School Dispatches: June 14, 2017

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British International School of Washington

Despite the warming temperatures and longer days, which hint that summer is fast approaching, the British International School of Washington community is still as energetic and lively as ever.

Over this week, Year 10 students sat for vigorous exams, consolidating their knowledge and understanding of subject material taught throughout the academic year. The results from these tests will be used to aid in choosing subject topics to revise over the summer. As Year 10 is the halfway point for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education curriculum, students are encouraged to use the long summer vacation to further familiarize themselves with all subject material from their classes that year. Through this, pupils begin Year 11 ready to continue the curriculum from where they left off.

This week also held a significant and momentous event: graduation for the Year 13 students. On Thursday, Year 13 students lined up in caps and gowns at the Carnegie Institution for Science to officially mark the end of their high school career. Teachers and students alike will be sad to see them go. However, the school community is extremely proud of the graduates and wish them the best of luck with the new and exciting chapter they are about to embark on.

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— Ava Lundell, Year 11 (10th-grader)

St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School

On a recent Friday, seventh- and eighth-graders from St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School hosted the 11th annual Studio and Performing Arts Night. During the spring of eighth grade, students choose an elective, either studio art or musical theater. Both courses culminated at this performance.

Studio arts students presenting at the Arts Night shared artwork; podcasts; and Grammy PowerPoint presentations that highlighted a Grammy nominee, why they were nominated and why they should or should not win in their designated category. In addition, eighth-grade studio art students presented “hiSTORY and herSTORY: YOU and I … and WE,” under the direction of art teacher Kyujin Lee.

After attendees visited the exhibits, the lights went down and members of the audience enjoyed setting foot on the Yellow Brick Road and joining Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they embarked on a fantastical journey encountering unique characters along the way. Under the direction of music teacher Anne Tyler, students performed L. Frank Baum’s “Wizard of Oz” set to music by Harold Arlen. The musical starred 29 eighth-grade musical theater students, and 16 of their siblings stepped in to play the Munchkins.

The Arts Night took place at St. Patrick’s Gymnasium and Performance Center. It was clear that all of the students in seventh and eighth grades worked hard to produce such beautiful pieces and an incredible show. I was blown away by how well my classmates performed. It was truly amazing to watch. And, speaking on behalf of the studio arts students, we are very thankful for our experience in studio art.

— Courtney Yockel, eighth-grader

Washington International School

This is our last week of classes. For our final English project, instead of taking the traditional route and having us write an essay, our teachers switched it up and asked us to perform a scene from “Macbeth.”

Our class was split up into small groups. My group of five had a difficult time at the beginning because one member missed a week of school. The first and most challenging part of the project was to choose a scene, since we had to find a scene with at least five characters. Our next step was to decide the time we wanted to set the scene in. We chose to make it modern-day, and decided our characters were in a gang. Then we figured out the major points of the scene.

Each of us had to define our character and make references from the text about our character’s status and views on life. Finally we had to figure out blocking, which is one of the hardest things to do. Blocking determines who does what, as well as where (on stage) and when. We had to work on blocking a fighting scene, which is very challenging.

This process really taught me more about what happens before a play is performed and what goes on backstage. I knew some of these things because I am part of the crew during performances, but I had never seen how all the different parts of a scene come together.

— Emily Muenzer, seventh-grader