When Learning Meets Passion
Sias International School’s After School Activity
Learning at Sias International School takes on many different meanings. Our students say that we like to learn by “reading, playing, talking, cooking, and having fun” (Community Time activity, October 15, 2021). During our inquiry driven units, we provide many opportunities for students to learn 21st Century skills that will help them to be leaders now and in the future. Experiential learning is a big part of the Sias IS learning philosophy. After school activities (ASA) are an important extension of that learning. Our teachers come from a diverse background and have many interests and talents that support our students holistic learning and development. ASAs provide an opportunity for teachers to share their passions with students and for students to choose the activities they want to learn.
There are many benefits to participating in an ASA program. Sias IS currently provides over 20 activities in STEAM, sports, performing and visual arts, and language. Developing well-rounded student interest at a young age promotes life-long learning. ASAs are also designed to increase collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and innovation.
STEAM activities include World of Baking, Full STEAM Ahead, and Cardboard Creations. Each of these activities encourages students to learn about how the world works. Baking is not simply an excuse to eat delicious foods, it is a discovery into mathematical measurements and ratios, mixing liquids and solids, and the impact of adding heat. STEAM projects also allow students to become investigators, designers, and innovators.
Sias students and teachers have an established interest in many sports. Currently Sias IS offers beginner level ASAs for basketball, soccer, kickball, and fitness. Physical activity supports mental and physical health. We look forward to increasing the number of sports we offer. We will also be creating leveled opportunities for students that just want to play and those that want to further develop their personal skills while following a practice schedule and competing with other clubs and schools. Sports teams increase student athletes’ ability to work as a team on and off the field or court. Athletic training provides students with an opportunity to learn sportsmanship, healthy competition, and determination.
The robust arts program at Sias IS is also extended with ASAs. Students in Grade 4 and above are provided with an opportunity to learn an instrument of their choice. Each student plays during rehearsals and practices at home. Learning a musical instrument has been shown to increase brain activity while improving other cognitive and physical aspects of the body (Sono Music, June 5, 2019). Younger students are learning the art of dance. Through our partnership with Sias University, students are given professional level training. Students interested in drawing, coloring, and creating art masterpieces also have opportunities to perfect these skills.
With English as a primary language of instruction, it is important that we honor our host country by offering an extension of the Chinese language. We have ASAs that teach students about the country and language of China, as well as a deep literary review of Chinese Classic Works. These opportunities encourage students from any background to grow in their understanding on our beautiful host country. We also provide after school training for students that need additional support in English.
The Sias IS faculty consists of scientist, athletes, artist, musicians, writers, and lovers of technology at both the amateur and professional level. We are also committed to continuing to find partnerships that promote the best opportunities for learning inside and outside the classroom. As our ASA program continues to grow, I encourage each of you to find your passion and join in the learning fun. Follow the advice of our students and give “reading, playing, talking, cooking, and having fun” a chance to ignite your curiosity today.