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Secondary school?

Posted by Allison on May 8, 2010

The weird thing about moving overseas and sending the kids to International School is the change in how the school system works.  At the IB program the primary years are over after grade five and the kids move into the middle years program.  Even at the British schools the kids are in secondary once they are 11.  So this year Nadia is completing the primary years program.  This means that all the kids must work on a presentation that shows all the knowledge that they have accumulated over the course of the PYP program.  Six weeks of research and working with a mentor and then they present to the school and the parents.  The kids pick a variety of projects ranging from environmental issues such as global warming or endangered species to world issues such as poverty or famine.  I had asked Nad’s teacher if she could do the topic of adoption as I felt it was a broad enough topic for her to sink her teeth into but also one that could enlighten her to her own situation.  I really wanted her to get a broader understanding about how adoption works as well as maybe have her reflect on her own adoption.  Turns out it was a winning combination of both.  Her understanding of adoption prior to the exhibition was very narrow, she believed that all adoptions were the same as hers, she thought that all children went through the foster care system and were older.  Even though she is in class with a kid who was adopted from Russia as an infant she didn’t understand how that worked.

Before the presentation this is Nadia sitting with her poster.  She was EXTREMELY nervous.  Fortunately the kids had shown their work to the rest of the school and she received very positive feedback so she wasn’t as completely crazy as she had been the week leading up to the exhibition.

The firing line of kids waiting their turn while watching their classmates present.

To mine (and everyone elses) complete surprise Nadia was completely composed while showing.

Her exhibition closed with an iMovie that she made of interviews with people affected by adoption.  She interviewed a boy in her class who spoke about his confusion around his adoption.  She interviews his mother who spoke passionately and with complete candor about her adoption journey.  And she interviewed a teacher at school who was adopted as an infant.  The audience was moved and I had a hard time keeping composed as the stories were very personal and touching.

At one point there were technical difficulties and her teacher spoke to the audience about how this was the first time that a child had done an exhibition on such a personal topic.  She spoke of how Nadia embodied to the core the idea of being a Risk-taker.  I had a hard time staying in my chair I was so proud.  There were many accolades for days to follow and we couldn’t be happier for her.

Oh and this morning when Scott picked up the local paper, something caught my eye.  Usually it goes right into the recycle bin but I think I’ll keep the front page on this one…can you see it?

6 Responses to “Secondary school?”

  1. boomer babe said

    Sorry, i dont understan German But it looks like in English Mannheim sick or the white men —I’ve heard German looks like English sometimes

    • Allison said

      I don’t have a clue what it says, nor do I care….there’s a team CANADA jersey on the front and that’s what matters!

  2. Kristinma said

    Your deep pride comes right through the computer and moves me for you and Nadia! I’m really happy that she did so well
    and was able to connect with an issue that is so much a part of her life. Congratulations Nadia!!

    Interestingly, in Andrew’s school (but not in all US schools) 6th grade is the start of the middle school year: 6,7,8. I don’t know if
    the kids transitioning form 5 to 6 have to do a project on the scale of the one Nadia did. BUT the 8th graders, as they transition to
    9th must do one. Andrew did the topic of Space Junk — and was required to do a certain amount of research have an interview with
    an expert in the field and then present to the whole middle school (kids and teachers) — it was daunting for me to watch him deal
    with it but it was a great experience all around and he did very well. Hard to believe high school is next year!!

    And I wanted to ask – what’s with the newspaper?? 😉

  3. Congratulations Nadia!!!!!! Well done!!!

    Please give her a HUGE hug from us.

  4. Meems said

    I would have loved to see that presentation. I’m so impressed with the effort that she put into it and you have every reason to be proud of her.

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