Tuesday, 6 May
Year 2 Swimming Carnival
AIS Pool. 8:40am – 11am
8.40am - 9.40am
Tuesday, 27 May
Year 1 Swimming Carnival
Thursday, 29 May
Upper Elementary House
9:00am – 2:45pm
Wednesday, 11 June
Prep Swimming Carnival
I loved the examples in last week’s Newsletter of how our new students are settling into life at AIS. Developing in our students a ‘caring’ attitude for others is an important attribute of the IB Learner Profile and certainly something, which contributes to the development of internationally minded people.
Research shows us that students need to feel accepted, safe, and have developed positive relationships with both their teachers and peers, in order to learn. While AIS is relentlessly committed to high quality, relevant, research-based teaching and learning we also are very mindful that all of our efforts can be lost if we do not have the same relentless commitment to the development of positive relationships within the School community.
To support our teachers to continue to develop their expertise in the area of restorative practices, and ensure safe and healthy relationships are maintained, David Vinegrad (an expert in the field of restorative practices) worked with staff and leaders on Thursday as well as running an informative evening session for parents.
Of course with today being ANZAC Day our students throughout this week have commemorated the events which took place in 1915 and recognised the importance of peace personally, in our relationships at school, where we live in our community and in our world. As the mission of the IB states our aim is for our students to ‘help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.’
Head of Elementary
Year 2 Swimming Carnival
The Year 2 students are currently participating in a Swim Scheme program, as a celebration of the end of the program students will participate in a Swimming Carnival. This carnival provides an opportunity for students to showcase what they have learnt during the program, such as confidence in the water and skill progression.
The Swim Carnival details are as follows:
Date: Tuesday, 6 May
Venue: AIS Pool
Time: 8:40am – 11am
Please click here to view the Year 2 Swim Carnival parent information letter
‘Open minded students understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experiences.’ (Making the PYP happen)
In Preschool we celebrate the fact that we are able to acknowledge a wide variety of cultural events here in Singapore which connects our families, children and staff. Over these first weeks of term there has been much discussion about Easter and the children have used their rapidly developing fine motor skills in a variety of ways to create Easter baskets hopeful of them being filled by a special visitor, the Easter Bunny.
From the Wombats (Older Group)
The Wombats made Easter nests using Rice Krispy’s, marshmallows and butter. They enjoyed counting, measuring, pouring, stirring and moulding before taking the nest home to savour it.
“I liked putting the little rice bubbles in the hot marshmallow.” Zara
“The marshmallow was so hot.” Aaron
“I counted 10 marshmallows.” Kiara
“The liked putting the eggs on it.” Tommy
“We made it because it’s Easter.” Daniel
“The marshmallows got cooked.” Toby
“The butter melted and became soft.” Archie
“It was flowy like the water.” Sophia
“I think it will taste like bitter because it’s sticky.” Giselle
“The marshmallows melted and sticked the cereal together” Daniel
Ever mindful of our children with allergies, we ensured that the small Easter eggs given to the children (by the Easter Bunny) adhered to the AIS nut minimisation policy of being nut free, apparently coming all the way from Australia after carefully reading every label!
The Preschool kitchen has been well utilised this week with most classes creating the iconic ANZAC Biscuits together to enjoy as a prelude to ANZAC Day. Building positive relationships between sub-schools is an ongoing priority this year and commemorating ANZAC Day provided us with an opportunity to connect with the Lower Elementary School.
Our Friday afternoon ANZAC Assembly included our 3 and 4 year old groups with the Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 students. Each class created their own wreath and two children carried it reverently to present during the Assembly. The program included:
Call to commemoration; Can you hear Australia’s heroes marching? (Video presentation); Address by member of Armed Forces; Picture book – My granddad marches on ANZAC Day; Wreath Laying – Prayer of remembrance; Ode for the Fallen; Last Post; 1 min silence; Reveille; National Anthem
This solemn service provided opportunities for class discussions about the importance of peace within our world.
Teacher Child Relationships
“Research has suggested that Teacher – Child relationships play a significant role in influencing young children’s social and emotional development . . . children who had a secure relationship with their teachers demonstrate good peer interactions and positive relationships later in life.”
Examples of this can be seen in the following responses from some of our children in our Younger and Older Preschool Groups when asked about their teachers:
“Ms Ng is special because she tickles me in the morning when I’m shy” – Lily (Platypus)
“Mrs Landman is special because she helps find my hat when it’s lost” – Cooper (Kangaroos)
“Ms Lee is special because she helps me” – Priyanca (Bilbies)
“Mrs Staples is special because she lets us play outside” – Elliott (Crocodiles)
Year 12 Connections
You may have noticed our new addition of a red letterbox at the entrance to Preschool. It has been exciting to watch our oldest AIS students enthusiastically depositing their letter for their Preschool Buddies in readiness for next Wednesday’s session together. One of our tallest students, Ricky V, was captured (photographically) delivering his letter for his special buddy. As always, we look forward to sharing our Preschool with the Year 12 community.
Team Building in Preschool
Connections between staff members are valued in our Preschool and each month we celebrate birthdays and special occasions together. This week the April birthdays were acknowledged with a delicious afternoon tea supplied by their colleagues with a rousing happy birthday sung in three languages, English, Mandarin and Malay and accompanied by staff members playing the Ukulele.
How fortunate we are to be able to create lasting positive relationships within our AIS community.
