Key School Policies

South Island has a range of policies covering many aspects of school life. In some policy areas the school works within the general policy framework set down by the ESF. Details of such policies (for example the ESF wide procurement policy) are available from ESF.

1:1 MaC Book Policy

Please click here for the 1:1 MaC Book Policy.

Academic Honesty Policy


Registration of Students

Student attendance is recorded by means of the Octopus Swipe card system. ALL students must swipe in everyday. Students are not allowed to leave the school premises during the school day without the written permission of their Tutor, Head of Year or School Nurse due to sickness. Students who have permission to leave school during school hours must report to the Reception with their written permission, and will then the Reception will record their absence.

All teachers record students’ absences at the beginning of the day and each lesson. Any problems will be reported to the tutor who will inform the Head of Year/Family/House if necessary. Record of attendance, absence and lateness will be kept electronically. Parents are able to access their child’s attendance record through iSAMS Parent Portal & app.

If the student fails to swipe in with their Octopus card in the morning, and/or were not registered present or were late to a particular lesson, a notification of absence will be sent to the parent/guardian.


Students must arrive in school before the start of the first lesson. If they are late then they must Swipe in but also must register a reason with the Receptionist. Continued lateness will be dealt with by Tutors and Heads of House/Family.


If a student is absent their parent/guardian must send an email to the school at indicating the students’ full name and tutor group and a reason for absence. An absence must be accompanied by an email on the day. If there is an extended period of absence the parent/guardian should contact the tutor who will be able to co-ordinate requests for work.

Absence during term-time for any other reason requires prior approval from the Principal. Parents are asked to write/email the Principal at least four days in advance if leave of absence is desired.

It is not considered appropriate for students to miss school to meet or see off friends and relatives who are arriving in or leaving Hong Kong as this is a frequent occurrence and would disturb the routine of school classes and have an impact upon learning. Parents are also requested not to arrange doctors’ or dentist or other appointments for their children during the school day.

Study leave of a half day is granted for students before an external examination. Additional absence from school prior to examinations to enable students to revise or to produce coursework is absolutely discouraged. Programmes of revision are arranged in school by subject teachers, and all students are expected to be in school until the dates which will be advised to parents.

Parental Absence from Hong Kong

It is our unfortunate experience that some parents leave Hong Kong while their children remain here unsupervised. This often only comes to light when the children have an accident, or are not attending school. The presence of a domestic helper is seldom sufficient in cases of crisis, and such cases are more likely to occur when parents are away.

Needless to say, if the circumstances are absolutely unavoidable, parents should attempt to find a family with whom their children can stay whilst they are absent. Whatever arrangements are made, the Principal should be informed by letter/email, stating who is acting as Guardian and all their contact details. There is a proforma for parents to complete. It should be recognised that the Guardian must have authorisation for medical care in the event of an accident or illness.

Parents Out of Hong Kong Form

Code of Conduct

Social Behaviour

  • Students should be courteous and polite to all members of the school community at all times. Whilst wearing the school uniform outside of the school grounds students must demonstrate these qualities to all members of the community and the public.
  • Students are advised not to bring expensive items to school. The school cannot accept responsibility in cases of loss or theft of property. No jewellery is allowed other than one pair of earrings, religious necklaces and a watch.
  • Students are not allowed to bring the following to school: knives, toy guns or other dangerous items; skateboards; cigarettes; matches and lighters; alcohol; dangerous or illegal substances.

Mobile phones and iPods

These items are brought into school at the owners risk. All items must be switched off at all times unless permission has been given by a teacher. Students should not be using these items whilst walking around school.

Please refer to ‘SIS Zonal Tech Recommendation’ here for more information.

Unacceptable Behaviour

The following activities are forbidden, and will lead to serious consequences:

  • Bullying, of any kind
  • Excessive displays of affection
  • Vandalism, including the writing of graffiti
  • Smoking; consuming alcohol/drugs; gambling; truancy; theft; fighting and all illegal activities.

