December 3 2015

Principal’s Message Vol.58 – Dec 2015

Dear Island CA Community, 您好.

Only two more sleeps before Christmas Fair; how time flies! The place looks really decorative, I am particularly impressed with the creativity shown by the Christmas Fair team. We look forward to seeing you and your families on Saturday.

As part of our International Primary Curriculum (IPC) gathering of self-review evidence, I have enjoyed staying in classes for a much longer time than I normally do, in order to find out how much students are learning. This is all part of our ’Looking for Learning’ programme, for which we had an IPC trainer come from England in August. The Senior Leadership of the school — VP, DP and myself—are all spending a lot more time in classes, observing and talking to students.

‘Looking for Learning’ is about making sure the main thing is the main thing — i.e. that students are learning! We are focussing on what students learn, rather than focussing on a list of things teachers have to do, or the activity that is being done.

As we talk to students we ask questions such as “What are you learning about in this lesson?”, “Are you learning something new or practising something you already know?”, “What do you know now that you didn’t know when you came to school this morning?”, “Is this interesting?”, “Is this difficult for you, easy for you, or just right?”, “What gets in the way of your learning?”

I have been quite impressed to hear how well many of the students I speak to are able to articulate what they are learning; it is also good to know that all students spoken to feel the learning is just right!

You too can help your child’s learning—not by helping them do tons of homework, but by encouraging them, for example, to show resilience and other personal goals. You can help develop their learning goals by taking them, for example, to places such as museums, and help them engage more deeply with the exhibits. We love hearing from parents examples of how you have engaged with your child about developing their personal goals and other learning goals.

God Bless You,

Debbie Middleton