Ms. Magallona's English Class

Comment 0

The Grade 8 Debate

Following a semester studying various gender, racial and religious discrimination cases and fallacies, the Grade 8 prepared for their final speech assessment of the year: debate.

They had to research on global issues and then prepare arguments for and against these cases.



The class divided into eight pairs with four pairs debating per session. The students researched on the following statements:

1) The house supports Donald Trump’s travel ban to the US for citizens of Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Yemen and Somalia.

2) The house does not support the extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration in the war against drugs.

3) The house supports Angela Merkel’s open-door immigration policy to Syrians.

4) The house does not support the European Union’s permission to ban the women’s use of the hijab at work.


During the debate, the students took notes of the opposing team’s arguments. The teams would then engage in a “crossfire”, a two-minute question-and-answer portion.



Meanwhile, the rest of the class would also keep track of the arguments on a worksheet provided by the teacher. At the end of every session, the students would then share their opinion on which side gave the more convincing argument and who was the best speaker.

Comment 0

Grade 11 IOC


This May, the Grade 11 LangLit students will be delivering one of the more challenging assessments: the Individual Oral Commentary.

The students are advised to prepare by using mind maps as a way to establish connections within a text. They are prepped to use literary jargon specific to the genre. Above all, they are asked to relax in order to clear their minds.


Comment 0

Grade 9: Research Work

During the second semester, the Grade 9 students immersed themselves in research work – from selecting a topic, outlining their first draft, summarizing, paraphrasing and citing sources.

The students were asked to research on a historical event and to write about the major causes which led to it. Some of the topics chosen include the following:

The Bombing of Pearl Harbor



The Assassination of Julius Caesar






The Execution of Jose Rizal



The Cold War



The students are expected to research on the effects these historical events brought about for the fourth quarter. Each student will present their paper and then go through an oral defense.

Comment 0

LangLit SL: W.H. Auden

201129-7   This month, the Grade 11 LangLit SL students have been studying poems written by W.H. Auden for their Individual Oral Commentary. They have established study groups, outlined scripts and practiced delivering their commentaries.

20170223_104238[1] 20170223_104254[1] 20170223_104301[1]


One such poem includes Auden’s famous “The Unknown Citizen”:

(To JS/07 M 378
This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports of his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of the old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the war till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn’t a scab or odd in his views,
For his union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report of his union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day,
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows that he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High–Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A gramophone, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of the year;
When there was peace he was for peace; when there was war he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation,
And our teachers report he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

Comment 0

Grade 8: Fallacies

As the third quarter draws to a close, the Grade 8 have finished researching on, writing and presenting various discrimination cases involving gender, race and religion. A logical progression to learning about these issues is to propose arguments against discrimination.

In order to prepare sound arguments, the Grade 8 were tasked to research on selected fallacies. This will prepare them for the debates in the fourth quarter:


 20170308_134938 20170308_134946

Comment 0

TOK: Art & Religion as Areas of Knowledge

This March, the Grade 11 will begin tackling Art and Religion as Areas of Knowledge.

20170301_085020[1] 20170301_085035[1] 20170301_085129[1] 20170301_085151[1] 20170301_085159[1]

The students were grouped according to various religions with some chosen based on their personal affiliations. Each group evaluated an artistic interpretation of each religion, including Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism. They were also tasked to do a bit of research on each religion’s history and basic beliefs.

The students also considered the following knowledge questions: Where do religious beliefs come from? Is faith irrational?


Comment 0

Grade 9: First Foray into Upper School Field Trips

Arriving at Kansai Airport

Arriving at Kansai Airport

Last February 8-11, the Grade 9 class took their first field trip as Upper School students to Japan. Over three nights and four days, they journeyed through Osaka, Kyoto and Wakayama.

Gamely posing at the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Gamely posing at the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

One of the more memorable excursions involved the Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium where the students saw different types of marine life.

20170208_150906[1] 20170208_151123[1]


Class Picture at Kaiyukan Aquarium

Class Picture at Kaiyukan Aquarium


Another memorable experience for the class was the walk to the Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto. They were dressed in kimonos and walked under falling snow.

Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto

Kiyomizu Temple, Kyoto


The students also had the chance to interact with students from an all-girls’ school in Wakayama. They attended classes and clubs:


Cooking class at Wakayama



It was memorable field trip for the Grade 9 – one filled with learning experiences, much laughter and many photos.

Comment 1

Introduction to History as an Area of Knowledge (G11 TOK)


After a month discussing the human sciences, the G11 TOK class has shifted its attention towards history. As a prelection, the teacher drew the calendar on the board and had each student jot down national holidays from different countries.


National holidays from the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Korea, India and the United States were listed on the board. The students were then guided to recognize that across nations, the following were universally commemorated: heroes, independence days and religious holidays. In a sense, one creates an impression of the country’s history by what they hold dear yet there are common threads across nations. One student also observed that there are generally young holidays – about fifty to a hundred years old – while others are ancient. Most are fixed dates while a few depend on other factors such as the lunar cycles.


The students were then asked why history should be considered a separate area of knowledge when it is already identified under the human sciences. The students were given a two-minute buzz session to consider the question. One mentioned that the human sciences tend to be forward looking while history involves the study of the past. Another shared that while the sciences can be controlled and replicated to a certain extent, history is not easily simulated, much less duplicated. One possible answer also involves how history forms a part of the different fields of the human sciences – archaeology, psychology, economics, etc.

The teacher then showed three forms of media on the same topic: the 1963 assassination of JFK.


They were shown the Zapruder film, a clip from the documentary “The Day Kennedy Died” and a portion of the 2016 film “Jackie.” These were processed according to the type of historical materials and the ways of knowing involved in their production and the knowledge it generates to an audience. The first two were considered first-hand accounts, which focus on memory and sense perception in eliciting emotion. The last one was deemed by the class to be an imaginative interpretation; the teacher then processed that while it may not be as historically accurate as the first two, it did bring to mind a history of emotions: the loss and grief felt in the aftermath of the assassination.

To close the discussion, the students were given different quotes on history, among them:

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” – George Orwell

“All history is gossip.” – John F. Kennedy

“The human race tends to remember the abuses to which it has been subjected rather than the endearments. What’s left of kisses? Wounds, however, leave scars.” – Bertolt Brecht


The students are then expected to share their thoughts on their chosen quote for the next meeting.







Comment 0

Grade 8: Discrimination in History

After a quarter focusing on the genre of horror, the Grade 8 have been exploring more real forms of terror – discrimination.

One of the most notorious cases is the Nazis’ Final Solution in wiping off the Jews from the face of the earth.


This served as an introduction to the main text of the quarter, excerpts from the diary of Anne Frank. The students were shown portions of Anne’s life prior to her entry into the Secret Annexe and then more detailed entries of how she experienced and coped with hiding away from the world in order to survive.


The students learned about Anne’s fate after her arrest and how her diary survived to tell the story of courage and hope in the bleakest places.

Currently, the students are working on their creative portfolio, where they try to re-create diary entries if they were ever in the shoes of Anne Frank.

Comment 0

Grade 11 TOK: The Human Sciences



The juniors have moved steadily to their third area of knowledge for TOK – the Human Sciences. The past week they explored the nature of this AOK and noted how studying human beings and their behaviour is quite complex.

The students were grouped according to their Group 3 subjects and asked to evaluate these according to a) the relevant ways of knowing, b) the insights on human behaviour and c) the methodologies used.

20170118_111915 20170118_111922


The students uncovered how both quantitative and qualitative data are used in various disciplines which fall under the human sciences.