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Dragon The Vientiane International School Monthly Magazine

Grade 1 Explo re Public Places page 6

Tales November-December 2012 | Issue 11

Launchin s n o i t g a New I c e l f e dentity SALSA R -21 p a g e 15 pages 16

I had my whole life in my hands. For months I had been trying to get the correct mixture and here was the formula in my hands...

„Responsibility‟ and „Value‟ Grade 3 explore these concepts, p4

Language Shapes Culture Lao Mother Tongue students share their learning, p22

The Future of our Library The Lowdown on our available resources, p31

Grade 6 students explore imaginative and creative writing, page 23

New Programme Models Explained ps 3, 9 and 14

Director‘s Notes page 1

Primary News page 2

Secondary News page 8

Sports News page 25

VIS MISSION STATEMENT ຎາ໅ ຎາຊ, ຋ ົຏຐ ັຏ຋າຏແຈ ຿ລະ ກະກຽມ ຏ ັກອຽຏ຾ຂົ໅າສຉ ີ ຋ ິ ຌ ົວຈິງ ໄ ວ Áskorun hrífur nemendur og undirbýr þá fyrir lífið framundan.

Stawianie wyzwań, inspirowanie i przygotowywanie uczniow do życia

Paghahamon, Pagpupukaw, at Paghahanda sa mga Mag-aaral para sa Buhay

ความท้าทาย แรงบันดาลใจ และการเตรี ยมพร้อม สาหรับผูใ้ ฝ่ รู ้ที่ใคร่ คน้ คว้าในวิถีแห่งชีวติ uitdagend, inspirerend, en voorbereidend tot een levenlang leren Mencabar, Menginspirasi dan Menyediakan Pembelajaran Sepanjang Hayat चन ु ौती को सामना गनन उत्प्रेररत गदै (रेरणा दददै ) जीवन जजउने कऱाससक्ने

सिक्षाथॉऱाइ तयार पानेI Utmanande, inspirerande och förbereder lärande för livet Utfordrende, inspirerende og en forberedelse til resten av livet Herausforderung, Inspriration und Vorbereitung fuer ein lebenslanges Lernen 的使命是为学者们 提供一个具有挑战性,激励性及终身学习的 优异环境 Can’t see your language? Please send in your translations to

Directorâ€&#x;s Notes

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r VI S Co mm uni ty,

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Primary News

Primary Reflection by Mr Jon Davidson, PRIMARY PRINCIPAL

objects uncovered during the mining process can be kept and preserved for future generations. As grade 3‘s central idea is ―interpreting artifacts provides insights into people‘s histories‖, Ms. Wilkinson‘s presentation was both relevant and engaging. Right across the grades we have volunteers coming into VIS in order to share their expertise. I would like to thank all those who have given up their time to come into school and helped to challenge our students. Books are wonderful, the internet is vast, but talking, questioning and interacting with someone who has a passion about a subject is truly inspiring. Thank you. Long ago I remember a conversation I had with a trainer from the International Baccalaureate. Being new to the PYP I was putting together new units of inquiry and bemoaning the lack of resources. She said the most valuable resource you could have is quite simply people. At VIS we are extremely lucky to have community members who are experts in areas such as food security, mining, renewable energy and fine art. It is like having a living library at our fingertips. A good example of this resource in action was when grade 5 invited Evan Scandling from Sunlabob to come and talk to the class. Their unit of inquiry had the central idea: ―Energy may be converted, transformed and used to support human progress‖ and Mr. Scandling prepared an informative presentation answering key questions such as: What are the different forms of energy sources? How do we store and transform energy? How do we reduce energy usage? How does energy contribute to human progress? Meanwhile, in grade 3 we welcomed Samantha Wilkinson into the class, where she explained how MMG were valuing Lao heritage by working with the local community and building a Cultural Heritage Centre. A centre where precious

Primary News

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New IB Primary Years Programme model by Ms Alison Francis PYP COORDINATOR The models for all IB programmes provide all stake holders with an overview of how the programmes are structured. In September this year, the IB launched a new programme model for the PYP (Primary Years Programme). The new model contains the same message about the pedagogy of the PYP with its essential elements but with a different presentation. The core circle remains the same with the learner‘s position at the centre of the PYP curriculum framework. The innermost circle includes the following elements. The terminology is now aligned with those in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme (DP). Approaches to learning (skills) these are the skills the students are developing and using in their learning: thinking skills, research skills, communication skills, social skills, self-management skills The approaches to learning have been replaced by what was originally referred to as the ‗transdisciplinary skills‘. Approaches to teaching this emphasizes the PYP pedagogy, including collaborative learning through inquiry that uses a variety of a variety of authentic assessment strategies and tools Concepts this shows the emphasis placed on a concept-based curriculum Attitudes remain one the PYP essential elements

An extra circle highlights other key components of the model. Authentic inquiry-based learning should result in action. This may be demonstrated in a variety of ways by students in the PYP. The PYP culminates in Exhibition, and this features on the model now. This circle demonstrates the clear alignment with action and with the culminating activities in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma (DP). The six transdisciplinary themes remain the same (Who we are, Where we are in place and time, How we express ourselves, How the world works, How we organize ourselves and Sharing the planet). These themes represent core commonalities of shared human experiences. They also set the context of learning in our units of inquiry. There are still six subject groups, presented without distinct lines between them to indicate the transdisciplinary nature of the PYP. Internationalmindedness is highlighted in the outermost circle as it reinforces and aligns the PYP with with the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma (DP).

*Information adapted from IBPYP Coordinator Notes, NOV 2012

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IBPYP Reflections Teaching different writing genres: Exposition Grade 3 is coming to the end of their current unit of inquiry which has as its central idea: Interpreting artifacts provides insights into people’s histories. With the help of guest speakers and field trips, the students in grade 3 have begun to understand the concepts of responsibility and value. Presented with a photograph showing all that remains of a looted statue in Cambodia, students have been learning how to construct a piece of writing that puts forward an argument. The first step was to work as a whole group, structuring their writing together. Here is the result of this exercise:

Don’t sell artifacts without permission The auction house Sotheby’s wants to sell a priceless artifact that actually belongs to the people of Cambodia. Artifacts belong to the people who made them and tell them about their history and culture. If people loot and sell artifacts, it takes away a part of a nation’s history. Looting or stealing artifacts from other countries destroys their history, culture and beliefs! If auction houses keep on selling stolen artifacts, then people will continue looting or stealing from the global community. Auction houses must get permission before selling any type of artifact. The Mythical Warrior should not be sold at auction because it comes from Cambodia and should be returned there. So that the people of Cambodia can see and learn about the Mythical Warrior, it should be returned either to its original place or to the National Museum of Cambodia where it can be restored and preserved. If the Mythical Warrior is sold at auction to someone from outside Cambodia, then it could end up anywhere in the world. It should be returned to Cambodia so that tourists from all around the world can come to Cambodia to see it. Then, the people of Cambodia can make money from the tourists and put that money in to preserving other artifacts. Auction houses all over the world should have laws that stop them from selling artifacts without permission from the country the artifacts came from. The next step for grade 3 was to put together their own expositional piece of writing. Ask your child to share their writing with you and ask them questions about their arguments


