23 Feb 2023

Monthly Newsletter (February 2023)

>  Principal’s Message
>  Upcoming Events & Information
>  Making A Difference
Phase Year 7-9
Phase Year 10-11
Phase Year 12-13
February Weekly Newsletters
Reminders & Upcoming Events

Principal’s Message

Message from the Principal

As another month comes to a close at South Island School, we have the opportunity to look back at our incredible achievements and look ahead to the great things to come.  This month’s newsletter is filled with examples of our community striving to make a difference; students, teachers, parents and ESF centre. One great example of this was the ESF stakeholder survey.  I want to thank our community for completing the survey; the response rate was much higher than the previous year.   The survey results will support the further development of our school to ensure we provide the best learning environment for our students.  We are in the process of analysing the data and will share the highlights with you once completed.

ESF centre is also doing their part to support the wider community with a series of webinars.  The webinars focus on how we, as a community, can better support our children. The titles are below.  You should have received an email with the link to each webinar.  If you have not or have any questions, feedback or ideas, please contact parentpartnerships@esfcentre.edu.hk.

  • Seminar One: Healthy Habits for the Tech-Connected Family: Tuesday, 28 February, 6 – 7 pm
  • Seminar Two: Supporting Conversations About DEI With Your Child: Wednesday, 22 March, 6 – 7 pm
  • Seminar Three: Becoming a Strategic Learner – Executive Skills: Wednesday, 26 April, 6 – 7 pm
  • Seminar Four: Pathways to Post-Secondary Education: Wednesday, 10 May, 6 – 7 pm
  • Seminar Five: Neurodiversity: Including all: Tuesday, 6 June, 6 – 7 pm

Looking ahead, I am pleased to announce that after March 1, secondary school students will no longer need to complete a RAT before school.  We are still required to take daily temperatures, so please continue to do this and update the ESF App.  This one less restriction hopefully signals a further reduction of restrictions in the days to come. 

Another area I would like to ask for parental support is the lost property at school.  We have numerous school hoodies and jackets, water bottles, and sports equipment in lost property – with no name to identify the owner.  Please label or ask your children to label all items. This will make the return of the items easier and reduce the number of unused items around the school. 

To end this very busy month, our phase leaders have curated several highlights from this month.  Please take some time to read about our Year Groups’ successes; we are very proud of our students.

Carolyn Andrews

Interim Principal

Upcoming Events & Information


There will be an AWE Well-Being Survey which students in Years 7,8 and 9 will be completed over the next two weeks.  Students will complete this survey during one of their scheduled lessons. The survey takes up to 15 minutes. For further details on the schedule, please see below. 

As you will be aware, Well-Being is a priority at South Island School and is one of the key strategic goals across the Foundation.  This annual survey will help us measure and track our students’ well-being through Positive Education-based online assessments.The teenage years can be very challenging, and we must keep a close eye on our students, especially given the significant challenges they have faced in their school, social and family life throughout the pandemic. To complement the ongoing support we are already providing students, the survey will also help us to identify any students who might need additional support. More information about this survey can be found HERE.


  • Year 8 & 9 Parents – Coffee Morning

We look forward to meeting Year 8 and 9 parents at our first coffee morning event on Tuesday 14 March. We hope this upcoming event will provide a wonderful and casual opportunity for parents to talk with teachers, Heads of Departments and other families about any topics or questions they may have regarding their child(ren)’s learning at SIS. Year 8 and 9 parents can sign up for this event HERE.

We would love to have parents of Years 9 and 10 who enjoy bringing people together to organise a Coffee morning for your child’s year. If you’re interested, please email us at pta@sis.edu.hk, and we can get the ball rolling.

  • PTA Administrator Job Vacancy

The PTA Committee is looking for an administrator. This is a full-time role during term time, with some additional work in August. SIS PTA stages several social and fundraising events each year and supports the school and parent community to benefit all South Island School students. If you want to apply for this PTA administrator role, please find more information HERE.

