Issue No. 30 (12 April 2019)

A spectacular term!

What a spectacular term this has been! The energy levels at South Island School never seem to drop, as all members of our community continue to enjoy a stunning range of learning experiences. This term’s highlights have included the ESF Secondary Music Festival, the Chinese New Year Assembly, the Butterfly Lovers trilingual drama, victory in the Jing Ying Football cup, the annual Innovation event, the Computer Conference, the TedX talks, the IB and IGCSE Music Performances, the IB Art Exhibition, our Green Week – followed in quick succession by a visit to SIS by the HK Secretary for the Environment – and a whole host more. The sheer diversity of education available here continues to impress me in what is still my first year as Principal of SIS.

During this term, we have also been very much looking ahead to next year. We have been renewing our purpose and direction at SIS in consultation with a range of focus groups with representatives from all stakeholders, we have announced a restructuring of our Leadership Team – and yesterday we also said a tearful first farewell to our wonderful Class of 2019, who now head into the exam season next term. I have been truly blessed to work with such a talented, determined and professional group of student leaders during my first year at SIS. We wish them every success with their examinations next term, and look forward to celebrating with them and their parents at the further farewell events in late May.

Earlier in the term, we also announced our new Head Prefect Team for next year – and at today’s end of term assembly, there was a symbolic passing of the baton from the Class of 2019 to the Class of 2020. I have been fortunate enough to walk into a job where I can stand on the shoulders of the visionary educational architects who have come before me, who have together shaped SIS into its current form. We know that our student leaders for the next twelve months will build further on the powerful foundations that are already in place at SIS, and that they too will truly make a difference.

We wish you a very successful and restful Easter break.

With best wishes,
Tom Vignoles

(Click on images below to enlarge and view.)

School Yearbook 2018-2019

Dear Parents,

As the final term of the school year is approaching, we would like to share our students’ many outstanding achievements and happy moments from the past year for the upcoming School Yearbook.

The Yearbook will be as dynamic and energetic as ever, capturing the record number of activities and events from the past school year. As usual, the book will be a hardcover edition, and will be a valuable recollection of your child’s happy and memorable times at South Island.

The price of the Yearbook will be HK$300 each. We have managed to freeze the cost for the 14th year despite the high inflation rate, mainly due to the wide circulation and generous donations from parents. As a gesture of our gratitude, the names of the donors will be acknowledged in the Yearbook itself.

We do hope that you will want to capture these memories. To do so, please place your order online at by 3 May 2019.

In our Yearbook, we also have advertising opportunities for parents who might wish to introduce their businesses / services / products to the South Island community. Please submit your advertisement subscription request online by 18 April 2019, and submit your artworks by 23 April 2019.

We would also like to invite you make a contribution for the production of the yearbook by subscribing to our Donation Plans, Gold, Silver and Bronze by 3 May 2019.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Vignoles

PTA Maths Evening

On Tuesday, 9 April, the PTA hosted an evening organised by the Mathematics Department. More than 100 parents engaged collaboratively in activities that disrupted commonly accepted myths about what Mathematics learning means. Below are some of the parents’ reflections at the end of the evening. We would like to invite you all to join us next time.

I used to think that some people are more talented at Maths and that this cannot be changed. Now I think learning is a journey and Maths can be quite enjoyable.”

“I used to think drilling and practice are most important. Now I think deeper understanding is the most fundamental.”

“I used to think learning Maths is quite boring. Now I think it looks like it’s much more interesting than anticipated and it covers so many different aspects.”

“I used to think Maths is quite straight-forward, just follow the rules. Now I think Maths is much more applicable, interesting and diverse.”

“I used to think that faster is smarter. Now I think that it is OK to make mistakes and take time while learning the concepts.”

“I used to think that there is a Maths brain. Now I think it’s all about understanding, patience and learning.”

“I used to think that quantity is important. Now I think that quality is equally important, if not more important than quantity.”

I used to think that Maths is about problem-solving. Now I think it is about analysis, understanding, communicating, applying and working systematically.”

Mathematics Department

PTA Updates – 12 April 2019

Message from the PTA Chair

I am not sure where the days are going at the moment but I know the PTA have had some successful events in Term 2!

We hosted a very relaxing Afternoon Tea Social in February, an informative Study Skills Talk in March and an interesting Mathematics Workshop in April.

Please stay tuned with us for more worthwhile activities in Term 3. Don’t forget to support our raffle sales, as the draw will be on 6 May.

My colleagues and I wish you an enjoyable holiday. Good luck to all exam students!


Raffle Tickets on Sale

We have about 3 weeks before the Raffle Draw on 6 May 2019. We need your support in helping with the sales of the Raffle tickets to make this a successful event.

