IGBIS Newsletter, Issue 250

I expect that everyone has heard the news that the MCO will be extended until February 4. Given the number of new COVID-19 cases each day, this was expected.

We were happy to welcome Grade 10 students back into school from Tuesday this week. I would also like to congratulate them on their outstanding MYP Personal Project presentations that were shared on Wednesday.  A huge thank you to their supervisors and to our Personal Project Coordinator, Ms Chan. I was impressed by the quality of the research and analysis as well as the presentations themselves.

As I have walked around the school each day, I have noted how well our students have adapted to the new normal. They are exceptionally responsible for maintaining their distance from others and wearing their mask. Meanwhile, the cleaners are doing an excellent job of cleaning and sanitizing all the areas that we use several times a day. We do hope that the current Movement Control Order is successful in flattening the curve of COVID 19 in Malaysia before long. In the meantime, please remember our SMS (Sanitise, Mask, Social distance), keep safe, be kind to one another. …and have a restful weekend.

Simon Millward

It seems that this week has been a bit of a whirlwind, with our Early Years and Kindergarten face to face at school. Although these are small numbers we still have had single subject lessons taking place and the teachers and students have really been enjoying being back at school.

I was fortunate enough to attend the MYP Personal Project presentations on Wednesday 20th January. The students had worked incredibly hard and they presented knowledgeably and confidently. It was particularly pleasing to see some of the students who had previously been in the Elementary school showing their progress since they had completed their PYP Exhibition. Well done everyone who made these a success.

As the MCO has been extended to 4th February, this week you will be receiving surveys from the homeroom teachers to gauge how things have been going since we returned to distance learning.

On Wednesday 27th January, we will be holding our ‘invited conferences’ in the afternoon from 12.30pm – 4.30pm. These are an opportunity for teachers to invite a selection of parents to meet virtually to have more in depth conversations about their children to help them succeed. On this day we will have 100% distance learning, there will be no face to face school on that day. Students who would normally attend face to face will have distance learning on this day. The teachers will communicate with you about the organisation of the day. Classes will run until 12.00pm with the regular morning google meet times as usual.

Preparations are still ongoing for our Lunar New Year assembly and it is great to hear about the variety of performances that will be on show on 10th February.

Dates for your diaries

  • 27th January: Invited conferences: distance learning until 12.00 pm
  • 28th January: Thaipusam holiday- no school
  • 10th February: Lunar New Year Assembly
  • 11th – 16th February: Lunar New Year holidays

Sandy van Nooten

Week two of semester 2. This week we were able to add Grade 10 students to our Grade 11 & 12 students in face-to-face lessons at school. Students have been fantastic with most of our SOP… the hardest part for them is definitely keeping 2m apart in the hallways and stairways. Everyone has been flexible, resilient, creative and incredibly good natured. I am really proud to be part of this team. 

Next Wednesday (27th January), we will be running Parent Teacher Conferences by Invitation (PTCI)

  • If a teacher has concerns about your child’s progress, we will arrange an online Parent-Teacher Conference (between 12:30 and 4:30) on Wed 27th. 
  • Invitations went out to parents on Friday 22nd. Please check your email.
  • If you did not receive an invitation to a Parent-Teacher Conference, that means teachers do not have any major concerns with your child’s progress. If YOU would like to request a conference with a teacher, please feel free to contact them directly. If they have time on Wed afternoon, they will schedule a meeting then. If not, they will schedule a meeting with you at another mutually agreeable time. 
  • Where more than 4 teachers have indicated concerns, we have arranged longer meetings as a group, facilitated by me, Mr MacDonald, Mr Drechsler or a member of the student support team.  
  • On Wed 27th Jan, we will run a compressed schedule with 4 short blocks (ending at 12:00 noon). All classes will be online (on this day)
  • PTCIs will run from 12:30 to 4:30 pm. Single-subject concern meetings will be 10 minutes each. The larger group meetings will be 30 minutes long.

I want to remind everyone that we have an 85% attendance requirement. Some students have had a patchy start to the semester. Please note: In order to be recorded ‘present’ in online lessons, students need to be there at the start, engage in the work, and return to the meet as required by teachers. 

  • In Semester 2, we have 95 school days. Students in Grade 6 to 11 cannot miss more than 14 days
  • Grade 12s have a shorter semester (64 school days) and cannot miss more than 9 days.

Congratulations to our Grade 10 students for putting on a Virtual Personal Project Exhibition on Tuesday morning. Given the time online and the altered format, I am extremely proud of their achievements. Kudos and thanks to Kerri Chan (Person Project Coordinator) and the supervising teachers. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend. Remember that next Thursday (28th Jan) is a holiday.

Stay safe.

