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This week in the classroom - Wonderful School Life

19 March 2018

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Primary News
Last week, students were busy rehearsing for a ThinkSeries Learner Led Conference which took place in the theatre on Friday afternoon. This was an excellent opportunity for students to share their learning in diverse and visual ways. As part of the performance, students used speech, shadow puppets, hand puppets, group crosstalk and fan dances to demonstrate their understanding of key literature, and how they link this to their cultural identity. All staff and students who watched the show remarked on how well the students are developing their communication skills and how adaptable they are when expressing their ideas.

Following on from the students’ performance art, which focused on teamwork and a deep understanding of texts in their mother tongue; the students were then asked to reflect on their performance style and that of other students who they had watched, developing their understanding of self-evaluation and how this can support developing their future performances.

We aim to regularly facilitate sharing sessions throughout Semester Two, not only do they enable the students to think more about the process of their learning and collaborate as a team, but also to develop self-confidence. The sessions support the students to share their ideas in a professional and diverse way. Following on from this, the students will also look at some of the same texts in English and look at the ways that language can change the feeling of texts. By using translated texts, it also ensures that the students have a good understanding of what they have read so that they can develop a deeper understanding and appreciation.

Secondary News
Grade 7 students have been learning about real numbers, finding the square and cubic roots of numbers as well as significant figures. Students have broadened their understanding of numbers and noticed that real numbers are just around us, i.e. π. Many historical stories regarding the development of real numbers have been shared to foster students’ continued learning interest in math. For extended math, students have learned terms regarding real numbers and understood relationship among rational and irrational numbers as well as rules of using significant figures. By doing various activities, the students now have a better command of both solving problems and discussing in math language.

This week, in Grade 7 science class, students focused on the topic of "an asteroid is about to hit the earth, you choose to fly to space or to stay", and launched their own project learning. Under the guidance of teachers' worksheet, students began to learn knowledge about rocket launch, space life and the earth environment in the form of group cooperation, and used information technology resources to search for data to support their own views. Finally, each "stay" and "leave" group launched a heated debate. After a common vote between teachers and students, the "leave" group won the final victory. This victory will decide the second part of our next week's project learning. We will continue to further study the knowledge of rocket launching and carry out the experiment of launching the water rocket.



Grade 11 IB Language and Literature
Recently, Grade 11 students in Group 1 Chinese A Language and Literature class are learning the text types and communication methods for the ‘Language and Mass Communication’ part of the course. Through the analysis of a large number of text types, including speeches, news articles, advertisements, blogs, and parody, students have mastered the differences between different texts with regard to purpose, theme, structure, mode, impact and audience imperatives. At the same time, the students have been guided and inspired to conduct in-depth research and discussion about text diversity from the perspective of intertextuality. In the next two weeks, students will select one text type and draw on their knowledge, skills and creativity to prepare for their second Further Oral Activity (FOA) assessment.
Grade 10 Pre-IB Literature
As one of the important internal exams in the IBDP Chinese Literature course, the Individual Oral Presentation (IOP) has been consistently taught and practiced throughout the course of study. In Semester One, students began to learn how to use interesting forms to compare literary works with films. At the beginning of the new semester, students are now mastering more professional literary terms in order to enhance the quality of their analysis and commentary. Their upcoming IOP focusing on a comparative study of the novel and film Thunderstorm, will allow students to demonstrate their increasing knowledge and skills, and an elevated level of professional analysis.
Grade 10 Pre-IB Language and Literature
In Group1 Chinese A Language and Literature class, Grade 10 students are currently studying public signs and pictures in order to develop their textual analysis skills. Textual analysis is a significant part of the course, and through guidance and practice, students come to show an understanding of the text, its type, audience and purpose, the use of linguistic and literary devices, as well as its possible contexts. Discussion and analysis of texts, including visual texts, allows students to apply their creative and critical thinking skills, and develop their power of expression. 


First student-led CAS club at NACIS - Martin Wu, Grade 10
‘Start your own club!’ That’s what came to my mind the first time I heard from my teachers about CAS, an important part of IB programme that directly relates to your interests and applying to a good university. After learning about CAS I decided to start a club that rocks the whole school.

