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Starting a New Year: Calm, Curious, & Connecting

The first week of a school year can sometimes feel nerve wracking, chaotic or challenging for children and adults. When talking with teachers, students, and parents, both returning and newcomers, we have found a refreshing calm, curiosity sparked and powerful connections being made in our community this week. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to nurture wellbeing and belonging in order to have the best learning possible. Our balanced focus on all three continues this year as we learn to live with this virus. Educators are giving great care to build that sense of belonging while respecting the necessary hygiene measures for our physical wellbeing.

The following are a few glimpses from across the school of our curious learners and connections they’re making.  

To the left, Middle School readers were thrilled to access the latest great reads from the book collections in the MS, as well as the Innovation Hub. To the left, Mr. Fisher shares a book recommendation with a Gr 8 reader.

Reconnecting with books from ES classroom libraries, Kathy Zabinski, right, our ES literacy coach reminds these Grade 4 readers about some key strategies when choosing their independent books.

In addition to books, our youngest learners in ECF were loving the varied options available to them during morning exploration, sparking their curiosity and easing their transition from home to their new learning space.

Upper School IB Business Management students engaged in the “spaghetti tower challenge”, sparking a reflection on the importance of teams for a successful business and also connecting to the six key concepts of this two year course.

Many of our students met Dr. Kimball, ISP’s new Director, this week. They often peppered him with questions and shared their ideas of how to make ISP even better!

Is it a beetroot, a radish or what? Reconnecting with the garden sparked a great deal of curiosity for the children as they discovered all the changes that had happened since June. 

To the below left, our Outdoor Learning Coordinator, Kerry Craig, pushes children’s thinking further by asking them questions about their hypotheses of this mysterious large red root vegetable. 

Beautiful, cool weather meant many learners across the school spent time outside without masks.

(Below right) ES German students’ curiosity was piqued as they discovered a “message in a bottle” near the ISP pond and launched into a mystery challenge to help some deserted travelers.

Upper School IB maths students (below) were fully engaged in their measurement task while enjoying the fresh air outside. 

As the 2021-22 year unfolds, we will share more glimpses and more in depth learning stories to keep you connected and curious about what Learning@ISP looks like in action.