Newsflash: February 28, 2020 (WWW Edition)

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Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

This morning the elementary school held their parent drop-in session. This is a time when CIS elementary formally invites parents to come into classrooms to engage in learning with their children. In an IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) education we firmly believe in the learning partnership between the student, parent and school. This is like a stool with three legs that remain very stable when all three stakeholders are working together. Our parent drop-in sessions, along with our use of Seesaw, and our parent-student-teacher conferences are all designed to support this partnership.

This morning it was exciting to see many parents in the Early Years to Grade 1 classes. The CIS elementary team value the emphasis you place for this home-school relationship. While visiting classes, students and parents could be seen engaged in learning together.  Learning does look different to the way we learned as children, and it is encouraging to see so many parents seeking to understand the skills, knowledge and complex thinking their children are engaged with.

While visiting the grade 2 – 4 classes, presentations were being shared about the exciting events that took place during our Week Without Walls (WWW) activities. WWW was a truly worthwhile week of on and off campus learning that will remain with students for a long time. We saw many students develop new levels of self-efficacy as a result of the challenges they faced, overcoming unfamiliar hurdles, and seeing self-management skills emerge as students were required to do things for themselves that they are often not asked to do at home.

As you are able, we continue to encourage you to be actively engaged with your child at school. Your involvement and support add to our community and sends the message to your child that you value the kind of learning your child is engaged in and proud of. Over the coming weeks we have several parent drop-in events and full elementary assemblies that we would love you all to be apart of.

  • March 6th – ES Assembly: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • March 6th – PYP Parent Learning Session (8.10am – 9.00am): How Educational Theory informs Teaching and Learning in the PYP
  • March 27th – ES Assembly: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • March 27th – PYP Parent Learning Session (8.10am – 9.00am): Love and Logic Strategies that develop self-managing and independant learners
  • April 3rd – Parent Drop-in: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • April 24th – ES Assembly: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • March 27th – PYP Parent Learning Session (8.10am – 9.00am): Developing and implementing Science and Social Studies learning in the PYP
  • May 8th – Parent Drop-in: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • May 22nd – Parent Drop-in: (7.30am – 8.00am)
  • May 29th – Final ES Assembly: (7.30am – 8.00am)

Week Without Walls Reflections

KG/G1 and Grade 5 Buddy Reflections from Adlawon Vacation Farm

When I was at Adlawon I enjoyed seeing the rabbits and piggies. On the first day at Adlawon I played at the playground and then we played freeze tag.  -by JP and Caitlin

These are my favourite things at Adlawon.  The water fight and the feeling of my whole body being wet. Card finding and free time to walk and explore around the farm. I liked it when we went River and Mountain Trekking and walking and the wild and natural places. – by Leon and Angqing Li

We liked our visit to Adlawon because we saw a rabbit.  We fed the rabbit and gave it a drink of water. The rabbit was jumping high. We also played in the adventure playground.  – by Joshua, Justin and Audey

When we visited Adlawon we liked to play with the fluffy rabbits. We also did plowing with the carabao.  The food was really good.  Masa liked the baby goats as they were so cute.  We also played werewolf.  – by Jacob and Masa

Our favourite things we saw and did at Adlawon was when we saw the bunny rabbits.  We also enjoyed make rice sacks and playing in the playground.  We were amazed to watch to see how the carabao ploughs the land. – by Samantha and Kalin

Week Without Walls (RAFI KOOL Adventure Camp)

by Mr. Steve Campbell, Jessie Saclo, Dinah Catalan, Maria Bacus

“It’s important to plan ahead, strategize, and for everyone to understand what’s going on.”  – Caleb, 7th grade

“The importance of service-learning is to know our limits, we just need to trust others and be an encouragement to others, too.” This statement was the result of a collaborative reflection among members of the RAFI KOOL Adventure Camp group.

Vocabulary: belay: to secure (a rope) by attaching to a person or to an object offering stable support.

Learner Profile traits developed in our students on this course include risk-taking, open-mindedness, caring, thinking (problem-solving), and communication/collaboration. 

