Senior Spotlight: Verona Odhiambo (Class of 2022) University of Toronto (Lester B. Pearson Scholar, 2022)

Association International School Senior Spotlight: Verona Odhiambo (Class of 2022)

University of Toronto (Lester B. Pearson Scholar, 2022)

Verona Odhiambo began her studies at Association International School in DP1 (Year 11). As an international student from Kenya, Verona had to adjust to the rigors of the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) and living in a new country. Verona is a multi-talented learner and she is passionate about making a difference in the world.

Verona was chosen as one of 37 extraordinary applicants for the prestigious Lester B. Pearson Scholarship at the University of Toronto (UofT) this year. The Lester B. Pearson Scholarship is awarded to students who have excelled in school and their communities in terms of academic accomplishment, innovation, and leadership.

Verona intends to pursue a BSc. Life Sciences at the University of Toronto to specialize in pharmaceutical chemistry. Chemistry, Biology, and Mathematics were her favorite courses at Association International School, so this is no surprise. Verona hopes to contribute to pharmaceutical research by taking full advantage of UofT’s excellent research resources and facilities.

In the summer of 2021, Verona interned at the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), shadowing Ph.D. and master’s degree candidates and conducting research for her extended essay (EE).

Verona has served as Deputy Head Girl at Association International School, Founder and President of the IB iTrack program, and Co-Organizer of the Rare Disease Initiative.
She is also a podcast editor for Mind Design Sports and a member of the Finance Olympiad.

We wish Verona all the best at UofT. We know that she will excel. Congratulations Verona!


AIS Donation Drive to Tema

Students from the STY orphanage in Tema engaged with some of the toys received.

We had the honor of visiting the Save them Young children’s orphanage on Saturday the 12th of February, 2022 in light of the recently concluded Global School Playday which our PYP and EYP students were part of.

AIS decided to extend the play day to the community by donating toys to the children’s home. AIS parents, students, and staff actively participated in this worthy cause, bringing a smile to the children’s faces.

Save Them Young, located in Tema; Ghana is a children’s home that cares for abandoned, abused, missing, and orphaned children. This is a non-governmental organization founded by two good-willed Reverends; Rev. Dr. Colleen Opoku Amuaben and her husband Rev.King Opoku in 1996. The home currently houses 78 children ranging in age from infancy (below 12 months) and 18 years of age. Five of these children are developmentally challenged. Due to large numbers and a constant influx of children, the home is unable to adequately provide learning resources for their children, especially those born with various challenges. AIS students, parents, and staff members were able to donate some toys and resources that would aid in better learning. Some of these included geoboards, tweezer games, activity wall panels, sensory toys, stuffed animals and so much more. 

 

 

Ms. Linda and Ms. Sandeepa (Head of Lower School at AIS)

Parents also donated essential items such as diapers and a Neubelizer; something the orphanage was in dire need of.

We are grateful for the Neubelizer. It’s something that’s been on our list of needs. We’ve often had to rush children to the hospital in the middle of the night because they cant breathe well. This makes our work difficult as we are short of staff, the sick child would need to sleep over at the hospital with a staff member, and it is often costly too. We are, therefore, very grateful to have received this Neubelizer” – Ms. Linda; Director Save Them Young Tema

The IB Learner profile encourages students to be caring; showing compassion and a commitment to service with the Aim of making a positive impact in the lives of others. It is heartwarming to see our students embody this trait. Many thanks to our AIS parents who are also embodying the IB learner profile by day. We look forward to engaging our learning community in more communal activities such as this.


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IB1 and IB2 Jacketing Ceremony

Officially becoming Seniors

Back in the day, in most African communities, transitioning schoolboys from wearing shorts to wearing trousers was a symbol of maturity and honor. At AIS, the jacketing ceremony symbolizes a handing over of special authority from the school to the young adults.

 

The older students not only get a chance to hold higher positions in the student council but assist Heads of division in ensuring the student body operates as needed. AIS held its jacketing ceremony on the 24th of February, 2022. The event was led by the Head of School, Mrs. Audrey Doryumu.

 

 

Mrs. Doryumu, commonly known as Mrs. D positively admonished the students on the importance of responsibility, their duty to the school, students, staff, and what the symbolic ceremony meant for their future. The event was coordinated by Mr. Ishamel Odum and Mrs. Abigail Blay. All the division heads and the Academic dean were also present to witness the event. 

