29 Oct 2018

Family Bauhinia Newsletter (October 2018)

Family Bauhinia’s latest newsletter is available to read now.  Find out the latest news and upcoming events on Volume 7, Issue 3.

>  Message from the Vice Principal
>  Message from Head of Year 7
>  Message from Head of Year 8
Celebrating Student Achievements
Family Bauhinia Achievements
SIS Obtains IBO MYP Authorisation
MusicFest – Whole School Inter-house Event
AWE Survey
Family Bauhinia Read-A-Thon
>  Digital Literacy – Laptop Induction Evening for Year 7
>  Upcoming Reporting and Information Sessions
>  Inter-house Athletics
>  Box of Hope – Casa Make A Difference Week
>  South Island School Musical – Annie Jr
>  Birthdays – Happy Birthday September and October Babies!
>  Important Dates For Your Diary


Message from the Vice Principal

Dear Family Bauhinia Parents,

Welcome back from the mid-term break! It has been a very busy term and it is wonderful to see the students all back looking ready for the remainder of the term. It was great to hear the stories from our Year 8 students and how they really enjoyed and learned from their MaD week experiences – photos of these trips can be found at the following Facebook link. It was a great week for our Year 7 students as well as it provided everyone a chance to get to know each other better outside the traditional classroom setting. We have an exceptional group of student in Family Bauhinia and we are looking forward to continuing to support their learning journey.

It has been such a positive month, we have collected some highlights with student’s achievements and have shared them below.  Also in this Newsletter, you will find what is coming up for the month of November and a collection of these dates at the end of the Newsletter for your convenience.

If you have any questions or suggestions, as always, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Carolyn Andrews
Vice Principal
MYP Coordinator

Message from Head of Year 7

It has been a very busy past month with MaD week being the major highlight for many.  The activities on the Sai Kung camp as well as those at School over the week proved to be a fantastic experience for the Year 7’s.  Tutors commented on some of the great teamwork that they witnessed over the week, as well as personal challenges being faced with courage and enthusiasm.  It was also wonderful to see new friendships being formed.

To view the photographs / videos of Year 7 MaD week, click here.

The excited buzz is in the air for the laptops. Students will be bringing these into school from Monday 29 October. Some students have already suggested they will start to organise and set up folders on google drive for each of their subjects, which is awesome.

It was great to see the students support book character dress day (view photos here) the Friday before half term. By the time you read this newsletter they will know all about the ORBIS readathon event which I am sure they will tell you about. This is a great time to promote reading in school and at home, as well as supporting those less fortunate than ourselves.

Andy Thums
Head of Year 7

Message from Head of Year 8

I was thrilled to hear how the Year 8 students embraced the opportunities presented to them during MAD week, and what a difference many of them made to the communities they chose to serve! We had a group of students visiting  a school in Chiang Rai and started the process of physically building the school canteen. One student said about this experience “Even though sometimes it is hard to do something, it makes you feel good when you have done it.” The experience is so much more than just a break in the normal school routine and as I listened to the stories year 8 shared with me about how they served and supported others made my heart warm.

All year 8 students have now completed their athletic trials in Sandy Bay sports ground by representing their Houses in the various sporting events on offer. As I watched  on I was encouraged to see so many students stepping out of their comfort zone and achieving their personal best. I am looking forward to the main event on the 16 November where I am sure year 8 will again rise to the challenge and do themselves proud. Please feel free to come along and support.

Great to see how many Year 8 students supported Breast Cancer Awareness month by coming to school dressed in the colour ‘pink’. Family Bauhinia will launch their making a difference campaign this month with the launch of the annual Read-a-thon competition in support of charity Orbis https://www.orbis.org/en. Please speak to your children to find out how they can support this worthwhile charity.

Victoria Butcher
Head of Year 8

Celebrating Student Achievements

For the month of October, we have noted some students who have Made a Difference in the SIS community. We are incredibly proud of our students – please see below the names of some of the children who have Made a Difference.

We have Made a Difference

A special mention goes to Marilyn Cheung 7M2. This young lady has taken Making a Difference to a very high level. Her many charitable acts have included: delivering red packets to the elderly in affiliation with HK Movie Star Sports Association, a member of the Kids Sponsor Kids Program sponsoring 4 children in China, Teaching English in Nepal, Fundraising for the “Because I am a Girl” Campaign organised by Plan International HK, Donation of ReadingMile® Storybooks, Storytelling Class Filled with Fun and Laughter, Clean up the neighbourhood and beach after Typhoon Mangkhut.  We cannot express how proud we are of Marilyn and her family for their extensive work to Make a Difference. You can read all about the activities in her blog located here. Well done Marilyn!

Family Bauhinia Achievements

Tennis support – Christian Wong (8C2) and Adam Chan (8B2)

Christian and Adam served as ball boys for the Hong Kong Tennis open. It was a great experience to see top female tennis players in action.  Both boys served during the semi finals day which was an exciting day!

Well done boys!



Budding Actress – Charlotte Lee (8S1)

Charlotte has successfully auditioned for the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation and will perform in their upcoming musical Fame.  We have very proud of Charlotte and we look forward to seeing her on stage!





