Issue No. 22 (15 February 2019)

15 Feb 2019

SOUTH ISLAND SCHOOL – A celebration of excellence

Last term, we were visited by two accreditors from the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) – and we recently received the CIS Preparatory Visit Report. Overall, it is clear that our visitors were extremely impressed with South Island School: major areas for celebration include our Making a Difference philosophy, our caring and respectful community, and the strength of our staff and student leadership. In total, the report contains 64 positive commendations for excellence, as well as numerous other highlights.

Here are some of the very positive things that they wrote:

A: Purpose and Direction

  • South Island School’s philosophy of “Making a Difference” manifests itself in many tangible ways and is very much at the forefront of decision making…

B: Governance, Leadership and Ownership

  • The school climate is such that there is a very strong sense of mutual trust amongst all the school’s stakeholders.

C: The Curriculum

  • Heads of Department and teachers [are commended] for engaging in rich collaborative conversations about teaching and learning to promote students’ access to the curriculum.
  • SIS passionately promotes the development of global citizenship and intercultural learning […] the evaluators were moved by the students’ commitment to explore multiple perspectives, to contribute to the well-being of others, and to make a difference for themselves and for others.

D: Teaching and Assessing for Learning

  • Faculty and heads of department [are commended] for using data to identify accomplishments and gaps in student learning, monitor improvement, and examine individual growth over time…
  • The older students are passionately dedicated to helping the younger students with transitions, with friendship issues, and with being successful at SIS.

E: The Students’ Learning and Well Being

  • The SIS teachers model empathy and compassion when making decisions [and receive a major commendation] for modelling respectful conversations amongst one another, which nurtures a positive and supportive environment within the entire community.
  • The students [receive a major commendation] for passionately demonstrating positive and supportive leadership […] and for taking initiative to design and implement opportunities for service learning, environmental stewardship, and addressing local issues at SIS.

F: Staffing

  • Continued professional development (CPD) and performance management are a real strength, supporting the school’s overall needs, phase needs, departmental needs, and individual staff needs.

G: Premises and Physical Accommodation

  • There has been flexible and imaginative use of the space that supports students’ academic learning and social and emotional needs.

H: Community and Home Partnerships

  • The PTA [receive a major commendation] for the diverse ways they support the school and have a positive impact on community life, and on students and their learning.
  • The leadership team [receive a major commendation] for the quality of communications between school and home.

Additionally, the report included 28 helpful recommendations for our next development steps. We will of course be considering these suggestions very carefully, in parallel with any recommendations from the CIS Community Survey. These findings will together help us generate the next SIS Development Plan, which we will share with you later in the year.

Overall, this has been a very positive and constructive process, which makes us all very proud to be members of the SIS Community!


Press here for the Summary Conclusions from the report.

Press here for Further Highlights from the report.

Press here for the full set of Commendations and Recommendations.

15 Feb 2019

School Photographs (18-20 February) revised schedule

Dear Parents,

School Photographs will be taken in the Hall between Monday, 18 February to Wednesday, 20 February 2019.

All students must come to school in the correct school uniform. We do not allow PE kit unless for the team photographs. However, students do need to bring their House T’ Shirt for the Bauhinia photo and their House photographs.

This year, no payment will be taken before the photos. Instead, parents will receive a set of proofs cards & an order form from Techni Photo 3-4 weeks after the photos are taken, and can order the photos online or by mail directly to Techni Photo. See below for detailed instruction about ordering photos online.

The timetable of Tutor Group and House photos is attached. There will be an opportunity for Sibling or Family photos to be taken on Tuesday, 19 February from 8:25 – 10:05am.

Please see below for the new full schedule.

Annette Chapman
Vice Principal

15 Feb 2019

ESF Computing Conference

ESF Computing Conference
The ESF Computing Conference will be held at SIS on Friday March 1st and Saturday March 2nd. This has been led by an inter-school ESF student team, who have been working hard since July to raise funds, develop external partners, and plan logistics.
The conference is available to all SIS students with further information on the schedule, organising team, logistics, as well as the signup form via the website:

The ESF Computing Conference is a two-day event comprising exciting talks from Hong Kong technologists, programming workshops, and a hackathon where students can test their creative problem solving skills.

Capacity is limited so sign up is on a first come first served basis.

Students have already received an email containing a consent form, which is required for admittance to the conference.
Iain Williamson
Digital Literacy Coordinator
15 Feb 2019

Sports Bulletin – 15 February 2019

Kung Hei Fat Choy! On Tuesday our C Grade boys and girls basketball kicked off their first ESF league game at SIS against KGV. Unfortunately the boys lost 28-46. Man of the match goes to Jeremy Yung. It was a great effort from the boys. Good luck to the boys for their upcoming matches for the season.

The girls unfortunately had a very tough game as they lost 10-22 also to KGV but it was an opportunity for Mrs Webster and Mrs Young to give valuable game time to all the girls who have attended training this term, in preparation for their forthcoming HKSSF matches. Good luck to both the boys and girls in their first HKSSF match next week.

On Thursday, the B Grade boys rugby team played against Island School at Happy Valley. It was a very tight game between the two teams, but SIS won 20-19 in the final minutes of the game through a try from Kai Porter. Big congratulations go to all the boys and good luck in your remaining games.

15 Feb 2019

International Mother Tongue Day – 21 February 2019

Dear Parents / Guardians,

At South Island School we try to promote linguistic diversity and cultural heritage wherever possible. To this end, we would like to invite you and your children to take part in a competition to help mark International Mother Tongue Day on 21 February.

A two-minute (maximum) video celebrating students’ native language(s)

Open to all students in Years 7-13, with a little help from their friends and family of course!

Two reasons: To be in with a chance of winning some vouchers and to celebrate the cultural diversity at SIS!

Submit the video to me via email by Monday, 18 February.

A judging panel will award the best prizes for originality and creativity, with the winning video being shown in classes on the day.

As well as the above, language lessons that day will focus on celebrating students’ mother tongues, there will be a Cantonese play for selected students in Year 7 and 8 and an ESF-wide quiz competition.

If you have any questions, or think you could help us to celebrate the day in any way, please do get in touch.

Kind regards,

Mr Sam Thater
Head of Heritage & World Languages

15 Feb 2019

Internet Safety Week 2019: Monday 11th February- Monday 18th February  

As part of our Digital Citizenship programme, students in all year groups have been grappling with the many thorny issues, connected to digital usage.  This has taken place during all five tutor periods this week and has provided tutors with the opportunity to tackle a range of issues using resources selected from Hong Kong, UK, Australia, Canada and the USA. The resources were also reviewed in advance by the Digital Leadership Council, which has helped provide a differentiated and relevant analysis of the key discussion areas. A summary of the topics can be seen below:

Year 7– Digital Footprints, Digital Rights, Think Before You Post, Sherry Turkle Ted Talk

Year 8– Dangers of Online Gaming, Logan Paul controversy, Apps for Monitoring Online Time, Image and Snapchat
Year 9– Photo Fail, Tips for Teens, Online Habits, Sexting and legality
Year 10– Social Media Dangers, Sexting, Selfies, Role of Student Led Vertical Tutoring in Digital Citizenship, Instagram Terms and Conditions (Simplified), What the Net is Doing to Our Brains
Year 11– Selfies, grooming
Year 12– Porn addiction, VR tech, Net Neutrality, The 7 (Digital) Deadly Sins
Year 13– Online Passwords, Tips for Year 7, Online Anonymity, Cybersafety threats, Digital Intelligence

The week culminates on Monday the 18th of February when guest speaker Bill Sims and Digital Leader, Samuel Bonnekamp will address the Year 10 Enrichment students to discuss cybersafety issues.
Many thanks to a colleague for sharing the following resource, which many of you may find useful food for thought:
Iain Williamson
Digital Literacy Coordinator



15 Feb 2019


Dear Parents,

This is a gentle reminder for your support for our Raffle prizes.

Every bit of your contribution helps to create success. The entirety of funds is used to benefit the South Island School community; in particular, for our students in terms of purchase or sponsorship of new facilities, equipment and more….

Most recently, the PTA allocated funds to a variety of projects, such as: to upgrade the facilities in the Drama Rooms and Science Department; to set up an urban garden for an agricultural project for Individual Needs Department.

We are looking for donation of raffle prizes.

Please find a list of appealing ideas for your consideration:-

Vacation Getaways, Flight Tickets, Spa Treatment for Men / Women, Yoga Class Vouchers, Dance Class Vouchers, Restaurant Gift Vouchers, Cooking Class Vouchers, Featured brands mobile phones/ speakers / headsets/ earphones, Sports Equipment Vouchers, Large / Small Household Electronic Appliances, Fashion Boutique Vouchers, Book Store Vouchers, Department Store Gift Cards, Supermarket Cash Vouchers, Technology Store Gift Vouchers, Amusement Park Day Passes, etc.

If you would like to donate / sponsor a raffle prize, please contact the PTA at IMMEDIATELY.

All raffle prizes need to be finalized by 22nd February, 2019.

Kindly please ensure the gifts are brand new and in good condition. Gift vouchers should be valid until 31st October, 2019 or after. Cash donations are also welcome, which will allow the PTA to purchase additional raffle prizes to complete a dream list.

Please hand in your donation to the PTA Office with your name, your child’s name and tutor class before the prize finalisation day.

If you have any queries, please contact the PTA by e-mail or to call 2240 6773.

Please help support our fundraising and make it a success!

Kind regards,

Karla Lee



11 Feb 2019

Higher Education News – Feb 2019

The Year 13s have worked very hard on their university applications and are starting to see the results. We have had 278 offers from the UK, including:

19 from Kings College London

14 from Manchester

13 from Edinburgh, Exeter and Birmingham

11 from Bath

10 from Durham

9 from UCL, Warwick, Bristol and Leeds

4 from Imperial

3 from Cambridge

2 from LSE

1 from Oxford

We had some fantastic results for our IBCP students, securing many offers, including Loughborough, Leeds, Birmingham and a student who has received an offer to read Law.

We won’t hear about the majority of offers for the rest of the world until April, but we have had some early successes:

In the USA students have received offers from Barnard, Columbia, Boston College, NYU, USC, Illinois Urbana Champagne, Rutgers, School of the Visual Arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Maryland, and Otis.

In Canada students have received three offers from McMaster, two from Queens, and one from McGill, Western, Wilfrid Laurier, Guelph and Ryerson.

The ever popular Hong Kong is often slower to respond to applications, but students have secured the following offers already:

12 from HKUST

9 from Chinese University

8 from the University of Hong Kong

1 from SCAD and City University

1 student has also secured offers in the Philippines at the University of the Philippines Diliman and Ateneo De Manila University and one student has achieved an early offer to Università Bocconi, Italy.

We will update you will further offers in April when the majority of US offers will be made.

Lauren Sharman
Head of Higher Education and Careers
25 Jan 2019

SIS goes MaD 2019 website

Dear Y7, Y8, Y9 & Y11 Students & Parents,

The SIS goes MaD 2019 website will be ready on 11 February 2019.  Please click on the link below to view details and information about each MaD Trip.

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

  • Enrolment application: from 11 to 22 February 2019
    • This system is NOT first-come, first-served.
    • Please see the attached information sheet on how to enrol.
  • Placement Announcement: 11th March 2019
  • Deposit Deadline: 29 March 2019
  • Balance Deadline: 13 June 2019