The Tiger, 18th March, 2022
Greetings to our Stonehill community!
I’d like to wish you all a Happy Holi! It has been a colourful and lively week here on campus.
Congratulations to our Maths Department and our D1 students who organised interesting activities for Pi Day on the 14th of March (3.14). It was a day of fun and activities while celebrating one of the oldest mathematics constants 3.14. A host of activities were put together in the MYP courtyard.
Homemade pies were made available for students to enjoy. A special thanks to our Maths department and our D1 students that made this day unique, meaningful, and a great deal of fun.
I am proud to announce that out of all the international schools around the world who submitted their entries, Stonehill was chosen to be one of ten schools to showcase our Primary Years Programme at Toddle’s biggest global conference “The Inquiry Educators Summit - TIES 2022”. The honour of being selected to showcase our school and the work the Primary School is doing at an international level is further evidence that Stonehill is one of the leading schools in our region.
Lastly, as a reminder, I would like to ask for your feedback regarding my performance as Head of School. The survey is anonymous and confidential and is conducted by an outsourced organisation. The MSF survey has been sent to all parents, administrative staff, faculty, and D1 and D2 students. The survey will close on March 25th. I’d like to thank you in advance for your feedback.
Head of School
Middle School Teams Begin Training!
The Bangalore Activities and Athletics Schools Conference (BAASC) have opened up the boys and girls Middle School level sports season for swimming, track and field, and five-a-side football. We have begun our training sessions which are held after school on Mondays and Wednesdays between 3:15 pm and 4:30 pm. All athletes will need to arrange their own transportation after the sessions.
The tournaments are on Saturday, April 23rd for swimming (hosted at Stonehill) and track & field (hosted at Neev Academy). The football tournament is on Saturday, April 30th (hosted by Canadian International School).
There are still places open for swimmers and girls football, so don't miss this opportunity to get some exercise and make new friends!
After School Activities Are Underway
With a successful rollout of the activities programme, Tuesdays and Thursdays are busy again after school. As a preventive measure, the Primary school is maintaining their "bubble". Each grade level team is collaborating to provide a wide variety of activities and broaden the interests of the students by introducing activities in technology, sports and the arts. The Secondary school has also created activities based on students' interests derived from a student voice survey. The ASA’s will continue into the first week of May.
Whole School Sports and Activities Coordinator
Getting on with each other…
We always knew that the return to school would bring with it concerns in all holistic realms, cognitive, social, emotional, physical and creative. Daily, we work to overcome these differences brought on by isolation and the pandemic. Our Response to Intervention Policy is holding up well, with learners getting the support they need. However, our wonderful Ms. Neeti is just one expert amongst a sea of teachers who care deeply for our children.
We are currently working hard to help children learn how to make friends as they have lost this skill. We are meeting children one-on-one and in small groups to build this skill. We are liaising with different groups to ensure children have the support in the playground that they need.
Solving their own small problems is another skill they have forgotten. We use Kelso’s Choices. Kelso is a frog who is very wise. He solves his own small problems with simple solutions. These include, walking away, saying stop, moving to another game, talking it out, making a deal…you get the idea. If these small problems are not solved with these actions, learners are instructed to ask an adult for help.
These solutions can be used at home also. Building such skills ensures children have age-appropriate solutions at their fingertips without relying on adults all the time. They are a stop-gap measure until they are mature enough to deal with more complex opportunities and solutions. Should you wish to learn more about Kelso’s Choices, log into the website.
The PYPX Exhibition is the culminating inquiry our P8 learners are expected to complete before moving to M1. The P8 team have started their journey with some very interesting inquiries into self-care and wellness, the English language and animal welfare.
The learners work in teams to inquire into their big idea. The journey in which they are participating is the focus and not the outcome. The action they take during this journey or at the end of this journey is also a focal point. Learners document their journey with journal entries and artefacts that they can use as evidence of learning. A SOLO learning ladder has been developed to map our learners' ongoing learning journey.
We wish our P8 inquirers well on this journey that leads them into middle school. (PS: Thank you to all the teachers and parents who have agreed to help out as experts or as mentors).
