Today’s Parent Update comes a day early, as tomorrow will be a full programme of end-of-term fun and merriment!
First up, let me give you a quick update on tomorrow’s activities. The children (and teachers) have been working incredibly hard for the past weeks to create a real splash for the last day of term. A fitting celebration of an exciting first term for Nord Anglia International School!
WHOLE SCHOOL ASSEMBLY (9.30am to 11.00am)
The Whole School Assembly is going to be a fun-filled and very relaxed (hopefully!) celebration of our first term. We’ll be enjoying the school choir and orchestra, Christmas readings written by our pupils and – the highlight – the House Singing Competition. If parents are joining, please can we ask you to wait downstairs in the Cafeteria until we come and get you. We want to get all the children into the Hall first.
Please note, you may take your child home directly after the Assembly, but you must let us know in advance (please email your Class Teacher and email@example.com). We don’t want to hold up the buses while we try and find children that have been picked up by their parents, but not told us!
CHRISTMAS LUNCHES (11.30am to 12.45pm)
Lunches will be served as usual in the cafeteria, but we’ll have a few Christmas touches to celebrate the end-of-term.
SCHOOL ENDS – BUSES DEPART (1.00pm) – PICK-UP TIME WILL BE TWO HOURS EARLIER THAN USUAL
All buses will leave at 1.00pm. Please revise arrival times at your regular pick-up location by two hours.
THE GREAT SLEIGH DEBATE (Years 3 to 7)
We’ve just completed our first Great Sleigh Debate! Congratulations to Bruce Lee and Jack Ma, beautifully interpreted by Rebecca Chen (7A) and Bobby Li (5A), who convinced the Judges that – out of 10 other contenders from the worlds of literature, sport, engineering and entertainment – that they should stay on Santa’s Sleigh (when it crash-landed in Lam Tin!).
It was a wonderfully light-hearted way to spend the afternoon and an excellent opportunity for all our ‘famous’ people to learn about public speaking and persuasion techniques as they battled to convinced their school mates and the judges, Santa Claus (Mr Cooklin), Rudolf (Miss Byrne) and our Elf (Mr Bishop). Please also encourage you children to follow the debate on the Global Classroom website. There was some great interactive feedback from pupils and teachers during the debate.
Well done to:
Sandringham: Elsa and Anna from Frozen: Valeria Kulik & Lucia Bowers-Martinez (7B)
and The Wright Brothers: Michael Oak 7B & Satva Upadhyay (5A)
Windsor: Roald Dahl’s Matilda: Samantha Chau (7B) and Cristiano Ronaldo: Ryan Chu (7A)
Balmoral: Amelia Earhart: Simone Skovgaard (6A) and Alexander Bell: Zan Thompson (5B)
Carnaerfon: Bruce Lee: Rebecca Chen (7A) and Jack Ma: Bobby Li (5A)
THE PTA ‘GIVING TREE’ – IN AID OF QUEEN MARY’S HOSPITAL CHARITY
Once again, we’ve been heartened by the generosity of our parents and teachers as the space around the tree in our reception area fills with gifts that will be distributed to children less fortunate than ours. It is important to remember that giving, as well as receiving, gifts is an important part of this festive season. We still have one more day to add your gifts to the tree. Please mark whether the gift is appropriate for a boy or girl and what age. Thank you to the PTA for launching this great initiative.
NO NUTS SCHOOL
Can I please remind all parents not to send snacks or chocolates into school that have nuts in them. This includes popular chocolates like Ferrero Rocher and Toblerones. We have a couple of children with very severe nut allergies.
Our photographer has promised us a link to all the Class Photos before the end of term. As soon as I have this, I will be emailing the link and details to you all. I’ve had a look at the advanced copies and the children do look amazing!
The cold weather has brought a new mountain of jumpers, jackets and hoodies to our Lost Property pile – and the majority of them do not have names in them! Please, please could I remind you to mark your name clearly in any clothing (and lunch boxes and water bottles). The Lost Property box is at the reception if you’d like to come in and have a look.
UPDATE ON OUR NEW CHINA-WIDE MANDARIN PROGRAMME
As many of you know, we have been reviewing our Mandarin provision with the aim of improving our resources and the quality of the teaching and learning. I am delighted to announce that we have just had delivered four complete sets of Mandarin Matrix reading resource. These comprise a collection of educational products (books and websites) that support Chinese language teaching both within and outside the classroom.
These books are used in the same way as the English language reading books that the children bring home and are used to support their language development. Along with the books, each pupil will have an online login to access the Mandarin Matrix website. This allows our teachers to set reading, comprehension and character writing and recognition activities at home. The teacher can then assess their progress online and feed this into their learning in the classroom.
I am also delighted to announce that three new staff are joining us in January to complement the Mandarin department: Jessica Bu, Jasmine Ji and Jing Meng. Their profiles have been uploaded to our website. In addition, Kim Lau, another experienced international Mandarin teacher, will be joining us in April. There will be no Mandarin on 5 and 6 January as these days will be focused on training in our new China-wide (adopted by all six of our China schools) Mandarin curriculum.
We will be sharing further information and a curriculum overview in January, and will be hosting a Parent Workshop to update you on how to support your child’s Mandarin development at home.
SCHOOL COVER OVER THE CHRISTMAS BREAK
Our school will be open over the Christmas break (except for public holidays), but our staff will have shorter working hours. Our Admissions Team will be available via email – firstname.lastname@example.org – for emergency enquiries.
WELCOMING NEW TEACHERS
As our school continues to develop, we’re delighted to welcome a number of new staff members in January, including our new Year 4 teacher, Tom Boast, another music teacher, Mr Widger, to support Miss Rowan and three new Mandarin teachers, Jessica Bu, Jasmine Ji and Jing Meng. We also have an Art Assistant and Science Technician starting in mid-January. We’re uploading details of all our new teachers to our website.
LEAVING HONG KONG
We will be sad to see eight children leaving us over Christmas, but we want to wish them all the best in their new countries and schools. May I also remind you that, if you think you may have to move on, would you please give us as much notice as possible. Under your contract with our school, we do require three months’ notice, or three months tuition fees in lieu.
REMINDERS FOR NEXT TERM
5 January – All children back at NAIS.
5 January – Welcome Breakfast for new families (8.00am to 9.00am)
12 January – Extra-curricular activities (ECAs) start again. We are continuing with the same ECAs that children selected last term. These will run until 12 March. The Late Buses will also start again on 12 January.
29 January – PTA-organised ‘Teachers versus Parents’ Quiz Night.
5 February – PTA-organised ‘Valentine’s Dance’ for all years.
Finally, Mr Cooklin has asked me to extend his heartfelt thanks to all our families. It has been an incredible first term, and we have felt privileged to have been entrusted with your children during the first term of our school in Hong Kong. We look forward to many more months and years together.
May we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy 2015 together with your family and friends.
From all the team at Nord Anglia International School.