Can international schools reduce conflict in the world?

St. John’s conducted a survey on the topic of international schools and conflict in the world. The statement was: “Do you believe there would be less conflict in the world if all children would have an international school experience?”  The context of the question was whether the world would be a better place if all children could spend time in an international school environment, where they learn to respect other religions, beliefs and opinions while trying to understand each other, growing up friends with children of all different backgrounds and beliefs. The survey drew 162 responses, of which a total … Continue reading Can international schools reduce conflict in the world?

Student obtains perfect IB score, enters Cambridge University

A very talented St. John’s student who not only excelled in academics but also in the arts, Patricia Martin, has achieved something that few International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma candidates manage to do: she obtained a perfect score of 45 points! We spoke to Patricia about the IB score, her time at St. John’s and plans for the future. Did you expect to get a 45 on your IB? “I did not expect it at all. I actually didn’t have a very good feeling about some of my exams, so it came as a huge surprise.” Where have you decided to study and … Continue reading Student obtains perfect IB score, enters Cambridge University

St. John’s graduates accepted at prestigious universities

Students of the class of 2013 have been accepted to excellent universities around the world. Here are just some of the institutions our graduates will be attending: Europe King’s College London University of Edinburgh University of Bath University of Cardiff Trinity College Dublin Maastricht University University of Reading University of Kent University of York University  of Warwick North America Cornell University Princeton University George Washington University Purdue University Auburn University University of British Columbia Northeastern University Syracuse University We congratulate our students and wish them well as they embark on this new phase in their lives and trust that the values instilled … Continue reading St. John’s graduates accepted at prestigious universities

Grade 2 publishing party

On May 23rd, we held our final Publishing Party of the year and it was by far our most energetic celebration! The students have been working on all sorts of writing throughout the year during our Writer’s Workshop time. Once a student has written a piece, s/he decides if it is something that they would like to publish. Publishing means editing, revising, and recopying the work so that it can be shared with the public. During the year, we had two other Publishing Parties in our classroom which were attended by members of our St. John’s faculty and administration. For … Continue reading Grade 2 publishing party

Mind the Gap – Linking Education Programs to Labor Market Needs”

Three speakers from St. John’s International School, including IB Business & Economics teacher Victoire D’Agostino, alumnus Metodi Lazarov and current 12th student Naomi Crombie, will share their views on the ways in which the current education system does, or does not, prepare students with the skills and expertise demanded by the labor market. Each offering his or her own unique perspective regarding not only the inconsistencies between what is taught by teachers and what is sought by employers, but also the approach St. John’s takes to overcome the skills gap by focusing on social and career development in addition to academics. Below is the program for the … Continue reading Mind the Gap – Linking Education Programs to Labor Market Needs”

Watch the AMIS International Honor Choir Concert live!

Tomorrow, Saturday March 16, the AMIS International Honor Choir, Women’s Choir and Band Festival Concert will take place at the American School Of Dubai.  About 250 Students from International Schools around the world will be performing. We are very proud to have four students in the International Women’s Honor Choir: Mathilda, Philippa, Katherine and Patricia. This link   http://www.ustream.tv/channel/asdchannel1  will take you to the festival concert at 15:00 Belgian time. This link will be available later if you miss the concert: http://www.youtube.com/user/ASDubaiFalcons This will be another amazing experience for our students! By Cathy Swanson, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator Continue reading Watch the AMIS International Honor Choir Concert live!

The Model NATO High School lunch time activity

The High School Model NATO group works every Tuesday lunch from February until the end of March. At the end of March ( Subject to serious international incidents) we are invited along with four others schools to meet in NATO Headquarters in Brussels for a NATO led student simulation day. This year the countries we represent are Germany, Spain, Denmark and Norway and the topics registered for presentation and  discussion by the student (Ministers) so far are; Cyber Security, Disarmament , The Ocean Shield, Artic Circle request from Norway, Protecting Access to Space and the 2014 Afghanistan withdrawal.  This leaves … Continue reading The Model NATO High School lunch time activity

High School ceramics class refines creativity skills of students

Taking Ceramics/Sculpture class was a great opportunity for the students in my group. It helped us refine our creativity skills, physically and mentally. It is a great experience for us, because it allows us to interact with other students. We have finished many projects including pots, mythical animals (zoomorphic shapes), and abstract and decorative projects as well. We also worked on group projects which thought us leadership and teamwork. The teacher gives the students an encouraging atmosphere, where everyone is enjoying themselves. We are pushed to work at the best of our abilities without feeling pressured to do well. We … Continue reading High School ceramics class refines creativity skills of students

First graders imagine what it would be like to be 100 years old

For the 100th day of school, our grade 1 students dressed up imagining they were 100 years old.  The event fit nicely within their social studies unit on “Where we are in place and time.”  They were asked to imagine how they might look in 100 years, how they might dress, walk. See some of their creations below: By Karen Vandamme, grade 1 teacher Continue reading First graders imagine what it would be like to be 100 years old

Grade 10 modern history study what Hitler and Stalin had in common

The Grade 10 Modern History students are currently studying the rise to power of Hitler. We have just studied how Stalin came to power and ruled Russia. Indeed, today is the 60th anniversary of Stalin’s death. The students are able to see what both Hitler and Stalin had in common – both being outsiders for example. We are using a Television docu/drama called “Hitler – The Rise of Evil” to visualize events and characters. After completing the program, students will write a paper reflecting on the value of television programs to learning about History. By Ewan Macdonald – High School … Continue reading Grade 10 modern history study what Hitler and Stalin had in common

