Newsflash: March 5, 2021

Admin News

Our annual calendar formation process has been somewhat delayed this year as we struggled with the uncertainties for the future that the pandemic brings. The most recent indications are that we will be able to start the new school year on campus, so we are looking forward to seeing everyone in person again. We have learnt that nothing is certain, however, so we are prepared to adapt as needed, just as we did this year. What will not change is our commitment to providing a quality education in whatever form we need, and to continue to make improvements as we learn how to do it better! Here are our 2021/22 skeleton calendar dates summarizing our school year. A full version with all events will be distributed shortly.

CIS Skeleton Calendar 2021/2022 (Semesters and main holiday dates)

*Events subject to change (proceed virtually, reschedule or cancel) depending on health restrictions at the time

Aug 3

Family Orientation (All new families & G5-12 students, 1-3pm)

Aug 4

First day of Classes for Semester 1

Oct 4-8

October (mid-semester) Break

Dec 10

Last day of Classes for Semester 1 (half day)

Dec 13 – Jan 3

Christmas/Semester Break

Jan 4

First Day of Classes Semester 2

Jan 31 – Feb 1

Chinese New Year (Holiday)

Apr 11-18

Easter/Spring (mid-semester) Break

Jun 9

Last Day of School & Moving Up Ceremonies (half day)


Dr. Gwyn Underwoood

Notice of Regular Corporation Meeting

The General Membership Meeting for all CIS Corporation Member will be on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 7:00pm via zoom.

Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary School Principal

This past week has been another exciting week of learning for our students.  I’m sure you noticed that your children only received two days of formal classes last week.  Although your children had the opportunity to take some additional days away from their ICT device, the teachers were hard at work involved in professional learning. One aspect that makes an IB school like CIS stand out from other schools is the emphasis we place in ongoing professional learning for our faculty.  

In this current pandemic context, an increasing emphasis has emerged on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). SEL has always been part of our school context, and is represented well within our IB Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills and attributes, however as a school we recognise SEL needs have increased in importance during these times of Remote Learning. CASEL is one leading organisation who have invested considerable time and funds into identifying ways in which schools, and other community based organizations can effectively meet SEL needs. These needs can be described in five broad categories; 

  • Self-Awareness
  • Social Awareness
  • Responsible Decision-Making
  • Self-Management
  • Relationship Skills

Casel Framework – all rights reserved

During the professional development, days our teachers conducted a deep dive into understanding the CASEL framework in greater detail, and developing action plans to design collaborative school-wide approaches to meeting our student’s SEL needs. 

Philippine Language and Culture – Grade 2

As we continue to explore the Philippine culture, Grade 2 kicked off their unit by learning the different major celebrations and festivals in the Philippines. After watching a video featuring various celebrations and festivals, they picked one to dig further. Through research they inquired and found  out more about the celebration and festival.

During the first week of our inquiry, the Grade 2 students formulated questions about their chosen celebration or festival and listed the resources to use. To search and discover a variety of information about the celebration and festival, the students created thin and thick questions.

Grade 2- Creating thin and thick questions to help them inquire and know more about their chosen festival and celebration.

As we moved forward in the process, the students began to conduct research to obtain information and the history of their respective festivals. They sorted and selected the relevant information they would like to share with classmates and teachers. Based on these information they finalized and summarized the information and presented them as fun facts on celebrations/festivals. The students also created a timeline of its history or how the celebration or festival started and evolved over time.

“Fun Facts about my festival/celebration and a timeline of its history”

To conclude our unit about the Philippines’ major celebrations and festivals, the students shared what they discovered about it in the class. Moreover, they shared their final output in the blog section and gave their T.A.G. feedback (T-tell what you like, A-ask a question, G-give a suggestion) to their classmates’ research. Then, we reflected and shared our learnings, discoveries, and realizations about the importance of celebrations and festivals in the Philippines and their experiences throughout the research process.

