The ET Journal Fall Issue 2021

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The EARCOS Triannual JOURNAL A Link to Educational Excellence in East Asia

Featured in this Issue Cover Story Green & Sustainable: Biosphere Foundation Action Research Maximizing the Writing Conference Curriculum Clearly Communicating Levels of Learning

FALL 2021


The ET Journal is a triannual publication of the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS), a nonprofit 501(C)3, incorporated in the state of Delaware, USA, with a regional office in Manila, Philippines. Membership in EARCOS is open to elementary and secondary schools in East Asia which offer an educational program using English as the primary language of instruction, and to other organizations, institutions, and individuals. OBJECTIVES AND PURPOSES * To promote intercultural understanding and international friendship through the activities of member schools. * To broaden the dimensions of education of all schools involved in the Council in the interest of a total program of education. * To advance the professional growth and welfare of individuals belonging to the educational staff of member schools. * To facilitate communication and cooperative action between and among all associated schools. * To cooperate with other organizations and individuals pursuing the same objectives as the Council. EARCOS BOARD OF TRUSTEES Andrew Davies, President (International School Bangkok) Stephen Cathers, Vice President (International School Suva) David Toze, Treasurer (International School Manila) Margaret Alvarez, Past President (ISS International School, Singapore) Saburo Kagei (St. Mary’s International School) Barry Sutherland (American International School Vietnam) Laurie McLellan (Nanjing International School) Kevin Baker (American International School Guangzhou) Elsa H. Donohue (Vientiane International School) Catriona Moran (Saigon South International School) Lawrence A. Hobdell (ex officio), Office of Overseas Schools REO EARCOS STAFF Edward E. Greene, Executive Director Bill Oldread, Assistant Director Kristine De Castro, Assistant to the Executive Director Elaine Repatacodo, ELC Program Coordinator Giselle Sison, ETC Program Coordinator Ver Castro, Membership & I.T. Coordinator Edzel Drilo, Webmaster, Professional Learning Weekend, Sponsorship & Advertising Coordinator Robert Sonny Viray, Accountant RJ Macalalad, Accounting Assistant Rod Catubig Jr., Office Staff East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) Brentville Subdivision, Barangay Mamplasan, Binan, Laguna, 4024 Philippines Phone: +63 (02) 8779-5147 Mobile: +63 928 507 4876

In this Issue 2



Message from the Executive Director

Are EARCOS Teachers Really Empowered? By Dr. Emilija Stojanovski

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Upcoming Events Welcome New Heads, Principals, Associates, and Individual Members Global Citizenship Awardees & Community Grant Recipients


The Pathway from International School to Higher Education

Green & Sustainable

Cover Story Green & Sustainable



Biosphere Foundation By Maria Eugenia Garcia

The Richard T. Krajczar Humanitarian Award

Action Research


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Maximizing the Writing Conference By Tessa Arden Meaningful Physical Education Pedagogical Approach By Marcus Down Interactive Data Visualization (IDV) Helps Identify At-risk Writers By Charles James Harding Conrad II

Global Citizenship Award



Concordia Hanoi Re-greens with GIZ-MOIT Program By William P. Badger, Jr.


ISTA’s global Verbatim Theatre project: A memoir of an extraordinary year By Sally Robertson

Community Service


Project Hope: The Harbour School’s Commitment to a Community Service-Oriented Education By Rafi Cristobal

Campus Development


Shekou International School’s French Bilingual Program (Shenzhen) By Aurélie Ricard

Press Release

UNIS Hanoi Students Host MUN Spring Conference By Akofa Wallace

Mentoring Through Music By Jaiveer Misra Anyone need extra help with school? By Sunwoo Sunny Lee


Elementary Art Gallery


Contribute to the ET Journal

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Approaches to teaching and learning skills: Managing the state of our minds! By Priya Ramteke What can students learn from creating their own student news? By Tom Clarke Clearly Communicating Levels of Learning By Joyce Pereira Don’t Call Me Cute: Affirming Learners and Learning in the Early Years By Nelle Cox & Esther Butland Intensive Project Periods: Transforming the Learning Culture in the AIS Middle School By Zachary Post Cymatics in the PYP - Dwight School Seoul By Nikolay Bukilic & Nathalie Waldmann Transforming School Spaces By Nick Stonehouse


If you have something going on at your school in any of the following categories that you would like to see highlighted in the Winter issue please send it along to us: Faces of EARCOS - Promotions, retirements, honors, etc. Service Learning Campus Development - New building plans, under construction, just completed projects. Curriculum - New and exciting curriculum adoptions. Green and Sustainable - Related to campus development or to curriculum efforts. Community Service Student Art - We showcase outstanding student art in each edition. (E.S. Fall Issue, M.S. Winter Issue, H.S. Spring Issue) Student Writing Press Releases Fall 2021 Issue 1

Message from the Executive Director Welcome to the Fall issue of the EARCOS Tri-annual Journal (aka ET)! Make no mistake. These are challenging times for every school across our region. Despite the disappointment we share with the pandemic’s unwelcome longevity, we must take pride in that fact that the region’s schools have survived and, in many ways, thrived. We may not rejoice about where we are at the moment, but surely it is important to recognize the perseverance, the innovative thinking, the dynamic new partnerships and the rich exchange of ideas that have taken place across the EARCOS community these past difficult months. In the absence of our regularly scheduled conferences, EARCOS has been able to continue its commitment to providing our members with professional development through a rich assortment of webinars, Weekend Workshops, and ideas shared through the pages of this journal. I want to especially invite you to use this journal to share the initiatives you have created in the face of the pandemic. With all the attention and energy the pandemic has demanded, how have you been able to continue your school’s focus on child protection—in both policy development and practice? What is your school doing about the multiple dimensions of DEIJ? Have you been able to engage your faculty, students, board, and community in reasoned and informed conversations about unintentional bias and racism? What changes are you making in your curricula to address DEIJ? Can you share ideas and approaches you have taken that can help colleagues across the region who face similar challenges? And, how is your school handling the need to educate students (and our communities) on the pressing issues of climate change? (Please see the cover article on one of the region’s most treasured resources, the Biosphere Project in Bali, Indonesia). How are you maintaining your school’s commitment to service learning and action when many students may not be permitted to even leave their homes? As you gaze into your school’s future, how do you envision teaching and learning in a post-pandemic world? What will change? What will be maintained? What will be discarded? As always, I want to thank our authors who took the time from their busy lives to share their ideas in this issue. This issue is replete with reminders of the professionalism, dedication and re-imagination that make EARCOS such a remarkable community. The region is thriving with creativity, quality research, and powerful programs. If ever there was a moment in our lives as international educators to pause, reflect and share with one another, surely it is now. We look forward to hearing from you in the very near future as we prepare the Winter 2022 edition of this journal. Here’s to your continued success and good health as the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year rushes to a close. All best wishes--and Happy Reading!

Edward E. Greene, Ph.D. EARCOS Executive Director

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EARCOS UPCOMING EVENTS View upcoming events and access our list of sponsored value-packed webinars. These are full of insights into international education, provided by leading-edge panelists including subject-matter experts, Leadership, Governance, Assessment, Curriculum, and many more. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many EARCOS PD are now held virtually. MARIO Framework with Philip Bowman & Graeme Scott Saturday, October 2 & 9, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM HKT » register here

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with Katie Novak Saturday, November 6 & 13, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM HKT » register here

Faculty Compensation and the Rising Expectations of Teachers for a Better Work/Life Balance with John Littleford Saturday, October 9, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM HKT » register here

Experiencing the Joy and Beauty of Mathematics Through Recreational Mathematics with Ron Lancaster Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM HKT » register here

Top 10 Lessons Learned from Remote and Hybrid Teaching with Danielle Sullivan Saturday, October 16, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM HKT » register here

Choosing the RIGHT Chairs and Why We Need Them Now with John Littleford Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM HKT » register here

Fall Semester Webinar Series: Child Safeguarding with Matt Harris & Chris Gould Saturday, October 23, November 20, and December 11, 2021 9:00 - 10:30 AM HKT » register here

Authentic Leadership in Times of Crisis with Julie Jungalwala Saturday, December 4 & 11, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM HKT » register here

Post Pandemic Governance: What Have We Learned, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly with John Littleford Saturday, October 30, 2021 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM HKT » register here Mathematics and Architecture: Building Mathematical Concepts One Floor at a Time with Ron Lancaster Saturday, October 30, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM HKT » register here MTSS and RTI in Inclusive Schools: a tiered-approach to instruction with Lee Ann Jung Saturday, November 6 to 11, 2021 Saturdays, 10:00-11:30 AM HKT » register here

Using Mathematics and Technology to Explore World, State and City Flags with Ron Lancaster Saturday, December 11, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM HKT » register here The Future of Enrollment Management: The Way Ahead During and Post Pandemic with John Littleford Saturday, December 11, 2021 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM HKT » register here


Fall 2021 Issue 3

Welcome New Schools >> Beijing Haidian Kaiwen Academy St. Johnsbury Academy - Jeju

Mr. Ever Li, Headmaster Dr. Jeannie Sung, Head of School

Welcome New Heads >> Access International Academy Ningbo Ryan Godlewski Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Neil Cantrall Beijing City International School Tom Egerton Beijing Haidian Kaiwen Academy Ever Li Berkeley International School Ashley Peek Busan Foreign School Carl Brenneman Chinese International School Manila Karen Jones Concordia International School Hanoi Doug Grove Concordia International School Shanghai Steve Winkelman Daegu International School Scott Jolly Dostyk American International School Susan Ballantyne (Kazakhstan) Ekamai International School Saowanee Kiatyanyong European International School Ho Chi Minh City John Veitch IGB International School Jason McBride International Christian School - Pyeongtaek Loger Dutcher International Pioneers School Alka Pandey International School Dhaka Kurt Nordness International School of Beijing Daniel Rubenstein Jakarta Intercultural School Maya Nelson Keerapat International School Dew Intakanok

Korea Foreign School Marist Brothers International School Morrison Academy Nakornpayap International School Nansha College Preparatory Academy Northbridge International School Cambodia Osaka YMCA International School Renaissance International School Ruamrudee International School Saint Maur International School Shen Wai International School St. Johnsbury Academy - Jeju Surabaya Intercultural School TEDA Global Academy United World College of South East Asia UWC Thailand International School Wuhan Yangtze International School Yantai Huasheng International School

Samuel Watkins Andy Leathwood Julie Heinsman Benjamin Devere White Aracelis Maldonado Frances Morton Kazuki Yamane James Coulson James O’Malley Annette Levy Interim Daniel Legault Jeannie Sung Joshua Bishop Joseph Azmeh Nick Alchin (East) Elizabeth Bray (Dover) Lural Ramirez Chris Rehm Samuel Goh

Welcome New High School Principals >> Asia Pacific International School Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Bangkok Patana School Berkeley International School Branksome Hall Asia Busan Foreign School Canadian International School Bangalore Canadian International School, Tokyo Cebu International School Chiang Mai International School Concordian International School Dalat International School European Int’l School Ho Chi Minh City Gyeonggi Suwon International School

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Kathy Rehfield-Pelles Travis Julian Matthew Seddon JP Casanova Steven McNutt Carl Brenneman Regis Caudrillier Matt Klaus Andrew Powell Daniel Corrigan Bill Berry Tom Penland John Veitch Ms. Tiffeney Brown

Gyeongnam Int’l Foreign School Hanoi International School Int’l Christian School - Pyeongtaek Int’l Community School - Bangkok International School of Beijing International School of Phnom Penh International School of Qingdao International School Suva Jakarta Intercultural School Kaohsiung American School Keerapat International School Kunming International Academy Nagoya International School Nanjing International School

Sam Kuntz Mark Schoemer Rebecca Gaul Amber Quick Jeffrey Holcomb Lee Holes Chris Peek Kristofer Stice Lauren Pool Kimberly Clark Benjamin Joseph Martin Marina Lytle Aubrey Curran Ruth Clarke

Nansha College Preparatory Academy Matthew Kelsey QSI International School of Shenzhen Erin Burnett Renaissance International School Sarah Nichola Campbell Seoul Foreign School Nancy Le Nezet Shenzhen Shekou International School Ms. Andrea Fossum Singapore American School Nicole Veltze St. Johnsbury Academy - Jeju Corey Johnson St. Josephs Institution International Kenneth Hegarty

St. Paul American School Hanoi TEDA Global Academy The American School in Japan The Harbour School Vientiane International School Xiamen International School Yantai Huasheng International School Yongsan International School of Seoul

Dr. Moo Eiselstein Joseph Azmeh Amy Zuber Meehan Peter Hawksworth Michael McMillan David Young Ryan Jeffers Jonathan Borden

Welcome New Middle School Principals >> Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Bangkok Patana School Branksome Hall Asia Busan Foreign School Canadian International School, Tokyo Cebu International School Chiang Mai International School Concordia International School Hanoi Concordian International School Dulwich College Suzhou Faith Academy, Inc. Gyeongnam Int’l Foreign School Int’l Christian School - Pyeongtaek International School of Qingdao Keerapat International School Keystone Academy

Travis Julian Matthew Seddon John Gasparini Carl Brenneman Matt Klaus Andrew Powell Cherie Kinnersley Stephen Ly Min Li Mark Jones Kristen MacKay Sam Kuntz Rebecca Gaul Chris Peek Benjamin Joseph Martin Meredith Phinney

Kunming International Academy Marina Lytle Nagoya International School Aubrey Curran Nishimachi International School Kathleen Bowin QSI International School of Shenzhen Kaitlin Bronkema Renaissance International School Sarah Nichola Campbell Ruamrudee International School Ms. Madeleine Bystrom Shanghai SMIC Private School Dewayne Jones Shenzhen Shekou International School Ms. Andrea Fossum St. Johnsbury Academy-Jeju Matt Leishman St. Paul American School Hanoi John North Surabaya Intercultural School Wendy Woodhurst TEDA Global Academy Joseph Azmeh United World College of South East Asia Cameron Hunter (Dover) Gretchen DePoin (East) Xiamen International School David Young Yew Chung Int’l School of Shanghai Lauren Rogers

Welcome New Elementary School Principals >> American School Hong Kong Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Bangkok Patana School Beijing City International School Beijing International Bilingual Academy Branksome Hall Asia Busan Foreign School Canadian International School of Hong Kong Canadian International School, Tokyo Carmel School Cebu International School Chatsworth International School Concordian International School Faith Academy, Inc. Gyeonggi Suwon International School Gyeongnam International Foreign School

Amy Jackman Travis Julian Sarah McCormack Fred Schafer Mr. Dennis Brown Frances Lond-Caulk Lauren Harvey Lief Erickson Kent MacLeod Nitsan Levi Andrew Powell Timothy Burch Ariel Wang Angela Mendoza Mark Broom Tim Balaz

Hangzhou International School International Community School - Bangkok International School of Myanmar Marist Brothers International School Mont Kiara International School Nagoya International School Ruamrudee International School Seoul International School St. Johnsbury Academy - Jeju Surabaya Intercultural School Suzhou Singapore International School Thai-Chinese International School Wuhan Yangtze International School Yew Chung International School of Chongqing

Lynn Pendleton Doni Weimer Lara Manasfi Stephanie Hanamura Matthew Boomhower Aubrey Curran Ms. Madeleine Bystrom Brian Byrne Stacy Molnar Wendy Woodhurst Zeb Johnson James Cooke Will Hatten Claire Hammon

Fall 2021 Issue 5

Welcome Early Childhood Principals >> American International School Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Busan Foreign School Gyeonggi Suwon International School International School of Qingdao Kunming International Academy Nagoya International School Osaka YMCA International School Surabaya Intercultural School Utahloy International School Guangzhou Yokohama International School

Linda Morrison Travis Julian Lauren Harvey Mark Broom JoAnna Kolbe Charity Sianturi Holly Johnson Ms. Judith Masaki Wendy Woodhurst Aleksa Moss Jacqueline Pender

Welcome New Associate Institutions >> Abeking Paget Williamson

EIW Architects Architecture, Learning Environment Planning, Branding.


International Education Solutions -IES International online education solutions for schools and families.

UK Property Investment for Educational professionals. K-12 educational curriculum: core, international, and supplemental. Child Protection Training


Accreditation, Assessment, Professional Learning, Continuous Improvement.

Welcome New Individual Members >> Caroline McCallum The British School in Tokyo Japan

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Dr. Long Dang Delta Global School Vietnam

Liam Hammer

Tenby Schools Johor Malaysia


Field trip to an organic farm

See where ISS can take you and your school Whether starting and operating international schools, recruiting educators and leaders, sourcing school supplies, providing professional learning opportunities, administering school foundations, or encouraging more diverse leadership in international schools, International Schools Services (ISS) provides the full range of services necessary for your school to deliver an outstanding global education.

