students have just started a new unit called ‘Poetry Classics’? It’s a unit that builds on further developing the literary analysis skills picked up in grade 9 and in the early first semester this year. 

These skills are essential in helping students complete their Wider Reading Assignments and of course, the tasks undertaken through the unit.

We’ll be taking a journey through time- looking at poetry from modern times right back to the late 1300s when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his great work, ‘The Canterbury Tales’. While the emphasis will be on reading and thinking analytically, there’s plenty of material there to ignite the imagination and students’ sense of enjoyment.

‘English Matters’ Quirky Link

Wanting a good laugh, and a jolly good read at the same time? We highly recommend you visit the “Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest” a celebration of awfully bad, punny and not so punny writing. Go ahead, take a look here-


‘English Matters’ Monthly Quote

“Please speak English, I enjoy to speak English, it’s simple… and ugly!” (The Dauphin of France to King Henry just before the battle at Agincourt. A classic case of ‘famous last words’, really!) 

On that note, we take our leave and bid you ‘adieu’…

IGBIS Marketing Team

Have you had the chance to meet with our new Head of Student Services?  Well, we have and it was a delight! We have recently published an article about Ms Stacey on our website and if you have not had the chance to read it yet, you can do so by clicking here: https://igbis.edu.my/blog/2020/10/20/201020-stacey-short/

We hope you have fun reading about her as it was for us when we spent some time interviewing her.

IGBIS Marketing Team

Last Saturday, since our physical Open Day had to be cancelled due to the CMCO announcement, we did not want to waste the opportunity to still showcase our school to those who are interested to know more about IGBIS. Our PYP Coordinator, Ms Aga Chojnacka went live on our Facebook page and did a virtual tour by bringing our viewers around the campus to show the school’s facilities and highlighting the IB Curriculum.

Along the way, she also took some time to address some questions that were brought up by the viewers. Some of our IGBIS Parents also attended the session and helped Ms Aga answer some questions in the chat group. As many as 52 viewers came online to watch the session and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all IGBIS Parents who attended to give support and help us address some questions by other visitors. Without all of you, our IGBIS Community will not be as awesome as it is!

If you have missed the session and would like to watch the recorded video, you can do so here: https://web.facebook.com/watch/?v=1356750374656788

Until next time!