RIS report Issue 29, March 2014 - www.romeinternationalschool.it
What’s Inside: MUN New York City, RIS student reports back!! The legacy of ancient Greek on modern languages! Enhanced learning through EAL at RIS! Grade 11’s historical adventures in London
Rome International School
! Why our school is good for your health! Anyone looking at the new RIS premises in Via Pecori Giraldi will probably be impressed by the appearance of the building, by the natural beauty of the surroundings, and by the well-‐thought-‐out arrangement of the campus. However, there are a few things that are perhaps not immediately obvious, but which make our new school a parCcularly healthy environment. Many of us are aware that, for various reasons, the air inside a building can oEen be more polluted than the air outside. This is not a worry for our students. A powerful venClaCon system and more than a kilometre of air pipes ensure total indoor air exchange three Cmes an hour, with beneﬁcial eﬀects for our students’ health and their powers of concentraCon thanks to beKer oxygen levels. The indoor temperature, which is managed by a central unit with microprobes that can pick up variaCons in temperature or humidity in each locaCon, will be ideal for each season. This is also a factor with a posiCve inﬂuence on students’ aKenCon levels and therefore on their academic performance (although this doesn’t mean that they should study or work less). Health and emoConal well-‐being linked to environmental factors will be further enhanced both by the possibility of doing sports in the two large gymnasiums (equipped with showers and changing rooms – obviously students will have to wear a separate pair of trainers, to be kept in their personal lockers, when they go to the gym, where they will always be under the strict supervision of one or more teachers), and by the possibility of using the outdoor areas in slightly diﬀerent ways (except for the toddlers) than at present. There is of course a ﬁeld to kick a football around, but other outdoor acCviCes will also be possible under the watchful eye of teachers and assistants: a “ﬁtness trail” for the more athleCc, corners in which to read, play, chat or simply relax outdoors. Just imagine the two large terraces reserved for the secondary school students becoming a place to hang out and socialize but also to study and, at the right Cme and with dedicated access points (it is not possible to access the terraces from the individual classrooms), to relax aEer a test or an enCre morning of lessons and experiments. Our new school is a really inspiring place and good for your health.
IVANO BORAGINE HEAD OF SCHOOL
The MUN Experience This March nine students from RIS took part in an unforge8able experience at the United Na>ons headquarters located in New York City. Here is summary of our amazing trip! or the past couple of months a group of High School students have been preparing for MUN. MUN, which stands for, Model United Na=ons is a UN simula=on which has the purpose of introducing students to interna=onal rela=ons and the diploma=c world. What is very unique about MUN is that students really get to experience what it is like to represent UN member states (over 190) in interna=onal aﬀairs. MUN achieves this by assigning a diﬀerent na=on to every par=cipa=ng school and the students represen=ng the na=on must further inves=gate the country's poli=cs, economy, society, and interna=onal status so that they can become that country's d e l e g a = o n throughout the simula=on. Awai=ng us at the conference in New York were over 3000 other students that had ﬂ o w n i n f r o m around the world, all enthusias=c to par=cipate in the MUN experience. The four-‐day event was divided across the diﬀerent commiPees, just like they would be in the UN. To name a few they were FAO (Food and Agriculture Organiza=on), DISEC (Disarmament and Interna=onal Security CommiPee), ECOFIN (Economic and Financial CommiPee), and SOCHUM (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural CommiPee). Each commiPee had the possibility of
discussing two real interna=onal conﬂicts with the ﬁnal aim of ﬁnding a solu=on for each, which had to be realis=c, achievable, and had the vote from the majority of the commiPee. Our school was appointed to represent Seychelles during the simula=on, however, each student was assigned to a diﬀerent commiPee. The prepara=on lasted many weeks and took a lot of hard work since we had to research new subjects. I was commissioned to S P E C P O L ( S p e c i a l P o l i = c a l a n d Decoloniza=on CommiPee) and our topics were "The Refugee situa=on in S o u t h S u d a n " and "The slum situa=on in the d e v e l o p i n g n a = o n s o f Africa". Because of the limited =me, we only had the chance to discuss the ﬁrst topic and we managed to pass two proposals to a s s i s t i n t h e h u m a n i t a r i a n , economic, and poli=cal aspects of the situa=on. It's too bad our proposals were only a simula=on because I believe if they were really adopted they could have helped to contribute to a real solu=on! Overall the conference went very well and during the trip we also had some =me available for sightseeing. I recommend this experience to anyone interested in interna=onal rela=ons. BY
