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VOL 3

Newsletter

An Embassy Group Education Initiative

CONTENTS Fair Tests For All........................................1 PYP Spotlight: Host Country Studies......2 Teacher Profiles........................................ 3 Primary Parent Portal...............................3 Stonehill Swim Gala...............................4/5 MYP Spotlight: M1 Goes to Devikere.....6 DP Spotlight: D1 Gets ‘Psyched’ Out......7 Republic Day: Waving The Flag..............7 Community & Service : A New Approach.......................................8 On The Football Field.................................8

FEBRUARY 2012

ISSUE 4

Learning Support : Fair Tests For All Tests, examinations, assessments, trials, evaluations….. There are many ways in which we measure learning and understanding, but they do not all suit everyone. Teaching and learning take place in every school; it’s our business to teach students and help them learn effectively. What’s more, we are keen to know how effective we are in promoting this learning. We believe the curriculum offered by the school comprises three interrelated components, developed by considering three open-ended questions: 1. What do we want to learn? In a rapidly changing world, we must be constantly considering and reviewing what skills, conceptual understanding and factual knowledge we need to survive and thrive. This is our written curriculum. 2. How best will we learn? We expect our teachers to use best practice founded on current learning theory to guide their teaching methods. This is the taught curriculum. 3. How will we know what we have learned? We must provide opportunities for effective assessment that gives students feedback to

judge their progress. This is the assessed curriculum. We provide a number of ‘accommodations’ that cancel out factors preventing students demonstrating the full extent of their talents. Firstly, many of our students are learning in English when English is not their first language. They will find this particularly challenging when it comes to assessment, so they may: • Have extended time to complete the assessment • Take exams together with other ESL students in one room • Use a paper translation dictionary (and a digital translator in class) • Ask the invigilator to explain a question if they don’t understand what is being asked. Secondly, traditional written tests or exams are especially difficult for a number of students because they learn differently and express themselves better in other ways. For such students we may: • Allow extended time, which reduces anxiety.

• Allow use of a computer/spell checker for students who would take much longer to produce a written answer. • Provide a separate room, that allows students to: - work at their own pace without seeing others finish their papers early - dictate an oral response to the invigilator - ask for explanation of a question - feel they have a fair chance to show what they have learnt Accommodations for students with learning differences must be fully documented and recorded before they are put in place for examinations. We can arrange evaluations locally and contact the relevant organizations when external testing is involved. The Learning Support dept continues to work tirelessly with subject teachers to ensure fair tests for all.

David Banham Secondary Principal (With assistance from Faye Park & the LS Department)


In The Spotlight: Host Country Studies

Moving to a new country can be a very daunting prospect and when that country is as rich and as diverse in its culture and traditions as India, the experience can be even more intimidating. In order to make this transition as smooth as possible for both students and parents, Stonehill offers Host Country Studies (HCS) for all PYP students. This class is a window into Indian culture, when many student questions are answered by highlighting and discussing the country’s culture, geography, history, food and festivals etc. Through HCS, students get a better sense of understanding about the environment that they live in, which they often carry home to parents. As is the norm in the IB curriculum, Host Country Studies is not taught in isolation but is linked to the current classroom units. For example, when the P6 students were studying Ancient Civilizations, they learnt about the Indus Valley civilization in their HCS class. When P4’s Unit of Inquiry was ‘The Green Friends,’ in HCS they were introduced to Indian sacred trees and traditional medicinal plants like turmeric, neem and tulsi (Indian basil) and their importance.

