Grade 1 Newsletter

SJI International Elementary, Singapore

Week 1 Easter Term 2016: 11th - 15th January

Dates for the Diary

January 29th - House Unity Mufti Day (children will be asked to come to school dressed in house colors)
February 3rd - Grade 1 Year Ahead Meeting 6pm

February 8th-12th - Chinese New Year Holiday
February 15th - ECA Block 1 begins
February 19th - Chinese New Year Dress Up Day
February 19th - Chinese New Year Celebration (evening event)
February 22nd - 'Beyond the Haze' contest submissions due

(optional: please contact your class teacher or school newsletter for more information)​

February 25th - Global Family Festival Parade
March 18th - April - Easter Holiday
May 2nd - Labor Day/National Holiday (school is closed)
May 13th - Founder's Day: 1/2 day for students
June 17th - Last day of Summer Term; holidays begin


SJII is partnering with Beyond the Haze (an initiative co-founded by SJII parent Paul Judge) to launch an exciting and educational school-wide contest

​ that supports our school sustainability program.

SJII is joining several other local schools in participating in the Beyond the Haze contest, which challenges students to look into the root causes of Singapore's annual haze problem and think of ways they can make a difference in saving the environment.

Students will be eligible to win prizes including a 3D2N trip to the Sumatran Orang-utan Conservation Program (SOCP) in Indonesia, Kindle tablets, and more. Please encourage your children as they put together their submissions and visit their Facebook page at to learn more! Together we can promote greater environmental awareness at the school.

SJII parent Paul Judge and fellow expat Irene Wong founded community group Beyond the Haze with an intent to increase awareness about the root causes and effects of deforestation in Southeast Asia. They will be hosting an exhibition of SJII entries at the school later this term, and they will also also hold a contest-ending awards ceremony and gala event in April.

About Beyond the Haze

Beyond the Haze is a community of ordinary people who want to preserve our environment for future generations. We believe that through education we can inspire people to look beyond the haze and take positive action to save our environment by making informed decisions about what we buy, eat, and use.

About the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP)

SOCP is one of the foremost authorities on the status and distribution of remaining orang-utans in Sumatra, Indonesia. Their work focuses on habitat protection, reintroduction of confiscated pets to the wild, education, survey work and scientific research.

Competition details

Posterise it! (Ages 5-9)

What’s going on behind the haze? Design a poster that explains why there is a haze problem and why this needs to stop. The poster may depict damage to the rainforest, the affect animals/people, or even paper and palm oil products. The poster can be in any style and can be painted, drawn, or designed with computer graphics.

CONTEST DETAILS CONTEST RULES Submit all entries to your school contest coordinator OR by email to

Entries will be judged on creativity & quality of content. Winning entries and finalists will be featured on the Beyond the Haze Facebook page and in a future issue of Asian Geographic magazine. Visit our page and join our community on Facebook:

Prizes (2 age categories)

1st Prize - Kindle Fire Tablet, Beyond The Haze gift pack, 1-year subscription to Asian Geographic Junior Magazine.

Runners Up (x2) - Beyond The Haze gift pack, 1-year subscription to Asian Geographic Junior Magazine.

*Entries in by no later than February 22nd.

** Look out for posters around the school


IPC Unit of Work

We have launched out Brainwave unit of work this week with trying to learn more about Knowledge, Skills and Understanding which are key elements of our IPC curriculum.

The children had a mysterious envelope and box delivered to class and inside was a letter from Professor Sparks- a clever chap who knows all about the brain and learning!!!! The children thought that letter might provide a clue as to what Professor Spark wants us to learn. Here is what it said…

You've got the brains, you're doing well,

But there's a secret I've got to tell.

To become a bright spark just like me,

You've got to listen and learn to see.

Knowledge and skills will show you the way,

Then magic will happen to brighten your day!

We reread the message from Professor Spark – ‘Knowledge and skills will show you the way, then magic will happen to brighten your day’. And discussed it and then after seeing the template in the box decided that he wanted us to make some special 3D glasses!

