Dates to Remember

Friday, 2 May

IGCSE Year 10 Art Exam

Year 10 Art Students

Sunday, 4 May

Senior Musical Rehearsal

10am – 4pm
Coral Dixon Theatre – All cast and Musicians

Monday, 5 May

Careers Day

All Day  - SS Library and classrooms
Students Years 11 and 12

Tuesday, 6 May

AIS Golf vs UWC
(preparation for Cognita Games)

2.30pm – 6.30pm  (P6 – Missed)
Orchid Country Club
Year 8 and 11 CCA Students

Thursday, 8 May

Senior Musical Rehearsal

Coral Dixon Theatre

Thursday, 8 May - 11 May

AIS Games- Hong Kong

All day – depart evening 8 May

Friday, 9 May

 Dan Jackson – AFL Legend/Motivational Speaker

11.55am – 12.45pm
Coral Dixon Theatre
Year 10 -12 and Student Leaders

Information subject to change, correct at date of circulation. 

Parents are urged to check their child’s Assessment Calendar on the Student Portal.  This will provide details of forthcoming assessments.

Dear Parents,

The School has seemed empty this week with the majority of our Year 11 students in Chang Mai undertaking their major fieldtrip.  This camp is for all students (HSC and IBDP) who are studying Biology, Environmental Systems and Societies and Geography.  These subjects have a compulsory fieldtrip component as part of their final assessments.  The reports that the School has received have indicated that the students have worked extremely hard on their assessments and collected a plethora of relevant, real world data.  I look forward to getting a complete overview when the group returns to school next week.  Opportunities such as this are one of the many wonderful aspects for a school that exists in Singapore.

I mentioned in last week’s Newsletter that we had a group of students in Spain last week competing in a Football tournament run by Cognita.  The students performed extremely well reaching the quarterfinals where the eventual winners narrowly beat them.  Not to be deterred the team re-grouped and won all of their subsequent matches to finish as Plate Winners.  A more detailed report will appear in the Sports Section of the Newsletter.  Congratulations must be extended to all players and their support staff, Mr Capstick, Mr Harrow and Mr Olley.
This week our first group of Year 10 IGCSE students have been undertaking their external examinations.  The Art students completed their theory and practical papers on Wednesday and Friday.  The students have been well prepared by Mr Coulter and his team of dedicated teachers.  I know the students will achieve the results that they deserve.

As you are aware the Semester 1 examinations will be occurring over Weeks 5 and 6 commencing on Thursday, 15 May for Years 7 – 9 and Year 11.  Year 10 Trail Exams will occur later in the year as part of their preparations for their final assessments in November.  Students received their timetables via email this week.  Additionally the Heads of Year and Home Group Teachers have reviewed these with the students during Home Group Classes.  You will receive a notification email from our Examinations Officer, Mr Balzer; today, which includes the examination timetable.  The teaching staff have been working diligently with the students to ensure they are well prepared.  These assessments provide staff, students and parents with invaluable feedback.  They also afford the students with the opportunity to prepare for and undertake assessments in examination style conditions, which is where they are heading in Year 12.

Our pastoral staff have been working with the students to counter the inevitable stress associated with major assessments.  I would urge parents to engage with their children about these forth coming examinations.  By sharing an open dialogue about preparations for these assessments we can assist students at this challenging time.  I would particularly encourage parents to let the students know that you are proud of them no matter what the final result.  As a Head of School I want the students to perform at the highest level possible but I do not want them to be defined by one set of assessments.  Positive results should be celebrated; poor results should act as a prompt to put strategies in place for improvement but most importantly the child must feel valued.

Next week I will be representing Dr Miller at the Australian International Schools Association Heads Meeting in Hong Kong from Wednesday to Saturday.  These meetings occur twice annually and bring together the Heads of each of the Australian Schools from the region.  It affords us an opportunity to share best practice and to discuss issues facing Australian education.  All of the schools share common curricular and cultural dynamics.  I hope to be able to learn from the practices of my colleagues and bring some of these ideas back to Singapore.  Moreover, I am excited to share some of the excellent practices that are ubiquitous at AIS.

The AISA Heads Meetings are linked to the sporting events in which the schools participate.  The last event was in Singapore where our athletes were crowned overall champions.  I am looking forward to supporting our teams over the weekend as they compete for AIS.  I know the students have prepared diligently and that they will represent the School with distinction.  While I am away Mr Keith Rodger will be Acting Head of Secondary School.  This information is for your reference, as most queries would still be directed to the appropriate Classroom or Home Group Teacher.

