2024 Global Issues Conference

  • 2024
  • Community
  • Primary
Sheryll Asuncion & Christie Ng, Grade 5 Teachers

Every year, returning students setting foot in Grade 5 for the first time already know what is coming for them in Term 3: the Global Issues Conference (GIC). While a few individuals anticipate it, the majority are anxious - and new students have no specific expectations. Working on a capstone project focused on a global issue would be no small feat for our young learners. It would not only require them to think critically, analyze complex problems, but also develop innovative solutions.

As the year progresses, our Grade 5 students undergo this incredible journey of broadening their perspectives and developing skills that are typically deemed for much older students. As their teachers, we have the privilege of witnessing their growth, in both skills and maturity, and more importantly, their passion, and dedication to creating positive change in our world.

In an era where our world is becoming increasingly interconnected, it is crucial that the upcoming generation comprehends and addresses the urgent global issues that profoundly affect our planet. This capstone project provides our students with an exciting and immersive opportunity to delve deep into these challenges, fostering critical thinking, empathy, and innovative problem-solving skills. We are thrilled to share the journey that this year’s Grade 5 students have embarked on.

Students began by first exploring the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This framework helped them connect their chosen topics to the broader global agenda. They then began the research process, and dove into journals, articles, and documentaries. It was a joy to see them develop a deeper understanding of the global issues they were exploring. Under the guidance of their teachers, GIC mentors, and parents, they discovered the causes, consequences, and multiple perspectives surrounding these complex problems.

Guided by our Social Impact and Sustainability Program (SISP) team, our students were exposed to expert opinions and insights. Some were able to interview and speak with other experts with the help and organization of their parents. These experiences challenged them to think beyond their immediate surroundings. 

These Grade 5 students did not stop at research and analysis. They understood that true change requires action. To demonstrate their commitment to being part of the solution, they developed and implemented tailored calls to action. In their own way, each and every student tried to address the specific needs of the affected communities.

One of the most remarkable moments of the GIC was witnessing our students' transformation into confident and effective communicators. They began practicing, first by presenting to each other, before moving on to bigger and more unfamiliar audiences such as Grade 4s, Grade 6s, and Middle School students. They honed their presentation skills and fearlessly shared their research findings in front of parents, their school, and even external guest speakers. The room was filled with pride as our students shone brightly, and guest speakers further enriched the experience by sharing their expertise and inspiring their own calls to action.

As educators, we could not be prouder of our Grade 5 students' achievements. They have demonstrated a level of maturity, empathy, and determination that exceeded our expectations. We hope that this experience will bring life long skills for their future as compassionate global citizens and aspiring leaders.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the parents, mentors, and our school community for their unwavering support throughout this remarkable journey. Your encouragement and guidance have played an instrumental role in shaping our students' success.

Let us celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of our Grade 5 students, and remind them that their voice matters.

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