International Week at HDBJ Primary
International week is a long-standing tradition at HD Beijing Primary School.
The students are emersed in theme-based learning throughout the week,
where their creativity is inspired and the skills of collaboration,
communication and critical thinking are further developed.
—— Grade K ——
While learning about land transport the Grade K students participated in a science experiment
where they had the opportunity to explore velocity in a hands-on approach.
In groups they constructed four different ramps
that were lined with different materials
and then raced the cars to see which car moved fastest.
The students were able to design their own 3D cars
using different colours and patterns that they liked.
They then moved on to water transport and were able to
have grammar goals integrated into their learning through exploring ships
and all the different adjectives we can use to describe them.
By designing their own ships, students had their own ‘shipful of adjectives’.
The children conducted a buoyancy experiment to further their understanding of how ships float.
Each table was tasked with designing a boat that could support the weight of a couple of coins.
To conclude international week the children learnt about hot air balloons and how they are used for air travel.
Through an experiment using vinegar, balloons,
bicarbonate of soda and a water bottle,
the children were able to learn through observation how gas rises and inflates a balloon.
When asked what they liked best, most of them said:
“Submarines are very cool!”
“I liked the 3D car because it is so much fun!”
“Hot air balloons look so fun, but it’s too high and I will be scared.”
International week is “It’s not just fun; it’s very, very, very fun!”
—— Grade 1 ——
Within the theme, “The Ocean,” the students explored the wonders of under the sea.
They learnt new vocabulary and facts through reading books, watching documentaries and class discussions.
They loved researching new information about their favourite sea animals and writing this into their mini fact books.
The particularly loved learning about sharks!
They carefully thought of relevant and interesting questions
to ask throughout each English class and confidently shared
their prior knowledge and facts about the ocean and sea creatures with their peers.
Together the students researched the definition, effects, and prevention of ocean pollution.
They made their own posters to create an awareness of ocean pollution and promote ways to reduce pollution.
Finally, the students explored an Aquarium and named as many sea creatures as they could find! They made coral reefs,
fish of all shapes and sizes, sea turtles and various other sea creatures.
When asked what the favourite part of their learning was,
the students quickly named the many crafts they made,
and many students said they just loved this week because they are doing so much English.
—— Grade 2 ——
This week has been a fantastic "dig" into the wild
and wonderful creatures we call dinosaurs.
The students started the week addressing the big question "How did dinosaurs live?"
They first found that dinosaurs came from eggs and
went for a hunt to see if they could find any around the school.
Having discovered that dinosaurs had adaptations
that helped them live best in the environment that suited them,
they built models of the dinosaurs out of paper mache and painted them.
The students continued their research using books
about dinosaurs to write about their attributes.
"How did the dinosaurs die?" was another big question which elicited much discussion.
A mystery event where students learned clues from the four main suspects,
a volcano, the ice age, a meteorite, and a pandemic gave the students
the clues to piece together what the most likely cause of
the dinosaur extinction was. As young archaeologists,
the students then dug up their own fossils.
The week concluded with the students sharing their findings
from the week with their class. They sure had a "dino-mite" time!
—— Grade 3 ——
In Grade 3 the children have been exploring the Amazon Rainforest!
They have developed their critical thinking skills,
their speaking and listening skills and worked together cooperatively.
Each day, they recorded their learning by writing in their own personal journals.
In addition, they read a short chapter book called Rainforest Calling;
this helped them with their reading and comprehension skills.
The children ended their fun-packed week by making rainforest models,
and included the different layers (emergent, canopy, understory, and forest floor).
—— Grade 4 ——
This week Grade 4 have been on an amazing island survival adventure.
Imagine taking a flight expecting to go on the holiday of a lifetime,
only to find yourself somehow stranded on an island! Working in teams,
the children thought about which items in their luggage would help them
to survive and designed their own flags to represent their island name and emblem. Throughout the week,
they collaborated to work on different challenges gaining points along the way.
The children did research using iPads to find out about
the different types of animals they might meet on the island
– would they be a threat? In addition, the children designed shelters and
wrote a set of instructions to explain how they were made.
—— Grade 5 ——
Grade 5 International week began with students planning their dream vacation
with a group of their friends. Bags packed, itineraries ready,
they "boarded planes" to exciting self-chosen destinations like London, Australia,
Paris and Hainan Island. But then, things changed quickly
– after falling asleep on the plane, they woke up to a devastating reality
– alone in the wilderness. As their dream vacation turned into a nightmare,
survival instincts kicked in. In groups,
they discussed first instincts and identified essential items
packed for their dream vacation that now had to aid their survival.
