27 Sep 2018

Family Bauhinia Newsletter (September 2018)

Family Bauhinia’s latest newsletter is available to read now.  Find out the latest news and upcoming events on Volume 7, Issue 2.

>  Message from the Vice Principal
>  Message from Head of Year 7
>  Message from Head of Year 8
Celebrating Student Achievement
September Highlights
AWE Survey
Shtepi Make a Difference Week
>  Upcoming Reporting and Information Sessions
>  ‘SIS goes MaD’ Week October 8th – 12th
>  MidYIS Testing (Monday 29 October)
>  Inter-house Events
>  Important Dates to Note


Message from the Vice Principal

Dear Family Bauhinia Parents,

We have come to the end of September – 7 weeks of school completed with a 3 day school closure due to the super typhoon!  It was great to see students’ smiling faces coming into school again.

The 7 weeks have been incredibly busy which concluded with our successful MYP Verification Visit and equally successful Open Day.  Thank you to all parents who supported these events. Please remember that our door is always open! Do not hesitate to come in and discuss any questions or concerns you may have – we have a fantastic Family and it is because of the tremendous support from our parents that we are as good as we are!

In this edition of the Family Bauhinia Newsletter, we will share with you some of highlights of the past month and what to expect in the coming month.  October will be very busy so please do make a note of the ‘Important Dates to Note’ at the end of the Newsletter.

Carolyn Andrews
Vice Principal
MYP Coordinator

Message from Head of Year 7

Year 7 students have continued to build upon their positive start to life at South Island School, with many teachers commenting on their focus in class and enthusiasm to learn. I enjoyed reading the student reflections on the PCCs which highlighted many of the areas and activities that our students are enjoying and looking forward to.

This was evident in the first Interhouse of the year, where the Year 7’s had great fun and displayed wonderful sportsmanlike behaviour both playing and supporting, during the dodgeball matches.

We are all getting ready for the Year 7 camp, with quite a buzz in the air about our week of activities on camp and in school over that week.

The Family Bauhinia MaD reps (see image below) have been busy thinking about the upcoming ORBIS readathon next half term. They are also excited as we have begun to share ideas about the newly formed partnership between SIS and ImpactHk.

Celebrating the lantern festival during Tutor Time  was fun, ‘It was a fantastic way to start my Mid-Autumn festival weekend celebrations‘ (Year 7 student).

Thanks for your energy Year 7’s, you are making a positive impact on school life and I look forward to the year working with you all.

And a very special birthday greeting to all our Year 7s having birthdays in September:

Ruby Sylvester, Victoria Wong, Abraham Poon, Michelle Ho, Rory O’Connor, Idris Sat, Hayley Wong, Christy Cheung, Elliot Shepherd, Juan Villavicencio, Janvi Mundra, Joshua Kim, Summer Sit, Aidan Huang, Ancita Ma

The Family Bauhinia MaD reps

Andy Thums
Head of Year 7

Message from Head of Year 8

It is an exciting time for Year 8 as they make their final preparations for Making a Difference week which will shortly be upon us.  This year the students have had so many trip options to choose from. Whilst some students have opted to go abroad other students have chosen to stay local. I have no doubt that whatever your children have chosen to do this year, they will all have a wonderful opportunity to live out the ‘Making a Difference’ values in the activities that they engage in. I am very much looking forward to hearing all about their experiences when they return to school after the half term break.

Hopefully you have had the opportunity to read with your child their self reflection in their first PPC report. Student reflections should be an honest account  of where your child feels they currently are at the start of the new year. Encourage them to share their learning experience so you too can be part of their learning journey.

We take very seriously the personal and social development of the students in our care, to this end the newly formed Wellbeing group (formerly known as the Social Representatives made up of both year 7 and year 8 students) have been meeting regularly to discuss Family Bauhinia events with one of the main aims to promote a sense of unity within the Family. The group are currently discussing ideas for a fun filled event which will take place in early December. We are still in the very early planning stages so watch this space for more information to follow.

