Please see the December issue of the HeadsUp Newsletter below and enjoy the Vlog version here. During the festive month of December, it was extremely challenging to even keep up with all the exciting events in our amazing learning community. Enjoy the read, have a fantastic winter break, and see you next year!
This is our forth HeadsUp Newsletter video featuring Artūrs Piļkēvičs.
A Message From the Head of School
As we approach the much-anticipated winter break, I am compelled to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for your unwavering support, tireless efforts, and remarkable achievements throughout the year. It has been an extraordinary journey filled with growth, collaboration, and shared success.
Thank you to our dedicated staff who has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence, fostering an environment where our students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Your passion for education and dedication to nurturing the potential within each student have not gone unnoticed. To our parents, your partnership and active involvement in the educational journey of your children have been invaluable. Your support enhances the sense of community that makes Exupery International School truly special.
Together, we have created an environment where students can flourish and reach new heights. And to our incredible students, your hard work, creativity, and enthusiasm have made this school year a memorable one. Your achievements, both inside and outside the classroom, showcase the spirit of excellence that defines our school community.
Now, I encourage each of you to take a well-deserved moment of rest and reflection. May this holiday season be filled with joy, warmth, and the company of loved ones. Whether you choose to embark on exciting adventures or simply relax at home, I wish you a rejuvenating and enjoyable winter break.
Thank you for your continued commitment to Exupery International School. Your contributions make our community stronger, and I am excited to see what the new year holds for us.
Wishing you all a restful and exciting winter break!
Warm regards, Artūrs Piļkēvičs
Model United Nations Club and Conference
At Exupery International School, we prioritise both academic success and the development of a comprehensive skill set, preparing students for the challenges of higher education and future endeavors. For example, the Model United Nations (MUN) club provides a platform for students to enhance their communication, intercultural understanding, and leadership skills while addressing global issues. Participation in MUN offers insights into international relations, geopolitics, history, and an understanding of the work of the United Nations and the democratic processes behind parliamentary work.
This year, our Middle and High School students took part in the MUN conference in Berlin (BERMUN), dedicated to the crucial topic of "Sustainable Development in a Capitalist World". Acting as delegates of different countries, students conducted thorough research, joined various committees mirroring those in the UN, and collaborated to formulate resolutions addressing the issues from their country's perspective. The debates aimed to refine resolutions until a final consensus was reached through voting. Reflecting on her experience at the BERMUN conference, Patricija, a grade 12 student, shared, "My involvement in MUN has been incredibly rewarding. Representing Vietnam, we tackled significant topics such as formulating regulations for workers' rights and mitigating income inequality. The resolution included points on eliminating child labour, a pressing issue in countries like ours, shaping our discussions and the resolution we developed." highlighted that participating in events like MUN significantly contributed to her academic and personal development. She also noted that the conference inspired some of her classmates to aim to work at the United Nations.
Success Several Olympiads
We are thrilled to share some fantastic news with all of you! Our students continue to shine at the regional, state and international academic Olympiads:
Regional English Language Olympiad – 1st Place,2nd Place, and an honorable mention.
Regional Politics and Law Olympiad - 2nd Place.
Regional Russian Language Olympiad - two 2nd places, 3rd place, an honorable mention.
Online Physics Team Olympiad – our team is awaiting results after competing with 2000 other participants from all over the world.
Visit by Maris Briedis
On December 1 we had a special guest — Mr. Mairis Briedis, a 3-time World Champion in boxing, the first Latvian to earn this title, and the recipient of the highest civilian award given for meritorious service to Latvia, the Order of the Three Stars. Mr. Briedis spent time with our Grade 7 students in their PE class, shared some life lessons, and taught them some boxing techniques. He shared a touching personal story of his humble background, and his motivation to join boxing in order to stand up to offenders and bullies in his school. He also shared another insight from life – a career in sports and a true love for a certain sport has to be one’s life passion, and not just a passion of one’s parents. He also emphasized that sports help develop the discipline necessary in all spheres of life and encouraged students to train both their minds and bodies. We thank Mr. Briedis for his visit and wish him outstanding sporting achievements!