Learn more at View upcoming job fairs and PD opportunities at #ISSedu

Global Citizenship Awardees >> List of Global Citizenship Award 2021Winners

This award is presented to a student who embraces the qualities of a global citizen. This student is a proud representative of his/her nation while respectful of the diversity of other nations, has an open mind, is well informed, aware and empathetic, concerned and caring for others encouraging a sense of community, and strongly committed to engagement and action to make the world a better place. Finally, this student is able to interact and communicate effectively with people from all walks of life while having a sense of collective responsibility for all who inhabit the globe.

American Int’l School Hong Kong Jaehyeong Jang American Int’l School of Guangzhou Sabrina Chu American School in Taichung Felipe Dombkowski American School of Bangkok, The Joseph Rifkind Australian International School Vietnam Samadhi Parami Jayasuriya Kasthuri Jayampathige Ayeyarwaddy International School Nang Mya Eaindray Oo Bali Island School Tara Frowde Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Lydia Kim Bandung Independent School Charllote Zulkarnaen Bangkok Patana School Patrick Ledoit Beijing City International School Alice Du Brent International School Baguio Juhyoung (Sam) Im Brent International School Manila Say-yeon “Olivia” Kwon Brent International School Subic Isabella Grace Mackenzie Busan Foreign School Minseong Goo Canadian Academy Fabiola Labrecque Canadian Int’l School Bangalore Aditya Akshit Adiraju Cebu International School Deandra Dolores R. Riveral Chinese International School Miranda Jiang Concordia International School Hanoi Ngoc My Anh (Matilda) Le Concordia Int’l School Shanghai Selena Morse Daegu International School Kyung Dong Kim Dalat International School Juyoung Kim Dalian American International School Sarah Rohrbeck Dwight School Seoul Gabriela Rivera Araujo European Int’l School Ho Chi Minh City Can Ding Garden Int’l School Kuala Lumpur Sahana Kaur Gyeonggi Suwon International School Joseph Junyoung Park Hangzhou International School Run-Run (Alicia) Li Hanoi International School Eliot Liau Hokkaido International School Sari Hirata Hong Kong Academy Valerie Wong Hong Kong International School Juan Lucas Umali Hsinchu International School Ho-Jen Hsieh Int’l Christian School-Hong Kong Alicia Tao Int’l Community School-Bangkok Tayida Chaiyakiturajai Int’l Community School-Singapore Jemima Siu International School Bangkok Anna Maria Timchenko Int’l School Eastern Seaboard (ISE) Sakura Iijima International School Ho Chi Minh City Ally Garbanzos

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International School Manila Yedidia (Luna) Fessha International School of Beijing Lei Hsin International School of Busan Mathilde Capitant International School of Kuala Lumpur Amelie Tsao International School of Myanmar ISM Class of 2022 International School of Phnom Penh Vanmaklyka Peng International School of Tianjin Soo Hyun Kil International School of Ulaanbaatar Sodbileg Nyam-Ochir International School Suva Ashleigh Singh ISS International School Chanwoo Song K. International School Tokyo Hanano Urushima Kaohsiung American School Clare Chung Korea International School Lauren Cho Korea International School-JeJu Campus Jiwon Shin Kunming International Academy Megumi Johnson Lanna International School Thailand Tawsang Quartz Marist Brothers International School Momoko Hesketh Medan Independent School Marcello Sianipar Mont Kiara International School Laila Adham Khattab Nagoya International School Mina Nepali Nanjing International School Seo Kyung Shin Nansha College Preparatory Academy Liang Lu NIST International School Isha Banerjee Oberoi International School Yuga Banerjee Osaka International School Lee Jun Foo Prem Tinsulanonda International School Fabian Pitawat Haug Renaissance International School Bani Kapoor Ruamrudee International School Mayra Rai Saigon South International School Chaewon Lee Saint Maur International School Anna Kawaguchi Seisen International School Xinyue Ma Seoul Foreign School Eugene Ko Seoul International School Sunwoo Lee Shanghai American School Galen Gibb Shanghai American School Harmony Wang Shanghai Community Int’l School Seyedeh Yas Hosseini Shen Wai International School Yichen Liu Singapore American School Ashley Entwistle St. Josephs Institution International Isabella Ling Egold St. Marys International School Christopher Kirch Stamford American Int’l School Luis Miguel Ong

Surabaya Intercultural School Taejon Christian International School The British School New Delhi The International School Yangon Tianjin International School United Nations International School of Hanoi United World College of South East Asia United World College of South East Asia UWC Thailand International School Wuhan Yangtze International School Yangon International School Yantai Huasheng International School Yew Chung International School Shanghai - Pudong campus Yew Chung International School Shanghai - Puxi campus Yongsan International School of Seoul

Gyandev Santiago Joseph Lim Jaiveer Misra Sammy Tin Cha YunSoo Mai Anh Nguyen Moana Gregori Nandini Krishnan Beamlak Woldeab Serena Uchida Hpone Thit Htoo SeoYeon (Eileen) Bang Xin Yu Shen Anna Finia Metz Anne Lee

Global Citizenship Community Grant Recipients >> All of us here at EARCOS wish to extend our sincere congratulations to the following Global Citizens who have been chosen to receive an EARCOS Global Citizen Community Service Grant of $500 to further their excellent community work during this upcoming academic year. The recipients are:

Jaiveer Misra, The British School New Delhi Project Name: Mentoring Through Music

Charllote Zulkarnaen, Bandung Independent School Project Name: Refugee Learning Nest

Isha Banerjee, NIST International School Project Name: FemiNIST for Baan Unrak

Hpone Thit Htoo, Yangon International School Project Name: Water4Myanmar

Luis Miguel Ong, Stamford American International School Project Name: GK-Stamford

Sunwoo Lee “Sunny”, Seoul International School Project Name: Peer Assistance & Tutorship for High Schoolers (PATH)

Fall 2021 Issue 9


Biosphere Foundation By Maria Eugenia Garcia Education Programs Director PT Biosphere Stewardship Center

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Inspiring the intelligent use of the earth’s natural resources and empowering individuals to become leaders in biosphere stewardship has been Biosphere Foundation’s (BF) goal since its inception in 1991. For over 25 years, Biosphere Foundation has actively participated and promoted community-led projects among the island’s populations of South East Asia. That location was not chosen on a simple whim, to the contrary, it was strategically picked given that the epicenter of the world’s biodiversity happens to be right here, in what is known as the Coral Triangle. In the past ten years, Biosphere Foundation has been specifically working with the coastal communities in northwest Bali, Indonesia.There, two main community-led programs have been developed in the areas of marine conservation and reforestation. As part of the marine program, Biosphere Foundation has focused in the last four years on coral reef restoration around North West Bali National Park area, where up to date 1550 coral fragments have been replanted. Our reforestation program takes place in an area of 6000m2, within the production forest, wherein a 3-year time period 857 trees have been planted. As of last year, Biosphere Foundation has also initiated a program to empower families to make Home Gardens and restore soils using compost, reuse household water to support fruit and vegetable crops, and secure additional medicinal and food resources in a time of change. Education is the most powerful tool to drive long-term changes. Although there is no age limit to learn, it has been proven that the younger the audience is the greater are the chances of inspiring individuals to become the leaders of tomorrow. We started in 2010 our environmental education programs in order to educate and empower the youthful voices of southeast Asia and all around the world. The learning experience offered across Biosphere Foundation programs catalyzes the actions our planet needs for a better future. To that end, by offering both traditional science- based learning as well as wilderness exploration, students get actively engaged in our land and sea conservation initiatives with the idea that once back home they can replicate what they have learned or adapt it to their local needs.

where our headquarters is located.

In 2020, we opened the Biosphere Stewardship Center (BSC), nestled in the hills just a mile from the coast, right on the margins of West Bali National Park. Montessori School Bali together with neighboring students were the first ones to join a program at our newly built Center. BSC was designed and built as a demonstration site showcasing diverse sustainable practices such as rainwater catchment, wastewater recycling, self-cooled spaces, and solar power. As part of the program, it has a working farm with compost systems, food, and medicinal gardens as well as horticulture gardens and seedling nurseries. The facility can house up to 40 guests and is equipped with an industrial kitchen, dining, library, and bamboo bale meeting facilities. With the growing need for remote campuses with nature-based, experiential field opportunities and community service-learning programs, our Center is the ideal setting for youth groups as it is private and surrounded by wilderness. Biosphere Foundation has been a proud member of the greater EARCOS family since 2017. EARCOS has provided scholarship opportunities for youth leaders to attend our programs and we look forward to collaborating with its members to lead new life-long learning programs for youth leaders and inspire them to develop their own solutions to the challenges ahead. We look forward to hearing from you.

Over 950 students from all over the world have joined BF’s Biosphere Foundation’s environmental education programs in Bali. Biosphere Foundation is committed, from the very beginning, to always involve its neighboring community. That’s why more than half of the stewards come from Pejarakan Village

Fall 2021 Issue 11


The Richard T. Krajczar Humanitarian Award By Heidi Oxley-Whitnell Community Service Coordinator UWC Thailand International School

Empathy is ‘walking in someone else’s shoes”, but is it possible? We may be able to slip on someone else’s shoes, but we can never truly experience their reality. Later this month, Grade 8 of the United World College, Thailand, will participate in a Refugee simulation during their Experiential learning class. As part of a “family” with a specific identity and role, they will work through the simulation and face challenging scenarios and problems to solve. In to Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus tells Scout, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Walking in someone’s shoes may help muster up sympathy within those who lack any understanding of an experience, but is this enough to truly understand the journey that many refugees have gone through? At UWCT, we strive to understand one another by getting to know each other and not assume details or pretend that we know. The simulation lesson challenges the student’s assumptions. It is scary and emotional for some, and it is a powerful touch of reality for others. However, for all, it gives them an insight into what some of the students from The Saint Euphrasia BanYa Children’s Quality of Life Development Project (formally known as the BanYa Literacy Centre) have faced. In Phuket, The Saint Euphrasia BanYa Children’s Quality of Life Development Project (BY) works with children from the most marginalized, mainly migrants from Burma. The Burmese migrants who are legalized can only work for one employer and are wed to the employer’s conditions. Those not recognized legally must negotiate their arrangements with their employer/s and, therefore, do not have any entitlements to a minimum wage. Around 200,000 Burmese live in Phuket, many of whom have been trafficked by unscrupulous people smugglers presenting as ‘agents’ who lure their clients with the promise of employment and a better life on the beautiful island. 12 EARCOS Triannual Journal

When they arrive, workers and their families are dumped, left unemployed in the heart of the fishing district with a mounting debt to the ‘agent’ and without legal status to work in Thailand. They are forced to prop up the burgeoning construction and fishing industries, offering dangerous work conditions and paltry wages. To date, The Good Shepherd Organisation, the governing body of BY, has focused on the following • The Promotion of Anti-Human Trafficking and Human Rights protection in Phuket. This project provides a mobile center that includes life skills and health care by establishing a library, and providing counseling and therapy services. • Child Protection - Many children of Myanmese construction workers live in poor construction camps with no running water and little supervision. Children are the most vulnerable and often have to work in the markets, construction sites, or the sex industry. • BY & The Good Shepherd Order - Over the past five years, working with volunteers, established a literacy center for some 250 children with ten staff that ensures they can speak Thai and sit tests, making some of them eligible for entry into Thai and Burmese schools and universities. • Health and WellBeing. - Providing a sustainable environment is essential to learning, and BY delivers clean drinking water, safe sanitation, nutritious meals, regular health and dental checks. • Swimming Lesson - Water Safety classes have been introduced to ensure children can swim, a significant cause of child deaths in Thailand. • Good Shepherd Development and Vocational Training Centre Patong. Provides vocational training, post BY, for women to undertake English language, Massage and Hairdressing courses. United World College of Thailand (UWCT) partnership began with The Saint Euphrasia BanYa Children’s Quality of Life Development Project (BY) 4 years ago. With the Mission of “To protect and provide a safe

setting for young Myanmar children in construction camps, improve literacy, teach Thai Burmese and English improve health and hygiene and to empower the young to live an independent purposeful and creative life of their own. To allow every boy and girl to realize their potential fully, live in harmony within their family and community, and make a contribution to making the world a more sustainable and peaceful place.” It was easy to see why we were invited to partner with them and support their mission. A mission that closely aligns with who we are as a UWC. Over the four years, the UWCT Grade 8 students have been guided by the headteacher Khun Ming, where she tasks the UWCT students with a range of projects to support her students. Within the 100mins of experiential learning every week, the Grade 8 have learned about the hardships the Burmese face in Phuket, planned and delivered activities and lessons, run on-campus holiday programs, and raised money. Thus, providing the BY students and teachers activities that are generally not accessible. Examples of their work include • Stop motion animation focusing on environmental issues and uses various research skills, art, animation, and technology to create mini-movies. • Team building and problem-solving activities. • Teaching sports that they do not have the opportunity to do at BY • Science experiments • Grade 8 ran a stall at the annual UWCT Festive Fair to raise additional funds for school art supplies. • Created “Break out” activities, activities that explore collaboration, language skills, and creative thinking. As the Grade 8 program developed and became established, we looked at how other grade levels could also be involved. Constantly meeting with Khun Ming and being mindful of the BY program’s aims and objectives, Khun Ming wanted to explore building relationships with the younger students. As a result, we partnered up our Grade 5 with the BY kindergarten class and Grade 2 with the BY grade 2. As an extension to the UWCT Grade 5 leadership program our students were working with the UWCT Kindergarten classes, trialing ideas before taking them to BY Now that Grade 5 have adopted the BY as their service partner. Every month the grade 5 work with the BY kindergarten classes, providing lessons in Thai and English on a variety of topic-based tasks on color, animals, numbers, incorporating language, art, and music skills.

The BY staff, who are very traditional in their approach, have enjoyed working with the UWCT Grade 5 teachers. In December 2020, the Grade 5s made 60 “boxes of hope” for all kindergarten students, which were greatly received and will now be an annual commitment. Last year our Grade 2 joined BY by creating friendship and further developing our sense of community by working with students of the same age. Sharing, playing, and having fun both at BY and hosting at UWCT has helped all to become confident in their interactions, helped them plan and share in experiences, and led to students developing their language skills. Our senior girls have set up a co-curricular program, “Because I am a Girl”(BIG). BIG focuses on the rights of the girl child. The team of 11 girls had initial contact and started to work with the senior girls (aged 13-16) of BY before the Covid outbreak. They aim to build a supportive environment and create meaningful relationships with the Burmese girls at the BY. They hope to support vocational skills through various workshops and empower these young women through education, friendship, and sharing of cultures. “Our project is especially focused on providing workshops related to technology and entrepreneurial skills, including working at and baking goods for our student-run cafe. We want the young women to feel properly equipped to pursue a variety of careers so that they can better break the cycle of poverty that their community faces.” Appreciating that many girls from BY miss school during their menstruation, the BIG team have created reusable sanitary pads: • Research how to make them • Learning how to use sewing machines • Sourcing funds to purchase underwear • Collecting donated in-service flight bags, the types you get in business class, are suitable for storing underwear and reusable pads. In April this year, we hosted 4 of the BYP for three days in our Lower primary. This school year 2021 - 2022 we have committed to providing teacher mentors to coach and support the BY teachers in providing professional development to support their needs. Finally, BY has seen the reduction of donations and food from the local 5* hotels and resorts. As a result, the students at BY are now only getting one very simple meal a week. Understanding the impact this Fall 2021 Issue 13

is having on the children’s health and education, some UWCT teachers are now supporting financially to provide for weekly meals. This is something that we will continue with until the local hotels are able to donate again. The Burmese community has been marginalized and has suffered from the impact of Covid. Typically, tourism provides 80% of Phuket’s economy and employs more than 300,000 people; Revenues have fallen by 200 billion baht to 320 billion baht for 2020 1. As a result, the community that BY serves has been hit even harder. Parent’s wages have been cut by almost a 1/3rd, and many of them have lost their jobs. As a result of losing income, parents have struggled to feed their families, and many have lost their homes. During this time, the work that BY does, becomes even more critical, providing stability, a meal and education to children who do not always have that at home. UWCT will continue to help and support in what ever way we can. We are encouraging all of our community to be humanitarians. Albeit that each if us plays a small part, it does enable us to have human values and understand the situations the BY community faces. Regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, and social status, we work towards common human goals and ensure we support people with respect and dignity. So it was with great honor on behalf of The Saint Euphrasia BanYa Children’s Quality of Life Development Project and UWCT I was able to share our collective experiences and apply for the Richard T. Krajczar Humanitarian Award. An award that recognizes, each year, the work of one not-for-profit organization with a proven record of philanthropy in the East Asia/Pacific Region.

