Newsflash: November 15, 2019

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Elementary News

by Mr. Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

This has been another wonderful week on learning at CIS. It was wonderful to see so many parents in our classroom this morning during our parent drop-in time. Sometimes we take for granted all that we have here, but while showing a visitor around this school this morning I was reminded just how talented and dedicated our amazing teachers here at CIS are. In every classroom is was able to show examples of how the skills that are preparing our learners for the second half of the 21st century, are being taught. I was also able to give our visitor examples of how our learners have been empowered to accurately assess themselves, and then decide on their next steps for learning.


February 18th – 21st, 2020 is the week of the CIS Week Without Walls. During this week our elementary student are involved in a number of service activities.  The week is designed around the themes of Fun, Adventure, Curriculum and Service. The service element requires some fundraising as CIS students are involved in supporting schools and organizations that are less fortunate than us, within the community.  Last year the KG/G1 students worked with local schools and donated some classroom furniture and learning supplies. The grade 2 students were heavily involved in supporting the Cebu mangrove initiatives, while the grade 3 and 4 students worked with and an organization called Light of Hope to supply a local village with solar-powered lighting. The majority of the fundraising for these service projects came from the elementary  Lap-a-Thon.  This year the Lap-a-Thon will be held on the morning of Wednesday 11th December. Students will have the option of choosing from 4 different types of laps, these are being designed by the elementary student council. Each student will be seeking some sponsorship for their participation. This is a very fun-filled event and we encourage parents to come and support, and even to take part.

Student Article – Band

When I became a Grade 4 student, I started band. I chose clarinet for my instrument. Four of my friends also chose clarinet for their instrument. We are learning a song called Jingle Bells. Maybe we will perform this in the Christmas assembly. I feel kind of nervous but also I feel kind of excited.

I like our band teachers, Ms. Arnsby and Mr. Swank. Ms. Arnsby teaches woodwind and Mr. Swank teaches brass. I like them because they’re really kind, and they know so much about music! Band is such fun!!-Jiwoo, Grade 4

Middle & High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle & High School Principal

Getting excited about this year’s Week Without Walls

Our Week Without Walls experience is not until late February, but most of our planning for this event is already in place as teachers are working on the finishing touches on their respective courses.

This year we are excited about the courses we have planned for our students. We have expanded our focus somewhat this year and are offering some overnight travel experiences and incorporating outdoor education as we seek to include all aspects of CAS (creativity, activity, and service) in our experiences, as well as include international-mindedness and interdisciplinary learning touchpoints. We want to continue offering great service learning opportunities for CIS students, but also work on developing important life skills, develop cultural appreciation, and foster awareness of and interaction with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals through experiential learning.

The AMT, under Dr. Underwood’s leadership, have drafted a philosophy undergirding our Week Without Walls efforts, as follows:

  • Cebu International School’s Guiding Statements highlight our belief in the importance of experiential, constructivist learning, and the explicit development of a wide range of skills and attributes identified as Approaches to Learning (ATL) and Learner Profile (LP) attributes. 
  • We believe providing an extended period of time outside the classroom to engage in purposefully planned activities enables our students to develop many of these skills and attributes in ways that are not possible, or are more difficult, in a classroom setting.
  • All of our WWW activities are designed around the promotion of one or more of the following areas: creativity, activity, service learning and/or intercultural mindedness. In addition, interdisciplinary/curriculum links are encouraged when opportunity presents, but these should not be forced.
  • As a school CIS has identified service learning as a particular focus, and therefore aspects of Service Learning will be included in all WWW activities (unless there is approval not to do so for a specific reason), and activities will therefore follow the objectives of Service Learning at CIS.

This year’s WWW courses are divided by grade level into grades 6-8 courses and grades 9-11 courses. The exception to this is the 4X4 (Life Below Water course), which will be open to grade 9-11 student leaders and to all 6-8 students.

Grades 6-8 will have three options this year: Bohol Adventure, RAFI Kool Adventure Camp (in Balamban), and the 4×4 2.0 which is focused on UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Life Below Water). All three courses include a combination of physical activity and skill development, outdoor education, and service learning.

Several of our Grade 9-11 courses are carrying on with the service learning partnerships we have already developed with local community groups, including Paknaan, Pit-os National High School, and Gawad Kalinga. Several of our HS students are also committed to conservation and community service efforts carried over into the 4X4 course (which focuses on Sustainable Goal 14- Life Below Water). In addition, we are offering a cultural/historical/ecological experiential course which will explore both the Masungi Georeserve and Corregidor Island in Luzon.

We will be sharing more details about each of these courses next week so that parents and students will be able to make their choices for which one is best for them. We will be sharing a Google Form with students and they will have a week to respond, indicating their first, second, and third choices. Selection will be made according to seniority (according to grade level in their respective grade range courses) and then by promptness of response. We will do our best to place students in their preferred courses. Rest assured that our teachers are carefully planning these courses in order to anticipate and mitigate any risks that may be present.

Masungi Georeserve Discovery Trail

Bohol Chocolate Hills

IB Internal Assessments or the IAs

For the past months and the current one, our IBDP Grade 12 students have been working to complete their IA assignments for their IB courses. IBDP Assessments are composed of both external and internal assessments. External assessments are the exams which students take at the end of their 2-year journey of the DP. Written exams form the basis of the assessment for most courses. On the other hand, internal assessments, or the IA’s as your hear most often from your children, are assessment tasks unique to each subject that complements your children’s demonstration of their knowledge for such a subject. This includes activities such as:

  • oral work in Languages
  • replication of an experiment for Psychology
  • research project for Business
  • laboratory work in the Sciences
  • investigations in Mathematics
  • artistic performances

Rather than being a purely exam-based curriculum, IB has built in these great opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding and skills in each subject area through a more individualized and project-based approach, and these assessments figure into each child’s final grade in the respective subject.

A few weeks back we shared about the Psychology IA presentations where students presented the findings from their experiments. In today’s newsflash we are showcasing the IA for Math Studies SL. Several of our students visited the Maths SL course to learn a challenging concept which will help them improve their IA results. Having learned this concept from the SL students, they brought it back to the Math Studies class to teach their classmates.

An Insight on the Math SL Experience

by Katrina R., Grade 12

In our Math Studies class, we have been diligently working on our Internal Assessments (IAs). The IA is a required internal part of the Math curriculum for the IB Diploma, where the student must conduct an investigation and assess their data using mathematical and/or statistical analyses. A few students from our class and I, journeyed to the Standard Level Mathematics class to learn more about the technological aspect of the IA such as graphs for linear regression and exponential decay linearisation. We spent three sessions sitting in the SL class and in the end, taught everything we learned to our classmates in Studies. The experience was very eye-opening because it showed me how different yet similar the topics we were learning are. For example, there were certain things we covered in class but the approaches were very different. We also had to adjust to the classroom environment and learning of the content itself, which was very different indeed. In the end, I can say that this was a very interesting and insightful experience, because I got a sneak-peak into the lives of the SL students. I can also confidently say that the Studies class now know most that there is to know about the technological aspects of our IAs, and we are all, excited and ready to apply it to our reports!

ISAC 1 (Southville International School and Colleges)

by Ace Pierra, Sports and Activities Director

We congratulate our ISAC teams for a successful first season of ISAC. Our boys volleyball team bagged the first runner up trophy and girls got the second runner up trophy. Go dragons!

Here are some blurbs from the players

Throughout my five years as an ISAC volleyball player, I have not only grown as an athlete, but also as a person. From my little 8th grade self who started out as a shy and nervous setter, to becoming the captain of the team in grade 11-12, it has been an irreplaceably rewarding experience.

It was a great honor to be the captain of an incredible team that got us 2nd place last year, and 3rd this year. From this precious adventure, I believe that I had learned about responsibility, leadership, friendship, and of course, teamwork. In my last year of ISAC, I am very proud of the result that my teammates and I had achieved. Although the games were often pressuring and stressful, our team stood steady and was able to overcome thanks to our close bond. Whenever someone made a mistake, we always pull each other up and try to motivate. I am extremely thankful that I had the opportunity to play with such sweet and caring teammates.

As I near my last year in CIS, I would like to give some advice to the future ISAC volleyball players. Firstly: never give up until the game is officially over because there’s always hope and chance; no matter the score, we can always catch up. Secondly: focusing on how the team performed as a whole in the game is more important than focusing on winning. Every player should have put in all of their effort and hard work during the game instead of relying only on their teammates. Thirdly, losing and making mistakes happens. We should learn from them and try to not repeat the same mistake rather than blaming ourselves and stressing out. Lastly, I would also like to encourage everyone to frequently practice regardless of how good they think they are because everyone has a room for improvement and this can only be fulfilled with continuous practice. Being part of ISAC volleyball is the thing I will surely miss the most after I leave CIS. I am grateful for the 5 years. – Sally

On October 23, the girls and boys volleyball teams flew to Manila to compete in ISAC Season 1 in Southville International School. This was my first ever ISAC experience. In the competition, we competed against 6 other international schools around the Philippines: Brent Baguio, Brent Subic, Brent Manila, British School Manila, Southville International School and Faith Academy. The girls got into the semis round and placed third, while the boys reached the finals and placed second. 

