Thursday, June 11, 2009


The final step! Congratulations to all students on their exams. Remember Graduation is on Saturday, June 13th at 9:00am at Spring Singapore, 2 Bukit Merah Central, 3rd floor auditorium. A professional family photo opportunity will be available on site.
If you are driving, park on Level C, go in the east door and up one escalator.

See you there!
Mr. Cowan

Monday, June 1, 2009

Exams are Soon Upon Us

With two weeks to go until school is officially finished, students are finishing up courses and working on reviewing the semesters topics for the upcoming exams. Exams will be held on Friday, June 5th, Monday, June 8th and Tuesday, June 9th.

Study hard and I wish you all the best on the exams!

Mr. Cowan

Monday, May 18, 2009

Excursion Week Photos

I didn't want the Cambodia trip or the Malaysia trip to feel left out, so I've included a photo of each of these trips as well. All students came back safely with smiles on their faces and warmth in their hearts because of the wonderful experiences they had.

As always, I welcome any feedback or stories about any of the trips!

Mr. Cowan

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Excursion Week is Away!

Students are safely at their destinations be it Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Ladakh in Northern India or Teman Negara in Malaysia. We are monitoring the situation with Swine Flu as some parents have expressed concern over this. At the moment, no cases have been reported in any of the three locations.

I've attached a photo of the students in Ladakh before they head out on their hike to Stok Kang Ri base camp! It looks like a beautiful day with a dusting of snow on the ground! Fantastic!

Mr. Cowan

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

“The Day Billy Lived” to see “CATS” get “Wrecked”

Well I’m pretty sure CATS still performed a fantastic show. But upstairs in the cozy Theatre Studio of the Esplanade, the laughter, the life and the lessons behind the CIS High School Drama Club Productions of “The Day Billy Lived” and “Wrecked” packed out the venue. The 200+ audience of students, parents, teachers and administrators from all four campuses were on hand to witness the months of hard work culminate in two plays that kept the viewers emotionally bouncing between hilarity and serious life issues. The actors and actresses flawlessly performed the dramas that left the viewers thoroughly entertained but thinking seriously about topics such as substance abuse and teenage suicide. Director and staff supervisor, Miss Brandy Stern was brought to tears during the curtain call as the cast and crew showed their appreciation amid a rousing round of applause.

No, CATS was not “Wrecked”, but CIS definitely lived last night!

Thank you to Miss Stern, the cast and the crew for a wonderful job and thank you to everyone who turned out to support CIS and the High School Drama Club. Please feel free to share any comments below.

Mr. Cowan

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Break a Leg!!!

Best of luck to Miss Stern and the students involved in the High School Drama production at the Esplanade tonight!

You will be great!

Only a few tickets are still available at the door!

Mr. Cowan

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

DP Mock Exams are over!!

Our group of IB-DP grade 12s have been busily writing their Mock Exams in preparation for their upcoming Final Exams in May. I welcome any feedback on how the process went so that we may make improvements for upcoming Exams.

Also don't forget, tickets are on sale at all campuses ($10) for the Drama Production of "The Day Billy Lived" and "Wrecked" at The Esplanade on April 21st at 8:00pm.

Prom ticket sales start next week!

I hope everyone had a happy Easter Break!

Mr. Cowan

Monday, April 6, 2009

Upcoming Events

Three items that are on the horizon:

1) An Easter long weekend, there are no classes on Friday, April 10th or Monday, April 13th.

2) Report Cards are being mailed home on Wednesday, April 8th and Parent-Teacher interviews will be Thursday April 16th from 4:00-8:00 pm.

3) The CIS High School Drama Production will take place at the Esplanade on Tuesday, April 21st at 8:00 pm.

I hope to see parents and students on the 16th and the 21st.

Mr. Cowan

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Important Info for Friday, April 3rd

This is just a reminder that the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test is being held on Friday, April 3. In grade 9, 10 and OSSD courses only students writing the OSSLT are required to attend school on Friday. Classes are being held for the year 1 DP students. Year 2 DP students will continue with their Mock Exams.

Mr. Cowan

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Earth Hour

We will be on holidays during Earth Hour, but I encourage you to participate:

8:30PM local time, wherever you live on planet earth. Saturday 28 March 2009

From the Singapore - Earth Hour Website, "Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote."

For more information visit:

Have a safe holiday!
Mr. Cowan

Monday, March 16, 2009

Last Week Before Mid-term Break

The week before mid-term break is always a busy one! Especially this year with our first Cambodia Charity Concert- Beat Freaked!

20% of our student body is performing on Thursday Night!! I'm proud of the courage (and talent) that you will be sharing with us.

Tell us what you've learned through this experience!

