26 Sep 2019

Family Bauhinia Newsletter (September 2019)

Family Bauhinia’s latest newsletter is available to read now. Find out the latest news and upcoming events on Volume 8, Issue 2.

>  Message from the Head of Post-11 Learning
>  Message from the Head of Year 7
>  Message from the Head of Year 8
Welcome to the Family
Celebrating Student Achievements
Laptop Induction Evening
Tutor Time Fun – 7C1
SIS Goes MaD – Y7 Camp
Family Bauhinia Student Voice
Inter-house Events
Casa MaD Week – Box of Hope 2019
Shtepi Mad Week – Room to Read and Love Reading
Open Day
MYP Curriculum Update
Upcoming Reporting
Year 7 MidYIS Testing (15 and 16 October)
Happy Birthday! (August and September)
Important Dates to Note

Message from the Head of Post-11 Learning

Dear Family Bauhinia Parents,

We have come to the end of September – it is incredible how quickly the first seven weeks of school have flown by! The past few weeks have been incredibly busy with Open Day, Laptop Induction, MusicFest, #YouMatter Charity week as well as various Interhouse events. 

Thank you to all the parents who came along to Open Day. We hope that you managed to see your child in one of their lessons and that any questions you came with were answered. Please remember that the conversation doesn’t stop once Open Day is finished – our door is always open! Please don’t 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 the highlights of the past month and what to expect in the coming months. October will be very busy so please do make a note of the ‘Important Dates to Note’ at the end of the Newsletter.

Shaine Bushell
Head of Post-11 Learning
MYP Coordinator

Message from the Head of Year 7

The energy that your children brought to their very first Interhouse competition this term was tremendous! The dodgeball competition was a huge success as all the children fought with everything they had to win the event. In my eyes all the students were winners as the team spirit they demonstrated throughout the afternoon was outstanding. As my parents used to say “It’s not about the win, but the taking part that counts.” Please encourage this view with your children as it does make for a more enjoyable time during House events.

A huge thank you to all parents who had the availability to come into school during Open Day. It was a pleasure to welcome you into my classroom so you could see first-hand how we are preparing Year 7 students to be responsible digital citizens. The education around cyber safety is always at the top of our agenda, whether that be in the form of discrete lessons in the classroom or a simple chat in the corridor about laptop use. During the Laptop Distribution evening, I hope you found the presentations useful and you were able to take away some tips and strategies to help inform your decisions as a family when you are thinking about issues related to laptop responsibility.

Early in the term, I had my first meeting with the Family Bauhinia well-being representatives. It was so lovely to hear the children share ideas to improve the well-being of others in our school community. Your child’s well-being is at the heart of everything we do in Year 7 so it is extremely important that the students are thinking and contributing to how we can make a difference in this area. To this end, ideas have been gathered by the representatives from their tutor groups so we are now in a position to begin the planning and preparation for the Family Bauhinia Christmas event! 

Have a relaxing holiday when it comes.

Victoria Butcher
Head of Year 7

Message from the Head of Year 8

A huge thank you to all the Family Bauhinia students who gave their tremendous support to #YouMatter this month, with the activities that were carried out and organised to help improve the schooling for students in Chiang Mai, Thailand through the charity ‘Thomas House.’ A particular thank you to the Family Bauhinia MaD Reps who worked alongside the older students who had arranged this week of events. In total HK $9,796.40 was raised for this worthy cause. Below are some photographs of the week, check out more photos here as well.

With close to a month before MaD Week 2019, Year 8 students have attended their first MaD week meetings. This was held in order to prepare students for their exciting week of ‘Making a Difference’ this year at their chosen focus and activity.

Well done to all the Year 7 and 8 students who took part in MusicFest. Every year the level of talent, courage and professionalism from our students truly shines through more and more. A truly enjoyable event – thanks to those who participated for their house.

(Click on the images to enlarge and view.)

