Issue 5 - 18th September 2020
Student Agency Flourishes
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Another busy week in the British Primary Section and I am pleased to announce that many of the initiatives that were launched last week are now becoming embedded within the Section.
Firstly - the Playground Mediators have made a great start. Already it is evident that break times are a great place to be. Each of the associated students are supporting other children, and engaging in games - making it a beneficial period for all, and being a wonderful help to duty staff.
I can also report that I was involved in an excellent meeting with our Head Boy and Girl. They met key members of the Leadership Team, and gathered much information for the article which you will read below. Both have also been an excellent addition to our Assemblies - being a font of knowledge for all children within the BPS and sharing important events. Already they are making a great, positive difference to all!
Following the announcement of the Sports Leaders, Mr Demetriou will be providing a five session extensive program which will begin very soon. This will look at the role sport has to play in developing key leadership attributes - crucial in shaping our students to become positive change agents!
I would like to thank all parents who attended our Virtual Parent Teacher Conference on Wednesday. Feedback suggests that this was a positive experience and demonstrates that, although we are still enacting the strict guidelines to mitigate risk, we are nimble enough to look at an alternative arrangement to share your children's progress with you. Thank you for your great support!
Finally, it was a great pleasure to witness two of our leading musicians who played the violin and flute during our virtual assembly this morning. Again, although we have limitations in relation to whole key stage assemblies being hosted in our Amphitheater - these students performed immaculately which was witnessed by all children in all classes in real time! Utilising technology to showcase talent and give opportunity has been endemic within the BPS!
Very best wishes
Peace Day 2020 - by Mr Eamonn O'Callaghan
Assessment workshop for parents - by Mr Aidan Stallwood
Digital Day 5th October - by Mr Craig Gamble
On October the 5th students will not be attending the physical school as TES is running a Digital Day. We have a very detailed plan of action in school known as the Continuity of Teaching & Learning Plan, or the COLT, which outlines how the school will ensure our students can continue their learning journey in the event that they, or teachers, are unable to be in the school building.
On October the 5th you can expect the following to be provided for your children:
The teachers will plan two activities which are linked to the EYFS areas of learning and you will receive these through your family Seesaw account along with any other instructions for the day from the class teachers. We ask that parents read with their children and provide time for creative play as well.
Year 1 to Year 6
Class teachers will host a live online class via Zoom in which they will outline the activities for that day with their students and have a general Q&A with the class at normal registration time (0800) for a maximum of 30 minutes.
Students in Years 1 & 6 can expect the following in terms of lessons/activities:
● 1 x Reading task:
● 1 x Writing task:
● 1 x Mathematics task
● Up to 2 x Integrated Curriculum activities enabling children to be best prepared for learning when they return to in-class learning
The Chinese Language and Culture Department (CLC) will provide an activity that is linked to the CLC curriculum
Specialist Teachers will provide an activity for year groups as follows:
Years 1 & 2 PE
Years 3 & 4 Art
Years 5 & 6 Music
Our English as an Additional Language, Learning Support Teams and Learning Assistants will liaise closely with class teachers and may provide additional materials for those students and, in the event of extended periods of digital learning, may offer one-to-one Zoom support sessions.
As you know we take Safeguarding extremely seriously at the BPS and I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of our expectations around digital learning and the Zoom sessions in particular.
We expect children to:
○ be seated at a table or desk, not on beds
○ wear street clothes (no pyjamas)
○ maintain class etiquette
Furthermore, any one-to-one Zoom sessions will be recorded and kept on record for a period of up to 15 days. Your agreement and permission will be sought before any one-to-one Zoom sessions take place.
Finally we recommend that the amount of 'onscreen' time spent by a parent with each child on home learning in Years 1 & 2 should be around 2 hours and for our older students in Years 3 to 6 no more than 3 hours. Our teachers are available during the normal school day via email, Google Hangouts is not to be used, and will be regularly checking in on the status of activities submitted via Seesaw and Google Classroom throughout the day as well as offering feedback as and when necessary.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Digital Day please reach out to your child's class teacher in the first instance.
Leadership opportunities in Year 6 - by Mr Ale Massey
How Does the British Primary School Run? -By Amber and Julian (Year 6)
This week, we had an interview with all the administrators at the British Primary School. It was a pleasure to learn more about how our wonderful school runs. During the meeting, we had the opportunity to question Mr Stallwood, Ms Smith, Mr Chaetar, Mr Gamble, Mr Norris, Mr Gatley, Mrs Chaetar and Mr Knockold.
To find out about the running of the school, we wanted to learn about their roles, school policies and the curriculum at the British Primary School. We also had some questions about ECA’s, homework, school lunches and student roles. Here’s what we found out.
What are the different roles of the administration team?
