Issue: Winter 2013
Inspiring Excellence, Building Character - Since 1912
Enhancing Global Learning
HS Students on one of our SFS Discovery Week trips with local children in Nepal.
A trip of a lifetime is one of the many ways to sum up our adventure. One of the most enjoyable parts of the trip was the beautiful view we saw every time we looked up. I learned more about the Nepalese culture and way of life. Being warmly and easily accepted by the villagers and people we met along the way
continuously taught me how kind and grateful they are for our help.
provide students with an experience from at least one of these educational elements: service, historical/cultural enrichment, physical challenge/skill acquisition or academic enrichment.
As the name implies, Discovery Week is an exceptional program in our High School that offers students unique opportunities to discover, learn, grow and serve around the globe. Discovery Week courses are as varied in location as they are in focus, but they all
Weâ€™ve experienced growing demand from the student body to participate in service type courses, and in response we now offer a diverse range of service opportunities. This year service courses included trips to Cambodia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Thailand, Philippines, Nepal and Seoul.
A FOCUS ON SERVICE AND COMMUNITY
1st in Korea SEOMUN
Moms in Prayer
TODAY IN THE SPOTLIGHT - SFS Opinion Column
Service + Learning
IN THE SPOTLIGHT Service has a long history at SFS and it continues to grow and have an increasing relevance to the learning experience of our students.
SNAP SHOT BOX Christmas Concerts Bring Joy, Biking across Korea, John Joseph the ‘Brain Guy’
IN FOCUS Discovery Week Cover Story Our High School Students - exploring and serving around the globe during the first week of November.
Even with all that has been happening in the area of community service, the last few years has seen a growing desire for more students to be involved in service activities. at a glance: • For nearly 15 years, the SFS Middle School and Key Stage 3 students have raised well over US$150,000 dollars for World Vision just by giving up food for 30 hours. • Each February and March the entire SFS community rallies together to raise tens of thousands of dollars to help tuberculosis patients in North Korea. • In the 1990’s, the Grade 1 students started fundraising to pay for the heat for an orphanage here in Seoul and supported that orphanage for over a decade until it was financially stable and not in need of the donations. • For over 20 years, High School students have been a part of service trips to impoverished countries. • In the High School, there are now 20 clubs that are committed to being involved in service and the Discovery Week program adds more service courses each year in response to this growing desire.
From Dongdaewon and the Philippines Service Trip, to the 30 Hour Famine and River of Grace, Seoul Foreign School has had a long history of community service. And today we are faced with a very real challenge, especially for younger students, in finding ways to be involved in meaningful service projects that involve more than just fundraising. Currently a task force has been formed to look at the possibility of integrating service more intentionally within the curriculum.
Rather than just doing community service, the concept of Service Learning is being explored with the hope of enabling students of all ages to learn how they can respond to the needs around them in meaningful acts of service and then reflect on those experiences. The desire is that for SFS students, service will not just be an act that is done, but a lifestyle that is lived throughout their lives. Amos Lyso, Christian Ministries Coordinator
Ban Ki-moon’s Message for SFS Hosting the Model United Nations Conference in Seoul our students were proud ambassadors.
Grandparents & Special Friends Our new annual event, sharing our history, vision for the future and our appreciation of the role they play in our students’ lives.
Moms in prayer Celebrating their contribution and dedication over the years.
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Check our website regularly for updates at www.seoulforeign.org and link to MY SFS our Parent Homepage for all our school announcements.
Inspiring Excellence, Building Character - Since 1912
LEADING REGIONAL EVENTS AT SFS
Ban Ki-moon’s message for SFS MUN It gives me great pleasure to convey warm greetings to the hundreds of young people from across the Asia-Pacific region who have gathered on the campus of Seoul Foreign School for the Seoul Model UN conference... I count on you to use the negotiating skills you learn in this Model UN exercise to help navigate the real-world challenges we face. I encourage you to join forces with like-minded individuals and groups to generate change and promote mutual tolerance, understanding and respect. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General United Nations (Entire Opening Address available www.seoulforeign.org )
I’ve always had a good impression of SFS from the people I met. When entering the SFS campus I was amazed at the structure, facilities, extra-curricular activities and especially the positive and enthusiastic School spirit. SFS did an amazing job pulling everyone together to organize such a huge event.
