Primary School: 17/01/2020

Welcome to the new term and new decade!  Thank you for taking the time to read this Newsletter in order to keep updated on events in the PYP and Curriculum news!

Parent Workshop

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On Tuesday January 28th at 08:50 we will have our first Parent Workshop.  The focus is APPROACHES TO LEARNING.
In PYP Schools we have a set of life-long learning skills that we aim to develop in your children.  These skills progress from Kinder – Grade 6 and then into MYP and DP.  The meeting will look at each of the 5 categories of skills and will be led by myself, Rebecca Reider our Grade 5 teacher and some guest students.  The Approaches to Learning are made up of the old Transdisciplinary Skills for those parents who remember these.  I hope you will be able to join us for the workshop to find out more about this important element of the PYP.

Wear Red for Chinese New Year

On Friday 24th January we have Free Dress Day and we invite everyone to dress in red for Chinese New Year.  Ms Zhe Wang, our Chinese teacher, will lead a special assembly in the PYP to help students understand more about this special event in the Chinese culture.

Professional Development in the Early Years

professional development

We are very fortunate to be part of the Inspired Group of Schools so that we may work with Marianne Valentine for our Early Years section.  She leads the Inspired Early Years Approach and has been central to the IB’s work on the Enhanced PYP.  She has offered to lead workshops at the Loris Malaguzzi Centre in Reggio Emilia for staff to help support our development of the Approach.  Ms Louise, Ms Roberta, Ms Steph and Ms Nicoletta have all been part of these workshops and they have brought back exciting ideas.  On January 24th during collaborative planning, the entire Early Years Team will meet at the International School of Milan.  They will work closely with staff at ISMilan and ISMonza to focus on documentation and language in the Early Years and Marianne Valentine will also lead part of the meeting.  This is an exciting opportunity for staff and I would like to thank Mrs Ferloni for her support of these extra professional development activities.

IB Visit and the Self Study

As you may be aware, in November 2020 ISC will have their Evaluation Visit from the IB.  This visit will be checking we are meeting all the standards and practices within a PYP and MYP school and to ensure we have moved forward since our last visit.  In order to get to know the school before they arrive, we must collect evidence that we are meeting each of the standards and every member of the school community has the opportunity to be part of this data collection. On February 4th after the Coffee Morning we would be very grateful for parents to join myself and Ms Karen Lockett (MYP Coordinator) to find final pieces of evidence for the Self Study.  We would like to offer you lunch so we may work all day to find all the evidence possible from the parents’ point of view.  It will be a long day but if you are interested in helping the school to show the IB our areas of strength and areas to improve we would be very grateful for your support.  Please contact me via email – jwhittle@iscomo.com

International Schools Assessment – ISA Tests

On February 10th-14th Grade 4, 5 and 6 will complete a set of tests from ACER in Australia.  The tests give an opportunity for your child to show their skills in certain areas of mathematics and language.  The results indicate areas where your child is working above or at the expected grade level and areas where they might be below the expected grade levels.  The results do not determine whether your child moves into the next grade level they are for internal use in terms of assessing the success of our teaching and curriculum planning and for you as parents to have an international benchmark of how your child is achieving.  The results are posted in late May on your child’s Portfolio.  The assessments are:

2 x Maths Exams – the test can cover every strand of Mathematics and teachers will prepare your child for the types of questions which may come up.

1 x Story Writing – your child will have a set time to write a story from a picture prompt.  Please follow guidance from the teacher in homework activities.

1 x Essay Writing – your child will have a set time to write an essay from a specific prompt.  Teachers will send essay homework in the following weeks.

1 x Reading Comprehension – this is the longest of the tests and lasts 55 minutes.  There will be at least 8 different texts which your children will need to scan through in order to answer around 40 questions on the texts.  It is a fast paced and difficult exam and therefore it is very important your child is reading at home every night in order to develop their fluency and comprehension levels.  You may want to do extra Reading Eggs at home in order to develop your child’s skills further.  www.readingeggs.com

Your child does not need to worry about these tests as they form a small part of the bigger picture we have about each of your children.  However it is important they give the test their best try.

Socks!socks

Thank you very much to all families who have contributed socks for Australia.  We have formed “Team Australia” who have been visiting each class every day to collect the socks.  A letter from the charity recognizing our contribution will be sent through Class Dojo.

Welcome to our next Student Teacher

New-Teachers

Emily Wicker will be completing her teaching placement in the Transition class and she joins us from the USA.  She already works as an assistant in the US in a daycare centre so she has a wealth of experience to bring to ISC.  Her placement will run for 9 weeks.  She will be mentored by myself and her external examiner from Educators Abroad will be visiting twice throughout the placement to complete official observations.  Good luck Emily!

And finally…sleep

SLEEP!  I am receiving more and more concerns from teachers and our school psychologist (Elizabeth Ferrari) that some children in their classes are exhausted and going to bed at around 23:00.  Whilst every child is different, the school day is long and demanding and your children do need a good night’s sleep in order to be fully prepared for the day ahead.  Ms Ferrari has asked me to kindly remind you about the importance of a bedtime routine, trying to stick to a set bedtime and removing devices from children so they get an undisturbed sleep.  Ms Ferrari will be sending me some articles researching this aspect of child development which I will share on Class Dojo.

Thank you for your support in this important area.