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SCHOOL NEWSLETTER Issue 1

The King’s School Manila

NEWSLETTER

A Newsletter for Parents, Students and Friends of our School May 2015

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Headmaster Article Two Brilliant Drama Productions In One Month Hello Everyone, May is our school productions month. Three years ago we put on our first proper production. The school roll was small and everyone could fit on the stage in the same play. This year, we decided that this was the opportunity to show parents that quality and excellence was not influenced by size. Some of the parents were surprised by the scope of the production and the children’s performances - we were not. We had set high expectations and they were met as we knew they would be. Last year it was the same, but over two performances. This year - again two fantastic musicals, entirely successful, wholly down to the commitment of all the staff and the eagerness of the children. Of course, the wonderful Mrs Formento led the production process and provided inspiration to the children. Enjoy the images from Hansel & Gretel and No Strings Attached...

Peter Lindsay - Headteacher The King’s School Manila


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Pato Nursery The World Of Water The Patos have really enjoyed learning about the wonderful world of water! Over the last few weeks we have explored different water sources, animals and even monsters! We set up our ice-cream shop, which allowed students to test their numeracy skills, learn about different sizes and flavors and how to deal with difficult customers. We also had the seaside come to our classroom, and students enjoyed dressing up in swimming costumes and beach dresses. This was great practice for our on-going swimming lessons! Students enjoyed re-enacting stories that we had read together. We often ended up getting very wet, and trying out our swimming costumes in the paddling pool. It really was a great topic to study during a hot summer! The Loch-Ness monster was a real fascination for our students when we looked at lakes. It was a great opportunity to talk about lying and fact and fiction. Of course we also let our imaginations run wild!! We have also begun preparing the students for their transition to Kwago class. They have been focusing on learning how to write their names. We are also practicing doing work at our tables, and are really focusing on our pre-reading skills. It won’t be long before they are reading stories to us!


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Agila Year 1 Our Daily Phonics Lessons The month of May has seen the whole school caught up in rehearsals for our two wonderful productions of ‘Handsel and Gretel’ and ‘No Strings Attached’. Year one would like extend a big thank you to Ms. Formento and Miss Collis for the music and direction of ‘Handsel and Gretel’ and Ms. Formento and Mrs. Small for the music and direction of ‘No Strings Attached’. In Year 1 there have been certain aspects of our curriculum that have remained unaffected by the amounts of time required to prepare and polish children for such performances. One of these is our daily phonics sessions. It is during these lessons that the children are taught the sounds represented by letters, digraphs (two letters, one sound) and trigraphs (three letters, one sound) and how to apply these to segment and then blend to read words and then sentences. In other words, the building blocks for everything we read and we write. There are six phases within phonics learning and the sequence of learning is prescribed in the ‘Letters and Sounds’ document (Google ‘Letters and Sounds’). The first is taught in Pre –Nursery and Nursery (Pato). Children are taught to think about the sounds at the beginning of words and then learn the letters that make these sounds. As part of this the children will learn to recognise and then write their own name. Phase 2 usually starts in Reception and builds from there depending upon the ability of the children to learn and then apply the sounds in terms of their reading and then writing. By the end of Year 2, native English speakers should be at the phonics phase 6 level. (Please note these are completely different to English National Curriculum levels.) Each child in Kwago, Years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 is assessed as to their phonics level and then grouped accordingly. In school we teach phonics for half an hour a day and in Key Stage 1 and 2, our spellings and handwriting are linked to our phonics learning. Speaking for our Year 1 children, all of our pupils have made brilliant progress to learn and then apply the sounds they have learned! This is reflected in the children’s reading ability, spelling and therefore writing development.


