Newsflash: April 23, 2021

MYP News

by Mr. Jonathan Denton, MYP Coordinator

Attention CIS Community!

The Grade Ten Students would like to welcome you to their Personal Project Showcase on Monday, April 26th.

The Personal Project is one of the THREE big IB projects at CIS. The others being the Grade 5 PYP Exhibition, later this year, and the Grade 11/12 Extended Essay.

The Showcase represents a significant milestone in the journey of the student as an IB learner. It serves as both the culmination of the students’ MYP studies and as a stepping stone towards future academic work, and the DP core.

The Personal Project gives students the unique opportunity to learn more about a topic that really interests them, to learn a new skill or develop an existing one, while also showcasing the knowledge they have gained and the skills they have developed throughout the MYP.

This year students have had the additional challenge of having to complete the entire program remotely. There were no face-to-face meetings with supervisors, no face-to-face meetings with the coordinator, and in some cases no access to the materials they needed. Everything had to be done online. This Personal Project Showcase is a testament to our Grade 10 student’s resilience, perseverance, and self-motivation.

There will be SYNCHRONOUS and ASYNCHRONOUS sessions to engage in. The asynchronous sessions start NOW with the release of the Personal Project Website where you can start to take in what they have done at your own pace.

On Monday there will be an opportunity for you to talk to the different presenters to find out more about what they did in our synchronous sessions. Here are the times for those sessions. All meeting links will be on the website.

Grade 5, 6, 7, and 8 Students
12:05-12:15 Welcome message from Dr. Underwood and Mr. Denton
12:20-12:30 Session One
12:35-12:45 Session Two
12:50-13:00 Session Three

Grade 9, 11, 12, Parents and Teachers
15:15-15:25 Welcome message from Dr. Underwood and Mr. Denton
15:30-15:50 Session One
15:55-16:15 Session Two
16:20-16:40 Session Three
16:40-16:45 Closing

We look forward to seeing you there.

Link again:

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Dear Elementary Community,

This week in the NewsFlash we continue to share the learning that is happening across the school. Teachers are currently investing considerable additional time collecting benchmark assessment data from their students in order to measure academic growth across the year, and report it accurately in the end-of-year written report. Additionally, students from grades 2-5 are preparing to take the MAP Test (Measure of Academic Progress) which will provide CIS with an overview of our student progress and help identify areas where CIS can make improvements to our academic program. The conversations emerging within our teaching team indicate that there has been incredible progress and growth in our students despite the challenges of the different learning context. Early on in the COVID pandemic, educationalists expressed concerns over the potential ‘Learning Loss’, however it has now been proven over and over again that in a good remote learning environment, such as the one the CIS provides, there is little to no learning loss. Additionally, many of the 21st Century Learning Skills that have been identified as necessary for learning to master to succeed in the rapidly changing world, are being mastered in this Remote Learning context.  


This week in the Newsflash we have articles from Philippine Language and Culture, PE, and Grade 2. I hope you enjoy reading about the learning our students have been engaged in.

Philippine Language and Culture – Lower Elementary

In Philippine language and Culture, the Early Years 2/3 and Kinder/Grade One students have been exploring different celebrations in the Philippines. We learned about the Manggahan Festival in Guimaras. It is a month-long celebration as thanksgiving for having a rich mango harvest. We found out that ” Mango Eat All You Can” is something that makes the Manggahan Festival unique. Mango Eat All You Can is an event where local people from Guimaras invite participants to pay P100.00 to eat as many mangoes as they can, and whoever eats the most is the winner. Aside from that, some of the students were able to make connections that Manggang Hilaw (green mangoes) are sour or “aslom”, while Manggang Hinog (yellow mangoes) are sweet or ” tam- is”.

During our synchronous calls, the students learned to identify colors in Filipino such as pula (red), puti (white), dilaw (yellow), rosas (rose), and verde (green). In addition, we played “I spy” and ” Show Me” to further develop their skills in identifying colors in Filipino.

