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JUNE 2019

ISSUE 13

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INTERVIEW WITH THE DIRECTOR

1. Entrepreneurship in Education. What are the good parts, what are the hard parts, what is possible and what is not possible?

2. Which are ISB’s core values regarding the act of education? Are there any compulsory standards for a successful school?

To be an entrepreneur, you need to plan very carefully and take some risks. Education is not like any other business and you cannot just think about your profit or loss. In the end, it is about shaping the lives of our future generations. So it has to be taken very sensibly. There are always new methods, researches and case studies and the good part is that educators are more likely to share their ideas and are eager to work collectively. The hard part is that we are obliged to follow a curriculum content which already has been outlined, and we need to prepare our students to various tests to enter a university or to have a career. Entrepreneurship will find more space if we focus more on creativity and building skills rather than just delivering the content for these tests.

We have three core values at ISB: Learn, Respect and Succeed. As Robert Quinn, a master teacher and professor at Michigan University says: “no matter what they say or how they behave, every child wants to learn, to be respected and to be successful”. Our ambition is to build a community of students, parents and teachers who are life-long learners, respectful to every person, every belief and opinion, care about their environment and are creative and successful individuals contributing to the global community. I think a successful school should focus on these core values and facilitate a safe and supportive environment to equip our students with the 4Cs of the 21st-century skills; critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration. I further believe that our international accreditations and mem-

SİNAN KOŞAK / DIRECTOR

We have three core values at ISB: Learn, Respect and Succeed. As Robert Quinn, a master teacher and professor at Michigan University says: “no matter what they say or how they behave, every child wants to learn, to be respected and to be successful”. Our ambition is to build a community of students, parents and teachers who are life-long learners, respectful to every person, every belief and opinion, care about their environment and are creative and successful individuals contributing to the global community.


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ISB was the first Cambridge Exams centre in Romania and the second fully accredited school by Council of International Schools, the CIS. It is unique in Romania with Cambridge IGCSE together with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma programme that provides a broad and balanced education.

berships, such as Council of International Schools, Cambridge, COBIS, and the IB together with 23 years of experience in the sector have made these standards a school culture at ISB. 3. Today’s children will grow up to be adults in a society that will be different from the one we live in nowadays. What are the essential instruments that ISB provides its pupils? As we all hear more often nowadays, we prepare students for the jobs that don’t exist yet. Technology is one of the essential instruments but it needs to be used only when it extends, enhances and engages students. We call this Triple-E framework. If the lessons are not planned based on this framework, technology would be just a toy or a distraction. Another instrument is to provide our students with all the means they need to unleash their potential. When I say “means” I mean everything they would need: guidance, time, tutoring, motivation, support, extra-curricular activities, facilities - a school where skills are nurtured for the future ahead.

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4. What is the motivation that ISB offers to its teachers?

International School of Bucharest’s Periodic Magazine Director SİNAN KOȘAK director@isb.ro

ISB promises to be a friendly workplace where everybody feels valued. We see each and every member of our staff as an asset to our school. We support our teachers and provide various and continuous professional development opportunities. I think we are one of the rare international schools in Romania having a generous CPD budget for teachers. We have about 100 teachers from a wide varie ty of backgrounds and nationalities. Working with such a diverse community that share the same core values gives our teachers an excellent opportunity for their professional life. We actively promote wellbeing, for staff and students, and make sure everybody is familiar with our safeguarding policy.

Editor MADALINA CIOC admissions@isb.ro Design EDUSOFT Ahmet Yolaçan Print G.CANALE & C www.gcanale.ro 1R Sos. Gara Catelu Str, 032991, Bucharest, Romania (+40) 21-306 95 30 info@isb.ro www.isb.ro

5. Good practices in the private education system. What are the most important coordinates for ISB, in this matter? ISB aims to build its own best practices in our school context and we proudly share these periodically through our school magazine, the ‘Insight’. Readers of ‘Insight’ will find the articles written directly by our teachers who experience and share what really works for our students. Talk for writing, the thematic approach in primary education, enterprise week, 30-minute instrumental lessons, project-based learning, ISB Talks, PTA breakfasts and parent workshops, golden time, talent show, weekend academy, our celebrations of student achievements are some of these successful practices I can list… 6. How does ISB build and develop its interaction with international education systems? ISB was the first Cambridge Exams centre in Romania and the second fully accredited school by Council of International Schools, the CIS. It is unique in Romania with Cambridge IGCSE together with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma programme that provides a broad and balanced education. We are in very good relationships with well-known and highly respected international organisations such as COBIS, ACES, Duke of Edinburgh Award Programme, Eco-Schools, and the British Council. Thanks to our memberships, accreditations and authorisations, we are able to join the network of very successful schools to raise the quality of our education to equal the highest of global standards. It is also my pleasure to announce that we are now pursuing British Schools Overseas (BSO) accreditation through the British government. I can say that we are in continuous improvement and always aim at meeting the demands of our community while working in close harmony with our international partners.


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Safeguarding at ISB MRS. KERRY HARRIS HEAD OF PRIMARY SCHOOL

Safeguarding is one of the most important responsibilities we have when working with children at ISB. When choosing a school, the curriculum and whether the school will be able to meet the needs of children and maximise their potential is usually the first consideration. However, a vital consideration for parents is how well the school will safeguard the children in its care.

What is safeguarding? “Safeguarding is a term used in the United Kingdom and Ireland to denote measures to protect the health, well-being and human rights of individuals, which allow people - especially children, young people and vulnerable


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There are many other aspects to safeguarding and at ISB we do our best to maintain very high standards of safety and security. adults - to live free from abuse, harm and neglect.’ Wikipedia “Safeguarding promote the welfare of children by protecting children from maltreatment preventing impairment of children’s health or development ensuring that children grow up incircumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes” North Lincolnshire local children’s board How do we keep children safe? Safeguarding children is integral to our daily lives at school and encompasses all areas of school life, however there are some crucial factors I would like to bring to your attention. It is vital that rigorous recruitment procedures are followed. Thorough background checks are completed on all teachers we recruit. References are checked and verified with previous employer. International police checks are completed and verified. Safeguarding courses are completed annually. Part of the course informs teachers how to identify signs of abuse and how to manage any disclosures children make. The school has a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) who maintains the child protection register. The DSL listens to disclosures and decides which course of action to take. All conversations and records are highly confidential, and information is shared with external agencies only when a child is at risk. There are many other aspects to safeguarding and at ISB we do our best to maintain very high standards of safe-

ty and security. Visitors to school between 8.30am and 2.50pm must check in at the gate. Security guards ring through to the office to verify appointments with staff members. Visitors are given a badge to wear and escorted into the building and wait in the gallery for the staff member to meet them. Visitors are not permitted into the teaching blocks at any time of day without an accompanying staff member. Visitors are escorted back to the gallery and out of the building where they sign out and return their badges. As part of our safeguarding policy we also teach children ways to keep themselves safe. We inform children of the positives and negatives of the internet and highlight the dangers of using social media. We encourage children to follow the guidelines and not to use Ap’s before the recommended ages but also inform them how to protect themselves online with privacy settings and guard their personal information. Digital safety workshops are organised for parents to educate and inform on the latest techniques to monitor use and prevent abuse on line. Here are just a few key examples of how we endeavour to safeguard your children at ISB. Safeguarding is evolving and becoming more rigorous at ISB through necessity however we also hope that we can continue to strike the balance between keeping your children safe without losing the warm welcome and open communication for which ISB has become renowned for.


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Threading beads is a great Hand Eye coordination activity.

Physical Development in the Early Years MRS. CLAIRE O’BRIEN FOUNDAION STAGE 1 TEACHER

If it doesn’t happen early on in a child’s development, it is more difficult to establish later on, as a child progresses. Physical Development in one of the Early Years Prime areas of learning and it is divided into two subjects: Moving and Handling and Health and Self-Care. Why Physical Development is a Prime Area Physical development has been described as ‘experience - expectant’ learning which means that the brain is wired in expectation of this develop-

ment. If it doesn’t happen early on in a child’s development, it is more difficult to establish later on, as a child progresses. This also contributes to cognitive development – as children move and explore the world, they learn about the properties of objects and their own capabilities. It is widely believed that physical development can also help with the development of personal and social skills such as self-confidence,

interaction, taking turns and getting along with others. How we support this learning in ISB We ensure that there are opportunities between outdoor and indoor areas to increase activity and reduce sedentary behaviour. By providing activities that support fine motor development such as threading beads, painting and exploring colour, mark-making of all


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Using scissors safely and confidently. A very important physical skill to have.

kinds, building with Lego or small blocks, pinching, rolling and cutting dough or clay, the children are gaining a wide range of experiences and skills that are needed. For whole body gross motor skills, the children have access to bikes, scooters, climbing equipment as well as stop and start games such as statues; games such as being rabbits, elephants or snakes so that children can hop, skip, run and balance their weight on different parts of the body. With Health and Self Care, hand washing is a regular part of the daily routine. The children have access to sinks both within the classrooms and toilet areas. They are encouraged to use these independently after messy activities, before eating and after using the toilet. Becoming independent in taking care of their own belongings is also a very important aspect of their learning and development. All the children have their own peg and space where they can change their shoes, hang their coat up and bags. We value and encourage the children to feel proud of achievements in health and self-care.

Big Art projects using rollers to paint.


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Building Resilient Children MRS.OANA IONESCU YEAR 1 TEACHER MS.CAITLIN CAMPBELL YEAR 1 TEACHER

In our classes we teach these life skills within PSHE lessons, helping children to identify and understand their feelings, as well as the feelings of others During parent-teacher interviews, one of the most frequent questions we are asked as teachers is “How does my child compare to the rest of the class?” While this question may seem harmless, it sets the expectation that children must compete against one another in their learning journeys. It makes children feel as though their success is only valid if it is measured against someone else’s. In today’s learning climate, it is not about teaching chil-

Building up long lasting friendships.

dren to compete against their peers for success, but rather to build their confidence and self-esteem so that they have the skills to be resilient learners and can overcome any difficulties they may face, both in their learning journey, as well as in their everyday lives. Walking into a school today it is likely that you will see quite a difference from what you might have seen years ago. We’re not talking about the many new

technologies found in classrooms, or the new curriculum content that children are learning, but rather something different with regards to the attitude of children. Gone are the days of children vying for the top spot in their class, competing against others at the cost of friendships and morals. Children of today are learning to be encouraging and empathetic toward their peers- supporting one another on their journey through life and education. They are


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We are working on building children’s resilience each and every day in the classroom. Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, and in today’s changing world it is more important than ever that children are taught these skills. taught to compare themselves against their own progress and are able to recognise their own strengths and weaknesses to help themselves continue to grow and develop at their own pace in a healthy environment.

Children begin to identify the needs of others and learn the skills to identify when they, or someone else may need help and how to ask for those resources.

In Year 1, we are working on building children’s resilience each and every day in the classroom. Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, and in today’s changing world it is more important than ever that children are taught these skills. We feel as though while it is important to celebrate everyone’s successes, both small and large, that children need to learn how to move on and overcome situations that they may not feel comfortable or happy with. For example, children need to learn how to be gracious when they don’t win a game while playing with their peers, or if they are not called upon by their teacher when they have something to share in a discussion. We teach the children in our classes not only to be happy for themselves when they succeed, but also to be happy for others’ successes. They learn to be considerate of others and collectively form what we call a classroom family, an environment wherein they don’t have 20 other competitors, but rather 20 people cheering them on. With this skill, children are


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able to recognise their academic needs and are more self-aware of their learning, as well as maintaining a balanced social life. Many children at this age are coming from a small familial environment at which they are the centre of. In this initial environment, it is important that children learn to feel loved and secure. They develop their sense of self and their basic morals that will lead them through life. Once children start to broaden their social circle, however, they may find it more difficult to relate to others as they would have others relate to them. Through their learning experiences, children become more and more self-aware and start to understand better their place within the world around them. They begin to understand the feelings of others and become more empathetic and less self-serving. In our classes we teach these life skills within PSHE lessons, helping children to identify and understand their feelings, as well as the feeling of others. We make it a priority to continue this learning and these important discussions beyond those lessons, and make them an integral part of our day-to-day lives at school. Children begin to identify the needs of others and learn the skills to identify when they or someone else may need help and how to ask for those resources. Children begin to understand that it important for everyone to have a chance to do something, and that it is important to respect everyone’s thoughts and opinions even if they are different to their own. Everyone will learn basic skills such as reading and writing at their own pace in life. Through resilience building early on, children learn how to succeed. If they come across a difficult situation, they understand how to cope in life through any situation they are handed with grace, dignity, and a group of friends encouraging each other along the way.

