The Tiger, 12th November, 2021
I hope this week’s Tiger newsletter finds you well and safe.
The Diwali holidays were a welcome celebration as it brought families together after a challenging time.
The five weeks ahead will be critical for learning and assessments before the winter break.
Our Primary students are back on campus once again. They were met with smiling and eager faces.
The Primary Learner Teacher Conferences were held virtually on Wednesday, 10th November. As we continue to adhere to strict Covid precautionary measures and protocols at school, parents and outside vendors are not allowed to enter the academic block of our campus at this time. Drop-offs and pick-ups for students must occur outside of the academic building. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
On November 10th, we visited the Morning Star Ashram and donated the proceeds raised from the Stonehill Founder's Day Run. The Ashram is for abandoned boys, many of whom are severely handicapped. If you are interested in helping this orphanage, you can donate clothes, toys, rice, or money. Please contact our PTA Charity Representative, Ms. Annette Hartfuss, email@example.com. I continue to be very proud of our PTA for their support, dedication, commitment to providing care and love to these wonderful boys at the Ashram. Your support in any capacity will be greatly appreciated.
Lastly, I wanted to thank our Stonehill community for the quick evacuation on October 29th due to the unfortunate death of South Indian movie star Puneeth Rajkumar. We are committed to improving our processes of communication and mobilization of whole school evacuations in the future. Thankfully, bus and traffic routes were largely unaffected or disrupted during this day.
Dr. Brian Brumsickle
Head of School
Collaboration is key to learning in the PYP.
It is also an essential element of putting together a unit of inquiry.
Our teachers take their roles in planning a unit of inquiry seriously.
They work together to interrogate, to debate and disagree, to listen and respond and to agree, on every aspect of the unit - from its central idea through to the common understandings.
As they develop their skills and understandings of the collaborative process, they are able to ensure that each of their students have these skills and understandings too.
First few days back at school
Thank you to everyone for the smooth transition back into the building. I know that we will all welcome the day when we can learn on campus full time. At the moment we are closely monitoring all learners to make sure they feel emotionally secure and understand the procedures in place. Once these indicators are firm, we will make the decision.
P3 has been attending half day school but they will move to a full day as of 15th November, as they are showing stamina. All parents have received an email/Toddle message in this regard. Sylvia and Ranjeeta will continue to monitor the learners closely to make sure their emotional needs are being met.P7 and P8 are now moving onto the campus independently. P6, P7 and P8 are eating lunch in the cafeteria.
The biggest issue we have faced so far is children’s hunger! They have got used to eating when they want but we are slowly moving them into a schedule. Chef Arjun has worked hard to make sure there is plenty of food when it comes so that they may return again and again to the trolleys.
Thank you for attending these feedback sessions. As an educator it is always important to give specific information to ensure continued growth. I know as parents you like to receive this feedback in regard to successes and areas of challenge. Know that we are always open to communicating with you. Please feel free to make further contact.
With best wishes,
Have a wonderful two weeks,
Primary School Principal
In the PYP we have seven Key Concepts that are secret ingredients to help learners focus on a deeper level and understand… ANYTHING. The beauty of these key concepts is they work for everything! You can apply these questions to any subject or area of learning.
Whether your child is trying to learn about shapes, a chemical reaction,a historic event,a sports skill, learning sentence structure, adaptation of living things, an art technique, a water bottle! Anything.
Here are the key concept questions you can ask your child at any time about anything they are learning:
What is it like? (Form)
How does it work? (Function)
How is it connected to other things? (Connection)
How does it change? (Change)
Why is it like that? Why is it the way it is? (Causation)
What are the different points of view? (Perspective)
What are our responsibilities? (Responsibility)
These key concepts can be brought together smoothly within our transdisciplinary learning, allowing the children to learn authentically and across the disciplines, carrying the big idea into each subject area smoothly. The key concepts are constantly visited and revisited as children’s understanding develops and deepens as they progress through the PYP.
The learners in P8 have been combining new experiences in Learning to Learn while on campus and our new unit on Sharing the Planet. After brainstorming what sharing the planet means to them, they were better able to understand the descriptors within our Transdisciplinary Theme and how we use questions to create our lines of inquiry. These skills will come in handy later on in the year when they create their own units of inquiry for their PYP Exhibition.
Brainstorming and asking questions is a key component of inquiry, but learning through experience is also an important role. They experienced what inequality felt like and were able to share their thoughts and feelings both in spoken and written form.
The learners are looking through the eyes of creators, as we explore different forms of art and how artists use their craft to spread awareness. They will be exploring inequalities and rights and then using creative expression to spread awareness about the inequality or human rights they care most about. Learner choice, voice and agency are important focuses.
