29 Aug 2019

Family Bauhinia Newsletter (August 2019)

Family Bauhinia’s latest newsletter is available to read now. Find out the latest news and upcoming events on Volume 8, Issue 1.

>  Message from the Principal
>  Message from the Vice Principal – Guidance and Well-Being
>  Message from the Head of Year 7
Message from the Head of Year 8
Message from the Head of Post-11 Learning
Welcome to the Family
Year 8 Family Bauhinia Prefects
Celebrating Student Achievements
School Activities
August Reminders
Upcoming Events – Term 1

Message from the Principal

Welcome to the first Family Bauhinia newsletter of the academic year.

At the start of term, I spoke with the new students about how big South Island School may seem – and yet, how close-knit a community we really are. Since then, it has been excellent to see our Year 7 and new Year 8 students settling in so positively to their new school. Our aim is always to make every student feel welcome and secure, and we very much hope that this has been your son’s or daughter’s experience so far. Please get in touch with us at any time if there is anything more we can do to support their well-being.

The aim of this newsletter is to update you further on the learning activities and events that our younger students have enjoyed since the start of term. We hope you find it interesting!

With best wishes,

Mr Tom Vignoles
Principal, South Island School

Message from Vice Principal – Guidance and Well-Being

I am delighted to be embarking on this new role as Vice-Principal for Guidance and Well-Being and look forward to working with the wonderful staff, students and parent community at South Island School. 

Although this is only my third week at the school I am certain that life at South Island is dynamic and very rewarding. I have been very grateful for the warm, positive and friendly staff and students who have been very welcoming to me. This has made this new start a really fantastic experience for me. Thank you!

As we will be starting this journey together, I have a special message for our new Year 7s and new students to Year 8. I am in a privileged position being Vice Principal at South Island, it is a fantastic school. However, I can empathise that sometimes being new to a community means that things might feel overwhelming sometimes. There are so many new things to get used to. Try not to worry too much about this. Just always try your best and ask for help. I can already feel that South Island is a very caring, community and so there are many people who will look after your children.  

At South Island, we expect all students to be curious, respectful and organised. These are crucial qualities to be successful. In Year 7 & Year 8 students will need to take more responsibility for their own learning and organisation. I encourage students to spend time each day reflecting on their strengths and what they hope to achieve this year. I will be doing this too, alongside your children. 

The best advice I can give students at the start of this new school year is to be courageous as this will help them to take advantage of all of the new opportunities and to reach out to others and make new friends. There are so many activities and opportunities for them to get involved in the life of the school. 

The school will be your second family, your safe place to take healthy risks and a place where you can be the best version of yourself. If your children are lucky they will make friends for life at SIS.

I look forward to getting to know you and your parents. I wish you all the very best. 

Warmest wishes,

Ms Lucie Purves
Vice Principal, South Island School 

Message from the Head of Year 7

It has been wonderful to see the children over the last few weeks walking around school with their friends chatting about lessons, busy checking their timetables, asking lots of questions and doing an absolutely amazing job at settling into South Island School! I am in such a privileged position to be working with a great cohort of students who are already making the most of the opportunities presented to them. Many staff have already commented on how courteous and thoughtful Year 7 as they interact with one another. It has also been good to meet so many of you at the start of term and the PTA social evening, I look forward to seeing you again in the future.

On 20 September, Year 7s will have their first Inter-House event by taking part in Dodgeball. Inter-House is a compulsory event which is designed to involve as many Year 7s as possible in a range of activities that will hopefully appeal to all. It’s a chance for your child in the middle of a busy term to let off a bit of steam and develop their House spirit. Any questions regarding Inter-House competitions please do ask your child’s tutor.  

As the term gets underway life will no doubt get busier so please remind your child that when in doubt they are to ask their tutor who will always be there to support in whatever capacity they can. It also goes without saying that you can contact me anytime if I can be of any assistance. 

All the very best for the new term ahead.

Ms Victoria Butcher
Head of Year 7

Message from the Head of Year 8

Welcome back to the new term Year 8s. As role models to the Year 7 students in Family Bauhinia, they have made an impressive effort to make them feel welcome and supported in their transition to our school.

A special and warm welcome to our new Year 8 students, Emily, Breanna, Esmund, Lindi, Max, Chloe, Sam, Eva, Arnold, Jacquline and Kaitlyn. It has been wonderful to see you all grow in confidence, as you settle so amazingly and speedily into life at South Island School. Year 8 would also like to welcome Mr Dennis Allen who will be supporting as co-tutor for 8M1 alongside Dr Bushell.

There have been lots of exciting developments this year including the introduction of the Y8 Family Bauhinia Prefects.