And a very special birthday greeting to all our Year 8s having birthdays in September:

Mia Platt, Sol Law, Bobbi Lee, Shivon Sujanani, Hong Liang EE, Samela Ng, Aidan Leung, Ethan Chan, Charlotte Lee, Emir Siddiqui, Conor Keating, Michelle Kung, Audrey Yeung, Boden Cheung, Emma Leung, Elvis Lee, Tomas Ng-Brett, Izzy Pawlyn

Victoria Butcher
Head of Year 8

Celebrating Student Achievement

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

  • Taking extra care to prepare for school and lessons
  • Participating in lessons beyond expectations
  • Offering to play/eat with students that appeared to be alone
  • 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
  • Resolving conflict in a mature and respectful manner

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

Family Bauhinia Achievements

One of our many buddying actors in Year 8
Stella Palmetto 8C2, has had the wonderful opportunity of performing in not just one, but two productions with the Performing Arts Theatre in Wanchai. Tutored by Face Productions and Kids Gallery, Stella played Ursula in The Little Mermaid and one of the agents in the play Catch me if You Can. Well done Stella we look forward to hearing about your acting talents in the future.





Minjun Koo 8B1
and Jason Choi 8C1 recently competed in the Hong Kong Youth Indoor Target Archery Open Competition. Minjun placed 4th and Jason Choi placed 5th  in the same division. Well done boys, we are very proud of your effort!







After practicing Taekwondo for the last 7 years, J
effrey Yeung 8B2 has been awarded his Black Belt 2nd Degree! This is an amazing achievement showing dedication and skill. Awesome achievement Jeffrey we are very proud of you!







Abigail Lau 7N2 placed 2nd in the Girls Foil U12 Individual and her team also won gold in the Girls Foil U12 Team at the fencing competition organised by the Guangdong Fencing Association at Guangzhou on September 22 and 23.  

The competition ran 36 categories and was participated by over 2,000 athletes.  To add to the excitement, typhoon Mangkhut damaged all the air conditioning facilities of the fencing hall a few days prior to the competition and all the athletes had to fence in extremely hot conditions in heavy fencing equipment.  Abigail showed great perseverance throughout the competition.  We are very impressed with your stamina Abigail!


Koharu Honda 8C2 has been growing her hair for the past 7 years for charity. She was so moved by the stories of people who have been affected by cancer that she made it her mission to grow her hair only to have it cut to be made into real hair wigs for cancer victims who had lost their hair when undergoing treatment. https://pantene.com/en-us/experience-main-section2/beautiful-lengths What a difference you have made Koharu!






September Highlights

Celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival

    7M1 & 7M2  Eating mooncakes and making lanterns


8M2 with James Bratton and Justin Cheng winning the lanterns!


7B1 & 7B2 enjoying time together with modern lanterns!

7S1 happy together

8K1 preparations

8K1 becoming lanterns!


7N2’s happy gathering


7N1’s happy gathering


7S2 hanging their lanterns

8B1 proud of their creations

Design: Food Technology


Open Day

On Friday September 14th, we opened our doors to our parents to see first-hand the teaching and learning that happens at SIS.  It was a terrific turn out from our Year 7 and 8 parents – thank you! I had the opportunity to speak to many of you to get your feedback on the day, which was overwhelmingly positive.  We have sent out a survey asking for your feedback on the event. If you have not had a chance to leave your comments, please feel free to complete the survey found here.  The survey will close on September 28th at 4.00 pm.  Also, as a reminder, all information that was shared during the day can be found in this Newsletter under Curriculum Updates.

AWE Survey

This week on Friday 28th September, students will be asked to complete an online questionnaire assessing their wellbeing. This is happening across ESF with all students in Years 4-13. The Assessing Wellbeing in Education (AWE) assessment will help schools to measure and track the wellbeing of their school community though Positive Education based online wellbeing assessments.

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. Filling in the 29 questions should take 5-10 minutes.

The school will receive data about each student’s wellbeing, and also anonymised data related to classes, year groups and the whole school. This data will help us to further plan our Pastoral Learning Curriculum as well as to help individuals.

Each student will receive their own personalised wellbeing report. The reports are written in plain English, with graphs that are easy to interpret and which track changes over time so students can monitor their own progress. Students will be encouraged to talk to their family and friends about their results. Having conversations about wellbeing, both what is going well and what is not going so well, is a good first step towards improving wellbeing. Students can also talk to Tutors, Heads of Year members of the Leadership Team and our counsellors at school.