It is important to respect everyone’s thoughts and opinions and work together as a team.

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We create a positive, supportive and nurturing environment for children to experiment and learn English.

The children are matching rhyming words and playing with the sounds of the words they have learnt.

The Importance of Communication and Language in Early Years Education MRS. SARAH NEWSHAM / FOUNDATION 2 TEACHER

Communication is one of the prime areas in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Along with Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development it forms the cornerstone of our educational approach. It becomes even more important at an international school such as ISB, where children start with different levels of English and varying degrees of exposure to the language. We create a positive, supportive and nurturing environment for children to experiment and learn English along with their peers, where children are not afraid to make mistakes, because they realise this is how they learn. This is

done in a variety of age and level appropriate ways within the classroom and throughout the learning environment. Children are supported by the staff to extend their vocabulary and understanding on a daily basis through activities, experiences and conversation. We put high emphasis on conversational English and giving the children confidence to express themselves in a variety of ways to their peers and adults. We believe that when a child feels supported and listened too, they are more willing to take risks in their learning. We also teach more formal English using a wide variety of stories and books,

where children are encouraged to learn a story - therefore new vocabulary. We then discuss the stories, invent our own stories using the rich vocabulary we have learned. Vocabulary is enriched and enhance through other activities in the classroom such as role play, art activities and games, where children can play with the language they are learning. This is backed up by labels and visual prompts. The conclusion of this immersive and at the same time supported approach is that our children are eager to share their learning and are able to express themselves with confidence.


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Segmenting and blending familiar words with the help of a picture.

Reinforcing new words with writing.


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Children love to read with our TAs.

How Teaching Assistants Aid and Develop the Children’s Learning MRS. HELEN DIXON / EARLY YEARS AND KS1 COORDINATOR AND YEAR 2 TEACHER

The working relationships between education support staff and teachers are vitally important for successful schools. Here at ISB we are in the very fortunate position of having a teaching assistant in every classroom in KS1. Our teaching assistants are very experienced and are of great value within our classrooms. The primary role of the teaching assistant (TA) is to enable access to the curriculum, to facilitate independent learning and to promote inclusion. The TA’s objective is to support the teacher and or other school staff in providing a quality education to pupils. At ISB our

TAs carry out a variety of functions in support of the teachers. The role of the TA can be crucial to pupils achieving greater autonomy, higher academic standards, greater social awareness and feeling part of the whole school community. Our TAs have a range of different experience but all of them possess certain required skills. They are all able to communicate well with children and our Romanian TAs are of particular help to English teachers when children

need to speak in Romanian. Teaching assistants are also skilled at managing behaviour and resolving issues in the classroom. The working relationships between education support staff and teachers are vitally important for successful schools. TAs can help students take ownership of their learning, encouraging them to ask questions and take risks. But schools must ensure TAs are robustly trained and supported in understanding the teaching methods and


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pedagogies, and how to apply them. It is very important that the TA is there to support children, allowing the children to do the thinking and not spoon feeding them. TAs at ISB are involved in the planning of lessons ensuring that they understand the objectives and are able to support children with just the right amount of help, to ensure the children progress their learning. Our teaching assistants understand that children need to develop independence and know when it is appropriate to offer support and when they should not intervene. Research has shown one of the most effective uses of a TA is for them to intervene with small groups on a regular and formal basis. At ISB we do not only use teaching assistants to support children in lower ability groups, but we use them to support all children allowing time for the teacher to focus on the needs of specific children.

Our TAs help students explain their work.

Working to support a small group learning about time.

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Year 3 students had worked hard to create a project of their choice based around the culture and tradition of China.

Building Positive Relationships Between the Classroom and Home. MRS. CATHRYN QUINN / YEAR 3 TEACHER

Our Project Based Learning Showcase was a wonderful afternoon where mums and dads were invited into our classrooms to see a spectacular display of projects. Effective parent-teacher communication is essential. In the primary school at ISB we strive to foster a positive and constructive teacher/parent relationship. In our primary department, traditional introduction evenings and parent/teacher conferences occur alongside less formal open mornings, PBL (Project Based Learning) showcases and Mother’s Day celebrations.

We held 2 open mornings this year, where parents were invited to sit in our classes and watch first-hand the teaching and learning that happens every day. This provided the parents with the unique opportunity to see how the curriculum is delivered and how their son/daughter responds in their classroom environment.

Our Project Based Learning Showcase was a wonderful afternoon where mums and dads were invited into our classrooms to see a spectacular display of projects. Our Year 3 students had worked hard to create a project of their choice based around the culture and tradition of China. Parents could see how our classrooms had been transformed into museums and were


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able to proudly listen to their children present their project to an audience of peers and adults. Mother’s Day was a very special afternoon where our mums were invited to join us in class for an afternoon of art, craft and seed planting. Mums worked with their children to create special keepsakes and make memories. Communication between parents and schools has thankfully come a long way over the past few years, with the traditional school memo or letter (often found stuffed at the bottom of the school bag) increasingly giving way to faster electronic communications via email and apps. In Year 3 we use EduCare and Class Dojo to communicate. We provide regular updates, share messages and photos and most importantly celebrate achievement and effort. It is important to remember that a student who knows that the teacher communicates on a regular basis with their parents and who knows that their parents trust the teacher, will likely put more effort into school. The very popular Chinese Dragon

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Talk for Writing in the Primary Classroom

How long is a giraffe?

MS.VICKY CLARKE / YEAR 4 LEADER

We have seen confidence increase in every child, in not only their reading and writing, but their oral presentation skills too. “The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.”

www.gov.uk

The start of this academic year saw us adopt the National Curriculum for our English teaching. This meant a giant, but exciting, leap for staff and children

alike. This also meant a vigorous overhaul in the school’s teaching to make sure it is interesting, challenging and relevant. As a result of this, in August, all primary teachers were trained in ‘Talk for Writing’ (T4W), a framework developed by Pie Corbett which allows children to really get to grips with the language, structure and composition of a text before developing their own. How do we teach T4W? In the Primary School, we go through five main stages:

1. Cold Task - Here the children are asked to write a text before any teaching happens - this allows us to assess the class knowledge and plan next steps. 2. The Imitation Stage - We delve deep into a sample text to really get to know the text type. We may verbally learn the text, create word clouds, text maps, writing toolkits or do some drama. 3. The Innovation Stage - The children work with the teacher to create their own version of the text. Lots of


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discussion is done here to suggest changes, edit and improve. 4. The Independent Stage and Hot Task - Children use the teachers input to plan and develop their own text. The Hot Task is written independently and compared with the Cold Task to assess progress. Benefits for our children There are many ways T4W has benefited our children. Firstly, and perhaps one of the most important, we have been able to develop an enriched curriculum covering a range of topics which are interesting to the children. This year alone, we have invented our own machines and explained how they work, persuaded an audience to believe zoos are good or bad and created poems using figurative language. Secondly, we have the freedom to link our learning in our other subjects such as Science, Art and Humanities more easily, helping us to embed knowledge further. We have

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seen confidence increase in every child, in not only their reading and writing, but their oral presentation skills too. “The aim of Talk for Writing is to develop imaginative, creative and effective writers” (www.talk4writing.co.uk). T4W has proved particularly successful for us because of the focus on shared writing and collaboration. Our students who have English as a second or even third language are being exposed to a wider range of vocabulary and sentence types. They are using word mats and thesauruses to find alternative words and magpieing (stealing) ideas from each other. All children regardless of ability can access this learning and have the freedom to develop their text how they like. Some will work closely to our example, others will use their creativity to move away from this. Children now show a confidence and enthusiasm in their learning and it is exciting to see how this will develop into its second year.

Word It Out-Word-Cloud


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Our Year 12 ‘Business Consultants’ providing great value for money!

Martisor Enterprise Challenge Business is Blooming MR. SCOTT CABLE / YEAR 6 LEADER

Each student greatly developed their teamwork and collaborative skills whilst gaining an important insight into how to run a business and the challenges that this presents. One of the highlights of Year 6 is our Martisor Enterprise Challenge which again this year was our main focus throughout February. We began by setting our shared goals for the project: to generate as much money as possible, donating half to charity and using

the other half to purchase new board games for the Primary School. The students demonstrated a lot of creativity in creating their brands for each company and building on their existing knowledge of logos and slogans. We performed some collective market re-

search to gather information about the type of gifts our target market wanted and used this information to design our products. Each company then used their budget of 50 lei to purchase materials and made a great range of materials to sell at our market.


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Happy ‘Purchase Managers’ in action.

Working directly with lots of other members of the school community was one of the highlights of the project. Our Year 12 ‘business consultants’ again provided expert advice during weekly meetings and really enjoyed the opportunity to pass on their knowledge. Parents and teachers throughout the school assisted us in many ways: ordering and buying custom made gifts, helping advertise the market stalls and showing off their arts and crafts skills in helping to make products. We also need to make a special thank you to our parent, Mr. Iacob, for his inspirational workshop on brand creation which really helped launch the project. Each student greatly developed their teamwork and collaborative skills whilst gaining an important insight into how to run a business and the challeng-

The best items are quickly snapped up on our first day of sales.

es that this presents. Working with a great range of people of different ages, cultures and backgrounds greatly helps students to develop strong interpersonal skills which are crucial for building positive relationships. The students quickly understood the importance of

appreciating each other’s particular strengths and skills and utilising these to make the best teams they could. As a year group we are very proud of the effort and attitude they showed throughout the project and the 2749 lei profit raised is a reflection of this.


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ISB Go Green! MRS. SARAH NEWSHAM / ECO SCHOOL COORDINATOR

Many of our children were shocked at just how much plastic had been collected and this prompted some very interesting discussions in classes about what we can do as individuals, as a school and as a whole community to reduce this much plastic waste. Over the past few months ISB has seen a few changes as we work towards gaining our Eco Schools Green Flag to show we are a school and a community that cares about the environment and the impact we are having on it. The students have been learning about two specific areas of environmental concern, the use of paper and plastic during two focus days: No Plastic

and No Paper Day. The first of these was on Friday 15th March, when ISB had it’s first whole school No Single Use Plastics Day. Children bought recyclable plastic into school which was collected in the gallery and left there on display for the children to see. Many of our children were shocked at just how much plastic had been collected and this prompted some very


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Both these events where very successful in raising awareness in our students of the effects our daily lives are having on our environment and how little changes can lead to big differences. interesting discussions in classes about what we can do as individuals, as a school and as a whole community to reduce this much plastic waste. Some classes wrote letters to the school management with their suggestions, other made posters which were put up around school. During the day, classes had lessons on the impact the growing use of plastic is having on our environment. The next special day was Thursday 18th April, when we had a whole school Paper Free Day, where classes used alternatives to paper to do their work in order to make each other think about the amount of paper we use in a day and the impact this has on our environment. Again, we were invited to bring in our recyclable paper and cardboard which was collected in the gallery. The collected paper was taken for recycling. No Paper Day was also a Non Uniform Day,

where children were asked to make a donation to wear blue or green clothes for the day instead of their uniform. The money that was collected will be used to buy energy saving light bulbs and more recycling bins for the playgrounds. Both these events where very successful in raising awareness in our students of the effects our daily lives are having on our environment and how little changes can lead to big differences. We are happy to inform you that parents and children are now able to bring to school their recyclable paper, cardboard and plastic and put it in the recycling bins provided at the side of the school. We are also collecting batteries in a box outside the Primary Office in the gallery. Thank you for your support so far and let’s keep helping ISB Go Green!


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Children learn to prepare easy healthy snack and make healthy food choices.