Receiving the grant of $10,000 will enable BY to pay their teachers, utilities and purchase well-needed supplies and stationary. BY relies heavily on donations, and with funds drying up, receiving the Richard T. Krajczar Humanitarian Award will make a significant difference over the next two years. Service activities are at the heart of the UWC educational model. Our commitment to service is embedded in our learning philosophy and embraced in our mission. We aim to challenge and inspire our students to act for the good of all and the sustainable development of the planet. So as we go back to Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus said to Scout, “look at the situation from that person’s perspective”. We hope that the opportunities we provide allow our students at UWCT encourages them to act with empathy and compassion. Where student participation in service projects actively promotes engagement and leadership that can bring many benefits to our students and the communities the projects serve. Now more than ever, we need our students to know, understand and inspire each other to make a difference. 1

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association.

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THE RICHARD KRAJCZAR HUMANITARIAN AWARD This annual award is given in recognition of EARCOS’ longest serving Executive Director, Dr. Richard T. Krajczar. Caring for others was not just Dr. K’s passion but his raison d’être. His support of those who provided sustenance and care for the less fortunate was among his most endearing traits. To that end, the EARCOS Board of Trustees has established the Richard T. Krajczar Humanitarian Award to recognize, each year, the work of one notfor-profit organization with a proven record of philanthropy in the East Asia/Pacific Region. APPLICATION DEADLINE APRIL 15, 2022

Selection Criteria

1. No later than May 1, candidate organizations will submit an application to the Dr. Edward E. Greene, Executive Director of EARCOS ( and the Review Committee. The application will provide: a. A description and history of the organization’s focus and initiatives b. A narrative detailing the impact of the organization’s efforts to date c. Photographs and brief testimonials related to the organization’s work d. An assessment of the need for additional support and what that support is expected to provide e. Information about the working relationship, if any, between the organization and a Service Club of one or more of the EARCOS member schools. f. Current sources and levels of funding and an explanation of how the funds, if awarded, would be used g. A copy of the organization’s charter or Articles of Association 2. The Award Committee will include: a. The Executive Director of EARCOS b. The Treasurer of the EARCOS Board of Trustees c. A second member of the EARCOS Board of Trustees d. The Community Service Coordinator of an EARCOS member school e. A member of the Krajczar family By June 15, 2022 the committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees whose decision will be final. Visit

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Learning to write well is an individualized process that does always not lend itself to whole class instruction. Writing conferences are one way to differentiate instruction to target specific areas of writing competency. But what kind of conference? Peer-to-peer, student-teacher, or small group? A comparison of these three conference formats reveals two salient facts about conferencing: there is something to be gained from each type, and student led, one-onone conferencing is the gold standard when it comes to motivating students to perform at their best.


Maximizing the Writing Conference By Tessa Alden HS English Department. Head & AQT Coach Seoul International School

Despite careful attention to student groupings and extensive pre-conference guidance, the efficacy of the peer-to-peer conference is prone to outside factors, including differing student capabilities, broader social influences, and the fact that students do not often make good teachers. But, when it’s done right, peer-to-peer conferencing can be an initial step in moving student writers to see their own work as from the reader’s perspective. These conferences work best when peer editors offer analytical feedback rather than holistic evaluation of a peer’s work. A peer editor can be asked to complete tasks like “rewrite the thesis in your own words,” which helps student writers see how well their work is understood. A comparative question such as “which quote provides the stronger evidence, and why” elicits more useful feedback than open-ended questions like “evaluate the effectiveness of the evidence.” The tasks required from the peer editor are highly structured and do not invite feedback that is overly generalized (“the paragraph develops well”) or unhelpful (“the thesis is mostly clear”). The peer-to peer approach is more efficacious for struggling writers, especially when they are paired with a stronger writer. But stronger writers seem less engaged, even when paired with other strong writers. While stronger writers do benefit from mentoring, they need more personal attention than a peer-to-peer conference can offer. Overall, peer-to-peer conferencing is helpful to some writers in the context of a specific composition, but does little to increase students’ general writing competency. Teacher-led conferences, by comparison, offer more opportunity to target specific skills and they result in more transferability of learning in future writing tasks. Once assignments are collected, students can be differentiated according to highly specific problem areas: writing clear thesis statements, for example, or using language concisely. Students are retaught these skills in small group settings and given practice material specific to the learning target. Students respond favorably to this conference format and they can make changes to their original compositions that demonstrate improvement in these discrete skills. The benefit of the teacher-led conference format is that students gain some awareness of themselves as writers. They see how a portion of their work is interpreted by their audience, as in the peer-to-peer conference. They have an opportunity to ask questions and see models that focus on a problem area. The limitation, however, is that the student’s own impression of his or her writing is supplanted by adherence to a rubric. While the reteaching of material can be highly specific, it is still not tailored to each individual writer. The skill set of “writing a clear thesis statement,” for example, includes the skill of writing “on prompt” as well as the skill of developing an arguable claim. While some students are able to transfer their learning to future compositions, the teacher-led conference doesn’t tend to motivate students to flourish as writers. Student-led teacher conferences are best conducted in private, one-onone settings to enable a more personalized connection between writer and teacher-reader. The goal of this format is to elicit meta-cognitive responses that have lasting effects on the student’s attitudes about writing. The most critical piece of the student-led conference is to emphasize the “studentled” component as much as possible; even the choice of whether to do the conference is up to the student. Pushing a student to conference when no

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conference is wanted creates the wrong dynamic for productive conversation. Of course, the need for a conference can be made amply apparent to the student. Pre-conference reflection strategies create an awareness of potential problem areas, and generally trigger students to seek feedback. Pre-conference reflection encourages writers to consider their work objectively. Questions encourage qualitative responses (“Which of your introductory sentences is the strongest? Which is the weakest?”) and quantitative responses (“highlight in blue any sentences that include analysis of your evidence”). Pre-conferencing can also include reflecting on data from earlier assignments (“what rubric criteria is typically the most challenging criteria?”) to encourage recognition of potential problem areas. During the conference, the teacher can expect three main outcomes: a stronger interpersonal connection with each student, growth in students’ awareness of themselves as writers, and an opportunity for highly differentiated instruction. Teachers generally see value in building strong interpersonal relationships with students. Students are more motivated, they enjoy school more, and they are more responsive. But, every class has personalities that are harder to reach. Conferencing offers teachers a way to show each student that they are valued. Writing conferences are a pretext for offering encouragement and support to those students who are more reserved in a classroom context. When students feel that their work is valued, not only are they more likely to transfer their skills to subsequent writing assignments, they are often more willing to seek support voluntarily in the future. Maintaining this interpersonal connection has powerful consequences: students who routinely conference are the students who progress the most rapidly, no matter how skilled they are at the outset. The tendency for skills to transfer to future writing tasks can be leveraged by having students take notes during conferences and by allotting time to set goals for their next composition after the conference has occurred. Importantly, goals are not tied to a rubric, but derive from the student’s own perceived challenges.Tying goals to their own perceptions rather than criteria on a rubric leads students to take ownership of their work and causes them to internalize the feedback that is offered during the conference. The teacher’s role during the student-led conference is to guide the student, through strategic questioning and feedback, toward a greater sense of themselves as writers. The teacher adopts the persona of a curious reader by asking questions like “if you could fix one work in that sentence, what would it be?” or, for students struggling to coherently structuring their writing, “how are you perceiving the connection between these two ideas?” Recording the responses that students give to these questions captures the student’s thinking process; often, they are surprised with the clarity and sophistication of their own ideas when read back to them. Teachers can also use visual cues to help writers “see” their writing. Separating the sentences of a paragraph allows students to focus on the quality of each sentence and also consider how sentences are connected. Highlighting only the start of each sentence or paragraph draws focus to repetitive patterns and promotes a conversation about syntactic variation; formatting all the verbs in bold creates an awareness of verb agreement. Aural cues are also helpful to trigger students’ selfperception: by having students read their own work outloud, they see inconsistencies in their grammar and sentence construction. When a

teacher reads their work out loud, interjecting with attempts to derive meaning from it (“now I’m trying to figure out how the last part of this paragraph relates to what you said earlier”), students instantly see where lapses in logic or development are occurring. Seeing models of good writing is critical for all developing writers, but modelling is even more efficacious when the model derives from the student’s own work. Editing a small portion of a student’s composition is a time-efficient way of showing them the possibilities for their own drafted work. Leading by example demonstrates good writing without having to tell students what to do. Modelling an improved version of a composition is one of the best ways to help writers who want to write more concisely or have a difficult time with grammar or sentence structure. Closely tied to the interpersonal nature of the writing conference is the opportunity for personalized instruction. When teacher-readers and writers engage in a dialogue about writing, they honor the natural development of a writer. They proceed as if no two writers progress in quite the same way. Differentiating for high-achievers is often especially difficult in a classroom context; conferencing enables these stronger students to progress in ways that reach beyond the standard for any given grade level.The ultimate goal of differentiation – to reach students where they are – is inherent in this conferencing format. Respect for the individual differences among student writers is also evident when conferences occur at multiple points during the writing process: students can seek feedback on their topics before they write; they can get help with an outline; they can get clarity about their score after a paper is returned. Because the teacher can be a part of the writing process from a very early stage through to the final composition, the teacher is more aware of the student’s process. Gaining awareness from an early stage of the writing process is positively correlated to a reduction in plagiarism and cheating. When students receive guidance early and throughout the process, they are more confident that their finished product is of high quality. Frequent conferencing also keeps student writers on pace so they are not overwhelmed by having to execute a full paper in a single writing episode. Student-led conferences are not just the gold standard for writing conference formats, but for writing instruction in general. It is hard to conceive of any other teaching strategy that offers an opportunity for interpersonal connection, transferability of skills, student agency in determining how and when goals are achieved, and insight on the process of each individual writer. While other conference formats achieve some degree of skill development for some writers, the student-led conference is uniquely tailored to engage students in their own writing process. It is the only conference format that honors the complexity and individualized nature of learning to write well. About the Author Tessa Alden is the High School English Department. Head & AQT Coach at Seoul International School. She can be contacted at

Fall 2021 Issue 17


Meaningful Physical Education Pedagogical Approach: Implementation with Kindergarten Students in a Cycling Unit By Marcus Down Elementary PYP PE Teacher NIST International School Twitter: @Down_with_PE

Introduction There is evidence that the most common version of physical education (PE) has limited influence on students’ lives (Green, 2014). There is a need for PE to be meaningful for students to develop the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge, and understanding to be engaged in physical activity for a lifetime. The following features, as identified by Kretchmar (2006), make PE experiences meaningful: 1. Social Interaction - shared positive participation with others. 2. Challenge - ‘just right’ learning engagements. 3. Motor Competence - students perceive that they can perform physical tasks. 4. Fun - immediate enjoyment in the moment. 5. Delight - experiencing sustained joy due to significant engagement and commitment. Students are more likely to have meaningful PE experiences when one or more of the above features are present (Kretchmar, 2006). Beni et al. (2017), through a review of empirical studies, added an additional feature of the Meaningful PE approach: 6. Personally Relevant - what students are learning, why this learning can be important, and how this learning can be applied to their lives (Fletcher et al., 2020). Learning experiences for students during kindergarten helps lay the foundation for future learning. For many students, kindergarten may be a child’s first experience in a formal PE setting. Cycling is a physical activity that can be accessed by many from an early age. In densely populated cities, such as Bangkok, it can be difficult for children to have a safe place to learn to cycle. The goal of this action research was to examine kindergarten students and their PE teacher’s experience of the Meaningful PE approach during an individual pursuits cycling unit.

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Methods Participants in the study included students (n=58) in three separate Year 1 (kindergarten) classes at an international school located in a high urban area. The three classes were composed of both boys (n=32) and girls (n=26) and were either five or six years of age at the time of the study. The study was conducted in a PE environment with me, the researcher, playing the role of teacher-researcher. I took the active participant observer stance which occurs when a teacher-researcher is actively engaged with his or her students (Zieman, 2012). Prior to conducting the research, parents were surveyed on their child’s cycling experiences to help determine the entry point for the students on a pedal and/or balance bicycle. The study took place over six lessons (per class) during the span of one month (November - December, 2020). In addition to having me present for each lesson, a qualified and experienced Thai PE teacher assisted and guided students and their learning. During the first and last lessons of the unit, students were video recorded cycling using either a balance or pedal bicycle. While viewing the footage following the lessons, the students were assessed using a checklist consisting of six categories: • • • • • •

Stand and walk on balance bicycle Sit and walk on balance bicycle Sit and run on balance bicycle Sit, run, and glide on balance bicycle Ride pedal bicycle with some support Ride pedal bicycle independently

Students cycled indoors (multi-purpose floor) and outdoors (turf field) each lesson. Students chose between moving using a balance and/or pedal bicycle. Students explored moving in different ways by stopping, dismounting, walking with bicycle, and moving through tunnels, over ramps, around a large oval, around beanbags placed on the ground, and

by weaving through cones. Students also practiced moving on wheels safely while following road and bicycle signs found in Thailand. Each lesson included a ‘help zone’ where students had the choice to receive teacher assistance to ride either a balance or pedal bicycle. Multiple stations and options were available for students to select from which included different levels of challenge. Students were provided an opportunity to verbally communicate their experiences of each lesson. Group discussions had students reflect on learning with questioning which focussed on challenge and fun with an emphasis on “I can” statements to celebrate achievements. A post-teaching reflection analysis, originally created by Dyson (1994), is a tool that teachers can use to reflect on their individual lessons that they taught (Casey, 2013). A modified post-teaching reflection analysis was used following each lesson to reflect upon and record my thoughts. Results & Reflection Social Interaction: Students were often, but not always, homogeneous groups based on their cycling competence. Once grouped, students often cycled individually to improve their own skill development. There were opportunities for small and large group discussions to celebrate successes and co-construct learning tasks for following lessons (e.g. students communicated wanting to move up and down ramps indoors - on a different terrain - to see if it would be more or less challenging). It is important to note that increased opportunities for students to work in pairs (e.g. peer teaching) and small groups (e.g. team goals) may have encouraged greater social interaction in this particular individual pursuits unit. Challenge: Students shared a sense of achievement when completing challenges that were an optimal challenge or, in child-friendly language, ‘just right.’ Students had the autonomy to choose their challenge and perform skills they were comfortable participating in. Although students who were already competent on a pedal bicycle were exposed to new challenges, the physical environment of the school did not provide access to various spaces and terrains which would have contributed to further opportunities of increased challenge. Increased Motor Competence - Students have more positive experiences in PE when they recognize they are competent performing skills (Fletcher et al., 2020). 19 of 58 students could independently ride a pedal bicycle at the beginning of the unit. At the conclusion of the unit, 26 of 58 students could ride a pedal bicycle independently. Of the 39 students who could not ride a pedal bicycle independently at the beginning of the unit, 34 (87%) students were identified on the post-assessment checklist as improving their balance or pedal bicycle competence. Fun - Students communicated that cycling on a balance and/or pedal bicycle was fun in a variety of ways such as: cycling independently, seeing friends, having choice, feeling a sense of accomplishment, trying new things, and being challenged. Students consistently communicated that performing a skill successfully was fun. Delight - Delight is a memorable experience that stands out from the ordinary (Kretchmar, 2005). It is possible that, particularly for the seven students who rode a pedal bicycle independently for the first time, delight was present; however, it is difficult to determine. Due to shortness in length of the study, it is possible that few instances of delight occurred. Personally Relevant - Students were able to draw connections between travelling in a car and with a bicycle in regard to being safe and following traffic signs. Students communicated that people may choose to cycle to be healthy or for transportation (e.g. picking up groceries, going

to school or work, etc.). One student shared their commitment to be physically active outside of school by videoing their newly acquired skill of cycling independently while with her family at a local park. Conclusion Meaningful PE is a pedagogical approach that can be applied across all PE content (e.g., dance, gymnastics, aquatics, games) and can be linked to the learning intentions of a curriculum (Fletcher et al., 2020). In this context, the Meaningful PE approach provided me with a framework to explicitly plan learning intentions that placed emphasis on providing students to: interact with others, improve motor competence, have choice from a range of developmentally appropriate challenges, and be personally relevant. I found that students experienced fun during the cycling unit when any, some, or all of the aforementioned features were present in the learning. When reflecting on my current teaching practice, connections can be drawn between the features of the Meaningful PE approach. Two of the features standout for me on my journey to develop learning experiences that are more meaningful for students: challenge (how can I ensure students are all getting that ‘just right’ challenge?) and personally relevant (are all the units of study and learning intentions contextually relevant to students?). As I move forward teaching PE with this framework in mind, it is important to prioritize these Meaningful PE features when planning and teaching. Providing students with meaningful experiences in PE will encourage students to seek joyful physically active experiences again and again for their lifetime. References Beni, S., Fletcher, T., & Ní Chróinín, D. (2017). Meaningful experiences in physical education and youth: A review of the literature. Quest, 69(3), 291-312. Casey, A. (2013). “Seeing the trees not just the wood”: Steps and not just journeys in teacher action research. Educational action research, 21(2), 147-163. Dyson, B. (1994). A case study of two alternative elementary physical education programs. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Fletcher, T., Ní Chróinín, D., Gleddie, D., & Beni, S. (2020). Meaningful physical education: An approach for teaching and learning. Routledge. Green, K. (2014). Mission impossible? Reflecting upon the relationship between physical education, youth sport and lifelong participation. Sport, education and society, 19(4), 357-375. Kretchmar, R. S. (2006). Ten more reasons for quality physical education. Journal of physical education, recreation and dance, 77(9), 6-9. Kretchmar, R. S. (2005). Teaching games for understanding and the delights of human activity. In L. L. Griffin & J. I. Butler (Eds.), Teaching games for understanding, theory, research and practice (pp. 119–212). Human Kinetics. Zieman, G.A. (2012). Participant observation. In S.R. Klein (Ed.), Action research methods: Plain and simple (pp.49-68). Palgrave Macmillan. About the Author Marcus Down is the Elementary PYP PE Teacher at New International School of Thailand. He can be contacted on twitter @Down_with_PE.

Fall 2021 Issue 19


Interactive Data Visualization (IDV) Helps Identify At-risk Writers By Charles James Harding Conrad II ESL Teacher International Community School, BangNa

Figure 1. 6 traits IDV tool from 2012

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The administrators at International Community School, BangNa (ICS) wanted to use the school’s annual writing assessment (AWA) data to explore the following questions: Are ICS students becoming competent communicators in writing? Who might need help individually, and as groups? What kind of help might they need? Answering such questions involved developing an interactive data visualization (IDV) tool for administrators and other stake holders now called the ICS AWA web page. After a live presentation and training through videos, administrators gave feedback through a modified version of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) on the perceived usefulness (PU) and perceived ease of use (PEU) of the web page. The data for the action research included Grade 3-12 students (n=1,901) who attended ICS between 2012-2020. Using the Oregon six traits rubric, two scorers from an independent private company called National Scoring Services in the United States evaluated ICS’s 7,332 writing samples (n=7,332) for each of the six traits: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions (Culham, 2003). To create the web page, I researched programs to store the writing data, and decided to use Google Sheets because of its functionality and feasibility. After deciding where to input and store data, I chose Tableau Public to create IDV tools giving users the most access to the data with the least amount of technical skills required. IDV tools provide on-demand visualizations allowing the navigation and display of selected data at various levels of detail in a variety formats (Dilla et al., 2010).With Tableau Public, dynamic dashboards replaced the static Excel charts the administrators previously used. I then embedded six types of dashboards in a Google site ( With all the dashboards in one easy to navigate place, administrators could now seek answers to their questions. For the first question, “Are ICS students becoming competent communicators in writing?” users can start with the 6 traits tab of the site. This tab displays results in bar graphs for every year, grade, and as a second identifier the year the class will graduate.The IDV includes the scores for all six traits as well as averaging the traits giving an overall average for each class. Colored bars display what percent of students reached basic proficiency (see Figure 1).

While not a mandatory percent threshold, a predictive probability below 25% should prompt further investigations. For example, a student had a 6% probability of reaching proficiency, and after eight years of testing still had not reached proficiency (see Figure 3). Figure 3. Probability IDV tool for an individual student

2013 6

2014 7

2015 8

2016 9

2017 10

2018 11

2019 12



2012 5


Third, “What kind of help might they need?” Another IDV tool, a Google sheet called Probability displays the test data of individual students. This predictive probability uses a binary logistic regression model which analyzed seven years of essays scored with the Oregon six traits rubric from 2012-2018. Three models predict how likely a student will reach a proficient level of writing (Conrad 2020). Filters help identify current students that may need assistance in their writing skills. Sorting the predictive percent allows users to see students who have a low probability of reaching proficiency.

Figure 4. Individual Student IDV tool showing growth by trait

Word Choice

Second, “Who might need help individually, and as groups?” Filters can group scores by nationality, sex, new students, and students in the ESL pullout program during the writing assessment for each year. Filters can further create cross-sectional, longitudinal, or pure cohorts for groups. The comparison view uses the same filters giving the overall average traits, and the actual number of students in each group side by side. For example, the comparison view can reveal achievement disparities in gender or nationality across the grade levels. Comparisons can alert administrators to adjust programs offered, or target specific groups for support.

Color-coding the traits scores shades of red and green gives a visual representation where darker shades of red show less proficiency and darker shades of green show more proficiency (see Figure 4). Therefore, the combination of achieving or not achieving proficiency by each trait helps explain why a student may not be achieving overall average writing proficiency. Those working with students at an individual level of intervention can identify particular traits to focus support.

Sent Fluency

Figure 2. 6 traits IDV tool graduating class of 2021

After the first three years of taking the assessment, the predictive models would have informed us that the student likely needed intervention. After identifying students with predictive probability below 25%, users could then refer to the IDV tool called Individual Students to see the growth and challenges for all 6 traits at each year and grade level for the individual students.


Administrators set a school goal that at least 80% of the students would reach proficiency in each trait. The 6 traits IDV shows where this benchmark has been met for every trait and points of weakness that may need attention. Filters allow administrators to remove new or withdrawn students, In addition, a test filter can limit the number of students in the results showing only the students in the cohort who participated in the AWA assessment all available years for each class. Filtering by “class of ” gives a longitudinal view of a single cohort showing the growth trends of each graduating class, and at what point they crossed the 80% proficiency benchmark, or where to improve towards becoming competent communicators in writing (see Figure 2).

Another way to use the Individual Students IDV involves searching for students in terms of the number of years they have taken the AWA. English Language Learners may have shown a higher than 25% probability of reaching a writing proficiency, but have yet to cross the proficiency threshold, even after several years. These students with deficits in writing who perform below grade level in literacy skills over several years Fall 2021 Issue 21

may become Long-Term English Language Learners (LTEL), and need specific intervention to match their needs (Olsen, 2014). To evaluate the effectiveness of the AWA web page, I asked the administrators (n=6) to complete the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) survey to record their feedback on the perceived usefulness (PU), and perceived ease of use (PEU). Davis (1989) explains PU as a system where a user believes in the existence of a positive use-performance relationship, whereas PEU is viewed as the degree to which using a particular system is effortless. The seven point Likert scale choices included Likely (Extremely, Quite, Slightly), Neither, or Unlikely (Extremely, Quite, Slightly). The overall responses from the administrators were positive (see Figure 5). Figure 5. Technology Acceptance Model: Administrators’ results with answers in percentages

challenges. Further action research may involve developing secondary classes for LTELs who may benefit from courses focused on academic literacy support. Acknowledgments I thank Dr. Benjamin Radin, ICS secondary ESL teacher, my mentor and colleague, for his passion, endurance, and support of writing research at ICS. In addition, I thank Gill Kirkwood for providing essential support in creating the Google Sheets formulas to make the database tools functional. Finally, I thank Scott Hayden, ICS Director of Curriculum and Instruction for his encouragement to apply for the EARCOS Action Research Grant, and spending several hours defining end-user needs in shaping the tools for the administrators at ICS.. References Conrad, C. (2020). Direct Writing Prediction Models Identify At-Risk Writers. THAITESOL Journal, 33(1), 57-71. Culham, R. (2003). 6+1 traits of writing: The complete guide grades 3 and up. Scholastic Inc. New York. Davis, D. (1989). Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13, 319–339. Dilla, W., Janvrin, D. J., & Raschke, R. L. (2010). Interactive data visualization: New directions for accounting information systems research. Journal of Information Systems, 24(2), 1–37. Olsen, L. (2014). Meeting the unique needs of long term English language learners. National education association, 1(1), 1-36.

The data organization, probability models, and IDV dashboards give ICS administrators powerful tools to better identify potential at-risk writers. With IDV, administrators can further analyze students that may be monitored on a watch list for tracking writing improvement and

About the Author Charles James Harding Conrad II is the ESL Teacher at International Community School, BangNa. He can be contacted at


Sasin Thamakaison


Sasin Thamakaison School: International School Bangkok Career Goal: Biomedical Engineering

Clubs, Organizations and Activities • Founder and Executive Director of SENIA Youth, a Youth-led non-profit organization advocating for mental disabilities and mental health • Director of Fridays For Future Thailand, a Youth-led environmental conservation organisation • Captain of Varsity Swim Team Awards • EARCOS Global Citizenship Award • CIS International Student Award • Outstanding Leadership and Service Award

22 EARCOS Triannual Journal

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next, as many keenly expressed the desire to learn musical instruments to which they had never had access. A fundraising campaign to raise awareness on the issue received generous contributions from like-minded donors that enabled the purchase of musical instruments. These included a wide array of both Western and Indian instruments such as keyboards, guitars, drums, harmoniums, flutes, tambourines, tablas, and many others. Spaces available at the schools ranged from a small corner in a corridor to an, abandoned classroom. Careful planning related to the placement of musical instruments was necessary, as was making the spaces attractive and comfortable so that students felt that this was where they could spend time away from the hardships and deprivation that were part and parcel of their everyday lives. Relevant posters and colorful stickers on the walls accompanied by comfortable rugs on the floor made for an inviting setting. The Covid- 19 Pandemic has altered our lives wherein we have missed out on precious interactions with peers, recreational opportunities, and camaraderie. Music, however, remained a constant companion that enabled focus and provided a platform for expression. It was evident during the pandemic that senior citizens were most at risk, they were also the most lonely and isolated. I prepared a detailed proposal for Saregama India Pvt, a company that manufactures “Carvaan” portable music players. These players have a pre-loaded playlist of songs, specifically relatable devotional and Hindi movie songs from the golden era of music.


Mentoring Through Music By Jaiveer Misra The British School New Delhi Conceptualized in 2018, Mentoring Through Music is an ongoing community impact project that aims to serve the wider community through musical engagement and mentoring. The project has aimed to positively impact students at low-income and NDMC Schools, the vulnerable elderly at old age homes, and students within my school as well as those who simply enjoy music. Music is a universal language, one that knows no boundaries or disparity. When used as a tool for social change, it is powerful and impactful and builds a connection with the audience which is unique. It is this ethos that lies at the heart of Mentoring Through Music. Towards this end, I have consistently worked with NGOs and lowincome School’s in New Delhi and the State of Uttar Pradesh. The first steps included conducting Jazz and Blues Masterclasses at the associated schools for young students. This interactive masterclass was specifically tailored to students within the 5 to 15-year group. Shared on a PPT, the lesson simplified both genres and detailed the work of musicians, instruments, and the background history of both styles of music. Students were then required to fill out a booklet with simple questions to gauge their understanding of the lesson. The content for the lesson was translated into Hindi as this is the medium of instruction at the schools. The masterclass lasting an hour and a half often ended with a sing-along. The idea of creating musical spaces for students came 24 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Post the submission of the proposal, the company agreed to donate 15 such portable players to two old ages homes in New Delhi and Garhmukteshwar, Uttar Pradesh, for the abandoned elderly that house over 300 residents. Additionally, I was able to provide musical instruments to the old age home in Vrindavan which focuses on the rehabilitation of abandoned widows.The old age home has a culture of devotional music as a part of their daily routine and the instruments have gone a long way in enhancing this activity as these were used by the residents during their daily evening prayer, and celebration of festivals.

The British School Music Club which I had founded based on an inclusive philosophy was extremely active during the pandemic. The use of technology-enabled an initiative that brought together creative performances across the school which were virtually showcased every evening to the student and parent community. Reminding the community that they were not alone; the program ran for a month and received a wonderful response. Performances included an Easter celebration concert, the “Heal the World” collective, and a showcase of performances by a primary and secondary school. Closely following on its heels was “Simply Music” where members of the club recorded covers of popular songs from their homes and digitally delivered these to the entire school online. At a personal level, I leveraged my music in an endeavor to spread important social messages. An original composition “I Dream” focussed on saving our planet and envisioned a brighter future while “Glorious” trained the spotlight on issues pertaining to mental health. A column on musical recommendations that I authored for The Daily Guardian during the first lockdown in New Delhi aimed to provide quick and easy listening options across easy-to-access streaming platforms, so that while being locked in, readers remembered that music could be a constant companion. In the near future, I envision Mentoring through Music to be a legacy project with participation from younger students and like-minded individuals. Once we are able, students of The British School Music Club will be volunteering to teach instruments as the musical spaces cre-

ated at associated schools. I am hopeful that I will be able to arrange for a music teacher as a next step for the students, the idea being to introduce a classroom culture of musical learning as a part of the daily routine. My special memories are entirely associated with those I have worked for. Be it the elders dancing to the tunes on the Carvaan Radio or the students at the school touching a guitar for the first time, nothing has brought me greater joy. I am determined to always stay humble and continue to work with determination despite any obstacles I may face. In many ways and forms, music transcended boundaries and triumphed. It kept the spirits up and hope alive. It allowed us to forget that darkness existed, and when the darkness threatened to overcome, it lifted us out into the bright sunlight. With the arrival of the vaccine there is great hope. The pandemic has been great learning. It has inspired us to focus on what is really important – the human connection. Music does not distinguish between the rich and the poor, color or creed; it enables us to reimagine a future without boundaries, where the inner voice that defines the human spirit can be heard above the noise. It mentors and guides us through the chaos towards a future of peace and importantly hope. About the Author Jaiveer has also been the recipient of The Community Service Award at The British School for 2019-2020 and was recognised as a Young Change Maker by News X, India’s Premier News Channel. He can be contacted at

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Fall 2021 Issue 25


Anyone need extra help with school? By Sunwoo Sunny Lee Seoul International School we developed a pattern of talking about general concerns rather than reviewing the content he had learned during class. My tutee seemed to benefit a lot from my advice on all sorts of topics as an experienced upperclassman. Supplementing the not fully understood class parts is extremely important, but finding study methods and habits fitted to students’ preferences completes the learning experience. Also, high school has meaning outside of academics, such as friends, sports, clubs, and preparation for college. Navigating your way through and finding a balance between all these factors can be facilitated with the assistance of students who have already experienced it all. At first, I proposed a program to the school leadership, in which upperclassmen mentor underclassmen matched within the school. When it got approved as an official course, building the basic structure of the “Peer Mentor Program” began. Mentors would assist mentees by supporting academics, setting study goals, and checking progress, along with consulting about school life, time and stress management, extracurricular activities, friendship concerns, and college admissions. Counselors would help pair up mentors and mentees with similar habits, interests, and characteristics. Interacting with incoming freshmen and new students would especially ease their nervousness about entering a new environment. Working with the school to bring this program into reality sparked my interest in expanding the program to students worldwide. With the $500 grant, I can create a platform to do just that.

