IGBIS Newsletter, Issue 253.

Mrs Anne Fowles

Xin nian kuai le 新年快乐!

Gong xi fa cai 恭喜发财!

Happy Lunar New Year! Good Health, Good Fortune, Good Luck and Abundant Happiness for the year ahead.

We hope that you were able to watch our Lunar New Year assembly. Thanks are extended to our performers, the MC’s; Regina (G2), Cici (G5), Aiden (G3), Mr Harvey, Ms Hadewych, Mr Alex, Mr Cant and the teachers in the Language Department who all helped behind the scenes. During the assembly, we saw clips from previous years, right back to our first LNY assembly in 2015. This reminded me that the  Lunar New Year celebration last February was actually the last time that we were able to come together as one school for a whole school assembly in the theatre. So much has happened since then.  Let’s hope that this lunar new year is also a new beginning and there are better times ahead. 

For those celebrating the Lunar New Year, I hope that your festivities are filled with joy. May all of our community have a restful break and remember to follow all of the MCO SOP. Keep yourselves and your family safe.

Simon Millward

Happy Lunar New Year to everyone who is celebrating at this time. I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Lunar New Year assembly this year and the teachers who helped to guide and facilitate the performances, especially the Chinese department in both Elementary and Secondary. I thought there was a lot of variety and when my next-door neighbour was undergoing spring cleaning yesterday when I got home from school I understood why! Thank you Grade 5 students for teaching me about the Do’s and Don’ts of Lunar New Year.

The orchestra again was outstanding, I really enjoyed their performance of ‘The river flows in you’ by Yiruma.

During our KG’s version of Moo Moo I have to say I had a smile on my face, they were so animated and energetic and I liked the fact that the performance was a combination of students in school and at home.

I really like the fact that there has been the development of our assemblies so that we now celebrate Lunar New Year as opposed to just Chinese New Year. Learning about Vietnamese culture and ‘Tet’. 

As well as having the opportunity to appreciate Korean culture reflects the diversity of our community much more, through a Korean folk song and a Korean Masked Dance ‘Talcum’.

The Grade 4 performance of Gunbam Taryeong- a Korean folk song was atmospheric and relaxing to listen to. It was pleasing to see the talent of our students on show as they were playing a variety of instruments they have at home.

There were other performances that also added to the richness of the assembly, I just wanted to highlight some of them. 

I would also like to say, well done to our MC’s for the assembly Regina, Aiden and Cici. I thought they managed to clearly communicate in both Chinese and English what was happening next in the assembly. I do hope you enjoyed the performances.

Please note that the Grade 4 and Grade 5 camps that were due to take place at the end of February and the beginning of March have been postponed until a later date this academic year.

International Day is coming up soon Saturday 13th March 10.00 am – 11.45 am. We are still looking for items for the day. If you are interested or just want to talk through your ideas please contact Usa who is coordinating this years ‘Virtual International Day’. She can be reached by email at usa.chankasem@igbis.edu.my 

Dates for your diaries

  • 11th – 16th February: Lunar New Year holidays
  • Wednesday 17th February: 1st day back after the holiday.
  • 13th March: International Day 10.00 – 11.45 am

Sandy van Nooten

Week five of semester 2! It was a short but busy week. Lots of f2f students and teachers are wearing Lunar New Year colours today which is getting us ready for the LNY assembly this afternoon. I hope the whole community will tune in for this event.

Last week, I shared a short video on ‘WHY sleep is critical for the body and brain’. It gives compelling research-based reasons for all of us to get more sleep. A few of you have asked if I can share tips on HOW to get more sleep. So this week, I want to share part 2 of this series ‘HOW to get more quality sleep’. It is full of information and tips, the most important being: try to be in bed by 10 pm, avoid phone or computer screens before bed (or at least install some blue light regulators) and establish some pre-sleep routines. I’ve linked to both videos below. I hope you enjoy them.

HOW to get more quality sleep | Science of Sleep Part 2
WHY Sleep is critical for the Body and Brain | Science of Sleep Part 1

Grade 12 Mocks.

Our Grade 12 students will be doing their mock exams (from Wednesday 24th February to Friday 5th March). Mr Drechsler has shared the detailed schedule with Grade 12 parents and students. All exams will be conducted at the large Performing Arts area. Students will be at least 2 meters apart throughout all exams. Please note that we can only administer mocks to students who can come into school during the mock exam period.

Here’s the link to a short video of students’ creative art challenge on the theme of Lunar New Year. Hope you enjoy it.

I hope you have a lovely holiday with your family.

Stay safe.

Steven Harvey 

With classes currently online, students actually getting into the ES Design Lab has been an impossibility.  Fortunately, design thinking can still be incorporated into our Units of Inquiry via regular, online classes. This semester, elementary students have:

Grade 1

How The World Works: Simple Machines make work easier.

In Design lessons, students explored simple machines like the inclined plane, wheel & axle and wedges. They made LEGO cars, rolled them down a slope to see which car travelled the greatest distance. We also considered combining simple machines and making our own Rube Goldberg machines.

