Hello, everyone. I would like to share with you some news from our school over these last few weeks：
1. Our Students Won the First Prize in ‘Better Tree Cup’ Competition
Last Sunday, ‘Better Tree Cup’, the 15th Shanghai Future Engineer Competition, was held in Minhang District. Our G6 students Peiting Du, T.C. Yu and Peter Jia worked as a team and participated in the competition. With excellent performance and exquisite design, they won the first prize and gained the prestigious honor to our school. It’s the largest competition which attracted more than 60 schools to participate in. There were also many competitors from other regions, provinces, cities and even Taiwan Province and their works covered all fields of engineering innovation. We are very proud of the achievement of our players and we hope they make persistent efforts and enter into the national finals successfully.
2. A Different Way of Encouragement
On the last day of the National Holiday, I, as well as all other secondary teachers, received an email from Ms. Vikki, hoping that teachers could congratulate William Cai from G8 Oak if they met him. The boy, who went to Kuala Lumpur to take part in the 2018 ASIAN Youth Championship GAA competition with his teammates during the National Holiday, achieved a great result. He has been playing this game for many years and has gained a lot of experience. He shared this unforgettable competition with his form teacher, which was no wonder an encouraging experience.
In the following days, William received many teachers' congratulations. I also went to his classroom to congratulate him. I really appreciate this student's willingness to share his experience with his teachers and for them informing all secondary teachers of this news so that we can extend our congratulations to the boy.
Last Friday, Frank from G12 received an offer from Newcastle University in the UK. His IB teacher also shared this good news via email and hoped that we could meet this student to congratulate him. During the two years of study in IB, our teachers witnessed his growth and felt very proud of his progress. This way enables teachers to express encouragement and appreciation in our daily life, which is quite different from what most Chinese schools do. Apart from showing teachers’ sincere wishes, it helps to set good examples for other students to learn from for the future.
3. The Use of Classroom Environments
Usually in China, a classroom is a place for students to gather and attend classes. In our school, the classroom is also a subject classroom. When the class begins, students need to walk to the corresponding subject classroom according to the timetable, where the subject teacher is waiting for them.
At the beginning of this semester, our form teachers decorated the classroom to welcome our students back. Last week I noticed the changes in the layout of the classrooms. Some subject teachers put excellent student works on the board at the back of the classroom. Others put the key points of their subjects, such as mathematical formulas, on the windows, thus making all classrooms beautiful and distinctive. Our teachers have created a good learning environment for students. When students get into a classroom like this, they are immersed in their learning.
4. Extended Math Project
Recently, Ms. Scarlett gladly shared with me a Grade 9 extended math project as she saw students showing great interests in this learning method and their amazing creativities in their final projects.
In this project, students worked in a group of two. The project, designed for students to use their knowledge of ratios, proportions, similar triangles, and measurement that they have been learning in math class for the past two months, along with their knowledge from physics class to find the height of a tall building in real life. (E.g. their apartment building, the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Shanghai Center, etc.) At the end of the project, students had to write a lab report, which includes abstract, hypothesis, procedure, data analysis and conclusion. They also had to show their result in a presentation in front of the class. The skills of writing an official lab report and doing a presentation are essential and critical in any of the high school and university abroad. Through this project, we enjoy seeing our students building these skills.
Some groups filmed their procedures and made it into a video to explain how they measured their building. Another group used computer applications to model their building to give us a more direct understanding of their experiment. Here, I would love to share our students’ final projects with you as well.
5. The Observation of A Drama Class:
At the start of this year, Grades 6, 7, 8 and 9 began to study an exciting new subject at NACIS - Drama. This class is widely offered at schools around the world. It is the study of theatre, and also how drama connects to music and dance. The course was designed by NACIS in collaboration with Juilliard music school. It aims to strengthen our students’ creativity, confidence and English language skills. Mr. Richard has commented on the fantastic attitude and the enthusiasm of our students. He was impressed by the physical acting skills of all grades!
On Oct 11, together with a guest from Juilliard Music School, I observed a Grade 7 drama class. This lesson was an extension of their previous week’s lesson. Inspired by “Pss Pss”, a piece of theatrical clown work, the teacher asked the students to isolate each movement from a scene. This technique is called, ‘One thing at a time’. By doing so, it allows comedy to naturally arrive in a performance. Mr. Jack was also involved in this lesson. He introduced some percussion instruments and asked students to add sound effect to their performance. In a lesson like this, students can directly and physically understand how music, dance and drama are integrated. At the reflection section of the lesson, students mentioned how sound effects brought extra comedy to their performance and helped their performance be more creative.
As the year progresses, we look forward to sharing more work from the Drama/Integrated Arts classroom with you.