While school teaches students how to read the periodic table or dissect a poem into its constituent literary elements, it sometimes does not fully satisfy students’ individual academic needs. In reality, it is not easy to provide tailored assistance to each student at school. In particular, during the period of COVID 19, online education further left behind students who already had difficulty learning. In addition, high school students have the burden to plan and carry out a wealth of external activities to get into the college of their choice. We need to plan our future career paths and then find suitable activities for each career path. However, it is not easy to carve out a career path and plan activities accordingly without the help of others. Who would you go to for advice on general concerns about high school life as a high school student? Asked this question, I sought out to find an answer. Being a member of the National Honor Society (NHS) at our school, I started tutoring a student for chemistry. After multiple tutoring sessions, 26 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Peer Assistance and Tutorship for High Schoolers (PATH) is a website that will connect mentors from my school, Seoul International School, to mentees from other schools, perhaps in more underprivileged areas or in the EARCOS community. Before matching, the website will ask questions about the students’-- both mentors’ and mentees’-- academic habits and general preferences in order to produce a more successful pairing of mentors and mentees. Matched students can work together at their preferred times using a variety of publicly available platforms such as Zoom or Google Meets.The app will also contain bullet journaling pages and note-taking features that will help users to communicate easier. With continued success, it can expand to accept mentors from different high schools or mentees from a wider range of ages. The PATH program could begin locally but may grow to global PATH. The potential is infinite. About the Author Sunwoo Sunny Lee is from Seoul International School. He can be contacted at



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Approaches to teaching and learning skills: Managing the state of our minds! By Priya Ramteke Deputy Head of Secondary Oberoi International School, OGC Campus

“In the face of adversity, we have a choice, we can be better or we can be bitter.” Caryn Sullivan

The effectiveness of Yoga for the improvement of well-being and resilience to stress is well known. What better tool than Yoga to teach and practice the affective ATLs? We expect students to manage their state of mind but do we ever pause for a moment and teach them these skills? We ask our students to focus and are guilty of complaining about students not being attentive but do we ever teach them how to focus? These questions plagued me as a science teacher to MYP and DP students. What can I do so that I enable my students to engage and focus during a lesson at a deeper level in their learning and avoid a million distractions around them in the virtual setting? I found my answer in Yoga simple practical tool that effectively supports me and our students in managing their state of being, cultivating harmony and alignment between the mind, body, and breath. Our yoga clubbers have now started transforming their classes by incorporating simple yogic exercises and techniques in their classes. We start our virtual class with pranayama-mindful awareness of breath or inject a session of pranayama in the middle of the lessons when we feel an energy drain. This helps students recenter and realign themselves. There are some of us who have started implementing other yogic exercises such as Ganesh Mudra (hand gestures and a specific sequence of poses) to alleviate shoulder, neck, eye strain due to excessive time on the computers. Whilst there are other teachers who use the essence of mind-body-breath connection in Yoga and apply it to their drama classes for example to cultivate a sense of body and spatial awareness. Yoga offers our students a choice to become a better version of themselves and supports the development of their effective ATLs. It helps them to understand that we cannot always control what goes on outside, but we can always control what goes on inside and provides the tools to do so.

As I pen this, we have been in online school for over a year and there is no sign of respite as cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in The global pandemic has taught us that these critical life skills of managing our state of mind, building fortitude, and being resilient are Mumbai, Maharashtra. far more important than anything else we learn in our classrooms. There are two ways of looking at this: 1) We can complain about Isn’t it time we dig deeper and find answers about developing afonline fatigue and energy drain OR 2) We can prepare and ready fective ATLs and not leave them just– for our Health teachers and ourselves and our students to celebrate the learning in this unreal counselors? Just like every teacher needs to be a language teacher, every teacher also needs to be a mindful one! world. We, at our school, chose the latter and here is how! At the beginning of the pandemic in India in March 2020, we started an online yoga enthusiasts club. It’s a small club where teachers come together to practice yoga asanas ( poses) and other yogic tools such as pranayama ( breathing techniques), mantras (chanting Sanskrit verses). The objective of this club was not just to practice yoga amongst us but to apply this transformative experience that yoga offered to us to our students eventually during our online classes.

28 EARCOS Triannual Journal

About the Author Priya Ramteke is the Deputy Head of Secondary at Oberoi International School, OGC Campus. She can be contacted at





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What can students learn from creating their own student news? By Tom Clarke, English Literature and Language Teacher, EARCOS Teacher Representative, and Student News Teacher Advisor American International School Vietnam In this article, I would like to explore the question: what can students learn from creating their own Student News? At AISVN our students are currently approaching the end of their third year of providing regular news for our school community. With the upcoming 50th episode of AISVN Student News, it seems like a good time, after almost ten thousand views and over seven hundred hours of footage on their AISVN Student News YouTube channel, to reflect on the journey so far.

A recent AISVN Student News episode to showcase students’ films and to promote the upcoming school one-minute film festival (03:00-03:35) (click here) What do our AISVN students think about being in the Student News Program? As Teacher Advisors, Mr. Carlos, Mr. Tyler, and I have regular opportunities to talk to and survey our Student News Students.This year we have 21 students from Grade 7 to Grade 12. Here is what they had to share about their experience and their learning from a recent anonymous survey: 82% stated that being part of the Student News Service Learning Club has helped them to develop their ability to write stories for an audience. Many also shared that their technical and collaboration skills have developed. For example, one member reflected: “I now know how to format a plan for a video and use different filming techniques that can draw the attention of the audience. My teamwork skills have also improved significantly.” An insight from our Student News Teacher Advisors As a Teacher Advisor for the Student News Service Learning Club at AISVN, I have the privilege to see the blossoming of our student’s confidence and ability as English scholars and as learners in general. Here are some opinions about the students’ learning from the other members of our Teacher Advisor dream team Mr. Carlos and Mr. Tyler: “I have really enjoyed seeing our team sharpen their media skills in all kinds of ways from scriptwriting to editing.” Mr. Tyler Gates 30 EARCOS Triannual Journal

“I think it is a great opportunity for the students to learn editing principles to communicate their stories effectively.” Mr. Carlos Matheus-Hung What does the academic research say about the impact of Student News Programs? It is clear that Student News is big news at AISVN and in our modern school curriculums. I have been fortunate to have been a part of the UK BBC School News Report program (now known as Young Reporter) and worked directly with BBC journalists and producers to help support students to broadcast their news locally, nationally, and even on occasions internationally. From my personal experience as a Teacher Advisor for Student News Programs, including here at AISVN, I believe there are significant beneficial impacts on student learning, however, what does the academic research say? Improved Literacy Skills and new contexts for ATLs According to an independent report from SSAT (The UK Government Specialist Schools and Academies Trust), the learning gains and benefits for students are clear. For example, Literacy Consultant Jan English in her SSAT report on the UK School News Report demonstrated clear literacy improvements in her study of schools that introduced the BBC Student News program. Video footage and written samples, before and after introducing the program, showed a steep learning curve for students with regards to effective group collaboration and discussion. Furthermore, Jan’s study highlighted the increased opportunities across the curriculum for students to have a regular exploratory talk with their peers which helped to improve the quality of their writing, as evidenced in their before and after written news scripts. This is a key characteristic of successful student news teams where focused discussion is seen to have a fundamental role in attaining the 3 Cs of journalism: clear, concise, and correct communication. As a research fellow for the University of Cambridge Thinking Together Programme, Jan affirms that having a Student News program at your school offers students authentic reallife contexts, where a dialogue-based approach to the development of children’s thinking and learning takes place. An interview with our school counsellor Ms Anya about our Social Emotional learning lessons in our Advisory Classes (1:573:08) (click here) Similarly, an independent review of BBC School News Report from the University of Lancashire, a leading UK research university, praised students’ improved ability to speak and write effectively for a specif-

ic audience and what we in IB Schools call ATLs, our approaches to learning. The collaborative nature and academic rigor of Student News give students new experiences in developing their ATLs (Thinking Skills, Communication Skills, Self-Management Skills, Research Skills, and Social Skills). As the research shows, Student News can promote student engagement, deep understanding, and the transfer of skills and academic success. What is the unique contribution of Student News to students’ learning? One could justifiably respond to the positive findings of these two independent academic studies with the question: “Well, okay, but what is new here? Have engaging educational programs not been providing these similar gains for time immemorial?” Of course, this is true, however, I believe it is important to acknowledge the valuable motivation for students of multi-modal broadcasting of one’s ideas to a wider audience beyond the traditional classroom setting. To quote Professor Don Passey, one of the researchers in the Lancashire study, when students are creating their own news stories they “..are not just handing their work to a teacher, they are handing it to the world.” As IB educators and learners at AISVN we (students and teachers) are always looking for authentic audiences and platforms for our students to communicate their learning from students’ PYP exhibitions, MYP units of inquiry, Personal Projects, DP CAS (Creativity Activity and Service) projects and in day to day lessons. For me, Student News gives students the exciting opportunity to still have the traditional audience of their peers and teachers but also bring their voices and stories to a much wider audience. I would therefore agree with Professor Don Passey when he goes as far as saying that Student News “offers an authenticity and realness I’ve not seen matched.” Our News Team finds out more about the huge impact of the animal rescue charity that Ms. Lyna set-up in HCMC (03:59-06:41) (click here) Next Steps for Student News at AISVN So what new steps are our students hoping to be able to take in developing their transferable journalism skills such as research, fact-checking, balancing opinions, and clear, concise, and correct communication? At AISVN we benefit from being part of the EARCOS family of schools and we recently reached out to another EARCOS school in the Philippines, the International School of Manila to learn from their wonderful Bamboo Telegraph News. We are inspired by their well-established student-led news programs and also other programs like the Lumberjack Student News Channel at a leading Independent School in Minnesota. At AISVN our secondary students are proud to be in the planning stages to take their program to a new level and to make Student News a sustainable part of the whole school curriculum. With a new digital news magazine, news blogs, and more varied regular audio-visual news features in the works, this year’s Student News team has been creative and ambitious in exploring these possibilities to help expand their media empire in the future. Students reflecting on their learning with their teachers in an English and Drama Departments’ collaboration forpoetry performances at the school’s drama festival (0:15- 07:04) (click here)

The AISN Student News Mission Statement Our students created a mission statement for their Student News Service Learning Club which includes an ambitious and caring desire to “....better understand our community and assist others.” With this in mind, another future next step in discussion is for our Secondary School Students to mentor our Elementary Students to help them develop their student news program. See, I told you, the AISVN Students’ media empire is aiming to expand!

Gaining sporting insights from our Athletes of the Week (1:13-2:01) (click here) Finding creative ways to bring Student News into the day-to-day Curriculum One key and sustainable approach to making sure the learning benefits of a Student News program are experienced by all, where every student can be a journalist, an editor, and a producer is to intentionally embed this program into curriculum planning. At AISVN our English Language Acquisition Department is taking the lead with this by developing a new unit of study for our MYP Grade 6 Language Acquisition classes. I spoke to Ms. Erica Raines, Department Chair of Language Acquisition about this exciting unit that explores current events and journalism. Here is what she shared about this innovative approach to teaching and learning: “Teaching our students reading and listening strategies to comprehend relevant texts, like the news, not only progresses language acquisition but also provides AISVN students with tools they need to develop as engaged and informed citizens of the world. When they are then challenged to report their own news stories, students implement language, leadership, and citizenship in real-time.” Ms. Erica Raines Dear EARCOS colleagues, if you have a Student News Channel or would like to introduce one, please get in contact with me (tom. for a future possible collaboration. Perhaps we could all help to organize an ”EARCOS Schools annual News Day?” This is Tom Clarke, reporting on behalf of AISVN Student News References English, Jan. (2009) - SST (Specialist Schools and Academies Trust UK)BBC News School Report- Impact on Literacy. Passey, Don. and Gillen, Julia. (2009) - BBC News School Report Independent Evaluation, University of Lancaster. Fall 2021 Issue 31


Clearly Communicating Levels of Learning By Joyce Pereira, HS Design & Innovation Teacher Korea International School

Grading is complex. There is no single, right way to grade as different schools have their unique layers of complexities that include policies, philosophies, and expectations. The KIS Design and Innovation team suggests the importance of investing time and energy not on the topic of grading but rather finding efficient ways to clearly communicate the level of learning students are currently at. If you think about it, that is one (if not the most important) purpose of a grade. Our K-12 Design and Innovation team engages in ongoing conversations around standards-based teaching and learning. These conversations revealed we had more in common than we initially thought and helped us create a shared resource to use within our individual courses: The Design and Innovation rubric template. Well-designed rubrics provide the language to communicate in an intentional, purposeful, and consistent manner with students, their families, learning support teams, school counselors, and administrators. Communication can be informal conversations and feedback, as well as more formal written reports and comments. The idea of a rubric is not new in and of itself, but our Design and Innovation teachers re-imagined ours using the following two big ideas: 1. “Just enough” A rubric with “just enough” information is specific enough to make a clear connection to a subject area visible, and at the same time open-ended enough to invite students to co-create specific criteria aligned with their learning experiences. 2. Future Flexible A future flexible rubric is able to adapt to our individual courses as well as new and emerging resources. Deconstructing Our Design and Innovation Rubrics Our department designed rubrics aligned with each of the seven ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards and our four Broad Learning Categories: Investigator, Thinker, Designer, and Contributor.

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We created stem statements with just enough information to guide a conversation around a student’s current level of learning. These stems are consistent and can be used across other areas of study. Regarding levels of learning, we agreed upon the following: • • •

The emerging level focuses on identifying keywords, concepts, and ideas The approaching level focuses on describing the purposes of the identified keywords, concepts, and ideas The proficient and exemplary levels allow students to apply their understanding in a created product or solution. What differentiates between proficient and exemplary may include levels of independence, combining skills and understanding in new and creative ways, etc…

Rubrics in Action Here is an example of a rubric from a high school programming course:

THINKER: AREA OF EXPERTISE STANDARD 5: COMPUTATIONAL THINKER [PROGRAMMING] Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in a ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions. EMERGING




I can identify essential parts of the code within a program.

I can describe * the purpose of identified parts of the code * what my program should do in pseudocode and/or using flowcharts.

I can construct code that works as intended.

I can apply best practices to construct efficient code to solve real-world problems.

// invite learners to co-create specifics

// invite learners to co-create specifics

// invite learners to co-create specifics

// invite learners to co-create specifics

In this context, the rubric stem at the emerging level states: “I can identify essential parts of code within a program.” This stem is specific enough as it clearly relates to programming, but open-ended so that specific parts of code can be identified based on the lesson or unit being covered. It is important to note that this stem can be used with any programming language. The image below shows a completed version of the rubric with the co-created content for the first unit of study, Primitive Types. In this unit, the essential parts of code are variables and data types. You might notice the use of “I can… ” statements provided by the D&I team from the elementary division. (see rubrics below)

Conclusion With just enough and future flexible rubrics, you can have common and clear language to engage in more accurate conversations regarding your students’ current level of learning. We believe that other teams can benefit from these conversations and more importantly, our students will better understand their learning. About the Author Joyce Pereira is the High School Design & Innovation Teacher at Korea International School.She can be contacted at Additional Resources Evidence of Learning (4mins.): Communicating Levels of Learning (5mins.): Fall 2021 Issue 33


Don’t Call Me Cute: Affirming Learners and Learning in the Early Years By Nelle Cox & Esther Butland Lead ELC Teachers Yokohama International School Early Learning Centre,

“They’re so cute!” is often one of the first things people say about our students when they visit the Early Learning Centre. And we can understand that. They can be very cute. But, much more importantly, our students are competent, capable, autonomous human beings. Prioritizing this view of our early learners creates a respectful learning environment, honors the rich experiences of our students, and empowers the adults in their lives to support the deep learning they engage in. At Yokohama International School, one of the most important ways we respect and validate the competency of our early learners is through the use of powerful, learning-focused language. The language our students are exposed to will shape their perception of themselves and their world.Tell a child they are pretty and they will begin to understand that physical characteristics are a priority. Compliment a child on repeatedly rebuilding a block tower that has fallen down multiple times, and they will begin to perceive that determination and persistence are of value in their world. When talking to, or about, our early learners, we choose words that reflect the values we hold as a school and that are important to our community: responsible, mindful, thoughtful, creative, curious, respectful. Choosing to use powerful words and learningfocused language with young children affirms the knowledge and skills they already possess. The words we choose to use with young children should also be actionable - they need to be able to do something with them.These meaningful, actionable and tangible words can then become powerful tools in the hands of our young learners. Consider this feedback we may typically give young children: “That’s a lovely tree you painted. Good job!”. Although this may make the child feel good, it is not useful and does 34 EARCOS Triannual Journal

not help them grow. What was lovely about my painting? What did I do that was good? And what if I don’t think it’s lovely, or I actually didn’t try that hard? Focusing our language on skills, actions and attitudes empower learners to think about themselves and their learning in terms of strengths and areas to grow. “Using wavy lines was a creative way to show that the leaves are moving”or “I see lots of different colors in the leaves of your painting and I made a connection with the autumn leaves on the tree in our garden. Have you been noticing how the leaves are changing?” These words become the vocabulary children use to think about themselves and their learning. Using a learning-focused language creates an environment of growth and development. If the student understands that putting their own shoes on is being independent, they learn they are capable of doing things by themselves. If the student realizes that observing and noticing the small details of a Taiko drum helped them create an accurate drawing, they learn to look closely at things to understand and represent them. When students have the language to talk about their growth and learning, they can own it and take control of it. Our students are constantly demonstrating a multitude of skills, knowledge, and understandings through their play, their words, their actions, and their interactions. As the adults in their lives, we have the opportunity to recognize the learning, acknowledge it, name it, and reflect it back to our young learners in a way that is useful, empowering, and affirming. About the Authors Nelle Cox & Esther Butland are both Lead ELC Teachers at Yokohama International School Early Learning Centre. They can be contacted at and

Washington State University



Intensive Project Periods: Transforming the Learning Culture in the AIS Middle School

MIT Cardboard Boat Challenge Intensive.