Healthy Choices on Long-Term Health and Well-Being of Our Future MRS. SIMONA PACURAR / FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CERTIFIED HEALTH COACH

The best cookies ever made!

Not everything that nourishes you that can be found on your plate! There is more to nourishment than just food choices. Health is not just one thing we do, it’s everything we do and how these things interact!


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Students having fun during the Healthy Habits Club.

We all need to eat but the simple pleasure of eating carries with it much baggage and causes many challenges. Admittedly, most of us need to pay attention to eating better however, we don’t have to be perfect; nor do our children.

dividual nutritional needs are related to unique biochemistry, genetic predisposition, physical activity, etc.

are stressed? Do you really need that snack or do you need to be loved, to be seen or to be connected?

Beyond what and how we eat there is the key factor ‘why we eat’ and what is our relationship with food and why do we choose what we choose to eat?

Be curious about your ‘why’ and ask yourself: is it healthy or just delicious, does it nourish my body?

What and how much we eat is really just a symptom of something else entirely. What is certain is that, most of the time, we need to increase our consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Of course, each of us is a unique bio-individual. What is good for me may not be good for you! The one size fits all approach doesn’t apply in nutrition. We each need to choose what is right for us. In-

Everyone’s food relationship began developing in childhood. It is a process where we learn listen to what my body needs, to notice and be aware of what is going on. You may choose to eat a variety of food and seek out nutritious foods nourish your body and use hunger and fullness to guide my eating; or you may eat in an imbalanced way for non-hunger reasons, maybe when you’re bored, have negative feelings or

The greatest inspiration is the why, the purpose in our life. Our children really are the future, children will borrow what we show them, our habits and values. We know good nutrition is essential for healthy children. Diet can affect our children’s ability to focus at school and the gut microbiome as well. We know that the health of the gut microbiome is connected to the brain. If your child’s gut is healthy they will be more able Cooking is fun!


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COOKING IS FUN! Being in the kitchen with children can be messy and test our patience, but the culinary knowledge the children develop is priceless. For children everything that needs to be learned, needs to be funny.

to absorb healthy nutrients that your child’s brain needs to be the most productive. Not everything that nourishes you that can be found on your plate! There is more to nourishment than just food choices. Health is not just one thing we do, it’s everything we do and how these things interact! We’re more likely to eat well when we feel good about ourselves, when we are active, have good relationships and sleep well. If we are not sleeping well, we are going to be tired and cranky and are therefore more likely to eat junk, no matter what we know about nutrition. So we need to focus on sleeping well in order to eat well.

Hydration, exercise, relaxation, to be present, to be in the moment or just to enjoy quiet relaxing time are other aspects that children can experience during the ‘Healthy habits’ club. Some of the children have started to learn basic skills about how to clean carrots and potatoes with a peeler, some are using the graters or knifes. Just involving them in the process of preparing food and choosing what they eat gives them a sense of power and some control, which children love! Being in the kitchen with children can be messy and test our patience but the culinary knowledge the children develop is priceless. For children everything that needs to be learned needs to be funny. If you ask them about the impact of

food on their body, mood, energy and especially about processed food or the effects of too much sugar they will describe to you with big smiles a picture of bloating, stinky noises or about ‘roller-coaster’ energy. The best experience was with children from Year 3 when they used all 6 eggs from the bucket in a recipe that was for just 2 eggs however, we had the best cookies ever! I know you’re busy and time is tight but feeding your child well will lay the foundation for your child’s future health and wellness and the only way to raising a healthy eater who makes healthy choices is homecooked meals.


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What is Inquiry Based Learning MR. SIMON BAMFORD PRIMARY SCHOOL DEPUTY HEADTEACHER

As part of offering a broad and international curriculum, ISB has adopted it as a way to reach learners that have traditionally fallen through the cracks of the rote learning model and caters to all different types of learners. Traditionally, classrooms have followed the rote learning model, which is a technique based on repetition and memorization. But recently, those classrooms are disappearing in favour of a more collaborative space, in which teachers are facilitators using a technique called inquiry-based teaching. At ISB we want to enhance and nurture the naturally inquisitive nature of the children and use this to develop their excitement for learning. Inquiry-based teaching is an approach to instruction that begins with exploring curriculum content and providing a framework for the students to ask their own questions which builds interest and curiosity.

Encouraging students to be active learners, posing their own questions and problems and following through on those, rather than passive learners simply receiving information is believed to create greater student engagement and, in turn, create greater student achievement. Inquiry-based learning is not a new idea. It is a teaching method born in the 1960s out of a response to the more traditional forms of teaching. It has steadily gained traction since then. As part of offering a broad and international curriculum, ISB has adopted it as a way to reach learners that have tra-

ditionally fallen through the cracks of the rote learning model and caters to all different types of learners. What does an inquiry-based classroom look like? The teacher is no longer the “sage on the stage” expounding knowledge for students to memorize. The inquiry-based approach encourages more “student voice and choice” in the learning. This isn’t to say that there is no role for rote learning, but rote learning cannot stand on its own. There is a minor role for rote learning in the classroom as certain skills require long term acquisition. However, the focus should always


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be on expanding knowledge and skills and not on memorization. For example, memorizing history dates without learning the importance of the events is ineffective. In an inquiry-based classroom, a teacher will work with all of the learning styles found in his or her own classroom and design activities that students can collaborate on in small groups. However, students may think in ways that are limited to their own experiences, and it is the teacher’s job to help kids notice what they might have missed.

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Teachers also build on spontaneous questions to allow for further thought and questions. For example, if the classroom is discussing the life of the class goldfish, a child might ask: “If we take out all the plants, will the fish get sick?” Instead of answering a question like that with a yes or no, the teacher may ask: “What do people think? It might help to first think about what sorts of roles plants carry out? Why are plants in the aquarium important?” These questions would lead students to learn more about aquatic life.

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO AT HOME? ■

Ask about what your child is learning in class. Support and encourage interest and curiosity by following up with activities at home. ■ Encourage and practice good communication skills such as starting conversations and debates about current events. ■ Help your kids develop research skills online and from text. ■ Enjoy building projects together in the home. ■


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JUNE 2019

Why Take Cambridge English for Schools Exams? MRS. FLORINA UNGUREANU / ESL LOWER KS2 ESL TEACHER AND ESL COORDINATOR

A good knowledge of English backed by an international English qualification opens up a world of possibilities. Set goals and increase motivation

Starting with the academic year 2018-2019, ISB is a preparation centre and registers candidates for Cambridge English as block entries only through the British Council. ISB is also a member of the Advantage partnership programme which offer presentations and tailor-made workshops for candidates and English teachers. In June 2018, we started with as few as 9 candidates who took the Young Learners English Test. However, for this year’s exam session in June the number has increased four-fold and reached a total of 37 candidates who will sit Young Learners Test, Key, or Preliminary for Schools. A good knowledge of English backed by an international English qualification opens up a world of possibilities. If your child learns English from a young age, you’re giving your child essential English skills for life. So, how can a Cambridge English certificate help your child stand out and get the best study, work, and life opportunities? Prepare your child for a bright future Preparing for a Cambridge English certificate gives your child the confidence to communicate in English and make friends. Your child will also be able to understand English online, on TV, and in print. With the communication skills needed for further studies or workplace, Cambridge English exams are accepted by thousands of universities and employees from both Romania and abroad. Today’s job market is very

Cambridge English exams start at young learners moving on to Cambridge English Key, Preliminary, and First for Schools. The exams lead on to a higher-level Cambridge exams: Advanced and Proficiency. Your child has a clear path in improving English and build up confidence step-bystep. This allows everyone to really see and monitor children’s progress over an extended period of time. These certificates give children a great sense of pride and confidence. A Cambridge English Certificate shows that each child’s English level is recognised internationally and that they can make use of it in an international context. Maximise student learning international but it’s also very competitive. A Cambridge qualification on your CV not only shows that you have that level on English officially - it also shows an employer that you are willing to dedicate time to improving your English and your professional skills. Millions of people every year take Cambridge English exams. Cambridge English exams are part of the University of Cambridge and are created by world experts in English language learning, teaching, and assessment. Cambridge English for Schools Exams range is specially designed to make learning Keeping experimenting fun, enjoyable, and motivating for stuand testing in Early Years dents at primary and secondary school.

To help your child do well, our highly qualified and trained ESL teachers use authentic Cambridge materials and engaging methods to teach English to non-native students. The teachers use a variety of support materials to deliver lessons that will cater every child’s academic needs. These materials vary from traditional resources such as pen and paper sample tests or exam updated coursebooks to more digital resources such as online lesson plans, games, or apps which can be used by students inside and outside of the classroom. With a Cambridge English certificate, you can be confident that your child’s English meets international standards.


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Read All About It! Why is Reading at the Heart of Learning in Primary? Why is reading at the heart of learning at ISB? Because, as the American educator, Mary McCleod Bethune said, “The whole world opened up to me when I learned to read.” Why is reading at the heart of learning in primary at ISB? One answer can be found in a favourite quote from Dr Seuss, the internationally loved author of ‘Cat in the Hat’,

children. Outer space, the stone-age, the frozen arttic...all can be accessed through books. How amazing is that? We want children to all be able to experience the magic of books!

The more that you read, The more things you will know, The more that you learn, The more places you’ll go!

At ISB, reading is given the highest priority right from EYFS and this continues all the way through primary. A rich diet of picture story books are shared with our youngest children, sitting comfortably in their reading area or on chairs, or indeed anywhere! Pictures in the books are explored and discussed. Favourite stories are read over, and over, and over again! Children are encouraged to develop a love of books and to be curious about them.

At ISB we want our children to ‘learn, respect and succeed’. We aim to encourage children to grow their knowledge and to learn. By going to ‘more places’ in their learning and imaginations, their respect for the people and world around them grows. All of this together will combine to support our children to succeed - personally and academically. There is a huge amount of research about the value of books and reading with children, and the impact this has on their life chances. Even very young babies enjoy listening to stories and rhymes. Being read to provides invaluable quality experiences with loved ones and little by little, their understanding of language - it’s music and meaning - begins to develop.

Alongside developing this ‘reading for pleasure’, children begin to learn ‘phonics’. This involves them learning how the letters they see represent sounds they hear. Next, children combine these letters to form words and learn to recognise words by ‘sight’ which don’t follow the rules they have learned! And so children are given the ‘key’ to open up the magic of books. Victor Hugo said: “To learn to read is to light a fire.” This is what we aim to do at ISB.

As children widen the range of books they encounter, they increase their knowledge of the world around them and, in their imaginations, they can experience places, events and people they could never meet in real life. Peppa Pig, Harry Potter, Horrid Henry … all these characters are adored by millions of

Throughout their time in primary, children continue to improve their reading skills and by the age of 7, most children will be able to read independently with some fluency. In Key Stage Two, they meet more and more complex vocabulary and stories and start to engage more deeply with more complex ideas.

By developing their inference skills, children learn how to put clues together to understand how characters feel or why events happen. Meanwhile, their reading independence grows so that they can tackle ambitious texts alone even though sharing a book with an adult and ‘being read to’ remains valuable even in upper primary. The ability to read and clearly understand what they read is key for enabling children to access learning in the upper years in primary. They need to be able to research in books and on-line efficiently and effectively. This forms the basis for the skills needed for much of their learning in secondary and beyond in order to access knowledge. Being such a vital skill, at ISB we ensure that we provide children with a rich variety of reading experiences. From sharing a book with a whole class to reading 1 to 1 with an adult. Celebrating books in World Book Week by dressing up to answering specific questions in an assessment. Discussing a book in a small group during our daily ‘guided reading’ sessions to settling down on a comfortable bean bag in our wonderful library. These are all experiences which we include in our planning for reading at ISB. Why is reading at the heart of learning at ISB? Because, as the American educator, Mary McCleod Bethune said, “The whole world opened up to me when I learned to read.”


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Year 3 at the Village Museum

Why Educational Field Trips Are Important MR. SIMON BAMFORD / PRIMARY SCHOOL DEPUTY HEAD TEACHER

As I am sure any child will tell you the excitement of sharing a lunch with a friend and spending money in the gift shop appears to be the highlight of any field trip out of school. However, research has shown us in education that children learn best when they experience the wider world around them and are active participants in their learning. In the Primary School at ISB we like

to give the children as many different learning experiences as possible. Often some of the best and most memorable learning experiences come from outside of the classroom and this is why education visits are an important part of a child’s education. While it is possible to learn some basic concepts in class, there is no substitute for real experience in the wider world.