St. John’s into the final round at ECB Generation €uro Students’ Award competition

The second Generation €uro Students’ Award – a competition for secondary school students resident in the euro area – was launched in November 2012 as a joint initiative by the European Central Bank (ECB) and 11 national central banks of the euro area. This competition isopen to all secondary school students who enjoy learning about economics and would like to know more about monetary policy issues. St. John’s was just announced as one of the teams that was selected for the final round. The finalists are asked to give a presentation (in English) to a jury of experts at the European Central Bank (ECB) … Continue reading St. John’s into the final round at ECB Generation €uro Students’ Award competition

“The Tutorial Project” encourages student interaction and peer-to-peer learning

One of the most successful pedagogical decisions this year has been to upgrade our grade 7 media course with the “Tutorial Project”. Our goal was to encourage student interaction and peer-to-peer learning within the classroom. In general we always do our best to make sure that there exists a classroom atmosphere where all sources and forms of knowledge are welcome. What pointed us in the direction of tutorials is the growing presence of video tutorials in online space, and the fact that, in our view, Google searching has practically become a key competence. So we asked students to create video … Continue reading “The Tutorial Project” encourages student interaction and peer-to-peer learning

Exciting collaboration with local school

Friday before winter break, Madame Vinçotte, Charlent and Richard’s French classes welcomed their friends from the French speaking school of Maransart for the first time. After a lunch together where we communicated with each other, St. John’s students taught an English song to their buddies. We then  listened to a great French song written by them. What a great opportunity to become an English teacher! Time flew and after a good snack, it was already time to say good bye…until the next time! By Joy Richard – 6th grade teacher Continue reading Exciting collaboration with local school

More than 15 parents and teacher exhibit their artwork this Friday

Please come and join us in the St. John’s Art Studios on Friday from 18:00-20:00 for a glass of wine, delicious finger food and live music. You can enjoy a wide variety of artwork from a diverse group of St. John’s community artists. They will be offering their work at an affordable price, of which 15% will go to Art Support Group. The exhibition will continue daily until Friday, March 15. See you on Friday! ASP Team Continue reading More than 15 parents and teacher exhibit their artwork this Friday

The Need for Inquiry

Inquiry is an intrinsically motivated, student driven method of learning. It focuses heavily on the use of student questions and involvement to facilitate the learning process. Inquiry uses a collaborative, hands on and socially driven approach that stresses critical thinking. St. John’s adopted the International Baccalaureate’s inquiry based curriculum as a purposeful choice over a more traditional, western style education. The question is then raised, why inquiry? The model of education currently used in the majority of western countries is a remnant from the industrial revolution. It often looks like this – a teacher dispensing the necessary facts for a student to … Continue reading The Need for Inquiry

Winners of Grade 7 animation movie showcase announced!

We are thrilled to announce that Grade 7 Sam C. and Carson M.’s animation movie “Square Eye’s Dream” has won the Middle School Animation movie showcase. The jury’s spokesman Mr. Tom Ryan has announced the vote during lunch recess in the Performing Arts Center to an audience of 80 students, teachers and one parent. Coming in closely to take the second place is the touching and truly inspiring story by Valerie F. entitled “The Miracle“. A total of 9 animation movies were produced in the autumn semester of the Media7 course. The course included a special event titled “Story Bang”, where … Continue reading Winners of Grade 7 animation movie showcase announced!

Today is International Mother Language Day

This Day is observed every year to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It was created by UNESCO (the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation) in order to promote the dissemination of mother tongues and a fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue. International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national … Continue reading Today is International Mother Language Day

Common words with little-know relatives

Take a look at these familiar words and learn about their much less known counterparts: EXHAUST/INHAUST While “exhaust,” from the Latin for “draw out of,” was first attested in 1540 and went on to a great career in the English vocabulary, “inhaust,” with the meaning “draw into,” was attested in 1547 (something about a “flye inhausted into a mannes throte sodenly”) but soon became obsolete. OMNISCIENT/NESCIENT You know about “omniscient,” which comes from the Latin for “all knowing,” but did you know there was a counterpart meaning “not knowing”? You can now consider yourself more-scient! RESUSCITATE/EXSUSCITATE “Exsuscitate” was around in … Continue reading Common words with little-know relatives

In the creative flow of things…

Grade 8 students are fully immersed in creating their chosen objects in our Art and Design Technology course. Their energies are focused, they are fully involved and therefore, they are in complete creative flow. This is a mental state described in psychology as positive energy in the service of a learning experience. Some students are working with carving Ytong blocks, others are working in wood and clay, others are using textile and glue… in fact the energy is tangible as you come into the MS Art studio. On every level our senses are alive with awareness and the enjoyment of … Continue reading In the creative flow of things…

The top 10 “I wish I had known before my first expat posting”

St. John’s conducted a survey among expats to uncover what people wish they had known before going on their first expat posting. Here is the top 10: These can be the best years of your life -for you and your family. Enjoy! It is harder to adjust when you come back than it is when you arrive. The people in an expat community are more welcoming than any other you will experience! Make sure to negotiate the circumstances and details of repatriation with your company before you sign and leave for the assignment. It will be so much better than … Continue reading The top 10 “I wish I had known before my first expat posting”

