Saturday, 31 January 2015

Time to show our talents again!!

We're just about to hold our second annual 'talent show' here at CIS Hangzhou this Sunday evening - this year styled Live Lounge.

By happy coincidence, I just unearthed this reminder of last year's show. Some of my Film students, just embarking on their Semester 2 unit of study on 'Reality TV', decided to make this portrait of two of our performers, Kelly Kwok and Vanessa Wat, preparing for the big night. Although this was a non-assessed preliminary exercise, it ended up being one of the most charming and polished films we produced all year. I had thought I'd lost it - but it was merely misfiled.

Vanessa and Kelly sing the classic Fly Me To The Moon (words and music by Bart Howard - which can also be heard in this impromptu performance in a Shanghai park during last year's Project Week) and do a dance routine to Justin Bieber's Beauty and a Beat.

A film by Joe Littler, Kameka Herbst, Hayson Chu and Amy Hopkins

Friday, 30 January 2015

Shadow Puppet Theatre

A midget theatre troupe specialising in 皮影戏 - piyingxi, Chinese shadow play - visited the school on the afternoon of Monday 26th January to demonstrate some of the techniques of this art. Here is a montage of the activities our students enjoyed with them.

The troupe's two extended shadow play performances can be seen here and here, and three additional short scenes here.

Filmed by Mr Murphy

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Memories of CISSMUN VI

The organisers of the CISSMUN VI Model United Nations conference we attended two weeks ago have kindly shared with us this video portrait of the event which was first screened during the conference closing ceremony on Sunday the 18th of January. Our own Sabrina Chan - one of the reporters helping to compile the conference's daily magazine, The Vigil - appears quite prominently among the vox pop interviews. Eleven CIS Hangzhou students participated in the conference this year.

Once again, many thanks and congratulations are owed to Mr Erik Paulson, the supervising MUN teacher at Concordia International School Shanghai (CISS), Steven Pan the conference's Secretary-General, and all of the organising team for staging a simply superb event.

Monday, 26 January 2015

GYS Drama Project

Our new Drama teacher, Jen Grace, and a few of her students led a series of workshops with students from Greentown Yuhua Middle School during the early part of this semester - preparing to present a special Christmas show,  an original adaptation of Disney's Frozen.

This short documentary about the project was made by a film team of GYS students.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Humans of Hangzhou

Our Coach Mentor team have just devised a particularly engaging Inter-Disciplinary Experience (IDE) to develop some of the key 'Approaches to Learning' that are an integral part of the curriculum in the IB Middle Years Program. Inspired by Brandon Stanton's cult photo blog Humans of New York, we set out to create a 'Humans of Hangzhou' project - where our students would go out and talk with people on the streets of the city, take photographs of them and record the highlights of their conversations. The results of their endeavours over two days were displayed in an art exhibition in our theatre and on our newly launched Humans of Hangzhou website.

Check out the site:

Filmed by Mr Murphy

Friday, 23 January 2015

Journey to Grassroots

A small group of CIS HZ students travels every Wednesday to a primary school in a rundown suburb of Hangzhou where - in collaboration with the NGO China Grassroots Football - they lead a variety of football coaching games with local schoolchildren.

One of my Film students last year, Charlotte Suan, created this montage of the trip for her final assessment project (with just a little help from her teammates Ryan Hsu and Nick Hildebrandt).

We have featured CGF on this blog before, here and here.

A film by Charlotte Suan

Monday, 19 January 2015

Model United Nations

CISSMUN VI, the sixth annual Model United Nations conference to be hosted by Concordia International School Shanghai, was held from the 16th to 18th of January. The whole of our very vigorous and enthusiastic MUN Club - energetically marshalled by Emily Duncan - took part. Emily, Flora Xiao, Lauren Mok, and Jacky Tam represented Thailand on four of the six General Assembly committees, while Natalie Chak, Katherine Ye, Tippy Pei, and Adam Guo represented Yemen on the same committees; Enrique Chuidian was a Yemeni 'expert' on the special Advisory Panel; and Sabrina Chan and Dominic Law were invited to join the press team on the conference's own magazine, the Vigil.

CIS Hong Kong also sent a delegation of nine members, seven of whom had been with us in CIS Hangzhou last year: Kenny Jeong, John Yap, Axel Leven, Victor Yin, Hannah Hui, Gloria Schiavo, and Jemima Barr. This was the first time members of the current and previous Hangzhou cohorts had had occasion to meet on official business - a moment of such historic import that Ms Lam and Ms Lee travelled nearly 100 miles on public transport to join us all for dinner on Saturday evening!!!

The students and staff at Concordia deserve unstinting applause for a superbly organised event - much the best of its kind that I have ever been to. I very much hope that both CIS Hangzhou and CIS Hong Kong will make this a fixture in their MUN calendars from now on.

Slideshow created by Mr Murphy

The music is - of course! - Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears. [Sorry - I couldn't help myself!]

Sunday, 18 January 2015

One year ago....

Round about this time last year we staged a Talent Show. Not the most polished act, but one of the most memorable (a huge amount of film was shot of the event by various staff and students, but it all seems to have got lost!) was punk duo Forced Breakfast, with their almost eponymous first composition Breakfast! - a raucous protest against compulsory breakfast attendance. [This year's crop of students seem to be much more accepting of this imposition...]

Breakfast! is written and performed by Fin McCombe (guitar, vocals) and Axel Leven (drums).

My thanks to Forced Breakfast's 'manager' Becca Guo for passing on this rare video footage of one of their few public performances.

Friday, 9 January 2015

More memories of Tongzhou

In the bleak midwinter, our idyllic three-day retreat on nearby Tongzhou island back in the middle of October seems a very long way away indeed - but it's warming to look back and remind ourselves one more time. Here, to complete a trilogy of films on the three main learning activities different groups of students undertook while on the trip, is Film student Shanyu Hou's mini-documentary on the 'Culinary Capers' cooking project. [Here are links to the other two, the 'Orchestrash' music project and the 'Coastlines' PR project.]

A film by Shanyu Hou