CALENDAR
  • Events Calendar

    May  2016
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    • Apr
      14

      Principal’s Message Vol.64 – Apr 2016

      Dear Island Christian Academy,
      Dia dhaoibh, Hi, Goededag, Hej, Bok!

      Welcome back as we begin the last term of this school year! An extra special welcome to those who are new to our school community.

      We trust that you had a good break from routine over the Easter holiday – a holiday to remind us of the most momentous event in world history.
      Immediately prior to the holiday, we again celebrated the diversity of our family through our “Taste of Culture”. Especial thanks to parents, who provided such a feast of dishes representing so many regions of our world, and who showed such creativity in costuming the children.

      Almost immediately upon our return, we held our sports day – another joyful event involving all the children and a substantial number of parents.

      This term we welcome Sheri (Mrs Witthoft), who is taking over from mum-to-be Yvette (Mrs Lau) in year 4. Our recruitment of class teachers for the next school year is complete; we look forward to welcoming for 2016-2017 the following: Eleanor—experienced in the British curriculum, Peter—Geography/History specialist with an international teaching background, Dave— a Maths/Science specialist with international and Christian school experience, Jennifer—international and Christian school experience. We are very much blessed to have been able to appoint such experienced international teachers. Current teachers who are at the end of their contracts and are not returning will notify their students in the next few weeks. We will give further information in the next newsletter.

      We look forward to all that this final term of learning will bring,

      Debbie Middleton
      Principal

      Mar
      22

      Principal’s Message Vol.63 – Mar 2016

      Dear IslandCA Community,

      Hallo, Nihao, Anyeong, Konichiwa, Namaste, Shalom, Chiao,

      I have enjoyed getting into more classes recently and looking for learning. In particular, I have noted the variety of classroom practices that take place to help motivate and increase student learning and link to our school’s shared vision for how we want our students to develop.
      Co-operative and communicative learners (the personal goals of cooperation and communication) are part of that shared vision, therefore our teachers implement a variety of pair, group and whole class practices that help students learn to communicate and cooperate well.

      The students I observed yesterday were very clear as to which personal goals they would need to help them learn well. In a Year 2 science lesson on ‘Day and Night’, students said they would need to use the personal goals of: cooperation, communication, resilience, enquiry and international mindedness. They were working in small groups with students taking turns to hold a torch (representing the sun) and shining it on to a rotating child with a map wrapped around them (representing the earth)! They were able to show when it was night and day (including sunrise, noon and sunset) in Hong Kong, as well as make comparisons with what it would be like in their
      home country.

      There are many classroom practices that help develop the shared vision we have for our students. At the leadership level, we research best classroom practices and collaborate with teachers to select particular ones that fit with the types of students we are helping to develop. We then look to see that those practices take place in each classroom. Christian education writers that I know of all agree that ‘the collaborative classroom’ is essentially a way of teaching Christianly. One Bible passage that points to this is in 1 Corinthians 12 where it describes Christians as all being members of one body. As with physical bodies—all the parts of the body are important, and with cooperative groups all members of the group are important. Any collaborative classroom practice that also
      develops other goals in our shared vision as in the ‘Day and Night’ example above are highly encouraged.

      Looking at the calendar, we have Easter approaching, and before that Taste of Culture Day. If I do not see you before then have a blessed Easter.

      Debbie Middleton, Principal

      Feb
      26

      Principal’s Message Vol.62 – Feb 2016

      Dear Island CA Community,

      Kia Ora, Hola, Zdrastvooytye, Savadee, Xinchao, Hej, Jambo 您好!
      Much has happened at school since our last newsletter: the: Chinese New Year Junior and Senior concerts, Touch Rugby competition, IPC Entry point and Learning field trips, such as trips to the Maritime Museum (‘The Time Tunnel’ unit) and the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark Visitor Centre (‘Active Planet’— Volcanoes & Earthquakes unit), Exit Points such as ‘Bright Sparks’ (Electricity unit), Mid Year Progress Reports and Student-Led Conferences. Thank you so much to all of you who came and supported our students—your children—in their learning.

      Thank you to those parents who have given back to your child’s teacher a copy of your record taking/notes sheet (including ‘What your child has learned’ and ‘What can you do to support your child’s learning’); this is good evidence for the school to show how engaged parents are in helping support their child’s learning. If you have not returned it, we would much appreciate your doing so in the next week.

      The Mid Year Progress Reports and Student-Led Conferences all contribute to the feedback loop — feeding forwards to Next Steps and improvements in learning. The different types of mid-year progress assessments are appropriate to the different types of learning:
      Knowledge: Knowledge is often assessed by means of quizzes, written tests, and class observations. This is because the aim is to find out how much students actually know about the subject’s concepts.
      Knowledge assessments are made during, and at the end of a subject or unit.
      Skills: Skills are usually assessed using rubrics. The IPC Assessment for Learning (AfL) Programme has rubrics for both teachers and students. The child friendly versions of the teacher rubrics help students self-assess and peer assess. Rubrics are used for assessing skills because skills are about being able to do something actively. Skills can be observed and assessed throughout the unit and throughout the year.
      The Assessment for Learning programme also has learning activities and advice to help each student learn the various skills. If you and your child(ren) follow the specific advice / activities shared in the report (under next steps and comments) and in conferences, these can help your child(ren) move from one stage to the next (i.e. from ‘beginning’ to ‘developing’, from ‘developing’ to ‘mastering’, and ‘consolidating mastering’).
      Understanding: Understanding is normally assessed by observations throughout the unit. The progress and end-of-year reports include written comments about your child’s understanding in the different units.