Global Citizen – Marilyn Cheung (7M2)

We are extremely proud of Marilyn’s efforts to Make a Difference.  Please see above under ‘We have Made a Difference’ for the details.



SIS Obtains IBO MYP Authorisation

We are delighted to confirm that following our IBO MYP Verification Visit last month, South Island School is now fully authorised to offer the IBO Middle Years Programme (MYP) to Years 7-9. We received our report from the IBO a few days ago – and it confirms our full authorisation.

We now have five years until the next IBO checkpoint – the five year evaluation. Our report in fact shows that we have completed nearly all of the requirements for this already! However, please rest assured that we will not be sitting still. Although we have already met IBO requirements for authorisation, now we want to make SIS MYP absolutely the best it can be for our students – and you can read about some of our next steps in the SIS Annual Report, which has also just been published. So the hard work will continue. In the meantime, please join us in celebrating this major milestone at SIS!

Mr. Tom Vignoles

MusicFest – Whole School Inter-house Event (Thursday 4 October)

MusicFest is an annual Inter-House celebration of musical performance.  A day-long event, MusicFest is organised into three age group categories with students competing for trophies for best:

  • Solo piano
  • Vocal solo
  • Instrumental solo
  • Ensemble performance

Competing students gather house points for participation, as well as for achieving runner up or winning positions.  At the end of the day, one House takes the overall Inter-House trophy for MusicFest.

This year, MusicFest was held on Thursday 4 October with Year 7 and 8 as the first year groups to compete.  It was a fantastic day filled with music and excitement – we are very proud of all our competitors and NAMAS for winning the overall trophy! To view the photos and videos from the event, please click here.

The Results:

Category Winner Runner up
Piano Solo Rachel Lui (S) James Choi (N)
Instrumental Solo Charlotte Lee (S) Airiana Chan (B)
Vocal Solo Britney Chan (M) Sherman Ming (N)
Ensemble Lily and Matthew Haylett, Sophie Lam, Tisya Gupta, Minjun Koo (Bahay) David Hsueh, Ajax Li, Lucian Ng, Ivana Wong , Charlotte Blythe (Namas)

Overall Placement:

  1. Namas
  2. Shtepi
  3. Bahay
  4. Maison
  5. Kuca
  6. Casa

Well done to all students who competed!

AWE Survey

Before the mid-term break,  students were asked to complete an online questionnaire assessing their wellbeing. As a reminder, the AWE assessment consists of a collection of validated psychometric scales and scientifically informed questions from the psychology literature that assess various aspects of wellbeing. The AWE assessment covers all major theories of wellbeing, rather than one particular theory or perspective.  Further information is available on their website www.awesomeschools.com.

The students who completed the survey should have received their reports already.  We encourage you to talk to your child about the survey and generally how they are feeling about themselves and school life. Every day brings new challenges to our students and they, at times, will feel anxious and need to know that there are people around them ready to support them.  Equally, when children are happy and enjoying life, how they can make a difference to others who may need it.

After conversations with your child, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, concerns or general feedback.  The aim is to have happy, caring children with strategies to cope when they feel anxious or stress.

Family Bauhinia Read-A-Thon

All Year 7 and 8 students are invited to participate in the Read-a-thon program during the period 26 October to 29 November as an initiative to ‘Make a Difference’. They are guided by their English teachers and the school librarians to explore the gems in reading by making an attempt to read books in a wide range of genres.  The students also have an opportunity to share their reading joy with the rest of school through writing book recommendations or creating book trailers. The money raised will go the charity ORBIS – the Flying Eye Hospital whose motto is ‘Saving Sight Worldwide’. The students are having fun in making a difference to themselves, to their peers and to a wider community across the world with the activities provided. The full details of the program can be found in the Library VLE page https://tinyurl.com/sisreadathon18.

This year, a book fair will be held in the School Hall from 5 – 9 November.  Parents are invited to visit the book fair on 6 November before or after their Guiding Day appointments. A discount of 20% is offered by Commercial Press on a range of good reads in English and Chinese languages. Hope to see you there!

Ms. Ow
School Librarian

Digital Literacy – Laptop Induction Evening for Year 7

It was great to see so many parents and students during both of the laptop induction evenings last week. We continue to believe passionately in the importance of digital technologies in education but equally live in the real world and know as both teachers and parents that overuse of laptops, cellphones, game consoles etc can be detrimental to our well-being.  I include both adults and children in this context, which is why as a team, we advocate for good role-modelling as teachers and parents.

It was obvious that many parents are as concerned about the current use of student cell phones as they are about the forthcoming use of laptops.  I received a lot of questions about the Screen Time app via mobile phones, which offers a useful control mechanism for the use of apps, games, privacy restrictions and some all important downtime.  We’d stress that students are likely to make mistakes with both cellphones and laptops but is crucial that parental ‘control’ is seen by everyone in the family as a support mechanism and not an Orwellian invasion of privacy.  Maintaining an open and frank relationship with our children is crucial and the decisions about gaming time (1hr limit is recommended) and social media rules are made as much by the children as by us. In short, aim to create those rules as a collaborative, caring process.   

