Lance King – “Teaching with ATL in mind”

Have you heard of ATL or Approaches to Learning? This groundbreaking framework designed by Lance King for the IB curriculum focuses on developing 21st Century skills in students that help them learn how to learn. It is a true honor to have Lance King at SEK International School Qatar, as his venture has been transforming and shaping the direction of especially the MYP and DP programmes -over 4000 IB schools in 150 countries are implementing the ATL curriculum.

Lance King’s ideas revolve around developing resilience and guiding inquiry learning in the classroom by activating a cycle of implementation based on Thinking, Planning, Doing and Reflecting.

Almost 50 international teachers that live in Doha learned from Lance King in his two-day workshop “Teaching with ATL in mind”. The workshop outlined the ATL framework and provided hands-on opportunities to incorporate a focus on developing these skills into regular classroom practice.

Some of the topics included the purpose and need of 21st Century skills; thinking and learning skills selection to match student needs; identifying the Cognitive, Affective and Metacognitive ATL skills; teaching time and task management, goal setting and motivation skills; developing self-regulated learners through helping students to take responsibility for their own skills assessment and development, and so much more.

Furthermore, important questions were being answered throughout the workshop, such as what skills and teaching strategies give students advantages in specific qualification examinations, what are the steps of development of the Cognitive ATL skills across a student’s school life, how can teachers raise meta-cognitive awareness in students, and how can students (and teachers) learn how to “fail well” -amongst many others great inquiries!

The workshop was a “hands-on” style full of activities for participants, designed to give schools clear practical strategies. 

You can find out more about Lance King and ATL here https://www.taolearn.com/

Lance King workshops for MYP-DP students

Today we had the pleasure to have Lance King in school, a worldwide recognised writer and an expert in Approaches to Learning skills. Our grade 9-12 students had the opportunity to choose to attend one of two workshops: Future Proofing and Academic Success Skills.

In the first workshop, students learnt how to set their personal and academic goals, looking at the difference between making good and bad decisions and exploring career choices. Students were also reminded about the importance of creating an online identity focused on strengths, goals and exemplifying their virtues.

On the other hand, the second workshop was focused on learning about failing well, finding strategies to be successful academically and trying to find ways to deal with procrastination. Student also explored metacognition, looking at how their brain works in certain situations and investigating about ways of thinking and memory strategies.

It was a very interesting experience for our students and we are glad that we had the chance to have this special guest in school today.

PYP Exhibition 2019

We are proud to say that the SEK Qatar PYP Exhibition that took place on the 26th and 27th of March was a huge success! This year’s exhibition informed about different topics that are relevant to our world: Disabilities and Illnesses, Pollution, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, World Peace, and Endangered Animals were the five selected themes to celebrate the culmination of the fifth graders’ learning journey, and was a wonderful finale to this year’s effort and process.

In order to summarize and present their newly acquired findings, students researched 3 lines of inquiry to suit their own interests and wrote 3 informative essays. They also came up with key questions on each of their lines of inquiry that helped them to start their research. To do this, students gathered information using different sources such as the internet, books and interviews. Technology was a huge part of the Exhibition process, as they worked daily using their own devices, and kept a record of all their work using Teams and OneNote, being responsible for putting everything they produced in there.

At the final Exhibition, students presented their visual projects around the hall, all of them filled with interesting and eye-opening facts -including a replica of a refugee tent! The highlight of the exhibition was during the music, dance, drama, and poetry performances, which were deeply though-provoking and got the public excited and laughing.

Tuesday’s performance and presentation welcomed students from other local IB schools as well as our own PYP classes, who wanted to share in this happy occasion. The visiting students asked questions and engaged in dialogue with SEK students who were well able to display excellent communication skills as they delivered their speeches and presented their inquiries.  It truly was a wonderful learning experience.

On Wednesday, we had parents evening. The excitement was palpable as students, parents, family, friends and members of the school community were supporting the Grade 5 in their final stage performance. Thanks to all SEK community for participating in such a special event!

Qatar National Day 2018

On Sunday, 16th December, we celebrated Qatar National Day at our school. This celebration gives the students, parents and teachers of SEK Qatar a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the many aspects of Qatari culture.

