ISY Elementary Blog


Sandy Sheppard , Elementary School Principal

20th January, 2023


Thank you for a great first week back!

Thank you so much for your support of the Olympiad, it was a wonderful event, enjoyed by all. Special thanks and congratulations to Jono and Tom and the PE Department as a whole for a successful day.

Tonight there is a strategic leadership workshop which will finalize our strategic planning process. This workshop will be attended by leadership and the Board. Thank you for your participation.

Please check out the dates to remember below, there are some new dates on there that are important.

Don’t forget on Monday the new schedules begin.

Please also check the duty schedule for any changes.

Thank you for helping make the Olympiad such a great event for the students.

Please let me know if there is any clarification needed for classroom cleaning responsibilities.

Don’t forget to let me know if you would like support with Mindfulness. It is an expectation to include this in your classroom routines.

Don’t forget to check out room #203 when changing units etc. for great Math and Literacy resources and the room on the 3rd floor for fantastic Science text/readers as well as some resources.

I would like to recognize the teaching assistants who will be doing an ASA for this round, thanks for your support – Snow, Ei Ei, Mabel and Alice. 

I will be returning home to New Zealand for my daughters wedding at the end of next week. I will be returning on the 13th of February. In my absence please direct support needs and questions to Mike.

Have a great weekend,



Writing Moderation

This week, English teachers from Grades 2-12 met for their second round of writing moderation. The purpose of this moderation session was to unpack, discuss and assess student writing against ISY standards. The conversations were highly valuable, thank you everyone for your time.

As stated on the e-asttle website “Moderation is the process of teachers sharing, working through and agreeing their understandings of expected curriculum levels of student achievement and progress. It supports teachers to compare their own judgments to either confirm or adjust them. Teachers collaborate to establish a shared understanding of what quality evidence looks like. “

The discussions were focused on student achievement and progress. Teachers identified areas of strength and weaknesses in writing. The moderation was an opportunity to unpack and discuss the ISY standards and what the indicators meant when grading.

This time around Lindsey created Google Slides and we use the Pear Deck add-on. This enabled teachers to independently assess using the student-paced option. For moderation, we used the overlay function which showed everyone’s grading.  This was a very effective tool that helped to guide our moderation.


Some valuable takeaways from all of the sessions were:

  • Identifying skills from indicators and standards for students’ next steps when grading rather than giving them an ‘overall’ grade.
  • Using a one-column child-friendly rubric to provide feedback highlighting these skills.
  • Clarifying what some of the indicators meant. For example the difference between a clear thesis and a thesis’ or superficially or competently addressed.
  • Identifying SLN and feed-forward for teaching practice. How to teach specific skills based on what the standards mean. How to explicitly teach specific skills in upcoming units.
  • Discussion around the consistency teaching thesis statements.
  • Moderating in grade-level teams with pre-assessment to inform teaching and plan units.
  • Visualizing vertical alignment in terms of skills and standards and student work.

Here is a link to an Assessment Moderation note from the Department of Education in Victoria, Australia. Moderation is not only valuable in writing but in all subject areas.

One of the most powerful research-based strategies for linking assessment to improved instructional practice is teacher moderation. This process involves educators in a collaborative discussion of student work based on predetermined assessment criteria”

If your teams are interested in moderating for other subjects in ES or SS please let us know and we can support this in your meetings.


Date: Monday 6 February – Friday 10 February

Monday: Mismatch Day – wear your most mismatched outfit to school
Tuesday: Anything but a Backpack Day – bring anything but a backpack to school
Wednesday: CLASS Colors Day – wear your class colors to school (Patty will give you more information)
Thursday: Teacher Day – dress up as a teacher (respectfully)
Friday: ISY Colors Day – wear the ISY colors to school


For those of you assigned to putting in the international orders, please ensure you are following the timeline:

Please be informed that you can start submitting your requisition from today, January 10  to January 24, 2023.
Login to the ISS Supply Marketplace with the registered Username and Password that has been set up for you in September 2022.
Attached Demo for your reference. 
If you need further assistance, kindly let me know.
Please note that we may source some products locally if they are available and of similar quality. 


5L students cleaned the playground this week. Here are a few of the takeaways from this opportunity:

  • Setting clear expectations on Monday morning before starting
  • Expect to review and clarify these expectations a few times during the week
  • Students were assigned into 3 teams: sandbox, sand kitchen, picking up general trash
  • We agreed it would take 5 minutes to do this if everyone was helping. 
  • The clean-up after lunch will cut slightly into class time because there isn’t a transition time.
  • We framed these jobs as a way to be responsible for the school and our toys. Every class will take turns doing this. However, we should still try to leave areas clean as we finish playing there. My class was fearful that other students would try and leave big messes for them to clean up. This wasn’t the case. We focused on this being a team effort from everyone to take care of our space and things. 