We started off speaking to Mr Nockolds who is the director of admissions. Mr Nockolds meets new students that are hoping to join our school and he is involved in their application process. Furthermore, Mr Nockolds is in charge of marketing. This means he is responsible for letting the world know how extraordinary Taipei European School is. One way he did this recently, was by creating our new “Bear” logo for the school. He also made the big bear mascot!
Next, we spoke to Mr Chaetar. I’m sure you all already know that he is our principal! However, many of you might not know all the jobs he is responsible for. He is a busy man and has many roles including guiding the parents in the traffic in the morning, leading assemblies and important meetings, and ensuring that our school is as safe and possible so all students can flourish in Taipei European School.
Ms Chaetar is the Safeguarding Officer for the whole of the British Primary section. This means that she wants every child to be safe in school, both inside and outside.
Mr Gamble is in charge of Technology in the school. He makes sure that the systems are running in the background e.g. ensuring everyone’s Purple Mash is working etc. He is also responsible for making the booking system for the parents meeting, the timetable, and much more!
Ms Smith is in charge of managing the infant section (Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 2). She also supports Ms Chater with safeguarding, Mr Nockolds with admissions Mr Gamble with the devices. She is also working on our Integrated Curriculum (that’s when all our subject are linked together).
Mr Norris is currently working with the KS2 staff and students (Year 3 - 6). He also helps develop the core curriculum, coordinating with the EAL department. He also works closely with the Chinese Language and Culture Team.
Mr Stallwood is the Deputy Head and he works for the entire school. He leads the Eco-Committee and he works on the assessments and arranges the parent workshops.
Who decides on the policies and how do they get passed?
A policy is a kind rule book for how the school runs. In school, we have policies for everything! There is a policy for what to do in a fire alarm, what tests children should take and how children should behave. There’s even a policy for how to write the learning objective! There are different policies for the different parts of the school. In the British Primary Section, Mr Stallwood, Ms Smith, Mr Chaetar, Mr Gamble and Mr Norris make the policies. As for the whole school, Mr Gatley, Mr Chaeter, Mrs Chaetar and Mr Knockolds make the policy for our entire school. They discuss ideas together and also ask some teachers if they agree with any new policies that are getting made.
How do you choose the curriculum we study?
The British Primary Section closely follows the English Curriculum, which is called the National Curriculum in England. The teachers teach the curriculum; however, they make the curriculum more fun for the children to learn in the British Primary School. This involves the teachers thinking about the children’s interests and adapting the learning to make it relevant to what is currently happening in the world, as well as in Taiwan.
How do you decide on the CCA’s?
To work out which CCA’s will be on offer, teachers are asked to share several topics that they are particularly passionate about. These are then looked at by the administration staff who make sure there is a good balance between Sports, Music, Arts and Academic CCA’s. Outside staff are then contacted to provide the CCA’s which teachers can’t lead. Generally, teachers CCA’s run from 3:10 and outside providers run from 4:10 pm. Children can choose activities that involve their interests or learn something completely new. This is a great way for children to cover topics that aren’t under the main curriculum.
How do you decide how much our homework load should be?
Every year when students move onto their next year group, the homework load changes bit by bit. This steady increase helps to prepare children for secondary school whilst preventing the homework load from being overbearing. Staff at Taipei European School understand how to create the right balance between giving students enough to challenge them but also ensure that they have time to relax with their families at the weekends.
How do you decide on which student should have roles of responsibility?
This year there have been more opportunities for students than ever before. There are roles for Sports Leaders, Student Mediators, Tribe Captains, Eco-Committee and much more. These roles have been created to help students adapt and gain the skills they will need for the real world. It’s an important part of how the school is run and helps us to build a better school community.
Students are chosen differently for different roles but there are opportunities for everyone. More often than not, students are chosen that show potential and perseverance - you have to be willing to put in the hard work to make the school a better place! Through having experienced these roles at Taipei European School, children will more likely be successful in interviews when they go to University. It will benefit them by giving them opportunities to talk about how they have helped their school, at the same time as developing a range of skills and having a lot of fun in the process!
How does the school decide on the school lunches quality and quantity?
The administrators looked at many different options to find you the best school lunches. During this process, they looked at the best quality food which would help children to grow fit and strong! They were also looking for food that had good value for money so it wasn’t too expensive for parents. There were lots of trials which involved multiple teachers eating different lunches. Also, some students got to try it and everyone said it was a good choice. So that's why we have our new and improved lunch!
Thank you Amber and Julian for your information about the running of the British Primary School! We look forward to hearing more from you in future Newsletters.
Fitness Tracking - by Mr Peter Poulton
Physical activity among children has proven health benefits, such as decreasing the risk of chronic diseases later in life and improving memory and academic performance. The Center for Disease Control recommends that children should incorporate in their daily activities at least 60 minutes of exercise and crucially, part of this should involve vigorous activity whereby the children are out of breath and sweating.