ISAC is a very fun and unique experience. You get to compete against good athletes, and at the same time become friends with these opponents. Traveling with your team also gives you time to bond with one another outside of school. -Bianca

ISAC volleyball was one of the best experiences that I’ve ever had in my 9 years of being in CIS. I got to play the sport that I love and also got to represent CIS at the same time which was an honor. ISAC gives you an opportunity to meet and socialize with other schools as well. This event also helps people show off their skills that they have been practicing for a long time and also get the chance to be recognized for it. Even though we didn’t get the result that we wanted this year, we were still able to make the most out of this ISAC and that’s what I love most about our team. This was my first time in ISAC volleyball and I really can’t wait until next years ISAC. – Natalie

Tree of Giving

by Katrina R., MHS Student Council, 12B Homeroom Representative

To commemorate the Christmas Season, the Student Council is hosting its annual “Tree of Giving” event, this December 7th. Children from more impoverished areas in Cebu, will be invited to our campus, and spend a day with our students enjoying a range of activities, such as games, eating, and sports. At the end of the event, the children are given gift boxes, that were donated by students, staff, parents, and more. These boxes are filled with a number of necessary goods to help these children better their education and daily life, and give donors the opportunity to spread the joy of the season. Student Council invites all members of the CIS community to donate gifts for these children, and hopefully, give them a memorable Christmas!

If you wish to donate to the Tree of Giving, the gift checklist is available below. After wrapping your gift, please drop it in the lobby of the main building. Student Council is accepting donations until December 6th.

Dragon’s Print

A teacher’s job is often busy and serious, but it also allows them to see and hear some of the silliest things when interacting with students! As schoolwork gets more demanding this time of the year, here’s a light interview with some faculty on the most ridiculous excuses and statements students have told them. Read their responses on

Grade 8 Museum

by Joy Pierra, Individuals and Societies Teacher

As part of their final requirements this semester, the Grade 8 students created a mini-museum of the ancient civilizations. The museum highlighted the four river valley civilizations named Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, and ancient China. This activity allowed our Grade 8 students to show their understanding of the significance of systems and how it’s driven by resources to create civilizations. The museum was opened last November 14 for our upper elementary students.

Here are some of the students’ reflection on the activity:

The first thing we did for our Mini-Museum was to get into our groups. My group members are Rebecca and Soowan and we were tasked to work on Mesopotamian civilization. In our research, we learned about so many things; the Mesopotamian government, art, language, religion, etc. After doing our research we started to think about what to put into our presentation. We used the action plan that Ms. Pierra had assigned us to do. We added in the questions, the answers, and the examples that we want to include in our presentation. After doing that, we created our artifacts. Overall, preparing for the mini-museum was really stressful. It was hard to get everything ready on time, getting the information, making the artifacts, and studying our topic, it was a challenge. However, working with my group was fun though sometimes we need to improve our time management. We worked hard to prepare our posters for the mini-museum and it turned out really well. Our artifacts were really nice and interesting and we presented well. My group really enjoyed doing this mini-museum and we hope that the 2nd graders enjoyed our presentation. Thank you to Ms. Pierra, Ms. Cornet, Ms. Aimee, and Ms. Maureen! – Zhandy

In our Social Studies classes, we were divided into different groups and we had to do research on different ancient civilizations. We studied the art, government, stable food, religion, writing, technology, cities, and social class of each civilization. Additionally, we had to create at least 3 artifacts that represented some of the topics. Today the 3rd and 4th graders visited our classrooms where we were able to share our findings and teach the kids about ancient civilizations. It was a very fun and interesting experience that we all enjoyed. – Bella 

The Grade 8B class held a mini-exhibition. My group made our own little exhibit of ancient Egypt. We presented these to a few upper elementary classes. I think this would have been a very enriching experience for them. We explained all the artifacts we made in detail, such as Egyptian art, technology, and food.- Mahati

Dear parents,

We are very excited for this year’s PTA Christmas Bazaar at Oakridge Pavilion! Besides the high quality vendors of home goods, beauty products, toys, yummy foods and more, we are also excited to have the following special events at the Bazaar:

  • A Car Wash and Nail Salon put on by students raising funds to attend the Global Issues Network Conference
  • Performances by the cast of this year’s musical production, The Music Man
  • A performance by a special Chambers ensemble of CIS band students
  • A Children’s storytime and activity put on by Crafts2Go.

See the Facebook page for the CIS PTA Christmas Bazaar to get schedules and sneak peeks from vendors!  See you there, Nov. 23 and 24.

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