IGBIS Newsletter, Issue 252.

I hope that everyone has had a good week. Some reminders about a few events that are coming up in school. Tomorrow we have our IB Coordinators and some of our students sharing a live session on ‘Why IB? What is Hybrid Learning All About?’ We think that this will be interesting for all of our community as well as others who are interested in IGBIS. 


Next Wednesday afternoon, (February 10) at 2:20pm we will be holding our Lunar New Year Assembly. The link for the assembly will be sent out prior to the assembly starting. We invite you to dress up in your Red and Gold or Lunar New Year clothing to join in the spirit of the assembly.

A reminder also that the Lunar New Year holiday is February 11-16. School will resume on February 17th.

My final reminder is that International Day is coming up on Saturday, March 13th. We will not be able to hold this in school, but we are working out a programme for the morning. Mr Millward has some more information about the arrangements in this newsletter with an invitation for families to take part.

All of our students and staff coming into school have been vigilant in following the SMS SOP (Sanitise, Mask Wearing and Social distancing). In addition, the school is testing a cross section of our staff on a weekly basis to ensure that there are no cases of asymptomatic staff coming into contact with students or colleagues. To date, these tests remain negative.

Have a restful weekend ahead and remember to follow all of the MCO SOP, keep yourselves and your family safe.

Simon Millward

I often spend time looking at the Seesaw posts that children have uploaded and I am impressed with how everyone is really giving their all to develop their learning. As I was looking at the single subjects this week I just wanted to highlight two subjects that caught my attention. In Physical Education I enjoyed watching the videos of the students as they were challenged with the Total Core Burner workout, the Paper balance challenge and the Shoe challenge. The workout certainly got the children exercising hard and I know that for some of you it was frustrating that you didn’t manage to achieve success with a particular challenge, especially the shoe challenge. You may not have succeeded yet, but keep working on it! I have to admit I tried the shoe challenge and I didn’t succeed either. Maybe I will try again this weekend!

The art tasks also caught my eye. The focus on portraits is great, there is such a variety. I did like the pose portraits and there were some wonderful self-portraits. I can’t wait to see how identity portraits turn out when they are finished!

Every year we have an International Day and this year we will too. However, it will look very different this year. There will be more information that will follow soon about our ‘Virtual International Day’ that will take place on Saturday 13th March 10.00am – 11.45am. We would love for people to volunteer as we ‘Celebrate our Uniqueness’. This year’s theme is our IGBIS Quilt.

“A quilt is a patchwork of pieces that make something unique- just like our community.” A quilt just like a community wraps you, holds you cosy, safe and warm.

IGBIS International Day 2021

Saturday March 13, 10am- 11:45am

I hope you all have a relaxing weekend.

Dates for your diaries

  • 10th February: Lunar New Year Assembly: 2.15 – 3.00pm
  • 11th – 16th February: Lunar New Year holidays
  • 17th February (Wednesday): 1st day back after the holiday.

Sandy van Nooten

Week four of semester 2! It has been another big and busy week of online learning (Grade 6 to 9) and hybrid learning (Grade 10 to 12). Next week is lovely and short with our Lunar New Year holiday starting after the LNY assembly (on Wednesday 10th February from 2:20 to 3:00pm). 

Parents often ask what they can do to support their secondary school age children though these tumultuous adolescent years. One of the most impactful things you can do to support health, wellbeing and increased cognitive function is to get them in bed and sleeping at a reasonable hour. Sleep before midnight is way more beneficial than sleep after midnight. Our brains need sleep to allow knowledge and understanding to be transferred from short to long term memory. We are much more nimble in thought, efficient in work, receptive to new learning after a good night’s sleep. As part of our Wellness program this week, some of our students were shown this wonderful video about Adolescents and Sleep. Please invest 15 minutes to watch this video – I guarantee it will make you think 🙂 

WHY Sleep is critical for the Body and Brain | Science of Sleep

Grade 10 course selections for next year. Our Grade 10 students are starting to make plans for their final two years of high school. They have already submitted their preliminary subject selections. We will use these selections to create blockings for the final subject choices. There are a few important dates to be aware of:

  • Wednesday 10th February – All Grade 10s (and their parents) will be invited to our virtual option fair. There will be 6 to 8 short blocks for students to visit teachers to discuss the subject, ask questions, get advice on suitability and etc…  More information to follow. In order to facilitate this (and so parents can join the students in the meets), we ask all Grade 10 students to work online on this day.
  • Tuesday 23rd February – Grade 10s will visit Grade 11 & 12 classrooms (physically if they are in school, online if not) throughout the day to get a feel for each subject. The Grade 11 & 12 teachers will not be putting on a show, the Grade 10s will get to see a real classroom in action.

Assessment Procedures. On Monday, we introduced all our students to our new assessment procedures and we had a good number of parents at the online meeting this morning. A recording of the meeting, the procedures and the slides have all been sent via email today. Please don’t hesitate to contact any of us if you have questions. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend. 

Stay safe.

Magnus Drechsler

Here is some news on what has been happening in Grade 11 and 12. With things changing so much over time now during Covid it seems like months ago since we returned to school after the December/January Holidays. Being back at school has been a life safe for our graduating class in terms of completing their final IB assessments and coursework. 

In addition to the academic benefits, Grade 11 and 12 students were able to keep their balance by using the gym. 

