Dates to Remember

Monday, 21 – Friday, 25 April

Year 4 Camp

Pulai Springs, Malaysia

Monday, 21 – Friday, 25 April

Internal ANZAC commemoration events


Thursday, 24 April

No school for students
Staff Professional Development


Thursday, 24 April

Parenting and a new approach to Discipline - Parent Workshop

6:30 pm – 8:00pm
Senior Library

Monday, 28 April

Tabitha Mothers' Day Stall

8am - 4pm
Main school corridor

Tuesday, 29 and
Wednesday, 30 April

Tabitha Mothers' Day Stall

8am - 4pm
Lower Elementary Level 2

Tuesday, 6 May

Year 2 Swimming Carnival

AIS Pool

Tuesday, 27 May

Year 1 Swimming Carnival

AIS Pool

Thursday, 29 May

UE House Swimming Carnival

AIS Pool

Wednesday, 11 June

Prep Swimming Carnival

AIS Pool

Welcome back to Term 2 and a special warm welcome to all of the new families to AIS.  Lester Stephens and I had the pleasure of meeting the new families last Friday to share information about the Elementary School as well as show new students their classrooms and learning environments.

I really love being able to share what we value at the School, and how we put these values into action. We are all part of the learning process where as an IB World School our aim is to “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect” (IB mission statement). That is one of the reasons why this is such a great community to be part of.

While of course there are always important events to look forward to during the term such as the Year 4 camp, ANZAC Day commemoration, Swimming Carnivals, excursions and incursions, the most important events are what occur on a daily basis in your child’s class. This is where staff at AIS strive to develop in your child all the necessary dispositions, knowledge, skills, conceptual understanding, attitudes and opportunities to take action, which are relevant for them now and in the future.

While learning must be our most important focus, ensuring that all students (and families!) feel part of a supportive respectful community is paramount. We look forward to welcoming all new families into the AIS community where you will be able to contribute to and experience, care and support as well as relevant, engaging, significant and challenging learning.

Mignon Weckert
Head of Elementary

Elementary School Notices / Announcements

Over the past 12 months our community has heard about the new approach to welfare taken by AIS and how we have adopted the use of Restorative Practice philosophies and principles. These practices are also very relevant for families when working with children at home.

Next Thursday, 24 April we will host a parent event which we highly recommended you attend, where we will hear and learn from a leading expert on behaviour management in schools, David Vinegard, of Behaviour Matters.  David will be presenting the latest research and leading a discussion on problem solving and how a restorative approach to discipline can work at home as well as at school.

To register for a place at this event, click here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Lester Stephens
Assistant Head of Elementary


News from Preschool

Sense of Community
Welcome to Term 2, to those returning and also all new families, we look forward to an exciting learning journey with you all.  We do hope the holidays provided you with an opportunity to spend some quality time with family and friends.

Our Preschool is often referred to as being at the heart of the AIS community where initial relationships are formed.  This was evident in the last week of Term 1 when a visiting music group entertained the Preschool staff and students which was led by a family member of one of our Preschooler’s.  Jonathan from the Emus’ Group proudly invited his Uncle Scott, who was visiting Singapore, to play for us.   This group incorporated the Didgeridoo into their musical repertoire.

Preschool Annual Family Picnic
On the last day of Term 1 we held our annual Preschool Family Picnic.  Our classrooms and outdoor playground area were ‘buzzing’ with Preschoolers sharing their learning experiences with family members. I am sure you will agree that this celebration, which concluded our Unit of Inquiry ‘Who We Are,’ provided a fine example of the strength within our own Preschool Community. 
Below is an email that we were sent from one of our long-standing Preschool families, about the Preschool Family Morning Tea Picnic.

‘I just wanted to say thank you and congratulations for a great Family Morning Tea Picnic. My Husband and I both walked away saying that was the best yet! It was a perfect time of day . . . everyone was fresh and happy, working parents could attend (at least for a while) and it was cooler than previous years because of the earlier start. The logistics were much simpler too ... the big kid drop off and then the little kids picnic worked really well . . . well, at least in our household!

We love the Preschool for so many reasons including the way you listen to feedback and embrace it. Well done. It was a really fun morning.’

It is wonderful to have such positive feedback reinforcing our decision to adapt the format and timing of this annual event from previous years and we welcome all your feedback and suggestions for next year!.

New Starters
We look forward to sharing photos of our newest Preschool members at the Newcomers’ Morning Tea which will be held next Wednesday, 23 April in the Senior Library, Level 3 at 9.00am.  Please feel free to join us if you are a new Preschool parent and have not attended previously.  The AIS Parents’ Association (AISPA) will conduct this informal event to assist you in settling into life in Singapore and our school.
Year 12 Buddy Program
On Wednesday, the first of the Buddy visits to our Preschool classrooms occurred with our Year 12 students. We were all very excited to resume this special program.  In the past, the Preschoolers and the Year 12 students have really benefited from exploring the classroom together and enjoying the wide range of activities available, during these very informal sessions.   The Buddy  Program will consist of six weekly sessions where relationships are forged and learning is shared.

This week Year 12 students shared a chosen picture book and read to their Preschooler.  These special books will be donated to our Preschool Inquiry Centre / Library as a reminder of the connection held between the youngest and the oldest students at AIS.  The Year 12 students often reflect upon these buddy sessions as being the most memorable experience in their final year of formal schooling. We encourage Year 12 students to bring their hats with them each week so they can choose to spend time in our outdoor area with the Preschoolers as well.

As Dr Miller stated in the Newsletter at the end of Term 1, ‘a short time in the company of our Preschoolers provides an excellent opportunity to de-stress.’ 

So please feel free to contact us if you would like to join us in being part of the special Preschool world.

Judy Eveans and Kirsti Hitz-Morton
Head and Assistant Head of Preschool

News from Lower Elementary

Welcome back to a new term and a warm welcome to those families that are new to AIS. It has been wonderful to speak to the students and hear about their recent holidays. So many new destinations and places to visit in Singapore have been added to our growing list of holiday activities!

Building and maintaining a sense of community and support is an essential part of daily life in Lower Elementary School. Our primary goal is to ensure that students feel safe, supported and happy at school – both inside and outside of the classroom environment. We pride ourselves on the way in which our teachers, students and parent work together to maintain a caring and supporting environment. The attributes of the learner profile enable students and staff to delve further into and understand the skills, values and perspectives required in establishing and maintaining supportive communities. Teachers spend time using the attributes to assist in developing class communities and year level communities.

Arriving in a new city and new school can be quite daunting for some students, in particular if the school/town that they have come from is small in population.  Below is a quote from Jeremy who shared his thoughts about how he felt when he joined our community last term and how he is feeling beginning a new term and an established member of our community.

‘The school that I came from only went to Year 6 so it was pretty small. When I first came to AIS I felt a bit different and nervous. But I made some really good friends and I had Ben to show me around and look after me in the first few days. People here are friendlier than my old school.’ Jeremy 2PA

One way to support not only those students who are new to the School, but students who are existing members of the community in the playground is an initiative that was introduced last year and facilitated by our Year 2 students called ‘Playground Pals’. This initiative is supported by our School Counsellor Ms Lia Gould and Head of Year 2 Welfare and Administration, Julieann Simonetti. It is not only an excellent support and resource for students in the playground, but it also enables students in Year 2 to develop leadership skills. Two of our Playground Pals this semester, Milly and Lily  share their perspective on why Playground Pals is a successful initiative and why they enjoy taking on this leadership role within our community. 

‘I enjoy it because I enjoy seeing happy faces of people running and playing games nicely. I think it works well because the Gotcha awards that we give out help people learn how to care, cooperate and play with people respectfully. I saw someone being responsible today when they packed up the bay blades when no one else bothered. I gave him a Gotcha card’
Millie 2FO

‘I like helping out when problems come up in the playground.  Our main thing that we have to do is to play with children who don’t have anyone to play with and if we can’t find anyone to play with them, we play a game with that person. I helped some children who had a problem in the playground and they were upset. We need to take them to the teacher to help them solve the problem and the next time I saw them, they were playing together nicely. I think it makes them feel happy and joyful. I enjoy having another playground pal with me when I’m out in the playground.’
Lily 2FO
Mrs Lia Gould, our School Counsellor for Lower Elementary gives more information regarding Playground Pals below.

Megan Howard and Nick Martin
Assistant Heads Lower Elementary

Playground Pals
In 2012 our Year 2 Playground Pals were introduced to the playground in an effort to foster leadership amongst our younger students; to build a sense of community in the Lower Elementary School; and to provide additional support to students in a busy playground.

Our Pals aim to help solve minor problems such as helping students to find friends or resolving disputes in games.  They are responsible for the Bey Blade area during lunch times and this year they will run some activities such as skipping or handball.  Every ten weeks a new group of student volunteers will be chosen from across all Year 2 classes and five or six students will be rostered on duty each lunch time.

The program involves training our Playground Pals on how to resolve simple disputes and how to run activities in the playground.  The School Counsellor and Head of Welfare in Year 2 meet regularly with the Pals to debrief their experiences and brainstorm any difficulties they may be encountering. 
The students take great pride in wearing the bright orange vest that identifies them as a Playground Pal and it is amazing to see them grow in confidence as the term progresses.

Mrs Lia Gould
School Counseller - Lower Elementary

News from Upper Elementary

Although we are a big school, we pride ourselves on creating an environment where all students feel they belong. We are aware of the transient nature of international schools and as such value the importance of developing connectedness and a sense of community. We strive to ensure that we are friendly and welcoming and that positive relationships are at the heart of what we do. 

We asked some of our newer students to reflect on their first term at AIS.

