NEWSLETTER 

February 2021


MESSAGE FROM HEAD OF SCHOOL

Renewed hopes, major challenges, creative paths and new opportunities – that is how I will define the start of 2021. In addition to being thoroughly heartened at the return of more than two-thirds of our students/ staff on campus, I am also thankful for:

  • Students following SOPs, even when it is hard to do so. I know it is too much to expect wearing masks for 8 hours and continue to concentrate. But you are all doing great and remember in these unprecedented and difficult times, only resilience will help.
  • My staff, for continuing to remember and remind others and safeguarding the AIS community from further spread.
  • But most importantly, you, the parent community! I understand how difficult it is for you  not to able to visit your child’s class or teachers or just walk into our offices, wait little longer during pick up, and so many more adjustments. Communication has become a process, but that is the need of hour and if we continue to do what we are doing, we not only ensure our own safety, but also that of our families and community at large.

Let us continue to be resilient, patient and most importantly hopeful. We will get through this together and shall see a normal day (which we humans have taken for granted always) – where we will be free to move around, hug each other and shake hands!

 This half term has been short, but equally eventful. With a relatively peaceful election period, our students have done very well from switching online to campus studies, Primary Department Assessments, Book Week, 100 days at AIS and Evacuation Drills. Please read on for more information.

The next half of this term is as eventful! Watch out for Secondary Department Assessments, Francophonie Day, Student-led conferences, Talent Show and Sports Week. Given these unprecedented times, some of these events will come with a unique spin! Stay tuned!

As Senior Leadership Team, we are working towards next academic year’s calendar and timetables. Details will follow in our next newsletter.

As we look to 2021, our wish is that as we reopen our school doors, we build trends and strategies to ensure that all children can thrive, provide relevant teaching and learning experiences to students in and out of school that support their ability to apply what they learn to their lives and prepare them for the world that is to come.


MESSAGE FROM HEAD OF EARLY CHILDHOOD DEPARTMENT

It’s been a brilliant start to Term 2 and I can’t believe how fast it is flying by! Many of us have returned to campus and others are still enjoying their classes online. 

A few reminders for those studying on campus:

  • Drop off is 8:00am-8:40am

  • Pick up for EC1 and EC2 is 12:15pm-12:30pm

  • Pick up for Reception is 2:40-3:00pm

We understand that this might be an inconvenience, but we appreciate your cooperation and support in following all the procedures we have in place during Phase 4 of reopening.

With the start of a new term, we have started a new unit; How the World Works. This unit is “an inquiry into the natural world and its’ laws; an interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment”….sounds like a big feat for our little ones, but basically they are learning all about gardening, plant cycles and weather!

Every day in our Department is fun, but Favourites Week was especially fun! Do you have a favourite food? A favourite toy from your childhood? A favourite outfit? I know I have a list of my favourite things and they bring me so much joy! Favourites Week (1st-5th February) was a time for us to celebrate all our favourite things. Thank you for your support in making the week special for our students.

Sarah Bowman
Head of Early Childhood Department
__________________________
Tel: +256 756 770 676
Email: echod@ais.ac.ug


MESSAGE FROM HEAD OF PRIMARY DEPARTMENT

Congratulations on having completed the first half of Term 2!

It has been a fruitful and peaceful adventure for all our students, teachers, and the entire AIS team; virtually and physically. Students attending on-campus are working hard to follow the SOPs with the guidance of their teachers, but not forgetting to enjoy themselves along the way! Thumbs up to the AIS COVID 19 Taskforce, for their unwavering support in ensuring that everyone has the knowledge on how to keep safe amidst this pandemic. Students have continued to have fun with a few birthday celebrations of individually packed cupcakes and juice. 

The online students have had fun too. They have participated in every school event we have had so far, such as Book Week, Assemblies, and 100 days at AIS.

All PYP students have had a great time celebrating environmentalists, as an AIS value for the month. They have also explored the learner profile attributes of being Principled, Thinkers, and Reflective. 

I request that we continue to nurture our students in these attributes, to help them become responsible global citizens. Our students have completed the term assessments successfully, both MAP and Internal. You will get details of these assessments as you attend the three-way conference before the end of the term.

