Message from the Principal
November certainly has been an eventful month. The entire community has been involved in some aspect of school life: open afternoons, curriculum evenings, webinars, performances, productions, MaD Week activities, guiding day – the list is incredible. But as we begin to adjust to life with fewer Covid restrictions, we must acknowledge it is not always easy. So many months of learning online; isolated from friends and, especially for those of us with family members overseas, isolated from family as well; finally being able to return to face-to-face learning but then being told to remain a safe distance away from friends and always wear a mask … let me say it again, it has not been easy.
But perhaps this is what makes this month extra special. As a community, we have come together to support our students and let them know they are safe. With this confidence, our students have been able to seize the growing number of opportunities presented to them and flourished in so many ways. As you read this newsletter, I welcome you to reflect on the last couple of years and what our students – your children – have had to overcome to accomplish all they have done this month – incredible!
It is important to note that we are still on the road to recovery and discovery. We are not the same people as before Covid – and that is OK. As a community, we will continue to embrace uncertainty with the knowledge that together we truly can Make a Difference.
Thank you all for your support in the many events this month and I look forward to what the next month will bring.
- (1) MERMAID – SCHOOL PRODUCTION
We are so proud to bring back our school production this year. For three nights this week, it was wonderful to not only welcome the SIS community to the production, but also the ESF community as well. The performances have been fantastic throughout. Congratulations to all the student performers and helpers, staff and a special thank you to Ms Helen Canon for all their hard work and preparation for a truly memorable experience.
- (2) SHTEPI MAD WEEK
We are delighted to share with you some highlights and photos from Shtepi MaD Week. Numerous activities, such as book trivia, book sales and the always popular ‘Dress as a book character’ day. This has been another fantastic example of the students and staff making a difference to the community by raising awareness and HK$15,255.60 for charity. Well done to the Shtepi House Team: Argus Ngai (12S2), Kelly Ngai (12S1), Matthew Wines (12S2), Hayley Cheng (12S2), Audrey Yeung (12S2), Zheng Hao Leong (12S2), Natalie Li (12S2), Darren Cho (12S1), Max Stilgenbauer (12S1), Sophia Li (12S1). Sophia Laxton-Kwok (12S2), Stephy Lee (12S2), Jasper Chan (12S2), Clarice Ho (12S2), Iona Nicholas (12S1) and Mr Gwillym Cornes.
UPCOMING EVENTS & INFORMATION
- (1) UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHILD’S DATA RESOURCES
Thank you to all families who attended the information webinar on Monday 21 November. If you missed the session or would like to review the information covered, you can find a recording and the presentation slides HERE.
- (2) MESSAGE FROM THE PTA COMMITTEE
The PTA committee 2022/23 were delighted to be invited by the school Creative Arts Team, to help sponsor and sell the refreshments at the School’s Annual Production this year. A big thank you to all the parent volunteers and teachers.
We will be having our first PTA committee meeting after the AGM, next Wednesday. If you have anything you would like to suggest or to voice out, please email us over the weekend at email@example.com.
We hope to see you at the next school event!
The PTA Committee 2022/23
Phase Year 7-9
Message from Head of Phase Year 7-9:
Making a Difference week for Year 7 provided a wide range of activities, and we were also able to complete the water sports day in Sai Kung. The student experience included building relationships and connecting with each other as well as the Oceanic Camp counsellors and the supporting staff. I was really impressed at the maturity and kindness shown through these interactions. The staff at Oceanic commented that our students were very polite and respectful, but most of all, fun to work with. Well done Year 7s! There were over 1000 photos captured from the different events and we are currently working on creating a photo journal to capture the memories.
The student experiences during this week pushed the students to be resilient and, in some cases, go outside their comfort zone. Whether it was from enduring the raft-making, and subsequent sinking or joining in with a whole class drumming activity or having to work collaboratively to solve team puzzles or even walking up a steep hill. There were challenges for everyone along the way and their tutors and I all witnessed so many instances of the children really stepping up to these challenges.
VALUES IN ACTION
The Family Bauhinia MaD reps worked throughout November to organise this year’s Box of Hope drive. We were supported by parents, staff and students who carefully created and donated boxes. The generosity was an overwhelming demonstration of how much the SIS community truly cares and wants to make a difference. A lot of extra joy will be brought to a lot of children this Christmas time, thanks to your kindness.