While new concepts like auspicious fruits, pujas, eating with your hands and other cultural beliefs are explored at length through classroom discussions, the sights, sounds and smells of India are explained and also experienced. Experiential learning activities such as field trips to community celebrations, local temples and tasting experiences at local restaurants make HCS an interactive and fun class while being educational at the same time. Host Country Studies is a very crucial part of the curriculum as it enables students to be in sync with the environment they are living in. Not only is it important for them to understand and respect the customs that surround them but it also teaches them to be open-minded and sensitive to other cultures. In order to develop into global citizens, students need to learn to adapt to new countries and cultures, something that Host Country Studies helps them to do. If you would like to learn more about your child's host culture studies programme, please log in to the Primary Parent Portal. Anjali Binani Host Country Studies Teacher


Teacher Profiles 2011 - 2012 When I am not teaching theatre at Stonehill or participating in theatre myself, I’m probably riding a horse. I came to Bangalore as a teenager in 1971 and did my B.A, B.Ed and M.A from Mount Carmel College. I have been teaching fulltime from 1981 till 2001, taking shorts breaks in between to get married to a fashion designer and choreographer, Prasad Bidapa and have my two children, Adam and Aviva. I think JUDI BIDAPA theatre has helped me become more outgoing, though naturally I’m quite a shy person. I have done over a hundred plays as actor and director. I am very passionate about theatre, horses and dogs and have nine of them! Judi Bidapa

I am Mohammed Nassir and I am a technology teacher at Stonehill. I believe in collaborative teaching where students take the lead and I encourage them to actively participate in it. I like to work on programs like Java and Visual Basic and want my students to acquire programming skills which will further enhance their logical thinking. I have worked as Head of Computer Science and ICT MOHAMMED NASSIR department and also as CAS coordinator at Indus International School, Hyderabad. I also taught at Al Ain Juniors British Curriculum School, UAE for six years . Before joining Stonehill I worked as HOD ICT at Le Mont High School Lavasa. Mohammed Nassir

Hi, I am Janine and I teach P5J. My favourite thing about my job is the children in my class – I love them! Every day they make me smile. I have lived in Bangalore since September 2010. Before living in Bangalore, I taught in Seoul, South Korea, where I developed a fondness for kimchee. I am originally from the United States. I live with my husband and two children – Katie in D1 and Quentin in JANINE BAUR M2. I have one dog named Phoebe and two cats named Charlie Bo and Belle. I love to travel, to explore new places, meet people and eat new foods. My favourite food in India is butter chicken. Janine Baur

Travelling and teaching has been part of my life now for 13 years. I have taught in New Zealand, England, Thailand, Bangladesh and Singapore in PE and classroom teaching capacities. I was first introduced to the PYP in Thailand. I thoroughly enjoy the style of teaching and learning that this programme involves. Outside of my job I spend time with my two boys and husband, and like to SUSANNAH MARTIN walk, swim, cook, make art and crafts and explore possibilities wherever the mood might take me. I enjoy being a part of the Stonehill community. Susannah Martin

Primary Parent Portal In many of our workshops and meetings with parents a request for more information about children’s learning has been raised. At the same time we have parents saying they feel they receive too much information.

about your child’s Unit of Inquiry including the summative assessment rubric. You will also find periodic newsletters from single subject teachers describing the learning taking place at each grade level.

We have spent quite a bit of time looking at our existing means of communication, thinking about how to create a system of information which can satisfy all parents at their particular level of need and interest. This is how the idea of the Primary Parent Portal was born.

If you enter the link called Primary Homepage you will find information about the PYP Programme, student services available at Stonehill and more.

The Parent Portal contains 2 types of information at this point; Information specific to your child’s grade level and general information about Stonehill and the Primary Years Programme. If you enter the password protected link called “PYP P1-P8 Homeroom” you will find information

Our hope with the Primary Portal is that parents feel they can play a more active role in retrieving the specific information they require thus having the insight into their child’s education they desire. The web address to the Primary Parent Portal is “portal.stonehill.in”. If you have not already received your password please contact Ms. Aarti Tauro at “aarti.tauro@stonehill.in” Gunilla Bengtsson, PYP Corordinator


