Grade 7 Interdisciplinary Learning (Individuals and Societies and Language and Literature)
Statement of Inquiry: Purposeful communication and innovative thinking from various perspectives can drive change
Students took on the role of an innovator who wanted to solve a problem in society. They researched the problem and analysed past and present solutions and came up with their own creative solution. They had to understand perspectives of people who experienced the problem and then present persuasively to effect change. These are just some of the wonderful topics students in Grade 7 chose to explore in their last interdisciplinary unit .
As we come closer to the vacation, many of you will be thinking of ways to manage, monitor and reduce screen time for your children and possibly yourselves! There are several ways that you can 'control' or 'oversee' and there have been a number of LT posts and parent presentations over the last year or so and can be found here on the Parent LibGuide (same password as the Parent Portal). Here's where we summarise them in one slightly longer post!
Be the Parent
The most important thing to remember is you are the parent: Ultimately you are in charge; you make the decisions and you set the boundaries so:
As a parent, you have the opportunity to support at home and even ‘manage’ the child’s devices. If you want more control of the child’s device then try using the Screen Time feature in ‘Settings’ (full, detailed instructions) to manage Downtime, App Limits, and Content & Privacy with all of the limitations that you want for your child. Here you can
During an informal session last year, Tony Potts, our Primary Assistant Principal and whole school Tech Integration Specialist shared strategies for managing screentime. Click on the links below, and also navigate to the Screentime Parent LibGuide, to find more resources, links and useful information especially collated for our AISL parents.
The Effects of Electronic Screen Time
Ms. Chantra Reinman, our Student Services Director, also shared a presentation (included below) about the science behind the effects of screentime earlier this year.
Image citation: Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash
On Wednesday, our Kindergarten learners had the opportunity to share their learning with their family members during their final Celebration of Learning of the school year. From poetry, to artwork, to projects connected to their unit of inquiry, ‘Where we are in place and time’, the students had many beautiful pieces to show their visitors. It was wonderful to see every family at the event! Below are some images from the afternoon.
Library is Open for Check out!!!
On Monday, 6 June we reopened the library for borrowing and every library patron can check out up to 10 items for the long holiday break. Please note that if you are leaving AISL, or if you have any outstanding items, or if you have a family member who has outstanding items; you will not be able to check out books over the holiday break. We can't send out books to those who are not returning in August and a family is blocked from borrowing once we have one person in the family with overdue items. The AISL library doesn't charge fines for late books but this is one measure we have put into place to try and get all our books back or paid for so as to keep a robust library collection for everyone to enjoy. Please remember that the library will be open to parents on the following dates:
Friday, 10 June from 13:00 - 14:00
Saturday 11 June from 9:00 - 12:00
Saturday 2 July from 9:00 - 12:00
Wednesday 13 July from 9:00 - 12:00
Saturday 30 July from 9:00 - 12:00
The 2021/2022 Poet Laureate Picture Received and Hung
Thanks to Gr10 Design Student Gelila for making and donating these awesome bookmarks for our summer readers!!!
Digital Literacy Classes Taught Second Semester
Gr6s learned about monitoring their own digital usage to make sure they were making positive digital habits and using multiple accounts wisely if they had finstas or other duplicate or anonymous social media accounts. In their I&S class, we also learned some tools for spotting fake news and practiced looking at some questionable websites and articles to try and determine if they were hoaxes or credible news.
Gr7s also learned about monitoring their digital use. In their I&S class, we practiced smart search techniques so students can more quickly find answers to their questions from the overload of info that is available on the Internet. We finished off the year looking at the dangers of advertising and explored how advanced deep fake technology can be and how you can protect yourself from getting duped.
Gr8s talked about hate speech online and discussed what they have seen and how they would like to deal with those kinds of toxic messages.
Gr9s also learned about monitoring their digital habits and putting security systems on their accounts as we looked at all the alarming ways that people online can be tracked and have information about them sold to other companies. We also learned more about spotting fake news and how to locate and determine reliable sources.
Gr10s practiced using the CRAAP test to differentiate reliable versus unreliable sources. We also learned more about copyright and plagiarism when they learned how to use the app TurnItIn for their personal project. Finally, we discussed the real and the online selves we present to the world and how that curated self differs or adequately shows the real us.
Our school year is coming to a close in the coming days so we wanted to make sure we have communicated some key dates for our Primary students so you could plan accordingly.
Thursday, 9 June: G4 Market. Classes will have a designated time to visit the market. You are welcome to send in a small amount of money with your child if you are fine with them buying a few items at the market that interest them. All proceeds will be donated to a charity chosen by the G4 students.
Friday, 10 June: The G5 Transition Ceremony will be from 11:30-12:30 in the Tiyende Pamodzi Theater. All G5 families are welcome to attend. We just ask that you remain masked while inside the theater. G5 students need to come dressed appropriately for this formal ceremony.
Monday, 13 June: For leaving families, this day has been set aside for anyone interested in setting up an exit conversation with the Primary Principal. There are a few time slots left. Please use this link to book an appointment time for a virtual meeting with Darlene Huson. This is a chance to share feedback on the parts of our program that have been a positive experience for your child(ren) and areas we can continue to improve upon.