Playing cards is permitted at school if the following rules are observed:

  • No Gambling – if caught it may lead to serious consequences
  • Cards are not allowed in lesson times unless it’s an organised activity by the teacher


We believe that every student at South Island School has the basic entitlement to enjoy life at school, free from the sort of behaviour which is classed as bullying. We define bullying as wilful and persistent behaviour which results in someone being physically or emotionally hurt, threatened, frightened or humiliated.

The ethos of the school is that of care and consideration towards others. Aggressive behaviour and bullying does not foster consideration for others and any student failing to respect this basic right of others can expect action to be taken. All reported cases of bullying are taken seriously and dealt with in an appropriate manner. In certain circumstances, action taken against bullying will include suspension or expulsion in cases of serious or persistent bullying.

We address the issue of bullying in tutor groups and in our Learning Futures curriculum and the message is reinforced whenever such behaviour becomes apparent. One of the most effective deterrents to bullying behaviour is openness and communication. Parents and students are asked to inform a member of staff as soon as they are aware of such behaviour, so that it can be dealt with at an early stage.

Anti-bullying Code

  • All students at South Island School have the right to enjoy their learning and leisure free from intimidation, both in School and in the surrounding community
  • Our School community will not tolerate any unkind comments, name-calling or threats, even if these were not intended to hurt
  • Any unkind actions, exclusion or ganging up will be called bullying
  • Information, comments written in emails, blogs, facebooks etc. to discredit another student will be called cyberbullying
  • Students should support each other by reporting all incidents of bullying
  • Bullying will be dealt with seriously
  • We are a ‘telling’ school because bullying is too important not to be reported

Substance Misuse Policy

Substance Misuse Policy (ESF Substance Misuse Policy 2021)

We believe in the promotion of a healthy environment and responsible lifestyles for all members of the school community. All staff have the legal responsibility to provide a duty of care to all students in the school. Our priority is the safety of students.

We address the issue of drug education and drug abuse in tutor groups, and in our Pastoral Learning Curriculum; the message is reinforced by speakers from CDAC and KELY.

We believe that every student in South Island School is entitled to have:

  • A safe and drug free environment.

  • Access to and an understanding of the ESF Substance Misuse policy.

  • An appropriate health and drugs programme.

  • A supportive and caring system for dealing with drug related problems.

The school reserves the right to drug test students of concern. Parents will be involved in discussions with Pastoral staff and kept informed of test results and ways of managing these concerns. The school takes the position of support for the family, rather than one of rejection or retribution.

A student identified as using illegal substances will be required to demonstrate a sincere intention to stop and the school will arrange regular sessions of professional counselling as required. We expect full support and co-operation from parents, in the context of open and frank dialogue between home and school. The situation will be monitored carefully but if the student who has been identified as using illegal substances is judged to be a risk to the well-being of other students in the school, other options of support and treatment outside school may be recommended. It is, of course, completely unacceptable for any students to supply other students with illegal substances and evidence of this occurring will lead to immediate expulsion.

Our school Substance Misuse Policy, which is common to all ESF schools, addresses issues such as:

  • confidentiality

  • testing and procedures

  • search rights

  • procedures in case of procession

  • support and aftercare

  • alcohol and smoking

Environmental Policy

Please click here for the Environmental Policy.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Globally, in Hong Kong and in South Island School, an Equal Opportunities statement is concerned with:

  • respect for all
  • the valuing of difference and diversity
  • promotion of self-esteem
  • celebration of all achievement
  • raising awareness of the issues
  • challenging prejudice and stereotyping
  • developing strategies for dealing with bullying, racism, sexism, harassment, etc
  • correcting bias in opportunities, developing sensitivity to different cultures, backgrounds and values
  • promotion of positive and alternative images in terms of background, gender, age, ability
  • equality of access to all opportunities

We believe that being multi-cultural and multi-lingual is a considerable advantage for all members of our school community.

