Lower School Principal’s Post #15

Dear Families,

It’s hard to believe there are only 9 ½ more days until the SCIS community departs for the Winter Holiday.  It has been an incredible semester thus far, filled with rich learning experiences and memorable community events.  Please note that the last day of Semester One is on Friday, December 14th and students will be dismissed at 11:30am.  Lunch will not be provided on this day and parents are encouraged to let the school know as soon as possible if you will be leaving early for the break or picking your child up from campus on December 14th.  Semester Two will begin on Monday, January 7th.  

We look forward to seeing many parents attend the Kindergarten through Grade 5 Winter Concert titled, “A Musical Winter,” next Friday at 1:30pm in the Theater.  Students across grade levels have been working extremely hard to compose original music, practice as an ensemble and prepare for this performance.  If you intend on taking your child(ren) home after the concert, please be sure to inform Mr. Stuart Ren either via email (sren@scis-china.org) or in person while you are on campus.  The earlier the school is informed of student departure plans the easier it is for us to ensure the whereabouts and safety of students at all times.


Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop Seats are Filling up Fast!

We’ve received a great deal of interest in the Positive Discipline Parenting workshops and seats are filling up fast!  If you are interested in attending the Positive Discipline Parent workshops in English, please let Ms. Gale know as soon as possible by sending an email to egale@scis-china.org.  Below are the dates and times of the workshops that will be offered in January.  Parents are highly encouraged to attend all four sessions.  We hope you are able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn about strategies and techniques to encourage positive discipline in the home environment.  Again, please contact Ms. Gale if you are interested in attending these fantastic workshops!

Session 1:  Thursday, January 10th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 2:  Thursday, January 17th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 3:  Thursday, January 24th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 4:  Thursday, January 31st from 8:30am-11:30am


2R Assembly Success!

Congratulations to Mr. Ruf and all of the students in 2R for presenting their original non-fiction book on Simple Machines that the class collaborated on writing together in preparation for their assembly.  At the beginning of the assembly students confidently took the stage to deliver their parts and teach the audience all about the role simple machines play in our daily lives.  Well done 2R!



Come and celebrate Winterfest at SCIS-Pudong this Sunday from 11:00am-3:00pm.  The school is bursting with holiday spirit and PAFA has been busy decorating and organizing fun activities for the whole family to enjoy on this day!


Learning Celebrations Galore!

Over the course of the past 2 weeks several grade levels have had wonderful learning celebrations where students have proudly shared various aspects of their learning with parents, teachers and other students.  Grade 1 and 2 students recently hosted literacy celebrations where children have shared fantastic pieces of writing based upon their learnings surrounding non-fiction text features in reading and writing.  Grade 4 students also celebrated the completion of their current unit of inquiry on Heroes/ Heroines by participating in a learning celebration where they shared prezi presentations on a selected hero or heroine that embodies what the students consider to be extremely valuable qualities and characteristics.


Seesaw Success Statistics!

We continue to experience great success with Seesaw, our digital communication platform as evidenced by an incredible increase in parent usage this semester.  Since the beginning of the school year (August 2018) we have had 39,145 parent visits to class and student journals, 26,184 total likes, and 5241 total comments on student work.  By comparison, last year at this time we had 7,887 parent visits to class and student journals, 7,022 total likes and 1,026 total comments on student work.  We are so grateful to students, teacher and parents for the success of this fantastic platform and the strong connections it has created between the home-school environment.  As parents, we ask that you please continue to engage with your child on Seesaw by providing positive feedback and encouragement.  Additionally, creating opportunities to talk with your child about their work on Seesaw will help you gain a better understanding of what (and how) children are learning at school.  It will also provide children with an opportunity to share their thinking and understanding with an authentic and very important audience.

How Do We Know Students Have Learned?

The Assessed Curriculum at SCIS

 With semester reports right around the corner (distributed via a link sent to each parent’s scis-email account) it is important for parents to understand how students are assessed not only at the end of the semester, but more importantly throughout the process of learning each and every day.  Please take a moment to read the following information surrounding the “assessed curriculum” at SCIS-Pudong.

Assessment is an essential part to all teaching and learning that takes place within the Lower School at SCIS-Pudong.  Within the Primary Years Programme the fundamental purpose of assessment is to provide feedback on the learning process and ultimately inform instruction.  Throughout the learning process teachers gather and analyze assessment data in a variety of ways in order to determine what students know, understand, can do, as well as how they feel at different stages of their learning.    

Although, most people are familiar with formal assessments, such as standardized tests (i.e the NWEA MAPs test), there are several other assessment options available for teachers that are more informal and focus on student work, motivation and progress instead of the end of the unit test score.  Teachers at SCIS use a range of assessment tools in effort to track student learning in a variety of ways.  The chart below provides a few types of assessment tools used by teachers on a daily basis.

Assessment Tools
Rubrics A coherent set of criteria for students’ work that includes descriptions of levels of performance quality on the criteria. The descriptors tell the teachers (and students) what characteristics or signs to look for in the students’ work and how to rate that work on a predetermined scale.  Rubrics can be developed by students as well as by teachers.
Exemplars Samples of students’ work that serve as concrete standards against which other samples are judged.  Generally, there is one benchmark for each achievement level in a scoring rubric. 
Checklists These are lists of information, data, attributes or elements that should be present during the learning process. 
Anecdotal Records Anecdotal records are brief written notes based on observation of students.
Continuums or Learning Progressions These are visual representations of developmental stages of learning.  They show a progression of achievement and assist with identifying where a student is in a process.
Source:  PYP Making It Happen: A Curriculum Framework for International Primary Education. January 2007

Assessments are conducted constantly throughout the school year in order to help teachers monitor their students’ progress and to modify instruction accordingly.  They are used to detect whether or not effective teaching and an appropriate level of learning is taking place in the classroom. Assessments are also used to help students monitor their own progress.

With Semester Reports being distributed in less than two weeks, it is important to keep in mind that teachers use many assessments to determine the needs and abilities of students.  The achievement indicator(s) a child receives on the report is based upon multiple pieces of assessment data that have been collected over the course of the semester as opposed to only one test or project.  Additionally, often the most valuable assessments are observations or daily conversations that are not recorded in a formal way.   If you would like more information on assessment, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher Ms. Gale at egale@scis-china.org at any point in the school year.

More Photos from a wonderful week of learning and fun!

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