Welcome to SEK Qatar blogosphere. This is another way to be in touch with all our educational community. From here you can browse to our different classrooms blogs, departments and IB programmes. We’ll be growing step by step. We hope you enjoy it.
This week we celebrate the teacher appreciation week 2021!
First and foremost, we would like to thank all teachers, and especially our teachers at SEK International School Qatar, for all their hard work throughout the past year. They had to find new ways of teaching and, despite living through a global pandemic, managed to succeed when schools all across the world had to adjust.
As SEK-Qatar is part of a global community of 325 Microsoft Showcase Schools, we are delighted to share an inspiring video, created by students who are part of the Microsoft Showcase family.
The official Microsoft Showcase School Website puts it in these words:
“Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
“For what is poetry, if not beauty?” -Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate Dear teacher, Thank you for opening our minds and hearts to the beauty of poetry, math, science, history, art, technology and so much more. Love, students everywhere.”
Watch the students’ video here!
As part of the 51st Earth Day celebration, our PYP Visual Art teacher Ms. Ebru created an optional activity for Primary School learners. This activity had a focus on reusing materials, and looking for natural materials in the environment to create different pieces of art. Students submitted their work online, and spoke about why they felt creating artwork with an Earth Day focus was interesting for them.
SEK International School Qatar held a DP Info Session on Tuesday, 20th of April 2021.
During the IBDP Info session participants were able to gain a deeper understanding of what the IB Diploma Programme entails, what subjects, projects and classes it offers, and how it compares to the IBMYP.
The event was a two hour live stream hosted by the DP Coordinator, Mr. Kim Derudder, and our DP teachers.
- At the start, the live stream covered the general framework of the IBDP programme. Followed by a deeper discussion on the three mandatory DP classes: extended essay (EE), theory of knowledge (TOK) and creativity, activity and service (CAS).
- Once the main topics were presented, parents were able to join virtual rooms, one for each subject, to meet with the teachers and learn about each subject, expectations, content and assessment.
This event was a great way to show how SEK International School Qatar, as Microsoft Showcase School, uses technology to educate, inform and create relations through digital platforms.
The PYP Exhibition is the culminating experience for our PYP Learners. The PYPX is an opportunity for students in G5 to follow their passions utilising their research skills, and create local or global change. Our G5 students this year chose a number of different issues to research, including discrimination, air pollution, animal welfare and well-being. They used a variety of different tools and strategies to research their skills and held interviews, created and analysed surveys, and made observations of the world around them. They used this knowledge, and acted on it, creating posters, stop motion animations, videos, and fitness calendars to inform their audience.
Congratulations G5 on a successful demonstration of your skills, knowledge and conceptual understandings. We know this is just a snapshot of where you are in your learning journey, and look forward to supporting you as you continue to provoke change in the world.
Congratulations to our Grade 10 students! They have been working very hard over the last seven months on their Personal Project journey. Our students have created an amazing range of products, from teaching tennis to creating history books, magazines, and social media content.
The Personal Project is an important part of the MYP and for preparation for the DP. Students have to bring together skills they have learned in order to be successful. They are called upon to use subject specific skills as well as their ATL skills – in particular time management which is also an essential for doing well in the DP. We have been pleased by how well students have balanced all their commitments this year, despite the pandemic. Students are continuing to work hard and explore their interests which is evident in their PP exhibition Microsoft Sways.
Although we cannot gather in person, we hope you enjoy this virtual gallery showcasing the Grade 10 students creativity, hard work, and growth as MYP scholars.
You can also use your VR glasses to walk through it!
Too often we give children answers to remember, rather than problems to solve. (Roger Lewin, 1974)
Why we have provocations.
When we first approach a new unit of inquiry, one thing that needs substantial planning is the provocation. The provocation is meant to ‘provoke’ or inspire inquiry, and create an experience that gets the students thinking and asking questions. It is a hook, that grabs hold of the student’s attention and helps them to think differently. Provocations are there to connect our 3D curriculum; knowledge, skills and concepts, and develop student questions about the new unit of inquiry. Teachers use the provocation as a way to assess prior knowledge, and give students a small ‘trailer’ of some of the learning to come. It is also a way to identify any misconceptions that will need to be addressed in later learning.
So what does a provocation look like?
As you can imagine, the provocation needs to be something new, and needs careful planning and consideration. Teachers ask themselves what experience the students could have that supports not only the new unit of inquiry, but is appropriate to the age of the students. To do this, during our collaborative planning sessions, the grade level teachers, along with the coordinator, ask themselves if the provocation is going to;
- spark inquiry?
- generate questions?
- leave a lasting impression?
- support the construction of new knowledge, skills and conceptual awareness?
- be meaningful, interesting, exciting?
Below are some examples of provocations that students at SEK-Qatar have experiences during hybrid learning.
Preschool 5 – How the world works
Central Idea: Scientists study the properties of light to use in daily life
Our Pre5 students arrived to the classroom with the doors closed. I watched on as the students stood outside for a while, and then hesitantly knocked on the door, asking if the teacher was in there. Inside the classroom was completely black. The windows had been covered up with card, and there was no light coming in apart from the crack in the door. Once inside, students were given the opportunity to explore different sources of light that were around them; torches, light cubes, all had different brightness and some had different colours. The students were excitedly whispering to each other about what they could and couldn’t see, and were seeing if they could make our the details of the classroom. The students asked questions about where light comes from, how our eyes work in the dark, and why we need light to see and do things.
Grade 2 – How we organize ourselves
Central Idea: The organisation and operation of marketplaces is determined by the communities in which they are located
Our Grade 2 students had a different experience to the Pre5s. There provocation happened in the corridors, to enable more social distance and safety. One morning, the G2 students, while walking through the corridors on their way to class were met with stalls set up, tills ready, and stock on shelves. A mini market place. After some small instructions from the teachers, the students were able to take on the role of the vendors or the customers. (Usually, students would have more of a free reign over what choices they made, but with our current protocols we had to plan with safety in mind) Immediately there was a buzz. What am I selling? How much will this be? Do I need more of this? Can I sell this to you because I need more of this….. They had taken on their roles with vigor, and soon posters were made advertising what they were selling. While the stores were getting set up, these customers had made their own money, written shopping lists and thought about how much they wanted to spend. Then the customers were able to, with physical distance in mind, ‘visit’ these other stores to see what they needed. This role-play enabled students to think about the role of marketplaces in Qatar and in the local communities, think about what markets used to look like and inquire into markets of the future.
Grade 3 – How the world works
Humans manipulate materials to meet their needs
In G3, students were given a task, create the tallest tower using only the materials available to you. Students at school were supplied with 4 sets of materials that they could choose from. Students at home had been told which resources they needed to have available ready for the activity. This synchronous task happened at school and at home, and the competition was fierce. Student used their scientific thinking to predict which materials would be best for them to create the tallest tower, and during the activity you could hear them speak with their friends about making the right or wrong choice. Students used their prior knowledge of structures and materials to create their towers, and reflected on both the process, and the materials used, sparking questions about the use of appropriate materials for the task and how these materials can be manipulated.
Grade 4 – How the world works
Space exploration leads to new discoveries and understandings
For this provocation, since due to our current circumstances we could not visit a planetarium, the planetarium was brought to them. The grade level teachers transformed the auditorium into a planetarium using a variety of projectors and speakers to give the students an immersive experience. Students were shown videos of outer space, the solor system, and exposed to the gentle hum of space. The students were in awe as they were taken on a journey into outer space, and many made comparisons to the journey to mars that humans are currently planning.
Students are always excited when met with new leaning, and talk about these experiences for months after they have happened. When you receive the newsletter advertising you children’s new unit of inquiry, please make sure you ask them about their provocation, and what questions they had that they want to answer.
The PYP students have been outside beginning of Term 2.
They are using the football and basketball courts as well as the shaded areas when they have PE lessons in the latest hours of the day.
The safety protocols are still in place, keeping social distancing and using hand sanitizer or washing their hands before and after we go outside.
We are currently not using any equipment, but when times comes for us to use it, the school’s cleaning crew will help us sanitizing every object after each time we use it.
We have started our unit games and Athletics and the kids have been enjoying their time outside, they get excited and have a great time during our lessons.
This week the PHE team were able to resume back to teaching physical education lessons outside and started with badminton, the students were so excited about this.
We are very proud of SEK students for following all safety protocols and ensuring they keep a safe distance while exercising.
Students have been able to develop their social skills and explore ways on how to adapt games to suit the current social distance rules.
During this unit, we will be aiming to successfully build the student’s communication skills in a number of ways, with the chance to competitive participate in a range of games.
We look forward to the student’s having this time to be outside and be physically active.
This week our Grade 6 students explored concepts on speed and motion by challenging themselves in a fun activity that took place outside on the school grounds. Students worked in teams to collect data related to distance and time in tasks that involved walking in four different paces. The teams took to measure a path of 30 meters to walk along and used timers at the start of their 0 meter mark for each task. In the upcoming week students will process the data that they collected by calculating and graphing their speeds to understand the relationship between distance and time.
18th of December is the day that nationals and residents come together to celebrate the National Day of Qatar. A national commemoration of Qatar unification in 1878.
Due to COVID-19 regulations and protocols we cannot host parents and all the students at the same time in the school premises. So, this year at SEK International School Qatar we celebrated the event online rather than having a ceremony at school.
Even though COVID-19 restrictions made celebrating this day different for all of us, we put out our best decorations and all the flags! The student spirit was up lifted and ready to make this year’s National Day celebration even more special.
Pupils from all grades participated in making this very exceptional presentation of talent and national pride, for everyone that considers Qatar there home. Poems and speeches from MYP students. Folkloric costumes with traditional songs, performed by PYP students.
Inside their classrooms there were activities, prepared by the teachers, for the children that attended school.
We would like to thank all the teachers and the Qatar National Day Committee for putting everything together. We are grateful to our wonderful students for there performances which united us all and made us all feel appreciative for living in Qatar.
This month Mr. Diego Encinas Colilla, SEK Qatar’s PYP Spanish teacher, had the opportunity to participate in a poetry contest organised by the Qatar Poetry Center (@Diwanalarab_qa) and the Spanish Embassy in Qatar.
The topic of the contest was “The importance of living in society”, and Mr. Diego focused his poem on how he feels about Qatar, it’s culture and people. We are very excited to share that Mr. Diego’s poem has been chosen amongst many and he was the winner of the poetry contest.