Issue 34 - 22nd May 2020
The Power of the Community
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Again, another busy week within the British Primary Section, and it has been a pleasure to get into some of the classrooms and see first hand the innovative practice which is permeating throughout the school.
The last few weeks, members of the Senior Management Team have been engaging as students, to experience what a typical day within the British Primary Section is like for our children. This has been an excellent experience, and integral to continual improvement. During these periods, we have engaged and worked with children throughout the school, and experienced life in the playground (as a student), as well as transitioning from classroom lessons to specialist classes. This has been a positive experience, and also supports future planning, further ensuring that everything we do, is in the best interest of the children via research, not simply by opinion.
Our drive on integrating technology into the classroom is continuing to flourish. Year groups have continued to look at exciting opportunities to drive literacy whilst driving ICT skills. This has been showcased via desktop publishing, animation and collaborative software to support children's literacy. Integrating technology meaningfully into all areas will have a beneficial impact on student achievement as they mature throughout the section and move into secondary education.
On Thursday, I met with both the PTA and our Parent Teacher Council. Both have been a tremendous support for our section this year. The PTA have raised significant funds, and discussion around how this could be best utilised to support our children was had. More information regarding this will be in subsequent newsletters. My monthly meeting with the PTC further outlined the vision of the section moving forward, success must be planned!
Finally, I would like to thank all who attended this mornings information seminar outlining the British Primary Sections Relationship and Sex Education. As you are aware, we want to support our community of families in ensuring that children are prepared as they grow into adulthood, many thanks to Jeni Wong for the great effort in ensuring that this program is well resourced and age appropriate.
Please click the above button for the changes of this year's academic calendar.
Please click the above button for the changes of next academic calendar.
Parent Eco Committee
The Bears - by Mr Luke Chaeter
It is with great pleasure that I introduce our new logo. The rationale behind the Formosa Bear is that we wanted to bring a unified approach to Taipei European School when competing at many local and international sporting and music events, across all sections. This logo will be displayed on representative kits in the future, and I would like to take this opportunity in thanking all stakeholders who were involved in the development of this.
很高興為大家介紹我們的吉祥物- Formosan Black Bear。我們以台灣黑熊為發想,設計了一個LOGO，這個標誌將會應用在所有國內或國際音樂或體育賽事及活動上，未來的校隊訂製服也會放上此標誌。藉此，再一次感謝所有參與討論及設計的相關人員。
'Formosan Black Bears are endemic to Taiwan. Recently, they were voted the most representative wildlife of Taiwan in a half-year-long countrywide voting campaign.'
Phonics Stepping Stones to Building Reading Skills - by Mr Michael Norris
Our Read Write Inc. phonics programme has gotten off to a great start this year in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. During this time, children have been on a carefully structured programme as part of their journey in becoming more accurate and fluent readers with enhanced comprehension. Part of this fun and interactive phonics programme involves a supportive assessment process which takes place every 6 to 8 weeks. This past week and over the next few weeks, we will be carrying out our end-of-year phonics assessments so that children are appropriately grouped, ready for their 2020/21 academic year phonics journey. As a result of these assessments, teachers are able to fine-tune the next stepping stones children need to take. This may mean that some phonics groupings are rearranged in order to address the individual phonics needs of children. We look forward to building on the phonics success of Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children as they grow towards becoming competent readers.
Integrating Technology in Early Years - by Mr John Preston
It is crucial when integrating technology to consider the developmental level of the children and their learning. In Early Years we learn through play, we develop language, and new experiences through play so when we talk about integrating technology in the early years we need to consider that it’s not about doing technology, it’s about finding and using essential tools that support teaching and learning in an Early Years Foundation Stage Setting.
In the Early Years curriculum there are 7 areas of learning, split into two main areas, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development (Prime Areas), Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, and Expressive Arts and Design (Specific Areas).
Integrating technology purposefully in Reception means that we have to ensure the technology is supporting the learning in these areas and that the technology does not become the learning itself.
Earlier in the year, Reception buddied up with year 6 and they helped us to learn to scan QR codes. While doing this the children also learned to develop good relationships with children, negotiate and solve problems, turn-taking, being aware of other people and their feelings.
Now they are confident doing this, we can use QR codes and a site called SafeYouTube which converts the URL into an independent video free of advertising and other links. Teachers now can have interactive wall displays or learning stations where children can watch a video, experiment, sing a song, and then complete a follow-up activity to do when they have finished. We also use Google and Siri for the children to use technology for specific information: “What do I want to know?” activities develop questioning skills and provide answers that support and extend children’s individual interests.
Recently we have been using remote-controlled cars in the classroom. This has been very popular with the children and has promoted interesting vocabulary and language. It has also helped then to develop their social relations to share, take turns and listen to each other's ideas.
Remember, it’s not only about using technology, it’s about finding and using essential tools that support teaching and learning.
