30 Aug 2018

Family Bauhinia Newsletter (August 2018)

Family Bauhinia’s latest newsletter is available to read now.  Find out the latest news and upcoming events.

>  Message from The Principal
>  Message from the Vice Principal
>  Welcome to the Family
Celebrating Student Achievement
>  Physical and Social Health Activities
>  Upcoming Reporting and Information Sessions
>  ‘SIS goes MaD’ Week October 8th – 12th
>  August Reminders
>  Upcoming Events


Message from the Principal

It was very good to have the opportunity to meet with our Year 7 and New Year 8 students and parents at the start of term. As someone who is new myself, I have been really touched by the welcome I have received, and I am sure that all new students feel the same warmth from our school community.
Right now, the Year 7 and 8s are Family Bauhinia and at the younger end of the school – but time will pass very quickly and very soon you will be helping me and the staff team to lead the school! I greatly look forward to getting to know you and working with you all in the years to come.

Mr Tom Vignoles
Principal, South Island School


Message from the Vice Principal

Dear Family Bauhinia Parents and Guardians
With our first 3 weeks of classes completed and everyone settling into a new school year, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone to your second family – Family Bauhinia! The children have become so much more confident since the beginning of the year and are making the most of their new school.
As with any new change in environment, children will need support adjusting to new systems and how things work. In this transition, students will lose things – we have had a few lost locker keys, some were locked in lockers, timetables left at home, missing wallets and octopus cards – but we managed in the end! For the weeks ahead, please encourage your children to label everything (shoes, clothes, wallets, lunch bags and water bottles). Labelled items are much easier to return!
Parents have also shared some helpful hints that they have used to build independent skills in their children during this transition period:

  • Review timetables each night and encourage the children to pack their own bags the night before school
  • Review the work they have done at the end of the school day. If students are in the habit of doing ‘some’ homework every night, they will be more likely to keep up with homework deadlines.
  • Write a ‘screentime’ agreement. Students will be exposed to technology very quickly at SIS. Simply restricting students may result in more of a ‘desire’ to engage with the technology. Work together and come up with a solution that is acceptable for all
  • Talk to your children about social media groups. It is quite common for children to form groups on chat channels such as Whatsapp. These chats move quickly and many students may not have the skills to write/interpret messages or manage conflicts when they arise. Monitoring their activity online will help your child manage conflict and build important social skills

Even with this immense learning curve for our children, many still manage to, not only take care of themselves, but look after others. We encourage all children to Make a Difference to others through the IB Learner Profile (please click here to view the attributes of the Profile). We will celebrate the children who have Made a Difference to others through our positive comment system in iSAMS, assemblies and the newsletter. All of the children have strengths and we want them to use those strengths to make a positive contribution in the world. At the moment we are focusing on the school community, but we welcome you to share any examples of your child Making a Difference outside of school such as in your home, or during after-school or weekend activities. ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is a familiar saying and we believe that working together we can enable your children to thrive in their new learning environment. Names of the students that have been highlighted this month can be found below in the ‘Celebrating Student Achievement’ section.
Last but not least, we are in mooncake season! To celebrate this wonderful family holiday, we will have a ‘Mid-Autumn Celebration’ in Tutor Time. Students may bring in lanterns, and food to share with their Tutor Group. It will be a SIS family celebration!
I look forward to working with you and your child this year – it promises to be an exciting year ahead!

Carolyn Andrews
Vice Principal/ MYP Coordinator
Learning Director, Family Bauhinia
South Island School

Welcome to the Family

A very warm welcome to all Year 7 students joining us this year and a special welcome to our new Year 8 students also joining the Family this year:

The new students have worked hard this week to adjust to their new learning environment and have done so well. They are fantastic additions to Family Bauhinia!
At this time it would be helpful for parents and students to spend some time reflecting on the first weeks of school to support this continued transition to South Island School. Some prompts to help this reflection:

  • Can you remember the names of all your teachers?
  • What have been your best learning moments so far? Why?
  • Are you buying food at school? If yes, what types of food are you choosing?
  • If you are a bus student, have you been able to find your bus at the end of the day? Are the other students caring whilst on the bus? What could you do if you have a problem on the bus?
  • What were your best moments over the past few weeks?
  • Have you labelled all your belongings, including your clothing?
  • Do you have any questions or is there anything you want to know more about?


  • Have you talked to your child about behaviour on the bus/ferry and what they should do if they think the behaviour is wrong or unsafe?
  • Have you made contact with your child’s Tutor?
  • Have you talked to your child about what they do at break and lunchtimes? Who do they play/hang out with?
  • Have you talked about what to do if they feel lonely during these times?