Mrs. Macleod visits the Sisters in their new home in Manchester

Retired Middle School Principal Mandy Macleod and her husband Roy paid a visit to Sister Barbara and Sister Pat McKeown in their new home, Kersal Hill Convent FCJ in Salford near Manchester. It was a lovely surprise to see Sister Beatrice there too. Sister Barbara and Sister Pat moved recently from Broadstairs in Kent and will be living there permanently from now on and Sister Beatrice hopes to return to Ireland at some point. The sisters were in great spirits and are happy in their new home. They give their best regards to everyone at St. John’s and all the … Continue reading Mrs. Macleod visits the Sisters in their new home in Manchester

Distance and time away from family and friends main drawback of expat life

A new poll by St. John’s International School among expats shows that distance and time away from family and friends, the language barrier and culture shock when moving back are seen as the main drawbacks of expat life. The distance and time away from family and friends was considered the main drawback of expat life by 63.2% of respondents, followed by the language barrier (44.1%) and the reverse culture shock (42.6%). Comments included that the “constant need to start again for each move” is difficult to cope with. Another said: “The effects of having been an expat as a child … Continue reading Distance and time away from family and friends main drawback of expat life

Today is Safer Internet Day

For the tenth edition of the Safer Internet Day themed ‘Online rights and responsibilities’, volunteers from Microsoft and Belgacom will be sharing safer internet trainings with our grade 4 and 5 students at St. John’s International School. Safer Internet Day is the occasion to raise awareness and remind all citizens and organizations that online safety is a shared responsibility. Children love the internet: they send e-mails, chat, game, share pictures, and so on. But as in real life, it is important to teach them how to avoid risks and stay safe. Making the online world a safer world needs everyone’s involvement. … Continue reading Today is Safer Internet Day

It is Mrs. Wallace’s half birthday, you know?

We are proud and privileged to have so many amazing students in this school. They keep surprising us with gestures that show their maturity, understanding of our values and care for the St. John’s community. Today, for example, as I was doing a recess duty in grade 4. It was raining outside and so the recess had to be indoors. As I was walking the halls, some of the students were frantically working on something. When I asked why they were so busy with this piece of paper, they responded “It is Mrs. Wallace’s half birthday, you know?” It turns … Continue reading It is Mrs. Wallace’s half birthday, you know?

Fascinating math and chess presentation for students by “Mr. Mo”

This morning, students from Elementary, Middle and High School had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Mr. Motwani (third grade teacher at St. John’s and and International Chess Grandmaster). The presentation was a combination of Mathematics, Chess, Mystery and Magic that delighted the audience and provided everyone with lots of fresh, fun, stimulating ideas. Chess masters think in very logical, powerful ways which can often be applied to Mathematics. International Grandmaster Paul Motwani is an expert in both Chess and Mathematics, and for many years he has been utilizing techniques from one field to solve problems in the other. … Continue reading Fascinating math and chess presentation for students by “Mr. Mo”

The St. John’s gala is only two days away!

The sold-out event with a carnival theme will feature a delicious dinner, a live and silent auction with amazing items and Brazilian dancers. The live auction gives the 186 attendees the opportunity to bid on 5 nights at the Sheraton La Caleta in Tenerife, including flights. A wine tasting evening for 20 is also on the list, as is the most exciting item: 6 nights in the exclusive and eco-friendly Inkaterra hotels in 3 different locations! The proceeds from the 2013 Carnival Gala Evening will go toward the funding of several initiatives at St. John’s to add value for students and parents … Continue reading The St. John’s gala is only two days away!

Our guiding statements and their significance

At St. John’s, we are proud of our guiding statements and what they stand for. But what do they mean, to students, teachers, alumni, parents and families looking for a school? Our vision: St. John’s students live our values to impact the world.  Education at St. John’s is not merely a transmission of information or an assimilation of textbook knowledge, but strives to create an existential reality, i.e. the experience of becoming truly human, ready to make a difference to the community and beyond. Our mission: St. John’s International School provides an English-language education based on Christian values, demands personal excellence and stimulates individual responsibility … Continue reading Our guiding statements and their significance

Would you like for your child to become an expat?

St. John’s International School conducted a poll among expat parents and asked “Would you like for your child to become an expat?” The majority of respondents, 66.1%, responded “yes”, 11.3% said “no” and 22.6% said they are not sure if they would like that for their children. For the respondents who prefer not to have their children become expats, it was mostly due to distance and the fact they would not see their children (and potentially grandchildren) very often. “I would miss them too much” was a recurring comment. Those who were not sure had different reasons, including the desire for … Continue reading Would you like for your child to become an expat?

