Newsflash: April 14, 2023

Principal’s Corner

by Mr. Andrew Powell, EY-12 Principal

Parent engagement and involvement in learning is known to lead to improved outcomes for students of all ages. As a school CIS encourages parent engagement by building partnerships to connect learning at home and school. Schools and teachers with a partnership mindset can value and support learning at home by communicating effectively, building trust, and sharing information. This has the effect of building children’s confidence, motivation, capability, and competence as learners.

It has been wonderful to have a more open campus of late and the number of opportunities for parents to be able to be involved in their children’s learning has increased. Over the past five school days we have had parents join us to celebrate in a variety of ways.

Our Early Years parents and guardians were invited onto campus for a collaboration between Art, Music and PHE teachers. It included a number of performances as well as the opportunity for parents to view the very impressive garden that has been nurtured.

Our Grade 4 students have been learning about renewable energy and as part of this have engaged in an engineering component which had them move through the design process to build windmills that could successfully power the lights of a small house. Parents enjoyed the opportunity to hear about this process and also learn more about the nature of various renewable energy sources and how students believe they may be deployed to support humanity while recognising the impact on the environment.

Grade 10 showcased their Personal Projects this week. Parents were certainly impressed by the outcomes and appreciated the unique opportunities that students had in undertaking an independent exploration in an area of personal interest. While the outcomes were impressive, the way in which students spoke about the design cycle and the process of inquiry-action-reflection proved how powerful this engagement is in developing ATL skills such as critical and creative thinking as well as qualities such as persistence and resilience. Projects included fashion design, music composition, dance choreography, robotics, and computer design.

While the pandemic has naturally curtailed the level of parent involvement in on-campus activities over the past couple of years I would like to recognise the parents, particularly of our Senior class, who see their children move into the final week of classes before their final exams. Many families have been with the school for quite some time, and I know that their active involvement in their children’s education has supported their growth into the mature young adults that they are today.

To our Seniors, I wish you the very best as you prepare for your exams and trust that your final days on campus are filled with joy. I know that you are well prepared for the challenges that await you.

Upcoming events of note

  • April 20: Final day of regular classes for Grade 12 students
  • Apr 21: CIS Education Forum (PM); No classes in PM
  • Apr 22: Eidul-Fitr (anticipated date)
  • Apr 24 – 27: MHS Week Without Walls
  • April 25 – Monthly Parent Coffee Meeting (8-9am, Annex)
  • April 27-May 19: IBDP Exams
  • Apr 28: PYP Exhibition (Grade 5)
  • May 1: Labor Day (Public Holiday)

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

PYP Spanish Class

by Ms. Dina Melwani, PYP Spanish Teacher

KG and Grade 1

When teaching primary students a new language, puppets are an excellent motivator and encouragement. When a puppet is playing along, activities are much more enjoyable. To practice vocabulary related to clothing, for instance, the students played games like “What is the Puppet wearing?” Below shows how the students were able to describe what each of their puppets were wearing using the vocabulary already learned. When using puppets, there are countless varieties. Have fun incorporating the puppet into your class activities and watch as student engagement soars.

Grade 2 and 3

For students, learning new words is a constant task. Teachers are aware that when students are playing with other students, employing games is one of the strategies that might benefit the students. This method will therefore aid in the improvement of their vocabulary and social abilities. They will be urged to use the target language with assurance. Making students see images or activity is one technique to increase their capacity for learning. Here the students had to make puzzles of the topic on transportation and later name them in Spanish to review the vocabulary learned in class.

Grades 4 and 5 

Young students can be actively involved in the writing and storytelling process by creating comic strips. The Spanish students had the opportunity to brainstorm and create their own comic strips and complete with their own imagined storyline, characters, dialogue, and illustrations. As we are learning about traveling, the students created comic strips on their favorite holidays or trips they had experiences or would like to experience.

MYP Mandarin Class

by Ms. Elaine Jin, MYP Mandarin Teacher

The Qingming Festival (清明节Qīngmíng jié) is one of the most important traditional festivals in China. It falls on April 4th or 5th. In 2023, Qingming Festival falls on April 5th, when most Chinese people will enjoy a public holiday. Qingming Festival is also called Tomb Sweeping Day as it is the time for Chinese people to show respect to their ancestors by cleaning their ancestors’ tombs and placing offerings.

In the MYP classes, the students watched the video and learned the information about the Qingming Festival. They made connections with the similar holiday in the Philippines which is All Saints Day and All Souls Day. In each class the students made a few handcrafts to show their appreciation of the festival.

Grade 6/7 and Grade 10 菊花(Júhuā) chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum has been cultivated in China for thousands of years, and has inspired literary authors throughout the country’s history. Grade 6/7 students used recycled box oil paintings to paint chrysanthemum. Grade 10 students used paper and iron sticks to make chrysanthemums with different colors. 

Grade 6 & 7
Grade 10

Grade 8/9 中国乡村(Zhōngguó xiāngcūn)Chinese Village

The Grade 8/9 students used clays, oil painting, etc. to draw a picture of a traditional house in a Chinese village. It is a  typical rural Chinese house with white walls and black tiles. Besides this, they also painted the unique scene of rural spring, green rice fields and yellow rapeseed flowers. Wicker is dotted in the sky, symbolizing the arrival of spring. Through this activity, students can learn more about the season of the Qingming festival while the weather becomes warm and the greens starts to show.

Grade 8/9 清明时节雨纷纷 (Qīngmíng shíjié yǔ fēnfēn)Tomb-sweeping Day rains

The Grade 8/9 students used their palms to draw the shape of mountains, and draw clouds and rain. This is a relatively common phenomenon during the Qingming Festival. There is an ancient Chinese poem “清明时节雨纷纷(Qīngmíng shíjié yǔ fēnfēn)”, which means that it often rains during the Qingming Festival. People go to the mountains to weed and worship their ancestors.

Grade 11 & 12: DP Mandarin Class

by: Ms. Zirong Chen, DP Mandarin Teacher

清明节, or as the Tomb-Sweeping Day in English, is one of the most important traditional festivals in China. It is the time for Chinese people to show respect to their ancestors by cleaning their ancestors’ tombs and placing offerings. Qingming (清明) in Chinese mean ‘clearness’ and ‘brightness’. It is the fifth of the 24 solar terms of the traditional Chinese solar calendar, marking the start of the warm weather of spring and the beginning of farm work. 

In Grade 11 and 12 Mandarin Ab Initio classes, students are introduced to this tradition and its related customs. Students also practiced traditional calligraphy for the first time. In its distinctive Chinese form, calligraphy offers an important channel for the appreciation of traditional culture and for arts education. 

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner

CIS Education Forum 2023

Every two years, CIS hosts an Education Forum where our teachers share best teaching and learning practices with educators from all over Cebu.  Our last Educ Forum which was online last 2021 was attended by more than 200 educators nationwide.  On Friday April 21st, we will welcome more than a hundred educators from schools in Cebu.

College Events


April 18
9:15 – 10:00 AM
Canteen Annex
Link to sign up


April 19
9:15 – 10:00 AM
Canteen Annex
Link to sign up

Nagoya University of Commerce & Business (Japan) An info session with the university rep.  He will talk about the admissions process, the programs they offer and what it is like to study in Japan

SAT Update for 2022-2023

SAT Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
May 6, 2023 (Digital) April 21, 2023
June 3, 2023 (Digital) May 19, 2023

Test dates labeled Digital means that students will bring a device to the test center and take the exam using their device.  The College Board may provide devices for test-takers who do not have access to a device.  All test-takers for Digital SATs are still required to report physically to the test center to take the test.

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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