Tuesday, 14 June: Our ELC2-G5 students will have their Fly-Up day today. ELC2-G4 will visit the next grade up for about 45 minutes on this day to learn about some of the great things waiting for them in the year ahead. This includes learning more about the exciting units of inquiry, field trips, and other collaborative projects relative to that grade level. Students will not be visiting any teacher in particular, but rather hear a general overview from the teaching team. The G5 students will spend a half day in Middle School as part of their transition plan.
Wednesday, 15 June: This is the last day of school for students. We will be having our PALS Farewell Assembly for teachers and students. Any families who are leaving AISL this year are welcome to attend the assembly for their child: 8:00-8:20 (KG, G2, G4) and 8:25-8:45 (G1, G3, G5). The assemblies will be in the Tiyende Pamodzi Theater. Dismissal is at 12:00 for all students on this day. Semester 2 report cards will be sent home on this day.
COVID Update #13
Too Tight too Loose?
Messages are coming in with both extremes of, we are too tight with our COVID regulations or we are too loose. Our COVID-related decisions are driven by our mission that “Every Student Thrives.” In practice that means we want to keep school open to facilitate student learning and also create an environment that does not spread the virus. This is made relatively easy when our community is largely COVID free but becomes more difficult when cases rise as each situation is unique, requiring context-specific decisions made under extreme time pressure. While hindsight may illuminate a few miscalculations, the decisions were made with the best of intentions in line with our mission and informed by Zambian Government and CDC guidelines.
Here is our latest update.
As we near the end of the school year, we are seeing spikes in COVID positive cases within the community, owing mainly to non-school sponsored social events. However, compared to this time last year, when Zambia was on the verge of another wave and most were not vaccinated, positive cases have mainly been mild, as many of our community are now double vaccinated. That is great news for those individuals, but vaccinated individuals can still spread the virus, putting older family members with comorbidities at risk or disrupt travel plans as many of us look forward to visiting friends and family in the next few weeks and need a negative test to depart. We do not want school to contribute to those challenges. Therefore, we continue to emphasize wearing masks indoors at all times, keeping a social distance, and sanitizing regularly. If your child has any symptoms, have them stay at home and follow our revised guidelines. Masks outdoors remain optional.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for your vigilance this year in following all our guidelines around this ever-changing situation. Community vigilance, vaccinations and the better understanding of the virus gave us the confidence to eliminate restrictions of parents coming to campus, loosen post-travel quarantine restrictions and host in-person events. We stopped sending whole classes home after learning of a single positive case within the grade. We sent our students to three ISSEA events even when the budget, approved in a pre-vaccine era, did not include these costs. School hosted several athletic tournaments and the Model UN. Friday Market has come back and the PTA Boot Sale is this Saturday. Next year, we plan to expand Friday Market, resume Explore Zambia trips and work with the PTA to organize an even bigger, spookier Trunk or Treat, for example. We are intent in reestablishing that spirit of community that existed pre-COVID but we are not naïve to think there will be an end to COVID. We do not know how this virus will evolve but are confident we can navigate this path. Thank you again for the support.
The graduation was a wonderful event on Saturday afternoon and our graduates have now left with fond memories of their time at AISL. Here are some snapshots of the event.
The Yearbook has arrived and it is a wonderful collection of memories from this school year. A huge thank you to Janke, who almost single handedly put this book together and to our sponsors New Horizon. Next year we aim to have this as a student-led co-curricular activity as there is much valuable life worthy learning in developing a Yearbook. They will be distributed on Monday 13 June and students will have a chance to get autographs from their friends and teachers.
MAP Growth Assessments
Our G3-G12 students have just completed their MAP Growth Assessments for the Spring 2021/22. These assessments provide teachers with valuable data that they can use to differentiate instruction for your child.
As shared in the NWEA Parent’s Guide to MAP Growth, “Children learn better—and faster—when teachers have a clear picture of what each student knows and is ready to learn next. That’s why a group of educators and researchers founded NWEA®, a not-for-profit organization that has created some of the most trusted and reliable assessment solutions available. More than 9 million students in the US and in 140 countries worldwide use MAP® GrowthTM.
Overall, we had another successful round of assessments as a whole school with our students performing at or above US norms in all grade-levels in the areas of math, reading and language usage.
The EGM and End of Year Summary
Congratulations to David Burrows, Aki Georgiou, and David Howlett for being elected (or re-elected) to the AISL Board of Directors at the Election General Meeting last week. We had seven highly-qualified candidates stand for our three vacancies, so it was always going to be difficult to decide. A big thank you to the 78 voting attendees for being a part of this important decision, especially as the Board works on the next level of AISL Strategy Thinking.
End of Year Summary Slide Deck
Leaving Teachers 2022
Tony and Claire Potts will be heading to Mozambique after eight years at AISL. Tony will be continuing in a leadership role that will encompass admissions, strategic planning and tech innovation and Claire will be teaching Kindergarten. We wish Tony, Claire, Abi and Josh the very best at their new school, the American International School of Mozambique.
Kate and Marin Dobson will be leaving AISL in June after four years to return to the USA. They will both be teaching at a school as a Learning Support Teacher and Physics Teacher, respectively. We wish Kate, Marin, Finn and August the very best as they begin their new adventures in Hawaii.
Bridget McCall and Nathan Chilton will be heading back to New Zealand after four years at AISL. The grandparents can’t wait to spend more time with their new grandson, Casey. Nathan will be working as a Year 7 teacher while Bridget settles the family in their new home.
Elisa Ingles Velasco will be leaving AISL in June after six years to begin a position as a Secondary Spanish teacher/EAL teacher. We wish Elisa, Albert and Uma the very best as they start their new life in Myanmar.
Sandra Hamatuli, who joined us last October part-time in the ELC due to an expansion in enrollment, will be finishing her contract in June. We are fortunate to have her continue on our AISL team as a learning assistant until November as she covers a maternity leave in the lower primary.
In a blow to both AISL and the teaching professional generally, our PHE of long standing, Wayne Thompson is retiring this year. We wish Wayne the best of luck in his new adventures.
I&S teacher and all-round great person, Clare is leaving both AISL and, at least for the time being, Africa as she heads to the UK to further her studies. We wish her the best of luck.
AISL's loss is ISK's gain as Edlynne heads up to Kenya to teach math at the International School of Kenya. The students will miss her warmth and approachability.
After a stellar few years at AISL, Ms. Naomi Chevannes is taking her talents to Hong Kong. Naomi brought vigor and fresh faced enthusiasm to the Design role and she will be dearly missed.
Long time AISL drama teacher Vanessa Tolino is leaving us to take her formidable skills to Japan. Highlights of Vanessa's tenure at AISL include this year's Squirrel Girl Goes to College and her re-imagining of Flash Gordon. Her contributions are appreciated and she will be missed.
Monica Carilles is leaving us and returning back home to Mexico. Monica is a wonderful teacher and has been a general force of positivity in the Secondary School. She will be missed by all.
Looking forward to the All Bands Concert this evening at 5.30pm in the Theater.
Next Friday is the last Friday Market of the school year. Hope to see you there!
It has been good fun on campus this week, as we dressed for Spirit week!
With kind regards,
Dr. Oli Tooher-Hancock
The Grade 4 Modern Language Market was a huge success with students, teachers and some parents joining the cafe atmosphere on Friday, 3 June. The Primary school students were given the opportunity to demonstrate their language development as well as transfer this knowledge connected to the homeroom unit of inquiry, 'Successful entrepreneurs use their passion to create businesses to meet demand.' The Modern Language market allowed the students to not only practice selling and purchasing vocabulary in a real-life situation but also to research and produce authentic Hispanic and French products. Students enjoyed learning about the wide range of items that can be found in Spanish and French speaking countries. Added to this was the fun of calculating change and the delicious food that was available! Well done Grade 4 students!
This past week we were blessed to have a wonderful graduation ceremony. Although, unfortunately not all our Grade 12s could join us on stage, we did our level best to get everyone included and to make the event as special as possible for a special group of kids.
Graduations, like weddings, are such strange rituals to commemorate turning points in a life. There are all kinds of small symbolisms scattered throughout the ceremony which indicate the crossing of the liminal plane into the next stage of life. It is truly an honor, and is pretty fun as well, to have a job where I get to be a part of such an important moment in the lives of these kids. It is something that I look forward to every year, and each year it becomes somehow more special.
No matter what grade your child is in, please take this transitory time of the year to have some reflective conversations on how the year has gone for them, and what they anticipate about next year. Remember, student success is partly built on parental involvement, and that involvement doesn’t just mean the PTA, it means that you are having meaningful conversations with your children about their academics, their emotions and their lives in school.
Thank you again for trusting us with your children; and let’s finish this year strong!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Dr. Rick Odum
Last Saturday, the Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2022 took place, albeit with some seniors having to join us online.
If you missed the actual or live-streamed ceremony, you can watch it via this link:
Many thanks to all the members of our school community who contributed to making this event so memorable for our graduates and their families.
[Photo credits: Janke Lindeque and Claire Potts]
Washing Machine Week 2022
Washing Machine Week continued last week with activities including changing a car tyre with Mr. Ian Heathcote, and personal safety with Mr. James Burnett.
On Tuesday Ms. Julie Baldry took the cohort shopping at Pinnacle Mall for food items, which they then cooked for their lunch (and then thoroughly cleaned up after them!). Thanks to the parents who bravely volunteered the use of their kitchens for this potentially messy activity.
On Thursday the students were taught about first aid by Mr. Wayne Thompson. Thanks go out to Ms. Clare Cullen who offered a session on ‘forest bathing’ and the AISL alumni who were planning to come and run a Q&A session on life beyond AISL. Unfortunately, these activities could not take place.
The Leopard's Tale is our main medium to keep our families informed on such things as the day to day happenings on campus, after school activities, summaries of any arts and sports events, helpful resources, and important dates and reminders.
Click on the 'Newrest' icon below to download the app and order from the menu: