ML Muster: Welcome Back!

ML Muster: Welcome Back!

By Chad Walsh / August 18, 2023 / Middle Loop Muster

Welcome back to a new and exciting school year! We have hit the ground running with a very successful onboarding week with our Learning Design Team.

Welcome back to a new and exciting school year! We have hit the ground running with a very successful onboarding week with our Learning Design Team. We will be sharing the Middle Loop Muster with families every 2 weeks on a Friday. This will be a great way to share a snapshot of what is happening in the Middle Loop (ML). There will be different labs and experiences highlighted every 2 weeks.

We are currently working on putting together our curriculum overview for quarter 1. Suzanne Kitto, our new Director of Curriculum and Learning, will communicate this with families very soon. 

The C5-6 Beyond The Wall (BTW) overnight trip was a raging success. What a positive and impactful experience for learners and Learning Designers (LDs) to connect and develop relationships. The C7-8 BTW overnight trip is scheduled for 13-15 September.

There is a great vibe around the campus and in the Middle Loop. It's going to be a great year! Were looking forward to working and learning together as VERSO goes from strength to strength. 

Photo of the Week Through the Window

This shot was taken through the window capturing Jonathan Campbell (JC) and Graham Baines working with C7-8 learners on their Explore projects.


Community Time Groups

The learners have been assigned a Learning Designer in their Community Time groups. This is very similar to an advisory role where the LD will work, monitor, and mentor learners' social, emotional, and academic needs with a high priority on pastoral care.  If parents have any questions, concerns or would like to learn more about their child's learning, the Community Time LD is the first person to contact. The Community Time LD will be with the same group of learners for the entire year and will establish a strong relationship to motivate and guide learners to be happy, challenged, and successful.

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The table above shows the direct email address of your child's Community Time LD. Jonathan Campbell ( the 5-6 Cohort Leader and Ashley Durdle ( the 7-8 Cohort Leader. Please feel free to contact them any time as they are responsible for the ML program and are a great wealth of information.

5-6 BTW Overnight Trip

The 5-6 cohort went on our first overnight BTW trip. Twenty-seven kids went to a camp that VERSO provided for them, and we, some of the kids who went to that camp, want to explain what we did in those two days. We started off the adventure by getting on the bus to go to the camp. Once we arrived, we were greeted by two amazing staff who explained the instructions and led us to our rooms. After that we went to our groups and activities and started Day One. We did the obstacle course with a variety of stages such as the Tire Mountain, Ninja Run, and many more.

After exhausting exercises, we went out for a delicious BBQ as well as watching Minions 2. Later on, we went back to the resort, to get ready to sleep. Day 2 started and my group went for a little swim and kayaking and had lots of fun. After losing track of time, it was time for lunch. We had amazing food and played a little sport. Then it was time for our last activity of the day, Survival Skills. We did amazing things, for example, such as starting a fire, boiling eggs, and brewing Milo/Ovaltine. We headed back to the Pattana Mansion to pack our bags and say goodbye to this wonderful adventure.
By Tim, Win & Namin (Grade 5)

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7-8 Learning Lab

Our 7-8 Cohort has been busy with getting-to-know-you activities during the first week, as we’ve bonded as a brand new team of learners & LDs. The vibe has been high, with many smiles and laughs as we forge new friendships & set our collaboration norms! Now that we’re settled in, we’ve started our Learning Lab launch into our Q1 project, with the driving question: How do countries use media to influence their political outcomes? We’re starting with simulations of what it is like to take part in four of the main socio-political systems - capitalism, communism, socialism, and totalitarianism. The learners will reflect at the end of the week on what their experiences were like taking part in these simulations, in order to compare & contrast the systems in their understanding, as the project advances. Our focus is on Social Studies, Art & Literacy in this project, with an art auction as the final ShowTime piece on 6 October. Learners will be putting how they have developed their Communication & Humanism competencies on display for this ShowTime. They will be taking their emotional responses to the political landscapes they uncover & turn them into artwork, with the goal of microfinancing marginalized people left out of the political decision-making process around the world.

In addition to Learning Lab, and to the Science & Performing Arts workshops that the 7-8 Cohort will be undertaking this quarter, we’ll also be diving into how 2D shapes connect to 3D in our first Big Idea in Grade 7 Math, as well as exploring the concept of congruency in Grade 8 Math. Finally, we have our first BTW trip coming up on 13-15 September, where we will visit iCamp Thailand, further cementing our bonds as a cohort team. We’re looking forward to a most excellent year ahead!

Music & Performing Arts

At VERSO, we believe that we are all Performing Artists. We strive to provide a diverse range of opportunities, so that learners may discover a form of expression that’s just right for them. This promotes intrinsic motivation, stimulates a sense of well-being and confidence, and sets learners up for a life-long love for their chosen creative outlet, whether it be connected to dance, drama, music… or all 3!

Our state-of-the-art facilities have been designed as a ‘plug and play’ environment, where learners can explore and create on their own or with friends. We support learning by teaching fundamental skills in a fun and compelling way, whilst also encouraging learners to start to lead their own learning journeys and to collaborate in a flexible and dynamic fashion.

So, what’s new this year in ML Performing Arts?

1.Performing Arts EVERY day: Our 3rd floor facilities will be open from 11:30am-12:00pm every school day, so that learners can come and explore, create and connect.

2.A VERSO Exclusive: Dance workshops designed to empower learners through movement. In their Community Time groups, learners will experience a deep dive into the creative process through the eyes of highly skilled dance professionals. 

3.More VERSO's Got Talent (VGT) Shows: After the success of our very first VGT- ML Edition last semester, we have planned 4 more of the same event, for each quarter of the school year. These events will be supported by our less formal and more regular “Ubuntu ShowTime Events”, where learners can prototype their performances in a fun and safe environment.

4. ASA “Performing Arts MasterClass” Workshops - Another VERSO Exclusive where top industry professionals will be invited to VERSO to share their Performing Arts skills and  ‘tips and tricks’ from their field of expertise. We’re starting with DJ Jerry / Contemporary Dance with Boon and learners who are interested can sign up using this link.

Needless to say, we have set the stage for a highly creative year in The Performing Arts at VERSO, and we’re so excited for our learners to have these opportunities!

Thai Language

This quarter, our Thai language lab is all about speaking up! During the first week back to class, we kicked off our Thai journey with a fun and engaging activity that brought us all closer together. As part of our language and cultural immersion, each learner had the chance to introduce themselves and share their captivating summer stories with the class. We're making learning fun by practicing speaking. We'll do things like talking in front of the class, speaking at meetings, and having friendly debates this quarter.

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Chinese Language

This quarter, our focus in Chinese Lab is on honing the learners' communication skills through the medium of Mandarin Chinese. Our goal is to empower them to express their individuality confidently and authentically using the Chinese language, all while emphasizing correct tones, pronunciation, and an expanding vocabulary. In this class, learners will explore the art of self-expression in a culturally immersive environment by emphasizing the nuances of tones and pronunciation. Through engaging activities like singing songs and creating posters about their passions and interests, we hope to encourage interactive discussions in Chinese. Learners in this Chinese Lab will build their language proficiency while learning to articulate their thoughts, ideas, and feelings.

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We have had a fantastic start to the year. Thank you for your support. We are looking forward to connecting with you soon. ConVERSOs are just around the corner, so be on the lookout for more information about how it is going to work.

Best regards,

Middle Loop Team

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Important Reminders

  • 23 August: Meet the Athletics Director Coffee Morning for parents
  • 30 August: EAL Coffee Morning for parents 
  • 6 September: Coffee Morning with Greg Mason, Upper Loop Career and University Guidance Counselor
  • 8 September: ConVERSOs
  • 13-15 September: C7-8 Overnight BTW trip
  • 6 October: C7-8 Learning Lab Showtime= 

Important Links