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We offer two complementary educational paths: the International Baccalaureate Continuum of Programmes and the English National Curriculum. Learn more about the option that may be appropriate for your child below.

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Human Interest: Grade 6 students interview Korean staff about life and culture

As part of their Language and Literature journalism unit, Jo Bigwood and Cameron Munce’s Grade 6 students interviewed staff members about their life and culture. “Everyone has their own personal take on culture and what it means to them. As an international school, we have a robust community and a nice cultural melting pot,” says Cameron, “but there are people here who play an important role, who we might see on a daily basis but we don’t always get the chance to connect with. We tasked our students to find out - who are these individuals, what is their background like, how do they define culture and what’s important to them?”

Students started by reading Korean and Asian texts, such as those written by Linda Sue Park and A Part of the Ribbon by Ruth Hunter and Debra Fritsch, and exploring the cultural iceberg. “It’s very important to incorporate mentor texts that reflect our host country,” shares Jo. “Many of our local students were able to relate to the stories we read and our international students gained a deeper understanding of their current home in Korea. And as all the interviews were to be conducted in Korean, it was valuable that we had already explored culture through the lens of these texts.” 

After studying elements of journalistic writing, students prepared by interviewing each other. The practice interviews helped them get out their nerves, understand what makes a good question and a well-structured article, and as a bonus side effect, they learned a lot about their classmates and peers. They then formed groups based on their Korean language proficiency and prepped for the big day. Both interviewers and interviewees eagerly anticipated their meeting. Hugh Lee, Head of Transportation, shares, “our team members watch students 

grow through their school years - some for 15 years all the way from Pre-K to Grade 12 - but they don’t have a chance to talk with each other. This was a great opportunity to get to know each other better.”

This project was not easy - students were required to stretch their communication and collaboration skills in order to develop appropriate questions, perform the interview, write the article, and present their work. And most challenging of all were the many rounds of translating between English and Korean; Jo and Cameron are very grateful to the Korean-speaking parents who assisted with proofreading. But the rewards were immeasurable. In a time when we are unable to bring parents, alumni, and other community members on campus, making connections with each other is more important than ever. “For a while, all of our office conversations were about the student interviews,” says Hugh. “It made us very proud of our work and our culture.” 

Grade 6 felt a great sense of pride, as well, when they presented the finished articles to interviewees. “I learned we should be thankful for the people behind the scenes helping us and give support and gratitude to them,” reflected student journalist Isaac. Another student, Chrystal, learned about “my interviewee’s individual culture and the impact working at SFS has had on them. Writing an article will help people in the community to get to know staff better and learning about these people helps appreciate them more.” Finally, Celine believes “small acts like having a conversation and writing this article can impact the SFS community for the better.”