Color-Symbol-Image (CSI): Reflection about the Major Celebrations and Festivals in the Philippines

Physical Education 

by Coach Jay

Early Years 3/4
In PE, our Early Years students are currently engaged in several interactive games during our synchronous sessions. Recently, we did a campus tour while doing physical challenges such as running and dodging with the aliens. Students were all excited to see the school virtually and get to ‘meet and greet’ our friendly animated dinosaurs inside CIS.

Grades 2/3
The Grades 2 and 3 students are now focusing on learning how to skip rope, specifically the correct ways of holding, jumping and getting the timing when skipping. They have started doing the ‘Virtual Adventure Challenge’ this week in which they have to do a certain number of skipping rope, jumping jacks and other forms of physical exercises.

Kinder/Grade 1
Kinder and Grade 1 students participated in different types of physical activities that help them improve their hand-eye coordination, agility, speed and balance. These are ”Space Chase”, “Jurassic Chase” and “Guess Who?” games. Our “Adventure Challenge” just launched this week wherein students can climb to the mountain by doing a specific number of air squats, burpees,  skipping rope, jumping jacks and mountain climbers.

Grades 4/5
Grades 4 and 5 students are currently working on how to improve their speed and agility when skipping rope. They had a good class collaboration about effective  techniques and strategies on how to be able to do more skips in 5 minutes. One of them also brought up the idea of having a friendly virtual competition with the Grade 4 sometime in March. They are also working on their individual sport skills using any improvised materials or sports equipment available at home. One of the most exciting activities they’ve been doing in our PE class is creating their own  instructional videos showcasing sport skills that they have mastered.

Grade 5

In Grade 5 this week, we started our new UOI,  Sharing the Planet. The students were introduced to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG). There are 17 goals and each one tackling an important issue that the world is facing. We divided the goals among the Grade 5 students for them to research on.  They presented each goal to their classmates through Seesaw Blog. By doing this we are also preparing them for their PYPx. Once they are familiar with the SDG, we can set up their topic for the PYPx. 

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

Week Without Walls reports

Given that our teachers were fully immersed in our MYP Workshop last week, we will begin reporting on our WWW experiences over the next few weeks, beginning today. As we have shared previously, this year’s Week Without Walls was unique for several reasons. The most noticeable is that all courses were virtual, but there have been other important modifications that have been implemented in order to make WWW a wonderful learning experience for our students, and also one that aligns with our CIS core beliefs, the UN Sustainable Goals, and the values we share with respect to service learning.

WWW – Everlasting Hope

led by Corryn Smith, Eddie Clements, Dinah Catalan, and Steve Campbell

Never lose hope tomorrow could be the day that you were waiting for.

The mission of Everlasting Hope is to give comfort to the sick. Children awaiting hospital treatment in Cebu City are housed and cared for during their treatment period before returning to their province; this can seem like a long time for anyone, especially a child, to be away from home.  Our virtual visit to EHope was to bring a little light and happiness to the 13 children currently in residence there. Most children were under 5 years old, and our CIS students designed Arts and crafts activitis, as well as cooking tasks to be done with their helpers.

Everlasting Hope Virtual Visit

Students were asked to make a video of themselves giving simple instructions and demonstrating the steps to make the product. CIS students also generously donated any consumables that would be needed for the activities.

“I felt that my actions were valuable because the kids seemed to really enjoy the craft and it did not seem too difficult for them. These kids are going through some really tough things and I was glad that I could distract them, even if it was just for a little bit. I tried my best to really connect with them and show I am trying to help them make the best out of their situation.”  Bea- G9                           

“The whole point of this program is to be of service, and more specifically be of service to cancer patients in these trying times in the context of the Everlasting Hope course. Choosing to create a cooking video and sending ingredients to the center is in line with the purpose of the program because it is a way of helping others through our talents and blessings.”  Renoa- G10

“I learned to cook, I learned the feeling of helping people, and I learned how to make a suitable video for a certain age.” Elijah, G8

Grade 8 Math

by Ms. Maria Victoria Bacus, Grade 8 Mathematics Teacher

Our Grade 8 students have been introduced to Linear Equations in Two Variables. Students were busy exploring various resources to help them demonstrate their understanding. They have used Geogebra to gain a better understanding of graphs of linear equations. In teams, they played the slope-intercept basketball game and took turns  answering the questions about important facts on linear equations. They also played the Linear Equations Jeopardy game to enhance their knowledge in a variety of contexts. Lastly, students were assigned individual tasks on Lines and Graphs with different levels of difficulty to continue building or strengthening their skills and concepts of linear equations in slope-intercept form. 