Mr. Cowan

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

School Break - Community Service

The upcoming break provides a time to get involved in serving your communities. Whether it is helping family or friends, in Singapore or back in your home country, everyone can get involved. Maybe you have plans on an even larger scale!

Tell us what you will be doing to help your community over the break!

Mr. Cowan

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Progress Report Cards

The Semester Two progress report cards get posted on Thursday, February 27th, 2009. They should arrive home by Monday, March 2nd. Please contact the school if you do not receive it.

Student Council will be holding a Charity Concert, Beat Freaked, on March 19th at the Elementary Campus to raise funds for the student house-building trip to Cambodia. Student will be selling tickets at KB beginning March 9th! You don’t want to miss this!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Student Feedback Survey Results

Recently, all students were given the opportunity to provide each of their teachers with feedback about their learning experiences in that course. The survey was composed of two parts:

1) Students were asked to rank their teachers on a scale of "Consistently", "Usually", "Sometimes", "Rarely" or "I don't know" as to whether they are perceived as:
a. Helpful
b. Pleasant and Positive
c. Fair
d. Aware of Cultural Differences
e. Knowledgeable in the Subject
f. Professional.

2) Students were asked to provide anecdotal feedback on the following:
a. Describe one of the class activities that you liked.
b. Describe one of the class activities that you disliked.
c. Describe an assessment (test, assignment, project) that you enjoyed.
d. Describe an assessment (test, assignment, project) that you did not enjoy.
e. Describe one way the teacher used technology in the class that you enjoyed.
f. Describe one way that the teacher addressed internationalism in the classroom.
g. Please feel free to enter any additional comments.

I will give you a brief summary of the results here:

1) Teacher Attributes - I felt that any one receiving a ranking of "Consistently" or "Usually" in any of the above categories would be pleased so I grouped those two rankings together for the following results. The percentage of students at CIS who felt that our teachers on the whole were "consistently" or "usually":
a. Helpful – 87%
b. Pleasant and Positive – 86%
c. Fair – 84%
d. Aware of Cultural Differences – 88%
e. Knowledgeable in the Subject – 90%
f. Professional – 88%

2) a. b. c. d. Activities and Assessments
The activities and assessments the students liked/disliked varied widely and quite often overlapped. This reinforces with us as educators that we need to keep activities diverse to address the needs of all of our learners. Another aspect that stood out was that students enjoyed any type of “hands on” learning. This again supports the well researched fact that learning occurs best when it is in context. The entire range of our programmes allow for that flexibility in the delivery of the content required by MYP, OSSD and the IB-DP.

e. Technology
It was clear that most teachers are encouraging the students to use technology in a variety of ways. Technology is being used for presentations (powerpoint, videos, creating websites), exploring relationships through various software (Geometer’s Sketchpad, Maze Master, Band in a Box, Sibelius, Global Information Systems, etc…) and as tool for teacher lessons (displaying artwork, videos from and, Moodle, Powerpoints, Internet research and email).

f. Internationalism
As you can imagine, internationalism is easier to address in some courses over others. However, the feedback indicated two things to me. First, it is being addressed in all classes but again to varying degrees. The most frequent comments came from Humanities and Language classes. Sports from many countries in PE and international business examples were also mentioned. Second, a number of students did not answer the question or did not understand the question, which tells me that there is an opportunity to address this concept more directly and effectively with our students.

g. Additional Comments
As I read through the responses there were numerous positive comments, many which focused on the teacher’s sense of humour and how that was positive in the classroom. There were also some very thoughtful constructive criticisms. I would like to share two inspirational quotes from the survey with you.

My teacher is quite possibly the greatest teacher of all time. The teacher knows every nook and cranny of every topic we studied in class and has years of experience teaching them as well as learning about them. I have a lot of respect for this teacher as I know this teacher really lives and breathes the topics we discuss in class. We are also pushed academically and challenged to succeed to the best of our abilities. I am now really confident that I'm prepared for university thanks to this guidance.” – Grade 12 student

“I haven't been the nicest student to you, and I wish I could start from the start with a new clean slate. Thanks for a fabulous year and coping with my attitude and rudeness.” – Grade 9 student

These two comments stand out for me. The first one illustrates the student’s thoughtfulness that has gone into this process, both reflecting on the course and the next stage of the student’s educational journey. The second one shows the student’s reflection of their behaviour throughout the semester, again illustrating the learning that has resulted from the survey and taken place on a personal level.

I am very pleased with the results of the survey. The general results have been covered in a full staff meeting and for the students at the last assembly. Specific results and comments were also given to each staff member. These results will lead discussions as I meet with each teacher during their end-of-year Annual Learning Plan Meeting. I welcome any feedback from parents about this particular survey and look forward to hearing from you in the structured feedback opportunity that will be provided before the end of the school year.

Kindest regards,
Ted Cowan
High School Principal