As I write this I am sat proudly wearing my ao dai as we celebrate the moon festival. It has been so lovely to see our students wearing their Hanbok and Ao dai as we enjoy this auspicious event. I was grateful to Ms Giang, Mr Long and Mr Nghia for putting on a fabulous assembly on Monday in which we were treated to quizzes, plays and dances from the students in Key Stage 3 – demonstrating what the Moon Festival means to them and their families both here, in Korea and around the world. So to all of our families I wish you Trung thu vui ve!” and “행복한 추석 보내세요” or “Haeng bok han / chuSeok bonae se yo.”
In the UK, we would traditionally at this time of year celebrate the year’s harvest. Thanks for successful harvests have been given since pagan times. The celebrations on this day usually include singing hymns, praying, and decorating churches with baskets of fruit and food in the festival known as in many ways such as Harvest Festival, Harvest Home, Harvest Thanksgiving or Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving.
In churches, chapels and schools, people bring in products from the garden, the allotment or farm. The food is often distributed among the poor and senior citizens of the local community, or used to raise funds for the church, or charity. The harvest festival was also the inspiration behind the great Neil Young’s song “Harvest Moon” available here.
Over the last two weeks, there has been a festival of sports’ fixtures. Our boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams are having great success and are showing some fine skills. Our Under 13 girls’ and boys’ basketball teams have also started their fixtures – having their first game on Tuesday. The students have had to learn really fast to not only develop the necessary skills that the sport demands, but to understand the fitness they require, how to cooperate as a team, and how to communicate successfully with each other. I wish them all the best as the term continues and the matches beckon. My thanks to Mr. Wild, Ms. Smith, Mr. Lam and Mr. Leak for all the time they spend putting in to helping our athletes prepare.
Sport, however, is only one of the many aspects in which students can develop wider skills within our many and varied activities of the ECA programme. I would hope that every student would sign up for at least one ECA activity that we have on offer and look forward to this programme starting soon.
Next week, I look forward to welcoming our Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form parents to our Information Mornings on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th September. It will be a great opportunity to ask any questions about IGCSE and International A Levels, and for everyone to learn more about our approaches to successful learning in school.
I wish you all a happy Moon Festival and a great week ahead.
Mr Nick Lee - Head of Secondary