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.

Hour Of Code 2017

 

The Hour of Code was created as an introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code” and show that anybody can learn the basics of computer science, making the process fun and creative. It is accessible for all ages, for all students, regardless of previous coding experience.

 The hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week, held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. This is an initiative created by Stephen Curry and code.org.

 SEK International School Qatar is participating with one hour coding activities during this week, starting today, Monday 4th of December. Students have the opportunity to learn computer science, which helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity.

 Parents and school staff are encouraged to participate too. The school has enabled an area at the entrance foyer with laptops for people interested in joining the coding activities.

 Get involved in this amazing learning experience and discover how computer science can enrich your life!

Recycling Day

 

Last Tuesday 28th of November, our family recycling day was a success! A big thank you to all the parents who got involved in this project. Members of the PYP student council were happy to be part of SEK initiative to protect the earth.

Our next recycling Tuesday will be on the 19th of December, 2017.

We look forward to having all our parents bring in their recyclable paper and plastic.

IBDP extended essay

Grade 11 were off timetable on Tuesday 28th November in order to immerse themselves in beginning their IBDP extended essay task.

 The task is not an easy one: write a 4,000 word university entrance level research paper on a chosen topic. The stakes are high too – failure to meet the minimum standard will result in a failing condition for the diploma!

 It’s fortunate, then, that help is at hand. During the day the students were assisted by librarian, Annick Lapalme, who was able to offer expertise on such topics as research and effective citation. Several of the school’s subject specialists guided the students too, focusing on the specific requirements of the essay in their subject discipline.

Pictured are the grade 12 students dropping by to offer their advice and the dos and don’ts of the process from their perspective – they should know, they’ve just finished theirs!

 All in all it was a very positive start to a long and rewarding journey – thanks to everyone involved.

SEK Qatar students attending WISE 2017

 

Last week, SEK International School was honored to attend the World Innovation Summit for Education 2017 at the Qatar National Convention Center. Across 3 days, students, teachers and parents were involved in different activities, conferences and workshops under the theme Co-Exist, Co-Create: Learning to Liv and Work Together.

 

Tuesday, 14th November MYP Grade 8 Learning Lab – LittleBits, Cad design and 3D Printing

Grade 8 students participated in a maker workshop to empower their creativity. They created a remote control car using LittleBits, a droid inventor kit to create the next generation of droids.  After that, students created a model using an online CAD platform; the digital model was imported to a 3D printer and they could finally see their three-dimensional creations.

 

Wednesday, 15th November  DP Grade 12 – Opening Ceremony and Learning Lab C2 Workshops

The students got to experience the inspirational opening address by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser and the thought provoking special address by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria attended by Turkish first lady Emine Erdogan and other notable panel members, all anchored by BBC World’s Yalda Hakim. It was a privilege to be part of the audience!

All of the speakers discussed the theme of education and its potential role in bringing harmony to an unstable world, and all offered insight and perspectives from which our students can both learn and use to deepen their own understanding of global issues and solutions. There was advice too, in the form of exhortation from several of the panelists for our young people to become adept at processing the world of the media and distinguishing between truth and manipulation.

We’re sure that for many of our students education has never felt so vibrant and vital.

Following on from the opening ceremony and panel discussion was a series of opportunities for the students to add their own voice to the proceedings. Working with both the Canadian based C2 workshop and global news network Al Jazeera allowed them to speculate on the nature of education in the future and the role the media has to play in any future conflict resolution.

 

Grade 2 Textile Craft Interactive Workshop at SEK Qatar International School for Doha Learning Week

As part of the Doha Learning Week initiative, SEK Qatar offered a fascinating workshop where Grade 2 students, who have been exploring the timeless textile craft of weaving, hosted an interactive workshop to share their learning with their parents. During the workshop, students guided their parents through the process of weaving on a loom and collaborated to create a large-scale rug. In promotion of sustainability, the rug was woven entirely from recycled textiles and yarn created from reused clothing.

The workshop was inspired by the impressive Imperial Threads exhibition currently being held at the Museum of Islamic Art. The MIA collection showcases elaborately designed carpets, a well-known feature of Islamic Art and was a reference point during the students’ inquiries into woven rugs.

 

Thursday, 16th November – MYP Grade 7 Generation Amazing Learning Lab and Closing Ceremony

Grade 7 students participated in the workshop “Generation Amazing Football Activity”, by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy

Generation Amazing is Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s flagship corporate social responsibility program. It uses the opportunity created by Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup to empower and educate people across Qatar, the region and the globe. Our students were invited to join Generation Amazing learning lab to participate in an energetic session that promoted:-

An Inclusive Generation: Teaching children the importance of accepting others regardless of their background, characteristics or situation –therefore reducing social exclusion in the society.

A Healthy Generation: Encouraging children to adopt healthy and active lifestyles.

A Green generation: Promoting sustainable behaviours to children –encouraging them to lead “reduced energy” lifestyles.

After the Workshop, SEK Qatar had the privilege to attend  the WISE closing ceremony and listen to the inspiring work of Dr. Patrick Awuah who is this year’s recipient of the WISE Prize for Education.

We are very grateful to the organisers and the sponsors for what was a great opportunity – thank you WISE and please have us back for the next summit!