This year, Seoul Foreign School was honored to host SEOMUN XVI, the largest international Model United Nations conference in South Korea. We welcomed over 350 delegates from 5 countries in the Asia-Pacific region for this three day conference from November 7-9. Attracting some of the most passionate future leaders, the quality of debate was very high focusing on the conference theme of, ‘Fostering an appropriate balance between individual liberty and collective responsibility’.
The organisation of this conference took over 8 months and was student led by Eunice Lee, Katie Lew and an executive team with the assistance of Mrs. Rydberg their teacher adviser.
Busan International Foreign School
SFS Hosts APAC Orchestra At Seoul Foreign School we are proud to be able to host premiere regional events due to our exceptional Fine Arts facilities and faculty. During November we hosted schools from around the Asia-Pacific region for APAC Orchestra. These student musicians, joined with the very best of our SFS musicians, under the guidance of guest composer and conductor, Timothy Sexton. An accomplished composer of more than 200 works, Mr. Sexton was commissioned to produce a piece specifically for this event. Those who were able to attend the concert, which was advertised and open to the general public, on our Mainstage in the Lyso Center, witnessed the world premiere of this stunning five movement work, ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’.
TODAY THE SNAP SHOT BOX
Garden Grows Community Last year in SK we studied seeds. We planted the eyes of sweet potatoes because that’s the seeds. This year in 1st Grade we harvested the potatoes just like the Wampanoags did. They were humongous! Grade 1L Students
SFS Christmas Concerts bring joy to all
The PS-Grade 1 Christmas concert kicked off our seasonal concerts. 14 Christmas Concerts representing all divisions will delight parents this December.
Community gardens are universally used to bring people together, and so it is here on our SFS Campus. In the hillside overlooking our early childhood playground, our Junior and Senior Kindergarten students along with Grade 1 have been tending the ground and eagerly awaiting the harvest of their sweet potato planting. Having the hands on experience in nature certainly brings the learning to life. And the looks of delight as the sweet potatoes were pulled from the ground said it all!
Mini St. Andrew’s Ball Father Son Trio Bikes Across Korea
Jacob Kim (Year 7) and Nicholas Kim (Grade 7) biked 633 km with their father to complete the 4 Rivers Cross Country Cycling challenge over the last two years. Their longest ride lasted four days and covered over 200 km.
The children had come a long way, able to dance through the programme twice and could rightly hold their heads up high as they headed home at the close of the celebrations for the patron Saint of Scotland’s Day. In November 1994, the British School started a new tradition, the Mini St. Andrew’s Ball, which has grown to include the Elementary School. This year we had over 160 children from BS Years 5 and 6 and ES Grade 5 swinging their partners and pas de basque-ing across the gym floor. Mr. Lee the piper, and the Seoul Saint Andrew’s Society’s long term member, Gavin Mackay, led the children onto the gym ‘dance floor’ to the sounds of the lone bag-piper’s ‘Scotland the Brave’.
JOHN JOSEPH - ‘The Brain Guy’
A world renown neuro-education expert, parents and students alike were enthralled by John’s message on learning, how it happens, how to maximize it and how to use practical strategies to enhance learning! Want to learn more visit: www.focuseducationasia.com
The programme covered five dances with all the children taking part and the food was traditional haggis, sausages, potatoes and carrots.
Inspiring Excellence, Building Character - Since 1912
A FLOURISHING COMMUNITY
Sharing the Joy of Christmas At this time of the year, the British School Senior Choir shares the joy of Christmas by performing at the Hyatt Hotel in Namsan and the British Ambassador’s residence. This tradtion has been continuing since 1993.
