TREKKING TO THE TOP OF THE WORLD

Monday, 16th October 2017

Somphors, Grade 11, has written to tell us about her trek on a legendary hiking trail, to the summit of Dents du Midi (Teeth of Noon), a multi-summited mountain in the canton of Valais, Switzerland.

One weekend, a small group from my boarding school, Aiglon College, took on the “High Expedition,” a trek to one of the summits of Dents du Midi. We set off right after class on Saturday afternoon, taking packed lunches and small rucksacks with extra warm clothes, as it was freezing cold and raining.

From school, we drove down the mountain for about half an hour. At the bottom of the trail we prepared helmets, trekking poles, carabiners and rope for climbing over rocks and then we set off. We walked for 3-4 hours and it was up, and up, the entire time, stopping only twice for snacks. Being up so high and so freezing cold the rain had now become snow. Our gloves were wet and one of the girls was so cold that her fingers turned purple. Finally, we reached the hut where we were staying for the night. Everyone was very tired so we dried our clothes, had dinner and went to bed really early.

Waking at 6.25 a.m., we got up and readied ourselves for the push to the top. After breakfast, we set off and were so glad to discover that even though it was still extremely cold, it wasn't raining or snowing. We walked and walked for another five hours, straight up, until we were about 500 meters away from the summit. Here, we took a rest while our teachers went to check if it was safe to continue. Sadly, they decided that it was too icy and dangerous to go any further, so we decided to tour around the mountain instead. It took us another 3-4 hours of walking to get down again and we arrived at around five in the afternoon.

At school, the “High Expedition” trek is considered to be the hardest trek of all and is only tackled occasionally due to its’ difficulty. Although disappointed that we hadn’t reached the top, the entire experience was worth it. Views from up on the mountain were breathtaking and well worth the pain and suffering. Our bodies were sore and aching the next day, so going up and down stairs to classes was a bit challenging. But overall I LOVED IT!

Thank you Somphors for sending us your story and the amazing photos.

LOWER SCHOOL’S WONDER WALLS

Monday, 9th October 2017

Throughout Quarter 1, students in Lower School have been producing some amazing work. Teachers love to display this great work outside their classrooms for all to see which makes the students glow with pride. Below are some of the boards on display throughout Quarter 1.

Pre-Kindergarten

Pre-Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Long, said, “We used wooden letter templates as part of the Handwriting Without Tears program to help students create a display using their names and new vocabulary. Each week we celebrate the Letter of the Week and this display shows our L-lions and E-elephants.”

Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Eyers, said, “We display, Wow! Work, on our display boards and update them weekly to show how much progress the kindergartners are making. This week, they drew a scene relating to their own recent news.”

Grade 1A teacher, Ms. Mays, said, “I like to have a range of different projects up on the display board. Right now, we have displays showing our unit on rules in our community, leaders at home and in the community, Roald Dahl day, and our imaginary animals.”
Grade 1B teacher, Ms. Allen, said, “We read the poem, Twinkle Twinkle Firefly, by John Agard and Grace Nichols, and then students drew pictures of fireflies twinkling in the dark, night sky.”

Grade 2 teacher, Ms. Lillis, said, “After looking at the work of Pablo Picasso, students created self-portraits in an abstract style inspired by Picasso. Then we looked at the painting, Starry Night, by Vincent van Gogh, noting how these two artists both paint pictures that are very different from real life. We learned how many artists are influenced by their feelings and paint interesting and unusual images. Students then made their own drawings in the style of van Gogh.”

Liza, Grade 3, said, “In art class, we have been learning about color by painting portraits of our friends. We looked at many paintings before we began and I liked the ones by van Gogh the best. We also created a picture using our hands that had to use both cool, and warm colors. We had to create the picture without putting two sections of the same color next to each other. I think they look amazing”

Kindergarten
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3

CAMBODIAN PCHUM BEN FESTIVAL

Thursday, 5th October 2017
Ratana, Monita, and Chanmolis, Grade 11, at the pagoda, performing ‘Dak Bart’

Each year, Cambodians celebrate the important national festival of Pchum Ben. Our juniors and seniors share their descriptions of the event here:

Pchum Ben is one of the most significant cultural events as it is the time when family members join together to honor parents, grandparents, and deceased ancestors. It’s a fifteen-day festival during which we visit pagodas to offer food to monks to honor our ancestors who we implore to continue protecting the family.

On the fifteenth and final day, we make ‘Onsorm’ (a traditional Khmer rice cake) and cook a huge spread of many types of traditional food. This final day is special as food is not only given to the monks, but also to our parents, and relatives. Following the traditions of Pchum Ben, we cook food early in the morning and present it to our parents to show that we are thankful for the life, the love, and the comfort they have given us. During Pchum Ben, parents are traditionally referred to as ‘Preas Ros’ (living Gods).

