As we enter the last period of the school year, full of exams and deadlines, our focus is on returning to school in September. I am in the process of participating in numerous work groups and meetings with colleagues from Inspired schools all over the world. The theme of the reopening of schools is debated and explored starting from the organizational aspects to the new ways of teaching with which we will deal. The spirit of being part of a team and the collaboration among the schools of the group has been strengthened exponentially and has certainly become a strong point for us.
For the next week we have organized the collection of books or personal belongings of our students. We must free all classes and spaces as soon as possible so that they can be sanitized and reorganized in preparation for next September.
I wish you a good read and a peaceful weekend,
End of year exams
The secondary school students have received the calendar of year-end internal exams which aim at an overall assessment of learning. The exams will use specific AssessPrep software which guarantees rigor and academic honesty. In primary school teachers will conduct summative tests and assessments.
The ordinances governing state exams have finally been published. I would like to summarize them and disclose in advance what was discussed with the principal of the Fino Mornasco school with whom I am in contact. Next week I will be able to send you more detailed information.
The “Terza Media” exam has as reference the circular n. 9 to article no. 5.
Students will have to prepare a paper (it can be a word text, a powerpoint or a video of max 3 minutes) to be delivered by June 8th. An oral presentation will follow which will take place online, on June 12, 13 and 15.
For the state “esami di idoneità” – taken in Grade 6 and first and second year of Middle School – the reference is the ordinance n. 11, art. 8 paragraph 2. The exams will take place in person by September 1st. The principal of Fino Mornasco expects to be able to organize them in the first week of September.
The Leadership Team is concluding the difficult and scrupulous job of recruiting teachers for the next school year. The teachers are our most valuable resource and so we dedicate a lot of time to the process. The criteria for selection are rigorous, and whenever possible the candidates are invited to spend a day at school and to teach a few lessons.
To start, a candidate must demonstrate that they are in line with the school’s philosophy and that of the International Baccalaureate Organization – IBO. Our values and principles, upon which the programmes are based, are always highlighted during the process:
- an academically challenging curriculum;
- a broad and balanced programme educating the whole child;
- an international curriculum which provides our students with a broad outlook on the modern world;
- the engagement of the student through participating in a wide range of activities, encouraging students to develop curiosity and a love of learning;
- the school as a broad community, including teachers, students and their parents as partners in education.
Candidates must have the following characteristics together with the relevant teaching degrees and at least 2 years of experience.
- Show to have the attitudes described in the Learner Profile;
- be committed to high standards, interested in using innovative approaches to learning, and keen to promote international understanding;
- work flexibly as part of a team; ISC faculty works hard on collaborative projects;
- be familiar with an inquiry-based approach to learning, preferably with experience or knowledge of the PYP or MYP o DP;
- have high expectations of student learning;
- use flexible strategies for mixed age classes and for children with different needs and language backgrounds;
- Be able to potentially offer extra-curricular activities to supplement the formal programme in school.
Letters of references are requested before hiring and we contact the schools where the candidates previously worked.
I hope to be able to announce the new hires and send you the professional profile of the new teachers in the coming weeks.
Preparation for the next school year
I am working hard to organize the opening of the school in September together with other Inspired colleagues and the Safety Manager – RSPP. Obviously we will have to comply with the requirements of the Italian authorities, which have not yet been published for schools, but we cannot wait to design spaces and acquire the necessary resources so that everyone can return to school safely.
The primary objective of the school is to be able to offer lessons to all our students. This will involve the reorganization of spaces, procedures and routines and staff. I am well aware that this is a hot topic for our families so I thought of organizing Webinars in which to illustrate the steps followed and the whole project as a whole. All interested parents will be invited to participate.
This is certainly a unique year that will remain etched in everyone’s memory and go down in history. In a year like this how would it be possible to lose the ISC tradition of collecting the images of beautiful moments and events lived together, the goals reached and the challenges that were overcome by our students?
Carrying on with the theme of online learning, I’m thinking of organizing a Digital Yearbook, to browse on an ipad or laptop. I would also like to actively involve our students who have become digital experts in the collection, selection and layout of images.
We have several photos taken at school until February, but for the second part of the school year we have to count on you. I saw beautiful photos on ClassDojo, as evidence of the learning, as well as many video or photographic projects of the older students on Managebac.
We will open a Google Drive folder where you can upload the photos you want to give us.
I thank you in advance for your collaboration.
The purpose of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inner meaning. (Aristotele)
The arts are a universal form of human expression and a unique way of knowing, which engages us in effective, imaginative and productive activities. Learning through art allows us to explore, shape and communicate our sense of identity and individuality. Focusing on the individual increases self-esteem, resilience and adaptability. It encourages our sense of belonging to the community through identity recognition. During adolescence, the arts provide an age appropriate opportunity for a holistic development of the student’s social, emotional, intellectual and personal intelligence.
In the arts, students have the opportunity to be actively artists, as well as learning the arts. Artists must be curious. By developing curiosity about themselves, others and the world, students become true learners, inquirers and creative problem-solvers. Students grow through the creative process, performance and presentation in a way that engages and transmits sensations, experiences and ideas. It is through this practice that students acquire new skills and master the skills acquired previously. (From the IB Arts guide, September 2014)
Our teachers of the Arts and Design department have designed a series of initiatives that will animate what is called the Creative Month at ISC. The activities will start in the first week of June and this year will have to be really creative!
I was ready with fireworks and a wonderful location to celebrate the first ISC DP Graduation. Unfortunately, our 11 graduates will have to settle for an online Graduation to which we will still give a lot of emphasis and attention. We will share further details with you in the next newsletter. This is an important aim for our ISC community that I hope everyone will be able to celebrate it live, even if in September.
The Board meeting with Mr. Nicholas Wergan – Inspired Education Director Europe – will take place on June 4th. During the day he will meet the Leadership Team, in a proper Board meeting format in which the following points will be addressed:
- The performance of the school and students
- Appraisal and teacher evaluation
- The Self-Study process in preparation for the IB assessment visit for PYP and MYP
- The search for school staff
Mr. Wergan will also meet the Student Council and the Parent Advisory Board.