IICS articles from school teachers students


IICS Spring Hamper

Dear IICS community,

Spring has sprung! And even though it’s still a little gloomy outside, we thought we’d celebrate the changing of seasons in style and… with lots of chocolate! 
The marketing department is immensely proud to announce a brand collaboration between IICS, Baylan and TEMA. As many of you know, Baylan has been a gastronomic destination in Istanbul for nearly 100 years. It offers a menu which has been designed in consultation with three Michelin starred Chef Alain Ducasse and is renown for its beautifully crafted chocolates. 
To celebrate our partnership, a tailor-made IICS Spring Hamper has been prepared by Baylan. It contains over 1kg of hand-moulded chocolates and specially-made biscuits. All the chocolates included in our IICS Spring Hamper will be hand-moulded to order by Baylan’s team of chocolatiers. A three-day wait between order and delivery is necessary.
The price of the hamper is 280TL – free delivery across Istanbul is included. To order, contact Baylan at 05412236699 or purchase from its Bebek store. 
Inside the wicker basket, you’ll also find a special surprise by TEMAThe Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats (TEMA) is one of the biggest environmental NGOs in Turkey, supported by thousands of volunteers. It works towards reversing soil erosion and raising awareness of the serious threat soil erosion poses to Turkey’s environment, its economy and social life. 
In 2011, a hundred trees were planted by our students with the help of TEMA to mark the centennial anniversary of IICS. Ten years on, we are supporting them again with a donation to plant 110 trees on behalf of our community. IICS and TEMA aim to continue working closely together. We look forward to finding opportunities to do so in a way which is enriching for all of our community. 
Why Baylan?
We chose to collaborate with Baylan because of its award-winning Bean-to-Bar programme. Through its parent company Altınmarka, cocoa beans are sourced in the Ivory Coast and Ghana. They are then carefully processed in Istanbul, in a state-of-the-art factory which is located close to our Marmara campus.
Why now?
Because every day should be a chocolate day!
The marketing team

DL 2.0 at IICS Primary - Monika Hoge

Please contact Monika Hoge  ( Primary Years Program Coordinator – mhoge@iics.k12.tr) if you have further questions.



DL 2.0 at IICS Primary


The Coronavirus pandemic has hit educators all over the globe, forcing school closures and shifting learning to online platforms, or blended and hybrid models, in many places. At IICS, we used our experience and reflections from across the community after the Spring of last year, to reinvent and be well prepared for distance learning for the 20-21 academic year. We are so fortunate to have had 3 staff-wide PD days in June, and the summer months to reflect and revise our program based on what we learned. In August we were well prepared to launch DL 2.0 in the Primary School, to ensure continuity of learning for the students. This revised approach builds on the successes of  DL1.0, and addresses several key components such as reducing screen time and increasing engagement for students, conceptual learning, and maintaining community connections and partnerships, to name a few. 


Keeping screen time down and student engagement up is very challenging in DL. We address this though the most notable adaptation in DL2.0, which is the emphasis on small group instructional “meets,” held online using GoogleMeet. Our research and current experience confirm that student engagement, and opportunity for meaningful teacher observation and feedback, is greatest when small groups of students participate online with their teacher. In a small group all students get to participate, talk and ask questions, rather than simply listening with the mute function engaged. In small groups we can get discussions going and discover our students’ understandings and misconceptions. 


As with any new approach there was an adjustment phase for everyone, but with this new format now well underway, it has started to feel more similar to real teaching, where teachers can identify students who are having difficulties with concepts, or those that are ready to move on. In facilitating as many of these small group meets for students as we can, we capitalize on the experience and capacity of our teaching teams and support staff. We are proud to say that now just about every student has 4-5 meets a day, including morning meetings, small groups for literacy and mathematics, as well as single subject lessons. TAs play a critical role in facilitating meets that the teacher has planned and prepared, and students are showing increased levels of responsibility, organization and self-management as they manage their offline independent work time to ensure their various tasks are completed and shared as requested.





This synchronous learning, where learning is happening during the day through small group instructional meets, rather than through a list of assignments for students to complete under parent supervision, has been well received by the community. A grade 1 parent in our recent survey wrote:








“Live Lessons make a huge difference for the kids to stay engaged to see their peers and teachers. This helps to keep the kids engaged since it feels more like a regular school day. This helps parents as well since they don’t have to take over the role of the teacher and become more of a support. Kids can follow the lessons without being supervised by parents during this time.”







