Ta l a n o a Newsletter of International School Suva
Gree ngs ISS parents, families, students, and friends,
Recently, I have hosted parent mee ngs for each of our three schools and shared some school perspec ve regarding school quality and assessment. I will summarize that informa on for those who could not a end those mee ngs; my apologies to those of you who a ended one of the mee ngs and so may quickly lose interest in this “old news”. Incidentally, I plan to con nue to have parent mee ngs and, based on feedback from some of you, I will include some evening mes for parents who work.
Volume 8 1st December, 2017 Inside this Issue
Head of Primary
The Golden Morning
Food for Thought
Year 10 Camp
Sci-Fi Story Sharing
Yr 5 Graduation
Second, we should always look closely at our school climate. Schools have a pressing need to be safe and nurturing places for children, and a very strong academic school can fail if it causes student anxiety, low self‐esteem, or harm. Being a growing child, par cularly an adolescent, is challenging enough and the school should support healthy growth rather than contribute to the challenges.
Yr 9 Camp
Third, we must carefully review evidence of student learning. Schools exist to guide and assist student learning, so we must see if students are actually learning well. In that, we should look at cogni ve outcomes, such as those tested on standardized tests, and we should look at our other desired student outcomes such as confidence, ini a ve, resilience, problem solving, adaptability, and crea vity. O en these “so skills” are rated by employers as even more important than core academic skills!
Upcoming Term Dates
Term Dates 2018
As schools examine themselves to assess success and quality, five common, and I believe necessary, areas of focus are these: First, we must compare our overall programs with our stated mission and vision statements. In other words, those statements declare what our purpose and direc on is, albeit in a very general manner. So, in the simplest terms, we are examining whether we are doing what we say we are going to do! In our sessions, I dissected ISS’s Mission and Vision statements to extract the following list of “What we say we do at ISS”:
Providing strong academics Developing life‐long learners Crea ng responsible global ci zens Building these personal characteris cs:
Cri cal thinkers Compassionate Self‐caring Confident, independent, enterprising Achieve School‐wide Learning Outcomes
Building school regional reputa on Mee ng individual student needs
Fourth, we should look at the breadth of our programs to see if students have mul ple opportuni es to experience new and challenging things. Balance is a key need for growing children, and things that are o en considered ancillary programs are important. These include sports, the arts, outdoor ac vi es, clubs, and service ac vi es. O en these ac vi es are remembered as the highlights of children’s school years and they do ma er. However, I always stop short of believing the school can, or should, provide all of those opportuni es; the family and community are valuable sources of balancing opportunity for children. Families that do interes ng things together and community‐based clubs have always given children dis nct advantages. On the other hand, schools should properly be concerned about those students who are not involved in any non‐curricular or co‐curricular ac vi es. The fi h key area of school performance is whether we have an individualized approach and concern for each student. We have learned in educa on that set programs and curriculum do not always succeed with each student. In tradi onal educa on years ago, perhaps when we parents were in school, students were required to do all the adap ng in school, and if they did not do that well, they failed. I believe each student has unique strengths, and weaknesses, and that we educators must make adjustments to help each student succeed as much as possible. It should not be acceptable to have any students failing even if most students are doing well; if a student does not succeed, I think we should take that personally and to have made a supreme eﬀort to intervene. We are looking at these five areas and will continue to do that to ensure we are improving meaningfully. There are a few factors that will allow us to succeed, and these are important for all schools. We need to have these things established at ISS to be a great school: a student-centered focus, a forward-looking vision, strong parent support and involvement, highly engaged students, an adequate budget, and some distinctive and progressive programs. As we seek to continuously improve, we will try to build these factors. I hope all of you can join with us to make this happen. Best wishes! Our children will achieve great things with parents and school working closely together! Steve Cathers
Authentic learning is real life learning. It is a style of learning that encourages students to use their environment to support their learning and make the connection to how it relates to the world around them. Authentic learning engages all the senses allowing students to create a meaningful, useful, shared outcome through real life or simulated tasks that provide the learner with opportunities to connect directly with the real world. Our primary buildings and playgrounds have given us a unique, onsite facility to engage our students in authentic learning. It has been with great excitement I have watched the classes use the site and the experts within to go deeper and make this connection. It has strengthened our mathematics and engineering understandings, given us a platform to Inquire and ask questions, record and analyze and an outlet for students to take action as they have designed and developed our primary play spaces. Through student research and action we have added hopscotch and four square courts, and the development of additional play equipment in the reception â€“ year 1 play area where last yearâ€™s reception students devoted a whole unit to designing a space for their age group.
Season’s greetings from the library team as we move towards the end of 2017 school calendar year. This will be our last newsletter to parents and we want to thank our parents and students for a wonderful and productive 2017 here in the library. We interviewed students on what they loved this year in their library and here’s what they have said: Books and quietness! It’s nice to be surrounded by books because it feels like the whole universe is at my fingertips. Jade Year 7 The library always have fun activities on at lunch time. Kai Year 5
We like the library’s peaceful environment because it helps us to complete our school work. Pearl & Dolores Year 8
The library has all the things we need to do our drawings!
I like the lunch time activities and books. Sebastian RS We like reading, drawing, taking part in the daily activities and using the xo. Olivia & Daisy 2N “My favorite moment in the library was when different type of Fiji authors came to the library and read their stories. One thing that i want to learn next year is if I could make my own book.” By Tasalei Jensen Year 3 On Tuesday and Wednesday of Week 9, there will be an interactive Climate change display set up in the library from between 10.00 am – 12.00 noon, by the Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager of the COP23 Presidency Secretariat. Parents, students and teachers are invited to view the display and learn more about the effects of climate change locally and how the government is addressing this problem. Do visit our library webpage to see more of what’s happening in the library and to read more of what your children have enjoyed doing this year. We wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. Ms Salu and the library team.
Holiday Read Reviewed by Mr Michael Masonis
Gone by Michael Grant More appropriately labeled as science fiction, Gone is a dystopian novel that takes place after a mysterious accident causes everyone over the age of fifteen in a seaside town of Perdido Beach to disappear. Food soon becomes scarce and what order the kids are able to establish soon becomes a clash of the strong against the weak. What‘s worse, animals begin mutating and hunting down children along the outskirts of town. And somewhere, an evil presence lurks in the shadows and grows. As the older children turn fifteen and they, too begin to disappear, and it soon becomes a desperate race against time for Sam Temple and his friends to discover what went wrong and fix it—or
everyone is doomed.
INELI VISIT From 2014 to 2016, our school librarian, Ms Salu Vaciloa and curriculum coordinator, Ms Rosi Uluiviti were participant in the first cohort of a unique leadership program aimed at developing emerging leaders in the community library sector throughout Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Last week, we were visited by Leneve Jamieson, Program Manager of INELI-Oceania, one of seven programs around the world in the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators and the Director of the National Archives of Fiji, Mr Opeta Alefaio who is also a former head boy of our school (1992). They were highly impressed with the colour and vitality of the International School Library environment and especially to know that the INELI program had been both inspirational and of practical value to the library. With previous significant INELI events held in Australia and New Zealand, there are now plans to bring the program‘s final key event to Fiji in 2018 and to engage with a broader group of library practitioners and community policy makers. The huge potential of libraries as key contributors to education, informed civic participation and sustainable community development will be a focus of the event.‖
Peer Learning (21.09.17) Throughout this term the Year 4 students have met several times with the Year 7 students to collaborate with them on their sci-fi stories. Here are some Year 7 reflections: ‗Working with my Year 4 student was good because when we were working together I thought about my own writing. I learned how to work with and teach the primary students. Quasi was a very good boy. We had a lot of fun when we were working.‘ – Yifei ‗From this peer story writing tutoring, I have learned what it takes to write an amazing sci-fi story; and the interesting topics the 4s have decided to write about.‘ – Hiona ‗The experience with the Year 4s was good. Their stories were very unique and the plots were interesting, making me intrigued. When giving feedback I felt that I could use those ideas in my own writing to make it better. The descriptions in the stories made it easy for the reader to get the image in their head. Overall I enjoyed doing it and would like to do it again.‘ – Emma ‗I felt that my partner wrote an amazing story, also by helping them with their writing I was able to think about my writing. My partner‘s writing was very mature for his age. I really like his ideas and characters and setting. I felt my partner was creative and open-minded to new ideas.‘ – Mason ‗I really loved working with the Year 4s. My buddy had a really clear vision in his head. He had a well-developed setting and character. I found helping him out with his story was also beneficial for me as it was helping me see things in my own writing that I can improve. He reminded me that having a clear idea of what to do and how you want the story to go as a well as a picture in my head of my setting helps you write a better story. I loved working with the Year 4s and would love to do it again.‘ – Ashleigh ‗I think it was interesting to read the Year 4s stories and it helped me to think about my writing. It also helped me with my similes and it was actually fun.‘ – Aastha ‗Working with Year 4 on their stories was very helpful because I learned a lot about their way of thinking. Also, I think that for them it was very helpful because they received constructive feedback. This experience was very good and helpful.‘ – Ines ‗It was fun working with the Year 4s and I enjoyed reading and helping them with their great stories. I was really surprised how great Noah was with painting a picture in the reader‘s mind.‘ – Louis ‗It was enjoyable working with the Year 4 students. I was excited to read what they would write and they did not fail to surprise me. I am proud of them and hope they enjoy the rest of their time at ISS.‘ – Theo ‗Working with the Year 4s was really cool. It gave me an insight on what they were learning. It also helped me to improve on my own writing and what I could do to improve it, mainly the setting and using descriptive words. In the end I believe we both got information from each other.‘ – Milan ‗It was good. I think that they have improved a lot and will make great stories. The experience helped me to improve on my own writing as well.‘ – Abbas ‗I enjoyed working with my partner because it was fun to help someone who needed it. It was very engaging because it helped me to think about my own writing.‘ – Patrick ‗My buddy was very sweet and happy when I saw her. I read her story and it was better than I could ever come up with – lots of detail and big words that I didn‘t even know (joking). I enjoyed reading and helping my buddy.‘ – Abby ‗I think that the Year 4s are good at writing these stories. I feel that working with my buddy was good as it made me think about my own work. I liked this because we got to bond with them.‘ – Marcus ‗I really loved working with the Year 4s to help improve their stories. It helped me think about how I wrote my own stories and how I will continue to write them. I shared my knowledge and I hope that my partner found my feedback helpful.‘ - Typhaine
In the morning golden from the sun Wind, blowing against glass panes Pushing up against curtains Like parachutes being deployed Whoosh! A sudden gust Of wind pushes the curtain open, Sunlight pours into the room Like water from a cup The palm tree swaying Back and forth in the breeze Dancing like a leaf in the Breeze Nothing in the world Could ruin this moment A moment of freedom A moment of peace
Kite making When we were making kites today, we were going to make the diamond kite. When we made it, we went out to the field, to fly the kites. These kites were really bad, they failed, so our class is making sled kites to see if this shape works better.
Sled kite making Monday: Today we started making sled kites. We started with the garbage bag and made the sled kite, Tiburon (I) made one really fast because I have made one before. The rest of us are still making our kites. Tuesday: Now we are finished and are going to fly them in a few days. Some of our kites are paper and others are plastic. That’s so we can find out if the material they are made of makes a difference to how well they fly. One of the plastic kites has sticks and one of the paper kites has sticks and the rest of them have no sticks. The ones that do have sticks are Joshua’s and Andie’s. We want to find out if the sticks make a difference to how well the kites fly.
By Tiburon Legaz (Year 3H)
Congratulations to the Chinese Studies students, Lahaiba Saud of Year 8 and Typhaine Anouck Cedrine Nerale of Year 7, who achieved very good scores for the HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) in September of this year. Lahaiba passed the test of HSK level 2 and Typhaine passed the HSK level 1 test. Dan Shao, Chinese teacher.
