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New Parent Update - 15th August 2014

Dear Parents, 

We do hope that you’re all enjoying your summer break and that your children are looking forward to starting at their new school. We’ve been busy welcoming all our new teachers and it’s been such a pleasure to hear their enthusiasm and ideas for your children.

As we countdown to the start of term, we wanted to give you an update on some of the most important issues – but please, if you have any specific questions, do call or email us. We love hearing from you.

 

1.    IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON WEEK ONE (1 – 5 SEPTEMBER)

We expect to have 480 pupils starting at our school during the week of 1 to 5 September. We’ve been so delighted with how warmly parents have welcomed our new school, and made it their own. To ease the transition into school life – especially for the little ones – our Principal, Brian Cooklin, would like a staggered start:

 

Monday, 1st Sept

Year 1 only

Tuesday, 2nd Sept

Year 2 only

Wednesday, 3rd Sept

Years 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 only

Thursday, 4th Sept

Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 (All years)

Friday, 5th Sept

Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 (All years)

 

2.    CAMPUS UPDATE

We have been pleased with the progress and quality of renovations that have taken place at our new Lam Tin school since we first started work in December 2013. Nord Anglia Education has invested more than HKD160 million in creating an outstanding city school for your children. Almost every aspect of the school has been refurbished, creating bright and airy classrooms, specialist subject rooms, a spacious sports hall and lots of flexible learning spaces for your child.

As of today, the majority of the classrooms are fully equipped for our students, with whiteboards, projectors and furniture and additional teaching supplies being unpacked. Some final works are taking place in our reception and sports and assembly hall. 

As we have explained during our Parent Information Sessions, our 25m swimming pool will not be ready until next year, but we do have a brand new public pool (the Lam Tin Complex) just opposite the school which we are hoping to use while we wait for our own pool to open.

We have also taken the decision not to open our Panda Playground on Day 1. This is because we wanted to create sky bridges that span the Panda Playground to turn our “U-shaped” classroom block into a “square” shape. This makes it much easier for the children to move from classroom to classroom. These sky-bridges are almost finished, but not quite, and therefore, we have taken the decision to keep this area closed for the next few weeks. In the meantime, we have lots of playground toys and equipment available in the front playgrounds and in our fantastic school hall.

Some construction will continue to take place in the school as we complete the sky bridges and the swimming pool, however it will all be outside schools hours. The work areas will be fully secured (around the Panda Playground area, and behind the swimming pool) and our children probably won’t even realise that there any extra work is going on!

 

3.    CONTINGENCY PLAN

In order to ensure nothing gets in the way of the school opening on 1st September, we have secured a temporary school site in Kowloon Tong as a contingency. Please be assured that we expect our Lam Tin campus will open on time, but it is essential that we explore every eventuality. The temporary campus which is kindly provided by the Education Bureau, is a fully functional with ample classroom and play space and has previously been used by other international schools, and it is ready for us to move in to, if needed.

 

4.    UNIFORMS

A lot of our parents have already been to the uniform shop in Jordan to buy their uniform and PE kit. Thank you for sharing some of your lovely photos! You can find all the information on our website, including order forms, address details for the uniform shop and information on days when children will come in their regular uniform and days when they will come in PE kit.

 

5.    SCHOOL LUNCHES & SNACKS

Eating healthy snacks and lunches is important for all our pupils, and we feel it’s important to offer our families flexibility. This is especially important for Primary school children who may have their own likes and dislikes! We will have basic snacks and lunch boxes available in our cafeteria from the beginning of term, and the choices will gradually increase as we gauge how many children would like to use this service. Please click here for more details. You’ll be able to order sandwiches and wraps from the second week of term. I will send menus and order forms soon!

 

6.    BUSES

Our school buses are filling fast, so if you’ve not yet completed the Application Form (click here to download), then please do immediately! Fees for the first month will be payable during the Orientation Days on 27/28 August. We do understand that some of you may wish to bring your children to school during the first few days - so to avoid the bus waiting for your child, it would be super if you could let us know.

 

7.    ORIENTATION DAYS (28 & 29 August)

We wanted to remind you that we will have two Orientation Days on 28 and 29 August. Depending on your child’s year group we have different times, so please check the date and time here. This will be a great opportunity for you and your children to meet their classmates and class teachers. We will have lots of families coming on these days, so please consider taking public transport! We do have public car parks near the school, and you can see the locations here. The full class lists for your children will, of course, be available during these days. Please note that your children will not need to wear their school uniform on this day.

 

8.    TUITION FEES & BUS FEES

We will be issuing invoices by email for the first month of fees (Sept 2014) today. Thereafter, fees will be payable via Direct Debit and the forms will be in your Parent Information Packs (and on our website for download) that we will distribute during the Orientation Days. Should you require different payment terms (for example if your company is paying directly), please contact our Finance Team on finance@nais.hk

   

9.    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

All our primary pupils will have three PE lessons a week as well as a range of after school activities from which to choose. To maximise the time our pupils get during their lessons, we encourage them to wear their PE kit on days when they have PE. Depending on the weather, PE will take place either in our Hall or the outdoor astroturf play/sports area. We’re also fortunate to have the brand new Lam Tin Complex just opposite, as well as two full-size public football pitches.

 

10.  NAIS FAMILY GROUPS

We have been delighted that so many of you have agreed to share your contact details with each other so that your children – and you – can start to make new friends within the NAIS school community. We currently have groups covering the areas below. Do please let us know if you’d like to get a copy of these NAIS Family lists, or if you would like to include your family (if you’re not already on the list).

  • Clearwater Bay & Sai Kung
  • Tseung Kwan O
  • Happy Valley
  • Hung Hom & Homantin
  • Choi Hung, Diamond Hill & Wong Tai Sin
  • West Kowloon & Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Southside to Pokfulam
  • Taikoo Shing, Quarry Bay & Sai Wan Ho
  • Shatin & Tai Po
  • Kowloon Tong

 

11.  OUR TEACHERS

Let me finish by talking a little about our teachers. It has been such a pleasure to get to know our new teachers better. We have been have so impressed by their passion and excitement at joining our new school. They have already started going through our year groups and assessment reports to get know your children as well as possible before they even start. We are incredibly fortunate to have such an engaged and motivated team at NAIS.

As I mentioned at the very beginning of this email, we are all here to answer any questions that you may have. We’re constantly updating the website and our Facebook site, but please feel free to drop us an email or pick up the phone. We’re here to make your family’s transition into NAIS as smooth as possible.

Please enjoy the rest of the summer holiday and we look forward to seeing you on 28 or 29 August.

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