The Tiger, 22nd October, 2021
Greetings to our Stonehill community!
Looking back, there are many lessons to be learnt from the pandemic. In these last few months, we have gone from listening to our students to learning from them.
During the pandemic, Let’s Do More (LDM), a largely student driven initiative, has held many activities for students.
Websites have also been created to support our Stonehill community.
The students in the secondary school have formed a powerful club known as Girl Up Stonehill with the aim of bringing awareness and support with regard to women’s safety, health, and equality within the Stonehill community and Bengaluru.
Here is a photo from a Dress Down Day they had organised.
The GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance) club is another student initiative that has been started to address discrimination. It has empowered students to raise awareness for all forms of diversity, including race, gender, sexuality, and neurodiversity. Perhaps a few lessons learnt from our students are resilience and a strong desire to continue to engage and provide awareness on current global issues. These lessons continue to help bond our very unique and special community.
Next week, as our Primary students return to school, there will be a strong emphasis on listening and learning from our students, faculty, and parents.
A special thank you to our PTA, who have organized several significant events for our school community with the theme of bringing back our community after 85 weeks of isolation for many in our community.
Primary: Sundowner for Primary parents at Four Seasons Hotel this Friday, October 22, 5:00-8:00 pm. Please RSVP email@example.com if you plan to attend.
Secondary: PTA Student, Parent and Faculty Barbeque will be held at Stonehill near the Cafeteria, from 11:00-1:00. It is open to all Secondary families. Please notify our Secondary Executive Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend.
We look forward to welcoming our Primary students on Monday, 25th October. Our faculty and staff are prepared and ready for our reopening and watching our students shine.
Have a lovely weekend, and I hope to see you at the upcoming PTA weekend events.
Dr. Brian Brumsickle
Head of School
Please watch this video with your child and discuss it. It will help them transition to school. A HUGE thank you to the wonderful MYP learners, Ms. Zita and Mr. Adriaan who helped us put this together.
Emotional support during the reopening phase
Neeti, our school counsellor will be in classrooms throughout the first few weeks, working with teams to make sure all children are coping emotionally during this time. She will work with groups and individually with children.
Amanda, Whole School Head of Student Support Services and Neeti, PYP Counsellor, will hold a drop-in session every Friday at 2.00pm to support parents during the transition phase. Should you need help supporting your child emotionally during this time, please feel free to drop into the Zoom session. The first session will be on 29th October, 2021.
Meeting ID: 748 595 2045
We are delaying our learner conferences until the 10th November due to our reopening. The teachers believe it will be too much for families to have it in the same week we reopen. Please look out for the sign-up information from Nijika.
With best wishes for a happy, safe and well-paced reopening,
Primary School Principal
The Primary Years Programme at Stonehill International School is underpinned by a focus on international-mindedness and developing the attributes of the IB learner profile. The PYP offers a transdisciplinary, inquiry-based and student-centered education with responsible action at its core, enabling students to learn between, across and beyond traditional subject boundaries. Learning aims to transcend traditional boundaries between subject areas. The students explore six transdisciplinary themes of global significance: “Who we are'', “Where we are in place and time, “How we express ourselves”, “How the world works”, “How we organize ourselves”, and “Sharing the planet”.
The P7 students made connections to what they already know, what they think, and what their parents tell them about being “Internationally Minded”. They added their own thoughts and their new learnings about how empathy is connected to being internationally minded. Olivia mentioned, “To me, International Mindedness means to learn with others that don’t speak your language...” The students used a Frayer Model to create their definition of empathy.
Our Unit of inquiry on “Where we are in place and time” gave an opportunity to our students to define key vocabulary like significant, history and time in their own words. In Aarrnaa’s words, “ I connected the words future and change because in the future everything is going to be different, it will not be the same”. The learners decided to explore some significant events in history to dive deeper into what happened in the past, when it happened, and how it happened. It was interesting to see their perspective on choosing one significant event to explore.
The P7 Team
Primary Arts Fest
The Primary teachers and students enjoyed expressing themselves at the ArtsFest 2021, which was held online between September 27th and October 01, 2021. The students had the opportunity to interact with a large group of special guests. They choose activities from six different groups, dramatic, 2D/3D, literary, movement, digital, and musical expression.
In addition, an explanation of all activities, including videos of the Zoom sessions, can be found on this website. Please feel free to continue to use the website to interact with the padlets in the gallery and other asynchronous content on the Festival Fun page.
Thank you to all the guests, teachers, and students who helped make this week a success!
Please provide your feedback on the following forms:
The Primary Arts Team
Helpful Hints for Transitioning to On-Campus Learning
The day is almost here! We couldn’t be more excited to have your children on campus. But, transitions are never easy. Here are 5 tips to help you feel better equipped to support your children.
