We had a decent turn-out at the DigCit Parent Session on Tuesday morning with 21 primary and secondary parents attending - some great initial discussions!
This was the first of several sessions where our focus was to share tech challenges and successes, AISM's approach to Digital Citizenship, the importance of home/school partnerships especially in this area & sharing parent-friendly practical suggestions and resources. One of the main aims was to involve parents in deciding other possible foci for future sessions.
This truly is an area where community involvement - students, teachers and parents - is needed in order for us to navigate successfully! Here are the resources, presentation and handouts that we included - looking forward to sharing further in future sessions - more information to come!
Parent Handouts: Be the Parent
We are excited to launch a new journalism initiative at the school, where a team of student journalists are creating and curating news stories from around our community, both inside and outside the school gates. We have titled our online magazine 'The Buffalo Blog' and our first AISM core journalism team is made up of this exceptional group of students from grades 7-10:
In the meantime, check out the latest stories about our new MUN leadership (Felix), our volleyball teams (Alex), a unique Grade 8 Shakespeare project (Ashton and Connie), and a Grade 6 creative ATL project (Mr Rui).
Heating up on the press are further exciting articles on our scuba diving ASA (Cora), the effects of music on the brain while studying (Atharv), Mozambique’s first professional surfer (Tendai), and bullying in school environments (Gaia).
Do you have any ideas for other exciting content for the site? If so, please get in touch with me at [email protected] or the PTA representatives.
Rui da Silva
As we do every year, we have been unpacking the AISM Diploma Program May 2023 exam results. Below are some highlights of our results. Congratulations to the Class of 2023!
More analysis & details forthcoming...
At AISM, we employ the RULER Approach, developed by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, to guide our teaching and learning in Advisory classes. Additionally, we adhere to the SHAPE standards to guide instruction on essential topics such as Puberty and Adolescent Sexual Development, Gender Identity & Expression, Sexual Orientation & Identity, Sexual Health, Consent & Healthy Relationships, and Interpersonal Violence. Click here for the Middle School and High School RULER Unit Overviews.
Advisory is a regularly scheduled class within our Secondary School, aimed at facilitating regular meetings for small groups of students. These sessions foster relationships beyond the academic realm and provide a platform for learning directly related to their well-being. Advisors, who are responsible for planning and facilitating these classes, collaborate with the Social Emotional Counselor to offer targeted workshops on health and well-being topics. Advisory is a weekly fixture in all Secondary School grades, spanning from Grades 6 to 12.
The MYP aims to help students develop their personal understanding, their emerging sense of self and responsibility in their community.Teaching and learning in the MYP is underpinned by the following concepts:
Teaching and learning in context
Students learn best when their learning experiences have context and are connected to their lives and their experience of the world that they have experienced.
Using global contexts
MYP students develop an understanding of their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet through developmentally appropriate explorations of:
Concepts are big ideas that have relevance within specific disciplines and across subject areas. MYP students use concepts as a vehicle to inquire into issues and ideas of personal, local and global significance and examine knowledge holistically. The MYP prescribes sixteen key interdisciplinary concepts along with related concepts for each discipline.
Approaches to learning
A unifying thread throughout all MYP subject groups, approaches to learning (ATL) provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Developing and applying these social, thinking, research, communication and self management skills helps students learn how to learn.
Service as action, through community service
Action and service have always been shared values of the IB community. Students take action when they apply what they are learning in the classroom and beyond. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service—making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment. Service as action is an integral part of the programme, especially in the MYP community project.
Inclusion and learning diversity in MYP
As part of the MYP curriculum, schools address differentiation within the written, taught and assessed curriculum. This is demonstrated in the unit planner and in the teaching environment, both of which are reviewed during programme authorization and evaluation.
The MYP allows schools to continue to meet state, provincial or national legal requirements for students with access needs. Schools must develop an inclusion/special educational needs (SEN) policy that explains assessment access arrangements, classroom accommodations and curriculum modification that meet individual student learning needs.
Schools are often guilty of using too many systems - and here at AISM, we are no different! In an attempt to change this, here are the three main systems that we use at AISM.
AISM processes personal data on its prospective, current and former students and their parents or legal representatives, as part of its everyday operations of providing educational services. For more information, read our Data Privacy Notice. Also access AISM's Device Acceptable Use Guidelines
Each MYP subject has students working towards four main objectives from Grade 6 through Grade 10 (see graphic below). These objectives target key disciplinary skills and form the basis of the criteria used to assess student performance on a variety of tasks. As students progress through the Middle Years Program, the names of these assessment objectives remain the same, but the performance criteria become more complex.
Let me give you an example: Assessment Criterion A in Language and Literature is “Analyzing”.
Let’s take a look at how the performance expectations get more sophisticated as students move through the program:
*The MYP provides us with scaffolded assessment expectations for Grade 6, 8 and 10 only. In grades 7 and 9, teachers will use a combination of the previous and following years’ expectations. Teacher implementation of these expectations is informed by our AISM learning outcomes to ensure developmental appropriateness.
In the MYP, teachers will report on student progress via ManageBac, roughly every three weeks. You will receive an email from ManageBac indicating that there are comments and grades (depending on the task), available for your viewing. If you have not been receiving these notifications, please reach out to our IT Helpdesk at, [email protected].
Assessment in MYP comes with its own language and a unique grading system. Below, we will address a few frequently asked questions that are common from MYP parents and students:
What are these A, B, C, D Criteria? All MYP subjects have students working towards four objectives - labeled as Criterion A, B, C and D. While these objectives are not the same in each subject, there are always four, labeled as A, B, C, D (see graphic below*). Each MYP assessment task (formative or summative) will be addressing one or more of these objectives. In their comments, our teachers will be indicating areas in which your child made progress, as well as ways in which your child can improve towards these course objectives.
How are grades applied towards these four objectives? Accompanying grades are based on a scale from 1-8 for each objective/criterion, with 1-2 indicating limited progress/performance, 3-4 indicating progress/performance that is approaching expectations, 5-6 indicating progress/performance that is meeting expectations and 7-8 indicating progress/performance that meets expectations with sophistication.
What grade indicates my child is meeting grade level expectations? A grade of 5 against any criterion is the benchmark for meeting grade level expectations. Any grade higher than 5 indicates your child is meeting expectations for their grade level with varying degrees of sophistication as we move from level 6-8 on the scale.
My child received a task grade lower than 5… should I be concerned? A grade of 4 generally indicates your child is very close to reaching grade level outcomes, but may need further practice or slight improvement. A grade of 3 would indicate a passing grade, with the need for improvement. A grade of 1-2 would indicate significant interventions are required. Teachers will use assessment data in order to inform targeted classroom instruction to help all students as they work towards grade level objectives. Additionally, assessment data will inform how teachers group students for extra support during PIE (a flexible learning block that occurs 3-4 times throughout the week). Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s grades, please contact the teacher.
Wait a second…when I get my child’s report card the grades only go as high as 7, but tasks on ManageBac are graded on a scale of 1-8… am I missing something? No you are not. Individual Criterion grades are assessed on a scale of 1-8 on a per task basis. At the end of each semester, our teachers will make a professional, evidence based judgment as to where your child’s performance best fits against each of the four Criterion in a given subject, over the course of the semester. These four grades are then added up to get a total score out of 32 possible points (max 8 points x 4 criteria). The total score is then compared to grade boundaries set by the IB to give students their overall grade for semester:
If you’d like to learn more about grades in the MYP, please contact our MYP Coordinator, Mike BondClegg at [email protected]
*MYP Objectives (Criteria) in each course: