Secondary School Blog

Reflecting on Exams

Mike Simpson

Secondary School Principal

May 12, 2023

Our Grade 9 and 10 students have now finished their final exams and will be reflecting on them next week. Our Grade 11 students will be finished on Tuesday.

Reflection is a very important part of the learning process. We often learn more from processing experiences than the experiences themselves.

Exams reflections will focus on the four purposes of exams (see below for an explanation of these purposes):

Experience: Students will reflect on the experience of sitting exams. How did it feel? How did we manage our time? How did we approach different types of questions? What can we learn from this experience to prepare for future exams?

Technique: Students will reflect on how they prepared for exams. How did we study? How did we prepare for different types of questions? What can we learn from this experience to better prepare for exams in the future?

Review: Students will reflect on the skills and knowledge covered in the exams. This is a chance to revise previously taught skills and knowledge and address any misunderstandings.

Data: Students will reflect on their performance on the exams. Exam results add to data collected throughout the year to give students a fair and accurate idea of what they need to focus on to keep growing academically. Academic progress depends on students having a fair and accurate understanding of their performance and it is important that students reflect on this with their teachers.

Learning does not stop for our High School students once they have finished their exams! Regular classes will continue right up until the end of the year.

Three days is set aside for Grade 9 and 10 students to complete service learning projects that have been planned by our students throughout the year. These projects will serve our ISY community and Chinthe Fund Project Partners.

In preparation for their senior year, our Grade 11 students will be attending an IB Diploma Retreat on May 24-26.

Our Middle School students will also be busy right up until June 9 when we finish for the year. On Tuesday, June 6, we will have our Middle School iMPACT Festival. This year’s student developed festival theme is ‘With greater consumption, comes greater responsibility.’ In the lead up to this festival, students will be investigating the iMPACT of how we consume media, food, fashion, and more. Students will develop plans of action to promote positive and sustainable consumption that will be presented to the community on June 6.

As they develop their action plans, students will hear from outside experts, visit organizations who are making a positive impact in these areas, and attend workshops to learn key skills in collaboration, public speaking and presentation, statistical collection, analysis, and presentation, research, and project planning. They will also be involved in design and physical challenges to build confidence and teamwork, and extend their thinking.

It is a busy end to a busy year!

Secondary School Events

This week:

IB Diploma Final Exams

Mon, May 15: Grade 11 Exams

Tues, May 16: Grade 11 Exams

Coming up:

  • May 22-26: Grade 11 & 12 Retreats
  • May 27: High School Prom
  • May 30: Grade 12 Graduation
  • June 6: Middle School Impact Festival
  • 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.

Mischievous Genius Maki’s Tickle Tale

Grade 8 teacher, Mr. Danny has written a book! Mr. Danny partnered with a local illustrator to publish Mischievous Genius Maki’s Tickle Tale. The book is based on stories that Mr. Danny has shared in with his son. 
The book is excellent quality and is for sale in our Chinthe Zay for 10,000 kyat. 5,000 kyat of every sale will go to our ISY Chinthe Fund to support ISY’s Service Learning Partner Projects.

Being Sun Smart

It looks like the rain is coming but when the sun is out, we are strongly encouraging our Secondary School students to bring a hat to wear when they are outside. 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. Students should also be bringing a water bottle to keep hydrated during the day.

Electronic Collection

One of our Grade 5 students collecting old electronic devices for recycling e.g. mobile phones and computers. This is part of his ComPassion project. He is doing SDG#7, ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’. The items donated will be taken apart by Oscar in the Maker Space at ISY and then donated locally for reuse. The donation box will be on the wooden front steps all of next week. You can find out more about his journey and his passion when the Grade 5 students present their projects on Thursday, June 1st.

Old, clean t-shirts and material wanted! 

A High School student service project is making upcycled plush toys to donate to children who might not have them. The project will also teach children how to make these toys themselves. To make the toys, the project needs old, clean scrap material or clothing. Old, clean t-shirts are perfect!

Please donate your old, clean t-shirts or material by leaving them in the basket on the Front Steps.

Thank you!

Secondary School Art

Check out the new posts on the Secondary School Art Facebook page.

As part of the ‘My City’ unit of work, a local artist visited the Grade 10 art class to talk about his work and to give us a practical demonstration of his sculpture technique. We are so excited to be working with this incredibly talented artist. In the coming lessons he will be supporting our students to make their own sculptures. Watch this space for the results!

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.

The International School Yangon
20 Shwe Taungyar Street
Bahan Township
Yangon, Myanmar

+95 (0) 9 880 441 040


The 5th Annual ISY Fundraising Gala is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 30, 2024, at the PARKROYAL Hotel Yangon and will be in their Yadanar Ballroom starting from 6:00 pm. The theme will be The Garden of Hope. The Gala supports and links to ISY’s strategic theme of Sustainability. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the event, please see this linked sponsorship document with the sponsorship packages and form. Any questions regarding sponsorship should be directed towards our Advancement Associate, May Su Yadana Bo ( or +95 9 880 441 040, +95 9 964 210 248. You can also see further details about ticket purchases for the event on our ISY Gala webpage and Facebook Event page.