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Under The Same Sun Primary Concert by Ms Catherine O‘Brien GRADE 2 TEACHER

On Tuesday 11th December students in the Primary Years Programme came together at the Vientiane Culture Hall for an evening of celebration. Under the Same Sun celebrated many stories, histories and journeys told through music and song. The students performed songs about friendship, diversity, what we share in daily life, our similarities and our differences. All reasons to celebrate. The students prepared a snapshot of music from around the world, and from a variety of countries. As the children performed you heard songs of freedom from Africa, Australia and the Philippines, a Russian ballad, a Chinese folksong about nature, and a song of animals from Zimbabwe. Other highlights included a song of birth sung in Tagalog, music from the Middle East, the Andes Mountains and Lebanon; all of which connect us to what we experience in everyday life. The Early Years Centre welcomed us with a song of ‗Hello‖, sung in many languages. The school choir sung the theme song, ―Under the Same Sun‖ and thus brought together this evening of entertainment.

We would like to thank everyone for supporting this evening and also thank the teachers and children for preparing with such vigour and enthusiasm. It only leaves us to wish everyone a happy and relaxing vacation and we look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

The students were very excited as they prepared for their musical performance. For some it was the first time presenting with their class to an audience made up of the whole school community.

Watch clips of the concert on You Tube

Grade 4

Grade 2 Perform

Recorder Group

Santa Clara

IBPYP Field Trips

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Grade 1 participated in an interesting field trip exploring and comparing public places in Vientiane. We visited the Mekong river front, the Morning Market and the Kuadin Market. The children explored features of each public place and the ways in which people use these public places to connect with their friends and family. We returned to the river front in the evening to compare how it is used in the morning and evening. The children were surprised to find the area full of people, stalls and general action compared to the virtually deserted playground in the morning. We also talked about how the climate and temperature affects how people use these places.

Charles and Joshua are thinking about how to record the purpose and features of the playground. We found that the playground is more than just a place for students to play. It is also a meeting place for parents. Secondary students also meet here to do homework and talk.

Madyson and Jackson compare notes on their observations. Students carry their clipboards along so they can record their thinking while they are on site and their ideas are fresh.

Allysa is recording the features of the playground with a detailed drawing. later she will add labels to her drawing.

Ella is writing her thoughts on the uses of the playground. This is our first field trip to the riverfront. We were almost the only people there, but it was a good opportunity to observe the features, such as bins, benches, lights, places to buy snacks, and a view of the Mekong. In the Kuadin Market, students (Jean –left) had a chance to think about where we get our food. It was a new experience for some students, seeing food unpackaged and sometimes still wriggling!

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Joshua holds one of the live fish for sale at Kuadin Market.

At Talat Sao, the Morning Market, students noted that many different things were being sold.

We are just eating our morning snack and already the Riverfront is almost too hot for us. Students found shady spots to sit.

When we visited in the evening, there were many people who had come in the cool of the evening to meet friends.

When we returned to the Riverfront playground in the evening, there were food tents that had not been there earlier in the day.

Secondary News

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Secondary Reflection by Miss Kim Green, SECONDARY PRINCIPAL

Santa Claus came to town‌

Over the semester our learners have engaged in opportunities, been inspired by their teachers, peers and parents, challenged in their learning and prepared for life through real life contexts and connections. When reflecting on this semester our thoughts and celebrations are quickly filled with how we have continued to foster a culture of excellence in student achievement. This edition of Dragon Tales highlights a number of areas where our learners continue to excel; personally, socially, physically and academically. I trust that you will see in the highlighted student-led initiatives, actions and learning students who are aspiring to exemplify the attributes of the learner profile and be active and responsible members of the VIS community. I am proud of our secondary students for their involvement in our host country, the connections and relationships that they have built with their peers and teachers and for all of their personal successes over the semester.

On Saturday the 8th of December, VIS had a special visit from Santa Claus. Santa Claus arrived on a Tuk Tuk to greet the children who were eagerly awaiting his arrival, he was very excited to meet all the children who came to see him and share with him their Christmas wishes. Parents and families were also treated to the opportunity to have a Santa photo, printed there and then. The children from Ban Saphanthong Tai School, our Sister School, were invited to have Santa photos too and the children went home with their own copy of the photo. Isabella, Hannah M, Hannah B, Jane and Leila from Grade 6C organized the event, inviting Santa to come as a way to raise money for Sinxay Primary. Sinxay Primary School is a school that Grade 6 visited on their SALSA trip, the girls wanted to raise money to buy equipment to give to the school. Thanks go to Isabella, Hannah M, Jane, Hannah B, and Leila for organizing the event. Special thanks go to the PandF for their Micro Loan and advice, Mark Gordon for his special role, Ms Bryndis for her help with the money side of things, and of course the children for making the event successful.

Challenging Physical challenges on SALSA MRISA Sport Leagues Vientiane Schools Sports Association

Inspiring MRISA Leadership Summit Youth Educating Youth Saturday School initiative Charity Gala International Peace One Day Language A English real life connections Creation of Picture Books in Lao Mother Tongue Proactive Student Council Beginnings Concert Gate 38 Production

Preparing for Life Hosted first Model United Nations Conference Increased EAL support and embedded inquiry New building Student achievement

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New IB Middle Years Programme Model by Mr Jonathan Smedes MYP COORDINATOR The models for all IB programmes provide all stake holders with an overview of how the programmes are structured. In September this year, The IB launched a new programme model for the MYP (Middle Years Programme). The former model for the MYP contained a single circle for the five areas of interaction and placed them closest to the centre. These areas of interaction serve as contexts for learning that could better enable interdisciplinary learning. The new model contains the same message about an MYP education but with a different presentation. The circle closest to the centre of the model now contains four elements.

An extra circle highlights other key components of the model. Inquiry-based learning may result in action. This may be demonstrated by students in the form of service in the community. The MYP culminates in the personal project, and this features on the model now. This circle demonstrates the clear alignment with action and service, and with the culminating activities in the PYP and the DP. There are still eight subject groups, presented without distinct lines between them to indicate the interdisciplinary nature of the MYP.

Approaches to learning This demonstrates the commitment to approaches to learning (ATL) as a key component of the MYP for developing skills for learning. Approaches to teaching This emphasizes the MYP pedagogy, including collaborative, authentic learning through inquiry. Concepts This shows the emphasis placed on a concept-based curriculum. Areas of interaction Showing how learning best takes place in context, and can help to develop international-mindedness.