It has been wonderful to finally get our sports teams back on the field. This is just a snapshot of what our Bahiunina Family (C-Grade teams) students have been involved in this month.
The South Island Swimming team took part in the HKSSF swimming final and the C-Grade boys were amazing, especially in their freestyle relay. Starting out in 3rd place, our final 2 relay legs came back to secure their gold, scoring 18 points in that relay, and earning themselves 3rd place in C grade overall with 64 points. Congratulations to Enzo Wong (11B1), Osman Kwok (10C2), Mike Wong (07K2), Colin Wijono (08C2), Bosco Fung (09C2) and Kyle Lee (09N1) for scoring points for our school and achieving 5th place in the rankings overall.
Our U14 Boys Football team travelled to sunny Tung Chung for their fourth fixture of the season. SIS were well outplayed with YMCA running out 5-0 winners. Kudos goes to our substitute goalkeeper, Chris Lo (09B2) who made several great saves in the second half to keep the championship favourites from increasing their lead.
A great finish to this half-term for the U14 Boys Football Team with their 3rd home victory at Happy Valley. SIS were well in control of the first half but went into the break at 1-1. A strengthened team in the second half helped us come away with a 3-1 victory. Special mention goes to Pax Pineda (09C2) who scored our second goal and created the third to cement the win.
A solid start to the season with a hard-fought win against Island School 5-3 in Div 1 tennis. Christian Wong (12C2) played out of his skin to win both his singles matches against high-ranked opponents. Darren Kong (07C2) and Sean Lee (12N2) made great HKSSF debuts.
Well done to the U12 Girls Basketball Team who showed superb determination to beat Island School 12-8 in their first-ever competitive basketball fixture. SIS were always in the lead during the four quarters but the player of the match, Dana Cheung (08S1) scored in the last minute to ‘cement the victory.’ Special mention also goes to Kourtney Lee (08S1) who was excellent at dribbling the ball into the opposing half to attack.
On top of all the Sports performances, it was wonderful that some of our Bauhinia Family students and staff got involved in our student-led Diwali Night earlier this month. Particularly proud of Ms Stringer and Mr Thums involvement in the teacher dance.
The Year 12 Shadow Prefect process has begun and for Family Bauhinia, this means that there are now Year 12 and Year 13 prefects interacting with and supporting the younger students. The Space also has a team of Year 12 Family Bauhinia captains that have created a timetable of events to entertain our younger students. See below for the timetable so far.
Year 7 students were privileged this week to watch the dress rehearsal of the Mermaid, this term’s school play. They gave top reviews of the play and especially the Family Bauhinia students that were involved in the play and the production:
Ms Lorna Wong and Ms Stephanie Wan from our counselling team, along with a team of Year 9 students, presented to Year 7 students last week to launch the Peer Mentoring Program. Parents were also given information about the program this week by email. We are looking forward to the program starting in term 2, once the Year 9 students have completed the training this term with the counsellors.
Head of Phase (Year 7-9)
Phase Year 10-11
Message from Head of Phase Year 10-11:
Both Year 10 and Year 11 students have received their first PCC reports of the academic year. Students spent a day this week reflecting on these reports and their progress across subjects. It was a particularly opportune time for Year 11 to consider their strengths and challenges as they prepare for the upcoming mock examinations, running from 28 November – 9 December.
It was great to see so many of the Year 11 parents and students attend our recent welcome to the senior school webinar on Tuesday 8 November. We look forward to welcoming you in person on Wednesday 11 January for the Subject Options Fair.
Our Year 10 parents have the opportunity to come to school for our Curriculum Relationships & Sexuality Education) RSE evening on 30 Nov where Ms Lucie Purves will discuss the further details of this area of the curriculum. See the separate communication sent earlier this week.
VALUES IN ACTION
During MaD week our Year 10 students joined the school-wide activities and took part in a range of offerings. Year 11 students took part in the valuable opportunity of work experience and were able to gain experience of the expectations and skills of a working environment – our Higher Education team alongside them, our community did a spectacular job in ensuring all our Year 11 students had a placement for the week.
I hope you have had the opportunity to see a number of our Year 10 and Year 11 students taking a starring role in the school production Mermaids this week. It was wonderful to see so many students being involved in our first face-to-face production in three years.
Student well-being continues to be a priority, especially during times such as the mock examinations where stress can be an issue. Students can access a host of information and articles about coping with stress on our school well-being website HERE.
For parents you may be interested in attending our parenting workshop ‘Conscious Parenting’ on 1 December, run by our school counsellor, Ms Lorna Wong, more information can be found HERE.
Head of Phase (Year 10-11)
Phase Year 12-13
Message from Head of Phase Year 12-13:
For our Year 12 students at South Island School, MAD Week provided a great opportunity to develop key elements of our curriculum. The week started off with the Group 4 project, where our students worked together in interdisciplinary science groups to tackle interesting problems such as “How do the different ratios of Hydrogen and Oxygen affect the average velocity of a vehicle over a specific distance?” and “What are the calories of school snacks that we regularly eat on a daily basis and how does this affect our well-being and health?”
After the Group 4 project, students attended workshops on research skills, and IB Diploma Programme students were given a formal introduction to the Extended Essay. Students have been doing preliminary research and working on a first proposal for this challenging independent project.
For our Year 13s students, they had time to make progress on their coursework and revision, while choosing to participate in a variety of Higher Education workshops on offer about topics such as interviewing, developing art portfolios, and writing application essays.
On 22 November, students played an active role in Guiding Day, where they met with tutors and Heads of House to reflect on their year thus far and plan the way forward. This is especially crucial for Year 13s as IA deadlines continue to arrive and they prepare for their mock exams in January. Guiding Day is a valuable part of our offering at South Island School and an important part of how to help every student to be the best they can be.
VALUES IN ACTION
During MAD Week, Year 12 students participated in an introduction to Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) and service learning by our CAS Coordinator Ms Elliott. It has been wonderful to see all the Year 12 and 13 students bring this to life through their involvement in school and in the greater community. You will read about many of these in throughout this newsletter, but a few moments of senior student leadership I want to highlight:
- The fantastically creative House Boards by the House leadership committees. Come take a look at these on the Lower Ground Floor next time you are in school!
- A large part our senior students played in the school production Mermaid, both on stage and behind the scenes.
- The incredible leadership demonstrated by our students in the massive undertaking that was Diwali Night
During MAD Week, an unfortunate typhoon and the weather that came with it necessitated some changes to plans, but it didn’t change the fact that well-being is at the core of everything we do at South Island School. In our new indoor makeup activities, students took part in a carousel of activities that included a short yoga session, a workshop on relaxation skills, an opportunity to use the fitness equipment, and lighthearted world record attempts (how far can you throw a chicken?)
Head of Phase (Year 12-13)
November Weekly Newsletters
- 21 November – 25 November 2022
(1) SPORTS & PE
Last Friday (18 Nov) A Grade Boys Football team recorded a resounding 6-0 victory in the HKSSF league against Island School. Four goals for captain and player of the match Jamie Harvey (13K1) and two headers from corners from Gary Lo (12N1) sealed the convincing win. Special mention also goes to Markus Ip (12B1) who was extremely composed in midfield. Well done also to Evan McGillivray (12B2), Cormac Byrne (12K1), Ashwin Heera (12C1), Yann Zylberberg (13K1), Bo Smeets (13S2), Max Emmanuel (13K1), Jamie Harvey (13K1), Jake Yan (13C2), Darren Kim (13K2), Timmy Yoo (12B1), and Andrew Han (12S2).
A Grade Girls Netball won their home fixture that evening against Sha Tin College on Monday (21 Nov), despite a delayed start and only having half the scheduled time to play! The girls are learning a lot with each game and are starting to play like a cohesive team! Jessie May was voted MVP by Shatin College (STC), coaches’ MVPs were Ivana Wong (12N2) and Alicia Bertagnoli (12B2).
Well done also to Ruth Vanrell Sanz (12B1), Izzy Palwyn (12B1), Emma Harries (12K2), Bernice Yiu (12C2), and Emily Liu (12M2).
A second victory for the SIS U14 Boys Basketball team who beat CAIS 39-18 in the ISSFHK Silver Division league on 22 Nov. A determined team performance saw all 12 players feature for at least a quarter. Players player of the match, Brandon Wong displayed focus in defence and made multiple turnovers. Captain Daniel Lee (09M2) was our MVP and constantly put our opponents under pressure with his offensive drives down the court. Well done also to Ian Chan (09M1), Maxi Hurle (09B2), Moses Lam (09B2), Kyle Lee (09N1), Don Wong (09M2), Brandon Wong (09N1), Lucas Leung (09K2), Kian To (09M2), Hansol Jung (09N1), Ethan Lui (09S2), Keon Forrest (09S2), and Jayden Chan (09C2).