Making A Difference


This week, the Sustainability Council (SusCo) has introduced a ‘Green Day’ programme to promote sustainable action, activity and environmental issues within our school community, which took place on the 22-23 February in the HALL. There was a range of fun activities, including crafts and carnival games. Great job Annice Hui (12B2), Lauren Tang (12M2), and Dhrishti Dayaram (13M1). 


The Making a Difference (MaD) council organised a Dress Casual day on Friday 24 February to further aid those suffering due to the recent Syria-Turkey Earthquake. The council collected donations during tutor period and raised a total of HK$22,842.4.

A huge thank you to those who donated supplies last week; this was another opportunity for the school community to give back and make a difference! Well done to Anson Li (12C1), Evelyn Wang (13M2), Saloni Sethi (13K1), Anusha Oak (12B2), and Ms Beaumont for organising.


A huge thank you to everyone who participated in Namas MAD week 2023.  The Namas Leadership Team worked super hard to put together a fun-packed week, including making bookmarks, a whole school quiz, music performances and writing self-love notes to ourselves.  All this was aimed at raising awareness of the amazing work and services offered by MindHK.  Please visit their website at https://www.mind.org.hk/. They are running a great initiative called “Move it for mental health 2023”.  This is a challenge to anyone and everyone to complete 30km in nature during the month of March.

A special thank you must go to Ivana Wong (12N1), Ajax Lee (12N2), Avirah George (12N2) and Jessie May (12N2), who coordinated the whole week. Awesome job!

Phase Year 7-9

Message from Head of Phase Year 7-9:


Community Project – In Year 9 students have made their groups and are beginning to develop their proposal for action for the Community Project in Global Thinking lessons. This year we are able to return to presenting these to parents which adds some additional excitement to the learning.


Impact HK Food Drive – Last week the Family Bauhinia MaD Council, led by Year 9, were collecting donations for ImpactHK food bank. MaD Reps used their creativity skills to create promotional posters, and communication to get their tutor groups excited about the project. The donated items will be used to help people in need right here in Hong Kong. We are sending a huge thank you to everyone who donated for your generosity to make a difference in our Hong Kong

A special shout out and thank you to Ms Stringer who drove the donations to be delivered to ImpactHK!

South Island School Student Council It was fantastic to see so many Year 7, 8 and 9 students present at the whole School SIS Student Council on Tuesday, where the various House initiatives and the student wishlist was discussed. Student voice is highly valued at SIS and because of this the Student Council has prepared a Google Form, available to all students to gather their thoughts on how to improve certain aspects of the school. This will be eventually presented to the PTA in a meeting before the end of term.

Positive Education – In PLC sessions, Year 9 students have been exploring well-being habits that promote positive education. Measuring themselves on their strengths and weaknesses in these habits and how to celebrate those they are doing well in and those that they are finding more challenging.

Inter-House – While writing this students are preparing for the main Year 9 Inter-House event this term volleyball and basketball. Inter-House is a great way to foster house spirit, make new friends and have fun. It is an expectation that students take part in this.

The Inter-House cross country was a cross-school invite event this term that took place on Friday 17 February. Congratulations to Campbell Riddell (09C2) and Bernice Lui (09N2) who took first place for Y9 boys and girls. Well done to all those who took part. 


Year 8 PLC Smoking and Vaping – This week, students in Year 8 discussed the dangers of smoking and vaping with their Tutors in the PLC session. Year 8 students were particularly good at drawing on their prior knowledge from Science class to explain how smoking can damage our health. Students looked at the laws and ways these habits can be prevented. We hope these discussions will help all students make healthy choices as they move through their teen years

Syrita Nicholas

Head of Phase (Year 7-9)

Phase Year 10-11

Message from Head of Phase Year 10-11:


We are halfway through the school year, and for our Year 11 students, the I/GCSE examinations are fast approaching.  Students have received their last PCC report cards. They will now have the opportunity to speak with subject specialists one final time on Thursday 2 March, at the Student Led Conferences (see separate comms for the student arrangements on this day).  Year 10 Student Led conferences will follow on Tuesday 14 March.

