EARLY CHILDHOOD DEPARTMENT UPDATES
Wow, what a term it has been! Term 3 was definitely one for the books, being our first ever virtual Term. At the start of this pandemic, I wondered how online learning would look for our youngest students and questioned how the teachers would be able to teach from a distance with so many obstacles in their way. Let me say, I am truly amazed at how incredible this term has turned out. Teachers have been able to maintain our play-based philosophy, as they posted daily videos and activities for students to complete. And, who knew that our students would be so excited and engaged in learning from Google Classrooms?! Of course you, the parents, have also stepped up to the plate and have been an incredible support in your child’s development and learning as you guided them through the teachers’ instructions and activities. Thank you to all who have made our online programme a success! It takes a village, and I am glad to be a part of this one.
As we look forward to the next academic year, we are excited to be taking the Early Childhood Online Programme to new heights, as we introduce weekly live classes on Zoom, weekly learning packages, library book check outs and more! Stay tuned and we will see you after the long holiday, whether it be through our screens or in person.
Sarah Bowman – HoD Early Childhood
PRIMARY DEPARTMENT UPDATES
Term 3 has undoubtedly been a monumental time in our learning communities all over the world and we highly appreciate the open-mindedness and dedication of all members of the AIS learning community. We commend the growth mindset exhibited by parents and students alike, as you navigated these uncharted territories of distance learning. It was reassuring to notice just how many parents value the information literacy and technological skills that our learners are continuing to acquire.
We have been able to maintain our routine learning procedures such as summative assessments, e-portfolios and student reflections throughout the term. Our e-portfolios for the first time lived up to the ‘e-component’ with all learners compiling their learning milestones on platforms such as Google slides and Padlet. Our assessments delivery was very well received by students and we appreciate the support provided by parents from home in ensuring students practiced academic honesty.
We continue to review your feedback on our distance learning program and promise to maintain the good and also take all your feedback into consideration, as we prepare for an exciting virtual learning journey for year 2020-21.
PYPX 2020 will go down in AIS history as a monumental milestone in successful student-driven inquiry. In the backdrop of school closures, restrictions on movement and congregating, the Y6 batch of 2020 beat the odds and staged our first ever virtual PYP exhibition. This year, we adopted the newly-released guidelines for personal inquiries by the International Baccalaureate (IB) and had students chart their own courses with individual inquiry journeys. Padlet, Google Slides, VoiceThread, Google Sites and Zoom were some of the platforms that came in handy in moderating and staging this year’s exhibition. Student engagement was at an all-time high; compiling a group invitation video, taking action as a result of their inquiries and conducting a meaningful reflective exercise on the entire project. Check out #PXPX2020 on social media platforms to view our own and the global journeys of the PYP exhibition this year.
Shallon Baguma – HoD Primary
SECONDARY DEPARTMENT UPDATES
As we have now come to the end of academic school year, it has been a great time for the Secondary Department to reflect on all that has been achieved this year.
The students in the Secondary Department have continued to show true dedication to their learning, as we continued to learn online. Our Celebration of Learning gave you a glance of what has been done during the COVID-19 pandemic. All your teachers and I would like to thank you for your efforts, because without your support our jobs would have been very challenging. As we have broken down the barriers when learning online, the biggest one being the endless power cuts, the work has still been done and it’s time for the summer holidays.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you, the parents and guardians! Without your commitment to AIS and your encouragement at home, this could not have happened. I hope that you can all agree with me that the students at AIS are true IB learners and have stuck to the school’s Vision Statement, ‘To inspire and empower each other’.
As we look forward to the next academic year, please ensure you keep a close eye on our CPR groups and social media platforms for any announcements that will be made. I hope that you continue to stay safe and healthy and we all look forward to seeing you after a well-deserved holiday, whether it is through our screens or in person.
Assessments play an important role in reflecting, evaluating, and providing feedback on learning. Our assessments this year have been unconventional due to the pandemic.
Our MYP Formative and Summative Assessments were majorly done through Google Class, Zoom, and other online platforms such as Quizlet demos online testing and Google Docs, depending on the nature of the tasks. Students were engaged in a variety of tailor-made tasks using resources available at their disposal to do research, create models, projects, and investigative phenomenon while at home.
Throughout the study, our esteemed teachers gave students continuous feedback by returning scripts and making advisory commentary on students’ photos, projects, and videos using DOC HUB, Google Docs, and Mote.
At the highlight of this assessment period, was the IGCSE Year 11 exams, in which evidence was gathered and submitted online.
A big thanks to our dear students for their continued resilience and cooperation in making this assessment season a success.
Our Year 11 students have just finished their capstone Personal Projects for the MYP! These projects are year-long inquiries into subjects and topics of the student’s own choosing, allowing for their own creativity and individual interests to drive their work. With minimal guidance and supervision, the Personal Project is intended to showcase the student’s own abilities to proactively handle the complexities of the work. Demanding of them investigative and planning skills, executive implementation, reflection, and report writing, the Personal Project requires the students, now having come to the close of their MYP education, to develop the project on their own from start to finish. Incorporating disciplinary concepts, contexts, and learning skills, the Year 11 students create a product or project that crosses the whole gamut of the MYP Programme.
This year, our first year of running the Personal Project at AIS, our Year 11 students worked on the following projects:
Investigation: The complex world of modern Iraq
Plan: To create a journalistic memoir of an Iraq not shown on the six-o clock news
Investigation: The need for security in several African nations, security firms being the number one employer on the continent
Plan: To survey the need for security, and compile a feasibility portfolio of establishing new security branches in other capitals
Investigation: How and why successful and lucrative websites generate the kind of interest they do
Investigation: Space travel and it’s detractors and its’ future
Plan: To write a book validating space travelling theories from Science Fiction
Investigation: To find out characteristics of a good cookbook
Plan: To publish a successful and delicious baking cook book using the findings of the investigation, along with original recipes
Investigation: The relationship between the African land and African politics
Plan: To develop a portfolio of African Nation’s geopolitics, including firsthand interviews and surveys
These students will host an exhibition detailing their projects and their findings once school resumes. We are proud of all of the good work they have done, and look forward to celebrating their success with them!
Zoe Calder – HoD Secondary
A Levels Updates
In January 2020, AIS’s first A Levels cohort started their classes in Year 12 and were just about to conclude their Term One when the country went into lock down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This didn’t stop their learning, as the teachers quickly adapted and shifted to online learning. Students had live Zoom sessions with their teachers on a daily basis and submitted their completed tasks on Google Classroom. Term Two was completely done online, with assessments successfully conducted in the first two weeks of July and reports prepared and issued through Managebac and parents’ emails.
Shifting from classroom to online learning was a bit challenging, however the students’ and teachers’ zeal and quick adaptability made it possible for the programme to run smoothly. Sincere gratitude goes to the parents for all the support in terms of gadgets and data.
We look forward to welcoming new students in the A Levels Programme, come August 2020, and if government does not open up schools by then, we shall carry on with teaching online!
Olomo Charles – A Levels Coordinator
Below is the calendar for the next academic year (2020-21)