The Early Childhood Center at ISW has an inclusive curriculum and great teaching staff, where we are able to meet your child’s individual needs. I am a father of four with my children studying here at ISW. ISW is a truly wonderful place to be! Our school community is successful due to our highly qualified staff, our talented students and caring, involved families. I am excited to have the opportunity to be a partner in education and look forward to many years to come working with your children, the most precious asset that you have entrusted us with.
Your fellow educator,
The ISW curriculum provides a holistic program that balances the development of concepts, skills and character. Our approach focuses on the total growth of the developing child addressing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academic welfare.
Our program focuses on guided inquiry, collaboration and communication as approaches to teaching and learning to provide an environment that fosters the development of problem solving and critical thinking as well as subject competencies.
We guide them on this road to discovery with our research-based standards and assessments along six developmental domains:
LANGUAGE AND LITERACY DEVELOPMENT
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT AND WELLNESS
At ISW we understand all too well that living abroad and going to school away from home and old friends can be challenging for children of all ages. The difficulties they struggle with are not always visible or clearly expressed. If not addressed, this can affect their behavior as well as their academic performance.
Our school counselor, Ms. Lianne Ong, meets with students who may be having emotional or social difficulties and help determine the best courses of action, which may include a recommendation of counseling. Conversations are confidential. Counselors are available on campus to individuals or groups of students for discussion of problems relating to emotional growth, social adjustment, academic achievement or any other issue.
Appointments may be made by emailing or visiting Ms. Ong.
MS. LIANNE ONG
ADDITIONAL PROGRAM FEATURES
For decades, ISW students have been invigorated by language education, with past students using their language skills in many areas from diplomacy, law and education to international trade, marketing and banking and finance.
The English language is central to the way in which students understand, critique and appreciate their world, and to the ways in which they participate socially, economically and culturally in society. The study of English encourages the development of literate individuals capable of critical and imaginative thinking, aesthetic appreciation and creativity, as well as productive participation in a democratic society in the 21st Century. Through the English curriculum and our literacy program, which begins in the ECC, students initially focus on spelling and word study, phonemic awareness and handwriting, which leads into the key discipline concepts of texts and language, and the many dimensions of reading, writing, speaking and listening that develop as students progress through their schooling.
CHINESE LANGUAGE & CULTURE
Although the study of English and the ongoing development of important literacy skills are fundamental elements of the curriculum, our students are also part of the global dialogue where multiple languages are advantageous. As an American school with an international perspective, we believe that a strong language program enhances the educational journey and encourages our students to develop alternative perspectives, cultural understanding and empathy.
Beginning in junior kindergarten, some ECC students have the opportunity to study Chinese. There are three main goals for ECC school students interested in learning Mandarin: 1) Building up a strong foundation of high-frequency vocabulary. Frequent and consistent exposure to high frequency vocabulary greatly increases the comfort level of students as they begin to communicate in a new language. 2) Working on the basic grammar rules, sentence structure, and discourse patterns. Chinese can seem very intimidating to students when they first begin learning the language; however, the introduction of common sentence patterns coupled with frequent practice in relevant contexts can greatly increase the rate at which students develop language proficiency. 3) Developing cultural knowledge and global awareness. Lastly, a critical goal for lower school students in the Chinese classroom is to provide opportunities to understand the similarities and differences between their own culture and that of various Chinese populations around the world. Students have the opportunity to attend class, eat new foods, learn about daily life for students their own age in China and learn about and celebrate the various important Chinese holidays.
At International School of Wuxi, we see technology as a tool that supports a school community and facilitates learning. We recognize the enormous potential of modern technology to enhance and enrich learning, and are committed to preparing our children to be successful in a society permeated with technology.
As an important tool, both inside and outside of the classroom, students use technology to inquire, communicate and safely take risks. Through our technology program, we ensure that every student in our community has access to campus and worldwide electronic resources, enhanced classrooms and a learning management system employed by higher education institutions. These tools encourage students to adopt and employ technology during their tenure at International School of Wuxi, preparing them for college and professional environments as true digital citizens.
Every building on the campus is connected to our data networks allowing students to wirelessly access electronic material in all academic and community spaces. School bandwidth has significantly increased over the past few years to better support classroom initiatives, cloud computing, multimedia and improve the overall student experience. In accordance with our standards, students must abide by acceptable use policies and guidelines found in the school handbook. To help encourage these standards our network is regularly monitored and acceptable barriers have been put in place for the safety of our students.