ICT Responsible Use Policy

Please click here for the ICT Responsible Use Policy.

Independent Learning

Guiding Principles

Students may be asked to complete independent learning in their own time, which might have been called ‘homework’ in previous schools. We encourage our learners to become independent in their approach to learning beyond the classroom and to take increasing responsibility for their development during their time at SIS.

Independent learning is a chance for our learners to identify and develop effective ‘tools for learning’ and to nurture curiosity. We want our learners to identify  strengths and areas for growth, and develop new skills that are challenging and will support  success. We believe that independent learning extends and enriches the classroom experience, and that meaningful independent learning is purposeful, accessible and engaging.

Effective communication underpins learning and parents are welcomed as partners in supporting their children’s independent learning.

All Departments have their own policy documents that highlight expectations for students and parents. These documents highlight extension tasks and offer suggestions for supporting learning in that subject area. Parents have access to subject policies through the parent iSAMS Portal.

In Year 7 students can access all their Independent Learning Tasks on the VLE home page. Parents are sent an email each day that shares a copy of the the tasks set.

When the students progress into Year 8 the VLE continues to be the forum for recording Independent Learning but the email to parents is not sent.

From Year 9 onwards there is no requirement to use the VLE but some teachers will use it to support a class or individual children. We do want students to become independent and allow them to put their own systems in place to organise themselves.

Language Policy

Please click here for the Language Policy.

Maths Policy

Please click here for the Maths Policy.

Privacy Policy

Please click here for the Privacy Policy.

Rainstorm & Typhoon Arrangements

Rainstorm and Typhoon Warnings

The rainy season lasts from April to September. Parents are advised to note the following arrangements, which apply in all cases except where students are taking external examinations (see EXTERNAL EXAMINATIONS below).


Before school hours: Parents should use radio or television (or consult the EDB or ESF website) to receive announcements on the closure of schools.
If Typhoon Signal Pre-8 or Signal 8 or above is raised prior to school hours, all schools will close. Kindergartens and the Jockey Club Sarah Roe School (JCSRS) will close if a Signal 3 is hoisted.
The pre-8 signal indicates that the observatory expects to raise the Signal 8  within two hours, giving schools and families the opportunity to be prepared.
If a signal is raised while students are travelling to school, the school is responsible for receiving the students and holding them until arrangements can be made for them to return home at an appropriate time.
In school hours:With the government announcement of the closure of schools, all schools are to close. In that situation principals will ensure that safe and adequate arrangements can be made for students to return home.
If that is impossible the school will inform affected parents that their children will remain in school until it is safe to release them or until a parent or designated responsible adult picks them up. Students will not be sent home on school buses once a Signal 8 or above has been hoisted.
Lowering of signals:When a typhoon signal is lowered to Signal 3 (or Signal 1 for kindergartens and JCSRS) or all signals are cancelled, all schools will open on the next school day.
If the signal is lowered or cancelled before 10.30am, the afternoon session of kindergartens will proceed as usual and the school buses will operate (unless EDB announces that kindergartens are to close).

Heavy Persistent Rain

The Amber, Red, Black Warnings are independent of other warnings e.g. landslip or typhoon warnings.

AMBER All schools and kindergartens operate as usual
RED OR BLACK Please scroll down for information about external examinations
(i) Before the start of school All schools will close for the whole day. If the warning is raised at the time your child sets off for school (s)he should stay at home.
(ii) After students have set off for school, but before the commencement of school Schools will accept those students who arrive, and retain them until it is safe to allow them to proceed home.
(iii) When classes are in session Schools continue until the end of normal hours and students are retained until conditions are safe for them to return home.

