The Tiger, 10th December, 2021
Dear Stonehill Community,
As we draw closer to the Christmas break, we realize that many from our Stonehill community will be traveling around India and to destinations around the world. Lately, many countries are experiencing a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus. To ensure the safety of our community and to help mitigate any spread of the virus, please find our reopening plan for January ‘22 below.
A staggered start is required to better monitor and safely re-open the campus.
Please note, the information below is subject to change due to the evolving nature of the situation.
Monday, 10th January and Tuesday, 11th January, classes will be held online for the whole school. This provides the school with enough time to collect negative RT-PCR tests from all students.
Wednesday, 12th January, P1 to P4 and M4 to D2 will have classes on campus for students who have submitted a negative RT-PCR test report by 5pm on Monday, 10th January. The test should not be older than 72 hours. All other students of these grades should remain online until they have submitted a negative test.
The decision for P1 to P4 returning early has been taken due to the need for them to re-establish their routines. M4-D1 students have semester exams starting on the 17th of January and will benefit from time on campus with teachers beforehand.
Monday, 17th January, on campus classes will resume for all students (P1- D2) who have submitted negative RT-PCR test reports by 5pm on Friday, 14th January. The test should not be older than 72 hours
- All families are expected to be back in Bangalore by the 9th of January 2022. This will give more time to complete any quarantine requirements before students are on campus.
- The RT-PCR test is mandatory for all students, whether travelling or not.
For boarding families, you will shortly receive communication about arrival dates and testing requirements from the Head of Boarding.
A google form will be sent to all families by the 7th of January ‘22 before the reopening of school to upload your reports.
I do hope the above mentioned precautions will help us get off to a safe start to the New Year. If you have questions, please email us at email@example.com. I am wishing all a safe and healthy holiday ahead.
Head of School
It has been over a month since our campus reopened for our primary students. In this time, we have added eighteen learners to our community.
We are nearly ten days into our transition back to school full time. We have all started to get used to giving each other more space than before, even though that is difficult when at play.
Our learners have been instrumental in driving their learning as they get used to participating more fully in person.
The Morning Star Ashram
The Morning Star is an orphanage for differently abled children and young adults. Along with the PTA, we would like to collect food for them. We will collect the food on Monday,13th December through to Friday, 17th December. We will donate it on Friday, 17th December. We contacted the ashram and they have requested for the following items: rice, dhal, chickpeas, oil, mustard, jeera, pepper, tea, coffee powder, cardamom and cinnamon.
Please contribute to our food drive by sending in packets of these items. No matter how big or small, we can help the ashram provide quality food for their children. Items can be placed in the box outside the Primary office every day next week. A BIG thank you for your help!
Our New Library
Lamiya, our librarian, and I toured the new library facility this week. It is going to be a very bright natural space where we can highlight the role of books and reading in our lives. The library is preparing for the move by weeding out (removing) material that is not well-read or damaged beyond repair.
Virtual Presentations for prospective parents
Our Learning Leaders presented to prospective members of our community this week. If you would like to see/hear what they have to say about learning at Stonehill, please feel free to watch these videos.
Phones at School
If your child travels to school by car there is no need for them to have a phone at school. If we/they need to contact you, they must do so through the school office. They may not use their phone to play games during break times - we play with each other, not a device. If your child catches the bus to school, they may bring a device on the bus BUT they cannot use it in school.
Thank you and best wishes,
Primary School Principal
Our current unit of inquiry is ‘How we organise ourselves’. We have been inquiring into how independent and collaborative relationships impact us as a learning community, how sharing our thinking is a powerful way to communicate our ideas and understandings and also exploring the many ways we can communicate.
So far, we have focused on two of the IB Learner Profile attributes which are Communicators and Principled. We used a concept map to show our thinking about what it means when we are working independently and as a team. The learners were able to make connections to their own personal experiences, such as tidying up, doing things at home and being kind and helpful.
