IGBIS Newsletter, Issue 280

By Jason McBride, Head of School

Hello IGBIS Community,

A bit of a long note this week covering access to campus, a 1-minute community survey and next week’s CIS/NEASC visit.

Access to Campus – Although we are still going to be adhering to SOP’s for some time, we are hopeful that the new year will allow us to move towards restarting all aspects of our programme including clubs, activities, sports and more. It has also been some time since our wider community has been allowed on campus and that can really put a strain on our families feeling connected to the school and each other; especially if things aren’t going well and face to face communication would be a lot better than email, phone or a Google Meet. With the COVID situation in Malaysia stabilizing to a large extent, and as our recent brush with COVID for one of our families now having passed (happy to report that the parent is on the mend AND the student tested negative a week after the concern and has since returned to school), we are in a position to allow parents and caregivers on campus under certain conditions. If you wish to meet with a member of staff, appointments must be prearranged, the visitor must be fully vaccinated and their status must be “low risk / green”. The staff member will meet you at the main reception area or the turnstiles on Level 2 after you have scanned in and had your temperature taken. If you wish to go to the Cashier you do not need to prearrange a visit as the cashier is accessed from outside the building. 

Community Survey – As we move towards pulling our community back together, we wanted to do a “temperature check” of a different sort to see how all members of our school are feeling about the state of our community. We will have a much more in-depth survey out in the new year attached to the CIS/IB/NEASC re-accreditation process, but right now we just want one minute of your time to see where we stand today when we ask: what words(s) come to mind when we ask you to describe the IGBIS community? Firefly to Grade 3 students will complete this survey with their teachers next week and Grade 4 to 12 will do this on their own or in small groups during homeroom on Monday, but we also want to hear from our parents, teaching and admin/support staff too. Please click HERE for a 1-minute survey to share what comes to mind for you right now when you think about our school community. (Note: the data is being gathered anonymously so be honest!)

CIS/NEASC Preparatory Evaluation Visit – Every five years, CIS, IB and NEASC send teams to visit the school and next week we have our virtual preparatory visit from CIS and NEASC (IB will come later). This phase happens ahead of a 12-month self-study period where we deep dive into comparing ourselves to those organizations’ standards, as well as against our own goals and aspirations. From teaching and learning, to governance and safety, these accreditations are an indicator of quality that parents can rely on to let them know that not only are we operating in line with internationally recognized great practice, but that we’re constantly getting better as well. As mentioned above, there will be a longer, in-depth survey that we will need >90% of our community to complete sometime in the new year, but for now just know that the CIS/NEASC teams are on the way next week and that we are ready!

Have a wonderful weekend,


By Simon Millward, Elementary School Principal

Our Elementary assembly this week has highlighted the fact that it has been refreshing being back to school face to face. I know from speaking with the students they feel the same. The Grade 3 students, as they were writing poems, focused on the feelings of being grateful to be back at school in their ‘Goodbye- Hello’ poems. I have featured just two below.

Also featured in the assembly was a round-up of what the Early Years students have been engaged doing in their PE lessons. The theme is developing their gross motor skills, balance and throwing…

Grade 4 shared with us two different items. 4M shared their activity Weebly, Weebly Sha Po Po. Desiree explained that this is a great game to play as they are socially distanced and they have to pay attention and follow the actions of the leader. It certainly looked like the students were enjoying playing.

4K shared their ‘wise words’ segment where the students shared the kind of depth of thinking that we love about our PYP students. A selection of their thinking and sharing is below.

Grade 3 took the opportunity to share what they have been doing with regard to mathematics in school. They shared how they have been working on showing their mathematical thinking around addition and subtraction. We could also see that the students were sharing their solutions with each other as finding out that they think differently so may have solved the problem in different ways- and that is okay.

Finally, I shared a video with the students about how doing one small act can make a difference to our planet. Joe Smith during his TEDx talk in Portland shared how using one paper towel to dry your hands can make a huge impact on the amount of tissue that is used. All you have to do is wash your hands, shake your hands and then fold the paper towel and dry your hands. In the United States of America if everyone used just one paper towel per person per day when they dried their hands they would not use and save 259,105,569 kg of paper towels.

My challenge to the students was to shake and fold and try and use only one paper towel! Can you try?

Dates For Your Diaries

  • 30th November: PYP Parent workshop: assessment and reporting
  • 6th – 10th December: Inclusive Schools week
  • 17th December: WS Christmas assembly
  • 17th December: Semester 1 reports sent home.

By Sandy van Nooten, Secondary School Principal

It has been another busy and productive week in Secondary. With only 4 more weeks of Semester 1, we know there will be lots of assessments happening. Students are encouraged to let us know if they have too many assessments on any one day. Homeroom teachers and class reps will check assessment calendars during homeroom at least once a week. Issues will be identified, communicated and (hopefully) sorted. 

Our wonderful StuCo will be taking the lead on the Christmas Assembly. They will be partnering with house captains from Elementary to produce a celebratory hour of celebration. Look out for messages from them in the coming weeks as they pull this event together.

