After a long and busy term we are nearing the Christmas holidays. Before celebrating this occasion where our pupils spend time with family at home in Asia or back to nations and family further away I would like to re-cap a few of the highlights of the last few weeks.
The pupils have finished their first round of assessments and gained valuable feedback from their class teachers. From my discussions with pupils and teachers it is clear how much progress the majority of our pupils are beginning to make. Most are now fully aware of mark schemes, exam structure and other key skills needed to progress. In particular what most found valuable was the process of revision. Organising oneself and using effective techniques are vital in order to do well in the IGCSE exams.
The pupils have been busy continuing the work on their skills, service and physical recreation. Where possible I have tried to see some of them in action & it was pleasure to drop into those helping run the French CCA with Mrs Malcom. A class full of excited primary pupils is never easy but Neha, Louise, Cherry, Katrina and Rianne certainly helped the pupils have fun and learn some French along the way. In addition to this I have also popped into and sampled some delights from the cooking CCA. This club has had a number of our Year 10 students join during the course of the year and it will be interesting to see them demonstrate their cooking skills on our adventurous journey in March.
In guidance lessons we have once again focused on the award in these last two weeks. Two weeks ago Mr Crozier led a session on map skills. This had a particular focus with grid references and being aware of where important facilities are located on maps. Once again this will help our students when leading their Adventurous Journey groups in March. This week we had another session recording the progress that the pupils have been making in the 3 areas and we will book another session in January to record any hours that the pupils complete over the holidays.
Once again may I remind you of the payment details for the Adventurous Journey. Many thanks for those that have paid their 2nd instalment of 1000RMB and to give advance warning the final payment of 1000RMB is due at the start of February.
The school and the pupils have been building their festive spirit over the last week. This has provided a number of house events that the pupils took part in. Last week each house got to decorate the Christmas trees in block C whilst today the boys and girls in the year group took part in a House penalty shoot-out competition. Martin Marchant and Thomas Wallace impressed for the winners with their efforts. As we near the final day we also have our Year 10 Secret Santa to look forward to. All the pupils have been very generous and impressed me with their eagerness to buy their pairings gifts. It will allow us to end the last day with a small celebration, a Christmas quiz and all to receive a gift. However it must be noted that in their excitement the pupils didn’t really grasp the notion of the secret draw!
The end of a term and calendar year is also the end of an era for some of our cohort. Unfortunately we say goodbye to 3 of our pupils. Julia Iwinska has rejoined our sister school in Warsaw after joining here in August. A talented musician Julia quickly made friends here and her confident manner will be missed. Laurenz Wiener is leaving us after 4 years at NAIS. A huge personality in the year group and a very talented multiple sportsman he will leave a large gap in and out of the classroom. We wish him well in his new school in Kuala Lumpur. Finally Ayaan Saiyad is also departing after 4 years. A hard working, well-mannered pupil Ayaan will no doubt succeed in his new school in Auckland, New Zealand. However the nature of International Schools normally brings change and we will be welcoming two new arrivals in January who I will introduce in my next newsletter.
I will end the newsletter with some parting words from Julia, Laurenz and Ayaan of their time here at NAIS.
I have been in this school for 4 years now and have enjoyed every day of it. It’s impossible for me to pick one great moment to share as there are so many. This school has changed me and helped me achieve academic success and made me a good person as a whole. I have now grown to care about matters that concern our society and the importance of giving back to society. I will miss all my friends and friendly teachers who worked so hard to make all their lessons effective for learning and fun. After being in 9 different schools in my life so far it is this one for me which is the best! Unfortunately, my time here is coming to an end as I will be leaving to Auckland, New Zealand next week. I don’t know if my new school will be better than this one but I can say without a doubt that regardless of which school I prefer my time here at NAIS will never be forgotten.
