Author - EXE

Expressing Ourselves Through Puppets

Who does not laugh or become engaged with puppets? Puppets are not only a wonderful form entertainment for children, they are also a wonderful means to support students’ learning through play. Learning through play is fundamental to a child’s education, helping them to develop necessary skills in life. In Kindergarten, the current Unit of Inquiry is: How We Express Ourselves. For part of our inquiry during this unit, the students made sock puppets and put on puppet shows as a way of using expressive arts to communicate and convey their thoughts. Puppets provide a focus for role play, incite children’s imagination, foster creative play and provide the children with a non-threatening, interactive ways to recite a narrative or bring a story to life. Puppets simply provide an effective means to initiate communication and express thoughts.
Thus, it seemed pertinent to our inquiry that students should venture out and take in a puppet show. And that is just what we did. We hopped on the bus and went to the, Museum of Vietnamese History to watch the water puppet performance. It was fantastic!! The students were captivated by the puppets and the stories that were conveyed. The kindergarten students’ inspired adaptations of the show were performed in the classroom for days afterwards. What a wonderful way for the students to demonstrate: How We (can) Express Ourselves!!


Music Notes

Music classes have been engaging with the structure of music. It is a curriculum based subject, aimed at developing new knowledge and deeper understandings of music literacy. Students are starting to play their concert band instrument very well and it is exciting to hear students improve so quickly. Each class has its own concert band and students are learning to play one of the following instruments; flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet and trombone. It is a huge range of instruments and the structured class band program is used in most schools throughout the world.
The Year Eight Concert band began rehearsing in the second half of this year. We have grown in numbers and continue to welcome new members. We rehearse each Tuesday lunchtime. We are playing from printed sheet music specifically written for concert band. Each week we make enormous improvements and we are playing more like an ensemble.
We are establishing a weekly rehearsal schedule during lunchtimes. As students become proficient on their instruments they are always welcome to attend rehearsals.

  • Monday lunchtime – Year Seven Concert Band
  • Tuesday lunchtime – Year Eight Concert Band
  • Thursday lunchtime – Year Nine Concert Band
  • Friday lunchtime – Senior Concert Band


Arts, AIS students enter Saatchi prize for schools

This year AIS art students have, for the first time, submitted entries to the prestigious Saatchi Gallery Schools Prize. The Saatchi Gallery is one of the world’s best known private galleries with annual visitors numbering 1.5 million. From its London base the gallery aims to provide a forum for contemporary art presenting work by upcoming, and often unseen, artists. The Schools Prize is unique with entries being made from primary and secondary schools across the globe via the Saatchi Gallery website, meaning the scope and accessibility of the competition is second to none.

Entries have been submitted by the following students:

  • Joann Kim (Year 10), Than Huy Tran (Year 10), Ji Young Park (Year 12) & Truc An Le (Year 12)

The works can be viewed by following the link:

We wish the students all the best with this wonderful competition.


Music Notes

All music students are playing an instrument. They are playing in a concert band and each class has its own ensemble. We are focusing on posture, reading rhythms and developing pitch ranges on their instruments. A particular focus in Music is reading and interpretation of music notes. Students are learning how to recognise and play printed music. We rehearse and play from concert band music. Students are becoming more literate and fluent with reading notes. This is a complex task as students have to play the rhythm and pitch the note while playing in their concert band. For most students, this is the first time that they have played in a concert band using structure and printed music.

7.1 Music class

Recently we have started two new ensembles for Year 7 and Year 8 students. If students want to improve their skills they are welcome to attend extra lunch time rehearsals. We formed a Year 7 Concert Band and a Year 8 Concert Band. As students improve their instrument skills new students are welcome to attend rehearsals.

Year 7 Concert Band will rehearse Monday lunch time.

Year 8 Concert Band will rehearse Tuesday lunch time.

The AIS Open Day is on Saturday 11 March. Many student groups will be performing, starting at 10am. There will be a range of music styles including Year 4 and 5 primary performers, The AIS Choir, Concert Band and many smaller ensembles. It will be a spectacular morning.



Giving pre-school children their own responsibilities is a great opportunity to build self-esteem and confidence. It is also one of the very first steps toward independence. Parents and teachers can be guilty of doing many things for their children just to ‘get through it – and get it over with’.