Philippine Language and Culture – Upper Elementary

In Grade 2 and 3 Philippine Language and Culture, the students explored places in Southern Cebu. They were able to  dive into the waters of Moalboal and Oslob and took a closer look at the pawikan (turtle)  and butanding (whale sharks). The students shared what they wanted to inquire about and learned how  the pawikan and butanding look like, where in the Philippines can they be found, what they eat, the major threats that they are facing, and their current conservation status. Knowing that pawikan and butanding are endangered, they made  an action to send a message and created a poster to teach other people how and why we should save and protect the pawikan and butanding. Finally, they also learned the effects of the pawikan and butanding tourism to the community of Moalboal and Oslob.

In Philippine Language and Culture, the grades 4 and 5 students have been learning about the influential people in the Philippines. We kicked off the unit with a virtual field trip to Masungi Georeserve where we met the power sisters, Ann and Billie Dumaliang who led the conservation of the Masungi. The students were able to compare the differences before and after the conservation of the forest. They also learned the challenges that the power sisters were facing and discovered the actions that Ann and Billie took to save and protect the Masungi. Finally,  we were able to connect them to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) and Human Rights by pointing out which of the UN SDG and Human Rights Ann and Billie were addressing with their actions. They also met the CNN Hero of the Year 2009, Efren Peñaflorida and made a lot of connections.

Grade 2 Class

by Ms. Aimee Underwood, Grade 2 Teacher

We pledge to help our planet. Will you join us? 

Happy Earth Day! The Grade 2 students have been inquiring into interconnections within ecosystems, the causes and effects of changes to ecosystems, and our human responsibility toward our shared planet. Central to this exciting unit of inquiry were research skills, critical literacy skills, and measurement and graphing skills. Watch the Grade 2 scientist, researchers, and now activists share their learning below!

The Grade 2 students are now finishing their independent research books on their endangered species and preparing them for publishing. 

When the Grade 2 students are not busy pursuing their newfound passion for sustainable development, they have been finding creative uses for measurement. Most recently, they have enjoyed a virtual bake-off during which they practiced measuring and comparing length, mass, volume/capacity, and temperature to bake chewy chocolate chip cookies.

Let’s Get Physical

by Mr. Jaydil Hermias, PE Teacher

Physical Education in the Early Years
Children are introduced to a range of activities aimed at developing confidence, control and coordination in large and small movement. Let’s have a look at the snapshots.

EY2/3 P.E. Activities: Desert Chase, Adventure Challenge and Deal or No Deal Workout

Kinder and Grade One on the move!
These past few weeks, our K/G1 students have been engaged in a series of “Adventure Challenge” that comes with animated videos. Here are the kids in action.

Jump for Joy 
Grades  4 and 5 students have been joyfully busy in practicing the “Intermediate Stunts”. They demonstrated great coordination skills and cardiovascular endurance in every skip rope activity during our synchronous calls. Students are currently working and mastering the ‘Advanced’ skip rope stunts.

Jump Rope In Grades 2 and 3 P.E. 
Students have been working so hard learning the skip rope stunts and tricks. Each of them accomplished the ‘Beginner Level’ and are currently working on achieving the second level which is the ‘Intermediate’. This year, ‘Skip Rope’ is our longest lesson among the other PE units. The interest and enthusiasm of the students for this unit is highly impressive! Way to go!

Middle and High School Principal

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

As we continue our journey with remote learning, our MHS teachers continue to seek creative ways to engage our students, foster inquiry, and make learning relevant. This is no small feat given our current learning context. Teachers continue to implement and utilize strategies that allow our students to work collaboratively and meet their SEL needs as well as fulfill the academic content and skill standards in our classes.

This week we focus on some of our Math and Language and Literature classes to see what individual teachers are doing to help develop attributes of the IB Learner Profile, develop ATL skills, and challenge our students cognitively.

