Message from Ms. Betsy

Dear Y1 Parents,

In music class busy inquiring into how we can create instruments using recycled materials.

We need your help!

Please bring to school any materials that can be used to create an instrument.

Please clean anything before you send it to school.

We will create the instruments together in Music class in the coming few weeks.

Examples of good materials to send to school are:

Plastic Bottles

Bottle Caps

Paper or Plastic Tubes


Metal Cans

Plastic Bags






Please encourage your children to tap, shake and scrape their way through your recyclables to find some suitable things to bring for Music class.

Thank you for your help!

Best Regards,

Betsy Stalter

PYP Music Teacher

Sharing the Planet Update

Dear Parents,

There has already been some great learning going on in Year 1 connected to our new Unit of Inquiry, ‘Sharing the Planet’. Please see below for examples of some of the learning engagements that have been taking place over the past three weeks.

Personal choices that can help care for the environment

Students have been tuning in to how we share the planet and talking about ways to care for the environment. We have approached this area through the lens of ‘resources’. Students have identified the many resources they use at school during the day. These include: paper, pencils, glue sticks, etc. They worked as a class to make a concept map showing their understanding of the term ‘resources’, listing the resources that they use and thinking about how best to care for them. Some students spoke about the importance of not wasting materials which was a great connection to our Unit learning.

During our Buddy session this week, the class worked with their Year 5 Buddies to discuss and record many of the ways that humans can both help and hurt the environment. The older children had many great ideas to share on this topic, which they then shared with their younger friends.

Identifying natural and human-made resources

In order to gain a better understanding of how we share the planet it is important that students understand the difference between natural and human-made resources. As a provocation, students looked at a seed pod and were asked if they thought it came from nature or was human-made. We went on to gather student examples for both categories. We had some great discussions about whether paper is natural or human-made. We ended up deciding that even though paper comes from trees and so is made from a natural material, humans had to make it into something we use to write and draw on.

Observation is an important skill that we will work on in this Unit so the students have spent some time in the school garden areas noticing natural and human-made things and making careful observational drawings of them.

Show an awareness of sound–symbol relationships and begin to recognize the way that some familiar sounds can be recorded

During writing time we have been focusing on saying words slowly, identifying the sounds we can hear and writing them down. We call this stretching out words. Students are encouraged to use an alphabet chart to help identify the sounds. For example, when writing the word ‘hat’ the children say the word very slowly, count the sounds that they hear and identify the ‘h’, ‘a’ and ‘t’ on the alphabet chart. This is a great strategy for early writers to use and many have been applying it successfully when labelling pictures and/or writing sentences.

Understand that 2D and 3D shapes have characteristics that can be described and compared

The Year 1 students have been approaching their work on shape and space with great enthusiasm. It’s a very motivating and engaging mathematical area for young learners. They have been looking closely at shapes, noticing their properties and then building them, using resources such as play-dough and paper. We’ve been on shape hunts around the school campus in order to see real life examples of the 2D shapes and 3D solids they have been studying in class. For example traffic cones (cones), balls (spheres) and air conditioning units (rectangular prisms). Someone even noticed that the floor of the classroom is a giant square (if we take away the cupboard and bathroom).

Please enjoy some photos of our recent learning.

Wishing you a great weekend,

Ms Gillian 

FOLSCO Fundraiser

Dear Parents,

 While we are fortunate enough to end the year with our loved ones, indulging in nice food, and exchanging gifts, there are children who never get a chance to experience any of this. Children who are parentless, homeless, and vulnerable living on the streets of Luanda.

 FOLSCO- Friends of Luanda’s Street Children, is a charity community with the aim to help vulnerable homeless children and orphans in Luanda. Their mission is to raise awareness about street children, connect shelters to companies for funds and financially support the existing shelters through collection of donations and fundraising events. If you would like to find more information about FOLSCO here is the website, .

 Last year, LIS students from Yr1 and Yr2 helped FOLSCO to prepare 200 parcels to give out to the homeless street children during their End of the Year Party. We would like to repeat this charitable event this year but expand the fundraiser to include year 3-6 as well. Hopefully we will be able to reach out further and include Shelters and Orphanages who have opened their doors to these children.

