IGBIS Newsletter, Issue 244

Mrs Anne Fowles

Dear IGBIS Community

I hope that you all had a break with your family over the festival weekend. I certainly enjoyed the tasty food that was shared with me!

Our teachers were very busy during the Professional Development days working in their divisions and departments as well as learning from each other in workshops. I was very impressed by the workshops on offer and the quality of teaching and learning amongst colleagues. Some examples of the topics are:

  • Making Learning Visible -through documentation and the environment; 
  • Feeding the feedback – Talking to Learn; 
  • Blended Learning & Flipped classroom, 
  • How to become a google educator, 
  • Setting up your Google Classroom; 
  • Supporting students with ESOL needs across the curriculum; 
  • Maker’s kitchen – design sensitivity and maker empowerment across subjects. 

In the newsletter last week I mentioned that the Association of Malaysian International Schools (AIMS) and the British Malaysia Chamber of Commerce (BMCC) Education Committee, were writing to the applicable government departments to request that international schools may have the flexibility to open to students again after the CMCO. While we are still waiting for a formal reply, we are quite hopeful that permission will be granted once the CMCO is lifted.

Have a wonderful weekend ahead, and remember our SMS of social distance, masks and sanitisation.

Kind regards,

Mrs Fowles

Simon Millward

Recently this week we sent out a survey to parents about whether the school could help you with any supplies/resources for distance learning. These may be dice for maths activities, number lines, levelled reading books or coloured pencils anything like that. If you haven’t managed to yet, please complete the survey so we can help you. Resources survey for distance learning support

We are pleased to share with you that we now have printed the yearbooks from last year. Our idea is that we will distribute a majority of these yearbooks on returning to school face to face. However, we also understand that there are some families that need these sooner. If you wish to pick them up from school then these can be accessed via the reception. You will need to sign for them to say that you have received your yearbook.

Via a Seesaw notification parents were also invited to join the PYP University Google Classroom. Although it is called PYP University you are not attending university, this is the platform we are using to help educate you about all things PYP. Here are recordings of the latest Digital Citizenship workshops that happened for grades 2-5 recently, the Sustainable Parenting for teaching and learning video and slides and much more. Just scroll down the classwork tab (picture below) to find the section you need.

Next week we will be having a break from the normal homeroom and single subject lessons as we embark on a Creativity and Kindness Week. We hope to re-energise our students. You will have been sent a notification via Seesaw about this week with links to the learning grid and google meet links. This is a time for your children to create, make, draw, paint and show kindness. We will still have recordings and live meets but these will be a combination of homeroom teachers, single subject teachers and also Mr. Harvey, Ms. Aga, Mr. John, Mr. Nigel, Mr.Ian and myself.

We hope you are keeping well during these unprecedented times, please let us know how we can further support you.

Dates for your diaries

  • 23rd- 27th November: Creativity and Kindness Week
  • 25th November: G2 – G5 Digital citizenship/Tech parent workshop 3-4 pm
  • 30th Nov – 4th Dec: Inclusive Schools week: Equity and Access
  • 7th – 11th Dec: Inclusive schools week celebration
  • 17th Dec: Christmas assembly
  • 18th Dec: Report Cards sent home

Magnus Dreschler, DP & CP Coordinator

Dear IGBIS community, 

Here is some news on what has been happening in Grade 11 and 12. Our DP, CP and HSD students have had many busy weeks and I am so proud of what they have accomplished. 

Grade 12 has recently submitted their Extended Essays (EE) and Reflective Projects (RP) that they have been working on for over a year now. Students have put a lot of work, time, sweat and possibly some tears in their EE or RP. I have seen eloquently expressed arguments and innovative ideas. The Grade 12 students have now passed the torch to the Grade 11 students, who have started the process to complete their EE or RP and are now on their journey to research and take a deep dive in a topic of their interest. 

Despite Covid 19 and the CMCO here in Malaysia, Grade 11 and 12 students have pushed on and kept going. Teachers and students have adapted and practicals are now conducted at home rather in the laboratory, students’ presentations are now given online using various tools, group discussions are now happening in google meet breakout rooms, and so on and so on.

If there is one thing that Covid has taught us, it is how adaptable, innovative and resilient students and teachers at IGBIS truly are. True IB learners. 

Grade 12 CP students will soon complete all of their University courses at  Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and will have gained incredible art skills, as well as numerous University credits. Grade 11 CP students have just completed their first SCAD Uni course, and have created some incredible art pieces in the process. 

We also have kicked off our yearly Parent workshops, which are currently taking place virtually. This week Mrs Parratt has taken the G11 parents through the CAS and Service-learning journey and explained student expectation so that parents feel more empowered to help their children succeed in this key component of the IB programmes.

The video recording of the CAS & Service learning parent workshop as well as the slides are all on the DP/CP infoSite for parents to access. Long side many other key pieces of information, you can also find future Parent workshops advertised on the DP/CP infoSite.