SONIA VALLOCCHIA! GRADE 12
couple of weeks ago RIS High School students enjoyed a presentaCon by the Italian astronaut, Paolo Nespoli, who showed us a very diﬀerent perspecCve of how amazing and diﬀerent space is. What is diﬀerent about Paolo Nespoli is that he never gave up and he kept going aEer his dream unCl he achieved it. It took him 20 years to become an astronaut! He ﬁrst traveled into space in late 2007 aboard the space shuKle discovery as a mission specialist of STS-‐120. In December of 2010 he again traveled into space aboard the Soyuz TMA-‐20 spacecraE as an ExpediCon ﬂight engineer. During his presentaCon he showed us the achievements humans have made and how we have started to reach places that were previously thought to be unreachable. He also explained how exploring is in our nature just like when
Empowering learning in the classroom
One of the innovaCons in current educaConal pracCce menConed in last month’s ediCon of the magazine was the ‘ﬂipped classroom’. This is an idea which basically looks to reverse or ‘ﬂip’ the way students normally learn (and teachers oEen teach) in schools. The main idea is that students deal with the content of lessons and study topics before they enter the classroom. They can do this individually or in study groups. Then, when they get to the classroom itself, the teacher can facilitate you put a child in a room and this child higher order pracCces such as analysing and naturally starts touching everything in evaluaCng informaCon. So instead of ‘wasCng’ order to understand the strange things Cme simply being supplied with informaCon the students already have this beforehand and that surround him. Mr Nespoli then can focus instead on processing that explained that we travel to space to informaCon. For homework, students therefore discover things that might help and use their Cme to make themselves familiar with improve human life here on Earth. For relevant material rather than aKempCng to example when he went up to space his ‘deal with it’. It makes sense. The most eﬀecCve team took a cancer cell with them in meeCngs we go to are always those where we have the informaCon ahead of Cme, so order to study how it would act in everyone is familiar with the content and can space. Space travel also helps to get on with planning, problem solving, sharing research things that are impossible to ideas and so on. So we can certainly imagine be done on earth. this in a classroom secng. The more innovaCve At the end of his presentaCon he said part of this is perhaps the associated use of something that I found to be really technology. Students can access subject informaCon and knowledge not just through inspiraConal. He said that it was books or handouts (these are not the best important to remember that things source for all types of learners) but also that seem impossible are possible through video, podcasts, images, prepared because nothing is impossible unCl you teacher presentaCons on MOODLE etc. This stop trying! He ﬁnished by saying that approach allows learners to access informaCon he is looking forward to meeCng us 20 in the way they respond to best and come to the ‘lesson’ ready to explore and share. Of years from now to see how we will course you might argue that a teacher really have changed the future! BY EHAB KHIZARAN needs to be present to explain material -‐ before GRADE 12 that higher order thinking can take place -‐ but this can be built into the lesson planning and is likely to be more successful on a one-‐to-‐one basis anyway. The overall idea is aKracCve to many schools because it really is a way of releasing the teacher to do more ‘facilitaCng’, thus helping the student to become an inquiring and acCve learner. There are drawbacks and quesCons connected to any new iniCaCve, however anything which helps to empower students in terms of their learning must be worth considering. Image courtesy of ESA.
Note from the Editor: Visit our website news page to view all the highlights from his talk to Elementary, Middle and High School students!
For an interesCng overview see: hKp://www.uq.edu.au/ tediteach/ﬂipped-‐classroom/what-‐is-‐fc.html
WILLIAM IRELAND DEPUTY HEAD MIDDLE & HIGH PRINCIPAL!
