Message from the Principal
We are pleased to share our monthly newsletter for October. Even though it has been a shorter month with the addition of mid-term break, it certainly was not short on action! As a community we have been very busy and we are very eager to share and celebrate as a community. We are hopeful for even more opportunities with the announcement from EDB of more relaxation of the rules relating to Covid-19 and vaccinations in Hong Kong schools, which was highlighted in ESF CEO Belinda Greer’s message earlier this week. From 1 December, all the schools will be able to offer whole-day face-to-face classes to their students without the need for a dedicated eating space. This is indeed welcome news and signals that we are getting closer to our pre-Covid way of life.
As mentioned previously, our main drivers this year are connection, communication and student experience. The month of October showcased the results of this focus and our commitment to unite our community through these lenses.
On Thursday October 27, we held two parent events, a Mathematics Curriculum Evening and our annual PTA AGM. Both events were well attended and it was fantastic to connect to our parent community in a live event.
Our Mathematics Department delivered a hands-on informative session and it was great to see such high engagement from our parents. It was a great opportunity for our Maths team to communicate more about our Maths curriculum and for our parents to connect with other parents from our school.
The PTA AGM was equally successful as we elected our new PTA Committee. We are pleased to announce:
- Florence Wan (Chairlady parent of Hedia Wan 10M1)
- Cindi Hui (Vice Chairlady, parent of Samantha & Spencer Choy 10N1)
- Pauline Lam (Treasurer, parent of Jason Chu 09N2)
- Harsh Agarwal (Committee Member, parent of Aashi Agarwal 09K1)
- Helen Choi (Committee Member, parent of Ryan Liem 08M1)
- Sandy Tse (Committee Member, parent of Ethan Lui 09S2)
- Gloria Wong (Committee Member, parent of Kingsley To 11M1)
We would also like to thank the outgoing Committee members from the 2021-2022 PTA Committee. Special thanks to Bonny Yu, who recently stepped down as Chair, and also to the following people who served on the 2021-2022 Committee as Parent Representatives:
- Matthew Lu,
- Si Ya Tao, and
- Gloria Wong.
Thanks also to our staff representatives and our Teacher Representatives:
- Darin Slethaug
- Gemma Mackintosh
- Andy Thums
It is always a special time when we are able to come together to celebrate our cultural diversity and share in the customs and traditions of our community. We are thrilled to host our annual Diwali night led by our talented students. We welcome all to join us on Friday November 11, from 6pm to 8pm, for a spectacular evening of entertainment, music, performances and more. The event is led by our Diwali Head Team; Anusha Oak (12B2), Ashna Ganguly (12M2), Varshini Jairam (12B2), Riya Girish (12C2) and Sudi Shinde (12S2).
Please find a message from the team below:
“This year, the theme is ‘Bharat Ke Rang’ (Colours of India) – where we showcase an array of cultures and art forms from India by bringing the audience on a journey through different cities and states. The show will also include group/ solo performances, our annual Year 12 and 13 dances and a parent’s dance. In addition, we will also be bringing the newest edition to the evening of our first-ever fashion show, where we will display a variety of traditional Indian attire.
Alongside celebrating Indian culture, this year’s Diwali Night Head Team are proud to be supporting and raising money for World Vision India, one of the largest child-focused charities in India. They work towards providing relief to vulnerable children, as well as their families, through empowerment, development and other relief practices, ultimately bringing about lasting change in their lives.”
Tickets are on sale via the school website HERE
- Tickets will be on sale till Wednesday, November 9th
- Tickets are open to everyone, including non-SIS parents
As a very special mention, as it made me smile this week, Annelle Ip (07N2) and Nicky Lau (07K2) shared with us lovely treats that they made themselves! They created these fantastic macarons and decided to share with the community. These kind gestures go a long way to make a difference and brighten our day just that little bit more. Well done and thank you again Annelle and Nicky!
As with previous monthly newsletters, we are pleased to share specific information relating to each of our phases as well as some highlights from our whole school events. We hope you get a sense of the talent, passion and commitment from our incredible school. You will also find general reminders of upcoming events for your convenience.
Thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you on campus soon.
Have a lovely weekend,
Upcoming Events & General Information:
(1) MAD WEEK OCT 31 – NOV 4
We are excited for the arrival of MaD Week once again! This is often one of the highlights of a student’s educational journey at South Island and they often enjoy the experience of making a difference to themselves and/or to others during the week. We will be posting photos of the MaD Week activities, on our Instagram page HERE.