However, we do a BIG disservice to our children by not letting them do jobs or chores that are age appropriate. It helps them feel part of the family as everyone has some duties that they must do. Everyone has a responsibility to be part of the ‘cog’. In the classroom, being able to self-register and look after their own belongings is good practice in time management and ownership.

Being consistent, recognising a task well done and adding to the list as the child gets older increases their basic life skills to look after themselves – and you may actually be surprised at what your child can do!

There are many printable charts available on the internet if you search for ‘age appropriate tasks’.

Here are just a few that most teachers use and expect:

2 – 3 years old

  • Carry your own school bag and put it away upon entry to school
  • Put shoes and sleeping equipment in appropriate area
  • Put shoes on by themselves
  • Help clean up spills or marks on the wall
  • Pick up/put away toys
  • Put lunch boxes away and glasses or plates in sink or on trays

4 – 5 years old

  • All previous chores
  • Dress themselves
  • Hang up dress up costumes, fold small blankets
  • Brush teeth and put all belongings away
  • Choose your own library book and look after it
  • When you finish a task or project, put all equipment and tools away
  • Make sure your name is on your work

The PYP Exhibition

The PYP Exhibition is a requirement for students in their final year of the Primary Years Programme (PYP). Unlike a typical ‘Science Fair’or ‘Project’, the PYP Exhibition provides opportunities for students to demonstrate the development of their skills from the previous year, to develop a sense of responsibility in their learning and, most importantly, to be able to take action as a result of their learning. Students investigate real- life issues they are passionate about in their attempt to help solve the problems related.  As a group, Year 6 students came up with the central idea:                

“When people work on their passions, they can influence change”.

Students have been working on their PYP Exhibition for four weeks; having developed their own research questions, organised schedules for mentor meetings, and planned for their future trips to gather information from primary resources.

Throughout the process, students are guided to make informed decisions and to demonstrate their understanding of their particular topic of interest and to work as a team member. Such a learning process requires independence, critical thinking and problem solving; a very rigorous yet meaningful process to go through.

Soon, students will be deciding on the action they will be carrying out, as an extension of their learning. This particular aspect of the Exhibition reflects the commitment of the International Baccalaureate (IB) to promote service learning and the development of global citizens.

 As a celebration of learning, the PYP Exhibition will be held on April 3, 4, and 5, when all Year 6 students will be sharing their reflection and experiences going through such a rigorous learning process.

Please look out for those dates as we would welcome everyone in our community and beyond to take part in their learning journey and reflection. More information will follow. Thank you.


SISAC Championship cross country run

On Tuesday 21 February AIS hosted the SISAC Cross country championships at Phu My Hung golf course.  It was a great event as it is a team competition. Out of the 8 runners that are entered, the first 5 for each school to cross the finishing line score points for their school. It was a successful day with our U19 Boys placing 2nd  and an amazing FIRST place for our U9 Girls team from Cherry Blossom Campus. They smashed it! Well done to everyone who took part – it was a great morning of running!


U14 Girls football

Joining the Under 14 soccer team was a great decision. Throughout the season, I have had so much experience and great fun playing friendly matches as well as the tournament with other teams. I love going to trainings because we would always learn new skills and enjoy it at the same time. Not only that I have learnt lots of new things. I have also made lots of new friends and has gotten the chance to talk to people that I don’t usually talk to. Even though the results of our tournament were not what we expected, as a team captain I clearly saw my teammates improve and play their best in every single match. I will definitely miss playing for the Under 14 team next year.


Universities Visit AIS

As part of our support for students to find the best university after school, some of our Year 11-13 students attended an information session held by representatives from seven USA universities on 1 March.

The seven universities represented were: Baldwin Wallace University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Manhattanville College, Ohio University, Roger Williams University, Rowan University and The University of Oklahoma. The universities presented information on the range and diversity of university choices and programs from across the USA. Some of the points covered were: why study in the USA; scholarships and finances for studying in the USA; and guidance in preparation for planning to study in the USA. Students also had time to speak individually with the various universities.

Judging from the appearance of how engaged the students were during the introductory presentations and observing how they interacted with the representatives and on feedback from the students, it seemed to have been a very worthwhile experience for them. The Y11 students in attendance were particularly keen on the information sharing of the seminar, as, for many of them, this was their first interaction with university representatives. Their primary interest was the session which focused on US Emerging Careers as this was information which will help guide them with their IBDP subject selections.

A key point being made was how much the universities valued the IB Diploma that students are able to achieve at AIS.