Further information is available on their website www.awesomeschools.com. Please do get in touch with me if you would like to discuss this further.

Annette Chapman
Vice Principal

Shtepi Make a Difference Week

The 3 main events of this incredible week include:

  • Tuesday October 2 – Bauhinia Book Swap
  • Wednesday October 3 – Bookworm Quiz
  • Friday October  5 – ‘Dress as your Favourite Book Character’  Day


On Tuesday 2nd of October Shtepi will be hosting the Big Bauhinia Book Swap event. If you have any books at home that you have already finished reading and think that other students would also enjoy, they can bring them to us during break or lunch on Friday 28 September and Tuesday 2 October. There will be a collection station outside the school cafe near the PTA  admin office, and students will be given a token for each book they bring in. On Tuesday October  2nd  at lunch time in the Space students can choose the books they want in exchange for the tokens.

The next event is on Wednesday October 3rd , The Bookworm Quiz. This is a wonderful chance for all the avid readers out there to show off their knowledge of popular fiction novels like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. But here’s the twist –  this year, winners will get a FREE PIZZA LUNCH! Questions will be based on one popular fiction novel, which will be revealed to participants on the day. The event will take place at lunch time in the hall, starting at 12:40 pm.  To raise money for our charity, there will be a charge of $20 per team to join (3-4 people in a team).

The final event will take place on Friday October 5th, which involves dressing up as a character from any book.  The Shtepi team will be on the lookout for the funniest and most creative costumes on the day, and there will also be prizes awarded to the winners. The dress up day will kick off at break time with a parade and photo session on the Lower Playground.

The team kindly asks for students to bring in a $10 donation, which will be collected and donated to ‘Room to Read’ a non-profit organisation.

Last year SIS won the Book Challenge award from ‘Room to Read’ for the most creative fund  / awareness raising events! As a school, we won US $1000 worth of books from Scholastic Books for our library.

We strongly encourage all students to participate in these events, as this will not only benefit our charity and our school, but it will also give students a chance to expand their literary horizons.

Owen & Suyeon (Shtepi MaD Team) and the House Team

Upcoming Reporting and Information Sessions

Evidencer – Making Learning Visible

Our aim at South Island School is to engage our 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

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


Progress Check Cards (PCCs) – Live on iSAMS September 21st

Just a reminder that PCC1 for Year 7 and 8 are now live on iSAMS.  Please see below how to access.


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)


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:

The invitation with RSVP has been sent parents in a separate email.  Please RSVP on or before Monday October 11th.

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 in a separate email.

Curriculum Update

As a reminder to parents, the curriculum overviews are available on our website for each subject area.  We have also included on the website, the MYP assessment criteria for each subject to help parents better understand the grading of assessments.  For you convenience, please find a table below with links to each of the documents available on the website.  We will continue to send curriculum updates each month to ensure you have the information necessary to support your child.

Note:  On each overview, you will see reference to assessment criteria A-D.  Please refer to corresponding MYP assessment criteria and look at Year 1 for Year 7 and Year 3 for Year 8 and 9.  

Each subject assessment will have a further break down known as task specific clarifications that are shared with the students in lessons.

Subject Year 7-9 Overview MYP Assessment Criteria Curriculum Presentations
English English Overview English Assessment Criteria English Presentation
Language Acquisition Chinese Overview Language Acquisition Assessment Criteria Language Acquisition Presentation
French Overview
Spanish Overview
Maths Maths Overview Maths Assessment Criteria Maths Presentation
Science Science Overview Science Assessment Criteria Science Presentation
Physical Health Education PHE Overview PHE Assessment Criteria PHE Presentation
Individuals and Societies InSOC Overview InSOC Assessment Criteria InSOC Presentation
Arts Visual Arts Overview Arts Assessment Criteria Visual Arts Presentation
Drama Drama Presentation
Music Not Available
Design Design Overview Design Assessment Criteria See Visual Arts

Please contact Carolyn Andrews at candrews@sis.edu.hk for more details.