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Pilandok Year 1-2 Learning About Dinosaurs It has been a busy time for Pilandok and indeed the whole of King’s School Manila. There has been lots of learning going on, both in and out of class, with swimming, ASAs, homework, spellings and IIP lessons. There has been a curriculum meeting, fundraising for earthquake relief and a show-stopping rendition of Hansel and Gretel. In Maths we have done some work on doubling, halving and using repeated addition and subtraction to multiply and divide. We then spent a few weeks learning about fractions. After defining fractions as ‘equal pieces of a whole,’ we then practiced folding different paper shapes into fractions. Afterwards we progressed to finding fractions of a set of objects and then fractions of numbers. After our work on fractions we learnt about co-ordinates to tie in with our ‘Around the World’ topic. We also did some work on symmetry and have recently begun to interpret data by looking at a range of different graphs. In English we have been having a real focus on grammar, including using capital letters and punctuation properly, using a range of sentence starters and connectives and thinking about our choice of vocabulary to make our sentences more exciting. We have also been exploring stories from other cultures by focusing on two African stories: Handa’s surprise and Handa’s Hen. The class wrote instructions to make a fruit salad, which tied into our work on Handa’s Surprise and then the class prepared and ate the fruit salad. When we moved on to Handa’s Hen, we retold the story in various different ways and then performed the text in groups. The children worked really nicely together to act out the story and put lots of enthusiasm into their performances. After our work on stories from other cultures we started looking at poems around a similar theme, focusing on weather. Our current topic is called ‘Around the World.’ We started our topic by identifying the 7 continents and then locating countries on a map. The children then wrote about their own country for our fantastic new display outside the classroom. The children can successfully name all the continents and explain the difference between a continent, country and a city. But that’s only the start as there’s a lot more we are going to explore with this topic in the weeks to come. The preparations for Hansel and Gretel took priority for a number of weeks but it never got in the way of our other learning. The class was amazingly patient and focused during the rehearsals and the final product was amazing to watch with music, lights, props, costumes and an LED screen to bring the story to life. The class also loved being able to watch KS3’s version of Pinocchio. A special mention has to go to Miss Boddy, a student teacher who taught the class for a few weeks last half term. She was absolutely excellent with the children and I wish her luck with her career in the future. As for Pilandok class, it has been an exciting few months for them and there is still exciting learning to come before the year is through.


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Tarsier Year 2

A Busy Month For Tarsier Children May has been a very busy month. Although rehearsing and performing ‘Hansel & Gretel’ was a big focus, the Tarsiers managed to squeeze in plenty of Maths, English, Science and Art too. In English we learned about traditional tales and enjoyed reading and retelling many different stories. We made puppets to tell the story of Goldilocks and also tried making our own porridge. We wrote alternative adventures for the Gingerbread Man. He met all sorts of interesting new characters, from a wicked fairy to a fierce blue crocodile, from mermaids to a hungry daddy - and all were determined to eat him up! We also enjoyed baking and decorating our own gingerbread people. In Maths we revisited Measurement and carried out many practical activities, such as estimating and then measuring out the height of the three bears to make life-size models. We looked at the packaging of everyday food and grocery items to find their weight or volume. Then we marked this onto a scale, using our knowledge of counting in tens to help us. In Science, we have been learning about the properties of materials. First we found out whether different materials were man-made or natural, and we learnt new words to describe the properties of materials. We then investigated ways that materials can be changed, by squashing, stretching, twisting and bending. In Art we designed and made enlarged shiny chocolate wrappers that we used as costumes in ‘Hansel & Gretel’. I have also been very impressed with the Tarsier class’ progress in swimming. All children are now able swim, some with a float, some without, in the deeper part of the pool. Water confidence has soared and now that the weather is so warm it is really lovely to jump into the pool to cool off on Friday afternoons!


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Pawikan Year 3 Light Sources To start our topic we went on a ‘Light source hunt’ around school and put together a tally chart of what we found. We realized that our school relies on lots of ceiling lights (actually we counted hundreds!) but also natural sunlight from the sun through our windows. Light in the dark: We created a poster to encourage younger children to wear something reflective/ fluorescent when they are outside. It might be walking home from a friends house, taking the dog out for a walk in the early morning, riding bikes from dusk to dark nights, but we need to be aware about how to keep safe in the dark. Reflections: The children were given a piece of paper with a perpendicular line in the centre of the long sides & asked to draw half of a face or another object. Their partner then placed a mirror on the line with the reflective side facing the half image. Looking down the mirror & traced the half image seen in the mirror. We then removed the mirror to see the full symmetrical drawing! We also had a go at writing a secret message to a friend using mirror writing. Why not have a go? Can your friend read your message using a mirror? Life with no light: We looked at how to use the Braille alphabet used by many blind people, to write a few words in Braille using dots created by a thick felt tip pen on the 6 dot template. The children had a go at writing a short sentence then swapped it with a partner to decode each other’s sentences. Shadows: Ask your children what a shadow is and how it is formed. We found the darkest place in school and using a torch cast the shadow of various solid objects. We also went on the BBC website to experiment with making shadows. Of course we never leave things simple in Year 3! Our conversations led on to talk about the shape of the Sun, Earth and Moon and their effect on shadows. Our last experiment for this topic was into how shadows change in length & move during the day.

Throughout the day we chalked around the shadow that we made, made a note of the time & measured the length & direction using a compass. We put our data into a table of results and displayed our results as a bar chart. Why do shadows change? – because the Earth is spinning, not because the Sun is moving across the sky!


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Butanding Year 4-5 Swimming Time It’s been a busy time of late for the children in Butanding. One of the activities they most enjoy is swimming. Take a look at the pictures below of the children enjoying their swimming lessons.


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KS3 English Narrative Stories, Short Stories and Drama Year 6 In and around their contributions to the school performance, Year 6 have been busy working on narrative stories. We have identified, compared and contrasted the principal features of different genres of children’s fiction. By doing this we were able to organise books into genres in the library and also create a ‘genre poster’. In the second part of the half term we were able to plan, draft and write an engaging short story in a particular genre using appropriate language and organisational features. Our work was so good that all of the Year 6 children had their stories displayed outside of Mr Pooley’s classroom, please pop by and have a read! Year 7 Have you ever read a section of a book and thought, that’s amazing? In Year 7 this month, we have been looking at short stories and the techniques good writers use to engage their readers. We called these narrative ‘hooks’. Establishing interesting characters, giving the reader a sense of place, rhetorical questions, cliffhangers, personification and the need for effective structure were just some of the techniques we identified and then used in our writing. Short stories require a heightened degree of awareness and place a greater emphasis on the writer to be accurate and display their skill set. We have recently started a modern and engaging unit of work on The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins). More of this to come in the next newsletter… Year 8 Year 8 dedicated a great deal of their learning time to the school performance, in order to ensure it was excellent…it certainly didn’t disappoint. Drama and performing arts holds strong links with literacy and this is even more evident as the children move through the school years. Through creative and imaginative role play situations, pupils gained a heightened awareness of their own and others’ feelings about a range of cultural and human issues. Speaking and listening skills were targeted and Year 8 focused on voice, movement, gesture and facial expression, they develop their dramatic skills over the weeks leading up to the performance and we are very proud of the dedication, commitment and enthusiasm they showed.

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KS3 Maths More Enjoyable Times In Maths It has been another enjoyable, busy and industrious past two months up in Key Stage Three maths. The overall standard of work inside and outside the classroom, from each individual within each year group has been really pleasing. In maths learning we often refer to the analogy of exploring a new environment. We move into a new city, area and quickly find a direct A to B route to get to a place (work/school). We begin to feel comfortable with this journey but when we stray from this path we become lost, perhaps confused and search back for what we know. Similarities have been made with the way we learn mathematics. Our students feel confident working something out one way, and perhaps not so much the other way. It may take guidance (scaffolding/ support) for them to further understand and secure their understanding, and a good amount of opportunities to practice and improve. Much of April and May was spend going back over previous topics covered during the year, providing good amounts of opportunities for revision and then extending the ideas and concepts further. Year 8 have extended their Algebra work into graphing and we have found clear links with simple function machines (basic beginnings of Algebra) to help them understand how to work out Y when you know what X is. Year 7 have focused many lessons on constructions and using their equipment while constructing, initially small angles, then triangles, then line

bisectors and lastly angle bisectors. Their overall attention to detail, concentration and care for their work was outstanding. Year 6 continued to look at fractions; fractions of amounts, and lining them in with decimals and percentages. We have had a large focus on finding funny percentage amounts of large numbers (12.5%, 17% etc) and what are the best strategies to use. Like finding a new path to get somewhere it is not until you see something done in a different way that you try it and perhaps find it easier than before. Also over these past months all year groups have tied their hand at a Mandala pattern. This is a circle based design created by a compass and a ruler. It does require very accurate compass work, and an eye for detail and colour. The students enjoyed creating these and some of the results are pictured below. Lastly, throughout March, April and May Year 6, 7 and 8 have completed mental maths verbal tests. This is an opportunity for them to use and develop their calculating skills. It also develops problemsolving skills, looking for patterns and revises key concepts taught during that week. As it’s completed mentally there should only be a very small amount of working out done, the majority is completed mentally. I enjoy writing the questions, and always adapt them to what we have looked at during the week, and similar concepts that they should know for their age group.


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The King’s School, Manila

Bradco Avenue, Aseana Business Park Paranaque City, Metro Manila Philippines 1700 www.kings.org.ph - info@kings.org.ph


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