Library: fun haven for ISS students

Wonderful things are happening in our library every school day. It is arguably one of the favourite hang out spots for our students both in the primary and senior schools.

For a small independent school like us, we've done pretty well housing about 8,000 books in this special place. Thanks to our parents and students who have continuously donated books over the years, alongside our commitment to invest in new books continuously, we've grown our library from a few shelves to five different sections: Picture books, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Non-fiction and Teaching Resources. And we have many more things in the pipeline.

But aside from having books, magazines, comfortable cushions and providing relief from the hot sun after running around during playtime, we also have a variety of educational games on offer. And this is one of the reasons why our students choose to hang out in the library during morning break, after lunch and after school.

Luka (Year 5) and Sasha (Year 3) playing chess

We have a chess area where a couple boards are set waiting and constantly teasing students to challenge their mates. It's quite popular with our primary and senior students, and more often than not you'll see one of our teachers play with the senior students. Another teacher plays chess with his student in the primary school after a private lesson.

We have a big blank wall map which doesn't stay blank for a very long time. At one point, two senior students were in the library quietly sharing about the countries they're from and they ended up in front of the wall talking about more countries and filling out the blanks.

We have Monopoly boards reserved daily for use by our Year 5 girls. And then there's the Junior Monopoly that our Year 2's and Year 3's enjoy! Tumble (also known as Jenga) is also a favourite. Our Russian students would borrow it to construct different forms of buildings that look like the Empire State in New York, a space shuttle and many more.

From left to right, top to bottom: Luka and Egor reading and playing Rubix cube; Year 3 students playing Junior Monopoly; Year 5's playing classic Monopoly; Year 2's playing Tumble; Year 4's playing Battleship; Volody and Maxim (Year 4) reading Beano magazines.

We have Battleship, Draughts, Uno cards, playing cards... and the list just goes on and on!

Recently, our senior students started a daily routine and it was most awesome. After lunch, a big group of our senior students would gather around the carpet with cushions and play a game of Scrabble. It is so nice to see them take interest in this classic game of words and maths!

During school time, we restrain use of any mobile device except for the school iPads we use during lessons. That being said, we take joy in watching our students get engaged in face-to-face interaction, playing board and card games that enhance their wits.

This is on top of the weekly routine of our Primary teachers to bring their class to the library once or twice a week and read a chapter or two to the students.

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