Central to the mission of Daystar Academy is the steadfast pursuit of bilingual excellence for all students. To achieve this, Daystar students build upon the content knowledge and academic vocabulary gained in Chinese and English studies from their elementary years as they continue to explore relevant and engaging course content through both languages during their secondary school experience. Staying true to the belief that all teachers are language teachers and all students are language learners, Daystar faculty endeavor to promote students’ confidence and creativity as they integrate research-based practices to support the language development and cultural awareness of all students.
CHARACTER IN ACTION
Daystar is dedicated to developing world citizens who possess the knowledge, skills, and determination to turn their learning into action to serve the local and global communities in which they live. We expect students to be caring toward others, principled in their actions, and reflective in their thinking. Our East-meets-West character education program marries Chinese Virtues with the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile Attributes to cultivate a service-oriented mindset. Understanding that mindset alone is not enough to execute actionable service, 21st century skill development is infused throughout our academic and extra-curricular programming to equip our students with the tools necessary to positively impact our communities.
Daystar believes that the quality education that students receive throughout their K-12 experience is only the beginning of their journey to impact the world. For this reason, Daystar staff ensure that students are provided meaningful opportunities to hone their 21st century communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity skills while exploring rigorous academic content during each school day. Values such as service and respect are embedded within classroom and field experiences so that students leave Daystar equipped to excel in their desired career paths while maintaining a commitment to serve and work alongside others to make the world a better place.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAMME
Middle school students ask big questions about themselves as they grow, develop and transition from childhood to adolescence, academically and emotionally. We believe this period is best supported by a broad, balanced and personally challenging education that engages learners and fuels a love of lifelong learning.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
At Daystar, middle school is about developing character through meaningful connections. Middle school is a time to build powerful bonds between friends, between learning and real life, between interests and actual experiences, and between the actions we take and the impact we can have. Soon enough, hard choices about college and life direction will emerge, but this is a time to explore joyfully and freely, leaving no possible strength or talent undeveloped, while preparing for the rigors of the high school program.
Our core values (respect, caring, unity, service and excellence) are embedded in our program. These are values that Daystar students will live on a daily basis on the playground, on the sports field, and in our classrooms. Our school community models these values so they will characterize our students long after they have graduated.
We pay particular focus to the need for students to develop self-management skills and good judgement through their time in the middle school. Many of our programs are designed to support these skills and prepare students to be successful during this phase of their development. It is important to us to look not only at the youth who join our middle school in Grade 6 but also at the young adults who move on to the high school program, ensuring that students have the life and learning skills they need to be successful with the next step of their development and education.
Building on the foundational knowledge, skills, and understandings developed in elementary school, Daystar Middle School students engage in a rigorous academic program aimed to develop bilingual and bicultural global citizens. Transitioning from the transdisciplinary nature of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme, as an authorized IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) school, the middle school’s instructional focus is grounded in academic disciplines.
Daystar’s academic program is broad and balanced, yet students deepen their disciplinary understanding and 21st skills through challenging standards-aligned coursework designed to develop the academic knowledge and skills necessary for success in collegiate-level coursework. Structured and guided inquiry approaches to teaching and learning provide students with opportunities to build on their prior knowledge and experience, construct meaning, and apply increasingly sophisticated skills to demonstrate disciplinary understanding. Concept-based teaching and learning leads students to make connections among content, requiring higher levels of critical thinking and facilitating the transfer of knowledge within and across disciplines.
Through interdisciplinary project-based learning, students are introduced to the multi-faceted nature of global challenges. Students are challenged to make connections across content areas and apply their learning to develop solutions to real-world problems. Service as Action is emphasized throughout the program as students have opportunities to apply their classroom learning to serve the communities in which they live. The Community and Personal Projects also provide opportunities for student-initiated action.
