mekong messenger february 2015
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DESCRIPTIONMonthly newsletter from Northbridge International School Cambodia.
Date: February 2015 Issue: Twenty Two
Featured artist: Lysa, Gr 11
Message from the School Head, Steve Paterson
Dear NISC Students and Parents,
The past five-and-a-half years in Cambodia and at NISC have been life changing for me. In addition to the incredible experiences I have had, first as the Secondary Principal and then as the Head of School, I have been fortunate to marry my wonderful wife Chanthou, becoming a family with our two daughters and son.
After we married in 2011, Chanthou and I started the immigrant visa process to the United States for she and the girls. As that process neared completion I was obliged to inform the previous school owners of my intentions for after June, 2015. In May, 2014 I wrote to NBC to tell them that I would resign my position as Head of School effective as of June 2015.
This was not an easy decision for Chanthou and me. In the end it came down to what was best for our family, both now and in the future. We decided that the right thing to do for our family was to finish the immigration process and eventually secure U.S. citizenship for Chanthou and the girls.
When Nord Anglia Education purchased NISC in July, 2014 I spoke with George Ghantous, the Regional Managing Director, about my decision. He gave me space to think about it in light of the sale and the new company we were now a part of. The transition to Nord Anglia Education is challenging and rewarding and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I have met amazing colleagues from around the world and I believe that Nord Anglia Education will bring NISC to the next level on its evolution as a school. Their commitment to providing the best education to our students is relentless and unwavering.
It is difficult to reconsider a major life decision once you have made up your mind. After reflection, Chanthou and I decided that the best thing for our family was to return to the U.S. and pursue citizenship there. I spoke with George in October and confirmed my intentions to leave NISC at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. We had communicated regularly in the past three months and he was prepared for the decision.
The last five-and-a-half years at NISC have been amazing. I am very proud of all that we have accomplished. NISC has a dedicated group of teachers and administrators who will continue on with the work already in progress. NISC students and teachers will benefit from being part of Nord Anglia Education and all that it offers. I am confident the school will continue its evolution to become one of the best schools in South East Asia!
Our NISC Vision: Inspiring ethical, respectful and compassionate global leadership .
We are delighted to be able to introduce you all to our new school Principal, Sarah Osborne-James who will be joining our NISC community for the 2015/16 academic year with her family.
Sarah was born and raised in Birmingham in the UK and graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She has a certificate of International School Leadership with the Principals Training Center and is currently completing her Masters of Education in International Education Administration.
After teaching in a Primary School in the UK for three years, she began her overseas teaching career in Colombia. Over the last fifteen years Sarah has worked in two different IB schools in Bogota, Colombia and has held various leadership roles across the three IB Programmes (PYP, MYP & DP).
Sarah serves on the IB Heads Council and advises the IB Director General on strategic issues with other Heads around the world and is an Executive Board member of the Latin American Heads Association. Sarah has extensive knowledge and experience of accreditation in international education with CIS, NEASC, LAHC and EFQM.
Sarah is currently the Headmistress of The English School, Bogota, where she is leading an innovative and ambitious Strategic Plan for 1,800 students and over 200 teachers.
Sarah fell in love with Asia in her younger years travelling and has always wanted to return to Asia to live and work. She is very excited to be joining the NISC community and looks forward to taking NISC from strength to strength.
Sarah is married to Chris who is also an educator and has an 11-year-old son Zachary.
You will have the opportunity to meet Sarah in person in May, when she will attend the grand opening of our brand new facilities - more information on this event coming soon.
Introducing our new
To help ease any confusion over the new job title, please note that with effect from August 2015 our Senior Lead-ership Team titles will change so that they reflect those within the Nord Anglia Education group of 31 schools.
School Principal Ms. Sarah Osborne-James
Head of Secondary Mr. Ian Hunt
Head of Primary Ms. Jimena Zalba
NISC students and teachers feature in our latest Caught
Reading campaign. They sent photographs of themselves
reading in different places over the winter break.
Look out around campus for banners featuring these NISC stars!
Would you like to recommend a teacher, a member of staff or a student to appear on this page?
