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Secondary Newsletter

12th November 2020

Dear Secondary Gecko Parents,

The positive feelings at Bayside continue to grow as more and more teachers return to campus, including notably a PE teacher with a smile visible even behind her mask. After school open gym activities also began this week, giving a wide variety of students access to several sports, with volleyball and badminton coaches acting as supervisors. Teachers and students alike are enjoying further return to routine while looking ahead to the (American) Thanksgiving holiday that coincides with our faculty Professional Learning days. 

SISMUN 2020: The Search for Justice in a Distorted World

Today, humanity faces the great issue of injustice, in both intimate and vast scales, and in all areas of the world. In our current world, millions are being denied their fundamental rights. Many who have fled their violence-ridden countries in search of safety have been denied asylum. Countries already in deep crises have been experiencing an emergency within an emergency, due to the recent spread of the global pandemic. Thousands have been brought to the streets, angered by systemic racism in their countries. The wealth gap that humanity has been attempting to reduce for decades has been growing ever wider. Even in the midst of a pandemic, we must not diverge our attention from these injustices still inherent in our world. 

This year, SISMUN has enlarged its scale from an in-house training program to hosting a local conference from the 20th-22nd November. We have invited international students and directors from 6 different schools; SCIE, KIS, QSI, ISNS, SWIS, and GOS. SISMUN 2020 hopes to teach individuals the joy of global engagement and the importance of solving global issues. Justice is the sum of all moral duty; we must advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves, and search for justice in a distorted world.

Yijoo, SISMUN 2020

Stay updated with SISMUN events/pictures/videos:

Spotlight on Humanities
In Grade 8 Humanities, students are following their own lines of Inquiry to learn about government.  At the beginning of the unit, students selected several areas of interest about various aspects of government and as the unit went on, focused and refined their questions to make for significant lines of research.  Students then followed a guided research process that helped them to become experts on their selected questions, as well as developing follow-up questions to inspire further learning.    

At the end of the week, students will present their learning to the class. This presentation will focus on various concepts of government including: power, structure, defense, taxation, infrastructure, and constitutions.  Students will use technological tools to visualize key concepts and public speaking skills to keep their audiences engaged.  As audiences, students will have to record their learning during each presentation so that everyone comes out of the experience better educated on this crucial aspect of 21st Century Learning. 

Mr Holz, Grade 8 Humanities

MS Assembles!  
The new MS StuCo were busy preparing for our first assembly this week. The event included the introduction of our new MS leadership team, a dance battle, and a performance that showcased the talents of G7 drama students Emma, Kylene, and Shian. The scene they performed is an excerpt from a play called Disruption: a Pandemic Decalogue, depicting three students getting used to a life on Zoom, missing each other and enjoying the ways they can stay connected. 

We are excited by the continuing opportunities to come together as community and to highlight learning and co-curricular experiences. Kudos to our new MS leaders, actors, dancers, and sound and lighting crew for being part of the first of many exciting assemblies to come. Go Geckos! 

AMC 8 Contest and Math competition
Deep thoughts and mathematical sense making swooped through the SIS canteen after school finished yesterday. Middle School students from across grades 6 to 8 challenged themselves to an intense 40-minute flight of difficult math problem solving as they participated in the AMC 8 from the MAA (Mathematical Association of America), a world-wide math competition that challenges students aged 14.5 and under to showcase their ability. Student's pencils skipped across their scratch paper as they made visual representations of their thinking, employing a flock of problem-solving skills developed in their math classrooms.

This mathematical stretching of wings and extension opportunity was the culmination of a combined effort of the High School Math Honor Society and the SIS Math teaching Team. The MHS members volunteered their time over the weeks leading up to the contest to help prepare our middle school mathematicians with the confidence and skills to tackle challenging problems in a variety of math disciplines. Special thanks to Seniors, Yijoo Choi and Brian Kim for their guidance and support. 

Mr Phillips, MS Mathematics


Physical Activity Increases Academic Performance 

With the demands of the modern world and the current situation we are in, we find ourselves more sedentary than ever. We all know that physical activity benefits our physical health, but we have to remember the link between physical activity and our mental health as well. There is extensive research and evidence about the positive impacts of physical activity on academic performance. Just the act of sitting for prolonged periods of time compresses our lungs and decreases blood flow and oxygen to the brain. An activity as simple as taking a short walk activates our brains just as much as our bodies.  

Start simple with reminders to do something active once an hour when you plan to be working on your computer for an extended period of time. Some suggestions are: 

Add the MOVE IT extension – If you use Google Chrome add this extension and you can set reminders for a screen to pop up at set durations with a short physical activity to do. 

  1. Homework breaks – Pick a short physical activity you can do for a break each hour you are working on homework. Try jumping jacks, running in place, jump rope or squats. Challenge yourself to do as many as you can in 5 minutes and then beat your record the next time! 

  2. Classroom energizers – Suggest to your teachers that the class can take a "brain break" half way through class. 

If you need some ideas for how to incorporate physical activity into your child's life reach out to one of the counselors or scan the QR code below to ask a question or share an idea!

Upcoming events
13th November - G11/12 Art trip to Overseas China Town
20th-22nd November - SISMUN (Model United Nations) Conference, Bayside
26th & 27th November - Professional Learning Days

All the best,

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

Copyright © 2019 Shekou International School, All rights reserved.

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