On Monday all students in Years 11 and 12 will be engaged with our annual Careers Day.  This is an opportunity for our students to engage with universities and industry figures that will proffer advice that will facilitate the student’s success as they move through the two most important years of their school lives.  This event has grown over the years thanks to the passion and knowledge of Mrs Rhonda Vink and Mrs Beverly Hampson-Froud.  I am immensely grateful to these two ladies for their support of our community.  The day will be invaluable to all of our students and I look forward to the event with anticipation.  I have attached an overview of the day here for your reference.

AIS offers a variety of different CCA options that caters for the myriad of skills and interests that are within our community.  One of more recent CCA additions has been the development of AIS TV.  This activity is for budding filmmakers and broadcasters.  Under the guidance of Ms Kath Perry and Mr Khairul Abdullah these budding Spielbergs have produced some truly creative work.   Some of their efforts were entered into the recent Singapore International School Film Festival.  Two of our Year 8 students, Tom Killingback and Noah Tomich gained first place in the Middle School Video Art Category with their work named “The Wild Side”.  I have included a link to their masterpiece here.  Congratulations to Tom and Noah on their remarkable achievement.

Yours Faithfully,

Andre Casson
Head of Secondary School

Will we see you at the Careers Day on Monday, 5 May?

Information has been sent out over the past couple of weeks and Year 12 and Year 11 students are aware of how the day will run. We are sure that they will have excellent Careers Day and we look forward to seeing lots of parents join their sons or daughters for the afternoon sessions.

The program is looking fantastic with a wealth of representatives from universities and industry.

Please check your emails for more information, and click here to download the most up to date program for the day.

Note that the Year 12 students are to come in business attire while the year 11 students remain in their uniforms.

Should you have any further questions please email or phone us in the Careers Office.

ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Kranji War Memorial

For us, ANZAC Day is a time to remember the fallen soldiers from Australia and New Zealand, who have fought for their country in various battles over the past one hundred years.  In honour of this day, the AIS Choir had an opportunity to sing at the ANZAC Day dawn service at the Kranji War Memorial Cemetery. This was the twentieth year that AIS has performed at Kranji on ANZAC Day.

We arrived at school at 5am, on Friday, 25 April, to meet our fellow choir members. We all set off for Kranji War Memorial Cemetery in the darkness of the morning. Kranji War Memorial Cemetery is approximately 15 kilometres north of AIS, overlooking the Straits of Johor. We arrived at dawn with the glow of the sun barely visible.

This is when we sang “In Flander’s Fields”. The mood was solemn as hundreds of guests were finding their seats in the semi darkness.  The Ambassadors of Australia and New Zealand, along with many invited guests, were all present to hear us sing. Although not a time for celebration, the AIS choir sang beautifully and set the tone for the morning’s memorial service.  At the end of the ceremony, we all paid our respect and prayed for the ANZAC soldiers who fought for our countries. This concluded the ceremony at the Kranji War Memorial.

On return to school, we were greeted by a busy team of teachers who had prepared a lovely breakfast for us all. After being up since 5am, and missing breakfast, we all enjoyed the sausages and ANZAC biscuits. 
Performing at the Kranji War Memorial Cemetery on ANZAC Day was a truly memorable occasion. Next year will commemorate 100 years since the first Australian and New Zealand troops landed in ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli, on 25 April 1915.

Mi-La Ang and Annabelle Wilson

Year 8 Update

After the build-up to Camp and then the school holidays, it has been great to see the Year 8 students getting straight back into the swing of their school routine. They have also been wonderfully welcoming to our eight new students that have joined the AIS community over the past few weeks:  Wanmei Cai, Pin Lyu, Mingxuan Ge, Jinghan Zhao, Jenny Zhou, Bayley Ciccarone, Connor Disselkoen and Samuel Lim.

This week, the Year 8 students have been focusing on their study skills and how best to organise their time effectively as well as to prioritise all the wonderful activities that fill their busy week.  Many of the students are involved in more than one CCA as well as other activities beyond the walls of AIS and organisation becomes crucial in the busy weeks ahead.  As well as having been given a very comprehensive study skills workbook, every student has also been given the exam timetable outlining what days the exams take place and in what order.  Year 8 students will complete five exams across five of their core subjects – English/EAL, Science, Humanities, Language B and Mathematics.  Each exam will take place in the first two lessons of each of the five days and normal classes will resume after recess each day.

In the weeks ahead, we also want students to make sure they are looking after themselves – making healthy choices in their eating habits, taking time to relax and perhaps most importantly, making sure they are getting enough sleep.   We hope they are all aware that our office is a safe space for them to come anytime they need extra support or respite.