School trips provide a great opportunity for pupils to gain such experience and face a range of challenges that can contribute significantly to their personal development. Pupils may feel that they know their classmates and teachers well from day-to-day contact in school, but the experience of an extended residential trip can add a completely new dimen-


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sion. It raises the whole area of interpersonal skills, including leadership, team work and trust and respect. This is why we encourage all of our Key Stage 2 children to take part in our residential trips. This experience allows children to interact and develop non academically in a way that positively nurtures the whole child and creates growth and independence as promoting a sense of healthy risk taking. There are also issues concerning the psychology of the whole experience, particularly involving self-confidence, self-esteem and resilience. Teachers often experience that pupils who do not normally shine in the classroom have excelled on a residential trip. This can all help to improve performance and relationships back at school. School trips can also make a major contribution to the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills. Studies of the natural and man-made world, the present and past, science and arts, language and music can all be enhanced outside the classroom. Adventure activity and sports skills can form the foundation of life-long interests, as well as address the health and obesity agendas. The fascination and awe of wonder that appears on children’s faces whilst on a school trip, whether it a day or longer, are experiences that are not able to be created within the confines of the four walls of a classroom. As adults, whether parents or teachers it is our duty to promote and nurture a child’s sense of curiosity and understanding of their wider world. Although as a school we are able to provide meaningful educational visits for the children it is really enhanced when visits are facilitated at home. As we enter the end of the school year and beginning of summer it is always worth thinking of where you can visit both locally and abroad with your children to enhance their understanding of the world and combine their interests into a family visit.

Year 3 children take their learning outside

Year 4 Trip to Vacaresti Park

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Secondary School Overview MR. DAVID NEWSHAM / HEAD OF SECONDARY SCHOOL

campaign by the flood of donations which followed over the following two weeks.

There are many things which make International Schools different than other private school and state education. Obviously, here at ISB we are very proud of our curriculum model, moulding the very best aspects of the English National Curriculum, the curriculum from Cambridge Assessment International Education and the prestigious International Baccalaureate Programme but there is so much more that makes our education special. ISB is accredited by Council of International Schools (CIS) and authorised by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and both of these organisations actively seek to promote Global Citizenship and International Mindedness. A key aspect for both of these organisations is Service Education. In the words of CIS, service learning is “the development of the understandings, skills and dispositions to serve the local and global community through engagement in meaningful service learning.” Recently ISB participated in the Un Paste Mai Bun campaign - a massive campaign aimed at providing a substantial food parcel to help needy families around Romania enjoy a better Easter festival. ISB was only one part of this appeal but I am immensely proud of the manner in which the secondary school threw itself into this cause. On Wednesday April 4th, all of Key Stage 3 and a large number of Year 12 students spent the afternoon packing the boxes ready for delivery. Over the course of the afternoon, 1000 boxes were filled. The atmosphere in the front yard was industrious and hard working as the students worked hard to complete as many boxes as possible in the time available. This practi-

cal engagement is the most important aspect of turning a simple charity drive into a learning opportunity. Our student body is lucky enough to live comfortable lives and attend a school which provides a first-class education. There are, in many ways, isolated from the challenges and difficulties faced by many people, not only in Romania but around the world. The money-raising aspect of charity campaigns is, of course, important. Without the funds, the products cannot be purchased. What is more important, though, is the active engagement of the students in preparing these boxes. These packages were filled with items which our students take for granted. The idea that rice or pasta or oil could be a luxury that you can’t afford to buy is, thankfully, beyond their experience. To have them take the time and expend the physical effort to assemble these packs, full of very ordinary items, encourages the students to reflect on what they have and what others don’t. This activity is important due to the number of students who were involved. It was clear how much better the students understood the purpose and urgency of the

The final part of the campaign, from a service learning point of view, was students taking the packages out to deliver them to the families. 2 classes – 7S and 8S – raised impressive amounts (RON1050 and RON1075 respectively) and we decided both classes should have the chance to visit and distribute some parcels. On Wednesday April 17th they boarded a bus and set of to visit Gornet village with 70 parcels. This was a very moving experience for many of the students involved. There were students from across our school community. Different nationalities, different religions, different cultures, and all of them got involved and were keen to help carry the boxes (no mean feat with each box weighing around 12kg) from the vehicles to the church and keen then to be involved in handing the parcels out. Following a moving thankyou by the village priest, the students then distributed the final few packages to some villagers in their homes. I need to stress how much our students interacted with the people they met. They were obviously keen to help, keen to talk and, above all, keen to smile and interact. Again, this direct involvement encouraged our students to reflect on how fortunate they are. More than this, though, they were able to recognise how easy it is to help somebody. How little is often required to make a big difference to someone’s quality of life. How important is it for us to be actively involved in helping others because in doing so, we also help ourselves. We help ourselves grow into more empathetic, understanding individuals better able to take an active place in society.


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This is the underlying reason why both CIS and the IBO place service education so high up their lists of requirements for their schools and why we at ISB will continue to look for opportunities to further this side of our educational offering. I quoted from the Council of International Schools early in this article and I will finish by quoting from the International Baccalaureate Organisation. “The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” At ISB we want out students to Learn; Respect; and Succeed and Service Education helps them do all three

Preparing the food packages in school for Un Paste Mai Bun Campaign. Helping others is helping yourself.

Mr. David Newsham and Secondary students delivering the food packages to Gornet village.

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ISSUE 13

No Ordinary Man

ANDRADA, YEAR 7S

The man walked carefully over the layers of broken placed the flute back in his pocket and held the crystal wood and broken memories. What was once a beautiful ball in his left hand. He swiped his right hand over the ball and showed the others what the world has forest was now a lonely land of shattered trees. become: a burning place devastated by greed, pollution, He gathered his belongings -the crystal ball and the deforestation, floods and wars. dirty blanket - flexed his majestic black wings and prepared himself for the mission ahead. Knowing While tears were falling down their faces, they stood exactly what he needed to do, he beat his powerful up, held each others’ hands, closed their eyes and wings several times and found himself flying high in flapped their wings. The cloud they were standing on started to spin and spin. A tornado wiped off the face the smoke-filled sky. of the earth. This was to be no ordinary task, but then again, he was no ordinary man... He sat to rest on a cloud. He took a There was a deep silence. The earth was now a meadow little flute out of his jacket pocket and started playing. of green grass. A man and a woman were sitting under An army of black-winged angels surrounded him. He an apple tree. There was still hope………………


JUNE 2019

English Department Round-Up MS.JANET HUNTER HEAD OF ENGLISH DEPARTMENT

As the iGCSE and IB examinations begin, we’d like to review some English Department highlights from the past term. During April, International School of Bucharest was proud to host the Bright Speakers event with the organisers, International Computer High School of Bucharest. This year, entrants from over twenty schools in Bucharest wrote speeches with the title “Be the Change you Want to See in the World.” They completed some voluntary work and spoke about their experiences. Topics ranged from protecting the environment to helping children in orphanages with their education. The English Department would like to congratulate all entrants for their contributions to the community and their wonderful speeches. In other news, English Week was especially fun this year, with a sensational assembly from Miss Susan and Mr. Avenell who helped students to make magical potions they had created in response to Harry Potter. We also had some superb creative writing and fun reading selfies. With this in mind, please enjoy the student contributions for this edition of Insight.

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Be the Change You Want to See in the World VICTORIA B. BRIGHT SPEAKER COMPETITION PRESENTATION

Be the change you want to see in the world as Mahatma Gandhi once said. Hi, my name is Victoria and today I am going to talk about how for my charity project I decided to teach children English. For me a very important thing is connection and communication. Of course, everybody has their one perspective on those 2 aspects, but in my opinion, connection and communication have a basic, strong link. You can’t have one without the other. I am a lucky child who had the opportunity to learn a second language from a really early age and currently study-

ing in a remarkable school following the British curriculum. I noticed that every time the children from other schools, or even grownups find out that I study all the schools subjects in English are amazed because they don’t have this possibility and they find it hard to do this such thing. I decided to teach children English so they can experience the benefits of speaking a worldwide language. I see it as if those children learn English, when they grow up, they will have a much better career and a much better future. They will also have the

chance to better interact with people all around the world. I started to create a small community of kids in my neighborhood that have the desire to learn. The purpose of my project is to help the children from my community group to express themselves in English and to improve their vocabulary. I knew I had to use a creative approach, so that the children enjoy it and remember what they learned. For the children under the age of 6, I practiced with them writing simple vocabulary and then drawing a picture next to the


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I started to create a small community of kids in my neighborhood that have the desire to learn. The purpose of my project is to help the children from my community group to express themselves in English and to improve their vocabulary. I knew I had to use a creative approach, so that the children enjoy it and remember what they learned... word. For children 6+ I taught them some vocabulary and then starting to create and analyze simple sentences by coloring the verbs and subjects. We even went out one day doing a lexicon activity, naming different objects as we go by. Working with children can be difficult, but being one, I tried to include fun in our activities and a little prize at the end of the lesson; or if we had a small quiz at the end to summarize what they learnt I made sure they had a sweet prize waiting for them. Lara, one of my students, who is only 4 years old gave me a valuable life lesson: working with her, if I over spoke or

explained too much, I would lose her attention. I had to be straight to the point and exact with my words to keep her captivated. We are approximately 7.5 billion people on this planet but only 20% of us speak English and 98% of Romanians think that their children should learn to speak English. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - This was Nelson’s Mandela opinion. I totally agree with this statement, because with better knowledge you can achieve more and have a bet-

ter impact on the world through driving change. Why this project is important to me? I can have a contribution to their future and this English lessons represent a brick that was laid on the foundation of their education. My project not only helped the children but it did taught me life lessons. By the end of the first month we all communicated and after that had a connection. “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”


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ISB’s version of Macbeth’s dagger scene, specially adapted for the deaf.

... Theatre is a visual medium. If you can close your eyes during a show and still manage to keep up, then that’s not theatre – it’s radio... So visual storytelling is important. Even without words, we should be able to guess who’s who, and how they get on with the other people, and how they are feeling at that particular moment.

It’s Called ‘Seeing a Show’ For a Reason MR. IAN MCSHANE / HEAD OF THE PERFORMING ARTS DEPARTMENT

Last month I took a group of students to see We Will Rock You at Sala Palatului. This was the latest of many theatre trips I’ve organised in Bucharest. One of the things I try to teach students in Drama lessons is that theatre is a visual medium. If you can close your eyes during a show and still manage to keep up, then that’s not theatre – it’s radio. During lessons, whilst they are busily devising and creating characters and

scenes, I always remind the class that they should be pitching their performances at my auntie Vera. She loves shows, but she sometimes has trouble following the action, as she’s deaf. So visual storytelling is important. Even without words, we should be able to guess who’s who, and how they get on with the other people, and how they are feeling at that particular moment. Steven Spielberg learned to direct by


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watching TV with the sound off, and he knows better than anyone alive how to move a story forward with images. If you’ve ever tried to book a hotel room over the phone in a second language, you’ll know how difficult it is. We need pictures. Vera needs visuals. (Or she would, if she actually existed.)

the make-up guys were entering to get their audience appreciation. As we were making our way out of the auditorium (the kids’ parents were outside, waiting to take them home), I’m pretty sure it was the car park attendants who were bathing in the glow of rapidly diminishing applause.

So – We Will Rock You. We’re all familiar with the music. Like it or not, it’s been impossible to avoid Queen. If you like film, you’ll know which movie won the most Oscars this year. If you have no interest in cinema or music and would rather just sit at home and watch sport – oh, look! It’s a compilation of the season’s highlights. And what’s that backing song they’re using? It’s “We are the Champions”! (Or “Gold” by Spandau Ballet. Or Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best”. It’s almost like these people knew their songs would be tailor-made for (a) sporting montages and (b) a steady supply of royalties.) I like Queen, so this show had my name on it. Unfortunately, it was not in English, and my Romanian language skills are about as good as my Ukrainian folk dancing skills. But I assumed the songs would be in English, otherwise the show would have been called Noi Will Rock You, so no problem. Besides, the last few shows I’ve seen here have been in foreign languages. In the last year, I’ve organised three trips to O Intamplare Cu Un Caine La Miezul Noptii (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time), which I heartily recommend. Five actors and some startling visual effects make for a very entertaining experience, with or without the words. I’d also been to the last two productions by the Hellenic Cultural Association of Romania. They were in Greek, which I understand even less than Romanian. I literally know one Greek phrase, from my many holidays on the islands. It translates roughly as, “No ouzo for me, thanks. I like not being in prison.” These last two shows

Now I’m not saying these people do not deserve our respect – without them, there’s no show – but surely you want to leave the theatre with the songs ringing in your ears, rather than the feeling of sore hands and a sense of relief. Who sits through the endless credits of modern movies? (Except the Marvel ones, where the post-credits scenes are a new and frankly irritating custom.) This is theatre. Thank the actors, acknowledge the band, then get out so the cleaners can do their stuff and catch the last Metro home.

helpfully provided subtitles, which were projected on screens. I knew the plays well, though, which was handy as the subtitles were quite a distance from the stage. So, by the time you’d read the line, “Look – here comes Agamemnon”, and looked towards the stage, Agamemnon was already saying his goodbyes and heading off for some retsina and souvlaki. And probably ouzo – this guy was tough. The subtitles thing seems to be part of a growing trend in theatre, where cinematic devices are used to enhance shows. We Will Rock You didn’t just have the traditional walk-down (the climax, where cast members take it in turn to take bows). Oh, no - this show had closing credits. As each performer took their bow, their name was projected. This was despite the fact that free programmes were left on the seats before the show. And then there were credits for the musicians, who each took to the stage. And then the director. And pretty much everyone else involved. We were putting our coats on as

So shows live or die on their visuals. For an hour and a half of O Intamplare Cu Un Caine La Miezul Noptii, I didn’t understand a word of dialogue, but I’ll never forget the image of the lead character floating through the universe of his imagination (a devilishly simple trick involving a revolving stage and a huge mirror). Aside from the songs, all the talking in Beauty and the Beast from several years ago meant nothing to me, but I still remember the moment when Beast lifted off the floor, spun in midair and transformed into the handsome prince. And one of my fondest memories of ISB will be the look that little George V. of Year 7 made to the audience in our 2012 show Speechless, as if to say, “I can wait here all day, but this show does not continue until you all stand up and show me some respect.” Which they did, whilst laughing. George is now an ISB graduate and over six feet tall, but I’ll never forget that look. It was a great visual moment. Auntie Vera would have loved that.


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Psychodrama as a Pedagogical Drama Teaching Strategy MS. CRISTINA PURICI / DRAMA TEACHER

Psychodrama training has enhanced and added both educational and enjoyment value to my lessons and led to a better experience for both the students and myself. I am a passionate learner. I started with informal education in the pre-school setting and carried on beyond the period of formal education. I learn from my own experience, from observing others, from the group-in-collaboration process and through action. My work in theatre made me realize that drama is not only personified on stage but it’s the action everywhere around us. Drama is

connected to theatre through experience. Theatre is communicating a situation to the audience while in drama you experiment with the situation and it rises in value via your own personal experience. I found Performing Arts as a way of sensitizing human beings and making them more in touch with the resonance of their own feelings in the outside world. Role play brought

me towards realizing that complex issues are involved in life situations and theatre studies were not enough to master the experiences I encountered. As an introspective person, actor and teacher, I addressed the branch of psychology and met therapeutic theatre. I started my training at the Romanian Classical Psychodrama Association. The psychodramatic encounter is a


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method for helping to understand and resolve individual conflicts in a group. Action Methods is the term used to describe visual and role-based approaches to individual and group work. These methods are derived from Psychodrama and Sociometry, which were developed originally by JL Moreno and have subsequently been applied to many contexts: organisational, educational, community. They can be used for personal and professional work, for example job and relationship choices, conflict management, strategic planning, team building, review meetings, training and development events and community consultation. Psychodrama built upon my personality change towards developing increased self-awareness and awareness of the ‘being’ of others. Enhancing the spontaneity that we are all heir to, develops the ability to adopt a greater variety of appropriate roles for life situations. Most of all, I’ve become more empathic with my students. Psychodrama training is very strict and well organized. Here the teacher is professionally called director of psychodrama – trainer. As a trainer, you are instructed on your tone of voice and approach through gestures, identification of group social preferences and elaborating activities which have a precise development thread. This practice helped me improve not only my teaching skills but my skills in how to ‘be a teacher’. Starting a lesson was always a challenge. I watched the approaches of other teachers, but it was important to find my own method. My tone of voice is firm and kind while the message is sent out with clarity of instructions. Of course, I am still confronted with all sorts of behaviour manners, but this is where empathy makes room and class management is under assertiveness. I felt accomplished in this area of awareness when a student approached me

near Easter break and asked, “Miss, I never saw you angry or shouting. Did it ever happen?” Continuing the lesson, action requires a warming up. The first step in the process of building group cohesion is the introduction process. Even if warm-up activities are also usually used in drama, psychodrama training taught me that warm-up activities are opening the space for creativity, stimulating spontaneity and reducing anxiety. At my first Residential Theoretical Psychodrama Course, I was asked to conduct a starter activity. Being an experienced Drama teacher, I chose the most challenging warm-up game I knew. The feedback I received wasn’t too positive. Later I learned that theatre can be challenging in a negative way for the non-professional and have the opposite effect, which is to increase anxiety and inhibit spontaneity. Even if drama is a physical lesson, it is not a competition. After realizing that the purpose of the starter is not only to “warmup”, capture attention and concentrate better, I am choosing sensitive games which challenge creativity and less competitiveness. In the starter activity, students interact with others and social roles are developed. The sense of a self develops from the somatic. Psychodrama Social Atom exploration can be used for different purposes, as an excellent tool for exploration of the individual preferences towards other group members, and also relationships in the team or in groups generally. This is basically called group making in drama. After the warm-up is complete and groups are created, it is expected that we need some acting in the drama lesson. Drama is more than recreating a play by dramatizing or learning some scripted lines by heart. In drama we explore participative theatre where students devise and create their own

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play, whilst developing their native capabilities and having fun. In drama you enact life conflicts and learn from that experience, whilst in psychodrama you put your own personal content on stage. This training helps me recognize when students are bringing their own personal content on stage and how to manage the development of the performance in a safe environment. I must say it’s very important for this awareness to take place. A drama class coordinator must be prepared when confronted with individual personal approaches from students as a poor intervention can do more harm. After each performance, especially in assessment, students have a sharing moment where they provide feedback for others and for themselves, guided by the teacher. Psychodrama taught me that sharing is more important than simply theatrically evaluating performances. Through sharing is validated the subjective truth of each participant and everybody has the opportunity to express freely. Involved here is the suspended answer which eliminates the possibility of having a contradictory conversation, giving the chance of equal response to all participants. With my experience as a drama teacher and trainee for personal development through theatrical techniques using the Morenian psychodrama method, I coordinate students in contest entries for group performance. Last year at Lauri National Competition for Scenic Interpretation, ISB students returned with II Place and I as their coordinator received 1st Place for Directing. This year, ISB Drama Club made great progress and received 1st Place for group performance. These results brought me the Prize of Excellence for my contribution in the Artistic Education at Lauri National Competition for Scenic Interpretation.


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The ISB Music Band, Winners of the 1st Place in the Inter-School Talent show of Bucharest.

Music is Art MS. ADINA IACOB / KS3 LEADER / MUSIC TEACHER, SECONDARY SCHOOL

At ISB we do not teach Music because we expect students to major in Music or become a professional musicians. Nor do we teach music because we expect them to play or sing all their lives (although they might). We teach Music, so they will recognize beauty. We teach Music so they will have more compassion. We teach Music so they can be fully human. It allows a person to take dry, boring and often difficult techniques and use them to create emotion.

Music is Mathematics It is rhythmically based on subdivisions of time into fractions that must be calculated, interpreted and applied instantaneously. Music is Science A conductor’s score is a complex chart that indicates frequency, intensity, volume, melody and harmony. All at once in with the most exact control of time. Music is a foreign language

Notation is a highly developed kind of shorthand based on symbols that represent ideas. The semantics o music is the most complete and universal language known. Music is Physical Education It requires exceptional coordination of fingers, hands, arms, legs, lips, cheeks and also facial muscles. Across primary and secondary school our students have the opportunity to learn how to read music from a score


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Secondary School Music Room.

The Class Orchestra of Year 9 playing the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song.

and to play the music on an instrument. They learn about Music Theory and Harmony and about the great classical composers of Western Tradition Music. Furthermore, living as we do in an international community, they have the opportunity to learn about different music cultures from around the world, listening to the tradition music of Latin America, Africa, Arabic countries, India, Indonesia, China and Japan.

Students have the opportunity to go to Guitar clubs, but also to take Violin, Drums, Piano or Singing lessons.


London Calling MS. TEODORA VARZARU ART TEACHER

Choosing the right university is the first step towards independence and a prelude of the students’ lives as fulfilled and prosperous adults.

“The student is the center of our attention” said one of the teachers guiding us through the vast corridors of one of the universities we visited. We were surprised by that phrase because high school students are used to rules and boundaries, uniforms, homework, teachers and parents telling them what to do. And now they were experiencing the relaxed atmosphere of a university campus. Freedom of choice. Interesting outfits. Self-expression. No one forcing you to go to classes. Nobody holding your hand. People developing long-lasting friendships based on common interests. During our journey we learnt that many students study a lot because they are truly passionate about the subjects they chose, more so than the grades that otherwise dictate their lives. By talking with one of our ISB alumni, Ana

A. (now a student at LSE), the students asked the vital burning questions: “Where do you do your laundry?” “What do you usually eat?” “How many hours do you study per day?” The things that normally they would be too shy to ask an information desk officer. And, as amused as she was by these questions, Ana answered each one, smiling because at one point she was just as inquisitive and semi-panicked as they are right now. She advised them to choose a university since they will spend most of their time there, rather than merely considering location or online references. Choosing the right university is the first step towards independence and a prelude of their lives as fulfilled and prosperous adults. As well as LSE and Imperial College, we also visited UCL and Kings College: both impressive, and even a little


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overwhelming at first. Our students, however, seemed to prefer the new, modern buildings to the more historical ones. We saved the last two days for visiting Instituto Marangoni of London and Queen Mary’s University. The facilities and degree options were plentiful. Luckily, we planned ahead based on what each wanted to pursue in their future studies, so the students focused on what was important and asked direct questions. London may be one of the most historically rich and traditional cities in the world, but our trip gave the students a tantalizing glimpse into a promising future.

“The trip to London reinforced my decision to study in the UK as I thoroughly enjoyed it. It presented multiple team building experiences and bonding opportunities. The students we met whilst visiting universities offered us a glimpse of living abroad, its challenges and its rewards. Visiting the top universities in London served as a motivator for all of us. The Marangoni Institute and Imperial College were particularly enjoyable experiences.” Gabriela M.,

“The trip to London was an interesting experience. I think it was successful on an academic level as we got to visit some of the best universities in London and it made the application process clearer. Moreover, we also got to experience the city and it was overall a great bonding opportunity for the students who participated. I especially liked the workshop offered at the Instituto Marangoni as it made us embrace our creativity and make good use of our collaborative skills. It was also really nice to meet with Ana A. (former ISB student) at LSE, who told us more about life at Uni”. Sara T.

“The UK trip really gave me an insight into what university life might be like in London. It helped me understand whether I match with the London atmosphere and would like to stay there. Most of the universities were really old and had a wide history, which was fascinating and made me realize that I would like to study in a more modern university, even though their architecture was very beautiful. Furthermore, we talked to students who were studying at UCL and Queen Mary’s, which gave me a chance to ask questions and make things clearer regarding university life, as well as

things like the personal statement and how applications work. I believe it is very important to visit the university you want to go to before applying, as you may not like the atmosphere and student life there. Overall, this trip was very helpful as I had never visited England before, so it gave me guidance into where I would like to study in the future.” Alexandra Ioana G.

“I found the UK trip great! Visiting London for the first time offered me a glimpse into life abroad. It made me


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consider how I might have to, at some point soon, face the challenge of integrating myself into a society different from my own. At Marangoni Institute, I saw people thinking and behaving freely, in a way I often asked myself if I’d have the courage to do. At LSE, Ana A. described to us how hardships of academic life should be perceived as a personal challenge. A beautiful one”.

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“I found the trip to the U.K. divine! It was a great opportunity for us, as students, to find out more about that country, the people and the atmosphere. It was a great trip overall as we got to visit some of the best universities in London, in addition to that I have found one very interesting university which I’m planning to go to! I also like the workshop by Maragoni as it made our critical and creative thinking bolder and stronger and I would like to add that I loved the organization!”

sible questions, doubts or issues regarding our application process, fees or accommodation, which was very beneficial and reassuring, as we are all stressed and feel the pressure from the upcoming year knocking on our door. The atmosphere in London made our trip a very enjoyable one, as apart from our initial purpose of visiting the universities we were interested in, we got to experience life in a new city, talk Claudia I. to different people and enjoy some quality time in London’s amazing libraries .Overall, I am confident that “The UK trip was an amazing opporPraket K. this trip was a success as it gave me tunity to visit the universities I want a sense of purpose and built a base to study at and the accumulation of information provided by the student “This university trip to London was an for my personal targets and goals for representatives when visiting the uni- ideal opportunity, for us, year 12 stu- next year, together with offering me versities. In my opinion the trip was dents, to finally have a clear image of the chance to spend an amazing time perfect and well planned out”. the universities we consider to apply with my friends”. for next year. We addressed any pos- Daria S. Sebastian C.


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JUNE 2019

Where are They Now? JESSICA MILLER / FORMER ISB TEACHER

Greetings from the USA! Last July, I left Romania after six years of teaching, including two years at ISB, and returned to my native country to make a difference in the lives of American students. While it has been advantageous to be home, I definitely miss Romania as well. While often regarded as the land of plenty, there exists a great disparity in the American educational system. The state education children receive is dependent upon the school district in which they live. Taxes from a school district serve as primary funding for state schools. This equates to wealthier areas doing well, while poorer areas remain underfunded and without the same resources as schools in wealthier school districts. As a result, the academic experience a student has can vary widely from school district to school district, and unless students have the means for a private education, they are restricted to attending schools within their school district. As I am passionate about education, it is disheartening to recognise that in my country, students are limited in their educational experience based on their zip code. Therefore, I was happy to find a teaching position within a state charter school in North Carolina that is combating educational inequality with a power-

ful mission to break the cycle of poverty in the local community. Henderson, North Carolina, which lies 40 minutes north of the state capital Raleigh, is not well known and is a community accumulating a mere 15,000 in population, but the story of Henderson is one reminiscent of other towns and cities throughout the US. The majority of manufacturing industries has shut down, leaving vacant factories as eye sores and even more pressing, an economic calamity from which has been difficult to recover. Imagine what this means for students in the area. Now, let me introduce my school, which is not only changing state testing statistics, but the perception of aptitude

and drive of lower income students. Henderson Collegiate’s emphasis is 51% character education and 49% academic education. This means values such as integrity, respect, and responsibility are woven into the foundation of the school in a way that accentuates the kind of people we want our students to be, and this translates to the school’s approach towards student behaviour. With such an emphasis on character education, academic rigor is pushed even more than in most US schools. The high expectations Henderson Collegiate places on staff and students alike pays off. The results of North Carolina’s end of year exams, for instance, highlights a positive anomaly achieved by the school; Henderson Collegiate’s students continue to outperform their peers from other state schools. While the greatness my school is achieving does not fix everything in American education, it stands as a shining example of possibilities of positive change. And within my position, it is with pride that I teach European History to KS3 students, making sure to share my travels of Europe and to ensure my students can place Romania, my former home, on a map.


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Outward Bound-Academy of Experience MRS. NASREEN HAMMAD / MS. EVA ASMARANDEI / MS. CLAUDIA HURMUZESCU, PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHING ASSISTANTS

The Outward Bound Training is a course which is designed for field instructors, educators, teachers, guides and youth workers who seek outdoor education, instructional training and personal skill development. The Outward Bound expression was used in sailing. It states the fact that the ship is ready to leave the safety of the harbor and commit itself to the open sea. Nowadays, the Outward Bound concept became an established term for expressing the experiential pedagogy elaborated by Kurt Hahn and for the schools that work based on this pedagogy. The concept of therapy through experience is based on skills training, effort (challenging experiences), problem solving, reflection and evaluation.

� Skills training �

Effort (rappel on the mountain)

� Problem

solving (outdoor and indoor games, hiking)

� Reflection �

Evaluation (individual and group discussions)

� Activities

in nature (new experiences, challenges, emotions, communication, teamwork).

The Comfort Zone

The Outward Bound Training is a course which is designed for field instructors,

educators, teachers, guides and youth workers who seek outdoor education, instructional training and personal skill development. Their outdoor activities are unique and exciting (example: Jacob’s ladder or mountain golf). Through inspiring and challenging journeys for self-discovery in the natural world, the participants cultivate resilience, leadership skills and responsibilities, connections, trust, other related skills for the tasks given, and compassion. The course uses the outdoor environment and teaching activities to encour-


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Outward Bound encourages individuals to test their limits and gain a new set of skills of conquering their emotional and physical fears by doing so. The experience helps the individual build their inner strength along with self-confidence and courage in an unfamiliar environment. age personal growth, interpersonal skill development along with keys for the team development. They use a multi-day expedition to foster deeper understanding of how key learnings can be directly applied to academic and everyday life. The aims of this course were: Defining what outdoor education is and how to apply it in a different environment (example outdoor lesson with the class); Learning about outdoor education principles; Learning through expedition on how to plan an outdoor course with all the requirements like risk assessments and safety management importance along with awareness regarding the basics for a group facilitation. The outcomes expected are: an indepth understanding of the outdoor education process, the correct way to implement the knowledge of the experiential education; developing the skill of designing and deliver an activity for the appropriate participants (based on age, skills, etc), team play- cooperation with different types of new people and how to apply the lessons learnt into our everyday life and work. Outward Bound encourages individuals to test their limits and gain a new set

of skills of conquering their emotional and physical fears by doing so. The experience helps the individual build their inner strength along with self-confidence and courage in an unfamiliar environment. The experience also improves your adaptive coping and team cooperation learning to work with a different individual with separate skills and fears. All the outdoor activities are put into an experience helping us gain new confidence which is put into our daily life and decisions.

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How to Keep the Children Safe in the Online World MRS. CRISTINA IANCU / STUDENT SUPPORT COORDINATOR

We have spoken about the importance of online safety, explaining the differences between risk, danger and harm. As part of the Primary Open Morning on 9th of April, the Student Support Team presented a workshop for parents about Online Safety. The workshop was a great opportunity to find out new information backed up by the latest research about the effects of technology use on children’s personal and socio-emotional development. Throughout the workshop we have spoken about the importance of online safety, explaining the differences between risk, danger and harm. When discussing about the risk we have taken into consideration the 4 C-s which help the parents to assess the level of

it : content, contact, conduct and commercialism. As we approached the use of technology we presented a balanced point of view, presenting both the advantages and the disadvantages. As part of the advantages we talked about intellectual benefits –such as problem-solving and critical thinking skills, as well as educational, social and creative benefits. When we presented the disadvantages we looked to the overuse and misuse, raising awareness about internet addiction and signs which show children are at risk. We have also explained the consequences of overuse, and how can this im-

pact their brain as well as their social and emotional development, especially when approaching the overuse of social media and gaming. The highlight of the workshop was a practical tutorial done by Mr. Turgay Uzuncakmak, our Head of Technology, who recommended the tools which parents can make use of, for gaining more parental control on their children online activity. However, we have concluded that no filter or App can replace parents’ supervision and that “it is not the use of technology that is causing issues, but rather the misuse/overuse/abuse of it by those who use it.”


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JUNE 2019

Humanities is Evolving MR. TOM QUINN / HEAD OF HUMANITIES

“The Business and Management course has developed both my critical and strategic thinking skills. It has taught me to appreciate the significance of change, not only in organisational structures within businesses, but in my daily life as well.” DARIA, YEAR 12I It’s a typical morning at ISB. The bell sounds and Mozart’s Allegro serenades students down the corridors to their Form rooms. The hustle and bustle of another day begins with many hoping 3:00 pm will arrive sooner than the day before. School is always the same - students and teachers competing to accomplish opposing goals, timetables and expectations a constant thorn, and noise never-ending. But is that a problem in today’s school? Peer into a 3rd floor Humanities classroom and you might witness a different type of school altogether. Instead of the constant battle between students and teachers, there seems to be … harmony. Yes, there still exists some chaos, but is it controlled chaos, or even progress? Are standards slipping or is learning in the modern age just louder? Preparing students in the fast-paced global environment isn’t easy but the ISB Humanities Department is conducting an experiment of sorts. Utilising ‘old school lessons’ with new age approaches is taking a firm hold. iPads, technology, Google Classrooms, project-based learning (PBLs), questions posed, hands raised, reading, writing, note-taking, displays, discussions, debates, research, analysis, interpretation, empathy, cooperation, connecting all the subjects, enthusiasm and smiling faces - that’s what you’ll witness on the 3rd floor. The stress of IGCSE,

Year 9 students working independently in Geography class.

IB, extended essays (EEs), internal assessments (IAs), and external exams never seems to end, but students and teachers are working together to navigate a new course at ISB. Humanities courses deal with a range of subjects that investigate human behavior. All ISB teachers confront many of these behaviours from the ‘front lines’ each day. Geography classes don’t just calculate distances on a map or read a key, but instead teach students to plan sustainable societies and understand the impact of our carbon footprint. Geography lessons focus on understanding how human beings use resources and interact with each oth-

er; they emphasise being an educated consumer that optimises Fairtrade practices. Mr. Harvey believes that, “Geography lessons are an essential experience in youth development. Being exposed to Geography helps you see the real world, and allows you to grow and become a rounded individual.” David N. (7B) mentioned, “Instead of just looking at an assignment on the table in front of us, we add discussion and debates to our lessons.” Sung Min (7I) commented, “Our Geography teacher, Mr. Sprawson, makes us understand what we learn by giving us case-studies with real world consequences.”


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We used to think of Economics lessons as studying financial policies and evaluating fiscal trends, which they still do. However, at ISB students are taught to use scientific methods, allocate resources and develop perspectives in a way that can foster concern for global issues. Students are taught to see the potential in global markets, yet understand their responsibility at a local, national and international level. Dr. Laura Tibulca encourages her economics students to, “Always ask lots of questions!” One her star students, Sara T. (12B), astutely remarked, “Studying economics has made me better understand phenomenon that can have, as history proved time and time again, life-changing effects. Economics has given me the opportunity to understand and explore the world around me.”

