What does chemistry have to do with a pack of playing cards?

So, what does chemistry have to do with a pack of playing cards? Why do we have lots of Lego in our class? Ms. Adams’ 8th grade science students have been studying the structure and composition of different elements in the periodic table, investigating the way that elements are organised  and we have started to look at the way that atoms work. We have been making patterns with atomic structure and are starting to think about how  elements combine to make all the matter in the universe. By Maggie Adams, MS Science teacher Continue reading What does chemistry have to do with a pack of playing cards?

Today is the European Day of Languages!

The European Day of Languages is an opportunity to celebrate the linguistic wealth which is represented within the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. It is an occasion to celebrate all languages present in Europe, also those with non-European origins used on a daily basis  around the continent. With some 225 indigenous languages in Europe and between 6000-7000 languages spoken around the world, the Day is a reminder of the many benefits of language learning, to further develop cognitive competences, break down cultural barriers and open the door to new friendships and professional opportunities. We counted that St. … Continue reading Today is the European Day of Languages!

St. John’s got talent!

Each year, 10th grade theater students are invited to stay in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) all night for a tradition named 24-Hour Theater. The theme for this year’s 24-hour theater, ‘Belgium’s Got Talent,’ had sophomores singing, dancing, and doing magic. Yesterday, this annual event had students, teachers, and parents rolling with laughter. The 10th graders, assisted only by IB theater students, wrote and performed a satirical episode of the popular TV show “Britain’s Got Talent.” Complete with host, judges, and introductory videos, this parody came together in just 24 hours. While very funny, the performance also showcased some of … Continue reading St. John’s got talent!

Belgium scores well on the OECD Better Life index

Belgium performs very well on the latest Better Life Index by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and ranks among the top ten countries in several topics. This Index allows you to compare well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life. Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In Belgium, 70% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, close to the OECD average of 74%. This is equally true for men and women, as … Continue reading Belgium scores well on the OECD Better Life index

Wheel or Web?

For our first unit in Social Studies, our mission has been to decide and defend the top three most significant events of all time. By reading, comparing, debating and voting, we arrived at #1 Creation of the Universe, #2 Discovery of DNA.  Then when it came time to vote for an invention for the third slot… two classes overwhelmingly voted for the invention of the wheel, while the third 7th grade class voted overwhelmingly for the world wide web!  It caught me by surprise, but it’s great because on Monday when we start working on comparative writing, they’ll be able … Continue reading Wheel or Web?

What is a beautiful image?

Last week in Media 7 we started practicing composition. In the land of photography and cinema, composition describes the process of arranging the world inside a frame. Just like this one: Inspired by last year’s “Shot Treasure Hunt”, where students find cameras and use them to record certain types of shots on video while telling a little fictional story, this time we organized a Frame Hunt. Students used hand-made viewfinders, technically the same device as professional cinematographers have on their iPhones, to re-construct photographs taken in different points of the classroom. An exercise in perception, composition, lens angle and the discovery of space – … Continue reading What is a beautiful image?

Founders Day celebrations

Today, we celebrated Founders Day, the day the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ) foundress Marie-Madeleine D’Houet was born in 1781. Marie-Madeleine d’Houët was born in 1781 and grew up in central France in the aftermath of the French Revolution. In 1804 she married Joseph de Bonnault d’Houët and together they would visit the sick. But Joseph died less than a year later and three months after his death Marie-Madeleine gave birth to their son, Eugene. The young widowed mother still found time to continue her visits to the sick. She was aware of a growing desire to dedicate her whole life to God and … Continue reading Founders Day celebrations

High School History students visit Auschwitz and Birkenau

St. John’s students visited Auschwitz and Birkenau  on a recent High School History trip to Poland. Students were given a guided tour of both camps which allowed them to see at first hand exactly what happened there. Students also took in the sights of Krakow, where we had a guided tour and explored the Jewish quarter. The purpose of the trip was to enable students to see a first-hand the remains of Auschwitz and Birkenau. They also serve as a lesson from the past to both the present and the future regarding how we should react to acts of genocide. … Continue reading High School History students visit Auschwitz and Birkenau