*Information adapted from IBMYP Coordinator Notes, NOV 2012

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Grade 6 Short Stories Mark Gordon, Grade 6 English B teacher The Grade 6 students during the first semester of the 2012- 13 school year first studied an Imagination and Creativity unit which involved (but not exclusively) reading and viewing science fiction stories and clips. The unit culminated in a creative writing assessment wherein students wrote science fiction short stories. We shared these stories in class and students voted on which they thought were best which they now wish to share with you as examples of their learning and achievement. Unit 1: Imagination and Creativity Are Essential Components in Storytelling Significant Concept: Imagination shapes future reality. The stories were written during the middle part of October, at the end of the unit.

Language B English A Different Me by Isabella Chapman I had my whole life in my hands. For months I had been trying to get the correct mixture and here was the formula in my hands. Who would have thought in 2048 we would have a way to change your identity completely. By drinking this juice and thinking of someone else I could transform into that person.

Well, that‘s the idea, but I haven‘t tried it yet. Ok, here we go. I took a greedy sip and thought straight away of Carolyn. Oh, how much I hate her and how I could play with her life. I felt a jolt in my stomach and then felt myself getting taller and thinner. My hair was changing from long and black to short and brown. I felt like I was having the worst face massage ever. Then those feelings stopped. I ran to the mirror and there I was. Ugly, horrible, disgraceful but somehow that model, Carolyn. All of my thoughts were swiped away when my alarm went off to go to school. I ran up the basement stairs and on to my bike. My thoughts now drifted on to what would happen if she lied on I-Brain (I-Brain is an implant which allows you to receive messages) and she was coming to school. I arrived at school and left my bike at the school‘s robots room. I walked casually into the school gates and into my classroom. When the teacher saw me she walked over to me and said, ―You posted a message on I-Brain saying that you were sick today‖. I quickly said no and said I was better. Miss Jin said, ―but you‘re sweating‖. I accidently snapped at her and said‖ I was fine!‖ The class went on for an hour. At break I headed towards the toilet when Chris (Carolyn‘s boyfriend) came and slipped his hand into mine. My reflex was to slap him and I gave him a fast girly slap. He jumped back shock in his face. Then I, realising what I had done, ran away stumbling over my own legs. I ran right to my class and shouted, ―Open!‖ The class door swung open. Then when I was safely in I shouted, ―Close‖. Ms. Jin looked up in shock but did not want to push me to further frustration and asked ―Where is Sammy today?‖ My world froze because in the real world I was Sammy, so I did the abnormal and jumped on a flying chair shouting ―I don‘t know!‖ and other random words while fiddling with a glowing pen. I stopped shouting when a flying letter came to my face. I grabbed it and it read out saying in a weird, robotic voice, ―This letter is from Chris, who says you will regret that‖ I went straight out of the class room embarrassed but ran into Carolyn‘s best friend. An uncontrolled frustration and annoyance said ―Go away I don‘t want to hear a word from you ever again‖ and I pushed her out the way. She took out her I pod Leon (which is an iPod, clock and ear warmer.) and said, ―fine I didn‘t like you anyway‘. And she stormed off. I walked away turning a corner to see the real Carolyn walking towards me. I quickly covered my face and walked past her. She stopped and turned around and shouted, ―Hey you!‖ I ran till I could not see her and sat on a bench and drank the undo formula. It should work in a minute but an hour went by which means I am Carolyn forever.

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Crazy Roller-Coaster Ride by Leonie Fischer

voice came I reached to my left and grabbed the goggles in the box that I haven‘t even realized. Then I heard a very noisy motor sound. Now I just realized

―Hey Sophie, do you get what ‗Roller-coaster to the

why I needed the goggles because the wagon was

future‘ is supposed to mean?‖, asked my 10 year older

increasing its speed. It became very windy. Although I

cousin Elena.

wore goggles, I still had to close my eyes. After a few

―I have no idea,‖ I said. ―We should try it out, don‘t

seconds the noise stopped.

you think?‖ ―Well, yeah. We would be stupid if we didn‘t.‖ So

I opened my eyes. I was still in the wagon, and nothing

Elena and I went to the cashier to buy the tickets to

had changed so far. What a boring experience. Is this

the ―Roller-coaster to the future.‖ But the lady who

all I can expect for my money? A bit disappointed I got

was selling the tickets told us that only one could go

up and left the wagon. Outside I looked for Elena who

on the roller-coaster, because for some reason there

was supposed to be waiting in front of the cashier, but

was only one wagon and for safety rules only one

there was no Elena. I panicked a bit. I searched all of

person could go in the wagon.

the drink and food places, still no Elena. I decided to

―I would really like to go, what about you?‖ I asked

go to the city and get the subway and ride home. I just


had enough money left to pay for the ticket. On the

―Well, if you want to go, you can go and I will stay

way to the subway station I passed by my favorite

and get us a little snack and drinks, all right?‖

playground that I loved when I was younger. But there

―Sure, and I‘ll tell you what it is like so you can

were so many new things to play with that weren‘t

choose if you want to go or if you don‘t.‖

there this morning when Elena and I came from the

―Okay, have fun and see you later.‖ I waved. There

subway station. There were things like singing

was a lot of excitement bubbling up in me. I mean

trampolines and even a paint ball area. This morning it

seriously ‗Roller-coaster to the future‘ sounds a bit

didn‘t even exist, and doesn‘t it take a while to build a

crazy. Nevertheless, I paid for the ticket and went in

paintball place? And since when did singing trampolines

the little wagon that a man behind the cashier directed

exist? When I looked at it all a little closer I saw tiny

me to. While I was sitting in that wagon waiting to

robots making sand-castles. There was also some kind

hear the safety instructions that the lady at the cashier

of slide where children were just pressing buttons and

told me about, I started to feel a little scared. Then I

the slides form always changed. Sometimes it looked a

heard them, the safety instructions. Things I always

bit like a roller coaster and one time it looked like it

hear when I am going to a normal roller-coaster. But

was a giant water slide but the people were not

then there was something I never heard before:

actually getting wet. I was utterly confused. But still I

―When you hear the voice from the speakers saying:

wanted to keep walking.

Please get ready in 9, 8,7,6,5,…. Please grab to your left and reach out for the goggles that will come from a little box.‖ Goggles? Why goggles? But when the

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Language B English

Five minutes later I passed by another playground

Another two minutes in silence. Then it just shot

that was never there before. It was getting a little

out of me:

freaky now. I kept on walking till I reached the

―I am Sophie, Elena.‖ I whispered shyly. Why did I

subway-station. Finally I was able to sit down. I

just do that? Ten minutes ago I swore I wouldn‘t

looked down a bit and relaxed. When I looked up I

even talk to her. And now? I am telling her who I

felt like lightning struck me. Elena. In front of me

am? Elena stopped.

was Elena. She looked a lot different from this

―I, um, I guess I am happy to see you.‖ She tried

morning but I knew it was her. But still I came to

again. ―Where did you come from?‖ she asked.

the decision it would be for the best if I would just

―I have no idea.‖ I said with tears in my eyes. We

ignore her and pretend she wasn‘t there. Just like

went to her apartment to figure some things out.