Andy Thums
Head of Year 8
Teacher of Global Thinking

Welcome to the Family

A very warm welcome to the new Y7 student joining us this month:

Iko WAN (7K1)

Celebrating Student Achievements

For 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 the Open Day representing different subjects
  • Offering to be a buddy for a new student in the school
  • Displaying leadership skills during tutor group and class activities
  • Taking responsibility to return items at the end of break or lunchtime in the Space
  • Resolving conflict in a mature and respectful manner

Laptop Induction Evening

A huge thank you to all parents who attended the laptop induction evening on Wednesday. Thursday’s postponed session will take place on Wednesday 2 October (same evening as the Y7 camp information session). 

5:00pm – 5:45pm – Camp Information Session (Atrium)
5:45pm onwards – Laptop Induction (Space – B/C/S)

This is understandably an anxious time for parents so we hope that the session helped inform and reassure you. 

We would like to draw your attention to this helpful article which Iain Williamson, our Digital Literacy Coordinator, has shared with the school community. The article addresses what Common Sense Media have referred to as a ‘new wave of so-called Digital Wellness features designed to prevent screen overload.’ The accompanying video includes Screen Time Settings in iOS12, Digital Wellbeing in Android Pie, YouTube Graphs, Snapchat’s Do Not Disturb and Time Limits in TiKTok. 

If you have any questions about how to support your child’s use of the laptop beyond the classroom, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Family Bauhinia Team

Tutor Time Fun – 7C1

Every day students at SIS spend time with their tutor and tutor group. This time is used in a variety of ways: to relay important information; to build friendships; to develop skills; to discuss important issues and of course to have fun!

Mr Benton (tutor of 7C1) has been kind enough to share some of his tutor groups activities – it looks like they are having a lot of fun!

Mindful Colouring – taking some time in a busy week to slow down and reflect.

Tutor Time Fun – getting the notice board ready for the tutor-base’.

Form Links – making connections with older students in the school.

Dodgeball against 7C2 – making connections and building up house spirit.

SIS Goes MaD – Y7 Camp

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 with all days following a Monday schedule. NO activity buses will run this week and there will be NO late start on Tuesday and no early finish on Friday.

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

For parents, we will be running a Y7 Camp Information Evening on 2 October at 5:00pm at Atrium (C Block, 5th Floor).

Family Bauhinia Student Voice

Leadership is such an important skill to develop, but this isn’t something reserved for students in the upper school. During their time with us, students in Y7 and 8 get to participate in one of the councils that shape the direction we take as a family. 

Family Bauhinia Well-Being Council

The well-being of our students is of the utmost importance, though the Well-Being Council students get to share their concerns and generate ideas for supporting the happiness of the family.

Family Bauhinia Student Council

Listening to the opinions and concerns of our student is such an important part of school life at SIS – through the student council students in Family Bauhinia get a chance to shape the direction of the leadership group.

Inter-house Events

We have now completed both a Year 7 and a Year 8 Inter-house event – Dodgeball. The students were all very excited during both events – the atmosphere was electric. The inter-house events are a time for our students to come together with other members of their houses 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 to 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. We are hoping that recognising and rewarding these attributes will give students this confidence. We want all students leaving the inter-house event with a smile on their face! 

Casa MaD Week – Box of Hope 2019

Box of Hope is back this year, so please start collecting your empty shoeboxes. This year we have a target of 300 boxes. The first day for box collection will be 21 October 2019 up until the 11 November 2019.  

What to include:

  • Something to love
  • Something to do
  • Something useful
  • Something fun
  • Something to wear

Help Casa and SIS bring a smile to underprivileged children.

Casa Student Leadership Team 2019 – 2020

Shtepi MaD Week – Room to Read and Love Reading

This year, the students from Shtepi have been collaborating with Love Reading Campaign Association, and Room to Read to support their mutual goal of improving literacy globally. Room to Read is a non-profit organisation for improving literacy and gender equality in education in the developing world, whilst Love Reading Campaign Association is a local non-profit charity reading association dedicated to raising awareness and increasing literacy in Hong Kong and South East Asia developing countries.

Over the past week, students from across the school have been participating in a variety of fun events:

Next week, students can continue to support by bringing in good condition English primary level story and picture books (donation boxes are in the school Foyer). The finale of the charity event is Book Character Day (4 Oct), where students can win prizes for coming dressed as a character from their favourite book.

Prizes will be awarded for:   

  1. Most Outstanding
  2. Most Creative/ Best Constructed
  3. Most Unique
  4. Best Group Effort

Don’t forget house points will be awarded to the House with the most donated books!

