Newsflash: April 30, 2021

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Congratulations to our Grade 10 students for a wonderful showcasing of their Personal Projects this past week. It is always such a pleasure to see such creativity, knowledge, and intellect on display through these projects, which are a culmination of a year of inquiry into a personally selected topic. Please find some time to visit the Personal Project Website to see these for yourself, and scroll down for some samples in Mr. Denton’s article.

It was great to have a lineup of special guest speakers sharing information and activities about a variety of HEALTH topics at our monthly PTA Coffee Meeting this past Wednesday. Thanks to those who attended. Please pencil in the date for our next meeting: Tuesday 25th May. (Note it is not Wednesday as usual, as the 26th is our whole school celebration of learning day – more details of that event will be coming shortly.)

Enjoy looking over a selection of our student’s learning below, and have a restful weekend!

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

Last week in the elementary assembly I took the opportunity of walking the students around the CIS campus to show the care that the gardeners and maintanence staff have taken of CIS while we have been away. The gardens are full of flowers and the grounds really are looking beautiful.  This week in our newsflash, we have contributions form our art classes, where we are able to see the creativity and color shared by our elementary students. This too is beautiful. The Early years students have explored was resist painting, something I have not done for many years, while the KG students have linked their art work closely to their unit if inquiry investigation into materials and their properties.  What I am most impressed with is the quality of the learning taking place in art, despite our physical separation. I am keenly aware that this is only possible with the support of you, our parent community. 

Something that I am looking forward to next week is the staging of our PYP Exhibition. The PYP Exhibition is the culminating experience for our grade 5 students, signifying the completion of the PYP Programme as they prepare to move into the MYP in Grade 6. On Monday, May 3rd, our Grade 5 students will be presenting their learning to the community during three 30 minute synchronous sessions. Our grade 5 parents and various members of the school community will be attending these sessions. If you do not have a child in grade 5, but would like to see what the Grade 5 students have been learning their PYP Exhibition, please make contact with Ms. Lory, the Elementary School Secretary, and she will be able to arrange access to the PYP Exhibition for you. This Year the PYP Exhibition has been developed around the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and I for one, am excited to see what our students have to share with us. I also want to acknowledge the huge amount of additional work from our Grade 5 teaching team, our specialist teachers, and our PYP Coordinator. It is this additional investment of time and effort that has made this PYP Exhibition possible.

Art in the Early Years

Sharing the story, “The Rainbow Fish” our youngest learners explored the wax resist art technique and gleaned the value of “sharing is caring.”

The Early Years students have also learned to create ice paint by mixing watercolor or food coloring with water and placing the mixture in an ice tray and freezing it. Students then used the ice to color draw images.

Art in KG and Grade 1

The KG and G1 students have been exploring the science concept of ‘materials and their properties’. The students selected various materials to test. Their goal was to discover which material was best for each type of media; Fabric Painting, Wire Sculpture, and Wax Resist.

Art in Grades 2 and 3

Grade 2 and 3 have been investigating Habitats, Endangered Species and Ecosystems. The students used what they had learned during their inquiry to create a diorama of an ecosystem for an endangered animal. They designed their diorama to have a background, middle ground and foreground. Creating this diorama  was the culmination of their semester learning about drawing habitats, research, and 3 dimensional art skills.

Art in Grade 4

The Grade 4 students have been learning to draw in the style of Betty Edwards which teachers students to use edges and lines,  negative space, perspective and proportion, and shading).  The students did blind contour drawing, face-vase drawing,  and right-side up vs. upside-down drawing. These exercises help students develop their observational drawing skills. 

Learning in Grade 4

Did you know there are several ways to make electricity? These include hydro power, nuclear power, solar energy and fossil fuels. The grade 4 students have been exploring the benefits and side effects of each energy source.  Please study our poster identifying the advantages and disadvantages if using nuclear power to create energy.  

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

It’s been another busy week at CIS, with all of our regular academic courses, After School Activities, and preparations for the end of the school year already underway. One of the significant events of the week was our Grade 10 Personal Project Showcase, which took place on Monday.

The MYP Personal Project marks a significant milestone in the journey of an IB learner. It serves as both the culmination of the students’ MYP studies and also serves as a stepping stone towards future academic work and the DP core.

The project itself is an extended independent research project, which (at CIS) is introduced at the very start of the Grade 10 school year. Students work on this exploration throughout the year with the guidance of their respective faculty mentors and Mr. Denton. The aim is to complete a product of significant quality that reflects the research, exploration, careful and mindful planning, and reflection they have engaged in throughout the year. 

On Monday our Grade 10 students were able to present their Personal Projects to the CIS community during our lunch/homeroom time and then after school. It was amazing to see the variety and quality of the students’ work, and I was also struck by the level of insight into their own learning they were able to exhibit. The Personal Project Website remains the place for you to see for yourself.

