Monthly Newsletter (September 2022)
> Principal’s Message
> Phase Year 7-9
> Phase Year 10-11
> Phase Year 12-13
> September Weekly Newsletters
> Reminders & Upcoming Events
Message from the Principal
Hello South Island School Community,
This week I am very pleased to share updates that we feel will make a big difference to the daily lives of our community. Life has been very different for our community since the inception of Covid, with so much disruption and change caused to so many aspects of our school life. We are finally seeing a shift toward normal school life and being able to offer again activities that have made South Island School so special and will allow us to reconnect as a community. Please see the exciting updates below.
(1) Full canteen service will be available from Wednesday 5 October
The Atrium and Refectory will resume hot food service from next Wednesday, 5 October. We will continue to adhere to Covid regulations and all food will be served in individual containers. This is very welcomed news and brings joy in small but appealing doses – watching a student express their excitement about being able to purchase rice for their lunch is just one of those little things that contribute to making a big difference!
- Food Catering Menu HERE
(2) Vaccine Pass
The following information HERE has been summarised to reflect the updated EDB guidance in relation to student vaccination requirements. One important update relates to students who have recovered from Covid and have chosen to take the BioNtech vaccine (as shown below).
As a reminder, the important deadlines to note are:
- October 1 2022 – all students must satisfy vaccine pass requirements to participate in after school activities.
- November 1 2022 – to continue with full day lessons, students who have received 3 doses of vaccine must reach 90% or above of the whole school or individual class level.
– Further details of the requirements for 3 vaccines can be found HERE
– ESF App Vaccination Upload Guide HERE
(3) EDB Student Grant Scheme 2022/23 – Reminder
The Hong Kong Education Bureau (EDB) announced the new Student Grant Scheme. We have sent out EDB Student Grant forms to your registered mailing address on the 27th September 2022. Completed forms must be returned to your child’s tutor by the Deadline: 25th October 2022.
- For parents applying for the first time, or if your child has just joined our school this academic year, please complete FORM A.
- For parents who applied for the grant last year (existing students) please complete the pre-printed FORM B.
- Use SOLE NAME current or savings bank accounts only.
- Amendments must be made in the space above the incorrect information in BLOCK letters using a black or blue ball pen.
For more information, please refer to the EDB Student Grant website HERE
Have a lovely weekend,
Phase Year 7-9
Message from Head of Phase Year 7-9:
- The start of term has gone fantastically well for Year 7 – students have been so positive about the transition and have smashed the challenge of 11 different subjects, new classes along with new teachers. They are enthusiastic learners and have enjoyed working with their new laptops and learning new skills. So far they have collectively been awarded over 300 Positive Comments from their teachers. Their first Progress Check Card is coming out in two weeks’ time, and this will allow parents to have more specific feedback on how their children have engaged in their learning so far.
- We are very happy how our new Year 8 & 9 students have integrated into SIS school life with support from the Tutor Buddy System, Newbie Breakfast and a Chit Chat group that is being run by a Year 12 student – Enoch Chu (12C1), who was new at SIS when he was in Year 9. This was his way of giving back by supporting new students as they settle in.
- Agastya Rekhi (09N1) has been admitted into the prestigious ‘Hong Kong Academy of the Gifted’ after appearing for written exams and other formalities. The Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education is a regional organisation subvented by the Education Bureau of the HKSAR Government. Its mission is to provide learning and development opportunities for gifted students whose gifts are invaluable resources for both themselves and Hong Kong. We are extremely proud of their achievements!
- DLC LaptopDriving Licence – This year we introduced a Digital Literacy Driving Licence to help support our Year 7 students with effective and efficient use of their laptop as a learning tool, by helping them build shortcut skills. We have had a number of students already excelling at this and receiving their licence, and we are looking forward to receiving more students completing the activities in the google form so they can achieve this e-award.
VALUES IN ACTION
Some of the Year 7s have joined the wider school community by signing up to be tutor group representatives in the various School Councils, such as the Digital Literacy, Student and Biodiversity Councils. Vertical meetings with students are already taking place.
- Year 8 Prefects – This year the Year 8 prefects started their role by helping settle our new Year 8 students into SIS during the Induction day. This was a great opportunity for them to work together as a team and for Ms Lewis to set some expectations once they took on the role of Space Prefects.
- Year 9 Prefects – The Year 9 Prefects took an opportunity to show their communication skills by assisting in school tours for open days. They did a fantastic job with many parents who joined this event commented on their professionalism in the role.