As we start the next part of the term, there are a few things we would like you to remind you:

  • All PYP classes begin at 8:00 a.m and end by 3:30 pm. Please, ensure that your child is picked up latest by 4:00 p.m, since we do not currently provide daycare.
  • Please contact Ms. Nishitha, the Head of Admissions & Administration for uniforms, as we won’t allow students without uniform in school after the midterm break. Her email address is admin@ais.ac.ug.

Assessments & MAP Testing

In line with the IB Standards and Practices, AIS chooses to focus more on assessment rather than the traditional term ‘Exams’. Yes, we do evaluate our students for the purposes of:

  1. a)     Determining placement and any needs at the point of joining the school,
  2. b)   Establishing the individual learning needs, so as to inform future teaching and
  3. c)     Reporting on whether learning has taken place at the end of a term period.

Learners from Year 1 through Year 6 are formally assessed for reporting at the end of Term Two and Three. Testing is carried out in all major disciplines, including French, Kiswahili and ICT.

NB: It is the policy of AIS to NOT rank its students on the basis of academic performance, since assessments are designed to identify individual student progress and recognise and celebrate the achievements of individual learners.

 This assessment cycle, learners from Y3 to Y6 were privileged to bring in their personal devices for assessments. The digital competency, developed during virtual learning, is something we would like to nurture and grow in our students even while they are back on campus. So, we ask for your cooperation, as we gradually embrace technology for education. 

 We continue to appreciate your support in all aspects and wish you a great half term.

Shallon Baguma
Head of Primary Department
______________________
Tel: +256 758 202 666
Email: primaryhod@ais.ac.ug


MESSAGE FROM HEAD OF SECONDARY DEPARTMENT

The beginning of this year’s Term 2 has been truly unprecedented! From being exclusively online once again to unstable internet, to new timetables/more lessons for some, it has been demanding, but the enthusiasm from students and parents makes it easier and completely worth it! Of course, returning to a new floor was the silver lining, and indicative of our ever-growing department.

The new floor consists of seven more classrooms and two new Science Labs that will be in full use after Midterm Break. Another reason for our excitement, as we started off the new year, was to see a large number of Secondary Students return to campus.  Our department has grown! We welcome all our new students and AIS community members. Our smiles are large, the sound of laughter echoes around and we are grateful for your continued support. 

Zoe Calder
Head of Secondary Department
_______________________
Tel: +256 758 965 632
Email: secondaryhod@ais.ac.ug


COFFEE WITH CURRICULUM COORDINATOR

Early Childhood

Coffee with the Curriculum Coordinator (CCC) was on January 22nd and we went through a wonderful brief by Lego Foundation, highlighting the importance of play in the early years. If you weren’t

Sarah Bowman


Primary

The virtual Coffee with Curriculum Coordinators (CCC) session for January 2021 engaged parents in the newly-revised school Assessment Policy. This session suited the current state of affairs, as primary students were just about to have their Term 2 assessments.  The goals and modes of assessment in the PYP were clearly elaborated and the Q&A session thereafter led to a meaningful exchange between parents attending and the Primary Leadership Team. We continue to encourage parents to make time and attend these sessions, especially now that they are available virtually. However, for those who could not make it, here is the presentation shared during the session.

Evans Kimani


Secondary

This year’s Coffee with the Curriculum Coordinator meeting was held on January 22nd. It was a joint effort of lower and upper Secondary departments. Whole of Secondary department explored ideas of academic pathways, careers, and assessments to higher education. Not forgetting what is behind this! Mr. Sam and Mr. Ken were able to explain the important requirements and the deadlines in order for our students and parents to have the relevant and up to date information. If you weren’t able to join us, please find the link to a recording posted on your respective Class WhatsApp groups and Managebac school accounts or contact the Secondary Department for more information.

Sam Weaver & Kenneth Kanyesigye



BOOK WEEK

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”- Dr. Seuss.

How true is this quote? When we read we learn and when we learn it opens up a world of opportunities to us! This is why Book Week is so special to us. We want to see our students accomplish the impossible, and it all starts with a good book. Let me encourage you to continue reading with your child everyday. Their love of reading starts with you.

This past month, AIS students celebrated their love and passion for reading by participating in a range of interesting and exciting Book Week activities. Our students in the Primary Department participated in a “Reading Challenge,” where they were tasked to read a section of their favorite book to any member of their family and also during the week many submitted recordings of themselves doing a “Book Review” of a book they recently completed. In their recorded book reviews, students discussed details of the book they recently read, highlights, strengths and weaknesses. The week was full of excitement and enthusiasm, as students further developed and enkindled their passion for reading and all of the wonderful places books can take them.

