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Parent Update - 13 February 2015

13 February 2015

Dear Parents,

Today NAIS was filled with the sounds of music, play and laughter as we celebrated Chinese New Year together. This week’s Parent Update is filled with photographs from this happy day.



§  23 Feb – First day back at school after CNY

§  9 March – Mid-Year School Reports (All years)

§  17 & 18 March – Parent & Teacher meetings (All years) Sign-up sheets for teacher appointments will come to you shortly.

§  6 June – SAVE THE DATE – NAIS Gala Dinner (Please complete this short survey)

§  15 – 19 June: Year 7 & 6 Trip to Geta Valley, Guizhou

§  16 – 19 June: Year 5 Trip to Yangshuo, Guanxi

§  17 – 19 June: Year 4 Trip to Cheung Chau Island

§  17 – 19 June: Year 3 Trip to Tai O, Lantau Island


And now, a snapshot (full of lots of photos) of the rest of our week!



Yesterday, we took a tour of the swimming pool, changing rooms and the extra playgrounds. It was so reassuring to see the extra space we’ve all been waiting for! The opening up of the playground at the far end of the school will more than double our playing area and will include more “grass” and a hard court basketball area. Our main contractor, has assured us that it is on track to open in May (if not before!). The pool will also be “ready” at this time, although we’ll then have several months of government approvals to ensure that everything is safe for your children, by the end of term. I wanted to thank you all – and your children – for your patience and support as we’ve worked through these first months.



Flush from the success of the Quiz Evening and the Valentine’s Disco, the PTA is now planning a major Gala Dinner to celebrate the end of our first year. We are looking at Saturday 6 June and to help in the planning the PTA is asking everyone to answer this brief and confidential survey: Click here please. The PTA will be reaching out to you all after Chinese New Year to ask for volunteers and auction prizes for what looks set to be an amazing evening.


PLAYGROUND PLAY & ACTIVITIES (Click here for some beautiful photos!)

We are delighted that Patsy Morgan, who gave such an excellent presentation last month on “learning through play”, has agreed to be our “Play & Activities Coordinator”. It’s a grand title, but really it means that Mrs Morgan will be working with small groups to teach traditional playground games so that children can enjoy their break time even more!

Today we all – teachers and children – enjoyed the sunshine and showed off our skipping, French Skipping, hula hooping, balance ball skills and, of course, kicking a ball around! Some of our older Primary School and Secondary School students will be given leadership positions to organize activities for other children, which will raise their self-esteem and self-confidence as leaders. Children in the younger years will be learning how to play well in groups and, that essential skill of how to ask a child who may be feeling a little left out, to come and join in. Judging from the fun we all had today, we’re well on the way to having a lot more fun in the playground.



The Year 3s were fabulous today, showing off their singing, speaking and dancing skills to some very proud parents. Please click here to go to our Facebook Photo Album or here to see a smaller selection of photos on our website. We also have a video which we’ll be uploading to our website after CNY.


100 DAYS OF LEARNING (Please click here for 100 Photos!)

We took a break from our week on Wednesday to have a relaxed celebration of 100 Days of Learning at our school. It was a lovely opportunity to look back at some of our achievements  over the past six months. As Mr Cooklin said: “One of the loveliest things that I hear, when I talk to our parents, is how established the school feels already. I have our teachers to thank for this. In the past 100 days, our pupils have settled into their classes and become happy and engaged learners. We’ve held a number of singing, drama, poetry, sporting, maths and science performances and competitions that our pupils and parents have thoroughly enjoyed.”


OUR RESIDENTIAL TRIPS (Week of 15 June 2015)

This week we had Parent Briefings on our Residential Trips planned for the week of 15 June. These trips are being run by an exceptional company, Terratribes, that we’ve worked with for a number of years across our schools in the region. They have an exceptional reputation for putting safety first, but also encouraging our pupils to step outside their comfort zone and to experience and enjoy individual and team challenges. If you were not able to attend these Parent Briefings, please take the time to read through the presentations on our website or email your child’s class teacher.



After Chinese New Year we’ll be launching a school-wide project to support our COBIS (Council of British International Schools) Sports Team. As our Head of PE, Martin Pate, explains: “We want the whole of our NAIS community to travel to Athens, a distance of 8,566 kilometres, by any means: running, hiking, swimming, cycling, roller-blading.” After the CNY break, a letter will come home to you all encouraging you all to sponsor your children to cover as many kilometres as possible so that we can cover this distance and raise fund to support our team.



It’s been lovely to see our children proudly wearing their House Shirts, but please remember that these should be worn for House Competitions only, not for regular PE lessons.



This week you should all have received an email from your Chinese teacher introducing themselves and letting you know the group that your child is currently learning in. I know from my chats with our Chinese teachers how keen they are to hear from you and to meet you at the up-coming Parent-Teacher meetings. Please let our Head of Languages, Alex Lopes, know if you’ve not received your email.



Congratulations to six of our pupils whose Year of The Goat art work won prizes in a Hong Kong-wide competition run by Sodexo. Sophia Forzani, Eva Zhang, Kingsley Lui, Jia Zhang, Brendan Wang and Michelle Lo were all awarded $200 iTunes vouchers and our School Library was awarded HK$3,000. Thank you to all our pupils and to our Art Teacher, Mrs Pate, for all your artistic talent.



If you’d like to meet other parents, please click on this link to learn a little more about activities and events that bring our families together. Our parents regularly get together for beach days, evening drinks, day-time and weekend hiking and yoga.


Finally, Mr Cooklin has asked me to wish you all a relaxed week ahead with your friends and family and a happy and prosperous Year of the Goat.


Kung hei fat choy!