Shtepi Student Leadership Team 2019 – 2020

Open Day

On Friday 13 September, 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, 8 and 9 parents – thank you!

We hope you had the opportunity to tour the school, see your child and observe some of our outstanding teachers in action. Our staff had the opportunity to speak to many of you, to answer your questions and to get your feedback on the day, which was overwhelmingly positive.  

MYP Curriculum Update

As mentioned during the Open Day, the curriculum overviews are available on our website for each subject area. We have also included, the MYP assessment criteria for each subject to help parents better understand the grading of assessments. For your convenience, please find a table below with links to each of the documents available on the website.  

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 Years 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 to help them identify what they need to demonstrate in each assessment.

Subject  Year 7-9 Overview MYP Assessment Criteria
English English Overview English Assessment Criteria
Language Acquisition Chinese Overview Language Acquisition Assessment Criteria
French Overview
Spanish Overview
Maths Maths Overview Maths Assessment Criteria
Science Science Overview Science Assessment Criteria
Physical Health Education PHE Overview PHE Assessment Criteria
Individuals and Societies InSOC Overview InSOC Assessment Criteria
Arts Visual Arts Overview Arts Assessment Criteria
Design Design Overview Design Assessment Criteria

Shaine Bushell
Head of Post-11 Learning

MYP Coordinator

Upcoming Reporting

Progress Check Cards (PCCs) – Live on iSAMS, 25 October

Just a reminder that PCC1 for Year 7, 8 and 9 will be available on iSAMS later in October. Please see below how to access.


1) Login into iSAMS (Parent Portal)
2) Click ‘School Profile’ (at the top banner)

      – click ‘School Reports’
      – click ‘View (child) School Reports’ 

3) Click on ‘download’ the reports


1) Login into 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 download

Guiding Day Tuesday – 19 November

In addition to PCCs, a day in the school calendar has been set aside for the student, parent and tutor to come together. This dedicated meeting allows students to review the reports, reflect on their strengths and areas of growth. The aim of the day is to provide an opportunity for students to set learning targets with the support of their parents 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, 19 November. 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.

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. 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 would like to see students develop a digital portfolio of work 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 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 October. 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

Year 7 MidYIS Testing (15 and 16 October)

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, complete the assessment. These assessments are used in conjunction with teacher feedback and in-class assessments to monitor and track individual progress.

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 or Ms Butcher with your queries.

Reminder: Locating the Parent Handbook 

Click here for the 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!

Happy Birthday! (August and September)

Important Dates to Note


  • 30 September – ESF CPD Day (no school for students)


  • 1 October – Public Holiday (National Day)
  • 2 October – Year 7 Camp Info Session for Parents
  • 2 October – Year 7 Laptop Induction and Distribution Evening (BCS)
  • 3 – 4 October – Laptop training for Year 7 students
  • 4 October – Year 7 Camp Assembly for Students
  • 7 – 11 October – ESF half-term break
  • 15 – 16 October – Year MidYis Testing (October)
  • 18 October – FB Read-a-thon Launch Assembly
  • 18 October – Racquet-A-Thon (Boys) & Diwali Night
  • 25 October – Year 7 & 8 PCC1 live to parents
  • 25 October – Year 7 Inter-House Old School Benchball & Graffiti Wars


  • 1 November – Year 8 Football (B) + (G)
  • 1 November – Year 7 and 8 Evidencer Reflections
  • 4 – 8 November – SIS goes MaD Week
  • 19 November – SIS Guiding Day (Year 7 to 13)
  • 22 November – Athletics day & SIS Night Fest
  • 29 November – Year 8 Inter-House Netball


  • 3 December – ESF Design Day
  • 6 December – Family Bauhinia Christmas Celebration
  • 6 December – Year 7 Gecko Maths & SIS Sports Tour
  • 10 December – Family Bauhinia Readathon Prize Giving Assembly & Christmas Concert
  • 13 December – Whole School Assembly
  • 16 December – Day in Lieu (Non-school day)
  • (17 December – 3 January) – ESF term break/ Christmas Holiday

Visit the School Calendar for more dates!