John Moore, Science Subject Leader

Scientists are everywhere, unravelling the secrets of the universe, developing vaccines, and applying their knowledge to kitchen activities such as cleaning and cooking. Our Grade 8 scientists have been doing “Chemistry at Home”, investigating how substances react together to produce new substances. In the process, they have learnt how to perfectly remove eggs from their shells, create gases from food and even how to bake their own bread. They discovered that the rigour of the scientific method can be flavoured with creativity and fun.

Science doesn’t always take place in a laboratory. It can happen anywhere. Albert Einstein was known for doing “thought experiments” where he would run through scenarios in his head to predict the consequences of hypothetical events in space and time. Grade 11 students have been carrying out their own thought experiments. They used their understanding of the movement of particles and transfer of thermal energy to discuss and evaluate the best method to cool warm drinks for the guests at their hypothetical post-CMCO party. They also did some real-world experiments to investigate if the Mpemba Effect (hot water freezes faster than cold water) is fact or fiction. This consolidated their understanding that, while science is fun, it can also be difficult, frustrating and challenging, and that a series of trials that appear to have been conducted in identical conditions can lead to differing results and therefore further questions and a deeper understanding.

Jamie Cant, Drama Teacher

Here are some “throwback” pictures on the Tachum workshop conducted for the Grade 9 Drama students:

And another “throwback” when the Grade 10 students had a Topeng workshop:

We hope that you are staying in the best of health, and we cannot wait for the students to come back into the Drama Rooms for more activities.

Stacey Short, Head of Student Services

When I thought about what information would be best to share this week –  I chose the topic of Technology and Boundaries as we have many students and parents share their struggles with this balance recently. Sometimes this is discussed solely as “screen time” but here I want to extend that to a larger information sharing about why we need boundaries and the importance of modelling and follow through. 

I will summarize some advice and provide links to sources, for further reading, that offer strategies and tips for parents (and students) on managing boundaries with technology usage.

On the Australian website “Understanding Teenagers”, author Chris Hudson shares that more important than the amount of screen time is to consider how screen time contributes or affects to a balanced life. Here are some questions from his webpage/article “Managing Teenage Screen Time” for parents and students to ask themselves 

  • What makes for a balanced lifestyle and a well-rounded daily routine? 
  • Are you getting enough physical exercise?
  • Are you spending quality time in face to face relationships?
  • Are you adequately contributing to home and family life?
  • Are you getting healthy amounts of sleep?
  • Are you attending school and completing schoolwork?
  • Do you have downtime to daydream and think about life?

If you have answered no to any of the questions above then you should consider is your screen time affecting the “balance” in your life.  Here is a link to the full article: https://understandingteenagers.com.au/managing-teenage-screen-time/

Another comprehensive article I reviewed was from the New York Times entitled “How and When to Limit Kids’ Tech Use” by Melanie Pinola.This article discussed boundaries, how to set up children to be “safe” online as well as breaks down by age recommended screen time. Melanie writes about how to watch for the warning signs of unhealthy tech usage. Here Melanie references Jon Lasser, a psychologist and author who co-wrote “Tech Generation: Raising Balanced Kids in a Hyper-Connected World,” 

Three warning signs regarding Technology Usage

  • Kids complain that they’re bored or unhappy when they don’t have access to technology
  • Tantrums or harsh resistance occur when you set screen time limits
  • Screen time interferes with sleep, school and face-to-face communication

The article continues as a great summary of information about research with practical advice. It also includes a section on safeguarding your kids access in terms of Privacy Settings etc.  One key point is the importance of – repetition – you will need to be consistent, repeat yourself and model/follow through in order to implement any changes.

Here is a link to the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/smarterliving/family-technology?utm_source=sharetools&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=website&emc=eta1

To balance out the article reading I wanted to share a link to a podcast and a video.

This 15 minute podcast from NPR (National Public Radio) entitled – “When It Comes To Screens, Kids Need A Guide — Not A Disciplinarian” –  is a great interview between an author/podcaster and 2 researchers. They provide advice on “ finding confidence and calm in this world of digital parenting”.


This video by the Society for Research in Child Development. It is a 30 minute discussion entitled “At Home with the Child Experts: The Science of Screen Time During COVID-19”. It includes a discussion with researchers answering parents questions including current information that considers the impact of COVID.

Please reach out to us in Student Services if you have any questions or are looking for other resources for support. 

2 More things I wanted to highlight this week are….


Steve Harvey and Aga Chojnacka have been offering Digital Citizenship and Safety workshop series for parents– two have already taken place and here is the link for the Google Meet next week Nov.25th from 3-4pm – these are structured to support parents so please consider joining in – even if it serves as a refresher/reinforcer!

Inclusion Week(s)

You will have seen some information that has been shared to our community about Inclusion week and the weeks leading up to it. Thank you to Aga for facilitating and organizing and to the Student Services Team for sharing suggestions. The goal is to share the resources and to have discussions about these themes in classes and at home. More information is included below.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us or email us and we will get back to you in the soonest possible manner.