International day 2015

I have said before, International day is my favourite school event. Always a great chance to get photos and see what a wonderful community we have here at TISA. This year there are 52 different nationalities from all continents, except Antartica. TISA Times, the school magazine, has this pie-chart showing where all the pupils come from.

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The day starts with a whole school assembly, there are about 700 pupils aged between 3-18. Last year the assembly was in the old gym, which was crowded, hot and it was very hard to see the stage. This year we were in the new gym, TISA5, which was a huge improvement. Plenty of space for everyone.

The assembly started with the Azerbaijani national anthem followed by the parade of flags. Students were picked from both Middle and Primary sections (where there are enough numbers) and every nation at the school has a flag. Then onto the performances, all the primary classes performed, fortunately the upper classes were grouped together otherwise it would have over run by even longer!

There was a second assembly in the afternoon, this is usually held outside on the field but Friday as the day the weather turned from summer to autumn, so it was back to TISA5. The Caspian Choir sang at this and there were performances from the Middle and High School students.

There was also the celebration of food for lunch, which is Katrine’s favourite part of the day. I didn’t go this year to take photos but I had good feedback from Katrine and Gregor. Katrine couldn’t pick a favourite food – though she said the Chinese table was extra yummy, Gregor’s favourite was the scones from the British table!

The students also take part in workshops though out the day, Katrine went to:

  • India – henna designs on her hand
  • South Africa – drumming
  • Scotland – highland dancing
  • Turkey – marble painting
  • Holland – learnt about rivers and dams.

Gregor went to:

  • Chilli – Zumba
  • New Zealand – played a traditional game
  • Trinidad and Tobago – Limbo Dance
  • Lebanon – wrote their names in Arabic and a dance.
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Gregor’s school field trip

Gregor’s year are doing the “How we organise ourselves” unit of inquiry – Public spaces play a role in the social and economic lives of our communities. They are looking at how public spaces are used but lot of different types of people and at the end of the topic they will design their own park.

This week they headed out on a field trip to tow parks in Baku, Zabitler Park and Yeni Yasamal Park. Gregor took a camera so I was looking forward to seeing some photos of the parks and what they got up to. This is what came back:

There were a lot more photos of cars, these are just a highlight. However they are all the photos that were taken at the park. Just three, two of which were of cats (one real one statue).

Oh well, it obviously kept him entertained on the bus journey.

PTA Sign up Saturday

The Saturday just gone TISA’s PTA (parent teacher association) held it’s annual welcome back picnic but this time tried out something new; having the picnic earlier in the school year and combining it with a college style club fair, with all the children and adult groups having a stall to get new members to sign up.

IMG_0939 IMG_0944 The weather was cloudy, so not great for photos, but a lot cooler (still around 30degrees) so great for being outside. And the forecast rain stayed away.

The whole day was a success, there was a great turn out and all the clubs have reported an increase in members.

TISA FC has got over 200 children signed up, they need more coaches now.
IMG_0940 IMG_0942Katrine and Gregor both signed up for rugby. Katrine has signed up for singing lessons and Gregor is starting drums.

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I was there representing Girl Guiding, and the Guides and the craft stall – making dream catchers, key rings and wooden spoon monsters.

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We got 44 new girls signing up and are looking at creating more units. If you want to join GirlGuiging in Baku please go to this link and follow the steps. We are the British Guides but open to girls and young women from all nationalities and are a non-religious organisation.

I feel I should include a list of all the activities that are available in and around TISA:

Provided by the school:

  • TISA Performing arts plays
  • TISA Singers
  • TISA Music academy
  • TISA Sports

Activities for adults:

  • PTA
  • Grupo Latino Baku
  • Irish Society
  • Homeless Shelter & Community Outreach Group
  • Caspian Choir
  • Roller Hockey
  • Tennis
  • Zumba
  • Adult Triathlon
  • Baku women’s supper club
  • Ulimate Frisbee
  • TISA Cook book
  • Volleyball

We are very lucky to have so much available and easily accessible.

First day of school

The traditional photo of the first day of the new school year. (2014, 2013, 2012 can be found here).

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Couple of important milestones for us this year. The first is a biggy – Katrine started in Middle school! Which would be Secondary in England, she would still be Primary in Scotland though. She is now in M1 (England – year 7, Scotland – P7, other places Grade 6). Very exciting to be moving in the upper corridors, with a timetable where you change classrooms all the time. That and they get lockers! Plus, and it is a major plus, they get their own laptops, which they can bring home with them.*
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The second is a milestone for Gregor, this year is the first year that he has returned to the same school after the summer holidays. The longest he has done at a school previously was 1 year, the shortest 8 weeks. He is going into P7 (England – year 5, Scotland P5, other places -Grade 4) and TISA is his 6th school.

  • TISA is a 1:1 macbook school, all students in upper Primary, Middle and High school have their own allocated laptop, either a Macbook pro or a Macbook air. Students in upper Primary have to keep their laptops in school.

Opening of TISA5

TISA (The International School of Azerbaijan) had the grand opening of the new sport hall – TISA5 – this week. The sports hall has been in use for the last term so this was really the official ribbon cutting ceremony.

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TISA5 includes a main gym, an activities gym with climbing ropes, climbing wall, climbing frames etc… a dancing studio, a workout gym with exercise equipment (parents can’t currently use this but there might be a possibly in the new school year) and a very nice lobby where we meet for Guides.

The ceremony started with a traditional speech and ribbon cutting, followed by a gymnastic display by the Azerbaijani Junior Gymnastics Team and finished off with food in the lobby.

TISA5 is a great facility and we are really lucky to have it.

Willy Wonka School Play

All this term some members of the Upper Primary have been hard at work preparing for the musical Willy Wonka Kids, which is a shortened version only being 45 minutes long. Ms Charlotte certainly worked the cast hard and it showed when it cam to show time, everything went smoothly and the performances were really good.

Katrine was playing Phineas Trout, who is the news reporter who introduces the audience to the children who have found the Golden Ticket. It was a really good role for her, as there is some nice comic timing which I think she does very well (I know I am a tiny bit biased!).

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The set was painted by parent and pupil volunteers – not me this time as I busy with Guides so stayed out of the play. The Oomba Lumpas and squirrels looked fantastic and brilliant dancing and singing, really made the show great.

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It was a lot of hard work as any show is, but the end result was definitely worth it.

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Katrine’s Open House

Katrine’s P8 year (which is year 6 in England and grade 5 else where – TISA has it own numbering system just to make it a bit more confusing) had their Open House last week. This is an opportunity for the student to show their portfolio of work and usually there is a performance element as well.

As I am on of the home room mums, I had to help out with the decoration and providing food. This year they did a poetry cafe, so we had to transform a classroom.

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Then home to bake biscuits, as there are four P8 classes I needed to make 40 biscuits. I cooked 43 so we got to eat 1 each (Richard was in the UK), you can just see Katrine’s hand going in for the grab!

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The open houses started in the new gym, TISA5, which is looking really good, before returning in to poetry cafe.

We finished the morning with a trip to the art rooms to see their work inspired by Picasso’s Guernica painting. Always good to go in a see what they have been up to and it was a very enjoyable morning.

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