Primary: 07/09/2018

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Parent Information Evenings and Appointments with Teachers

On Monday 10th September (G2-G6) and Wednesday 12th September (EY) we will hold our Parent Information Evenings at 18:00.  The evening will begin with a short presentation on the PYP in the Gymnasium and be followed by Homeroom Teacher presentations.  Parent Information Evenings are a super opportunity to understand more about the routines, organisation and structures in the classroom, however if you would like to arrange a further appointment please schedule this directly with the class teacher via email or Class Dojo.

 

Class Dojo

During this week, Homeroom Teachers will be sending an invitation to join Class Dojo (www.classdojo.com). This is an Internet and/or Application in which the teachers will post messages for the whole class or upload photos of the students in action.  I will also post whole school events and messages through the School Story function.  Please keep in mind that our teachers are here to work with your students and therefore immediate replies to messages will not be possible.  If you have an urgent communication please email the Front Office (frontoffice@iscomo.com).

 

Communication Diaries – G2-G6

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Your children will record their homework in their Communication Diary and therefore this should be brought to school each day.  The diary can also be used as a written communication tool for parents. Grade 4 – 6 can alsouse the diary to record the books they have read over the year.

 

Punctuality Policy

Teaching and Learning time is extremely precious and we therefore do ask our community to arrive on time for school.  The front gate opens at 8.30 for EY and PYP and children should be in their classroom for the following time:

Early Years – 09:00 

Grade 2 – 6 – 08:30 

Children who arrive after 08:40 (G2-6) will be marked as late at the Front Desk. In order to prevent disruption to the teaching and learning during the first lesson of the day, they will then proceed to the Library where they will read for the remainder of the first lesson. After which, they will return to class. This will reduce the disruption to teaching and learning in the classrooms during the first part of the school day and we ask that parents kindly respect this policy.  This policy will begin from Monday 10th September.

 

Dismissal

In the afternoon, the front gate opens at 15.50 only for EY.  Parents in the Early Years collect their child from the classroom.  Grade 2-6 parents can collect their child at 16:00 from the MYP Playground.  If your child needs to leave early please alert the Front Office frontoffice@iscomo.com and Homeroom Teacher.  If your child needs to leave school early on a regular basis, a request must be made to myself by email (jwhittle@iscomo.com).

 

Code of Conduct for Grade 2 to Grade 6 Children

Our Behaviour Management Policy at ISComo supports positive reinforcement and a constructive approach to behaviour management. This year, we will continue with the Code of Conduct for our Elementary children.

The Code of Conduct is aligned with the IB Learner Profile it has been designed to promote positive behaviour and interaction amongst our children.  In this way, we intend to encourage our creative and talented children to realise their full potential within a healthy, balanced and safe environment.

The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to support the Behaviour Management Policy, to express a common commitment to excellence in all areas and to encourage mutual respect between students. This reinforces that respectful, caring interaction is expected at all times at our school.

The Code of Conduct will be distributed to the Grade 2 – Grade 6 classes next week. The homeroom teachers will discuss this with their classes and will answer any questions that the children may have. The Code of Conduct will then be emailed to all Grade 2 to Grade 6 parents.  A hard copy of the signature page will be sent home and we kindly ask you to sign this alongside your child. Please return the signed form to your child’s Homeroom teacher.

 

Integrated Arts in Grade 2 to Grade 6

In this academic year we will continue with the Integrated Arts Programme in Grade 2 to Grade 6.  The programme actively promotes the teaching of music, dance, drama and visual art as an integrated subject area within the PYP Framework.  These four subjects promote creativity, challenge artistic growth and provide new ways of seeing concepts and exploring ideas that are under investigation in the homeroom classrooms.  However whilst these four subjects stand in their own rite, teaching these subjects in an integrated mode, elevates children’s thinking, helps them to make stronger connections and aligns more accurately with the PYP philosophy and approach.  Dr. Anne Bloomfield (2000) reminds us that an integrated approach to teaching the arts ‘reflects the developmental stages in the child’s creative and artistic growth enabling teachers to nurture the creative self of the child, to facilitate genesis of children’s ideas and to help manifest genius of their expression.’ (p.1) To make this quote a reality and to help our children gain a lifelong interest in the Arts your children will be introduced to an Integrated Arts Programme this year.