It was wonderful to see a culmination of Year 11 students’ hard work exhibited in their recent Food Preparation & Nutrition GCSE practical examinations, which took place over the course of last week.


Student Led Event (SLE) are a big part of SIS life, and students have many opportunities to get involved in these events.  Seeing a significant turnout of Year 10 and Year 11 students at our first SISMUN conference was great.  Students had the chance to listen to the Consulate General of South Africa talk about diplomacy and then put that skill into action over the two days of debate.

Year 10 and Year 11 students are encouraged to continue participating in SIS’s many student leadership opportunities.  Take a look at our student leadership website HERE for ideas on what is happening around the school.


Last week was Namas House, Making a Difference (MaD) week.  This week was based on the theme of Self-Love, with students writing their future selves a love letter.  This is just one of the ways that we create different opportunities to encourage our students to be kind to themselves and others. Simple acts of kindness have the power to change people’s lives.  Kindness is contagious – it spreads. When we’re kind, we put people in better moods, and they are, in turn, more likely to be kind too.  I would encourage our students to keep this in mind as a simple way to improve the well-being of our whole community. 

Laura Beaumont

Head of Phase (Year 10-11)

Phase Year 12-13

Message from Head of Phase Year 12-13:


Our Year 13s have now finished their mock exams and have reached the home stretch of their secondary school journey. As our students may still remember from studying in their younger years the classic literary work “The Tortoise and the Hare”, what matters is how you finish the race, not how you begin. To finish their race well, the focus now turns to coursework, as their assessments get graded and sent off to the IB/other exam boards. For DP students, it starts with the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge essay, and early Group 6 submissions (such as the Film Technical Analysis and the Visual Arts Comparative Study). This is followed quickly by IAs in all other subjects and Group 6 work.

Progress Check Cards have now been released in both Years 12 and 13. For both year groups, it is a fantastic opportunity to reflect on their learning thus far and act on the feedback from their teachers. Perhaps some course correction is needed, or perhaps, as in the classic literary work “The Little Engine That Could”, it’s just a matter of working hard on the path you are currently on until “I think I can” becomes “I thought I could”.


In the classic literary work “The Lion and the Mouse”, the mouse shows how even someone small can make a big difference and that “kindness is never wasted”. Our Year 13 students have been finalising their CAS portfolios, showing how they have made a difference over the past few years. I have been extremely impressed by what our students have accomplished. Here are some highlights:

Coaching youth and juniors at the Hong Kong Football Club. 

Gurman Dhillon (13C2)

Teaching English to students in Rural Taiwan.

Lara Brown (13N1)

Learning how to do jumps and spins for ice skating 

Kathy Yan (13K2)


In the 2022-2023 academic year, this is one of the longest terms we have. It is easy for the routine of work, assessments, and events to take over and for students to neglect their well-being. Therefore, it is essential to practise emotional awareness to know if and when things are not going well. As in the classic literary work “Little Red Riding Hood”, there are signs we can notice that tell us that something is not quite right. Mindfulness activities such as body scans or strategies like regular journalling can help us become more aware of our feelings. If you feel something is not ok, speaking to one of our social workers (introduced later in this newsletter) may be helpful.

Hin-Hey Lam

Head of Phase (Year 12-13)

February Weekly Newsletters

  • 20 February – 24 February 2023


Earlier this year, 19 schools from across HK competed in the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking trials. Lily Haylett (12B1) represented South Island School in the competition, making it into the Hong Kong team. They will fly to South Africa in March to represent HK and compete against teams from the US, Canada, Australia, Korea, and many other countries. Well done Lily!


Usually, it is easier to show written work; hence we tend to do so, but the Spanish Department wanted to share live classroom action with the community. This week we have included some snippets of our lessons.

You can see Year 12 Spanish Ab initio students completing a speaking task. You may not hear them clearly, but they work on a task in pairs or small groups. This group were beginners in Spanish in August, and the stimulus is to remind students to use a range of connectives and sequencers to enhance their spoken production. 

Year 11 students are playing games to prepare for their upcoming IGCSE oral examination. We have to make examination preparation fun and engaging!


You also see a student having a one-to-one speaking session with our native Spanish assistant Carla. We are lucky at South Island School to have two native Spanish assistants who support small group work and one-to-one sessions. The assistants support us in our general classroom activities and with formal examinations. The students really enjoy working with our assistants, they tell us.

Year 7 students are participating in a student-led classroom activity. They are revising how to recognise text-type features as part of the MYP curriculum. You can see the class members are fully engaged and enjoy seeing their peers take the lead.  

You can also see Year 7 students practising a speaking activity in pairs using the vocabulary on the board for support. 

The Spanish Department hope you enjoy!


The final episode of the Tech Bubble, Season 3 is now available on Spotify HERE. The episode’s theme focused on online and tabletop games and the potential benefits and challenges for education. Guests included Tim Oliver, HKAYP Coordinator and Leading Teacher of 3D Design, and Jay Prohaska, a Digital Technologies Coach at the ESF Centre. Student guests included Cameron Lee and Nathaniel Lam, both from 8N1, and Shriyans Gadnis (11M2) & Andrew Luo (11B1), two of our student leaders, as part of the Coding Club each Thursday evening. Amaanat Rekhi (11N2) co-hosted the show alongside the Head of Digital Literacy, Iain Williamson.    


Last term, we invited Ms Lorna Wong, and Mr Joe Clark, from the Counselling Team to share more about their passion for working at the school and their role and responsibilities. This week we are excited to catch up with our two school social workers, Ms Kamy Yeung and Ms Stephanie Wan.

You can read more below:

  • Ms Kamy Yeung HERE
  • Ms Stephanie Wan HERE



With the covid-19 restrictions relaxed, the prestigious race – Vibram Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail Race 2023 (HK100) returns after a 3-year hiatus since 2020. The races had three varying distances: 103km for the HK100, 56km for The Half and 33km for The Third, which attracted over a thousand local and overseas runners.

The 150th Silver Jubilee District Scouts, with the majority being SIS students, have volunteered to assist in running Checkpoint 8 at Shing Mun Reservoir for the 103-kilometre trail race held last Saturday and Sunday (18-19th February). The 103 km race starts at Pak Tam Chung and finishes at Tai Mo Shan, involving a total elevation gain of 5300 meters.

With little sleep and much determination, the scouts, including Johnathon Cheng (13M2), Lucas Chan (12C2), Justin Cheng (12M2), Zheng Hao Leong (12S2), David Chong (12K2), Brendan Tang (12S2), Nicholas Wong (09N2), Jayden Chan (09C2), Matthew Hoare (09B1), Zheng Yi Leong (09S2), Jo En Tan (09B2), Patrice Leung (08M2), and Portia Pang (08M2), provided an excellent job in providing a successful rest point for the runners working from 10 am on Saturday until 9 am on Sunday. The scouts had to set up the checkpoint, help runners as they came in, serve them hot and cold food plus drinks, and provide support and encouragement to the runners.  

It was an excellent opportunity for the scouts to serve and meet the world-class runners in action.



U20 Boys Final against German Swiss International School (GSIS)  – Loss 45 – 59 on Friday 17 February. It was an uphill battle all game long, and GSIS came out of the gate with great energy and aggression. Their unstoppable star player dissected our defence with his strong dribbling, strength and finishing skills. SIS was trailed by 15 points in the middle of the 3rd quarter. However, our players refused to give up and mounted a massive comeback in the last 4 minutes of the 3rd quarter. We were at one point, only 5 points behind. Sadly, in the 4th quarter, SIS could not contain their star player and teammates and could not convert offensively, thus losing in the final. However, despite the defeat, we are incredibly proud of the team; well done!