 


MYP 5 Personal Project Highlights

Journey through the MYP Exhibition with a few of our MYP 5 Students.

The MYP Personal Project is student-led and teacher-supported. Students begin the project in MYP where they write and submit proposals on the kind of project they would like to pursue.  Students are, thereafter, assigned a supervisor who guides them through the year-long project. Students choose a goal and decide how to achieve it. They plan, execute and write a report which includes a reflection on how they further developed and utilized the Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills in the process. They also reflect on how completing the Personal Project has advanced their knowledge in certain areas.

Students are assessed on three major components of the Personal project:

  • The process journal
  • The product
  • The Academic report

Our students explored a range of subjects areas including music, art, science, computer science, and more. Below is a video of a few presentations from our students Zoe, Amani, Kwesi, and Matilda whose projects heavily focused on community development. Kwesi worked with a group of boys to enhance their football skills, Zoe created a website where students can make their voices heard. Amani created awareness on cerebral palsy through a website whereas Matilda created awareness on Mental Health through a website.

https://youtu.be/yICSLQL7O08

https://youtu.be/yICSLQL7O08

 


PYP Students exhibiting some of their play dolls at the lower school playground. Photo Courtesy of AIS Ghana

Unstructured play allows children to explore, research, and discover new things without any rules on guidelines.

Think of it as an exciting way of exploring how far a child's imagination can go. It also allows observing adults to learn more about the child; what the child enjoys, the type of learner the child could be and so much more. Unstructured play enhances a child's social skills, problem-solving abilities, creativity, and imagination.

The AIS PYP department allowed students to explore various ways of learning through unstructured play. Students brought in various adventurous games and toys ranging from monopoly boards, stuffed animals, puzzles, and more. Each form of play either simulated real-world scenarios, explored problem-solving, role play, or strategy. Children decided how and when to engage with the various objects and toys before them; a decision that was fascinating to watch. Here are a few types of play our students explored.

 

 

Simulated play by AIS PYP students through monopoly. Photo Courtesy of AIS Ghana

1. Simulation Play

Simulation games emulate the real world and allow children to make appropriate decisions as would in a real-life setting. Development monopoly, for instance, allows students to experience and learn about how power, negotiations, and transactions happen in the real world. They learn about the value of money, how to make and keep it, as well as how to place value on assets. Furthermore, it gives them a chance to understand how their choices affect the economies around them, and how this could lead to inequality.

2. Adventure Play

Adventure games aim to develop a student's reasoning and problem-solving skills. It also enhances their cognitive abilities and the transfer of knowledge to unfamiliar situations. One way students explore adventure learning is through video games. While video games may be something often frowned upon, appropriate play helps deepen learning and understanding.

 

Simulated play by AIS PYP students through monopoly. Photo Courtesy of AIS Ghana

3. Role Play

One of the major benefits of role-playing is the development of communication and language in the student. Roleplay allows students to become self-aware, develop an understanding of others and themselves, practice behavior modeling. Roleplay may often introduce students to conflict and challenge them to devise ways of solving them peacefully. Students are often in a better position to understand each other after a role play.

 

4. Strategy Play

Strategy play allows students to participate in important decision-making that ultimately affects the outcome of a game. They also become aware of individual and group thinking. The fact that such games are won based on decisions made challenges students to become better and try harder with every new game. Strategy games include Ludo and chess.

 

 

 

RolePlay by AIS PYP students. Photo Courtesy of AIS Ghana

 

 

For a small child there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does ‘just for fun’ and things that are ‘educational.’ The child learns while living and any part of living that is enjoyable is also play - Penelope Leach, psychologist

While play can remain unstructured, parents and educators have an important role to play in ensuring they deliver the right toys and objects to students. Play allows students to explore things beyond the confines of the real world. Let's work together to ensure they get the most out of each minute spent playing.

 

 

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Experience Education in Ghana | November Newsletter - Association International School

https://sway.office.com/OdP2VThYFe8kITWm?ref=Link&loc=play

AIS Student wins Lucrative Annual Writer’s Award

AIS Student wins Lucrative Annual Writer’s Award

Eugene Akoto Bamfo, 9 years old, was one of the students crowned winners of the 5th Annual Blooming Minds Young Writers and Achievers Awards, on the 1st of May 2021. The initiative which runs every year in Nigeria and Ghana aims to promote African literature and raise young leaders through literature and arts, by recognizing and rewarding children with creative abilities.