(2) SPANISH ORAL PRESENTATIONS
Our Year 7s have worked extremely hard on their very first formal assessment in Spanish, a speaking activity – ‘¿Cómo aprendemos?’
The unit is about how we learn, incorporating foundation-level vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students were asked to present themselves orally and include specific information to demonstrate their learning so far. The students are giving information such as their name, age, birthday, and where they live. They are describing their school and explain what qualities we need to be a good language learner. We explained to the students that fulfilling the criteria is one thing, but to get the best levels they should go beyond that, giving us some ‘juicy’ structures, structures that manipulate the basic phrases taught in class and widen their vocabulary. The Spanish Department are proud to share a small selection of ‘juicy’ presentations with you to give you a taste of just how good our students can be so early on in the course.
- Stirling Chung (07M2) and explanation video HERE
- Dante Chau (07K1)
- Chantelle Ip (07K1)
- Ryan Chen (07M2)
(3) SIGN LANGUAGE
The Global Thinking classes are currently studying an interdisciplinary unit on Inclusive Design. The purpose of the unit is for students to further develop empathy and understanding of the diversity in our world. Students have been learning about various disabilities and the challenges that many people face. In a recent lesson, students learned about hearing loss and the need to develop improved communication methods. Students learned sign language and practised phrases with each other. They found it challenging and insightful.
Here are some videos of students using sign language:
Esther Kim (08C2), Zack Keoy (08B2), and Sophie Chan (08C2).
Sophie Chan (08M2), Ryan McDermott Amenabar (08N2), and Riku Takafuku (08M2).
Maggie Dowding (08K2), Itish Handa (08K2), and Finn Penman (08K2).
(4) HKAYP SILVER
Over the weekend, 22 dedicated Year 12 students took part in the first overnight HKAYP Silver camp in three years! The students walked over 20km across hilly and rough terrain through Sai Kung Country Park as part of the HKAYP Silver Award at South Island School. Some interesting dinners were cooked on Friday night, including a fantastic Mexican Enchilada cooked from scratch on a camping stove! The next HKAYP hikes will be for the Bronze award on Hong Kong Island on the 3 & 10 December.
Well done to: Jeff Kao (12K1), Bosco Chow (12M1), Kelly Ngai (12S1), Julian Chu (12N2), Anusha Oak (12B2), Arim Lee (12M1), Jessie May (12N2), Luka Tinter (12C1), Toma Nb-Brett(12B2), Alexander Younan (12C1), Jason Choi (12C1), Brendan Tang (12S2), Zheng Hao Leong (12S2), Paul Antoine Joly (12B1), Carly Kwok (12C1), Jaya Kalia (12C1), Ethan Ko (12M1), Athena Yuan (12K2), Ashna Ganguly (12M2), Sudiksha Shinde (12S2), and Riya Girish (12C2).
(5) MEET THE TEAM
This week we are delighted to interview three members of the Maths Team, Mr James Lewis, Head of Mathematics, Ms Nidhi Maskara, Teacher of Mathematics, and Mr Eddy Clements, Teacher of Mathematics.
James, Nidhi and Eddy are excited to share with you what their roles and responsibilities are and also their interests outside of school as well – read more below:
- James Lewis, Head of Mathematics HERE
- Nidhi Maskara, Teacher of Mathematics HERE
- Eddy Clements, Teacher of Mathematics HERE
Linked below are this month’s weekly newsletters:
Reminders & Upcoming Events
- Thursday 1 – Conscious Parenting – Parent Webinar – message HERE
- Friday 2 – Community Presentations for SIS Principal Search HERE
- Tuesday 6 – Influenza Vaccination Programme 2022-2023 – message HERE
- Friday 9 – Family Bauhinia Dance Fest.
- Friday 16 – Whole School Assembly
- Monday 19 – Friday 6 January [Term Break]
- ESF Sports & Language – Autumn Camps HERE
- Monday 19 – Friday 6 January [Term Break]
- Wednesday 11 – Year 9 & 11 Subject Fair Options Evening
- Monday 23 – 27 [Half Term Break]
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: firstname.lastname@example.org