A few reminders for parents and students for MaD Week:
- All students must do a RAT test & temperature check daily during MaD Week and parents must upload to the ESF App on a daily basis.
- Ensure that your child’s vaccination status is up to date on the ESF App and they are aware of the vaccine pass requirements and mask guidelines for their activity.
- If students are absent for any reason and are to participate in an activity, email email@example.com and cc the tutor and activity leader.
- Buses will operate as normal with the following exceptions: no late Tuesday AM bus arrival, no early PM Friday departure and activities buses. The buses will follow normal school day timings for the whole week; Monday – Friday 8.05 am – 3.15 pm
- If students are onsite at school for their MaD activities, students should swipe in with their Octopus Card as usual.
- If students are onsite at school during the week, the cafeteria will remain open for food (Eating Venues: Year 7 Atrium, Year 8-10 Refectory, Year 12/13 Diploma Centre).
(2) FLU VACCINATION
We are pleased to inform you that the Influenza Vaccination Programme 2022 – 2023 is scheduled on Tuesday 6th December 2022 for SIS students. For more information please see the letter that was sent out earlier this week HERE.
A general reminder of a change to the vaccine programme: the flu vaccine is free to any student 18 years of age and below.
Phase Year 7-9
Message from Head of Phase Year 7-9:
As we move into the 2nd half of Term 1, our Year 7’s are getting to grips with their first MYP assessments and understanding the criteria as they complete their first assessments across subjects. The philosophy of MYP is that the skills learnt can be applied and developed cross-curricular as students progress through from Year 7 to Year 9. Shown below are the assessment criterion A – D for the various subjects studied from Years 7 to Year 9.
Year 7 and Year 9 PCC1 have been sent out and Year 8 will be live shortly. This report card will give parents/carers the chance to see how students have been engaging in their classes and also to read their child’s self -reflection on this first half term. It is wonderful to see so many of our students scoring highly for their engagement and also that our new Year 8 and Year 9 students are showing a fantastic start to their academic journey here at SIS .
All students will have the opportunity to discuss these reflections on their learning with their tutors in the upcoming guiding day on Tuesday 22nd November.
In preparation for the Community Project later this year in Year 9 Global Thinking, the Year 9 students were able to meet local organisations and NGO’s to support their ideas in advance of their Community Project during the Making Links Event held prior to mid-term break. The students were highly engaged with the interactive displays, alongside asking questions and gathering information.
Year 7 Curriculum Day on the 14 October brought over nearly 200 parents and students on site to find out more about our school priorities, pastoral system and MYP curriculum, before being taken on a tour around school with our Year 9 Prefects and, in most cases, their own Year 7 child showed them a day in their life at SIS. The joy on the students faces when they lead their parents knowing they were going to take them to the 8th floor D block, so they could show them how many stairs they can walk in a day.
VALUES IN ACTION
Riya Rao and Jake Yan are the Family Bauhinia Head Prefects. They are leading the team of Year 12 House Bauhinia Captains in the planning of organised events, ranging from table tennis competitions to Space Jenga tournaments. Each House will be responsible for running a weekly activity, in the Space, these will begin after MaD week.
Year 7s have also begun their immersion into the various councils and groups, they have attended meetings and been included in House initiatives with the Student Council, are working on projects with the Digital Literacy Council and this week saw the start of the Diversity Team meeting. There are so many exciting opportunities for the younger students to get involved in, this is another great way to connect with the older students and solidify connections to increase the community experience for the students.
Congratulations to 07M2, 07C2, 07K1 and 07S2 for winning the Year 7 Inter-House Tutor Board Competition, earlier this month.
A gift tray was created for each tutor group, with the help of Year 8 MaD students.
Year 8 students have been creating promotional materials to advertise our Box of Hope MaD project this November. Students were given the brief to design materials that would give essential information and encourage our community to get involved. Year 8 tutor groups demonstrated the strengths of creativity and collaboration to produce some excellent designs. Students, family and staff can get involved by donating a Box of Hope 7-16 November. Boxes can be dropped off outside the PTA shop, next to school reception.
