Message from the Early/Primary Years Principal

Neil White, Early/Primary Years Principal May 24, 2019
Message from the Early/Primary Years Principal

PY Musical: The Jungle Book

I know that every single person who watched The Jungle Book this week left our auditorium in awe of the performance they saw. These enthusiastic and talented performers worked so hard and made all of us proud! I am sure that we will be hearing these songs in all corners of our school for weeks to come! Congratulations to every single one of our incredible cast and ensemble, you are amazing!

Such a wonderful performance could not have been achieved without the efforts of a dedicated team of teachers who consistently went above and beyond to make this production an opportunity for every single child to shine. We are all truly appreciative of all you have done to make this a success. These children will never forget this experience and the role that you played in it. Alongside the team, many members of the GEMS community contributed their time, expertise and support and again I say thank you, we very much appreciate your efforts. Congratulations to all the team!

Jungle Book Crew:

Edna Lau - Director
Daniela Rodnite - Music Director
Caroline Diamond - Assistant Director
Simone Divers - Assistant Director
Sophie Nicholls - Assistant Director

Special Thanks to:

Art and Musical Support: Hamish Betts, Meagan DaSilva, Robyn Hartley, Karen Paris, Nicole Mervin, Anna Murie Doyle, Claire Rimmer and Beth Roberts
Technical & Admin Support: Martin Goh, Phil Diamond, Meredith O'Reilly, Diego Paniagua, Salena Crot, Kevin Emery and Mike Gilmour
Parent Rep: Vicki Chikhalikar, all GEMS teaching staff and parent volunteers

EY/PY Staffing Update 

As we approach the end of the academic year, I would like to provide you with some staffing updates for next year. We have six members of staff leaving the Early and Primary Years division. The members of staff leaving are Mrs Halpin-Khanna, Mrs Rodnite, Mrs McMullen, Ms Church and Ms JochelleMr Rimmer will be also leaving us at the end of this academic year. Paul has been a member of the Early and Primary Years Leadership Team in his role as PYP Coordinator and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all contributions to the division in this role. Paul will be taking up a Deputy Principal/PYP Coordinator role at Nexus International School in August 2019.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their contributions to the division and development of the school and wish them every success for the future.  
We have seven new teachers joining us in August 2019 for the next academic year. Please find below a brief biography for each of them. 
Sharmeela Malaker-Brar (EY Class Teacher)
Sharmeela is from Canada and will be joining the EY team as a trained IB PYP teacher with 14 years experience. Sharmeela holds a Bachelors Degree in Education from the University of Manitoba. Sharmeela has previously worked at Stamford American International School here in Singapore and the Cayman International School. Sharmeela has trained and integrated STEAM into different curriculum models and has facilitated and led workshops on assessment and inquiry in the Early Years.
Kate Hooper (Primary Years Class Teacher)
Kate is also from Canada and is experienced and trained IB PYP teacher. Kate holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of New Brunswick. Kate has been working at the Canadian International of Beijing for the past four years as a Grade 2 homeroom teacher and has been teaching internationally since 2012. Kate has been a member of her school's POI and curriculum mapping steering committees and has training in assessment, concept-based teaching and learning, and transdisciplinary learning PYP workshops.
Samara Cox (Primary Years Class Teacher)
Samara is from New Zealand and holds a Bachelors Degree in Education from the University of Auckland. Samara is an IB PYP trained teacher and has attended PYP workshops in Making it Happen and Approaches to Learning and has an additional 3 years experience of the PYP Exhibition. Samara is currently working as a Grade 5 homeroom teacher in Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand.
Natasha Kenny (Early/Primary Years PE/Swimming Teacher)
Natasha is from the United Kingdom and has been teaching since 2007. Natasha is currently teaching EY and PY students at the Singapore International School in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and has also worked at Harris Academy in the UK. Natasha has previously worked as a Head of Year. Natasha is a fully qualified PE and Swim teacher and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education and Sport from the University of Chichester, UK.
Shannon Diedricks (Early/Primary Years PE/Swimming Teacher)
Shannon is South African and holds a Bachelors in Education Degree from the University of South Africa. Shannon is currently working as a PE and Swim teacher to EY and PY students at the Shanghai Bilingual School, China. Shannon is a fully qualified PE and Swim teacher with 9 years of teaching experience and has also held PE Coordinator and Head of Sports roles in his previous schools. 
Amanda McCracken (Early/Primary Years Teacher)
Amanda is from the United States will be joining the EY/PY team as a trained IB PYP teacher with ten years of experience. Amanda holds a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education with a Minor in Early Childhood Education. Amanda has previously worked at Eton House International School in Singapore and at Kamaile Academy in the United States. Amanda is trained in Differentiation of Instruction and is also Coursera certified educator in supporting children with difficulties in reading and writing which she obtained from the University of London.
Luciana Soares (Early/Primary Years Music Teacher)
Luciana holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education with specialization in piano. Luciana is a trained IB PYP teacher and has previously worked at The American School in Brazil and has also worked in Italy. Luciana has taught PYP music to students from Pre-K to Grade 5 and specializes in elementary music and Orff-Schulwerk.
We look forward to welcoming these new teachers to the GEMS community and wish them all the very best for the next academic year.
Neil White
Early/Primary Years Principal 


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