Ruth Spracklan

The new year has started with new units for Wellness for Grades 6-10. This time Nutrition and First Aid are the focus for Grades 6-9 and Personal Project and reflection for Grade 10. 

Grade 7 are busy learning about a balanced diet and the healthy choices they can make for their meals. The focus was what a healthy plate of food should contain, and they started with looking at what they currently eat and the food groups the foods belong to.

Grade 8 are looking at a balanced meal, food labelling and what it means, and for Grade 9 they are delving into energy and foods needed when playing sport.

For Grade 6 they are learning the basics of first aid, be prepared for students to practice some bandaging on you at home! Safety is of utmost importance and Grade 6 have shown they have the knowledge to keep themselves safe. They looked into their own first aid kits at home and what to do when minor injuries occur. For more information on units and resources for our students please take a look at the wellness google site, students can show you on the splash page. (https://sites.google.com/igbis.edu.my/wellness-igbis/home)

Aga Chojnacka

2021 has welcomed us with a fresh perspective and a quite stale, by now, set of 2020 problems: Covid, learning from home, working from home, movement control, cutting down budgets etc… All these factors can be very stress inducing for all family members, especially parents. As a parent, I can honestly admit that juggling work, housekeeping, supporting, raising two daughters and two furry companions is a handful, and I multitask for a living. 

However, every cloud has a silver lining and in every, no matter how difficult a situation, there is an opportunity and a lesson if we wish to see it. In the words of Abraham Low, “If you can’t change the situation, you can change your attitude toward it.”

As most of you know, PYP at IGBIS has been making strides in blending design thinking, STEAM and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals further into our curriculum and practice. While at home, we have encouraged our learners to play and tinker with us, invent and take citizen action for the betterment of our planet. Every now and then, we like to shake things up, offer a fresh perspective or a new idea to help parents and learners stay positive and curious about the possibilities offered by learning from and at home. 

In December we shared a collection of sustainable projects and activities for our younger learners that has been very well received by our learning community and we were asked by older learners’ parents to create a similar offering for our older children. Here it is. In the collection shared below (December collection included) you will find a variety of prompts, projects and challenges that vary from making, recycling, reusing, upcycling and challenging our grade 3-5 learners to look differently at their household chores and the project resources or materials they can find around their homes. 

With the learners engaging in these new projects, challenges and activities, our goal is always the same – learner agency (voice, choice and ownership)  and action – seeing that our children can make a difference to their own lives and the lives of others through independent and positive choices.

If you are curious about how to further support your children’s learning through sustainable materials, projects and inquiry at home, please browse our publications below:

Sustainable Parenting, Teaching and Learning for Grades 3-5 (NEW COLLECTION)

Sustainable Parenting, Teaching and Learning for FF-G2 (DECEMBER COLLECTION)

Stay Safe and Keep Learning!

Kerri Chan

On Wednesday, 20 January, IGBIS Grade 10 students proudly presented during our virtual Personal Project Exhibition.  The Personal Project is an independent research project that takes place in our Grade 10 students’ final year of the MYP. It focuses on the Global Context and is a significant piece of work produced over an extended period of time. The Exhibition is a celebration of  this work and the students’ creativity and innovation.  This is also an opportunity for them to showcase their projects and their personal learning.  

During our virtual exhibition, over 200 members of our community tuned in and listened to our students as they showed off their products, shared new knowledge about what they’ve learned throughout their project, and reflected on themselves as learners and IB students. It was inspirational to see these students overcome Covid-19 and long stretches of online learning with their  time-management, problem-solving, creativity, communication, perseverance and resilience.  

If you were unable to join us during the exhibition, we will be sharing the recordings on the Personal Project Exhibition website.  Please have a look and leave a message of congratulations for our Grade 10 students.

I think you’ll agree they adapted beautifully to the online format and did a fantastic job!

Marcus Wetherell

Well, we’re in another MCO! This time around some of our students in Grade 10-12 are coming into school in order to study for their MYP design ePortfolio in Grade 10, and of course their IB DP syllabus in Grades 11 and 12. We’re fortunate to be a 1:1 laptop school which means that students at home are also well-catered to in our hybrid lessons.

In MYP design Grades 6-9 where students are staying at home, teachers have created new units of work which can be undertaken at home or at school in order to accommodate the ongoing and unpredictable nature of the MCO. For instance, my Grade 6 class are designing and creating board games which can be played at home with their families. Grade 8 will use cardboard they can find at home in order to create a product which helps a client with a problem they have – that client likely being a member of their family. Students are having a lot of fun with these projects and it’s great to see the ingenious solutions they are developing.

These are without a doubt trying times, but rest assured we are meeting the challenge head on!