In summary, DL2.0 is successful because it is a community-wide effort. Parents have played a key role in supporting their children as they develop independence, time management and task completion skills. While we all yearn to have our students back in the classrooms and to have our classrooms and playgrounds once again filled with energy and excitement for learning, we know that student learning is happening, and our community stays connected and continues to thrive.





Why is Physical Activity SO Important For Your Children During Distance Learning

Dear Parents,

As much as we know that this is the topic you hear about quite often, we felt the need to write an article about it and make sure that it’s out there for people to think about it one more time. 

Physical activity is extremely important for humans of all ages, all the time, but now, considering the recent circumstances, more than ever. Modern way of living has significantly changed our daily routines and the situation is even more serious with all the restrictions we are experiencing at the moment. You know how you feel when you don’t get a chance to move as much, go out and enjoy some of your daily activities. Can you imagine how our children feel? 

They didn’t lose just organized sports activities, they lost that walk to the bus, car, store, playground, they lost moving from one class to another, to the cafeteria, running the hallways, recess time, playing tag with friends and running around the school grounds, socializing with their classmates. This has a huge impact on our children’s wellbeing.  The only difference is that, as adults, we can recognize that feeling and usually we do something about it. Our children need our help with this and I speak about it as a parent first, since I see it in my house every day. 

Online schooling is making sure that our children keep up academically with their course work and schools are doing everything they can to help students move up the scale in their education. Most of the physical and emotional part of the child’s development is on families

now. Our P.E. teachers are doing a great job during their scheduled classes to keep our students actively engaged but that is not enough.

Here are a few things that we can do at home to help our children get through this difficult period:

 Most important is to have daily family routines with exercise being part of it,

regardless of the age of the children.

 Choose activities that your family is already enjoying. Occasionally try something

new and different.

 Make these active times – family times.

 Aim for at least 45 – 60 minutes per day.

 Try to be outdoors as much as possible.

Some of the activities can be as simple as a walk in the park or neighborhood or taking your pet for a walk, or just playing with pets outside, maybe bike or scooter ride, it could be a jog or kicking the ball, or shooting at the hoop, jumping the rope…anything that you can do within the proximity of your home and at the same time avoiding crowds. Those children with an organized sports activity within the club that is still going on, should continue with it and add these daily routines as much as possible. If being outside is not possible due to the weather or restrictions, there are tons of activities we can do at home. Please see resources for ideas.

We wish you and your family activity and healthy New Year!


Ivan Atanaskovic

Athletics and Activities Department



Activities Ideas

Making Physical Activity a Part of a Child’s Life

Physical activity for children and youth

Indoor and at-home exercises for kids

Fitness and Your 6- to 12-Year-Old

Creative MYP Distance Learning Activities




MYP distance learning is…

10th-grade Biology students turning their kitchens into laboratories. Home-based experiments included

making bubbles to simulate cell membranes and dissolving eggshells to investigate osmosis. Home-based

osmosis labs were designed using apples, potatoes and ginger!

8th grade Drama students creating puppet comedy shows and puppet TikTok dances.

10th-grade Humanities students acting as journalists during a simulated press conference with

Reformation instigator Martin Luther & war criminal Herman Goering (Luther; Goering played by Mr.


Spanish Phase 2-3 students creating “At the Restaurant” skits. Each actor playing their part from their


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Moving to a new school and a new country is a major change. Our Director of Admissions at Istanbul International Community School, Zeliha Öztürk, is happy to answer your questions about IICS, about living in Istanbul, relocation, or any of your schooling concerns.

Email: admissions@iics.k12.tr



Hisar Campus

Rumelihisari Mahallesi,
Nafi Baba Sokak, No:6
Hisarustu / Istanbul 34470

Telephone : +90 212 287 2770
Fax : +90 212 265 0580

 Maps :

Marmara Campus

Karaagac Koyu Mahallesi,
Kahraman Caddesi, 27/1
Hadimkoy / Istanbul 34500

Telephone: +90 212 857 8264
Fax: +90 212 857 8270
Email: info@iics.k12.tr

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