SCIENCE and PSHE
It is with both sadness and pride that I write this last newsletter of the year. I am tremendously proud of the incredible journey we undertook during the past few months. Together we mastered something never done before, and I’ve watched my students grow not only in their schoolwork, but also in their maturity on intellectual and social levels.
Ivan Fedortsov overcome unprecedented hardships during his IGCSE year, and he can be truly proud of the excellent results he produced! The continued dedication of the Year 9 group in their pursuit of excellence is admirable, and their evolution on all levels are well deserved! The Year 8’s should be commended on their online presence and continued enthusiasm throughout the entire period of Online Learning - you are a great group of which much can be expected in the future! Lastly, I’ve watched my Year 7 Tutor Group evolve into beautifully confident teenagers who is worthy of their elevated position in Secondary School!
It is also with sadness that I reflect on the past year. My students are very dear to me, and, as we go into new directions from here onwards, it is a sad truth that I may never see some of you again. I truly hope that I equipped you with the necessary skills to empower you for your future academic career in Science. I will miss each and every one of you dearly, and my best wishes accompany you into your bright future!
The world, as we know it, has changed and as Geographers at EIS we had to change with it. The changes did not just take place outside the classroom in the world around us, but inside the classroom. That had a major impact on how we conducted our day to day lessons. One thing is certain, online learning is not for everyone as some excelled working in insolation and others did not. Geography is one of those subjects where group work and working with a partner is beneficial for the student. One aspect of our lessons the students enjoyed before we went into lockdown, was looking at current events happening around the world, e.g. – the floods in the UK, the bushfires in Australia and the volcano eruption in the Philippines to name a few. The students enjoyed getting updates about what was happening as we could monitor changes from day to day. This made Geography real as students could see events unfolding. It also gave the students an indication of how devastating and unpredictable nature can be as the bushfires ripped through parts of Australia. Issues like Global Warming and Climate Change were discussed and looked at and what impact it is having on our planet. Students were accepting of the fact that we can and need to make a change in how we use the natural resources to put the brakes on Climate Change. This was evident and discussed when we saw the positive changes of the “healing of the planet” that was taking place a couple of weeks after the world went into lockdown. Before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic and we had to go into isolation, we monitored the daily stats from around the world. Looked at daily news briefings and tried to get as much information about the virus as possible. My aim is always to keep the students informed and up to date so they too can become part of the ‘debate’ and the change.
I would like to thank all my students for the wonderful time I had at EIS Moscow and wish them all the best for next year.
Mr. Neil P. Visser
It is here end of the term Yippee was the response I got this week.
The year 7’s was so excited to reach this stage. Some were already at their family homes and some were gearing up to leave for holiday. This class has performed very well under all the circumstances this year and has gelled as a group. They have completed the necessary work to prepare them for continuation in Year 8. It was a real pleasure working with them.
What can I say about the Year 8’s. The fun group (That all they wanted to do is have fun with maths). They worked hard and achieved great results. I enjoyed every second of my teaching them, they really were fun. Good luck for Year 9, you are ready.
The Year 9’s was my ultimate class. They worked hard, achieved the highest mark, and finished their curriculum before the other classes. It gave us even time to start IGCSE preparation. They were exceptional and with the work ethics they showed they were ready to take on the big leagues. Some are leaving and they will be a loss to the group and the school. We wish them good luck and hope they will have a wonderful future.
Ivan has been an outstanding worker this year and finishing his IGCSE with his mark was hard work but extremely rewarding. Congratulations and well done. Good luck for the next round and for your future.
In Secondary History we have wrapped up our units on Russian History and the French Revolution. Year 7 students have been learning about the rise of the Romanovs and in Year 8 the focus has been on student led research on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and specifically, why it failed.
In our final week this year, we fixed the knowledge in the field of workout. We have developed our physical skills in squats, sit-ups, plank and intensive training. All children showed good understanding, impression work and efficiency. I very proud of children’s result and I hope to see them next year.
Secondary pupils always find French a very difficult language to learn but if you really enjoy learning it doesn’t seem that complicated. This year secondary tried to learn more about France via its culture: music, cinema, art, literature. I hope it helped them to understand and to love this language. Year 7 has put a good start for further learning French. Year 8 continued very well and now we can see a great progress that they’ve made this year in French. Year 9 is completely ready to write even exams in French as their hard work during all the year has shown their potential for learning French. They even can read and understand books in original. I hope next year the results in French will be even greater! Bonne chance et aimez le français !
KS3 students worked with deformed texts and studied the speech styles of the Russian language.
