Classrooms Without Walls
AISK has boundless classroom without walls experiences. Field trips are a welcome break in routine, and give the students an educational experience away from their regular school environment. Within one academic year, students from Early Years to High School will engage in nearly 100 enrichment activities. These real world opportunities are content based. For example, Elementary science classes visit the biscuit factory and High School Social Studies and English students travel to New York and Boston to showcase their speaking and debate aptitude during Model United Nations. Other out reach programs include: 5K runs that raise funding for children with special needs, High School Student Government food and milk drives for single mothers, and AISK performances for donations to support children recovering from heart surgeries, just to name a few. Of course, the tropical environment is also a scientist's paradise complete with dolphins, rain forests, beaches, snorkeling and diving. A stop for a frozen treat at the ice cream/yogurt shop after a two - day Blue Mountain hike makes for a perfect end to the arduous journey.
Early Years Field Trip
EYP visited The Share Shalom Synagogue (the oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere), to learn more about Hanukkah, and visited a plant nursery to learn more about Christmas trees and Poinsettia plants. During the holidays, there is nothing more festive than picking out a tree or displaying a menorah in your home. Our field trip objectives were many; to introduce students to customs and cultures that may be unfamiliar to them, to learn history and facts about how Hanukkah is celebrated, and the facts and care of Christmas trees and Poinsettia plants.
Want to travel to Argentina or Washington D.C. or be immersed in a Spanish speaking culture in Costa Rica? Students and their teacher chaperones travel annually to learn and absorb a completely unique educational experience. The students become dependent on each other and function at extremely high levels of thinking as they bring their prior knowledge to the trip and/or event. Off-island trips begin in Grade 6 and are highly successful.
Global Issues Networks (GINs) are groups of students and teachers, working internationally, to develop solutions for global issues. GINs challenge students and teachers to immerse themselves in a chosen issue and to interact with peers and other international collaborators to create networks, and think and act critically, creatively and innovatively toward creating solutions to address real-world global issues. GINs are successfully connecting students all over the world as they research and seek sustainable solutions to global issues.
Our student GIN teams include students from Grades 7-9. This year the group attended the Annual Conference of Global Citizens in Quito, Ecuador from October 18-23 under the theme "Helping the World by Learning from Each Other". The purpose of this conference was to inform and gather participants to engage in sustainable, effective projects that can allow us to better care for the world. Our goal is to create informed, solicitous global citizens. The AISK GIN team represented Jamaica in the 2019 conference in Lima, Peru.
The goals of the GIN conferences coincide with AISK'S vision and core values of excellence and integrity including:
- Empowering our students as leaders and partners
- Involving the school, local, and international community
- Make the conference as green as possible, as well as to try to minimize the consumption of 'stuff'
- Strengthen bonds with friends, meet new friends, and collaborate to build alliances around common interests
AISK has an annual tradition of participating in Model United Nations programs in Boston and New York City.
In 2019 our students had the privilege of representing Jamaica to The Hague, it was a very special opportunity for AISK as it is by invitation only. Model United Nations programs simulate United Nations' sessions of the General Assembly and other multilateral bodies. Students from around the world meet and debate topics as diverse as loan reform and forgiveness for developing countries to the protection of the Arctic. Our students conduct in-depth research and engage in public speaking and consensus building, while using problem-solving and critical thinking skills essential for the 21st century.
New York Conference
MUN stands for Model United Nations. There are United Nations simulations for students done all over the world. AISK participates in two of them. One of them is at The Hague, Netherlands (THIMUN) and the other in New York City (GCIMUN).
The AERO standards – Communication, Cultures, Connections, Community – sum up perfectly the purpose of learning a new language. The principal reason for most learners is, of course, to be to able to communicate with speakers of another language. However, languages do not exist in isolation from the culture of the speakers, and learners become familiar with the different cultures. The language classroom can of course become a bubble of either French or Spanish culture, but in order to take the learning process to another level, it is essential to step outside those confines and visit a place where the language is used.
Over the past few years, the French teacher has organized trips to Quebec and Paris which have enriched the language-learning experience for the participants. They have been exposed to the history of the French-speaking world, the food, architecture, lifestyles, as well as of course experiencing an environment where people really use this language to get through their everyday lives. The students are set tasks they have to complete, for example, stop a local and ask directions, guide the group to the day's destination, order food in a restaurant, interview a young French speaker, and participate in the scavenger hunt.
Students who have participated in the French trips have had the opportunity to use the language in practical, everyday situations, and experience the satisfaction of being understood and receiving a response, they have been able to interact with young people their own age and learn about teenage culture. The experience of being surrounded by a language on all sides is priceless.