‘My favourite learning at AIS is the UOI.  I like UOI the best because each term we do something different and the topics are interesting.  On the first day at this year I felt a little nervous.  When I arrived Mr Holloway gave me a buddy, Annalise, who played with me, introduced me to other friends and showed me around.  The students at AIS are friendly and kind. I like to talk with my friends during break times and sometimes I have play dates outside of school.  I love my textiles CCA because I am creative.  I have found AIS to be a fun place to learn.  I am pleased to have moved to this school.’
Lily - 3H (Adelaide, Australia)

‘I was mostly excited on my first day at AIS, but I was a little bit nervous.  I think AIS is an awesome place because it has lots of facilities like a pool, iPads and a theatre. It is good to have a theatre because you don’t have to sit on the floor at assemblies like we did at my old school. The teachers are kind and helpful and my friends are fun and most are quite humorous.  I play Sharks Basketball on the weekends and I am a technology fan so I do the ACE Team CCA at school.   My favourite learning area is Maths because I like problem solving and I am good at Maths. I don’t feel like a new kid anymore, I feel like I am a part of AIS because I have made lots of friends.’
Sam - 3H (London, England)

‘When I first found out we were moving to Singapore I was sad about leaving my friends behind but when I got here it wasn’t that bad! I’ve made some really nice friends since I started in 5M. It’s good here because everyone is coming and going so they know how you feel as a new person and that makes it easier. I like how everyone plays with everyone. I do ILC with Miss Kell-Clarke and we read lots of stories and she helps me a lot with my English. My class teacher, Ms Sokol, is very funny and she helps me by explaining things well and giving me lots of her time. Outside of the classroom, I’m also doing swimming and I like it much better than in Brazil even though my swim coach is tough! My advice to any new students would be to say, don’t worry, people will treat you nicely and someone will help you like they helped me.’ Sofia - 5M (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)

‘When I found out we were moving to Singapore I was surprised and excited. On the first day I was nervous but there were lots of welcoming kids in my class. I sat next to someone who invited me to play soccer at lunchtime on my first day. I have a really nice teacher in Mrs de Ruyter who is not as strict as my teacher in Australia but everyone still does good work. The people at AIS are welcoming, fun and like to find out about you. I get to do rock climbing for a CCA which I didn’t do before in Australia and I am the SRC rep for my class. My advice to any new students would be, it is ok to be nervous, someone will show you around and help you.
Alex - 5R (Camden, NSW, Australia)

‘When I first found out I was moving to Singapore I was angry because I had just made some really good friends. When I first came to AIS I thought I wouldn’t have any friends but now I’ve settled in well and have friends! At AIS I do a lot more sports than I did in Melbourne. My teacher, Mr Marsden, is really good because he is nice, funny and helps me with my learning by giving me ideas and options when I get something wrong or don’t know what to do. My advice to new kids would be, don’t be scared. You will make heaps of friends and there are lots of good teachers and lots of funs things to do.’ Finn - 4M (Melbourne, Australia)

‘When I found out I was coming to Singapore I was surprised and didn’t know if I would make friends. It turns out everyone is really nice. On my first day I was nervous, shy and wanted someone to show me around. I was really hoping to find a friend. It didn’t take long for that to happen and now I’m really happy. People respect my opinion on things and they treat others respectfully. My teacher in 4G, Ms Gravina, is really nice and I really like her. She never loses her temper and if I don’t know something she explains it to me in a way I understand. I know I am an aural learner and so I like it when people explain things. I really like how all the teachers try to help the kids no matter where they come from or how different they all are. My advice to a new person starting at AIS this term would be, don’t be scared. The kids are nice. They don’t say or do bad things and they help you to fit in.’ Liesel - 4G (Sydney, Australia)

Danica Holloway and James Harrison 
Assistant Heads of Upper Elementary

Single Subject Spotlight: Mandarin

Welcome to Term 2! Our daily Mandarin lessons have been going well, with students actively engaged in all sorts of meaningful learning activities in which they get to explore the wonderland of the Chinese language and culture. Term 1 saw satisfying achievement of our young learners in the area of linguistic proficiency as well as cultural awareness. One of strengths of the Mandarin Program in Elementary School lies in the diversity of class activities. Students learn the language through games, songs, rhymes, role plays, presentations and other kinds of activities which are designed to cater for the needs of all learners.

In Term 2, students will be learning about new topics and continue to build on their language skills as well as understanding of the Chinese culture. We look forward to another fruitful term ahead.

The following documents have been developed in order for parents to gain a better understanding of the teaching content in Term 2 with some recommendations for home learning included.

Please click on the links below for each year level’s Mandarin Overview.

Mandarin - Prep

Mandarin - Year 1

Mandarin - Year 2

Mandarin - Year 3

Mandarin - Year 4

Mandarin - Year 5

Dee Dee Gao
Elementary Mandarin Coordinator