Talk to them about how they feel
Some kids are returning to campus after nineteen months and some are going to see the school building for the very first time. Either way, you can expect your child to have mixed feelings about this transition. While you want them to feel good about getting back to school, create a safe space for them to talk to you about their anxieties and discomfort too.
Check-in with their teacher/counsellor
Transitioning back to school is as overwhelming for you as it is for your children. Remember, you are not alone in this. We are here to support you. Feel free to get in touch with us, should you need our help. Weekly Zoom drop-in sessions with the Counsellor and the Head of Student Support Services will be made available starting Friday, October 29th.
Focus on the positives
None of us have been through a pandemic before. As prepared as we are, we need to understand that some things may change or look different. As adults, it is important that instead of joining their chaos, we share our calm. Help your child focus on the good things about school.
Have an end-of-day routine
Check-in with your child when they return from school. Instead of only asking them how their day was, you could ask them who made them smile at school today, what was the most challenging essential agreement to follow, what did they learn today that was different from yesterday, etc.
Set expectations and routines
It is likely that mealtime and bedtime routines are already in place. The first few days or weeks might be a battle, however, keep these expectations and routines consistent.
MAP Tests - What they mean and why we do them
This week our Middle Years Programme students have been taking two MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) tests, one in Reading, and one in Mathematics.
These are a range of tests available from NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association), a global not-for-profit educational services organization located in Portland, Oregon. NWEA partners with educational organizations worldwide to provide research-based adaptive assessments.The reading and mathematics tests seem to be the most useful for IB schools.
In these tests, students answer 40-50 multiple choice questions. When students answer a question correctly, the difficulty level of the next question increases (or vice-versa). This adaptive process continues throughout the test until the appropriate difficulty level is found for each student. By the end of 40-50 questions, the test is able to identify the students’ strengths and weaknesses in the subject. We also get an estimate of how the student compares to others around the world in the same grade level. Most of the students taking the test worldwide are in the US, therefore, IB students are expected to score above the world averages. This is because the academic standards expected in the IB Diploma are significantly higher than a typical US high-school education.
Some educators argue that these tests are not in line with the philosophy of the IB and that we should not read too much into the results. However, we always find a strong correlation between MAP scores in Reading and Mathematics and IB Diploma Programme results for students. This should not come as a surprise, as IB Diploma exams are still based heavily on literacy and numeracy skills, and these skills are tested in the Reading and Mathematics MAP tests.
Over the coming weeks, our teachers will be looking at these results to help us determine next steps for our students. We will be comparing the test results with our own assessment data to draw sensible conclusions regarding the performance levels of all of our students. Where necessary, we can then adapt our approach to groups or individuals to ensure that the required levels of literacy and numeracy are being developed.
Not particularly exciting, I know, but this is important, particularly as gathering reliable assessment data during remote learning has been extremely difficult. Please make sure you ask about MAP test results during Parent-Teacher Conferences coming up in November.
Secondary School Principal
During this period of uncertainty and transition, it is great to focus on the mental health and wellbeing of our students. Social-emotional learning allows students to build on their social-emotional skills to better cope with challenges they may face both socially and academically. Since the start of the academic year, our secondary students have been participating in weekly Personal Social Development (PSD) lessons structured to mentally support students with the transition back to campus.
In August, the students focused on getting to know themselves, their teachers and classmates through icebreaker activities. They also took time to evaluate their goals for the school year. Special ‘circle times’ were designed to create a safe space for open discussion on our current PSD topics to support students in creating a respectful environment to share with their classmates.
Throughout September the students were encouraged to share more about themselves in our cultural sensitivity lessons. In these lessons, it was important for students to be able to have an understanding of who they are by exploring their values and beliefs. The students talked about various stereotypes common in our society and understood the importance of respecting everything different.
The students have been learning how to manage their time by creating schedules and routines while discovering how to best handle stress that comes their way. Over the coming months, the students will dive deeper into topics such as self-advocacy and look at how to develop positive attitudes, assertiveness and resolve conflicts. We are looking forward to celebrating all that the students have accomplished in these lessons across the semester at our special PSD celebration lesson in December.
Whole School Head of Student Support Services
M4 Product Design
The students have been working on designing and creating serving trays made out of plywood.
They have been learning about wood joinery, particularly box joinery and the usage of power and hand tools.
M4 Digital Design
The M4 students have been working on the unit Interacting with Information. In this unit, the students learn the basics of PHP and MySQL, a powerful combination that will allow them to design and create their own web application. The students have also participated in multiple peer-reviewing activities to develop their understanding of the assessment criteria, while improving their skills in evaluating their own work and that of others.
