28 Nov 2019

Family Bauhinia Newsletter (November 2019)


Family Bauhinia’s latest newsletter is available to read now. Find out the latest news and upcoming events on Volume 8, Issue 4.

>  Message from the Head of Post-11 Learning
>  Message from the Principal
>  Celebrating Student Achievements
Family Bauhinia Fun
SIS goes MaD – Year 7 Camp
SIS goes MaD – Year 8
Namas MaD week is back again! (2 – 6 December)
School Production – The Mill on the Floss
Family Bauhinia Read-a-thon
Inter-House Events / School Activities
Curriculum Update – Year 8 InSoc Aberdeen Trip Cancelled
Happy Birthday! (November)
Important Dates to Note

Message from the Head of Post-11 Learning

Dear Family Bauhinia Parents,

The end of our first term of 2019-20 is fast approaching – as I reflect on the challenges that we have faced over the past weeks I am humbled by the resilience of our students, teachers and school community. Being in school without the children was a strange experience; we were all delighted to welcome them back.

After such an eventful term you think we would be taking things a bit easier in these final few weeks, but in Family Bauhinia, there is no slowing down! Please make a note of what is coming up in December and January for Family Bauhinia.

As the weather is getting cooler, we have had a few questions from parents regarding uniform. We very much appreciate your support ensuring your children come to school in appropriate school uniform. Please find the link to school uniform in the parent handbook here. As a reminder, the classrooms are heated so children will be comfortable during lessons. Coming to school and going home, students may wear warmer jackets, but they must take them off in the building and store them in their lockers. We have added a warmer hoodie as requested by the Student Council so, we are hopeful that the uniform provided in the PTA office will suffice. As always, please ask if you are unsure.

It is also at this time we say goodbye to some of our family members as they continue their education elsewhere. We are sad to see them go but are confident they will take with them the enthusiasm and love of learning they displayed at South Island School.

We also welcome new students to Family Bauhinia – welcome:

  • Haruna UBUKATA (8K2) – 2 December 2019

As this will be the last newsletter until after the holidays, we hope you and your family have a fantastic holiday – happy and safe – and return all ready for the start of Term 2 on 6 January 2020!

Shaine Bushell
Head of Post-11 Learning
MYP Coordinator


Message from the Principal

Dear Parents,

It has been a rather unusual second half of term at South Island School! However, the challenges we have all faced around Hong Kong have in fact served to bring us closer together as a community. Everything we do at South Island School is about your children – and it is always great to see them as they arrive at school so full of enthusiasm every morning.

Family Bauhinia is a very special learning family within the school as a whole – and we very much hope that you enjoy reading about all of the things that Years 7 and 8 students have been doing recently. We hope you have a restful and productive Christmas break, when it comes, and look forward to seeing everyone back at school in January.

With best wishes,

Tom Vignoles


Celebrating Student Achievements

Clio Wu (8M2)

Clio won a gold medal in 42-45KG Boys’ Free Flight at “Cross-Taiwan Straits Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the National Day Taekwondo Championship 2019‪” on the 20th October.

What an impressive achievement Clio, well done!

Clio won 1st place in Kyeokpa, Ling Jump Kick, male color belt at Taekwondo Hanmadang 2019 by China Hong Kong National TaeKwondo Alliance.  Well done  Clio!


Mathias Grunberger (8M2)

Mathias recently won the U16 LRC Club Championship in singles.  Well done Mathias for being such a dedicated player!


Family Bauhinia Fun

Returning to School – 20 & 21 November

School just isn’t the same without our students – hearing laughter and seeing the smiles on student and teacher’s faces around the school on the first day back was joyous!

Welcome Back Assembly (20 November)

Well-Being Picnic (21 November)

SIS goes MaD – Year 7 Camp

School-Based Activities

Graphic Design Challenge

Students, we able to reflect on their place in the school community by creating a piece of art that will form a lasting legacy at South Island.

  • Individual – students designed a piece of abstract art
  • Group – students used shades of their house colour to complete the piece
  • Community – these pieces of artwork have been scanned and will be merged to form a permanent graphic display in the school’s foyer

Design Challenge

Working through the design cycle students had fun designing, making and refining their racer – powered only by air to win one of the four challenges:

  • Fastest Car
  • Straightest Car
  • Longest Distance
  • Best Design


Camp Activities

It was great to see the students develop and grow in confidence during their time a camp – we saw students develop their resilience and leadership skills; support and help each other; try new things and most importantly have fun!