From Sizes and Shapes to Symbols and Rules- Math 6

by Ms. Maria Victoria Bacus, G6 Mathematics Teacher

To check in with the students, they were asked to answer questions on 

One is reflecting on their performance from quarter 3 and the other is on their thoughts and ideas on the new statement of inquiry.

Please see below sample answers from students:

One of the pre-algebra topics that Grade 6 students are learning now is on Integer Operations. This is easy for students to be confused about so here are some of the strategies we tried to do in class. Some students prefer to practice Adding and Subtracting Integers with Number Lines, others prefer to memorize the rules with a song, and most of them practice their skills with the ‘Battle of the Cards’. The element of competition adds more student’s engagement and motivation in mastering the rules of integer operations. They have enhanced their speed and accuracy on this particular topic with the different activities assigned in class.

Maths AASL

by Mr. Nick Arnsby, IBDP Math Teacher

Mr. Arnsby would like to express his gratitude towards Kim and Jhon, two of our grade 12 students, who took time out of their busy schedules recently to attend our G11 Maths AA SL lessons and help support the Juniors as they begin their Internal Assessment (IA) journey. 

The IAs is a very important assignment as it is worth 20% of students’ final IB Diploma course grade. These two Seniors did a sterling job of showcasing their excellent IAs and giving expert advice to a very attentive and active audience.

This in-class event provides a superb example of vertical integration, collaboration, and paying it forward. Both Jhon and Kim excelled in being leaders.

But don’t just take my word for it; let’s hear from some of our Grade 11 students:

Grade 7 Language and Literature

Our students are in the process of working through the novel Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins, which chronicles the experience of boy soldiers in Myanmar. This is a modern novel, where the action is taking place in a contemporary setting, so our students are able to make relevant connections with what is taking place in the novel. The following are two strategies being used to foster inquiry and critical and creative thinking as well as engage our students during our synchronous sessions.

Harkness Discussion is a strategy wherein students read and prepare notes based on study questions as well as including their own personal insights. The class discussion is “student-directed” where all learners are expected to participate, listen attentively, build on each others’ ideas, and employ the discourse of literary analysis to demonstrate mastery of those concepts.

Literature Circles is a class activity which allows students to explore the novel using their own observations, insights, questions, and connections. Students take on one of the following roles for each discussion and their roles rotate so that each member of each group has an opportunity to try each. Students read a portion of the text and prepare notes for the discussion based on the specific parameters of their roles. This strategy helps our students learn how to collaborate (and collaborate in order to learn) and develop their social skills as they share and work cooperatively to better understand the portion of text they have read. This activity also helps our students think both critically and creatively, and makes the learning relevant as they generate their own questions, insights, and connections between the text and their own lives. Lastly, this method creates opportunities for honest questioning and discussion.

Literature circle roles

The Summariser:

It is your job to give a summary of what has occurred in the section under review. The summary needs to be at least two paragraphs of 3-4 sentences written as an omniscient narrative.

The question master:

It is your job to come up with 3 open ended, interesting and relevant questions to discuss.. You need to ask questions that will get the group sharing their thoughts and opinions about the book.

Why do you think…..
What do you think about…..
What would you do if ……

The literary observer:

It is your job to find 3 literary devices from our glossary used by the author to build meaning or make the text more interesting to read, and explain how the author has used them and for what purpose..

The director:

It is your job to lead the discussion and introduce the section to be discussed. 

You must:
• keep the discussion going

• introduce each person, and have them complete their role
• make sure that everybody participates

The quote picker:

It is your job to find 3 significant quotes from the reading. You will need to explain why and how these quotes are relevant and important to the story. Make sure to include page and paragraph number.