One of the goals of the Personal Project is to give students the opportunity to demonstrate the ATL skills and subject specific knowledge they have developed throughout the middle years. The project report, among other things, assesses self-management, research, communication, critical and creative thinking, and collaboration skills. In doing so, it helps develop our students’ confidence and the attributes to help them become inquisitive lifelong learners. One other thing that was clear in the showcase was that, when students had selected an area they were passionate about, they really enjoyed doing it. This was an important revelation for some of them as they look forward to their subject selections next year in the DP and think about their DP Extended Essay project, and even toward the career they will pursue.

As we continue to effectively transition into an IB Continuum School, we have seen amazing development of the Personal Project as this important element becomes an understood and celebrated aspect of our school culture.

Anya’s exploration of the traditional Filipino portrait
Andrew’s epic goal was to Investigate current fitness ideas, techniques, and strategies and apply that knowledge to improve his level of fitness.
Selly explored and applied the concepts of “art activism” through her project.

Grade 8 Individuals and Societies

by Mr. Jonathan Denton, MYP Coordinator

I am sure we all have spent a moment marvelling at globalisation; how companies like Lazada and Shopee have made it possible for us to order something from Tokyo and have it in our hands by the end of the week. But how far back do we need to go to truly understand the concept of globalisation?  Do we not also need to know about the merchants who trading materials along the Silk Road on three continents centuries ago, the history of humanity, or even where the earth and the stars come from? These are called ORIGIN STORIES. 

By looking at the really big picture we have been able to make unexpected connections, how everything we are made of came from exploding stars, and how we are able to share and build upon each other’s ideas sets us apart from all other terrestrial creatures. 

This unit asks students to create their own origin story in order to explore an object of personal interest – pizza, ballet, coffee, horses – and produce a portfolio-worthy piece of work that traces its history to pre-human times. The idea for  the project came from Esther Quaedackers, a lecturer in Big History at the University of Amsterdam.

We have broken the project down into three stages, each with guiding questions to help students come up with their own research questions.

Stage One: how is everything connected (prehuman times)

  • What are the raw materials in your object?
  • What are the chemical elements?
  • Can these chemical elements be found in other things?
  • Where do those materials come from?
  • Where can we find those materials on earth? 
  • Are they organic or synthetic?

Stage Two: first contact with humans

  • When did humans first start to use these elements?
  • How did humans share and expand their knowledge of — even if our earliest ancestors probably did not use it?
  • How did the way humans use these elements change over time?
  • How did humans adapt/innovate/domesticate?
  • When and why did it become most popular?
  • How and why did this change from this beginning until 1800 or when the Modern Revolution began?

Stage Three: the modern revolution and beyond

  • Over the last 150 years, what were the most important changes in how — has been grown / produced / distributed / used?
  • How did humans adapt and innovate?
  • What will this object look like in 50 years time?

Below are some of the short formative clips completed for stage one. We are only at the very beginning of this project, so please keep that in mind.

Grade 10 Business

Grade 10 Business students have been developing their own unique products or services that they will pitch in a ‘Shark Tank’ style exercise at the end of the semester. In teams, they were tasked with creating brief presentations in order to receive feedback before moving to the next phase of the project. These presentations involved devising a company name, logo, slogan, visual representation, and rationale for their product or service. Not only does this project challenge students to think both critically and creatively, but it also requires effective communication and collaboration. Simulating the “Shark Tank” experience with actual products allows students to see the relevance of the content they have been learning in their Business course.

Here is an example from Julianna, Lea, and Chewon’s project:

CIS Dragon Responders

REAVO (Rescue Emergency Assistance Volunteers Organization)

Dragon’s Print

Now if there is one thing that has been keeping everyone sane during quarantine it’s probably binge-watching new shows or movies. Running out of shows to watch on Netflix? Dragon’s Print has got you covered with an anime recommendation, Fruits Basket!

Read more about the Japanese series at!

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip of the Week:

Applying to Australia & New Zealand:

If you are interested in universities in Australia & New Zealand, book an appointment with the college counselor at  The application process of AU & NZ universities is processed through a designated agent that the universities recommend to facilitate the legalization of documents submitted for an application.  There are no application fees. In senior year, interested students apply in February or March of their final semester to gain admission.  You may view the Academic Start Dates – Australia  These dates are for this year and may be used as reference for the succeeding years.

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


May 6
6:00 PM

May 6

May 11
6:00 PM

EVENT (IDP Webinar Series)

Tips on Application & Winning Scholarships
Lingan University (Hong Kong)
LINK to register

Introduction to Financial Aid for International Students
University of Pennsylvania (USA)
LINK to register

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (Switzerland)
Learn about the EHL Junior Academy Programme:

  • Hospitality in a digital world (100% Online) 
  • Hospitality Business & Innovation (EHL Campus Lausanne)
  • Culinary Experience (EHL Campus Passugg)
  • International Hospitality & Luxury Brand Management (EHL Campus (Singapore))

LINK to register

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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