One of our big ideas was to collaborate and design a city. The learners shared their ideas on how they would like their city to be laid out. They collaborated and drew a plan of the city then had a go at building it, using their blueprint as a guide. In their city one learner had solar power ‘to power the offices and not waste energy’. Others had electricity wires leading to their homes and there was also a place for people to sanitise before they entered the office block. Two children thought they needed security cameras as “security could see what was going on on the road and people would not get hurt. If people are on the road and any vehicles are coming we can see that and move them…'' and they can use cameras “to see if anyone is stealing money.’’ A lot of fabulous thinking from P3.
P3 Homeroom Teacher
Performing Arts: Face to Face With the Instruments
With an abundance of joy and energy students and teachers at Stonehill have gradually made our way back into face-to-face learning. It had been 18 long months since our students had exposure to the many beautiful resources available to enhance their music education in the performing arts space. As students came back to class, it was my goal to make sure they got time during our first few classes to explore the instruments and other materials in the performing arts room.
Why? First of all, it's fun, of course. Second of all, it is useful for student learning in the future to know what sounds are at their disposal when creating new compositions and sound scapes. Thirdly, and most importantly, exploring their environment is an important inquiry lesson for students. Play being an essential part of this year’s How We Express Ourselves unit, it is important that sometimes we adults step out of the way and let students do what they do best, learn through play.
As the students eagerly made their way from one instrument to the next, many questions arose. What is this made of (Form)? How does this work (Function)? Does this sound different if I play it another way (Perspective)? How do these sound if we play them together (Connection)? What happens when I push down this string and play (Change)? Also, questions such as can I play loudly, quietly, quickly, slowly, with high and low pitch? There are so many inquiries to explore through letting the students discover on their own.
In the videos you can observe the students of P4, P5 and P6 exploring the materials of the performing arts room and discovering the wealth of the wonderful materials that this space has to offer. Also note the bounty of concepts students are exploring through their play. I hope you enjoy seeing their wonder as much as I do.
PYP Performing Arts Teacher
Helpful Hints for Helping Children Cope With Stress
Our children are back in the physical classroom after almost two years and we all know that there isn’t anything normal about the “new normal”. Of course, it’s daunting to constantly have to remember to sanitise and it’s not easy to have masks on all day (and yet, our lovely little people are pretty great at it!). Making friends might not be the easiest thing for some children while getting accustomed to in-person learning as opposed to learning from home has definitely been a cause of stress for others. Here are a few tips to help your child cope with stress:
Use a Feelings Scale
On some days they might be more stressed than other days. Perhaps it’s the Sunday night scaries or the Monday morning blues. You could use a visual or have them draw/show you how big their worry is at that moment, and then have a conversation about what it is that’s bothering them.
Provide coping strategies
The internet is teeming with child-friendly mindfulness activities. Find one that your child might enjoy.You could also practice deep breathing together. A lot of children find colouring or listening to music calming. The important thing is to find a calming/coping strategy that works best for your child.
Help them identify the stressor
Talk with your child. Listen to them. Don’t just tell them, “It will be alright”.
Try to get to the bottom of what’s worrying them as opposed to punishing them for displaying atypical behaviours.
Reach out to their teacher or counsellor
Is your child constantly worried about something or the other? Do you feel like you need more strategies to help your child deal with stress? We are here to help your children transition better into the “new normal”.
Don’t hesitate to reach out for support. To contact the school counsellor, you may write to firstname.lastname@example.org
ToK Essays -The Ultimate IB Academic Challenge
This is the time of year when our D2 students spend countless hours trying to craft a 1600-word response to one of six Theory of Knowledge (ToK) essay prompts.
It’s an almost impossible task in many ways, as the prompts often seem more appropriate for a book-length response rather than a fairly short essay. Students need to find the right vocabulary and terminology, original examples, and a justifiable point of view to meet the demands of the assessment criteria.
The IB changes the prompts every year and this year’s collection is a little different to the previous years. Essay titles this year include discussions of (1) whether knowledge can be independent of culture, (2) the difference between truth and facts, (3) valuing scientific knowledge more highly than knowledge from other subjects, (4) the use of story-telling in history, (5) good and bad interpretations in art, and (6) ethical boundaries in the pursuit of knowledge.