 

A life experienced is a life well-lived. For our Book Week, our Secondary students spent time writing a book report and discussing their favorite books, taking the time to stop, sit down and read. On the last day, they dressed up as their favorite book characters. It was a great opportunity for our students to live life through a different lens and contribute to the writing of their own stories.


100 DAYS AT AIS

Early Childhood

We’ve spent 100 days at AIS and we want to share 100 ways to make you smile. If you’ve not had a chance to watch our special video, please take time to watch it below. We’ve all been through a lot in the past year, don’t forget to share a smile, it can change someone’s day for the better 🙂

Primary

Our 100 Days at AIS Celebration is always a joyful and fun-filled event. This is a time that students reflect on everything they have learned so far this academic year, as they celebrate their accomplishments. This year, the Primary Department decided to observe this celebration with the following theme in mind: “100 Days at AIS and 100 ways we make the world a better place.” Each class decided to explore this theme through a unique lens. The following are highlights from various activities our primary students participated in on February 10: coming up with 100 acts of kindness, reflecting on 100 ways they have made effort to stay safe during the COVID pandemic, making a poster of a 100 ways they care for their planet.

Secondary

100 Days = 100 Dreams 

The students were able to reflect and share their dreams on Wednesday, February 10. This is the day when AIS celebrated 100 days of school. The Secondary Department celebrated 100 days of school by sharing and thinking of our dreams. This year, the students spent time creating a number of cranes that could be displayed in their homerooms. Each crane contains a DREAM/ HOPE that each student has. These dreams and hopes for the future will be a constant reminder for the students to encourage them each day.  

If you can dream it, you can do it.” —Walt Disney


ASSEMBLIES

We had our second Reception Assembly of the academic year and this time the students taught us all about weather and seasons. Well done to our students for being so knowledgeable about their current Unit of Inquiry! We hope you had the chance to join us, but if not, you can find the recording on Google Classrooms.

Our Year 3 students put on an entertaining assembly, which was streamed this Wednesday, February 10. Each of the three Year 3 classes focused on a different Unit of Inquiry that they have studied this academic year. The Year 3 Otters created their presentation on Role Models, people that inspire them and individuals they look up to. The Year 3 Polar Bears focused on Communication, the different types and how it has changed over time from the past to present. Some of the different forms of communication they looked at included: signals, letters, sign language, the internet, and phones. Lastly, the Year 3 Beavers explored Geography and Human Connection. In their Assembly, through clues and riddles, they created a fun and interactive game that encouraged their audience to identify which countries they were talking about. A job very well done, Year 3 students!

In this term’s Secondary Department assembly we looked at how to deal with the different stresses in our daily lives and how it is up to each individual to press the restart button.

Have you ever been using a laptop or computer when all of a sudden, it has frozen, glitched, or just not done what you want it to do? If so, what do you do? 

You press the restart button.  


EVACUATION DRILL

Every term, we take our students through an Evacuation Drill, in our attempt to ‘hope for the best, and prepare for the worst’. The idea is to improve response time, without panicking. 

This term, we had an additional layer with COVID 19 SOPs, but I am so proud of the entire student and staff community who managed to evacuate and reassemble at the Assembly Point in great time. 

We exhort parents/guardians to continue talking to your child (ren) about this exercise and its importance, as we do the same at school. 


SCHOOL UNIFORMS

We hope you have stocked up on the complete uniform sets for your child (ren). After the midterm break, we expect every student to come in their full school uniforms.

Students from Reception Class to Year 12 must wear the Beige Polo T-shirt paired with the navy blue trouser/shorts/skirt. In addition, if you are a Secondary student, you are expected to wear the navy blue shirt with khakhi trousers and a tie (as per timetable). On the day you have PE, please wear your PE uniform. 

If you have not yet purchased uniforms, kindly send an email to admin@ais.ac.ug

TASKFORCE

Nishitha Shrivastava
Head of Admissions/Admin Department
Taskforce Lead
____________________________
Tel: +256 758 202 681
Email: admin@ais.ac.ug


HAPPY MIDTERM BREAK