8th grade students explore strengths of St. John’s

Eight grade students were asked to make a presentation about what they perceive as the strengths of St. John’s. They used the animoto website and came up with some great slideshows, please see some examples below: http://animoto.com/play/7pldO9112st9cWUfz510FA about teamwork, http://animoto.com/play/IADmCie12Q9Ujc1lyFFzOg shows how St. John’s values friendship and http://animoto.com/play/7C165TySpOR9lvoQz20e8w is about being international. It seems the students enjoyed the project and learned some new skills in the process. Well done, 8th graders! Continue reading 8th grade students explore strengths of St. John’s

Grade 2 students paint with artist Eric Saline

Last Thursday, our second graders worked with American artist Eric Saline during art class. They had fun painting a gigantic African patchwork with their fingers. The painting relates to their current Unit of Inquiry on habitats in Kenya (“What a Life”). Eric Saline talked about the meaning of painting directly with our fingers or feet and emphasized the uniqueness of our finger prints. The students will be visiting his exhibition at the St. John’s Art Gallery this week. By Marianne Behaeghel – ES art teacher Continue reading Grade 2 students paint with artist Eric Saline

Eight graders experience mindfulness

The Big Ideas Week in 8th grade ended with a special day centered around self-discovery and well-being. Students attended different workshops based on well-being and Kara Smith was our guest speaker for the day. Kara is a teacher of mindfulness, she works at the American School of the Hague and did different mindful activities with the students. What is mindfulness? Probably the most common definition of mindfulness is that “mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” (Jon Kabat-Zinn) What are the benefits of mindfulness? —  Less stress and anxiety —  Greater focus … Continue reading Eight graders experience mindfulness

St. John’s visiting artist show opens tomorrow

St. John’s is pleased to host visiting artist Eric Saline in an exhibition called ‘LOTS’ opening tomorrow, Friday January 18 from 18:00-20:00, and then weekdays from 8.30-16:00 in the gallery in the art studios. Eric is currently teaching at the international School of Gothenburg in Sweden and is chair of the visual arts committee for the European Ccountil of International Schools. His many travels have connected him in cultural exchanges across the globe from America to Scandinavia in Europe and North Africa. He has recently been a visiting professor at l’Institut National des Beaux Arts, Tétouan, Morocco, on a Fulbright Fellowship and … Continue reading St. John’s visiting artist show opens tomorrow

Top 3 benefits of growing up an expat child

St. John’s conducted a poll among 131 people who grow up as expat children and asked them for the main benefits. Respondents were asked to pick their three choices out of the following options:  experience different cultures,  appreciate diversity,  travel,  character development, international awareness, lifestyle, learning languages, living adventurous or international education. The top three choices picked by respondents were: 1. Experience different cultures (61.1%) – one of the best features of living abroad is integrating in a new culture, to gain a real understanding of a new country and its unique qualities which is not something you can do … Continue reading Top 3 benefits of growing up an expat child

St. John’s hosting Relay for Life again on June 15-16

After last year’s very successful first edition of the Relay for Life at St. John’s, we will be hosting the second edition of this 24-hour relay event the weekend of June 15-16. All proceeds go directly to cancer research and awareness in Belgium. We hope to have even more teams involved than last year and need your support to make it a success, so please get your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors together and form a team. Registration of teams is done through the Relay for Life website at: http://www.relayforlife.be/relays/internationalcommunitybrussels2013 We hope you get involved!     Continue reading St. John’s hosting Relay for Life again on June 15-16

Appreciation lunch held for welcome committee volunteers

Today, St. John’s held an appreciation lunch for the many volunteers who are part of the Welcome Committee. This committee is comprised of existing parents helping new parents and teachers make connections and get integrated into the St John’s, local and Belgian communities.  With more than 50 members from diverse international backgrounds who speak a multitude of different languages, the group endeavors to match every new family with a member who shares something meaningful in common. The lunch was also attended by several members of the Board of Directors and the administration, who came to show their appreciation for the … Continue reading Appreciation lunch held for welcome committee volunteers

Big Ideas week in Middle School

From January 14-18, Middle School students  will experience a new Big Ideas week. Grade 8 students will take a Journey of Discovery and will be offered various workshops led by experts. Some of the topics our students will have the opportunity to learn about: Creative Writing on Heroes and Villains, Books and films, Discovery Science, Zen cooking, Magical Maths and many more. On Wednesday, we will go and visit the exhibitions and workshops of the Science Museum in Brussels. Friday will be a “Well-Being Day” with different activities. Grade 7 will be looking at food. Students will be offered four … Continue reading Big Ideas week in Middle School

Third graders make flashlights with plastic bottles

Third graders worked on an exciting science project today: with a little help from an expert instructor and using a plastic bottle, they made their own flashlights! The instructor helped each of the third grade classes step by step and the kids enjoyed this new experience. Third grade has been working on a unit about science and electricity. They already visited the Middle and High School science labs to see science experiments and this workshop followed those lessons perfectly. Well done, young scientists! Continue reading Third graders make flashlights with plastic bottles

Expat children become expats themselves as adults, poll shows

A recent poll conducted by St. John’s among adults who grew up as expat children shows that the large majority of them actually become expats themselves. Despite the transient nature of expat life and the associated difficulties for children, the poll shows that 46.2% of respondents have themselves become an expat, that 11.5% of expat children married an expat, while 38.5% are looking to become an expat in the future. As one expat put it: “The life of an expat kid is the life I would like to provide to my future children. I loved the lifestyle, learning about different … Continue reading Expat children become expats themselves as adults, poll shows