―Elena‖ could read my mind and didn‘t like my

―How could this actually happen?‖ I asked.

decision she looked at me like she knew me. Then

―I just can‘t find an explanation for it. I mean, come

she asked me for my name. After a while of thinking

on, ‗roller-coaster to the future‘ sounds interesting,

if I should answer her question I just said, ―Why do

but you would never believe that it would actually

you want to know?‖

be possible to travel instantly into the future.‖

She smiled sadly and said, ―You look like my cousin,

―How long have you been here already?‖ asked


Elena. ―Only for like three hours‖ I answered.

―She got lost a few years ago at a fun fair where she

―But you have been missing for five years already, so

went to this ―Roller coaster to the future‖ thing.‖

maybe it means that you have been in that wagon

My head shot up. Was I lost?

for like five years but for you it was only like two

―How long ago was that?‖ I asked.

minutes.‖ commented Elena.

―Around five years,‖ Elena said. I had more than a

―I am less worried about how I got here. I am more

thousand thoughts flying around my head. Did that

worried about how I am going to get back.‖ I said. ―I

mean that I was stuck in that wagon for five years?

mean do you think there is any way that I can

The subway stopped at the station and Elena stood

actually get back?‖ I asked and started to cry again.


Elena looked at me with compassion.

―It was nice talking to you,‖ she said. ―Bye‖,

―I don‘t know‖ she said. ―I really don‘t and I am so

―Wait!‖ I said quickly. I suddenly thought if I should

sorry.‖ I was crying my eyes out and I was dying to

tell her that I am her cousin or if I shouldn‘t. ―This is

get back. I was always wondering what my future

also my station.‖ I said afraid of her leaving me.

would be like. But I wanted to live it so badly, more

―Really? Well okay.‖

than anything. I was never afraid of my past future,

I followed her to the door. We walked next to each

but now I am so scared about what my real future

other in silence for three minutes. I was already

will be like.

regretting about saying that this was my station. Well, actually it was but she didn‘t have to know it.

Because I knew there was no way back.

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The Future Dream by Attila Bohlmann

``Does that mean I`m 22 years old?― I asked a bit scared.

``Yeah,`` he said with a full mouth and not even looking at After I finished my homework me. Then I stumbled. ``But my mom said, ``Luke get ready yesterday I was just 12!`` for bed!`` I hurried to the ``No`` Gale answered still eating, bathroom to get my teeth ``yesterday you were 22 just as brushed, as I had just bought a today.`` I was confused, book called `` The Crazy Sciensomehow lost, I didn‘t know tist`` and was looking forward to what had happened over night. start reading it quickly. I made it comfortable in my bed and read until I was tired. At some point my brother Gale came in to say good night. I appreciate having such a nice big brother who really cares for me. Then I fell into a dreamless sleep. The next morning I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I looked into the mirror. I screamed so loudly that the whole neigbourhood must have heard it. I was so shocked I couldn‘t believe it. My face, my whole body, what had happened to me? My body was like the body of an adult. I was so big and my muscles had grown so strong. I didn‘t know what was going on. I went to my closet and tried all my clothes on but none of them fitted. I went to my brother`s room and put his clothes on. I went downstairs and looked for my mother, but I couldn‘t find her. I checked in the kitchen and found my brother. He was eating an omelette that looked quite tasty. I asked my brother what happened to me. He answered ``Nothing!``. I was so confused that I asked him what year it was. He just answered bored: ``2022``

Could it be that I skipped 10 years, or was I going crazy? My brother, now finished eating his omelette, told me that Norman, my brother‘s friend, my brother and me would meet after breakfast to go to the skating park. I was absent minded, grabbed a plate, filled it with some fried eggs and bacon and started eating. After I finished eating we took a bus to the skating park where there were many people. My brother walked to Norman. I couldn‘t remember Norman looking like that. He had steel elements on his face and arms. I thought he looked like a cyborg! I didn‘t want to ask why he was a cyborg and not a normal human as I didn‘t want to offend Norman. Gale gave me some kind of board that looked like a skateboard without wheels. ``What is this?`` I asked Gale, he said it was a Hovercraft. When I looked at the other people around me they were using the same boards as me. Norman came up to me and showed me how to use it. He told me that I just had to put my feet on the board and think about a skating trick, then it would happen. It was hard concentrating on anything, the people around me were

distracting me, none of them looked like real humans. Some were cyborgs like Norman and some were aliens. Trying to put all my thoughts and confusion aside, I finally started getting the hang of driving a Hovercraft. After doing some driving and tricks, Norman, Gale and I were very tired. We were at least skating for two or three hours. ``Lets go to Flare`` Norman said. ``What is Flare?`` I asked. Norman said it was a Resturant near here. So we went to `Flare` to eat. It was a big blue glowing restaurant with many people inside. We entered and there were many robots inside eating. Norman ordered pasta and I ordered a Hamburger just like Gale did. After about 20 minutes the food was served and we started eating. The burger was so delicious that I could have eaten 10 more. ''We have to go home now because we had a rough day'', Gale said. ''See you next time'', Norman said. Gale and me took the bus to go home. When we arrived home I went straight to the bathroom and brushed my teeth and went straight to bed. I must have fallen asleep in seconds, I can't even remember my head reaching the pillow. ´´ Wake up Luke´´ my mom said. I opened my eyes and asked her how old I was. She answered 12 in a weird way, as if she didn't know what I was asking. ''I'm back'' I said and jumped out of my bed, put on my clothes, which suddenly fitted again and ran downstairs to see my brother. There he was just sitting and eating his omelette as every day!


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New IB Diploma Programme Model by Mr Todd Richer DP COORDINATOR

The models for all IB programmes provide all stake holders with an overview of how the programmes are structured. In September this year, the IB launched a new programme model for the DP (Diploma Programme). The shape of the model for the DP changed from a hexagon to a circle to align more closely with the other programmes and the IB‘s continuum of education. The new model contains the same message about an IB education with our core responsibility to develop internationally minded people recognizing our common humanity and acting to create a better more peaceful world. The circle closest to the centre of the model now contains two main elements. Approaches to learning This demonstrates the commitment to approaches to learning (ATL) as a key component of the DP developing skills for learning in the programme and in preparing learners for life. Approaches to teaching This emphasizes the IB commitment to a pedagogy that

includes collaborative, authentic learning through inquiry. An extra circle highlights the core components of the Diploma Programme: Creativity, Action and Service, Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay. This circle demonstrates the clear alignment with action and service, and with the culminating activities in the Middle Years Programme and the Primary Years Programme. The watermark of the world signifies the importance of developing learning environments that value the world as the broadest context for learning.