Year 7 and Year 8 students completed PLC sessions last week focusing on wellbeing activities as part of their Mental Health Awareness Week. Upper school students in the SIS Wellbeing Council created specific resources for Years 7 and 8, which were designed to give information on ways to support positive mental health. The week ended with students playing charades and hangman to consolidate the different ways of self-care and boosting their wellbeing.
As we prepare for the first camp at South Island the Year 7 students are becoming familiar with the activities that they will take part in during the week. They have spent time this week creating an infographic to journal how they are feeling as they prepare for the week, identifying challenges and setting targets. They will also add their reflections on the week to this and use this in their e-portfolio folder to track their experiences and progress through the year.
Year 9 Self Esteem (during MaD Week)
In preparation for their first ‘free choice’ MaD week this year, Year 9 students during their PLC session explored self-esteem. Hopefully this reminded them that they have so much to offer and so much to gain from their experiences next week. We hope they all have a confident, engaging and fun experience.
Year 9 Mentor Training
The students who signed up for this process have completed their interview and are now ready to start their training to be a Year 7 mentor, which will start shortly.
Head of Phase (Year 7-9)
Phase Year 10-11
Message from Head of Phase Year 10-11:
Reflection & Personal Target Setting
At IGCSE level we expect our students to take a step up and become more independent in their learning. Both Year 10 and 11 students have received their first PCC 1 of the year and we encourage you to take a moment to sit with your children and go through their report cards. Students are encouraged to reflect on the level of engagement they are placing into their subject learning and where they need to spend additional time to make progress.
- Year 10 students have spent some time reflecting on their learning over the half term and have written their own self-appraisals on how they think they have adjusted to the IGCSE courses.
- Year 11 students should use the PCC 1 reports to help them make a plan for their upcoming mock examinations.
All students will have the opportunity to discuss these reflections on their learning with their tutors in the upcoming guiding day on Tuesday 22nd November.
Year 11 Mock examinations
Will take place between Monday 28 November to Friday 9 December and the individual timetables will be released to students in Mid November. A separate communication will follow regarding these timetables.
RSE In The Curriculum
At South Island School we place importance on the development of well-rounded students and encourage learning in not just the academic subjects but also the social, emotional and health education of our students. We know that this is a crucial time in the development of adolescents, and we want to make sure that our students are well-equipped with knowledge and understanding of relationships and sexuality education. Both Year 10 and 11 students will be taking part in Relationships and Sexuality Education lessons after half term. A separate communication regarding these lessons has been sent out prior to half term
VALUES IN ACTION
We pride ourselves at South Island on the many opportunities that our students have to Make a Difference and this was evident in the recent “Making Links” Fair held on Thursday 13 October. The Fair saw over 30 NGOs and Student Led Events/ Councils interact with students to raise awareness for their cause. It was a chance for our students to make links with these organisations and learn about exciting and upcoming volunteering opportunities. We hope our Year 10 and 11 students were particularly inspired to take action or get involved with charities for their Global Citizenship community action projects. Making Links had previously been a platform for our senior school students to have opportunities to develop their CAS activities, this year it was open to all students in Year 9-13 and so our IGCSE students were asked to consider the following 3 things while visiting the Fair:
- 3 charities which you have made liaisons with and what you have learnt
- 2 steps which you will take to further your social responsibility
- 1 interesting action which you would like to pursue
Do take the opportunity to discuss the above points with your children and encourage them to get involved in service learning outside of the curriculum.
Student opportunities to learn outside the curriculum and make a difference to themselves and others are always on display in our MaD Week trips and visits. Year 10 students have now signed up for a selection of different activities and you should have received individual communication from your child’s chosen activity leader. Year 11 students will have an exciting week of work experience – thank you for the effort and input you have had in helping Year 11 students find placements for this week. Any questions regarding work experience can be directed to Ms Lauren Sharman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Our students continue to make a difference and put their values into action both inside and outside the school environment. Below are just a few of the actions our Year 10 and 11 students have been involved in over this half term:
- Fiona Chen (10M2) & Summer Jane Sit (11B2) – Inter-school Fencing competition
- Walker Xu (10N1), Ren Wong (10M2) & William Zhang (10K2) – Entrepreneurship Camp
- Jayden Wai (10S2) – Project M2
- Darren Pun (10S2) & Andrew Luo (11B1) – Biomedical Research & Learning programmes
- Shriyans Gadnis (11M2) – ESF Computer Conference Hackathon
Well done to all our students who are making a difference!