 We are kindly asking parents and families to donate toothpastes, toothbrushes, soap bars, crayons (pack of 10), and drawing pads and bring them to school from Nov 27- Dec 8. If you are able to also bring plastic or paper ‘gift bags’ that would be very appreciated. Your child’s homeroom teacher will collect the items in the classroom.

 The Year 3 students will be helping to make parcels with the above donated items during the week Dec 11-15. They will use their own initiatives to decorate the parcels and perhaps make cards as well.

 We appreciate your contributions and so will these well deserving children.

 Kind Regards,

 Primary Team


 Este ano, não se esqueça das crianças mais necessitadas de Luanda


Caros Pais,

 Enquanto muitos têm a sorte de passar o fim do ano com aqueles de quem mais gostam, desfrutando de boa comida e trocando presentes, há crianças que nem sequer sabem o que isso significa. Crianças que crescem sem pais, sem casa, e vivem vulneráveis pelas ruas de Luanda.

 A comunidade FOLSCO (Amigos das Crianças de Rua de Luanda) tem como missão ajudar as crianças e órfãos que vivem desamparados nas ruas de Luanda. O objectivo da FOLSCO é sensibilizar o público para as condições destas crianças, colocar os abrigos e lares em contacto com empresas que possam contribuir e apoiar com fundos as instituições que já proporcionam alguma ajuda, promovendo recolhas de donativos e eventos de angariação de fundos. Para saber mais acerca da missão e objectivos da FOLSCO, por favor visite o site

 O ano passado, os alunos da LIS dos Anos 1 e 2 ajudaram a FOLSCO a preparar 200 embrulhos para distribuir às crianças de rua durante a Festa de Fim de Ano. Este ano, gostaríamos de repetir esta iniciativa solidária, e ir ainda mais longe, incluindo também os alunos dos Anos 3 a 6. Esperamos assim conseguir chegar a mais Abrigos e Orfanatos que dependem da nossa ajuda para acolher estas crianças que tanto precisam.

 Por isso estamos a pedir aos pais e às famílias para fazer um donativo de escovas e pastas de dentes, sabonetes, lápis de cor (caixas de 10) e cadernos de desenho, e entregar estes artigos na escola a partir do dia 27 de Novembro até 8 de Dezembro. Se puderem também incluir um saco de papel ou plástico que sirva de embrulho, ficamos muito agradecidos. Os professores de homeroom ficarão encarregues de recolher todos os artigos doados nas suas respectivas salas.

 Durante a semana de 11 a 15 de Dezembro, os alunos da Primária Y3 terão oportunidade de ajudar a fazer os embrulhos com os artigos angariados, decorar os sacos como melhor entenderem e talvez incluir também um cartão com uma mensagem.

 Agradecemos desde já a vossa colaboração e apoio, e sabemos que as crianças também ficarão gratas.

 Com os melhores cumprimentos,

 A Equipa da Primária

Week 11 in Y1.2

Dear Parents,

It’s been a short but busy week. We have continued tuning in to our new ‘Sharing The Planet’ unit of inquiry. The students have thought more about the meaning of the word ‘environment,’ particularly the environments they know well such as their home environment and the school environment.

The children thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of dressing up today and it was great to see so many of them enthusiastically participating in this event.

Wishing you all a lovely long weekend!

Ms. Gillian

Please enjoy some photos from this week.

Week 10 in Y1.2

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me at your child’s conference. It was great to get the opportunity to share your child’s learning with you and to set new goals for future learning.

This week in class we began work on our new unit of inquiry. The central idea for this unit is: Our actions can make a difference to the environment we share. We began by discussing what this central idea means. ‘Environment’ was a new word for many of the students and so we spent time thinking about some different kinds of environments, such as forests, oceans and cities. It would be great if you could talk with your child at home about what an environment is. The children already had lots of ideas about things that people should avoid doing in order to care for the planet, such as not leaving trash on the beach. We decided to go on a ‘Trash Hunt’ around the school in order to assess how well the LIS community care for their own environment. We photographed any trash we found and then put it in the bin.