Schools will not allow students to return home, including on a school bus when a Red or Black Warning is issued.
In these circumstances children may only be released to a parent or designated responsible adult if requested by a parent to do so. Schools will not request parents to come to school to collect their children in dangerous conditions.
If school buses can be arranged when the relevant signals are lowered, then they should run. If not, the school must advise parents (or designated responsible adult) to collect their children from school.
Each school will have a contingency plan to cover inclement weather conditions and shall advise parents so that procedures are fully understood by all concerned.
Schools that lie in areas prone to flooding or landslips will monitor conditions and take the necessary precautionary measures.
When in doubt, parents should consult the school website for clarification on arrangements in inclement weather.
When relevant observatory signals are lowered, the emergency notices will be removed from websites, indicating a business as usual situation.

External Examinations

It should not be assumed that the above procedures will hold for those taking external examinations e.g. GCSE, A Level or International Baccalaureate Diploma.
Parents will be advised about contingency plans for extreme weather by the schools in their communications to parents on examination arrangements. Parents are advised to keep these arrangements easily available should such conditions arise. All schools will follow common procedures for each session of such examinations.
In extreme weather please do not telephone your child’s school unless it is absolutely necessary. Please refer to the ESF or school website.

Rewards and Discipline Policy

Please click here for the Rewards and Discipline Policy.

School Uniform and Dress Code

At South Island School Years 7 to 11 are expected to wear our school uniform. Shoes must be black. They can be polishable shoes or running shoes, but they must be all black.  We have changed the uniform policy to allow running shoes as many students play during break times.  If you choose black running shoes, they can also be your PE shoes – just make sure they are non-marking and suitable for PE activities. The uniform is the basis of an agreed code of dress for students which has been decided by the Student Council. It is a simple and practical uniform which is cool in summer and can be adapted to suit the winter months. Appearance and a sense of style are important to most young people but we ask that the exploration of style in appearance is done out of school so that our focus can be the exploration of learning without distractions of fashion trends. We include rules on jewellery and hairstyles.

For Years 7 and 8, if students have two or more school sessions that require PE kit, they may wear their PE kit all day. The subjects that require PE kit are: Drama, InterD, PE and Inter-House. (Note: this does not include after school activities.) PE: Students may wear suitable training/gym shoes of any colour.

If Years 10 and 11 students have PE period 1a in the day then they may come to school in PE kit and go straight to their first lesson and then they must change into their school uniform after their lesson. Students may wear suitable training/gym shoes of any colour.

However, if students have PE after period 1a they are required to come to school in their school uniform, then change into their PE kit for their PE lesson and then change back into their school uniform for the remainder of the day’s lessons. Students are given time at the end of the PE lesson to change. We believe it is not hygienic or healthy for students to be sitting in sweaty PE kit in other lessons. The full uniform details are available here as well as in the school diary.

Students in Years 12 and 13 are expected to wear smart casual clothes.

In the Senior School, there is no prescribed uniform, a student’s dress and appearance are ultimately matters of personal choice. However, students should consider the manner of their dress and appearance appropriate for presenting themselves as role models to younger pupils.

Students should, therefore, ensure they are dressed decently, safely and appropriately. Clothing should be casual but must always be practical, well presented and clean.

Students in Years 12 and 13 are required to wear the appropriate school kit for their option choice and to provide their own equipment. Staff will accept no responsibility for jewellery at any time. Before games lessons all jewellery should be locked away in students’ lockers.

Textbook Policy

Students use a range of resources to support their learning. In some subjects students use text books in school accompanied by a range of digital and other hard copy resources to support their learning. In other subjects students are issued with course textbooks at the start of the year through our Textbook Office using their octopus cards to register their loan. Students are responsible for looking after these books, keeping them in a good condition and for returning them at the end of the year. Students who do not return their books will be charged for them.

In Years 7-11 text books are provided by the school although consumable workbooks must be paid for by parents.

In Years 12-13 students purchase their own course books via the following book sellers:
Hong Kong Book Centre
Times Publishing (HK) Ltd. Pansing Distribution HK
Textbooks can also be purchased through other vendors if preferred. Please check the ISBN number.

Year 12 & 13 Textbook Lists can be found under Senior Years Curriculum on this page.

Inclusion Policy

Please click here for the Inclusion Policy.