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New Students, New Facilities, New School Year

As students return to school vis Zoom classrooms, there have been some big changes to FIS Secondary, though many of your old favorites remain the same In this initial issue of the FIS Secondary Newsletter, we will look at some of the things that are new and some things with which you may already be familiar.

Congratulations to Our Upper Secondary Students!

This month, we are celebrating with our students who have successfully passed the Cambridge IGCSE and AS & A Level exams for June 2021 series. The previous school year has been a challenging year for students, parents and teachers. We are sending our sincere congratulations to our students for their success. We are also grateful to parents and teachers for their unending support.
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AICE Diploma: Hout Srey Pech

AS & A Level Exam Passers: Ung Darita, Suor Sok Denny, Buth Keochanroarthneardey, Seng Sothea, Toran Kumar Behera, Lim Sok Ngy, Sok Leesarng, Patrick Sam-Lazarov, Hout Srey Pech

IGCSE Exam Passers: Meas Yuvareach, Cheang Rathviphou, Tang Phengkoing, Ros Seila Rath Panha, Kong Pisey, Oeng Viya Nourat

The exam entries for the November 2021 series are now complete. If the temporary school closure is not lifted before the scheduled exams, we may again switch to School- assessed grades (SAG). Carol Gawiden and your teacher will provide you more information on how to prepare for the SAG for this exam series. When it is safe and we are permitted to do so, we will run the November exams.

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Welcome To Our New Science Laboratory

Having a new Science laboratory equipped with materials and apparatus that can be used for experiments and applying what the students learn from the book makes me so excited to start this school year.

It’s always fulfilling when a student truly understands a concept through hands-on learning. Learning by doing is one of the most effective ways for students to learn and perform well.

In the secondary program, students learn how to gather information and collect data through investigation. Experiments should help all students develop a growing understanding of empirical work and skills to manipulate and troubleshoot equipment used to make observations.

As students progress to higher levels, they will improve their ability to collaborate and work effectively in carrying out complicated tasks and contribute and respond to ideas.

Safety and security are our top priorities. Though students are doing online classes now, they are already familiar with the code of conduct in the laboratory. With our new Science laboratory, we now have a sufficient workspace and adequate storage space for all materials, with necessary equipment and access to water and electricity.

Students may have different experiments in the laboratory. For example, Grade 6 students are studying plants and animal cells and their components. Our students can conduct an observation of the animal and plant cells under a microscope. Students can easily differentiate the organelles that are present in these specimens. They can also learn how to manipulate the microscope. This kind of activity will be a great learning experience for our students.

The Secondary Experience Begins

Every year, we welcome a brand new batch of Sixth Grade students to both our TTP and TK Campuses. This is an exciting time for these students as they switch from having one teacher all day long to having different teachers every fifty minutes. Like the Primary Program, he Secondary Program follows the Cambridge Curriculum, so for the most part, the work is a continuation of what the students have been learning for several years. Nevertheless, the move from Primary to Secondary is a rite of passage, so we asked some new sixth-grade students to give us their perspective on the changes.

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For the first two weeks of Secondary, it's been pretty good. Although the change of schedules has been a little bit hard to adapt to, I think with time I will soon be okay and will go from class to class easily. Online class is fine, but learning in a pandemic time isn't the best to start with, because real school is better in my opinion. The classes are easy to switch to, with different zoom links, and teachers. I would say the experience is good, given the situation. I certainly hope to go back to school! That would be good.

- Duong Chan Elise (6A TTP)

Being in secondary has taught me a lot. In these two weeks, the people I have met are really nice and understanding. There's new lessons, teachers, and a new study environment. I'm really looking forward to studying in real life to get to know my classmates and teachers better.

