A dazzling display of diversity at ISA’s Global Village Day

Global Village Day 2017 was again a great success setting a record with over 450 students representing the school’s 54 nationalities in the day’s events. An annual favourite, the event was a spectacular, colorful and vibrant display of dance, singing, traditional costumes and smiling faces celebrating the cultural and geographical diversity within the ISA community.

The morning was filled with various showcases  including traditional dance and musical performances, speeches by the Middle and Upper School Student Council and of course, the highly anticipated Parade of Nations.

For the afternoon, the Lower School once again transformed its classrooms into ‘villages’ representing a specific country with games, foods and learnings that exposed students to the range of culture represented within ISA.

Global Village Day is organized each year by representatives from the Lower and Upper School Student councils, with support from staff, faculty and parent volunteers.

“Having everyone here today excited not only about our own cultures, but also about the global community that we represent, is a great reminder that we are very fortunate to benefit from such a diverse pool of students, parents and faculty that can’t really be found anywhere else in the world,” said Upper School Student Council Vice President, Ryan Collins.

Student creativity shines at Grade 10 personal project exhibition

Grade 10 students delighted parents, staff and their fellow students at the annual MYP personal project exhibition evening on 9 February, 2017.

The Upper School Library was transformed into a modern-day gallery with 95 different projects that included art exhibitions, musical performances, photography and poetry books and projects promoting sustainability.

The personal project at ISA encourages students to take real ownership of their learning. Students are challenged to demonstrate many of the learner profile traits, as well as the approaches to learning skills that they have been exposed to as MYP learners.

MYP Coordinator Paul Griffiths sees true value in the project and the processes the students go through to achieve their final product. “The personal project prepares students for future study and beyond.”

The common theme evident in all of this year’s projects was diversity. “The spread of projects was a true representation of the different learners that make up our 10th Grade student population,” said Griffiths.

In addition to the grade 10 students and their families, grade 9 students also attended the evening giving them excellent insight into the range of potential projects and subjects they can explore in the new year.

ISA Student Debate Skills on Show at Oxford School Debate Tournament

On Sunday, 5 February, 12 students from ISA represented the school at the Dutch regional finals of the global Oxford Schools Debate Tournament, held at the Wolfert Tweetalig School in Rotterdam. Organised by the Oxford University Debating Union, the tournament saw around 100 students from across the Netherlands debate and explore topical social issues including international development aid, welfare, and the purpose of the European Union. ISA students performed extremely well, with all achieving some success and Grade 9 student, Lukas Joosten, placing 4th out of all the speakers that participated on the day.

The students’ debating skills were developed for the event through training with high school teachers, Ian Kilbride and Jonathon Denny and grade 12 senior students, Chhavi Nashier and Ryan Collins. Although the ISA teams were not invited to Oxford for the global finals, debate coach, Ian Kilbride, said he was really impressed at the students’ improvement throughout the competition.

“The students listened to the feedback of the judges well and applied the advice [they received] to how they approached the next motion and, more importantly, all of the students enjoyed the day,” said Kilbride.  Congratulations to all of the ISA students that participated in the tournament.

Launch of New ISA Alumni Platform

On the heels of their first Alumni Reception in London, the ISA Alumni team has just launched the ISA Alumni platform – a website that serves as the go to place for alumni to share their experiences, connect with old and new friends and remain a part of ISA’s enduring legacy to educate for international understanding.

The platform encourages alumni to connect with former classmates, parents and teachers and engage in the ISA community to promote ISA’s mission. The ISA Alumni platform is open to anyone who has ever been a part of the ISA community – parents, former faculty and staff, and of course, students, including those who have graduated as well as any student who ever attended ISA. The online platform will provide a range of opportunities for alumni to collaborate, network and share stories about their journeys since leaving ISA.

Some highlights include:

  • Electronic yearbooks from nearly every year at ISA
  • Links to the latest ISA news and communications
  • Photos from past events and ISA’s history
  • A directory of alumni on the platform
  • Easy messaging options

In the next couple of weeks, the platform will be coupled with a mobile app – making it even easier for ISA’s alumni to stay in contact with each other!

All alumni are encouraged to sign up at isa-alumni.nl.

Parent Book Club: Discussing the challenges of the college application process

On Thursday, 2 February, the ISA Counselling department hosted its first book club event to explore the challenges that students and parents face when approaching colleges and universities.

The featured book Where You’ll Go is Not Who You’ll Be written by renowned New York Times journalist, Frank Bruni, investigates the ‘college admissions mania’ and provides anecdotes, advice and opinions about the value of a high-pressure university admissions and selection process, with a particular focus on the college system in the United States.

“I found it encouraging to hear parents express their support for their children choosing pathways that lead to a successful, balanced, and productive life following university” noted Upper School Counsellor Frieda Dietrich.

“Caring deeply about what they wanted most for their children, many comments focused on character attributes such as integrity, commitment, humility, ability to deal with setbacks. Things that make a difference in the long term.”

ISA is hoping to hold additional book club discussion sessions throughout the year, so if you are interested please contact Geoff Richman or Frieda Dietrich.

London ISA Alumni Reception

Everyone loves a good “catch up” with old friends and with ISA launching its new Alumni department, many of our former students had the chance to do just that.

On Sunday 22 January, ISA held its first Alumni Reception at the trendy Graphic Bar in London, with ISA students from 1973 to 2016 gathering to laugh, reminisce and reconnect over their shared experiences whilst studying at ISA.

Als­­­o in attendance were ISA Director Ed E. Greene, Heads of School Sarah Grace and Paul Sanders, Admissions & Advancement Director, Julia True and new Alumni & Advancement Officer, Matt Jasinski.

“This was the first Alumni Reception that ISA has held in London, and in fact the first event that we have done since revamping ISA’s alumni programme earlier this year. It really was great to meet so many of our community members and have them attend the event.”

Jasinski, who heads the new alumni department, is excited about the new opportunities for alumni of the school.

“This was my first chance to meet many of our alumni – and I was blown away by their kindness and appreciation at having this chance to get together. Everyone spoke fondly about their time at ISA – proving that the connections that they made while at our school are lasting.”

“I hope that those who attended felt motivated to reconnect with friends they have not spoken to in a while, and left excited over meeting new members of their ISA family. The school looks forward to hosting future events, connecting with more of our alumni, and creating more opportunities for our community to come together.”