It’s really cool singing in the choir. It’s always fun and energetic. It’s such a fun experience!
Ewa Marczuk, Year 7M
The performance at the British Ambassador’s residence is a part of the British Association of Seoul (BASS) - Christmas Mince Pie Morning which is also a fundraising event. The choir consists of 25-30 students and this year we have 29 students in the choir (anyone from BS Year 5 - 9). Since 3 years ago, a new string group has been accompanying the choir. This year, the choir will be performing on December 6th at the Hyatt Hotel and 10th at the British Ambassador’s residence.
Honoring Grandparents & Special Friends We Celebrated our 1st Grandparents’ & Special Friends’ Day on the 27th November. We had over 70 guests on the campus who enjoyed a reception in the Welcome Center which included an historical photo presentation that took many down memory lane and into the rich history of our school and Korea. Our special guests then enjoyed a short presentation by Dr Engstrom, our Head of School, sharing the vision for our campus that will take us into the next 100 years. Grandparents and Special Friends then visited their grandchildren in the classrooms enjoying being our honored guests for the day. Many took part in the lessons and made it a memorable occasion for all involved.
We are so proud to have our grandchildren at SFS...seeing the historical photos brought back so many nostalgic memories of a very familiar time for me. Grandmother of ES Student
I’m their Godmother & Great Aunt. This school is important to their lives and they are important to me, so this has been a really wonderful experience. The historical presentation left me hungry to hear more, and it’s been so special to be able to visit with the kids in the classrooms. Louise Jefferd, Visiting from Australia
TODAY GROWING OUR STRONG COMMUNITY
Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at NIK At Namsan International Kindergarten, we are the subjects of our very own living and breathing study on human sociology. While not intending to sound so lofty, what we have been observing and experiencing over the past several months is that as a true “inter-
national” kindergarten, we are more often than not our students’ first encounter with interculture, multi-ethnicity and linguistic diversity. Ini-
actually negotiate a compromise towards a common understanding. Case in point, a few minutes
spent observing a negotiation session at a swing-set queue, can turn out to be a simple yet profound lesson on diplomacy and conflict resolution.
Robert Fulghum was definitely onto something when he declared back in 1988, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. At NIK, we teach our children (and many times ourselves) the really important “stuff” in life, which is to love one another as Christ loves us.
tially, discrepancies between the two cultural systems, the home culture and the school culture (which is really an amalgamation of many different cultures), can cause some discomfort for some. However, what we are seeing on a daily basis is that with proper guidance, even our two-year-olds are able to exercise their innate ability to transcend the myriad of “differences,” and
‘Open Mic’ -builds School Spirit
Jade Teather (Grade 8) performs for a packed house at the first ever Open Mic Friday event in the Middle School. Middle School students love to shine on stage! Our Middle School PTA recently donated funds for the construction of a permanent stage in the Middle School Atrium. Our first event on the stage was called Open Mic Friday and was held on November 1 during the lunch hour. Many students brought their lunches to the Atrium and stayed just to listen and enjoy the performances. We had pop-song performances,
beat-boxing, performances of original songs that students had written, and some silly songs thrown in.
Any student with enough courage was able to take the microphone and perform for their peers in a relaxed, coffee shop-like atmosphere. The students are eager for the next Open Mic Friday. MS Assistant Principal, Jon Hill organized the
first event, but the plan is for students to take over and handle the publicity, set up, technical support, and clean up for future Open Mic Friday events. Events such as this, are an example of the opportunities we provide to build positive self-esteem, school spirit and student leadership at Seoul Foreign School.
Inspiring Excellence, Building Character - Since 1912
A VARIETY OF SERVICE
Hearts open to help Typhoon Survivors Our ES division raised 3,185,500 won, MS raised over 950,000 won, and BS 1,895,700 won to help the Philippine Typhoon Survivors last month. Thank you parents for your support!
