Monthly Archives: November 2018

Please Support HS Charity Club Toy Drive

Hello Elementary School!

We are from the high school’s Nightingale Charity Club, a club that aims to fundraise and support our Beijing community by funding operations for special needs kids in local orphanages. Every year we aim to find a way for our ES community to bond with the kids at the orphanages we support and have an opportunity to give back to their local community.

This winter we will be putting up a Giving Tree on the red carpet right by the Elementary School Office from December 3rd to December 13th. Under this tree there will be two boxes available for kids to drop off toy donations. We are accepting any toys that you or your children have outgrown or any packaged toy donations that you wish to purchase.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Toys should not be broken or have visible cracks or dents in them
  • Toys should be clean (e.g no dirt, no unsanitary stains)
  • If you wish to donate toys that are battery operated, though we cannot give them to the orphanage we will still donate them to Roundabout (another honorable donation center).

We are very excited to bring this toy drive to the elementary school and cannot wait to see your community spirit! Happy winter!


Nightingale Charity Club




ES Musical Upcoming Performances

At this festive time of year, the ES students who attend music activities after school, will be performing in places in and around Beijing. Even if your children are not in these groups, you might like to attend them. It’s a lovely opportunity to sing carols and see our students perform.

Friday Nov 30th Treblemakers at St Regis Hotel – 7:00 pm
The St. Regis Beijing 北京瑞吉酒店
No. 21 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020 北京市建国门外大街21号
t.86 (10) 6460 6688 m.86 (186) 0116 5247 –

Friday Nov 30th Mozart at Roundabout Concert at WAB – 6:00 pm

Thursday Dec 6th All Ensemble Concert in Gym 1 – 3:45pm
Featuring: Beginner strings 1, Beginner Strings 2, Vivaldi Ensemble, Mozart Ensemble
Beginner Band 1, Band 2, Junior Choir and Treblemakers

Friday Dec 7th Junior Choir at Sunrise Kempinski – 7:00 pm
Sunrise Kempinski Hotel, Beijing & Yanqi Island
Courtyard No. 11 Yanqi Lake South Road, Huairou District, Beijing, 101407
T +86 10 6961 8888 · M +86 10 186 1164 4809

Dec 10th – 13th Gr.5 Travelling Tone Chimes – Various times throughout the school

ES Parent Coffee: Follow Up and Presentation

Dear Parents,

Thank you for attending last week’s coffee.  Included with this post is a copy of the presentation for your reference and a message from Kathryn Handy, the ES Instructional Coach:

Thank you to everyone who attended the Parent Coffee last Tuesday. The group was engaged, enthusiastic, thoughtful, and full of active participation. The opportunities to speak with the wider community, listen to new ideas, and answer your questions was not only encouraging and exciting but provided points of reflection and opportunities to look forward.  For those reading now who want to learn more about Differentiation in the Elementary School, thank you. It is a great honor to partner with you in supporting your children.

As instructional coach and math curriculum area leader at ISB part of my job is to “look for learning.” Fortunately, because of the caliber, dedication, and growth mindset of teachers at ISB, this part of my job is easy. When I spend time in classrooms and partner with teachers I am constantly blown away by the experiences and learning opportunities available for our students. Since the focus of the Parent Coffee was Differentiation in the Elementary School, I wanted to add a post to celebrate the incredible learning and differentiation that I get to see daily.

We are fortunate to have dynamic environments and flexible seating where students can learn in spaces that support them. There are spaces for students to work collaboratively, in partnerships, and independently. A variety of materials and learning tools are available for students and teachers to support the learning. Recently on a walk through of the PreK space I learned how every space and station is intentionally structured to aid in the academic and social development of the child. There is no area that has not been considered. Yesterday during a rich math problem in a Grade 4 class, students were in groups of varying sizes, self selecting materials from multiplication charts to manipulatives, and seeking help from each other and the teachers. Every student was engaged, every student was working on the task, every student was eager to discover the answer, and every student was growing in their understanding and application of factors. And while this is a recent example, this is present in every classroom I am fortunate enough to visit.

Not only are teachers differentiating their environment to support students but also differentiating the process in which students are learning. Grade 1 students recently wrote nonfiction books. The expertise of the teachers to teach the same writing techniques while allowing students choice in their topics is not only admirable but requires careful and consistent planning, monitoring, and reflecting. Students wrote nonfiction books on the topics of books, the ocean, and roller coasters and were able to become more proficient writers. In Grade 5, one classroom of students are reviewing for an upcoming assessment through a scavenger hunt around the room. Students are showing their thinking using strategies that work for them and have choice and support from teachers to answer different questions based on their learning needs.

