IGBIS Newsletter, Issue 279

By Jason McBride, Head of School

Hello IGBIS Community,

As a school that is proud to have earned recognition as a Globally Responsible Institution and weaves the UN SDG’s throughout the curriculum – including the PYP Exhibition – one place that we would like to do better in aligning our actions with our beliefs is by improving the sustainability of the building we learn in. Our facility provides all the space and facilities a teacher might need to ignite student minds, but there are always ways to reduce our carbon footprint and/or improve the efficiency of the building itself. Small actions such as turning off lights when they are not needed, keeping the AC at 24 degrees or higher, and “Zero Waste Wednesdays” have an impact over time and empower individuals to do what they can, but we’d like to do more on a larger scale. 

We are hoping that there are members of our parent community who work in the sustainability sector who could provide support for us in considering adding a solar power system to the building. The facilities team and Board have done some preliminary work on this, but we’d like to give our thinking a boost and see what might be possible. If you or someone you know works in the renewable energy sector, please contact me today!

With thanks, 

Jason McBride

By Simon Millward, Secondary School Principal

There has been a veritable buzz around school this week. It is so good to have students returning to school for face to face schooling.

On Monday as I was walking around the school I encountered a Grade 5 student. I asked him whether he was pleased to be back. His response was “I am so excited!” I think this has been the consistent feeling of all of the students I have been speaking to this week. The enthusiasm and joy have lasted all week which is a wonderful start to face to face learning.

The students are still in the ‘learning phase’ of what it means to be back at school in the new normal, the hardest part for any school is the social distancing, but our students have been great as they sit in marked areas or walk with an ‘imaginary friend’ between each other around the school. 

With our small numbers of students, we have been able to spread out. I dropped by the grade 2 students as they were in the pool and they were staggering and spacing out really well. The KG’s in their art class were very enthusiastic to tell me all about their story paintings.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the teachers and students who were involved in the virtual Deepavali assembly last week. Hopefully, there will be a time soon when we can enjoy these celebrations together again face to face. However, in the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the performances.

Dates for your diaries

  • 17th November: Virtual PYPX brainstorm 
  • 30th November: PYP Parent workshop: assessment and reporting

By Sandy van Nooten, Secondary School Principal

We are so happy to have most of our students back face-to-face. Monday felt very much like the first day of school. So many students have grown, matured, changed their hair… Gr.6 are all new to secondary, and our new students were in the building for the very first time. Unlike last year, everyone moves from classroom to classroom, and we’ve changed our break and lunch procedures to give students more options. Sure, there were a few lost students, sometimes an entire class searching for their classroom… but I was blown away by how adaptable, kind, and calm (y)our amazing secondary students are. 

We had our first brush with close contact to a positive covid case this week. A fully vaccinated parent tested positive for Covid. Their Gr.12 (fully vaccinated) student did not. While we were waiting for their PCR results, we asked the entire Gr.12 to return to online learning for a day. Thank you to the family for letting us know so quickly. Thank you to everyone who managed logistics (deep cleaning, moving student groups, isolating Gr.12, communicating with families, MOH, MOE etc.). 

A reminder that students cannot flip-flop between online and face-to-face classes. We were flexible this week due to vaccinations for 12 to 15-year-olds, but as a rule, face-to-face students who stay home will not be able to join online unless we have a very good reason and prior notice.

And finally, last year the whole community was involved in the walk for DIPG awareness. This week, all secondary students and teachers have been given a rock, bright coloured pens, and time to design and create their own personal rock for our DIPG awareness rock garden. The results are stunning. Some students missed the opportunity due to vaccinations, Ms. Parratt will offer those students a lunchtime opportunity to create your legacy rock. Here are some of the beautiful designs.

There are only 5 school weeks left of this semester. Secondary students and parents will receive grade reports via ManageBac on Fri 17th December.

Have a fabulous weekend. 


By Allison Parratt, CAS/Service Learning Coordinator

Over the weekend of October 23-24, 2021, fourteen Grade 10-12 IGB International School students and hundreds of other students in the Asia-Pacific region attended the CAS Trips Virtual CAS Conference with a focus on Mental Health. The pandemic has brought the importance of Mental Health and wellbeing to the fore, especially for young adults and children. This generation of students has a crucial voice to determine the direction that schools and society take thus bringing us to a pivotal moment in the way we approach mental wellbeing. 