Students choose which title to respond to, select two areas of knowledge (history, natural sciences, mathematics, etc) to use in their response, gather examples to illustrate their points, address counter arguments where possible, and come to a carefully-worded conclusion based on the evidence that they have shared.
Along with the challenges of using concise, precise language, students also find it difficult to come up with an appropriate structure for these essays. They are not quite ‘persuasive’ essays, nor are they ‘discursive’ essays, but something in between. With all IB students around the world addressing the same six questions, there is the temptation to risk a more original structure, but will the IB examiners appreciate it?
I have enjoyed reading a number of our students’ essays over the past few weeks and I’m sure they will do very well when they are graded in May 2022. Our students have a lot to say about knowledge and the world that they live in, and they say it very well. Here are two excerpts:
ToK Essay Introduction
Determining the bounds of acceptable investigation is fraught with complexity and the method is bound to change over time.
In areas of knowledge like the Natural and Human Sciences, the experimental procedures by which knowledge is obtained require boundaries in order to ensure that progress is made whilst minimising negative consequences.
However, the constant evolution of ethical frameworks and the lack of universality of ethics makes the defining of these boundaries a challenging task.
Governing bodies and rough ethical guidelines are created using general consensus after incidents that cross ethical boundaries take place. The decision to follow a certain ethical framework is decided by these bodies on a case-to-case basis. (Anushka, D2)
A comparison of the ethical boundaries in different areas of knowledge
We can even create connections between all of the included examples and areas of knowledge listed above. Mice were incinerated in Kim Jones’ performance Rat Piece, and such cruelty towards the animal was deemed unacceptable by the public in the context of the Arts. Having said that, in the field of the Human Sciences or even the Natural Sciences, the use of mice for scientific research is classified as fully ethical and acceptable.
Mice have not been hierarchized as beings of unacceptable scientific investigation in relation to mortal rights, whereas they have been prioritized in the field of contemporary art, where animal activists push such notions of justice towards the forefront of artistic expression.
Furthermore, controversial issues that could be deemed ethically unjust by boundaries in the Human Sciences community are highly capable of being acceptable forms of artistic expression. This highlights the diversity of determination of acceptable boundaries within various areas of knowledge, and stresses the varying levels of ethical subjectivity between the different AOKs. (Skye, D2)
Secondary School Principal
Individuals and Societies
The M3 students worked enthusiastically on the unit on Culture. They learnt about visible and invisible culture and compared culture to an analogy. The students explored different processes like migration, social media, global brands and consumer culture that lead to cultural diffusion. They were asked to role-play and record an experience based on any one of the processes. Here are some of the pictures from the role play.
Saroni Chatterjee, Individuals & Societies
M4 Integrated Humanities
The M4 students organised an awareness campaign in school regarding food waste reduction. The service activity was a part of their Geography unit, 'Resource Consumption and Management’.
The students learnt that rising levels of consumption leads to waste creation which ends up in landfills and pollutes the soil and our environment
They came up with the idea to work at a local level and look within the school community to spread awareness about food as a resource and its wastage. They first brainstormed for ideas. It was decided that “lunchtime” was the best way to highlight how individual decisions about consumption can make a change.
The students displayed their creative thinking skills by making colourful and eye-catching posters. These were then displayed on the walls and windows of the school cafeteria. A white board was used to display the data on total food wastage and they compared it with the previous day’s food wastage to observe how the campaign may affect how much ends up in the bins after the lunch hour.
The M4 students were divided in groups and stood at strategic positions in the cafeteria to remind students to only take as much as they could finish. The students were thoroughly engaged and portrayed leadership and collaboration skills. This initiative was a success as it led to a decrease in the overall food wastage, observed over a week.
Saroni Chatterjee, Individuals & Societies
Gunjal Chaturvedi, Geography, ToK & Individuals & Societies
Revathy Ravikumar, HoD Individuals & Societies & Economics
The Junior Venture Capitalist Challenge, a competition hosted by IE University, SPAIN gave the D2 students an opportunity to challenge their knowledge with a real world case study. The competition was very professional with a jury consisting of reputed CEOs and university professors in the venture capital field.