Following this, we head to the pagoda, which is packed with people who bring all sorts of delicacies with them. Fragrant incense fills the air, and everyone chatters excitedly as they present their food to the monks. The word ‘Pchum’ means meeting. During Pchum Ben we celebrate the rejoining of everything: bodies and souls, family members, and community. Traditionally, this food is believed to reach our deceased family members through the monks. Finally, people perform the ritual of ‘Dak Bart’ in which they place white rice into round black or silver bowls, in the hope that their good deeds will help them in the afterlife.

It’s a pleasure to spend time with friends and family during this occasion and to honor our ancestors and keep our traditions alive.

Sonith, Grade 11, and family at the pagoda, performing ‘Dak Bart’

ROALD DAHL DAY RETURNS

Monday, 25th September 2017

Once again, students enjoyed Roald Dahl day, an annual celebration of the famous author’s birthday. Children were welcomed to school by characters and decorations from books such as The Twits, George’s Marvelous Medicine, The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and many more.

The previous evening and in the early morning, events coordinators busily adorned the school with Roald Dahl decorations, quotes, photos, and activities. As children arrived, they were heckled by the mean spirited characters Mr. and Mrs. Twit as they tried to pass through the entrance to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The menu for the day had a decidedly Dahl feel with Squiggly, Wormy Spaghetti and Scary Hairy Cakes from The Twits, and Snozzcumber Sandwiches from The BFG accompanied by a Gobblefunk Salad – a filthsome swatchscollop!





Teachers from Grades 1 to 4 awarded JPA Wonka bars to their most conscientious students. Inside just two of these bars were golden tickets which meant the lucky recipients won a special prize. Ravy, Grade 4, and Sreytoich, Grade 2, were the lucky winners and were delighted to receive prizes of a BFG Dream Jar and a copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Ravy said, “Roald Dahl is my favorite author. I really enjoy the way he makes up words. I tried so hard to be extra good all day so I would have a chance to win the golden ticket and I did!”

Thank you to the events team, teachers and especially the kitchen staff for joining in the spirit of the day by making such delicious treats.

OUR CAMPUS IS OUR CLASSROOM

Monday, 11th September 2017

Wherever possible, our teachers like to take their students out of the classroom. We looked at some of the activities Grade 1, Grade 4, and Grade 7 have been engaged in around the campus with their science teachers. From Elementary School through to High School, biology forms a part of our spiral science curriculum, enabling students to revisit topics throughout their school career at ever increasing levels of complexity.

Grade 1, has been studying the parts of plants and what they need to grow. To observe these concepts, they planted lettuce seeds in garden plots outside their classroom. After planting, students watered the seeds daily, and observed and documented the plants’ growth. We asked Grade 1 student, Dorisa, what happens when we plant seeds, “The seed will grow if you water it,” she replied, “it needs sunlight, air, and water. I cannot wait to taste it when it has grown!” she added.

Grade 4’s task was to study the different structures of plants through the production of detailed botanical drawings. Students examined different plant structures and their functions. They also compared and contrasted parts of different plants, noting similarities, differences and also variations within the same species.

Hong Ing, Grade 4, shared what she has learned, “For this activity, we drew and labeled scientific pictures of plants from around the school. We have studied the structure of plants and the function of their parts. Some roots, like tap roots, store food, hold the plants in the ground, and take in water and nutrients. Stems transfer water and nutrients around the plant and also hold the plant straight. Leaves have stomata, small holes in their epidermis which facilitate the transfer of gases. To help us remember all about the function of plant parts we used an acrostic mnemonic strategy, MRS GREN, which stands for: Movement, Respiration, Sensitivity, Growth, Reproduction, Excretion, and Nutrition.”

Grade 7’s project was to identify all the different species of trees on school grounds and to count the total number of trees. We spoke to some Grade 7 students, who told us, “To identify the different species of tree we compared the bark, the leaves, the stem, and roots. First we classified the leaves into either simple or compound classes. Simple leaves are attached to the stem of a tree. There are different types of compound leaves: pinnate, bipinnate and palmate. We can use these classifications to help us identify and differentiate them. We found 17 species amongst the 1028 trees at school, wow!”

Science teacher, Mr. Kahan, said, “Grade 7 are developing their taxonomy skills and are using their findings to develop dichotomous keys to help identify local tree species. This project shows that the degree of similarity between tree species correlates with evolutionary relatedness and that the trees themselves are interdependent upon a larger ecosystem.”

We are fortunate to have rich, tropical gardens with diverse flora and fauna allowing outside science lessons. Our whole campus can be used as a classroom.

STUDY ABROAD TRIPS

Monday, 4th September 2017
Seiha (R) at Yale University Participants of the Science Camp at NUS Singapore: Kimsreng, Kimheat and Veasna

Over the summer we sent students far and wide to study in many places around the globe. For the 5th year we went to Florence, Italy and Adelaide, Australia, while other groups traveled to science camps at NUS Singapore, and Camps International treks in the jungles of Cambodia. One student headed to the US to attend the Yale Young Global Scholar Program, where he worked on a Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship program that ran for two weeks.