Please send your recommendation to [email protected]
We love to hear about the successes of our graduates and former teachers. Weve set up the NISC Alumni Network on Facebook and Linked In to keep in touch with former NISC stars.
before 13 It seems that some Primary School students at NISC have Facebook accounts even though the permitted minimum age to use the site is 13, according to Facebooks terms and conditions. NISC is committed to promoting the safe and responsible use of the Internet and as such we feel it is our responsibility to raise this particular issue as a concern. Websites such as Facebook offer amazing communication and social connections, however they are created with their audience in mind and this is specifically over 13 years old. Possible risks for children under 13 using the site may include:
Facebook use age targeted advertising and therefore your child could be exposed to adverts of a sexual or other inappropriate nature, depending on the age they stated they were when they registered
Children may accept friend requests from people they dont know in real life which could increase the risk of inappropriate contact or behaviour
Language, games, groups and content posted or shared on Facebook is not moderated, and therefore can be offensive, illegal or unsuitable for children
Photographs shared by users are not moderated and therefore children could be exposed to inappropriate images or even post their own
Underage users might be less likely to keep their identities private and lying about their age can expose them to further risks regarding privacy settings and options
Facebook could be exploited by bullies and for other inappropriate contact
Facebook cannot and does not verify its members therefore it is important to remember that if your child can lie about who they are online, so can anyone else.
We feel it important to point out to parents the risks of underage use of such sites. These Facebook accounts will have been created away from school and sometimes by a child, their friends, siblings or even parents. We will take action (such as reporting under aged profiles) if a problem comes to our attention that involves the safety or wellbeing of any of our students.
Thank you to the parents who took the time to complete the Parent Survey on uniform preferences. Students have visited our exhibition of feedback and have been inspired to design their own ideas.
View the Exhibition Boards by clicking here.
A Uniform Approach
Students submit their design ideas
Students vote for their favourite ideas
Mr Steve, Head of School meets with STUCO
Leadership Team meets with suppliers to finalise design
Final uniform design will be revealed!
From the School Nurse
There has been one confirmed case of Influenza A in our school, with the child recovering at a hospital. Please watch your child closely for any symptoms of high fever, chills, stuffy nose, cough, body aches, headaches, earaches and sometimes even diarrhea and vomiting. If your child displays any of these symptoms, especially high fever and vomiting, please keep them at home. Children showing these symptoms at school will promptly be sent home.
What is Influenza? Influenza or flu is a contagious respiratory tract infection caused by the Influenza virus. It is similar to the common cold, but symptoms are more severe. It is spread through droplets from an infected person's mouth and nose during sneezing, coughing, talking and laughing. Also, anyone can get the virus by touching anything that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose. It could potentially affect any age, though kids are more prone to it due to weaker body resistance. Generally, flu viruses usually cause the most illness during the colder months of the year. Its typical duration lasts about 7 days or so.
How can we avoid it? Getting a flu shot will protect you from influenza and lessen the effect of the virus in your body. Hand washing is one of the easiest and simpler ways to avoid and stop the spread of flu virus. You should also:
Boost your immune system by eating nutritious food and drinking plenty of fluids.
Cover your mouth and nose with tissue while sneezing or coughing (and dispose of
soiled tissue properly).
Stay home - children with confirmed cases of flu or other contagious diseases should
rest at home until the sickness is subdued and treated.
Inform the school right away in order to help exercise health measures.
For any questions or concerns regarding this matter, contact the School Nurse at [email protected] .
Health Check with School Nurse
Ms Cherry Rose
Dont Miss the YAPP Track and Field Day!
From the Primary School
Between February 5-8th 2015, 160 student athletes will
gather in Phnom Penh for the MRISA Senior Basketball
Tournament, hosted by ISPP at their Secondary School
Girls schedule on Friday 6th February: 10:00am vs HIS /
2:00pm vs VIS / 4:00pm vs SSIS
Boys schedule on Friday 6th February: 11:00am vs
ISHCMC / 1:00pm vISPP / 3:00pm vs ISE
On Saturday 7th, semi finals will happen at 11:00am for
girls and at 12:00 noon for boys.
Swimming The third swim meet of the year takes place on
Saturday January 31st at the Olympic Stadium host-
ed by iCAN school. Races start at 8:00am.
Soccer NISC will host the ISSAPP (Phnom Penh local league)
Junior soccer tournament on Saturday 7th February.
Nine different schools will participate to the main
event of the soccer season.
From the Primary School
More than 300 International Schools over the world do this assessment and use the results to evaluate their instructional programmes, measure and monitor individual students achievement and track progress over time. With so many schools undertaking this assessment, we can compare NISCs performance to all other schools and to schools with similar student demographics. In late April, a detailed record of your childs performance will be available. This report details your childs performance in Mathematical Literacy, Reading and Writing.
The assessment will take place Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th of February 2015 in the mornings. After the test, students will resume their regular
Students who are absent on these days will have the opportunity to take the test in the following week.
In order for your child to perform at their best, it is important that they:
Have a good nights sleep (about 8-10 hours)
Have eaten a healthy breakfast
Arrive at 7.50am. The test begins at 8:00am.
Bring a healthy snack to eat
Our aim is for the students to be comfortable and confident during the assessment. Your help with this is appreciated.