The students have made a fantastic start – the first couple of weeks are always full of excitement, and at times, anxiety. To continue with this success, keep your children talking and let us know if they are experiencing any difficulties. With strong communication and support from home and school, all our children will succeed! No question is too small – please keep in contact.

We will send home a Newsletter each month that will help you keep track of what has been happening in the school and events coming up. At the end of each newsletter is a complete list of upcoming important dates and events condensed for your convenience.


Celebrating Student Achievement

For the month of August, we have noted some students who have Made a Difference in the SIS community. Some of the actions of the highlighted students have included:

  • Supporting new students and new teachers in the school and making them feel welcome and safe
  • Offering to play/eat with students that appeared to be alone
  • Helping to clean up spaces after playtime
  • Taking care of students who have forgotten their lunch
  • Carrying bags for children who are injured
  • Performing in assemblies
  • Waiting with children who missed their bus and even finding solutions to help them get home
  • Displaying leadership skills during tutor time and supporting the tutor to ensure sessions run smoothly
  • Taking responsibility to return items that have been left behind

We are incredibly proud of our students – please see below the names of some of the children who have Made a Difference.

Alyssa Hayward 7N1 Ballerina

We are incredibly proud of Alyssa and her many achievements in ballet. Her most recent success was performing in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ on the 18th August at the Cultural Centre and 25th August at the Yuen Long Theatre. Alyssa was chosen to be part of the cast from over 100 applicants! Well done Alyssa!

Physical and Social Health Activities


What is Inter-House?

  • Each of the Houses by Year Group compete against each other to gain points in a number of competitions throughout the year
  • These competitions include sports events (athletics, x-country & swim gala), Music Fest, SIS Chef (similar to MasterChef), creative/design, debating, language, science and math challenges.
  • At the end of the year, the points are added up and the Inter-House Cup is awarded to the house with the most points. Last year Bahay won the cup!  The Year 7 and 8 students are already talking about ‘how to win the cup’ and all are aware of the Year 8 competition held on 24th of August! We love the excitement! Congratulations to Maison for the first win of the year!

Information you need to know:

  • When: Friday 1:30 pm – 3.00 pm
  • Where: Meet in the Sports Hall
  • What to wear: PE Shorts/skort and House T-Shirt
  • InterHouse is a specific time in our timetable that allows children to develop skills in leadership, resilience, social interaction and collaboration.  It is compulsory that students attend these events.

Buses for Inter-House:

  • Students who have a bus pass are permitted to use the Activity Bus service after the event. Students who do not have a bus pass must make their own way home.
  • We offer 5 buses after Inter-House competitions that leave school at 3.00 pm on Friday afternoons. Please make a note of the drop off points and ensure your child is aware of their stop and the bus number, as the Activities buses have different stops than the regular school buses. All information regarding activities and buses can be found here or log in to your account with Kwoon Chung.

The Inter-House Calendar:
After School Activities Term 1, 2018-19

All details regarding activities can be found here. As a reminder:

Term 1 Activities will begin Monday, September 3rd and end Friday, November 30th.

Activities Cancellation

  • If parents have signed their children up for an activity but the child is no longer able to participate, please E-mail activities@sis.edu.hk or visit the PE Office to cancel any booked activity.

Activities Buses:

  • Activities buses for after-school activities will operate starting from Monday September 3rd (this service is for bus pass holders only). Please note that this is a modified bus schedule as above.

All activities must be paid for and appropriate forms signed by Friday August 31st or the allocation will be given to the next student on the list. Please refer to specific activities for fees and appropriate forms. Please contact the Activities Administrator at activities@sis.edu.hk for any activities-related enquiries.

Upcoming Reporting and Information Sessions

Evidencer – Making Learning Visible

Our aim at South Island School is to engage all of it’s community in the learning process – making the learning, and the amazing work our students create, visible. We would like to see digital portfolios become more than just a collection of activities and tasks; they should become tools of communication that weave together the voices of the student, the teacher and the parent.

We want to see the Evidencer tool on the VLE become a living document where students get to reflect on their evidence of learning, set goals for future learning and share what they have achieved with teachers and, most importantly, parents. Therefore, this year we have redesigned Evidencer, along with the Pastoral Learning Curriculum (PLC), to allow students the space and time to curate and reflect on the evidence they have collected. These reflections are to be shared with parents/guardians who will be encouraged to ask questions – hopefully getting an answer to that age-old question, “So, what did you do in school today?”

