ISZL News

By Danny Hamilton, Middle School Principal

Dear Parents,

The end of a school year is always emotional as we say farewell to students who are leaving us - whether for the summer break, High School or a new country. I hope the yearbook serves as a treasured memory of the very packed school year - academic work, presentations, trips, sports successes, Art Exhibitions, drama and musical performances, expeditions and simply being with friends.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish good luck to the Grade 8 as they to move to High School, to congratulate Grade 6 on successfully making it through their first year in Middle School and to welcome Grade 7 as the senior students on our campus.

I would like to thank everyone in the community and beyond who has contributed to such a fantastic year and to wish you all a wonderful and safe summer.

Experiential learning is highly valued in Middle School and these last weeks illustrate this very clearly. Students have been engaged in practical and authentic projects such as cooking for themselves in the mountains, language practice in Spain and France, producing energy bars and making the most of our wonderful chalet in Wengen.

Grade 6

While around 60 students headed to Wengen for 3 days of Maths, Science and personal development, a similar number were embarking on 3 days of coding, robotics and applied maths in school. These groups reversed a week later.

 

Grade 7: Energy Bar Production

Outstanding presentations from parent experts in marketing, production management and marathon running inspired students, organized into a 4-man company, to research/develop and to produce, package and market energy bars. The final product was judged on packaging, presentation and taste. We greatly appreciate the parent mentors throughout the project.

 

Grade 8 Raft Building

As part of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) students( in groups) designed and built rafts. These will be authentically tested in the unforgiving waters of the Zugersee in the raft race on 17th June.

All of these activities highlighted the real-life applications of STEM (Science Tech Engineering & Maths) providing unique and authentic skill learning experiences.

The International Award Lenk Expedition

Over 50 students led by Liz Jewitt, spent 3 days in tents in the mountains. This annual event is the culmination of the International Award with the students achieving the prestigious Bronze Level.

 

Language Trips

We currently have 20 students at a language school near Malaga in Spain and a further 16 students in Southern France. These annual trips see students housed with local families and attending lessons and practising skills in a range of authentic settings.

 

Upcoming events:

  • Middle School Dance: Friday 14 June 18:30-20:30.
  • Monday 17 June: Grade 8 Raft Race (Zug Lake) Grade 8 parents invited. This is followed by the Grade 8 Dinner (students and teachers).
  • Tuesday 18 June: Final Assembly/ Celebration of Grade 8    14:00 –16:00 (Grade 8 parents invited).

Farewells

As is the nature of International Education at the end of each year some of our teachers will leave ISZL and Switzerland. A special farewell to the following teachers:

  • Shayne Williams: 11 years at ISZL Middle School Learning Support. Congratulations on retirement. After a lifetime in Education, often serving the most vulnerable kids, Shayne has earned the love and respect of us all. As the ‘mother of Middle School’ she has looked after and counselled both students and teachers.
  • Rob Ogden: 15 years at ISZL in Middle School (Design) and Primary School. Both in Primary and Middle School, Rob contributed greatly to the life of the school and played a key role in the development of sports (particularly soccer and golf).
  • Vicki McLaughlan: 5 years at ISZL in Middle School music. Along with the countless duties and trips we are particularly grateful for the development of the music programme and the many memorable musicals.
  • Christine Johannesen 2 years at ISZL Middle and High School Science. Christine’s extensive medical knowledge and wide experience has been highly valued in both Middle and High School
  • Jeff Bailey: 9 years in ISZL Middle School (Design and Maths), Primary School, High School and Business Office. Jeff has had many roles at ISZL and we greatly appreciate all his talents, contributions and flexibility.
  • Vivienne Langen (I & S) we will miss Vivienne in Middle School but we are happy she remains at ISZL moving to the High School.

This is of course my last newsletter as I move (return) to Scotland after 33 years in International Education. It has been a great honour and privilege to have been at the very beginning of Middle School at ISZL as it grew from the small primary school here in Walterswil. After my many years in International schools in Asia and Europe, my partner and I look forward to setting up home in Scotland. I will complete my studies, MSc in Mindfulness at the University of Aberdeen and afterwards continue to work in education.

I confidently look forward to following the Middle School’s bright future which will be led by Stuart Byfield. In his very capable hands, the school will both carry forward what is best about ISZL and explore new directions in our forever changing world. I wish him and all at ISZL the very best.

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