A note from the Lower School Admin Team

by stevebrown on March 22, 2017

Dear Lower School Parents,

We would like to share a few gentle reminders to parents for when they visit our school. While we strongly encourage and value parent involvement in our classrooms and at the school, there area few things we’d like parents to keep in mind in order to facilitate an optimal learning environment for students during the school day.

  • The 9/F playground is a huge hit with students, and it is becoming an increasingly popular place for parents to watch their kids. We ask that parents please observe their children from the 9/F foyer and not from the playground itself. The 11/F playground is also not a place to observe your children.

  • Students are not allowed to use the lift/elevator. Please remind your children the lifts are for adults only (parents and helpers welcome), unless the student has a lift pass or is being accompanied to the nurse. This “adults only in the lifts” rule also applies when children are late, not feeling well and when with their parents/helper.

  • In line with our school’s policies and procedures, please refrain from disciplining other people’s children. If parents witness a disagreement or misunderstanding between children at school, please inform a teacher, EA or Vice Principal. Also in accordance with our Parent Code of Conduct, please respect confidentiality by not speaking or messaging about other children, and instead reporting any concerns to a teacher or administrator.

  • The 8/F, 9/F and 10/F hallways are learning spaces; please wait for your children in the 9/F foyer and not in these other hallways or elevator areas.

  • All parents love taking pictures/videos of their children and capturing the special moments at school. Be it during a Spotlight performance, weekly assembly, on the sports pitch, our parents love to catch their child in action and sometimes share the pictures/videos they have taken on social media or with various WhatsApp groups. But please be mindful when snapping pictures of your child that other parents may not wish to have their child photographed/videotaped and their image shared around the world. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Thank you for your consideration and respect of the learning environment in these matters. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to touch base with a Lower School Vice Principal.


Lower School Admin Team




  • Read at least 20 minutes per night

Sharing the Planet:

4C has decided to have a multi-week long, optional, home learning challenge. The challenge is:

Design a food chain within an imaginary ecosystem

Your food chain should include an energy source, producer, multiple consumers and a decomposer. It would also be interesting if you included a possible a cause for an imbalance within your ecosystem.

You can do this individually or as a small group.

We will share the food chains on April 5th, 6th and 7th. You can use any format you wish to present your food chain.

As inspiration, here’s a video about Pandora, the imaginary world depicted in the movie Avatar. 



Camp – Packing List and Itinerary

by stevebrown on March 15, 2017

Students ‘What to Bring’ list – Click HERE

Updated itinerary – Click HERE


Grade 4 Camp 2017 – Treasure Island

by stevebrown on March 13, 2017

Camp is quickly approaching and we can feel the excitement in the air!  As of today, we have 79 registrations out of 125 students. Just a friendly reminder that the deadline for parents to complete online registration for their child including complete medical, dietary, individual information and swimming ability on the TIG website is Wednesday, March 15th.

Online registration link.

The safety of your child is of utmost importance to us. There will be several first aid/CPR-trained camp personnel, night security, the Grade 4 teaching team and six additional CDNIS staff supervising the students. If you need to contact your child in case of an emergency, you may contact Treasure Island Group at 2984-8711 or the CDNIS school office at 2525-7088 to pass a message to the appropriate homeroom teacher. Here is the list of teachers and staff attending the camp:

Ms. Caroline Brown

Mr. Stewart Grant

Mr. Steve Brown

Ms. Keren Glazier

Ms. Rula Rabayah

Mr. Wahid Amir

Ms. Laura Liguori

Mr. Trenton Dean

Mr. Justin Wah

Ms. Miyan Zhang

Ms. Karen Kee

Ms. Nancy Miao

If you have further questions regarding the camp, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s homeroom teacher or Treasure Island Group.

Warmest regards,

The Grade 4 Team



  • Read at least 20 minutes per night


Sharing the Planet:

Read both these articles for Thursday: 

Be ready to discuss how they’re connected to our line of inquiry:

How humans affect the balance within ecosystems


“Are you washing your face with plastic?”

by stevebrown on March 7, 2017

Next week, Grade 4 will participate in a workshop by Plastic Free Seasa Hong Kong based environmental charity. They will facilitate a science experiment with the grade 4s to remove the microbeads from the soaps. Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic found in soaps and face scrubs that provide that exfoliating feeling. Unfortunately, when washed down the drain, they’re also extremely harmful to the environment. Students will be able to see how the use of these types of soaps damages ocean ecosystems, and with the removal of the microbeads to reuse the soap, experience a way we can have a positive impact on the balance of the ecosystem. 

