Dear SAIS Community,

Happy Tuesday!

We are so happy to announce that we have a date for SAIS’s reopening, which was announced by the Education Department of Guangdong Province and officially confirmed by Shenzhen Education Bureau. For international schools, we are able to reopen the school for primary and middle school students from April 27. As a small school, SAIS plans to start the 1st to 9th grade on April 27 with the approval. Unfortunately, the Education Bureau still hasn’t let us know when our ELE and Kindergarten students can return. As always, we will inform you as soon as we have any additional information.

Because the border is currently closed to foreigners, parents might be concerned about whether or not teachers will be back in their classrooms.  Most of our teachers are in country so we will be able to run all classes as usual.  With the teachers that are out of country we have enough teaching personnel in Shenzhen to make sure both primary and middle school students are well supervised and educated by on-site teachers and teaching assistants. Those teachers who are abroad will work closely with on-site teachers to continue the students’ education on campus. We will share more details of our planning in the next weekly update. We will also continue to offer online instruction for those students who are unable to return to school.

Before any SAIS staff or students return to school, a Health Information Declaration Card, signed by the student’s guardian, is required. Here is an online declaration card for you to fill out before our start date. Moreover, don’t forget to report your child’s weekly health and location report, especially if there are any changes.

SAIS Health Information Declaration

SAIS Weekly Health and Location Report

SAIS Leadership Team



Today we are delighted to train our Spotlight on Grade 4. Miss Mary has been our teacher for this grade this year and there is no doubt we have been blessed with yet another excellent teacher.

She has shared with us the subject and method she has been using during this online period and in turn, we would like to share this with you. We are examining in detail what and how the goals for the class have been laid out, executed and delivered. The paragraphs in red are taken directly from Miss Mary’s class plan.

Grade 4 has begun this period with the Essential questions:

What impact do different cultures have on you and the world?

How are cultures interconnected?

It is interesting to note that these literacy rich questions begin with the student – what impact do cultures have on you? This ensures the student has to think carefully about the question. They cannot copy and paste an answer when it relates to them as an individual.

Once this foundation question is considered then the student can move on to how different cultures impact the world and how cultures are interconnected. The subsequent work will be influenced by how they see themselves in the topic.

The project questions are aligned with the learning targets expected of the students.

Here they are:

Learning Targets: I can discover the meaning of culture by looking closely at my own culture. I can learn the importance of different cultures in my own life. I can identify interconnectedness between the cultures being studied in the classroom.

With the many different cultures in an international school like SAIS the learning target allows the student to comfortably examine their own culture and think about how it affects and guides them in their life. Culture is partly the impact of myth and history on the native population so we see the students bringing examples of legend to the beginning of their studies. Here are some examples:




The culture of India is represented in this legend.










Here we learn about a Korean folk tale.








Here is the first page of a Chinese folk tale.






By re-telling these folk tales the student is beginning to see how who they are is influenced by their culture.

What is clear is that even though the student is working online the teacher is still receiving individually written work so she can gauge their progress. It may seem that the drawings in the work are there simply to give some light relief to the reader but actually they have a strategic purpose. By drawing the story, the student becomes engaged in the work in a more comprehensive way than simply writing about it. It is a means of deepening their learning – in other words reinforcing what they are producing in a way that will have them remember for longer. The more the student retains in this way the broader the foundation they have upon which more complex work can be built.

This is the whole essence of Project Based Learning and it will be interesting to see how this project develops.

Now let us see what Miss Mary sees as the overall goal of the project.

Project description: This project is designed to move from the children’s understanding of their own culture to the broader culture of a country they have decided to research. They will then work in rotating small groups to compare their own culture and the culture they are researching with the cultures other students are studying. The goal will be to find similarities and differences between cultures as well as how cultural trends have migrated between countries.

In part 2 we will examine how the students have achieved these goals.


SAIS Home Olympics Challenges Week 2

Thanks to all who sent in their scores this week. Our winner for ELE-K is Cynthia! Grade 1-2 is Roger! Grades 3/4 is Elva! Grade 5+ is Karl! Keep an eye out for Challenge # 2. Each week an Olympic style event will be posted. You have one week to get the best score that you can, and submit it by 11:29pm, Sunday, April 19th.


Dance Competition

Thank you to all those that participated last week!  We didn’t have a lot of people send in videos, but I loved the ones that did get sent in.  The winner for last week is Clementine from 3rd grade!  That’s two winners from 3rd grade!!

1st week- Angela 5th

2nd week- Daniel KB

3rd week- Christian 3rd

4th week- Clementine 3rd

This week’s videos need to be sent in by 11:29pm, Sunday, April 19th.

Here is the dance music for this week- Happy-Dance lesson video-deadline


Reading Competition

Remember to keep on reading.  You can count pages that you read or that are read to you.  English and Chinese books count. Some of you have already sent Mr. Nate pictures of your log sheets and you are doing amazing!!!  Keep those coming!