Middle School Newsletter
Issue 5 , November 2019
Learning English using the CambridgeSystem at Haileybury (HIST).
You can learn a foreign language in differentways. If a student works hard, sooner or later he will get a result. Thequestion is whether this result will be sufficient for the further developmentof the student. There are many different systems. Our school uses the Cambridgesystem.TheCambridge International curriculum sets a global standard for education and isrecognized by universities and employers worldwide.
The curriculum is flexible,challenging and inspiring, culturallysensitive yet international in approach. Studentsof the Cambridge English language learning system develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion forlearning. They also gain the essential skills they need for success atuniversity and in their future careers. It makes sense that Haileybury ESLprogramme uses this system, which supports our students in many different ways.
However, no system will work without its correct application, without taking into account local peculiarities and the specifics of students' thinking. At HIST, the system of language learning is unique as it akes into account many features that only a few schools have been able to achieve. In this brief newsletter, we will begin with Vocabulary learning with subsequent newsletters focusing on listening, speaking, grammar, reading and writing. The pattern of learning/acquiring language is similar to the way we learn our first language.
Vocabulary learning – a challengethat is loved!
It isnot enough to learn a word and use it in one sentence. For effectivecommunication in everyday life and in the academic environment, much more isneeded. Do you think our students just write down words through translation? Ofcourse not! In addition to strictly academic techniques, such as writingdictation, oral tests, memorizing prepared texts by heart, etc. we use teamcompetitions, drawings, games, movies, songs, game tests on learning platforms,and more!
Students learn vocabulary by topic. Every twoweeks there is a new theme or topic. New vocabulary is used and recycled inlistening, speaking, reading, writing and even grammar. Students use thesewords when discussing a book, when writing paragraphs and essays, and inclassroom discussions. Topics encourage students to think, to ask questions, togive their opinion and to critically analyse what the hear and read.
Studentslove competitions and short vocabulary games at the beginning of class to getstudents warmed up or a reward at the end of class for good academic learningis often a part of the class. Students compete fearlessly, but very quicklyforget that the other team is their rival, so helping each other is part oftheir warm feelings for their classmates.
Continuoustesting of knowledge is an important function of the ESL HIST system. Recently,students took practiced speaking in simulated KET, PET and FCE exams to demonstratetheir progress and where they need to focus for continuous improvement.
Simulated Cambridge PET (B1) speaking test
Learning through activities
Newsletter and video activity club
In apractical setting, students learn the basics of writing articles for newspapersand magazines. They learn how to take and give interviews and how to askquestions and answer questions. They began their career in journalism with verysimple tasks, such as writing a short article about a classmate, illustratingthe article and filling out simple questionnaires. Next, they learn how to beattentive observers, by visiting other clubs for 5 minutes noting somethinginteresting and writing a short note about it. Recently a new level wasreached. Students receive a “SCHOOL PRESS” card, get an editorial assignment,and go to different places around the school in order to interview classmatesand take photos. Students also practice acting as presenters on television by readingnews texts based on titles new titles. They have fun love being in charge!
Very soon they will start making theirown video reports!
Simplyput, Musical Theatre is combining singing, movement and acting to tell astory. It is super fun and allows for alot of creativity. A typical day inmusical theatre club includes drama games, practicing music and planning ourupcoming performance, which will be a parody of the song “It’s a Hard-KnockLife” from the musical Annie.
GAP students at Haileybury.
The GAP year is a common practice in many countries., where studentstake a year off after completing secondary school, usually to travel, beforecommencing their studies at university. Typically, students view it as anopportunity to gain professional or personal experience, achieve specific goalsand/or explore personal interests. Many students take the year to tacklechallenges they’ve set for themselves, step out of their comfort zone, facetheir fears and enjoy new experiences.
It’s already a tradition atHaileybury to host GAP who have graduated from HIST the previous year. Thisyear we have 12 students, for two weeks at a time who work with our students inPrimary School Reading Buddy, help in classrooms with students and do sometutoring for evening study. They have been valuable to Middle School and wehope they have also learned some new skills at HIST. Middle school reallyappreciate it!
GAP student MayZhang
GAPstudent Angel Cui
Environmental Club - aspecial way to learn and use English.
Themain focus of Environmental Club in recent weeks has been to focus on therecycling and garbage sorting efforts initiated by the National Government inBeijing. President Xi has made it a priority and focus among Beijing residentsto take a more proactive and responsible approach in the sorting of trash tohelp spearhead recycling and environmental conservation efforts. First,students practiced English vocabulary related to the subject, and discussed asa group how we can all help to more environmentally conscious globalcitizens. The students were given anopportunity to come up with ideas of things we can do as students and teachersat Haileybury to be more environmentally responsible. The students came up witha plan to begin a paper sorting/recycling program to test out using the MiddleSchool printing room. We created 2 boxes to help sort the paper waste, one forpaper that had been used on both sides, and another for paper that only had oneside used, so that it could be re-used to minimize the paper wasted by studentsand teachers. After collecting the boxes, we began to properly sort through thepaper, and make sure that it was organized correctly. We also used some of theEnglish vocabulary discussed and made signs in English and Chinese to help makeall International School Staff aware of our efforts. A big thanks to Kevin forhis fantastic handwriting skills! In weeks to come, we will continue ourproject and hopefully expand to other areas within the school that studentsrecognize as potential ways to help with the Government initiative and GlobalConservation Efforts.