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

MaD Week is fast approaching!  Our Year 8 students will be going on trips of their choice which could be local or overseas and our Year 7 students will be attending the annual Year 7 camp.  All details have been mailed to parents. If you have not received any communication, please let us know.

For students staying in school, school buses will run.  NO activity buses will run this week and there will be NO late start on Tuesday and early finish on Friday.

Please see below a brief overview of the schedules for Year 7 MaD week:

MidYIS Testing (Monday October 29th)

The MidYIS assessment is one of a suite of assessments offered by CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring).  The assessment is designed to understand an individual student’s ability and potential on a subject-by-subject basis and also allows us to monitor performance at both subject and school level. MidYIS is designed for students aged 10-14 and measures what we call developed ability – students’ underlying raw learning potential, free of the influence of curriculum-based teaching.

To establish a baseline, each student takes a 45-minute test encompassing vocabulary, maths, non-verbal and skills which contribute to an overall curriculum-free measurement.

At the beginning of each school year, all Year 7 as well as new students in Year 8 will complete the assessment, which will be added to the information from the primary schools such as their data from ISA ad InCAS.  These assessments are used in conjunction with teacher feedback and in-class assessments to monitor and track individual progress.

On Monday October 29th, Year 7 and New Year 8 students will take the MidYIS assessment in their classes with a teacher to support them throughout the assessment.  There is no preparation for this assessment – just a fully charged computer! If you have any questions about this assessment, please do not hesitate to ask. You can contact your child’s Tutor, Mr Thums or myself with your queries.

Inter-House Events

We have now completed a Year 7 and a Year 8 Inter-House event.  The students were all very excited (and very noisy!) during both events.  The events are time for our students to come together to have some fun, but sometimes the events can be a stressful time for some of our students.  With the large venue, lots of noise, loud music combined with competition, the event can cause students become excited, aggressive and impulsive. We understand this and we want to work with our students to support them during such times – this is an amazing learning opportunity!  

For future Inter-House events, we will be focusing on sportsmanship, cooperation and resilience.  We want to equip students with the skills to be able to feel confident in themselves and those around them.  One major change will be House points awarded for sportsmanship, cooperation and resilience. In the past, students focused only on winning because that is where the points come from.  This has caused a few issues, as students want to win! We are hoping that the recognition of these skills will give students guidance to support one another. We want all students leaving the gym with a smile on their face!

Athletic Heats 

Every year all students participate in the South Island School Athletics Heats Day.  Every student in each year group will compete in four different Athletics events – a sprint, a middle-distance run, and then either two jumps, two throws, or a jump and a throw.

Each Year Group has their own day/session to compete in a variety of athletic events.   Students will be bused to the athletics sports ground venues from school and bused back to school at the end of the events.

 These events are closely integrated to the PE curriculum and will present an excellent opportunity for the students to experience many athletic events in a great setting.  

The days and sessions for Year 7 and 8 will be communicated soon.  Venues had to change due to the damages caused by the recent typhoon.

Important Dates to Note

    • 21 Sept – Year 7 and 8 PCC1 available on iSAMS
    • 28 Sept – AWE survey
    • 30 Sept – Deadline for Year 7 Online Central Applications
    • 1 Oct – Public Holiday – National Day
    • 2 -5 Oct – Shtepi Make a Difference Week
    • 4 Oct – Musicfest P1A/B for Years 7 and 8 parents of performers are welcome to attend
    • 5 Oct – Year 7 Inter-House Benchball
    • 11 Oct – RSVP deadline for Year 7 Laptop Induction Evening
    • 8-12 Oct – SIS goes MaD week
    • 15-19 Oct – Mid Term Break (school closed)
    • 24 Oct – Laptop Induction (Maison, Namas and Kuca)
    • 25 Oct – Laptop Induction (Bahay, Casa and Shtepi)
    • 26 Oct – Family Bauhinia Assembly
    • 29 Oct – Year 7 bring laptops to school (first day)
    • 29 Oct – Year 7 and New Year 8 MidYIS testing
    • 2 Nov – Year 8 Evidencer review (parents and students)
    • 2 Nov– Diwali Night
    • 6 Nov– Guiding Day (students only come to school for their appointment time)

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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