Kung Hei Fat Choi! I wish all of you a very happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Goat or Sheep. Our celebrations of Chinese New Year were kicked off with a marvellous Assembly organised by our Mandarin department explaining some of the traditions of the New Year, and the week of songs and displays were capped by a wonderful performance by Year 3 in honour of the New Year. We had amazing music, wonderful fan and lion dances and great storytelling. Many parents commented that they had learnt a lot about New Year from the performance.
One tradition of New Year in Britain is to make resolutions often about keeping fit or losing weight or improving our health in some way. With that in mind we are launching a month of fitness for March.
Our team for the COBIS Games in Athens are training hard to bring success to the school. We are asking the whole school community – parents, staff and pupils – to take part by walking/running/cycling or whatever sporting activity to cover the 8,566 km between Hong Kong and Athens. As well as recording your activities, the P.E. department will organise a range of events – a Family cycling challenge, Staff/Parent running group as well as counting the activities in school in P.E. There will also be the chance to sponsor those activities and raise both money for the PTA and help pay for all the sports kit for our team representing the school.
In the last week of term in March, we will have a sport-themed week with a number of different events involved. Please get involved in any way you can. This is part of building a community in the school to help develop a sense of belonging and identifying with the school and its values. To that end, the P.E. department launched their new logo – The NAIS Knights. This summarises what we stand for – teamwork and standards. It links well to our Houses named after British castles and to the values of honour, decency and respect shown in team working as the hallmark of a good knight.
This sense of building community has taken root in a number of ways. In school, we have the House system with weekly Assemblies and a programme of activities encouraging teamwork. Our extra-curricular programme of over 60 clubs and activities enhances that sense of belonging. This is one of the purposes of involving older pupils to lead events and take responsibility as shown by the Play leaders and buddies we are developing.
Similarly, the school is working with UNICEF as our main International charity and each House has a local charity to support. We are also looking at sponsoring children who are in care. All of these activities have a sense of purpose and enable children to gain different perspectives and insights. This will be enhanced by our International Day on 26 March where there will be stalls and information about the 35 nationalities represented in the school.
Thank you to all the parents who have got involved in the Hiking groups, the Yoga group, coffee mornings and social events organised spontaneously around Hong Kong as well as the PTA and the class reps. There is a real sense of coming together as a school community, helping each other, welcoming new families and making a difference to children’s lives. Long may it continue!
Now it is time to encourage health and fitness – I am heading to the treadmill and Alpine Walker to notch up my kilometres – what are you going to do?