Since 2012, ISW has been growing its iPad program to extend into the ECC and elementary classrooms. For the 2017-2018 school year, our ECC and elementary
class sets will expand to meet our largest class sizes needs. For our secondary 1:1 iPad program, ISW has invested in the Microsoft 365, which is a suite of programs that gives our students the capability to do word processing and more on iPads and computers. Microsoft 365 also gives students access to their work from home via cloud-based storage. To support technology integration, ISW has Bluetooth keyboards for the iPads so that our students may more easily use the iPads to their fullest potential.
The International School of Wuxi library is a vibrant, welcoming environment for students, staff and parents to enjoy for recreational and educational purposes and is specifically organized to service our diverse school community. We strive to ensure that not only are learning needs met but also that every child feels valued and happy. Our Library resources support the teaching of the curriculum and develop our student's interests and hobbies. Incorporating the use of iPads for searching the library databases, library lessons are also linked to the curriculum and teach essential information skills for 21st Century learning.
Our Library Strives:
- To ensure learners grow as competent, ethical users and producers of ideas and information.
- To prepare life-long learners who are effective communicators, critical researchers and problem solvers.
- To collaborate and share with audiences beyond our school walls.
- To model our school’s mission and support learners in the pursuit of aesthetic growth and personal learning pathways.
To this end, a collection of books has been developed to support teaching and learning activities. Chinese books have also been acquired to support language learning. In addition, we have a collection of e-resources including online newspapers and magazines, which children can access on their iPads. We use a color code system to help our English language learners to find books with more ease and encourage families to donate fiction and nonfiction books in Japanese, Chinese and Korean to help round out our diverse collection.
Our library sponsors a year-long reading incentive program to encourage all students to go beyond homework assignments and read for fun. Awareness of a variety of books, school library materials and reinforcement of language learning are a few of the goals anchored in the reading program.
PLANNED FAMILY & COMMUNITY EVENTS
Our library sponsors family events throughout the year. A Family Fun Festival has been hosted in the fall season with guest authors, fun & game booths & character dress up and parade. The spring season hosts events such as Donuts with Dads, giving fathers an opportunity to come read with their children. The library partners with the Obido Book Company to host a book fair twice per year at these planned family / community events.
We are constantly seeking to strengthen our partnership with parents and one of the ways we do this is through reporting to parents and actively involving parents in their children’s learning.
At the start of the year, we have orientation sessions for both new and returning families. This is an opportunity for parents to meet the new class teacher and to find out about the year group routines, special events and expectations. We also have more formal Parent Teacher Conferences in the fall and again in the spring. This is an opportunity for parents to meet with their child’s class teacher on an individual basis and review their child’s learning and next steps. Progress Reports are written at the end of the first semester and all children receive a summative report in June.
Although there are many structured opportunities for parents to meet with teachers, parents can also make appointments with teachers throughout the year to discuss any concerns they may have.
PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES
- In the weeks ahead of a conference, check in with kids about how they're doing on homework and in each subject. Review homework and any recent projects, tests, quizzes, report cards, or progress reports.
- Ask if there are questions or issues your child wants you to discuss with the teacher.
- Plan to bring something to take notes with (paper and pen or a laptop or other device).
- Share a few things about your child with the teacher - interests, strengths, favorite subjects - to help the teacher know your child better.
- Write down questions or topics you'd like the conference to cover. Depending on your situation, you may want to ask about:
- whether your child is meeting grade-level expectations (not how he or she compares with peers)
- educational testing if your child is struggling
- what the teacher sees as your child's strengths and challenges and how these are being addressed
- other services to help your child grow as a learner
- making a plan to check in regularly if there are any learning or behavior problems
- your child's work habits, independently and in large- and small-group instruction
- how your child gets along with other students in class and during lunch, recess, phys-ed, and other classes
PowerSchool is the most widely used web-based student information system, supporting 10 million students over 65 countries. Benefits for parents and students include: real-time grades, attendance, comments, assignments, scores and much more…right from the teacher’s gradebook directly to students and parents.
The best learning is active and engaged. It can be found in ordinary places.These activities energize students and help them to see the holistic connections between mind, body, and spirit. Activities outside the classroom are not merely add-ons to the core curriculum. They are a continuous enrichment, a way to sustain and deepen learning.
At ISW we believe that co-curricular activities are an important part of education that extends beyond the classroom. Co-curricular activities provides motivation for learning, character building, physical growth ad creativity while developing confidence and educating the whole child. Students are encouraged to participate and explore all opportunities that interest them. Students who are involved in Co-curricular opportunities become more invested in the school experience, therefore increasing the opportunity for higher academic performance and social well-being.