24 Jan 2020

Family Bauhinia Newsletter (January 2020)


Family Bauhinia’s latest newsletter is available to read now. Find out the latest news and upcoming events on Volume 8, Issue 5.

>  Message from the Head of Post-11 Learning
>  Message from the Vice Principal – Values in Action
Celebrating Student Achievements
Family Bauhinia Fun – Christmas Talent Show Competitors
Family Bauhinia Read-a-thon 2019
Year 6 Transition Visit
SIS Goes MaD 2020
ESF Parent App – Coming Soon
Year 8 Visual Art
Year 12 History Experts and Year 8 Global Thinking Lessons
Year 8 Options Evening
Year 7 Progress Check Card 2 (14 Feb 2020)
Year 7 Student Led Consultation – Postponed
Happy Birthday (Dec 2019 and Jan 2020)


Message from the Head of Post-11 Learning

Dear Bauhinia Parents,

This new year is full of challenges, I have been overwhelmed by how our students, staff and community have all come together. Monday morning nearly all of our students were ready to engage in online learning at 7.55 am – this is fantastic! I know that with the support of our community we can ensure that the next four weeks are productive and enjoyable for our students.

Before the Chinese New Year, the students were back to school for only three weeks, and in a short period, a lot happened! We welcomed the Year 6 students to our school for transition visits; we welcomed new families to Family Bauhinia; Year 8 Student Led Consultation took place and Term 2 activities started.

Included in this Newsletter are highlights of the events in December/January. Due to the current situation, we are unable to list upcoming events in February and March. Once we have confirmed the return to school date we will send out a brief Family Bauhinia Newsletter, with the revised dates of the postponed events; you will also continue to receive the weekly SIS e-bulletin found here.

Welcome new students to Family Bauhinia
We are delighted to welcome four new families to SIS. The children have settled well and have been well supported by their classmates, tutors and Head of Year 7 Ms. Butcher.


  • Mila Boot (7C1)
  • Justin Ho (7K1)
  • Aiden Teng (7K2)
  • Julian Chang (7M1)

Shaine Bushell
Head of Post-11 Learning
MYP Coordinator


Message from the Vice Principal – Values in Action

This year has been particularly challenging for the Values in Action offering at South Island. Staff and students have been incredibly patient and resilient to continue to widen their experiences through our Values in Action curriculum. We look forward to getting back to normality as soon as possible so students can once again enjoy the plethora of activities available. One main programme that we start to plan at this time of year is our MaD Week programme. You will soon be receiving information on all of our unique and fantastic CAS trips for October 2020, how to enrol and the details of each. It may seem early to start planning in February for a programme that takes place in October. However, to plan, enrol, confirm and mobilize all 1400 students into over 35 trips in Hong Kong and worldwide, requires an abundance of coordination. Our MaD week is one of the crown jewels in our Values in Action (ViA) Curriculum that not only symbolizes our Making a Difference philosophy but also puts into action, as a school community, our values on a local and global scale.

The Values in Action Curriculum at South Island School is 1 of the 3 curricula (Academic, Well-Being and Values in Action) and is vital to providing an all-around education for our students. ViA is the term we use for all the out-of-class opportunities for students that help students to become engaged and active members of our school, our community and the world around them. I would encourage all students to become involved in any of our amazing ViA activities at South Island School. These include, but are not limited to, extra-curricular activities, sports, creative arts performances, HKAYP, community service-based activities, and student-led activities such as TedX, International Evening, Diwali and Innovation. These opportunities are genuine highlights for students who will remember and cherish for the rest of their lives. I always like to hear the stories of our alumni on how the ViA curriculum positively impacted their lives. Similarly, I will look forward to hearing about all the wonderful stories in October when your children safely return.

Mr. Darin Slethaug
Vice Principal
Values in Action & Learning Systems

Celebrating Student Achievements

Last term was very special for Hailey as she helped The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), an animal charity centre, by fostering a 1-month-old Mongrel puppy named Oscar. 