Grade 11’s Historical Adventure in London
VALE! HISTORY/PHILOSOPHY TEACHER
ur London adventure started on a cold and rainy morning and despite the students’ protests they all managed to arrive at the airport for a very early start! We arrived at Heathrow to discover that BriCsh Airways had decided to send Lorenzo’s bag all the way to Miami (probably), leaving us to make our way to the hotel minus Lorenzo’s luggage. Our ﬁrst day was a cultural one as we embarked on our ﬁrst (of many) underground journeys and headed to both St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern. Students whispered at each other across the famous dome and then pondered various pieces of modern art housed in the well-‐known South Bank building. AEerwards, we went for something to eat nearby. The trip helped the students complete their controlled assessment in History. This is a wriKen task that requires them to draw on sources of evidence and answer quesCons about a speciﬁc site. The site the students had to study was the Tower of London. The students had a research task to complete and a mountain of evidence to gather so as they were walking around the Tower Dr Orbison and Ms Vale enjoyed a selecCon of wonderfully BriCsh scones with Jam in the (historical) café.
enjoying the sales on Oxford Street and the surrounding areas before later experiencing the delights of Covent Garden.
The next day saw us start the day with another trip to the Tower of London. The students returned to their role as historical detecCves to complete their research and took in sights such as the Crown Jewels and the White Tower. The next stop on our historical adventure was Greenwich. We all enjoyed arriving to Greenwich by taking a boat up the river Thames! Once there, the students got to visit the site that gives its name to Greenwich Mean Time and they learnt about the mariCme and cultural importance of the locaCon. The evening saw us visit the theatre to watch Wicked the Musical. The students enjoyed the spectacle although were maybe a liKle confused by some of words such as “degreenify!” We arrived back in Rome with all bags accounted for to discover that the city had ﬂooded in our absence. Perhaps we should have complained less about the rain in London. Thank you for reading and please mind the gap.
Photographs by: Leonardo C. and Agnese D.
Next on the iCnerary was Buckingham Palace in order to observe the changing of the guard and compare the geographical locaCon with that of the Tower. This was a signiﬁcant acCvity for the students as they considered the diﬀerences between the historic Royal Residency and today’s. We then enjoyed a whistle stop tour of Westminster where students marvelled (through the rain) at the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. The late aEernoon and evening was then spent shopping and taking in the city! The students joined the BriCsh masses who were
Introducing EAL at RIS y name is Pamela Young and I work with English as an AddiConal Language (EAL) students in Secondary and I also assist and support Elementary students with their English. I am from Wales in the UK and believe the Welsh rugby team is the best in the world. I worked in Lazio many years ago in Fiuggi in a hotel school and I am delighted to return to Italy once again. I have worked in many internaConal schools around the globe and spent ﬁve years in Hong Kong, several years in the Middle East including Libya. I have also worked in Costa Rica, Vietnam, Brunei, France and Spain. I love opera, classical music, ballet and art so was overjoyed to be oﬀered this posiCon in Rome. I asked some of the secondary students that I teach to introduce themselves and to tell us how they are ﬁnd school life in Rome!
My name is Alessandro Xu and I’m in Grade 9. I am Chinese and I was born in Bologna. When I was =ive I went to Rome. Rome is a beautiful city. When I lived here I went to an Italian school for two years. I met many friends and they were very kind. Then I went to China and I learnt my mother tongue Mandarin. Finally I came back to Rome when I was 13. When I cam back to Rome I was very happy because Rome is like my second home. Rome International School is different to China. The school life is slower than in China. In Chinese schools they give students a lot of homework. In the school students have notime to relax because we have many studies to do. Schools in Rome are more relaxing. We have more free time to join in sports and to do your own things. In Rome the air is clean. In the streets in the city there are also a lot of trees and the sky is blue. But in China in many cities there are a lot of pollution problems. There are too many people and too many cars. So the air is not clean. In Rome there are many parks and they are free, it is very nice. The bad thing is driving in Rome. On the road there are too many motorbikes. The make noise and they drive too fast it is very dangerous.
