Dates to Remember

Tuesday, 10 June

Senior Musical Rehearsal


Coral Dixon Theatre

Year 6/7 PMC and Year 6 EAL
Language Excursion

All Day

Singapore Zoo
Year 6/7 PMC & Year 6 EAL Students

Wednesday, 11 June

APSMO Math Olympiad 2014

Period 2 (Year 6)
Period 3 (Year 8)
Period 5 (Year 7)

Senior Building Rooms 305/301
Year 6, 7 & 8 Selected Students

GCSE D&T Graphics Final Exam

1.30pm – 4pm

Year 10 D&T Students

Year 12 DP English Literature Internal Assessment

8.30am – 12.30pm

Senior Library
Year 12

Interim Reports Distributed
Year  10


Year 10

Thursday, 12 June

Senior Musical Rehearsal


Coral Dixon Theatre

ICE Festival – Set Up & Final Rehearsal

All Day + 4pm– 6pm

Oval, Sml Gym, Big Gym, Theatre, Canteen, Bus Bay Undercroft
Selected Students Year 6 - 12

Friday, 13 June

ICE Festival

All Day

Secondary School Staff and Students

Friday, 20 June

Year 6-9/11 Reports posted to parents



Term 3

Thursday, 10 July – 15 July

Year 10 – 11 Indonesian Language Trip

All Day

Indonesia Yogyarta
Years 10 – 11

Friday, 11 July

All Staff Return to School

All Day


Monday, 14 July

Start of Term 3

School begins at 8.25am


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,

It was my great pleasure to attend the Annual Music Ensemble Evening on Wednesday at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Concert Hall.  This was a spectacular event that brought together students from throughout the entire School.  The level of performance was magnificent and was testimony to the remarkable efforts of our talented and diligent students working in harmony with our passionate and knowledgeable staff.  Our school seeks to achieve excellence in all that we undertake.  In fact our vision statement says that AIS should be a place “where students exceed expectation”.  The Music Ensemble Evening is an embodiment of this ambition.  I am immensely grateful to all who contributed to this brilliant event.  In particular I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our Music Department, ably led by Mr Simon Hughes.  I have not seen a more dedicated group of music professionals in my twenty one years in this profession.  I must also acknowledge the superior efforts of our student performers.  I am always immensely proud of the students at AIS.  Events such as the Ensemble Evening just serve to showcase the immense talent that we work with each day.
In last week’s Newsletter I made reference to the House Swimming Carnival.  As I expected this was a brilliant event.  Not just for the fantastic performances in the pool, we had five school records broken, but for the support that emanated from the stands.  An AIS Swimming Carnival is an event like no other.  The spirit and passion for each House was pervasive.  Congratulations to overall winners, Lachlan House, your efforts were magnificent.  However, all students should be most proud of their contributions.  A special vote of thanks must be extended to Mr Ian Forbes and the PE Department for their organisation of the carnival. Read more about the carnival in the Sports Section of the Newsletter.

Last Wednesday morning our Year 12 students had their end of term celebrations with their Preschool buddies.  The Buddy Program is a wonderful initiative where our oldest students spend an hour each week with our youngest students.  To witness the genuine affection between the two students was heart-warming.  I know the Year 12s worked very hard at providing the Preschoolers with some knowledge but I feel that the Year 12s may have learnt so much more from their junior colleagues.  Thank you to Mrs Banerjee and Mr Capstick for their organisation of this activity.
In Secondary School we are unapologetic in our pursuit of the best possible academic results for our students.  We seek to provide appropriate, differentiated teaching that meets the needs of all students.  Additionally our staff are always willing to go beyond the classroom to further support their charges.  It is common to witness staff and students engaged in tutorial sessions at lunchtime or after school.  These initiatives support our students in maximising their potential.  A similar project of which I am very excited is the AIS Mentor Program.  This activity pairs students with volunteer staff who seek to provide them with guidance about setting goals and preparing for major assessments.  Assistant Head of Secondary School – Academic Standards, Ms Kalea Haran, is the initiator of this project.  I am most grateful to Ms Haran for her passion for learning and for our students. 

ICE, “the coolest day of the year”, will take place next Friday.  Our school motto is “Globally focused, distinctly Australian” and the School strives to live to this sentiment in all that we undertake. I do not think that any event does this more than ICE.  For most of the Secondary School this is the highlight of the year.  This event celebrates the diversity of culture that is prevalent at AIS and in Australia as a nation.  I look forward to the activities planned for the day.  The School Captaincy Team working closely with their staff mentors, Mr Michael Farrell, Ms Kirsten Murphy and Mr Paul Carney, have planned a brilliant day.  I am most appreciative of their efforts.  

As you receive this Newsletter I will be watching our second Spirit Game for the year.  The Spirit Game is an initiative of the School Captaincy Team, Head of Sport, Mr Justin Teves and outgoing AISPA President, Mrs Tara Milne.  These games are seen as an opportunity to promote school spirit and to support our athletes in their field of endeavour.  Our last game was extremely well attended and the players felt most affirmed by the support for their efforts.  Of particular significance for this event will be the fact that the teams, AIS and St Andrews, will be competing in rugby for the Dr Miller Cup.  The resurgence of sport at our school has much of its zenith in Dr Miller’s vision.  Being a passionate rugby player in his youth this competition is an appropriate tribute to his endeavours for our community.  Go Sharks!

Yours faithfully,

Andre Casson
Head of Secondary School

Readers and Writers Needed for Examinations

In Term 3, Year 10 students will be sitting their mock IGCSE examinations and Year 12 will be sitting their trial Higher School Certificate examinations. In order to compete on the same basis as their peers and to demonstrate their true understandings of the curriculum, some students have been granted the use of a reader or writer for their examinations.

We are seeking interested volunteers to assist with acting as a reader or writer for students during these exams. The examination period extends from Monday, 21 July to Friday, 8 August. Full training will be provided.

If you are available and would like to volunteer to assist during this examination period, please contact Kim Terry at

Ms Kimberley Terry
Head of Individual Needs

International Cultural Experience (ICE)

ICE is coming! We are now just one week away from the biggest student event on the School calendar. We are honoured to welcome the New Zealand High Commissioner, Her Excellency Mrs Bernadette Cavanagh, to ICE this year. Mrs Cavanagh will officially open ICE at the morning opening ceremony and will take a short tour of some of our ICE workshops.

We look forward to experiencing new activities in the workshops, sampling foods from around the world at the international food stalls and watching performances from our talented community.

A reminder to all Secondary students that you can buy your vouchers for ICE from homegroup before ICE on Friday, 13 June. One book of vouchers is $10.

ICE Team
'The coolest day of the year'

Year 7 Update

The incredible opportunities we have to travel in Singapore never cease to amaze me. When I ask the students what they do on the weekend and their plans for the holidays, I am always excited by their responses.

“We are traveling to Europe the next school holidays”, or “We are going to Canada to enjoy the snow”, are just a couple of the replies I hear on a regular basis.

The opportunities that our children embrace from such a global setting are truly remarkable in the 21st century.   To dig a little deeper, I asked our student leaders to interview some of our Year 7 students and find out what the holidays meant to them. Please enjoy the following Year 7 holiday reflections:

“Holidays are like a reward for working hard through the whole term, and not doing homework for a while!”

“When holidays are coming, I start to feel sad because I know I will have to say goodbye to friends that are leaving Singapore. It is difficult to say goodbye even though I know that we will still be able to talk.”

“I love holidays because I get to spend some more time playing with my sisters and brothers without having to worry about homework.”

“Holidays are all about family, just spending time with my family.”

“Can’t wait to see my friends and family back home!”

“I love staying in hotel rooms and seeing all the tourist attractions.”

“I get to visit my old school and catch up with my old friends.”

“It’s just nice to have days where I can do what I want to do.”

“I love travelling and meeting new people and experiencing things that I can only research on the Internet.”

“It’s a chance to celebrate traditions and a time of remembering the places I visit and the cultures I experience in different places.”

We all have different hopes and goals for our holidays; however we must bear in mind the on-going concerns of being in such a global setting, attached to such a transient nature where we are often faced with goodbyes and fresh starts. As such, we wish all our Year 7 students and their families a safe and memorable mid-year break and look forward to seeing you back, and welcoming new friends, next term.

Ms Chelsie Yeung and Mr Bruce McNalty
Heads of Year 7

Year 9 Update

Profile on Jake McFarlane
As you would be aware, the AIS U19 Football team won the Grand final against the French School last Wednesday afternoon in what was a thrilling match. The score was 3 -3 after full time and the result rested on nerve tingling penalties. One of the players the team relied on to slot home a penalty was our very own Year 9 student Jake McFarlane.

Jake loves football. He lives and breathes it. You will always see him with a ball in his hand as he enters the A2 Pod of a morning and it is the first thing out of his locker at break time as he rushes down to the oval with his mates. I asked him recently why he loved the game so much and his answer was simple, “It’s an enjoyable game, you make close friendships and it’s a great way to spend my spare time. It keeps me fit and healthy.” A member of the AC Milan Football Academy, Jake’s weekend is consumed by football.

A Manchester United fan (there’s no accounting for taste!) Jake aspires to become a professional footballer one day and to play in a European League. He got a taste of what his future may be like recently, when he toured Spain with the Year 7 – 9 Football team. Playing in the Cognita Football Competition, the team played 9 games in 10 days. Jake, in his role as striker, scored an amazing 19 goals, winning the Golden Boot Award. He also received the U14 AIS Representative Football Coaches Award.

We are all proud of Jake’s achievements on the field and he is a bit of a cult hero in Year 9. The amount of high fives and hugs he received after the U19 Grand Final is testimony to that.   

And did Jake slot home his penalty in the win? Of course he did!
Mrs Katherine Perry and Mr Mark Weber
Heads of Year 9

IGCSE Update

Year 10 IGCSE Trials preparation - past papers
As you are all probably aware, Year 10 at AIS successfully completed their June session examinations in Japanese, Mandarin, Chinese and Drama. I had the pleasure of invigilating many of these examinations and it was evident that the students were very prepared for the experience, due to their own revision and the excellent guidance of their teachers.

Of course, we can never underestimate the importance of hard work and self-study. A key aspect of preparation for IGCSE final examinations is the process of completing past-papers, which can then be assessed by teachers to give students immediate and very worthwhile feedback. With this is mind, please see below a brief guide to IGCSE past papers, all freely available on the Cambridge Examinations website. These past papers are fully accessible and authentic; they are the real examinations from past sessions and even include mark schemes.

There are also excellent samples on the Year 10 site “Being in Year 10” - click here.

In the student guide below I’m using English as a guide - the menu on this page will take you to all the other subjects.)

A Student Guide

  • Each paper has a code that shows you the level it is aimed at-for example a paper 1 for English Language 0500 CORE is 11, 12, or 13.  For the same subject but an EXTENDED paper, the paper is called Paper 2 –codes 21, 22, 23. This is very similar for other subjects.

  • You will also see that there are different codes for the same papers. For example, English Language Paper 3 has codes 31, 32 and 33. This paper is all extended. The variation is down to the fact that the IGCSE is a worldwide qualification and so there are regional differences in the paper codes. The actual papers are quite similar, just different regions. This regional difference is very useful as it gives teachers and students more past papers to choose from. From the English Language page alone, there are 12 past-papers to choose from-lots of revision materials and exam practice to be had!

Therefore, I strongly recommend that students take time over the month long holiday to navigate the CIE website and complete a number of past-papers, be it questions or full papers, which can then be marked by their teachers on arrival back at school. This need not be done in timed conditions; a question at a time is fine. However, this is all excellent practice and underlines the importance of practice. As a Year 10 student noted after Drama “The content was just like we had studied before.”  The truth of the matter is that a student who has completed a number of past–papers will know the layout and “tricks” of the paper better than a student who has reviewed class notes alone. In addition, nerves will be markedly diminished if a student feels that they know the papers layout.

If students are unsure of their papers for their subjects, please see your subject teachers and they will be happy to help.

Mr Martyn Fernandes
IGCSE Coordinator

Drama Update

This term has continued to be full of artistic development and some truly amazing performance work in Drama.  Our curriculum and staff have continued to encourage students to explore experiment and refine their artistic abilities whilst our extra-curricular program has given them the opportunity to extend these talents. 

Year 6 students have recently been exploring the genre of Melodrama, its origins and applications.  This enjoyable theatre form from the 19th Century engages students due to its exaggerated comedic style.  It’s been a lot of fun to watch the students experiment with given emotional gestures and poses in order to communicate the trials and tribulations of stock characters in the shape of Heroes, Villains and Heroines.  This art form encourages clear physical and vocal expression and the ability to work effectively as an ensemble.

Year 7 students have completed a unit of work focusing on voice which culminated in the production of a live radio play (known to many as a podcast).  Understanding the importance of vocal flexibility, expression and delivery is a life-long skill that many adults struggle with understanding and mastering.  Being able to focus on this in Drama allows students to transfer skills across the curriculum in a range of applications.   Year 7 students were able to incorporate the time-honoured tradition of Foley sound-effect artistry into their plays as well as character voices and narration.  

