MESSAGE FROM HEAD OF SCHOOL
Dear AIS Family,
Hope you are all safe and healthy. We receive an overload of solicited (and unsolicited) information regarding the pandemic, so I will save us all the trouble and stick with AIS News (and there is plenty, on that front!)
This newsletter will focus only on AIS, our students, parents and staff. To begin with:
I am also very proud to announce that our International Baccalureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) visit, which was held virtually in April, has been successful and AIS is now offically authorised to offer the IBDP programme that will begin in August 2020. With the MYP visit due in June 2020, we are just one step away from being an IB Continnuum School! What a milestone to achieve! This only proves that AIS is an unstoppable force, with competent staff, dedicated parents and knowledgeable students.
On that note, there are several events that we will continue to celebrate. Though the garb may change, its essence will be same.
Please click on the image for more information.
We have also worked on the calendar for the academic year 2020-21, please click here to download. We would like you to bear in mind, that the uncertainty continues to loom, be it the pandemic aftermath or the elections due next year. In such time, we continue to expect your support and flexibity, while I assure you that whatever the circumstance, we will start our academic year on ……. Be it face-to-face or online. There will be no break in momentum!
This lockdown has truly taken our open-door policy to a new level. We are thankful for your open communication, be it through phone calls, emails or by responding to our various surveys.
Lastly, here is an article and video that was recently published about our journey on the Association of International Schools Africa (AISA) website. I am proud of the AIS Family, hope you are too. #staysafe
Please click the link below to view the story and video:
Acorns International School Covid-19 Support
Ameena Lalani – Head of School/CEO
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEPARTMENT UPDATES
Hello friends, I know Term 3 does not look like a normal term at AIS, but we are making the best of it! I am so proud of all the EC students who have continued their learning at home, through the use of Google Classrooms. The evidence that is being posted each day proves that you are learning and having fun, we couldn’t wish for anything more!
A big THANK YOU goes out to the parents/guardians who are putting in the time and effort to guide your children in their home learning. Bravo!
As the lockdown begins to ease, we would like to introduce a new element to your child’s home learning and avail some resources to you! Beginning Monday, June 1, EC parents will be invited to come to school and checkout books from our Library and pick up a weekly home learning packet for your child!
We will also be starting “Zoom Parties” where your child can join a Zoom meeting to say hello to their teachers and see their friends. This will not be a “class,” as this is not an age-appropriate way of teaching young children, but more of a way for your child to stay connected with their teachers and friends from class. Please stay tuned for more details!
Sarah Bowman – HoD Early Childhood
PRIMARY DEPARTMENT UPDATES
In my entire career, spanning more than 23 years, this is the most unique teaching experience I, or anyone in my industry, has had. Practically overnight, we went from brick and mortar to virtual beings. I cannot say this transition was a cakewalk, there was some gliding, some skidding, and sometimes even screeching halts. But what was most important is, none of us gave up. When I say ‘us’, I mean my teachers, and you parents.
This Term 3 will remain special to me for so many reasons, my increased knowledge of technology and its various platforms, meeting my teachers and students at a time of social distancing, but most importantly for the enthusiasm and community spirit that we experienced in our AIS Family.
My teachers have gone beyond their call of duty and consistently collaborating to ensure that every child is receiving an enriching learning experience. I am proud to head a team that is a true model of professionalism, flexibility, and above all putting their students first.
I cannot thank our parents enough for their unique partnership in this journey, having to practice work-life balance, like never before.
We appreciate all the feedback and observations. Now, more than ever, it would not help to work in silos. We are glad that as a team, the entire AIS Family has worked out an online learning programme that would benefit our students.
Parents, please, continue to communicate with your child’s teacher in regard to completing assignments and virtual platforms for distance learning. Our expectation for the students remain that they will complete all the assignments provided by both their homeroom and stand-alone teachers. Families are also encouraged to establish a routine with children, as much as possible, which will help them to maintain a balance with the online expectations they have.
I thank you all for your understanding and support during this unprecedented time.
Shallon Baguma – HoD Primary
PYP CURRICULUM COORDINATOR UPDATES
The current global events have forced us to re-evaluate our priorities, methods and even thinking. Therefore, we have also re-evaluated the forms and functions of our assessments and reporting procedures at AIS.
This reporting period, covering January – July, will be a combination of qualitative data (reflections, self-assessments) and quantitative data (levels, percentages and grades). Here are a few things to note with regards to assessments at PYP:
- There will be formal assessments to check for student understanding, scheduled for the week of June 15 – 19, 2020. Please note that these are synchronous, meaning they will happen real-time and will be live only for the duration determined by the teacher. Assessment timetables will be made available shortly.
