Many of our Secondary students (Years 7, 8, 9 and 11) have begun internal and external examinations this week. These examinations test our students learning across a wide number of subjects and certainly for our Year 7 students represent their first formal experience of examinations. Next week students in Years 3 and 5 will join this group with the Australian NAPLAN testing. Whilst preparing our students for the examinations they will sit in Year 10 and Year 12, which will ultimately determine their future education opportunities, the data we receive as a school from these examinations is incredibly valuable and will be used by staff to facilitate our ability to effectively differentiate our teaching and developed teaching programs better catered to the needs of our students. I know our students will try their very best over the coming weeks.
Creating meaningful partnerships with education experts for the benefit of our students through curriculum development has always been a strength of AIS; this year we have already enjoyed the company of Professor Peter Sullivan who is working with us on our Elementary School Mathematics program, Dr Andrea Truckenbroedt who has been working with us to develop our school-wide language program, and just two weeks ago David Vinegard, whose work has underpinned our restorative practices approach to discipline in the Elementary years. The program of professional partnerships continued this week with a visit from Australian music educator and creative thinker, Richard Gill working with our specialist Music Department, and a number of Year 2, Year 5, Year 7 and Year 9 classes. Richard’s vision is that music education is imperative for all children, as it teaches the value of creativity. His assessment of music education at AIS was incredibly positive, and a vast improvement on most schools he has visited in Australia, which is pleasing to hear. The impact of having a specialist of Richard’s calibre working with our team will be felt by the vast majority of our students through their compulsory music lessons. I thank those parents who also joined us last night to hear Richard speak – I understand they were treated to an outstanding choral performance by a selection of our Secondary elective music students.
Raising the bar with digital learning has also been a focus for this year. To further inform parents on the impact the 1:1 iPad program is already having in Elementary School, Coffee Confidential on Monday, 26 May will focus on this topic. This will be an interactive workshop during which parents will experience the iPad Apps their children have been using in class and impact this technology can have on learning outcomes. Parents who wish to attend may RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Today [Friday] senior colleagues and myself interviewed two prospective candidates for the position of Head of Elementary School. We have had a very high standard of applicant for this key position within our leadership team and the two shortlisted candidates were very impressive. A final decision on this position will be discussed with the AIS Advisory board later this term, after which I will communicate with the community who will be joining to team to guide the Elementary School.
Finally, my congratulations to the AIS sportsmen and women who represented us last weekend’s AISA Games in Hong Kong. I understand from Mr Teves and Mr Casson that not only did they perform wonderfully in a sporting context, but that their positive manner and sportsmanship was also of an incredibly high standard. It is always pleasing to hear of our students representing AIS with pride.
Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.
Dr Nick Miller
The Singapore Government has recently confirmed the date for this year’s Deepavali Public Holiday. The date has been moved from Thursday 23 October to Wednesday 22 October. The following information has been provided by the Ministry of Manpower:
The Hindu Advisory Board (HAB) has confirmed that Deepavali will fall on 22 October 2014 (Wednesday) instead of 23 October 2014 (Thursday). Hence, 22 October 2014 (Wednesday) will be gazetted as a public holiday. - See more at:http://www.mom.gov.sg/employment-practices/leave-and-holidays/Pages/public-holidays-2014.aspx
This change of date has also necessitated a change to the Staff PD date that was originally set for the Friday of the same week. The PD day will now take place on Friday 31 October 2014.
You may have heard about a new and exciting school-to-home communication tool that we are bringing on line this year – the Virtual Learning Environment or VLE. This new initiative will replace the current (and outdated) parent portal, Sharepoint, and will be used by teachers to communicate with you about your child's learning and progress, We are currently in a pilot phase with staff and students discovering what exciting possibilities this will present for the community, with a view to a soft launch across the whole staff and student body in Term 3. When the full version is up and running in 2015 parents will be able to view these ‘online classrooms’, as well as manage their personal family data, access school-wide news and information, sign up for events, sign their children up for CCA’s etc, and much more.
The launch of the parent-facing element of the VLE is expected to take place in Term 4, once students and staff have had a chance to upload content. However, as staff and students engage with the software, and the look and feel is being considered by our design team, we would like to engage a cross section of the parent community in a series of focus groups to share our initial thoughts and to understand the needs of this important stakeholder group.