Stonehill Annual The Stonehill Interschool Swim Meet, held on the 28th January 2012, was a great success and a fine display of what community is all about. So many parents, students and staff volunteered their time to give our swimmers the chance to compete with some serious competitors. Swimming in our heated pool was a real bonus, giving a warm welcome to the swimmers on what was a cool start to the day. One hundred and thirty three competitors from thirteen Bangalore schools and swim clubs, including CIS, Indus, Swim Life Club and

Swim Gala 2011-12 many more, attended and enjoyed lunch together, thanks to our kitchen staff and the PTA Tuckshop. We look forward to developing our swim squad in the future and hosting more events like these to help our Swim Team reach their full potential. A big thanks to all the participants and the wider school community for their support in hosting such an enjoyable event. The PE Department


In The Spotlight : M1 Goes to Devikere In November our M1 students went on a Humanities fieldtrip to Rathnapuri on Lake Devikere for two nights. The purpose of this trip was observation, experimental research, collection of species for sampling and to provide students with experiences outside their everyday activities. This coincided with a number of units within the Humanities course including: Mapping, Biomes and Endangered Species. During the day, the students were able to explore the peaceful landscape while bird watching, setting camera traps and tracking animals. They sampled the water and collected over 50 different aquatic species. We also encountered over a dozen snakes. The students were super excited to not only view snakes in the wild, but also handle them. It was a fantastic trip and a great preview for the upcoming M1 trip to Coorg.

What They Did.....

What They Learnt...

We had to put up our tents and keep them tidy. Ms Benson gave us prizes for the best kept tent. We went for lots of walks and Gerry told us a lot of information about the farm. We went bird watching, sampled water, set up camera traps, and we went on night walks. We also looked at various snakes. Ebru Kaya & Mayank Naik

During this trip we learnt a lot. We learnt that while bird watching you have to be very quiet and alert. We also learnt that we always have to be careful about where we go, what we touch and always use a flash light in the night because you never know what animals can jump out at you. We learnt that we have to clean up after ourselves and not expect someone else to do it for us. We learnt where to put camera traps and how to sample water.

Anna Benson M1 Humanities Teacher / Trip Organizer

Nayeli Ehrhart & Ayesha Prashanth

Likes and Dislikes...M1's share their trip experience I really liked the trip especially when we were walking around the farm looking for snakes. The bad part was that the elephants were too aggressive in the Nagarhole National Park so we couldn’t get in.

The thing that I liked about the fieldtrip was that we got to know people better and we did lots of interesting activities. Elvira Zetterberg

Yuki Urata

What I liked about the camp was that we were so close to nature. We slept in tents and we went into the forest at night. What I didn’t like was that there were insects and red ants that bit me. I found it hard to see animals that were hidden in the forest both at night and during the day. Ella Wiss Mencke

I really liked the fact that we had to take care of ourselves by cleaning our plates and having to go to bed at a good time. The annoying thing was that there were ants all over our tent. Luckily none got in.

What I really liked about the trip was holding and releasing the checkered keelback water snake. What I didn’t like was when we went to Nagarhole National Park and found that we couldn’t get in.

Francesca Lanzarotti

Rohan Anand


In The Spotlight : D1 Gets ‘Psyched’ Out Introduced this academic year at Stonehill, the IB Psychology course is an exciting and challenging one. Students are expected to take a critical view of the approaches they study in order to understand behaviour, both human and animal. Students learn that behaviour is an outcome of social, cognitive and biological environments. They also look at ethical and gender based issues in Psychology. The course is structured in the following way. In D1 3 differing approaches to behaviour are

studied. This is an introductory course designed to offer a foundation in the subject. Grade 12 is more specialized and focuses on Abnormal, Health, and Developmental Psychology. Grade 12 (the higher level students only) will also see students study qualitative designs for undertaking Psychological research, which is essentially ‘non-numbered’ ways of collecting data. At the end of two years, students have to conduct a simple experiment on a topic of their choice to demonstrate the concepts learned.