What will this look like?

For the first three units of the year (the first half of the year) the children will inquire into two Arts Disciplines.  They will then rotate for the second half of the year as shown in the table below:

Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6
Unit 1-3 Dance and  Drama Dance and Drama Dance and Drama Music and Visual Art Music and Visual Art
Unit 4-6 Music and Visual Art Music and Visual Art Music and Visual Art Dance and Drama Dance and Drama

We will also offer lunchtime clubs in some of the Arts Disciplines so your children can explore more about the different areas of the Arts.

References:

Bloomfield, A. (2000) Teaching Integrated Arts in the Primary School. London: David Fulton Publishers.

 

Lunchtime Clubs G2-G6

This year we will extend the offering of clubs at lunchtime to give the children more exciting activities to participate in at playtime – these are non-paying clubs and are offered as an extension and enrichment to the curriculum. They are voluntary clubs and are by no means compulsory however children will have to register for the club and be expected to attend for the full term. Monday 10th September will see the trial week of the Playtime Clubs and your children will then sign up for the first term.  We hope the children will find these activities a fun way to spend their playtime.  

Playtime Clubs will now include the following:

  • Chinese Clubs
  • Elementary Choir
  • School Band
  • Drama Club
  • Reading in the Library
  • Ukulele Club
  • Football Club (G3-G6)
  • Basketball Club (G3-G6)

 

Guided Reading from Grade 1 to Grade 6

Reading in the Primary School will be a continued focus for the Primary School this academic year.  In each class, the children will be placed in Guided Reading groups and will participate in a guided reading activity either once or twice a week with the class teacher.  The Guided Reading groups in each class will change over the course of the year depending on the focus of the session; the Homeroom Teacher will determine this.

The focus of the Guided reading session is to develop specific skills, which your child has not yet acquired, or to rehearse a skill to aid their comprehension of a text.  When your children are not working with the teacher on Guided Reading, they will be working through a number of reading exercises to develop their fluency.  We also encourage you to login with your child to Reading Eggs to continue their reading practice (www.readingeggs.com).  Passwords for this programme will be communicated in the upcoming week.

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Chinese Lessons

Chinese lessons will continue this year using the following system:

  • Grade 2 – Chinese offered as a voluntary lunch Playtime Club
  • Grade 3 – Chinese will continue to be taught to the Grade 3 class once per week.
  • Grade 4 – Chinese will continue to be taught to the Grade 4 classes in two groups, once per week.
  • Grade 5 & Grade 6 – Chinese will continue to be an optional choice for the Grade 5 children, once per week.

Additionally, lunch Playtime Chinese Clubs are offered for Grade 5 and Grade 6, Grade 4 and Grade 3.

Our Grade Six students will also have the possibility to sit the YCT Level One Course in Chinese in May.

 

Optional Courses in Grade 5 & 6

In addition to Chinese, students can also opt for the Italian Maths lesson which is a course to prepare students for the 5° Elementare Exam at the end of Grade 6.  A letter explaining the optional courses will be sent home this week so that our programme can begin from Monday 10th September.

Parent Workshops

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I hope to see as many parents as possible at our Tuesday Morning Parent Meetings at 8:50 which are designed to give you more information about the PYP and the different programmes we have at ISC.  A menu of workshops will be 

posted on the Notice Board by the entrance, will be sent home via email, will be posted on the ManageBac School calendar and can also be downloaded from the Parents Page of ManageBac.  I hope you will find these workshops to be helpful and informative.

 


It is an absolute privilege to be the Head of Primary this year and I am looking forward to working with the whole community to promote the  values of the IB and to ensure each child reaches their potential and extends even further. As Malala Yousafzai remind us “one child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” I hope we can work together to continue to foster lifelong learning and International Mindedness within the children and to provide them with long lasting happy memories.  

With warm wishes

Jane Whittle (jwhittle@iscomo.com)