Year 1 Purple Mash - by Mrs Kay Chaeter
In Year One we have been using Purple mash to integrate information technology into all of our learning. Purple mash is a secure Internet based learning platform which enables the whole school to use technology in a purposeful way to create, design and explore. It helps to provide creative opportunities for learning. An example of how we have been using this in Year One would be through our Integrated curriculum, our theme this term is plants and we have used a digital animation program to draw and create animations of plant growth from seed to flower, including a little rain and sunshine. In literacy we have used presentation programs to create story telling problems and solutions, and we have made posters about what makes us feel safe as part of our PSHE. Using Purple mash has really given the students additional skills and they are always very keen to login.
6.1 Going Green (Local and Global) - by Mr Thomas Myerscough
In Year 6, class 6.1 have been completing a problem-based learning task which links their mathematics with their integrated curriculum. They have been focusing on both local and global case studies to predict and promote real-life changes that will help support our world. The class were presented with a series of questions e.g.
- · How can we make improvements to the TES to ensure it has a lower impact on the environment?
- · What changes does Taiwan need to make to increase their use of renewable energy over the next two decades?
- · How has COVID-19 impacted the world’s air pollution and what are your predictions for when life returns to normal?
As a class, we created a rubric which listed the appropriate skills each group would need to engage in. Group leaders were elected and made responsible for ensuring that everyone had a task that matched their skill set. Presentations were made back to the class with their findings, sharing relevant data in the form of pie charts/line graphs and making future predictions for what would occur.
Fitness First with 5.1 - by Mr Greig Richardson
This week we had Coach Steven from Dynasty Gym leading class 5.1 in an exciting martial arts based fitness session! The activities focused on developing core strength, coordination, balance and aerobic fitness! As well as the physical health benefits, research shows that martial arts based exercise increases children’s confidence and self-esteem. Moreover, the nature and ethos of martial arts requires discipline and focus and as such helps children build on their listening skills and ability to follow instructions.
The students of 5.1 had a great time trying out the new class, and TES are looking at introducing this new fitness activity to all students next academic year.
Please look out for further information on memberships and classes available at Dynasty Gym.
STEAM & Coding Creators Competition Season 1 - by Mr Dipak Mondal
SAM Labs is an education technology solution that combines Bluetooth-enabled blocks, a free app called SAM Space to teach computational thinking skills. These blocks can be used to create just about anything, simply by making connections or using drag-and-drop coding in the applications.
COVID-19 is an unprecedented pandemic that has changed the entire landscape of teaching and learning for students worldwide. Students have had to resort to online learning tools, check-ins with teachers and the support of parents to complete school work.
During this time of distance learning, SAM Labs have launched the STEAM & Coding Creators Competition Season 1. The theme of this season’s tournament is “Show how you can pass the time using SAM Labs during COVID-19.”
Year 6 children have been learning about this amazing STEAM tool during their Computing lesson and had a chance to apply real-world skills of STEAM. Three students from Year 6 registered for the 2-weeks long competition under the mentorship of Mr. Mondal. Using the Design Thinking Process, the team have defined the problem people are facing during COVID-19 crisis, ideated a solution that could help people keep safe during COVID-19, created a prototype of their solution model using SAM Labs kit along with Makers resources and submitted the final outcome to the SAM Labs competition judges.
So, what all the buzz is about? What did they design and create to compete against over 300 teams worldwide? Check out the video and presentation links below to find out.
Tribe Council News - by Mr Corne Coetzee
It has been another amazing year leading the Tribe Council. The start of the year marked the reintroduction of the Tribe Council. It was wonderful working side by side with Mr. Chaeter, who had excellent ideas about raising the profile of the Tribe Council at BPS. The children really stepped up to the challenge and I could not have done it without their positive attitudes. We attended PTC meetings, we introduced the tribes during assemblies and we introduced tribe competitions with tribe points. It has been a full-on year despite the school closures due to COVID 19. Here are some of the Tribe Councilors thoughts of the 2019-2020 school year.
This year in the Tribe Council was very exciting because we discussed lots of different tribe competition ideas. - Caden, Year 3
I really enjoyed being a Tribe Councilor this year because you get to participate in assemblies and give suggestions to improve the school. - Nathalie, Year 5
I am really glad to have joined the Tribe Council and Playground Monitors this year. It was a great opportunity for me to help others on the playground and to build my confidence regarding presenting in assemblies. - Janet, Year 4
This year has been great! It was unfortunate that we had school closure due to COVID 19. Luckily we live in a good country and we didn’t close down for the rest of the year. I also think the school did their best providing us with E-learning through the school closure. - Hardy, Year 4
My year as Tribe Councillor has been exciting because we improved the playground equipment and we helped with many other things. I also like to wear my tribe shirt on Tribe Council meeting days. - Sophie, Year3
Year 6 Leavers' celebration - by Mr Ale Massey and the Year 6 Team
PTA Second Hand Uniform Sale - by Mr Luke Chaeter
I would like to thank the BPS PTA for organising a second hand uniform sale. This has been gratefully received by our community, and also supports our voyage of becoming as sustainable as possible.
FRIDAY MUSIC CORNER - LET'S ENJOY THE MUSIC!
IMPORTANT REMINDER BY MR LUKE CHAETER
Shared herewith a book to your family. Please click the above link to open the book. Thank you