Message from the Secondary Years Principal

Jan Stipek, Secondary Years Principal October 4, 2019
Message from the Secondary Years Principal

The first quarter of the school year is always special. Students come back to school after a summer break feeling not only two months older, but also in some way 'one year older' as they are moving to a higher grade. Being in Grade 7 in August as opposed to Grade 6 in June is separated by more than just time, it is also marked by personal growth and, in some cases, leaps in maturity. Grade 6 students are busy transitioning into middle school, Grade 11 students start getting the grip on the Diploma Programme, and new students start finding their way around and navigating the 7-day timetable.

The start of the year is academically challenging in all middle and high school IB Programmes (Middle Years Programme (MYP), Diploma and Career-related Programmes (DP/CP)). While the learning takes off immediately, it usually takes several weeks before students have gained enough skills to complete a summative assessment. A skill-based assessment in the MYP enables teachers to see progression and improvement over time which is very different from how we were marked in school. 

Every day is packed with exciting activities and learning experiences

It is a great pleasure to see how many opportunities our students are given to pursue their interests, learn outside of their classroom, and gain new skills.

Check out the events that took place in the past 6 weeks: 

  • Students auditioned for the upcoming Secondary Years Play "The Midsummer Night’s Dream". The opening night is scheduled for Semester two. A large number of sporting events took place both on campus and at other schools in which our students performed extremely well! 
  • A group of young scholars attended the international World Scholars Cup competition in Manila (Philippines) with impressive results! 
  • Grade 6-8 students had a great time during the middle school dance
  • Grade 9-11 students attended a workshop by Singapore Central Narcotics Bureau aiming to educate them on drug use and
  • Grade 12 Theory of knowledge students participated in a Roundtable session with religious leaders
  • University Fair was a great success. We've had visits from over 140 universities to date.
  • Arts Week is one of our most prominent and diverse events with an impressive range of events, activities, workshops, performances and simply fun.
  • Open Mic sessions. I was greatly impressed with everyone who took a risk to perform and prove how talented our student body is. It was amazing to see how supportive we are as a school of the students who overcome their stage fright, step up and blast a tune, play an instrument, do a drum battle or perform a magic trick!

Collaborating and communicating with our parents is always our priority

After the annual back to school curriculum evening, we've also hosted two parent engagement sessions:

  • "Please tell my parents …" with Ms MClure, SY Counselor sharing responses from an anonymous student survey and linked them to developmental stages of the teenage brain described in 'Brainstorm' by Dr Dan Siegel.
  • Mr Holt, Head of Education Technology, facilitated a session aimed to help families understand what cyberbullying and online harassment are, and give them tools and strategies to keep their kids safe.

Save the date!

The next session 'Service as action in the MYP' with Mrs Kylie Begg is scheduled for 25th October. We hope this session will be helpful to understand the purpose of service projects in the MYP. We are looking forward to seeing you all!!

Finally, thank you for attending the parent-teacher conferences on Thursday and Friday this week. These conferences provide just one of the opportunities for teachers and parents to discuss student progress with parents.

I wish everyone a very relaxing October break and looking forward to welcoming our students back on Tuesday 22 October.


Jan Stipek 
Secondary Years Principal 


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