We will continue our journey of exploring the concepts of equality and rights, while learning about the consequences of our actions.
The P8 Team
¡Seguimos aprendiendo en español! (We continue learning in Spanish!)
It is hard to believe that we are already in November! These past months have been filled with learning, a few challenges and a lot of fun! Even though it has been a complex start to our school year, the students in Spanish class have shown resilience and enthusiasm. Setting up our routines was successful for both online and in person lessons. It was great to see everyone, from P4 to P8, find a way to organize themselves at home and a pleasure to see them adapt smoothly to our classroom routines. From showing their understanding of the lessons, to joining the office hours to clear doubts, to working collaboratively and supporting each other, they are making learning happen!
The Spanish students have shown great independence, sharing their understanding, skills and knowledge on Toddle. They have developed their communication skills, both speaking and writing. In different grades, we have had conversations about our emotions and how we react to them. We have learnt to introduce ourselves and have written descriptions of our families. We have exchanged information about our cultures and where we come from. We sang songs together and shared presentations to explore the concepts and central ideas of our units. It has been a pleasure seeing the students develop their ability to make choices in how they want to creatively share their work.
Ms. Gwenola Colleu
PYP Spanish Teacher
Helpful Hints for Dealing with School Refusal
It’s our second week back on campus and our learners are now getting the real feel of things. While most kids are happy to be back in school and are getting accustomed to the new routine, there are a few who might be struggling a little. If you’re dealing with a child who is refusing school, here are a few tips that may help:
Go easy on your child and yourself
It’s been a good 19.5 months since your child was in a physical school building. Give them time to get acclimated to the new situation. Change and transition are not easy but giving yourself and your child time and grace is a good way to start.
Have the difficult conversation
Don’t let a tantrum remain a tantrum. When you and your child are in a calmer state of mind, ask your child what the matter really is, what they would like you to do to help them through the transition, and what they would like to try to make this transition less stressful.
Empathise with your child
You are a parent. You are bound to get exasperated. However, try looking at the situation through the eyes of your child. Validate how your child feels. Empathise. Let them know you understand how challenging this must be for them.
Support your child
Look at ways in which you can make this transition easier.
Would it help to ensure your child gets more sleep? Are you making time to see if they might need some help with certain academic tasks? Would slipping in some fun activity after school help?
Explore coping strategies
A dysregulated child needs support. You are aware of what calms them down when they’re upset or sad - is it going for a short walk? Would reading a book together help? How about trying a simple mindfulness activity? Or let your child have a squeeze toy to hold.
Help your child find and establish a support system
Now that they are not at home for most part of the day, help your child identify other children in their class, a teacher/counsellor who they can reach out to if and when they’re feeling overwhelmed at school.
Making the most of a Parent-Teacher Conference
On the 19th of November, you will meet with your child’s teachers during our first Parent-Teacher Conferences. We have to limit time as we have over 300 students in Secondary School and we don’t want to lose too much instructional time.
However, there are ways to ensure that everybody makes the most of the time available.Here are my suggestions:
Make sure you have read your child’s report (sent out today) thoroughly before the PTC. Look at the scores in the different subjects as well as the Approaches to Learning checkboxes.
For the areas of weakness identified in the report, ask the teacher what exactly your child needs to do to improve, or how you can help at home. Focus on how to move forward rather than going over what has gone wrong so far.
Have your child sitting with you on the zoom calls. This ensures that both you and your child get the same message from the teachers regarding next steps.
Ask for specifics rather than generalisations. Many of us know that our children need to be ‘more organised’, but what does that mean specifically and what strategies could he or she use?
Once you’ve finished the conferences, sit with your child and set realistic goals for the February reports. There are 7 weeks available and plenty of assessment tasks to do during that time. Don’t be unrealistic (grades don’t change that quickly) and don’t focus on all criteria in all subjects. Choose your targets wisely.
Make sure you celebrate the successes that your child has enjoyed so far. It’s been a tough year and everybody needs to keep their morale up.
If you are unable to attend the conferences on the day (or if you have technical problems joining the zoom calls), it is always possible to schedule zoom calls with individual teachers on other days. If not, teachers will always be able to respond to emails with specific questions about a child’s performance.
Finally, remember that one of the most important factors in determining a student’s likely success at school are the goals and expectations set by the parents. You should have high, realistic expectations for your children and you should be paying attention to and discussing the information that we send out regarding your child’s performance. Try not to micromanage (that doesn’t work with teenagers), but make sure your children know that their performance matters and that you will support them however you can.