This year’s Compassion Conference will be on Thursday, March 2. The date has changed as SEASAC tournaments will take some teachers away on the original date, February 3.

More details will follow, but I wanted to introduce our keynote speaker. Kathryn Berkett will speak to us in 2 workshops:

The Impact of Early Development and Adolescent Brain Changes. If you want to learn more about Kathryn and her work, check out the resources on this website:

Kathryn will present to us in the morning. The afternoon session will be set aside for teacher workshops. This is a great opportunity for us to hear from those teachers who have put together a workshop proposal for EARCOS, along with any other teachers who have an idea or practice to share. Please let Mike or Sandy know if you would like to share something.

Quarter 2 Reports Timeline & Instructions 2022-2023

We will work to basically the same timeline as we did for Quarter 1 reports. 

However, we will peer review our comments, and I will check them before they are entered on Powerschool. Therefore we will write our comments on a Google Document which will be shared with peer reviewers.

Monday, January 16

  • Subject blurbs to be entered on Grade Level documents. Thank you for finishing these.
  • documents here

    Monday, January 23, by 8am

    • All comments (Subject Blurb + Personalized Comment = 800 characters max) are to be written on a Google Document and shared with the peer reviewer and Sandy.

    Tuesday, January 25, by 5pm

    • Sandy will let teachers know comments are ok to be entered into Powerschool.

    Wednesday, January 25, by 5pm

    • All comments and grades are to be entered into Powerschool. Copy and paste comments from Google Documents to Powerschool


    Reports can be found here

    Have a fabulous birthday:

    24th January – Ei Ei

    25th January – Charlie

    29th Janaury – Anshu

    Professional Growth Plans

    Everything can be found on our ISY Faculty Pages.

    Thank you all for completing your Professional Growth Plans. 

    Quarter 2 Colleague Observations / Assisted Reflections 

    For Quarter 2, please arrange for a colleague to observe you and help you reflect on your practice. It can be very effective to ask your colleague to provide feedback on your Professional Growth Plan focus.

    Just make another copy of the Assisted Reflection Form in your Professional Growth Folder. 

    Observers, please remember to also complete the ISY Inclusive Practices Checklist (UDL: Engagement) at the top of the Assisted Reflection Form. This is an anonymous form that gives good school-wide data about the inclusive practices we are using.


    These students have earned the Math reward this week.

    Herrick -Gr 4N

    Sharon- Gr 2M

    Emily- Gr 4D

    Erik, Amara, Reo, George and Adrian – Kindergarten


    20th January – 2nd peer observation completed

    23rd January – Child Protection Training – for all teachers in the Cafeteria – 2:45-3:45

    24th January – Earthquake Drill – 9AM

    25th January – Reports completed

    27th January – Lunar New Year Assembly (more information to come)

    30th January – After School Activities start

    6th – 10th February – Spirit Week

    17th February – TGIF

    18th February – Family Fun Fair – 4:00-7:00 PM – all should attend

    2nd March – Compassion Conference (no school for students)

    3rd March – Chinthe Social (more information to come)


    Please find the information for the ISY drills at this link



    Beginning in Quarter 3, there will be a shift in how we teach languages. We will be adding an additional Mandarin teacher. We welcome Grace Wu to our team, she will start on the 23rd of January.

    We have students at all levels of language proficiency. The schedule change will allow for students in different grade levels to learn together based on their language proficiency levels and language learning needs. This will allow for students to receive more targeted language instruction at their proficiency level. 

    The change will be as follows:

    In Elementary School Grade, 2 and 3 will have languages at the same time. Grades 4, and 5 will have languages separately; however, the schedules will change.


    • We will be starting playground clean-up duties. Each week a class will be assigned. This will start the week of the 16th of January.  PLEASE SEE THE DUTY SCHEDULE HERE
    • There have been a few small changes to supervision see the new Quarter 3 supervision schedule here
    • Classroom clean up responsibilities for the end of day, can be found here


    Monday – Sabine, Snow, Tuesday – Bekka, Mabel Wednesday – Jono, Me Me, Thursday – Charlie, Swe Zin, Friday – Isabel, Ei Ei


    NOTE – when there are no ASA’s afternoon duty can finish earlier.

    Students enjoying the opportunty to choose!

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