Dear Merici Community,
I hope that everyone is doing well and that the perseverance of the pandemic crisis will not have an enduring effect on your spirits and your desire to learn. With the arrival of the new year, we have continued to face challenges. We understand that maintaining Covid protocols can be difficult, and we thank you for working with us to keep everyone in school safe and learning.
As you read this edition of our newsletter, you will find how we are delving deeper into our transformative projects, preparing for English standardized tests, English and Global Perspectives “Checkpoints”, MERIMUN – United Nations Model-, MERICI TALKS, MAP exams, Oratory Contests and CAD (Cambridge, Arts & Design) sessions, as well as participating in academic events such as the Math Olympiad and the Hackathons organized by St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, our sister school in Washington D.C.
As a Bachillerato teacher, I’ve had the privilege to work with 9th graders (3º Secundaria) and we have begun to plan for what is called “Cambridge Checkpoint for Global Perspectives”. This checkpoint is basically an individual “Research Report” which represents the first formal piece of writing that students prepare and which is monitored externally. Through this one-thousand-word piece, students are expected to hook on some of the contents and themes of Global Perspectives, which are mostly expressed through broad concepts like Health, Conflict and peace, Identity, Citizenship, Diversity, Culture, Tradition, Migration, etcetera, and gradually work on selecting topics and issues that appeal to their interests and curiosity. Then they narrow them down to issues that can be debated and need a course of action to make a difference or be resolved. Finally, they reach a “Research question” and from there start an inquiry process which entails selecting sources, supporting ideas and proposals, adding local-global perspective and abiding by academic honesty standards.
As with other subjects, but particularly in Global Perspectives, which students take from Pre-First onwards, developing skills is of prime importance. These skills include reflection, analysis, research, collaboration and communication, which then break down into more detailed categories.
As the name states, “Checkpoints” are standardized assessment points by which we measure our level of progress in our learning pathway. We are currently using them in primary and Bachillerato for English and Global Perspectives. I dare say they are one of the strengths of “Cambridge International Assessment” as they provide us -teachers and students alike- with information and feedback that serve as an international reference and allow us to continuously make decisions that may enrich our processes and make learning more focused and significant.
We hope that, as you go through this edition, we can spread enthusiasm for the array of activities that we enjoy at our school on a daily basis. Do pay a visit and subscribe to our new pedagogical blog.
With warm regards,
Prof. Alfonso García Williams,
Head of School.