Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Embodying the spirit of our school


Without doubt, ISB has a fantastic culture within its grounds. Throughout the year there are hundreds of events organised which are exciting, creative, thoughtful, generous and educational. But fewer of those events are organised only by students. 

Today, I was honoured to be part of an event conceived, organised and run entirely by six Grade 4 students. This group of girls were inspired to create a production of Peter Pan which they wanted to present to their classmates during a future lunchtime. A lofty goal perhaps, one which may not ever reach fruition and just disappear with the lure of playtime...?

Me with the cast of Peter Pan! Such talented young ladies!!
...Not for these six! Independently, they collaboratively wrote a script (online using google docs in the evenings: see image below), learned the lines for multiple characters, used their lunchtimes and weekends to rehearse, promoted the show, sold tickets and popcorn and then performed in front of a full audience of 4th and 3rd graders. 

The group's google doc in which they collaboratively wrote the script, complete with casting, stage directions and props list
They demonstrated all of the skills that we at ISB are hoping to teach them- collaboration, using digital tools, presentation skills, initiative, drive, creativity and an awareness of their ability to make change. Did I mention that they did all of this to raise money for charity??!!! In their Grade 4 classes at the moment, they are learning about access to clean water in third-world countries, so they took this opportunity to take the money from their tickets and popcorn sales to give towards a charity drive for a latrine. 

As a teacher, it is times like this that keep you energised; seeing students assimilating learning into their own independent projects. I was delighted to be able to be able to witness the students deliver on their promise of this project. I also know that Mrs Diamant, one of the Grade 4 teachers, felt the same. After the show she said her eyes had been welling up as she sat in the audience. We both know we're privileged to teach students like these.

Carolina, Danae, Emilie, Tanya, Satsuki and Emily have made their parents, their teachers and ISB very proud today. They have demonstrated that with an idea, commitment and teamwork they can do anything they set their minds to. Like Peter Pan has always known, with just a simple thought in your mind... you can fly!!!

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