Daily physical activity can include free play, games, sports, and of course physical education. It is recommended that throughout the day children should experience the following types of physical activity:
Vigorous-intensity activities make children sweat and feel “out of breath,” so that they can only speak a few words between breaths. These can include activities like running and swimming fast or for a long time.
Moderate-intensity activities also make children sweat more and breathe a little harder but they can still talk while they move their bodies such as fast walking or a bike ride.
Activities that strengthen muscles and bones can include jumping rope and running, or sports like tennis and basketball.
Clearly, being fit and healthy is crucial for children’s holistic development, with benefits in physical, mental and emotional development. It is for this reason that the PE department aims to track the physical activity of all students in KS2 to promote the importance of staying active and to provide an important learning opportunity.
To achieve this we have purchased a set of MOKI bands. Moki is a smart wristband that measures physical activity and provides reports with data on individual progress. From next week we will launch a tribe competition with a different class wearing Moki bands each week. Total steps will be recorded and the tribe with the highest number wins. We can also break down the data to see individual results.
It is often said that a healthy child is a happy child and we hope to raise health and fitness throughout TES.
Marvelous Maths Manipulatives - by Mr Michael Norris
Just as we develop the skills and knowledge of our children so we endeavour to do the same for our teachers at TES. As part of our regular, on-going, staff professional development in the British Primary Section (BPS), we were delighted to use the skill of a well respected Maths trainer, Liz Gibbs. Liz is not new to our school, previously having delivered very effective training sessions with our teachers and at parent workshops.
We pride ourselves at the BPS for teaching Maths with a mastery approach in mind. The essential idea behind mastery is that all children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning so that future mathematical learning is built on solid foundations. For this to be realised, deep conceptual understanding is essential. An effective way to gain this understanding is through the use of what we call manipulatives. Manipulatives provide concrete ways for students to bring meaning to abstract mathematical ideas.
Liz, via Zoom, all the way from the UK, provided informative, hands-on training on using manipulatives in order that teachers can better equip their students in understanding mathematical concepts. The result? An enhanced understanding that when students explore with manipulatives, they have the opportunity to see mathematical relationships. They have tactile and visual models that help develop their understanding.
1:1 Device Program by Mr Craig Gamble
Schools are in a constant cycle of improvement and part of that cycle for Taipei European School (TES) and the British Primary Section (BPS) has been the improvements made in the technology infrastructure of the school and classrooms. We now have an enhanced wifi service throughout the European Primary Campus (EPC) and our classrooms are equipped with the latest interactive touch screen technology.
The next step for the BPS in the cycle of improvement is moving towards a student owned 1:1 device program in the academic year 2021-2022 for our Year 3 to Year 5 students, expanding to Year 2 to Year 6 in the following academic year. A 1:1 program will allow for a personalised and equitable learning experience, allowing students and teachers to experience truly transformational learning opportunities. Immediate access to personal devices makes it possible for students to access a wider array of resources to support their learning, to communicate with their peers and teachers, and to become fluent in their use of technological tools.
The BPS endeavours to:
provide a student-centred, experience-rich education
employ the latest teaching practices, tools and technologies to deliver the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes contained within the curriculum
connect education at BPS with today's technological world
provide accessibility to apps and programs that increase the development of knowledge and educational opportunities leading to increased intellectual attainment
expand the methods of learning and opportunities for differentiated instruction
encourage the disposition and capacity to be life-long learners
develop digital citizens that are aware of the risks of an online society and who are equipped to deal with those risks in an age and developmentally appropriate manner
But what about the effects of Screentime…
One area of concern that is often raised around the use of devices is the effect of screen time on students. A recent paper published by The Journal of the American Medical Association analysed 60 studies on screen time and academic performance which included more than 480,000 students aged 4 to 18 living in 23 countries and suggests that “how much” may be the wrong question, finding that the types of screen-based technology students were using—rather than the total amount of time they spent looking at screens—seemed to have the strongest bearing on learning. When pooling the studies’ results, the authors did not find a strong link between total screen time and academic performance—unlike prior studies on the topic. The authors hypothesize that the differing results may speak to the myriad reasons and ways that young people use technology, which can be difficult to capture in studies. Much of the previous research into the effects of screen time have focused largely on mobile devices such as phones and have typically not included school time device usage.
At the BPS we ensure that the use of devices, and therefore exposure to screen time, is intentional and is specifically designed for children to improve or develop certain skills in a managed timeframe and environment.