Athletics & Activities
The Daystar Academy Athletic Program is committed to increasing participation in sport to further support our Physical Education Department’s goal of lifetime fitness, health and physical activity. Team and individual sports help teach and reinforce skills such as teamwork, fair-play, sportsmanship, work-ethic, and perseverance. Daystar belongs to the Beijing Area Sports Exchange (BASE). BASE is a competitive league of schools from all over Beijing. BASE provides athletic competitions as well as debate, MUN, and Chess. Competitions range from grade 5 all the way up through grade 12. Within BASE Daystar will compete and have teams for soccer, volleyball, basketball, badminton, table tennis, and other events as they take place. The athletic program is growing rapidly and has plans of starting a tennis team in the Spring of 2018 as well as the pending membership into the Association of Chinese and Mongolian International Schools (ACAMIS). The Daystar Academy athletics program mission is to provide every student the opportunity to compete in something they are passionate about, to build confidence and leadership skills, and finally to encourage team work, sportsmanship and fair play.
Every principal knows that the most successful students are those who are passionate about their learning and engaged in school. By having a voice, finding an interest, and following a passion, students can greatly improve their engagement in all learning areas. Our Passion Projects and Exploratory Courses - including opportunities such as Chinese debate, green living, 3D art, community service leadership, and much more - encourages students to find something that is truly theirs. They have the opportunity to assert their identity and interests in a concrete way and use the discipline, self-management, and resilience that comes from the engagement in that interest, to benefit all areas of their learning.
The view we have of education as preparation
for lifelong learning means that Daystar
Middle School is more than just a group of
subjects. It is a learning community where
every member needs to have the opportunity
to express their passions and strive for
On top of the general benefits, our hope is that students learn how to investigate, plan, take action, and reflect on their achievements. Accordingly, we strive to ensure that our young innovators and entrepreneurs find a space to develop their talents.
Student life should be an adventure. Adventures in learning, growing, finding your voice and realizing how powerful you are should merge with the fun of sharing the adventure with good friends and role models.
“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.”
All middle school students have the opportunity to take part in a range of experiences outside the classroom that build on and enhance their education. These include cultural events, camps, Student Council, co-curricular events (sports days, science fair, etc), productions, music performances and more.
Class Fall Camp
Students will be challenged to develop their collaboration, teambuilding, and self-management skills outside of the school environment. Students will also learn about safety in the outdoors and take part in a range of challenge-by-choice activities designed to introduce leadership skills and concepts.
Week Without Walls
To enhance the learning that has taken place within their subjects, students will be able to sign up for a range of educational trips in the spring. Students will apply the knowledge they have gained and experience the impact and benefits of an educated mind as they travel.
Our Student Council takes an active role in enhancing our community. They run events and activities, ensure students have a voice on key issues, and enhance our physical environment to ensure that our campus remains student centered.
Student Support Services
“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.”
The Library plays an important role in providing literacy support for students. Their goal is to shape lifelong readers who love learning, are information-literate, and are critical thinkers who ethically use a wide range of information sources and technologies.
In the middle school, we believe that student learning should be the driving force behind how the library acquires, organizes, and utilizes materials. We collaborate with members of the Daystar community, helping teach the information literacy skills necessary so that they learn how to identify and fulfil their own information needs.
Learning and Counseling Support
The learning support and counseling services offered to middle school students consists of both a counselor and learning support specialist. They assist students who are experiencing academic, social or emotional difficulties at school. The task of this team is to discuss ways to help individual students find solutions to these challenges in order to make the most of their time at Daystar and enjoy being part of our community. Members of the learning support and counseling teams serve as advocates for students and assist them in gaining the self-knowledge and self-management skills needed to become productive, self-confident individuals.
HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMME
High school is about growing up, discovering more about where you fit in the world, and preparing for life's possibilities. It's a place where students who are given enough support, confidence, self-direction, mentorship, role modelling, trust, and responsibility will experience and share their own personal challenges and victories.
