Monday, 19 to
Friday, 23 May (Week 6)

NAPLAN testing


Tuesday, 27 May

Year 1 Swimming Carnival

AIS Pool
8.40am - 9.40am
1ST, 1BO, 1HA, 1JO, 1HE

9.50am - 10.50am
1DA, 1OC, 1MC, 1DE, 1CU

Thursday, 29 May

Upper Elementary House
Swimming Carnival

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

Wednesday, 11 June

Prep Swimming Carnival

AIS Pool

Teaching and Learning and Technology

As a PYP school AIS is required to ensure: “Teaching and learning incorporates a range of resources, including information technologies”. Well, we have iPads now, but what does that mean for student learning? Are they just gadgets which are ‘fun’ and keep students entertained? Far from it!

In this week’s Newsletter you will read about the various ways students are using iPads to not only access information but to communicate and reflect on their learning as well as create new knowledge. It has been inspiring to see what even our very young students are able to do. I believe they are also a wonderful tool to facilitate differentiation where students are able to communicate and demonstrate what they know, understand and can do in a variety of forms.

Of course it is most important that our staff know how to facilitate effective use of the devices. A significant proportion of our Professional Development day on Monday this week was for the development of these skills.  Run by members of our staff members with expertise in the use of a variety of Apps, training sessions included: Pages, Keynote, Garage Band, Numbers, iMovie, Explain Everything, iTunes U course Manager, Showbie and Book Creator.

Enjoy reading what our students are doing and please join us any time to see the way they are using iPads in the classroom as one of the many resources and tools used to facilitate effective learning at AIS.
The next Coffee Confidential on Monday, 26 May will be dedicated to the Elementary 1:1 iPad program and will take the form of an interactive workshop for parents to explore further how iPads are being used for deep learning.  You can rsvp to  Click here for more information.

Mignon Weckert
Head of Elementary

Swimming Carnival Update
Year 1

Tuesday, 27 May

Year 1 Swimming Carnival

AIS Pool
8.40am - 9.40am
1ST, 1BO, 1HA, 1JO, 1HE

9.50am - 10.50am
1DA, 1OC, 1MC, 1DE, 1CU

The Year 1 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 the students to demonstrate skills they have learnt and practiced during the program.

Date: Tuesday, 27 May
Venue: AIS Pool
Time: 8:40am – 11am

Please click here to view the Year 1 Swimming Carnival 2014 parent information letter.

Upper Elementary

Thursday, 29 May

Upper Elementary House
Swimming Carnival

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

On Thursday, 29 May, the annual UE House Swimming Carnival will be held at Yio Chu Kang Swimming Complex. Registration for the ‘A’ events has now closed.

Please click on this link to view the ‘A’ event registration list and double check the ‘A’ events that your child/children have signed up for. (You will need your parent login to view this page, contact of you have problems logging in).

If any corrections need to be made please contact Tania Plant at by 5pm on Monday, 19 May. No corrections can be made past this time as the names for ‘A’ events will be put into our meet manager program, in which no further changes can be made.

Students who have signed up for the 200m IM and 50m Butterfly will have to trial for these events as we have had a significant number of students wanting to compete in these events. Trials will be held next week at the AIS pool, students will be timed and the top 8 fastest times for each year level and gender will be selected to compete in a final on the day of the carnival. Please note students who did not sign up for these events will not be able to trial. This is the only opportunity for trials to be held and any students who are unable at attend the trials for any reason will unfortunately not get another opportunity.

200m IM Trials
Date: Tuesday, 20 May
Time: ES Lunch (11am – 11:55am)
Venue: AIS Pool

50m Butterfly Trials
Date: Wednesday, 21 May
Time: ES Lunch (11am – 11:55am)
Venue: AIS Pool

For the UE Swim carnival letter to parents, click here.

