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A peek into the Virtual learning at School

Each week, the Secondary School will be sharing with you a snapshot of the learning that is taking place in our virtual learning classes throughout the school. We aim to give our entire community a glimpse of what is going on in the various grade levels and academic departments of the school.

To begin, I would like to share some of what we’re doing in my own class: MYP 2B Language and Literature!

“Gitanjali 35”    (1910, Rabindranath Tagore, India)

   Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

   Where knowledge is free;

   Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;

   Where words come out from the depth of truth;

   Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

   Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;

   Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action

   Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

This is a sample of one of the poems our class has examined as part of our international poetry unit. We have been looking at poetry from around the world including India, Japan, South Africa, China and Canada so far. The students are doing the usual critical analysis, finding personification and metaphor and things of that nature, but we have also been talking about history and geography and a myriad of other topics as well.

One of the great things about IB is the international nature of the curriculum. In IB, we don’t just study works from one culture; we look at a variety of cultures and try to gain a breadth of perspectives. This allows us to better understand different perspectives, and gain tolerance and appreciation for these. Somewhat paradoxically, however, it also serves as a reminder of much that is more universal and eternal. This poem was written over a century ago, in and about colonial India. But it could have been written in in France during the Nazi occupation. Or in South Africa during apartheid. Or last week in any number of places in the world. It is a poem wherein the author dreams of a better world, a world of understanding, tolerance and freedom. This dream of a better world for our children is not confined to any one culture or period in history; it is in fact, a statement of our common humanity.

Patrick McCarthy

Head of Secondary School

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