The connector:

It is your job to connect the text to other things. You may find something in the writing that you can relate to:
• your own experiences
• another story/film
• real world events

Student reflections on Literature Circles:

I enjoyed it a lot, I had a chance to share my opinion, learn more about the book and even learn more about my classmates. I feel it is a very healthy way of sharing because you get so many different thoughts and opinions. Amelia

The activity was very fun because we can learn from each other; it makes people understand more and have more thoughts and questions during the activity or reading the book. This activity helped me understand because it’s taking everyone else’s perspective and putting it all together making a masterpiece. Ryan

I think that this activity is very fun. Talking to your classmates is a good and fun way to get people to learn and participate. I also think that it is good because we can also develop our social skills. I think that it was good that we were able to talk to our classmates. I was able to see other perspectives on the book. It wasn’t just my opinion on everything. I also learned a few things about the book that I hadn’t gotten before.  – Xavi

I think it was interesting because we can talk more deeply about the book and share our thoughts with others. We asked questions and made connections too so it helped me understand how the characters feel. Chaewon

Language and Literature 6

The Language and Literature 6 students have been exploring poetry and literary devices during this unit. In connection to the current situation with the pandemic, they have enjoyed viewing and analyzing poems that explore Technology and Social Media. A few spoken word poems they have watched are Touchscreen by Marshall Jones and Can We Auto-Correct Humanity? By Prince Ea. They have been comparing and contrasting the two poems and identifying the literary devices and the effect of using these literary devices on their audience. Additionally, students have discussed how they relate to the content of the poems because both express some similarities to what they are going through right now.

These are few examples of the Grade 6 learners’ thoughts on these poems:

In “Can we Auto-Correct humanity”, we know exactly how the poet feels about this situation. He feels as if he is concerned about how technology has made us more self-absorbed and less connected to the world we’re currently living in. However in “touchscreen” it’s not as clear how strongly the poet feels about technology and how he is asking us how we feel to make us think more about it. -Monica

The poems talk about how we use too many devices that we became dependent on them and the things online that we stopped talking to each other. – Rebecca

The similar message is about how communication through the internet made a person lonely or sad then communicating in person to person. They both talked about the loneliness in internet connection and communication. – Saki

It affects me in many ways. For example Touchscreen is talking about the friends list and talking about the real life people differences. But in Can we Auto-Correct Humanity is talking about ignoring the people in real life and counting the followers and likes. – Hana

It is about how computers and phones can be bad because we don’t talk to each other and we will have apathy for each other. – Leon

PTA Announcement

Dragon’s Print

Dogs are commonly regarded as human’s best mates, owing to their status as the first animal to be domesticated by humans. While many families keep dogs as pets all over the world, the majority of dogs are feral. Read more about the plight of these feral dogs in dog breeding grounds at

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip of the Week:

Students all over the world have been unable to take the SAT exams due to cancellations. Universities have also extended their test optional policy (they do not require SAT for admission). If you are a student who is worried that you have not taken the SAT, here are a few tips:

  • Focus on getting good grades in your classes. This is the most important part of your application. Test scores are additional information but do not define your application.
  • When creating your college list, check the test policies on the university websites.
  • Get involved in after-school activities. Choose quality over quantity. An admissions person will appreciate your involvement in 1 or 2 activities over a long period of time compared to a list of 10 activities that you signed up for a one-time/one-hour event.  You may also elaborate on your involvement in a particular project in your college essay.

Upcoming Virtual Events and Fairs: (students & parents are welcome)


April 23
4:00 PM

April 26
3:00 PM

April 27-29
6:00 – 6:45PM (Melbourne timezone)

April 30
3:00 PM

April 16-17,
for webinars
April 27-30,one-on-one consultations.

EVENT (IDP Webinar Series)

University of Melbourne with Trinity College (Australia)
LINK to register

Flinders University (Australia)
LINK to register

Study in University of Melbourne
Webinar Series
(LINK To register)

Queensland University of Technology (Australia)*
LINK to register

Study World Online Virtual Education Fair:

Register through this LINK to view the participating universities and webinars you can attend. Attendance is free! You can attend webinars and earn a certificate.  There is also an option to speak one-on-one with university reps.

Webinar topics include:

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
June 5, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsMay 6, 2021

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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