My name is Agnes and I am in Grade 8A. I was born in Beijing, China and my parents were all born in China too. I love China although the air is not very clean, we have too much pollution. It comes from industry, traffic and cars, I don’t like it. The buildings are all tall. I never believed one day I would come to Rome to study and also live here. My mother is a diplomat. This is why I came to Rome. I can still remember when I stood on the street in Rome I felt nervous. Everything was new. ! Then I found Rome was better than Beijing. In Rome there aren’t too many people on the street. It is quiet and the city is green. There are tall trees, blue sky and white clouds. Every day I feel happy because of the air and because of the people. The people in Rome are kind and helpful. If you get lost in the street when you try to ask some Romans they will tell you the address again and again. If you still don’t understand they always walk with you until you see the place or building. I also love the old buildings in Rome. ! Although Rome is nice there are also some things I don’t like. There are too many dogs. The dogs can dirty the clean streets. I have a lot of friends at Rome International School. In China we didn’t have as much free time because we were always studying but in Rome we have more free time. In China we didn’t need to change classrooms every lesson. I think in Rome we study in a more balanced way. We have less homework but learn more things. !
Hello, my name is Chiara. I was born in Florence and I am in Grade 7. My parents were born in China and I go there on holiday to see my grandparents. !
International Women’s Day Saturday 8 March was International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the progress made for women's rights. The theme chosen by the United Nations this year is, “Equality for women is progress for all.” Women’s full enjoyment of human rights and the eradication of poverty are essential to economic and social development. A UN summit in 2000 set eight goals to be achieved by 2015. Millennium Development Goal number 3 is to “Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women” with the target “Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education, no later than 2015.” As March 8th was also the first open day of our new school premises it is a fitting time for us to recommit to ensuring that all our students, female and male, are aware of women’s rights and of their responsibility to support the struggle for gender equality in every aspect of their lives. Equality for women is progress for all. International Women’s Day is also a time to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their communities. Such as the Jewish celebration of Purim, this year being held just one week after International Women’s day on the 15th and 16th March. This is a time when people of the Jewish faith remember Queen Vashti, who was killed for disobeying her husband, and commemorate the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved by Queen Esther who had the courage to speak out. We thank our Jewish students and their families for sharing this joyous celebration with us at our weekly assembly.
PATRICIA MARTIN-‐SMITH EARLY YEARS / ELEMENTARY PRINCIPAL
de a Gr
Personal, Social, Health, Economic and Citizenship Education 2. the essence of friendship;
Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHE) and Citizenship take place during Form Time, on Mondays in school. It helps students to lead confident, healthy and responsible lives as individuals and members of society. Students gain practical knowledge and skills to help them live healthily and deal with the moral, social, economic and cultural issues they face as they approach adulthood. PSHE gives them the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and how they are developing. It helps them to understand a wide range of relationships and to show respect for the diversity of, and differences between, people. It also develops students’ well-being and self-esteem. The Holocaust Remembrance Day was the opportunity for my Grade 7 students to focus on reallife themes, such as:
3. a c t s o f h u m a n i t y e v e n u n d e r h o r r i f i c circumstances; 4. the development of prejudice and its destructive consequences; 5. the Holocaust. After watching the film, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, I asked Grade 7 to do some creative writing, putting themselves in Bruno’s shoes, when he starts a friendship with Shmuel. - Ms Brunet
1. experiences that gradually end an innocent perspective;
Auschwitz, April 1944
Dear Dad, You know that I have always wanted to be an explorer and recently I went to explore the back yard of our house…You can’t imagine what I have found! I want to tell you about this great discovery. There was a kind of window, and I got out from the house from there, even though mum had forbidden me to go outside at all. At some point, I found a very odd place, I can describe it as a kind of a farm. People were all bald and dressed the same, in striped pyjamas. There, I met one boy, Shmuel, a very friendly kid who is the same age as me. He looked sad and bored on his own…a bit like me, in the new big house. I came to see him every day and we discovered we had many things in common: the same age, the same interests! Unfortunately for the Cme in which we live in, he is a Jew. But, dad, I sCll cannot understand why you think it is wrong to be friends with a Jew? He’s so friendly, so nice, he’s innocent: how can a child be so bad in your eyes? What has he done to you?? I don’t diﬀerenCate him, just because he is from a diﬀerent religion you know. How come are we treated so diﬀerently? You know…he’s dressed in pyjamas, I’m dressed in nice clothes, he’s head is shaved, he lives on what seems to be a farm, I live in a nice big house. All of this because he’s a Jew? Poor old Shmuel… Even if you think it is wrong to be friends with him, I don’t think it is a bad thing. I think everyone can be friends with whoever they want, for example Shmuel and me we are the same, we like to play, we like to talk together. Why is he behind a net with no escape? Why can’t he be free? What’s the diﬀerence between him and me?! Why did we move here dad? And, one last quesCon: what is the sense of your job? I’ve always wondered what it is… Your beloved child, Bruno PS: I may be going back later than usual today, as I have decided to help Shmuel to ﬁnd his own dad on the farm…he’s been missing for a few days now, and he needs my help!