U16 Boys Final against Christian Alliance International School (CAIS) – Won 27 – 21 on Friday 17 February. It was a battle of mental prowess and grit. Both teams were not able to perform well due to pressure. Turnovers and bad shots were the norm for this game. SIS was leading the game most of the time. However, there was an instance when CAIS was only one point behind us. Luckily, our players handled the pressure well, executed the team tactics, and scored 5 consecutive points to seal an empathic win.

Overall, it has been a fruitful season for these two teams. This is a solid platform to continue to build a strong basketball culture at South Island School for years to come. 


The following girls have been selected to represent South Island School in the prestigious HKSSF Girls Athletics competition on the 24, 28 February and 3 March. The students will compete in the girl’s Division 1 league for the first time in a long time. We wish them luck with this as they are quite nervous!

A Grade Team – Kathy Yan (13K2), Chloe Noh (13K2), Sophie Poulton (13C2), Iona Nicholas (12S1), Sophie Jullienne (13K1), Noa Vanrell Sanz (13B2), Jessie May (12N2), Kristen Ho (13K2), Katharina Hoffmann (13K2), Summer Fay Sit (13B1), Kelly Ngai (12S1), Izzy Pawlyn (12B1), Ruth Vanrell Sanz (12B1), and Alicia Bertagnoli (12B2).

B Grade Team – Sophie Aranha (10S1), Jessica Benhacine (11C1), Christy Cheung (11N2), Ashley Bertagnoli (11B1), Anna Keys (11N1), Sara Harries (10K2), Ivana So (11C2), Winnie Ng (11C1), Audrey Poon (10N2), Fiona Chen (10M2), Julienne Chong (10B2), Ambre Gosse (11N1), Nellie Froidevaux (11K1), and Siena Poulton (10C2).

C Grade Team – Louise Lindsay (08S1), Vee Lee (08S1), Eva Truong-Ghaforzadeh Nobar (09N2), Bernice Lui (09N2), Chantelle Tsang (08C1), Anna Hata (09M2), Sophie Chan (08M2), Cassandra Skoett (09S2), Maggie Dowding (08K2), Cordelia Lee (09B1), Adelaide Williamson (08N2), Shina Tamaki (09S1), and Esther Kim (08C2).

The boys team will also be competing next Monday 27 February, and we will be also wishing them the best of luck in their competitions:

Justin Ho (10K1), Jasper Chan (12S2), Jay Park (08C1), Yann Zylberberg (13K1) ,Markus Ip (12B1), Thomas Hafner (13C1), Minjun Koo (12B1), Tae Kang-Stewart (12B1), Luca Ho (12C2), Christopher Ng (12B1), Jeremy Yung (12C1), Jayden Lee (10S1), Max Julienne (11K1), Winson Jong (11B1), Joshua Kim (11S1), Lucian Nishisako (11K1), Sebastian Quint Carbonell (12M2), Jeremy Lui (11B1), Adrian Lau (10K1), Chaemin Jun (10N2), Matteo Ng-Brett (10B2), Enzo Wong (11B1), Ambrose Wong (08M2), Pax Pineda (09C2), Qing Yang Chiu (09K1), Bosco Fung (09C2), Ian Ho (09K1), Maxi Hurle (09B2), Ethan Lui (09S2), Caton Cheng (09M1), and Daniel Lee (09M2).


The C grade netball girls took home another win on Wednesday 22 February, this time with a 13-3 win over Sha Tin College (STC)! The girls went out all guns blazing and were 6 goals up at the end of the first quarter and 5 further goals up at the end of the second! The last two quarters weren’t particularly high scoring; however, they were great at trialling different team combinations! Maggie Dowding (08K2) was voted MVP by STC, and Mia Tilbury (08K2) was voted coaches player! The girls look forward to their next game against St. Paul’s School (SPS) next week. Fingers crossed for another win! Well done – Aprilia Comsa (08K2), Chloe Herminjard (08B2), Vee Lee (08S1), Mia Tilbury, Kiana Lin (08C1), Zoe Villemeur (08C1), Maggie Dowding, Louise Lindsay (08S1), Adelaide Williamson (08N2), Ruby Ramsay (08S2), and Liora Turner (08N2).


