MESSAGE FROM HEAD OF SCHOOL
‘Teamwork makes a dream work’, I am a believer of this adage, now more than ever! In March 2020, we were faced with a situation that affected us globally, regionally, and as a school community, just in different amplitudes. Today, as I have ridden the wave, I know the only thing that kept us sailing successfully was our community spirit, the trust every AIS parent instilled in us, the love of every student for their school, the Directors’ conviction and faith, my hardworking teaching and nonteaching staff, who are the lifeblood of AIS, and my team of Heads of Department, who have been my pillars of strength.
We may be a far cry from how this academic year began, but we can doff our hats to how well we all coped in the face of adversity. This journey, through Term 3, could have taken a different trajectory, but look at all that we have achieved – we are all savvier with IT, our teachers have learnt a new way of teaching, and completed the task at hand with such aplomb, our Curriculum Coordinators have successfully completed virtual accreditation visits, our students have adapted to their homeroom teachers teaching from a Zoom box, while their parents adapted to their new role as teachers.
We didn’t let any event or activity be effected by this lockdown – be it Assessments, Parent-Teacher Meetings (PTMs), Graduation Ceremonies, or Celebrations of Learning. Our Year 11 students sat for their IGCSE Year 11 Exams with Cambridge International virtually and are now engaged with IBMYP Personal Project, our Year 6 students took up a challenge of taking their Exhibition virtually and not only excelled at it but became true exemplary models of IB education. Such an accomplishment!
Now, as the curtain drops on this academic year, unfortunately, it’s time to say goodbye to some of our cherished staff. Mr. Charles has watched the Secondary Department grow from 7 students to the current 100-plus. Thank you, Charles, for all the hardwork and great contribution to AIS. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours. Our second goodbye is to Mr. Kyle, who has been with these students all through Secondary and is responsible for a successful DP and soon-to-be-bestowed MYP authorisation. Kyle, your calmness, simplicity and commitment (be it to not use a smartphone or while preparing for marathons) can never be replaced. With a heavy heart, we say goodbye as you take up new adventures and challenges, leaving AIS in a very good position that you had promised and committed to! We have a few more farewells, among the teaching staff (please scroll to the end for details). We wish them luck in their future endeavours!
As the curtains rise on our next academic year, we will welcome Mr. Ken, who with his simplicity, great articulation, critical thinking skills and leadership skills has been accelerated as our DP/A Levels coordinator. Being part of AIS team as Math teacher, he has a great hold over content, knowledge of the DP A level programmes and most importantly is a team player.
I would like to also welcome Mr. Sam Weavers as our MYP Coordinator, who brings with him over 12 years of teaching experience and is based in Uganda. You will see him in action soon.
Welcome Mr. Ken and Mr. Sam. I am certain that with you joining the current team of HoDs – fresh ideas, creativity and academic excellence – we will take AIS to newer heights.
This is not the only exciting news for the Secondary! When we are ready to return to campus, the A Level and DP students will have an entire new floor to themselves, as well as some new teaching staff (please scroll to the end for details)! Construction is underway and we look forward to all the new beginnings!
I wish you all a wonderful holiday! But please bear in mind that the current situation is like a bandage to the pandemic. Students are not going to receive the same type of education they thought they would for some more time, at least till when we don’t have a concrete response to pandemic. So be kind to yourself as parents, and your children. It’s much more important for them to feel supported and I will request my staff to keep the teaching simple, set achievable projects – they are working incredibly hard to give you the best experience they can, but don’t know all the answers either. Try not to worry too much about your future in the industry: everyone will always know that this was an exceptional time and we will get through this as well!
Ameena Lalani – CEO/Head of School
Parent-Teacher Meeting (PTM)
We hope that you had the chance to have a Parent-Teacher Meeting (PTM) with your child’s homeroom teacher, during the last week of the third term. These meetings are a valuable opportunity to discuss your child’s development and progress with his/her teacher. We thank you for the support and feedback you have given us during these meetings. Parents are an incredibly important part of a child’s success at school, this year especially due to our shift to online learning. We want to congratulate you, the parents, on a wonderful term! If we gave report cards to parents you would all be getting the highest marks!