Sixth grade exchanges ideas with students from local school

On December 20, the beginners and intermediate French classes in 6th grade started an exchange program with a school in Maransart.  We were welcomed by about 30 students and had a wonderful afternoon playing board games and tasting a delicious cougnou.  We look forward welcoming them to St. John’s soon ! This is what the students had to say about the afternoon: “I was amazed how hard some of the children from the school Maransart tried to speak to us in English” “I really enjoyed the trip. We got to play with Belgian kids that were really nice and friendly.  … Continue reading Sixth grade exchanges ideas with students from local school

St. John’s athletics year in review

2012 was a year to remember for the St. John’s Athletic Department. Here are some of the more memorable moments: February 14 – On Valentine’s Day and Senior Night, the high school basketball teams hosted ISB.  In the Varsity Boys game, a three-point play with 16 seconds to go breaks the tie and STJ wins a hard-fought game. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6-I8CtkeLA) February 21-26 – The high school basketball teams traveled to Israel and played games against the American school in Israel as well as local club teams. March 7-10 (Winter ISST Championships) – The St. John’s swim team broke several school records … Continue reading St. John’s athletics year in review

Alumni enjoy return to St. John’s for the annual Christmas reunion

This afternoon, we welcomed more than 40 former students back to campus for the annual Christmas alumni reunion. The students dated as far back as the class of 1988 and as recent as the class of 2012. Teachers enjoyed speaking to their former students and hearing what they have become after leaving St. John’s. As much as the students enjoy their time at college or university, they always remember their days at St. John’s with fondness and realize what a special time they had at school and what strong friendships were developed here, lasting a lifetime in many cases. Continue reading Alumni enjoy return to St. John’s for the annual Christmas reunion

Thank you to the bus drivers for keeping our students safe

This morning, we held our traditional Christmas breakfast for the bus drivers. Every year around Christmas, we invite them to a breakfast to thank each of them for their dedication to the school and for keeping our students safe on the bus throughout the year. Our bus drivers face difficult weather conditions and traffic situations throughout the year, but have an excellent safety record. They are not only responsible for the daily bus service to and from school, but also for the many trips throughout the year for sports teams, various trips in Belgium and also for the Middle School … Continue reading Thank you to the bus drivers for keeping our students safe

Fond farewell for Mrs. Gillman as she retires

Students from grades 3, 4 and 5 found a great way to bid a fond farewell to Mrs. Gillman who retires at the end of the week.  They surprised her this morning by forming a message on the courtyard. Mrs. Gillman was led to the top floor of the building from where she had a beautiful view of the touching tribute. The students and teachers did a great job keeping this a secret! We wish Mrs. Gillman a wonderful retirement and thank her for the many years of teaching and care for our students. Continue reading Fond farewell for Mrs. Gillman as she retires

Our Happy Christmas Hotchpotch

Now that we prepare for Christmas, we see how much color our moves around the world have added to our lives. Our children love opening the drawers of the wooden advent calendars that we have found on a Swiss Christmas market. Though we still struggle with the pronunciation  the Christmas songs in Swiss German have remained part of our repertoire. Since we have lived in the States, red and green stockings hang on our chimney. Santa Claus still comes on Christmas morning and of course, we leave cookies and milk for him. Now that we have moved to Belgium, Saint Nicolas … Continue reading Our Happy Christmas Hotchpotch

Grade 3 learns about electricity from Middle and High School science teachers

Grade 3 had an exciting experience this week for their unit on electricity: they went to both the Middle and High School science labs to learn more about electricity. Mrs. Adams and Dr. Carlin showed the students many intriguing experiments related to electricity. The experiments related mostly to static electricity and how forces attract and repel. It also show how magnets can create movement without actually touching. A big thank you to Mrs. Adams and Dr. Carlin for taking the time to give these third graders a great introduction into the magical world of science! Continue reading Grade 3 learns about electricity from Middle and High School science teachers

St. John’s students make an impact in Japan

When the tsunami hit Japan two years ago, teachers and students at St. John’s tried to find ways to comfort the people of Japan and give them encouragement for the future. One way 7th grade did this was by making beautiful drawings which they sent to the Japanese School in Brussels who would forward them to Japan. Today, we received a surprise visit from a retired Belgian couple, Mr. and Mrs. Charlier from Rixensart. They shared with us that our students’ drawings really did make an impact in Japan. The couple has friends in Japan who noticed drawings made by … Continue reading St. John’s students make an impact in Japan

Working together to create Primavera

During these cold dark days before Christmas, my grade 6 art class is working on their rendition of the Primavera by Botticelli. Even though we enjoy Winter, we love the thought of Spring!  To inspire us and to explore the magnificent details, we watched the Khan Academy lesson on Botticelli’s classic painting. The Khan Academy explanations and zooming–in-to-the-details certainly enriches our learning. http://bit.ly/TUhRWn Learning from the great masters is still a powerful strategy in art education.  Each of the students has two wooden blocks to draw and paint their section of the masterpiece. Mixing the right colours and making sure the … Continue reading Working together to create Primavera

Santa’s workshop brings holiday fun and cheer for ES students

Our very own elementary school “elves” are creating a myriad of crafty gifts to give each member of their family for Christmas. Each ES class visits Santa’s Workshop for an hour of gift making fun, including painting, beading, and embellishing. Parent “elves” assist the classes during their visit and provide Christmas cookies and hot chocolate for the little elves to enjoy following their gift making efforts. Continue reading Santa’s workshop brings holiday fun and cheer for ES students