Grade 1 Simple Machines Video 

Grade 2

How The World Works: Forces are a vital part of our lives.

Online Design lessons this semester focussed on the idea that air exerts pressure. We performed a range of science experiments with bicarbonate soda and vinegar to cause reactions that inflated balloons. The balloon inflated because of the air pressure created. We also explored and did science demonstrations to show how areas of high pressure try to move to areas of low pressure and the resulting effects.

Grade 3

How We Express Ourselves: Nature can inspire people to express their creativity

Grade 3 students have begun exploring creativity. In design, we have used Google Drawing to create drawings and pictures and then modified these to make animated gifs. We also looked into ways of taking better and more creative photographs. Students were challenged to take photos from different perspectives, to focus on detail, check that the background adds to the story and to use the Rule of Thirds to frame their photo. Students will use these skills over the coming weeks to take some creative photographs of nature.

Grade 3 Animated gif

Grade 4 

How We Organise Ourselves: Communities are interconnected through trade.

At this stage, Grade 4 will re-engage with Design lessons after Lunar New Year as they begin working on their new Unit of Inquiry. We will start to explore how the Design Cycle can be used to create a product and then consider marketing. A particular focus will be looking at whether their product is ethical and purposeful.

Grade 5 

How The World Works: Energy may be transformed to suit our needs.

As well as further developing their IT skills in preparation for PYPX Grade 5 students also enquired into different forms of energy. While we couldn’t physically manipulate and play with batteries, wires, LED lights and motors, we could use the circuits of the TinkerCad website to make virtual circuits. Students also learned how to build a website to share their learning using Google Sites.

Marc Koster

Happy Chinese New Year from all our English teaching staff and assistants at IGBIS!

*D*id you know lately we’ve been thinking about the words “happy new year”,

trying to make the longest word we can by using only these 12 letters?

Brainpower only, no ‘electronic assistance’!

We’ve come up with ‘where’, ‘happen’ and ‘weary’, but they’re the longest words we could think of.

Stop press! We just found an 8 letter word!

We also found 84 words of 3 or more letters.

I wonder if any of our readers could better our efforts?

No computer help… brain power only!

Meet our English teacher: Ms Flavia Godja. Ms Flavia has been teaching at IGBIS for two years now. 

Country of origin: Romania 

Hobbies: I take great pleasure in reading superhero comics, graphic novels, comic book series (you can see the pattern ? ) as well as contemporary fiction novels. I enjoy running and strength training and I love playing video games.  

Pet peeves: Dishes in the sink, slow Internet, queue jumping, slow walkers and … Geckos in my apartment  ?

What do you like about being a teacher? Put simply, it’s incredibly rewarding, and I love that no two days are ever the same. 

What’s happening in my class? Grade 7 Language Acquisition students are currently in the midst of a unit on Beauty. We started the unit by taking an open-minded look into the concept of beauty and we have spent the last couple of lessons inquiring into fashion. We started by synthesizing various definitions of what fashion is (see an example screenshot below). After sharing thoughts and opinions on a variety of fashion-related statements and analyzing various people’s fashion styles and statements, students were tasked with taking a snapshot of their own style and writing their own fashion statement. Check this Padlet to see students’ (in-progress)work. Stay tuned for more updates! 

Fashion is a style of clothing, makeup, and hairstyle that is popular in a particular period of time and place, which can be a way of expressing ourselves. This is the general meaning of fashion, but I don’t think so. This is because we don’t have to wear popular clothes that many people wear. Fashion is all about expressing your style and being unique. Although I am not brave enough to be different from the others yet, looking at people posting unique fashion styles on social media makes me want to be different. My fashion style right now is mostly casual or a bit girly. I mostly like to wear casual clothes, but when I have plans to meet up, I normally dress up a bit formal like the picture above. Other than the fashion style in the picture, I also like to match colours with accessories. When I wear simple clothes, I wear printed shoes or bright colour shoes or put on some earrings. I am hoping to see more people not blending with the others so that I can confidently be different from others.

English Matters’ quirky link- Ah, the impossibilities of our great language… check them here- https://voxy.com/blog/2

Tim Howe 

Over the last year, we have often found ourselves reminded of what we cannot do. At this time, the simplest pleasures of life are ones that we all hope for and appreciate even more than ever. Hugs unmasked laughter, and a crowd of super fans gathering at a movie premiere are all within reach. While we are physically distant now, being kind, friendly and being a friend to someone is an ACTION that we all can take today and every day. During this Lunar New Year holiday, we invite the entire IGBIS community to participate in the “Friendly February” challenge. It is with these simplest of acts, we hope that members of our community and beyond are reminded that they matter!

Yuri Kim 

This is our second year at IGBIS celebrating the Lunar New Year.  “春节 (chunjie)” Spring festival is celebrated in our host country Malaysia, China, Singapore and Mongolia. Our Korean families celebrate “설 (Seol)”, while the Tết” festival is observed in Vietnam on the same day. It is the respective culture’s important holiday, an occasion for a family reunion and start of the new year. 