In Math we started work on the ‘Shape and Space’ strand of our Math programme. We focused on 3D solids, particularly cubes, cuboids (also called rectangular prisms), spheres, pyramids and cones. The students went on a shape hunt to find real life examples of these 3D solids in the school environment. For instance, they noticed that the air conditioner units are cuboids and that the balls in the gym are spheres. The students also made their own 3D solids out of card and tape. They had to draw around the net of the solid they had chosen, fold it carefully and then stick the edges together.

During writing time we are now working on writing ‘Teaching Books.’ The students think about something they know a lot about and then write a book to teach others about it too. Some of their ideas for teaching books included ‘How to Care for Rabbits,’ ‘How to Play Football’ and ‘How to Speak Portuguese.’ We have also been focusing on the letter s. It’s a tricky one to write and we practised it outside using chalk as well as in our Handwriting Books.

We had lots of fun with our Buddies this week making Halloween crafts. In connection with our current unit, the students reused materials such as empty plastic bottles, cereal boxes and cans to make models of monsters, candy collection boxes and other spooky things.

Athletics Day was a great success and a lot of fun despite the rain. Thank you to those of you who were able to come along and support the children. A big thank you also goes to the PE Department for planning such a well organized event.

Please enjoy these photos from the week.

Kind regards,

Ms. Gillian

UOI Update

Dear Parents,

Time sure flies when you are having fun – it’s hard to believe that we have already reached the first school holiday of the year!

Over the past few weeks in Year 1 we have been working hard to complete our learning connected to the ‘Who We Are’ unit of inquiry. Much of our recent work has been aimed at helping the students to strengthen their understanding of the following:

●  Identifying themselves in relation to others (family, peers, school class, etc.)

●  Identifying their feelings and emotions and explain possible causes

The students have written books which explain how they make the people they have relationships with feel at different times. For example, “When I dive well, my dad feels proud.” They have also made concept maps showing how others can make them feel in different situations. For instance, “I feel mad when my brother changes the TV channel I am watching.”

We have completed our summative assessment for this UOI. The students have been exploring different social situations with two puppets called Moe and Zippy. For the final assessment each student was presented with the problem that Moe and Zippy are arguing about who will get to dress up in a space suit and helmet. They were asked how the problem could be solved. The students came up with many ideas such as, taking turns with the costume or sharing the costume so that one character wears the helmet and the other the clothes.

After the October break we will begin our new UOI, Sharing the Planet. Please click here for an overview of this unit.

During the first few weeks after the break, the Year 1 teachers will carry out a thorough reading assessment with each student in their class. These assessments will help us to know what each child has learned already and how best to support them with the next stage on their journey towards becoming fluent readers. These assessments will be the teacher’s main focus during reading lessons. The teaching assistants will support the students during independent reading sessions. Consequently, we will not have a chance to write comments in your child’s reading log during this time.

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable October break.

Kind regards,

Ms. Gillian

Please enjoy some recent photos from the Y1.2 classroom.

Week 8 in Y1.2

Dear Parents,

On Tuesday, all students participated in Olympics Day. The children had a fantastic time and it was wonderful to see them working together with the older students to complete the games and challenges. These included:

  • Moving around a course with their legs tied to other student’s legs
  • Getting the entire team across the field without stepping on the grass when using only three mats to help
  • Completing an obstacle course while avoiding being hit by balls thrown by the opposing team

These activities provided the students with a great opportunity to apply what they have learned in class about how to collaborate well with others and work as a team.

In Writing this week we have focused on adding labels to the sketches we draw when making books. For example, the students have been writing their own names or ‘me’ above pictures of themselves. They have also been encouraged to label the other objects and characters in their stories, such as ‘mum,’ ‘dad’, the names of their friends or ‘bed’ and ‘toy’.

Our writing program is differentiated so that all students are supported and feel successful at whatever stage of writing they are at. For example, some students are taking a guess at how to write words using random letters they know, some are writing only the first letter of words (such as ‘h’ for house), some are writing all the sounds they can hear (such as ‘str’ for sister), and a few are aiming for sentences and more accurate spelling.

