Newsflash: April 12, 2024

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Our society continues to change on multiple fronts at a rapid rate. We know change can be a major source of stress, and constant pressure is tiring at the best of times and can be overwhelming at others. As we head into the final months of this school year, then, it’s a good time to be reminded to take care of ourselves, look out for each other, and continue to strive to create the safest learning environment for our students that we can, both at home and at school.

Quote Credit: Christopher in Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne (Design by

Over the past year, we’ve been reviewing our Guiding Statements – our mission, vision, and core beliefs. These help us stay focused on what’s most important, and I particularly like core belief numbers one and six when considering what we can do to boost our well-being!

Core Belief #1: Learning is a joyful, creative, and open-ended exploration. In a well-being context, this means instead of getting bogged down by stress, let’s rediscover the joy of learning and find ways to nurture our creativity and curiosity.

Core Belief #6: As an IB World School, the Learner Profile Attributes and Approaches to Learning are embedded in all that we think, say, and do. In a well-being context, focusing on positive LP attributes such as being caring and open-minded, and consciously seeking ways to develop our approaches to learning (ATL) skills will help us manage life’s challenges and build resilience.

As we face difficulties, think of these core beliefs. They can guide us in staying positive, curious, and compassionate towards ourselves and others. Keep pushing forward, and remember, you have the strength and abilities to overcome obstacles!

Congratulations to the Grade 10 class on successfully completing the IB Middle Years Programme Personal Project! 

See last week’s article by Mr Martin for more details

Your displays and the accompanying explanation of your projects at school over the last couple of days were interesting and thought-provoking. Most importantly, your accounts of your learning journey were evidence that the project was of great value to prepare you for the rigors of the IB Diploma Programme next year!

Upcoming events of note

  • Apr 12: MYP Personal Project Exhibition
  • Apr 19: DP TOK Exhibition
  • Apr 24 – May 16: IBDP Exams
  • May 1: Public Holiday (Labor Day)
  • May 3: PYPx
  • May 6-10: Arts Week
  • May 11: Touch Rugby
  • May 18-19 & May 25-26: MFC x CIS Friendship Cup
  • May 24: G12 Graduation (no classes in PM)

Please refer to the CIS Event Calendar for the complete calendar of school events.

Elementary: Language Acquisition-English

by Ms. Evangeline Belono-ac, K-5 LA-English Teacher / Ms. Jessa Luntayao, K-5 LA- English Educational Assistant

In Language Acquisition-English classes, students actively participate in interactive learning experiences designed to cultivate proficiency across the four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Through engaging activities, students delve into the exploration and acquisition of new vocabulary directly relevant to their units of inquiry. These linguistic connections not only deepen their understanding of subject-specific concepts and themes but also foster the expansion of their overall vocabulary repertoire and enhancement of comprehension abilities.

The K/G1 English Language Learners wrote an opinion paragraph about the best kind of house.

Kinder and Grade 1 
The Kindergarten/Grade 1 students are currently investigating the concept of homes as part of the unit “Where We Are in Place and Time.” Throughout this exploration, they have engaged in activities centered around adjectives and have compared them with adverbs, possessive nouns, and possessive pronouns as part of their grammatical instruction. Utilizing their newfound knowledge and skills, they have crafted descriptive sentences and opinion paragraphs. These exercises have been reinforced through targeted practice sessions and lively classroom discussions, allowing students to grasp how the use of adjectives, adverbs, and possessives enriches sentence structure. Furthermore, they have delved into opinion writing, employing the OREO graphic organizer to compose opinion paragraphs. This process has not only encouraged creativity but has also honed their writing abilities as they meticulously organized their thoughts to ensure coherence in their compositions.

Grade 2/3
During their current unit, Where We Are in Place and Time, the Grade 2/3 students have delved into autobiographies and biographies, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the key differences between these two genres. Subsequently, they crafted their autobiographies. 

The Grades 2/3 ELLs wrote a diary about a “small moment” from their Spring Break.

In parallel, for their grammar instruction, students have revisited the simple verb tenses, with a particular focus on the simple past tense. Through targeted practice exercises and classroom discussions, students have developed a stronger understanding of how verbs change to indicate the past tense, thereby discerning the impact of these changes on the overall structure and meaning of sentences. Additionally, they have explored prepositions and adjectives.  

Applying their acquired knowledge in a real-world context, the G2/3 students have ventured into writing diaries and personal narratives, recounting a “small moment” from their Spring Break experiences. Employing the past tense and adjectives, they vividly described their favorite event of their holiday in a diary format.

