Bullying Prevention at CDNIS

Lately, Ms C has been talking to our class about Bullying. So far we’ve learned how to recognise bullying and how to report it to a trusted adult.  We use the  ‘Three R’s – Recognise, Report and Refuse’ to do this. The programme integrates well with our current unit of inquiry, as we are investigating different ways of taking action – which also includes being an up-stander.

Below is a letter about the Second Steps programme that we’ve been using at CDNIS – for you to find out more. In order to have a consistent whole school approach, teachers and Education Assistants have also had training with this programme.

Students Leading the way with their Learning Review

You may have noticed that where possible at CDNIS, we want the students to take responsibility for their learning! This is often reflected in the choice they have on a daily basis with regard to learning experiences in the classroom etc, but more visible to you, as parents, are their role throughout the reporting progress.

In two weeks, on Friday 27 April, all parents are invited to school for an hour block. During this time, your child will be taking the lead in discussing how they have grown as a learner throughout the year. Many of the students are excited by this, though some are understandably a little daunted as well.

To begin with the planning process we started with a routine known as ‘Compass Points’. Each point of the compass refers to a different direction of thinking about an upcoming event. Every student had the opportunity to share their worries, what they were excited about, what they needed to know about, as well as any suggestions.


As a class we sorted individual responses into themes and this is what we came up with:

We are EXCITED about:

  • showing our work in writing, maths, reading, PE, and the different maths apps we are using
  • having NO normal school day

We are WORRIED about:

  • our parents finding spelling mistakes in our writing
  • things I did wrong or mistakes I made
  • our parents finding out about things or mistakes and being disappointed in us
  • Chinese
  • forgetting what to do
  • our parents not liking our work

What we NEED to know

  • what to do first
  • how long the session goes for
  • what will we show
  • what will I talk about
  • saying the right thing


  • showing work we have done using our iPads
  • Time limit – can we have as much time as we need?
  • Show Chinese (or work we find challenging) first and finishing with work that we are proud of
  • choosing what we want to show eg learning
  • show our learning from around the room, eg our Unit of Inquiry.

As you can see, the students are generally excited about sharing their learning, however most of their worries centre around parental judgement of their mistakes (especially spelling).  They want to know the structure and format of the learning reviews and want control over time and what is shown.

All of this is illuminating and particularly helpful in preparing students for the SLLR’s.

As a grade level, we are using the key concepts to guide our thinking and preparation for the SLLR’s.

This week we are currently responding to these questions. From these each student will choose their own samples to use as a basis for discussion during their review of learning. I’m sure you are looking forward to seeing what your child has prepared for you!



Swimming starts again – Monday April 9th.

I hope everyone has been enjoying their Easter or Spring Break! We’re looking forward to hearing everyone’s recounts when they return!

When we return to school on Monday, our routine changes slightly with the second block of Swimming lessons scheduled for Monday afternoons from 1:20 – 1:20. The first date for lessons is Monday 9th April and will continue till the last weeks of school.


Students will need to bring their:

  • waterproof swimming bag
  • swimming costume
  • towel
  • goggles (if needed)
  • swimming cap (recommended for those with long hair)

In the interests of developing independence, please make sure your child remembers to bring all their equipment for swimming lessons.  We will be writing all of our swimming dates into our CDNIS diaries/agendas and students should take responsibility for preparing their swimming bag and bringing it to school.

If for some reason your child cannot be in the pool, written permission from a doctor or parents is required. Your child will still be expected to watch lessons at the pool.

Student Showcases


Calling all performers!

We are looking for talented Prep-Grade 6 students to perform in the Student Showcases on May 23-25.

Auditions will be held after school in the Forum on Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20.

If your child is interested, sign them up to audition here.

The last day to sign up is Friday, April 13.

If you have any questions please email Ashley Benusa.

Fame, Significance and Celebrity

We have begun our new unit of inquiry, which is under the transdisciplinary theme of ‘Where we are in Place and Time’.

So far we have been tuning into ideas around:

  • How do people change the world?
  • People who are important to us
  • Celebrity vs Significance
  • Who is significant?
  • What does significant mean?

For more detailed information about what we intend to accomplish during this unit, please check out the Parent Overview, which can also be found  on our “Where we are in  place and time” page in this blog.

The students are excited to be learning about historical figures as well as contemporary ones.  Some of the people they can’t wait to investigate are:

  • Dav Pilkey
  • Liz Pichon
  • Amelia Earheart
  • Leonardo daVinci
  • Lincoln Pierce
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Agamemnon
  • Sally Ride
  • Queen Elizabeth I
  • King Henry
  • Emma Watson
  • Tchaikovsky
  • JK Rowling
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Coco Chanel
  • George Washington
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Martin Luther King Jr
  • Thomas Edison

We’ll let you know how it goes!





Prep – Grade 2 Book Swap

Yippee! The Book Swap for Pre Reception – Grade 2 will be Tuesday 20th March, before school in the 12th floor Cafeteria! 

Students can bring in books to swap one-for-one. How easy is that?!?

If they don’t have any books to exchange, they can pay $10 for a used book.

Kids can also use their leftover Flower Fair tokens at a rate of 2 tokens for 1 book. So many easy, affordable ways to get “new-to-you” books!

So please come to the 12th floor cafeteria before school on Tuesday for the Book Swap. 

