The HS Blog has gone through a significant overhaul so as to streamline our communication. We hope you like the shift. Some resources previously found on this blog site are now located here on the ISM main website. The HS Blog will be used for weekly parent communication in the High School so please check back each Friday for updates below.

HS Friday Bulletin May 17

To access the full version of the bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin May 17


Dear Parents and Guardians,

Exams finished for the Grade 9, 10 and 11 students yesterday so they should all be back in classes, reviewing the papers and correcting misunderstandings and misconceptions.  A huge thank-you goes to Sam Ramos and Mrs. Dickinson for their organization of the schedules and the students this year.

Anyone would think that Sophisticated had been planned as a celebration of the end of the exams for the Grade 10s!  Sophisticated is tomorrow evening (May 18th) here at School in the Little Theatre thanks to the hard work of Ms. Gough and Mr. Berg together with their team of student planners – a big thank-you goes out to the organizing committee who put on this annual event for the sophomores. 

For the Juniors and the Seniors, we have Prom of course.  Again, this coincides with the end of the IB exams for our graduating class as their last exam will be next Friday.  Prom this year will be at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati on May 25th.

I would like to reiterate here our rule regarding alcohol in light of the proximity of these two events.  Any student that has found to have drunk alcohol before Sophisticated or Prom will be refused admittance (with no refund).  I imagine that some students will want to go out after these events but there is really nothing the school can do about that – please make sure you know what your children are doing after Prom and/or Sophisticated as, once they leave the school, this responsibility lies with you, the parents.

Sports fans! This Saturday in the middle school gym we host the ISM Judo Invitational. If you are on campus, please drop in to check out the action from 8:30am.

We have had a promising start to our launch last week for triple IASAS housing for season 1 hosting in October. To date we have 125 promised beds. Still 205 to get to reach our total of 330 beds needed for the Volleyball, Cross-country and Soccer athletes. If you can squeeze in a pair of athletes to support this super centenary kick-off IASAS event Oct 9-13th please sign up here.  Let’s go BEARCATS!

And with that, I wish you a restful and relaxing weekend.

Best wishes,

Michael Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin May 10

To access the full version, please click here: HS FRIDAY BULLETIN MAY 10


Dear Parents and Guardians,

It’s getting harder to remember what a slow news day looked like.  But 89 years ago, on 18 April 1930, the BBC’s news announcer had nothing to communicate. “There is no news,” was the script of the 20:45 news bulletin, before piano music was played for the rest of the 15-minute segment. 

The wireless service then returned to broadcasting from the Queen’s Hall in Langham Place, London, where the Wagner opera Parsifal was being performed. [bbc.co.uk]

This week has been a slow news week in the High School, with exams (or the run-up to exams) taking the lion’s share of the time.  The IB Exams started well for the seniors in the Lofthouse.  Many students haven’t started yet, with their first exam on Monday next week (remember that although Monday is a public holiday here in the Philippines for elections, the show must go one when it comes to the IB).  Grade 11s started their exams in the Little Theatre on Wednesday and these will continue until next Thursday.  Grades 9 and 10 will sit their exams from Tuesday to Thursday next week.

Grade 9-10-11 exam schedules are here
Grade 12 IB exam schedule is here

Good luck to all the high school students during this busy and often stressful time of year.

And with that, I wish you all a restful and relaxing long-weekend.


Michael Dickinson
HS Principal

HS Friday Bulletin May 3

To access the full version, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin May 3


Dear Parents and Guardians,

I feel that this week has been a little like the calm before the storm, both metaphorically and literally.  It has been a very calm week in the High School – helped by an extra day to breathe a little and catch up in the middle of the week with Wednesday’s holiday.  Then, last night’s storm temporarily cut the power in my village – it seems very early this year, but the reservoirs sure would welcome more.

Last Monday, our robot makers returned from the VEX Robotics World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky after 3 days of gruelling competition.  Here’s the report from their chaperone, Mr. Venhuis:  This past week our Freshman team, named EDSA, travelled to Louisville, Kentucky to take part in the VEX World Robotics Championship.  Team EDSA, composed of Javi, Peter, Alvaro, Ignacio and one robot, landed late Tuesday, April 23rd and started the competition the following day.  This included robot inspection and a good amount of time on the practice field fine tuning the robot code.  For the next three days, the team had 10 matches where they were partnered with a random team (from 850 at the tournament) to battle against another alliance of two robots to score the most points within a two-minute window.  During this time, the robots are first controlled by programming only, and then by remote control.  Team EDSA was placed in the tournament’s toughest division and came out with a 3-7 record.  They worked very well as a team, continually pushing each other to improve their strategy and robot throughout the week.  The team most certainly learned a great deal from the experience and enjoyed a fast paced trip to the US.  We look forward to their leadership within the Robotics Club next year!

Mr. Marshall returned with one of our debate teams on Tuesday after a successful weekend of fierce debating.  Here is his report:  Fifteen ISM HS students participated in the Fast Forward British Parliamentary Debate Tournament hosted by the University of the Philippines Debate Society from April 27th – 29th. Out of 60 teams competing, the ISM A debate team consisting of Keerthana Bathula Gr.11, Aldrin Aujero Gr. 11 and David Bloom Gr. 10 reached the quarterfinals (top 8 teams) of the tournament. Congratulations to all ISM participants for doing a great job representing the school!