To do this, we need your help. If you have any of these soaps at home, we would appreciate if you could donate them. We are looking for products that contain microbeads. It should say this on the label or include polyethelene (see picture below). We will try to return the soap minus the microbeads.




  • No P.O.W this week because of the extra Sharing the Planet home learning (see below).


  • Read at least 20 minutes per night.

Sharing the Planet: 

  • One of our learning outcomes this unit is to:

Describe specific facts, ideas and vocabulary related to the unit

To get us started on this, let’s use some Brainpop videos. Do two of the following:

  1. Watch this Brainpop video titled Ecosystems. Afterwards, complete the Activities sheet. Do this on a separate piece of paper.
  2. Watch this Brainpop video tilted Food Chains. Afterwards, complete the Activities sheet. Do this on a separate piece of paper.
  3. Watch this Braipop video titled SymbiosisAfterwards, complete the Activities sheet. Do this on a separate piece of paper. Note: This is a very interesting topic but a bit complex….be warned.

4C Business: 

  • Alan Dick Community Day is on Thursday. Wear PINK (Mr.Dick’s favourite colour) or house colours. 


Tuning In to a New Unit of Inquiry

by stevebrown on March 4, 2017

When we start a new unit of inquiry our first step is to access background knowledge and understanding. What do we already know about this idea? Frameworks for inquiry call this stage different things, but the most popular and aptly label is ‘Tuning In’.

This week, 4C have been Tuning In to the central idea:

Human behaviour affects the balance of ecosystems

To find out what we knew about this idea, students had to do the following:

      1. Respond, through writing, to one of these Startling Statements:
        • Is it important to recycle? Why or why not?
        • How does helping the environment benefit animals?
        • I believe in preserving the natural environment because…
      2. Create a food chain that shows the connection between the sun, grass, grasshoppers, a frog and a snake
      3. Describe What are you thinking? What are you wondering? while viewing photos of the symbiotic relationship between animals.
      4. Describe What are you thinking? What are you wondering? after watching this short film How Wolves Change Rivers.
      5. Respond to different quotes on a collaborative pin board:

Made with Padlet

Made with Padlet

Made with Padlet

Here are some of photos of the students engaging in the different tasks:





Home Learning, Monday 27th February to Friday 3rd March

by stevebrown on February 27, 2017


Painting My Clubhouse, P.O.W, 27/02/17 to 03/03/17


Read at least 20 minutes per night.

Sharing the Planet: 

Use the information on the Unit Overview and your prior knowledge to make a cover page for your new process journal. Develop your ideas around the central idea:

Human behaviour affects the balance of ecosystems

Make sure your new process journal is at school everyday this week (except for Tuesday).



Sharing the Planet and 4C’s Assembly

by stevebrown on February 24, 2017

Next week we start our new unit of inquiry under the transdisciplinary theme Sharing the Planet. This is one of my favourite themes as it has everything to do with topics I’m passionate about – environmental and social issues. Teachers and coordinators have designed this unit to steer students through an inquiry into our “responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things” (STP Transdisciplinary Theme). We will be doing this by inquiring into this central idea:

Human behaviour affects the balance of ecosystems

And these line of inquiry:

  • The interdependence of organisms within ecosystems (Connection)
  • The consequence of imbalance within ecosystems (Causation)
  • How humans affect the balance within ecosystems (Responsibility)

Our guiding questions are:

  • How are the organisms in an ecosystem interdependent? (Connection)
  • What are the causes and effects of an imbalanced ecosystem? (Causation)
  • Why should we care? (Responsibility) 

Have a look at the unit overview for details on vocabulary, links to other subjects and ideas for home discussions.

If you weren’t able to make the assembly this afternoon, here are two videos created by the Champions. The first is the advertisement for the assembly. Hayden and Caitlyn wanted to send this to parents yesterday after school but they needed this morning to make some adjustments.

And here is the public service announcement (PSA) made by Lauren, Oli, Christie and Owen. They used a quote from Wayside School by Louis Sachar for inspiration.



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