“The Little Prince” (French: Le Petit Prince), first published in 1943, is a novella and the most famous work of the French writer, poet and pioneering aviator Antoine de SaintExupéry (1900–1944). The novella is both the most read and most translated book in the French language, and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France. Translated into more than 250 languages and dialects (as well as braille), selling nearly two million copies annually with sales totalling over 140 million copies worldwide, it has become one of the best-selling books ever published. “The Little Prince” is a poetic tale. The story is philosophical and includes societal criticism, remarking on the strangeness of the adult world. Source: Wikipedia
Une réflexion sur le monde des adultes… !
GRADE 13 Désert du Sahara, juillet 1943
Cher Journal, Je viens de rentrer de mon voyage aux planétes étranges des adultes, et je peux te dire quelque chose? Ils sont tous fous!! Je n’ai jamais rencontré des gens comme ça, et j’espère vraiment que devenir un adulte ne signifie pas être comme eux, et tu sais pourquoi?! Parce que les adultes sont malheureux, mais ils contribuent à leur malheur en se rendant inutilement la vie difficile. En plus, ils ne réalisent pas qu’en vérité, on ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur et l’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. Lors de mes voayes, j’ai rencontré de nombreux adultes, et tous avaient une bien triste chose en commun- ils vivaient seuls sur leur planète. Je voudrais te parler de chacun d’eux, mais je suis très fatigué et il faudra trop de temps. Cependant, pour expliquer ce que je comprends de leur monde, je vais t’expliquer la vie d’un d’entre eux, de sorte que toi aussi un peu tu puisses comprendre pourquoi je dis qu’ils sont bizarres… La première personne que je veux décrire est un homme étrange que j’ai rencontré. Cette visite a été très brève, mais quand je suis parti, j’étais très mélancolique. Cet homme était seul devant une collection de bouteilles vides et pleines. Je lui ai demandé ce qu’il faisait, et il a répondu, d’un ton lugubre: “Je bois!”. Je ne pouvais pas m’en empêcher, alors je lui ai demandé pourquoi il buvait, et il m’a répondu qu’il buvait “pour oublier!” Je ne savais pas que les persone adultes buvaient pour oublier, j’ai toujours pensé que boire était pour le plaisir lors de certaines occasions. D’autre part, ce fut le moment, où, j’ai commencé à devenir triste, et je vais te dire pourquoi, journal: si vous voulez oublier quelque chose, alors il faut dire que ce quelque chose vous rend triste… J’ai quitté sa planète très perplexe… Je me demande pourquoi les adultes ne cherchent pas à résoudre leurs problèmes au lieu de tenter de les oublier ou bien veulent trouver la solution facile pour apaiser leur douleur! Un autre adulte que j’ai rencontré juste après, fut l’homme d’affaires. Un homme très particulier… Je veux commencer par dire qu’il ne leva même pas la tête pour me regarder et me saluer lorsque j’arrivai. Il comptait furieusement toutes ses étoiles pendant que nous parlions. Il m’a expliqué qu’il était un homme très sérieux, et qu’il n’avait pas le temps de jouir de ses possessions, mais qu’il achetait simplement de plus en plus d’étoiles. Il écrivait le nombre d’étoiles qu’il possédait (des millions!!) sur un petit morceau de papier, et rien de plus. Donc, je me demandais quel était l’intéret d’avoir autant de possessions et de ne pas prendre le temps de les apprécier? J’ai même essayé de lui expliquer que je possédais une fleur que j’arrosais tous les jours, et que ceci avait un sens, aussi bien pour moi que pour ma fleur. Mais le businessman ne comprit pas. Quand je suis parti, j’ai pensé que les personnes sont décidément tout à fait extraordinaires! La réalité des faits, cher journal, (du moins ce qui est évident à mes yeux, mais ne l’est pas pour les adultes étranges et tristes que j’ai rencontrés) est que le buveur ne sera jamais en mesure de résoudre ses problèmes en essayant d’oublier, et l’homme d’affaires croit qu’il a beaucoup de possessions, mais en fait il ne sera jamais heureux en possédant toujours plus, car le bonheur ne s’achète pas, mais se recherche en chacun de nous. Ces deux personages sont juste une petit partie de la grande leçon que j’ai apprise au cours de mon voyage: il y a toujours un enfant à l’intérieur d’un adulte, mais plus vous grandissez et plus vous oubliez que les beaux plaisirs de la vie sont invisibles. Demain, je vais t’en dire un peu plus… Bonne nuit journal! 7