St. John’s students and parents enjoy traditional Santa Lucia celebration

Today we enjoyed the Santa Lucia performance by the Scandinavian students at St. John’s. This traditional event is celebrated every year on December 13 in Sweden, Norway and in Finland as a Festival of Light.  This holiday tradition is tied to the beautiful white clad figure of Lucia, the “bearer of light,” who illuminates the darkness of winter on the morning of December 13th. St. John’s students between the ages of 3 and 18, wearing white gowns, carried candles during the procession and the singing of carols while the girl playing Lucia, with a red sash and a crown of candles on her … Continue reading St. John’s students and parents enjoy traditional Santa Lucia celebration

Things you might not know about Belgium

Belgium is somewhat of an unknown entity. Since there is so much more to Belgium than beer and chocolate, here are some facts about Belgium that you might not know: In 1066, Huy, Belgium became the first European city to receive a charter of rights, making it the oldest free city on the continent. Brussels sprouts really do come from Belgium and have grown in the Brussels area for over 400 years. Although the exact number is disputed, Belgium makes over 800 different beers. Belgians drink an average of 150 liters of beer per year per person. Belgium produces 220,000 … Continue reading Things you might not know about Belgium

Give the gift of giving

Finding the perfect gift for our loved ones and donating to charity are important parts of our holiday traditions. Psychologists find that, rather than being just a costly tradition, giving to others actually makes us happy. “People who donate their money to charities or splurge on gifts for others are more content than those who squander all the dough on themselves,” says social psychologist Elizabeth Dunn of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. As parents, we could not agree more. My husband and I love to see our children’s happy little faces when they unwrap their Christmas gifts … Continue reading Give the gift of giving

6th grade art class visits local artist

Last Friday, my grade 6 art students and I visited Belgian artist and sculptor Yves Bosquet at his home just a few steps away from our St. John’s Art Studios. Yves first welcomed us at his front door, then to our delight, he took us on a tour right through his house filled with amazing paintings, carvings, sculptures and all sorts of fascinating artefacts. At the back of the house accessible from the garden, is his studio and workshop:  a magical wonderland inhabited by his wooden sculptures, standing proud and dignified. Yves showed us his tools and techniques, he shared … Continue reading 6th grade art class visits local artist

Student teacher enjoys High School experience at St. John’s

Student teacher Ilse spent last week in the High School, working in the religion department. She has a teaching degree and significant experience already, but with Dr. Tengan at a conference in Africa, Ilse had a chance to get additional teaching experience as part of her Master’s Degree in Religion from the Catholic University in Leuven. Ilse worked closely with Dr. Castillo-Coronado and very much enjoyed her week at St. John’s: “it is a very welcoming school, people are very open and positive and the students seem quite responsible”. She would like to pursue a career in international schools. The mother … Continue reading Student teacher enjoys High School experience at St. John’s

Movember ends with teachers versus students soccer game

Today marks the end of the Movember “no shave” action for a group of St. John’s staff members and students. The initiative aims to raise awareness and funds in the fight against prostate cancer. Movember moustaches were first grown in Australia back in 2003 and have since  spread across the globe. In 2012, the Global Journal listed Movember as one of the top 100 NGOs (non-government organization) in the world. To mark the end of the successful initiative, a game of indoor soccer was played which was narrowly won by the students 2-1. Congratulations to all those who participated and braved facial … Continue reading Movember ends with teachers versus students soccer game

Embracing our diversity in nationalities

As an international school, we naturally have many nationalities represented, usually between 50 and 60 in any given school year. This school year, we are delighted to welcome some new nationalities among our students, including China, Syria and Costa Rica. Our new accounting assistant Toky, however, is probably the most remarkable new nationality addition to our community as she is from the small island of Madagascar! It is such an enrichment to our community to have students, parents and teachers from so many different countries and backgrounds learning together and building friendships at St. John’s. Our students would not want … Continue reading Embracing our diversity in nationalities

Space infrastructures and security

On Wednesday November 14, St John’s International School had the privilege of welcoming Alumnus Phillip Slann in the context of the Speaker of the House Lectures. Phillip is now a doctoral candidate at Keel University and his lecture focused on how outer space security is conceptualized by the European Union and its various institutions. His research is looking specifically at the space infrastructures of the Galileo and GMES programs as case studies for the extent to which measures are put in place to counter the risk of natural and man-made dangers in outer space. The GMES system will aid the … Continue reading Space infrastructures and security

6th grade science: Physical Properties of Matter

After conducting guided investigations of sound and electrical conductivity, Sixth Graders have designed and carried out their own tests of heat conductivity in metals.  Each group designed an apparatus to test a single variable and limit sources of error as much as possible.  In addition to increased accuracy in developing and recording data, safety considerations were carefully evaluated by each group.  Data analysis was facilitated by graphing techniques learned in Mathematics classes this month.  The Sixth Graders’ success in these investigations reflects an increasingly sophisticated approach to their learning in the methods of science. Purposeful exploration, creative and logical problem … Continue reading 6th grade science: Physical Properties of Matter