Best wishes for a wonderful weekend,
Primary School Principal
The PYP Learning Support
The PYP Learning Support Team mainly focuses on helping learners who require additional support. We work in class with small groups, one-to-one, or offer extension programmes based on the need. Each grade has a learning support teacher who works along with the Homeroom teacher in planning and implementing effective teaching strategies. We also work closely with the PYP counsellor to ensure that children’s social and emotional needs are taken care of and help them develop self-confidence.
We also conduct workshops for Teaching Assistants to help them get an insight into different learning difficulties so that they are equipped with various strategies to support the learners in their grade levels.
We use GL Education Assessments and other in-house tests to find out the strengths and weaknesses of any referred learner. Referrals can be done by teachers and parents. Based on the results of the assessments and other evidence collected about the child, we create an individual student plan to support them in any given area. An Individual Learning Programme will be implemented for those who have received an external report from educational psychologists and medical practitioners.
PYP Learning Support Team
English as an Additional Language (EAL) - P6 and P7
English as an Additional Language (EAL) - P6 Learners
The P6 EAL learners have been working on their Persuasive Writing.
In the unit on Sharing the Planet, the students explored the vocabulary of persuasion (i.e. agree, disagree, in conclusion, I believe, I think, using reasons, if, then, for instance, for example, and so on).
P7 EAL Learners
The P7 learners are currently working on the unit, Who We Are. They are focussing on writing a narrative. They are developing their understanding of the structure of a story and looking at plot diagrams which will help them organise and map the events in a story. This allows the writers and readers to visualise the key features of a story.
In EAL, the focus was to understand the vocabulary of the plot diagrams, sequencing and plotting a story in its appropriate place on the plot map. This scaffolding would help the EAL learners organise their thoughts before they start writing their stories.
First, they looked at sequencing a story using pictures along with text. Next, they focussed on the vocabulary used and then together in the class they read a simple story, Jack and the Beanstalk and plotted the events of the story on the plot map.
Our next steps would be to understand how to develop a story using this tool and to write their own story including all the key features.
Madhavi Sindhe, P7 EAL
Ina Chakraborty, P6 EAL
Helpful Hints for Ensuring Your Child’s Safety Online
Communicate openly and honestly
Spend time with your kids. In a non-threatening manner, ask them who they communicate with and how. Talk about using appropriate language and etiquette online. Allow them to know that they can come and talk to you if someone is mean to them or says/does something inappropriate to them online.
Use technology to your advantage
Keeping abreast with the current times. Knowing which social media platforms are trending, etc., would also help you set systems in place to protect your child. For example, check the privacy settings on the device/app/website, ensure you install a good antivirus program, bookmark the sites that you know are safe for them, and use parental filters/controls to regulate the kind of content that your child has access to online.
Spend time with them online
Take time to understand what your child likes doing on the internet. Learn about their favourite game. Discover appropriate websites with them that they might like to access whether for school work or otherwise. Spend time together online to teach your child appropriate online behaviour. Model good online behaviour yourself. Also, take your child seriously if they report uncomfortable or inappropriate behaviour towards them online.
Make an essential agreement
Be it about the time they get to spend online, apps/websites they are allowed to use, where electronic devices must be used, at what time devices need to be handed over before bedtime, etc., make sure your expectations are clear and consistent.
It can be tempting to be the popular parent with a “no-rules” policy at home. But it’s important to remember the age and maturity of your child when you place the complete onus on them to manage their online interactions.
It is completely okay and in fact necessary to put boundaries in place, in a preventative manner rather than in a reactive way.
Make sure you have more than just a general idea of how much time your child spends online daily. Do they close tabs or turn off the computer when you walk into the room? Check your credit card bills for any unfamiliar transactions.
Notice their mood when they are online. Notice if they withdraw from offline activities/refuse to discuss their online activities. The internet is teeming with free resources to support parents who are struggling in this regard. Do inform us if you notice anything concerning or worrisome, especially because Digital Citizenship is an integral part of learning in the PYP and as a school community, we strive to be respectful, responsible, honest, and safe.
Should you need additional support, please feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
How the World Works
The P7 students explored the central idea, “Space exploration redesigns advancements on society and on the environment.” They used a learning tool, a KWL chart (What I Know, What I Want to Know and What I Learned) to document their learning. The students could recall facts about the planets and the universe.
Through the Design Thinking Process, the students moved back and forth between the stages to empathise, define, ideate, build a prototype and test their Martian school designs. The students joyfully expressed their enthusiasm as they prepared to test their Mars School against the red dust on Mars.