Year 8: Students will be writing and sharing their first reflections with parents on Friday, November 2nd

Year 7: Students will be writing and sharing their first reflections with parents on Friday, December 7th

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us – Shaine Bushell (sbushell@sis.edu.hk)


SIS Open Morning and Curriculum Information Session – Friday, September 14th

At South Island School, we believe clear communication is an important component in your child’s learning. One way in which we can support this is to ensure parents know our school, understand the way we operate, appreciate the philosophy behind both our curriculum and the way it is delivered, and feel that they have a growing relationship with the staff who work in partnership with their children. To this end, we will host an Open Day and Curriculum Information Session at South Island School on 14th September, during which you will be offered an insight into your children’s learning through classrooms walkthroughs and information sessions on curriculum and pastoral care. In this way, you will get a good picture of what we are about and how we approach learning and teaching. We will send more detailed information closer to the date, but please mark the date in your calendar.


Progress Check Cards (PCCs) – September 21st

Throughout the year, you can expect to receive regular updates on how your child is progressing in school. One of these forms of communication is the Progress Check Card (PCC). In Year 7 and 8 students will receive 3 PCCs.
PCC1 is an early report to indicate how well your child has settled into the new academic year. Your child’s teachers will give a rating from 1 to 4 to express how engaged the student has been with their learning in each subject.
An exceptionally engaged student in a subject will be awarded ‘4: Exceptional engagement with learning’. A fully engaged student, who is working well and we have no issues or concerns with engagement, will be awarded ‘3: Full Engagement’. If we have concerns about the level of engagement of a student, then a ‘2: Inconsistent engagement’ will be awarded and for more pronounced disengagement then a ‘1: Partial engagement’ will be awarded.

PCC1 – will go live on iSAMS September 21st (Friday)

All PCCs will be accessed through iSAMS – no paper copies will be produced. Please contact us if you do not have your iSAMS log in details.

1) Login in to iSAMS (Parent Portal)
2) Click ‘School Profile’ (at the top banner)
– click ‘School Reports
– click ‘View (child) School Reports’
3) You can choose between ‘view’ or ‘download’ the reports
‘view’ is a quick view
‘download’ is a full report with the explanation of ratings

1) Login in to iSAMS (Parent App)
2) Click ‘My children’ at the bottom banner
3) Select your child’s name
4) Select ‘Assessments & Reports’
5) Select the report to view (quick view only)


Guiding Day Tuesday – November 6th

In addition to PCCs, a day in the school calendar has been set aside for the student, parent and tutor to review the students’ reports, available data and their growth as a student throughout the year. The aim of the day is to provide an opportunity for students to set learning targets with the support of their parent and tutor, celebrate successes and discuss a plan for the next academic year. It is also an opportunity to address any issues or concerns that they may have. The interviews are 15 minutes in length to allow time for in-depth conversations. Guiding Day will take place on Tuesday November 6th. Students must wear their school uniform and only attend school during their appointment time.

The details of the day and information on booking appointments will be sent to parents closer to the date.


Laptop Induction for Year 7 (Wednesday, October 24th / Thursday, October 25th)

To support the Year 7 students in their transition into their new environment at SIS, we do not distribute laptops until later in the term – specifically, October 24th and 25th. Our reason for doing so is to allow students to spend more time interacting with each other, to become familiar with their new environment, and to make the most of their life here at SIS. In the past, students have been more excited about their laptops than anything else, often to the detriment of their social development.
Another reason to wait is to prepare students and parents for the intended, appropriate, safe use of ICT. In lessons leading up to the ‘hand over’ of the computers, students will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to support the use of their laptops and should thus be prepared for a positive experience from the beginning.

Each year we distribute the laptops to parents instead of the students directly. In this way, parents have full control of the laptop and can support the safe, appropriate use of it at home as well as at school. During the information/ distribution session, parents will gain knowledge in:

  • How we use laptops at SIS
  • How to monitor computer use
  • How to keep your child safe and happy in the virtual world

Dates of these sessions:

More information will be sent closer to the date.


Curriculum Update Middle Years Programme (MYP) – Verification Visit September 10/11

We are now into our second year of using the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) framework to deliver our SIS curriculum. The entire school community has been working very hard to provide the best care and education to our students. As part of the support from IB, we will have a 2-day verification visit where a team will come into school to observe lessons, meet with the School Council, Principal, Leadership Team, Heads of Departments, teachers, parents and students to support us in our continued journey to IB MYP authorisation. We always enjoy having visitors in the school and sharing our learning. The visit will take place on September 10/11 and we invite interested parents to take part in the parent feedback session on Monday the 10th. Please contact Carolyn Andrews at candrews@sis.edu.hk for more details.


iSAMS and the iPhone X

iSAMS has solved the facial recognition software issue with iPhone X users – it was clashing with the iSAMS software, causing the program to automatically shut down. This problem had also been reported by several other schools using the software. iSAMS should now work fine on a desktop/ laptop, or mobile device. If you have any iSAMS problems, please let us know.


‘SIS goes MaD’ Week October 8th – 12th

Each year, SIS students have the opportunity to Make a Difference outside their school environment.
Students from Years 8-12 sign up for activities here in Hong Kong as well as overseas, that they wish to take part in. Year 8 students have all made their choices and will have their first trip meeting very soon. During this meeting, they will receive more information regarding their chosen trip.

For Year 7, their week of activities is prepared for them with a focus to help them interact more with each other as a Year Group and to feel comfortable in their Year Group as well as in their new environment. We will host a Camp Meeting for parents with representatives from the camp on Thursday September 20th – we will send more detailed information closer to the date. We realise that students can be nervous about camp, especially in a new school with new people. We strive to make the camp a successful experience for all students, to allow them to start their secondary school life with confidence that they can achieve with a great support system!

Please see below a brief schedule for Year 7 MaD week:

August Reminders

Traffic Safety – Keeping our Students Safe

At South Island School, there are times when the driveway to the school can get very busy. We want our children to get to school and home from school as quickly and safely as possible. To ensure this happens, we have some traffic rules. It is very important that all members of our school community follow these rules.

  • We have a one-way system – rear entrance from Deep Water Bay Drive and out the Nam Fung Road main gates
  • Cars are not permitted to come up the drive when buses are entering the school at the following times:
    • Mornings                       7:20 am – 8:05 am
    • After School                  2:45 pm – 3:40 pm
    • (Tuesday) Morning        9:20 am – 10:05 am
    • (Friday) After School     12:45 pm – 1:50 pm 

We recognise that at times of heavy rain you would like to take your child to the school to keep them dry. You may come up the driveway before 7:20 am so please make an early start on these days. At the end of the day, please wait at the bottom of the driveway until buses have left or come to school after 3.40 pm and then you can pick your child up. This way, the children are safe in the foyer of the school and the bus students get home on time and can catch their ferries!

When attending school events, parents are encouraged to take public transport. The school has very limited parking space and will restrict vehicles from entering the campus where safe capacity has been exceeded.

It is important that we work as a community to follow these rules and keep all our students safe! Please click here to read details on our website.


School Uniform Reminders

PE kit: If students have two or more school sessions that require their PE kit, they may wear their PE kit all day. The subjects that require the PE kit are: Drama, InterD, PE and Inter-House. Note: this does not include after school activities. If students have PE during P1A/B, they may come to school in their PE kit. Students may wear suitable training/gym shoes of any colour for PE lessons. They will participate in activities that require running and jumping so please make sure the shoes are supportive.

School Uniform: Students must wear uniforms that are purchased from the PTA shop with the SIS/ESF logo. No outside clothing should be worn. Shoes must be black. They can be polishable shoes or running shoes – we have changed the uniform policy to allow running shoes as many students play during break times – but they must be all black. If a student chooses black running shoes, they can also be worn in PE – but they must be non-marking and suitable for PE activities. Below is a visual of appropriate black running shoes to wear with the school uniform.


August Birthdays – Happy Birthday August Babies!

For links to documents previously sent, please click below:
Frequently Asked Questions
Parent Handbook
How to access the Handbook through the Parent Portal.
How to access the Handbook through the iParent App.


Upcoming Events:

  • 31 Aug – Payment for After School Activities due (for those requiring payment)
  • 3 Sept – After School Activities begin (Activity buses starts)
  • 7 Sept – Year 7 Inter-House Dodgeball
  • 10/11 Sept – MYP Verification Visit
  • 14 Sept – SIS Open Morning and Curriculum Information Session
  • 20 Sept – Camp Information Evening 5.30 @Atrium
  • 20 Sept – SIS PTA AGM/Parent Social 6:15 pm @SPACE
  • 21 Sept – Year 7 and 8 PCC1 live on iSAMS after 4.00 pm
  • 21 Sept – Year 8 Inter-House Football
  • 24 Sept – SIS CPD day school closed for students
  • 25 Sept – Public Holiday – The Day Following Mid-Autumn Festival
  • 30 Sept – Deadline for Year 7 Online Central Applications
  • 1 Oct – Public Holiday – National Day
  • 4 Oct – Musicfest
  • 5 Oct – Year 7 Inter-House Benchball
  • 8-12 Oct – SIS goes MaD week
  • 15-19 Oct – Mid Term Break (school closed)
  • October 24th – Laptop Induction (Maison, Namas and Kuca)
  • October 25th – Laptop Induction (Bahay, Casa and Shtepi)