*Information adapted from IBDP Coordinator Notes, NOV 2012


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Play Doh Pyramids Grade 11 Geography students have inquired into the concept ‗interacting cultural processes result in patterns‘ as part of their unit Populations in Transition. They applied their knowledge and understanding of population structures and population pyramids using Play doh. The students constructed a population pyramid based on nine given elements of a population structure. The students then constructed another pyramid and added annotations to identify and describe elements of the population pyramid. They then took photos of their creations to use as part of their revision routine. The students enjoyed playing with play doh as part of their learning activities!

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SALSA Reflections Grade 11 SALSA Trip November 2012 saw us, the Grade 11‘s engage with our SALSA trip. We were excited to go to a small community on Don Daeng Island near Pakse in southern Laos. Our main purpose was to continue building the relationships between the primary schools, secondary school and VIS that were created last year with the previous Grade 11‘s. This year we actively chose to teach a variety of physical games and art activities with two different sets of primary school students. A lot of the resources were the results of our advisory group beforehand working hard in groups to fundraise. It really taught us how many aspects are involved in event organisation! Four events were held and each member of the advisory group played a part in the collaboration and teamwork. The money raised contributed to three sets of soccer goals, a new entrance and gateway for the secondary school and children books in Lao language from the charity ‗Big Brother Mouse;‘ to donate to the primary schools we visited. A special thank you goes to Mr Toh, our very own VIS maintenance manager for his hard work and efforts in designing the goal frames for us. We spent the first afternoon settling into our accommodation; the boys in homestays and the girls in the community lodge. We prepared our lessons for the following two days. During our two days of service, it was evident to see how the Lao students clearly enjoyed the craft and sport activities we did with them, which we found very astonishing, since the most basic things to us were the greatest for them. We started to appreciate the role of being a coach or teacher and how much energy and motivation that entailed! As for the interactions we had with the community there, on the fourth day of the trip, we took around forty students with us to Wat Phu and had a great time. We also practiced traditional fishing techniques and had a baci with the local villagers. We learned a lot from the Salsa trip; the most important point probably being, that we should appreciate what we have, the education and the possibilities that this school gives to us. But besides all this hard and exhausting work, we also had a lot of fun with our class, grew together as a family through events such as the bonfire, playing beach volleyball together and lighting lanterns in the sky on our last night. We worked very collaboratively with each other, also increasing our strength as a class community, able to openly work on our strengths and weaknesses together. We learnt so much from each other and the Lao community, a trip that will always be etched in our memories!

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Grade 10 SALSA Trip

For this year‘s SALSA trip Grade 10 travelled to the north of Vientiane Province. The trip was connected to our on the Humanities and Science units. The Humanities unit is based on how communities respond to disparities, and Science is focused on how energy is quantified. The first day was adventure and action grounded. We paddled down the Nam Ngum River in our kayaks. We were faced with various challenges, such as rapids and the fear of capsizing. There was a flood of excitement as we made our way through the rapids. Many of us fell into the depths of the river, in what proved to be a very amusing experience. Our hands were throbbing at the end of the journey, but it was worth all the pain. We arrived at the zip-lining site, and were given a brief introduction to zip lining. We decided to be risk-takers although it sounded frightening. Nevertheless, we didn‘t regret making this choice: we swung through the forest like Tarzan over the treetops, and ended the journey by abseiling down. This was the highlight of the SALSA trip.

two-hour voyage to Phu Bia mine. On our arrival we were greeted by the workers and were given a delectable western meal. Afterwards, we suited up in rather strange attire, showing up at the mine‘s office in our hardhats, boots and miner jackets to watch a safety video about the mine. We then made our way to the mine where we were given the opportunity to interview the workers. The mine site was picturesque, there was a crisp hole dug in the ground with descending shades of orange and beige as it went deeper. We found out how the mine works and we witnessed an explosion, which shattered the silence and blew our minds. It was interesting to find out that they had no plans for the mine once they had completed the mining.

We spent our last night of SALSA by a waterfall in the wilderness. We set up tents underneath the starlit sky. We lit a bonfire at night, which created a calming atmosphere for us all. It allowed our grade to bond and create some lovely memories. The morning started with the call of a rooster and the mumbling of worn out students. Some The next day, we visited the Nam Ngum Dam, of us went for an early swim in the waterfall, while to conduct investigations related to our science unit. others sat with their toes dipped in the frosty water We interviewed the managers and had a chance to ask enjoying the beautiful surroundings. questions we had prepared in class. We were overwhelmed by the colossal size of the dam; the vast Overall, the trip was a fantastic experience, stretch of concrete went from one end of the horizon which allowed us to see into the lives of the locals in to the other. It was astonishing to find out how much the Vientiane province and to see the differences work it takes to maintain the dam. Then, we boarded a between our lives and theirs. It also taught us new boat and sailed down the reservoir. The view was things such as how the mines and dams work. Furtherbreath taking; the water reflected the silhouette of the more, we experienced the first-hand struggles of living islands. We arrived at a small local village and in the wilderness. We learnt not only about the proceeded to carry out interviews for our humanities villages, mines and dams but we learnt more about assessment by asking the villagers about their each other in this five-day journey, and strengthened perspectives on the dam. our friendships with one another. The trip ended too soon. Grade 10 SALSA was a trip to remember. In the next two days, we separated the classes; CLICK HERE one group went to the Phu Bia Mine and the other to watch the Grade 10 SALSA Video went to interview more villagers. We set off on a

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SALSA Reflections

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Grade 8 SALSA Trip Grade 8 took part in truly wonderful trip in an amazing part of Laos. Despite our 4am start enthusiasm was high for our southern Laos adventure. Our tour centered around the southern city of Pakse. We began by learning about the economy of southern Laos including a detailed look at coffee production of the Bolaven plateau, it was a breathtaking place to start and the students displayed great bravery trekking and were rewarded with a refreshing swim under a waterfall. Day two gave the students a look at what is a growing industry in Laos, Eco-tourism. Another highlight was a visit to a small village school where the students played games and gave short English classes to the warm friendly people we met there. The itinerary was so packed that many students were happy to be able to sit on a bus between adventures! Wat Phou was a rare moment for us to stop and relax in the tranquility and beauty of Laos, some students quietly prayed while others sat and watched the sunset, as an exhausted teacher it was my personal highlight. As well as studying the economy of southern Laos the students were expected to give presentations on various important topics including local wildlife, people and customs and the history of the amazing area we were in. Days three and four we took to the boats and our river Mekong adventure began, picnics and swimming on remote islands, cycling through rural villages and kayaking to see rare and endangered dolphins. Such good fun, the students loved it. All in all the students had a great adventure, lots of activity, lots of mud, lots of water, lots of fun and lots of making friends in a really beautiful part of the world, a real learning journey.