Judy Eveans and Kirsti Hitz-Morton
Head and Assistant Head of Preschool
This week the staff in Lower Elementary School have been engaged in professional learning with a focus on student welfare. The learning was a chance for teachers to reflect upon and enhance our approaches for assisting our students to feel connected, valued, respected, happy and safe. The inspiration came from a leading expert from Australia, David Vinegrad from Behaviour Matters. David involved staff members in experiences designed to challenge our values, question our assumptions and analyse our everyday practice through the lens of the implicit and explicit messages that we send to students, parents and colleagues every day.
The good news is that our teachers are a group of emotionally intelligent human beings whose philosophy towards teaching is very much in line with best practice in this area. Building a sense of community is already an enormous focus for us as a school. Ensuring that our students feel happy and safe at school is what we do every day. We have systems and structures already in place to ensure that our students feel ‘known’, that they have a sense of belonging and that they are engaged in positive relationships.
As a way of sharing some of the ways that we make this happen in the Lower Elementary School, we embarked on a ‘learning walk’ through the School to capture some of the strategies and approaches that are being used:
The heart of our approach is the Learner Profile. The Learner Profile contains ten aspirational attributes of a learner that is embedded in all that we do.
Each classroom constructs an ‘essential agreement’ with the students to articulate the type of behaviours that we know will create a positive learning environment.
Much focus is dedicated to celebrating the unique identity of each child. This sends a clear message to each child that they are special, they matter, that there are adults and peers who are interested in who they are.
Considerable teaching is targeted towards enhancing the emotional intelligence of each child. We hope to assist each child to understand their own behaviour more fully to support the development of relationship skills and responsible decision making.
We have shared with you a very small sample of the wonderful things that are happening in our classrooms each and every day. After this week’s learning we are inspired to build upon and enhance what we are already doing. We will continue to work towards our goal of fostering happy children who are in the best possible place to learn.
Megan Howard and Nick Martin
Assistant Heads of Elementary
Promoting positive relationships is a key component within the Elementary School and we foster this at a whole school, classroom and individual level. This term, Upper Elementary students will take part in a workshop where they will be asked to reflect on the power of their words. Through the use of a bucket as a metaphor, students will be encouraged to consider the impact their words have on the way others feel about themselves. Students will explore ways in which they can ‘fill the bucket’ of others by saying warm, friendly, positive things but also ‘spill the bucket’ by saying unfriendly things.
Year 5 students participated in their workshop last week and the following reflections were captured:
‘If you say or do something nice to make someone happy you are filling up their bucket. If you make someone feel really bad you make a hole in the bucket and it may never fill up again. Even though we are often competitors, I told Nico he was good at soccer.’
Monty – 5A
‘I told my brother he was kind and caring and that made him feel so good. Then he filled up my bucket by complimenting me back.’
Emma – 5D
‘When I work with someone, I usually compliment them on their ideas or things, like their handwriting.’
Ellen – 5D
Developing a culture of care and respect for each other enables our classrooms to be places where innovation, inquiry and risk-taking occur. Such an environment enables powerful learning.
James Harrison and Danica Holloway
Assistant Heads of Upper Elementary
The new term has begun with many of our year groups involved in a variety of fundamental movement and game skills. Our youngest year group has been investigating how to strike a ball using different implements, such as cricket bats, badminton racquets and croquet mallets. Students have been focusing on correct hand grip and body position whilst always maintaining eye contact with the ball.
In Year 1, the students will be looking at the fundamental skill of an overhand throw, in particular throwing for accuracy and throwing for distance. Activities involving partners and targets will assist in developing students' throwing skills which will be used later in game situations.
This term, students in Year 2 have been looking at kicking for distance and applying it in the game Kickball. This is similar to well-known games such as baseball and softball; however, instead of the 'batter' hitting a ball, they kick a football before rounding the bases. This game also develops the notion of field positioning and game strategy.
In linking with their class' UOI 'Who we are', students in Year 3 have been working hard, pushing their bodies through a number of fitness stations. Students have been inquiring into the effects of exercise on the heart by measuring their heart rates at various points of the lesson. Over the course of this unit, it is hoped that the students will see the benefits of exercise and improvements in their strength and stamina.
Students in Year 4 have begun a modified Netball unit, developing their passing and movement skills. The students have been focusing on ways to create space in a confined area, in order to move the ball down the court and score points. Students will progress to playing a game of netball with an understanding of each position and their individual responsibilities.
Our eldest Elementary students in Year 5 are continuing their Emergency Care unit gaining confidence and an understanding of how to respond in an emergency. Students have had the opportunity to practice 'DRSABCD', using a resuscitation mannequin. This unit will continue into the term, culminating in theory and practical assessments where each student will need to demonstrate a competent level of understanding.
Upper Elementary Sport
This term students will participate in two sports, Cricket and Netball during UE Sport. The Cricket program will be run by our head AIS Cricket, Coach Narender Reddy, and professional cricketers from the Singapore National team. Sports Ready Netball and their highly skilled coaches will run the Netball program.
The Cricket program will be held outside on the oval each week and will continue to go ahead even in the case of unfavourable weather, except for lightning. Therefore it is advised when students are participating in the cricket program they are prepared for wet weather and bring a change of school uniform.
Miranda Teves and Adrian Nalletamby
Elementary PE/Sport Coordinators
Do you have superfluous stationery at home? Would you like to think that your now not-so-loved-stationery item could be very loved by a child living in East Timor? Our AIS Sail Vega team has a collection bin placed in the Central Library on Level 4 of the main campus. We would love to see it rapidly filling with good quality items such as pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, highlighters and notebooks.
Please check your desks and drawers at home, gather up items that you would be proud to donate, and send them to the Central Library.
Lower Secondary Teacher Librarian