Oscar is a black and white female Mongrel and was rescued by SPCA Inspectors. Right now, Oscar is currently staying in the SPCA Hong Kong Centre in Wan Chai. During that month, Hailey loved spending time with the naughty yet playful puppy by feeding her, giving her medicine and playing with Oscar. The curious little Mongrel loved exploring new things around the house and would always love a playful game of catch. 

Before Hailey started fostering Oscar, she thought it would just be playing with her. As Oscar entered her life, Hailey realized it was more than just playing around. Since Oscar had a bit of skin infection, she had to feed Oscar medicine every day while handling Oscar’s daily meals and water, helping her to go to the bathroom and most importantly,  keeping her energetic and healthy. Even though it was a lot of work for Hailey, it paid off because Oscar brought happiness to Hailey and her family. It is this great experience Hailey would like to help SIS by taking action on fostering animals. 

Fostering is similar to helping someone taking care of their pet for a period of time and then giving it back after. Fostering animals is a huge responsibility but it is surely rewarding. who knows, you might realize you want to adopt it too! You will be surprised how a puppy can help you release stress, stay calm, relax, keep you happy! Animals can also help you with your health. As you walk your dog, it will always encourage you to play and run, a great way to exercise. Hailey wants to share her wonderful experience with the SIS community, hoping to inspire you to be a foster parent for animals. 

Hailey Tang, 7B2


Family Bauhinia Fun – Christmas Talent Show Competitors

Year 7 and 8 students had a wonderful time being entertained by their peers in the annual Family Bauhinia talent show. A huge thank you to all those students who took part and the audience who demonstrated their appreciation throughout.  

The Family Bauhinia representatives will be meeting in the upcoming months to discuss further opportunities to support the wellbeing of all our family members. Parents, if you have any ideas of events or possible activities we could run, to support all the young people in our care, please get in touch as we would welcome any suggestions. 

Best wishes,

Ms. Victoria Butcher
Head of Year 7

Family Bauhinia Read-a-thon 2019

Our Year 7 and 8 students had made a great achievement this year in the Readathon. They read 1,139 books and raised HK$47,452.8 in total to support ORBIS in their work of saving eyesight worldwide. Through the program, they made a difference to themselves and others by exploring new book genres, applying new skills, inspiring others and helping needy people in a wider community.

Well done to all the participants for their effort and congratulations to all the prize winners!

Ms. Betty Ow
School Librarian

Year 6 Transition Visit

In January we welcomed the next cohort of South Island Students during the Year 6 Primary Visit. Over 4 days we welcomed over 200 students to experience life at SIS. They had lessons with our dedicated members of staff, they explored the school and enjoyed tasting what next year will bring.

It was sad to see them leave – they brought a real energy to the school – but we look forward to seeing them again later in the year. They will come back to SIS in term 3 to find out their houses and tutor groups (very exciting).

Welcome Assembly – Session 1 (Tue/Wed)

Welcome Assembly – Group 2 (Thu/Fri)

Languages – Bonjour

Languages – Buenos Dias

Active Maths Lessons

Becoming a Scientist

Reflections and Goodbyes


SIS Goes MaD 2020

The SIS Goes MaD 2020 website will be open for viewing on Friday, February 21. After this date, please click on the link here to view general information and details about each MaD Trip.

Enrolment will occur from the 24th February to 27th March for current year 7-9s & 11s only.  For instructions on how to enrol, please click here.

*Please be reminded that this system is NOT first-come, first-served.  It is a random allocation.  Please take your time during the enrolment phase and sign-up once you and your child have thought about how best they can make a difference.

For your convenience, please take note of the following important dates listed:

  • Enrolment application: from 24th February to 27th March 2020
  • Placement Announcement: 24th April 2020
  • Deposit Deadline: 4th May 2020
  • Balance Deadline: 12th June 2020


ESF Parent APP – Coming Soon

South Island School will soon be rolling out the new ESF app this term to help streamline communication and provide a user-friendly experience for parents. This app will provide access to the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) which only students currently have access, the new e-payment system and other easy to use communication functions.


Year 8 Visual Art

Year 8 Visual Art students have explored the concept of symmetry this semester through an investigation into printmaking. The initial inquiry focused on the manipulation of simple shapes to form complex patterns through the use of repetition, rhythm and harmony. Students extended their printmaking knowledge from Year 7 by developing their skills with the cutting and printing of linoleum. They were introduced to a variety of artists as inspiration, including Bridget Riley. These images include individual and group artwork across all classes from the unit.