Eugene, a grade 3 student at Association International School, was a winner under category B which featured Short stories and poetry. The young, budding writer creatively penned down a 500-word essay on how COVID 19 had affected him and his environment.

“The theme for the competition was ‘My Community; My perspective. My personal experience, How Covid-19 has affected me and my community’. For me, it was an easy choice because even though the virus had affected me (and almost everyone) so negatively, my experience over the period when grandma caught a terrible cold and developed a fever remains the most terrible of all my experiences with the virus. We genuinely thought we would lose her” – Eugene Akoto Bamfo

For Eugene, the opportunity to write of an experience so close to him refined his ability to use knowledge and his exceptional writing skills to effectively communicate. Furthermore, it has fostered a new level of confidence necessary for his development into adulthood.

“Winning this award has exceeded all my expectations, and my expectations were pretty high, to begin with, the outpour of love and support has been nothing short of amazing. Firstly, my mum says I’m a celebrity now (I know she’s joking but I feel like one), but watching how my younger brother Nigel has been so motivated by my win means the world to me, it makes me want to do so much more”

Mr. Alex Mutwiri Kuigu, Eugene’s English teacher, also his favorite teacher, made the competition known to the class as well as Eugene’s mother, with much confidence in her son’s ability. Mr. Kiugu describes Eugene as an above-average student who is very open-minded, confident, knowledgeable, and a risk-taker.

The subtle encouragement from his teacher not only boosted his confidence but opened doors to the opportunity of taking home GHS 750 which Eugene used very adventurously.

“I’ve bought loads of storybooks from my cash price, a couple of toys, I had a photoshoot with my family featuring my prize, I took my cousins out for lunch and we continued to the Achimota playgrounds. My mum is organizing a vacation for the family in honor of my win and surprisingly she’s opened an account for me with the same amount!!!”

The Blooming Minds Young Writers Award aims to nurture a writing culture and promote arts in our youth community, providing children a platform to explore their creativity. They are motivated by our belief that creativity in children is a skill that builds a basis for a lifetime of clear communication, self-expression, and analytical thinking which will shape a huge part of every child’s future, and the future of our great country.

“This win is proof that when you put in the work, it will pay off, I encourage my peers to keep working hard and putting themselves out there because this world has a beautiful spot for each and every one of us” – Eugene Akoto Bamfo


AIS Easter Concert - Drawing Attention to the True meaning of Easter

AIS Easter Concert - Drawing Attention to the True meaning of Easter

While COVID-19 has made it almost impossible to celebrate Easter to its fullest, Association International School students did everything possible to visually illustrate the meaning of the season. Students and teachers managed to put up a 2 hour virtual Easter concert for public consumption.

The virtual concert commenced with a speech by Mr. Sammy Nakitare. He clarified the importance of the holiday and why AIS observed it.

“Easter season is important because this is the time we remember the death and resurrection of our Lord; it is through this that we gain eternal life” – Mr. Nakitare, Head of the English Department.

Students both in school and at home joined in the different facets of the concert through visual recordings. While AIS faculty members took charge to ensure each student on campus participated in the event, parents did their fair share of recording their children at home as they performed their dues.

The virtual concert consisted of scripture verses, orchestral music, dance shows, and a skit visually depicting the motive behind the celebration.

 

Excellent student involvement
“Our students played a huge role in the concert production. We had a song written and composed by one of the students Tsemi Lawson (Song title: Forgiven). The easter play was scripted by Anna-Clarissa Arlyn Lawson and performed by her peers” – Ms. Elsie Srodah; Head of Drama and Performing Art

A visual from Tsemi Lawson’s music video “Forgiven” where she featured some of her peers as well

Middle school students re-enact the “Passion of Christ” crucifixion scene

“Our goal was to draw attention to what Easter means–the death and resurrection of Christ. We wanted to sensitize the students and raise them as ambassadors of Christ” Adds Ms. Srodah

Students were also involved in the execution of the virtual concert. They were in charge of videography, editing, and hosting. Faculty members made the event possible by organizing their students for the event and making a special appearance through choral music.