It all started with a Story Bang…

Story Bang is a convention for people who have written their own stories and tales to show that they can write their own stories. The point of Story Bang is that in 7th grade media class, there is a project to make a clay animation or stop motion and in the END 9 stories will be chosen and made into a stop motion animation. The stories are all posted on the bridge to the PAC. Here are the rules: read a story vote for a story wait for the winner of the competition Date: November 22-29             … Continue reading It all started with a Story Bang…

Art Gallery named after Rita Greene

The board of directors has officially approved the new name of the art gallery to “The Greene Gallery at St. John’s International School”, named after Rita Greene who was the founding art teacher at St John’s. There will be an formal opening ceremony in the present of Mr. John Greene in the spring at one of our vernissages and we hope you will be able to join us for this very special event. The Greene Gallery at St. John’s International School’s mission statement is as follows: The St. John’s International School Art Gallery, named after Rita Greene who was the … Continue reading Art Gallery named after Rita Greene

Learning basic essentials in Art and Geometry in 7th grade

Students in Grade 7 ART class were faced with a tricky problem. How does one create the perfect colour wheel as designed by Johannes Itten (of Bauhaus fame)? The wheel  has a central triangle for the three primary colours, three more triangles forming a  hexagon for the secondary colours  and finally, 12 outer segments to show the primary, secondary and tertiary colours. The problem poses a geometric challenge (how to draw this colour wheel  accurately?) as well as a scientific one (how do I mix all the colours by using only primary colours?) Math teacher Cate Silcock joined us in the … Continue reading Learning basic essentials in Art and Geometry in 7th grade

Elementary students fill shoeboxes with gifts for children in need

The Elementary students came out in force today at the so-called “shoebox assembly”, most of them bringing a shoebox with Christmas gifts for a child in need. These boxes have essential school materials, hygiene items such as toothbrush and paste, the very essential cuddly toy and as many other toys and useful items they could cram in! The boxes go to the very poor and needy children of the world, in Africa and Eastern Europe, many abandoned in orphanages and hospitals. Thank you to the Elementary students for their generosity! Middle School students will bring in their boxes next Monday, … Continue reading Elementary students fill shoeboxes with gifts for children in need

Our High School economics team wins again!

Our Economics team does it again! They gained first place at the International Economics Competition in Pamplona, Spain. The St. John’s High School Economics team participated in the 12th edition of the International Forum on November 15-16, organized by the University of Navarra in Pamplona (Spain) on the topic of Growth and Job Creation.  The University had received 72 proposals from more than 35 high schools in Ecuador, Guatemala, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Belgium and Spain and invited 25 teams to compete in Pamplona in the second round of the competition.  After passing the semifinals on Thursday, St. John’s took … Continue reading Our High School economics team wins again!

Please keep yourself safe when walking or biking to school – wear a reflective vest!

We would like to remind everyone to wear that, when walking or biking to and from school in the dark mornings or afternoons, it is advised to wear a reflective vest. Studies have proven that wearing such a vest decreases accidents by 85%! So be like Karl Lagerfeld and focus on what’s important: it can save your life, so whether or not it is fashionable should really not bother you. Thank you for keeping yourself safe! Continue reading Please keep yourself safe when walking or biking to school – wear a reflective vest!

IB History classes visit Berlin

St. John’s IB History classes went to Berlin November 11-13 to experience the historical sights of Berlin. We took a three hour guided walk from the Brandenburg Gate, taking in the Reichstag , Hitler’s Bunker and the Jewish Memorial. We also visited the Jewish Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Stasi (East German secret Police) Museum . This is the first time that we have organised a trip of this nature – 31 students came along and it was a great success. Next year – perhaps Moscow/St. Petersburg or Auschwitz? By Ewan Macdonald – HS History teacher Continue reading IB History classes visit Berlin

Elementary students show off their artistic talents!

The Elementary Art show opened yesterday, showcasing the incredible talent of our students in Pre-Kindergarten through grade 5. Each grade made different type of art, with PK making chickens, while grade 5 made the Tower of Babel in cardboard, and so on. Many parents and students attended the opening of the show, but if you were not able to attend, please do stop in at the art gallery on school days to see the amazing pieces of art produced by our students. Congratulations to ES art teacher Marianne Behaeghel!                       Continue reading Elementary students show off their artistic talents!

St. John’s reunion in the fast lane – Dr. Doenges goes Formula 1

Dr. Doenges, director at St. John’s from 2000 to 2008,  and his wife Martha will be at the inaugural Formula 1 race in Austin, Texas this weekend, along with thousands of other race fans. However, they will be one of the few who already visited the track, receiving the VIP treatment last month when St. John’s alumnus and Lotus Formula 1 test driver Jerome D’Ambrosio invited them to attend the official opening of the race track in Austin. Jerome was the first driver on the race track with the Lotus Formula 1 car, after Mario Andretti had driven an older … Continue reading St. John’s reunion in the fast lane – Dr. Doenges goes Formula 1

Elementary School celebrates United Nations Week in style!

On Monday October 22, Mr. Marco Bianchini,  a staff  member of the United Nations Security Council and father of St. John’s students Alessandro and Pietro,  presented to the children of the Elementary School a meaningful explanation of the work of this organization. Mr. Bianchini emphasized the background history of the United Nations and especially the variety of tasks that it performs the world over.  A very interesting power point was presented and the children had an opportunity to ask questions about the work that members of the UN are involved in.  Mr. Bianchini shared his personal experiences especially with his … Continue reading Elementary School celebrates United Nations Week in style!