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SALSA Reflections Grade 7 SALSA Trip Thirty excitable Grade 7 students ventured three hours northeast of Luang Prabang to Ban Napho; the resting spot of an upland farming Mong community in the Seuang River Valley. Marigold flowers and the toothy smiles of the local primary school students greeted the, now dust-covered and travel weary, VIS adventurers. Once the polite formalities were observed and hungry stomachs filled, the community sala transformed into a stage for traditional Lao lam vong dancing and bamboo balancing competitions. The following morning, the students launched themselves into the unfamiliar and hugely rewarding world of manual labour. Sand hauled. Cement mixed. Bricks laid. Holes dug. Service started. Sweaty and blistered 12 year-olds worked side-by-side with members of the local community to construct the walls of the Po Nowan Kindergarten. The kindergarten is of vital importance for the local community not only for education but also for the peace of mind of the Mong farmers who know their children will be cared for whilst they work their fields in the distant hills. After a hearty lunch, the students marched single-file like army ants through teak plantations and into the hills to discover the increasingly steep and slippery slopes the Mong farmers climb, for hours on end, on the way to work their fields. Heaving breaths and ticking minds. How do they walk all this way? Early Wednesday morning, the Hat Houay Primary School was wriggling with excitement as groups of VIS students taught English lessons, sang songs and conducted games. The Hat Houay teachers were happy. The Hat Houay students were ecstatic. The VIS teachers were proud. The VIS students were exhausted. Good hardworking service. How do teachers do this every day? Word had spread through the province that the VIS visitors were sporting some world-class athletes. A challenge was made. A wall of eleven uniformed Sop Chaek High School students stood like soldiers waiting for the whistle to call them to battle. The sun was out. The pitch was prickly and goals were scored. After the final whistle, the students soaked their bones in the Seuang River as their bamboo rafts floated beside them. Nobody remembered the score. Did you see how big number 7 was? That night, children could be seen crawling their way to bed clutching a freshly woven bamboo basket. I’m giving this to my mum! After another day of construction followed by a swim in the river, a gaggle of village master chefs gathered around the sala waiting to meet their newest junior chefs. Small groups recreated the magic of Lao cuisine over coal stoves in the homes of Ban Napho. Hands washed. Chillis and spices chopped. Meat, tofu and vegetables minced, sliced and diced. There was enough to feed the whole village. I didn’t realise I could cook!

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Grade 6 SALSA Trip Grade 6 travelled to Khammouane province on our SALSA trip. We travelled to Sinxay Secondary school and played soccer, Frisbee and duck-duck-goose with the kids. We gifted sports equipment, school supplies and a Frisbee (donated by Mr Lucas). We arrived at Thamnangene Cave and camped for two nights, where we had a campfire and a scary cow that wandered through our camp site at night. Our second day, we went rock climbing and every student was a risk-taker and climbed rock faces, most of us climbing three times. We then travelled out to the Hydropower dam and looked at the impacts of the construction of the dam. We visited one of the relocated villages and the school in the village. We went to the Early Years classroom and the kids sung us lovely Lao songs, we responded with a gorgeous rendition of Incy Wincy Spider. These kids were awesome and one of the highlights of our trip. We also went Kayaking out of Kong Lor Cave. We had a two minute instructional talk before jumping in. Needless to say, there were several collaborative discussions about how to paddle. Hiromi embraced the opportunity to be treated like royalty as he was towed downstream by Nhan and Joji. Our last night took us to a resort where we had our very own dance party complete with disco light and loud music. The boys of Grade 6 danced outstandingly, particularly to Gangnam Style. Special mention must be made of the boys who out-danced the girls! We had a great SALSA being risk-takers, open-minded and caring. A special thank-you to the teachers Mr Durkin, Ms Lara, Mr Lucas and Ms Claire.

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Language and Culture

ງາຏສະຫຼ ຬງວ ັຏພາສາລາວ ແຏວ ັຏຎີ 30 ພະຈິກ ຒາໄ ຏມາ ຏ ັກອຽຏພາສາລາວ ຎີໄ ເອງອຽຏຏາໃຉາ຋ ວຽງຈ ັຏ ໂ຋ຈ ໅ ັ຋ງາຏສະຫຼ ຬງວ ັຏ ໅ . ແຏງາຏມີກາຏວາງສະ຿຋ງຒົຏງາຏ ພາສາລາວຂຶຏ ກາຏອຽຏຂຬງ຿ຌລ ໄ ະຫຬ ໅ ງ ຿ລະ ມີກາຏສະ຿຋ງສິລະ ຑະ ຂຬງຏ ັກອຽຏ ຫຬ ໅ ງຑໍກຽມ ຈ ົຏ຾ຍິງ ຫຬ ໅ ງ 10.

Lao Language Celebration On November 30, Lao students at VIS celebrated Lao Language Day through the exhibition of student work in class and performances from Prep to grade 10.

MUN (Model United Nations)

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Saturday, December 1st was VISMUN – Vientiane International School Model United Nations. We had a delegation of 16 students who participated in a simulation of General Assembly Three debating the topics ‗Ensuring the rights of people in coastal regions affected by climate change‘ and ‗Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism‘. Five delegates had the opportunity to chair the assembly on a rotating basis. The assembly engaged delegates in passionate debate with delegates proposing resolutions that stimulated a variety of responses. Three resolutions were debated with two being passed with overwhelming majority. The delegates grew in confidence, engaged with issues of global importance and looked professional in their formal wear. The conference would not have been possible without the help of our three pages, Alex Morfitt, Joy Eum and Nhan Do, who ran messages between delegates, chairs and supervisors throughout the conference.


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Launching a New Identity by Ms Merrilee Mills, CURRICULUM COORDINATOR: ARTS AND DESIGN What a semester it‘s been for the Performing Arts! This year has already seen a great deal of growth and development for all areas of the Art and Design Technology Learning Area, and for Performing Arts this has meant moving into our new Black Box Classroom, which we are gradually equipping to be a wonderful, flexible Performance Space, the launching of a Dance Program in Grades 9 and 10 further developing our co-curricular programme, which now includes 3 choirs, advanced jam studio for contemporary musicians of promise, and a range of instrumental ensembles offering Theatre as a subject at Diploma level participating in an innovative pilot of the new MYP Arts Guide and much, much more! In the classroom, Grades 6, 7 and 8 have been involved in Integrated Arts units, learning the skills of mime, drumming, guitar, ukulele, writing for theatre, physical improvisation and script work. Grade 9 Dance have been experimenting with the elements of Dance, both in set-piece choreography and in creative movement composition. (Click the you tube link below to see a video of them at work in the classroom.) The Grade 10 Music Song writing project will culminate in 5 student-composed songs being professionally produced and released as a CD and

The Community Choir

online through Reverb nation. The Grade 10 Salsa video features one of these songs, and here is another one for your listening pleasure! (Click in the note below to listen.) Grade 10 presented a performance of their short play on Thursday 13th. The play is set in an airport departure lounge and asks the question ―Where would you want to be at the end of the world?‖ Earlier in the semester they inquired into the physical elements of theatre by creating tableaux to accompany written text. Here is an extract of their work. (Picture left) A major highlight of the semester was the New Beginnings Concert, held to welcome new families to VIS. The concert involved over 120 members of the VIS community as performers and audience, and is set to be the first in a series of such concerts. A large and growing body of research supports the claim that learning in and through the Arts correlates to heightened achievement across the whole curriculum. Prepare to hear more about this as we launch our new identity as an Arts and Design Technology over the next 12 months. Watch this space!!!!