By Zachary Post Middle School Principal American International School in Hong Kong Driving Question: “How might we transform teaching and learning by inspiring more project-based learning and collaboration in our curriculum?” In the fall of 2017, we asked this question as we worked to move our school towards a newly adopted Future Framework driven by Social, Personal, and Applied (SPA) learning. Since then, we have been on a journey that began with introducing Intensives, a deep-dive project period. As a result of our endeavors, we have also experienced a transformation in teaching and learning with the wider adoption of projectbased learning (PBL) across our curriculum. Along the way, we have viewed the implementation of Intensives as an iterative process in which we have learned from each iteration. Now, five years into the process, we are certain that Intenvises play an important role in pushing our instructional practice, creating student engagement with our expected schoolwide learning results (ESLRs), and supporting a culture of professional collaboration amongst our teachers. Our initial iteration of a deep-dive project period was a division-wide PBL focused on student teams that took on projects in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. While this project period certainly moved the dial in the direction of having a shared understanding of project-based learning, it lacked agency from both students and teachers and thus did not energize us in a way that we felt would inspire our future work. As we grappled with our quest to inspire more project-based learning and collaboration in our curriculum, we knew that teacher agency would play a big role in our success. From this, and with much teacher leadership, we developed Intensives. Intensives are a learning experience for our students delivered using a project-based learning framework. All Middle School teachers pair up to team-teach during the Intensives period. They design their offerings based both on their own passions and on student input. By having a high 36 EARCOS Triannual Journal

interest in the project offering themselves, teachers become energized and approach this dynamic learning with more confidence. While we have often contemplated having an overarching theme to the offerings, in the end, we have felt the key to success is for teachers to be as excited as possible about their project offerings. The pitfall of possibly having projects feel overly contrived has kept our idea for a theme very loosely centered around the concept of creativity. The Intensives project period spans 7-10 school days. As the experience is aptly named and is rather intense and demanding, we have found placing this period before a school break or at the end of the year works well. Each Intensive project group has approximately 30-40 mixed grade level students for two teachers. While Intensives are going on, we have a schedule that allows for a large amount of time to work on projects each day and also some time to have short check-in classes for regular courses. There are several full days dedicated to the projects and this allows for relevant field trips to take place as well as time to set up the final exhibition, in which we welcome other divisions and parents. An important component to Intensives is creating an exciting ‘launch’ to the project period with our middle school community. To help accomplish this, we hold a special launch assembly. Teachers create and show one-minute video trailers to promote their Intensives offerings. There is usually a good dose of fun and middle school humor woven into these trailers. Having learned of the offerings, students then use a digital form to request the Intensives options they would like to join and we do our best to accommodate these requests. The ‘why’ behind Intensives stems from our effort to transform learning within our school. As part of our process, we have embraced the Design Thinking Mindset: • willingness to experiment • be OK with not having the “right” answer • be empathetic • encourage collaboration Intensives as part of our curriculum create more Social, Personal, and Applied (SPA) learning experiences for students as they build confidence in the AIS ESLRs of being global citizens, empowered thinkers,

well-rounded individuals, and effective communicators. Additionally, Intensives offer a welcome disruption of our regular schedule and provide an opportunity to prototype ways of learning. Through SPA learning, students develop key 21st-century skills that are part of our ESLRs. In going through the Intensives experience, students more deeply apply: • inquiry and critical thinking • problem solving and leadership • creativity and innovation • collaboration

considering how to transform their school learning cultures, I think that is a great takeaway to keep in mind. About the Author During his 21-year career as an educator, Zachary Post has aspired to collaboratively create engaged learning communities driven by projectbased learning. Most recently, he has served as the Middle School Principal at the American International School in Hong Kong since August 2016. He can be contacted at and found on Twitter at @zpostedu

It’s important to note that while Intensives themselves can be viewed as an ‘event’ based aspect of the curriculum, we are aiming to leverage the experience in transforming our work as project-based learning practitioners across the curriculum. Intensives provide a structure for pushing our practice but do not ensure a transformation without investing in more complex school culture shifts. With that in mind, we invested in both internal and expert consultant-led professional development to train our faculty on project-based learning over multiple years. Most recently, we have partnered with Kyle Wagener, author of The Power of Simple and founder of Transform Educational Consulting to do onsite training with all teachers and a more extensive PBL certificate program with a smaller group. To ensure we gathered a wide range of feedback on Intensives, surveys have been given to students, teachers, and parents at the conclusion of each projected period. While the data had pointed overwhelmingly to success both with the project periods and with transforming our thinking about learning, we have learned much along the way. Some important lessons have included making sure we have the capacity to support the work. To do this, it is very helpful to have a person act in the role of the ‘Intensives Coordinator’. Along these lines, systems can be put in place to sustain the work such as developing Shared Drives, an Intensives website, and implementing planning tools such as a PBL unit planner template.

Mural Artist in Residence Intensive.

As we prepare for Intensives in early June 2022, our focus will be on leveraging student ePortfolios to help capture the work and related self-reflections. We are hoping to shift from our current 21st-century learning rubrics to rubrics more explicitly aligned with our ESLRs. While there is some interest in exploring how to capture Intensives within our report cards, the bigger emphasis has remained on providing quality formative feedback throughout the process. A few years ago, our team presented Intensives at the 21CL Conference in Hong Kong. At that time we had done two iterations and had much to share about our learning. At the end of our session, we asked attendees for their takeaways and amongst a great collection of insights, was this, “You have to dive in and not wait for the perfect time!” For all those

Service Intensive students testing out a paper marble run design for children in need during the pandemic. Fall 2021 Issue 37


Cymatics in the PYP - Dwight School Seoul By Mr. Nikolay Bukilic,Visual Art teacher, and Ms. Nathalie Waldmann, Music teacher Dwight School Seoul [All IB curriculum frameworks] emphasize the importance of making connections, exploring the relationships between academic disciplines, and learning about the world in ways that reach beyond the scope of individual subjects. (IBO, 2019, p. 3) At Dwight School Seoul, arts single subject teachers often find connections between learning experiences through our common strands of creating and responding. Fascinated with learning opportunities through the IB PYP transdisciplinary curriculum and the integrated collaboration between single-subject disciplines, Visual Art teacher Mr Nikolay Bukilic, Music teacher Ms. Nathalie Waldmann and Makerspace coordinator Mr. Chris Gill were eager to go beyond the surface level of finding common subject elements through a creative curriculum approach within the PYP program.

2. Methodology and materials 2.1. Observing sound patterns on the Chladni plate Students observed sound vibrations on the so-called Chladni plate, invented by German physicist and musician Ernst Chladni, who is also known as a pioneer of experimental acoustics. This plate consists of a flat sheet of metal, usually circular or square, mounted on a central stalk to a strong base. Students discovered that, when connected to a speaker, the Chladni plate reacted to frequencies and created patterns of nodes and antinodes. When fluctuating in a particular mode of vibration, the plate’s nodes and antinodes formed complex, symmetrical patterns over its surface. Initial experiments included the use of a violin bow against a metal plate covered with sand. visually displaying the movement of sound. Students discovered that sand concentrated in areas where the plate did not vibrate and concluded that sound traveled in waves. Next, sound experiments were conducted using a speaker connected to a larger plate. Students were able to observe clean sand patterns when frequencies resonated with the plate and discovered that each sound frequency showed a different geometric and symmetrical pattern.

1. Aims and guiding questions As part of their unit of inquiry How the World Works, Grade 3 students explored Cymatics, the study of sound vibrations. With the aim of making sound visible using solids, liquids, and light, this experimental unit provided the opportunity for in-depth exploration into the science of sound and for finding deeper connections between music, visual arts, science, mathematics, and design. Integrating these disciplines enabled students to investigate the science of sound through multiple lenses, thus building a deeper understanding of how the world works. In music, this inquiry was provoked by questions related to acoustics, such as the relationship between pitch and frequency, the characteristics of sound waves, and the impact of materials on sound production. In visual art, students explored questions about symmetry and patterns seen in nature, such as the spiral galaxy, the lines seen on a seashell, or the complex structure of how seeds in a sunflower create a symmetrical form. Grade 3 students move a violin bow against a round metal plate covered with sand. Courtesy of Dwight School Seoul.

38 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Students observe different symmetrical sand patterns on the Chladni plate, connected to a speaker. Courtesy of Dwight School Seoul.

Selected drawings by Grade 3 students, created in response to symmetrical patterns observed on the Chladni plate.

2.2. Making student compositions visible through a cymascope In response to sound experiments conducted in visual art, students created a nature-inspired composition during music class, imitating sounds of animals, water and wind. Using their voices as well as classroom instruments, students improvised and recorded an ambiance soundtrack. Eager to find out if their composition could be made visible, students took the recorded piece back to visual art and observed vibrations on a hand-made cymascope, filled with water, and oil. Different frequencies in the composition created fluid and complex patterns in the form of concentric circles and waves. In addition, color filters were used during this experiment in order to see how vibrations on water interacted under different color lights. During this process, students discovered that higher frequencies created more complex and smaller wave patterns, while lower frequencies created bigger and simpler patterns.

4. Implications for future teaching and learning Teachers facilitate students’ understanding of, and making connections between, the subjects by identifying authentic opportunities for thinking and responding like historians, athletes, artists, scientists, and so on, within a unit of inquiry. (IBO, 2019, p. 63) Teaching Cymatics in the Primary Years Program has brought various rewarding learning experiences to the school community. The success of this unit depended on daily habits of creative thinking, being openminded to new approaches to teaching and learning, and on regular communication and reflection among all educators involved. To make learning experiences between the subject areas more applicable and meaningful, research had to be conducted in all three subject areas prior to and throughout the unit. The challenge to initiate such transdisciplinary learning experiences lies in strong teacher collaboration, creative use of resources and a modeling of scientific inquiry, including experimenting, documenting, recording, and reflecting back on experiences.

Student taken photos of their experiments and compositions made visible through a cymascope using water, oil and color filters. 3. Student agency in the Makerspace When learners have agency, the role of the teacher and student changes; the relationship between a teacher and a student is viewed as a partnership. Students take initiative, express interest and wonderings, make choices, and are aware of their learning goals. (IBO, 2018, p.2) In addition to sound experiments conducted on the Chladni plate and the cymascope, students expressed interest in taking the inquiry further through hands-on acoustic projects. Throughout the unit, some music classes were conducted in the Makerspace, Dwight School Seoul’s collaborative workspace, where students experimented with pitch and resonance by designing, testing, and creating recycled instruments. Using materials such as metal, plywood, tins, and nylon, as well as Makerspace equipment including a 3D printer, students aimed at making hand-made string, mallet, or woodwind instruments that could produce distinct pitches. Students experiment with sound production on hand-made instruments in Dwight School Seoul’s Makerspace.

Using a creative curriculum approach has reflected positively on the school community, as it sparked excitement and curiosity among students, teachers, and parents. Unit learning success does not require massive action; it is the small things, open choices, and collaborative steps we do daily that can make a big difference. References: IBO (2019). Learning and teaching. Geneva, Switzerland. International Baccalaureate Organization. IBO (2018). The learner. Geneva, Switzerland. International Baccalaureate Organization. Ullmann, D. (2007). The Life and Work of E.F.F. Chladni. The european physical journal: special topics. 145(1), 25–32. All photos courtesy of Dwight School Seoul. About the Authors This article was written by Ms. Nathalie Waldmann (Music Teacher) and Mr. Nikolay Bukilic (Visual Arts teacher) who both collaborated while teaching at Dwight School Seoul. They developed and executed an amazing hands-on unit that incorporates the IB PYP transdisciplinary curriculum and the integrated collaboration between subjects based on Cymatics. Nathalie is still teaching at Dwight and can be contacted via Nikolay has since taken a teaching position elsewhere and can be contacted via

Fall 2021 Issue 39


Transforming School Spaces

By Nick Stonehouse ES Visual Art Teacher, Saigon South International School,Vietnam Space is something all students and teachers want, but that doesn’t always mean it gets used effectively, and sometimes it even gets relegated to a similar realm as sliced bread - the realm of the underappreciated! At SSIS we are lucky to have vast open spaces, green areas, high ceilings and long breezeways. In fact, almost every school has some interesting, unused, or even forgotten space; whether big or small. Transforming these spaces into creative art installations is one way you can move learning out of the classroom, and inspire the school community. Whilst integrating the grade 1 art lessons with the homeroom units, it became apparent that the school as a whole would make a much more engaging and immersive gallery experience than a display board, and that the school’s physical attributes could contribute well to the meaning and purpose of the art. Hopefully, the proposed artwork could also benefit the school community by enhancing the campus aesthetically, and provide new ways for the audience to interact with these spaces. The result of these inquiry units was a series of collaborative art installations that tied together the knowledge learned in the homeroom with key art and creative problem-solving skills, whilst giving the students connection and some ownership of the school campus through their artwork. What made projects like this easier, and more fruitful, was the involvement of the wider school community, such as the facilities manager Chris Beanes, the maintenance team, and the school gardeners, who could offer not only safe spaces to be used, but their expertise, and provide the means to install certain more tricky artworks. 40 EARCOS Triannual Journal

Habitat Guardians The Grade 1 ‘Campus Rangers’ Unit involved inquiry into organisms, how they thrive, adapt, what we can do to protect and help them, and how we can care for our local environment. The students had learned about what plants and organisms need to survive, and that we have a responsibility to protect them. This knowledge was incorporated into the art process, as we found a way to create protective sculptures for our green spaces. The students were introduced to various artists who have used art installation, and the idea of protective ‘guardians’; such as the terracotta warriors and various indegenous sculptures from Vietnam and other countries. These were woven into an idea that they could make their own guardians to protect our environment; both ‘magically’ and ecologically. After finding a green space in the school to place our army of guardians, the students designed their individual statues, and created backstories and protective powers for each one. They made the final sculptures out of a mixture of natural materials such as clay, coconut mulch, and grass seed (both from the garden), so that once the sculptures decayed or were affected by rain, they would go back into the earth and help regenerate the area they were guarding. The production skills themselves were a fun challenge for the students, who, having already gotten used to using clay, now had a more crumbly, sticky, and sometimes stinky medium!

Grade one guardians look on.

The students installed their own sculptures in the garden, and were thrilled with the outcome. They enjoyed watching and checking on their guardians, and loved to see them gathered together. They would often rearrange them into little groups outside of the art lessons! Having artwork placed outside of the elementary school area was a really exciting prospect for the students, and made them feel connected to a bigger world. Many adults could be seen enchanted with these funny little guardians that appeared overnight, and they became quite a talking point of teachers and students who took time to walk through the garden, carefully stepping between, and over the sculptures.

Let’s Play.

Over time the guardians did of course naturally fall apart, but this added to their story, and led to smaller illustration and writing projects in the art room. One of the most inspiring things from the unit outcome was the concepts of community and unity that emerged, from combining the students’ art into a group installation for the whole school to enjoy.

Community builders.

Protective ecologically and magically.

Great for breezy areas.

Weather Clouds The Grade 1 students had been inquiring into the effects of weather on the way people live, daily routines, different kinds of weather, and the science behind them. They brought this knowledge into the art room, and used it to create weather sculptures, for use in a group installation. They had the following constraints: they must work in a group, their sculpture must be of any weather form that involves a cloud, and it must be made using a hanging bamboo dish. From there the students took collaborative ownership of their designs, finding ways to work together, develop ideas, and cooperate allowing everyone to voice opinions. This collaborative venture was a great way for the students to become more familiar with the core values of SSIS. The students had free choice over the range of materials and media used, and could manipulate anything to achieve the desired effect they wanted. As a class, we looked at the form, shades, and tones of clouds, and the students found ways to recreate them. The driving force behind this lengthy project was that the students knew their artwork would be on display in the school atrium, for everyone to see and enjoy. The final result of the students’ work was really quite impressive. Not only because the students had the opportunity to manifest their inquiry knowledge creatively but also because of the positive effect it had on the school’s environment. Students of all ages could be seen playing underneath or around the flowing weather clouds. We even had many teachers remark how the hanging clouds blowing in the wind really made their day. About the Author Nick Stonehouse is the elementary school visual art teacher at Saigon South International School, Vietnam. He can be contacted at or you may visit his webite at Fall 2021 Issue 41

Are EARCOS Teachers Really Empowered?

