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2 8 t h A ug u s t 2 015 2015-2016

Issue 1

A Global School Contents Director TISA Staff Workshop TISA Nursery TISA New Staff Members Adult Volleyball 2nd Baku Guides PTA

2 3 3 4-9 9 10 11

Calendar September 1

DP2 Parents' Morning


Secondary PAC Meeting


M1-DP2 Back-to-School Night


P1-P8 Introduction to the PYP


Planning Afternoon


M1 and new students CAT4 test


ELC Back-to-School Night


M5 Parents' Evening - Personal Project


Student Council Homeroom Representatives Election


P1-P8 Parents' Mother Tongue Workshop


M1 trip Altiagac


SAT Prep Workshop


M1-M5 Introduction to MYP Parents' Evening


P6-P8 ISA Test Parents' Briefing


DP Core Parents' Evening


P3-P5 Assembly


SAT Prep Workshop


Primary ASAs Term 1 Starts


P1-P8 Transition Workshop for New Parents


P8 Open House


Gurban Holiday


Parent Technology Coffee Morning


TISA Art Exhibition


P1-P2 Parent-Teacher Conference


P3-P8 Parent-Teacher Conference


P6-P8 ISA Test


M1-M3 ISA Test


M4-DP2 SRT College Fair


MYP Parents' Coffee Morning

TISA begins this year with students from 52 different countries— and every continent except Antarctica! The diversity of backgrounds filling our classrooms and halls is a trademark of our community. Valuing individuals and respecting

others views and experiences is essential to an International Baccalaureate education and a strong international community. We look forward to a wonderful year of learning with—and from— one another.

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Our TISA Community A mosaic of faces to place in context, a medley of ideas to harmonize, a brew of interactions each with its unique set of ingredients, and a patchwork of papers folded, filed and fitted into just the right spots—holding it all together. My first month at TISA has been an assault on the senses. Like the busy street markets and ‘bazarları’ of our last home in Istanbul—once the shock wears off, one can truly appreciate all that is on offer. And, although it has only been a few short weeks, I am thrilled with all the TISA community has to offer: • A talented and experienced faculty with the passion and emotional intelligence necessary to motivate, inspire and mentor. • Thoughtful implementation of technology and resources in support of the delivery of a world-class IB curriculum, giving students opportunities to demonstrate their understanding through performance, creation, production and written expression in addition to more traditional means. • A Board of Directors committed to strengthening and supporting TISA’s policies, mission and broader overall management. • A support staff working tirelessly to provide learning spaces and resources, which support teachers and students.

• Parents dedicated to a highquality experience in a safe and stimulating environment— a willingness to play both a supportive and active role in the life of the school. • And—most importantly— students with diverse experiences, ambitious expectations, individual needs and unique interests to share as they enhance their understanding of the world around them and prepare for what comes next. But like the Bazar, the sum is greater than the parts here at TISA. It is our interdependence that creates our unique and dynamic environment. Our interdependence, our community. As a community we will continue to identify and enhance our strengths and determine the areas in which we must improve. In the coming months, as a community, we will develop our new Strategic Plan, which will serve as a guide for our goals, expectations and aspirations. I am both honored and humbled to be the Director for The International School of Azerbaijan, and I look forward to getting to know each of you better as we work together to make TISA exceptional. Chris Andre Director

TISA Times

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Staff Workshop & TISA Nursery

TISA Staff Workshop All TISA teachers, administrators, assistants, support and business staff participated in a workshop designed to synthesize the TISA Mission, IB principles and beliefs and TISA - BP values and behaviours. Each group then shared an interpretation of what it means to BE TISA. Our creative, talented and passionate staff developed original artwork, sculptures, songs, skits, and even a fashion show to encapsulate the essence of our community! In

addition, this workshop allowed members of staff from different sections and areas of responsibility to share with one another their views, vision and best practices—making us a stronger community in the process. It was a positive and energising start to the year and we look forward to continuing the many meaningful conversations as we move forward for 2015-16. Chris Andre Director

Hello from the TISA Nursery! This year we welcome back 10 children who had joined us in the previous school year and also say “Hello” to many new little faces! Starting in a nursery and being away from home for the very first time can be quite unsettling for little children, and so we are trying our very best to make this transition time as easy as possible. Some children settle in quite quickly, others take a bit longer, but in the end, the joy and excitement of being with friends in a cheerful environment will lead to success! The most important thing for parents is to stay cheerful and happy in the morning, even when their little ones seem to be unhappy and upset. Always remember – YOU want your child to join the nursery, so stay positive and leave with a smile; this will make it much easier for your child to get used to his/her new environment. We will have a parent’s information evening on Thursday, 3rd of September from 5.00 – 6.30 pm. This is aimed at “old” nursery parents and new ones alike; please take the time to come (without children please) and get more information about our programme, meet other parents, ask questions, share any concerns you might have, etc. We are looking forward to seeing you on the 3rd!