Watch ‘Hold My the Hand’ Grade 9 Dance A recording of a song written by Rupina, Class in session Joey and Daniel

Sports News

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MRISA Senior Girls Volleyball By Alexandra Selbe GRADE 10 STUDENT

This year the VIS MRISA Senior volleyball teams traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The volleyball competition was held at NISC (Northbridge International School Cambodia). The teams arrived on Thursday the 8th, where we all gathered at NISC to meet our hosts for the next four days. On Friday the competition began. The VIS girls played a total of six games on Friday and Saturday. The highlight of the trip was our game against last year‘s champions SSIS, where we played a very close game of volleyball, forcing it to three sets. At the end SSIS won, but it was still a very good game for the VIS girls. After two days of playing volleyball, the senior volleyball girls came in 8th place out of eight different girl teams. It was a very good experience for our team, and it helped us all get the chance to compete and improve all our volleyball skills. Better luck next year!

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Preparing for Change R.A.F.T by Nikki Hutchison, COUNSELOR

A mixture of confusing feelings are common when you are about to leave your home, school and friends to move to a new place. You may feel excited about a new opportunity, new place and new friendships, but it is normal to also feel anxious and sad about leaving the people and the place that has become your home. You should expect a certain amount of stress around the time you are leaving. Friends will want to say good bye and people may be pulling you in all different directions wanting to spend time with you. It seems as though there is never enough time. Understanding what is happening, and knowing it is normal, should help some. But there are also some other things you can do to make these final days good ones. Consider the following suggestions. Reconcile your relationships: Make sure you leave on good terms with all of your friends. Sometimes people may create a disagreement or fight as it is easier to end a relationship this way rather than the hurt of saying good bye. It obviously isn‘t the healthiest choice for your relationship to end this way so just the realization that this is the case can often help to remediate the situation. If you‘ve previously had a falling out with someone, now is the time to mend the relationship. Rebuild any broken relationships before you leave. If you‘ve had a disagreement with someone, work it out. Don‘t leave on bad terms. Your memories of VIS and your friends will stay with you for the long haul. Make them good ones. Acknowledge your friendships: Tell your friends you appreciate them. Let them know how important they‘ve been to you. It is both important and helpful to communicate your appreciation, gratitude and affection to those who have been special to you before you leave. This also applies to teachers, parents, brothers, sisters – and yes, even counselors!! It‘s good to tell people that you love them. By doing this, a sense of openness seems to remain even after you‘ve left, which can help as you settle in to your new surroundings. Farewells: Make time to say good-bye to people, places, even pets that were important to you while you were in your host country. Make a list and follow through with visiting important people and places. You might want to take a few pictures! Think about where you‘ll be next: Be realistic about where you will be next. Some people approach a new home with a sense of dread and others with unrealistic visions of utopia. Neither is appropriate. No matter where you will be, it is very different from VIS – in some ways, both better and worse. Be realistic about where you will be going and what will be happening.

Counselor‟s News

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Culture Shock

Settling in to your new surroundings

The following are some common phases people may experience when they first move:

by Nikki Hutchison, SCHOOL COUNSELOR

The Honeymoon Phase: When you first arrive, everything is new and exciting

„No Way!‟

Alienation and culture fatigue. The most common symptoms are: Withdrawal from or hostility toward your new culture Low motivation toward school and meeting people Depression/Homesickness Anger or irritation over minor things Overeating, craving foods from home Oversleeping

Who would ever expect to feel like a stranger in his or her own country? Yet this does sometimes happen when you return ―home‖. Living abroad has changed you. Sometimes after living away from your homeland you can find yourself over idealizing or glorifying institutions and traditions back there. Once you return, however, you may find things are not how you remembered them. A major expectation of most returnees is that people will be interested in their worldly experiences. The reality is that when you say ―I lived in Laos‖, the reaction is often a polite, ―Oh‖, and then on to a new topic. It can be frustrating to learn that although you have had many enjoyable experiences abroad, very few people want to hear about them. Keep your answers short and see if the listener really wants to hear more before continuing to explain what it was like to live in Southeast Asia. Sometimes when people return ―home‖ they discover things are not as idyllic as expected. You may find yourself saying, ―Well, in Laos I used to…‖ Try to avoid saying that phrase if you can. Comparing situations to how they used to be may make you feel worse rather than better. Culture shock – or reverse culture shock—is the feeling of disorientation that accompanies moving from one culture to another. It may well happen to you regardless of whether or not you‘ve lived in your home culture before. Suddenly, all the rules will be different. It is sometimes upsetting and usually exhausting to be in a situation in which you are not completely sure what is expected. It takes a while to learn or relearn all of the new rules, the new ways of behaving. The process, while it may seem difficult and negative, can actually be a powerful growth experience.

The new culture and college life begin to make sense: You gain new knowledge and understanding Your self-confidence increases You go out to meet people You take pride in functioning successfully Recover, adjustment and adaptation: Acceptance by people at your new location Acceptance of living in a new place Enjoyment of and respect for cultural differences

„What Can I Do to Help Myself?‟

Keep an open-mind and be curious about the new and different. This means being willing to accept that although something may be different from the way you might be accustomed, it isn‘t necessarily bad or wrong. Be patient with yourself and the people and situations you encounter. Remind yourself you have cultural backgrounds that are different from one another and give one another a ―break.‖ Choose your friends, make sure you have people around you who give you support. Keep your perspective. Adjusting to a new home is a process and even when things are difficult in the immediate present, the ―big picture‖ is what counts. Keep motivated to succeed. You went through a difficult process to move, it is worth all of your efforts to make it successful. Stay healthy. Make time to sleep, get some exercise, and try to eat healthy meals. Keep your sense of humour. You will have some good stories to tell your friends!

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Community News

VIS Students Compete at the 4th Annual Nationwide Lao Judo Competition by Mike Fennema PARENT On October 28, 2012, eight students from the Co-Curricular Judo classes represented Vientiane International School at the Lao Judo Junior Friendship Championship 2012. In total there were 127 competitors in a wide variety of age and weigh classes. This was the first time that VIS was represented at this event. It was an exciting time for all, both participants and parents as the students displayed the skills they have been practicing in their Judo classes. Congratulations to all who participated, especially the three from VIS who earned bronze medals!