Bridging ‘Sharing the Planet’ and ‘Where we are in place and time’.

How are these people connected?   What do they have in common?

In 2C we have very knowledgeable students! The students already knew that these three people were Einstein, Galileo and Stephen Hawking.

In our discussion we noticed that they are all:

  • scientists
  • mathematicians
  • were inquirers and thinkers
  • highly intelligent
  • famous
  • dead
  • and they all changed the world

All three are also connected with their dates of birth and death. Stephen Hawking was born on the anniversary of Galileo’s death and passed away on Einstein’s birthday (as well as Pi Day).

As Stephen Hawking passed away, only just yesterday – we found connections that bridge our recent ‘Sharing the Planet’  and our new ‘Where we are in place and time’ unit.  We read and responded to this Newsela article “Will we need to leave Earth to survive in the future?”   


Here is the link to our padlet – if you are interested in checking out their responses.

Made with Padlet

Many of the students are very interested in finding out more about the life of Stephen Hawking – especially by watching the movie ‘The Theory of Everything.” If you would like to watch it with your child (its rated PG13) , but can’t find it –  here are some legal suggestions.

For a taster – here is a trailer for the 2014 movie.

The week that was – March 5-9

It’s been a busy week with lots of topics being covered and discussed. Here is a quick overview, complete with pictures to give you an idea of what has been happening in 2C.


What a weird and wonderful week we’ve had with weather!  We started out with fog rolling through Aberdeen harbour and ended the week with crisp air and blue skies.  It all started with a question ‘When are we allowed to wear our summer uniforms again? ”

At CDNIS there are no mandated dates for the wearing of summer and winter uniforms, so we looked at the 9-day forecast on a few different weather websites including weather.com and hkobservatory, to see if it would be appropriate to begin wearing our summer uniforms soon. Although Monday’s temperature hit a maximum of about 26 degrees, we saw that the temperature was going to get colder as the week progressed – so we concluded that it was best to keep the jackets, pants and long sleeves out for a little longer. In order for your child to take action with this learning, we encourage the students to look at the projected temperature each day in order to make considered decisions about which uniform to wear.


Our hopes for the Future

We explored the line of inquiry ‘How Earth’s cycles are connected to its future’ considering how we want the world to be when we are older, as well as what we don’t want the world to be like.

Then we investigated some of the ways that humans impact the environment.  BrainPop, Newsela and picture books were great sources of information. On Newsela, we read an article about how Burger King is hurting the rainforest, viewed a BrainPop clip about all the different ways humans action impact the environment,  and read ‘The Earth Book’ which had a simple but effective message on what everyday small actions individuals can take for a cleaner and greener earth for us all to enjoy. We also watched ‘The Lorax’ and were amazed at the impact of one greedy, selfish person on what was once a beautiful, clean, lush and inspiring environment.

To help, you can take the time to discuss certain decisions you make about what you buy and eat. We began talking about how some people choose to be vegetarians for environmental reasons rather than a personal distaste for meat.

As a follow up  early next week, the students will complete a reflection on ‘What they can keep doing / What they can stop doing / What they can start doing’ to take care of the planet in order for a preferable future.  As this is an action-based unit, we have been talking in terms of ‘preferable future’ as the future we’d like to have and need to take action for,  and the ‘probable future’ as the future that will happen if we don’t change what we are doing.  Both futures are possibilities – which one happens depends on what we do now.


The impact of Alan Dick

This year we commemorated the beloved Alan Dick with a community blast. A class of grade 7 students visited us for the hour and together we danced the Hokey Pokey, learned the new House Dance and ate delicious cupcakes. Although many of us haven’t met Alan Dick – we heard  about his positivity, friendliness and love for dressing up and performing, and what impact this had on the CDNIS community. As a follow up we painted a collaborative mural – to show how people can work together to create something amazing together. We decided on a heart as the symbol, as this symbolised ‘caring’ the best. With all that we had learned about Alan Dick – we thought he exemplified ‘Caring’ the best of all the learner profile attributes.







Flower Fair


Finally the Flower Fair is just around the corner.  This is the event that the students have been looking forward to for quite some time, and according to Tuesday’s check-in the most anticipated event of the week!

The Flower Fair is just one part of our Chinese New Year celebrations at school. Earlier in the day, we have our Chinese New Year Concert at 9:45 – 10:45am, which will have various cultural performances from different groups around the school.

The Flower Fair will take place at 12:20 – 12:50. The tokens that were pre-purchased have been delivered to the classroom and are being kept in a safe place till tomorrow afternoon. Tokens can also be purchased on the day. If you haven’t already purchased tokens, $100 will buy a bag of 20 tokens.

When the students arrive at the Flower Fair, they are strongly encouraged to be ‘Smart Shoppers’ and look at all the activity and food booths  in order to make good purchasing decisions.

We also ask that students bring a bag from home to carry any purchases that are made.

Revamping our class library

While the students are away, Ms Dora and I get organised!

An area of our class that we’ve been looking to revamp and renew for quite a while is our class library. The students love reading and relish every opportunity to read independently to themselves – and we aim to provide a range of books for them to choose from – unit related books, picture books and chapter books.

Could you please take some time to let your child fill out the 2C Class Library- Which books to keep? form so we can prioritise which books to keep and which ones to find a new home for. If you have trouble accessing the form, we have also sent it to your parent cdnis email account.