"You are the best author of your own future. So, the next time you sit down to write your own story, remember that you are the creator of the best chapters that could ever be written. "
High school is a place to put into practice the lessons learned from elementary and middle school, to take on the mantle of student leadership, and to contribute more to the Daystar community while preparing for the next challenge beyond our walls.
At Daystar we work hard to prepare students to be successful in the next stage of their education with both the advice and guidance that they need as well as the future-focused skills that will carry them on to further success. Students in our high school program develop transferable learning skills and focus on their Approaches to Learning (ATL’s) to ensure they are organized and resilient, can work both independently and collaboratively, have opportunities to be creative, and thrive on working outside of their comfort zones. Our graduates will also be prepared for life both in China and abroad with language and cultural competencies that make them highly competitive in a global environment.
"By having a clear vision, even a short vision of what will happen in the future. We will be less worried and feel a little bit confident, and calm because we can manage our life in the world that is changing every second."
As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) school, students in grades nine and ten continue to engage in a broad, balanced, and rigorous curriculum framework through which students develop the disciplinary knowledge, 21st century skills, and conceptual understandings within real-world contexts that are necessary for success in university-level coursework. Daystar aligns the MYP curriculum framework with rigorous standards-based learning outcomes to ensure our students are performing at or above their United States grade-level peers in courses taught through English and their Chinese peers in courses taught through Chinese. During the final year of the program (grade ten), students demonstrate their knowledge and skill acquisition through the MYP Personal Project, an opportunity for students to engage in an interest-driven inquiry using a process in which students investigate, plan, take action, and reflect on their learning. The skills, and potentially understanding, developed through the personal project leads into the IB Diploma Programme (DP) extended essay – a significant piece of independent research that promotes the high-level research and writing skills expected at university.
Beginning in grade nine, students may enroll in select Advanced Placement (AP) courses. AP courses are rigorous university-level courses that provide students the opportunity to develop and practice the sophisticated critical thinking, communication, and self-management skills necessary for academic success beyond high school. Enrolling in these courses and successfully completing the College Board assessment at the end of the course also offers students a number of advantages that may strengthen their college admissions profile.
Daystar Academy will pursue candidacy, beginning in the Spring of 2019, to offer the IB DP*. The IBO’s mission to “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect” as well as its emphasis on bilingualism and multilingualism are essential elements in developing global citizens who have the skills and confidence to serve the communities in which they live closely aligns with Daystar’s own mission. Once authorized, Daystar students will have access to a comprehensive and rigorous university-level program that builds disciplinary expertise while also providing challenging opportunities to apply their learning in real-world contexts.
Daystar Academy is pursuing candidacy to become an IB authorized school* for the IB Diploma Programme. IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision.** * Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme or the Career-related Programme (CP).
For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit http://www.ibo.org
**Mission Statement from the IB
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
Daystar Academy High School offers collegiate-level academics to students in grades nine through twelve. As an International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) candidate school*, students in grades nine and ten continue to engage in rigorous academic coursework that builds the disciplinary knowledge and skills necessary for success in university-level courses and prepares students for success on college admissions assessments such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
Daystar students, however, do not have to wait until grades eleven and twelve to enrol in collegiate-level courses. Beginning in grade nine, students may enrol in select Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Enrolling in these courses and successfully completing the College Board assessment at the end of the course offers students a number of advantages that may strengthen their college profile: students can begin earning valuable college credit early in their high school career; it demonstrates to college admissions officers that students are willing to challenge themselves by engaging in rigorous academic coursework; and it provides students the opportunity to develop and practice the sophisticated critical thinking, communication, and self-management skills necessary to be successful in the IB Diploma Programme in grades eleven and twelve.