On their return to school, students shared their reflections of their diverse summer experiences in speeches and slideshows at our first assembly of the year.

JPA Students with their buddies from Henley High School at the beach, Adelaide, Australia

Pagnapech, Grade 9, began, “Over the summer, a group of 6 students and I experienced living with Australian families and being international students at Henley High School, Adelaide, South Australia. We made many meaningful and strong bonds of friendship. From the moment I arrived, I was excited to discover magnificent places and meet our host families. My host family introduced me to many of their friends and relatives during a huge dinner. Everyone made me feel at home.

“It was my first time overseas and I was amazed to see Adelaide’s infrastructure, merging nature with the city in so many green parks. We visited the Botanic Gardens and a wildlife park where I got to hold a koala and saw kangaroos. We were given a tour of Parliament House by the MP for Colton and former Henley High School student, Paul Caica. We visited the University of South Australia, and spent an eerie night at Adelaide Zoo walking in the dark to observe the nocturnal animals.

“Henley High School was great. We experienced some different subjects to the ones we are used to, such as Jewelry Design and Manufacturing, Home-Economics, and Drama. This trip made me learn so much about myself and trying new things revealed many hidden passions in me – I had never thought I would enjoy drama, and I absolutely loved the design element of Jewelry class.

“Five weeks flew by so fast, and I couldn’t believe it was time to come back. This trip has put so many things in perspective, to actually see what another part of the world is really like. My travel companions made the trip such fun and I was pleased to get to know so much about them.

“I also want to say a big thank you to JPA and everyone who helped to give us this amazing opportunity. I cannot wait to see if I will be selected to study overseas in the future.”

In and around Adelaide, South Australia
Exploring art, architecture and science in Florence and Sienna, Tuscany, Italy

Tararath, Grade 12, reflected on his time in Florence, “I would like to take this moment to say thank you to JPA for choosing me for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a trip this summer to Florence, Italy. Seven weeks went by in the blink of an eye. We learned something new every day, visiting spectacular churches, statues, and paintings. I noticed that Florentines are doing a lot of conservation work on their historical monuments and artwork. The benefits that Italians receive from their history have inspired me to learn more about the conservation of our own history, through the Angkor Wat temple complex. I think it is important that we know the history of our temples. Having a profound understanding of our greatest architecture fosters the care, and effort we should dedicate to our ancient monuments.

“We also visited astounding places outside Florence with my favorite being Chianti, which is surrounded by lush hills and some of the most mind-blowing wineries, goat farms, and mozzarella farms. These farms had a high level of quality control. Farmers incorporate modern technology and science into their processes, which allows them to track progress and gather results. Witnessing these innovations at work, I strongly believe that as future Cambodian leaders, we will be able to mirror this technological progress in our own country.

“This trip allowed me to bring memories back to Cambodia, but it also taught me to live in the moment and create memories with people around me. I understand now that I must enjoy every moment that I live because time flies, but memories stay. I’m pumped up from the summer, and I’m ready for another great year. Have a great year everyone.”

JPA would like to thank all the staff, friends, and organizations that helped to make this year’s study abroad trips a success for the students. Congratulations to the students for representing our school values abroad.

Milan Cathedral; Leaning Tower of Pisa; Lunch together in Florence

BACK TO START THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR

Monday, 28th August 2017

We had a great start to the 2017-18 academic year. Sixty-four new Pre-Kindergarteners joined our school for their exciting first steps in education. Students returning from their summer experiences at Camps International shared stories about their wilderness adventures with visiting British students. Those returning from overseas trips to Singapore, Australia and Italy regaled their friends with photos and stories. The storeroom was bustling with students checking out their text books and the campus was abuzz with teachers and students all busily learning their new schedules and meeting their new and old teachers.

The High School students were excited to learn about new courses on offer this year. Following on from the successful introduction of AP Computer Science A last year, we are expanding computer coding to more students through the Raspberry Pi platform. Also in High School we will open a Civics and Globalization course and in Junior High School, students will have the option to study Personal Development classes. Music choices have expanded this year to include ukulele classes as well as melodica, recorder and guitar.

The first day for Junior High students, High School students, and their parents started with an assembly hosted by calculus teacher, Mr. Sokcha, as parents and teachers renewed their commitment to JPA school values. Following the assembly, parents accompanied their children to their classrooms where teachers outlined the expectations of their courses.

Grades 10 and 11 received certificates for their achievements last school year

Lower School also held an assembly hosted by Ms. Norton, Head of Lower School, who focused on the character education that was so successful last year. She said, “We are building on the foundation set last year and have developed a character program framed around the four main tenets of the student pledge: beginning with discipline, and followed by courage, compassion, and integrity. Students will participate in a weekly character lesson focused on the trait of the quarter.”

Welcome back to all of the returning students, and staff. 2017-18 is promising to be another record academic year.