Instituto Miguel Ángel, July 2021
Instituto Miguel Ángel, a school that in spite of the distance and the fear we lived in Mexico City, was able to foster the union of its members more than ever before, preparing itself and innovating constantly to respond to the formation of its students.
This article shall share with you some of the moments and experiences that we lived in the events that we shared, our academic achievements and attitudes of faith during the 2020 – 2021 school year.
One of the first activities we had, and which continued in force until the end of the school cycle, was the project called “PenPal”. Through it, the elementary school students in the third and fourth grade exchanged letters with students in Pennsylvania State, in the United States. Each student was paired with a student who had a different culture, different traditions and a different language. Through this project, the students practiced the English language, and some of them were able to develop friendships in another country.
In our school, all students, including those in the Elementary School, are encouraged to participate in different contests to foster their growth, their learning and the development of their abilities.
The IMA itself organized internal contests, such as the Speech Contest: “What does it mean for me to be a CCVI student?” with the participation of Elementary School Students. In the Speech Contest and the Poetry Contest, the middle school students, with the support of their English teachers, created poems and speeches in order to present them before their classmates, their teachers and a jury. We also had the High School Speech Contest, where the High School students recited poems and presented speeches in public.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word has eight schools in Mexico. These schools participate in contests that foster integration and a community spirit. This year we had the “First CCVI Mathematics Olympic Contest”. It was organized by Colegio Mexicano, which is in Monterrey. And Instituto América, which is in Chihuahua, organized the “CCVI 1st National Presentations”.
The students are also invited to participate in bigger contests representing our school. This year, the 4th Mathematics Contest, “Carl Friedrich Gau55” in Mexico City, challenged the students to participate in its three stages. The notice was sent to invite the participation of students in the 5th and 6th Elementary School Grades. The second stage included the 7th, 8th and 9th grades in Middle School (which in Mexico are the First, Second and Third Secundaria grades). And the third stage included the three High School years (which in Mexico are the 4th, 5th and 6th grades in Preparatoria). In the first stage, 80 students were able to move onto the second level, and five of them were part of the National Selection. Seven of them were selected to be reserves for the National Contest. In this third level, the IMA students were among the winners of second and third places.
Ths IMA students in the second year of middle school participated for the first time in “The Finance Fair”, and they won the first place at national level.
During this school year, the school fostered several contests for the participation on-line of as many students as possible, transforming these contests into Internal Demonstrations. This is how the elementary school students worked on the “Spelling Bee” and on the Spelling Project, which allowed them to strengthen and to expand their vocabulary in English and in Spanish. In addition, the students in the fifth and sixth elementary school grades presented a poetry program to their classmates, to their teachers and to the school authorities.
Regarding our younger students, the pre-school children researched a topic they were interested in and they presented it to their classmates and to their parents through the “Preschool Project Based Learning”.
This year, the IMA participated virtually in the SIMUN (The United Nations Model of the Incorporated System). This is an event organized by the DGIRE (Dirección General de Incorporación y Revalidación de Estudios – General Direction for the Incorporation and Validation of Studies), which makes it possible for middle school and high school students to represent a country as delegates, grouped into committees that are focused on a topic to be developed. Through debates and exchanging ideas, they try to solve a conflict reflection the diplomatic operation of the United Nations Organization.
Before this event, we had the MUNIMA, a United Nations model within our school, and we also worked on the CM-MIN-IMA, a project where Colegio Mexicano and Instituto Miguel Ángel joined forces to give it form. This made it possible for the students who participated to have debates and generate proposals to handle the problems we are really facing now.
The Science Fair was organized for the pre-school, elementary school and middle school sections. This is one of the events that the students really look forward to, because they love to investigate, discover and learn in the fields of science and technology through experimentation done in their classes.
Instituto Miguel Ángel considers that interaction among its students in very important in order to maintain the link with the community, so it has implemented the Linking Project [Proyecto de Vinculación] among its sections. This allows the students to share experiences and learning with students of other ages and different educational levels.
In this School Cycle, the middle school students presented the “Telling Stories” [Cuentacuentos] Project to the pre-school children. They used puppets to tell them stories and fables, such as “The Tortoise and the Hare” and “The Ant and the Grasshopper”. The middle school and the high school students also worked on the “Storytelling” project to tell stories to the children in the second year of pre-school and in the first grade in elementary school.