Below you will find the lyrics of our new nursery song for this year. The melody comes from the song “Bingo” (if you are not familiar with it, you can find some nice versions on youtube), and when we sing “In the Nursery” we clap our hands to each syllable. Enjoy singing it at home, All the best, Livia Gardner-McTaggart TISA Nursery Nursery song (to the tune of “Bingo”) Good morning in the Nursery, So good to see you here! In the Nursery, In the Nursery, In the Nursery, So good to see you here! We’re having fun and making friends, We sing and play all day! In the Nursery, In the Nursery, In the Nursery, We sing and play all day! We learn through play, each day is new. We love to come to school! We’re in the Nursery, We’re in the Nursery, We’re in the Nursery, We love to come to school! We’re in the Nursery, We’re in the Nursery, We’re in the Nursery,

TISA Times

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TISA New Staff

Chris Andre My name is Chris Andre and I am the new Director. I began my career as a Mathematics teacher in Tarsus, Turkey and then worked as a teacher and Athletics Director in Stavanger, Norway where my wife, Mette, and I met. After 6 years abroad, I returned to the Boston area in the U.S. where I was an administrator for ten years—including six as the Associate Director at an IB World school. Prior to arriving in Baku I was the Secondary Principal at the Istanbul International Community School. Our son, Marius, is an M3 student.

He is looking forward to joining CEESA athletics and activities and has a keen interest in cooking and technology. As a family we enjoy playing games, the outdoors, experiencing new cultures, and reading. Our experiences in TISA and Baku thus far have been overwhelmingly positive. We are grateful for the kindness and support so many have shown and are looking forward to fully engaging in our new school and home. Chris Andre Director

Tom Burton It has now been just over three weeks since my arrival in Baku and two since officially starting in my new role as primary principal. During this time, my family and I have been literally “bowled over” by the welcome that we have received and the sense of community at TISA. The openness and patience (that has been needed at times!!!) of the staff, parents and students has been humbling. I hope that during my time here, I can repay this welcome, by leading the primary school with the care and effectiveness it deserves. While it is still early days, we can certainly see and feel a bright

future for TISA. Discussion has already started on key areas for future development, including work on the mathematics program, a look at community and service learning, finding new ways to enrich the TISA experience and greater clarity on the role of parents at the school. As the term move forwards, we aim to develop these concrete plans and together define new goals for the primary school. We look forward to your input in this process, as together we look for ways to take TISA to new heights. Tom Burton Primary Principal

TISA Times

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TISA New Staff

Hewa Thompson My name is Hewa Thompson and I am the new Primary School Assistant Principal. Originally from Rotorua, New Zealand I have spent the last 9 years in Poland where during this time I held the role of Head of School. I am also an IB educator, leading school authorization and evaluation visits, as well as working as a consultant for candidate PYP schools. I am a firm believer in the philosophy of the PYP, an enriching and stimulating educational programme which helps our students develop

to their highest potential academically, physically, socially, and emotionally. I am in Baku with my wife Misun, who is from South Korea and our two young sons, Joshua and Jae. We are all very excited to be in Azerbaijan and to be a part of the TISA community. I look forward to getting to know you all over the coming months. Hewa Thompson Primary School Assistant Principal

Dom Thomas My name is Dom Thomas and I am the PYP Coordinator here at TISA. Originally I am from the UK and have worked in international education for the last 15 years. I worked in Istanbul from 2000 to 2005 and have spent the last decade in Suzhou, China. I bring previous experience as a PYP Coordinator and also an IB Workshop Leader and School Visit Team Member. These IB Educator roles have allowed me to visit several schools in the IB Asia Pacific region. I have moved to TISA with my wife, who is from Turkey, and we are both very excited to be part of the

TISA community and to have the opportunity to live in Baku and Azerbaijan. The warm welcome we have received so far makes us believe that we are joining a special school community. I believe our school’s role is to ensure that students are given the absolute best educational learning opportunities and that the values of the IB support this. I look forward to getting to know the students, teachers, parents and everyone else who makes up our TISA community. Dom Thomas PYP Coordinator

Carolina Camero Hello, my name is Carolina Camero. I come from Bogota, Colombia. My experience as a teacher includes learning support and homeroom teaching. I have a background in psychology and a master degree in bilingual education. I worked with children from the age of 3 to 13.