Students on this camp were required to be the ‘belayer’ in order to secure support for a team member while they climbed and navigated the high ropes courses. The belayer manages the rope that secures the climber. This task required the team member to be ‘on task’ in order to ensure the safety of the climber. Feeding out the required amount of rope on ascent and taking up the slack when necessary, making the required safety checks at the correct times, and communicating these checks were required tasks, allowing the climber to proceed past obstacles and managing the rope to do so. Other members of the team, such as the dead weight and the rope feeder had tasks also essential to the team effort. The climber really had to believe in his team- believe and trust that they would be there firstly for his safety, and secondly that they could be counted on to help in the completion of the task.

The belayer and climber had to communicate well. Instructions had to be clear and communicated helpfully- but not shouted. Sometimes in the advanced activities two climbers and two teams of belayers were required to work together. Both tribes had to communicate to solve the problems that were presented. 

All the learner attributes involved in such an activity were in the front of the students’ minds. For students, being a risk taker was an obvious choice. Further reflection gave students the opportunity to identify that what was essential to success was trust. Students had to trust in their team in order to advance. Additionally, the same student had to be trustworthy when it came to his/her turn on the support team. 

For these WWW (Week Without Walls) campers, much was learned in an environment that was very different from their day-to-day school experience. What students experience in this environment is a curriculum that is very different and very demanding. The learning that occurs helps students develop in their learner profile traits. A core belief for the school is that collaboration, communication, and contribution are essential for learning.

Week Without Walls (Pit-os Teaching)

by Dan Monfre, Gerri Jumao-as, Eddy Clements, Elaine Jin

CIS students were again given the opportunity to continue our work with our neighboring school, Pit-os National High School. This is the 6th year that we have offered the Pit-os On-Campus Teaching as part of the Week Without Walls. Each year CIS students prepare lessons and activities that they will teach to some of the students from Pit-os NHS. This year’s lessons were Spanish, Mandarin, Math, and Art. Due to current health and safety concerns, the students of Pit-os NHS were unfortunately not able to visit CIS. In light of this, the CIS students made instructional materials and videos that have been shared with the teachers and students at Pit-os NHS. Please check out their videos below:

The students demonstrated a willingness to adapt to the changes and made tons of resources to share. This was a great learning experience for our students and we are proud of the service work they have done to help students in our community expand their knowledge. 

“In teaching others we teach ourselves.”  – Traditional proverb

Student Reflections:

From this trip, I have learned how to think outside the box (because we had to make learning materials that could be used), how to use the laminating machine, and being able to balance out the given work to us for each day. This was because, every day, each group had to create 5 learning materials.

I demonstrated being balanced and a communicator because we were given a lot of tasks for each day so I had to organize the schedule. This meant that I would have to not spend too long on working on one task so that I have enough time to do others. This could be seen every day, but most specifically on Friday because we had to edit videos and also create some posters all in the morning. I also demonstrated being a communicator every day because we had to find ways on how to teach the other students without seeing them face-to-face. One instance was on Thursday because we had to create videos teaching them a lesson. In order to do this, we had to explain all of the steps properly so that it could be easily understood. -Deandra, Gr. 10

I have done this course for the last 2 years. I found this activity is pretty interesting because it gives me the opportunity to teach other people about the subject that I’m interested in. Also, I feel like this activity really suits me because I can work in a comfortable environment as well.

I enjoyed making learning materials and research more subject(mathematics)-related contents. I also enjoyed cooperating with my peers, having a different experience from normal days. 

 “CIS challenges students to be globally engaged, positive contributors in a competitive, changing world.” I can link this statement to how we completed this activity. There were different subjects such as world language, mathematics, and arts, which are all international and educational. This provides a lot of opportunities for different people in learning different subjects. Making a variety of learning materials also can make learning interesting and happy, giving a positive mindset to students.  -James, Gr. 11

I enjoyed making the videos a lot, especially the teaching one. I loved thinking hard about how to make it both easy to learn from and funny. Taking the videos was a real joy in and of itself as well! I loved spending time with my peers and laughing together with them about the mistakes that we made. I feel like we improved together as a group, and that’s something I know I’ll always cherish.

I learned how to format teaching videos. I’m probably not very good at it, but I did learn different methods to employ in order to make the learning as effective and interesting as it could possibly be as a video lesson.

“The Mission of CIS is to create a collborative, challenging, and nurturing school environment that involves community members.”Everything we did this week embodied the mission statement. We may have made individual resources but we still supported each other as a group throughout it all. Additionally, our teaching and reflection videos embody a lot of the collaboration and challenge mentioned in the statement, given how we had to work together to overcome problems. In this way, we involved not only the members in the school but also the members in our community, subsequently generating a creative learning platform for both us and the Pit-Os high school students. -Venise, Gr. 11

I wanted to interact with the other students from the Pit-os national high school and I thought that it would have been fun discussing and teaching them certain pieces of knowledge that we learned from school. Also, there were some friends that wanted me to join in the same program as them.

