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November 30, 2011

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Wide range of activities benefit SUIS students

I joined Shanghai United International School Pudong this August, as co-ordinator for the International Stream Secondary School, which is being established this year with its first Grade 6 class. It is exciting and challenging to take the school onwards to the next stage of its development. Before this, I had helped establish Harrow International School in Bangkok and was director of Student Services and director of Admissions.

As a newcomer, I am very impressed with the unique philosophy and structure of the school. Having both local and international streams and bilingual teaching will help prepare children for life in a global society. The curriculum reflects that goal.

SUIS, Pudong, is a very active school with emphasis on curricula excellence, positive learning experiences for its students and believing in enhancing the curriculum by giving them opportunities to engage in a variety of different activities to broaden their outlook, and to develop a range of personal qualities and skills. The pupil is the center of whatever we do. I intend, here, to give a snapshot of a few activities, differing in purpose, which have taken place this semester and which have enhanced the richness of the students' experience, in addition to those offered in our extracurricular activity program.

We celebrated Halloween on October 28. It was a day of fun-filled activities celebrated by Pre-Primary to Grade 6. The theme was to dress up as a favorite character from a book. Students (and teachers) looked fantastic. The day began with an assembly, followed by visiting each others' classrooms to participate in a range of Halloween-based activities. At the end of day, there was a costume parade with prizes given for the best costumes and for either the best drawing of or creative writing about their chosen character. It was appreciated that many parents turned up and some in costumes too! The final event was paired class Trick or Treating.

We believe we should support those less well-off than ourselves. Primary Reception and Grade 3 teachers organized a charity Bake Sale, with cookies donated by the parents of their students. This raised a substantial sum of money for one of the charities we support. A Student Volunteer Program is currently being set up to more permanently give support to that same organization. To support our second charity, students were allowed to wear non-school uniforms in exchange for a donation. A gift of candy and stationery was also given.

In early November, Grades 5 and 6 had the opportunity to visit the Picasso Exhibition at the China Pavilion. It was a wonderful opportunity for them to support the work they had been doing in their art lessons by seeing some original masterpieces and by completing some carefully planned tasks set by their art teacher. On their return, the experience was followed up by tasks in their art lesson. Here are a few of the Grade 6 comments:

"The lady with the baby was amazing. The lines of the painting felt alive." - Anita

"It was a great experience to look at Picasso's original art." - Shrey

"He changed the history of art." - Tim

"I felt Picasso's presence." - Carlotta

"It was wonderful. Picasso is a genius!" - Anson

We are now busily preparing for our Christmas celebration and thinking about how we will celebrate Chinese New Year.

(Carole Ann Eastgate is Secondary School coordinator.)


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