ISW recognizes that while excellence in academics is critical, integrity and good character are equally important. The academic curriculum at ISW is focused on developing well-rounded students by offering a wide variety of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities for all students from preschool through 12th grade. By integrating character building with academic learning, our students are able to realize their intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual potential.
ISW has a fantastic athletics program that grows our students in the knowledge of the sport, and then teaches them how to compete at their highest levels. We currently have two divisions: Middle School and High School.
In middle school, the students are given equal playing time in games and tournaments. The emphasis is on students learning the rules, skills, and strategies of the sports they are playing. We currently feature soccer and basketball for the middle school.
In high school, the emphasis is on students maximizing their potential as a team to achieve success. This means that playing time is not always equally distributed, but every student is given meaningful playing time. Students all receive the opportunity to play in key times of matches so they can grow in their abilities as an athlete. They learn how to play together, and how to best achieve victory in each match. We feature volleyball, basketball, and soccer for the high school.
Each season finishes with a tournament hosed by one of the six ISC schools. Here is a list of where each tournament is currently held:
|High School Volleyball||Shenyang|
|Middle School Soccer||Tianjin|
|High School Basketball||Wuxi|
|Middle School Basketball||Chengdu|
|High School Soccer|| |
The ISW music department consists of general music classes for elementary students and beginning band, intermediate band and choir for secondary students. Students get many opportunities to use their gifts and creativity through both singing and instrumental music. We seek to offer each child a well rounded music education at ISW so that each student can build his or her musical abilities and creativity. We also look forward to further expansion of the program and hope to create even more opportunities for ISW students to make music.
In elementary music, students build foundational musical skills that will prepare them for a lifetime of music-making and will allow them to be a successful member of a secondary music ensemble in the future. Elementary students perform at ISW’s annual Christmas Jubilee in December and in the annual Spring Concert and Art Exhibition in May.
The ISW bands consist of instruments from brass, woodwind and percussion families. Though many students choose to purchase their own instruments, the ISW band program owns enough instruments for a band of 30 students. Band students perform at ISW’s annual Christmas Jubilee in December and in the annual Spring Concert and Art Exhibition in May. In addition, select high school band students have the opportunity to perform with students from other ISC schools in the annual ISC Choral and Band Festival in Tianjin in March. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn challenging music, make music with different students and be under the direction of a master teacher.
ISW’s secondary vocal opportunities include the High School Choir. Students further their vocal abilities and musical skills in this program and also perform at ISW’s annual Christmas Jubilee in December and in the annual Spring Concert and Art Exhibition in May. Every year, all high school choir students have the opportunity to perform with students from other ISC schools in the ISC Choral and Band Festival in Tianjin in March. This continues to be a musical highlight of the secondary students’ time here at ISW.
Art & Ceramics
The art and ceramics program does more than just teach students artistic skills. The curriculum is designed to lay a foundation to help students tackle problems, think creatively, and gain important life skills. Students will understand how past cultures and trends influence modern trends and designs, an appreciation for aesthetics, project planning and followthrough, creative problem solving and perseverance when things are hard. The ceramics program specifically helps students develop fine and gross motor skills throughout the creating of usable cups, plates and bowls as well as sculptures.
Students look at the messages and impact of previous artist and decide what message they would like to send. They become Positive community influencers and effective communicators through the practice and application of the skills they learn in art and ceramics. Students create with an audience in mind. We work on each project having: head, hands and heart.
Head meaning the project has an important message and a meaning; the project seeks to tell something and influence for good.
Hands meaning, each piece is created with excellence. Using their skills they learn in art class they learn about how good craftsmen shop and creating with excellence. They develop artistic skill such as an understanding of proportions, color theory, and science behind aesthetics. These skills can be applied to make all of life beautiful not just in the area of art. Students can use these skills when matching clothing for an outfit or decorating a room.
Heart means, people are moved by the image. The students use craftsmanship and their understanding of aesthetics to create an artwork that is emotionally moving. Students think about the symbolism and color pallets that emotionally connect with specific audiences then tailor their artwork to a specific audience.
We study how different cultures create distinctive artwork and understand how different audiences can have differing reactions to the same artwork. These skills help students become more effective communicators in a multicultural world not only with artistic expression but also in other forms of communication.
Students may often become discouraged and think that that things are too hard, but art is a way for students to learn to overcome obstacles and to keep going even when things seem hard. The art and ceramics programs are not designed to be easy they are designed to push the students to do more than they thought they could and build a foundation of creativity through the creative process. The students learn to appreciate and evaluate art, create with skill, communicate and connect their learning to other areas of their life.
The school sponsors a number of after-school activities that give students an opportunity to excel in a particular hobby or area of interest. The activities vary each semester according to Teacher, parent and community volunteer skills and interests. Not only do these programs develop more well-rounded students, but they offer another chance for teachers to interact with and mentor our students. At the beginning of each semester, after- school activity information will be sent home with each elementary student. Parents can choose which activities and days their child can attend by completing an accompanying form that is returned to their teacher. We offer several new activities each semester. ISW school bus transportation is provided for all after-school activities.
