Secondary School: 29/11/2019

Welcome to the Secondary Newsletter!

Dear Families,

Welcome to our new edition of the Secondary newsletter. We have begun our count-down to Christmas with exciting events, such as our Music night and Movie night, field trips with Grade 11 and Grade 12 and thinking about transitions into our next phases of schooling here at ISC.

High School Drama night

We were treated to a fantastic night of High School Drama this week, in which students showcased their performances from Drama lessons, supported by original music from our Music students. Each year our students continue to raise the bar with the level of their performances and our students were exceptional in their performances. We are so fortunate to have an amazing team of staff in Ms Niki, Mr Fedetto and Ms Gretchen who work so hard with our students and push them to achieve such high standards.

Upcoming Events

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Time has flown so quickly that December is almost here. We have a number of events that are taking place in December for both staff and students.

Our IB coordinators will be attending workshops with other Inspired schools and with the Association of IB Schools in Italy.

Our students will be enjoying Middle School Movie night on Friday 6 December, the Secondary Musical concert, on Thursday, 12 December and trips in Italian to the theatre for Grade 11 and 12. Watch out from communication from the office with full details.

As we break for the Winter vacation, we are hosting a Winter themed Free Dress Day on Thursday, 19 December. In celebration of our holiday, we invite our students to come dressed for school on in clothing to celebrate the winter and Christmas holidays. We ask that students respect our guidelines from our free dress Fridays as they choose their clothing for the day.

Prizes will be awarded to the most creative outfits!

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A Time of Transitions: planning for the future

Transitioning from PYP into MYP

We are delighted to welcome Grade 6 into MYP again on Tuesday morning, following on from their recent experiences in Science and Art.

As a school, the wellbeing and learning of our students is paramount and we will be hosting regular transition lessons with our Grade 6 through this year, and meetings with Ms Lockett, to help them in their move into MYP.

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When students change between Primary and Secondary, they must adjust to new surroundings, become familiar with new teachers and peers, learn new ways of working, and make sense of the rules and routines that operate in their classes. The transition to secondary school often coincides with important social, emotional and physiological changes in the lives of adolescents. Our staff work in collaboration with each other to support our students in this, a real advantage for our students in transitioning within the two phases of our school.

Our parents can also help in this transition process:

Professor Julian Elliott, an educational psychologist at Durham University, England, says: “For many children, secondary school represents a step towards autonomy and the whole process of growing up and leaving childhood behind.” It can be overwhelming for children and parents alike. As a school, we are here to support our families and to answer questions you may have about this.

We look forward to welcoming our parents and students into MYP.

Transitioning from MYP into the IB Diploma Programme

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Grade 11 parents will be receiving a communication about our 1:1 family support meetings, to support students in their transition into the Diploma programme and their last two years of High School.

This continues our discussions about IBDP and builds on our introductory event held in October.  As a reminder, a copy of our presentation can be found in the file section of our MYP & DP Parents page on ManageBac: the folder is called MYP Parent presentations. Three-way conferences have also provided further opportunities to discuss student progress with teachers and to consider targets for the future, moving towards IBDP.

Grade 8 and 10:  International Schools Assessments (ISA)

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From the 10 through 14 February, our Grade 8 and 10 students will participate in an assessment of their Maths, Science and English Writing and Reading Comprehension skills through the International Schools Assessments. This is an opportunity for them to sit in test conditions and to answer a set of questions or to respond to a stimuli for writing.

What is the purpose of the ISA?

To gain a snapshot of where each child in the class is within the different subject areas

To gain an understanding of where the whole class level is compared to all schools taking the test

To help teachers to analyse the current programme and make any adaptations – ISA will produce a document explaining which questions were answered well and which not.  Our teachers use this information to reflect to inform teaching and learning

The ISA tests are set over a period of three days and will take place in the morning. Our assessments will begin at 08.45 and, once started, cannot be interrupted by late students.

The results of the ISA usually arrive in early May and will be uploaded to your child’s ManageBac Portfolio.  We kindly ask that you keep in mind that not all children will perform well under test conditions.  The ISA test is a very small snapshot of where your child is as a learner and is one part of a wider assessment process which includes a whole range of formative and summative assessments.  For more information on the assessment tools and strategies you can download the PYP Parent Presentation on Assessment from the Parents Page of ManageBac.