- The assessment timetables have been released after the midterm break. They will not deviate much from the current schedule of live sessions.
- Conferences will happen virtually over Zoom from July 8 – 15, 2020. The booking procedure will be done at the convenience of families and teachers and the format will be communicated through the Class WhatsApp groups.
- The AIS report will be available in its current format with assessment levels being reported on.
- ISA results will also be released for the upper grades to complement the AIS report.
- E-Portfolios will now include student self-assessments and reflections of their growth during this period. Study ladder progress reports will also be released.
Evans Kimani – PYP Curriculum Coordinator
SECONDARY DEPARTMENT UPDATES
In these unprecedented times, we have seen how creative and inventive our students and teachers can be. They are continuously finding alternative ways of making online learning a memorable and fun experience through their engagements with different learning management systems.
What a difference to our normal day-to-day lives, but within the Secondary Department at AIS, WE ARE NOT GIVING UP OR LOSING HOPE. The Secondary teachers dove right into online learning the day after schools were closed across Uganda and the rest of the world. Our online learning programme has been in full swing for nine weeks. When will this end? We do not know, but we will keep going!
Students from all over the world have had their exams cancelled due to COVID-19, which meant all Year 11 students were unable to take their final exams. We have, however, submitted their entire portfolio, mock exam results and all other relevant documentation to Cambridge that will be used as evidence to mark the final grade by Cambridge. I am pleased to announce that the Year 11 IGCSE students have continued to work hard and will soon be coming to an end of this milestone in their lives. We would like to wish them all the best, as they move onto the Diploma Programme at AIS and we look forward to receiving the final grades.
Whilst on lockdown, we have undertaken our DP Authorization Visit. This was done remotely and showed us the power of technology and that there are no limits that cannot be achieved. The remote visit went as smoothly, as we could have expected. We have already started preparations for the Year 11 students who will be joining us next academic year. And now, we work hard for the MYP virtual visit to be held next month.
The Secondary Department continues to have department meetings every Wednesday. Doing this has been a great opportunity for us to get together and share new ideas and continue working as a team. During these meetings, we have been preparing for our upcoming, remote MYP Authorization visit. Due to the pandemic, the date for this was changed, but we can now confirm that the visit will be taking place on June 15 and 16, 2020.
Whilst on lockdown, we have undertaken our DP Authorization Visit. This was done remotely and showed us the power of technology and that there are no limits that cannot be achieved. The remote visit went as smoothly as we could have expected. We have already started preparations for the Year 11 students who will be joining us in the next academic school year. The Management Team would like to show appreciation to all the Secondary teachers and parents for their efforts and making this possible and of course not forgetting our very own, Mr. Kyle, who put in endless hours to ensure the smooth running.
Students from all over the world have had their exams cancelled due to COVID-19, meaning that all the Year 11 students were unable to take their final exams. I am pleased to announce that the Year 11 IGCSE students have continued to work hard and will soon be coming to an end of this milestone in their lives. We would like to wish them all the best, as they move onto the Diploma Programme at AIS and we look forward to receiving the final grades.
We are here for you all. Please ensure that you stay in touch with us and keep up the fantastic work!
Zoe Calder – HoD Secondary
MYP CURRICULUM COORDINATOR UPDATES
We will be conducting Summative Assessments with our Secondary students, throughout the last week of June and the first week of July.
These Assessments will serve as a summary of the student’s conceptual understanding that they have been developing throughout the academic year. These will not look like typical pen and paper exams, and will require the student’s creative engagement and thoughtfulness. Teachers will make the expectations clear, for their respective assessments. Assessment timetables will be made available shortly.
The Assessments will not be conducted live with the individual teachers. The work for the respective class will be uploaded and assigned at the time of the assessment session, and will be due and digitally submitted at the time the session window closes.
As these assessments will be done individually, and without the direct oversight by a teacher, we will be expecting strict adherence to the AIS Academic Honesty Policy. This Policy is available on the school website. At the time of the Assessments, we will be sending Academic Honesty Waivers to accompany the specific assessments. These will serve as summaries for the student’s understanding of our Academic Honesty Policy, and also reiterate to them the importance of honesty and integrity in their work. We will be expecting these to be signed by both the students and a parent/guardian.
Kyle Mero – MYP Curriculum Cordinator