Miranda Teves
Elementary Sports Coordinator

Coffee Confidential: Interactive iPad Workshops for parents

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


News from Preschool

Teaching, Learning and Technology

ICT Focus – Crocodiles’ Pic Collage
Incorporating the use of information technologies into Preschool is not new for us.  While each Preschool class has recently been allocated a set of iPads, many of our Preschoolers have been reflecting upon and enhancing their learning experiences through the use of an iPad for quite some time. 

Preschool uses iPads in a number of ways; our children use them for investigating, creating and communicating.  One class this week was inquiring into how much water is found in their bodies.  The children were surprised when a quick search on the iPad revealed that 70% of their body is made up of water.  

Our current Unit of Inquiry for our Older Group classes has a central idea of ‘Water can be found in a variety of places and used in different ways’.  One class researched the historic formation of water on planet Earth.  Through the use of the iPad and the interactive white board, the following clip was viewed by the children to enhance their understanding of where water comes from:

National Geographic
Earth the Biography: Oceans

Another class used an educational app called Pic Collage to make information posters about where water can be found.  The children also collaged a globe that represented how much of the Earth’s surface is covered in water.

Much of the communication that you receive each week from your class teacher is prepared for you with the use of an iPad.  Documentation of the children’s learning through both photographs and audio is common practice as part of the weekly reflections that you receive from your child’s teacher.
The opportunities for our Preschoolers to engage in information technologies are plentiful when authentically linking learning to our current Units of Inquiry.

Our Teachers and Teacher Assistants spent a large proportion of this week’s Professional Development day enriching their IT skills.  A number of iPad workshops were offered to staff members.  We all look forward to utilising our new-found IT skills when delivering our quality Teaching and Learning Programs.

Mother’s Day
We hope you all enjoyed your special Mother’s Day surprises on Sunday.  The children spent many hours lovingly creating your special homemade gifts.    Our Mother’s Day stall provided your child with the opportunity to purchase a small gift with their hard earned pocket money!  This shopping experience enabled your child to choose a gift for you without any input from some else.   Independence in choosing your present proved to be a worthwhile learning experience for our Preschoolers.
Water Play
Water play is a popular learning experience for young children to engage in.  Our Younger Group classes have recently enjoyed their wet play days.  Water play is an open-ended activity that offers opportunities for children to interact socially and physically.  It enables them to investigate scientifically through the manipulation of pouring and controlling the flow of water.   The mathematical concepts of floating, sinking, full, empty, shallow and deep, link with the early understandings of volume and capacity. 

Our Younger Group classes are currently inquiring into Weather Patterns.  Our key concepts driving the inquiry are ‘Causation and Change’.  The water play experiences enhanced the children’s understanding of the key concepts by providing opportunities for manipulation and experimentation of water and its unique properties.
Judy Eveans and Kirsti Hitz-Morton
Head and Assistant Head of Preschool

News from Lower Elementary

On Monday this week, teachers were engaged in a day of professional learning. A major focus of the day was developing skills in the authentic integration of technology to support teaching and learning. At AIS, technology is seen as a resource to enhance what is already happening in classrooms. Our goal is to use technology to make learning more efficient and effective, but also to transform learning in classrooms undertaking experiences that were not possible before.  We would like to share with you a snapshot of learning in the Lower Elementary School that has been enhanced through the integration of technology:

PJA have been using ‘Book Creator’ to document learning within their unit of inquiry. The children have been creating their own iBooks for Mathematics stories and documenting their excursion reflection with the help of their Year 5 buddies. Some of the skills that the children have learnt include:

  • photo taking

  • typing

  • copying pictures

  • saving / transferring pictures

  • airdrop completed pages

  • adding sound / voice

To view the iBooks you have two options:

1. Open the following files on a Mac or iPad in iBooks or another eReader.

2. Open the pdf version – please note: in the pdf version you will not have access to the certain elements such as audio and video.
Year 1
The students in 1ST have been using the ‘Explain Everything’ application during Mathematics and unit of inquiry sessions this week. The purpose of this application is to provide a platform for children to explain their thinking about particular concepts.