We were not able to get together at school to enjoy our Lunar New Year Assembly this year; however, we as a community had the opportunity to come together to celebrate this special occasion. First of all, I would like to give a special thanks to our elementary Chinese teachers, Ms Ivy, Ms Nancy, Ms Ting, Ms Kui and the technology team, Mr Harvey, Mr Adam and Ms Uma in organising and supporting our virtual assembly. Also, other big thanks to our elementary MCs for introducing the cultural knowledge and background.  

The assembly started with Ms Hadewych’s music ensemble to enlighten our new year spirit. The New Year greetings from our students, parents and staff were really welcoming.  Kindergarten students and elementary Chinese teachers’ Chinese New Year song and dance raised our spirits as we started our holidays. Next, the Grade 11 students introduced the journey to the Vietnamese Tết culture so we had a chance to experience the language and food. 

Moving on to Korean culture, we could feel the Korean traditional rhythm and beat from listening to the folk song called “Roasted Chestnut”.  Mr Alex and the Grade 4 students also had an opportunity to learn Korean through the lyrics and they have become Korean language experts along the way. “Tal Chum”, the masked dance drama was performed by our Grade 9 drama students, as they introduced its origins and unique Korean traditional culture. 

As every culture has Do’s and Don’ts with respect to their customs, our students shared the Chinese New Year traditions which might bring you either good and bad luck. Please remember “To do the spring cleaning and decorate your house in red” to bring more good luck this year. Our Grade 7-8 students with Ms Murong also prepared the most well known Chinese New year song “Gong Xi Gong Xi Gong Xi Ni”. 

To end the assembly, we had a chance to look back on our past 6 years of CNY and LNY assemblies.  The video brought us so many memories of the IGBIS community and it was great to see how much our students have matured over the last 6 years, displaying their talents and achievements. Mrs Fowles’ and the special community new year messages also brought us together to “Wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2021 Lunar New Year of the Ox”. “新年快乐,새해 복 많이 받으세요, chúc mừng năm mới”.

Aga Chojnacka

Our school’s mission, vision and values have always been closely aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over the years, we ran multiple SDGs and Action workshops, based our PYPX and smaller unit projects on the foundations of the 17 Sustainable Goals and had gradually been building these elements into our curriculum.

We have seen our learners engage and gain motivation from addressing the goals and seeking possible solutions to global challenges and problems.

As we continue on this path we would like to offer our children an opportunity to amplify their voices on a school and global forum to advocate and take action for the SDGs and their communities.

With that intention in mind, Ms Natasha, Mr Simon and I have collaborated on creating a YOUNG ACTIVIST COUNCIL AND CONFERENCE (YACC).

The aim of the programme is to:

  1. Research and Learn about the SDGs and possible solutions to the problems they tackle
  2. Design solutions and Take Action for the SDGs
  3. Advocate for the SDGs and sustainable solutions for our local and global communities

The format of the programme is:

  1. Tuesday sessions with Ms Natasha – focusing on advocacy and activism
  2. Thursday sessions with Ms Aga – focusing on research and designing solutions

YACC Live Sessions will roll out to Grade 3-5 children, February 23rd and 25th at 10:00-10:30 am (weekly, every Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-10:30 am).

The culminating event for this semester’s Young Activist will be a YOUNG ACTIVIST COUNCIL and CONFERENCE on May 31st – June 1st during which our grade 3 – 5 activist will present their mini-TED Talk-style speeches to advocate for the goal/solution of their choice.

The event, similar to PYPX, will be broadcast to other international schools and the school community.

We are looking forward to giving the stage to our children’s actions and voices for our planet and a sustainable future!

Hello again! We are Sophie, Aisha and Isabel, as you might already know we are organizing a 5 km run to support SHELTER, who help underprivileged children across Malaysia. To provide you with more information about our event, we made a google slide video presentation to help you understand our mission and our goal! 

Here’s the video presentation!

And here to our Instagram!


Hope to see you join our run!

Arielle Josen, Grade 8

The MYP Community Project is a school-based community service project in 8th grade. We are excited to be undertaking this independent project and providing our 8th grade students the chance to engage in a project that they are passionate about and which will also benefit a community. This project will act as a culminating project to our 8th grade students’ MYP experience, and a way to showcase the commitment to service that they have developed while at IGBIS.

These Cats are up for Adoption!

We have five kittens (not pictured) that are a week old that are available for booking but won’t be available to adopt until they are at least a month old. Veria was found on the street with 2 kittens, the kittens have been adopted but she hasn’t yet found a home. She is very cuddly and affectionate. They are all healthy and caught up on vaccines, and are all very friendly and love people. The cats are currently located in Valencia, Sierramas, Sg. Buloh. If you are interested please contact arielle.josen025@igbis.edu.my  or @_hanna.h2 on Instagram for more information.

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