Coach: Ms Ishida Bronze Medalists: Matthew, Tina and Allysa

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Trick or Treating Fun Provided by the Parents and Friends by Kerry Mahoney P&F COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

This year‘s Halloween Party was a ‗spooktackular‘ success and we are exceedingly grateful to Kate Kent, Mandy O‘Brien, and Jackie Pryor for all their hard work putting it together. That night, as the Sala filled with angels and devils, pirates and witches, vampires and sparkling fairy princesses, (as well as at least one very convincing fortune teller) I looked around and saw almost two hundred kids playing ―eyeball toss,‖ and eating candy faster than it could be stuffed in their trick or treat bags and knew, we had captured the spirit of the holiday. As we reach the end of the first semester it has been wonderful to see so many new parents getting involved with the P&F. It continues to be a grand way for people to get to know the school and each other. We appreciate all the volunteers we have had so far this year, without you the events simply don‘t happen.

Annabella’s Action Story: Bike 4 Kids On Saturday, December 1, Annabella Meckdala Reece (3J) was among approximately 800 cyclists to participate in the 7th annual Angkor Wat Bike4Kids! (, through the temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Annabella raised more than USD1500 in pledges -- including many from VIS students and teachers -- to support projects to protect and empower vulnerable kids in Cambodia. The event is organized by Village Focus International every year (2013 event is on Saturday, November 30) and Annabella and VFI hope that many more VIS students and teachers will participate next year!

Library News

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Information Literacy for inquiry, learning, participation, contribution and communication This is often referred to as the networked information age. While this means many things to many people, there is no doubt that in the current global environment where networking, sharing and access to information is assumed, the need to prepare our students to participate, contribute and develop understandings in this ever changing environment is fundamental to preparing our learners for life. Our imperative is to foster skills that allow our learners to build knowledge and develop understandings in a capable and discerning manner. To that end, students require information literacy skills to research effectively, organise information efficiently, think critically about the information they access, use information ethically, formulate their own understandings and articulately communicate their knowledge in a variety of contexts. Information literacy is therefore an essential skill that enables a student to inquire into the world around them and participate confidently, safely and respectfully in their communities. Information literacy from Early Years to Grade 12. While there are many different approaches used to teach and gain information literacy skills, no single approach is able to provide a complete framework. Rather, the acquisition of knowledge is approached from many different directions and is dependent on a vast array of context specific factors.

Our role is to build the capacities that allow our students to navigate their own path through the information landscape. At times this involves clear guided steps while at other times this process is varied and unpredictable. The goal is intellectual rigour and open inquiry.


Information literacy is a transdisciplinary skill which means the learner is able to apply the concepts that underpin information skills in all aspects of their lives. The information literate student is therefore able to apply their information skills in mathematics, science, the arts, humanities, physical education and language studies. Information literacy skills are therefore taught in every subject area using approaches and outcomes relevant to each field of study.

circulations in one year

books in the VIS Library collection

37,723 3,345 books currently checked out

backgrounds, varying interests and language skills. These resources are selected for their creatively rich content, the breadth of information available, accessibility and relevance to the curriculum.

How does the VIS Library support the acquisition of information literacy skills? The VIS Library provides support using a range of approaches that are continually refined in line with current standards, advances in technology and developments in the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The teacher-librarian works in collaboration with class teachers from Early Years to Grade 12 to support a classroom learning environment that reinforces information literacy concepts and skills throughout each day. This collaboration is essential to ensure students have the opportunity to directly apply information literacy skills within their learning environment. The VIS library has also built and continues to build a greater diversity of resources to support the inquiry process of students who come from a wide range of cultural

Electronic Resources tools for inquiry, anytime, anywhere. An area of the library we have begun to significantly expand has been electronic resources which include online reference databases, eBooks, electronic periodicals and other online tools. For a closer look at these resources, log into

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Electronic resources do not replace our print collection but rather serve to extend the resources and information available to our students. This greater diversity of resources and points of access to the tools needed to support student inquiry enables the library to adapt and respond to the learning opportunities across all grade levels and discipline areas. These resources enhance the ability to extend library services and resources beyond the library shelves into the classroom, at home and beyond. EBooks can be accessed via the library homepage ( and include books from EBL, Follett Shelf, Questia and TumbleBooks. Online reference databases that can also be accessed via the library homepage include Encyclopedia Britannica, Grolier, Science Online, ABC-CLIO, JSTOR and Questia.

The library is also expanding the range of technologies available to students. This year we have added iPads that allow us to offer a greater diversity of modes of access to information, literature and communication. The free Destiny Quest app is available for all Apple and Android devices for access to the library catalogue via any Internet connection (

The library team provide lessons, one-to-one assistance and guided exploration of these electronic resources giving students the opportunity to experience high quality sources of information and build their information literacy skills.

The future development and expansion The library will continue to develop and expand print and electronic resources so visit the regularly to keep in touch with new services and resources. Any questions or suggestions can be directed to the or you are welcome to visit the library to see for yourself what we have to offer.

Philip Williams Librarian

Our very own published author Our congratulations to Elaine Reimann on the publishing of her book The Supportive Classroom: Language Acquisition In A Multilingual Environment. The latest addition to the world of knowledge of language acquisition was published on November 20th 2012. You can order your copy through the link below.

Bee Sivilay and Tui Chanthavong Library Assistants


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Board News

New Project To Make A Splash At VIS The last Board Meeting saw the Board of Trustees authorize signing of contracts to commence building a new Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre Let the digging begin …. at VIS. The construction of the new capital project will include a 25 metre swimming pool and a 12 metre learner‟s pool. Additional buildings will provide for an expansion to the physical education programme for all students. “I know that this project has been keenly awaited by the VIS community,” said Director, Greg Smith. “The Board has made sure that the school can manage the million dollar capital project within the existing Capital Fee structure which is great news for everyone.” Work on the new project is expected to commence in January with a completion date in Front aspect of the fitness facility July, ready for the new school year. The school‟s land adjacent to the car park will be developed for the new facilities. “The work will cause minimal disruption to the normal school operations as the area is separated from the rest of the campus,” said Mr Smith, “but there could be some changes to parking and traffic flows during the development.” “The addition of a swimming pool and fitness facility will add new options to the International Baccalaureate curriculum and co-curricular programme at the school. The availability of the pools will be a real boost for our PE programme,” Aerial View said Activities Director, Philip Graham. “The Board is very pleased that the school continues to achieve the goals of our 2009 Strategic Plan,” said Board Chair, Bobby Allen. “It is very rewarding to see the capital fees being put to good use in developing new facilities.” This project has taken a number of years to be developed and has benefited from the input and advice of many people. It is an exciting new development for VIS. The 25 metre swimming pool

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Dragon Tales Issue 11  

VIS Online Magazine

Dragon Tales Issue 11  

VIS Online Magazine