All SOLD tickets stubs, cash/cheques and UNSOLD tickets must be returned to the PTA office by 3 May 2019.

PTA Shop and PTA Office

The PTA Shop and Office will be closed from 13 April – 28 April 2019 (both dates inclusive). We will re-open on 29 April 2019.

SIS Essence – BTEC Live Studio Production 2019

Congratulations to the BTEC Creative Media Production students on a successful live studio broadcast on Wednesday. This year’s production was called SIS Essence and the students aimed to create a programme that would showcase the hidden histories, talents and abilities of the SIS community using a magazine programme format. The show was broadcast live to selected classrooms for students and teachers to watch and the team received some great viewer feedback:

“My Year 8 class watched the broadcast and they didn’t want it to end. It was really good and entertaining.” (Y8 Languages teacher)

“My Year 11 had some time out and watched it. They all thought it was pretty cool and some knew how hard it was to do. All thoroughly enjoyed it and were extremely impressed.” (Y11 Global Perspectives teacher)

“My Year 12 class watched it and we were all impressed by the wide range of interests, talents and achievements that our students (and teachers 😊 ) have.” (Y12 Maths teacher)

“My Year 8s loved it and wanted more!” (Y8 InterD teacher)

The programme is available to watch on demand below.

Sports Bulletin – 12 April 2019

Last Tuesday, we hosted the ESF Athletics Championships at HKU Stanley Ho Sports Centre Complex at Sandy Bay against Years 7-10 teams from West Island and KGV. SIS won 4 trophies out of 8 with the Year 7 Boys, Year 8 Boys, Year 10 Boys and Year 10 Girls all champions. It was an excellent effort and turn out, and great work was done by SIS PE staff in hosting the event.


Last Wednesday, we hosted our annual Sports Awards evening with close to 200 students and their parents in attendance. We were able to give out some amazing trophies to recognise the playing contributions made by these students during the course of the year, as well as those who give their time to help coach younger students and assist the PE staff and other staff with organisational tasks. It is also important that we mention the valuable contributions of all students who represent our school Sports teams, and we will take the time to recognise this before the end of the school year.


Here are a selection of photos from the evening:

Boys Team of the Year – Jing Ying Football Team

Girls Team of the Year – B Grade Athletics Team

Sports Boy of the Year – Liam Doyle

Sports Girl of the Year – Andrea Chan

National Representatives


This week some of our Years 7-9 athletes participated in the ISSFHK Junior Athletics Championships at Tseung Kwan O. Our athletes produced some good individual successes, particularly Rory O’Connor in 400m, Mathias Grunberger in 100m and long jump, Maisy Redding in high jump, Colette Wong in long jump, as well as our U14 boys 4x400m Relay Team and Year 7 Boys 4x100m Relay Team who both won a medal. No team prizes this year but hopefully next year!


We wish everyone a very restful Easter and look forward to more sporting competitions happening next term, such as the ISSFHK Year 7 Football competition, the ISSFHK ultimate Frisbee competition as well as the school Swimming Gala.

A reminder to everyone that the sign-ups for all sports clubs will commence on 3 May and be open until 5 May.

Year 7 Football Club however will start immediately after Easter on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon as the first round of ISSFHK competition matches begin at the start of May. Training on Tuesday 30 April will be at Happy Valley from 3:30-4:30pm with the bus leaving school at 3:15pm.   

Another date for your diary is the annual Staff vs Leavers Football match, the ‘Sheldon Trophy’, which will take place on Friday 3 May at Happy Valley. All existing Year 13 students and their parents, as well as the rest of our school community, are more than welcome to come and watch and also wish farewell to one of South Island School’s longest serving teachers, Mr Chris Chapman, who retires this summer. The match will start at 3:00pm and finish at 4:30pm.  

Congratulations to Nicole Chun!

We are happy to share the news with you that Nicole Chun (11C1) has won 3rd place in the Flute competition of Hong Kong Schools Music Festival Competition this year, under the category of Woodwind Concerto!

Nicole performed in a public concert at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

(Photos submitted by parents of Nicole)

SIS Routine Lockdown Practice

Dear Parents,

As you know, our highest duty is to keep our students and staff safe at all times. For this reason, we hold an annual exercise during which we practise and review our Lockdown Procedures. This ensures that all students and staff know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency, and also helps us to ensure that all procedures are appropriate.

I am writing to let you know that a lockdown practice drill took place at 09:55am on 8 April 2019. Please be reassured that this was a planned and entirely routine drill. As a result, a small number of maintenance and training issues have been identified, which we will now rapidly address.

With best wishes,
Tom Vignoles