The Tiger, 4th March, 2022
As we enter the month of March, on-campus instruction continues. We have managed well so far because our students and staff are strictly following covid guidelines.
We continue to be cautious on campus with visitors, vendors and suppliers.
I want to thank our parent community for your continued support and patience during this time.
This week, we started our afterschool activities. It was delightful to see most of our students participating in a wide array of activities. Our Primary learners were charged with a great deal of energy, and our Secondary students enjoyed the team sports and the opportunity to reconnect with friends.
Lastly, it is that time of the year when I kindly request your feedback regarding my performance as Head of School. The survey is anonymous and confidential and is conducted by an outsourced organization. The MSF survey will be sent to all parents, administrative staff, faculty, and D1 and D2 students on the 14th of March. It is designed to help me grow professionally and personally as a school leader. I’d like to thank you in advance for your feedback.
Head of School
Sports and Activities are back!
Last week, we started forming middle school teams for swimming, track and field, and five aside football. It's great to see the students get out for after school activities again.
I would really like to take this opportunity to emphasize the benefits sports play for our female athletes. Typically, we expect sports to be attractive for boys but this same expectation should not be lost on our girls. I have coached both boys and girls on both the middle school and high school levels and can honestly say that the personal growth and satisfaction of playing on a sports team is greater from girls. Not that the boys don't appreciate playing sports, but in my thirty plus years of coaching both abroad and in my time here at Stonehill I have seen this impact to be true. So, let's have that conversation with our girls as well as our boys and get them out participating in swimming, track and field, and football.
Today is the first day of our After School Activities Programme scheduled to take place every Tuesday and Thursday. The Primary will be exploring various activities of their own initiatives while remaining in their play bubbles to provide an extra level of safety. Our Secondary has over twenty offerings, varying from technology, sports, and the arts.
Whole School Sports and Activities Coordinator
We appreciate hearing back from our Alumni. Clotilde De Napoli wrote back to us remembering her Stonehill days with great fondness.
She graduated from Stonehill in 2014 and attended the University of Gastronomic Sciences and Cultures, Italy. She currently works for a company called Lavazza handling cost management, marketing and public relations. Here is what she has to say:
Having graduated from the University of Gastronomic Sciences and Cultures,Italy, it was very important for me to enter the sector through a multinational company, in order to understand all the different aspects and processes.
My real passion and objective is to work in the human rights sector under the interest of food security and food safety.
This dream of mine actually started at Stonehill when I was offered the opportunity to be a delegate at five different Model United Nations as well as two different Flat Classroom Projects.
I must say that growing up in India also nourished this vision of mine.
I have two suggestions for IB students today, and they both go hand in hand. My first suggestion is to learn how to love to learn. To be passionate about learning is what will make you the person you will be. It's what will prepare you for further studies and your future job. It’s incredibly hard to get accepted into your dream university, it’s hard to find a job, and it's even harder to find a job you are passionate about. So, try learning as much as you can, and especially try to love learning the things that you actually struggle with.
To give you an example, I often find myself sitting at my desk sorting through numbers, it’s not my favourite thing to do, I actually find it quite hard. But knowing that I can learn how to do it makes me feel empowered, independent and gratified.
My second suggestion is to be the best risk taker you can be. It is so important to stand out from the crowd today, to speak aloud and to speak about what your heart truly believes in.
Good luck to everyone!
Absences: If your child is going to be absent please notify your child’s homeroom teacher. We need to account for all students who are out-of-school.
Late for school: Attendance is taken at 7.50 each morning so please have your child in school by 7.45 as they need time to walk to their homeroom. Tardiness is also noted on our attendance register.
If your child is going to be out of school for more than two days, please write to your child’s homeroom teacher and Karen (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are not expecting you to ask permission for an extended absence but we are responsible for your child’s education - engagement = learning. We will try to keep this engagement going during this time.
Any child leaving early, including 3.00 p.m on an ASA day, MUST come to the office to collect an early release pass from Nijika. All children will be collected from the Primary office by their parent, driver or nanny.
Whilst we are on campus…
Please make sure your child is attending the campus as much as possible. We can do so much more in person and your child is learning so much more by being with their teachers and their friends.
Gratitude and Awe
Every morning I spend one hour wandering through classes observing learning and learners in action. I could take a thousand photos a week on what exceptional learning looks like. Our little people are so fortunate to have teachers who care for who they are and what/how they are learning.
This is a HUGE SHOUT OUT to our teaching team. You are our heroes. Your commitment to learning is incredible. Your willingness to take on new ways of knowing and doing is inspirational. What you provide daily to our students is becoming more personalised than ever before. We appreciate you and we welcome your contributions to our students and their learning.
THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU!
With best wishes
Primary School Principal
Our Primary Years Programme (PYP) has been selected to represent Stonehill International School to showcase our practices at the largest global conference in education “The Inquiry Educator Summit - TIES 2022”. TIES is the ultimate festival of learning for educators across the globe, featuring over 100 thought leaders and classroom practitioners from more than thirty countries. We are proud to be selected as one of ten most progressive schools to showcase at this global event, share our ideas with a global audience and contribute to driving a culture of inquiry in schools around the world.
Stonehill’s showcase video features our approaches to fostering inquiry in the learning community. We have decided to focus on the year-long 'How we express ourselves' unit of inquiry across the whole PYP which reflects the school's commitment to global citizenship, intercultural learning, and international mindedness. The unit provokes the learning community to inquire into diversity, culture, interaction, connection and action. By referring to the Cultural Iceberg model, learners explore not only the observable elements of culture but also dive beneath the iceberg to find out which essential cultural components are beneath the surface. The interrelated concepts of 'Reaching in' and 'Reaching out' help learners to consider how we interact with others and understand ourselves in relation to others.
Helpful Hints for Raising Kind Kids
One of the most important things children missed during virtual learning was not being able to meet and play with their friends. While kids are happy to be back on campus, their ability to socialise well remains a major area of concern. Making friends starts with being a good friend and a good friend is one who is kind and respectful, among other things. As parents, here are some ways to raise kind kids:
Set the expectation of kindness at home
Your children are familiar with their class Essential Agreements. You could co-write a similar one for your home with all the members of your household involved. Make showing kindness and being respectful an expectation at home. When that clause of the agreement is broken/violated, make sure to let your child know that it’s not okay. Have them reflect on what they have said or done and give them a chance to course correct in kindness.
Give them the opportunity to show kindness
While emphasising on showing kindness everyday and in the smallest of ways is fabulous, you could also set aside time to take your children to places where their kindness and empathy can make a significant difference. Volunteering in your community, helping out at a charity event, visiting an orphanage, spending time at an old age home, are just some of the ways you can empower your child to be kind.
Kids are observant and intuitive. We cannot expect to raise kind kids if the adults in the house are not kind to each other. There will be moments of disagreement at home. Taking care to self-regulate and respond instead of reacting will help you set an example of kindness in front of your children.
Embed kind phrases in your communication
Children speak the language in which they are spoken to. Make sure you use kind but sincere phrases such as “That was such a kind deed you did for me”, “You are such a helpful child”, “I am so proud of how kind you are to the people around you”, etc.
Should you need additional support, please feel free to write to me at email@example.com
In P1 and P2 we are constantly developing our understanding and ability to play with letters and their corresponding sounds. We do this in our play as well as during teacher led instruction time.
We know that we are readers and we can recognise that words are made up of letters and the sounds they make. You will often find us reading books in the classroom. Sometimes we read by ourselves, and other times we share and read to our friends. We love the role of a storyteller and sharing our favourite books together. Playing this way also teaches us how important it is to be respectful to each other, listen and take turns. Through these experiences we acquire the skills we need to enable us to be effective learners.
We are beginning to write our own words and to read simple messages we find in our environment! We help each other if we get stuck and we are discovering how collaboration helps us to be better learners.
We also play games that help us to recognise signs and symbols and look for similarities and differences. Playing matching memory pairs games is one of our favourites. As we play, we also train our brains to work faster and make connections between old and new knowledge.
P1 and P2 Learning Leader
PSATs, Standardised Tests and Education at Stonehill
Next week, we will be running the PSAT for the first time at Stonehill.
Based on student interest, we have purchased the tests for approximately one-third of our students from M3-M5.
What exactly are these tests and why are we doing them?
Families familiar with the US education system will know all about the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), which is still the main standardised test used during university applications for the United States. The PSAT is the Preliminary SAT and it is designed to give students an idea of their strengths and weaknesses before they take the real SAT, usually in D1. PSAT results can also be used to apply for National Merit Scholarships for US universities if the scores are high enough.
These tests are divided into two main sections: (1) Evidence-based reading and writing, and (2) Maths. Questions are multiple-choice and students get scores out of 1600 (SAT) or 1520 (PSAT). A score of around 1400 will place a student in the top 5% of global test-takers and will open up doors to the top universities.
Even if a student is not only applying to the US, getting a good score in a PSAT or SAT can be helpful when applying to universities in Europe, the UK or East Asia. It is also fairly clear that strong scores in these tests (or the MAP tests that we do twice a year) correlate well with IB Diploma scores, so students can get a better idea of likely performance in the DP.
