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Secondary Newsletter

15th October 2020

Dear Secondary Gecko Parents,

Teachers returning and arriving in China

We have good news and it is continuing to get better with a number of our teachers arriving in Shenzen this week. MS humanities teacher, Jennifer Hannah, returns to classes today and was greeted by students and colleagues with great enthusiasm as she came up the Bayside escalators. Jacqueline Suh, MS/HS maths, will also be back on campus on Monday and Alastair Fairman, who has extensive experience in international schools in Vietnam, Thailand and China, joins our EAL team this week.  A number of our faculty from Canada, Asia, Europe, and the US are currently in the air, or in quarantine, and we are optimistic that more and more staff will be returning over the coming weeks as visas are issued and flights are arranged. This is great news for our students, families, and staff as we come together as a school community in this year of recovery. 

Secondary Photos - Tuesday 20th October

A reminder that we will have a photo day on Tuesday. This year, students will have individual photos only and students are asked to please wear their black SIS polo shirts to school and bring their PE gear to school on that day. Students will receive a card from the photography company, Pret-a-Portrait, which they will bring home to parents with details of how to view and order photographs online. 

Focus on Maths

Greetings Geckos!
There have been lots of exciting happenings in the SIS Mathematics department to start the 2020 year. As a team, we have been trying to focus on finding the real-world applications that accompany all that we do. 
In the Grade 10, Integrated 3 course, we started the year by being inspired by the work of Hans Rosling and the Gapminder organization ( If you have the chance, take the time to watch one of his Ted Talks, or go to the website and take the Gapminder Global Facts Test. Rosling was a world-renowned professor of Global Health and specialized in using statistics to break down misconceptions we all have about the world we live in.
After learning the skills associated with Bivariate Statistical investigations, the students used their skills to investigate a relationship of their choosing. Some of the most interesting topics included:

  1. What is the relationship between the mean number of years young women attend school and the GDP of the country?
  2. What is the relationship between GDP and CO2 emissions in the world’s countries?
  3. What is the relationship between the birth rate and child mortality rate in the world’s countries?

What does this tell you about the world? How could world leaders use this information to positively impact the lives of people? Can we use this information to make predictions about what would happen if a country were to lower its child mortality rate? What other questions do these findings lead you to wonder about?

SIS Maths Department  

Middle School StuCo

We are excited to announce that Middle School Student Council (StuCo) will commence in the coming weeks. This year, our middle school leadership team will partner with the high school StuCo to create a dynamic experience for Bayside students. 

There are a variety of leadership opportunities for students such as StuCo President and Vice President, a team leader of Geckos Go Green, Media and Social Communications, Service and Social Justice Initiative, or the Community and Events Team. Students also have an opportunity to be a Grade Level Representative with two students representing each grade.

Interested students must submit a campaign video to FlipGrid by Friday, October 23 at 8:00AM. Middle School students will watch the campaign videos and vote during Mentor Time on Wednesday, October 28.. 

We look forward to fostering a culture of leadership, student voice and student choice here at Bayside.

MS StuCo advisors

October 10 was World Mental Health Day. This year more than ever we are experiencing an increase in global mental health issues. Everyone and anyone can be impacted, and mental health issues cross all racial, sexual, political and class boundaries. Children and teens are not immune to mental health issues and serious issues such as depression can begin in childhood. Now is a good time to reflect on how well we are doing, and how we can offer support to those around us.  

At SIS, we continue to focus on Recovery. We continue to welcome back colleagues and students. We continue to reintegrate and to celebrate. And, we also continue to be aware that the trauma and transitions and uncertainty have real impacts on us at varying stages. It is important that we take the time to check in with ourselves and those around us, to ask 'How are you?' And to listen when struggles are shared.  Here is an excellent video that offers advice about how you can help someone who is struggling, by taking the time to listen.  

Supporting Others – how can you help? 

If you are interested in finding out about mental health there is an illustrated guide to stress, a children's book and more in this resource put together by the World Health Organisation:

Learning and engagement are optimized when we feel safe and taken care of. We encourage open discussions at home so mental health is seen as an important part of self care. Please always feel welcome to speak to your counselor at school to help you and your family make the most of the learning experiences this year by first taking care of your mental wellbeing.  This Optimistic October calendar is a good reminder of small things we can do every day to maintain our mental well-being, any month of the year.


Upcoming Events
20th October - Secondary Photo Day
23rd October - Progress Reports Released (5pm)
28th October - MS Stuco elections

All the best,

Craig Ortner (HS Assistant Principal)
Cindy Barnsley (MS Assistant Principal)
Phil Rogers (Secondary Principal)

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