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The legacy of ancient Greek in modern languages For the past few weeks as part of our IB Italian course, we have been studying the fundamentals of the Greek language as a way to help us know more about words and their meanings through their compositions. We refer to the Greek language every single day without even knowing it. Some words in English or Italian refer back to the Greek language and contain Greek roots in them. Greek and Latin roots are what make up a lot of the languages of today; be it English, Italian, Spanish, or French. So no matter how far we want to stay away from Greek and Latin, we always encounter them. It is actually very helpful to know the Greek and Latin roots as it helps infer the meaning of the words. Greek roots can be found in scientific terms, economical terms, and many more. For example, the word 'photosynthesis' has Greek roots: 'photo' means light and 'synthesis' means colliding, so it can be seen how the Greek language is incorporated in our everyday language usage. For example, the word 'monarchy' also has Greek roots. 'Mono' which means one and 'archia' which means to rule and the meaning of the word 'monarchy' is governing by one person. An example can be “filantropo” (an Italian word that translates “philanthropist”. We learn that this word is a composition of two Greek words p u t t o g e t h e r. “ P h i l ” c o m e s f r o m “filos” (φιλοσ) meaning to love and the second part of the word come from “anthropos” (αντηροποσ)which means human being. Another common example is “Xenophobia” which is also a composition f two Greek words “xenos”(ξενοσ) and “fobos” (φοβοσ). Xenos means foreigner and fobos means fear. A famous Italian writer, Beppe Severgnini, is aware that many students prefer studying other languages such as English, French and Spanish, rather than studying Latin and
Greek. Servergnini argues that studying these two languages has helped him build up his knowledge and find a career better than any subject he had studied in high school. He explains that the reason why people are more willing to study English is because without that knowledge they are lost in a world where you see English everywhere, from bulletin boards to the Internet. No matter what country you go to or what foreign advertisement you are looking at, you'll always find an English translation or someone who has knowledge of the language which then makes communication possible. However, Severgnini says that the teaching of Greek and Latin is a big opportunity that a school can offer to its students: "Either they teach you in class, or you're never going to learn it". Studying Greek and Latin, according to him, makes you open-minded and helps Italian students to understand the origins of their language. Even English has some words with Greek origins. So basically you're not only learning a new language, but also the history of how language is frequently influenced by outside knowledge of political and philosophical aim, that in the end creates a new civilization. This is how we learn about Ancient Greek cultures. The study of the Greek language also allows us to comprehend the ancient culture of Greece and how it relates to some ideas that are still in use today. In conclusion to his article, Severgnini claims that Greek and Latin gives you a unique knowledge that makes you sophisticated and open-minded. Not everyone has had the opportunity to learn the "dead languages", so that gives you a feeling of satisfaction and pride.! BY KAMO
MOLELLE, ZIHAN FAIZAH, MASHIYAT HASAN !
Our student and staff contributors this month explore the theme of 'Empowered Learning'. Highlights include a summary of high school studen...