Wednesday, 07 February 2018
Global Play Day

During Global Play Day students use their social and thinking skills to interact and collaborate to have fun while learning about how they can engage others, compromise, and fill their time by making choices without interference from adults. During this day, the lack of guidance allows them to be fully open and comfortable to fully be themselves and or engage with other students on their own terms. 

In his TEDx lecture, Peter Gray clearly argues the case that today'skids do not grow up playing and this has negatively impacted them in many ways. It's time we return the gift of play to this generation. Please visit for more information.

This year is the 3rd year that MIS is participating in global play day! :)

This photo is of Anya happily sharing her battery-free toys that she brought to class for this day of unstructured play. 

Thursday, 25 January 2018
Heroes in Indonesia

As part of the inquiry process grades two and three went to the Museum Bukit Barisan, Museum Negeri Sumatera Utara, Monument of Sisingamangaraja and the Kuburan Pahlawan to learn more about Indonesian heroism, history, true stories, and legends. The students enjoyed the trip thoroughly and tried on a gas mask. Our Central idea is: People are capable of shaping their own futures through their actions. Our lines of inquiry are:


  • what actions and decisions significant ‘heroic’ people have made 
  • how significant ‘heroic’ people’s lives have impacted the world in positive ways
  • how we can set goals to shape our futures
  • determining what is heroic worldwide through stories of heroism from our own cultures



Sunday, 17 December 2017
Making Learning Visible

From September 18, 2017 to December 17, 2017 some MIS teachers participated in an online course through Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mrs. Julie, Ms. Brittany, and Ms. Rachel all worked hard on a course called Making Learning Visible. They met twice weekly to have face-to-face as well as participate in online conversations.

During this course the chosen question to research was: How can documentation aid teachers thinking regarding student engagement?

Course throughlines: #1What can teachers and students do to support the creation of learning groups in the classroom? #2 How does documentation shape, extend, and make visible children's and adult's learning? #3 How do learning groups create as well as transmit culture, values, and democracy? What opportunity and responsibilities does this create? 

Thursday, 14 December 2017
Santa Lucia

At MIS we have had a Scandinavian population for quite a long time. Due to this influence, every year we participate a Saint Lucia tradition.

According to "Luciadagen (Saint Lucia Day) is on the 13th of December. It is traditionally a feast day from the Calendar of Saints which comes from the early Christian custom of commemorating martyrs. Even though Norway recognises the other feast days in the Church, only St Lucia, St John and St Olav's days are celebrated nation-wide. St Lucia Day was first introduced to Norway when Christianity spread over the country in the late 1000s.  This day became a mark on the farmer's primstav - a wooden calendar stick marking seasonal preparation and celebration days."

Many of the MYP & PYP students at MIS participate in this tradition by processing into the gym while singing and holding a candle and then distributing "Lucia Buns" to the audience. One student is adorned with candles on her head as well! 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017
MIS Spook-tacular Halloween

Yesterday, participating students stayed after school for a costume parade and some spooktacular Halloween themed games and activities. After breaking off into teams, students completed Glow in the Dark bowling, a Skeleton Assembly Relay, a Build-a-Monster craft, an I-Spy picture challenge, and a Ghost Balloon Relay. We ended with a Spooky trivia game show for all students and attending adult volunteers. Congratulations to Team Werewolves for winning the event! We look forward to more great community events like this throughout the school year. 

Thursday, 14 September 2017
Starbucks Farmer Support Center (FSC) Indonesia

The Students of MIS are very fortunate to live where they do. North Sumatra has a wealth of natural, geological and beautiful resources. One of these resources is fertile soil and wonderful weather for growing coffee.

Today we were able to go to a place that Starbucks Barista's and Shareholders can only imagine. Thanks to Mr. Henao we were able to go to Brastagi and experience the Starbucks Coffee Farmer Support Center. It was amazing.

For more details:

The students learned about: shade grown coffee, pairing plants to grow among the trees, self sustainable farming with plants and animals, coffee sipping, crema, the peaberry, animals living amongst the coffee trees, farmer collaboration and training, factory machines, sorting, cleaning and transportation of beans.

It was a great trip and the last of or field trip extravaganza for our units in 2/3/4/5.

Wednesday, 06 September 2017
Museum Perkebunan Indonesia & Lunar Archery

To supplement their unit of inquiry studies on local land use, PYP 4/5 went to Museum Perkebunan Indonesia. Here students learned all about the commodities that Indonesia is famous for: tea, coffee, sugar cane, tobacco, rubber, palm oil and cacao. They learned how these commodities are extracted and used. They also learned about the history of plantations in Indonesia and how the search for spices brought people from Portugal, the Netherlands, and Spain to the region. After touring the museum, students made their own chocolate from molds and learned about how they use palm oil to make chocolate and bread. 

 Following the museum, students walked next door to Lunar Archery for a Physical Education excursion. There, students learned the basics of archery and had a one hour practice. They learned about the importance of steadiness, focus, and concentration along with the physical skills needed to shoot the arrow. You can find more information about Lunar Archery, (and some photos of us), and their Instagram:

Saturday, 19 August 2017
Meet the Parents and Indonesian Fun Games Night

On August 18th, we celebrated Indonesian Independence Day and also got to know each other better through Meet the Parents and Indonesian Fun Games Night. The event started with a rendition of the Indonesian national anthem from students, followed by playing the games that had been set up around the room including pillow fighting, kerupuk eating, musical ball dance, sack race and bakiak. It ended with a delicious, Indonesian, pot-luck style meal. 

Friday, 18 August 2017
PYP 2-5 Excursion to Musim Mas

PYP 2-5 had a wonderful trip at Musim Mas palm oil factory! We learned about how palm is grown and what it's used it, were given a bus tour around the factory complex, then took a tour of a part of the factory where chocolate is made. This connected with PYP 2/3's unit on habitats and 4/5's unit on land use. The trip led to great discussions back at school about the benefits and challenges of using land for palm production.

To learn more about where we went and our discussions in class, watch this video:

Friday, 11 August 2017
PYP Excursion to Orangutan Haven

The PYP ended their first week with an excursion to the Orangutan Haven. Our guides taught us about their conservation efforts while we hiked through a section of their 48 hectare property. Some highlights of the trip included planting seeds in their organic farm and getting to cool off in the river at the end of our hike. It was a great bonding experience to end the first week of school and directly complimented each class's first Unit of Inquiry. 

To learn more about The Orangutan Haven, click here:

Wednesday, 14 June 2017
Endangered Sumatran Animals Class Website

Kindergarten and Grade 1 learners have worked collaboratively over the past 4 weeks to build their own class website to share the significant learning they have done about endangered Sumatran animals. The website features the extensive writing they have done throughout our final Unit of Inquiry this year. Our central idea has been: Understanding the special characteristics of animals helps people support their survival. Please check out our class website ( to find out more about some of the interesting endangered animals of Sumatra and the beautiful Sumatran jungles where they live. Included on the website are helping organisations and our own ideas for action to support endangered animals' survival. 

Friday, 26 May 2017
Sharing the Planet Excursion to the Zoo

Kindergarten and Grade 1 had an interesting visit, for the morning, to the Medan Zoo as part of our learning about the characteristics of animals. We especially enjoyed seeing the large, interesting birds, the elephant and the Sumatran tigers. A few of the animals we saw are endangered. We had many discussions about the bodies, behaviors and needs of the different animals we were seeing. We have since been able to reflect on how the animals needs were being provided by the zoo as part of our learning about ways we can share our planet with animals.  

Friday, 05 May 2017
Assembly and Spirit Day - Literature

This year at MIS we have combined STUCO spirit days with assemblies. During this assembly EC presented Humpty Dumpty, K/1 presented plays they wrote themselves, 2/3 dressed as Roman countrymen and played lyres, 4/5 presented on children's rights, 6/7/8 debated sustainable energy and 9/10 taught us about the different forms of energy.  We sang happy birthday for the May and June birthdays in both English and Bahasa Indonesia. STUCO also gave out awards & prizes to each class for the learner profile attribute that they most achieved thus far: EC-Inquirers, K/1-Communicators, 2/3-Caring, 4/5-Risk-Takers, 6/7/8- Balanced 9/10-Thinkers. The spirit day was “Literature.” Students dressed up as a book character and brought along the book to share with their peers. It was so lovely to see the students interests in literature and the creative costumes involved. It was a busy morning at MIS!  