Since then SOPs have changed and our school days are changing with it, Grade 11 and 12 have certainly shown their adaptability and resilience during this time. Now that we have students in school and with some students at home, learning is taking place in a hybrid model. 

Teachers have been adapting to this new normal and found ways to keep up the engagement and collaboration. During practicals, students were placed in mixed groups with some students face-to-face and others online. Groups connected via google meets so the online students were able to see what was going on. Whilst the students in school were conducting the experiment, the online student would assist the face-to-face students by reading out the instructions, time the experiment and recording the data. 

G11 students used our student kitchen to apply their knowledge in real world situations. For some students this was their first time baking. Throughout this unit students will discover just how much cooking is actually all about science.  

Whilst the G11 students were baking, G12 students used their medicinal chemistry skills to synthesis Aspirin in the laboratory. The plan is to get IR and NMR spectra of our students own aspirin samples, so students will be able to analyse the purity of their samples. 

Time is running fast and Grade 10 students are now well in their transition process into Grade 11. Right after the holidays, DP teachers talked to all the Grade 10 students during homeroom time about their subjects to give the Grade 10 students a better idea about all the subject options that are offered here at IGBIS. 

Moving forward, on 10th Feb students and their parents are invited to the Option Fair which is another opportunity to learn more about all the subjects offered and ask any questions that they may have. 

Shortly after the Lunar New Year holidays, on 23rd February, Grade 10 students will have the opportunity to go into Grade 11 and 12 lessons for that day and experience what lessons in all of these DP subjects actually look like. 

More information about the Options Fair and the day for Grade 10 to go into Grade 11 and 12 lessons is forthcoming via email.

John Moore           

In the first episode of Scientists’ Curiosity, Grade 8 students had fun raiding their kitchens to carry out “Chemistry at Home”. They learned that heating, cooling, freezing, mixing and blending are processes shared between chemistry and cooking. This month, it was Mr. Drechsler’s Grade 11 students’ turn to apply their in-depth Diploma level knowledge to cooking in the IGBIS student kitchen. They used a range of scientific techniques to produce two outcomes: 1) reinforcement of their existing knowledge and understanding along with the development of all important practical skills, and 2) some “right tasty” chocolate muffins.

Meanwhile, our MYP students continue to study online. This includes the use of “PhET” simulations from the University of Colorado (https://phet.colorado.edu/), to explore concepts such as gravity, and balanced and unbalanced forces. PhET stands for “Physics Education Technology” and began as a project for teaching some of the more abstract concepts of physics at IB Diploma level and above. It has since developed into a far-reaching educational tool suitable for Middle and High School students in the sciences and mathematics, enabling our MYP scientists to continue their Criteria B and C practical assessments during the MCO. While educational, many of the simulations are a great deal of fun and worth exploring by scientists and non-scientists alike (during the formative stage of the assessment, our Grade 6 students had a blast seeing planets crashing into the Sun, and hurtling out of the Solar System into the far reaches of deep space).


In ES Art we have commenced a new vertical unit; Who We Are: ‘Me, myself and I: Identity.’  Students are inquiring into this concept through a series of portraits and explorations into what makes them, them! A wide number of artists are being studied, giving inspiration for their own creations and a chance to play with different media.  The images are of some of the artworks submitted through Seesaw in distance learning.

Middle Years

Grade 6 have created some wonderful cardboard masks based on their identity and culture. They began brainstorming ideas, came up with a design, made a template, collected cardboard and made these interesting creations all from the comfort of home! Have a look at their great efforts.

Stacey Short

COVID-19 has dramatically changed our daily lives –  individuals and families are faced with unexpected challenges and stress. Researchers have concluded that COVID 19 is taking a toll on our collective Mental Health. Take care of yourself and then you are in a better place to take care of others – we read it and we hear it….it feels easier said than done. This week’s article contains resources and links about taking care of yourself, parenting during the pandemic, teen responses to COVID and mindful parenting.


The Government of New South Wales, Australia has many useful publications on their website. One series entitled a Practical Guide Stress and Stress Management is available here in English, 




Here is a Video = Zoom presentation with Dr. Liliana Lengua shares some mindfulness practices that can be used in every-day interactions between parents and children to enhance parents’ effectiveness and their relationships with their children.



Parenting in a Pandemic – This new podcast (link is to webpage with multiple podcasts) was created by Professor Mattehw Sanders who is the founder of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program. This podcast includes 20 episodes with subject areas such as “Avoiding Family Feuds”, “Building positive Home School partnerships”, “Supporting Students with diverse needs” and Taking care of your couple relationship”



Bonus – Watch & Read

CBC News Canada published an article about the impact of COVID on Teens and Young Adults. The article contains links to short videos. One video where teens/young adults given themselves pre-pandemic advice. A second video where Teens share their struggles with mental health during COVID 19 and a psychologist shares an Art project that helps teens express themselves.


Please feel free to contact a member of our Student Services team for additional resources.

  • John Schuster  – Elementary Counselor – john.schuster@igbis.edu.my
  • Leanne Harvey – Grade 6 – 8 Counselor – leanne.harvey@igbis.eu.my
  • Tim Howe – Grade 9 -12 Counselor – tim.howe@igbis.edu.my

Article submitted by : Stacey Short – Head of Student Services – stacey.short@igbis.edu.my