We also spent time this week reviewing all of the letters and sounds that we have studied so far this school year. For example, the children had to match items to their correct initial sound. During reading lessons we have focused on one-to-one correspondence (one spoken word for each written word) and initial sounds to check words. It really helps if the children point at each word as they say it as this makes their reading more thoughtful and accurate.

In Math we have been exploring the order of numbers within the number system. For example, students have been putting number cards in order from the smallest to the largest. They have been playing a game called ‘Top It’ where the partner who draws the highest number card gets to keep both cards and the player with the most cards at the end is the winner. We have also been practicing how to write the numeral 8. It’s a tricky one and you might like to practice this a little more with your child at home.

Our UOI sessions have focused on how the people we have relationships with can make us feel different things depending on the situation. For example, the children said they sometimes feel unhappy when their mum asks them to eat food they don’t like or to go to bed (although we also spoke about how our mothers know what is best for us!). They said how they feel happy when their mum hugs them, reads to them or gives them food they like.

During our Buddy session we made a ‘Friendship Wall’ with the Y5 students. The children worked with their buddies to draw and write about some of the things that good friends do.

Please enjoy some photos from this week.

Kind regards,

Miss Gillian

Hats and Water Bottles

Dear Parents,

Please make sure that your child brings a hat and a water bottle to school every day. Our P.E. lessons are now taking place outside on the field and it is of great importance that all children wear hats for sun protection and bring water bottles to stay hydrated.

Thank you for your cooperation,

The Year 1 and P.E. Teams

List of Songs from Ms. Betsy

Dear Y1 Parents,

Posted here are the songs we have been singing in music class. Some are in the form of an audio file and some are in the form of a youtube video.
Please have fun at home singing these songs and any more you may know with our year 1 singers!
Also, I will be updating this post periodically as we add songs throughout the year.
Happy Singing!

Kind Regards,
Ms. Betsy
PYP Music Teacher

Make New Friends-

The Sharing Song-

Shalom Chaverim- (we sing only the English Version)

I Will Be Your Friend-

The Wheels on the Bus-

Shake my Sillies Out-

Kye Kye Kule-See attached

Hey Yo- See Attached

What a Wonderful World-


Who We Are Update 3

Dear parents,

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been thinking more about the different relationships we have and how these relationships can make us feel. The students thought about all the people that they have relationships with. Their ideas included parents, siblings, friends, teachers, nannies, grandparents and drivers. They then thought about how important each of these relationships is to them and how close they are to the different people. The students used a graphic organizer with concentric circles to record their ideas. They drew themselves in the center and then drew the people they are closest to next to them, and worked outwards to include the people they have less important relationships with. 

We will now begin to focus more on how relationships can make us feel different emotions. For example, when our Mother hugs us we feel safe, when our Mother tells us we did a good job we feel proud and when our Mother reads to us we feel happy. We will also explore how our actions can impact how others feel. For example, when we play nicely with our friends they feel happy, when we don’t share with our friends they feel angry and when we look after our hurt friends they feel cared for.

Student Initiated Action

 One of the essential elements in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is Action: how do we want the students to act as a result of their learning? 

 ‘An explicit expectation of the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) is that successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the student as a result of the learning process… Action as a result of learning may not be witnessed by the teacher and often happens beyond the classroom.’ (Making the PYP happen, 2009)

 As we head towards the end of our ‘Who We Are’ unit, we are beginning to see the students take some meaningful action as a result of their new learning. For example, some students are now beginning to independently resolve playground or classroom conflicts with their peers. Other students have really understood how important it is to collaborate and work as a team at clean-up time.

 As PYP educators we understand that action can happen anywhere, anytime; this may be in the classroom or at home. For that reason, we would like to request all parents to be active participants in our quest, to notice action revealed by your child at home. This may be in the form of questions/comments that your child makes about an inquiry they have been pursuing at school; it may be a drawing; or wanting/taking action triggered by school inquiries.

If you identify any action that your child has revealed, please write us an email, pop in to share it or ask your child to come and share it with the class. However, remember that it is very important to understand that the action must be student initiated.

 Thank you in advance for your support with this.

 Please enjoy some photos from this week at school.