Throughout the unit of inquiry, the students were able to talk about what they are learning and why they are learning. Prithish commented, “I am learning about space exploration and advancements so that I can get more knowledge, so now I am a scientist.” Jihwan reflected, “While doing journal writing, I improved my writing and developed my research skills.”
The P7 Team
I don’t often spend Monday mornings helping to make rangoli designs in the shape of the mathematical symbol ‘Pi’ on the floor of a courtyard, but that’s how this week began. In celebration of Pi-Day on March 14th (3/14) our Maths department and D1 students organised a few hours of interesting Pi-related activities to get our week started in a mathematical frame of mind.
It was delightful to see the courtyard brightened up with bunting, flowers, display boards, a little music and some fairly disturbing bright orange Pi- t-shirts for the Maths department. I later wore my Pi-Day t-shirt to the India-Sri Lanka cricket match in the evening and received some very confused looks from more sensibly dressed Bangaloreans (unless it was actually Mr. Pradeep in his Sri Lankan shirt that they were staring at!).
The fun activities and decorations were designed to encourage students to develop an interest in some fascinating aspects of mathematics. The M3 students were in the Secondary Hall enjoying a session on mathematical thinking as they wrestled with the challenge of the Towers of Hanoi. The D1 students were involved in a Maths quiz in order to win a calculator from Texas Instruments, and the M1 and M2 students were measuring all kinds of shapes (including pies) in order to develop their understanding of ratios, circumferences and diameters over the past days. Our M4 and M5 students spent an hour participating in the various Pi-related activities that the D1 students had set up in the courtyard.
Ultimately, the goal here was to help students become inquisitive about the world of mathematics so that they will connect with topics in their maths lessons and understand the importance of the subject. As in all schools, some of our students seem to have a fear of mathematics, and once students get to M4, the level of abstraction required in maths lessons often creates a further barrier, as students struggle to see the relevance to their everyday lives. I also imagine that the accuracy and deductive reasoning required to succeed in mathematics is off-putting for many students, particularly if they have grown comfortable in a world in which they are encouraged to share their opinions, take risks, be creative, and become experts in persuasion and presenting ideas. Working through problems step by step in a careful, logical way may not be a particularly popular twenty-first century learning modality.
But Maths doesn’t go away. In fact, it’s the only subject that students are required to take in every year of school (even English Language and Literature becomes optional in the DP). For most students at Stonehill, this is not a problem. We have a very high percentage of students who take multiple sciences when they have the option in High School, and these same students are typically comfortable with Extended and Higher Level Maths courses. However, we need to continue to encourage the non-scientists to value the subject and the mathematical way of thinking. The world is a more fascinating place when you can see patterns and relationships between things. Hopefully, this little taste of ‘Pi’ for the students encouraged such thinking and questioning. Our maths team will continue to provide our students food for thought over the coming months and years.
Secondary School Principal
Stonehill Hackathon 2022
Stonehill hosted its third virtual hackathon on the 4th and 5th of March, 2022. Three hundred students registered from across the country. The themes were No Poverty, Quality Education, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Responsible Consumption and Production.
The participants engaged in coding and creating applications in the form of mobile/desktop applications, websites, web applications and Arduino/Raspberry Pi-based projects/CAD models (Product Design).
The students were judged on their creativity, innovation and feasibility of the products. All participants had an engaging learning experience in the exciting world of coding and computer science.
Click here to see the complete list of winners.
Wood working skill development
The M1 to M3 design students have been working on wood working, they learnt about the different types of wood and the tools used for woodworking. The students have been working on different activities to acquire skills for using the necessary tools and for joining wood.
This year, the students are working on developing a variety of products, from websites and videos to animations and mobile apps. As an initial part of this unit, the students had to perform an elevator pitch, explaining and justifying the product they intend to create.
M5 Digital Design
For the past couple of months, the M5 Digital Design students have been working on their ePortfolios. This is an externally assessed open unit where all work done by the students will ultimately be sent over to the IB to be evaluated. This year, there are many interesting projects being developed, all of them revolving around the idea of sharing culture or sharing an aspect of culture. Online cookbooks, animations about celebrations, illustrated children's books and 3D models of cultural artefacts are just some of the different types of digital products being actively developed.