Business classes once focused on methods for making money but now target strategies to compete in the global economy using E-commerce. Whether it’s his IGCSE Business Studies or IB Business Management students, Mr. Bogdan Manu sees value in all of his students. They might study management theories, but students go much further and learn to evaluate business activities at all levels, taking into consideration socio-cultural and economic contexts in which companies operate. When asked what he in his courses, Mr. Bogdan commented, “Students are made aware of personal finance, taught to become responsible for their own education, and encouraged to establish professional goals.” Daria S. (12I) gave a sagacious critique, saying, “The Business and Management course has developed both my critical and strategic thinking skills. It

has taught me to appreciate the significance of change, not only in organisational structures within businesses, but in my daily life as well.” Led by Ms. Carmen Zaharia and Ms. Alina Constantin in Psychology, students are learning to make sense of our behaviours by engaging in the systematic study of mental processes. Ms. Carmen wants her students to, “understand human behaviour, to develop emotional intelligence, to be empathetic and compassionate, and to achieve their goals in life.” It’s clear that Psychology lessons have progressed past the days of Pavlov’s Dog and demand that students take initiative to discover habits and behaviours that promote mental well-being. Long gone are the days where History lessons focused solely on names, dates and facts. ISB students are


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Mr. Quinn preparing students for a class activity.

taught to ‘know what’s inside the box but think outside of it.’ The emphasis on thinking, reading, analysing, understanding, connecting, cross-referencing, evaluating, comparing and contrasting, debating, and using evidence (QTS) to write essays are the modern essentials. Of course we know that knowledge is power, but ISB students are taught to make connections with what they already know to what they are learning. They are encouraged and supported so they gain the confidence and skills to think independently. In this world with a 24-hour news cycle, it’s vital that they can identify ‘Fake News’, recognise legitimate sources of information and defend points of view that unite us. Mr. Collins added, “The skills learnt in History can be used in all other subjects, and in life after school.” Year 11 student Alecsandra R. (11I) com-

mented, “History lessons were really interesting this year and I understood more than ever before.” The Humanities Department covers a range of subjects that give students opportunities to learn about themselves, understand behaviours, and develop the skills to make sense of the world we live in. Whether it’s Mr. O’Brien’s Sociology lessons, or Mr. Andre Galanciuc’s intense Business classes, ISB students are developing the tools to succeed in today’s chaotic world, but with a caring, compassionate, and sensible approach. Maybe Julia G. (13I) has a perspective that should be considered - “People say Humanities lessons are useless they are dumb. Humanities show us how to function, how to write, and how to think for ourselves.”

Of course we know that knowledge is power, but ISB students are taught to make connections with what they already know to what they are learning. They are encouraged and supported so they gain the confidence and skills to think independently.

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Year 7s go back in time at the Village Museum.

ISB Humanities Week Celebrates Exploration MR. TOM QUINN / HEAD OF HUMANITIES DEPARTMENT

Overall the 2019 Humanities Week at ISB was a success. Giving students the opportunity to work within their subjects, but in settings outside of the classroom, always focuses their learning and helps them put to practice the skills and thinking needed to make sense of the world around us.

THE WEEK The ISB Humanities Department organised a special week for students in Years 7 - 12, from May 13th through May 17th. It was a busy time, but students and teachers were given the opportunity to study their subjects outside of the classroom, connecting creativity with exploration. From trips to Herăstrău Park, to Fieldwork Studies in the Lipscani, to future millionaires being trained by 7billionideas, to quizzes and presentations in the Theatre - students tackled the study of Humanities from different angles. THE GEOGRAPHY TRIP The Geography trip to Lipscani gave Year 9 & 10 students the opportunity to gain much-needed field work experience, an essential element of the IGCSE curriculum. Wearing comfortable clothes and sunglasses (it was a bright, sunny day!), students were given 2 hypotheses linked to the Settlement and Urban Growth topic in the IGCSE syllabus and were tasked with collecting and presenting data using various methods. Their analysis helped them reach conclusions on the data and original hypothesis explored. Tony S. (9S) said, “It was the best trip of the year”, and Filip I. (9S) added, “It was better


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than sitting in a classroom and it helped us figure out how to work in the field.” Mr. Harvey commented, “The experience and value gained from this trip will benefit all students sitting IGCSE exams in a range of different subjects.” Helping students gain real-world experience is vital to all the learning in the classroom and the Geography trip proves that. HISTORY TRIP Year 7 & 8 students spent a day at Herăstrău Park. They were divided into teams of 6 - 10 and followed a scavenger hunt map, collecting valuable historical information and taking photos to represent their findings. Teachers were stationed at designated points along the route and students explored some of the fascinating historical sites, including the Village Museum. Teams were encouraged to work together and figure out the map clues. One student, Faris S., mentioned, “Our history trip was interesting. We were able to see the statues in Herăstrău Park, learn about some history of the EU and experience the park with our friends.” Maria V. (8S) commented, “This trip was about experiencing a Scavenger Hunt through the Herăstrău Park and the Village Museum along with friends, but also being able to have a break from the curriculum.” Mr. Alex Asgari added, “Herăstrău Park was nice and the weather perfect … it was a good distraction from lessons in the classroom.” Being the beneficiaries of wonderful weather meant all students and teachers enjoyed a relaxing day in the sunshine. QUIZZES To test their academic progress, two Quizzes were organised in the Theatre. Students were divided into Teams representing their Forms and answered questions related to history, geography, sports, music and miscellaneous topics. Year 9s & 10s competed in a close affair with places 1 to 5 separated by only 4 points. 9I & 9S shared second place, whilst an all-star Team of Year 10s including Ana C., Christian S., Vlad C., Filip C. and Sebastian C. - ran away at the end (sort of) to capture 1st place.

Year 7s found the Turkey - 2 points! Year 7s wrap up their tour of Herăstrău Park.


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The ISB 7billionideas graduates with Mr. Ben Worth.

The Year 7 & 8 Quiz seemed to show the power of knowledge, whilst also revealing the risk of guessing. In a crucial run through the Music category, 7S, 7B and 8I changed the leaderboard at each question until in the end, K-Pop from South Korea, propelled 7B into the championship circle! Congratulations to Anita M., David N., Grace Q., Sofia S. and Andreas T.. The Humanities Department hopes to make these Quizzes an annual event. 7BILLIONIDEAS As part of the ISB Humanities Week, on Wednesday and Thursday (May 15 & 16) the 7billionideas event was scheduled for Year 10 & 12 students. Led by Mr. Ben Worth, this course offered

students the opportunity to take part in an exciting business seminar called ‘Unleashing Potential’. 7billionideas has worked with over 60,000 students from across the world and are experts at unlocking the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit in young people. The aim was to unleash the potential business person in each of our pupils and to open their eyes to possibilities in running their own business. Students were organised into Teams that represented Consulting Firms. They were tasked with the responsibility to research different business models, evaluating strengths and weaknesses of each. The Teams then offered their recommendations in a presentation assembly where their

classmates decided which Consulting Firm deserved a £1 million investment. Arsh F. (10S) surmised, “This was one of the best experiences. It taught me a lot about business and working with Mr. worth was amazing.” Tudor D. (10I) remarked, “I found the 7billionideas course to be both informative and enjoyable. I was glad to learn about real life skills which we don’t always get the chance to cover in classes. I also developed my team-working and communication skills as well as my public speaking capabilities; I recommend this course to all ISB students.” Mihai P. (10I) mentioned, “I thought it was a nice experience. I learned a lot about business and would like to take part next year.”


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Tudor, Sebastian, Mihai and Isabelle plan their strategy during the 7billionideas seminar.

In the closing ceremony special awards of commendation were presented to Tudor D. (10I), Razvan K. (9S) and David‌‑E. LESSONS LEARNED Overall the 2019 Humanities Week at ISB was a success. Giving students the opportunity to work within their subjects, but in settings outside of the classroom, always focuses their learning and helps them put to practice the skills and thinking needed to make sense of the world around us. One student, Doria M. said, “Humanities Week was really interesting and entertaining … we could be in Herăstrău Park and rely on ourselves.” Levent M. (7S) said, “It made me think outside of the box … before I thought about history just being in the past, but Humanities Week helped me realise that history is in the Mr. Ben Worth from 7billionideas guides ISB students on Day One of the ‘Unleashing Potential’ seminar. future too.”

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Congratulations to our U13 Football Team for coming in the third place in the Junior Lumina

Now act nice and cool for the group photo

Sport Competitions at ISB MS. ANA CUATU / PE TEACHER

Overall, it was a busy year with all the competitions going on between schools. We would like to send a big thank you to all pupils who took out of their time to represent the school in any of these competitions! BASKETBALL AND VOLLEYBALL COMPETITIONS AT ISB

congratulate them once more for their achievements.

This year, the Basketball competitions were a huge success! Even though the competitions lasted quite a lot, the pupils behaved wonderfully, their hard-working and selfless efforts were rewarded.

Even though it was recently added to the BISAC competitions, volleyball was a great success!

U14 boys’ team came in 2nd place and U18 came in 3rd place in the BISAC Competition. U16 came in 2nd place in the Cambridge Basketball Cup. The U11 team got 3rd place in the competition organized by IBSB. As for the girls, the U16 team got 3rd place in the Cambridge Basketball Cup. We are very proud of these achievements! We stand by our players and we

Our U18 girls’ team won the first place in a very challenging final and our U18 boys’ team got the second place. ISB U14 teams also took part in a competition organized by AISB. It was their 1st experience ever in a volleyball competition, playing against 6 different teams and experiencing the real situations of volleyball. The boys reached the final but finished 2nd and the girls came in 4th place. Keep up with training!

ATHLETICS GRAD PRIX 2019 On the 28th March, the ISB athletics team participated in the annual competition organised by Cambridge school at Lia Manoliu Indoor track. Our courageous students competed in 50m 200m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m and relay events against students from other 10 schools, with a real passion and desire to do well. Their athletics skills were shining once again. Our students came back to school with 12 medals (1 gold, 7 silver, 4 bronze). Well done once again! LUMINA FOOTBALL CUP 39 football teams from both Romanian public schools and international


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Our Volleyball Team during the BISAc competition

schools have signed up for the 16th edition of Lumina Junior and Senior Football Cup which took place at the school during May 2019. Congratulations to our U13 Football Team for coming in the third place in the Junior Lumina Football Cup Competition. Top Scorer Trophy also went to ISB. A big thank you to all the international and public schools football teams for their participation in the Lumina Football Cup last weekend. Thank you to all ISB staff involved in the organisation. Looking forward to the Senior Lumina Football Cup competition! We will up-date you with information on the Lumina Senior Competition Football Cup in the next issue. Overall, it was a busy year with all the competitions going on between schools. We would like to send a big thank you to all pupils who took out of their time to represent the school in any of these competitions! It is because of you that the school can feel proud of these The best selfie is always the one with the trophy achievements!

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Meet Briana V. COBIS Award Winner Overall, it was a busy year with all the competitions going on between schools. We would like to send a big thank you to all pupils who took out of their time to represent the school in any of these competitions! The COBIS Student Achievement Awards give COBIS Schools the opportunity to recognise students’ outstanding achievements on a global scale.

Talent show with rhythmic gymnastics and received different awards. Good luck next week in the ISB Primary Talent Show!

This year 3 students from our school – Briana V. from Primary, and Ariana Z. and Mihail V. from Secondary, have been presented with a COBIS Student Achievement Award for the following reasons:

Briana takes piano lessons and tennis classes, too, and she knows 3 foreign languages: English, French and Chinese.

Outstanding academic achievement � Sustained, high level contributions to the wider life of the school � Significant contributions to the school’s / community’s charity activities � An act of bravery in the school /community

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I am Briana, I am a student at ISB; I like to read, build, learn mathematics, do gymnastics, play tennis, swim and play with robots and lego.

This edition of the ISB newsletter is dedicated to our Primary winner, Briana, and in the next editions we will interview the Secondary winners, as well. Briana had a busy year, with many Robotics competition (Infomatrix 2019 World Final, Lego Robot Sumo 2018 Pitesti, SCIKiDS Science Festival), Computer Science and Informatics competitions (Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge 2018), Science contests (FirSTep), general knowledge, debate and writing competitions (World Scholar’s Cup). She was the youngest participant in the Infomatrix 2019 World Final in the Lego Sumo category, and she made

Congratulations for winning 2019 COBIS Student Achievement award! Can you tell us more about this excellent achievement and what it means to you? our school very proud. She enjoys solving Maths problems and took part in contests like “Noetic”, and qualified for the Final Round of “Mathematics without borders” in July 2019, at Nessebar, Bulgaria.

The COBIS Student Achievement award is a proof of all my efforts that I put in learning, competing, working hard in all the subjects that I do at school and it means very much to me because I really like to learn.

She participated in raising awareness in the Primary School regarding eSafety and discrimination and their importance, by participating in drama plays and short movies on these subjects.

You participated in so many different types of competitions. Please tell us about some of them.

