The 2020-2021 school year began like no other. From an exclusively safe and streamed online Opening Day to the welcoming of new and returning families and the profound need to be thankful for our health, safety, and ability to attend school on a regular basis (when other parts of the world were - and still are - facing lockdowns without open schools). From the teachers’ continued implementation of our enhanced curriculum to the lovely holidays of Mid-Autumn Festival filled with moon cakes and reconnection; from the not-so-small miracle of in-person Parent-Teacher Conferences and the joy of a long-promised World Scholars Cup and Australian Mathematics Competition where FLIS students amazed and astounded, to the heartfelt, festive Christmas Party, this was a first semester unlike any other for FLIS staff, students and families!
It isn’t easy to choose just a few highlights, as there were so many this semester, but we do wish to acknowledge the following areas from ECE, Primary and Secondary Schools:
▶ 营养均衡的餐点 Good Food
Our ECE students were happily satisfied with the healthy, fresh, and delicious food provided by our school canteen.
▶ 国际早期教育课程 IEYC
With the launch of the IEYC program this year, each student now has an IEYC portfolio to record their learning journey from Nursery to Kindergarten. Our kindergarteners took an exciting IEYC themed field trip to the helicopter hangar and experienced some excellent exit and entry points such as the Dinosaur Museum in which the whole school staff was invited to participate. Mr. Sam, the Principal of Secondary, was very impressed and said he cannot wait for them to come to secondary school!
▶ 专业的教职工们 Dedicated Staff
This semester the ECE staff completed 40 hours of IEYC training together over a 3-week period, including evenings and weekends, to better deliver the IEYC program.
▶ 开放日活动 School Open House
Another highlight was the ECE open house and students engaged in fun learning activities with their parents. Presentations were given by school leaders, Mr. Eddy and Ms. Jeanne, about child development and creating a positive learning environment at home.
▶ 圣诞老人的礼物与圣诞演出 Santa and Christmas Performances
Santa visited from the North Pole and gave presents to all the boys and girls in ECE! The students were very excited and got to take photos with Santa. At the end of the day, Santa told Mr. Eddy and Ms. Chloe how impressed he was with the ECE Christmas performances and that he’s looking forward to seeing the kids again next year!
▶ 勤奋的英语强化班学子与教师 Hard-Working Pull-Out Students and Teachers
This year our pull-out teachers and students have at least two English lessons every day and because of this hard work, a large number of students will progress to mainstream English lessons next semester. We hope these determined students keep up the good work and dedication next semester!
▶ 线上学习颇显成效 Improvement of Technological Skills
Students have built on the skills they learned during the online schooling period which has allowed for more productive student research and projects. Now we can fit more learning content into limited screen time.
▶ 教师的额外付出 Teachers Going the Extra Mile
Not only have our primary teachers taken on extra supervisory duties to keep students as safe as possible, but this semester they completed 40 hours of IPC professional training together over a 3-week period, including evenings and weekends.
▶ IPC教学的进步 Improvements in the IPC curriculum
We have made progress in many areas of the IPC. Each grade level now has its own entry and exit point, students enjoyed a number of IPC related field trips, and now students have their own IPC folders which will be brought forward through each of their primary grades at school. Individual student learning and progress will be recorded throughout their IPC journey here at FLIS.
▶ Language Development 语言发展
At FLIS we value the ongoing development of language ability and in every class in the secondary department our teachers have put the effort into developing their curriculum to reflect the language level of each individual student. For example, each subject teacher has created a list of key unit vocabulary allowing students to understand the importance of learning subject specific language for their academic development.
The fact that our language development is not just limited to the language classes but integrated across our curriculum has a huge impact on the progress that students make. Our students know that our entire teaching team works together towards the same goal of providing them with the best quality international education. Results of this are reflected in the academic standards reached by our students.
▶ Digital Learning 电子学习
During the lockdown period at the start of the last year we had to try something new in order to continue providing education to our students: online classes. As teachers worked very hard to adapt to the new ways of teaching and students too struggled to adjust, it was clear that there was room for improvement.
As such, this year we have made a big push to improve digital learning in the school. First, the school computer lab was completely updated, with hardware and software to allow students access to the most advanced middle school computer science curricula. Next, our internet connectivity was addressed to allow students to use digital devices as an important tool for research and inquiry. In addition, we have developed our student’s self-management skills to use technology to become more independent learners.
The result of all of this is that student digital literacy is at an all time high, and our students now have the knowledge and skills to face future tech challenges. Certainly, their newfound ICT abilities will serve them well in the future.
▶ WSC 世界学者杯
The past year has been one of great change. Change of curriculum, change of teaching, change of learning and change of expectations. However, in the last month of the year (at least on a western calendar) we had an opportunity to show off our success, at the World Scholar’s Cup!
The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves, excelled in all of the events (Debating, quizzing and academic writing) and beat all the competition! The result of this experience was not just about winning, but also about learning and growing from the event. FLIS students had all come to the event with high hopes and left uplifted by the feeling of pride for their fellow students. With one last chant, “Lakeside! Lakeside! Lakeside!” we returned carrying not just medals and trophies but also a new level of respect and admiration for each other. Our students demonstrated that they have the strength and spirit to face any challenge, and not just survive, but thrive!
For this great achievement, credit should go to our English and Science teachers Mr. Matt and Ms. Mosh, who helped train the students for the competition.
One thing that has had a big impact on secondary school is our new Global Assessment Certification program from the American ACT organization. Since September our senior students have begun the first of 3 levels of this new program. Upon completion in full, the students will receive an internationally accredited certificate that is recognized by universities across the world.
The students that have taken the course all just passed the first level of the GAC and have started the next level. The skills they learn will help them in the next stage of their studies abroad and in college. These students have also been taking on more responsibility in the school, acting as house leaders, and playing important roles in school events.
We wish our seniors all the best in the coming semester and look forward to the results of this new program.
This year was especially exciting with the news of our successful application to become an IB candidate school. The process to get to this stage has been a long and demanding one, especially with the extra challenges we faced in 2020. A huge amount of effort has been given by teachers, including many hours of professional development, curriculum development, and the additional labor of implementing new ways of delivering lessons into their everyday classes.
But there should be no doubt that all the effort has paid off; the result of this diligent work is a curriculum specifically tailored towards the needs of each student. We are not just taking a foreign system and transplanting it to China. Instead we are using the best examples of practices around the world, including locally, and creating something new. Students are taught not only the knowledge, but the skills that they need to thrive along with the attributes that will help them to become the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs in an ever-changing world.
As the first semester comes to an end, the start of a new semester is a time of challenge and growth, to realize we have the power to spend our energy setting intentions, visualizing the best-case scenario, and setting goals for the work necessary to optimize our resilience. We can exercise compassion for ourselves and others by giving our time and attention to each other. The FLIS team wishes everyone blessings of abundance, vibrant health, joy, and laughter in 2021 and beyond. Thank you for being a part of our beloved FLIS community. Be well!