Newsflash: November 19, 2021

Principal’s Corner

by Mr. Andrew Powell, EY-Grade 12 Principal

The process of providing space for students to be heard and supporting their ideas and perspectives is just one example of the larger concept of student voice. As we know from our implementation of the IB programmes, providing students with voice and agency in their learning is crucial and results in higher levels of engagement and motivation.

Instead of a top-down, teacher-directed approach to learning, students play an active role in planning, learning and leading their classroom instruction. This is evident in the high degree of choice available to our students and is inherent within the framework of our schooling structures, inside and outside the classroom.

This approach to providing students with agency in their learning sets CIS apart from other schools in Cebu, and indeed, around the world. It is a significant philosophical shift that requires all stakeholders to embrace the belief that there is something to learn from every individual regardless of age, culture, or other qualifying factors.

Over the past week, we have seen student voice in action as part of a feedback mechanism employed to review our Remote Learning program. MYP students were provided the opportunity to share their thoughts on what has been working for them and provide suggestions on areas that they feel could be adjusted or improved. The resulting feedback was provided to our faculty who analyzed and discussed their perspectives.

As a result of the feedback from our students, we have re-examined the way our afternoon sessions are structured. Commencing Monday, November 22 our Middle and High School students will be provided a short break during their afternoon classes. This will not change the time at which classes finish. 

We will also be streamlining the way in which we are supporting our MYP students in the afternoon so that they have more sustained opportunities to engage in their asynchronous work, while still having access to teachers for support. This will be piloted over the next month and is a direct result of listening to student feedback. The afternoon blocks will remain but be amended slightly to consist of Class Study Time (led by the teacher) and Independent Study (with access to the teacher as required by students). Our teachers are also cognizant of the need for students to have downtime, especially during breaks, and meetings with MYP students will not be scheduled by teachers during these times.

 We trust that piloting these schedule amendments will support the articulated needs of our students and hope that they feel empowered as a consequence. The more educators are able to provide students with choice and opportunities to have a say in their day-to-day schooling, the greater their levels of motivation and engagement should be, resulting in greater levels of achievement.

Grade 5 Digital Citizens: Media Consumers and Creators

by Ms. Aimee Underwood, Grade 5 Teacher

How does being aware of the media’s influence empower us? Over the past few weeks, our Grade 5 Digital Citizens have been inquiring into “media” through the lenses of function, perspective, and responsibility—trying to understand how it works, how and why we respond to it in different ways, and how we can be responsible digital citizens—both as media consumers and as media creators.

Last week, the Grade 5 students enjoyed applying what they had discovered and learned across disciplines to create their own media samples. Collaborating in small groups, they considered their intended message and anticipated a range of possible viewer perspectives/responses. They experimented with using different hooks, context clues, and framing techniques (e.g., intentionally omitting information, highlighting select perspectives, choosing words that evoke vivid imagery and strong emotions). They carefully chose multimedia elements (video, graphics, text, animation, and audio) that enhanced their message.

Here are their first multimedia creations. Can you identify their messages and chosen media elements/techniques?

Looking back, the Grade 5s shared that as IB Learners, they were able to grow as Knowledgeable and Reflective Communicators. They developed their skills to critically evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility, and relevance of different media resources and communicate ideas using a variety of media and modalities. They also shared how they have a greater appreciation for the power they each have to make sense of the world around them and influence others to “help create a better and more peaceful world” (IB Mission).

We look forward to seeing how the Grade 5s will continue to take action from their learning this year and beyond!

Grade 10: Chemistry

by Ms. Christine Enrile, Chemistry Teacher

The unit entitled, ‘Chemical reactions around us’, engaged the students to develop basic understanding of the nature of chemical reactions. They had learned about controlling the rates of chemical changes by considering the effects of concentration, temperature, surface area, and catalyst. Before the First Trimester ended, the Grade 10A students demonstrated their inquiry skills in their summative assessment. They were tasked to investigate the effect of one of the aforementioned factors on the rate of a chemical reaction which they find interesting or relevant at home.

Here are snippets of their work.

The effect of concentration of lighter fluid on the duration of growing sugar snake by Hyein

A mixture of sand, sugar, baking soda with varying amounts of lighter fluid is burned to produce a sugar snake.

Click the images below to watch the timelapse videos.

with 20 mL lighter liquid
with 50 mL lighter liquid

“Therefore, it may also imply that in higher concentrations of lighter fluid, more of the baking soda and sugar particles in the mixture reacted to produce the products that make up the sugar snake. With greater concentrations of lighter fluid, more of the particles in the mixture experienced reactions that are activated by heat: thermal decomposition and combustion.”

Effect of the Temperature of Water on the Amount of Bubbles formed in Yeast Growth by Victoria

Measuring water temperature
Measuring the amount of bubbles formed after 10 minutes
Click on this image for the timelapse video

“Based on the data gathered, the effect of the temperature of the water on the amount of bubbles formed in yeast growth is that as the temperature increases, the amount of bubbles formed also increases. The increase in temperature increases the movement of the reactant particles. This causes the frequency of collisions that causes the chemical reaction to occur also to increase. Therefore, cellular respiration in the yeast occurs faster and more carbon dioxide (CO₂) is produced and the amount of bubbles produced increases.”

How does vinegar concentration affect the size of the egg after 3 days? by Ron

“The water molecules in the vinegar travel inside the egg making it “inflate” as I’ve said in my hypothesis. I conclude that the higher vinegar concentration an egg is submerged into, the larger the size of the egg (3 days, in my case) would be and that my hypothesis is just about the right answer.”

Grade 7: Language and Literature

by Mr. Corryn Smith, Lang. & Lit. Teacher

Grade 7 students in Language and Literature are investigating the question: “What is fair and balanced media”?

To better understand this issue, students explore aspects of media bias, propaganda and rhetoric used in commercial advertising.

Their formative task challenges them to create their very own advertisement employing some of the key features explored around bias and propaganda.

The following student example demonstrates not only their creative process but the application of language and image features typical in commercial advertising.

Dragon’s Print

Family time, giving thanks to the good in life, and of course the big ol’ turkey are some of the few ways Thanksgiving is celebrated. People who celebrate this holiday every 4th Thursday of November, all have their own way of making it special. We asked a few people from the CIS community who celebrate Thanksgiving about their annual holiday customs and more!


The Dragon’s Report Card

Have you ever wondered what life is like for students in their last year of the IB, one of the most rigorous high school programs in the world? Today’s podcast will feature our very own Seniors! Be ready to listen to their stories on senior life online and how to deal with the stress that comes with it.

College/Careers Counselor & Alumni Liaison Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers and Alumni Liaison

Celebration of the Week

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


November 22
4:30 pm
Link to follow


Bentley University Information Session

November 23
4:30 pm
Link to join

NYU Shanghai Information Session

November 26
Link to join

SUNY Korea Information Session

November 26
Link to register

Waseda University Information Session

November 27
Link to register

Career Development for International People in Japan & Business Communication
Speaker:  Prof. Furukawa Tomoki
Kansai University
Target Audience: International students who wish to advance your career in Japan. Students who are living outside Japan and wishing to study in Japan.

SAT Update

Please refer to this link for the safety requirements.

2021-2022 TEST DATES* Registration Deadline
August 28, 2021 CANCELLED
October 2, 2021 CANCELLED
December 4, 2021 November 4, 2021
March 12, 2022 February 11, 2022
May 7, 2022 May 5, 2022
*The Optional SAT Essay and Subject Tests have been discontinued. 

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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Nice 👍