Newsflash: May 20, 2022

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

Over the past few weeks, we have been treated to a number of events showcasing our students’ work over the past year. The events (with links to the accompanying websites for you to check them out) have included:

The PYP exhibition and MYP personal project are culminating projects of work where students explore an area of personal interest with guidance from their supervisor and individually allocated mentors, and are completed over an extended period of time (6 weeks in grade 5 and the whole year in grade 10). Through the process of inquiry, action, and reflection, students are provided the opportunity to consolidate their learning and develop important approaches to learning (ATL) skills that they will need as they move into the MYP and DP respectively. It also helps them develop the confidence to become principled, lifelong learners, and serves to demonstrate their learning to themselves and others. The TOK showcase is similarly designed to share how G11 students have developed their critical thinking skills over the course of their junior year, and prepare them for their IB Diploma assessments, and beyond. 

As the only Continuum IB World School in the Philippines (offering all three IB academic programs), CIS is fortunate to be able to benefit from comprehensive coherence across the programs through:

  • The learner and the learner profile as the center of importance
  • Embedded Approaches to Teaching and Approaches to Learning (ATL)
  • International-mindedness underpinning all programs
  • Structures of the programs and aligned subject names
  • As demonstrated by our recent events, a comprehensive culminating experience in each program.

We recognize all of the effort our students and their teachers have made to get to these impressive levels – take a look through their work, I am confident you will be impressed!

An IB Education:

Upcoming events of note

  • May 24: Parent Coffee Meeting 9-10 am run by the CIS PTA (virtual)
  • May 26: Student Council Spirit Day (Dress up as twins/multiples)
  • May 27: CIS Virtual Graduation (Premiers at 5pm)
  • June 9: Last Day of School – Class celebrations & Moving Up Ceremonies (half-day of school); Reports published
  • June 13-24: Summer Activities Program

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

Elementary PHE

by Mr. Jaydil Hermias,  PHE Teacher

Swimming: Such a positive experience!

It has been wonderful to have the pool open and the elementary students have certainly enjoyed the opportunity to learn in a different environment. The program is differentiated for various levels with a focus on having fun while developing swimming skills. Safety and survival skills are also an integral part of our program so that students are well-equipped to enjoy the ocean and swimming pools that they frequent.

The following are some highlights from some of our Grade 4 students:

I love swimming for PHE because it’s fun and we like to play water polo. This is a great game and you get to shoot goals and pass the ball with your friends.


I love to be active and so playing in the water is great. The water is cool and refreshing. I love the feeling of being in the pool.


When we swim we can improve our swimming skills and when you play water polo you improve your throwing skills and teamwork. I love swimming lessons because you can challenge yourself by learning how to swim in deep water.


English Language Acquisition Class

by Ms. Lana Lautamus, ELA Teacher

Unit 4

Grade 6 & Grade 7 have been studying the statement of inquiry connected to Comic Book Characters: “Heroes and villains are creative identities, with empathetic backstories, that are expressed through human values and beliefs.”  

To express our understanding of this unit, we practiced our speaking skills in our formative task by each receiving a portion of a comic strip. Without showing our picture to each other, we described our image, and the other student in the class drew it. We had some hilarious results, but an excellent task for practicing our clarity when communicating.

We also worked on our writing skills in our second formative task by adapting a portion of a comic book into a short story. Using this prompt, the students had choices to write the backstory to this excerpt, write from a character’s perspective or write how they thought the story would end.

Alternatively, students could also do a book response to our graphic novel we are reading: “Avatar: The Last Airbender”.

Hi! Dear Aang, today is your birthday! I am going to send you a thaumaturgic generator and reality anchor developed by the SCP Foundation, they can help you defend against the Fire Nation and maintain your peace. The principle and function of the thaumaturgic generator is to gather eve particles and send out deadly lethal force through the generator. It can breathe fire, shoot ice sculptures, release poisonous gas, and so on. Then the reality anchor is to suppress the enemy’s attack by extracting the reality stability index from other parallel universes. – Angqing

A Birthday Gift for Aang – Avatar

The Avatar was in training, so that he can win against the Fire Nation. When he went to the mountain for an adventure, he met a boy that was lifting up a big rock. At that moment,The Avatar realized that he was an Earth Bender. His name was Haru according to what his mother said to him. She said, “Do you know how dangerous that is, Haru? – Kuto

A Diorama and a description of the scene

This view is about a frozen Avatar on an iceberg. The Frozen characters name is Avatar Aang, from about 2022 years ago the fire nation started the war so Aang tried to protect himself and use the element power of hydro power in arctic iceberg but his power went wrong because he was in iceberg. Later on, the Avatar was discovered by two water nation people, Katara and her brother Sokka.By the way Aang Avatar is now 11 years old. Avatar is only people who can use all the element powers earth, air, fire, and water. And also the Avatar is half human and half spirit. – Alen

We are now in the process of creating our own comic strip to share with the other English Language acquisition classes next week, where we will discuss the inquiry questions and knowledge and skills we delved into during the last 6 weeks using a Pechakucha style presentation.

In Grade 8 & Grade 9, we are in the final stages of our unit “The Music We Love (& Poetry)”. Our statement of inquiry, “Music (& poetry) mean different things to different people and is shaped by the audience and cultures that make it” has had us looking at music from our own cultures (Israel, Korea, China and Japan) and also types of popular & culturally-specific music, audience reactions and interpretations and the meaning of lyrics. 

We have also connected music with poetry, and investigated the conceptual understandings of poetry’s form and function. We have also made poetry responses to both musical lyrics and other poetry pieces. We “stole like an artist” and made our own blackout poetry, inspired by Austin Kleon, using lyrics from our favorite songs.