After finishing our special glasses the children were shown a slideshow with the first slide displaying ‘Knowledge + Skills’, the second slide displaying an equals sign, then finally the last slide showing ‘Understanding!’. We wore our glasses and saw the final slide in 3D.

It was interesting to discuss with the children what they thought each of these words meant! We will be using these terms during our IPC units of work this year.

Our next unit will be ‘We are what we eat’ and will begin in Week 3. Letter with details about this to follow shortly!

Language Arts


This week we have been learning about picking 'Just Right' books. We use different shoes for different purposes, and have to make sure the shoes we wear are the right size for us... It is the same with books. We use different books for different purposes, and have to make sure we get books that are the right size, or are a 'good fit', for us! The '5 Finger Rule' helps us choose books that are right for us. We need to make sure we can decode (read the words) and understand what we are reading!

We have also been working on building up our class reading stamina - can we all read independently for seven minutes? For eight minutes? Gradually building up the time we read for helps us to develop our stamina. We know that when we read we need to find a good spot and read the whole time.


This week we have been launching the Writer's Workshop for the year. We have focused on the procedures involved in the workshop and on generating good ideas for our writing. In the Writer's Workshop, children are encouraged to think of themselves as authors, and during Writer's Workshop sessions this is what we call them. At the moment the children are creating books, and we have already been very impressed with their imaginative stories and informative texts.

We have also been recount writing about our holidays!

Spelling, Phonics and Grammar

We will be launching our spelling programme together with homework in Week 3.


This week we have started reviewing the letter formation that was covered in Prep 2.


This week, our learning goals were:

  • Count from 0 to 10
  • Count back from 0 to 10
  • Read and write 0 to 10 in numbers and in words
  • Compare 2 sets of objects
  • Find the set that has more, fewer or the same number of objects
  • Find the number that is greater than or smaller than another number

Everyone has been really good at remembering the order of the numbers from 0 to 10 and were able to recite their numbers fluently! We have revised being able to identify and match the different representations of a number, i.e. cubes (concrete), pictures (pictorial) and numbers/words (abstract).

We have also learnt to compare 2 sets of objects and be able to say which set(s) has/have more, fewer or the same number of objects. We've also learnt to use comparing words such as, greater/more/fewer/less/smaller than.

Uniform Update from Mr Hannah

Children have all been looking very smart in their uniforms as they have returned back to school and I would like to request that you assist your child in ensuring they adhere to the uniform dress code. The teachers have also been speaking with the Children about the dress code and will also highlight to the children if they are found to be wearing the uniform incorrectly. Children should also now be wearing the new PE uniform, with the old one now phased out. The following guide provides clarity as to when the PE uniform should be worn:

  • Prep 1 & 2:

    • PE uniform to be worn to school on the days the children have their scheduled PE lessons

    • If children have a sports ECA (ie Tennis, Multi Sports), they may wear the PE uniform to school

  • Grade 1 to 3:

    • PE uniform to be worn to school on the days the children have their scheduled PE lessons

    • If children have a sports ECA they will need to change into their sports attire at the end of the school day and prior to attending their ECA

  • Grade 4 to 6:

    • Children are required to wear their school uniform to school everyday and on the days where they have their scheduled PE lessons they will need to change into their PE uniform prior to the PE lesson and back into their school uniform at the conclusion of the PE lesson.

    • If children have a sports ECA they will need to change into their sports attire at the end of the school day and prior to attending their ECA

Virtues Corner

Grade Ones have been practicing their virtue of friendliness. We played a game of 'getting to know you' in the pavilion. We used our confidence and courage to talk to someone new in Grade One and asked them what they liked to do. In class, we discussed the ingredients for a happy classroom by making a friendship fruit salad. Ask your child about the rotten banana!

You are showing friendliness when you:

*Like yourself and realize you have a lot to offer.

*Smile and greet someone you don't know.

*Show caring when a friend needs you.

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