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Global Vision International and ISS

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Global Vision International is a marine conservation volunteer programme in Seychelles. Volunteers gain experience on coral reef restoration and recovery as well as other marine projects. ISS students from the primary section of ISS work with volunteers and GVI coordinators for a period of 5-6 weeks. Marine topics are linked to the science curriculum in school. This half term 6E has been learning about the classification of living things mostly working from Port Launay bay with one excursion to the GVI base at Cap Ternay. Students learned a lot about the beach environments that they visited and extended their knowledge in these amazing outdoor classrooms. The excursions included a walk on the mangrove boardwalk and an introduction to the 7 mangrove species at Ephelia hotel and in the Port Launay Ramsar site. Highlights were a climb up to the Port Glaud waterfall where the students encountered a very startled tenrec, a walk along the road to identify plant species and their habitats in the coastal zone and a snorkelling lesson to experience first hand the coral reef and fish at Port Launay. Students were excited to study beach habitats and the flora and fauna on the beach crest and would like to extend their thanks to GVI for their continued input, enthusiasm and knowledge. Outdoor education is an important part of our curriculum and the children gain new skills and experiences from their weekly encounters.

These are some comments from Year 6E pupils about their experiences

Amaya said …….. I enjoy GVI all the time actually! This week was also amazing seeing the mangroves in the Ephelia hotel. The Mangroves were beautiful!

Samaira said ….. I love going to GVI learning about mangroves. We also went to the Port Launay waterfall. It’s very exciting and fun we also learn many things that are worth knowing.

Ashvin said…. I enjoyed learning about the mangrove – it was wonderful. Also when we were going to the waterfall I saw a hedgehog.

Karine said….I enjoyed learning about the animal kingdom. My favourite fact is when amphibians are first born they breathe through gills then develop lungs.

Terron said….. I loved the waterfall, it’s so interesting and fun. I love GVI

Conray said… I really enjoyed doing GVI lessons . I liked the trip to the waterfall and learning about mangroves. I learned that a mangrove acts like a filter and cleans the water.

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An invitation not to be refused!

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On Tuesday 16th October, four special ISS students (Lola Green, Vanshika Parikh, Tyrell Servina, Estelle Bonnelame) and one delighted ISS teacher (Miss Sue Houghton, Head of Primary) were invited to attend a special opening ceremony where the guest of honour was none other than the President of Seychelles himself, Mr. Danny Faure.

Of course we all said ‘Yes, please’!

By 10am, all of the special guests had arrived at the Office of the Mayor of Victoria and we listened to the Secretary of State for Cabinet Affairs, Mr. Mohamed Afif, deliver a short address explaining the importance of the Gifts of State Exhibition and extending his congratulations to President Faure upon the anniversary of his second year in office.

The President and his entourage then left to tour the exhibit before returning to chat informally with other invited guests, making a special effort to meet the various groups of school students whom had been invited, including those from ISS. We were delighted to have the opportunity to share a few words with the President and discussed the challenges that finding just the right gift can pose; fortunately for the President he has skilled staff who can assist with this task.

Lola, Vanshika, Tyrell and Estelle all made a very positive impression with their polite manners and intelligent questions and certainly represented International School Seychelles to the very best of their ability.

It was a morning to remember – and although Miss Houghton felt that asking for a ‘selfie’ might not be appropriate, the President was very happy to pose with the students for a photograph!

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Paradise Revisited

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Leaden skies and persistent rain on Mahe threatened Class 5’s trip to explore the environmental wonders of Silhouette island the third largest in Seychelles. Thankfully as the group gathered at Hilton’s jetty at Bel Ombre the view of Silhouette 12 miles to the west cleared and calm sea awaited us. On arrival the young explorers were briefed by ICS wardens Tisha and Said about the endemic flora and fauna they would be seeing on the hike through the lowland forest. As the sun eventually broke through the trek to Anse Lascars and back was hugely enjoyed and many souvenir photos were taken. Lunch at Gran Kaz was followed by a sandcastle competition, spotting of a huge sting ray and a rare pacific golden plover. The day culminated in a guided tour of the village on La Passe and a walk through La Briz Hilton hotel to see the great milk fish in the lagoon. A roller coaster voyage on Silhouette Express soon had the happy adventurers back safely at Bel Ombre. Many thanks to Hilton and I.C.S. for a fabulous day away.

Offshore Eco- Education

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A bright Wednesday morning at Bel Ombre and Class 5M excitedly boarded Hilton La Briz Hotels Silhouette Express for the 30 minute boat ride of 12 miles to the mystical island of Silhouette. Silhouette is Seychelles third largest island and home to many endemic flora and fauna. Francois and Said of the Island Conservation Society were waiting to welcome us at their office next to the beautifully restored ‘Gran Kaz’ . Following a power point display on Eco Systems and endemics we began our hike through the replanted endemic forest hosting rarities such as Bwa Siro, Kapisen, Bwa Sandal, Bwa Dir, Bwa Blanc and 5 Latannyen (Palm) species which the children learnt to name as millpat,oban, fey, lat, and palmist . On the way we saw many geckoes and birds in their natural habitats The mangrove also offered a wealth of new discoveries and the children made a number of sightings and identifications there spotting many types of crab and mudskippers.

The class continued on to Anse Lascar and its circular stone burial sites originally thought to be the eponymous Arabian graves but following dating of remains they are more likely to be pirates. We marvelled at the unspoilt environment and pristine shoreline and learnt a lot about beach habitats.

The visit continued with a historical tour of the old village on La Passe. Here we were led by Catherina of the Hilton group who enthusiastically regaled us with stories of life in Silhouette of yesteryear and allowed us access to the hotel complex to view some giant milk fish in the lagoon.

We ended our day out with games in the grounds of the ‘Grand Kaz’ and a browse round museum displays. In the ICS office we viewed the preserved pilot whale skeleton, pickled house snake and turtle hatchlings then it was time to cast off from our island paradise and endure a rather bumpy return journey.

Many thanks to Hilton La Brize Silhouette and Island Conservation Society for their stalwart efforts making this truly a day to remember.

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