Year 8 students have culminated their semester with scripted dramatic work, firstly in the form of solo performances and then with small group scripts.  Being able to analyse, understand and creatively interpret text is fundamental to future studies in IGCSE and beyond.  Even at Year 8 level students are encouraged to create complex, believable and engaging characters through the use of Realism.  This approach uses the application of many techniques in both approaches to character building, rehearsal and performance.  Although initially nervous, every student in Year 8 gave a solo performance.  

I mentioned in last term’s Newsletter about the Arts and their direct relation to creativity.  I have since either been in attendance at conference presentations or heard numerous educational speakers emphasise the importance of creativity as a key skill of future work forces.  In Drama students are constantly required to approach challenging tasks and solve these using creative means. Progress and success in any domain often depends on just this type of innovation, so rest assured that Drama students at AIS are being given the opportunity to meet this.  

Ashleigh Huxtable
Head of Drama

Readers’ Cup National Finals Singapore 2014

Congratulations to those students who represented AIS in the recent finals of The Readers’ Cup.   Held on 22 May at UWC East, the Readers Cup is an initiative of the International School Libraries Network in Singapore. Students form teams in three age categories to compete in a quiz, answering questions on five books from a shared reading list.

26 teams and 146 competitors found the experience lots of fun, with a great deal of excitement being generated by these keen readers.

Congratulations to the following students:

Younger readers (Years 3-5)
Kaitlyn Tomizzi; Jessie Williams; Ruby Knott; Heidi Shaw; Jasmine Sheridan; Jack Davis; Jake Johnson.

Older readers (Years 6-8)
Mandela Raj; Ana Nissen; Robbie Wilson; Holly Stanton; Jemia Sutton; Mia Davis; Katie Lindsell; Natalie Davis.

Mature readers (Years 9-10)
Special congratulations to our Mature Team which was placed third.
Ben Wilson; Kate Evans; Sara Minns; Dylan alexander; Beda Bellugue; Gillian Chan.

Linda Twitchett
Head of Libraries

Design Technology Update

This Semester Year 7 have been building a range of projects to develop a range of Design thinking projects knowledge and practical making skills to produce a number of creative designs.

The Year 7 classes have made the follow comments about their work in Design Technology:

“The bridge Project was really fun, even though at the start it was challenging but you get used to it. The project took a while but it was worth it.  It has been my favourite tech project so far.”

“I really enjoyed the testing of the bridge and I also like using and learning about Photoshop.”

“I really enjoyed the Nike Shoe poster as we could choose our audience and we learned to use Photoshop.”

“The Bridge Building was really fun; I liked all of the woodwork.”

Year 6 have completed work using Lego programing bricks the Lego Mind Storms kits to Design and build Automatous Sumo-bots, to move inside a 1 metre ring to battle and push others bots out of the ring.

Chris Kiehne
Design Technology Teacher

AIS Mentor Program

As you are aware the School has been working very hard to support the students in achieving their potential across all of their subjects.   Teachers have been engaging with various forms of data to better enhance their Academic programs to suit the individual needs of their students.  Moreover, as a Secondary School we are focusing on differentiation as a strategic priority. 

To further support our students in reaching their full potential, last week we launched the inaugural AIS Mentoring Program.   This program is an opportunity for 60 nominated students from our two examinations classes, Years 10 and 12, to meet with staff mentors who will provide them with study skills and tips on how to reach their target grades. The mentor also acts as a sounding board to discuss any concerns the student may be feeling about their studies and then ‘Coach' them through coping strategies. 

I would especially like to thank the 42 AIS staff who volunteered their free time to be mentors to our students.

We are excited about this program and look forward to the feedback from those students involved. Our overall goal is to give our students the best opportunity to maximise their Academic growth and encourage individual success.

 Supporting comments from parents:

 “We would be thrilled for (our child) to be involved in this program.”

“(We) would very much like (our son) to be involved in academic mentoring and are very pleased AIS has introduced this.”

“Many thanks for your interest and care for our (son).”

“Thank you for being on hand and assessing (our daughter) as one who could benefit from Academic Mentoring, my husband and I agree wholeheartedly.”

 “We greatly appreciate the opportunity presented for (our son) to improve his skills and would therefore would like him to be part of this program.”

“Thank you for the opportunity to assist (our daughter) to reach her potential.”

“Thank you for inviting (our daughter) into this program. The minute I read the letter, I thought, this is a definite yes.”

Ms Kalea Haran
Assistant Head of Secondary School - Academic Standards