As we head towards Christmas, the holidays and the New Year, it is appropriate to reflect on our last term.
The wide range of activities and events has been amazing, ranging from over 100 children participating in the Hong Kong Speech Festival, to our Football teams taking part in a tournament in Thailand with other 1,000 teams involved and our magnificent, first-ever Sports Day at Kowloon Bay. The sun shone, the events ran smoothly and the refreshments were gladly received. I, and some other staff even managed to get sunburn!
My thanks go to Miss Byrne, Mr. Pate and all the PE staff for organising such a wonderful event where the children had so much fun and the atmosphere was so great. In particular, praise is due to our Secondary students who led the groups so successfully, revealing hidden talents in some cases. I was very proud of everyone who took part in whatever capacity and was delighted to award each medal and trophy. Well done to everyone – another amazing first for NAIS HK!
Like all the events and activities in the school, the Sports Day was very well supported by the PTA and parent volunteers. The cakes, croissants, tea, coffee, water and fruit were very welcome on the day. I am very grateful to the PTA and all of the parents for their support.
Of course, the biggest PTA event was the Halloween Spooktakular which was attended by over 1300 people. The PTA Executive Committee had decided to use the money raised from the Gala Dinner to subsidise all the other events in the year. What an amazing event we had with fantastic entertainment, stalls and food! I don’t think there has been anything else like it in a school in Hong Kong. The children loved it and talked about it for days and lots of them, and their parents, have the photographs to prove it – not to mention pictures with a certain Dumbledore! A huge thank you to Jessica Bruser and the team of 160 volunteers, all the staff and pupils who volunteered and the companies who provided the entertainment.
It is not just these large events where the parent support has been so important but also in regular activities like the coaching of the Netball team. With their involvement, the team made a winning start and are going from strength to strength. By the same token, we are looking forward to the Staff vs. Parents Basketball tournament on Friday 8 January. Any donations raised will be used to add to the book stock in the library. When the PTA asked me what resource they could support which would have a benefit for all children, I suggested the library. Our excellent Teacher-Librarian, Miss Richardson, has created a wonderful reading and learning space and has already issued 13,000 books. Reading is key to any child’s success so my thanks to parents for their encouragement of it. Congratulations to Heath Zarin, Chairman of the PTA, the committee and all the volunteers for all they do for the school and the contribution they make to the life of the school.
Apart from all this, the pupils themselves have enjoyed great opportunities with local trips, the Big Draw, Year 7 on a treasure hunt, Year 8 going camping and visits from the author Neil Griffiths and other speakers, as well as celebrating the work of Roald Dahl and Seamus Heaney. What has been particularly enjoyable have been the assemblies led by each class. They have been interesting, informative and entertaining in equal measure.
As we look forward to the final week of term, we can enjoy the Year 1 Christmas performance, the Sleigh Debate, the Carol Concert and the House singing competition. We also have the visit of the renowned speaker, Ben Walden, who will work with our Secondary students, staff and parents. What a week! I hope to see you at some of those events but if not, let me wish you happy holidays, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, when it comes.