I enjoyed using my imagination and creativity to make posters that could help the students from PNHS. It was fun helping peers and other students and discussing with them what kind of informative pieces we would make. Also, the snacks that were provided were good and delicious.

We got accustomed to making informatively helpful posters, as we were required to make posters, daily, per person. I also learned some new bits of knowledge from the poster that our peers made, which were about the discovery of atomic structure by different people across different eras.

Everything was great except that the students from PNHS were not able to come. Although it was an uncontrollable factor due to the outspread of the Corona-virus, this was the only improvement needed within the program. -Minsung, Gr. 11

I have learned to manage my time, communicate, and also gained some experience editing videos better. Although the video turned out to be low quality, the fps was really laggy, because my laptop couldn’t handle the editing but I still believe it was a good experience. 

Communicators: During WWW I was absent for a day but I was in charge of editing the video which showed our reflections of the past week, the problem was that I didn’t have enough content to finish the video. So what I had to do was to communicate with my groupmates who were present at school and request them to take videos of them answering questions that would be placed in the reflection video. With being able to communicate with my groupmates efficiently I had no problems editing the video that night and the following morning. 

Thinkers: During WWW we each had to create at least one educational tool a day, being able to use creative thinking I was able to produce the requirements without any problems. Especially as the week went by more and more, I got used to creating different materials every day so my creative thinking was able to develop and be used on a daily basis. 

 “Develops the unique potential of all students to contribute to a better world” -I believe I am able to link to this specific line from the mission statement as throughout WWW the main task we were given was to create educational tools for the Pit-Os students, being able to get the experience of creating tools that could potentially improve the student’s education. With the improvement of the student’s education, it is possible that we were also able to contribute in creating a better future and better world. Jodi, Gr. 10

Great Luzon Adventure

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Last week our entire community participated in Week Without Walls, a week of learning, service, creativity, and principled action outside of our regular academic schedule and framework. This week we begin the first of several articles highlighting our MHS courses.

Early last Tuesday morning the Great Luzon Adventure group set off for Manila, immediately boarded vans from the airport, and headed up into the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains and the Masungi Georeserve. Over the next two days students were able to hike through different regions of the reserve and come to understand the unfortunate history which has led to its needed restoration and the efforts now underway to help bring the ecosystem back to health. The Georeserve is extremely clean, without a single wrapper or trash to be seen, and is meticulously cared for and maintained by the rangers and the foundation committed to its protection.

The first day we hiked the Discovery Trail, a 4-5 hour trek which navigates through the scenic and lush karst landscape and highlights the wildlife indigenous to the region. This trail includes 8 unique “features,” including giant rope spider webs, enormous rope hammocks, rocky overlooks, and caves; it is hard to believe that this area until very recently was almost entirely deforested and ecologically devastated. While students enjoyed the beauty and unique challenges of this trail, it was really on Day 2, on the 5-hour Legacy Trail, where the devastation of the region and the restoration efforts were truly brought home to us. Our students were able to see holes dug by conniving treasure hunters, areas where professional squatters facilitated the illegal logging activities, and entire hillsides which were denuded by both legal and illegal logging. Students learned about how protecting the environment is linked with serving human communities, seen, for example, when students encountered a dry river bed. The devastation of the landscape means that the soil, which once served as both a filter and a sponge for rainwater, gradually released the water to allow the river to flow consistently and furnish drinking water to the villages below. Now the river only flows directly after it rains and sometimes is too intense since there is no way for the depleted soil to absorb the rainwater and dispense it in moderation.

We were able to participate in the Masungi Foundation’s commitment to sustainable environmental efforts. At the top of the Legacy Trail, after our 400-meter vertical ascent, our students were able to engage in environmental stewardship practice through nurturing young trees that had already been planted. While planting a tree may be more “instagramable” and produce an immediate sense of satisfaction, most trees that are planted will not survive unless they are “nurtured” regularly. This involves a fairly simple process of cutting the weeds around the sapling which may pose a threat, tilling and softening the soil around its base, and then laying down the same weeds to form a layer of protection and moisture retention for the young tree. Furthermore, instead of bringing in outside “experts” to protect the area, most of the rangers are members of the local communities and were the same ones previously engaged in illegal logging.