Here are some of the resources we have been using in class:

Students could choose to explore these resources that allow them to play games and review concepts to strengthen their skills on Equations of Lines in Slope-Intercept Form.

Whole Group Discussion


Great software for working with graphs, diagrams, functions, spreadsheets, statistics, calculus and much, much more.


A free online graphing calculator


“This is a really handy site to use. This is because it can help you plot graphs and double check your points if they are in a line or not.” Aaryan

“I think these sources are good because it can help you check your answers”– Elijah

“I think that geogebra is a pretty easy to use program and it really helps with slopes” – Miguel

“I think GeoGebra is a really useful website especially when pinpointing the point for each equation. It’s not difficult to use either and I think it would be essential to use for class discussions or activities when it’s needed.”  – Gabrielle

“I think geogebra is very useful since it is hard to graph a line on paper and would take some time but when we use geogebra it takes  just a second.” – Sengo

Team Review

Slope-Intercept Basketball Game


“I think this is a good way to practice what we have learned. First we should revise to help us remember and then we will perform better in class.” – Caleb

“I think the slope-intercept basketball game was alright but it was not as fun compared to jeopardy and does not have much competitiveness.”

– Sengo

Team Review

Linear Equations Jeopardy Game

Linear Equations and Graphing


“I think the Jeopardy Game is fun. I like it because you earn points for every correct answer as well as encouraging you to think about the questions or equations shown and come up with an answer.  You also get to pick the number of points that contain different equations and questions.” – Gabrielle

“I liked the concept of the resource because of the efficient use of activities and answers provided for each answer. I think this would be the most effective learning resource for this unit.” – Roland

“This is a fun and interactive way of learning with your classmates. It is also a very nice way to learn slopes. This also promotes collaboration if this is done in groups.” – Aaryan

“This game is okay. I feel that it’s good if it’s played between teams. However, I find it quite confusing, maybe because I’m not that good at math. I suggest that after every round, an explanation/solution could be given so that we can understand.” – Fiana

“Jeopardy is really fun since I have fun competing with close friends or other classmates and it makes me do better overall.” – Miguel

Individual Practice

Line Graphs

Graphing Lines

Graphing Slope Intercept


“The appearance could have been a bit more attractive and more simple, but the timer was a good extension to add since it’s the suitable time. I think that this is a very good learning source.” – Roland

“I think that these sources are good because it can be fun and educational.” – Elijah

“Line graph is another good graphing program that is pretty cool.” – Miguel

G11 Math Applications and Interpretation SL

by Ms. Maria Victoria Bacus, Grade 11 Mathematics

Applications and interpretation is the course with an emphasis on statistics, modelling and use of technology. This quarter, students have been introduced to the world of Statistics. 

The students have practiced the use of technology in solving different real world problems.

Here are some students’ reflections regarding our unit:

So far I feel that the current topic we are learning now is much easier than the topics of last year. I am getting the groove of the math classes now and I am finding more time during my day to study math. I am still not very confident in my math skills as of right now, however I feel as though I am slowly improving. So far, math class (activities, investigations, homework) have been good and have helped me improve my math skills. – Sakura

I think we could explore more kinds of problem types through the Investigation part in the workbook. I think it was better to explore and discuss the various problems together in class than to solve the problem only and check the answer. – Kyoung Min

In our Math class this month, we have been learning about Statistics. We have had different activities such as group activities and investigation activities to be able to learn more about the topic in depth. – Umi