Our second formative task involved a choice board, where students could choose 4 poems. There was choice in responses ranging from blackout poetry, book spine poetry, mad lib poems, rhyme time, texting couplets and others.

Book Spine Poetry – Noam
Rhyme Time Poetry – You
Thing, Direction and Discovery Poetry – Yeseul
Once, I turned out to be something I didn’t realize what I was – Ryota

A poetry adventure for the Newsflash audience this week! Read this poem from top to bottom, and then read it again from the bottom line first up to the top!

For our summative, we are currently working on poetry responses to a Spoken Word/Poetry Slam presentation, this written piece (“Refugees”) and finalizing our own digital poetry booklets that we will share with a larger audience next week.

Grade 11: DP History

by Ms. Joy Pierra, MYP I&S & DP History Teacher

The four (4) great Grade 11 historians are about to end the first year of their IB History journey with flying colors. Amidst the challenges that they have encountered this semester, the COVID-19 pandemic and the typhoon Odette, their ability to bounce back is one the significant factors that contributed to their success this school year. Here are their thoughts about the course.

A quote in Ms. Joy’s room states, “If you want to understand today, search yesterday.” This is one of the main reasons why we took up IBDP History. We have been able to learn from the struggles of the past, including the fight for civil rights in the United States, the South African apartheid, and India’s independence movements. We are currently learning about Cuba’s independence, which we’ll move on to compare with India’s history. We started off with doing some self-research and discussion, then moved on to creating a physical poster to display in the History classroom (one of the benefits of having physical classes). This poster is a yearbook-themed timeline of the Leaders of Cuba during 1902 to 1925, the years following their independence from Spain and the U.S. occupation.

Moreover, we’ve been working hard on our Internal Assessments (IA), which make up a significant percentage of our final grades for the IBDP curriculum. For this, we research and write a 2000 word essay on a historical event of our choosing including different perspectives and also a cumulative argument. It must contain the following sections: evaluation of our sources, investigation, and reflection. The Internal Assessment allows us to demonstrate our learning and evaluative skills to dive deeper into a topic we are interested in.

As a whole, we have developed our critical thinking skills and media literacy skills. We have become skilled at evaluating a source in-depth and analyzing various sources to determine what really happened back then.

Although the experience of learning history is a great experience filled with enriching lessons and opportunities to explore perspectives and ideas, there are moments when it may get rough. With the course being essentially an “essay-based” subject, there may be times when finding the will-power to finish that last paper seems hard. The amount of sources one has to go through can get grueling at times,  but finding that perfect source feels like euphoria. In the course, an essential thing to remember is to pace yourself and that procrastination is your worst enemy. Despite all possible negative aspects, history still manages to be one of the subjects I look forward to with our supportive teacher, Ms. Pierra and people in the class who are always willing to help each other. No matter how many times my hand cramps in a Paper 2 Essay, History always manages to teach me new things in an interesting way.


 History is one of the few classes where you can openly debate and discuss your thoughts and knowledge on certain topics. The topics discussed in class are also chosen by the students, which means that everyone is interested to learn. It also gives them the freedom to explore historical moments that aren’t commonly taught. History has tested my critical thinking, my writing, my research skills, and my ability to evaluate sources I would have taken for granted in any other class. Through this course, I was able to become more efficient in writing and debating.


Learning history can also be very valuable in the future. The development of concise writing skills and critical thinking in this rigorous course has many useful applications. Additionally, we become more open minded as we look into the different perspectives in historical contexts and develop our viewpoints on various issues.


The topics we have been studying were very intriguing to me. I have never heard about these moments in history before so I really appreciate the IBDP including these in the curriculum. It has been very inspiring to analyze the methods the leaders of the past used to achieve freedom for their people.


College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner

College Statistics for the Class of 2022

A few students are waiting for admission results from Singapore, Japan, Australia and the Philippines.  Some scholarships will be awarded after IBDP results are released in July.

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


Links to Register”
Masterclass 3
(May 7, 9 & 10)


Glion Institute of Higher Education (Switzerland)
Masterclass 3:  The Art of Leadership and Multicultural Team Management

May 25
Link to register

University of Oxford Webinar Series
May 25: This ‘Writing your personal statement’ webinar will be interactive, and is designed to help students on what makes a good personal statement, the role of super and extra-curricular activities, and what tutors look for.

May 21
Link to register
Quest Hotel – Cebu
(in-person event)

Enderun Colleges (Philippines) – Join the Admissions Roadshow at the Quest Hotel & Conference Center

May 24
9:15 – 10:15am
Venue: Studio
Zoom Link to join for online students

Mini Workshop on Writing your Statement of Purpose (College Essay) – This is a mini-workshop arranged by the school with an admissions rep from York College Pennsylvania.  All 11th graders are required to attend.

May 28
1:00 – 4:30pm PHT
Link to register

University of Sydney (Australia)
The Undergraduate Taster Series:This is a series of real-time online demonstration classes for potential international undergraduate students. The taster classes will include content from various faculties and schools presented by their world-class academics.

  • 1–2pm B Pharmacy/M Pharmacy Practice: Medical Curiosities – From History to the Future of Pharmacy
  • 1–2pm B Engineering (Honours): Solving the equation: Circular Economy = CE = Chemical Engineering
  • 1–2pm B Advanced Computing: Deciphering First Year Data Sets
  • 2:15–3:15pm B Commerce: Leading and Managing a business in a post-covid world
  • 2:15–3:15pm B Arts (Socio-legal Studies): Discuss “settler colonialism” and its role in shaping social and legal relations
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