A closer look at some of ISW’s Afterschool Activities
ISW has three library locations specifically organized to service our diverse school community. Our Early Childhood library is specifically organized for use for the preschool and kindergarten students. 3rd Floor library collection consists of materials for elementary and middle school. The 4th floor library provides a cozy reading and study environment for the high school students and adults. All three libraries have either computers or ipads for student use.
We use a color code system to help our English language learners to find books with more ease, for example; fiction books are color coded to help students find books for their reading level and age. We encourage families to donate fiction and nonfiction books in Japanese, Chinese and Korean to our collection.
In addition to a growing book collection, we subscribe to Tumblebooks, an online library of books, resources and activities for preschool through high school. Social Studies databases are available for secondary students to use for research.
Activities in the library include weekly library skills lessons for ECC and Elementary, year round reading program called ISW Wildcat Readers, summer reading programs and book fairs.
In January of 2015 we introduced the Destiny catalogue system that includes filtered website browsing for student research and enhanced search capabilities.
Wildcats Reader program
Library sponsors a year -long reading incentive program to encourage all ISW students from early childhood through middle school to read 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 of the reading program.
This year’s theme is “The Great Book Adventure” and each participating student is given a game board to represent each level in the game showing how many pages they have read and how many books they have completed. Students are also encouraged to take challenges by reading a specific genre, completing creative activities and taking comprehension quizzes. Students receive prizes to reward their success when reaching their goals in reading.
Student Government Association
The Student Government Association (SGA) is composed of 4 high school students elected by the high school student body. Each year this core group of student leaders is tasked with building community and fellowship among our international student body. They begin the year with a Student Council retreat, attended by at Student Governments in our ISC system. At the end of the retreat, they have written their mission statement for the year and planned major events. The SGA is responsible for the Fall Lock-In, Christmas Togetherness Meal, Communications Week and the Spring Banquet. Each of these events are student-created and student led, with one teacher advisor as support. They are given incredible opportunities to exercise leadership and grow in character. The SGA also has a Student Leadership elective course in which they learn about biblical foundations of leadership and plan for events/service projects.
Model United Nations
What is MUN?
Model United Nations (MUN) is a student-led simulation that focuses on educating participants in current events, globalization, diplomacy and cultural awareness. Hundreds of these conferences take place all over the world and are comprised of students from almost every corner of the globe. Using the setting of the United Nations, students take on roles of country delegations and work on solving important world issues. Each participant is responsible to research and represent their country’s policies and attitudes while trying to compromise and relate to other participants. The ultimate goal of each conference is to come up with realistic solutions, policies and action papers that are agreed on by the majority of delegates.
Why is MUN Important?
MUN, a multi-cultural collaboration, allows students to interact with diverse perspectives and gain a better understanding of the world they live in by going to new places, meeting new people and dealing with issues relevant in today’s society. In addition to the relational and cultural benefits of MUN, students also gain important life skills that can be used in their future career paths. Delegates make speeches in front of their peers, practice good debating techniques, think critically about difficult topics and for many second language learners, improve their English-speaking abilities. Compromising, speaking diplomatically, doing proper research, and following procedures are also important tools acquired by being involved in MUN.
MUNiSC is held annually in Qingdao. Twenty-three schools from all over Asia came with more than 350 advisors, delegates and administrative staff in attendance. During the three day conference, the students divided into six different types of committees including General Assembly, Disarmament Committee, Human Rights Committee, Economic and Social Council, Advisory Panel, and Security Council. Delegates spent many hours writing, revising and debating resolutions written on each topic assigned to their committee. These topics included the situation in Libya, freedom of expression for journalists and the withdrawal of biological warfare. MUNiSC is an exceptional conference, one of smaller forums, highly trained leaders, and superior debate.
The annual spring trips are always a great time for students to get to know each other better and in a different setting outside of school. Not only that, the secondary teachers enjoy spending extra time with students and sharing more of their lives with them! Middle school students rotate trips each year to places like Hangzhou, Yangshuo, and Spring Rock, an outdoor experiential retreat center owned and operated by LDi, the parent company of ISC schools. High school Spring Trips have included excursions to Xiamen, Beijing, Xi’an, and Urumqi.
Each trip encompasses one or more aspects including building cultural awareness, service to others, or exploring nature. Additionally, teachers and students informally engage in conversations relevant to Third Culture Kids (TCKs), struggles and questions that all teenagers face, and issues related to future university and career plans. Spring Trips are frequently life-changing and help to open students’ eyes to a bigger world than can be seen just within the school walls.
2014 Middle School Spring Trip Highlights
2014 High School Spring Trip Highlights
ISW believes in giving back to the community and teaching our students to do so as well. Each year ISW takes part in a variety of community service projects at home in Wuxi and also in other places as opportunities arise.