At the moment we continue researching the most suitable and age appropriate device to move forward with on our 1:1 journey but the favored device at present is the iPad in conjunction with a bluetooth keyboard and stylus. We will be offering the final choice of device for purchase directly from the school before the end of the academic year 2020-2021 for our Year 3, 4 & 5 families ready for use in the academic year 2021-2022. Year 6 students for that academic year will be provided with devices from the existing school inventory. We will offer a buyback service to our Year 5 families who leave the BPS at the end of the academic year 2022-2023 as these devices will only be two years old.
All Together Global Cleanup: House/Tribe Competition and Environmental Action
19th September is Global Cleanup Day. All over the world different environmental groups, charities and companies will be organising activities such as beach and park cleanups etc.
We recently had a very interesting initiative brought to our attention by a parent. The initiative is the “All Together Global Cleanup”. The idea is based around how we can all make a difference to the environment and that every small contribution makes a difference. It is about taking responsibility (one of our core values) for your ‘day to day’ environment and making a difference within your community. Here is the official video explaining the concept and more information from the official website can be found here.
The idea is that over the next week whenever you see a piece of rubbish/garbage/trash lying around, you take responsibility and pick it up and put it into a dustbin/trash can. This is tracked as students (and their families) download an app called Litterati which enables them to take a photo of the piece of rubbish before they dispose of it and this is logged by the app.
The organisation has helped us to set this up so all pictures are logged according to the house or tribe. The process is so easy.
1 - You download the app….
2 - You will be asked for a code. You simply type the passcode matching your tribe:
3- You will then be automatically registered under the TES account. From there you simply collect the rubbish and take a picture.
There will be points awarded to the different tribes depending on which tribe collects the most, with up to 500 points available!
For the first time ever we are opening up this house competition to families. We encourage all family members to register under the relevant house and contribute to the campaign. Mums, Dads, brothers and sisters are all encouraged to take part.
The litter collection is being tracked globally and we hope that we can make a real difference here in Taipei. It is a fun way to engage in the environment and links to our learner profile of being global citizens, as if everyone in the world took responsibility for their own environments the world would be a much cleaner place.
Best of luck!
Important Reminder by Mr Luke Chaeter
End of Day Procedures form the EYFS Gate
Please can all parents and guardians be vigilant of their children as they leave from our new Early Years gate at the end of the day.
Although we have all procedures in place regarding security and safety - please ensure that your children are supervised and are a safe distance away from the main road.
Digital Learning Day - Monday 5th October
Please be reminded that Taipei European School will be conducting a Digital Drill Day on Monday 5th October. This means that the school will not be accessible for students. The aim of this is to ensure that we continue to be best placed to ensure learning will not be impacted in the event of a forced and sustained closure.
Uniform shop information
The out of stock items of nursery and reception uniform have arrived this week. Please contact the uniform shop to purchase. Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org ext.1830.
This Wednesday morning the PTA welcomed over 40 class representatives from Nursery to Year 6 to join our Class Reps Meet & Greet meeting and Safeguarding workshop.
We deeply appreciate the time and effort of these class representatives who volunteer for their classes to be the link between school, teacher, parents and the PTA. To make communication clear, each class has formed their own chat rooms on social media. It is therefore very important for all to follow the right chatroom etiquette in order to assist representatives manage their communication forum. We sincerely hope all parents will follow and respect the chatroom ground rules that should’ve been shared to all class chatrooms; and respect the privacy of the community.
In addition, School Psychologist, Miss Chia-Chi Chow, introduced the TES Counselling Centre (room I-203A) to the class reps too. The Counselling Centre allows students to drop in or self-refer to when they feel need to speak to someone who’s willing to listen. We are glad that the school is providing this service for the wellbeing of students. Please keep an eye out for more information on the TES Counselling Centre in future editions of the newsletter.
Senior Safeguarding Officer, Mrs. Kay Chaeter was also present to deliver key safeguarding points to class reps so that they understand what to be aware of when volunteering on school trips, such as only using school devices for photo; and the importance of gaining permission when sharing images on social media. In addition, from this term onwards the number of parent helpers on school trips will be limited and only to those who have are aware of the school’s Safeguarding guidelines. Good safeguarding practice requires the cooperation of the whole TES community, including parents. Further safeguarding guidelines will be shared by Mrs. Chaeter soon in future editions of the newsletter soon.
Finally, please find attached link to the September PTA monthly meeting minutes. Feel free to contact your class rep if you have any questions.
BPPTA Class Representative coordinator
Jessica Wang Simula
自這個新學年開始，各年級的校外教學只限定開放予班級代表陪同，且班級代表們必需接受且了解學童安全教育守則(Safeguarding)。會中由學童安全主住Mrs. Kay Chaeter為大家說明為何學童安全教育是必要的、解釋陪伴校外教學時應遵守的細項。更詳盡的學童安全教育Mrs. Chaeter將會在後續的校園週報與家長們說明。