      May God richly bless you and school staff as we all work together to help children learn!
      Debbie Middleton, Principal

    • Apr
      14

      Principal’s Message Vol.64 – Apr 2016

      Dear Island Christian Academy,
      Dia dhaoibh, Hi, Goededag, Hej, Bok!

      Welcome back as we begin the last term of this school year! An extra special welcome to those who are new to our school community.

      We trust that you had a good break from routine over the Easter holiday – a holiday to remind us of the most momentous event in world history.
      Immediately prior to the holiday, we again celebrated the diversity of our family through our “Taste of Culture”. Especial thanks to parents, who provided such a feast of dishes representing so many regions of our world, and who showed such creativity in costuming the children.

      Almost immediately upon our return, we held our sports day – another joyful event involving all the children and a substantial number of parents.

      This term we welcome Sheri (Mrs Witthoft), who is taking over from mum-to-be Yvette (Mrs Lau) in year 4. Our recruitment of class teachers for the next school year is complete; we look forward to welcoming for 2016-2017 the following: Eleanor—experienced in the British curriculum, Peter—Geography/History specialist with an international teaching background, Dave— a Maths/Science specialist with international and Christian school experience, Jennifer—international and Christian school experience. We are very much blessed to have been able to appoint such experienced international teachers. Current teachers who are at the end of their contracts and are not returning will notify their students in the next few weeks. We will give further information in the next newsletter.

      We look forward to all that this final term of learning will bring,

      Debbie Middleton
      Principal

      Mar
      22

      Principal’s Message Vol.63 – Mar 2016

      Dear IslandCA Community,

      Hallo, Nihao, Anyeong, Konichiwa, Namaste, Shalom, Chiao,

      I have enjoyed getting into more classes recently and looking for learning. In particular, I have noted the variety of classroom practices that take place to help motivate and increase student learning and link to our school’s shared vision for how we want our students to develop.
      Co-operative and communicative learners (the personal goals of cooperation and communication) are part of that shared vision, therefore our teachers implement a variety of pair, group and whole class practices that help students learn to communicate and cooperate well.

      The students I observed yesterday were very clear as to which personal goals they would need to help them learn well. In a Year 2 science lesson on ‘Day and Night’, students said they would need to use the personal goals of: cooperation, communication, resilience, enquiry and international mindedness. They were working in small groups with students taking turns to hold a torch (representing the sun) and shining it on to a rotating child with a map wrapped around them (representing the earth)! They were able to show when it was night and day (including sunrise, noon and sunset) in Hong Kong, as well as make comparisons with what it would be like in their
      home country.

      There are many classroom practices that help develop the shared vision we have for our students. At the leadership level, we research best classroom practices and collaborate with teachers to select particular ones that fit with the types of students we are helping to develop. We then look to see that those practices take place in each classroom. Christian education writers that I know of all agree that ‘the collaborative classroom’ is essentially a way of teaching Christianly. One Bible passage that points to this is in 1 Corinthians 12 where it describes Christians as all being members of one body. As with physical bodies—all the parts of the body are important, and with cooperative groups all members of the group are important. Any collaborative classroom practice that also
      develops other goals in our shared vision as in the ‘Day and Night’ example above are highly encouraged.

      Looking at the calendar, we have Easter approaching, and before that Taste of Culture Day. If I do not see you before then have a blessed Easter.

      Debbie Middleton, Principal

      Feb
      26

      Principal’s Message Vol.62 – Feb 2016

      Dear Island CA Community,

      Kia Ora, Hola, Zdrastvooytye, Savadee, Xinchao, Hej, Jambo 您好!
      Much has happened at school since our last newsletter: the: Chinese New Year Junior and Senior concerts, Touch Rugby competition, IPC Entry point and Learning field trips, such as trips to the Maritime Museum (‘The Time Tunnel’ unit) and the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark Visitor Centre (‘Active Planet’— Volcanoes & Earthquakes unit), Exit Points such as ‘Bright Sparks’ (Electricity unit), Mid Year Progress Reports and Student-Led Conferences. Thank you so much to all of you who came and supported our students—your children—in their learning.

      Thank you to those parents who have given back to your child’s teacher a copy of your record taking/notes sheet (including ‘What your child has learned’ and ‘What can you do to support your child’s learning’); this is good evidence for the school to show how engaged parents are in helping support their child’s learning. If you have not returned it, we would much appreciate your doing so in the next week.

      The Mid Year Progress Reports and Student-Led Conferences all contribute to the feedback loop — feeding forwards to Next Steps and improvements in learning. The different types of mid-year progress assessments are appropriate to the different types of learning:
      Knowledge: Knowledge is often assessed by means of quizzes, written tests, and class observations. This is because the aim is to find out how much students actually know about the subject’s concepts.
      Knowledge assessments are made during, and at the end of a subject or unit.
      Skills: Skills are usually assessed using rubrics. The IPC Assessment for Learning (AfL) Programme has rubrics for both teachers and students. The child friendly versions of the teacher rubrics help students self-assess and peer assess. Rubrics are used for assessing skills because skills are about being able to do something actively. Skills can be observed and assessed throughout the unit and throughout the year.
      The Assessment for Learning programme also has learning activities and advice to help each student learn the various skills. If you and your child(ren) follow the specific advice / activities shared in the report (under next steps and comments) and in conferences, these can help your child(ren) move from one stage to the next (i.e. from ‘beginning’ to ‘developing’, from ‘developing’ to ‘mastering’, and ‘consolidating mastering’).
      Understanding: Understanding is normally assessed by observations throughout the unit. The progress and end-of-year reports include written comments about your child’s understanding in the different units.

      May God richly bless you and school staff as we all work together to help children learn!
      Debbie Middleton, Principal