Waving the Flag on Republic Day January 26th 1950 was the day that India finally became a sovereign state and the constitution of India truly came into force. Therefore it is one of the most important days in Indian history. We asked some of the staff of Stonehill how they feel about Republic day. Mr. Prabi says: “As an Indian, it’s good to remember what happened and what our ancestors did for us and honor them. After all it is because of them that we are free.” For republic day the student council organized making a human Indian flag. For this project each class had to dress in a specific colour and the squat down on the field during assembly according to their assigned colours. After the human flag photo, everybody got an Indian flag sticker. Overall, Republic Day at Stonehill was a success, as student from all over the world shared India’s pride in independence. Lara Voglsanger, M3 & Jade Rebours, P8

Some of the challenges students will face are a range of new vocabulary, developing the habit of reading scientific journals, and resisting the temptation to diagnose their peers. Throughout the teaching of the course, we never engage in judging, we are engaged in the pursuit of why people do what they do and what that can tell us about human nature and the forces that influence it. We look at many sophisticated and sometimes contradictory

perspectives on human nature but we never use traditional value-judgements in our arguments. We are confident that our students enjoy the course and we hope that they will ultimately do very well. It is also a subject that time and again produces ‘stars’; students who take the subject to heart, realize they have found their calling and never look back. We look forward to welcoming many enthusiastic Psychology students in the future. Yasmine Claire & Kristen McMahon, Psychology Teachers


Community and Service – A New Approach Developing an idea with

are learning to plan effectively to create

others, working together

meaningful events. They are learning life skills

to improve the world

such as managing accounts, writing proposal

around us; these are the

letters and negotiating to achieve your goals.

goals of our Community

In the near future, some of our groups will be

and Service curriculum.

hosting their ‘partners,’ while others will be

This year we have made

organizing events for the school.

some adjustments in order

Patrick Holmes

to facilitate these and

Community & Service Coordinator

other important goals. Community and Service has been brought into the classroom, so that our students can better

People. Plans have ranged from organizing a laptop computer

engage with the world around them. With an increasingly dedicated scheduled time, our MYP homeroom teams are working

program to sales of Christmas goodies.

in groups to pursue common causes. The

In each case, the students are

students have been given the choice of one

learning a number of valuable

of three kinds of service; advocacy, indirect

lessons. They are discovering

action or direct action. Groups are working

the need to engage with their

with such diverse organizations as schools,

chosen organization in order to

orphanages and the Association of Disabled

truly understand its needs. They

On the Football Field... Under -15 Boys Tournament at CIS

Football Tournament on Home Ground On Wednesday January 25, 2012, Stonehill hosted an Inter school Football Tournament which saw 130 keen footballers competing in 4 groupings against three local schools; Legacy, Ryan International and CIS. Stonehill had 7 teams spread out over the different grades and all of our players and teams did themselves and our school proud. The final results are as follows: Boys P4/5 Boys P6/7 Senior Boys Senior Girls

On Saturday 21 January, our Under 15 team participated in a 11-a-side tournament at the Canadian International School. Our pool comprised of National Public Academy and CIS (A team): both very tough opponents. Despite some excellent football, and most importantly, a growing ability to play as a team, we conceded two defeats (respectively 2-0 and 3-0). Both games were physically challenging as the opposition was composed of tenth graders, whereas our squad includes a majority of M2-M3 students. I am very pleased with the effort the players put into the games; they came out of the tournament stronger. Fabien Moussay, Football Coach

- 1st place: Stonehill, 2nd place: CIS - 1st place: CIS, 2nd place: Stonehill - 1st place: Stonehill, 2nd place: CIS - 1st place: Stonehill, 2nd place: CIS

Seeing the wider school community and classes cheering for our players really helped motivate them to play their very best and created a positive atmosphere. It was evident that we have some very skillful football players at Stonehill. What a great opportunity it was for Stonehill to host this event and see them in action. The Sports Team


Newsletter - February 2012