M5 - Digital Design
The M5 Digital Design students are currently working on an image-editing unit where they will create a series of posters to celebrate the international nature of our school. As part of this work, the students made a video presentation where they presented and justified the different design specifications they will take into account while designing and creating their posters.
The students will follow the Design Cycle to work on their projects. Design is all about solving problems. The M1 students will have to develop an app for their client which will help solve a problem. As part of this process, the students will be documenting all the four stages of their project. The students are working on Criteria A - Inquiring and Analysing.
Secondary Design Department
The M1 & M2 students completed the unit on Statistics. They looked for patterns, trends and anomalies in the data. They drew conclusions from the various forms of graphs. They are solving floor tangrams based on fractions, decimals and percentages.
The M3 students explored patterns and generalization of results to predict possible outcomes.
This activity gave them an opportunity to further explore the patterns in nature and understand the beauty of the same.
The M4 Enrichment students created questions using command terms like suggest, predict, describe, verify, etc, which focused on the strands related to Criteria B, Investigating Patterns.
There was great excitement when they were asked to pick a command term which started from the first letter of their first/last name.
The M5 Extended students investigated the nature of patterns in Sequences and Series. They observed, hypothesised, experimented, discovered and created.
The students played the role of a designer and created geometrical patterns that was algebraically interpreted.
Collaboration always helps students understand different perspectives. D1 AI-SL students explored different situations in groups and tried to match them with their respective graphs. They tried to interpret the given graphical representations and apply it to the appropriate scenario. A gallery walk enabled students to see how other groups performed.
The American Mathematics Competition - 10/12 (AMC) is around the corner. A total of twenty six students will be taking the online exam on November 16th at 6:00 p.m. We wish them the best!
Secondary Mathematics Department
Acquiring English at a Record Pace
Our M4 students are learning about what determines health. This topic looks at the ways of achieving well-being including eating well and maintaining a positive mindset. They have studied the Food Pyramid to write an informative advertisement, creating awareness about healthy eating. They have also written an official report on the state of obesity amongst children in western cultures as well as providing some recommendations on eliminating this growing concern. The students will now commence a Service project which will create awareness at SIS on ways of eating well. This will include a series of videos showing students how to cook tasty and healthy meals!
Our M5 students are busy finding ways to reduce poverty. The students have investigated novel and sustainable solutions to this problem. Through reading texts and listening to TED Talk presentations, they have analysed the benefits of microcredits as well as organisations like FairTrade, which support small businesses and companies in developing countries to make products to sell overseas. The students have learnt perspective writing by completing diary entries while practising their academic writing through an Opinion Essay, outlining the importance of education in helping people to better themselves.
The D1 students have just completed an oral assessment discussing the advantages and disadvantages of genetically modified foods. The D2 students have completed a TOK based debate on whether human cloning really is ‘progress.’ With this practise behind them, the D1 students commence their literature studies of A View from the Bridge and the D2 students will begin MAUS, which will provide them with the content and skills they need to complete an IOA (Individual Oral Assessment). During these orals, they will be required to analyse an extract by referring to quotations to explore the characterisation and themes of the novels. These mock IOAs will occur before the winter break. Good luck!
On the 2nd of October our boarding leaders organised a fun treasure hunt.
It was brilliant to see the enthusiasm as teams ventured around the school campus searching for clues. There were lots of creative ideas and imaginative photos taken. Team One won and were treated to a McDonalds meal.
The boarding community hosted its first talent show. The boarders showcased their various talents by dancing, singing or playing a musical instrument. Congratulations to the winners `Chapri Boys' for their excellent choreographed dance routine and runners-up Adora, Tamanna and Veona for their lovely songs. The talent show was a success and hopefully a beginning of a new Stonehill Boarding tradition. Well done everyone!
Although school closed for the Dussehra break, the Boarding remained open with twenty-three boarders opting to stay in and spend time studying, relaxing and enjoying the planned activities. The extended break was busy, action-packed and an exciting one with Jumaring, Archery, Ice breaker sessions and team building activities. The highlight of the weekend was making pizza. Ms. Glenda and a handful of boarders made delicious homemade chocolates. A big thank you to Mr.Elvis for organising the day programme for our boarders and to the boarding staff for organising the inhouse activities.
Thank you Chef Arjun and the catering team for providing us with excellent meals. On Sunday we had a BBQ on the beautiful Boarding Lawns - combined with a small game of football in the afternoon.
Wishing everyone a Happy Diwali Break!
Head of Boarding
Here’s a special offer from Four Seasons Hotel for our Stonehill community!
We are so proud of Chelsea, M5, who won the first place at the Namma Badminton Tournament, in the under 17 girls category. The knockout tournament was held on the 17th of October in Bangalore.
Well done Chelsea!