Year 10 & 11 students at South Island school are offered enrichment lessons as part of their timetabled curriculum. This time is used for students to choose non-examined activities that can help them develop skills and help balance the rigours of the IGCSE phase. It was wonderful to see our Year 10’s taking advantage of this opportunity and taking part in the Macrame making during this time.
Finally, the end of a busy half term saw our students come together to take part in a Mental Health Fair overseen by our well-being council and school counselling team. It was a super way to end the half term and nice to see a number of Year 10 & 11 students offering their time to help with the fair. As always a reminder that any of our students can access the SIS Well-Being Toolkit HERE.
Head of Phase (Year 10-11)
Phase Year 12-13
Message from Head of Phase Year 12-13:
Life continues for our Senior School students at the frenetic pace it always does.
Many internal assessments are now reaching their final stages for Year 13 students, where students have received feedback and are acting on that feedback to submit their final products. For Diploma Programme students, elements of the Core are also reaching their conclusion:
- The first draft of the TOK essay will be due in early November
- The deadline for submission of External Essays has passed, and students will soon partake in their viva voce conversation with their supervisors
- CAS experiences are being completed and final reflections being written
Thankfully for many students, the month of October comes with two non-contact weeks, allowing students to catch up with work for extended periods of time – the mid-term break from 17 – 21 October and the MAD Week from 31 October – 4 November. During MAD Week, Year 13 students have been given opportunities to participate in Higher Education workshops and for those who need it, the chance to work on campus to receive extra support with the Core and other academic work.
As the Year 13 students approach the culmination of their Senior School life, the Year 12 students begin it in earnest. MAD Week will give students the opportunity to be introduced to the Extended Essay process and participate in some CAS planning and activities. At the same time, students will complete the Group 4 project, where they have the chance to work in an interdisciplinary team to see the application of science subjects in the real world and “appreciate the environmental, social and ethical implications of science and technology”.
VALUES IN ACTION
Despite these academic pressures, our incredible Year 12 and 13 students at South Island School continue to take leadership roles at our school and in the wider community. This was especially evident during our recent Making Links Fair, where our students highlighted the many activities they help lead and recruited volunteers. It was incredible to see the wide variety of activities students take the initiative to coordinate. They also had the opportunity to connect with various external organisations as part of that fair and we are excited to see what new opportunities and new initiatives arise from those partnerships. Finally we were proud to see so many senior students take part in MusicFest and the Autumn Concert. You will see many more names and pictures of senior students as you go through the pages of this newsletter.
During times of academic stress and difficulty, maintaining positive mental health becomes even more important. This month at South Island School we have had a particular focus on this area, for example through our Mental Health Awareness week from 10 – 14 October, where students had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities to learn more about and develop strong mental health. I especially appreciated seeing the Senior Students who participated in the mindful box-making activity for Sports and Leisure connected to the Mental Health Fair that happened that week.
Looking ahead, we are fortunate to have Ms Jonie Chiu, a South Island School alumni who will begin working with us regularly as a Youth Wellbeing Practitioner. She will be running a programme of one-on-one sessions for students who are experiencing mental health difficulties or other issues (e.g. emotions, anger, perfectionism). Take some time to watch her self-introduction video below!
Head of Phase (Year 12-13)
October Weekly Newsletters
- 24 October – 28 October 2022
On Tuesday 25th October, our Vocal Academy, Chamber Choir, Jazz Band, String Orchestra and soloists treated us with a musical extravaganza. With only four rehearsals, our students rose to the occasion and showcased their truly incredible musical talents. We will share a video of the concert will you soon, so please look out for that. Special recognition must go to all parents for your continued support and encouragement. We look forward to sharing many more concerts with you in the future.
From our Autumn Concert and to another event we have welcomed back this week: SIS Athletics Finals. Despite not having the all students attend this event due to covid regulations those who did, were competing in a range of brilliant events on Friday 28 October at Siu Sai Wan Stadium. It was fantastic to see the spirit, determination and sportsmanship of our students. A special shout out to our cheering squad – our parents! Thank you all who came to cheer on our students!
BOX OF HOPE UPDATE
Year 8 students have been creating promotional materials to advertise our Box of Hope MaD project this November. Students were given the brief to design materials that would give essential information and encourage our community to get involved. Year 8 tutor groups demonstrated the strengths of creativity and collaboration to produce some excellent designs. Students, family and staff can get involved by donating a Box of Hope 7-16 November. For more information on how to get involved, see the message HERE.