On the third day we had planned to drive back to Manila to begin a two-day excursion on Corregidor Island. However, due to strong winds leading to unsafe waters, all ferry transport was cancelled on Friday, so we elected to remain at our rustic but comfortable leisure camp for one additional night, engaging in team-building activities like an obstacle course, a high ropes course, and ziplining. In spite of the disappointment of having to change our plans, students had great attitudes and seemed to enjoy the activities.

Some specific IB Learner Profile traits especially developed in our students on this course included risk-taking, open-mindedness, caring, thinking (problem-solving), and communication/collaboration.

Student reflections:

As a Filipino citizen I was glad I learned a lot more about my culture and how willing people are to save nature, especially during the tree-nurturing activity. They are aware of how hard environmentalism is here in the Philippines where profitability is one of the biggest priorities, but still continue to fight for the land and its restoration. During the obstacle course in Ten Cents, there were some difficult parts that made me question whether I actually did have a fear of heights. However I listened to what my friends and the rangers said and with their help I was able to complete the course. 

One of the school’s core beliefs is that collaboration, communication, and contribution are essential for learning. During all the hikes, walks, and activities, we all relied on each other. We were each other’s source of motivation and when we needed help or even a little sip of water, people did what they could to help. I think that was the most important lesson throughout the trip, and hopefully it will continue as we go along through our IB together.  Reina, Grade 11

I joined this WWW because I wanted to explore the Philippines and learn more about the Philippine environment. The hikes were one of my favorites, especially the rope courses, helping the conservation of the trees, and learning how everything is connected in nature.

I learned that you can’t just plant a tree; you need to make sure it grows into one. I also learned how to restore a deforested area back into a normal ecosystem. I also learned how deep deforestation affects the environment and the economy. Kevin, Grade 11

Learning is a joyful, creative, and open-ended exploration. We experienced this on our hikes; instead of just learning about the environment and the effects of logging and how people are trying to help through videos at school or reading articles about it, we got to actually experience it and see it for ourselves. It was also in a fun way, too. We got to create memories with our friends and try new things. I believe this is a great example of core belief #1. Jessica, Grade 11

I think that I was being a risk-taker when I took the lead for the team-building activity. We sadly lost the contest, but were able to finish the activity. Another IB learner profile trait that I demonstrated was being open-minded because I shared a lot of knowledge with my group while hiking, like the environmental situation of Japan. I also shared what I think about the issues and how these must be solved as quickly as possible. After that I listen to other countries’ environmental situations and reflected on the others’ solutions.

I believe that we were very well-prepared for this trip. I saw this when the schedule changed and we had a second option and were able to go through that challenge. I think that the teachers did a really good job with that, as well as the students because they were able to understand the situation and follow the teachers. Actually I think that I was able to see us practicing being respectful, responsible and prepared. I think that we all deserve a pat on our backs. Koshiro, Grade 9

I chose this course because I have a fear of heights and I wanted to overcome it. I also joined because I like hiking and staying in the mountains because it helps me release stress and get away from the chaos of the city. What I liked about this experience were the hiking courses in Masungi since there were a lot of obstacles and an amazing view which felt so good.

I have gained knowledge that there are people who take care of our environment and are very serious about it while we often choose to ignore it. With this new experience I have learned that we should appreciate our environment more and take part in the movement to protect it.  Masako, Grade 11

Dragon’s Print

Looking back onto Week Without Walls, the Dragon’s Print team prepared a fun crossword puzzle relating to everyone’s highlights and activities! Try figuring the puzzle out on

PTA News

Dear parents,

If you own a business here in Cebu and would like to connect with other CIS families who are business owners, we would like to begin a networking group for you! We are aiming to have our first gathering in April. If you would like to be invited, please email with your name and contact info, as well as your business listing.

We also have some other fun and exciting events happening locally that involve CIS parents. For more information, please see the CIS Facebook page and join the PTA group! We will post things there that will build up our parent/teacher community but may not necessarily apply to the school’s Newsflash publication.

Please also be thinking about how you would like to be involved next year, as we are accepting nominations for PTA Board officers. Please check the PTA Facebook group for more information about the positions!

All the best,
Your PTA Board

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