Dear Friends of Middleton,
It’s been a great term for our children as we have gone from strength to strength in terms of our new families and staff. We have had exciting learning opportunities and have worked on the Middleton learner dispositions.
The Primary 1 class has been working on buildings and structures. They have built bridges and tested how much weights the designs can carry. In Maths the students are looking at subtraction strategies. The Primary 2/3’s have been working on reasons for migration from home countries. The Primary 4/5’s have been inquiring into the animal kingdom and working on habitats. In Chinese, the students have been working on writing characters and creating them into pictures or mini-stories for increased retention. Our Art Space is buzzing! From miniature rooms, to Eiffel Towers to Gaudi inspired art, children have been working on exciting art projects and we are looking forward to sharing our art learning journey with parents next term.
The parent and staff reflections after our International-mindedness workshops are being collated to bring together a combined definition for the school. We look forward to forming our Community Support Group early in Term 4 to support international-mindedness through parent volunteers for the school community.
The Parent – Teacher Conferences were a great time to touch base with our families. By all feedback received, the families found it very useful and the dialogue provided a good opportunity to discuss the children’s learning journeys.
We recently had some of our Primary 5 students work on their submissions based on the topics discussed at the International Youth Leadership Forum. While we did not have sufficient time to prepare for the actual forum due to school holidays, the children did get some opportunity to share their ideas in the school assembly. I would particularly like to compliment Alona and Aditi for being courageous and sharing their ideas on how they would like to see the society shape up. I share here an excerpt from Alona’s speech which gives us food for thought as a school.
“As said by Albert Einstein “I never teach my pupils, I only provide the conditions in which they can learn.” Hello, my name is Alona Irikova and today I will be talking to you about being a youth. I am an artist. How many times have I got an inspiration to create another character or doodle, but as I pick up the pencil I hear “Alooona, it’s time for school!” or “Alona, are you done with your homework” or the bell goes for school. But please….. just one character or one more minute. Then comes “no” or the look that makes you feel guilty. As a young child, people don’t really listen to you, and if they do, usually, they don’t take you seriously. Like in school, you are interested in many things, but the teacher is so specific about what you must do, what class you should do and ……..you are wondering “Why am I doing this?” If you aren’t doing the things that you love, you are more
likely to get distracted and start thinking about something else. Then you kind of start to learn how to cheat, when to pretend to pay attention, when to do your thing…learning what the teacher wants from you, instead of actually learning it because it is important. It would be more valuable to do research and make projects about what we like to do. This is important because we are expected to be responsible and independent, but this cannot be achieved if you are lacking freedom. At our age we kids and teenagers absorb knowledge well, and if we focus on the things we like, we can learn a lot. Also, if you keep on practicing on one thing, you will become a master in that thing in life. The area that you choose to master, has to bring value. Here are some thought how this freedom of choice could be realized in school:
1) There could be classes that you could choose, like art or history.
2) We can form groups of interests. Some people could do math, some science, some English and so on. But we could weave in a little bit of art or drama, or something else. Or for instance, if I was doing art, we could weave in some math or English.
3) You can design stations and learn everything based on key topics. You choose what goes first, second etc. For each group, there is a room that holds the learning station. After a certain period, when you are through with the chosen topic for today, you can move to another room to learn and practice something new. But there should be a maximum number of people in the group.
If you want us to inspire by learning, give us freedom. We want to be good at many things but for that we need to have an opportunity to choose. Let us choose classes, connect us in groups of interests or let us plan our own learning with experts. We, kids, should have a chance to make our school even better.”
Way to go Alona! We are definitely going to look closer in to your perspective and bring in more discussions as we go forward towards enhancing our Middleton Community.
We have other students creating ripples through their achievements in the MIS community. I would like to congratulate Joe Michael who was elected from his Taekwondo club to represent in the 3rd Taekwondonomics Invitational Championship for 3 categories and won three medals. We applaud the commitment and effort Michael put in towards his learning and wish him the very best in his Taekwondo journey ahead!
The school celebrated the International Dot Day last week and our collaborative Dot Art pieces have sent beautiful ripples of creativity, courage and collaboration across the school and across to the Dot Day founders as well.
Here’s hoping that this creativity flows all across our warm community!