Classrooms without Walls
At AISK, we believe learning does not stop when school ends. In order to empower and invigorate a life-long love of education, we’ve taken a portion of every school quarter, in every grade, to show the children, in first-person how they will use the skills they’re developing right now, later in life.
The additional encouragement from the teachers for the project frequently leads to deeper interest and lasting impact on the child—as well as the community of Kingston.
…It started when they saw the trash getting stuck in the morass, and then before we were even back to school the children were trying to find a way to help. And these were the little ones, mind you...- KIMBERLY EDWARDS -
EYP Mangrove Forest Field Trip &
Ensuing recycling project
We want to make sure all our Hurricanes understand their learning is not limited to the classroom. AISK offers many real-world enrichment activities to all our students, every year. Whether they are observing the ins and outs of business management on a coffee plantation, or participating in a learning retreat as they prepare for their International Baccalaureate Program, AISK students understand that the world is their classroom.
Local enrichment experiences have included
- The biscuit factory to learn about process, precision, chemistry, and engineering
- Local synagogues to learn about Jewish culture and history
- The mangroves to learn about environmental impact, biological diversity, ecological interdependence, and personal responsibility
- Local nurseries and tree farms to learn about different types of plant care, cultivation, and agriculture.
- The turtle hatching experience on the North Coast's Sanctuary
Global Affairs Learning
Not just here in Jamaica, either, do we leave the classroom and help the community. We engage and support the global community, and offer international experiences for the students as well. For example:
- Model UN conferences offer students the chance to lobby, debate and vote on resolutions covering a vast array of topics.
- AISK students attend Model UN conferences, and have travelled to THIMUN at The Hague by invitation as well as participating in annual conferences in New York and Boston.
- The Global Issues Network (GIN) is an international network of teachers and students, united to find sustainable and practical solutions to global issues. International collaboration and global citizenship are the main focuses of the projects and conference. Students in the AISK GIN team range from 7-9th grade.
- AISKs GIN team has travelled to Lima, Peru, and represented the nation of Jamaica in 2019 in Ecuador.
World Robotics Olympiad
AISK enters and competes in the regional World Robotics Olympiad, facilitated by national organizers Halls of Learning.
AISK submits both a Junior (Under 14) and Elementary (Under 16) team and competes nationally with primary and secondary schools across Jamaica. Each team is charged with a mission to reassemble their pre-programmed robots without using any instructions (Build Period) and then completed a preliminary round of missions. The top three teams from each section advanced to the final round with the team that accumulated the highest score, being declared the winner.
In 2018 AISK’s elementary team was declared overall winners and went on to represent Jamaica in the international WRO competition in Thailand. A few months following this feat, our Junior team emerged as winners of the 2019 regional competition and qualified to represent Jamaica at the World finals in Győr, Hungary.
Our world is moving at an increasingly fast rate, and so engaging in robotics competitions such as the WRO gives our students a competitive edge in designing for the future. By competing internationally, not only do they get an opportunity to meet other people of their age who share the same passion but they are able to develop better leadership and team working skills. Through this and other challenged based opportunities our students learn to make critical decisions under pressure and navigate conditions that model the scientific industry.
Our students also take part in a wide variety of service learning projects, globally and in the Kingston community. They begin to understand that they don’t have to wait until they grow up to make an impact. They can make a lasting impression and a much needed difference, right here, right now.
At AISK we have made it a requirement to engage in charitable works in order to graduate, and incorporated community support into all of our grade divisions. Time and time again, our student body has risen to that challenge admirably. Whether it is a high school student raising thousands of dollars for those in need, or a kindergarten class building a community recycling program to produce art from waste, we truly believe that even the smallest hands can make a big difference.
Past outreach programs have included:
- Enrichment programs for local children’s hospitals, including story hours.
- Fundraising and collecting supplies for the victims of fires.
- Blood Drives in times of local crisis.
- Food and Milk drives for single mothers.
- 5k fundraisers for injured and disabled children
Modern Language Immersion
Immersive Language trips allow students the opportunities to learn culture and language outside of an academic setting.
- As part of the French Language program at AISK, students have traveled to francophone areas such as Quebec and Paris for immersion.
- As part of the Spanish Language program at AISK students have traveled to Spanish-speaking countries such as Costa Rica.
Off-island trips begin in 6th grade, and are always a great success.
Drama: ISTA Festival
International School Theater Association
At AISK we aim to offer opportunities to our students to develop confidence, be internationally minded, culturally literate and enjoy collaborative projects. Through the arts we empower students to engage and change the world responsibly. Our trip to Panama with our drama students offered all of this and more.
In February 2019 AISK was pleased to participate in the Panama ISTA drama festival. 11 passionate and dedicated drama students participated in a series of workshops in Panama City hosted by the International school of Panama. These lucky students had the opportunity to join students from other schools across the world in learning from professional actors, actresses, and drama teachers from around the globe. Students stayed with host families who took care of them and provided them with everything they needed and bonus fun experiences.
- Students thrive when they know they are cared for;
- Students reach greater heights when they know the adults around them hold them accountable and believe in possibilities;
- Students rely on the adults in their lives to create the best environment for learning;
- Students do not get to choose to underachieve;
- Students have a voice, they have things to say and are heard.