As an extension of our Online Programme, PTMs and reporting were also digitized with appointment forms and meeting rooms supported by Google Forms and Zoom meetings, respectively. Parent end-of-term feedback shows a great appreciation for the convenience of being able to meet almost all teachers involved in their child’s learning, albeit virtually. We appreciate the overwhelming parent response and involvement; some specialist teachers were booked solid within the first hour of the appointment books going live!
Our academic year ended with online Parent-Teacher Meetings (PTMs). We are grateful to all the parents that took time to meet with your child’s homeroom teacher. The comments and thanks we have received has been a great encouragement and a truly pleasant way to end the term. Mr. Kyle and Ms. Zoe had sent out information on how you can access your child’s report on Managebac, if you have not been able to login/receive this information or you did not meet your child’s homeroom teacher, then please contact Ms. Zoe within the second week of the holiday, so she can assist you.
Graduation Ceremonies @ AIS
Our youngest graduates of #batchof2020! Some joined us in Crèche, and the rest joined in as the journey progressed. Not only have they come to the end of their time in the Early Childhood Department, but they have done it successfully during a pandemic! Their resilience and determination to continue learning has been an inspiration. We are amazed at all they have been able to accomplish. We wish each and every one of them a wonderful time, as you move into the Primary Department and continue their journey through the Primary Years Programme (PYP).
Year 6 Graduation
This batch completed their six years of the PYP cycle, and are now ready to take on the Middle Years Programme (MYP)! This batch has completed a very complex year, in an even more complex time! Kudos to them all that they have learnt and executed, in such a short time! They are not only the first batch that hosted a virtual PYPX, but also the first batch the graduated online! Thank you, for fighting the good fight and finishing the race! May the years ahead be colourful!
Year 11 Graduation
Who would have thought this is how we would be celebrating our very first Year 11 Graduation? Another major milestone in the growth of AIS, ideally, we would have loved to watch these seven graduands march to receive their certificates, marking the successful completion of their five-year cycle of the Middle Years Programme (MYP). But that did not dampen spirits!
Among the seven graduates are Shaun Daka and Kartik Marwaha, who have been at AIS since the start of the Secondary Department. They were part of the first Year 7 class at AIS in the academic year 2015-16. They were later joined by Aleser Morvi, MD Fakrul Islam Chowdhury and Aavardan Mehanathan Sundar in Year 10 and finally Ammar Saifuddin Champeli and Nicole Kisakye Nalusiba Ndawula in Year 11.
These seven graduates exhibited a high degree of resilience, determination and hard work, as they juggled their IB Personal Projects and geared up for the IGCSE Assessments.
At AIS, we are very proud of all their hard work and efforts.
Here are some photos taken by Shamira Morvi, during a home graduation celebration.
Click on the images below to watch our virtual graduation ceremonies of the academic year 2019-20
Celebration of Learning
Celebration of Learning is one of our favourite events, at AIS, and were weren’t going to let anything get in the way. This year’s Celebration of Learning was a first of its kind. A complete virtual Celebration that gave us a glimpse into the vibrant, inspiring and empowering community AIS is today.
In Early Childhood, students took us through some of the IB Units of Inquiry that they have been exploring during their time in class (on campus and on Google Classrooms!). It was a joy to see all that students have learnt, from the different community helpers they want to be when they grow up, to teaching us about recycling or sharing with us the uses of water.
In the Primary Department, we were able to look at some of the fascinating topics students have explored this year through a creative lens. Some of the themes included, the wonderful world of space, building communities, the water cycle, taking care of our environment, who our role models are, the IB Learner Profile, the use of various materials, and so much more!
And the Secondary students, displayed a variety of subjects such as Visual Arts, Design, Science, The Year 9 Community Project and the IB Learner Profiles displayed across the Department.
One of the highlights during this year’s Celebration of Learning was the Secondary Department’s rendition of the AIS anthem, showcasing a few mother tongue languages.
The Celebration of Learning has always been an exciting climax to our academic year. This year was no different, although were not able to celebrate in each other’s presence, the Celebration of Learning event closed our academic year on a very high note.
In case you missed you it, please follow the links below:
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)