I will be working in the Learning Support Department this year with the Lower Primary students. I am very excited to be here in Baku and here in TISA. Carolina Camero Learning Support

TISA Times

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New Staff

TISA Times

Fran Munro My name is Fran Munro, and I am pleased to be here at TISA. Following a rewarding thirty year career in Canada, I began teaching abroad seven years ago. I have taught most grades from P3 through Secondary School, have been an Elementary School Principal, and for the past six years I have been the Coordinator of Student Support Services in

International schools in both Korea and Malaysia. I look forward to meeting the families in the TISA community, and I welcome the opportunity to work with your children. Fran Munro Learning Support

Karen Noble As an experienced PYP teacher in kindergarten and lower elementary I am excited to be here at TISA building a learning community with the P3 team, students and parents as we progress through our school experience together. I am passionate about critical literacy, thinking skills, and international mindedness (I also love a good song and dance!).

Sofia Martyn Before coming to Baku I taught Drama, Music and EAL in the UK and Spain. I enjoy all things arty, especially playing drums and watching live Music, so I’m looking forward to discovering Azerbaijan’s rich and diverse culture. Sofia Martyn Performing Arts

I originally come from Australia but have spent over twenty years living and working in different countries. I have two sons, so I am a mum too! My youngest son Kai is in M3 and my oldest son Hadi is serving his national service in Singapore. Karen Noble P3 Teacher

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TISA New Staff

TISA Times

Nicola Scales Hello everyone, my name is Nicola Scales and I am the new Science and Physics teacher. Before Baku I lived in Cambodia and taught at the International School of Phnom Penh for seven years. I also taught for four years in China at the Suzhou Singapore International School and in Vienna at the Vienna International School. I came here with two of my dogs and have already adopted a kitten I found near my apartment

downtown! I have a veterinary clinic and NGO (PPAWS) in Cambodia and am very passionate about animal welfare. I will be offering an animal welfare after school activity if anybody would like to help set this up then I would be grateful for volunteers. Nicola Scales Secondary Science

Sarah Borgerding  I am honoured, and excited to be the new secondary school Counsellor/college Counsellor here at TISA. My husband, Theodore Borgerding, an English Teacher, and our two girls Mary M2 and Katherine P8 have most recently been living in Dhahran Saudi Arabia where we worked for the International Schools Group for the past three years. This is my 9th year working in international schools, and 10th year working in IB schools. I have

Gregory Cowan My name is Gregory Cowan and I am from Western Queensland, Australia. I graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Education and completed my Masters in Education in 2012. My teaching areas are chemistry, physics, mathematics, and junior science. I have taught in Australia, United Arab Emirates and Finland with experience in the British Curriculum, the International Baccalaureate and the QCAA system. My hobbies are tennis, running and travel. Gregory Cowan Secondary Science

also lived in Germany, Poland, Viet Nam, the Philippines and Seattle on the west coast of the US is where I grew up and where my family still lives. I have a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MS in Psychology. I am looking forward to getting to know the TISA family, and exploring Baku this year. Sarah Borgerding  Secondary Counsellor

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TISA Times

TISA New Staff

Emma Bradley Emma is from Belfast in Northern Ireland and is delighted to be joining TISA this year as part of the Humanities department. After gaining her BA (Hons) in Geography from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, she completed a Masters degree in PR, Marketing & Advertising. Following this she worked as a press officer for a children’s film festival. It was in this role where she found a passion for working with young people in the Outreach Program. Always interested in travel and new experiences, Emma then moved to Japan to teach English. After spending three years teaching English in Japan and

Hungary, she completed a PGCE at Oxford University. Emma spent five years teaching Geography in the UK, and then decided that her future lay in international teaching. She has taught MYP Humanities and English Language Acquisition in Belgrade, Serbia and Beijing, China. In her spare time she enjoys visiting museums and art galleries, live music and walking. She is thrilled to be part of the diverse TISA community and is very much looking forward to exploring Azerbaijan and the Caucus region whilst here in Baku. Emma Bradley Humanities

Kevin Bradley Kevin is originally from the UK and was fortunate to spend time living in the United States and Switzerland as a child. He completed the IB Diploma at the Inter-Community School in Zurich. After completing his History BA at the University of Southampton, Kevin worked in the IT sector. Inspired by friends and family who had joined the teaching profession, he enrolled in the PGCE programme at the University of Roehampton and taught in London. He spent five years teaching in Maidenhead, UK where he was Head of History and Assistant Director of Studies for M2 and M3.

