Fall Festival

Fall is one of the cherished seasons that people wait for every year, where the cold wind blows your hair and the ground is covered with colorful leaves to reveal a beautiful view. Likewise in ISG Dammam, we never got tired of trying to amuse our Leopards with different kinds of atmosphere throughout the school year. On the 31st of October till the 2nd of November, we celebrated the spirit of Fall, where each department creatively decorated the school in a scary and spooky style and came wearing creative costumes to add color to the atmosphere.

To start with, the Elementary Fall Festival was a great success because of the incredible collaboration of all the staff and the students did to create something different and entertaining. We had the pleasure to welcome parents to share this festival with us and their delighted children. At the early morning after the little Leopards settled in their classes with their exclusive costumes, they were prepared by their teachers to march across the hallways till they reached the soccer field, and they formed a big, organized circle. The parents themselves, who was happier than the children, took pictures and proudly watched them enjoying the day. After that, the students went to nibble different kinds of Halloween-themed food and got to choose any activity they would like to do. They could either have an amusing face painting, play fun games in the gym, play racing robots that can be remotely controlled, or take a photo in the Photo Booth.

In the same way, the Middle School also had their wonderful time. The students came with their unique costumes, enjoyed their day by playing different kind of games, and danced with the upbeat spirit in their socials.

Last but not least, the High School! On this week, the High School Department was filled with the spirit of Fall and Halloween. High School students came with their costumes on the 31st of October and it was fascinating to see people with their own creative costumes. They got their new Munchies cafe, which is sponsored by the Business class, where coffee, cookies, popcorn, and other appetizing snacks were sold. Not to mention, the Student Council also played a big role in lighting up the week. They held a Bake Sale, various of mini-games, and, how can we forget, the lively Socials that was held in the 2nd of November in our auditorium. We can say it was just lit.

The Fall Festival celebration is one of the themed celebrations that ISG Dammam hold every year to put the word ‘fun’ in our minds when we hear the word ‘school’. It simply just tells us that with all our different costumes, each one of us is different and unique on our own. But a spiritual, fun week with several entertainments can gather us all as one.  

Check our Album for more pics.

Edited by Yasmin Zahra (Media Tech Club Member)

Recognition day

Kudos to Our Elementary Students!

Recognition day – That time of the year that is set aside especially to acknowledge and recognize students’ accomplishments during the year. It is the day of culmination of all the hard work and a year of study. It is a day when students can finally sit back and say, “Yay, I’ve done it!” It is a day when we all gather to celebrate the successes that were 2014-15.

 It was heartening to see the beaming smiles and proud faces as each student walked up on stage to collect his or her award and certificate for outstanding academic achievement, outstanding effort in academics, or even for outstanding conduct displayed during the school year. Students who had been part of special clubs like PAL and Student Council were also given awards for their contribution. It was definitely a milestone in each of their young lives. This momentous event marked not the end of student accomplishment, but a new beginning, as each of them moves up to the next grade level and aspires higher. These young achievers had the strength to move out of their comfort zones and reach for the stars, and were rewarded. The ones who did not get an award, as our Vice-Principal Ms. Annie Mathew put it, just have to believe in themselves and stay committed. There is no way they cannot overcome barriers with dedication and commitment. If one is determined, there is nothing to hinder one’s march toward success. So, good luck Elementary students, for the next school year! May we get to see more and more of you up here on stage on Recognition Day!

S. Ashraf (LA, Grade 4)

KG Graduation

Grade 1, Here We Come!

There couldn’t have been a better way to honor the kindergarteners as they get ready to step foot into the bigger and more responsible world. The KG graduation day was such a momentous occasion for our kindergarteners, it made them all feel grown up, mature, delighted, and also emotional and nostalgic, all at the same time. Not just the students, the teachers as well as families were all a mixed bag of emotions. This was that one day that they had been waiting for for weeks. This was one day that would mark the kids’ transition into the grown up world. This was one day that would turn the tables – a few months ago, these kids had separation anxiety; today, it was the teachers who were feeling the pangs of separation anxiety. Having been a part of the kids’ lives for ten months, and having made the kids a special part of their own lives, it was now time to let go. But with the largesse that only a kindergarten teacher can be blessed with, they put their emotions aside and let go in style. The graduation parade of these 86 graduates of this year was a magnificent affair. Clad in their blue graduation robes, these proud graduates even had graduation speeches ready! They impressed everybody with their childish eloquence when they shared with the audience everything they had learned this year, and how they had grown in different ways. The impressive ceremony was compered by Inaya Faraz and Fathima Shoaib, who were impeccable in their running of the show. There was also a very well-coordinated musical performance that added to the celebratory feel. All in all, these little graduates who are on the threshold of the exciting and all-grown-up world of Grade 1, convinced everyone present at the ceremony that they were capable of being the world-class citizens that the school intends them to be – Equipped to carry the world on their still-evolving but able shoulders. Way to go, KG 2 graduates of ISG Dammam! You are the future!

-Shaista Ashraf (LA, Grade 4)

Preschool Day

Footloose and Fancy free…

Footloose and fancy free, the teeny-weeny preschoolers of ISG Dammam charmed their way into the hearts of one and all as they celebrated Preschool Day earlier this month. It was a celebration of their year-long learning, of their experiences, their adventures, the friendships and other relationships they had forged, a celebration of innocence and of childhood, of success and of hope. And the ‘teeny-weeny preschoolers’ stood tall and proud on stage as they carried off the entire show with such finesse it was hard to believe it was coming from kids, all under five years of age! The auditorium resounded with their well-rehearsed melodies, their rhymes, their songs, their stories, their speeches, and above all, with the applause from proud parents and teachers. The vivid colors and grand outfits seemed to brighten the emotionally-charged atmosphere further, seemed to permeate the air with the kind of excitement only innocent childhood can bring on. These fun-loving students of Reception and KG 1 were a totally adorable sight as they sang and danced with effortless ease. Their thank-you speeches belied their age; they spoke with such cute confidence they stole the show. Parents couldn’t seem to have enough, the cheering didn’t seem to end, and the ‘teeny-weeny preschoolers’ didn’t seem to want to stop. And as the preschool teachers always put it, “It is our constant endeavor to make each day the best in these little ones’ lives”, this day is sure to remain etched in the parents’ minds forever, as for many, it was the first time they saw their kids on stage! And boy, what an unforgettable sight! And what an absolutely precious and priceless memory!

Shaista Ashraf (Lang. Arts, Grade 4)

(With inputs from Ms. Vincente of Preschool)

Learning About Community Helpers

A Sneak Peek into the Real World…

Kindergarteners all over the globe learn about community helpers. There’s nothing novel about that. But the KG 1 teachers hit upon a novel idea to drive the point about these useful helpers home. Students were treated to a live, hands-on experience when they met real, live, flesh-and-blood community helpers right here in the school! Their teachers had invited a doctor, a chef, a janitor, and a technology person to the foyer, and they talked to the students about what they do. For the students, it was like these people had stepped out of their books and come to life just to teach them a thing or two about their careers. Not only that, these kids even got to try their little hands at some of the jobs: They decorated cupcakes with cream and sprinkles, they even went to the carpentry shop in the school where they hammered nails in wood and saw different types of machinery the carpenter uses to make things. The awe and wonder this encounter inspired in these young minds made it all seem worth the effort! This real-world experience gave these now-enlightened students a deeper understanding of the jobs these people do, while also instilling in them a sense of dignity and equality of labor. Talk about novel!

Shaista Ashraf (Lang. Arts, Grade 4)

With inputs from Ms. Srilatha Reddy of KG 1

Celebration Time…

Sharing the Fruit of Our Labor…

The Activity center reverberated with tiny little pearls of wisdom as our first and second graders turned into wise and articulate writers. Having worked all quarter on their informative booklets, these budding writers were now ready to share the fruit of their labor with their peer group. They pored over each other’s work, taking in all the information, and posted comments, feeling very much like real, mature authors. It was really a sight to behold, these little youngsters commenting and critiquing on their partner-writer’s books, each being extremely careful to give the positive feedback first. The topics ranged from the ever-popular soccer and basketball, to the more bizarre rare snakes and other little-known creatures, to some amazing facts about the solar system… These youngsters were ready to bowl anyone over with their charm! The comments reflected the maturity and seriousness with which these young authors are taking their writers workshop, and the quality of their written work reflected their own, as well as their teachers’ dedication. Way to go, young writers!

-S. Ashraf (Language Arts, Grade 4)

Publishing Party!

