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ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - Ms Mignon Weckert


Tuesday, 6 May

Year 2 Swimming Carnival

AIS Pool.  8:40am – 11am

8.40am - 9.40am
2FO, 2DA, 2MI, 2DU, 2HB, 2FD

9:50am-10.50am
2BU, 2SI, 2TY, 2KE, 2WR,2PA​

Tuesday, 27 May

Year 1 Swimming Carnival

AIS Pool.

Thursday, 29 May

Upper Elementary House
Swimming Carnival

9:00am – 2:45pm
Yio Chu Kang Swimming Comple
Ang Mo Kio Ave 9

Wednesday, 11 June

Prep Swimming Carnival

AIS Pool


Learning Outside Of My Classroom

One of the practices of the IBPYP states that schools need to ensure that: “Teaching and learning fosters a stimulating learning environment based on understanding and respect.” While our teachers do an incredible job to ensure that each classroom is a stimulating learning environment, so much of the learning our children engage with is outside of their own classrooms. In this week’s Newsletter you will hear about some of the different ways across the Elementary School this occurs, including Buddy meetings, PE program, camps, excursions, incursions and guest speakers, to name just a few. All of these engagements outside of the classroom provide a rich environment which provokes interest, develops skills, builds connections and deepens understanding.

Mignon Weckert
Head of Elementary


Elementary School Notices / Announcements
Swimming Carnivals

Year 2
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.
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Upper Elementary School
On Thursday, 29 May, the annual UE House Swimming Carnival will be held at Yio Chu Kang Swimming Complex. In preparation for this event, we require all students wishing to compete in the Competitive ‘A’ Events to pre-register so that we can enter their names into the Meet Manager Program. This is an intensive process so we seek your assistance in providing us with this information by Wednesday, 14 May. To access the Upper Elementary Swimming Carnival Survey please click on this link.

Please note that ‘A’ events are for competitive swimmers. Students should only select to participate in an ‘A’ event if they are a competitive swimmer and capable of swimming 50 metres competently in the strokes they select. Students choosing not to swim in an ‘A’ event will still get the opportunity to compete in Freestyle, Backstroke and Breaststroke ‘B’ Events on the day of the carnival. There is no sign up required for ‘B’ Events.

*Please note students may be required to trial for the ‘A’ Events of 50m Butterfly and 200m IM dependent on entry level numbers. 

*Students competing in the 200m Individual Medley will need to be transported to the venue by a parent/guardian to arrive at 7:45AM

Please take the time to discuss this with your son and daughter and consider all factors before completing the survey. Once the deadline has passed, we will be unable to make any changes or additions to the program. Students who miss the cut off for ‘A’ events can compete in ‘B’ events on the day of competition.

The emphasis of the carnival is participation and every student has the opportunity to compete on the day.

For more information regarding the UE Swim Carnival click here

Miranda Teves
Elementary Sport Coordinator

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Parenting Workshop with David Vinegrad: Presentation available

Last Thursday we had the pleasure of having behaviour expert, David Vinegrad work with our staff, developing further, our approaches to welfare.  In the evening on Thursday David presented an informative and engaging parenting workshop for our Elementary School parent community. We had a great turn out with approx. 80 parents attending. I am happy to share with you the PowerPoint presentation that David used on the evening, please click the link Restorative Practices Parent Evening with David Vinegrad, (If you have any issues logging onto the VLE, the file can also be downloaded using this link: http://goo.gl/7dMjFi)
Thank you to all of those parents who were able to make it to the evening. Your feedback has been very positive.

Lester Stephens
Assistant Head of Elementary


News from Preschool

Learning outside of my classroom
Preschool uses the Reggio Emilia philosophy as a foundation for learning opportunities, which promotes the environment as the ‘third teacher’, recognising the environment for its potential to inspire children.  Our Preschool learning environments are filled with natural light, order and beauty, the open spaces we provide are free from clutter, where every material is considered for its learning purpose and every corner is ever-evolving to encourage children to delve deeper and deeper into their interests. Our environments encourage collaboration, communication and exploration and spaces both inside and outside of our classrooms respect children as capable learners, by providing them with authentic materials and tools. These learning spaces are cared for by the children and adults within our community.
Research shows that it is imperative for young children to be exposed to a wide variety of outdoor activities.  We are very proud of our inviting outdoor spaces where children are offered opportunities to pedal tricycles, run, kick, throw balls and be risk-takers on a planned obstacle course.  This equipment enhances the children’s physical development and wellbeing.   The digging patch in the Crocodiles’ outdoor area offers a unique sensory experience and the children are currently displaying scientific thinking when they add water to the digging patch changing the soil to mud.  This outdoor learning experience connects with the current unit of inquiry which involves exploring the concept of ‘forms’ of water.

Our multipurpose hall (MPH) provides the venue for regular mini excursions, where children’s physical needs are planned for and met.  Our gym sessions provide for the development of gross motor skills and social skills of cooperation through games and self-confidence with attention given to locomotor, ball rolling, throwing, kicking and gymnastics skills. 

UOI: Weather Patterns Affect the Choices People Make
The current Unit of Inquiry for all Younger Group classes this term addresses the central idea of ‘Weather Patterns Affect the Choices People Make’.   Wallabies’ Teacher Assistant, Ms Sarala, shared her recent holiday experience in Korea to assist with ‘learning about the weather in another country’.  She shared photos with the children, one being of spring scenery, and mentioned how unprepared she was for the cold weather.  In one photo the children noted that the tree had no leaves so Ms Sarala led a discussion on the changes in the colour of the leaves as the seasons change.  Sharing experiences on changing seasons provides our Preschoolers with valuable firsthand knowledge about weather patterns.

Inquiry Centre
Within our Inquiry Centre we provide rich learning experiences where our holistic program delivers a differentiated curriculum that caters to the needs of early childhood learners.    Last week our Inquiry Centre Program provided a ‘Tuning in Activity’ for our younger group classes.  Mrs Jackson and Mrs Hitz-Morton role-played different scenarios relating to the weather and seasons. They brought in a variety of articles of clothing to share with the children.  This provocation invited discussion about making appropriate clothing choices. The children discussed the importance of preparing our bodies for different activities that occur when we experience different weather patterns.

These activities compliment the inquiry based experiences that occur in our Preschool.  Our ongoing buddy program with the Year 12s highlights the importance of invited guests and specialists within our Preschool to enhance our positive learning environment both in and outside of the classroom.


News from Lower Elementary

The classrooms in the Lower Elementary School are vibrant places where learning is alive through a range of experiences each and every day. However, the benefits of attending an international school is that our students are exposed to some wonderfully rich experiences outside of the classroom.

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is described as a curriculum framework that is ‘transdisciplinary’. This means that there are elements of the program that ‘transcend’ traditional curriculum boundaries. So, our students hear, learn about, experience and reflect upon these concepts and skills in all experiences; inside and outside of the classroom.

This week we would like to share with you two examples of ‘transdisciplinary’ learning that took place in the Lower Elementary School, outside of the classroom, this week.

Swim Scheme
For the past few weeks, our Year 2 students have been engaged in the annual Swim Scheme. This is a chance for the students to engage with learning of a different type. They are able to develop gross motor skills, coordination, stamina and to further develop the concepts surrounding a healthy lifestyle. At AIS, which is a PYP school, it is also a chance to reinforce and deepen an understanding of some of the ‘transdisciplinary’ elements of the program.

Communication Skills
By listening and following directions during the classes, as well as understanding feedback in order to make improvements.

Risk-takers
For some of our students this is stepping very much out of their comfort zone. It is an opportunity to test some boundaries and overcome the sense of hesitation that often inhibits us in new or unfamiliar situations.

Form and Function
As students learn that each swimming stroke has a specific form, with recognizable features, and when mastered, will result in more efficient and effective swimming.

Commitment
Being committed to their own learning, persevering and showing self-discipline.

Children’s Author Sarah Mounsey visits the Library
This week in the Library, Prep enjoyed listening to the local author Sarah Mounsey. Sarah shared with the Prep students how an author comes up with ideas for stories, how she writes all the time in lots of different notebooks and how it is important to edit your work. Sarah also discussed the types of words she uses in her writing such as repetition, refrains, rhyming and alliterations! Sarah read her story ‘Purple Paw Prints’. The students had lots of thoughtful questions for Sarah and much was learnt by all. If you would like more information about Sarah’s work, here is her website.

Here are some of the ‘transdisciplinary’ elements that were developed through Sarah’s visit:

Inquirers
As the students engaged with what Sarah was saying and asked many thoughtful questions.

Perspective
Listening to the opinions of a famous author helped the students to moderate their own thoughts, ideas and perspectives. Through reflection in the classroom students will come to new understandings based on this experience.