There are also some wonderful Inter-house opportunities scheduled for this term. It was most enjoyable to see some of our Year 8 students joining in the ‘rowing’ event on Friday 23 August. Please continue to support Inter-house events this year, it is an excellent way to socialise in school and develop team spirit too! 

Looking forward to an excellent year ahead.

Mr Andy Thums
Head of Year 8

Message from the Head of Post-11 Learning

Dear Family Bauhinia Parents and Guardians,

With our first three weeks of classes completed and everyone settling into a new school year, I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone to South Island School and to your second family – Family Bauhinia! It has been fantastic to see how quickly our students have settled into life at South Island School. The Year 7 students have grown in confidence and the Year 8 students have stepped into the role of mentors with such ease.

As with any new change in environment, children will need support adjusting to new systems and how things work. Some of our returning parents have 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 children to pack their own bags the night before school;
  • Label everything (shoes, clothes, wallets, lunch bags and water bottles) – labelled items are much easier to return!
  • 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 screen-time agreement. Simply restricting phone and laptop use may result in more of a desire to engage. 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 can move quickly and many students may not have the skills to write or interpret messages or manage conflicts when they arise. Monitoring their activity online will help your child manage conflict and build important social skills.

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.

Shaine Bushell
Head of Post-11 Learning
MYP Coordinator

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:

Lindi LUYT 8B1
Eva O’BREE 8B2
Arnold HO 8B2
Emily BAILEY 8B2
Jacqueline CHUNG 8C2
Kaitlin MCKEE 8C2
Breanna NGAI 8K2
Chloe JONES 8N1
Max CHAN 8N1
Esmund CHUA 8N2

The new students have worked hard over these past few weeks to adjust to their new learning environment and have done so well. They are fantastic additions to Family Bauhinia!

Year 8 Family Bauhinia Prefects

This year we have our first ever Year 8 prefects in their role supporting Family Bauhinia students, events and initiatives. Many teachers have commented on the manner in which they have approached their roles already this term – well done to you all. There is a photograph here of most of them (those who remembered to meet for the time this image was taken).

By alphabetical order: Abigail Lau, Adrian Ip, Airiana Chan, Andreas Cheng, Anna Keys, Ashlye Lo, Becky Yip, Brigitte Wong, Britney Chan, Ella Legere, Ella Lowe, Emmy Bullock, Hannah Woo, Idris Sat, Iris Peel, Janvi Mundra, Jocelyn Li, Joyce Xu, Marcus Lee, Mathias Grunberger, Mishti Vijay, Nellie Froidevaux, Nia Gusain, Poppy Bushell, Poppy Byrom, Rennie Chiu, Richina Ching, Sonia Poon, Sophia Poon, Sophie Callow, Sophie Lam, Utkarsh Goyal

The prefects have already started busily in their role by helping to monitor the new equipment and games in the Space. We are very lucky to have such a supportive and thoughtful SIS PTA who have helped to fund the purchase of some fantastic resources for our Y7/8 students to play with at snack and lunchtime. ‘A very big THANK YOU for helping us to have a really fun and entertaining time with our peers’ – three cheers for the PTA.

Mr Andy Thums
Head of Year 8

Celebrating Student Achievements

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
  • Returning equipment in the Space at the end of break and lunch
  • Carrying bags for children who are injured
  • Performing in assemblies 
  • 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

Student Successes

Abigail Lau (8N2) recently took part in two fencing competitions: 

  • i-Fencing Asia-Pacific Area Fencing Championship 2019
  • USA Fencing International Regional Circuit – Hong Kong 

Abigail did brilliantly in both competitions, she was awarded silver for the U12 Women Foil at the i-Fencing Asia-Pacific Area Fencing Championship 2019; bronze for the U14 Women Foil and gold for U12 Women Foil at the USA Fencing International Regional Circuit – Hong Kong. 


Rachel Lui (8S1) won First Prize in the 2019 International Music Competition “Salzburg” Grand Prize Virtuoso! 

She performed at the Awards Ceremony at the Wiener Saal, Universitat Mozarteum on 11 July 2019. Performing in the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart must have been an unforgettable experience for Rachel. This wonderful experience will no doubt help Rachel towards her goal of being a virtuoso pianist!


Shriyans Gadnis (8M2) recently participated in a piano competition organised by the International Youth Music Competition. He participated in the Piano Grade 4 and Children class category. 

The first round of this competition was held in Hong Kong on 30 June. In the first round, Shriyans was judged Champion for both categories. He was thereafter selected for the final round which was held at the Concert Hall, Shih Chien University, Taipei, Taiwan on 24 August 2019. In the final round, Shriyans was awarded the second runner-up in Grade 4 category and first runner-up in Children category.


School 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 & swimming 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. 

Information you need to know:

  • When: Friday 1:30pm – 3:00pm 
  • Where: Meet in the Sports Hall
  • What to wear: PE shorts/skorts and House T-Shirt
  • Inter-House 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 five 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 login to your account with Kwoon Chung.

The Inter-House Calendar:

After School Activities Term 1, 2019-20

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

Term 1 Activities will begin Monday, 2 September and end Friday 29 November.

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, 2 September (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 30 August 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.


SIS Open Day and Curriculum Information Session – Friday, 13 September

At South Island School, we believe that 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 at South Island School on Friday, 13 September. During which you will be offered an insight into your children’s learning through classroom walkthroughs, school tours and information sessions on the curriculum and pastoral care. We will send more detailed information closer to the date, but please mark the date on your calendar.

Laptop Induction for Year 7

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, 25 and 26 September. 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:

Day Date For Parents of Houses Venue Time
Wednesday 25 September Maison, Namas, Kuca SPACE (5th floor) 5:30-6:30 pm
Thursday 26 September Casa, Shtepi, Bahay SPACE (5th floor) 5:30-6:30 pm

More information will be sent closer to the date.


‘SIS goes MaD’ Week 4-8 November

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 has been prepared for them with a focus on building social connections and confidence. The aim is for the students to interact more with each other in both their tutor groups and as a year group – to feel comfortable in their new environment. We will host a Camp Meeting for parents with representatives from the camp on Wednesday, 2 October – we will send more detailed information closer to the date.  

Visit the MaD Week 2019 website for more details.

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 7:20am – 8:05am
      • After School 2:45pm – 3:40pm
      • (Tuesday) Morning 9:20am – 10:05am
      • (Friday) After School 12:45pm – 1:50pm

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.

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School Uniform Reminders

PE kit: If students in Year 7 or 8 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, Global Thinking, 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. However, as students 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 – 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.


Parent Information

For links to documents previously sent, please click below:

Frequently Asked Questions
Parent Handbook

See information on how to access the Handbook through the iParent App


Follow us on social media!

Don’t want to wait until Friday to learn our school’s latest updates from the e-Bulletin you are reading now? Simply like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to check out school news at any time!
SIS Facebook: facebook.com/SouthIslandSchool
SIS Twitter: twitter.com/ESF_SIS


Know the menu before your children get lunch!

Did you know you can check what food options your children have in school every day before they head to the Refectory, Atrium or the Café at lunch time? Visit https://www.sis.edu.hk/food-services/ and scroll down for the lunch menus to know what options your children have for the month.

These include ‘Hot Wok’ daily specials and three choices for ‘Hot Dish’. The menus are updated monthly.

The September menu is now uploaded!

Upcoming Events – Term 1 2019


  • 30 Aug – Payment for After School Activities due (for those requiring payment)


  • 1–23 Sept Year 7 online Central Applications 
  • 2  Sept – After School Activities begin (Activity buses starts) 
  • 6 Sep – Year 8 Inter-House Dodgeball
  • 13 Sep – SIS Curriculum Open Day
  • 14 Sep – Public Holiday (The day after Chinese Mid Autumn festival)
  • 20 Sep – Year 7 Inter-House Dodgeball
  • 25 Sep – Year 7 Laptop Induction and Distribution Evening (Kuca, Maison, Namas)
  • 26 Sep  – Year 7 Laptop Induction and Distribution Evening (Bahay, Casa, Shtepi)
  • 26 Sep – MusicFest
  • 27 Sep – SIS CPD Day (no school for students)
  • 30 Sep – ESF CPD Day (no school for students)


  • 1 Oct – Public Holiday (National Day)
  • 2 Oct – Year 7 Camp Info Session for Parents
  • 4 Oct – Year 7 Camp Assembly for Students
  • 7 – 11 Oct ESF half-term break
  • 18 Oct – FB Read-a-thon Launch Assembly
  • 18 Oct – Racquet-A-Thon (Boys)
  • 25 Oct – Y7 & 8 PCC1 live to parents
  • 25 Oct – Year 7 Inter-House Old School Benchball 


  • 1 Nov – Year 8 Football (B) + (G)
  • 1 Nov – Year 7 and 8 Evidencer Reflections
  • 4–8 Nov – SIS goes MaD Week
  • 19 Nov – Y7-Y13 Guiding Day
  • 22 Nov –  Athletics day and SIS Night Fest

Visit our School Calendar for more exciting events!

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