The club I have started is called Warhammer, and it is based on a board game from Britain first developed in the 1980s and which remains popular now. I once joined a club in middle school and at that time teachers ran the clubs, but this time students will lead the charge. I told the teachers about my plan and they showed that they are willing to help. NACIS has provided me with guidance and resources in order to help me start the club.

The most challenging part has been the promotion and advertising of the club. Making students love something new suddenly seemed to be impossible! Therefore, I used my communication and technology skills to create a presentation for each Form, and in the meantime wrote a formal letter to parents to inform them of the club. My strategy so far has achieved great success, and lots of students signed up for the club.

Though it’s really hard to start a club, the teachers who have supported me have actually made this easier than it should be. The joy I experienced after finally developing something for the school has made the hard work and planning worth it.

Higher Education

NACIS Visual Arts Stars Shine
On 13 January, the Higher Education office hosted University of the Arts London (UAL). UAL is the world’s sixth best university for Art and Design in the QS World University Rankings 2018. They offer an extensive range of courses in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts and their graduates go on to work in and shape creative industries worldwide. At NACIS, we highly value originality and creativeness and our Grade 10 students had their first opportunity to market their art portfolios to the very friendly and fashionable representative.

Our promising artists, Renatus Zhu and Candy Cai in Grade 10 had this to say about the encounter:
“The UAL visit was very helpful. I learnt that the university application is based on our art portfolio; the ones who do not have the art experience will not be able to apply. We also need to choose the specific subjects that we really good at. I have more confidence than usual after talking with the representative. She said I have the ability to draw and to think.” 

“I got more detailed and useful information about UAL as a result of the visit, such as the details about each of the six UAL colleges. I 'm quite excited that they gave me some valuable suggestions for my personal art work as well as my school projects. I'm really grateful and it's my pleasure to have my work approved by the UAL representative. After this visit, I will continue working on my projects and try to experiment with different varieties of materials in my art work. I am looking forward to be a  member of UAL in the future!” 

This goes to the heart of what we do at NACIS – personalized learning – helping our students to identify the talents within them so that they can become fulfilled individuals by following their passions.

The UAL representative on her way out said that as long as our students keep developing their art portfolios and following their creativity wherever it takes them, they will have a great chance at entering UAL in two years’ time. As always, HE and the art department are here to support their journey every step of the way.

Juilliard Performing Arts Collaboration
Wednesday saw the NACIS Performing Arts Department welcoming another Juilliard artist to the school. Andrea Fisher – a flutist and entrepreneur ­- came by to meet staff and students, run workshops and also perform!

After introducing Grades 1 and 2 to the flute, Andrea gave a performance to Grade 6 and 7 with our very own Ms Shin. After performing a flute duet (with Ms Sarah Zhou on piano), Ms Fisher performed two solo pieces. However, these were solo pieces with a difference! 14 students were selected from the audience randomly, and were introduced to sfCapture – a free iPad/iPhone APP that uses the device as an instrument.

Students recorded small parts of Ms Fisher’s performance, before playing back the sound and moving the iPad around to create interesting changes to the sound. The recordings sped up, slowed down and changed pitch. As Ms Fisher played her ‘solo’ pieces, she was accompanied by the sound of herself. This performance was completed experimental – students didn’t have any opportunity to practice with Ms Fisher! Luckily, this risk-taking paid off! Students not only got to perform with a Juilliard musician, but gained essential experience that can help them during IBDP study in years to come.

After these performances, Ms Fisher also found time to speak with Grade 9, 10 and 11 about her entrepreneurial business and how she balances life as a musician. Pioneering fashionable flute bags on her website - https://www.fluterscooter.com/ - Ms Fisher has taken a small idea and built into an established business with customers worldwide! This provided students with an excellent opportunity to see how experiences in creative subject areas can be just as valuable in business, as more traditional areas. Additionally, she ran a flute masterclass with our aspiring musicians.

As always, we appreciate the support received from Juilliard, and wish Ms Fisher all the very best! We look forward to welcoming other outstanding Juilliard artists in the future.

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