Students will sit a Mock set f exams in the week beginning 27 January

News from our Robotics teams

ISC is excited to announce that they will be entering two teams (JavaBots and InfinityBots) into the First Lego League competition this year. This year’s theme is ‘City Shaper’ focusing on design and architecture. Learners have to design their own robots and program it to complete as many missions as possible within two and a half minutes. Furthermore they need to find a problem with a building or public space within the community, solve the problem, and present it to a panel of judges. We would like to share with you the progress made by each team so far.

InfinityBots

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Research Project: We have identified a problem within a public space. In cities today, such as Milan, there is excessive heat. Secondly, we have noticed the amount of pollution with the cities produced by car exhausts and manufacturing plants. Finally we have identified the lack of green spaces in urban areas around the globe.  Our solution is to create a innovate design to make these public spaces, roads and pedestrians more sustainable. Our solution proposes the addition of green spaces over walkways and roads, through a modular system of nets that will make it possible for plants to grow and create shaded areas, while at the same time filtering the carbon dioxide, in one environmentally sustainable effort to improve city living conditions.

Robot Game: After competing at the FLL Turkey Open last year, team InfinityBots have approach the game differently. They focused on creating a more modular and secure robot, with easily removable attachments. They have fully completed the Crane Mission and are now focusing on completing and perfecting the other missions.

JavaBots

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Research Project: We have chosen a public space in our community, Lake Como. The problem is that Lake Como is really dirty, so we want to find a way to clean the lake. After completing primary research for a month, we concluded that microplastics are a huge problem, so we will focus on removing these plastics from the water. We have decided that for our final ideas we will create a box that is placed in the water. It will suck in the water, separate the microplastics through a filtering system and then release the clean water back into the lake.

Robot Game: JavaBots have built a modular robot with two colour sensors for accuracy. They have currently completed three missions on the board: The Cane, The Swing and the Traffic Jam.

We would like to invite our community to follow us on Instagram (InfinityBots and JavaBots) to be part of our journey.

IBDP History – ISC Teachers as Primary Sources!

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

Nelson Mandela

Central to studying History at DP is the evaluation of primary and secondary sources. Primary sources we normally use during lessons include: newspapers; artefacts; diaries and manuscripts. However, DP History students recently had the opportunity to interview two eyewitnesses – who happened to be teachers at the school: Ms Gray and Ms Ricco.

In DP History, we examine how basic 20th century democratic principles have been applied in different countries. One case study we are exploring is South Africa where we look at the impact of apartheid laws and the subsequent impact of the establishment of a democracy in the 1990s: for the first time the black majority were not governed by a white minority. Despite this fundamental political change in 1994, it was much more difficult to achieve fundamental economic and social transformation in the years that followed. Twenty years following apartheid, poverty and inequality were two major challenges still facing South Africa.

Ms Gray kindly shared her experiences of living in South Africa both during and after apartheid – particularly interesting was the way in which the Truth and Reconciliation Commission tried to use restorative justice to offer people the opportunity to talk about their pain from the years of apartheid.

Ms Ricco talked about how South Africa winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup was a significant moment to the history of the country. She talked about how sport was a way of bringing being people together and how important it was to everyone in South Africa, particularly as rugby used to be considered as a ‘white privileged sport’.

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Education and social welfare were two important themes that both Ms Gray and Ms Ricco discussed – two themes that we explore during our DP History course. Thank you for sharing your experiences with the students!

Adele Evans

Congratulations to our Best Delegates for the MUN Conference!

Sofia and Leonard received the award for Best Delegates! We are so proud of them!

And finally, to uniform

We hope that all families have received their full uniform orders. As a result, we will begin to strictly enforce our uniform expectations from Monday, 2 December. As a reminder to our families, this is:

Dress codes – students must come to school wearing the school uniform every day apart from the Free Dress Day (which is on the last Fridays of the month) and the Free Fridays (for Secondary only). In High School (G10-13) students don’t wear a daily uniform but are expected to wear the PE uniform during sport lessons.

For any families who still have outstanding orders, please let Ms Karen know so we can make staff ware (klockett@iscomo.com).

Days are also now much cooler outside and our classrooms are lovely and warm. We ask families for their continued support in ensuring that our Grade 7-9 students come to school with an ISC sweater and a warm jacket for outside as only ISC sweaters are allowed to be worn in the school building For our High School students, they should ensure that sweaters and jackets follow our High School dress code. Thank you for your support with our uniform.

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