Food for Thought Based on the feedback from a number of our students the secondary school, this semester we added a cooking club to the line-up of Tuesday afternoon activities - Food for Thought Club. The idea behind the club was to develop and encourage students’ basic cooking skills. We wanted to make a fun activity that had a practical component, and we had one rule: we must produce something that we could eat every week! The club has proven to be an immense success and both teachers and students alike have had a wonderful time. We have learned how to cook a number of different dishes from salads and smoothies, to pizza and pasta, and a few sweet treats too. Our lovely parent helpers Melanie Reynaud and Shereena Singh have come in to teach us and we would not have been able to be as successful without their assistance. Ms Fox, Ms Sims and Ms Koroi look forward to continuing this activity again next year and hope to see our budding cooks and their exciting ideas for new dishes to learn and make. Student Reflection “Second semester of 2017 the cooking club activity was one of the choices for Tuesday afternoon activities. In fact, it was the activity that stood out to me the most. People may see cooking club as some place to sitt and eat, but I tell you they are wrong. Cooking club allows you to gain more experience in terms of being in the kitchen, and learning the very basics of preparing a dish. Learning different cooking techniques such as scraping coconut, properly holding a knife, and visiting the market to budget the ingredients you require for a dish. Some kids are hardly in the kitchen because they’re too busy and have no time for such things like cooking. Due to this, I do believe activities such as Cooking Club should be recommended for next year’s choices of Tuesday afternoon activities.” “Cooking club is a type of activity that teaches you daily used skills to apply now and in the future. What I love about the activity itself, aside from the food of course, are our supervisors (Ms Fox, Ms Sims, and Ms Arieta) with their fun and bright perspective on cooking. They always encourage everyone to be involved in group discussions and appreciate whatever you can contribute with the making of the dish. We not only learn how to cook but make new friends at the same time. Despite the many other dishes we learned how to cook this year, our favourite would be the Lasagna dish and the Nachos dish. Overall, this activity has taught us many things and most importantly the appreciation we should have for food.” By: Arieta.L.Rubuti
The Beijing Symphony Orchestra was founded in October 1997. Today, it is one of most famous symphony orchestras in China. They have performed in many countries around the world including; Germany, Austria, Croatia, South Korea and Macau etc. Their mission is to cultivate the traditional Chinese music structure into a Western Symphony arrangement. They also perform musical pieces covering a wide variety of different composers from different historic periods around the world. We are pleased to inform you that the String Quartet from the Beijing Symphony Orchestra will perform a one hour chamber music concert at ISS on 14th December, 2017. A number of Western and Eastern (Chinese) music pieces will be played during the concert. Free tickets will be available for collection at the Business Office on 5 th December.
YEAR 10 CAMP 2017 Our 2017 Year 10 camp was held at the lovely village of Nakorosule, on the Wainimala River, Inland from the Kings Highway in the Eastern division. Due to the wet weather, the village very kindly allowed us to pitch our tents in the middle of the village, next to the community hall, and to use the hall as a base. This was extremely fortunate, as many of our students‘ tents became soaked during the first night, so the students moved to the very dry and comfortable hall. However the rain didn‘t stop us being active. After arrival on our first day, we headed off for a tough 2 hour hike through the bush. On the way our guides cut up freshly picked, delicious pineapples for us to quench our thirst. We arrived back at the village hot and sweaty, and most of us plunged into the river for a couple of hours of swimming and playing on bilibilis(bamboo rafts). We set out on day 2 for another long hike, and after this came back to the village to prepare our lovo meal for the evening. There was plenty of scrumptious food available including chicken, Mr Api‘s special dalo, palusami, and fresh pineapple and watermelon supplied by the village. Later there were lots of card games played, and a number of students were invited into the chief‘s house for more hospitality. The Year 10 students used their fundraising money from last year to donate pots, cups, plates, knifes and stationery to the village. The villagers really appreciated our donations and have welcomed the school to use their facilities whenever needed. Moreover, the students cleaned the community hall and its surrounding on the third day before coming back to school. As usual with ISS camps, we had a great experience in the beautiful interior of Fiji, learned more about each other outside of school, and enjoyed the generosity of the people of Nakorosule.
4M has been learning about scientific knowledge and how it affects the world. We have been writing science fiction stories for literacy. We watched Wall-E as practice for writing our setting description and writing character traits for Wall-E and Eve. We wrote our plot of all of our original stories. We asked the year 7s to be our writing buddies and we shared our plots, settings and character descriptions. They read them and gave ideas for improvements we could make. We are going to be publishing our sci-fi stories in the library so please have a read! (written by Noah Howlett) This is what 4M thought about working with our writing buddies: Samira- ―I think it was great working with the year 7s. It was very helpful and Griffyn and I got lots of planning done.‖ Noah- ―I had a great time with Louis and got lots of planning done.‖ Jaslyn- ―Working with the year 7s was very progressive and it helped us with our stories.‖ Haleh- ―I really enjoyed planning our science fiction stories with the year 7s. They listened to our ideas and we listened to them. I really loved it.‖
As soon as you entered you had to shield your eyes from all the bright smiles floating towards you. It was all happiness, excited students, parents, and teachers chatting happily as we waited for the certificates. As soon as the teachers had called attention, all the families gathered excitedly around the stage. One by one student‘s poems were read out, as the crowd guessed who‘s poem it was. 5 minutes later all the kids were ready to sing a song to our parents. Then there was an intermission for everyone to play and eat, soon desert was served. Afterwards they showed a heartwarming compilation of pictures from 2017 and when we graduated from kindergarten. There was another surprise….FIREWORKS which smelt like popcorn. Over all the night was fun and successful. We would like to thank the teachers, parents, and all the people that have supported us this year!