It is impossible to roam the hallways in the elementary school or go into classrooms and not see how teachers are differentiating products for their students. In Kindergarten, students are showing their understanding of shapes and domain specific vocabulary by building towers, creating pictures, or sorting examples and non-examples. Grade 3 is deepening their learning about goods and services by literally providing different products to teachers. Grade 2, through research and investigation, is developing different products to support their reduce, reuse, recycle unit.

There are also examples of teachers differentiating content to support students. As students become more secure readers teachers at every grade level use their knowledge of the standards, progressions, and a student’s zone of proximal development (ZPD) to appropriately challenge and push the students forward, all while developing a love of reading for different purposes and serving the several other students in the classroom. Students who need more individualized support in different subject receive the appropriate content based on data, carefully articulated learning plans, and personalized goals.

I have never worked in an environment with more devoted, discerning, and caring professionals. And on this American Thanksgiving, I can’t think of anything I am more grateful for.

ES Parent Coffee Nov.20,2018-2019 FINAL

ES Parent Coffee: Tuesday, November 20th in the Upper Dance Studio (Dome)


  • When: Tuesday, November 20th, from 8:30 – 10:00
  • Where: Upper Dance Studio (inside the Dome)
  • What: Come join the ES Leadership Team and learn about the differentiation and teaching strategies being used to accommodate and serve the range of children at ISB.


Message from Swimming: BABY DRAGONS SWIM PROGRAM: Our Baby Dragon Swim Program will begin on December 5th. This program is a bridge program for swimmers to extend beyond the ASA and start preparing to develop their strokes for competitive swimming. This program centers around FUNdamentals. We are inviting swimmers who are able to swim down the length of the pool (25m) in three different strokes; Freestyle, Backstroke and Breaststroke. Although the technique at this stage does not need to be perfect, we need to consider safety and ensure that swimmers have the beginnings of these strokes and can manage to move down the pool in a practice setting.

On December 5th, from 2:30pm – 3:30pm, we will run an assessment to look at all potential Baby Dragons that are interested in the program. Some swimmers have already been chosen from ASA Session 1, so these swimmers will not be required to attend the assessment. Already identified Baby Dragons will start with a practice on December 5th while others continue to be assessed.

For any new swimmers that were not seen during ASA Session 1, please fill in the registration form and drop it off in the Swim Pool Mail Box before November 29th.

Chosen Baby Dragon’s will practice every Wednesday from 2:30PM – 3:30PM until we conclude with a final swim meet opportunity – The Baby & Little Dragon Invitational Meet, which takes place on Wednesday, May 22nd. Baby Dragons are not required to sign up with the ASA early years swimming program. Sign-ups are managed through the swim office.

Wednesday, December 5th Assessment – Parents will need to bring their children to this assessment at the pool. Our ASA program will be taking place at the same time, so coaches and teachers will be collecting those students. We will need parent help to bring swimmers to the pool on this first day.

Requirements before Baby Dragon practices begin:

  • All Baby Dragons should be competent to change on their own. Coaches or teachers will not be assisting swimmers in the change rooms to get changed. Please practice this at home. Parents will not be allowed in the change rooms.
  • Bring your own swim suit, cap and goggles. These will not be left at the pool and should be taken home after every practice.
  • We provide towels, so no need to bring your own.
  • 200RMB – This program carries a very small fee that covers a t-shirt, swim cap and allows these little ones to participate in a few swim meets from March until May. This fee will be collected after we decide on who will be in the program and fees are payable to the box office.

Although practices are on a Wednesday which is at the same time as our early years ASA. This program is different to the ASA program, and forms part of our bridge program for swimmers to extend beyond into more competitive stroke development.If you have any further questions you can send in an enquiry to the following:

Hard copies of this assessment flyer are available at the swimming pool, or you can download the attached form.

Entry form for Baby Dragon 2018[2]

Please print, complete and return to the swim pool mailbox. We are looking forward to seeing all our little ones on the 5th of December,

Best Regards

Nic Wilson

Message from Activities Office: ASA Session 1 Make Up Week and ASA Session 2 Start
Session 1 of After School Activities (ASAs) concluded last week. The make up week for some missed Session 1 ASAs will take place this week (The week of November 19th). Please read through the list below to see which activities will take place this week (please note that not all Session 1 activities will have make-ups).
Registration for Session 2 of ASA closed this Monday. Parents will receive an email with their child’s confirmed activities by Friday, November 23, and Session 2 will start on Monday, November 26. If you have any questions about ASAs, please contact;

ASA Session 2 Registration

The registration period opens on Monday, November 5th, at 12:00pm, and closes on Monday, November 12th, at 12:00pm. Please log in to your PowerSchool account to register for activities. Students in Kindergarten can participate in one ASA per week; students in Grade 1 can participate in up to two ASAs per week; students in Grades 2-5 can participate in up to three ASAs per week. Session 1 activities will continue until November 14th.