In this unit of Math AI SL we learned about central tendencies and how we can use our TI calculators in order to sort the data and find the central tendencies as well as the standard deviation, range, IQR, etc. I really enjoyed this unit because it was simple, yet I learned a lot not only just about the topic itself but how to use my TI calculator in a more efficient way. – Daigo

We’ve been doing a lot of mathematical practice and now studying statistics. This unit’s topic is much easier compared to the past topics so I will try my best to get the grades higher than the past semester. – Tatsu

For this month’s topic we have been learning about Mean, Median, Mode, LQ, IQR, and more. So far these topics are easier than we had before. For this unit, I hope to get better grades. So far I am doing well with this topic because I have received a good grade in the recent quiz. – Sakura

I think that our math topic right now is very interesting as Statistics can be seen in the real world. On top of being understandable in my opinion, this topic can link with other subjects like Business and Biology. With this topic there are many ways of answering a question, some may use Excel, a TI calculator, manual computing, or a mix of all. Overall this topic has been interesting and I am eager to learn more. – Sean

The topics and activities of Math AI-SL this month were decent. Those made me stimulated to study and also I was able to focus more on the activities as well. – Huni

For this month’s topics, we have been learning about median, mode, mean, LQ, IQ, etc. So far, these topics are a lot easier than the topics we had previously discussed. I am hoping to get better grades for this unit and so far, this is going well since I got a pretty good grade on my quiz. – Elena

Grade 12 Math Applications and Interpretation SL

by Ms. Maria Victoria Bacus, Grade 12 Mathematics

Here we are celebrating the achievements of the 12th Graders who successfully rose to the challenge of Remote Learning.

After Mock Exam Reflections:

Dos and Don’ts

3 common misunderstandings

Strategies to Share

Outline three dos and three don’ts when taking mock exams. Outline what you think might be the three most common mistakes students make when taking the mock exams. Share what strategies you used to successfully complete the mock exams during remote learning times.
Dos and Don’ts Strategies to Share
1) Study before the exam, look through all the topics and create a schedule2)
2) Stay calm
3) Be aware of the time during the exam
1) Don’t procrastinate
2) Don’t stress out

3) Don’t just stay on one number during the test-Denise
1) When reviewing the exam, time yourself
2) Combine exercises from books and past papers3) Rest  
1) Don’t stress out

2) Don’t try to confuse yourself
3) Do not slack off-Amanda
1) Study at least 1-2 weeks before the exam.
2) Use the 5-minute reading time wisely.
3) Review your answers before submission.
1) Don’t stick too long on a problem

2) Don’t forget to set the calculator to degree mode and diagnostic on.3) Don’t forget to charge your calculator and take deep breaths during exams.
1) Watching youtube videos from Revision 
 Village to refresh my memory especially the G11 topics2) Look into textbooks, notes, and past papers to practice IB-style questions 
3) Ask other people for any helpRomana
1) You should always study beforehand
2) Seek help from teachers or parents
3) Practice with questions from the book or IB past papers
1) Take into consideration time and your weaknesses.
2) Use a lot of online resources like past papers, studyib websites, and revision village.3) In class, you should be ready to ask your questions to the teacher.-Stuart
1) Make sure that you read the questions carefully.
2) Make sure that you are ready the night before.3) Revise and review
1) Don’t panic.
2) Don’t rush.3) Don’t write awfully. Write legibly.-Masako
1) Read through everything.
2) Do the questions you are most confident in.

3) Always set your calculator in degree mode.\

1) Don’t overthink it.
2) Don’t look at the time.

3) Don’t go to the first you see. You have to read through it all.

Language & Literature 6

by Ms. Noelle Aliño

This unit the Grade 6 students have been comparing and contrasting the book version of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief to its movie version. They have enjoyed switching from reading each chapter to watching the next scene in the movie. Whenever they spot a difference they eagerly send their comments in the chat box while we are viewing the movie. This activity has helped them hone their skills for Criterion A especially that of evaluating similarities and differences by connecting features across and within genres and texts. 

*Warning: there might be some spoilers in these student samples.