Mrs Anne Bhogal and Mr Wayne Nitschke
Heads of Year 8

Year 10 Update

This week our Art and Design students began their external IGCSE exams. Students undertook theory and practical components on Wednesday and Friday.  They looked calm and well prepared. Coming up over the next few weeks, are final exams for Drama, Mandarin and Japanese First Language students. We wish them all the best of luck!!

In year 10 we have welcomed three new students. Zac Ciccarone, Tejas Chandresakar and Arjun Chandresakar (all pictured) have made a fantastic start to their time at AIS and have been given a typically warm welcome by the rest of the year group.

Luke Tyson and Sandy Kiehne
Heads of Year 10

Year 12 Update

It has been a very challenging last couple of weeks for our Year 12s. While it has been a sad time for our school community, we have seen an amazing strength from our students. The care our students have shown towards each other is incredible and perhaps now, more than ever, we need to be aware of how our children are managing and be responsive and patient with each other. As each and every one of us moves forward on our journeys, it is important to understand that people heal at varying speeds and cope in different ways.

There is no set formula for dealing with loss and grief and many students will be exhausted, and thus reactive, from the emotional investments that have made of late. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you be concerned about your child or you would like some advice from our school counsellor.

We are here to support your children and will be monitoring all students, and especially those who were closest to Victoria, over the forthcoming weeks. Students have hopefully grown stronger understanding that adversity is a fact of life and it cannot be controlled. However, what we can control is how we react to it.

The Buddy Program
Now on to something that has brought a smile to the faces of all our Year 12s. The Buddy Program, which is part of their Personal Growth and Development regime, has started off on a very positive note. Students have loved meeting their buddies from preschool for the first time and doing some of the following activities with them:

  • Reading stories to them

  • Playing dress ups

  • Making shapes with play dough

  • Painting etc.

They have also sent hand written letters to their buddies giving them a snapshot of who they are! The Year 12 students are waiting eagerly for the next trip down to Preschool.

Careers Day – Monday, 5 May

As Mr Casson mentioned earlier in this newsletter, another important event that has been planned for our senior students is the Careers Day. The day has a packed program starting at 8.30 am with guest presenter Leesa Rawlings, Regional Talent Acquisition Leader, Asia Pacific at Mercer, who will impart her wisdom and knowledge on interview techniques and protocol, handshakes, the art of keeping calm and much more. Year 12 students are asked to dress in business attire for this day and prizes will be given for the Best Dressed!

The University Fair has also gained momentum and this year, from 1pm – 3.30pm; students and parents will have the opportunity to speak with Universities and Tertiary providers, from Australia and a variety of other countries.  There will also be industry focused specific seminars in the afternoon that will run alongside the University Roadshow.

Indrani Banerjee and Marc Capstick
Heads of Year 12

Mathematics Update

The main focus in the Secondary School Mathematics Department for the upcoming weeks is the Half-Yearly Examinations to be conducted in Week 5 and Week 6. To assist students in their study preparation, all Mathematics teachers would have emailed to both students (in Years 7-9 and Year 11) and parents an examination pro-forma which provides: date, duration, format and weight of the examination; what the student should know and a list of the relevant textbook chapters. All assessment task notices are placed on the VLE – under Assessment Calendars.

Australasian Mathematical Olympiad 2014
Selected students from Year 6 to Year 8 have been entered into the 2014 Australasian Mathematical Olympiads. The Olympiads are held once per month in May, June, July, August and September. The program is designed to encourage and foster a greater interest and awareness of the power of Mathematics and a desire to succeed in solving interesting mathematical problems. Each student will hopefully discover the joy of solving problems mathematically. I would like to thank Mrs Jenny Rodgers for her time and dedication in coordinating this invaluable learning enrichment task.

Report from the South East Asia Mathematics Competition (27 February – 2 March 2014)
In Term 1, Mr Jared Taylor and Ms Mini Menon took four students from Year 9 (Bikramjit Bhalla, Jia Ying Chan, Amit Vinod and Amelia Woodward) and two students from Year 10 (Katherine Evans and Ian Szklinski) to compete in the South East Asia Mathematics Competition (SEAMC). This is an annual event, which brings together all the best mathematical students from international schools across South East Asia. This year the event was hosted by the British Vietnamese International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. All six students represented the School with distinction. I would like to thank both Mr Jared Taylor and Ms Mini Menon for their time and dedication in providing additional avenues to enrich our students mathematically.
Janet Harris
Head of Mathematics