Every term, our students take time to study the Qatari culture, traditions and rich heritage and in this oportunity, we had a great variety of student artworks on display around the Main Hall. We also enjoyed face painting and henna and a chance to play traditional Qatari games.

Meanwhile on the stage there were a variety of performances from PYP and MYP students, including the henna night Dance from Grade 5 and 6 Girls, a poem and play written by Grade 8 students and the traditional sword dance performed by PYP boys. MYP music students were proud to give recital of the Qatar National Anthem.

In addition, we enjoyed traditional food and drinks and we would like to send a special thanks to all of the students, school staff and parents that helped us to make this joyous event happen!

We are glad to have shared with all the visitors this special day in honour of Qatar National Day 2018.

Kath Murdoch – “Teaching and Learning Through Inquiry”

On November 16th and 17th SEK International School Qatar had the pleasure to host a 2 day workshop lead by Kath Murdoch entitled Teaching and Learning Through Inquiry.

Kath Murdoch is an experienced teacher, author, university lecturer and popular consultant who has worked for many years in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, America and Europe. She is widely respected for her work in the field of inquiry based learning and integrative curriculum in which she has taught, researched and published for well over 25 years.

During the workshop she explained her inquiry-based approach for students, in itself, an approach that recognizes the importance of student voice and choice and of linking new learning to the existing knowledge, experiences and interests of the student.

 The workshop was an enriching experience for all participants as they learnt new teaching strategies and techniques to help build students’ skills as inquirers.

We would like to thank Kath for sharing her insights and the 90 participants that came to the workshop from different schools in Qatar and abroad.

PYP team celebrate Arts Week

This week, from Sunday 14th – Thursday 18th October, our PYP team celebrate Arts Week!

This year, we have decided to take a new approach to celebrating the arts in our PYP department. Each grade level from Preschool 3 to Grade 5 has organized their own celebration of the arts and parents have been invited to join at different occasions throughout the week.

These celebrations reflect the many ways the arts have been integrated with our Units of Inquiry and include activities and presentations such as; gymnastic routines, dance performances, fitness games, interactive art workshops such as Tie – Dye and Mosaic, singing performances, presentation of a drama written students, cultural song and dance, the creation of a ‘Peace’ mural and many more!

In addition, the student artwork created during Unit 1 is also on display around our Main Hall.

 

Sunday 14th:

Grade 2: Inquiry ‘Patterns

Grade 2 have been exploring the Unit of “Inquiry ‘Patterns’. For their Arts Week celebration, they have been busy preparing Gymnastic routines with the PE Department. Students selected their own music and choreographed their own routines in groups.

Following their performances, Grade 2 students invited their parents to join them for a Tie-Dye workshop. Students had practiced different methods of creating patterns in fabric using Tie-Dye techniques in their art classes. During the workshop, the students worked together with their parents to make their own Tie-Dye t-shirts. The finished products were nothing short of amazing.

 

Monday 15th:

Grade 1: Let’s Stay Healthy

The first Unit of Inquiry for Grade 1 was ‘Let’s Stay Healthy’, so their Arts Week celebration showcased many different aspects of their learning about this topic.

First, the students put on an energetic and enthusiastic dance performance for their parents and teachers called the ‘Broccoli Song’ while they used amazing broccoli hats created by themselves. They also displayed what they had been learning in their PE sessions during ‘Let’s Stay Healthy!’: the many ways that children and adults can keep their bodies healthy. Then, they put on their own fitness class, by teaching their parents some fitness games they had prepared.

Finally, Grade 1 students brought their parents to their art station. In their art classes, they had been learning about the Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who painted portraits of people using fruits and vegetables instead of their normal facial features. As part of the Arts Week, the Grade 1’s drew a ‘fruit face’ portrait of one of their parents and completed the paintings together.

 

Grade 5: Literature

The Grade 5 classes have been working on the Unit of Inquiry ‘Literature’. As part of their inquiry, the students wrote their own play: thought of the plot, created the characters, designed the props and prepared their own costumes. This play was performed on stage to parents during their Arts Week celebration.

Part two of the Grade 5 Arts Week celebration was a presentation of their artwork. In their art lessons, the students learned about the artwork of an illustrator ‘Warja Lavater’, who created a modern illustration of old tale ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.

Each student made their own accordion book inspired by the work of this artist. They chose a classic story or a fairytale and created a modern day illustration of that story within their accordion books. During their arts week celebration, students shared their artwork with their parents, then taught them how to create their own miniature accordion book.

 

Tuesday 14th:

Preschool 4: All About Me

Preschool 4’s first Unit of Inquiry has been ‘All About Me’ which was celebrated in many ways during their Arts Week event. First, the students of Preschool 4 took to the stage to perform a dance to the song ‘What I Am’. Every student was given the freedom to choose their own outfits to reflect different aspects of their personality.

Following their dance routine, the Preschool 4 students invited their parents to their classrooms to partake in some Arts and Crafts activities. Ms. Tyechia’s class got hands on with their parents by creating artworks using both of their handprints. Ms. Sinead’s class were introduced to the work of Pointillist painter Georges Seurat. Using cotton buds and paint, they created bright, dotty paintings around the shapes of the first letter of their names. The results were amazing and they definitely had a great time.

 

Wednesday 15th:

Grade 4: Conflict Resolution

Grade 4 have just completed their first Unit of Inquiry ‘Conflict Resolution’, so they embraced the opportunity to express their learning through the arts. Their Arts Week celebration emphasised the importance of peace. They performed a beautiful song,’Light a candle for peace’ prepared with their homeroom teachers Ms. Dada and Ms. Hadeel as well as their music teacher Ms. Irene.

Following their performance, the students and their parents were free to paint any symbol that represented peace for them and created a collaborative painting entitled ‘Peace Around Us’. They also worked together on a ‘Peace Mindmap’, answering the question ‘What does peace mean to you?’.

In their art lessons with Ms. Maire, Grade 4 students had designed and painted symbols of Peace using watercolours. They also learned how to make stencils from their designs, during their celebration, the Grade 4 students and their parents created a wonderful ‘Peace Around Us’ mural outside using spray paints and stencils.

 

Grade 3: Arts and Expression

Grade 3’s first Unit of Inquiry was ‘Arts and Expression’. During this Unit, the students explored the many ways we can express ourselves through the arts.

First, the students showcased an artistic expression in the form of gymnastic routines they had prepared in PE with their PE teachers Ms. Sylvia and Mr. Andres. They worked in groups to choreograph artistic gymnastic routines.

Music and Visual Arts were also integrated during this Unit, so during the Arts Week celebration, students invited their parents to join them in art and music workshops. In their art workshop, the students showed their parents how they can use line, shape and colour to express an emotion. They randomly chose an emotion from the box, then created an abstract painting expressing that emotion with their parents. Their finished paintings were so impressive!

In their music workshop, the students showed their parents how the various musical elements such as tempo and pitch can be used to express an emotion or idea, as well as how different instruments and music technology on the ipads can be used to express their feelings.

As a final touch to their Arts Week celebration, Grade 3 students showed that culture can also be expressed through the arts. Their homeroom teachers inspired the students teaching them a song and dance from their home country. Ms. Zita introduced Grade 3A to folk music from Hungary and they sang the traditional Hungarian song beautifully. Mr. Joe taught his class ‘The Siege of Ennis’, a traditional Irish dance which they performed on stage, before teaching their parents some of the steps.

Thursday 16th:

Preschool 3: Arts and Expression  

Preschool 3 celebrated their art, music and dance skills during their Arts Week Celebration. They presented a song to their parents and invited them to join in their music and movement session involving singing and dancing together.

The Preschool 3 students and their parents then participated in different art stations. They painted together using brushes, sponges and stamps, and they created colourful collages using paper and pom-poms. Preschool 3 students have been learning about their different facial features, and so during their celebration they drew self-portraits together with their parents using mirrors.

Preschool 5:  Communities

Preschool 5 students have been learning about ‘Communities’, so their Arts Week celebration started with a dance about working as a team to the song ‘We’re All In This Together’.

After performing their dance in the auditorium, the students then moved to the Main Hall to do a Mosaic art activity with their parents. They had practiced the technique of Mosaic with paper and with stone in their art sessions. During the Arts Week celebration, the students and their parents drew a design together and then they used colourful tiles to create a Mosaic.

Maths And Sciences Day

SEK’s Maths and Science Fair took place on 9th and 10th of April.

It was a great success on all fronts where students from all the Pre-School, the PYP, the MYP and the DP had the opportunity to experiment, discover and have buckets of fun at the same time.
Parents are always welcome at SEK and it was lovely to see some friendly faces coming in to see what their children are getting up to in school.

The fair gave everyone the chance to jump from activity to activity learning about various topics of scientific and mathematical interest. Some of the wonderful learning available spanned from mental maths activities with Snakes and Ladders to showing how colour can travel using Skittles to experimenting with the states of matter, allowing students to create and take home their very own play-dough and slime of course!

In total, we had over 20 different stations operating over these two days, with each one stimulating the eager young minds here at SEK. As you can see, we have some inquisitive minds here and we always like to balance our curiosity and commitment to learning with some super fun activities.

Hope you all had as much fun as we did, we are already looking forward to next year! Never stop inquiring, never stop learning!

A huge thank you and well done to all involved in our Maths and Science Day celebrations during these two days.

SEKMUN 2018

The SEK Educational Institution starts, one more year, SEKMUN, an educational and cultural project which applies the “United Nations Model” at SEK Schools. It will take place on 13th, 14th and 15th of March 2018 at 12.30 pm (Qatar time) in the Spanish Senate House.

 SEKMUN opens an space for reflection and debate, where about 500 students from 15 to 18 years old, contribute with solutions through dialogue and negotiation as the best frame for conflict solving.

 The educational and cultural project has the authorization of United Nations, and it is an excellent opportunity to address the most relevant issues of the international agenda from an innovative orientation, essential for building a world of which young people will be protagonists.

 For three days, students from SEK and other international schools will assume the role of diplomats from different countries to deal with conflicts that affect the whole humanity. The assemblies and councils, related to human rights, safety, environment, health, crime and tourism among others, will be developed in Spanish and English.

 

Click into the below link to follow the session live.

http://www.senado.es/streaming/p5.html

Sports Day 2018

On Monday, 22nd January, Preschool 3 and 4 students celebrated Sports Day with a 50 min circuit developed and organized by Grade 5 with Teachers and Parents cheering them on during this exciting day.

One day afterwards, the PYP Sports’ Day took place at SEK-Qatar, involving staff and students in different sporting pursuits. The activities were a combination of obstacle challenges, and throwing stations. Students from Preschool 5 to Grade 5 participated enthusiastically in the 8 stations including javelin, zig zag and relay races, obstacle course, tug of war, football and basketball challenges. The day was marked with a big presence of parents who attended to support their children, and witness a very friendly, and cheerful atmosphere.

On Thursday, 25th January, we celebrated MYP/DP Sports’ Day. Students represent their House team and move around 9 different athletic and sport stations, challenging the skills they developed in the Athletics unit. The stations included Shot put, Javelin, Throw to win, Hopper Race, Vortex Throw, Broad Jump, Vertical Jump, 100m Sprint, and 1Km Run. The day concluded at 1pm with a prize giving in the auditorium.

The students demonstrated excellent enthusiasm throughout the day, including cheering for their classmates, and giving every activity their best try! Thanks to the excellent work of the Radio Station media club, the students had music, and house point updates throughout the day. Well done to all of those who participated on the day, and to the teachers’ collaboration, and parents who supported the event.

Qatar National Day Celebration 2017

Qatar National Day gives the students, parents and teachers of SEK Qatar a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the many aspects of Qatari culture. Every term, our students take time to study about Qatar, its culture and traditions. The Qatar National Day is a great opportunity to share their learning and own creations with the whole school community and celebrate Qatar’s rich heritage.

 On Thursday, 14th of December, Displays of PYP and MYP were around the Main Hall, as well as Photo Display with pictures showing life in Qatar. Face painting and henna stations were near the grade 1 and 2 entrance and food and drinks were served in the cafeteria.

 In the stage there was a variety of performances from the students, as the Arabic Dance from PYP Girls, a Poem from Grade 5 or the Sword dance from PYP boys. MYP students participated as well with a Poem Reading and a presentation on the development of Qatar over the years.

 A special thanks to all of the students, school staff and parents helping us to make this event happen! We are glad to have shared with all the visitors this special day and celebrate Qatar’s culture and heritage.