Grade 4/5 
In their current unit, “Sharing the Planet,” Grades 4 and 5 are pursuing different paths of inquiry. Grade 4 is immersing themselves in the exploration of Energy, delving into its various forms and implications. Meanwhile, Grade 5 is leveraging their class time to receive supplementary support for their PYP exhibition, a pivotal culmination of their learning journey.

Grade 4 students learning about facts and opinions and writing an opinion paragraph.

The grade 4 students focused on strengthening their descriptive writing skills. They began by reviewing the key parts of speech – nouns, adjectives, and adverbs – and how these elements can be used to create vivid descriptions. Following the review, students delved deeper into the structure of descriptive writing, which equipped them to write their descriptive pieces as the final output of the lesson. 

To bridge learning objectives with their homeroom class, the class transitioned to a discussion of opinion writing. Students explored the structure of this writing style, learning how to effectively formulate and express their well-supported viewpoints focusing the example on energy sources. To aid in this process, they utilized the OREO graphic organizer, a valuable tool that promotes clear and concise communication of ideas and opinions.

Grade 5 ELLs working on their PYP exhibition.

On the other hand, Grade 5 students have been employing their reading and research skills to collect pertinent information for their PYP exhibition. They have revisited and applied the grammatical skills acquired earlier, utilizing them to craft paragraphs and essays about their exhibition topics. Additionally, they have delved into the intricacies of paraphrasing and citation, further enhancing their academic writing proficiency.

MYP Mathematics

by Ms. Maria Bacus, MYP Mathematics Teacher

The student explored the concept of Trigonometry. This unit started with an investigation into the properties of right-angled triangles and the theorem of Pythagoras. The students discovered that the square of the longest side of the triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. They then applied these concepts to solve lengths in two and three-dimensional shapes. 

To further challenge the students’ understanding of the applications of Pythagoras’ Theorem and the trigonometric ratios, they worked in pairs to solve the Trigonometry Pile Up challenge by William Emeny. This task allowed students to apply their knowledge and foster collaboration and problem-solving skills as students tackled the complex geometric problems together.

Here are some photos and work of students as they completed this class activity:

Throughout the task, students engage in a multifaceted approach that includes clear communication, precision in rounding answers, and effective utilization of their technology. Specifically, students were asked to communicate their thought processes, methodologies and solutions in a clear manner. Rounding their answers to the appropriate number of significant figures is another skill that was practiced in this task. This practice fostered their attention to detail and reinforced the importance of accuracy in mathematical computations. Lastly, they further enhanced their experience by maximizing their calculators to verify solutions and improve their problem-solving proficiency. 

Here are some of the students’ reflections on their challenges and collaborations:

Participating in the trigonometry pile up challenge was a huge eye opener to how much communication and perspective can play a big role on the quality of the results. Solving difficult and repetitive formulas can cause small hiccups and mistakes either with the calculations or formulas that caused a less accurate final answer. I for one realized this as I had to go back and solve the problem from the start on my own, to understand where we miscommunicated and got the mistake. This challenge taught me the importance of communication not only in math, but day to day life. As a simple math problem already caused a big hiccup and miscommunication, how much more would this be for bigger more complicated real world problems like treatment for cancer or even global warming.

The challenge was interesting and was able to test our knowledge of trigonometry and the Pythagorean theorem. Having a partner greatly helped as we could always compare our answers and find anything one of us might have missed.

The Triangle and Pythagoras problem was so fun. It was pretty simple to do but it was fun realizing what parts we needed to solve and what wasn’t needed. Along with that, I liked seeing my classmates answer compared to mine and racing to see who finished first.

What did you learn from a mathematical discussion today?

If you are struggling with some problems or challenges, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Teamwork makes dream work.


I learned how to solve complex problems through Pythagoras and sine, cosine, and tangent functions. It is still difficult to find the angle through sine, etc. because I entered the calculation wrong. I learned how to get numbers through calculators.


I learned how valuable it is to have another perspective as we can constantly compare answers to see and look for any errors. We are also able to help each other if there are parts we are unsure of.



College & Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College Counselor

Admission 101

Bentley University has created some resources that include the best tips from their admission team on making the most out of the college application process.  

You may click on the links below to access the resources which have been designed to be insightful and easy to understand.



April 18 Thursday
9:00 – 9:40 AM
Canteen Annex
All HS students invited to attend

Study Gold Coast – Mini College Fair

Participating Institutions:

  1. Bond University
  2. Griffith University
  3. Southern Cross University
  4. New York Film Academy Australia
  5. Australian International Student Tours

SAT Update

2023–24 School Year Test Dates

Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
May 4, 2024 April 19, 2024
June 1, 2024 May 16, 2024

To register for the SAT, you may click on this link.  If you need assistance or have any questions, please feel free to email Ms. Jenny Basa at

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