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Secondary School Newsletter - 25 September 2020

The Social Dilemma

Do you feel urges to use social media more and more? Do you use social media to forget about personal problems? Do you often try to reduce your use of social media without success? Do you become restless or troubled if you are unable to use social media? Do you use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on your job or studies?

These are just some of the questions the Year 9 to 11 Positive Education class have been pondering this week as we watch, analyse and discuss the new Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma”.

“The Social Dilemma” attempts to expose the ways in which technology giants have manipulated human psychology to influence how we behave. Social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and YouTube use sophisticated artificial intelligence and algorithms to create a psychological profile of the user and by then feeding infinite push notifications and scrolling, they keep the users constantly engaged. Actions are predicted and influenced, turning users into easy prey for advertisers and propagandists.

The dangers of social media on a teenager’s self-worth and identity has been acknowledged before, but this documentary shines a harsh light on how the social media that connects us, also control, manipulates, polarises and monetises us. It is designed to become addictive. As one interviewee states:

“It’s the gradual, slight, imperceptible change in your own behaviour and perception. It’s the only thing for them to make money from: changing what you do, how you think, who you are.”  

We will spend the next couple of weeks exploring the issues arising from “The Social Dilemma.  I also urge all families to reflect on their own personal use of social media and have a family roundtable discussion about how to regulate it. The “The Social Dilemma” website gives valuable information for parents to do this effectively. Please look it up:

Secondary School Assembly

The first Secondary School Assembly for the academic year will take place on Tuesday 29 September at the Innovation Centre Hub. At this stage, parents are unable to attend due to Covid 19 restrictions, but we are hopeful that will change soon.

The assembly will include an address from Mr. Greg, musical items, student reports including Student Council and monthly academic awards.

We have changed the structure of monthly awards for the Secondary School. Academic awards will be given to a student from Years 7 to 11 for each subject: English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities, Art and Design, Music, Health and Physical Education, Technology, Foreign Languages, Thai and Positive Education. There are no Bounce Back awards. As in the Primary School, these awards gain house points which will go towards the Spirit of AISB shield.

A full report of this month’s assembly will be included in the next newsletter.

Written by Mr Mark Weber, Head of Middle and High School

Subject in Profile - Science

The AISB Science Department continues to move forward at full steam, as students push towards their final projects, labs, and examinations before the midterm break.

Years 9 and 10 had their first large examination this week, covering the requirements of life, cellular structure/function, endosymbiont theory, the scientific method, and enzyme structure/activity. 

Students will also be conducting research on a phenomenon known as The Tragedy of the Commons in the weeks to come.  They will be divided into groups and tasked with preparing a presentation on a common resource that has been overexploited.  The presentations allow students to hone their public speaking skills while relating their knowledge of Biology and Chemistry to some of the most pressing issues facing humanity today.

Years 7 and 8 Science students have been building a foundation of scientific knowledge, recently focusing on biological molecules and physiological systems. Students completed a lab investigating the molecular makeup of common foods by testing for the presence of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  This week, students dissected a pig’s heart in order to learn about the cardiovascular/circulatory systems and the role they play in transporting nutrients and gasses around our bodies.  

Written by Mr. Anatole Colevas and Ms Caitlyn Brugger

The Creative Space


A haiku is a Japanese poem consisting of three short lines that do not rhyme. They consist of 3 lines, with the first and last line having 5 syllables and the middle line having 7 syllables. A haiku is considered to be more than a type of poem; it is a way of looking at the physical world and seeing something deeper. It should leave the reader with a strong feeling or impression. Year 8 has written haikus about water. 

Raindrops down below

Covering cars in droplets

Late to work again

By: Amelia

It swells to the clouds

Towering over the town

The wave crashes down

By: Tilly

The calm, cool water

Lily pads float on the top

Murky frogs jumping

By: Zac

The colorful boats

Soft rocks under the water

Beautiful fish swim

By: Latifah

Waves crash onto rocks

Green seaweed dances nearby

The beautiful sea

By: Hye Won

Freezing cold water

Thin layer of ice on top

Fishies swim inside

By: Ayesha


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