In addition to providing a platform to compare personal insights, cultural perspectives and ideas for action, the conference challenged small teams of students to collaborate in a Charity Hackathon format to develop a long term solution-focused CAS Project in response to Cape Town’s Inala Mental Health Foundation’s urgent, authentic need. 

IGBIS is proud to report that Grade 11 student Rindhiya Vishnu Shankar was a member of the winning team, Alpha 23.  Her team has been awarded the opportunity to work with Inala Mental Health Foundation and has been granted 1000USD to contribute to the project.  

After the event, we had the chance to talk with Rindhiya about her experience and she reports, “As a team, we are most excited about the fact that we would be able to contribute and bring about a positive change to the society by joining hands with Inala. This was my first time collaborating with new people from different places across the globe to create a meaningful project and I look forward to working with my creative teammates again to bring our project to life in a successful and impactful way. “

When asked how it feels to be able to donate 1000 USD to Inala in line with their project? She responded, “It feels immense to be able to donate such a large amount of money to a good cause, and the fact that it was all because we were able to solve their problem with effective planning and teamwork really makes us not only feel proud of what we have accomplished but also thankful for being given the opportunity and the resources to make the lives of others better.” 

Well done to Alpha 23 and all participants in the Virtual CAS Conference. We can’t wait to see what you do with this project!

By Leanne Harvey
Middle School Counsellor/Secondary School Learning Support Teacher

When we as individuals choose to be kind and practice showing ‘Random Acts of Kindness’, it releases positivity: This makes us as the giver, feel better and the recipients of our acts feel better also. This in turn makes the other person more likely to be kind to other people. This can enhance both physical and mental health and assist in creating or extending more positive friendships and relationships. 

So just what is kindness. Kindness is a behavioral response of compassion, and actions that are selfless. It is also a mindset that places compassion for others before one’s own interests. 

Random acts of kindness:

While we were online I facilitated some activities with the Grade 6 and 7 classes on the concept of Choosing Kindness. It builds on these lessons, and now that we are back at school in person I have created a ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ wall.

The wall has a number of envelopes displayed. The students come and work through the following steps:

Step1: Choose a card

Step 2: Make an impact (carry out the action)

Step 3: Post a picture

Did you know that ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ increase a person’s sense of happiness? This is the case because kindness can promote gratitude. Kindness promotes empathy and compassion, which leads to a sense of interconnectedness with others. Feeling connected bonds us together rather than dividing up. Kindness fosters a sense of community and belonging.

I will be introducing the Random Acts of Kindness wall with students over the coming weeks but would ask you to encourage them to come and choose, make an impact and post a picture.

Let all continue to impact lives and build an even stronger, more connected IGBIS community now that we are back at school face to face.

Have a wonderful weekend and week ahead.


Hello ladies and gentlemen! The House Captains have a new challenge for all IGBIS community! No Waste November will run from the 20th-28th November!

The aim of this challenge is to help our community by collecting trash and recycling! We encourage you to throw your trash into recycling bins which you may find in your neighbourhood.

To score points for your house you need to take a photo of yourself with your filled trash bags before you deposit them into the recycling bins. The photos must show you with filled trash bags of rubbish which you have collected.

Right before the challenge begins (19th November) we will send out a special Google form where you can upload your photos and tell us which house you belong to. The more you recycle, the more points you earn for your House!

We encourage you to start from your homes; clean those rooms and recycle what you don’t need! If you are inspired by this challenge, then take it further and help in cleaning a park or other nature-related area.

Pat Yong, Head of Admissions

Thank you to the families who have pre-ordered their meals for the coming week. We were looking forward to opening our school cafeteria, however, there is an insufficient number of pre-order meals to make this option viable. Therefore, the school cafeteria will not be in operation until January 2022 (Semester 2).

Students will need to bring their own snacks and lunch from home for the rest of the semester (until December 17th). We appreciate your patience and understanding and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Pat Yong