Years 7 and 8 continue to explore film music. This week they have learned about thrillers soundtracks. Year 8 also explored the music of Westerns. They have learned about cowboys and Indians musical instruments like harmonica, Jew's harp, banjo, and fiddle. Year 9 continued to explore jazz history. This week they have studied coo jazz and Bossa Nova
The summer holidays are here me meaning we have reached the end of the academic year.
While the last term of the year has been disrupted with Coronavirus and Lockdown, it has not stopped the classes running nor the learning. The year has been jam-packed with studying various topics, learning new skills, developing old skills, and learning how to debate Mr MacPherson with facts and reason! Each Year group has been successful in its own way with great achievements and enjoyment.
In Year 7 the highlight of the year was studying George Orwell’s novella ‘Animal Farm’, where we met disgruntled animals who wished a better life. Led by Old Major and his dreams of a peaceful and plentiful animal led world free form human torture, we discovered that greed and self-interest are never far from any life. Witnessing the dreams becoming corrupted and abused the class studied the ways in which words can be used to create powerful and persuasive images and rhetoric, for good and bad. In drama we met a divided society in which people of different backgrounds live with and against each other. Why are they divided? Can Sephy and Callum remain friends despite their families’ strained relationships? The teenagers have to grow up fast in a hostile increasingly dangerous world. The story highlights that life and friendships have to overcome obstacles of distrust and even hate despite our best efforts to live decently and respectfully. We also looked at various texts on different topics, from sport to hobbies to art to business, in which the pupils were challenged to develop their comprehension and analytical skills, and be specific with their selection tactics. This is great for them to reinforce their language skills and assist their messages in ensuring the meaning is strengthened.
The Year 8 class continued with developing the skills they acquired in Year 7. We looked at various styles of texts to help their understanding. In drama the class analysed the adapted text ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. It is a powerful play in which the innocence of youth allows for children to be kept away from the horrors of war and reality, but at the same time can lead to misled romanticism, division and deadly mistakes. Is it possible to live a normal child’s life during one of the most horrific episodes of human history? While the text and ending are equally powerful and horrifying, the play allows the pupils to discuss and analyse themes which are can be uncomfortable but are part of life. The class showed a maturity in their handling of the themes and appreciation of the setting and plot compared to the comfortable lives they live in comparison to many others from the past and in parts of the world today. In the latter part of the year we looked at the novel ‘Lord of the Flies’ where a stranded group of boys have to survive on a deserted tropical island while working together to survive. Different characteristics, personal feelings and conflicting thoughts on survival create dispute and fear. While the beauty of the day entrances the children, the boys’ fears come alive at night time when the beast comes out of the dark. But what is the beast? Is it a danger from the jungle? Or is it a danger from within the group? These texts, along with short passage analysis, further the pupils’ skills in all language areas helping them form more mature thoughts and present stronger arguments and discussions.
In Year 9, the class is moving towards the IGCSE examination course, and the texts we studied help bridge the step up from lower Secondary they will encounter next year. In autumn we met Jim, an every day teenage boy who is struggling to cope with becoming a young man and the pressures that brings. Argumentative, surly, and wanting a quiet life, he can not avoid trouble in the film script ‘Rebel Without a Cause’. A timeless story of teenage angst, the class were able to relate to Jim and his friends’ issues and sympathise with their frustrations and anger. In Poetry we looked at several styles of writing, with somber love, arrogant self conceit, Shakespearean rap, childhood memories and more, highlighting the varied styles of expressing one’s thoughts. In Prose we looked at various styles, including a Charles Dickens dark and deadly gothic tale in ‘The Signalman’, and met a crazy woman in ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. Is she actually crazy? Or does life which she has little control of insist she is? The themes in these texts push the class to delve deeper into the workings of plot, settings and characters, growing their analytical and discussion skills.
The IGCSE class’ focus was the end of course examination, or not as it turned out! Despite the disruption of lockdown the class continued to strengthen their skills in analysing, discussing and presenting. We studied a myriad of texts covering many differing topics, all of which help the pupils further their knowledge and understanding, and thus their writing skills. I wish them the best of luck in their results when issued in late summer.
Of course, the highlight of the year was the Christmas production of Bugsy Malone in which all pupils in Secondary were involved. We had a late start to the rehearsals but all are to be commended for ensuring the audiences were thoroughly entertained by the performances. With an EIS adaptation of the script, Bugsy, Fat Sam and their pals brought New York style, jazz, undertakers and many other memorable characters to the school. Well done all.