With May arriving, things start to ramp up as we prepare for all things related to the end of the academic year.  I noticed, for example that in my calendar there is an item which simply says “Grad Riser Start Build” meaning that we need to start building the stage in preparation for our High School Commencement Exercises (graduation) on May 31st.  This always brings a wave of anxiety as I start to think about ideas for my closing speech at graduation. 

Another biggie that signifies the end of the academic year are of course the end-of-year exams, which for Grade 11 start next Wednesday, May 8th and for the Grade 9s and 10s, start the following Tuesday, May 14th.  The Seniors start their IB exams today which will run all the way through to May 24th up in the Lofthouse – good luck Seniors!  For many of you, there is a lot riding on these exams.

Grade 9-10-11 exam schedules are here

And now a plug for this year’s Middle School Play:  Calamity Jane, is a classic from the golden age of Hollywood musicals. Doris Day was the first to reprise the lead role in the hit 1953 film version before it was adapted for the stage. It includes such classic toe-tapping tunes as The Black Hills of Dakota, The Windy City and The Deadwood Stage. The musical is very loosely based on the life of the real American frontierswoman, Martha Jane Canary, but keeps things light by foregoing her more infamous exploits in favor of creating a fun, upbeat comedy. The cast is supported by a 35 piece combined MS/HS student and teacher band as well as a group of enthusiastic HS students working as mentors to the MS students.  Over the last 4 months of rehearsal, Ms. Grev has led the 60-strong MS cast and crew on exploration of identity and survival as well learning the fine western art of having a “rip roaring”, “whip cracking” time! 

Come along to the Fine Arts Theatre on Thursday, May 2nd and Friday, May 3rd at 6pm or on Saturday, May 4th at 6:30pm.

You are all cordially invited to the MS and HS Art Exhibition.  The opening will be this afternoon, Friday, May 3rd at 3pm in the FAT Lobby and will continue for the next 2 weeks.  Please come along and enjoy the excellent artwork with the Middle School work downstairs and the High School work upstairs on the balcony.

And with that, I wish you a wonderful weekend.


HS Friday Bulletin April 26

To access the full bulletin, please click here: HS Friday Bulletin Apr26


Dear Parents and Guardians,

A belated Happy Easter to you all.  I do hope that, even though it was a much shorter break than usual this year, you and your child(ren) were able to get some well needed R&R before the final push to the end of the school year.  We do have a couple of holidays coming up: next Wednesday, May 1st, is Labor day and Monday, May 13th is another holiday for National Elections.  Please put these dates into your calendars.

I’d like to start this week by wishing Brad and Jasmeen Philen congratulations on the safe arrival of their second child.  This Tuesday, April 23rd (Shakespeare’s Birthday! – Brad, as an English teacher, that’s got to be a good omen!), just before noon, Ava Caroline Philen “finally arrived, 13 days overdue! She weighed a healthy 7.8 pounds in a record speed of a little over an hour.  Everyone is happy and healthy!”  Well done Brad and Jasmeen.

Before heading to the hospital, Brad even made it for the “Human 100” that the 1000+ high school students, teachers, and support staff formed on the high school field as we prepare for our centennial celebrations next school year 2019-2020.  I haven’t seen the final pictures yet but I’m sure they’ll be used often in the build-up to the celebrations in March of 2020

The ISSBA (International School Student Body Association) elections went without a hitch again this year.  ISSBA is ISM’s elected student council who act as a conduit between Administration and the student body.  Next year’s ISSBA Council are

President: Martin Jee
Vice-President:    Bryan Palmero
  Harry Bartlett
  Doil Han
  Liam Ramos

Congratulations to the successful students and commiserations to those who ran but were unsuccessful on this occasion – don’t give up. Try again next year!

Yesterday, I was invited to see the jeepney that was purchased for one of our service partners, Child Hope.  Much of the money raised to fund the purchase was through the sales of miniature (live) Christmas trees (mine is alive and thriving in our back garden). 

Well done to all the students, teacher supervisors and parents for the work that went into this project, but an extra special shout out goes to Andrea Lee, Sae Joon Cheon, Keith Choa, Putra Wibowo and Ms. Patrikios for their massive efforts.

Four Freshmen are currently representing ISM in Kentucky, USA at the 2019 VEX Robotics World Championships.  Here is a brief update from Mr. Venhuis who is chaperoning them for this trip.

“This week ISM sent a team of four Grade 9 students to Louisville, Kentucky to compete in the VEX Robotics High School World Championship. The competition has 850 teams.  To reach this point the team, named E.D.S.A. is formed by Javier, Ignacio, Alvaro and Peter, participated in our local Philippine competitions as well as travelling to Taipei to compete at TAS. The robot they have built is designed to pick-up balls, then shoot them at colored flags, and additionally it can flip colored caps on the ground. The goal of each individual match is to gain the most number of points by the flags and caps that represent your team’s color, red or blue. Thus far it has been a great experience for the team. They have been able to meet new students, troubleshoot problems and gain valuable experience competing at top level robotics.” 

Thanks for the update Mr. Venhuis and GO ROBO-CATS!

Finally this week, Today was the Senior’s last day of school before they take a week off to study for their final IB exams which, for some of them, start next Thursday!  They finished at lunch, but not before they had their fun this morning with their Senior prank(s).  After their fun morning, they were treated to a send-off lunch in the High School courtyard organized by the Senior Moms.  The courtyard was decorated with lanterns and had cushions in shady spots for the kids to relax for an hour or so, and (of course), there was lots of food for the seniors to enjoy. 

Thanks Moms for your hard work.  Good luck Seniors as you prepare next week for your IB finals.

And with that, I wish you all a restful and relaxing weekend.