Secondary School Blog

Success Stories

Mike Simpson

Secondary School Principal

May 10, 2024

On Wednesday evening we held an information night for parents who have Grade 5 students transitoning into Middle School. We spoke about executive functioning skills that support learning that we focus on at ISY. At ISY, we believe that these skills enable a student to fulfil their potential inside and outside the classroom. One important executive functioning skill is resilience and seeking support when needed

I was reminded on Wednesday night of a story that I told at a student assembly at my previous school in Maseru, Lesotho.

I shared the story of how I finally got my driving licence.

When I was around 16 years of age, I tried driving for the first time and it did not go well. I developed an anxiety around driving and I basically gave up. It was not until I was much older that I felt the need to try again. I was embarrassed that I could not drive so my mother gave me lessons that caused no end of frustration for me and presumably for her as well. I practiced and practiced until I was confident enough to sit my restricted driving test which I passed. This let me drive by myself. I had to pass another driving test to earn the unrestricted driving licence that I have now. It took me two attempts to pass that test and now I drive just fine (depending on who you ask!).

I learned to drive using a manual transmission but before arriving in Maseru, I had not driven a manual car for years. The school’s pickup truck has a manual transmission. The very same day that I met our school’s Director for the first time, he offered to take me on a tour of the town. I suggested that I drive because I remember routes better if I am the one driving. Understandably, I was a bit hard on the gears when I started but things started to come back to me and I was soon feeling fairly comfortable driving. Until we became stuck in traffic that had stopped on a rather steep hill. As I tried to execute a hill start, we found ourselves rolling backwards. The red car behind us started beeping furiously and I managed to stop in time to prevent crashing the work car with my boss in it on my first day in a new country. The police officer that was driving the red car gave me some advice on balancing the clutch and accelerator as he drove past. Fortunately, The Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho provides plenty of opportunities for hill starts and I seem to have remastered that skill without further incident.

The reason I shared this story with our students was not to embarrass myself. Many of us, especially children, observe the talents and successes of others without an appreciation of what led to them. Without that appreciation, it is easy to believe that we are either good at something or we are not. And if we believe that, we do not challenge ourselves or give up on ourselves. What is the point of working hard to master a new or difficult skill if we think that our talents and potential are fixed and predetermined?

Success is more often than not preceded by embarrassment, frustration and failure. Developing in our children an understanding of this and that success is a product of learning, self-discipline, diligence, perseverance, resilience and positivity is crucial for our children to be able to embrace challenges, learn from mistakes and seek advice. The easiest way to do this is share our own experiences of making mistakes or doing something silly or just not being perfect.

This was the reason why I shared my driving ‘success story’ and I believe that the more success stories our children hear like this, the more resilient they will become – however embarrassing it is for the storyteller!

Secondary School Events

This week: 

April 24-May 17: IB Diploma Exams (Grade 12)

Monday, May 13:

  • Grade 11 Exams: Click here for the exam schedule. Grade 11 students are required to be on campus only when having to take an exam. If they have afternoon and morning exams, they are required to stay on campus between those exams. Students must sign in and out at the office when they arrive and leave. This is important as we need to know who is on campus in the case of an emergency.

Tuesday, May 14:

  • Grade 11 Exams: Click here for the exam schedule.

Wednesday, May 15:

  • Grade 5 to 6 Transition Parent Meeting – 5:30pm to 6:30pm in Multi-Purpose Room

Upcoming Events

May 21: Middle School Move Night – 5pm to 7pm

May 22: Full Moon Day (no school)

May 24 – 26: Middle School Model United Nations (MUN) at ISY

May 25: High School Prom – 6pm to 9pm at Sedona Hotel

May 28: Graduation – 5pm to 8pm at Pan Pacific Yangon

May 31: Middle School Dance – 5:30pm – 8pm in ISY Gym

June 5: Quarter 4 / Semester 2 Report Cards live on Powerschool

June 7: Last Day of School. 11:30am finish

Myanmar Breakfast Expo

Come and enjoy a traditional meal on our Covered Court. All parents are welcome!  Every week on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 7:30am – 10:30am until May 31. The price is only 3,000 kyats per serving. Breakfast is also available until 10:30am for students! 

  • Monday – Mohingar 

  • Wednesday – Wai Wai Shan Noodles 

  • Friday – Coconut Noodle soup  

Why not enjoy a variety of refreshing coffees, smoothies and soft drinks available from Gusto and Nourish at ISY. Come along and enjoy a social breakfast with our community!

Activities & Athletics

Here is a link to Mr. O’Sullivan’s Athletics and Activities Blog for up-to-date information regarding Activities and Athletics at ISY.

Lost Property

Please note that any lost property that is not claimed by the end of next week will be donated to our Chinthe Fund Partners: Kalihtaw School and Care to the Least Center (CLC).

Middle School Badminton