Teachers from Norway visit St. John’s

A group of teachers from Norway, led by St. John’s mum Mrs Karlsen (and baby!), came to find out how the middle school does student-led parent/teacher conferencing. The teachers were introduced to the rationale for adopting this pedagogical approach and how the middle school 7 Competencies curriculum complements and supports such a  form of conferencing.  Middle school guidance counsellor, Mark Silcock, led their deliberations. Continue reading Teachers from Norway visit St. John’s

ISST final results: 3 teams earn medals!

Final ISST update:   It rained medals for St. John’s today.    Boys volleyball – ISST Boys Volleyball Division 1 Champion!!!  Girls volleyball – 3rd place (bronze medal) Boys soccer – 2nd place (silver medal)   Boys volleyball – @ American School of Paris   Championship game: St. John’s – American School Israel 3-0   The boys are ISST Champions! What a great achievement.   Girls volleyball – @ St. John’s   Game for 3rd place: St. John’s – American School of The Hague 3-0   The girls won the bronze medal game and finished the tournament in 3rd place (out … Continue reading ISST final results: 3 teams earn medals!

Weathergrams by Ms. Corcoran’s third graders

Weathergrams are very short poems of about ten words or less. It comes from sudden insight and hence brevity is essential. The weathergram is hung on a bough or branch in the garden or along a mountain trail. The subject matter is usually seasonal and the weather gram is left out for others to stop for a moment and enjoy. The students used the picture as the inspiration for each poem. Here is what they came up with: Heron standing still in the shining lake    Shimmering little bits of glacial water spilling over the rocks     Dancing snowflakes tumbling … Continue reading Weathergrams by Ms. Corcoran’s third graders

ISSTs Day 1 recap

Here’s a day 1 update on our teams’ performances at their various ISST championships: Girls volleyball – @ St. John’s Format – 8 teams in pool play, top 4 advance to semifinals Game 1: STJ vs. TASIS 2-0 Game 2: STJ vs. American School of The Hague 1-2 Game 3: STJ vs. Cobham 0-2 Game 4: STJ vs. Cairo American College 2-0 The girls have three more pool games to play tomorrow (at 9:30, 12:00 and 14:30) and are very much still in contention to reach the semifinals. Boys volleyball – @ American School of Paris Format – 8 teams … Continue reading ISSTs Day 1 recap

The kindergarten maze project – an update

Our maze project has developed since our last blog on October 4.  The children planted the collected wine bottles in the shape of a spiral that they designed. We observed all the different shapes and sizes of bottles and the way light passed through the different colors of glass. We all worked together to get the right design for the maze and decide where the bottles should go. Just before the October break we also planted flower bulbs between the bottles. We talked about the different types of flowers that will grow and when they will bloom. We are all … Continue reading The kindergarten maze project – an update

Tree planted in honor of Ms. Germay

Today, Middle School students planted a tree outside the PAC in memory of Ms. Germay, their science teacher who died in April this year after battling illness. It was felt the school should have a permanent reminder of Faith’s short presence among us. The middle school science department decided that it would be a nice idea to plant a tree, which could be seen from the middle school science classrooms, in Faith’s memory. This afternoon, the middle school gathered together to celebrate a short liturgy where they gave thanks for the gift of Faith to our community as a teacher, … Continue reading Tree planted in honor of Ms. Germay

No school for students but a busy day ahead for teachers on November 12

There will be no school for students this Monday, November 12. The teachers, however, have a busy day ahead of them. They will use the day for professional development on the topic of “Differentation in the classroom”. Differentiation defined as “a framework or philosophy for effective teaching that involves providing students with different avenues to acquiring content; to processing, constructing, or making sense of ideas; and to developing teaching materials and assessment measures so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability.” The teachers will start the day with a guest speaker, Dr. Thérèse McPhillips, from Dublin who will … Continue reading No school for students but a busy day ahead for teachers on November 12

Fall season ISST tournaments week

The ISST tournaments are taking place from Wednesday through Saturday this week and the Booster program organized their traditional breakfast send-off for all the ISST athletes this morning. The entire school participated in a pep rally this afternoon to wish all the teams well as they finish their fall season with the ISST tournament. Boys soccer will be playing their tournament in Milan, girls soccer at Cobham, boys volleyball in Paris, cross country in Zurich and girls volleyball right here at home. Please come cheer on the girls and/or help out at concessions for an hour or two if you can. … Continue reading Fall season ISST tournaments week

High Schoolers play “St. Jopoly”

In the High School, Language and Culture students are playing “St. Jopoly”. Based on the famous Monopoly game, the students adapted the game to connect it to their school life.  St. Jopoly also has dice and money but, instead of buying hotels and houses, you get desks and chairs. The students have replaced the famous streets by classes and school-related places.     Continue reading High Schoolers play “St. Jopoly”

No shave “Movember” – teachers raise money for prostate cancer

Like last year, a group of St. John’s teachers and students will not shave the entire month of November to raise money for cancer research. The photo below shows the teachers “before”, with some seeming to have taken a head-start when it comes to growing facial hair. We will be posting the “after” photo on November 30. Good luck to the students and teachers involved. Continue reading No shave “Movember” – teachers raise money for prostate cancer