My name is Laurenz Wiener and I have been at NAIS for 4 years and I have enjoyed my time here very much. I especially enjoyed my first project week in year 6 because that is when I started to make lots of friends in the Year group. I have lived in Shanghai but now I am moving to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and I look forward to the warm weather and meeting new people. The thing I am going to miss the most about NAIS is the people and the teachers.
I came to Shanghai only for one term which is shorter than most people here. What I liked most at NAIS was the Project Week experience. The amazing food and the freezing cold weather reminded me of Poland. Painting 12 classes and then cleaning everything up and scratching the paint off the floors was the hard part of it. Despite that I think project week was very eye opening and taught me to appreciate what I have. I met a lot of new people in this school and made new friends. I am going to miss them but I am also looking forward to going back to Warsaw.
I also include some views from pupils of what their holiday experience will be like. As a truly International School it is always interesting to hear the different experiences our pupils have during festival and holidays. I would like to wish all of you a fantastic holiday with family and friends and look forward to seeing you in the new year.
Student Christmas Experiences
As an Indian, I think I celebrate Christmas quite differently. Most people might go to church on the 25th of December but I celebrate it differently due to the difference in religion. Normally, every year during Christmas, my family and I would start our Christmas by decorating the Christmas tree during the beginning of December. However, since my sister is currently not here, we decided to do the decorations much later. In addition, I’m looking forward to the family dinner that we are going to have on Christmas Eve as it has been a long time since my whole family was together. Typically, we would go out for Chinese food however we might eat in some other cuisine like Thai for a change. Overall, this Christmas is going to be quite new and unique in which I hope that I will have the most fun in.
This Christmas I’m looking forward to celebrating with friends and family at my house in Shanghai. This year my family and I are having lots of family friends around for lunch, while last year it was just my family and I. During Christmas, my house is full of Christmas decorations because my family loves Christmas. On Christmas Day there is always enough food for an army and many presents and surprises for everyone during the day. Because I’m Australian I’m not used to having a cold Christmas because it’s currently summer in Australia. Typical Christmas days in Australia involve lots of barbecues, beaches, swimming and lots of friends coming over to help you eat all the kangaroo steaks you’ve cooked on your barbecue, so cold Christmases with hot chocolate and holiday jumpers is not a thing in Australia.
I will be celebrating Christmas in Shanghai this year with my family and friends and I’m really looking forward it. Christmas will be celebrated different this year than other years as I would normally do it with my whole family in Holland at my grandma’s house. However, we won’t be there this year. In the Netherlands there is a different tradition to do with Christmas and we will get our present earlier and with another idea behind it, this is because we have a different tradition. We have something called 'Sinterklaas' a man coming to Holland almost like Santa Claus. The tradition is that he comes from Spain with the boat to Holland, 3 weekends before the 5th of December as this is said to be his birthday where he treats children with presents. Every night after children can place their shoe in front of the fireplace before they go to bed. All singing songs and hoping that the helpers of 'Sinterklaas' will hear them and give them a small treat. On the 5th the whole family will be together singing and waiting for the helpers of 'Sinterklaas' and himself to bring them presents. When the children get older a new tradition is created still having the old one, although something else is added. Like Secret Santa names are picked out of a hat and presents need to be made using anything to do with art and to create a present for this person. Inside the present is the real present. The outside can be based on hobbies like sport of music.
Every year I'm very excited for Christmas even if it's only the start of December. The days before Christmas Eve my family and I are very busy with baking, cooking, decorating and buying and wrapping presents.
The first part of Christmas day is quite normal, but when it comes towards the afternoon it becomes very special. First we go to the church, where it is always very crowded that day because my whole town is there to see the nativity play. When we arrive back home, as by magic the Christmas presents lie under the Christmas tree. We then have the main focus of the day which is all the food we prepared. That is really enjoyable because we are having very delicious food, beginning from some salad and bread to the warm main dish, which varies every year, to an amazing dessert. After eating as much as we can, finally the best part of the day comes. We are getting our presents!