Boy’s U16 Cricket team travelled to Po Kong Village on Wednesday 22 February, to take on Delia Memorial School Hip Wo (DMS), who had won the league previously. DMS asked SIS to bat first and bowled well at the start taking 4 wickets in the first 4 overs. Despite the early setbacks, a fighting partnership from Alvin Ng (10C2) and captain Paarth Srivastava (10B1), who top scored with 34 not out, took SIS to a competitive total of 115. Harishankar Venkatesh (09K1) took a wicket in the first over with the ball. A number of other chances were created, but SIS couldn’t quite take them, and it looked like DMS would win comfortably. However, a tremendous fight back with the ball and two wickets in an over from Matthew Philipson (08B1) pegged back DMS. Ultimately, it wasn’t to be, with DMS scoring the winning runs with just two overs to spare. Despite the defeat, we are pleased with the team and well done also to William Phillipson (09B2), Anirudh Rambhatla (08M1), James Walker (08S1), Sharv Nayak (11M2), Siddesh Muthukrishnan (10M2), Nirvaan Kapadia (08M1), Ronith Borthakur (09K2), and Arley Webster (08B1)

Linked below are this month’s weekly newsletters:

Reminders & Upcoming Events


  • Friday, 24 – 25 – HKAYP Bronze Camp #2b
  • Friday, 24 – Year 12 HK Higher Education Workshop
  • Monday, 27 – Wednesday, 1 March – SIS Chef Semi-Finals


  • Wednesday, 1 – SIS Chef Semi-Finals
  • Thursday, 2 – Year 11 SLC
  • Friday, 3 – Year 12 Canada Higher Education Workshop
  • Friday, 3 – 4 – Sailing Competition
  • Monday, 6 to Thursday, 9 – Year 13 IB Oral Exams
  • Tuesday, 7 – TedxSIS
  • Thursday, 9 – Year 11 RSE Morning
  • Friday, 10 – Year 10 to 13 Casa, Namas, Shtepi Assembly
  • Friday, 10 – Year 12 Australia & New Zealand Higher Education Workshop
  • Monday, 13 to Friday, 17 – ICM Fundraising Week
  • Tuesday, 14 – PTA Coffee Morning For Year 8 Parents – sign up HERE
  • Tuesday, 14 – Year 10 SLC
  • Wednesday, 15 to Friday, 17 – Year 11 IGCSE Oral Exams
  • Friday, 17 – Year 10 to Year 13 Bahay and Maison Assembly
  • Friday, 17 to Saturday, 18 – HKAYP Silver Camp
  • Saturday, 18 to Friday, 24 – ESF IB Visual Art Exhibition
  • Tuesday, 21 – Family Bauhinia Assembly
  • Tuesday, 21 – World Poetry Day in Class
  • Wednesday, 22 – SIS IB Visual Arts Exhibition & Spring Concert
  • Wednesday, 22 – Year 12 ESF Marketing Competition
  • Friday, 24 – Year 10 to Year 13 Kuca Assembly
  • Friday, 24 – Innovation
  • Friday, 24 – Year 12 Academic Writing Workshop
  • Wednesday, 29 – Year 12 SLC
  • Wednesday, 29 – Year 9 RSE Morning
  • Thursday, 30 – Family Bauhinia Talent Show – more details HERE
  • Friday, 31 – Year 12 Academic Writing Workshop


If your son or daughter has a particular highlight or achievement you would like to share with the community, please email a short description and photo to: ebulletin@sis.edu.hk 

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