Ancient Chinese philosophy believes that one can only gain success through reading thousands of books and travelling thousands of miles. Great minds think alike. In modern times, IB theory also share the same thoughts.
Creativity, activity, service (CAS) are three essential elements that every student must complete as part of the IB curriculum to help develop their strong academic, social and emotional characteristics.
● Creativity – arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
● Activity – physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work.
● Service – an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.
As the only IB school in Wuxi that offers all three programs (PYP, MYP, DP), Boston International School sticks to IB philosophy and applies CAS to our programs. Before the spring break, we organized a 3-day book fair and a 4-day Week Without Wall event.
01 School Book Fair
This year’s Boston International School Library Book Fair was held from 27th to 29th Mar. Various kinds of books could be found in the fair. One could find those hilarious comics such as Dog Man and Amulet that would get the kids ecstatic to books featuring different topics related to the Units of Inquiry which are the highlights of IB program for KG, PYP and MYP students.
This book fair is one of the highlights of the year for BIS wide community as all students, teachers and parents had the opportunity to visit the fair, browse all kind of books and buy books for their learning pursuit as lifelong learners. During those three days, a part of the sales would be given as credits to the school library to continue building a rich and dynamic collection.
Our Library Policy is to “actively promote(s) the philosophy and fundamental concepts of the IB Programs. These include structured inquiry, holistic education, communication, intercultural awareness and international mindedness. The library aims to facilitate curriculum delivery, and reading for enjoyment, by providing current and relevant resources for the school community”.
02 Week Without Wall
To incorporate our academic studies with the Creativity, Service, Action (CAS) elements of IB philosophies, we engaged our MYP and DP students with an expedition to some of most interest locations within and outside Wuxi, where students learned about China’s rich culture and had a 4-day trip without their mobile access from 26th-29th Mar.
Students were divided into three groups according to their own interests: Hangzhou, Moganshan and Wuxi. We aim to enhance their personal and interpersonal development by learning through their travel experiences.
– Mr. Thomas Gilbert, MYP I&S and English teacher
Mr. Thomas Gilbert
On the first day, we went straight into our first activity, a beautiful hike through a tea plantation on the side of a mountain. It was quite the adventure that pushed us. We learned about what we can achieve if we push ourselves as well as a lot of information on how tea is grown and what leaves make what type of tea.
The next morning, we gathered to hear the instructions for our day’s activity, The Amazing Race! Each group was given a series of questions that had to be answered by visiting 3 different places in the city. Each group was given 50rmb per person and away we went! Some groups took the bus and some walked but we all made our way around Hangzhou, visiting the West Lake and other landmarks. We saw some beautiful sights and learning a lot about the history of Hangzhou.
The morning of the 28th we went to a museum where we could choose to make a paper doll, mix coloured sand to make pretty scenes or do some wood carving. The students got stuck in, learned some new skills and some amazing creations emerged. With those creations in hand and lunch eaten, we piled back on the bus for an afternoon of kayaking. We learned some important skills, like how to turn and to stop, before we played some games on the water.
Our last morning in Hangzhou came and it was time for a scenic bicycle ride. We took the short trip out to our sight and climbed aboard our bikes. It was a short trip that took us through a beautiful park.
A fun time was had by all! We learned a lot, walked a lot and made some fantastic memories!
– Dr. Youngmin An, ELL teacher
Dr. Youngmin An
I must say I wasn’t too crazy about the idea of going on a trip with a large group of students in the beginning, but it turned out to be a great adventure. One of the highlights of the trip was the bike-riding in a rainy afternoon around a beautiful rural side of China.
I believe that today’s students are visual learners and this trip has provided them with great opportunities to see, touch, feel, and listen to what they are learning about. This will help students to gain a better understanding of the topics they study at school and increase their tolerance, empathy, and ability to understand life outside of classroom.
– Ms. Rebekah Wallace SEN Coordinator
Ms. Rebekah Wallace
We started out with Kayaking and the high ropes course. This was heaps of fun and the weather was perfect for us. All the kids were really brave climbing so high and making the ‘leap of faith’! Setting up camp was the next step. Afterwards we enjoyed a delicious BBQ by the campfire and had a camp game “Zombie Apocalypse”.
Next morning, we left the campsite and started the day with a hike up the hills in Moganshan proper. This was scenic and a comfortable walk up through bamboo forests and atop Moganshan town.
The next day we enjoyed visiting a Bamboo forest and learnt a little about Bamboo farming and industry. We also had a team challenge with water, bamboo and buckets. The other activity of the day was a cycle around the dam in Moganshan. This was also very scenic and despite the rain this was my favorite part of the week. It felt great to be riding around this beautiful rural area.
Our final morning built on our bamboo experience with some local artisans teaching us how to make bamboo baskets. This was not an easy task and for many of us it took a long time to get started. The experience was wonderful though as it gave us all an understanding of how physical it can be to work with Bamboo and to appreciate the effort that goes into products we see and often take for granted.
● Wuxi 无锡
– Ms. Kim Peters, Japanese teacher
Ms. Kim Peters
I participated one of day trips in Wuxi, which was Shan Juan Cave. It was a well-organised trip. BIS students presented themselves in good manners in public. None of students left rubbish where they had a rest or had lunch. I was also very pleased to see how harmoniously students mixed and communicated each other beyond their nationalities. Some students in M4 did look after juniors too.
– Ms. Mary Rhodes, DP2 Homeroom Teacher and English teacher
Ms. Mary Rhodes
I went to the Zoo and the Plum Gardens. It was a lovely day and the students were excellently behaved. 11 students from across M1 – D1 all mixed well and looked after each other throughout the day. We saw pandas and many monkeys at the zoo. The lemurs were the biggest hit. We enjoyed the beautiful Plum Gardens and tried to catch cherry blossoms as they fell from the trees.
In BIS, we believe that all our events are both meaningful and sustainable. Through access to a book fair and deep exposure to the local culture, students learn vital collaboration and problem-solving skills. They are inspired to make a difference!