Posters from Jocelyn Chan (08B2), Jesse Kwan (08B2), Oscar Thackray (08B2), and Lara Cassiago (08K1).
LITTLE MERMAID UPDATE
This week, the photoshoot for Mermaid, our upcoming school production, took place. Watch out for the posters around school after MAD week!
Congratulations to the girls’ swimming team who recently competed at Div 3 HKSSF Swimming Championships on 13th October at Victoria Park Swimming Pool. This was the girls’ first major competition in the past three years, and they all swam brilliantly.
- Ashley Koh (10S2) – 50m Butterfly 1st place, 100m Freestyle 1st place
- Katelyn Chui (11B1)- 50m Freestyle 3rd place
- Alicia Wai (10S1) – 100m Breaststroke 3rd place
- A grade 4x50m Freestyle Relay – 3rd place
- B grade 4x50m Freestyle Relay – 2nd place
- B grade 4x50m Medley Relay – 2nd place
- B grade – Overall champions
A big thank you and congratulations to the whole squad for their superb performances this season:
Emily Kwon (12B2), Lucia Rosboch (13N2), Marie Van Den Heuvel (13S1), Asumi Matsuyama (13K1), Sophie Julienne (13K1), Calista Rosboch (11N1), Bianca Lo (11M2) Gabriella Lai (10B2), Julienne Chong (10B2), Natalie Chow (10S1), Hailey Tam (09N2), Yuna Sato (09M2), Letitia Chui (08B1), Praise Lo (07S1), Kate Tsang (10M1), and Julie Kwon (10B2)
AIR FRYER STUDY
The Year 12 BTEC Marketing class are embarking on a project to investigate the market for air fryers in Hong Kong…. except none of the students have ever used one! What better way to learn about air fryers than to make chips in one? They turned out pretty well, actually. Of course, it’s not all fun and chip-eating, the students need to develop a full and detailed marketing strategy for their client, including market segmentation, and identify and explain the reasons for their chosen strategies within a coordinated marketing mix.
NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Well done to Kiki Ko (13N2) who has received a Letter of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Program for achieving a high score on the PSAT/NMSQT. Kiki was recognised for her exceptional academic promise demonstrated by her outstanding performamce on the assessment. Well done Kiki!
ESF TIGERS BASKETBALL TEAM
Congratulations to Jonas Chan (08S2), being named the “Most Valuable Player” (MVP) of the Elite Academy, in September 2022. Jonas joined the ESF Tigers Basketball Team in 2015 and was then quickly promoted to ESF Tigers Basketball Development League. He was selected for the position of the captain of Sumatran Tigers and he led his team to win a silver medal in the Development League Final in the same year. In addition, Jonas held the record for scoring ’the second most points’ in the entire League in 2020.
Recently, Jonas has been selected to join the U13 Squad Team of the Elite Academy to compete in the Hong Kong Youth Club Basketball League. All Squad Team members are deemed “Elites of the Elite Academy”.
MEET THE TEAM
South Island School is fortunate to be working in partnership with Mind HK this year to offer students a new well-being programme. The programme is for students aged 12-18 who would like to learn skills and insights into better managing any challenges they might be struggling with.
Ms Jonie Chiu is our Youth Well-Being Practitioner (YWP) and she is offering students an opportunity to participate in a programme to provide support and build resilience. Jonie is passionate about improving the well-being of young people in Hong Kong, where she grew up and is herself a South Island School alumna.
Here is a video introducing Jonie our YWP:
Please see more information about the well-being programme HERE.
If you are interested in participating and would like to find out more please submit any questions HERE.
Linked below are this month’s weekly newsletters:
Reminders & Upcoming Events
- Monday 31 – Friday 4 November – Make a Difference (MaD) Week
- Monday 7 – 18 – Box of Hope Donations – message HERE
- Friday 11 – Diwali Night – tickets on sale HERE
- Monday 14 – Wednesday 16 – School Photos
- Tuesday 22 – Thursday 24 – Whole School Theatre Production: Mermaid
- Tuesday 6 – Influenza Vaccination Programme 2022-2023 – message HERE
- Friday 9 – Family Bauhinia Dance Fest.
- Friday 16 – Whole School Assembly
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: email@example.com