The competition started with five masterclasses. During one of the masterclasses, they were introduced to a case study. They were given the choice to invest $50 million in either a startup brokerage company or an established one. They analysed the given companies using tools such as TAM, sector map and risk-benefit analysis. They presented this to the jury who gave them feedback. The jury was pleased with their thorough analysis and data based analysis and awarded them the third position!
Revathy Ravikumar, HoD Individuals & Societies & Economics
The M1 students have almost finished working on their App that they have been developing for their clients.
This is what the students worked on while working on Criteria C.
Here's an App created by the students.
M5 Digital Design
The M5 Digital Design students have started working on the ePortfolio unit.
In the previous unit they had created a series of posters for the school (the image shows Siddhi's poster). They now have an open-ended challenge to design and create whatever product they want around a specific topic.
This year, the ePortfolio unit revolves around the idea of sharing culture.The students will have to design and create a digital product that allows them to share aspects of a culture of their choice.
The students have been working on making products that are inclusive. As part of the process of product design, the students have completed their inquiry and ideation stage of the Design Cycle.
The M5 students have completed a unit on enhancing productivity.
Here is an example of the product they created.
The Secondary Design Team
Looking back on the extended weekend, It was great to see the boarders join the planned activities.
On Friday, 26th of November, the boarders signed up for swimming. Following covid protocols, they were divided into groups of six. They had an enjoyable time.
On 27th November, Glenda organized a soap making activity. The students experimented with different herbs, fragrances, oils and natural ingredients. Each student left the activity with their handmade soap. In the evening, they had a bonfire and they enjoyed the scrumptious snacks. They had fun dancing, sitting around with friends and roasting marshmallows. It was a night that will be remembered for a long time to come.
Last weekend, HouseParents, Wayne and Melanie organized a flash dance and a quiz competition. It was heartwarming to see the excitement and joy all around.
If you’d like to get all the latest information on our boarding, make sure you follow us on Twitter @BoardingSIS
On behalf of the boarding team, wishing you all a wonderful break. Happy holidays!
Head of Boarding
The current situation continues to keep us guessing as to how things will be in the near future. It makes it difficult to set a start date for our After School Programme. We are in the process of planning. Student Voice and Faculty Voice Surveys had gone out to the Secondary school. This gave us a good idea of the most popular clubs. We will be doing the same for the Primary school before the winter break. These surveys give us a better idea of the overall interest of the students and help us establish relevant activities for the whole community.
New Club Alert!
Shreya and Skye from D2 are proud to announce the sign ups for Stonehill’s first-ever GirlsInSTEM club! We are an official Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) club affiliated with Purdue University. CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO SIGN UP!
Our mission is to empower and inspire girls to explore their love for STEM
In the future, we hope to encourage more creative young minds to pursue a career in the male-dominated field of STEM.
We hope to conduct a variety of activities including debates on current STEM issues, write research papers and proposals to send to leading universities across the world, host influential guest speaker sessions, and to overall create more science opportunities for Stonehill students!
This club is open for all students (girls and boys) from M3 to D2. We will be meeting every Wednesday either online or in-person (depending on the COVID situation). There is no cap on the number of members, so please do not hesitate to SIGN UP NOW!
In case you missed it, we recently hosted a virtual inauguration event with guest speaker Divya Nag. Divya is a ground-breaking stem cell biologist, biotech entrepreneur and the head of Health and Research at Apple. By the age of 20, she dropped out of Stanford University to co-found Stem Cell Theranostics, an innovative drug discovery platform.
We are hoping to resume our competitive team training when we return from the winter break. If we do, we may have to increase the number of training sessions during the week to catch up. The BAASC Track and Field tournament is on the 29th of January and Football is on the 12th of February.
Whole School Sports and Activities Coordinator
D1 Drama Production
This week, our D1 theatre students enacted Kindertransport, a play by Diane Samuels.
In 1939, thousands of Jewish children from Europe were sent to England as refugees. Many never saw their parents again. The play is based on one of those children.The action of the play shifts between Germany and England during World WarII and an attic in Manchester in 1980.
Congratulations to the entire cast for delivering a powerful and moving performance!