Briana is also very skillful when it comes to dance and gymnastics. She was one of the lead dancers in the ISB flash mob in the International week 2018 Parade. In the last years she has joined the ISB

I participated in Infomatrix World Final 2019 and was placed the 7th, First Lego League and First Tech Challenge, in two sumo robot competitions and one line follower competition. I qualified to the Final Round of the “Mathematics without Borders” in Bulgaria. I participated in


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The competition that I enjoyed the most was First Tech Challenge, because I liked the robots, how they were moving and theirs different types, uses, shapes, and sizes.

Noetic Maths competition. I like sports, too. I was involved in three tennis competitions and came in second place, fifth place and seventh place. I am a Global Round qualifier of World Scholars Cup, with my team. Which competition did you enjoy the most? The competition that I enjoyed the most was First Tech Challenge, because I liked the robots, how they were moving and theirs different types, uses, shapes, and sizes. What do you consider your greatest achievement? I consider that my greatest achievement is the Cobis Student Award. You participated in so many competitions. What amount of time do you spend studying? I spend every day studying for different types of competitions, and doing

homework, too. Do you still have time to play? What is your favourite game? Yes, I still have time to play; the most I like playing in the garden with my sister or with Lego. What is your favourite subject(s) in school? My favourite subjects in school are Maths, Computing, Art and Science. What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your spare time? My hobbies are to build robots or Lego, playing tennis, do gymnastics and in spare time I like to play with my younger sister or teach her to build robots. Which living person do you most admire? I most admire my parents and sisters, my teachers from my activities and school.


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Owlympia Competition, Bucharest Round

Owlypia Competition TUDOR D. / ISB YEAR 10 STUDENT

The preliminary stage of the Owlypia Competition took place on the 16th of March 2019. During the previous months and weeks I had been preparing scrupulously for this test that

I went in with butterflies in my stomach and I began. The questions finished after about half an hour, I began to panic, the test was supposed to take two hours, I couldn’t go back and check my answers.

would be the culmination of all the hard work I put in studying the material.

Had I done something wrong?

Had I prepared enough? Was I ready? After all, this international test would be taken by students from 52 different countries. How could I compare myself to all of them? How could I even hope to match any of them, let alone qualify for the next stage?

Did I just spoil the opportunity? I felt uneasy starring into the desktops blank screen that only read “Congratulations, you have completed the test!” I had nothing else to do, so I stood up and left early, very early. This nervousness persisted into the following days but, on the 26th (ten days later), my restless brain was put at ease. Well, not immediately, I still had to muster the courage to look for my name in the list

of people that qualified, of which there were only 25. What If I didn’t see my name? Fortunately, I didn’t have to look for long as my name was found resting, quite surprisingly, next to second place. I am now preparing to advance and go to Cambridge in the summer where I hope to find other like-minded people to myself and compete against them. I think that Owlypia was a great opportunity to learn as much about famous scientists and paramount inventions as what Creativity truly means to me. I would encourage anyone over the age of 11 to participate and profit out of this great opportunity and, if I had to give any advice, it would be to study meticulously and don’t, DON’T rush the test.


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ISB Hosts the 17th Edition of Infomatrix World Final MS. MONICA ȚELE / ICT TEACHER

Infomatrix is an international computer project competition, born from a desire to bring the world’s best IT students together. The competition is not just about promoting professional excellence; it also serves to promote intercultural dialogue and cooperation, through the involvement of students and teachers from all around the world.”

in different categories: Robotics Lego Sumo, Robotics Lego Line Follower, Hardware Control and Short Movie. The Short Movie theme this year was “Discrimination”.

785 competitors from 36 countries with 347 projects joined the 17th edition of InfoMatrix.

Silver: Nihat Efe C. with “Air Mapper”

This year, 15 students represented our school in the InfoMatrix World Final,

We are extremely proud of the ISB students who participated and brought the following awards to the school: HARDWARE CONTROL

ROBOTICS LEGO LINE FOLLOWER: Gold: Esad S. & Saffet O. with “KITT” Silver: Faruk I. with “BOSS”

Honourable Mansion: Oguz S. with “Robot Runner” ROBOTICS LEGO SUMO: Honorouble Mansion: Briana V. with “RoboFight” Short Movie: Gold: Liza G. & Esma K. with “You & U” Silver: Maia S. & Sara S. with “Shine”, Andreea P. with “The girl who meets English”, Kevser E. & Melis Z with “Rewind” Bronze: Rui Y. & Hao X. with “Financially Discriminating”


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All You Need to Know about the World Scholar’s Cup MARIA V., YEAR 8 STUDENT

As you spend time with so many people from so many parts of the world, you start to feel a connection like you’re all just a big family. WHAT IS THE WSC? The World Scholar’s Cup is an international competition that focuses on communication and teamwork. Before signing up to the competition you have to gather two friends, classmates or siblings to tag along. The team has to have exactly 3 people from your age category. There are two main age categories: Junior Division (featuring students of the ages 9-14) and the Senior Division (students of ages 15-18); however, in the Junior Division there is

a small split. For the juniors under the age of 11 who got to the Global rounds, there is a Skittles section. This means that they will participate only with students their age (9-11), in the Global Rounds and the Tournament of Champions. THE ROUNDS Everyone starts off at the Regional round, competing against other teams from your country. This is like ‘the first try’. This means that if you and your group are able to in participate the next round- by getting qualified- then you will be able to improve, practice and accomplish more. In order to qualify to the Global rounds, you need to reach

a certain number of points (decided by the hosts) that you and your team have to collect, individually and as a group. In the Regional rounds, the competition will last two days, having only the challenges themselves. If you and your team qualify to the Global rounds then you get to decide where you want to go (with parents’ consent), but it is usually best to go to the place nearest to your home country. If one of the members is unable to go to the next round for any reason, the two members that have qualified are allowed to take in someone who: has qualified but does not have a team, someone who has not participated but is interested or someone from a completely different country.


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Not everyone will be able to find a group so there might be certain groups that will have someone from a completely different country, however, it’s recommended that you find a team member before signing up because there is a slim chance that you might not find a third member there and will have to participate in a pair. Every year the locations to the Global Rounds change, in order for the people to visit new places if they decide to rejoin the competition. Unlike the Regional Round, The Global round and the ToC lasts for six days due to the other arranged activities. The Tournament of Champions (ToC for short) is designed for the groups who have qualified in the Global Rounds- remember, there are more than one global round- that will all be invited to the ToC. The ToC is hosted in the same place

every year: Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. At the ToC, the teams will not be allowed to be altered. This means that if one of your team mates is unable to participate, you will not be allowed to take an outsider with you. This is because the Scholars Cup team believes that this is only for the ones who made it his far, so unless there is another qualifier who does not have a team then you may not proceed with a new member. THE SUBJECTS There are six subjects that focus on the theme of the year; Art and Music, History, Literature, Science, Social Studies and Special Area. This year’s theme is ‘A World on the Margins’ so the Social Studies, for example, will focus on social marginalised groups or Literature

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will focus on texts about exclusion and avoidance or unheard voices. These subjects are what the four challenges focus on. In order to be able to participate, you are required knowledge upon those subjects. THE DEBATE Each team will be given a ‘Debate Tree’ sheet on which the classes you are meant to go in and the side of the unknown motion you will be, during the three debates. The team starts off in a room and according to what they do during the debate, the class they will be assigned to go to, will change. If they win, they will have to follow the ‘branches’ of the ‘Debate Tree’ going upwards, on the other hand, if they ‘lollipop’ (lose) they will have to follow the branches that go downwards.


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Each member of the team has to go in front and debate once. The affirmative team’s first speaker goes first and then the negative team goes and so on, until the sixth debater has finished, the third speaker of the negative team. After the educator, that will also judge the debate, will read the motion aloud the students get fifteen minutes to prepare what they are going to say. During this time the students are allowed to talk to their teams and allowed to use any electronic devise they wish. Each speaker must speak for at least one minute and up to four minutes maximum. After one speaker has finished talking, the opposing team has sixty seconds to prepare anything they hav-

en’t previously prepared, such as a rebuttal. After everyone has spoken, the two teams have ninety seconds to prepare a group feedback to the team they debated against. The negative team starts with ninety seconds to give feedback, splitting the time however they wish to; all of them can give feedback or it could only be one. After both teams have given their feedback, the educator will announce the winner. THE INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGE For the individual challenge each one will be told by the educator to move away from their team. Nobody will not be allowed to sit next to anyone they

know. Everyone will then receive a set of sheets with the questions on and a green answer sheet. All the questions and the answer options will be located on the set of stapled sheets and the green sheets must be filled in with the collected answers. There will be ninety minutes allocated to the multiple-choice test, which will have one hundred twenty questions. There will be twenty questions out of each of the six subjects. There will only be one right answer to each question however, everyone is allowed to fill in more answers if they are unsure of the right one. If someone decides to choose more than one of the five options but gets the answer right, they will gain


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points, yet these points will shrink for each extra answer (one answer = 1 point; two answers= 0.5; three answers = 0.333 points; four answers = 0.25 points; five answers = 0.2; if the answer or answers are wrong you get 0 points.) These questions must be answered on the green sheet because a machine marks them, so if the answer bubble you chose isn’t filled in the machine will not offer you the points you deserved. THE COLLABORATIVE WRITING Each group will get a sheet with six motions. Once the educator allows the students to read the motions, they will have twenty minutes to choose, plan, research and prepare what they are going to write. Every member on the group will have to choose one of the given motions, a motion that reflects on what was studied in each subject. Members of the same team may not write upon the same motion nonetheless, members will be allowed to help each other

prepare during the first twenty minutes. There is no set writing type, so choices are only limited to what exists (whether it’s a poem, story, essay, letter, dialogue, etc.), despite that it must be related to the motion. During the preparation time, any notes, references or quotes that are required and were found on an electronic devise must be written down. Everyone will then have forty-five minutes dedicated to the writing of the text, only using the notes that were taken during the preparation time. All electronics and communication with team members is prohibited. At the end of the forty-five minutes, there will be fifteen more minutes left for each individual to either finish off, or check with their teams. Electronics are also prohibited in the last fifteen minutes. THE SCHOLARS BOWL This is similar to the Individual Challenge, except, it’s not individual and

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it’s not on paper. In this challenge each team gets a clicker. The questions and the answer options will be displayed on a screen in front, and the team has to work together to find the answers. No notes or electronic devices are allowed. Half way through this challenge the hosts will assign a member of each group to pick up the alpacas for themselves and their team. THE EVENTS Except the four challenges this competition brings, there are three more events. There is the Scavenger Hunt, the Scholars Talent Show, the Cultural Fair and the Scholars Ball. The Scavenger Hunt is prepared in order to introduce you to new people. This will be the first activity of the week. The World Scholars Cup team will assign you in groups of ten to fifteen students from all round the world so that nobody from your group will be someone you know, along with a supervisor who you might


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not know. You will then get a set of tasks that you should complete together. The area you will be allowed to move around will be limited to a map in order to assure everyone’s safety. The tasks are fun but require teamwork to be completed, having tasks such as take a photo of a group member who will hold as many phones as they can; record a member give a motivational speech to a tree or record a group member befriend a pigeon. This activity will only be hosted in Global rounds and the ToC.

show the others. Students previously sang as a group, danced in costumes that cover their faces and even made avocado toast while singing on stage. This is meant to be an amusement for the hard-working students.

The Talent show is dedicated to the participating students. These have the opportunity to show any talents they have or any ‘non-talents’ they wish to

The Scholars Ball is also designed for the scholars to have fun. The ball will be arranged in a big, usually multipurposed room, reserved for the participants, to

The time everyone can show others what is significant to each country. At the Cultural Fair everyone shares cultures with one another offering them symbolic objects such as clay figures, dishes, embroideries, small flags, or even traditional foods.

dance, talk, sing and have fun along with the students from all around the world and the hosts, who will be there to play the music, display cool light effects and have enjoy themselves. However, this event only occurs at the Global rounds and the ToC. WRITER’S OPINION I think this is a great experience because as you spend time with so many people from so many parts of the world you start to feel a connection like you’re all just a big family. The competition itself also helps you develop skills like writing and speaking. Not only that, but it allows you to come up with more open minded and creative approaches.


Profile for International School of Bucharest

Insight June 2019 Issue  

Insight June 2019 Issue