The Parent Focus Groups will be held on the following days / times and we require approximately 8 per group.
6pm Tuesday, 26 May
9am Wednesday, 27 May
2pm, Thursday, 28 May
We are keen to hear from a wide-cross section of the parent body at these informal, information gathering sessions. Expressions of interest to take part in the focus group should be sent to Claire Ettinger, stating your preferred session.
There has been an unexpected production issue with the school photos. Unfortunately, the frames received by photography company from their supplier were not of the required standard. An alternative supplier was immediately sourced and production has since recommenced; however, there has been a knock-on delay in the delivery to the School.
Photos will now be delivered to AIS by the middle of next week (Week 6), and it should be possible to send them home with students on Thursday and Friday.
Learn about iPads from the real experts…our students!
At the next Coffee Confidential we will be introducing Elementary School parents to an integral part of our new Teaching and Learning with Technology Project, 1:1 iPads.
Come along and gain hands on experience in our interactive workshops led by teachers and students from our Elementary School. Learn how to use an iPad for deep learning and walk through a typical learning experience, choosing from a range of apps like iMovie, Showbie, Popplet and other similar rich software.
We will be using iPads in the workshops so if you have an iPad, please bring it with you. Monday, 26 May
9.00am for 9.30am start, venue tbc next week.
Places are limited, please rsvp to email@example.com.
With just over 4 weeks to go until our ICE Festival, our Food Stalls are shaping up to be an international feast to remember.
The ICE Committee is now seeking parents who are willing to assist in serving or helping prepare food for our Malaysian, French, Lebanese, Sri Lankan and Thailand Food Stalls.
We also still have room for one or two food stalls from new nationalities – so if you would like to be part of ICE, and put on a food stall for a particular nationality get in touch and let us know!
If you want to get involved and you can be at AIS on Friday, 13 June, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Paul Carney for more information.
Secondary students will shortly have the opportunity to purchase a $10 book of vouchers for ICE. $2 will go to the mufti donation for the day, and the remaining $8 is theirs to exchange for food and drink items on the day. Students should check Secondary Notices or ask their Home Group teacher for more information.
The annual Nepal Schools 4 Schools Lamington Drive is back again!
This is the only chance you'll get this year to not only savour mouth-watering lamingtons, but also gain the satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to one of the School's longest-running charity projects, where students brave the mountains of Nepal to improve the educations and lives of hundreds of children.
Price: S$12 per box of six lamingtons
How to Order? Drop boxes and order forms are located at Lower Elementary Reception and Main Reception and in each of the POD areas. Parents and staff should simply fill in the order form and put it in the envelope provided at the drop box location, with payment (cash or cheque) and slide it into the box.
Students can place their own orders in the same fashion via drop boxes in the POD areas.
Click here to print out your own order form for the Lamington Drive.
Deliveries will be made at end of term. Be quick! Last orders will be collected on Friday, 23 May!
Nepal Schools 4 Schools
Nepal School for Schools Project are also in need of second hand book donations. Look out for book collection bins near the Secondary and Lower Elementary School receptions. Clear out your old books (especially children’s books) and make room for new ones!
The Nepal bookstall will be running from Monday, 26 May to Friday, 6 June. More information to follow shortly.
Nepal Schools 4 Schools
Visit the AISPA page on the VLE to find out who the two candidates for AISPA President are, so that you can make an informed decision when you vote in the Extra Ordinary General Meeting next Friday, 23 May.
Click on the image below to find out about their upcoming Extra Ordinary General Meeting.
ANZA is excited to launch a new interest group - the Single Parents Networking Forum. Being a single parent - mum or dad - is never easy, but it can be even more challenging when you are physically separated from family and close friends. The Single Parents Networking Forum aims to provide support, advice, friendship and fun. Over the coming months, we plan to cover topics such as your legal rights, financial planning, Singapore passes / visas and emotional wellness. Plus hold social events for adults and families (it is a great opportunity for kids to meet others who don't live with mum and dad).
The first get together will be held on Wednesday, 4 June, from 7pm upstairs in the private dining room of the Fern & Kiwi at Clarke Quay. This event is open to non ANZA members, so please spread the word.
RSVP to Mel at email@example.com