- Chantra Danavin (6B TTP)

My first impression of secondary school was it was going to be normal studies but a bit more challenging. But on the first day I was scared that it was going to be too hard for me to handle, we didn't get any breaks , we only got a 5 minute break after every class. Every class is 50 minutes long but in primary school every class is only 40 minutes long so it's a 10 minute difference which I don't really mind. We also had to change our zoom profile picture to our faces and we had to change emails although in primary school the school gave us the parents email, but luckily I remembered I found out about the student email one day in primary school and changed the password for the email address so all I had to do was type in the password and I got in the email. Most of my classmates are in the same class as me in primary school so I already know them. And we also have multiple teachers in secondary school. Still this is just the third week so I’m still not really used to studying since the summer break was too long but I hope to fit in soon.

- Nguon Norakchesda (6B TK)

Going from primary to secondary is very different, my first impression was ‘’wow’’. First of all we have longer classes, we also have more teachers and our lessons are more complicated. Furthermore we also have more group work and work. Overall, this teaches me to be more independent and to work hard for my own good.

- Dy Meychin (6A TK)

Perspective from the Senior Class

As we move forward into the new school year, we must acknowledge that for some of our students, this is the final year of High School, and their final year at Footprints International School. Every student has a different perspective, and every student has his or her own feelings about going into this final year. Here is a look at the perspective of one of the members of our Senior class.

by Buth Keochanroathneardey, Grade 12

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We are already in our last year of high school, our senior year, yet there are many more things that I want to accomplish before graduating.

Honestly, with the whole quarantine lockdown going on, it does feel like time is passing by slowly when it's actually going by so fast. In our last year of high school, I honestly wish to see all of my classmates happy, making memories together while having to study and prepare for the future ahead of them. It’s truly shameful that we can’t spend much time together physically but I hope we can still try our best to make the best memories in our last year of high school.

I want to see all of my classmates working harder than they were last year, to not slack off or procrastinate, and to start thinking about their future plans. As for myself, I wish that by the end of this school year, my grades will improve by a significant amount from last year in all of my subjects, and that I will be able to pass grade 12 both on the International Program and the Khmer Program. I also want to take as much time as possible off the screen when it is not related to school, as well as start applying for scholarships into the school I want to go to for university. Aside from the academic goals, some other plans I hope to accomplish is to go on a trip with all of our classmates and to have a dance formal at least once before graduating, because I refuse to graduate without having a proper dance formal once. Another fun activity that we could do together is to write a letter to our future selves or to each other to be opened in the future, and the best thing is to get a class picture.

This is to all of my classmates, “Everyone be strong, be happy and live life to its fullest; let’s graduate together.”

New Teacher Profile -Layla Jacobs

Among its new teachers, Footprints International School welcomes Ms. Layla Jacobs. In addition to teaching First Language English to Grades 12, 11 and 8 at the TTP Campus, Ms. Jacobs is also the homeroom teacher for 8A TTP. We asked Ms. Jacobs to tell us a little bit about herself and to introduce herself to the students and parents of the FIS Community.

My name is Layla, and I’m a multi-national citizen, holding passports from two, soon to be three countries. I’ve been teaching formally for the past 6 years both here and in China. Previously I was a senior director for a non-profit agency whose aim is to assist adults with cognitive and/or physical disabilities to live, work and thrive in their own communities in the state of Wisconsin.

Prior to my time in Wisconsin, I worked as a journalist for a regional newspaper in southern New Mexico, while also working with Holloman Air Force Base to provide updates and content for the military and their families. This was in addition to working on my double-major in Geophysics and Oceanography, with a specific focus on Planetary physics. I also hold a M.Ed in Educational Psychology, a B.A. in Business Administration and Management and certification as a registered nurse.

I came to full-time teaching by way of my volunteer work with asylum and refugee seekers in the United States and it is something that I am quite passionate about. I still offer this assistance, even while I travel, as the digital age has afforded me that availability.

Education is important and we never stop learning unless we choose to.

Next month’s newsletter will focus heavily on FIS’ 2021-2022 Student Council. Election of representatives and officers for the new Student Council will begin next week.

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