Lower School Principal’s Post #15

Dear Families,

Grade 2 students showing off their crazy hair styles for Crazy Hair Day on Tuesday during Spirit Week!

It’s hard to believe there are only 10 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 13th.  Semester reports will be sent home on this day via a link sent to SCIS parent-email accounts.  Semester Two will begin on Monday, January 6th

We look forward to seeing many parents attend the Kindergarten through Grade 5 Winter Concert titled, “In Our Happy Place,” 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.  We look forward to seeing all parents at what is certain to be a fantastic event!   Below is information on the concert attire required for each grade level:

  • KINDERGARTEN students are asked to wear their PE uniform as their concert attire
  • GRADE 1 students are asked to wear blue jeans and a white t-shirt
  • GRADE 2 students are asked to wear their favorite pajamas
  • GRADE 3 students are asked to wear all black clothing
  • GRADES 4 & 5 students are asked to wear 1970’s Disco-inspired fashion

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.

SCIS-Pudong Winter Festival

We hope to see many SCIS families and friends on campus tomorrow for the PAFA sponsored Winter Festival from 11:30am-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!

In addition to the Winter Festival there are several other events happening tomorrow including an Early Childhood parent education workshop focused on The Power of Play-Based Learning from 9:30am-10:30am in room 102.  There will also be an Open House for potential new families taking place from 10:30-12:00pm.  Lastly, at 3:00pm many Upper School students will take the Theater stage to perform the Addams Family musical. 

Shout-out to KLM!

It was a full house at the KLM Bookstore on Wednesday where students sold self-published books to various members of the SCIS Community!

On Thursday, students in Ms. Mount’s Kindergarten class opened the KLM Bookstore where they sold a variety of self-published books covering a range of topics.  During the bookstore opening, KLM authors took great pride in reading their texts to parents, students, and teachers.  Although there were several copies available of the books, many were completely sold out by the end of the event.  Way to go, KLM authors!

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 our initial roll-out of Seesaw (August 2017) we have had 79,503 total parent visits to class and student journals, 46,895 total likes and 9,827 total comments on student work.  By comparison, last year at this time we had a total of 39,145 parent visits to class and student journals, 26,184 total likes, and 5241 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.

Grade 2 Engineers Unveil their Simple Machine Creations

Last Friday morning, Grade 2 students gathered in the Black Box to present their creative and innovative ideas, designs, and machine prototypes that evolved as a result of their most recent unit of inquiry, Where we are in Place and Time focused on Simple Machines.  During this unit students explored the function of simple machines (how they work) and the impact of simple machines on our lives over time.  During the learning celebration, students shared the journey of their inquiry into simple machines that included documentation of the learning process through the use of the book creator app.  If you’re interested in seeing some of the students’ fantastic work please click on this link: https://teachersh.scis-his.net/pudonglowerschool/simple-machines-by-grade-2/

Limiting the Loss of Personal Belongings

With the recent change in weather and the need for students to come to school in multiple layers of clothing, we ask that parents take extra care to label all of your child’s personal belongings.  In the event, that an item is misplaced, the item can easily be returned to its owner if it is properly labeled with the child’s name and grade. 

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.

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 or Mr. Ian Sylvester at isylvester@scis-china.org at any point in the school year.

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