Primary Update from Primary School
Principal Ms Zalba
During the week beginning Monday 2nd February, the International Schools Assessment (ISA) will be administered to most of our students from Grade 3 to Grade 10. The ISA is designed to assess how well international school students can apply their mathematical, reading and writing skills to situations relating to real life in the 21st century.
Save the Date!
Why are we having a
Here are some of the many reasons:
1. It is a way to support and promote our school
vision and mission
2. Kindness makes people feel good about themselves
3. To promote empathy, self-awareness, self-
reflection and positive relationships
From the Primary School
How can parents support the
1. Ask your child about his/her kindness goal at school
2. Invite or promote your child to apply the same or
similar goals at home
Were pleased to introduce the Primary School Kindness Campaign, which begins on Monday 2nd February. During the month of February, students in the Primary School will have a kindness goal to achieve throughout the day. The goal may be smiling at someone they dont know, saying thank you to the kitchen staff members, or inviting a classmate to play with them. On a daily basis, students will also have the opportunity to reflect on their goals.
Avoiding lateness to class in the morning
The road construction outside the school is a welcome development but is
currently causing some traffic delays and is likely to continue for several months.
To avoid arriving to school late in the morning - missing part of the first lesson
and causing disruption to the class - please advise your driver to leave home
earlier every day until the new road is finished.
To help parents advise their driver as to the best time to leave home, the
Secondary School secretary Ms. Margie will call parents each morning to advise
them if their child is arriving late to school.
Thank you in advance for your continued support in making learning a priority at
Exciting news! From 27th February to 9th March, Secondary students will be embarking on our first Nord Anglia
Education Tanzania Expedition. They will be flying to the small town of Arusha, Tanzania and meeting up with
other students in the Nord Anglia Education family to do service work within local villages.
Not only will we be helping others, but our students will take part in leadership and team-building activities that
are sure to help them grow as risk takers and global citizens.
From the Secondary School
TENx, the Grade 10's Personal Project
Exhibition will be held Monday 2nd
February, in our school library. NISC
Students will visit the exhibition from
12.30pm until 4:00pm, and the parents
and teacher supervisors of the students
are invited to visit from 4pm until 7pm.
During the early evening session students
will give insightful talks about the process
they have just completed.
From the Secondary School
From the Secondary STUCO
Cultural Festival 2014
Grade 12 February is a month where many students feel a sense of relief and much of the stress from the first semester finally subsides. With the final deadline for the Extended Essay in the past, students are now setting up culminating interviews with their supervisors to conduct the Viva Voce. The IB requires that the supervisor and school ensure the Essay is the authentic work of the student. The Viva Voce is an interview wherein the supervisor can prompt the student to reflect on the planning, research and writing processes to gain insight into the prior 12 months. Following these interviews, supervisors will complete the Extended Essay cover sheets with their students, outlining any specific challenges overcome along the way to producing the 4000-word thesis. By the end of February, these Essays will be mailed all over the world to specialist examiners in very particular academic fields both at other IB schools and in universities.
With first drafts of the Theory of Knowledge Essay due the third week of January, early February is a time for intense scrutiny to develop the Essay into a polished final draft. The writing process began back in October with the release of the prescribed titles, and students have been led through the unpacking of titles, consideration of the assessment rubric, and the planning and drafting process. The submission of the TOK Essay follows the Academic Retreat for grade 12, which will take place February 11-13. The Academic Retreat will take place at the Intercontinental Hotel Phnom Penh from 11th-13th February - the approach to the agenda will attempt to engage the whole person with elements of academic, physical, social and emotional life. Students will have time for Creativity, Action, Service reflection, some physical activity meant to promote fitness, and exam preparation strategies, among other things.
Now with the first semester in the books, Grade 11 students should take a moment to look back on their initial few months in the Diploma Programme and reflect on what they could have done differently. Whether it was the hours allocated for study, their attention to detail in the classroom, their daily attendance for first block, or the effort put into developing their CAS activities, all students surely have improvements to make. Students should look to their reports sent home on the final days of school in December for data to use in planning the progress they hope to make by June. The Grade Tracking Forms that students began in September should now be filled in with the report grades, as this will help students to see whether they are on track to successfully complete the full IB Diploma. February is a fairly important month for Grade 11 as it coincides with the Academic Retreat in Kep. Students will be working together to complete fieldwork in the environmental and life sciences within Kep National Park. Also, students will engage with various other activities meant to expose them to new experiences and to develop a sense of community amongst the students. After the conclusion of the retreat, the Extended Essay will be introduced to the class by Mr. Lance, and brainstorming will begin in earnest. The Essay, a 4000-word behemoth, is best undertaken in chunks rather than all at once. Students will identify subjects where their research will be most successful, and they will begin to develop interesting research questions.