Year 12 History Experts & Year 8 Global Thinking Lessons

Year 8 students are currently learning about significant historical events in their Global Thinking lessons. The students have been studying the concepts of perspective, causation and connection and are learning about the events of the Civil Rights Movement in America. At the end of this unit, they will be challenged to choose an event since 2000 and try to convince the class that their chosen event is a significant historical event. 

On Monday, January 13 and Wednesday, January 22, Year 12 history experts visited Global Thinking lessons to help the Year 8 classes learn about significant historical events. Each class learned something different from the Year 12 history experts. Thank you to the following Year 12 students who took time out of their study sessions to teach the Year 8 classes:

Jamie McGraw –  Cuban Missile Crisis

Wing Fung Lam – Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Sahana Prasad and Manya Khanduri – Alexander the Great

Nicole Luk and Divina Sum – Treaty of Versailles

Pablo Huneus – Fall of the Berlin Wall

Timothy Li – The American Declaration of Independence

It was a great opportunity for Year 8 students to learn from our senior students and see the passion that the Year 12 students have for history. The Year 8 teachers and students were very impressed with the depth of knowledge the senior students demonstrated and the enthusiasm they had for their topic!  

Ms. Chile Le  
Head of InterDisciplinary Learning


Year 8 Options Evening

Dear Year 8 Parents,

Over the coming weeks we hope to outline the choices students have in shaping their timetable in Year 9. In brief, students can choose to continue to study two languages (Dual Language Option) or choose one language (Single Language Option). All year 9 students will study Integrated Arts, while single language students can opt to study an additional Creative Arts class.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Language and Creative Arts options for Year 8 students can be found below.

Further details about the process will be sent out in due course, but if you do have any questions (that aren’t answered in the FAQ below) please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards,

Mr. Andy Thums (Head of Year 8)
Dr. Shaine Bushell (Head of Post 11 Learning)


Y8 Options FAQ

1) What language options can my child choose?

Single language option

Students will opt for one of the five languages listed below, which they will study for 3 hours each week:

  • Chinese
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Japanese (as a first language only)
  • Korean (as a first language only)

Dual language option

Students will continue to develop two languages into IGCSE with the option to continue both languages at IB Diploma level in the senior school. This route is only available to those students identified by their teachers.

  • Chinese, Japanese or Korean with French
  • Chinese, Japanese or Korean with Spanish

Further clarification can be found on our website – here.

2) If my child chooses the dual language option, will they continue to study Creative Arts?

Yes, in Year 9 all students will study the Integrated Arts option, where they will get exposure to all aspects of the Creative Arts curriculum.

3) If my child chooses the single language option, what Creative Arts options can they opt to follow?

In addition to Integrated Arts, they can choose ONE of the following (subject to availability)

  • Standard Music
  • Advanced Music
  • Musical Theatre
  • Music Technology
  • Drama
  • Visual Art
  • Media

4) If my child is taking the Skills For Learning programme what will they study in Year 9?

Students on the Skills for Learning course will continue with ONE language and complete the Integrated Arts course in Year 9.


Year 7 Progress Check Card 2 (Friday, 14 February 2020)

In Year 7, the PCC2 is a full report indicating how your child is progressing academically. Your child’s teachers will give a rating to express how engaged they have been with their learning in each subject (please see table below explaining the grading scale). Teachers will also award an achievement level for each assessed criterion – each criterion can be found here.

Finally, teachers will also include next steps in learning for each subject to support student progress. This report has been developed to meet the requirements of the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP).

Year 7 PCC2 will be live to parents on iSAMS on 14 February 2020


Year 7 Student Led Consultation – Postponed


Happy Birthday (Dec 2019 and Jan 2020)

December birthday boys & girls:

January birthday boys & girls:

A reminder of where to locate the Parent Handbook Parent Handbook 
How to access the Handbook through the Parent Portal 
How to access the Handbook through the iParent App

Thank you so much for being such a supportive part of our wonderful Family Bauhinia community!

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