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Secondary Newsletter

1st April 2021

Dear Secondary Gecko Parents,

Bayside campus has been very quiet this week. Grade 12 students have been diligently practicing mock exams to prepare for May. Grades 10 and 11 participated in a variety of activities and sessions with our IB DP specialists on Monday and Tuesday to introduce the Diploma Programme to grade 10s, give the grade 11s an opportunity to reflect, and most importantly to connect the two grades who will both be in the IBDP together next year. Grades 10 and 11 have now joined the remainder of the grades on the social impact week day-trips focused on the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Students and teachers from grades 6-9 have been on these day-trips since Monday, learning and experiencing a wide range of topics. We look forward to hearing their reflections and presentations tomorrow.

Week Without Walls - Social Impact Week 
Students in Grades 6-11 have engaged in a diverse range of field trips focused on sustainability, social action, and how we can positively impact the communities in which we live.

Led by a range of experts from Keru Knowledge, each trip focused on how we can help bring about social change in ways that supports reaching the SDGs by 2030. Keru is a social impact and service-learning organization that bridges education and practice and brings together students and professionals from various industries.

Our grade 6 students explored concepts related to sustainable food production and consumption through visits to Harmony Life Rooftop Garden. Grade 7 students explored sustainability and oceans and learned about mangrove forests, coral conservation, and ocean life in Dapeng. Grade 8 students explored how to improve sustainability using the seven principles of Leave No Trace via visits to Feng Huang Mountain and Da Sha He Park. Grade 9 students learned about responsible consumption and production, curricular economies, and composting while grade 10 examined the critical role of water sustainability, different water sources, and clean water solutions. Grade 11 students learned about inclusion by visiting the Promised Land School in Longhua and how to contribute to a positive environment for differently abled people. The week concluded with an exhibition-style sharing of learning. Overall, the week has been a wonderful opportunity for students to learn together, challenge themselves physically and intellectually, work with different experts, explore different environments and the concept of active citizenship. Thanks to all our experts, teachers, and students for making the week such a success.



What Is a "Good" School? 

Test scores are often used to measure how "good" a school is. It is easy to point to quantitative feedback that shows growth in numbers as a measure of "good". While this is true to an extent, schools that focus on social emotional dimensions of learning; relationship building, social awareness, character development – may do a better job of improving long-term outcomes for students. A study released in February by the National Bureau of Economic Research at Northwestern University showed that while the schools that focused on social emotional learning may not have had the highest standardized test scores, they were more likely to motivate students to complete high school and attend universities. For more information about this study click on the following link from Edutopia.  

Of course, an ideal school would be one with high test scores that also emphasizes social emotional learning. At SIS, our focus is on rigorous academic expectations and the importance of social emotional learning. Our mentor program has been largely successful this year in developing relationships between students and their mentor and our staff has taken steps throughout the year to strengthen the role of the mentor in the lives of students at SIS. We continue to improve and develop our Gecko Core courses which focuses on developing students social and emotional intelligence using the CASEL 5 Core Competencies as a central theme in grades 6-12. Our current Week Without Walls activities are another way students and staff strengthen their relationships through common experience outside of the classroom. We encourage you to talk to your child about what they have been learning in Gecko Core, the relationship they have with their mentor teachers and their experiences during Week Without Walls. 

Remember, if you have questions, a great idea for a "Counselor Connection" topic, need a resource or want to schedule a meeting scan the QR code below to connect with your child's counselor!

Upcoming events
5 April 2021 - Holiday 
6 April - School returns to Bayside (normal schedule) 
10 April 2021 -  High School Prom 
12 May 2021 - Virtual University Fair, 8:30am-11am

All the best,
Craig Ortner (Secondary Associate Principal)
Cindy Barnsley (Secondary Associate Principal)

Copyright © 2019 Shekou International School, All rights reserved.

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