Secondary School Principal
As the first semester ends, the M1-M3 students will be rotating Art classes on Monday and Tuesday. It has been a fun twelve weeks and so special to teach this group of students both online and on campus. Ms. Ranmali, Mr. Jiten, Mr. Joseph, Ms. Jenni and I are very proud of the way each class has shown adaptability throughout the ongoing changes. We look forward to welcoming the next group of students into either Visual Arts, Music or Drama classes.
In Visual Arts, the students did a practice curatorial exercise. They selected artworks from their own collection of work and looked at ways to present their artwork for a mini art show. Below are some examples of student displays.
There will be an exhibition of their work in the MYP courtyard on Thursday, 18th and Friday, 19th of November.
It was very exciting to have our first live audience drama show since the pandemic. Our M4 students performed a play called Duo. It was made up of different scenes that were performed in groups of twos. The scripts for each of the scenes were varied and filled with heartbreak, bad tattoos, college interviews, M&Ms, grave digging and even dragons! I was super proud of the students’ performances. In order to create a safe environment for both our audience and actors, we limited our viewers to the M4 cohort, their homeroom teachers and Mr. Joe.
We have recorded the show and will be sending it out to you soon- WATCH THIS SPACE!
Over the next few weeks we have the M3 Visual Arts exhibition, the M5 Brecht performance and Ms. Jenni and the D1 students are preparing for their show. The audience will consist of cohort levels but we hope to invite our wider school community soon.
MYP Drama & HoD Arts
We welcomed the boarders back after the Diwali break.
Our Boarders engage in a variety of activities on weekdays and more so on the weekends. Sport and music are important features of our activities programme and we encourage students to participate in these activities.
On Wednesday,27th October, the boarders played a friendly football match against the day students. It was a wonderful opportunity for boarders to interact with their peers. A big thank you to Mandanna, D2 for organising and Mr. Mark for refereeing the match.
A warm welcome to five new boarders who joined us after the Diwali break. We now have 66 students on roll which is our highest boarding number so far. It is also worthy to note that full time Boarders now outnumber weekly boarders, which is also still popular and growing.
As we have resumed our Extended Music Programme on campus, we are happy to inform you that the Boarding students can now make use of the music rooms located on the ground floor of the Arts Centre. Students can sign up and book a room for individual lessons for piano, vocals, digital music production, violin, cello, guitar and drums. Students who play instruments can practice their chosen instrument in the music rooms between 3:00 pm and 4:00pm Monday-Thursday. The sessions will be supervised by the music teachers. If you wish to know more about enrolling your child for individual lessons, please contact the music department at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great weekend!
Head of Boarding
Morning Star Ashram
The Morning Star Ashram is a center for hope and learning for the many abandoned boys who were victims of child labour and exploitation.
There are currently eighty five boys living in the Ashram of which forty of them suffer from either physical or mental disabilities. Some of them are unable to speak or move. This is a big challenge for the Ashram but they treat each child with patience, dignity and respect. They give all of them a caring home and the possibility to go to school and get an education.
The Founder, Father John Kennedy Samson, has dedicated his life to the well-being of the boys by providing them with 24/7 support. He and his volunteers believe that these children deserve a chance for a better life.
The boys at the Morning Star Ashram are living from meal to meal. Due to the pandemic, a lot of funds have been stopped, making life challenging for them. Stonehill International School and the PTA team have supported the Ashram in the last few years. We hope that we are able to continue our support. For this, we need the help of our Stonehill community. You can help by donating money, clothes and toys. Please email me at email@example.com
PTA Charity Representative
Think Pink at CSE
Here’s a special invitation from CSE for our Stonehill community!
CSE extends a warm invitation to the entire Stonehill community to join us this Saturday, 13th November, with complimentary access to the Think Pink event. Please present your Stonehill staff/student identity card at the registration desk.
LET'S DO MORE (LDM)
It's finally here - The BAASC season of sport for the winter! After canceling the fall season of sport, the BAASC Board of Governors have decided that the COVID situation has subsided enough to pursue sporting activities. The winter season will begin in November and end in February. The sports being offered this winter will be 5-aside Football for middle school boys and girls, 7-aside Football for high school boys and girls, and Track and Field for both middle school and high school boys and girls.
The first tryout for these teams will be held on Tuesday, November 23rd at 3:15 pm. More information will be sent out next week.
Congratulations to Geethika Tikkisetty for placing third overall in the Equestrian Premier League (EPL) Championships held between June and November.
In the individual monthly competition for November, she placed third in the Dressage round.
Congratulations to our Stonehill Cross Country Team for participating in the Virtual Cross Country Event held by the Anglo American School in Moscow. Coach John Browne held six weeks of training where the runners showed enthusiasm and improvement. They ran on November 25th and many of the runners experienced their personal best, making for a successful season.