The Culmination of our Efforts…
They had worked hard for over two months. They had grown their seed ideas from just a speck of a thought to entire essays and booklets. They had learned many a nuances of great writing along the way. After an entire quarter of writers workshop sessions, the third and fourth graders of ISG Dammam were very proud of their effort as they displayed and shared their published writing with their peers. Students of grades 3 and 4 exchanged classes and shared their masterpieces with each other.
The third graders had written informative booklets, on topics of their choice. Animal lovers seemed to rule the roost, as most of the topics centered around dogs and cats, though there were a few dolphin and shark booklets as well. These little writers had painstakingly, over the quarter, researched and drafted their own books, and then revised and published them in hand written form, adding a wide array of illustrations. Their books won the hearts of the audience (fourth graders) and the teachers alike. And their pride, as well the honing and refining from their teachers were evident in the way they displayed and read out from their books!
Grade 4 students, on the other hand, had authored opinion and persuasive essays. These budding essayists sure had the conviction to persuade the world with their new found writing skills! Their topics ranged from banning homework to handing out more homework, to guitars, to working moms, to racism and bullying. They even published their essays on Google docs… Complete with accompanying pictures et al… Very grown-up and impressive stuff indeed!
The Lucy Calkins model of writers workshop that the school has adopted has been a resounding success, and motivated our youngsters like never before. Gone are the days when children would detest writing long essays; they now look forward to every writing class! These young writers now can’t wait to dig into their next new unit of writing!
 –Shaista Ashraf
(Language Arts, Grade 4)

Let the Magic Begin!

Educational program Grade 2

Kudos to our Grade 2 team for putting up their educational program so very successfully. We can only congratulate them for not only living up to the school name, but also far, far exceeding and surpassing all expectations.

The show was great, well-organized, and fun, and one could actually see the hard work and effort that must have gone into the costumes, the props, the direction, and the organization of the entire event. It was one great day for the entire staff, to see the culmination of their efforts on such a grand scale. Their fun theme was the Carnival, and the children could be seen enjoying themselves on stage, just like they would in a real circus or carnival!

There was grandeur in every aspect of the event – The parade of circus clowns, jugglers, muscle men, the marching band and the colorful carnival animals that captivated the audience, the play about the lion that gets lost from the circus and finds its way to a library, the circus play, the juggling acts, the acrobatics, the humorous clown antics, and the animal tricks – It was all pomp and splendor personified. The stage was indeed a riot of color! The parents who came to witness the event were enamored with how their little ones, their bundles of joy, had all transformed into little actors and actresses, into dancers par excellence. The girls dressed in all their finery, the funky upbeat song, they all captured the hearts of teachers, principals, and the audience alike.

Shaista Ashraf (LA Teacher, Grade 4)

(With Inputs from Ms. Glorie Perez of Grade 2)

“Books are our Best Friends!”

Grade 1 Educational Program

“Books are a Unique Portable Magic!” Said renowned author Stephen King.

Reading fever seems to have gripped the entire school. Kids can be seen reading even in recess! They utilize any free time to catch up on their reading! Gone are the times when the teacher would have a hard time trying to keep the early finishers busy or engaged; they now pounce on their work-in-progress reading as soon as they are done. And boy, is it heartening to see this!

The first grade teachers came up with another novel way to enhance this habit: They even themed their educational program, “Books are Our Best Friends”! The audience was treated to a visual delight with the little ones performing plays, musicals, recitals, and dancing away to their favorite lilting tunes. Peter Pan, Pied Piper, pirates, and fairies all sprang out of books and on to the stage in this thoroughly entertaining and mesmerizing show. The children brought these characters to life in a series of absolutely mind-blowing performances. One exuberant parent was heard remarking that he wondered how the teachers managed to extract so much out of these little children. It was truly amazing to see these well-trained kids take to the stage with such confidence and élan. And as for the teachers, well, their payback came in the form of pride and happiness writ large on the beaming faces of the parents that day. Some even had tears of maternal pride in their eyes… It was truly a day to remember! Hats off to the teachers and the students for the great show!

Shaista Ashraf (LA teacher, Grade 4)

Earth… We’re in it Together!

Earth day Awareness
Earth Day comes and goes each year without much ado, and we don’t really do much about it. But the second graders changed that routine this year, when they became the perfect role models for even adults to emulate! Come Earth Day (April 22nd), and these little ones undertook a Clean-Up Drive as part of their contribution towards a healthier and cleaner world.  They went out of their classrooms and picked up trash around the school campus. It was a moment that melted the hearts of many onlookers, these spirited youngsters meticulously clearing up the school grounds. And it was not just a teaching moment, it was a lifelong lesson they learned this way. They learned lessons of environment-consciousness, they learned lessons of dignity of labor, they learned lessons of compassion. It was truly a great initiative on the part of the teachers to take time out for this. They also read Earth Day articles to their students and discussed ways to help Mother Earth. One realized that these enlightened little kids can indeed come up with many enterprising and indigenous ways to help Mother Earth! The Earth is in safe hands!
-Shaista Ashraf (Grade 4 LA Teacher)

(With inputs from Ms. Glorie Perez)