Appreciation
Engaging in an appreciation of the beauty of the written art form – as well as appreciating the time, thought and effort that goes into creating children’s books.


News from Upper Elementary

Year 3 Body Systems Expo – Learning from each other
This week the Year 3 students invited their Year 2 buddies to their classrooms to share with them their learning about body systems. The Year 3 students explained how their chosen body system works, how it is connected to other systems and the impact of lifestyle choices. The Year 3s were very excited to share their presentations with the Year 2s who gave their buddies some feedback about what they learnt from their visit.

Through this sharing, the Year 2 students were given the opportunity to learn from their older peers, outside of their own classroom.  The Year 3 students developed their understanding of the powerful learning that can occur when you are asked to articulate your knowledge and understandings to others.  This experience was an authentic way to make connections with other students, from a different year level, which not only supported the development of cross-school relationships but supported enhancement of learning for all. Click here to read student comments.

Felicity Woodhams
Head of Year 3 (Curriculum)


Year 4 Camp: Learning through new experiences
Last week the Year 4 students and teachers packed their bags and headed to Pulai Springs Resort, Malaysia for camp. As a PYP school we strive to provide real learning experiences within which the students can develop and demonstrate the attributes of the IB learner profile and camp was a wonderful opportunity for this to happen.  For many students this was the first time they have spent a couple of nights away from home and they all faced the challenge with a positive, ‘can-do’ attitude.  The activities the students were involved in helped them to negotiate and work in teams, show appreciation for other cultures and form new friendships.  All of this was achieved with a sense of fun and enthusiasm.  Click here to read some comments from students.

Cultural Exchange to SK Taman University 3 – Learning from other cultures
As part of the Year 4 Camp students visited a local Malay primary school called SK Taman University 3, for a cultural exchange activity. When we arrived we had a welcoming ceremony, we felt very special. The ceremony included drums with special decorations and a taekwondo presentation. We then went to the assembly hall where there we watched a very special assembly just for us.  At the assembly, there were speeches from Miss Kirchner and the principal of the Malaysian school. After the speeches a group of very cute kindergarten students, dressed in national costume, performed an amazing traditional Malaysian dance for us. It was awesome!
We then went to visit the classrooms of the Year 4 students. We were spilt into different groups and each group went to a different classroom. Each classroom had a different activity like verbs in Malaysian, making a new friend and art activities. After the activity we shared our Buku Kawan (book friends) books. Thanks to the Year 4 students of AIS, the SK Taman University 3 school students have new books and a new friend. Next we moved to the oval for sport. We played a slipper throwing game and a game where you sat on a palm leaf and 2 people pulled you along. It was a race to finish first. This game was lots of fun and we enjoyed it very much. After sport we said goodbye to our new friends and headed off for the rest of the camp. The teachers and students of SK Taman University 3 were very kind to us and we loved making new friends.

By Emma Astridge, Ruby Jones, Eleanor Watson, Lani DiPetta, Nelson Piterson and Hayley Spring
Year 4 Student Action Team

Jodie Kirchner and Claire Laundy
Heads of Year 4


Year 5 students visit to the Marina Bay Sands precinct – learning from the real world
Continuing our inquiry into How the World Works, Year 5 took time out of our normal routine to spend a day exploring Marina Bay Sands and the structures in the surrounding area. We had been learning about the factors engineers and architects must take into consideration when designing. Throughout the day, we searched for evidence to demonstrate our understanding of the central idea and lines of inquiry. We were able to use our iPads to keep a record of our insights by taking photos and keeping notes.

Examining real life structures provided us with practical design ideas and inspiration for our Young Engineer’s Day. This day is one of the highlights of Year 5 and allows us to put our learning into practice. Click here to read some student comments.
Jennie Carney
Head of Year 5 (Curriculum)


Single Subject Spotlight: Music

What a big start to Term 2 in Elementary Music! The start of this term has had some big performances for our Upper Elementary Choir and Chamber choir with amazing performances at ANZAC assemblies around the School and at Kranji War Memorial. Congratulations to all of our Upper Elementary Choir students.
We have also had some amazing learning taking place with our students presenting their knowledge in lots of different ways.   

In Prep we have been showing that we understand how Beat works by:

Dancing to the beat and singing and pointing to beat icons.

Whilst at the other end of the Elementary School our Year 5 students have been showing their understanding of Pitch by:

Adding solfa language to their class songs and Using their solfa hand signs to communicate their understanding. Here they are showing “Do”