The lure to teach abroad proved too strong and Kevin took up a position teaching History, Geography and English in an International school in Belgrade, Serbia. He then spent four years teaching across the MYP and DP at BCIS, in Beijing, China where he was the Pastoral Co-ordinator for M2 and M3. In his spare time Kevin enjoys watching football, doing the occasional work out and playing video games that Mrs Bradley tells him he is too old to play. Kevin Bradley Humanities

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TISA Times

TISA New Staff & Voleyball

Des O’Sullivan Having taught in Ireland, China and Singapore, I am excited to be joining TISA and to experience a new culture. I am originally from Cork, Ireland and over the years I’ve maintained strong links with my hometown. I was educated at University College Cork, where I achieved a degree in Geography and Archaeology, a masters degree in European Development Studies, University of Cambridge’s CELTA and a professional diploma in education in English and

Geography. I have spent over 7 years teaching in China and this led to me to work and study at the British Council in Singapore. I subsequently completed University of Cambridge’s Diploma in English Language Teaching. I have a keen interest in drama and I like to incorporate it into my lessons to create a more active and dynamic learning environment. Des O’Sullivan Secondary EAL

Anna Malgorzata De Nogales Sudra Like many of your children, I too am a third culture kid (TCK). I was born and raised by Swiss and Polish parents in Kenya and have since become an American citizen. As a result the international community is where I feel most at home. Art and travel have been my passions since I was teen and have led me around the world studying, making, and teaching art. I have a BFA from the Massachusetts

College of Art and Design and an M.Ed from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to this, I have worked as an MYP/DP art teacher both in Mongolia and Cambodia. I am excited to continue to help the art program at TISA grow and be part of this welcoming and vibrant community. Anna Sudra Visual Arts

Adult volleyball in TISA 5! Roelf Haverkamp and Eric Buczkowski will be organising volleyball for adults 18 and up again this year. We will be having the event on Wednesdays this year from 17:30 – 19:30. All levels are welcome but we need at least 10 players to commit to attending by Monday afternoon (12:00) in order to have it work.

Contact Roelf and Eric at; to get your name on the list so we can start as soon as possible. See you on the court! Eric Buczkowski Athletics Coordinator and Head of Physical Education

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2nd Baku Guides

TISA Times

2nd Baku Guides We are the Second Baku Guide Unit, based in Azerbaijan. Our Unit started in January of this year and we are fortunate to have fantastic support from other existing Girlguiding Units out here in Baku, Azerbaijan. These include First Baku Guides, Second Baku Brownies, First Baku Brownies and First Baku Rainbows. We meet weekly in school term time on school premises at TISA (The International School of Azerbaijan). On Wednesday June 3rd we took our unit of 16 girl guides to the Maiden Tower, which overlooks the Caspian Sea and the Old City in Baku, so that 13 new members

could make their Promise. The Maiden Tower is a fortified lookout post 30 metres high. The views from the top were spectacular and were well worth the climb. Baku is often known as the windy city and on this particular day it was no exception! After making the Promise we headed back down the steep steps to ground level. Then, with the Maiden Tower as our backdrop we sang Happy Birthday to one of our guides and finished our meeting with Taps. A perfect end to a perfect afternoon.

“It was a great experience to be in the centre of the City and to recite the Promise� Vero said.

2nd Baku Guides Community

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TISA Times

From the PTA From the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) - Welcome to the school year at TISA! Whether you are a returning family, or new to the TISA community, we look forward to meeting you over the coming weeks, and introducing ourselves and our initiatives.

a photo board and contact details made available, a Welcome Coffee in early September with more information on what the PTA does, and Primary and Secondary Reps will engage with homerooms in their grades.

Our aim is to support the TISA community, and bring together TISA parents, teachers and staff to make the coming year a happy and productive one, especially for our kids. There is a PTA Board including roles such as President, Treasurer, Communications, Representatives for Upper and Lower Primary and Upper and Lower Secondary, plus Welcome & Hospitality and Charities, but we welcome all parents and teachers interested in volunteering and getting involved.

Our first back to school event was the ‘Sign Up Social’ on 22nd August, an opportunity for all families, and particularly new ones, to find out what goes on in our community, who organises what, and to register to join in. With a planned programme of events including the Winter Fair, orientation coffee mornings, ICT information sessions, school celebrations and homeroom parties, we look forward to bringing people together throughout the school year!

Over the coming weeks we will work hard to connect with parents and teachers; there’ll be

Louise Scarr PTA President

UPCOMING EVENT OF THE CALEDONIAN SOCIETY Don’t miss the best event of the year: When: Saturday November 21st, 2015: time t.b.a. (likely 7pm) Where: Marriott Hotel What: St. Andrew’s Ball Why: to celebrate Scotland’s Patron and all things Scottish! Dust off your dancing shoes; the St. Andrew’s Ball is coming your way! Chef Nick, of the Marriott Hotel, will design and prepare a five star meal that’s not to be missed. Food, beverages and dancing are all included in the price. Please see Miss Charlotte (Charlotte Harvey) at TISA School, if you would like to purchase tickets or a table of 10. Tickets are 150 AZN each

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TISA Times 28 August 2015  

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