Tuesday, 02 May 2017
Sharing the Planet in 2/3

2/3 has begun their last unit for the year under the transdisciplinary theme - Sharing the Planet. The central idea is, “Decisions must be made about how we use the earth’s resources.” As part of the provocation for the students they participated in the Japanese art of “nature bathing” or “Shinrin-yoku.” You can look at for more information. 2/3 students enjoyed walking in/sitting in nature so much that they asked for it to be their homework for next week! It is good to see the students understanding how they have a responsibility towards nature as well as having an appreciation for it. After participating in nature bathing, the students decorated their classroom door with a truffula tree and wrote on the trunk the different ways in which they speak for the trees. I am excited to see where their learning will take them in this unit.  

Friday, 28 April 2017
An Art Filled Morning in the PYP

The lovely people from Lyra/Giotto came to MIS and let the students unleash their creativity! They painted each others faces and made things out of plasticine and/or oil pastels. It was great to see the students creativity and spirit of trust when painting each other. It was also amazing to see the 3D creations that the students made. 

Thursday, 27 April 2017
PE Field Trip

The primary years classes went on a Physical Education field trip to the Fun and Fit trampoline park. They were able to better practice their form at the park because of the plethora of options and large size of the trampolines. Trampolines can help students improve their balance and coordination in movement. In addition to being a fun morning, it was cardiovascular as well, as we jumped for 2 hours! 

Friday, 21 April 2017
Hari Kartini

Today the students at MIS gathered to celebrate the powerful life of Kartini. Her biography was reflected upon, poems were read and the Kartini song was sung by all. All the students and staff dressed up and a group photo was taken. It was fun for the students to wear Kabaya, Sarong, Batik and other Indonesian clothing. 

Friday, 07 April 2017
MIS Swimming Carnival

The sun was shining bright today as MIS hosted their 2017 Swimming Carnival! In attendance for the competitions were Sampoerna Academy and Siti Hajar. Students grouped by gender and grade level competed in the freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and relay.  Scores were compiled from each event and the winning schools were announced in each grade level. Congratulations to all the  competitors for being risk-takers and showing that they are balanced today! Also, a special congratulations to MIS Grade 9-10 for winning first place! 

Thursday, 06 April 2017
How We Express Ourselves Excursion

Today, Kindergarten and Grade One students enjoyed a fun excursion to several different venues. Our first stop was a craft workshop and gallery where we saw artisans expressing their ideas and skills with wood and other materials. We used our 'See, Think, Wonder' thinking routine to observe and record what we were noticing. Students interviewed the head artisan using questions they had prepared in their Bahasa Indonesia class. We saw many examples of recycling, and use of natural materials, in creative and beautiful art works. We enjoyed a play break and lunch in Taman Deli, a park nearby, and then headed to the Sinaipar Ulos gallery and workshop. Here, we enjoyed seeing hundreds of beautifully patterned Ulos in every color imaginable, as well as other crafts. We were also priviledge to be able to see two artisans working at hand looms making Ulos. Over the next few school days we will look at the observational drawings we made and reflect on what we learned about the visual art elements (line, color, shape, form, value, space and texture) we saw during this wonderful excursion.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Field Trip To The Orangutan Haven 

Grades 2,3,4, & 5 went on a trip to the future site of the orangutan haven. We did many things on the trip relating to our UOI. We checked our pulse periodically during our hike, we learned about organic farming, saw pinapple, passion fruit and casava plants, hiked through the hills, sat in nature and enjoyed our surroundings and some of us got a little dirty. It is important for students to understand that there are many aspects to keeping our bodies healthy. It is not only important to eat a variety of healthy food, sleep and exercise but it is very important to relax and be balanced. The IB explains balanced as, "We understand the importance of balancing dierent aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live."