On Monday, we had a team of people working on feeding some secondary students who had ordered food through Cezars. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but I do want to thank everyone who helped make sure everyone was fed and looked after. It is now understood that Cezars will resume in January so until then, students need to bring their own lunch. Microwaves are available to re-heat if required.

We ran our first evacuation drill on Thursday. The students were superb. They left the building quietly and quickly and lined up exactly as asked on the field. This drill was announced to teachers and students. Our next one will be a surprise. I have no doubt there will be some wrinkles, but it is important that we stress-test our emergency procedures at various times throughout the year.

There has been a lot of progress with the various IB projects.

  • Gr.12 Extended Essays (EEs and ) are more-or-less done and they’ve passed the baton to Gr.11s who have started their EE journey. 
  • Gr.10 personal projects (PPs) are underway and students have started meeting with their advisors.
  • Gr.8 Community Projects (CPs) have started. Students have chosen the communities they wish to impact and the teams they want to work with. Advisors will be announced next week.

We’ve launched e-Sports as a lunch time activity for secondary students (thanks Mr. Steven Harvey). Students sign up to play for their house. Yesterday at lunch, Gr.6 competed in a series of MarioCart races. Students were engaged, supportive, loud, funny… some students were experts, some were doing it for the first time. We encourage all MYP students to sign up and have a go.
Here’s a very noisy video sample 🙂

Academic Healing Sessions – Please see the note below from our MYP Coordinator (Mr Lennan MacDonald)

As a way to further support your children in achieving academic success we have instituted ‘Academic Healing Sessions’ after school from 3:00 to 4:00 Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s to support students with completing work. This is primarily for students who are struggling to submit summative assessments which are critical to both measures and support academic growth. If we want your child to take part in a session, you will be notified by your child’s teacher, ideally the day before, to facilitate transportation. If you have any questions on the process please do not hesitate to contact me at lennan.macdonald@igbis.edu.my.

There are only 20 school days left of this semester. Yikes!

Have a fabulous weekend. 


By Kerri Chan

No Waste November House Form

By Mark Parratt, PHE Subject Leader


By Allison Parratt, CAS/Service Learning Coordinator

In 2010, around the same time when the National League for Democracy decided to boycott the Myanmar general election due to “unjust” electoral law, Pastor Daniel foresaw there would be a surge of refugees seeking asylum in Malaysia.

Despite the fact that the Malaysian government allows asylum seekers to settle down temporarily in Malaysia, refugee children are barred from accessing the public education system. Therefore, the Zomi Education Center Kota Damansara (ZEC) was officially established in March 2010.

One year after Pastor Daniel established the education centre, it was finally recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Education Unit and has been receiving protection ever since.

Zomi Education Center Kota Damansara is a non-profit organisation that aims to provide basic education to children in need. Despite the fact that ZEC has been established for more than 10 years, more help is needed from the public. The centre has classes in basic English, Burmese, Mathematics and Science. Most of the teachers who are currently teaching in the centre, work on a voluntary basis. However, the student to teacher proportion is greatly out of balance. To learn more about ZEC and how you can get involved to support their community, check out their FaceBook Page and their website. Also, please check out our article titled “Supporting the Zomi Education Centre Product Drive“ to learn more about how the IGBIS community will be supporting ZEC in December and how you can support it.

This December, the IGBIS community can choose to participate in our annual Food and Basic Necessities Drive or the Personalised Shoebox Gift Drive to support the Zomi Education Centre by contributing in the following ways.

OPTION 1: Food and Basic Necessities Drive

Families can bring as much or as little of any of the items listed below. Necessities will need to be dropped off at a collection area at IGBIS. Collection Days are December 13-14, 2021. You will be notified of the drop-off location soon!


  • Rice (high urgency)
  • Milk powder (high urgency)
  • Canned food
  • Cooking oil
  • Eggs
  • Biscuits
  • Coffee
  • Milo 
  • Sugar 
  • Flour
  • Pasta
  • Noodles
  • Sauce


  • Baby diapers (high urgency)
  • Baby shampoo
  • Body soap (bar or liquid) 
  • Soap powder for laundry
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Sanitary products.
  • Masks
  • Sanitizers
  • Wet Wipes

OPTION 2: Sponsor a Child

Families/Individuals can sponsor 1 (or more) of 81 children aged 0-15 by donating a shoebox of personalised items. As a sponsor, you will receive the name, gender, age and favourite colour of the child along with a shopping list including things such as personal care items, crafts, activities and a “wow” item (eg; toy). This information will be sent to you on December 1st. The financial commitment of this option is 90 – 120RM for each shoebox gift. It is essential that the overall cost to you is not over 120RM to ensure equity in shoebox values. It is essential that everything MUST fit in the shoebox. 

!! IMPORTANT !! If you choose to be part of this initiative, thank you, thank you, thank you! To help us plan logistics and ensure we can maintain appropriate safety measures, please fill in this form below by Tuesday 30 November.  Scan the QR code below or use the link to take you to the survey.

If you have any questions please contact our CAS/Service Learning Coordinator Allison Parratt at allison.parratt@igbis.edu.my. 

Thank you in advance for your continued cooperation and consideration of participation in our drive.