Newsflash: October 22, 2021

Principal’s Corner

by Mr. Andrew Powell, EY-Grade 12 Principal

Culture Week has been a colourful and vibrant celebration for many of our students and International Day promises much of the same. The week has provided us with an opportunity to proudly celebrate who we are while gaining an insight into the cultures and perspectives of members of our wider school community.

As a diverse school, we have students that can proudly declare themselves as being from a particular country, while many others identify with multiple nations due to their backgrounds and consequently have multiple ways of being. While we may currently be limited in the way we travel physically, new technologies and social media have enhanced their capacity to belong to many communities simultaneously. Our students share a dynamic culture that is open to many creative possibilities.

 For international school communities, difference has the potential to be a great opportunity. In schools such as CIS, where there is a diverse student body, difference provides students and teachers with opportunities to explore different ways of living and learning. 

Difference in this context provides individuals with the chance to learn and develop consideration for others. It is no longer a matter of teachers providing students with something. Instead, the cooperative that is formed in the international classroom fosters a mutually beneficial relationship for all involved.

 Learning is reciprocal and the diversity experienced in our classroom provides teachers and students with opportunities to learn and grow. They are able to develop new pedagogical practices and approaches that promote reciprocity and an acknowledgment that there are many and varied ways of knowing and being.

 While the array of colors and costumes worn on International Day may highlight our differences, a look beyond the superficial provides us with a view of a community that shares many similarities and the potential for unlimited opportunity.

 CIS is truly privileged in this respect, and our students, through their experiences, are well positioned to contribute to the development of a better world.

Grade 12 DP Spanish Class

by Mr. Antonio Melgar, Spanish Teacher

Beauty and Its Significance

The Diploma Programme Spanish classes have had a number of guest speakers this school year and our Grade 12 students in particular benefited from a virtual round table discussion as part of a unit that explored beauty and its significance in different cultures and environments. 

The class hosted four native Spanish speakers that represented diverse areas of the arts world: a design teacher, a prima ballerina senior, a theater director, and a multidisciplinary artist. Each of them contributed to a vivid discussion on the topic and helped our students to grasp the meaning of beauty from their own professional perspectives.  It was so refreshing to see the students interacting with professionals and discussing a deep topic in a second or third language. ¡Orgulloso de ustedes, muchachos!

Here are some reflections from our students:

I enjoyed talking about the complicated topic of beauty because it is very subjective. It was interesting to see various perspectives on beauty and its personal significance for artists, cultures, my classmates, and more. Also, from this discussion, we analyzed its positive and negative implications, which made me rethink how I previously viewed beauty. 


The round table discussion was very interesting since it was very astounding to listen to native speakers conversing with each other. I also enjoyed joining in on the conversations and asking questions. Overall I think it was a very good experience since it is not something that you get to do every day. Daigo K


Having visitors come to our round table debate was a very enlightening experience that I greatly enjoyed because I was able to hear a lot of fresh perspectives about beauty. It made me rethink what I previously knew about beauty especially since our visitors were all artists. It was also a great opportunity for us to practice conversing with native speakers.

Chae Eun

Discussing the topic of beauty with professionals in that field from across the world was one of the most interesting learning experiences in school so far. Everyone was passionate about beauty and although I couldn’t understand some words they said, I felt their passion when discussing their topic. Not only that, but they all had different viewpoints which further enhanced my perception of beauty. 

Sean Michael

It was an amazing experience getting the perspective of individuals from all walks of life. It was an amazing opportunity to practice our Spanish by allowing us to apply our speaking and listening skills. Not to mention the topic of discussion was one that is applicable to our everyday lives, allowing us to view the mundane concept of beauty in a multitude of different ways. 


Novel Studies in English Language Acquisition Class

by Ms. Lana Lautamus, English Language Teacher

For the past 6 weeks, the EL-A classes have been immersed in a novel study, directly linked to our units. 

In Grade 6 and 7, we are looking at “The Giver” by Lois Lowry and making connections to our previous unit “How Do You Pass The Time?”   When thinking of the central idea (“Hobbies and leisure activities allow for connection, creativity and support our emotional well-being”), we explored our own hobbies, cultural connections and if they support our mental health. We then thought about the lack of leisure activities, personal choice and the lack of individualization in “The Giver” and the impacts that has on the characters and the plot. 

Our next unit will have us looking at “Friends Around The World.”  We will switch our focus slightly to look at the concept of relationships and deduce how different ones in “The Giver” exist and the impacts they have. 

We will also be having virtual penpals from Vietnam to meet with third culture students living there and practice our communication skills!  Directly linked to some of our inquiry questions (What is school life like in other countries? What sayings have hidden meanings? How can you understand hidden meanings from words and phrases? Are all students the same around the world?), we will have a chance to make connections with people from other backgrounds.

In Grade 8 & Grade 9, our character analysis of characters from “The Hunger Games” linked very closely to our first unit, “How Can I Connect With Others?” Delving into personality traits, analyzing friendships and contemplating if different people can be friends are themes prevalent throughout the novel.  

Here are some student samples of their analysis of different characters’ personality traits within the novel:

The character of Katniss as seen in the book is independent, brave, and sacrificial. She is very skilled in using bow and arrow, which she secretly practiced while hunting for game in the forest. Katniss is very frank about her emotions and morals to all those around her. By standing up for Prim in public when she volunteered herself for the Hunger Games, she displayed her selflessness. Her brazen attitude and temper also catch the eyes of all those around her. 

Yeseul (Julie)

This clearly shows that even though Katniss seems cold, independent, and stiff, she still has this loving, caring, and compassionate side deep inside of her waiting to be discovered by someone she trusts. Katniss is also responsible; we can see that by her actions before being drafted to The Hunger Games. Every day Katniss had to provide for her family, due to the fact that her father isn’t around. 


 Haymitch is a mean teacher but he can be a good teacher. He helped Katniss and Peeta for the Hunger Games but he did it in his own way. Haymitch says that she and Peeta must continue to be a pair. “Who cares? It’s all a big show. It’s all how you’re perceived.” (Chapter 10 page 216) Haymitch wants them together. He may be rude but he is helping. He wants to help them get sponsored. 


As we begin our new unit, we will keep our statement of inquiry, “Teens around the world have different goals and face different challenges”, in mind as we continue to explore how Katniss, Peeta and the other teenaged characters decide on their goals for survival and react to challenges within the novel. 

We will also be reviewing and working towards the goals we set at the beginning of the semester.

Mandarin & Spanish Classes

by Ms. Gloria Rodriguez, Spanish Teacher/Jinhua Zou, Mandarin Teacher/Elaine Jin, MYP Mandarin Teacher

Language Week
In conjunction with Culture Week, the Language Acquisition Department also created Language Activities for the school. On the website International Day & Culture Week 2021 – Language challenge, we provided a challenge for the whole CIS community to be multilingual and try their best at speaking Cebuano, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and Spanish. These are the major languages spoken within our community, along with English of course! We have quite a big amount of participants this year and let us listen to some students’ voices.

Language week is a really productive way of learning simple phrases effectively from other countries. It really opens our minds to the extent of realizing that every country as it’s similarities and differences. My experience of learning other languages was actually very positive. I enjoyed learning different phrases as they required a different tone in voice which was pretty fun to adjust to. Overall, the experience was enjoyable and I’ve personally learned a lot from it. 


Language week is an awesome event that gives us the opportunities to learn and recognize different phrases from other races and nationalities. It has given us more open-mindedness and awareness about how we are all diverse in our ways and also lets us learn a piece of their nationality. It was quite an enjoyable challenge for me to try to say various phrases properly and be more educated about other nationalities within our school. It gives me a positive and good outcome on how I really try to enthusiastically learn new languages so we can have something in common. And it might be a huge help for us to work up our skills to learn basic and common phrases because we can use them when travelling to different countries. 


It helps me get a better understanding of what everyone is saying. It also helps me learn some basic words that might be very helpful in the future. It’s also a good way of learning about all the different cultures. It helps us all understand each other. We can also use these things that we learned to communicate with each other easier, for those who have trouble with English.


Kinder/Grade 1 – Exchange Class

In celebration of culture week Kinder and Grade 1 had their language exchange lesson. Students were happy to share and show  what they have been learning in Mandarin and Spanish. They also challenge themselves by saying in English, Mandarin and Spanish, greetings, numbers and farewells.

Grade 4/5 Class

During the language exchange class, Grade 4 and 5 practice using three different languages to introduce where they are from – English, Mandarin and Spanish. Students were actively teaching each other how to pronounce words about country and color in Mandarin and Spanish. They had a quick review of the “Bring Me” game about color at the end which is finding the items with color yellow.


Grade 6 – 10 Class

In the MYP classes, the students had their peer teaching on the topics of number and time. They did a mini lesson and some activities, like Kahoot and Booklet. The students enjoyed learning about how to count in both languages and it was a fun experience for them. Let us hear some voices from the students:

The peer teaching was really nice because the others can learn different things like learning new things in Mandarin.


The teaching was very nice because I was able to teach something at Spanish class and also was able to learn from Spanish class. There was a small problem with the Internet issue, but still it’s really nice to have the time with other language class for teaching each other.


The peer teaching was very nice since we get to have an experience of teaching and I also can have a deep understanding of the words. I think I was able to organize the information. It was also nice to learn some of the Spanish words. 


Their teaching was very clear. It was also easy to understand because Cebuano is similar to Spanish. It is also nice to learn from other classes. It teaches us to listen and participate. Maybe we can do peer teaching again next time. It could also cover different topics aside from numbers and time.


These past weeks in World Language Mandarin and Spanish students have been practicing successfully different learning engagements.

ES Mandarin

In Grade 2 and Grade 3 students practiced naming parts of the body and the five human senses in English and Mandarin. They also practiced using accurate descriptive words to describe appearance for different people  or animals.

MHS Mandarin (Mandarin Ab Initio)

This week, Grade 12 Mandarin students are focusing on special occasions celebrations in China. For example, the Mid-Autumn festival and Spring Festival. Students are practicing their language skills with the topic of celebration through Paper Two Reading, IA and Videos. 

Grade 11 students came up with a short story telling about the twelve Zodiac animals to introduce how Chinese people use animals to mark the year and how these animals are being chosen.

MHS Spanish  (Spanish ab Initio)

The Grade 11 students  have started  practicing how to describe daily routines, ask and answer open ended  questions related to habits. It is important that students know and practice verb conjugation and forming sentences.  As part of our daily class routine students are asked to conjugate one or two verbs and write them down in their notebooks.

This week, our students from Grade 12  shared their presentations about travel agency packages to some Spanish speaking countries. We focused on the following topics: food, accommodation, places to visit, food, transportation, indoor and outdoor activities. 

ES Spanish

Mandarin B classes

To celebrate multiple languages in our school,  MHS Mandarin students chose the song “Part of Your World” and some students participated in singing this song. The song is formed with eight languages which are the languages spoken by most of our students in MHS Mandarin class. Please check the link for the video.

Click on the image to view the video!

Grade 10 Spanish

Our Grade 10 Spanish students took us on a tour of the world as they learnt about people that they considered important in shaping various countries’ culture and society. This included a Broadway singer, the first Puerto Rican female judge in the USA, a Venezuelan musician and songwriter, a Filipino boxer and a Brazilian football player. Through their explorations they discovered how these individuals have touched the lives of millions or people through their and how they are looked upon as positive role models and symbols of national pride.

Book Week

by Ms. Mary Jean Cordova, Media Center Coordinator

We are excited to announce our virtual book week with the theme “The World of Mystery, Magic, and Myths!” This year’s Book Week will be happening on October 25-29, 2021, and we have tons of fun activities planned for you! Please visit the book week website at  for details on all of the events mentioned below.

Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.) Time

We want to start Book Week with BOOKS! On Monday, Oct 25th, we ask that everyone in the CIS community DROP EVERYTHING AND READ! Snap a photo of you reading in your favorite spot and share it with your class on Seesaw or Hangouts! MHS will DEAR from 12:30 PM-1:00 PM then will have another session on Thursday, Oct 28th, and Elementary will DEAR from 8:00 AM-8:15 AM.

Story Time Videos

We invite parents and students to submit a video of them reading their favorite children’s book, short story, poem, or novel excerpt for our Story Time Video collections. We would love to have stories representing the vast diversity of the CIS community, so please feel free to share stories from your culture and in your mother tongue. These videos will be available on the CIS book week website for students to view on their own time. For elementary, please see the Seesaw learning engagement posted or reach out to Ms. Maffy ( for your videos. For MHS, please email Ms. Maria ( or Ms. Jin  (  – by Tuesday, October 26, at 7PM.

Character Parade

This year students are going to truly bring their favorite characters to life in the new version of the Character Parade! Students should dress up as their favorite character and record a 10 to 20-second video of them reading one of their favorite quotes from that character or reading 1-2 lines from the book. They can choose books in their own language.  We will post these videos together on the Book Week website by grade level. For elementary, please see the Seesaw learning  engagement posted or reach out to Ms. Vangie B. ( for your videos. For MHS, please  email Mr. Alejandro ( Tuesday, Oct. 26th, 7PM. 

Living Library

The Living Library is a chance for students to hear first-hand stories of a wide variety of careers from CIS Alumni. Check the Book Week website for details about these guests.

Guess Who’s Reading Contest

Take a look at the photos on the “Guess Who’s Reading” page of the website and see if you can identify your teachers behind the book. We’ve used props to make it a little tricky. Good Luck!

Book Talk 

This year, students are going to meet and have a live chat with these two inspiring authors. There will be two sessions for both authors in Elementary and MHS. Please check the Book Week site for the schedules. 

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor

The Virtual Living Library for Book Week

Please take time to view the Living Library videos on the Book Week Website next week.  It is highly recommended that Grade 10, 11 and 12 students view the videos, these will be very helpful as you start to forge your career path.  Learn about the variety of careers as CIS alumni talk about what they do.   They will share insights about their jobs, what it entails and some advice on how to choose one’s career.

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


October 27
8:00PM PH time
Link to register


Northwestern University in Qatar 
Virtual Open House

October 30
9:00am – 6:00pm
PH time
Link to register

October 26 and 27

University of Hong Kong
Virtual Open Day

Brussels School of Governance Open Lecture Series:
“The EU and the Rule of Law: about foundational values, enforcement possibilities and limits”
Prof. Kristin Henrard – International and European Law
October 26, 2021    1800H CEST/ 12:00MN PHT 
Link to register

“U.S. reputation after Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan: Implications for US-China competition”
Prof. Tongfi Kim – International Affairs
October 27, 2021   1800H CEST/ 12:00MN PHT
Link to register

October 30
9:00 PM
Zoom link to join

SAT Update

The dates below indicate that registration is open. However, it is highly likely for future dates to be cancelled depending on quarantine restrictions.

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

Dragon’s Print

Seven billion people in the world, thousands of languages, and several continents we can simply count with our fingers; yet there is much more in the world to explore! Read more about cultural diversity as Akeisha M. shares her perspective as a new student in CIS on

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