Year 9 Camp “It was a great bonding experience, and I am thankful to the camp organizers for making this camp possible. Even if I was drained physically, I learned so much more about everyone around me in those three days, than I would have in a whole term at school. It taught me to move barriers to make not only new friends, but strengthen relationships with the friends you already have. The activities were also very fun, come to think of it, I would love to jump off a bridge again with the Navy close by. That was the most exciting part for me. I only have one real suggestion for year nines next year. Keep your bag as light as possible. You may be hiking for only half an hour, or eight hours. You don’t want to be carrying a heavy package, otherwise your shoulders will kill you for it. Think wisely about choosing stuff, take essentials first and hopefully last. You don’t need binoculars (Like I took) or a container of gummy worms. Pack lightly, you’ll thank me later.” Sean O’Driscoll “Year 9 camp has been an amazing experience for our young International students. We went to Togalevu, Navy Base and we were accompanied by the Navy team. On the first day we went hiking through the wet and muddy forest. Once we reached the first camp base we set our tents and went for a cool swim at the Wainaiburu River. On Tuesday the students continued their journey through the slippery wet mud, accompanied by joy, laughter and pain. Part of this course was to abseil a waterfall which was quite difficult but very fun. In addition, we had lost track of our path and had to create a new path. As a result we found ourselves by a road which such a relieving site. We continued our journey by foot till we had arrived at our second destination. We took a swim by the river which was near the naval base. The very last course for the entire trip was to jump off the old bridge, this was the last day which was Wednesday. We took a boat back to base, got into the bus and made our way back to school. This was one of the most memorable adventures. This camp brought about teamwork, togetherness and most importantly friendship.”
Upcoming Events Term 4: Week 9 Thursday, November 30 Talanoa issued Friday, December 1 Primary Assembly Year 12 Farewell Assembly Saturday, December 2 Senior Ball T4 Week 9 Monday, December 4 Public Holiday â€˘ Prophet Mohammedâ€™s Birthday Tuesday, December 5 Middle School Presentation evening Wednesday, December 6 High School Presentation Evening Thursday, December 7 FAREWELL ASSEMBLY (Whole School)- End Semester 2 Half day Term ends for students Friday, December 8 Term ends for teachers
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL SUVA World Class Citizens ~ Lifelong Learners
TERM DATES 2018 Term 1 (10 weeks) Tuesday16th January 2018 Thursday 18th January 2018 Tuesday 23rd January 2018 Thursday 29th March 2018 Friday 30th March 2018
New teachers start All teachers start Students start Term ends Good Friday
Term 2 (10 weeks) Teachers and Y11 and Y12 ACT students start All Students start. Term ends National Sports day
Monday 16th April 2018 Tuesday 17th April 2018 Friday 22nd June 2018 Friday 29 June 2018
Term 3 (10 weeks) Teachers start Teachers, Y11 and Y12 ACT students start All Students start Constitution Day – Public Holiday Term ends
Monday 16th July 2018 Tuesday 17th July 2018 Wednesday 18th July 2018 Friday 7 September 2018 Friday 21st September 2018
Term 4 (9 weeks) Teachers start Students start Fiji Day – Public Holiday Diwali Prophet Muhammad‘s birthday Term ends for students Term ends for teachers
Monday 8th October 2018 Tuesday 9th October 2018 Wednesday 10thOctober 2018 Wed 7 November 2018 Monday 19 November 2018 Thursday 6th December 2018 Friday 7th December 2018
Lot 59, Siga Road, Laucala Beach, P.O. Box 10828, Suva, Fiji. Telephone: (679) 339 3300, Fax: (679) 334 0017, Email: email@example.com www.international.school.fj Member of AAIBS, Centre for U.C.L.E.S., E.T.S., I.B. Examinations.
2017 Talanoa Volume 8