The students also shared display presentations. The older elementary school students developed projects to participate in the “Common Display” and develop activities designed for the younger elementary school students through different topics. The students in the first year of middle school made a presentation about the tectonic plates for the students in the sixth grade; it included manual activities and questions and answers sessions. The high school students shared with the fourth grade students the experience of their yearly trip to the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, through a photographic presentation.
The school also considers that the steps taken by students when they complete an academic cycle and move onto the next section are very important. So in order to create a link between the pre-school students and the first grade teachers, they worked on the project known as “One day in my elementary school”. The students who visited the elementary school received classes in Spanish and in English, physical education classes and artistic education classes to become familiar with the way the elementary school section works, to identify their future teachers, to be together and to learn new things.
As a motivation for the third grade students, they were invited to attend the School to receive their first IMA pen, which is given as a way to acknowledge their efforts and good performance during the school cycle and to indicate that the children are ready to move onto the higher levels of the elementary school.
In order to lead the high school students into pre-university activities, we had the first edition of the “High School Congress” as a way to develop and apply the scientific method, and to share the result of the tasks done by the students during the school cycle.
As part of the celebration and the learning experiences lived during the important dates that the school commemorates during the year, we had several activities in the school.
During this school cycle, the pre-school students celebrated Mexico’s Independence with a symbolic experience, preparing and sharing typical dishes and ingredients in our country, such as corn and beans. On January 6, they prepared the typical Three Kings Cakes [Roscas de Reyes] with different ingredients, remembering the importance of the visit of the Three Kings to the child Jesus. Also, the youngest children were shown the ingredients, the way to prepare these cakes and their meaning. In March, they received the Spring Season emphasizing the marvels of nature and explaining the importance of caring for our “common home”. They worked on creative work of art using different plastic techniques.
On Children’s Day, April 30, we tried to find a way for the pre-school and elementary school children to celebrate it with all the safety measures required during the contingency. We invited the students to visit the school using the circuit through the main school yard. There, we had several stations to give them a present from the school. Each family decorated their car and the teachers and the school personnel dressed as Disney characters.
On Mother´s Day we had a Thanksgiving Mass to pray to the Incarnate Word for all the mothers. We also had a virtual festival presented by the children. In the pre-school they had a celebration they named “Celebrating our Mother around the world”. They danced with colorful costumes from different countries. In the elementary school they had a celebration called “My mom is the music in my life”. Each group participated with a dance according to the topic selected by each grade showing a message for the mothers.
To celebrate Father’s Day, the elementary school organized “One day with dad”. They had several activities such as kahoots, de origami activities, food recipes, and challenges to be faced in group. At the end of each activity the parents received a letter written by their children.
At Instituto Miguel Ángel we consider that it is very important for students to have physical activities, so the limitations that distance imposed on sports at this time, did not prevent the students from participating in the Inter-Collegiate Games 2021, where they joined efforts with the other CCVI Schools to make these games successful. 51 students participated in Basketball for girls and for boys. 93 students participated in Football for girls and for boys. 53 girls participated in Volley Ball. A total of 197 students of the different schools participated in these three branches adapting themselves to the limited spaces that were required as a protective measure due to the pandemic. The different schools received the medals that were won for the first, second and third places. And the school’s mascot was responsible for delivering the medals to the students’ addresses. The students felt very excited when they received them.
Regarding the extracurricular Taekwondo activities, the students had the opportunity to participate in an evaluation attended by representatives of the Ajal Kiin Association, IMA professors, 14 pre-school students, 27 elementary school students and three medal winners who motivated the children with their words.
The Celebration of the Incarnate Word is a great festivity for the IMA community. As soon as the month of March started, we started to prepare ourselves. Each teacher arranged her classroom environment. There was a commemorative Mass and the new students were consecrated to the Incarnate Word.
The day by day experience in school which was created in spite of the distance, through gatherings by MEET of by ZOOM, made it possible for the classes and activities at the IMA to become the 2020-2021 school cycle which was full of learning, memories, links and experiences which will undoubtedly be remembered forever.