Secondary School Blog

April 28

Mike Simpson

Secondary School Principal

April 28, 2023

I hope that you had an opportunity to speak with your child’s teachers during yesterday’s Parent Teacher Conferences. Parent Teacher Conferences are a great way for teachers to share with you their insights on your child’s learning. It is also very helpful for our teachers to hear your insights as parents and our teachers are always happy to hear from you at any time during the year.

On Thursday, we had our first student Athletics and Activities Dinner since the pandemic. This was a great way to celebrate being able to play and compete again. It was also symbolic of a year that has seen the return of many events that we have missed – sporting, cultural, and academic. I would like to thank all the students, faculty, staff, coaches, and families who helped bring these events back this year and we look forward to many more next year.

Secondary School Events

This week:

IB Diploma Final Exams

Mon, May 1: Labour Day (No School)

Wed, May 3: Full Moon of Kasone (No School)

Thurs, May 4: Middle School Transition Evening: 5:30-6:30pm, ISY Cafeteria

Coming up:

  • IB Diploma Final Exams (up to May 19)
  • May 10-16: Grade 9, 10, and 11 Exams
  • May 27: High School Prom
  • May 30: Grade 12 Graduation
  • June 7: Semester 2 Reports available on Powerschool
  • June 9: Last Day of School (11:30am finish)

Counselor Weekly Newsletter

Every week, Mr. A-G, our High School Conselor, provides our High School students with a weekly update. This update provides students with information about a variety of topics including college and university application processes.

Middle School Transition Evening

At 5:30pm on Thursday, May 4, 2023, Ms. Patty & Mr. Simpson will host a meeting for all current 5th grade parents.  This meeting will explain the Middle School program and support parents as their children prepare for Middle School.  The meeting will be held in the Cafeteria.  All are encouraged to attend.

Being Sun Smart

It is very hot and sunny at the moment. We are strongly encouraging our Secondary School students to bring a hat to wear when they are outside – especially when they are doing PE. Many of our students report that they use sunscreen which is great and we strongly encourage all students to use it and bring it to school so they can apply it before they go outside.

Athletics & Activities Student Dinner

On Thursday, we held a student dinner to celebrate this year’s successful sporting seasons and other activities such as Model United Nations. It was wonderful for our student to be able to travel and compete with other schools again. Thank you again to all of the students, faculty, staff, coaches, and families who supported our Athlectis and Activies program and we look forward to an even fuller program next year. 
Please check out our Athletics & Activities Blog for more information about our Athletics and Activities program.

High School Final Exams: Why do we do them?

Our Grade 9, 10 and 11 students will sit Final Exams in May. 

Exams are one of many types of assessment that we use at ISY to develop a fair and accurate understanding of student academic achievement levels. 

For an assessment to be effective in helping us develop a fair and accurate understanding of what each student understands, we must be clear in our purpose for the assessment. Here are four reasons why students in Grades 9, 10, and 11 sit Final Exams at ISY:

1. Experience: Our Grade 12 students are about to sit their final IB Diploma exams. It is important that students feel confident and capable of showing what they know in an exam. To feel confident and capable in an exam, it is important for our students, with the support of their teachers, to experience exam conditions (no talking, sitting in rows, time limits, being supervised by a proctor, etc). With the support of their teachers, students will learn that they are able to show what they know in exam conditions. After the exams, teachers will help students reflect on their exam experience to develop more confidence and capability for next time.

2. Technique: Like sport or playing a musical instrument, good exam technique is very important for students to be able to show what they are capable of. Students also feel more confident going into an exam if they know they have good techniques to study for and sit exams. Our teachers have studied and will share with students the following proven study techniques summarized in this Strengthening the Student Toolbox article:

  • Practice testing: self-testing or taking practice tests on material to be tested in the exam.
  • Distributed practice: making a schedule of study that spreads out different subjects or study activities over time.
  • Interleaved practice: making a schedule of study that mixes different kinds of problems or questions in one study session.
  • Self-explanation: explaining to yourself (or another person) how to use what you know to answer a question or solve a problem.

Learning techniques like these will help students develop a study timetable that works for them. Teachers will also tell students what type of questions they can expect on the exams and share techniques that will help answer them.

3. Review: Exams provide an opportunity to review previously taught skills and knowledge that teachers have identified as important to consolidate for students to build on next year.

4. Data: To develop a fair and accurate assessment of a student’s academic achievement level, teachers use data from different assessments throughout the year. As students learn to sit exams, it is important for students to understand that a Final Exam is just one assessment that teachers gather data from to understand what their academic achievement level is. The grade on the Semester 2 report card comes from assessment data gathered throughout the year. A disappointing exam result at the end of the year does not cancel out what the student has proven they are capable of in earlier assessments. A High School Final Exam is in no way an ‘all or nothing’ assessment.