At Stonehill, we need to make sure we find the right balance between our inquiry-based, creative, collaborative approach to teaching and learning, and helping students succeed in these standardised tests. We will never ‘teach to the test’, however, success in these tests depends on high levels of literacy and numeracy competence. This is where the overlap between an IB education and standardised test requirements takes place. All IB programmes are very language-intensive (particularly with writing expectations) and students develop strong literacy skills in all subjects; this should translate well to strong performance in the reading and writing sections of the (P)SAT. IB Maths expectations, particularly in Extended and Higher Level courses, are more difficult than SAT Maths, so students who are doing well in IB Maths should be fine in the Mathematics sections of the tests as well.
Ms. Praseeja will be using the individual PSAT scores to discuss future subject choices with our M3, M4 and M5 students so that we can maximise their academic potential based on available evidence. We will also be able to see how our students in general performed on each topic in the tests so that we can make adjustments to our curriculum if a clear pattern emerges in any section.
Secondary School Principal
DP Economics and Business Management
The Economics and Business Management students took the initiative to host an inter-school competition called MOSAIC, a Business and Economics fair. The core purpose of MOSAIC was to bring young, aspiring entrepreneurs and economists from around the world together to create a challenging and fun environment where students innovate, create, compete and learn. Close to a hundred students participated from across the country. The winners were awarded cash prizes and certificates. All the events were judged by the students as a part of their CAS activity.
This event provided the students with an exciting opportunity to test their understanding of economic models and apply them to relevant real-life situations. The students were given an issue and they had to create a detailed economic policy that leaned towards a circular rather than a linear economy.
Product launch and mad ads
Successful entrepreneurship requires a thorough skillset based in marketing, and this event proved just that! The participants had to create innovative business models and pitch them to the judges in this Shark-Tank inspired event. The participants were also required to devise a few creative advertising strategies for their product/service.
The closing ceremony was conducted online. The organising committee conducted a surprise quiz before declaring the winners. There were debates on who would finally win it, as the positions kept changing. The outcome was amazing with collaboration and team spirit!
Revathy Ravikumar, HoD Individuals & Societies & DP Economics
Satish MG, Business Management & Individuals & Societies
Secondary Visual Art
The M3 art class completed their Visual Arts trimester. 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.
Here's an excerpt from a creative written response to the above painting by Theo:
The moon was covered by looming grey clouds that creeped into the sky during the middle of the day. The clouds took over everything that was worth looking at, it covered the sun that made the sea sparkle, it took away the bright colours lining the trees. The fishermen at sea suffered from the darkness the clouds bathed them in. The waves shone a dirty green barely illuminated by the lighting leaking from the covered moon. Waves and clouds moving simultaneously in the wind, big rolling clouds, dark crashing waves that lapped at the worn out wooden planks of the boat. They floated the night away waiting for the morning so they could sell the fish, bringing the earnings back to their families which they so desperately longed to see.
Here's Theo's art work inspired by the painting:
MYP & DP Visual Arts Teacher
Our boarding staff planned some great activities and scrumptious meals during the February 24th-27th extended weekend.
The activities included night swimming, movie night, crazy Olympics and much more.
On the 25th of February, we took our first trip off-campus after two years to ‘The Boot Camp’. The outdoor experiential learning got off to a great start. The students had the opportunity to take part in varied activities which concentrated on team bonding, leadership and life skills. The programme focused on building humility, compassion, character, collective intelligence, mutual trust and common sense in tackling routine social situations of varying complexity. It is good that things are returning to “normal” and the boarders can enjoy their boarding experience.
“The activities were both challenging and rewarding and the spirits were high the entire two hours spent at the Boot Camp.” Anshul, D1
Sunav Thapa, one of our D1 boarding students participated a the virtual MUN competition hosted by Canadian International School, Bangalore on the 25th and 26th of February. Sunav was judged the best delegate for the Economic and Social Committee among five other participating schools. Well done!
February is always a month of hard work for our DP students with the Extended Essay, Internal Assessments and Theory of Knowledge submissions followed by the mock exams. The M5 exams is fast approaching and it’s great to see the students studying and collaborating during the study hour. The Student Support Services and Boarding Staff are always on hand to support and encourage our boarders.
Boarding enrolment continues to grow for August 2022, with numerous boarding interviews and tours taking place every week. It’s been great to give prospective parents the opportunity to see our boarding facilities and talk about our vibrant boarding programme.
We have recently launched ‘Home of the Tigers’ the official boarding newsletter which is on the school website. Thank you to the students who contributed. Please also follow us on the twitter feed @Boarding SIS
Have a wonderful week ahead!