Today in the Diploma Programme Today in the Diploma Programme
Students begin the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course by reflecting on who they are as individual persons, and as members of different communities. From here the course explores how our knowledge is influenced by who we are and how we learn, how knowledge is constructed and used, and how it changes from different perspectives. Students examine value systems and how these can act as filters for knowledge and learning.
This is why: "The course asks provocative questions, discusses current issues and events and asks students to understand and appreciate diversity in thinking, [openmindedness], responsibility for how knowledge is used" and, hopefully, a continued "fascination with the richness of knowledge as a human endeavour" (TOK Subject Guide). Students complete an oral presentation on a topic of their choice that investigates a problem of knowledge as well as write an essay on one of six prescribed subject areas.
Diploma Programme Spotlight
THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE:
a JOURNEY IN WHO WE ARE
AND HOW WE KNOW
Mr LANCE JACKSON
MR Jeffery Heitmann
Diploma Programme Spotlignt
Diploma Programme Spotlight
Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.
(Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll) This year these questions are:
1. There is no such thing as a neutral question. Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.
2. There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment. To what extent do you agree with this statement?
3. There is no reason why we cannot link facts and theories across disciplines and create a common groundwork of explanation. To what extent do you agree with this statement?
4. With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge.
5. Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments. To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Diploma Programme Spotlignt
Mr John Nash is one of our school counsellors - he works with our seniors to help them
with choosing and applying to universities. Heres Mr Johns update on applications.
University Acceptances are Starting to Arrive!
NISCs seniors are starting to receive university acceptance letters! Thus far our seniors have been accepted to
the University for the Creative Arts in
Epsom and the University of Southhampton
both in the United Kingdom, Northeastern
University and New York University in the
United States, and Blue Mountains Interna-
tional Hotel Management School in Australia.
Congratulations to these seniors!
As my British friends might say, these are still
early days for university acceptances. Many
schools will not release their acceptances for
several months. Additionally, students
applying to universities in Australia will not
receive their acceptances until after the end of
NISCs school year in June.
University Representatives Visit NISC
In December and January, NISC students had the opportunity to meet with university representatives visiting
from Augustana College in South Dakota, USA, and Shoreline Community College in Washington State, USA; Ecole
htelire de Lausanne, Switzerland.
Education USA Fair
More than 20 universities
and colleges from the
United States will be at the
Intercontinental Hotel on
Sunday 1st February from
3pm to 7pm. Parents and
students are welcome to
go to the hotel and to
speak with university
representatives to find out
what studying in the US
has to offer.
Poet Kosal Khiev met Secondary School students in the library in January, to share his
story and his words. A Grade 12 student reflects on the thought-provoking visit.
Im a long-time fan of Cambodian American spoken word artist, Kosal Khiev, so it was a fantastic opportunity to hear his inspiring words when he spoke to Northbridge students on 22nd January. Kosal was born in a refugee camp during the Khmer Rouge era, and went to live in the US with his family when he just was a child. He told us that he made a lot of wrong choices when he was a teenager and joined a gang. At just 16 years old, he was im-prisoned for 16 years. On his release from prison, he was detained and deported as an alien, to Cambodia, a country he had never set foot in.
Kosal told NISC students he had survived in prison by turning to education and reading, and writing poetry. His favorite books in prison were The Three Musket-eers by Alexandre Dumas (which he has read six times!) and The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho. Masahiro Sugano, the di-rector of a documentary about Kosal, also spoke to the students. His film, Cambodian Son, which took more than two years to make, will premiere this week in Phnom Penh movie theaters.
Kosals poetry has inspired me in many ways and the story of his struggles has motivated me to keep pushing forward. In his performances, he delivers his mes-sage with such energy; I think this is be-cause he speaks from his heart and this is what makes the real connection between him and his audience. I chose to write my Extended Essay about Kosals spoken word poems, and I think it is great that he can share his story with NISC students so we can hear first-hand about the prob-lems that happen in the world we live in. Kosals story shows that we can turn a negative life story into a positive energy to push yourself to become someone who can make a change in this world.
Secondary School - Student Reflection
Cambodian Son -
a visit from Kosal Khiev
P.O. Box 2042, Phnom Penh 3
Kingdom of Cambodia
Phone: (+855) 023 886 000/ -006
E-mail: [email protected]
We like to recognize and acknowledge the accomplishments of our students by sometimes placing pictures of
them in NISC publications, on our website or our Facebook page. If you do not want pictures of your child to
be included in the school website or publications, please contact the school office immediately. Thank you.