So much happened at camp – hiking, kayaking, raft building, games, treasure hunting and BBQing!


SIS goes MaD – Year 8

MaD Week saw our Year 8 students travel around Asia and HK.  Our students could be found cycling in Thailand, mud wrestling in Bali, snorkelling in the Tioman Islands and Hiking in Hong Kong. They developed new skills (photography, coding, glass making, farming, building to name but a few) and made new friends. We have enjoyed hearing about the amazing experiences our students had – the truly embodied the MaD Philosophy by making a difference to themselves, to others, to communities and the environment.

Please click here to view other photos from MaD Week 2019.


Namas MaD week is back again! (2-6 December)


The beneficiary charity we are collaborating with this year is Mind HK, an organisation that aims to improve awareness and understanding of mental health in Hong Kong by providing support to those in need. Did you know that one in six people in Hong Kong suffers from mental health illness? With that being said, in hopes of raising awareness for this crucial issue, we have three incredibly exciting events lined up for all students and teachers!

1. Tuesday 3 December – TEACHERS VS STUDENTS Dodgeball – 12.45 pm – Sports Hall

    • No entry fee is required, and there is no need to form a team beforehand, so make sure you come along with a couple of your friends and be prepared for teachers vs students battle! We already have a team of teachers who are ready to throw and dodge, so all we need now is YOUR help to defeat them!

2. Thursday 5 December – SPONGE THE TEACHER

    • Our annual sponge, the teacher, returns once again this year, so be sure to come to the Lower Playground during both break and lunch to sponge some of your absolute favourite teachers as well as members of the Namas Leadership team!
    • 1 sponge – $10 OR 3 sponges –  $15

3. Friday 6 December – DRESS CASUAL DAY

    • Since Christmas is right around the corner, it’s time to get in the holiday spirit and come together as a school community! Grab your Christmas jumpers, reindeer antlers and Santa hats, because it can never be too early for Christmas. All of the raised funds will be sent to Mind HK in support of their organisation and the work they do to help those in need, so please remember to bring in a $10 donation (but of course, the more, the better!)
Thank you all, and we look forward to seeing everyone take part in these upcoming events and MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

School Production – The Mill on the Floss

After so much disruption, in the weeks leading up to the production, it was amazing to see our school community come together to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the students and staff.

Family Bauhinia Read-a-thon

Readathon is an annual event jointly organised by the Family Bauhinia and the Learning Resources Centre to put the school philosophy of ‘Making a Difference’ into action. All Year 7 and 8 students are invited to participate.  During the period of Readathon (18 Oct to 4th Dec 2019), students are guided by their English teachers and school librarians to explore the gems in reading. They are encouraged to extend their reading comfort zone to enjoy books in a variety of genres. Prizes and activities are provided to engage them in reading, to motivate them in sharing their reading pleasure with peers through writing books reviews and making book trailers, and to inspire them in offering their helping hands to make a difference to a global community. The money raised will go to the charity ORBIS – the Flying Eye Hospital, whose motto is ‘Saving Sight Worldwide’.  The full details of the Readathon Program can be found on the Library VLE page (here).

Ms Betty Ow
School Librarian


Inter-House Events / School Activities

Year 8 Inter-house Football

The heat was on as Y8 boys and girls faced each other during the football Interhouse event earlier in the month.  It was good to see all students participating (either playing or supporting) and the level of sportsmanship, regardless of the game’s outcome, was excellent!



Activities – Term 1 Extension

Dear Students and Parents, 

The PE department is delighted to announce that after-school activities programme will be extended for another next week. 

For sporting activities, please kindly note that all activities will be running next week EXCEPT:
– TENNIS (TUE & THU), BIATHLON, GIRLS & BOYS RUGBY, BOYS FOOTBALL (TUE PM), TABLE TENNIS (THU). We will also confirm after school swimming as soon as we have a response from ESL. 

All non-sporting activities should be running as usual, but it is important for students to double-check this with the teacher in charge. 

If you are not sure whether your activity will be running next week, please check with the teacher in charge or Mr Wong (PE). 