On 26th November, students gathered again for the annual Holiday Bazaar, a fundraiser
that supports the 3 schoolwide charities – the local group, Dongdaewon TB Care Center, and the Philippines service Trip (PST). Students from all divisions have been involved one year or another making items to sell on the day of the Bazaar. This year,
SFS supports the Hilton Train SFS is proudly the only International School in Seoul who is supporting the charity work of the Millenium Hilton Hotel, as one of their major sponsors of the miniature Christmas Train displays.
SFS Bringing Joy to Others Thinking of others, parents and students in 4L decided that rather than have another party, they would make soap for charity. To learn more about Soap Companion visit www.soapcompanion.com
MS students in some Encore classes, in Advisory, and in Discipleship groups were involved in making different crafts. Some ES classes participated as well, and the Art department from the BS donated items this year. 2.8 million won was raised from the Bazaar this year which will be split between the local, national and international schoolwide charities.
Bringing Joy to Others Developing an awareness of global issues is the first step to developing a global outlook. However, at Seoul Foreign School we grow responsible global citizens who don’t just recognize the issues, but are willing to address them. There are numerous grade level, class, club, and individual contributions being made to charity this year across the school community. Indeed, an entire publication dedicated to them could not cover them all. However, it is a privillege to write about how our Elementary students are taking on world issues through their support of charity this Christmas season. In the spirit of giving, 4L decided to contriubute to improving the sanitation and hygiene of children less fortunate than
themselves through an organization known as Soap Companion. Moved by the statistitc of 2 million children (that’s 1/5 of the population of Seoul) dying globally each year due to poor hygiene, the parents and students dedicated their time to making soaps. For the second consecutive year, Grade 3 in the Elementary School will hold their Bake Sale which raises money for Samaritan’s Purse, a world relief organization. Their support goes directly to communities in need with the purchase of livestock or other much-needed essentials. For more updates on how service enriches learning at SFS, visit updates on MY SFS our Parent Homepage on our website www.seoulforeign.org.
AN AMAZING LEGACY OF SERVICE AT SFS - Since 1994
Moms in Prayer
These ladies are moms, who gather together every week to pray for our children, teachers and School. The regular prayers of these women are valued by many, and their service to our community is a real blessing to us all. This past month our SFS MIP group hosted a small reception to honor the founder of MIP International, Fern Nichols, who was visiting Seoul to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Korea branch of MIP. MIP groups from YSS, KIS, GSIS were also at the gathering. MIP began at SFS during the 199495 school year meeting in the home of one of our SFS parents at the time, Debbie McCord. With just 4 members in the beginning, the group has grown to its current membership of about 25. Although
our SFS MIP group leader, Barb Benson prepares to leave Korea with her family, the group will continue to meet and impact the lives of our community through prayer. New members are always welcome! Moms in Prayer (MIP), formerly known as Moms in Touch is an international organization that has groups in more than 140 countries around the world (www.momsinprayer.org). Next year the MIP International will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary.
Unity in Action - Dongdaewon Dongdaewon is a tuberculosis clinic in North Korea that SFS, with the help of the Eugene Bell Foundation, has helped to support for the past 15 years. This year, we hope to continue supporting our patients and provide the clinic with much-needed supplies. Fundraising will take place from 19th February – 21st March and will include events such as the Elementary and British School Fairs, the Silent Auction, Cooking Classes, Game Nights, and much more! We would love for you to be involved any way that you can. Please contact Ashley Simpson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dave Kim at davehkim@gmail. com for information.
Stephen Linton, founder of the Eugene Bell Foundation, provides a patient with the sponsored MDR drugs.
I am so humbled to be taking on the position as chairperson for the Dongdaewon fundraising efforts this year. It is amazing that, through the Dongdaewon clinic, we can directly help so many people in such a tangible way. I am honored to be a part of this program and pray that I will be up for the task!
Dongdaewon Chair 2013-14
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