Preparing for survival, students did technology-based research
using iPads to learn about different types of shelters,
whereafter they had to design a shelter best suited for their environment.
After designing, they then scavenged natural materials to build their shelters.
Students had to keep a journal throughout survival, writing about their experiences.
Analysing and learning about the natural environment around them,
students researched landforms like ravines, canyons, valleys,
and marshes found in the wilderness. Using what they had learned,
they created 2D landscape art to show where they were stranded.
Students then used clay and other sculpting materials to turn
their 2D demonstrations into 3D landscape models,
including the various landforms they had learned about in their research.
As in real survival scenarios, students faced many challenges
where critical thinking and problem-solving skills had to be applied.
Challenging questions like "How would you create signals for help?"
and "How would you cross a large river and prevent hypothermia from setting in?"
required students to think critically to avoid or solve possible life-threatening situations.
—— Art ——
The Grade K students were very enthusiastic
about creating a sculpture of England’s Royal Guards.
They have learnt about the important task of
the royal guards which is keeping the official royal residences safe.
They used red clay for the upper part of the body,
black for their pants, and white and yellow for the small details on the guards’ uniform.
They did a great job on their sculptures and really focused on every part of their work.
Student:"Ms. Jensen, look! I made a tall man!"
Student:"Can I make two please?"
Grade 1 students were stunned by the beauty of South Africa
while looking at photos and discussing the famous landscapes in this country.
From the plateaus and mountainous regions to the waterfalls and beaches,
this country is truly amazing. Grade 1 students
were inspired to create large landscape paintings.
Inspired by Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama Grade 2
students created replicas of her famous artwork.
They observed the patterns created from several colored circles
and created on their own two beautiful paintings.
They tried to make perfect circles although it was a bit difficult for some.
They had a lot of fun painting and working together with their peers.
Student:"My mom has a bag with her design!"
Grade 3 students learnt about the famous American Contemporary artist,
Jeff Koons. Some students were familiar with his balloon dog sculpture made of stainless steel.
They enjoyed replicating one of his famous works entitled,
‘Mound of Flowers’. The students created a sculpture of mountain made of
recycled paper and clay and the flowers and leaves are made of clay as well.
The work they created is indeed a depiction of Jeff Koon’s playful style.
The very famous Dutch artist, Vincent Van Gogh, was the inspiration for Grade 4.
The students observed his greatest work and
made a collaborative painting inspired by the “Almond Blossom” painting.
They started a drawing of the branches and white flowers.
The students worked very well showcasing their skills.
The world’s most prestigious and most difficult cycling race,
‘Tour de France’ was central to Grade 5’s art creations this week.
The students tried to capture the essence of the race while painting different interpretations of the bicycle.
In a short amount of time, they created interesting looking bikes that show their personalities as well.
—— STEAM & ICT ——
Grade 3 students continued to build on their typing and computing skills.
In STEAM lessons, they built interactive robots using the Lego kits.
Over the past 12 weeks Grade 4 and 5 students
were introduced to block-based programming language.
When implementing intermediate coding concepts (multi-threading,
conditionals, broadcasting, variables),
they used systems thinking to develop skills that empowered
them to explore and understand complex problems.
When coding, they used systems thinking to logically
plan their interview questions’ inputs (answers) and corresponding
outputs for correct/incorrect responses (communication, animations, sounds).
Applying project planning and computational thinking,
the students created a logic-based interactive quiz program which can
be used to interview applicants for future jobs.
This week, the students were challenged to present
their interactive future job interview quizzes clearly and confidently
as part of conducting simulated interviews.
They shared why they believe these future jobs are important,
the skills required for these jobs and the specific questions to test applicants.
The students’ presentations were an impressive showcase
of their coding projects and communication skills.
—— PE ——
In addition to specialized sporting activities such as golf, tennis,
football and sporting performance, PE lessons this week
have been linked to the theme-based learning happening in the classrooms,
for example, Grade K participated in ‘Transport the Gold’ and ‘Hoop Train’.
To celebrate the closure of the successful Beijing Winter Olympics,
elements of the games were incorporated into some of the lessons.
This was truly a week packed with wonderful learning opportunities across the curriculum.