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Parent Update - 31 October 2014

31 October 2014

Dear Parents,

I do hope that you all enjoyed your week off over the Half-Term Break and that the children are happy to be back at school. While the children were away, we had a very busy week making some great progress on the Panda Playground and the enlarged drama, library and music rooms (more on that below).

Apologies in advance, parents, this is a long – but important – Update! And please remember that we update all our Parent Updates to our website so you can refer back to them.



Yesterday evening we held our first Parent & Teacher Association meeting. Mr Cooklin was impressed by the level of engagement and enthusiasm from parents and teachers wanting to get involved. We’ll be giving you a detailed update next week.



Parent communication is so important to us and we always welcome your feedback and suggestions on how the school is developing. As well as these Parent Updates (sent on Fridays), you should be receiving information on your child via their Pupil Planner book (Year 1s), by email from your child’s teacher and the Class Blogs (see below).


We’ve also been working hard to improve and update our website. We refresh it – and our Facebook and Twitter pages – almost daily. If you look at the homepage and scroll down past the main photo, you’ll see daily updates on what your children are doing in school. Another great place to look is the News & Insights section and the school Calendar.



I’m sure that we’re all familiar with the frustration of asking our children “what have you been doing at school today?” and getting “nothing” as a reply! So, please remember to check the Class Blogs regularly as they’ll give you a great sense of what is going on in our classrooms every day. These blogs are only available to parents in each year group, so if you’ve forgotten the link, please email your Class Teacher.



The latest curriculum newsletters should be coming to you today from your Class Teacher. These are really guides to show what subjects and topics your children will be covering between now and the end of the term. We will be uploading them to the website and Facebook (News & Insights Section) later today.



Our ECAs started this week and it’s been such a delight to see our children enjoying new experiences with children outside their class group, and in different years. We’ve had baking, netball, gymnastics, highland dancing and even fishing. We will be sharing some photos with you on Monday, and please keep checking your Class Blogs for updates on what your children are doing every day.

If you have any questions about which ECAs your children are doing, please feel free to email their Class Teacher or our Student Services Team (contactus@nais.hk) and we can quickly let you know.

Please note: For all children taking Spanish on Mondays and German on Tuesdays, unfortunately Mr Lopes is still not well enough to hold these Clubs, so will be cancelling them this week. We’re all wishing him a speedy recovery. Children who normally take the early bus will take their bus as usual. If you usually pick-up, please ensure that you can do so at 2.45pm on Mon/Tues next week.



We are proud to have six Late Buses – many more than most international schools – and we would like to thank you all for your patience as children get used to their Routes and new drop-offs. We are still struggling with the road blockages in Admiralty, Central and Mongkok, so your understanding on the routes that pass through these areas is doubly appreciated.


Our policy for all our Bus Routes (normal and Late Bus) is that the bus will wait at the stop for two minutes (at the time on the schedule) and if no parent or helper is there to pick up the child then we will move on to the next stop. It’s a hard balance between wanting to be flexible, but also being mindful of the other children on the bus and their parents/helpers waiting further down the route.


If you have any questions about the location or time of your bus drop-off, then please call our mainline (3958 1488) or email contactus@nais.hk. You can also see the schedule for the early and late buses here.



Good news for parents living in Tai Hang, Happy Valley and North Point. In response to parent feedback and growing student numbers, we’re splitting this bus route into Route E and Route R which will provide a quicker service and a few more stops. We’ll be updating all the parents in this area early next week with the new routes and times. We’re aiming to start on Friday 7 November.



Our PE team are starting to prepare the children for more competitive sports, including the COBIS Primary & Secondary Games being held at the Athens Olympic Stadium from 14 to 16 May. Please take the time to complete this very short survey to share more information about your child’s sporting interests and abilities. Please complete by Friday 7 November.



We made some amazing progress over the Mid-Term Break and we’re now confident that the Panda Playground and Link Bridges will be ready for their government inspections in late November. Fingers crossed, we should be opening it to our pupils soon after. The swimming pool is progressing well too. We’ve been told that it will be ready for the government inspections in early 2015. We have been told that this may take several months, but we are working hard with all the government departments involved.

Other updates: Mrs Harley was checking all the furniture and books which have arrived for our new library yesterday and we’re aiming to open the enlarged library, drama and music rooms in December. We also have an incredible collection of musical instruments. I was admiring the drum kit earlier in the week. I can imagine that we’ll have some noisy sessions in our music practice rooms!

Our Main Hall now has its full lighting installed for drama and singing productions, as well as our screen and projector, our electronic scoreboard and a huge curtain that divides the Hall into two areas for sports and PE lessons.



Recognising and encouraging the achievements of our pupils is an essential part of teaching and learning. Today we had our a whole school Assembly for of our Stars of the Week, with the focus, this week, on progress in English. Please join the whole school in congratulating Markos Vourloumis (1A), Chris Chan (1B), Flavia Nagari (1C), Freddie Cary (1D), Max Davidson (1E), Ethan Soong (2A), Yasmin Merrill (2B), Joonsuh Huh (2C), Zhou Zhou Li (2D), Julian Zhu (2E), Honglin Gu (3A), Cayden Lock (3B), Amely Qiu (3C), Hannah Ho (3D), Vinh Do (4A), Bryant Cheng (4B), Satva Upadhyay (5A), Ebee Lee (5B), Tina Ma (5C), Tanya Tan (6A), Janice Ooi (6B), Vivian Wu (7A) and Michael Oak (7B). 



We are delighted to be joining the Box of Hope charitable project. Please take the time to look through the website with your children and to talk with them about the responsibility that we all have to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Our school will be a Collection Point and we’d like to get all the Boxes of Hope back before 12 November.



Our cafeteria has had a major make-over and now are children are enjoying the independence of choosing their own lunches (Years 4 to 7) and sitting down to eat with their friends. Please remind your child to bring their Octopus card to pay. More food and drink selections will be added regularly to give your children more choice. May we also ask that you not deliver lunches for your children during the day. We don’t have the staff to deliver packed lunches to individual pupils. And finally, we encourage healthy eating habits to all our pupils, so if we could all avoid fizzy drinks and take-away that would be great.



Speaking of Octopus cards, the MTR Octopus Printer has finally arrived and we will be starting the long process of printing cards for all staff and pupils. We’ll give you an update next week on when these will be ready.


Well done for making it to the end of this lengthy Parent Update! Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback.

Have a lovely evening and weekend and we hope that you’re all enjoying the cooler weather.