By Dr. Emilija Stojanovski Literacy Coordinator Canadian International School Singapore

As educators, we see the word empowerment in many mission or vision statements of international schools in the region and beyond. It appears to be a buzz-word that’s easy, and almost necessary, to throw in there just to make sure we are on par with current trends. I recently participated in an exercise where my school leadership team decided we needed a school culture where we all ‘feel empowered to be our best selves’. A great aspiration but what does this really mean? Do only students need to feel empowered or teachers, as professionals, as well? And more importantly, do the organizational structures in our international schools allow for teacher empowerment to take place? Empowerment and Teacher Retention Having a natural curiosity about what empowerment really means and having experienced lack of empowerment in a few professional settings, I set out to define and measure empowerment in EARCOS schools for my doctoral dissertation. Another problem that was of concern for me was the retention of high-quality teachers in international schools. International teacher turnover ranging between 23% and 60% has been documented in different geographical regions and time periods (Desroches, 2013; Roberts, Mancuso, & White, 2010). For comparison, this turnover rate is much higher than in public American schools (8%-20%) for instance or in public schools in Singapore or Finland (1%-3%). Replacing an international school teacher is costly, amounting to half an annual teacher’s salary and, more importantly, it negatively impacts school culture and student achievement. The correlation between empowerment and teacher retention has not been researched so far; however, studies conducted in nursing, as a connected field, suggest nurses who felt empowered were more likely to postpone retirement and continue working.

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Structural and Psychological Empowerment The first aim of my work was to clearly define empowerment. Precisely defining a concept makes it measurable and actionable. To no surprise, the concept has existed in the literature for a while, ever since Herzberg came up with the controversial dual-factor theory and the division into motivator and hygiene factors that impact job satisfaction. Empowerment is effectively an embodiment of intrinsic motivation and Herzberg’s ‘enriched job’ in which employees have increased autonomy and responsibility in performing the work tasks. Whether one would feel empowered, however, depends on their perception of the empowering behaviors. As a construct, empowerment can be relational and motivational. Relational involves the sharing of power and control, also known as structural empowerment. The motivational construction of empowerment is called psychological empowerment. Each type has four distinct subcategories. The subcategories of structural empowerment include the four power structures in an organization, access to support, information, resources, and opportunity, which, if accessed, represent a source of formal and informal power. A structurally empowered employee: • • • •

receives guidance and support from leaders and peers; possesses the right resources, such as materials, technology, and supplies; gets the right information regarding organizational knowledge, policy, changes, the school’s mission, and work performance expectations; and has the opportunity to learn, grow, and advance into higher positions.

Psychological empowerment consists of four cognitions that are not permanent personality traits but are shaped by the work context: meaning, competence, self-determination, and impact. An employee finds meaning in their work if their personal goals, values, and beliefs are aligned with their work role. Competence is one’s belief in their capability to perform their work skillfully. Self-determination or autonomy is

Leaders’ Empowering Behaviors

Engagement of staff in decision-making Provision of support in goal attainment Nurturing an environment free of constraints

when the employee can make decisions about the method, pace, and effort in completing the job. If the employee can influence the organizational strategic, administrative, or operating outcomes, then their impact is affirmed. When employees are structurally and psychologically empowered, many positive effects occur, such as increased work engagement, high energy levels, job satisfaction, creativity, and innovation. The absence of empowerment can lead to increased burnout and tension. To activate the empowerment structures a leader needs to exhibit empowering behaviors. The relationship between the concepts and the positive and negative outcomes is summarized in Figure 1 based on the literature reviewed. How is Empowerment Connected with Retention? Empowerment clearly produces job satisfaction. Job satisfaction has been listed in the literature as increasing retention. In international schools, the findings regarding the impact of different retention factors on teacher retention have been inconclusive. Salary and benefits packages have been listed as powerful push and pull factors in some cases, while in others, no apparent connection between salary and teacher retention was found. Some schools resort to attractive salary and benefits packages but are this the only retention factor or perhaps international school teachers are also looking for something else? To answer this question, I sought to measure the levels of structural and psychological empowerment in EARCOS international schools and correlate it with the teachers’ intentions to remain in the current school or leave. To accomplish this goal reliable instruments were selected: The Conditions for Work Effectiveness Questionnaire–II (CWEQ-II; Laschinger Research Tools, 2019) and the Psychological Empowerment Measure (Spreitzer, 1995). Both instruments have been used to measure structural and psychological empowerment in different cultural, organizational, and educational settings and have high reliability (.87 and .89).

Structural Empowerment

Psychological Empowerment

Result of Empowerment

Opportunity structures

Four Cognitions:

Power structures: Information Resources Support


* Increased work engagement and effectiveness * Decreased burnout and work tension * Teacher agency and participation in change initiatives * Student success * Collaborative school culture * Innovation * Affective and organizational commitment * Job satisfaction

Formal Power Informal Power

Competence Self-determination Impact

Figure 1. The relationship between the empowerment categories and the results of empowerment. Fall 2021 Issue 43

An anonymous, online survey was administered and 373 EARCOS international teachers took part in the study on a voluntary basis; a sample representative of the total estimated population of 10,000 EARCOS teachers. A total of 13 countries and multiple schools in East Asia were represented in the survey. The point biserial statistical procedure was used to analyze the findings. As a parametric test, it allows for the findings to be generalized to the whole population. The demographic categories with the highest number of participants are presented in Table 1. The parameters represent the typical participant in the study which is aligned with the profile of teachers hired in international schools (Budrow & Tarc, 2018).

3. Teachers in EARCOS schools experienced only moderate levels of structural empowerment based on the survey scoring (M =19.91 out of 30). The moderate levels of structural empowerment could be used to explain the lower retention rate in the region compared to previous studies. The descriptive statistics with the highest and lowest categories for each survey are presented in Table 4.

Table 1.

5. Teachers in EARCOS schools experienced high levels of psychological empowerment (M =4.02 out of 5), falling within the top 25% of all employees.

Demographics categories with the highest number of participants Demographic Question Category n Age range Gender Highest degree attained Years in current School Years of overall teaching experience

30-40 F MA 2-5 10-20

131 208 207 126 121

4. Of all the structural empowerment categories, teachers in EARCOS schools experienced the lowest levels of access to support (M =3.03) which signifies a lack of feedback on the things teachers do well, areas that could be improved, and problem-solving advice.

6. Of all the psychological empowerment categories, competence, or the belief in one’s own capability to perform the work activities with skill (Spreitzer, 1995), had the highest mean score (M =4.37 out of 5), which is consistent with the demographic information collected (39.16% of the teachers had 10-20 years of overall teaching experience and 66.99% had a Masters’ degree obtained) and the profile of teachers employed in international schools. Table 4.

What Did We Learn about Empowerment and Retention in EARCOS Schools? The study yielded some interesting results which are summarized below: 1. Psychological empowerment had a modest correlation with teacher retention (r =.323) while structural empowerment had a moderate correlation with teacher retention (r =.393) in EARCOS schools (refer to Table 2). In both cases the statistical significance was high (p <.001). In other words, teachers who were psychologically and structurally empowered tended to remain in the current schools. Most correlations in social research are r =.50 or less. Correlations around .40 allow for crude group predictions to be made. Table 2. Inferential Statistics for the CWEQ–II and PEM Instrument Point-biserial r



.405** .309**

.393** .323**

**Correlation is significant at the .01 level (2-tailed). 2. A self-reported turnover rate of 36.89% was measured, which is higher than the turnover rate in other geographic regions (28%; Desroches, 2013) and in American international schools in Asia previously (23%; Mancuso et al, 2011).The retention rate represents the teachers’ intentions and should be considered a solid indication of the actual retention rate. The breakdown is presented in Table 3. Table 3. Participants by Intention to Remain in or Leave Current School Intention n % Remain in the current school Leave current school

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195 114

63.11 36.89

Descriptive Statistics Category M CWEQ-II overall CWEQ-II Opportunity * CWEQ-II Support ** PEM overall Competence * Self-determination** * highest category

19.91 3.82 3.03 4.02 4.37 3.90

**lowest category

What Does This Mean for EARCOS Leaders? The recommendations of positive psychology regarding how employees nowadays make decisions whether to remain in the current workplace are supported by the findings of this study. The proponents of the inverted pyramid of needs originally created by Maslow, for example, propose the need for self-actualization, which might come first and be a prerequisite for the fulfillment of the other needs in the modern world. All employees, and especially educators, want to find meaning in their jobs and have the desired impact. Similarly, the new take on Herzberg’s work by positive psychologists, argues lack of job dissatisfaction, normally caused by low salary or negative interactions with leaders, does not mean employees are satisfied with their jobs. Namely, different factors cause satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Using the results of the study, we can safely say empowering employees is a way to increase job satisfaction and retain high-quality teachers. These findings probably come as no surprise to those familiar with the work of Dr. Tal Ben-Shapar from Harvard and Angus Ridgway on the impact of positive psychology on leadership. Historically, empowerment was regarded as psychological only through motivating teachers. As seen here, putting the structures in place for the teachers to be able to experience structural empowerment is equally important. Psychological empowerment in EARCOS schools is unusually high, within the top 25% of all employees across the fields, while structural empowerment is only moderate. The turnover rate was high

in the region. As could be seen in Figure 1, structural empowerment can serve as a mediator for psychological empowerment and vice versa. Educational leaders could leverage the high psychological empowerment levels among EARCOS teachers by putting the structures in place to empower and retain them in schools. Recommendations for EARCOS Leaders I would like to conclude with a few recommendations for EARCOS leaders based on the conducted study and the discussion so far. •

• •

• •

Leaders in EARCOS schools need to understand empowerment conceptually through the suggested categorization by research into structural and psychological, each with four components, to make the concept actionable and measurable. The study revealed the need to increase structural empowerment for EARCOS international school teachers. Leaders should focus on creating the power structures (opportunity, information, support, and resources), which will enable EARCOS teachers to experience higher levels of formal and informal power, be committed to the work, and remain in the school. Support in the form of feedback about what teachers do well, what could be improved, and problem-solving advice, needs to be provided on a regular basis. By creating non-hierarchical networks in schools through empowerment which will help increase innovation, risk-taking, work effectiveness, and commitment, EARCOS leaders could potentially help retain high-quality, motivated teachers.

References Budrow, J., & Tarc, P. (2018). What teacher capacities do international school recruiters look for? Canadian journal of education, 41(3), 860–889. Retrieved from Desroches, S. M. (2013). Exploring teacher turnover in americanaccredited schools in south america (Doctoral dissertation, Lehigh University). Retrieved from Laschinger, H. K. S. (2012). Conditions for work effectiveness questionnaire I and II. Retrieved from Roberts, L., Mancuso, S. V., & White, G. P. (2010). Teacher retention in international schools: The key role of school leadership. Journal of research in international education, 9, 306–323. https://doi. org/10.1177/1475240910388928 Spreitzer, G. M. (1995). Psychological empowerment in the workplace: Dimensions, measurement, and validation. Academy of management journal, 38(5), 1442–1465. Retrieved from journal/amj About the Author Dr. Emilija Stojanovski is the Literacy Coordinator at the Canadian International School Singapore. She can be contacted at simonovska.

EARCOS LEADERSHIP MENTORING (ELM) 2021-22 Update During the 2019-20 the EARCOS Leadership Mentoring program(ELM) was revamped and rebooted. Since then over 100 EARCOS school administrators have participated in the ELM program as either a mentor, mentee, or in a peer to peer relationship. From this group we were able to match nearly 50 pairs. Additionally, Chris Jansen has conducted several online sessions for ELM participants with more sessions planned for the coming year. A Basecamp group was created to encourage and enable communication among participants and as a site for posting documents and articles. An ELM pre-conference workshop is planned for the ELC conference scheduled for March 2022. The revised ELM program for the 2021-2022 year is now open to those in leadership positions such as heads of school, principals, learning leaders, etc. wishing to become a mentor, be mentored, or to develop a peer-to-peer mentoring relationship. Details of the program can be found in the revised ELM Handbook. Those interested in being involved in the program as mentors or mentees are invited to complete the registration and preference ELM questionnaire. Please register your interest by September 15. Our goal is to match applicants by the beginning of October. However, registration will continue to be open throughput the year. Once paired, the mentor and mentee will be asked to develop and sign an agreement outlining their commitment with respect to time, confidentiality, and an opt out mechanism. Any queries please contact Bill Olread or Chris Jansen

Fall 2021 Issue 45

The Pathway from International School to Higher Education The 2021 Report SUMMARY

Over 40% of universities located around the world anticipate an increase in international undergraduate entry for the summer of 2021.

48% of universities are welcoming international students for 2021-2022 undergraduate degrees without traditional grades or scores and are using alternative criteria instead.

According to this research, over 40% of universities located around the world anticipate an increase in international undergraduate entry for the 2021-2022 academic year. These institutions appear to have overcome a number of significant disruptions to their traditional international student recruitment strategies caused by COVID-19. The most common of these disruptions have been the cancellation of recruitment fairs, changes to country entry requirements, and reduced budgets for international student recruitment. This research also suggests that 48% of universities are welcoming international students for 2021-2022 undergraduate degrees without traditional grades or scores and are using alternative criteria instead. Most of these institutions are relying on a more detailed interview process and more references. Some universities say they have adapted their recruitment strategies with specific consideration for the English-medium international school’s sector. For others, this sector is served within a general approach to international student admissions. Qualitative research during this study included exploration of the value of this sector for institutions wishing to strategically build upon their international student population. Many institutions that participated in this research said they have learned lessons from the pandemic regarding their international undergraduate student admissions. These include identifying effective new practices within recruitment and admissions selection, and developing a greater understanding of student needs. Several strategies for change are proposed by participating universities including responsibility for addressing learning gaps, digital recognition of access documents, and identifying career potential for international students. Access the full report or white paper. Higher Education Report: White Paper:

46 EARCOS Triannual Journal


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Concordia Hanoi Re-greens with GIZ-MOIT Program

Bissel, Head of Energy Efficiency Component under the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (4E) Project/GIZ Vietnam. “We also think that raising awareness among the youth is very important, and hopefully Concordia’s student-SEEG team will learn a lot from this program,” Bissel added.

By William P. Badger, Jr. Director of Community Outreach Concordia International School Hanoi Concordia International School Hanoi has been selected to join the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) and GIZ Energy Support Programme (ESP) in their Small Energy Efficiency Group (SEEG) activity. The year-long program will help Concordia and other participants become more energy efficient. Already with “green” certified buildings, Concordia is a role model for other enterprises in the program. Concordia aims to get students involved in the process so they gain first-hand knowledge of energy efficiency. “It feels absolutely amazing to know that our school is working to make sure our facilities are eco-conscious! I’m proud to attend a school that works to preserve our environment and as well as the future of our planet,” said Melayna (G12). “I can still vividly remember the moment I had first entered into this “green” facility of Concordia four years ago, through vision and smell. I’ve read that a building ‘breathes’ through its construction, and I’m pleased to learn Concordia used materials like low VOC paint,” said Jinseo (G10).

Concordia is the first school facility in Vietnam to be awarded LEED Silver status. Concordia’s campus was designed to be on the leading edge of student learning, while also minimizing its environmental impact. Building A was the first educational facility in Vietnam to receive LEED Silver Certification while Building B was awarded the Lotus Gold Certification by the Vietnamese Green Building Council for incorporating sustainable practices into our design. Concordia’s buildings maximize natural light while minimizing heat intake from such light, combined with LED lighting and motion sensors, to reduce electricity use..

“To me, Concordia is family, pride, the value of life, and the growth of dreams. Prioritizing students’ health and safety above all, it’s an eco-friendly green architectural space where many students can find their place within a tightknit community,” Jinseo added.

GIZ wants to engage Concordia students, like Jinseo in G10, in learning about green technology Concordia’s facility is designed to nurture whole student development.

The training seminars have included sustainable operations experts from various sectors to share hands-on best practices, strategies, and solutions– directly with engineers and operations personnel from the participants. “Concordia was selected to join the SEEG program because we believe that its participation will be beneficial to other participants, in that they can be motivated by the outstanding efforts in terms of energy conservation on Concordia’s campus, and they will be able to gain knowledge on the international technologies and best practices,” said Mr. Markus 48 EARCOS Triannual Journal

The school uses non-toxic materials throughout its facility. Its exterior cladding uses composite recycled wood, and its gym floor features sustainable wood sourced from Malaysia. Concordia’s eight-valve on-site water treatment system ensures that all water in the facility is clean - providing healthy drinking water on-demand to students throughout the school, and using filtered wastewater for its gardens and fields. Striving to further minimize environmental impact, Concordia donates all food leftovers to be used as feed to local farms.

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When the pandemic began in 2020, ISTA embarked on a new journey of re-imagining our live/face-to-face theatre experiences. Innovation became our daily mantra and as well as moving some of our core events onto a virtual platform we also began creating new theatre experiences for our international school students. One of those was our first-ever Digital Global Production A memoir of an extraordinary year focussing on the unique approach to Verbatim Theatre called the Hear Us Out technique.