In Mathematics the learning intention has been to explore the language of subtraction. The children were told a story about how a farmer had 12 chickens but woke one morning to only find 4 in the pen. What happened to them? Through drawings and written work, children constructed a story. It has been recorded on Explain Everything. As the unit continues, children will be able to add slides that encourage them to explain what they are learning, new strategies that they have discovered etc.

In the unit of inquiry students are using Explain Everything to understand the concept of perspective. They record their ideas about what makes a house a house and through weekly recordings, the children will be able to reflect on how their perspectives have changed as they dig deeper into the unit of inquiry.

Click on the links below to view these recordings from Year 1.

1ST Movie 1

1ST Movie 2

Year 2
Students in 2TY and 2WR have been using ‘Popplet’ as part of the summative assessment task for their unit of inquiry. Popplet is a mind mapping tool that allows students to represent their thinking by clearly showing the relationship between ideas and information.

Some of the skills the children have learnt are:

  • finding and selecting relevant information on the ‘Kid Rex’ Internet search engine

  • putting this into their own words and presenting an a mind map using Popplet

  • saving images from the internet and then adding to application using resizing and cropping

  • all the relevant tools on the Popplet application such as changing font, changing the colour of boxes, creating new Popplets etc.

  • students are now confident with connecting to Apple TV in the classroom in order to show their progress to the rest of the class when asked, and to share something new they have discovered on the iPad.

Click here to see the 2WR document

Click here to see the 2TY document

Nick Martin and Megan Howard
Assistant Heads of Lower Elementary

News from Upper Elementary

Learning with iPads
We talk about using technology to improve learning, but what does this really mean and what does it look like?  The evolution of the Year 3 Who We Are unit of inquiry showcases this in the context of a Year 3 classroom.

A regular unit within our Programme of Inquiry has seen the Year 3 classes host a Body Systems Expo.  The classes have been open to visitors, including parents, to showcase the students’ understanding of the way in which body systems work, how body systems are connected and the responsibility we have to ensure we make lifestyle choices to keep our body systems functioning effectively.

Through collaborative planning, all year level teachers continually reflect on their practice, in order to improve the teaching and learning for the students in their care.  During the planning of this unit, the Year 3 staff evaluated the successes of the previous Body Systems Expos and looked at ways in which the unit could be refined. 

As a result, the Year 3 team chose to provide the students with the task of tracking their learning journey, using the iPads as an electronic reflection tool.  The students captured each stage of the unit, using the inquiry cycle as the framework, and put together an iMovie which outlined the learning throughout each key phase. The iMovie included photos, video recordings, music, voice recording and text. Not only did this provide parents with a real insight into the learning experiences that the students participated in, but gave students the opportunity to continually reflect on their knowledge, leading to deeper understanding and an inquiry mindset.

In this instance, the iPads have been used as a vehicle for improving learning, converting aspects of the unit, which was only possible through the use of the technology. The unit has been transformed as a result of identifying the learning outcomes and then seeking to determine how the 1:1 iPad scheme is able to support this.

Not only were the iPads used to capture the learning journey but they were a pivotal resource throughout the unit. Taking photos and videos during role plays and presentations; viewing clips and videos; categorising information using Popplet, a mind mapping application; accessing the Internet to gather information; and presenting findings using Keynote to create slide shows, were ways the iPads were used as an inquiry tool.

The enhancement of this unit is just one example of the way in which the iPad technology is being effectively used throughout the Upper Elementary School.  We, as a staff, are excited about the potential we have to continue to strengthen our curriculum in this way.
Peter Hayes
Year 3 Teacher

Upper Elementary Units of Inquiry
The Upper Elementary classes have begun their third and final Unit of Inquiry for Semester 1.  The classrooms are full of energy as the students launch into the ‘tuning in’ phase.  From delving into the ancient past in Year 3; exploring and appreciating genres in Year 4; and investigating the structure of business and the importance of entrepreneurial thinking in year 5, our students are set to participate in a broad range of learning experiences over the next four weeks.

This week’s Newsletter provides overviews which outline each of the units, including ways to support learning at home. Please do take some time to read the overviews and share some of the learning experiences with your child.

Year 3 - Where We Are In Place And Time

Year 4 - How We Express Ourselves

Year 5 - How We Organise Ourselves

Danica Holloway 

Assistant Head Upper Elementary (Curriculum)

Dan Jackson Visit to AIS

Dan Jackson is a famous AFL (Australian Football League) player, currently playing for Richmond.  Richmond is one of the AFL teams representing Melbourne, Australia. Dan came to AIS to talk to the Secondary School students about leadership and what it was like to be an AFL player. My fellow Elementary School leaders and I were invited to come along to this very special occasion and we learnt a lot. We first watched a video about Dan's career as an AFL player.  We could see he was very talented and successful.

He started off his presentation with how he started in his career. He was coming home from school one day when he was about 17. His Mum and Dad sat him down and told him that Richmond was going to draft him for the team. In Dan's mind he thought that he was not that good. All he did was play with his mates. He asked "How long do I have to make up my mind?"  His parents said that he had until the following morning, which meant that he had less than 12 hours to make a life changing choice.

He went on to be drafted and he got into the team. He went and he started his training as a professional athlete. Over time he played lots of games and became a great success; all the time he was trying to balance out studying at university and being a professional athlete. He had a very strict routine that went something like this:

He would get up in the morning and have breakfast and walk down to the local coffee shop to study before 8:30am when he had to be at training. His training went for a long time from 8:30am until 4:00pm.  He would come home, do some more study, have dinner and then do lots of study during the night. This was the only way that he could fit his two different worlds in. He went on and got a degree at university and he continued with AFL.

One day he was doing his AFL training and he realised that he wasn't enjoying it as much as he used to.  He went to see an old friend and talked to him about what had happened. He told him that he wasn't enjoying it, and his friend said "You should be doing it because you love it and not for any other reasons, you are good at AFL but if you are not having fun doing it than you should stop". Dan thought about what his friend had said and tried again and with the most positive things in mind. He found it way more fun.   

Dan recently was awarded the Jim Stynes community leadership award. This is very big honour and he must be really proud. Dan had some challenges throughout his career but most of the way through his life he had a great time. Dan Jackson is very talented and has a really good attitude to the challenges he faces and he likes to remain positive and have fun with whatever he does.

Dan was really inspiring!  He continues to play AFL and he still enjoys it. He comes to many different schools to talk to students and teachers about leadership and AFL. One of the seven habits of a good leader is; thinking with the end in mind and I believe that is what Dan does.  I think that is a great way to look at life to be a good leader and most importantly to have fun.

Phoebe Lee 
5S SRC Representative  

Single Subject Spotlight: Mandarin

In Week 3, I had the pleasure of seeing a Year 1 Mandarin lesson. The focus of the lesson was on learning a few vegetable words. The students demonstrated enthusiasm towards Mandarin as well as excellent behaviour in class. What impressed me the most was the rich content included in such a short session: singing Chinese songs to begin and end the lesson, reading new words to the flipchart, analysing the structure of Chinese characters, hands on tasks, referring to ‘My Little Dictionary’, hands on tasks and reflections to conclude the lesson. Students got to experience a variety of interesting activities which catered for different learning styles.

One of features of our daily Mandarin lessons is the use of technology in the classroom. Mandarin teachers have designed creative flipcharts, powerpoint slides and quizlet sets to facilitate teaching and learning. Moreover, a variety of apps on iPads has been trialed or is being explored. 

As we welcome the sixth week of this term, it is time to practice for upcoming assessments. Students are expected to be able to recognize and write certain key characters for the current unit. In addition, they will most likely be required to complete a poster or present a role play for writing or speaking skills.

Dee Dee Gao
Elementary Mandarin Coordinator