We are thrilled to announce that our EduChat is back! During our first session, Ms. Brenna Weston Bell, our Head of Learning Support, provided insights to parents on understanding the individual needs of their children. We thank Ms. Brenna Weston Bell for addressing such a crucial topic and providing a detailed explanations, answering some great questions from our parents on this important topic. Please read more in the Food for Thought chapter at the end of the newsletter and stay tuned for the upcoming EduChats. Our next EduChat will be 26 January 2024 at 9:00 am on the topic of “Supporting Homework, Study Skills and Time Management” led by Ms. Brenna Weston Bell and Ms. Fleur Serriere, our IB DP Programme Coordinator.
The Giving Tree
As Christmas and New Year approaches, don't delay whatever you desire or plan, especially regarding acts of kindness. This month, we were able to turn our intentions into actions, spreading love and hope to children in orphanages and foster homes. This holiday season, we supported "TILTS" foster families, "Kauguri," and the Riga Children and Youth Centre "Vita," serving around 240 children aged 0 to 18, some of whom have special needs.
Those unable to purchase a gift donated according to their means placing it into the Charity Box near the Christmas trees at EIS. The collected funds were used to buy the remaining gifts for the children or donated to orphanages, foster homes, and the youth centre. Hopefully, our efforts have brightened the lives of these young people, even if only a little! Our students will be helping deliver the gifts to the organizations to gain an insight into the reality of their everyday life and operations and contribute by helping.
The entire EIS community made this Christmas special for these children. With a sincere desire to fulfil the children's dreams, by December 15th, everyone was encouraged to buy special presents and bring them to school, packaged festively and labelled with the child's name and age.
PTA and the Toys Drive
First, we are excited to announce that we have formed a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) that sprang out of the newly created Parent Network. The PTA has already started with a great initiative - a Toys Drive. This is designed as a toy and game donation drive that gives a chance free up some space in our homes and give new life to items that children may no longer be using. The donated toys will be carefully reviewed with some of them used to enhance the learning experience for our little learners in Preschool, and the rest directed to the Foster Parents organization "Tilts." This will support Foster Families at the welcoming center in the lobby, contributing to a warm and welcoming environment for children in need. Your generosity can make a significant difference in the lives of both our preschoolers and children in foster care. Let's come together as a community to share the joy and support those who can benefit from these cherished toys and games. You can put the toys in the specifically designed boxes in the lobby of our Preschool and the deadline for submissions is January 15.
Winter Celebration Events - Concerts, Caroling, The X-Factor
Christmas concerts have always been a highlight of the winter season in any school on this side of the globe. EIS is no exception! We want to thank our whole community for making the miracle of Christmas happen through wonderful student performances in the Preschool and Primary Concerts as well as the Middle and High School X-factor. Special thanks go out to our dedicated staff and our student council who did a great job of preparing and coordinating these massive events. We also want to thank all who complimented the celebration season by participating in Christmas Caroling that opened three school days, one in each division, by wonderful singing and hot chocolate!
Our New EIS Store
Just in time for the Winter Holiday Season Exupery International School opens the doors of its online merch store – https://exupery.lv/store. What’s inside? First batch – comfy hoodies and sports uniform sets. Note – we have a stock of the sports uniform, which will be given to the students, representing school at various sports events, but if you child wants to have a very own set – we’ve got you covered. Welcome to the store, welcome to the marketing office if you want to check how it fits on you or your child, enjoy the upcoming Winter Holiday Season!
"Food for thought"
For this month’s food for thought I would like to focus on the topic that was discussed during the EduChat session this month. Approximately one in five children may have additional learning needs at some point in their educational journey. It's crucial to understand that these needs are not a reflection of parental fault, school influence, or environmental factors; they are simply aspects that can arise and be addressed with understanding and support.
However, to provide guidance, we've highlighted signs that could be areas of concern. It's crucial to recognize that not all children displaying these signs will necessarily have special needs. This publication aims to offer insights into potential areas of concern at various stages of a child's development. Please read more about each of the stages in our FB post of December 12, and here two major takeaways in conclusion:
It's essential for parents, firstly, to recognize the moment when these needs arise and, secondly, to respond to them appropriately. Naturally, parents may experience concerns and worry about their child, which is completely understandable.
Partnerships between parents and schools are vital and lead to the best outcomes for children with special needs.
People with special needs can lead happy, fulfilling and successful lives.