Ms. Elsie Srodah facilitates the skit production

Mrs. Maria captured during a self-choreographed dance performance for the virtual concert

At the end of the concert, the Head of school, Mrs. Doryumu thanked the faculty members and students for such a wonderful show. She also urged each one to keep the faith and proclaim Christ to the rest of the world.

“I want us to go out there and share the good news of Jesus to everyone. Keep Jesus in your hearts and your minds” – Mrs. Doryumu, Head of School


Visual Activism through Urban Architecture with Fiona Azumah

“I have always had a desire for Architecture and that is what I want to do” — Fiona Azumah. IB Diploma 2 student at Association International School.

Fiona Azumah is a current IB Diploma 2 student at Association International School. She is part of the batch that will be leaving for tertiary education in a few months, with the hopes of studying Architecture. One of the requirements granting her a safe exit from high-school is her Art exhibition which she had been developing since joining the IB Diploma programme in August 2019. For Ms. Azumah, the desire to create better spaces began at a tender age when she would drive with her parents and notice shelterless individuals begging by the roadside.

A faculty member interacting with Fiona about her pieces

Interestingly, such memories were carried over to her IB Diploma art course when she finally found an avenue to speak of what she saw as a child in an attempt to have more people join the movement.

Visual art has become one of the most effective ways to draw attention to a social problem. It allows viewers to reason with the creator and imagine their idealized world. The architecture of inequality, for instance,  is one form of visual activism that illustrates a social decay and inherently compels the audience to move towards change.

“What I wanted to do was explore different structures, especially in this part of the world (Ghana). I started with how structures were made at the beginning (huts) and developed these into modern architecture. I also wanted to emphasize the connection between the three socio-economic divides; lower, middle, and upper classes, and how hard it is to move from the different distinctions”

“My pieces intend to make my viewers aware of these socio-economic divides and hopefully have them help solve the problem in any way”

A faculty member views one of Fiona’s intriguing 3D pieces

Students and a faculty member visit Fiona’s exhibition to learn more about urban architecture and the economic divisions it speaks about.

Economic disparity is revealed through housing. According to Fiona, there are better ways society could mitigate the issue of economic disparities. Moreso, it is a call to each architect to meet individual needs when attempting to create affordable, habitable spaces–something she hopes to do at the University.

Fiona hopes to come back after tertiary education and implement some of these changes within her Ghanaian community.


College Counselling for 10th Graders

College Counselling for 10th Graders

The college-counseling department organized and executed an informative session for 10th graders from the 15th-16th of March 2021 at the school’s lower primary library. The aim was to equip students with sufficient tools for making an informed decision on where and what to study within the IB Diploma and Tertiary education.

The school counselors Ms. Abigail Opare-Oboubisa and Mr. Emil Frempong opened the session with an engaging activity to warm up the students to the session. The tenth-graders then wrote down lessons they hoped to learn by the end of the two-day session.

Expectations penned down by the tenth-graders at the beginning of the session

The activity was followed by an introduction to the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme that begins at the 11th grade.  The introduction to the IB Diploma courses was facilitated by the head of the Programme Mr. Stephen Bempah. He made clear distinctions of the various IBDP assessments such as the Extended Essay, Internal Assessments, and the Theory of Knowledge. He also highlighted the academic timelines for each.

Various IBDP subject teachers and departmental heads gave detailed explanations of each IB subject and its core requirements. In addition to one-on-one sessions with their prospective subject teachers were tutorial videos by the counseling department on how students can identify their talents, skills, and abilities, which come in handy when selecting courses.

Mr. Grant, the Community, Action and Service Coordinator (CAS) gives the students an overview of what is expected of them

Students proceeded to apply what they had learned into generating their mind-map of career profiles. They were put in groups and asked to brainstorm on various career profiles and identify what it would take to achieve such.

Creating a career profile to map out their prospective academic ventures

The two-day session was concluded by the IB Diploma 2 students who gave counsel to the younger students. They shared their past experiences, challenges, and how they overcame them. Consequently, students become better informed about the IBDP. Each one had an idea of what they were getting into and how to maneuver through it.

IB Diploma 2 students give tenth-graders an overview of what to expect in the program and how to navigate through it.