Newsflash: September 15, 2023

Admin News

by Dr. Gwyn Underwood, Superintendent

It was wonderful to observe the laughter, fun, and collaboration among students today as we held our first House Activity Day of the year (HAD1). These typically include a range of activities to enable this, both outdoor active and indoor sedentary activities, and including sports and skills/game-based activities. We hold these days for multiple reasons. One aspect that is not visible to all, is it is a great way for our student council members to use and develop their research, organizational, thinking, and leadership skills. Judging from the outcomes, they were particularly successful this year – well done, StuCo teams (both ES and MHS were involved to differing extents)!   

In addition to the fun, the other aspect I want to highlight are approaches to learning (ATL) skills involved. Refer to the poster to the right and see if you can identify the ATL strands involved in helping students gain these HAD benefits:

  • HAD activities are good for our students’ physical health and social-emotional well-being.
  • HAD provides opportunities for students to try new skills, and develop existing ones.
  • HAD provides opportunities to develop social and communication skills.
  • HAD requires thinking and self-management skills too.

Thank you faculty supervisors for your input, and congratulations to all students for the effort you put in to make the day successful. Oh – I suppose some of you might want to know the HAD1 2023/24 house competition results! 

  • 1st place – Mahogany
  • 2nd Place – Narra
  • 3rd Place – Molave
  • 4th Place – Acacia

Congratulations all of you, the ranking is designed to help build motivation and competition, but we really just want you all to learn and have fun regardless of how many points you earned. If you are bothered about it, remember it is still early in the year so you will have the opportunity to change these rankings. Have a wonderful weekend!

Upcoming events of note

  • Sep 19: CIS Annual General Membership Corporation Meeting (corporation members only – refer to the info poster for how to register as a member!)
  • Sept. 23: CIS Touch Rugby Series (PM)
  • Sep 29-30: MUN Locals conference (Manila)
  • Oct 2 – 6: October break (School holiday)
  • Oct 16-2o & 21 Culture week, culminating with International Day on Sat 21st

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

Grade 3 Class

by Ms. Katrina del Mar, Grade 3 Homeroom Teacher

How do we organize ourselves?

The Grade 3 inquirers began exploring our first unit, under the transdisciplinary theme How We Organize Ourselves by using their research skills to gather information about how people’s needs and interests influence communities to form and evolve. As they walked around our learning community, they made careful observations and documented what they saw, thought, and wondered. 

Sketching their initial ideas about what a community is, the class came up with the conclusion that a community is a group of people who work together for a common goal.

Next, we delved into the reasons why our class attends school. They classified their responses into needs or interests.

To deepen our understanding of our learning community’s needs and interests, the Grade 3 researchers conducted interviews with other members of the school. Taking on different roles such as interviewer, timekeeper, note taker, and recorder allowed for a successful group work thereby developing their social skills. The Grade 3 students reflected that organizing themselves made their task easier. Students also felt a responsibility to do their job and paid closer attention to the task at hand. 

An examination of the information they gathered allowed the Grade 3s to analyze how our needs and interests are supported by our learning community. They discovered that the school was formed to support our learning needs and interests. Having also reflected on the responsibility they felt from being assigned a role for their research activity, we carried this concept onto their responsibilities as members of our learning community.

Having realized that they can use their voice to influence our community to grow, the Grade 3 students suggested ideas in response to our need to organize our learning environment, for example, creating classroom jobs and labeling their seats. They also proposed playing a morning game on Days B and Days D to fulfill their interest in playing and having fun.

How about you? What are your needs and interests? What actions can you take to support your community’s needs and interests?

Grade 12: IBDP Visual Arts

by Mr. Jessie Saclo, IBDP Visual Arts Teacher

“The IB Diploma Programme visual arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries” (IBO, 2017).

The IB Diploma Programme Visual Arts course is a rigorous two-year program crafted to nurture students’ creative prowess through the lens of three assessment criteria: the comparative study, the process portfolio, and the exhibition. This intellectually stimulating course is designed to cultivate critical thinking and analytical skills through the process of art creation and critique. As students delve into art from diverse cultural perspectives and contexts, they are exposed to a range of traditional and contemporary techniques, styles, and media.

At the heart of the visual arts core syllabus are three interrelated areas; communicating visual art, visual arts in context, and visual arts methods. These areas are thoughtfully structured to seamlessly intertwine with the assessment criteria, forming the foundation of students’ holistic learning and comprehension. Within the visual arts course, students apply their knowledge and understanding of the relationship between these areas and how they inform, inspire, acquire, and impact their work in visual arts.

The comparative study is an independent exploration that challenges students to critically analyze artworks, objects, and artifacts from different cultural contexts. Students choose, examine, and compare at least three artworks with contrasting contexts by at least two different artists. This investigation features a comparison and analysis of the selected works and evidence of how their own work and practices have been influenced by the art and artists they examined. The completed work will be marked against these criteria:

  • identification and analysis of formal qualities
  • analysis and understanding of function and purpose
  • analysis and evaluation of cultural significance
  • making comparisons and connections
  • presentation and subject-specific language
  • making connections to own art-making practice

Take time to appreciate some excerpts of the comparative study work our grade 12 DP visual arts students produced in their journey through the IB DP visual arts course. 

Student Summer Program Experiences

Bella, Grade 12: Yale Young Global Scholars

Yale Young Global Scholars was an incredible experience that allowed me to not only explore my interests in the humanities but also prepare me for my future as a college student. During the summer, I had the opportunity to meet people from a variety of countries and cultures, allowing me to become more aware of differing perspectives and ideals. As such, I believe that I was able to become a more global citizen while also delving deeper into aspects present in the disciplines of literature, philosophy, and culture.

In my time at Yale, I attended lectures and seminars surrounding topics such as nature, film, language, honesty, and morality. Consequently, I developed several skills in analysis as well as critical thinking. Additionally, my final capstone project focused on the topic of identity in which I was able to reflect on my experience as a biracial person. Overall, I am incredibly thankful for my time at this summer program and am very proud of what I was able to accomplish.

Ara, Grade 12: Columbia University Pre-College Program

During my summer break, I was fortunate enough to experience a college-level class at one of the most prestigious universities in New York City! Columbia University was the perfect place to get a feel of what it would be like to study in the US, particularly NYC. There, I took a human rights and international law course for three weeks. Each class always had something new to offer, and it’s safe to say that I can read and deconstruct college-level papers rather quickly.

Moreover, I chose the commuter option because New York is literally the most walkable city in the world. I thought taking the subway, bus, (and occasionally an Uber) would make my experience more authentic and fun—and it did! I met people from various parts of the world and became good friends with people in my class. With Columbia’s rich and diverse culture, spending my summer there was a fruitful and meaningful experience.

College/Careers Counselor Corner

by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner

Where do our students apply and get admitted? The chart below shows the number of successful university applications by country.  


September 16
Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu
9:00 – 10:30 AM


Ateneo de Manila – College Admissions Talk

September 27
9:00 – 9:40AM
Canteen Annex
Link to sign up

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology – an Info session on the application process, programs and scholarships at HKUST.

September 28
9:00 – 9:40AM
Canteen Annex
Link to sign up

Enderun Colleges – an Info session on the application process, programs and scholarships at Enderun.

September 29
9:00 – 9:45 AM
Canteen Annex
Mini College Fair

Mini College Fair sponsored by ApplyAbroad –  Meet with  university reps from various institutions from Canada and talk to them about the application process, programs and other offerings.

List of institutions:
Canada: Algoma University & MacEwan University
Australia: Edith Cowan University & Torrens University
USA: South New Hampshire University

October 10
9:00 – 9:45 AM
Canteen Annex

Study in Japan visit: Meet admission reps from Japanese universities and learn about their programs, the application process and scholarships offered.

October 12
9:00 – 9:45 AM
Dragon’s Dome

Education USA College Fair – meet with university reps from 24 institutions from the US.  List of universities to follow

October 13
9:00 – 9:45 AM
Canteen Annex

Mini Workshop for Grade 11 students: Writing your College Essay – Students will learn strategies on how to write a college essay.  The resource speaker is an admissions representative from York College Pennsylvania, USA. Seniors who missed this workshop last school year are welcome to attend.

October 13
10:15 – 11:25 AM
Canteen Annex

Workshop on How to prepare your Art PortfolioLearn from a graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design on how to prepare your Art Portfolio for college applications to art universities.

2023–24 School Year Test Dates

Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes and Regular Cancellation
August 26, 2023 August 11, 2023
October 7, 2023 September 22, 2023
December 2, 2023 November 17, 2023
March 9, 2024 To be confirmed
May 4, 2024 To be confirmed
June 1, 2024 To be confirmed

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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