Exciting learning projects in 7th grade

The students in grade 7 have been enjoying a variety of great learning projects in these first weeks of school: Ms. Rich’s 7th grade social studies students are on a mission to decide and defend, what are the top three most significant events of all time.  Last week we decided that the creation of the universe and earth should be #1- which has led to a rich discussion on religion and science.  In what ways do these two disciplines conflict with and complement each other?  When we had to decide on our #2 slot, we worked on comparing the significance of … Continue reading Exciting learning projects in 7th grade

St. John’s hosts Brussels College Night on October 1

The Brussels College Night 2013 will take place on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at St. John’s. The schedule is as follows: 17:30 – 18:30: Panel on “U.S. Admissions 101” 18:30 – 20:30: College Fair The primary purpose of Brussels College Night is to help secondary school students and families learn about higher education opportunities in the United States. This year, we are expecting admissions staff, university faculty members and alumni from over 80 institutions to attend the event, share information about their universities and answer questions from prospective students and their families. While the emphasis is on American higher education, there … Continue reading St. John’s hosts Brussels College Night on October 1

Grade 8 tackles geography and language arts

Many exciting projects are happening in 8th grade, here are some examples of what students work on this week: Mr. Young’s 8th grade social studies class has been working on the geography of the new world, as well as preparing for a mock G-20 summit. 8th grade language arts has been reading The Giver, by Lois Lowry.  Today, Mr. Robinson’s students made connections between their own lives and the world of the main character, Jonas. In the community of Jonas, it “was considered rude to call attention to things that were unsettling or different about individuals”.  Students considered: is this … Continue reading Grade 8 tackles geography and language arts

Australian students visit St. John’s

Thirty 10th and 11th grade girls from Genezzano FCJ College in Melbourne, Australia are visiting St. John’s for a few days. Housed by High School families, they arrived yesterday, attend classes today after which they play volleyball and soccer with our High School girls teams. They will also give a netball demonstration. After leaving Belgium, they will be touring Europe with stops in London, Liverpool, Limerick, Dublin and Paris. Their impression of Belgium are that it is very green and beautiful, people have been very friendly  and the St. John’s campus seems big, despite the fact their own school has … Continue reading Australian students visit St. John’s

Mr. Marty returns to St. John’s

The Elementary School students got a very special treat today: Mr. Marty and his band returned to begin the school year with a fantastic musical assembly. Marty Einstein sang many international songs and the students from Kindergarten-5th grade were singing and dancing to every song. It felt like a rock concert. The students absolutely loved singing and dancing to “The little engine that could.” Until next year………… By Sarah Knauf – ES music teacher Continue reading Mr. Marty returns to St. John’s

Companionship demonstrated 24 years later..

It was early June, 1989, and I was at my high school graduation in the new gym, which is now the old gym, at St. John’s International School, in Belgium. My classmates and I were all sitting in the front row of chairs, in the gym, waiting to receive our diplomas. Behind us, were our families and friends. All of us were listening to the speech of Charles Setzfand, who, while absent from Facebook, is still quite active in my memories. As he spoke, I was not looking at him, but rather, I was inspecting and pondering the colored lines, … Continue reading Companionship demonstrated 24 years later..

Student nationalities at St. John’s

At the start of each school year, we review the nationalities of the students represented at St. John’s. For the 2013-14 school year, these are the ten countries that have the most students attending St. John’s: United States of America Belgium United Kingdom France Norway Spain Sweden Germany Denmark South Korea We have seen a significant increase in the number of Norwegian students, while our Belgian, Swedish, French and South Korean student numbers remained stable. Both U.S. and U.K. dropped slightly compared to last year. A total of 50 countries is represented at St. John’s at this time. We hope … Continue reading Student nationalities at St. John’s

Great start to the 2013-14 school year!

The 2013-14 school year is off to a great start. One week ago today, we had many new parents and students at the new family orientation. After the introduction of key people and essential information about St. John’s, the students were shown around by returning students. The Welcome Committee had a full program for the parents as well to help facilitate their integration into the school.  On Thursday, we welcomed back all the returning students in grades 1-12 to officially start the 2013-14 school year. We also opened CUB Care, our before and after school service for the first time. Friday was … Continue reading Great start to the 2013-14 school year!