Comparisons (Similarities)Type of similarity or difference
In the book he lives in a dorm, but in the movie, he lives with his mother. - AndrewSetting
Both talk about the greek mythology or about gods. - SakiCharacterization
Contrasts (Differences)Type of similarity or difference
Instead of starting in the museum in the movie it started with Zeus and Poseidon talking about the stolen lightning. - ChloeSetting
In the book Percy stays in the academy’s dorm. In the movie he lives with his mother in an apartment. - JPPlot
We meet Annabeth when she is sword fighting in the movie. But in the books she is feeding him pudding while Percy is asleep. - NiñoPlot

English Language & Literature 11 SL

by Mr. Corryn Smith

G11 English SL students have been examining various text types and bodies of work from various writers and artists regarding several Global issues they will explore for their Internal Assessments coming in May. In our study of political cartoonists, students are challenged to create their own original cartoons expressing one of their chosen Global Issues through the lens of cartoon commentary. The following example from one of last year’s grade 11 students illustrates a student’s commentary on notions of gender identity and inequality in the world today.

Images by Reina Y.

Language & Literature 9

by Mr. David Gibson

Year 9 students have been studying Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Related in age to the central characters, questions of good and evil and the potential of savagery in the base human spirit were raised in these questioning young minds:

“…what man would do if the bare essentials [of daily living] are taken away. [It gave] a new perspective on this topic [it] made me think about our society on a deeper level.” Alessandra F.

In our current global challenge Golding’s purpose is brought fully to the fore in giving students an insight into “…so many different things in life such as raw human nature and morals…

I really enjoyed how it made me ask myself if I’m really a good person, or if I’m just better at justifying/hiding my “evil” thoughts, actions, and choices because of my surroundings and rules.” Seohyun P.

Thus students were challenged on intrinsically moral questions of human nature, also asking them to consider where social responsibility may lie in ourselves and in our present world.

“You see the character development and what the author was trying to portray that evil is within us all and that is something I took away from the book, it gives new perspective and views on life.” Jandra R.

Students are encouraged to thus question Golding’s perspective and challenge it intellectually and emotionally at a personal and contemporary level in terms of their own living environments.

“It really resonated with me. I really like how it approached this through the character as it gave me more realization on what life really is.” Maximus S.

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

Tip of the Week

Apply early! The final year in high school is college application time.  Application platforms start to open as early as August (for most US universities).  If one applies early, the admissions result is released earlier too.  This takes the pressure off and students can focus on finishing the year strong.  Universities around the world have different application timelines.  It is important to know these start and end dates of the admission period for specific universities which may be of interest to you.  If you are not sure how to find this information, speak to your college counselor and set an appointment.  (email:

Coming Soon:  Alumni Chat Series: Episode 5 – The Europe Edition

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


March 9
Tuesday – 2:00PM

March 10

March 11
1:30 PM

March 13
1:30- 5:00PM


School of Visual Arts (USA)
Link to join

University of Hong Kong & Peking University
Dual Degree Info Session
Link to register

Lingnan University (Hong Kong)
Virtual Open House
Link to register

IDP Philippines Study in Australia & New Zealand Virtual Fair
Link to register

• Australian Catholic University
• Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School and Torrens  University
• Canterbury Institute of Management
• Charles Darwin University
• CQ University
• Deakin University
• Federation University
• Griffith University
• Kaplan Business School
• King’s Own Institute
• La Trobe University
• Macquarie University
• Monash University
• RMIT University
• University of Adelaide with University of Adelaide College
• University of Canberra
• University of Notre Dame Australia
• University of Queensland
• University of South Australia
• University of Sydney
• University of Technology Sydney
• University of Western Australia
• Victoria University

• Massey University
• Victoria University of Wellington
• Southern Institute of Technology

SAT Update

March 13 SAT test date has been cancelled.

Students are advised to check the university websites for Test-optional announcements.

2020-2021 Test DatesTestRegistration Deadline
March 13, 2021SAT only (no Subject tests)Cancelled
May 8, 2021SAT & SAT Subject TestsApril 8, 2021
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

Share this:
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments