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News Update - from the Deputy Principal

 

Introduction

Welcome to the first issue of Deputy Principal's Curriculum Update. The aim of the publication is to provide regular updates to parents regarding our teaching and learning strategies.   

Attempting to ensure the school's Norwegian language curriculum is as good or better than the equivalent provision in state schools is one of our most exciting challenges. We stand by our aim to make AIS the best educational experience in Norway. Which (personally) I hope is the sentiment of all school leaders in the country. Although the school has yet to reach the ripe old age of five, we hope that this years investment in training, resources, personnel, and modifications to the curriculum are a big step in achieving a Norwegian curriculum that is highly regarded not just in Asker, but nationally when compared to other international schools. 

Personnel

We presently have nine members in the Norwegian language team: four teachers and five assistants. More than 50% of Norwegian lessons are now supported by an assistant - double the coverage in 2016-2017. Their role is to deliver one to one speaking time for all students, provide reading intervention for those few students who have fallen behind the expected level, and to help organise the reading books for Grade 1 & 2. We also employed an additional teacher to ensure that we have extra capacity to support both native speakers and beginner Norwegian learners. Presently Grade 2 & 3 benefit from an additional teacher in some lessons. Although not part of the language team, Miss Marita the MYP Maths teacher joined the school in August 2017. Her knowledge of the Norwegian Maths Curriculum, along with her commitment to the children has helped the school immensely.

 
Resources

Following last years acquisition of the Nivå reading scheme for Grades 1-3, Zeppelin Abeidsbok for grade 1, Leseforståelse for Grades 1-7, and a subscription to Aftenposten Junior for 7 copies to be delivered each week, we have also acquired the Prosjekt X, Zeppelin Leseseries and Salto bokhylle reading schemes. Furthermore, the administration has also invested significantly in the acquisition of textbooks for each grade. In Grades 1-7 the Salto Series and Førsteklasses Mat are used, while in Grades 8-9 Kontekst series and Matopedia Teoribok 5-7 & 8-10 are used. This is in addition to the purchase of class set (21 copies) novels for the MYP such as Sofies Verden, Katakombens Hemmelighet, Et Dukkehjem, Barna Som Forsvant, Clue 1-4, Nærmere Høst, and Tid for Ti anthology. As always we are constantly adding to the Norwegian section in the school library and welcome any book title recommendations, or donations.

To support students who may have fallen behind grade expectation we have also recently purchased the Tim and Tom series, ABC for minoritetsspråklige elever, and the Repetert Lesing series. Additionally, to ensure that the language of Norwegian has a high status in the school one of our three designated support rooms is now used only for Norwegian.

 

Teaching and Learning

The Norwegian team is presently in the process of implementing some of the strategies employed by our local state schools. The team now uses the SOL 

(Systematisk Observasjon av Lesing) reading approach to monitor the reading progress of students, along with the 100-500 word checks.

The team is also committed to providing academic targets for Grades 1-5 (approximately every 6-8 weeks) in student homework books. Moreover, one lesson a week is dedicated  to reading comprehension.

In the MYP there are two Norwegian teachers working with Grades 6-8. Miss Karoline focuses on reading comprehension, while Miss Jeanita delivers the IB Norwegian units. The students in the MYP have also received one extra Norwegian lesson per week since we returned in January to make up for those Norwegian lessons that were missed before Christmas due to teacher illness.

I am aware that some are of the opinion that Norwegian substitute teacher agencies would be a good solution for short term cover. Personally I would much rather the students are taught by a teacher they already have a relationship with, and make up for missed time at a later date. I think it is worth mentioning that the teaching time (for Norwegian) allocated to students is more than double the required time as stipulated by the IB. 

Outside of the designated three hours of Norwegian, the PYP class teachers have been introducing Norwegian maths vocabulary into their lessons and using Norwegian Maths websites & resources. 

In the MYP all students have to complete service learning.  This is a mandatory component of the MYP.  Many of our older students have used this as an opportunity to help the PYP students with Norwegian by reading with students during indoor lunch; speaking with students during outdoor lunch, and at present some Grade 7 students are helping Grade 2 students with their homework. 

We also offer Norwegian lunchtime reading in the library every Thursday and MYP Norwegian reading club most Thursdays at 2.45pm. 