ISTA’s global Verbatim Theatre project: A memoir of an extraordinary year By Sally Robertson

The Hear Us Out technique was developed by ISTA artist Dinos Aristidou over a two-year period while working for New Writing South (UK) where real-life stories from LGBTQ+ people were developed, recorded, and performed. The idea was then created for ISTA to use this technique to create a global digital production in which the performance is constructed from the precise words spoken by the people interviewed: in this case ISTA students. Hear It Out - A memoir of an extraordinary year is set to become a key body of work within the international community using the experiences of young people throughout 2020, celebrating real-life stories, creating a significant piece of oral history. By performing other people’s stories, from different parts of the world, this project has developed student’s ability to listen deeply, empathize and connect with other young people around the world. The project began in January 2021 and we are now (June 2021) in the final stages of editing and curating the final digital production which will be screened in September 2021. We invited 10 schools to join us. Each school selected six theatre students, one music student and one film student. Interestingly, part of our strategic work over the coming years is to broaden out from theatre to include ISTA experiences that are cross-arts. Another tick for the Verbatim box. Schools involved are the Bavarian International School, Germany (Isabel Moraes), ESF King George V School, Hong Kong (Ian Baker), Institute Le Rosey, Switzerland (Laurie Carroll Bérubé), International School of Florence, Italy (Claire Angeletti), International School of Kenya, East Africa (Robin Wills), NearWest, People’s Republic of China (Mike Ludwick), Renaissance College, Hong Kong (Lou Houghton), St Julian’s School, Portugal (Zoe Weiner), Sturgis Charter Public School, East and West Campus, United States of America (Anna Botsford),Theatre in the Quarter (Chester), United Kingdom (Matt Baker and Julie Elston). 10 schools, 9 countries, 4 continents, 80 students, and 60 stories! Our event coordinator, Helen Abbott, working closely with artistic director Dinos Aristidou mapped out a series of four workshops, taking participants through the skills, understandings, and techniques. For each selected workshop focus, the teachers would first be introduced to the ideas and this was followed one week later by a practical, hands-on, interactive, and collaborative workshop for the students.

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The following topics were covered… • Project introduction and launch. • ‘Hear Us Out’ techniques. • Performing Verbatim. • Developing movement work from Verbatim stories. In between the workshops were periods of time designated to ‘create, devise and rehearse’ where students from the same school would work together on the various tasks set.

The project has been able to use theatre to explore all the different ways in which covid-19 has impacted our lives for the last year. Teachers have seen their students engage in an authentic, meaningful process where real connections have been made. They have seen great care being taken to ensure the process was rich and rewarding and have appreciated the flexibility and tweaking that took place along the way to adapt to the changing circumstances and processes. To see one’s students involved in a creative, meaningful global project has been much needed at this time for our international theatre educators. More information on the project can be found on our website and we are set to produce two global digital productions next year. For detailed information please email ‘This project enables our young people to speak out about what is happening in the world.’ Claire Angeletti, International School of Florence, Italy ‘The project was really important for me personally to reflect on the past year and to find both the humour and sadness in the isolation of 2020.’ Student who participated in ISTA’s Verbatim Theatre project ‘The best thing was meeting and speaking to people in my age group all over the world. Especially after a year when we have been so isolated.’ Student who participated in ISTA’s Verbatim Theatre project ‘I loved working with people that I would otherwise never have worked with if covid hadn’t happened. Covid has affected the whole world but in so many different ways and being able to create theatre about the way it has affected the world together so that everyone can relate to it was great. What we did was really important.’ Student who participated in ISTA’s Verbatim Theatre project ‘Even though we are at school or at home, covid didn’t stop us from creating a beautiful piece of theatre.’ Student who participated in ISTA’s Verbatim Theatre project

Each theatre student was asked to record a story reflecting on the extraordinary year.These stories were submitted to ISTA and then sent to a student in another part of the world. So a student in e.g. Hong Kong would have their story performed by a student in Kenya. In addition to the individual stories, schools were challenged to create and devise a collaborative movement piece, based on an element from one of the stories. Music students worked together to create theme tunes and underscoring, and film students also met to develop the skills necessary to capture the performed stories and movement pieces. Having gleaned feedback from all participants to date it is clear to one and all that the project has made a huge impact on the young people involved. It has enabled them to move out of their comfort zone and has had a personal resonance in being able to meaningfully reflect on a challenging year, often with humor. The major takeaway for young people has been the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers from around the world. Friendships have been formed through conversation and collaboration. To make these connections with other young people who share a passion for theatre has been cited as a highlight of the year. Through this global connection young people have also learned so much from listening to the thoughts and ideas of others.

‘This project allowed us to connect with other students in a way that we haven’t been able to for the past 15 months. The project has been really exciting for both students and the staff.’ Ian Baker, ESF King George V School, Hong Kong ‘What I loved about this project was the inclusivity of it. The project has put its arm around us as a school and around us as a group. It has allowed the students a creative voice at a time when it’s been difficult to get your creative voice out there. This is cutting-edge and a project full of surprises that takes my students and me on a creative journey. Even though we are in an online space.’ Claire Angeletti, International School of Florence, Italy ‘For both me and my students it was an important opportunity to collaborate with students all over the world, and to work with ISTA artists, on something that was special and unique but also theirs because the stories came from them.’ Laurie Carroll Bérubé, Institute Le Rosey, Switzerland About the Author Sally Robertson is the former Executive Director of the International Schools Theatre Association. She can be contacted at lappelsally@

Fall 2021 Issue 51


Project Hope: The Harbour School’s Commitment to a Community Service-Oriented Education By Rafi Cristobal Director, Social Impact and Sustainability Program The Harbour School

“From Hong Kong with Love – a DIY Card Making and Distribution Drive”: Holiday DIY Card creation and giving drive for the sick and the elderly in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, United States and United Kingdom.

“Give Blood, Give Love – Blood Donation Drive”: An invitation to THS’ school community and public to participate in a Blood Donation Drive held in the THS Grove Campus in Ap Lei Chau, in partnership with the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service.

52 EARCOS Triannual Journal

The incorporation of social impact and community service initiatives into the world’s everyday academic lives of students and teachers is a transformative idea in education. The traditional view and understanding of volunteers’ involvement in community service are that it is only carried out as an extra activity during spare time and that engagement in community service program development and implementation has a reputation of being complex and only the responsibility of a select few – mostly corporates, government bodies or institutions that have power and influence. Concurrently, most and pressing concerns that society and the environment currently face are brought about by humans’ matured and formed ideologies and long-standing practices that may already be difficult to bend and redirect. Solutions and remedies are mostly targeted to adults; children are only treated on the sidelines as if these matters have nothing to do with them when in fact they have everything to do with them. With an aspiration of changing this misconception and building on The Harbour School’s (THS) already inclusive and community-oriented mission and values, Project Hope was established in 2019 to serve as a catalyst and an instrument for the school’s vision to weave a mindset of social impact and responsibility into the core of its academic fabric. THS believes that cultivating such an important mentality must start during a child’s formative years, hence, aims to inculcate among its students early on awareness and life-long practice of community service and social responsibility. Project Hope is THS’ commitment to mold its most valuable assets to create ripples of change and impact to the community and society at large now and in the future: its students, its HOPE. Project Hope started humbly in 2019 with single-digit events and eventually evolved and grown with the support of the school and its community successfully completing close to 20 events

“Domestic Helpers’ Face Mask Distribution and Education Drive”: Distribution of face masks and providing educational materials related to heightened hygiene measures in times of COVID in Partnership with the Philippine Consulate Office.

“LEVEL UP! – Domestic Helpers Education Drive”: Parents and faculty members volunteered and provided free enrichment courses to Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong in partnership with Bayanihan Centre.

from 2019 to 2021 despite the challenging times of COVID. Its initiatives, so far, focused on providing support to ethnic minorities in Hong Kong and to people in developing countries, and those in need. In aggregate, over 500 students, parents, teachers, local community groups, district councils, and private organization partners had been mobilized and connected in all the initiatives it facilitated to date. The Project’s thrust is to spark curiosity and interest by introducing basic but important concepts of volunteerism and community service through initiatives that are simple yet thoughtful, highly interactive, and relatable with a long-term aim to establish a fullblown community service program formally embedded into the school’s curriculum and course offerings. Students are encouraged to engage in events by performing basic tasks naturally occurring and integral to their learning process. They read books to the elderly, write/draw greeting cards for the sick, create video cheering on medical front liners, practice arts and crafts by designing statement t-shirts or potted plants for domestic helpers and victims of violence, or count, sort, and pack fruits, masks, or mooncakes distributed to people in need. Students are ingrained

to value that what may appear as only self-directed, mundane learnings in school, could also benefit others, too, when shared. THS is already a leader in future-oriented education and Project Hope aims to demonstrate to other academic institutions that adopting a community service and sustainable development education is workable and in fact must start early and be applied progressively in all academic stages. In the long run, Project Hope expects that such slow yet progressive education would help shift matured and formed ideologies and long-standing practices that cause most issues and pressing concerns that the society and environment are currently faced with today by focusing at the core or bud of the solution – our children. About the Author Rafi Cristobal is the Director, Social Impact and Sustainability Program at The Harbour School Hong Kong. He can be contacted at

Fall 2021 Issue 53

Building 7 on the Primary school campus where our French Bilingual Program is located.


Shekou International School’s French Bilingual Program (Shenzhen) By Aurélie Ricard, Director of the French Bilingual Program Shekou International School,

54 EARCOS Triannual Journal

At the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, at Shekou International School, a private not-for-profit school located in the southwestern, expatriate-friendly corner of Shenzhen, we made the decision to upgrade our French Bilingual Program. Traditionally and for 12 years, our French Bilingual Program welcomed a lot of French students aged 3 to 11 (Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5), as French companies like Peugeot, Decathlon, and EDF were flourishing in the Greater Bay Area and providing work to a considerable number of French families. Our students being mostly native French speakers, our language of instruction was 80% French. As the last 21 months showed us, our world is changing, and we need to change with it. We need to think “global”. We need to be able to adapt quickly. We need to communicate efficiently. And so do our children! As a result, at Shekou International School, we decided to improve our French Bilingual Program to make it fully bilingual with an equivalent time of instruction in French and in English. In addition to that significant change, we have improved our Mandarin curriculum to be able to offer the most ambitious multilingual program available in Shenzhen.

Additional study area to host small groups when teachers or assistants are working on language acquisition. Language learning activities in Pre-Kindergarten in small group.

In our French Bilingual Program, we have trilingual Teaching Assistants to support so individualized language learning sessions.

Starting in August 2021, our new curriculum, taught equally in French and in English, is reflecting deep thinking of what a multicultural program must be offering. In order to shape the citizens of tomorrow’s global world, we have made the choice to propose a program based on the rigorous French Education Curriculum enriched by the IB Primary Years Program (inquiry-based learning). By learning multiple languages and learning IN multiple languages, our students are now ready to face the challenges of the changing world we live in. As their journey through multilingualism continues, they will enhance their communication skills, their thinking and critical skills, their resilience, and their ability to multitask in addition to increasing their future career opportunities. In accordance with our values of diversity and inclusion, we made the choice to open our program to non-French-speaking students and can now observe a 30% increase in the number of our students. We are now welcoming students who are from Frenchspeaking areas or simply interested in embracing a new culture, to join us in this dynamic and ambitious program, and are proud to offer them a passport for Europe and for the whole world! About the Author Aurélie Ricard is the Director of the French Bilingual Program at Shekou International School. She can be contactted at

Fall 2021 Issue 55

Over 100 high school students from four schools in Hanoi convened at the United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi) on Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17 for the annual Model United Nations (MUN) Spring Conference. The two-day event is the culmination of months of planning by students from UNIS Hanoi, Nguyen Tat Thanh High School, International School of Vietnam, Concordia International School, and St Paul International School.


UNIS Hanoi Students Host MUN Spring Conference By Akofa Wallace Communications Manager United Nations International School of Hanoi

In spite of the challenges presented by campus closures in February, the UNIS MUN leaders developed a program that saw 11 committees debate hot topics under the theme, “Culture and Heritage Protection”. On the floor for debate were issues such as the environmental impacts of COVID-19, the situation in Syria and Afghanistan, as well as cybercrime as a threat to international security. As one of only two UN schools in the world, the UNIS MUN has become a flagship program that inspires other schools in the South East Asia region and beyond.The School’s Global Politics Teacher and MUN patron, Stephan Anagnost said the Conference was a rallying call to action for young people. He remarked, “Model United Nations creates an opportunity for young people to engage in real-world issues and consider the differing perspectives nations can have to resolving these issues. During our Conference, our participants considered the human cost of inaction, but more importantly, they learned how they can make a meaningful impact on the world.” This year’s President of the MUN Spring Conference, Didi Bullard, said, “It was a great privilege to be able to run this Conference despite COVID-19 restrictions and we’re beyond proud of all of our delegates, chairpersons and administrators for their show of resilience and perseverance.” MUN Spring Conference Secretary-General, Harrison Wallace, added, “By the end of the Conference, everyone had a deeper understanding of council topics, improved their MUN debate skills, and met new individuals with shared interests.” For more information about the UNISMUN, please visit their dedicated website:

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Elementary School Art Celebration “Knowledge, Justice and Love“ (left) The Three Core Values of the American International School Hong Kong Knowledge, Justice and Love. Hayden Tang, Grade 4 American International School Hong Kong “Flowers“ Sanaah Jain (Grade 4) (right) American International School Hong Kong

“Winter Village” “Almond Blossoms” Kindergarten Doreen, Kinder A Dwight School Seoul Dwight School Seoul

“Global Warming” Charvi Charvi, Grade 2 Medium: Mixed media International School of Ulaanbaatar 58 EARCOS Triannual Journal

“Lotus Flower” Secenbileg Bold, Grade 5 Medium: Oil Painting International School of Ulaanbaatar

“Notan Art” (above left) Students learnt symmetrical balance, as well as positive and negative space. Medium: Paper Pauline Ma, Grade 4 American School Hong Kong “Warm and Cool Colour Grid Drawing” (bottom left) Students learnt how to identify warm, cool and neutral colours, and applied them into a picture of silhouette. Medium: Oil pastels on paper Emily Chan Grade: 4 American School Hong Kong

“Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin Inspired Artwork” (top) Samuel Alexander, Grade 1 Bandung Alliance Intercultural School

“Things I Love” (bottom) David Oh, Grade 3 Bandung Alliance Intercultural School “Awkward Body Movement Painting” Grade 2 Medium: Acrylic paint and pencil crayon Saigon South International School

Fall 2021 Issue 59

Elementary School Art Celebration

“Frida Kahlo” (left) Andika, Grade 5 Bandung Independent School “My Strength” (top) Keanne, Grade 5 Bandung Independent School

Grayson Lim, Grade 2 Busan Foreign School

Taelyn Kim, Grade 3 Busan Foreign School 60 EARCOS Triannual Journal

“Paper Weaving” Ruby Quinlan, Grade 2 Concordia International School Hanoi

“Batik on Cloth- Dragon” Seung Yeon (Hailey) Oh, Grade 5 Concordia International School Hanoi

“Self-Portraits” International School of Busan These ISB 3rd Grade self-portraits were inspired by their feelings of the 1st day of school. They expressed their emotions and their favorite color contrasts with acrylic colors on canvas.

“Silhouettes of Haunted Houses” International School of Busan The 4th and 5th Graders found themselves thrilled by Halloween. They were exploring silhouettes of haunted houses, Halloween characters, and color gradation. They loved blending bright colors to create interesting and spooky backgrounds for their stories.

Submit an Article to The EARCOS Journal We invite you to share the great things going on at your school with the other schools in the EARCOS region. Deadline for the following ET Journal Issues Winter Issue - December 1, 2021 Spring Issue - April 1, 2022 Fall Issue - September 1, 2022

What can be Contributed?

Here are some of the features in the next issue: Faces of EARCOS – Promotions, retirements, honors, etc. Campus Development – New building plans, under construction, just completed. Curriculum Initiatives – New and exciting adoption efforts, and creative teacher ideas. Green and Sustainable – Related to campus development and/or curriculum.

Service Learning Projects Action Research Reports - Summaries of approved action research projects Student Art – We will highlight ES art in Fall issue, MS art in Winter issue, and HS art in Spring issue. Student Writing – Original short stories, poetry, scholarly writing.

Article Integrity

We want to make sure submitted articles are not in violation of copyright laws. We highly encourage original articles. When you send an articles to our ET Journal, we will make sure you get the proper credit by displaying your name, title, school, and email in the article. If you would like to submit an article please email Bill Oldread at OR Edzel Drilo at

Fall 2021 Issue 61

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