Please note that activities buses WILL be running next week. 

Mr Wong
Activities Coordinator (PE Department)


Activities – Term 2

Please kindly find the latest activities sign up timeline below:

Sign up for Term 2 Sports and Non-Sports Activities

  • Viewing : Tuesday 10/12 16:30
  • Sign Up : Wednesday 11/12 16:30 to Sunday 15/12 Midnight
  • Allocation Period : Monday 16/12 to Friday 20/12
  • Allocation Results : Monday 6/1/20 12:30 (1st day back after Holiday)
  • Submit Payment : Tuesday 7/1/20 to Friday 10/1/2019
  • Activity Period : Monday 13/1/20 to Friday 20/3/20

This would mean that sign up for all sports and non-sports activities will start at the same time, as well as the activity starting date.

If you have any further questions about activities – Please e-mail Mr Samuel Wong at sawong@sis.edu.hk or visit the PE Office.

Mr Wong
Activities Coordinator (PE Department)


Curriculum Update: Year 8 InSoc Aberdeen Trip Cancelled

The InSoc department made the decision that it would be best to cancel the trip to Aberdeen Centre planned for 3 December – but we don’t want the students to miss out on such an interesting research topic.  Instead, the InSoc teachers have been working hard on creating a virtual tour of Aberdeen for our students to engage with so that they can finish their investigations.  During this current unit of work they have investigated globalisation through a geographical lens – How has globalisation impacted on Hong Kong?



Evidencer – Making Learning Visible

Our aim at South Island School is to engage our community in the learning process – making the learning, and the fantastic work our students create, visible. This can be achieved through events like Open Day, Curriculum Evenings and Student-Led Consultations. However, parents and guardians need to wait for these to happen – we would like them to be able to see their child’s work at any point during the year. Thus we are supporting our students in developing a digital portfolio of work. A portfolio that shows their passions along with examples of their classwork.

We want these portfolios to be 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 to 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 lesson and Pastoral Learning Curriculum (PLC) time will be given over to allow students 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 7 and 8 students will be writing and sharing their first reflections with parents towards the end of the term. More details will be sent in a separate email to support this important event in our reporting calendar but feel free to chat with your child about the Evidence they are collecting.

Shaine Bushell
Head of Post-11 Learning
MYP Coordinator


Progress Check Card

Year 8 Progress Check Card 2 (17 January 2020)

In Year 8, 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 8 PCC2 will be live to parents on iSAMS on 17 January 2020

Year 8 Student Led Consultation (SLC) (21 January 2020)

Following on from this report we will host the Year 8 Student Led Consultation (SLC), more information will be shared with you in a separate email.

One important point to note for this report, there will be a section for teachers to indicate whether or not an appointment/meeting is recommended. Please remember, our doors are always open; you do not have to wait until an SLC to approach any of the teachers at school.


Year 7 Progress Check Card 2 (14 February 2020)

Year 7 PCC2  will be live to parents on iSAMS on 14 February 2020.  More information will be included in the next newsletter.


MYP Reporting and Assessment – Parent Presentation in February

There is a lot of information in our PCCs and other assessment documentation which can be confusing. To further support our parents, we will host a parent information session on MYP reporting as well as go over the rationale behind our assessment schedule. The presentation will take place sometime in February (date to be finalised). A separate email with the date, time and a sign up for the event will be sent to you in the new year.

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


Happy Birthday! (November)

Important Dates to Note


  • 6 December – Term 1 Activities End
  • 6 December – Year 7 Inter-house Gecko Maths (POSTPONED until term 2)
  • 10 December – Family Bauhinia Readathon Prize Giving Assembly
  • 10 December –  Christmas Concert
  • 11 December – Family Bauhinia Talent Show (lunchtime)
  • 13 December – Whole School Assembly / Last day of Term 1
  • 14 December to 5 January – ESF Term Break


  • 6 January – First Day of Term 2
  • 14 to 17 January – Year 6 Visits
  • 17 January – Year 8 PCC2 live on iSAMS after 4:00 pm
  • 21 January – Year 8 Student Led Consultation (SLC)
  • 24 January to 2 February – ESF half-term holidays

All dates and information can be found on our school calendar.  To view the calendar, please go to our website and click on the link School Calendar

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