Message from the School Director
What a fun and eventful month of October we have had, with our autumn-themed activities culminating in a Halloween party full of games, music, and competitions!
Dear parents and children,
We hope you had an enjoyable mid-term break and the children are rested and ready for more exploration, discovery, and learning during the second half of Term 1.
The children were thrilled to have so many parents support them during their second parents’ assembly on 8 October, when they presented a wide range of English and Mandarin songs based on the theme Look What We’re Learning. Many of our young students had not performed to an audience before, and it’s not an easy thing to do at first. Tackling new challenges is, however, a wonderful opportunity for the children to discover what they’re capable of, gain new skills, and develop self-confidence. During the practice sessions in class and the presentation in assembly we witnessed them flex their creative muscles, have fun, and discover the benefits of working together as they learnt their words, sang their songs, and moved to the dance routines. These types of activities stimulate the body and the mind, and can have a positive effect on children’s emotional behaviour and development. If done often enough, they help develop social, motor, emotional, and language development. Let’s recognise both the challenges and the benefits of these activities for young children – please encourage them and don’t forget to applaud their wonderful efforts each time! We look forward to seeing you at our next parents’ assembly on Monday, 12 November.
It was also nice to welcome some of our families to the Family Art Jam on 27 October and we look forward to more of you joining in the fun during future events throughout the year.
School excursions are a great way for students to gain educational experiences away from their regular daily schedules, and during October there were lots of opportunities provided for extended learning in a variety of situations and environments.
What fun we had on 31 October with teachers and students getting into the spirit of Halloween by dressing up in creative and inspiring costumes. Activities and games included Poison Apple, Ghost Busters, and Magic Broomstick, amongst many others. All of these fun group activities developed teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills, as well as gross and fine motor development.
The word continues to spread that Mills is the school to attend! What a busy Interview Day we have ahead of us on 3 November. Families who visit will no doubt be impressed with our outstanding school, wonderful teaching team, and impressive curriculum. We are now inviting new students to join us during the current academic year and also for 2019-2020.
As the weather begins to cool in November, K1 to K3 students will have their physical education lessons outdoors, weather permitting, and this is sure to be fun and invigorating!
Note that students will change from summer to winter uniforms by mid-November, so please complete your winter uniform order form and return it to administration as soon as possible.
Please feel free to contact me at any time to provide feedback or to discuss any concerns you may have.
With the cool months finally upon us, Playgroup students have been exploring the themes Autumn and Watch Me Grow!
Playgroup Junior have especially enjoyed our sensory autumn leaf painting activity, when we mixed warm and cool colours to engage their senses and they watched the leaves change colour right in front of their eyes!
Our Playgroup classes are lots of hands-on-fun for mummies, daddies, aunties, and grannies and grandpas too! We love exploring and learning together.
As part of the theme Watch Me Grow, we’ve been learning about how important it is to do exercise. Every Playgroup class involves some physical development and movement activities to encourage students to stretch and play, and engage their gross and fine motor skills!
Friday is Teddy Bears’ Picnic day! We play teddy bear themed games, have teddy bear biscuits, and even make our own teddy bears during art time. Here are a few of our little bears enjoying snack time.
We’re half way through Term 1 and Pre-Nursery students are showing how independent they can be! They tidy up after snack time, recognise and care for their classmates, and recall and follow different school rules. They’re even now familiar with the different activities that take place in various areas of school such as the library, the art room, and the Wonder Room.
This past month we have continued to explore our Amazing Me topic of study. The children have been learning how to identify different emotions – watch their fascination and delight as their facial features move and change when they make funny faces!
Investigating our sense of smell also proved interesting for the students as they sniffed different scents and told us which ones they preferred. Playing in the sensory bins and modelling play dough are always popular activities that help the children understand their sense of touch and develop their fine motor skills.
They love gross motor skills exercises too, and have great fun learning to flex their bodies by bending and stretching during warm-up activities in the Wonder Room.
We also spend much-loved time in the library and the children enjoy selecting favourite storybooks for us to read together.
Let’s continue to enjoy learning about different things while becoming independent and expressive thinkers!
Ms Felicity, Ms Jasmine, Ms Rhawnie, and Ms Wanna
Our theme Animal Magic has concluded and the students did a fantastic job during their recent assessments. They are now able to name and sort animals into farm, jungle, and aquatic groups. They’re also doing a wonderful job completing their homework on time. Thank you, parents, for supporting your children and getting them into a healthy routine.
They had a blast creating their sea animal artworks, using crayons to form patterns for fish and then applying watercolour paint over the patterns. The children were intrigued to see the effect it created.
In order to develop good hand-eye coordination, the children have been practising paper tearing, modeling with play dough, and threading. One of the fine motor activities they particularly enjoyed was milking the cow! They had lots of fun role playing as the farmer and it was good hands-on experience for them to learn how a cow produces milk.
Our next theme is I Am Growing Up and the children will be exploring topics such as healthy eating, the five senses, and our emotions. They will also be learning to make comparisons between how they looked as a baby and how they look now. This is a wonderful theme to enhance their understanding of the world and develop their personal, social and emotional skills.
Ms Urwashi and Ms Wanna
Students have shown fantastic progress during October. They most recently focused on The Gruffalo, the last story of their Tell Me a Story topic, and they have also completed their first topic-based assessment. They all demonstrated an ability to remember and recall the characters and the features of specific books, and also the ability to retell scenes from various stories in correct sequential order. The students retold a story during the October Parents’ Assembly as well, and we all enjoyed their performance of The Three Little Pigs through song. It was a great hit and due to the cheers and encouragement from the audience the children all gained a little more stage confidence.
Our phonics and numeracy programmes have stepped up a notch in terms of workload as we have started learning to estimate and group numbers up to 35 as well as starting to blend letters to form three letter words. This phonic blending has been practiced in our homework programme and the students seem to be keeping up with the pace of work. Thank you, parents and caregivers, for overseeing this extra practice at home, as it helps the students consolidate what they have been learning in class.
Art and design is a regular activity for K2 and at the beginning of October students were introduced to clay modelling and made low-relief Gruffalo artworks. Autumn and halloween were also explored this month and the children enjoyed creating hanging pumpkins. We’ve now started our new theme, Mini-beasts, and learnt how to create symmetrical patterns on butterfly wings! What a lovely introduction to math in nature through art techniques.
Fortunately we have had good weather recently so outdoor physical education classes are a hit with the students. We’ve been exerting extra energy and developing our ball skills. Students focused on controlling a ball by bouncing and catching it again, tracking a ball in the air and catching it with both hands. This has proven to be challenging for most of the children as their reactions and coordination skills are still developing. We have great fun during these lessons and it is important for the students to enjoy physical activity to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
We’re entering the final stretch before the Christmas holidays and the K3 class has been busier than ever. Before the mid-term break commenced, the students enjoyed two weeks travelling back in time to explore various inventors. They learnt about Karl Benz and the Wright brothers, who invented two of the most common forms of transport used today; the car and the airplane. The focus was then shifted to the inventor of the first telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. The students were able to identify these inventors visually and match them to their remarkable inventions.
After a fun-filled couple of weeks, it was time for the students to put pen to paper in the form of theme-based assessments. They were challenged, using various forms of assessment, to show what they had learnt during their Journey Back in Time. The assessment covered questions relating to dinosaurs, Egyptian history, and inventors. Students completed the assessments individually with great success.
K3 enjoyed two school excursions during October. They keenly explored the electricity section of the Science Museum in preparation for their new topic relating to light and electricity, and also benefitted greatly from practical information shared during their trip to the Health Education Exhibition and Resource Centre. A big thank you is extended to the parents who attend the trips – the students loved having you there.
The K3 class always makes time for physical activity and the weather has been perfect for some outdoor activities. The focus for this month was on playing within a team and creating team spirit. Several games of football and tag were played in good spirits. The smiles on the faces of the children show how much they enjoy their PE time.
Students also continued in their quest to learn how to play the ukulele. It has been amazing to see how quickly they were able to hold a rhythm whilst switching continuously between two chords.
Finally, the K3 class enjoyed making their own historic model airplane. The model was a challenging design and technology project, but the outcome proved to be a great success with some fantastic looking models.
Although the next couple of months will be jam-packed with exciting activities, the K3 class is always ready for a challenge and we look forward to exploring the world of light and energy for our next topic!
Most of our young Pre-Nursery students have adjusted quickly and settled well into their classes after a month of study. In the theme of Amazing Me, the children learnt about family members such as father, mother, brother, and sister; and also learnt a little about gender of boys and girls through various class activities such as storytelling, card matching games, and role play. They also listened to and sang the song I Love My Dad and Mum. The children learnt to get along with their friends too. Well done, Pre-Nursery students, for showing lots of improvement in different aspects!
Fan lao-shi (Ms Selina), Huang lao-shi (Ms Tracy)
During October, our K1 students have been exploring the theme Animal Magic and have learnt about different animals on the farm. Through the school excursion to the Science Museum, storytelling, card games, and singing, the children have revised and reinforced their knowledge of forest animals and sea animals – they can now recognise the differences in animals that live in the forest, in the sea, and on the farm.
The children also learnt to identify and pronounce some Chinese characters such as one, two, three, big, and small through card matching games and colouring. With the teacher’s guidance, they can even use the words to make simple sentences such as “There are three fishes”, “This is a small kitten”, “This is a big tiger”, etc. They also learnt that a special event, Halloween, is on 31 October.
We are happy to see our K1 students have improved a lot in Chinese and math!
Chen lao-shi (Ms May)
The children performed of story of The Three Bears during the Parents’ Assembly at the beginning of October. We really appreciated and were very proud of the K2 students as they did an awesome job!
The students studied The Gruffalo and created their own Gruffalo artwork in class. They had so much fun making their creations.
Autumn is here! The children have recently visited the park, getting up close to nature to learn about the characteristics of autumn. They took some autumn leaves from the park, which will be used for their artwork.
Reading plays an important role in improving students’ language skills. We hope to have cultivated the children’s reading habits during the theme Tell Me a Story, and encourage parents to read them a story every day in order to enhance their literacy skills.
Fan Lao-shi (Ms Selina)
In October, the children continued to explore the theme Journey Back in Time. They learnt about the development of vehicle and aeroplane design through storytelling. They showed great creativity in using recycled materials to create their own models of transportation.
The children have competed their first topic-based assessment in the last few weeks and did very well. They were able to answer the teacher’s questions when reviewing the theme, and showed their logical thinking when doing the assessment tasks.
At the beginning of October, the children visited the Science Museum. They showed great curiosity in the Electricity & Magnetism Gallery and enjoyed all of the interactive activities there, which built a great fundamental knowledge for our next topic Switch on the Light. We look forward to lots more fun and interesting learning during our upcoming theme!
Huang Lao-shi (Ms Tracy)