Training

The team (both teachers and assistants) has been working with Dysleksi Norge, and will shortly receive training from the kommune's reading specialist on SOL. I met with the specialist during the vinterferie. She was pleasantly surprised by the students performance in the nasjonale prøver considering our students receive only 3 hours of Norwegian a week. These results will of course fluctuate year to year due to a whole range of factors, and context is everything when reading such statistics. Additional training linked to improving the Norwegian provision at AIS includes:

  • Miss Karoline - Visit to Engebråten skole Norwegian department
  • Miss Marita - Visit to Engebråten skole Maths department
  • Miss Roslinda - Spesialpedagogikk & Tidlig innsats i leseopplæringen (1. - 4.)
  • Miss Kelly - Spesialpedagogikk &Tidlig innsats i leseopplæringen (1. - 4.)
  • Miss Elnaz - Two day IB course on language instruction
  • Mr Ole Anders - Two day IB course on language instruction
  • Miss Renate - Tidlig innsats i leseopplæringen (1. - 4.)
  • Miss Daniela - Tidlig innsats i leseopplæringen (1. - 4.)

Final Thoughts

I am very grateful to those parents who have taken the time to meet with me to discuss the development of the Norwegian provision on offer. Such meetings provide an opportunity to dispel some of the myths that appear to circulate the parent body regarding the Norwegian provision. They also allow me to gain valuable insight into some parental perceptions. I would also like thank the parental council for allowing me to present at the March 2018 meeting. The parent council is a fantastic avenue for having your opinions expressed - after meeting with the class teacher and the administration.

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Pictures from the first two weeks in MYP

A little bit of news that has already been shared on facebook. Below are a couple of photos showing some of the activities students have been engaged in since the start of school 

In performing Arts! Grade 6 they are working on Global perspectives and dramatization. They are rehearsing historical moments of the first decade in the 20th Century, such as:

First flight by the Wright brothers 
Henry Ford's 1st car model (Model-T) 
Kodak introduced the 1st camera model
Life of William McKinley
Life of Theodore Roosevelt

 

Grade 6 have been working hard developing their practical skills in science. Last week they have been using the new electric heaters and thermometers and have gathered data, calculated means and plotted graphs.

 

In grade 9,  students dramatised some of the events that occurred in the 20th Century. First, they had to watch a video and after that, they had to create a short scene. 

In grade 8, they continued on with playing non traditional games. Students participated in an action fuelled game of Ultimate Frisbee. As part of their summative assessment students must continually reflect on their team performance focusing on team cohesion and the use of interpersonal skills.

 

 In Design, Grade 9 have been set the challenge to create SumoBots, using the school's Lego Mindstorm kits. Their final creations will do battle against each other, with aim to push the other out of a circular ring. 
They continued their inquiry by learning how to program touch sensors.

 

 

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New clubs and more at AIS

school club

AND MORE!

We are planning on expanding the provision of clubs that will be facilitated in the school over the next year. Teachers will start contributing 6-week clubs at different grade levels at different times during the year. 

These clubs will include, but are not limited to: 
 
Latin studies
French morning club
Presentation skills
Chess
Sports 
Homework 
And more...
 
3-4 clubs will run per half term for different grade levels. These will be a free extra provision. More information will follow. 
 
The school also continues to expand facilities both inside and out. We are always trying to make the next school year a development on the previous, even though we face challenges with expansion and facilities. 
 
This year, we have a lovely new section for the senior students, with two new classrooms, locker room, a common room and a new office for the deputy principal to keep an eye on them! 
 
We will continue to grow and aspire to reach for our school vision - to develop global citizens for the world of tomorrow!
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Parent Information Evening

All students are returning on 14th August and in preparation for the year ahead, we will have a parent information evening for all parents on Thursday 17th August at 17:00. Anticipated run-time: 2 hours. 

The evening will be: 

1. An initial welcome from the principal, an introduction to staff - auditorium.
2. A brief overview of the IB
3. A brief overview of the school's development plan
4. Classroom meetings

The objectives of the classroom meetings are: 

1. To meet the teachers
2. To familiarise yourself with the school building
3. To appoint class representatives in each group
4. To discuss classroom routines with the teachers of each grade level. 
5. To meet the other parents

We will start the meeting in the auditorium. When parents arrive at the front door we will usher them in the direction of the auditorium. 

Parking: Please park at the end of the parking area as the front section is reserved. Please do not drive towards the building entrance as parking in this area is prohibited (fire evacuation area). 

This meeting is not for children. SFO will finish at the normal time of 17:00. This is event is also not intended for addressing specific issues/concerns. A separate meeting should be scheduled for this purpose.

Thank you in advance for your attention. We look forward to seeing you at school!

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ASKER International School

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Johan Drengsruds Vei 60, 1383 Asker. Tel: +47 908 90 609 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.