I’d remind parents that if you are struggling with this process then feel free to ask for support from one of our Digital Leaders.  A lot of recent research suggests that it is much more effective for students to receive digital citizenship advice from older peers rather than from parents and teachers.  We’d be happy to put this to the test over the year ahead. Karina Au (12N2) and Samuel Bonnekamp (12N1) are spearheading this initiative and very keen to offer their expertise.    

You can also find the ISTE standards for students here, which have been carefully audited in both years 7 and 8.  These are the digital skills, which we hope to cultivate via use of laptops in the classroom and a reminder why these expensive digital items remain crucial if we are serious about teaching and learning, which provides our students with the digital literacy skills necessary for the contemporary, technical age.

Iain Williamson
Digital Literacy Coordinator            


Upcoming Reporting and Information Sessions

Evidencer – Making Learning Visible

Year 8: Students will be writing and sharing their first reflections with parents on Friday, 2 November
Year 7: Students will be writing and sharing their first reflections with parents on Friday, 7 December

More details will be sent in a separate email to support this important event in our reporting calendar.

Guiding Day Tuesday – 6 November

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 6 November.

The details of the day and information on booking appointments was sent to parents in a separate email.  Please let us know if you have not received the information.

Inter-house Athletics

Inter-house Athletics Day (Friday 16 November)

Inter-House Athletics is an annual SIS event where students compete in athletic events in their Houses.  The entire school body will be at this event and it is one of few where we get to participate as a whole school.  This will be a new experience for many of our students and parents but one that will create wonderful memories. 

During PE lessons, all students have competed in many of the events.  During the Inter-House Athletics event, students will have the opportunity to compete for their Houses against students in the other Houses.  They will also compete in a game of tug-of-war, which is always a lot of fun.


WHEN: Friday, 16 November 2018

WHERE: Stanley Ho Sports Centre, 10 Sha Wan Drive, Sandy Bay, Hong Kong

WHAT TIME : 8:00 am to 1:00 pm

HOW TO GET THERE: Students will take their usual school bus, which will take them directly to the sports field.  At the end of the event, students will take their regular bus home from the stadium.  If students come by car or local transport, they must arrive at the field no later than 8am.  There will also be an additional bus leaving from the school for students and teachers, which will leave at 7:15 am SHARP!

WHAT TO WEAR: House T-shirtPE shorts and anything in your house colour to accessorise!  This year’s theme is ‘SPACE’. Students must have their House T-shirts in order to compete in the events but are encouraged to show their creativity with accessories and costumes related to the theme ‘SPACE’.

WHAT TO BRING: Water, food for the morning, sunscreen/hat, jacket/sweater in case of cooler weather, small amount of money for snacks/water. NO LAPTOPS or VALUABLES please.

Finally, in the event of bad weather, please check the school website. If the Athletics Finals Day is cancelled, it will be announced on the school website and the buses will bring the students to school and a normal day will resume.

Updated Inter-house Calendar:

Box of Hope – CASA Make a Difference Week

As part of Casa’s Make a Difference week, they will be running the ‘Box of Hope’ campaign again this year which was very successful last year.  Our South Island School families are very generous and many children have benefited from this generosity.  We will be collecting boxes from Monday 5 November until Friday 9 November. Stickers for the boxes have been distributed to the students and if you would like to donate, the students may bring the boxes in any day during the collection period. Boxes must have a sticker and can be delivered to Ms Anne Henderson.

We will also have a box design competition and winners get to hand deliver the Boxes of Hope to children in Hong Kong. Simply email a photo of your Box for our Box Design Competition to siantaylor1@boxofhope.org before 15 November.

Remember to write your name, age, school and contact details.

WINNERS ANNOUNCED 26 November 2018.

South Island School Musical– Annie Jr (27 – 29 November)

Birthdays – Happy Birthday September and October Babies!

Important Dates for your Diary

November 2018

  • Nov 2 – Year 8 Evidencer review (parents and students)
  • Nov 2 – Diwali Night
  • Nov 3 – Terry Fox Run (more details found here)
  • Nov 5 to 9 – Sun Yat-Sen Exhibition and Book Fair / Box of Hopes
  • Nov 6 – Guiding Day (students only come to school for their appointment time)
  • Nov 9 – Year 8 Inter-House Netball
  • Nov 16 – SIS Inter-House Athletics Day
  • Nov 19  – SIS CPD Day (school closed for students)
  • Nov 23  – Inter-House Racquet-a-thon
  • Nov 27 to 29 – Annie (Whole School Musical)
  • Nov 30 – Year 7 Inter-House Football
  • Nov 30 – Term 1 Activities end (Activity buses will not run after school Mon to Thurs from this date)

December 2018

  • Dec 7 – Year 7 Evidencer review (parents and students)
  • Dec 11 – Years 7&8 Read-a-thon Prize Giving Assembly
  • Dec 14 – Last day of Term 1

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.