Daystar Academy students have the opportunity to work with our academic and university counsellor to develop a rigorous four-year academic plan that prepares students to engage in a specific course of study after high school. Students who wish to pursue an art, sciences, or humanities track at university can enrol in multiple collegiate-level courses within a discipline that may lead to advanced standing upon successful completion of standardized assessments. Daystar’s academic and university counsellor will also work with students and families to identify short- and long-term goals, ensure families have the information necessary to make informed-decisions when creating academic and university plans, and assist families in navigating the diverse opportunities and processes associated with applying to universities in different regions of the world.
Athletics & Activities
The Daystar Academy Athletic Program is committed to increasing participation in sport to further support our Physical Education Department’s goal of life time fitness, health and physical activity. Team and individual sports help teach and reinforce skills such as teamwork, fair-play, sportsmanship, work-ethic, and perseverance. Daystar belongs to the Beijing Area Sports Exchange (BASE). BASE is a competitive league of schools from all over Beijing. BASE provides athletic competitions as well as debate, MUN, and Chess. Competitions range from grade 5 all the way up through grade 12. Within BASE Daystar will compete and have teams for soccer, volleyball, basketball, badminton, table tennis, and other events as they take place. The athletic program is growing rapidly and has plans of starting a tennis team in the Spring of 2018 as well as the pending membership into the Association of Chinese and Mongolian International Schools (ACAMIS). The Daystar Academy athletics program mission is to provide every student the opportunity to compete in something they are passionate about, to build confidence and leadership skills, and finally to encourage team work, sportsmanship and fair play.
Every principal knows that the most successful students are those who are passionate about their learning and engaged in school. By having a voice, finding an interest, following a passion, students can greatly improve their engagement in all learning areas. Our Passion Projects and Exploratory Courses, which range from Chinese debate, green living, 3D Art through to Community Service Leadership, encourages students to find something that is truly theirs. They have the opportunity to assert their identity and interests in a concrete way and use the discipline, self-management and resilience that come from the engagement in that interest, to benefit all areas of their learning.
The view we have of education as preparation for life long learning means that Daystar Middle School is more than just a group of subjects. It is a learning community were every member needs to have the opportunity to express their passions and strive for excellence.
On top of the general benefits our hope is that as the students learn how to investigate, plan, take action and reflect on their achievements, that our young innovators, entrepreneurs will find a space to develop their talents.
NEWS & GALLERIES
Middle School “Week Without Walls” Field Trip
Daystar’s Middle School students recently had the opportunity to participate in the first Week Without Walls program. The varied Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) programs combined elements of adventure, outdoor education, service as action and personal growth, into an amazing action-packed camp experience. This year, 46 students took up the WWW challenge, and were accompanied by six Daystar staff and six staff from Indier. 20 students from Grade 6 left for Yanqing in the north of Beijing district, while 26 students from Grade 7 - 8 flew to Yangshuo, in Guilin province in southern China. The camp programs differed in both length and difficulty. While both camps included outdoor cooking, camping, hiking, mountain biking and team building
Daystar’s Basketball Team Thrives
Since the formation of Daystar’s boys and girls basketball team at the beginning of this year, we can already see the progress they have made as a team. Our Head Coach, Nahtral, has played and coached in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) of America. In his many years of experience as a professional basketball coach, he and his program has cultivated countless NCAA players and five professional athletes. Sports teams get better the more time they can spend on together practicing. The boys and girls basketball team have participated in weekly practices, in-house matches and competitions with other neighboring schools. During April, the boys and girls teams have played a total of seven games and made great strides as a team. It is wonderful to see that fellow teams recognize our Daystar’s team emphasis of our core values which were manifested through sportsmanship!
Middle School Art Evening
The Middle School Art Evening features our Grade 6 to Grade 8 students’ stunning art pieces produced from their unit studies. Apart from the exhibition of artworks, visitors and parents experience live musical performances, art stations in sculpture making, and videos detailing their creative processes.
Middle School Sports Day
Middle School Students participated in a various of competitive yet fun physical activities throughout the day while looking great in their brightly colored t-shirts. Despite the warm weather, it was wonderful to see students trying their best, working together, smiling and having so much fun.