- Activities – Great to see so many of our Year 7 to 9 students taking part in the after-school activities, trying new activities and being great ambassadors of the school while they are on site at different venues. Here is just one example of a small group of Year 7, 8, and 10 students who are attending RHKYC in Middle Island to learn and develop their sailing skills.
- Interhouse – The Inter-House calendar has kicked off this year with exciting events for both Year 7 and Year 9 already – Year 7 took part in dodgeball and Year 9 took part in football and netball. Interhouse is a great opportunity to build on social, communication and teamwork skills – we encourage all our students to take part. Year 8 is coming next week!
- Year 9 Peer Mentor Program – Year 9 students were given a presentation of the program which involves training to support and mentor some of our students in Year 7. The many students who applied for this were interviewed and were informed recently on their success on joining the programme. The training for this will start after half term. This is another great opportunity to ‘make a difference’ and we are confident that those joining this will be excellent mentors for some of the Year 7’s.
- Break and Lunchtime (Use of the Space) – The Family Bauhinia community has been making good use of the Space and the games housed there. It’s great to watch the year groups mixing and playing together. After MaD week the Year 12 Bauhinia house captains will be running various tournaments, with a focus on inclusion, allowing the opportunity for all family Bauhinia students to take part.
Head of Phase (Year 7-9)
Phase Year 10-11
Message from Head of Phase Year 10-11:
The IGCSE phase of school is an exciting time for our students.
Our Year 10 students are settling in well to the new demands of an examination curriculum which requires more organisation and independence in their learning. Our Year 11 students have hit the ground running as they enter the final year of the two-year curriculum.
To support our IGCSE students with the need for improved organisation and independence, they have already taken part in study skills sessions with Elevate. These sessions have been designed around organisation and memory techniques – key skills required by our students. More Elevate study skills sessions will take place next term for both Year 10 and 11. A lot more independence is required for the IGCSE phase of study and our Year 10 and 11 students are reminded that they can now take full responsibility for ensuring they are ready and prepared for assessments by viewing the subject assessment calendars found on the VLE.
A special mention goes out to Amaanat Rekhi (11N2) who has shown her dedication and commitment to her academic studies by being admitted to the HK Academy for Gifted Education.
Year 11 students have a lot of important dates coming up related to their choices and transition from the IGCSE phase to the IBDP/CP Phase. A full transition programme will soon be in place, supported by Ms Lauren Sharman and the Higher Education team. Look out for key dates coming up at the start of November to help families prepare and feel comfortable with this process.
VALUES IN ACTION
Our IGCSE students have had numerous opportunities already to be involved in activities that are making a difference to themselves and the community around them. There are a whole host of activities that have taken place so far or are coming up in the next couple of weeks. Year 10 and 11 students have been seen taking action or preparing to take action in; MusicFest, Athletics Day, the Autumn Concert, Interhouse, MUN conference, Debating and a local Hackathon – well done to all our students involved in these valuable initiatives. We also have our first production in a number of years and students from Year 10 & 11 are looking forward to being part of The Little Mermaid production.
We have also seen a number of our Year 11 students completing aspects of service for their community action projects with our latest group, Sophie Chan, Phoebe Lin and Jacqueline Chung, collecting donations for ImpactHK.
All students will have the opportunity to be involved in our school MaD week (31 Oct – 4 Nov). Year 10 students can choose from the many exciting opportunities on offer as part of this week ranging from baking to survival week. Year 11 students have been asked to organise and take part in a week of work experience – students will be supported through this process by Ms Sharman and the Higher Education Team.
Student well-being is at the forefront of everything we do at SIS. Year 10 & 11 students have been supported this term in their well-being by completing the SIS School Well-being survey, and those students who wished to get extra support were given the opportunity to speak with the tutor, HOH or our school counsellors. As well, our enrichment sessions in Year 10 and 11 support our student well-being, and our Pastoral learning curriculum this term has focused on identifying our own character strengths in Year 10 and on the importance of drug awareness with Year 11. We continue to encourage all IGCSE students to look after their own well-being and use the extensive network of support in school. As a reminder for anyone who wants to find out more about well-being at SIS, you can access the student well-being website HERE.
Head of Phase (Year 10-11)
Phase Year 12-13
Message from Head of Phase Year 12-13:
It has certainly been a whirlwind start for both our Year 12 and Year 13 students!
In Year 12, we started the year with an induction day where students learned about the new responsibilities and privileges that come with being in Senior School here at South Island, including the dress code that comes with not having to wear a uniform, their new Sports and Leisure sessions, and the various opportunities to Make A Difference through student leadership in the SIS community. Since then, students have met all their new teachers as they explore their new subjects, whether those be IB subjects, BTEC courses, or the wide variety of opportunities SIS offers for students on personalised pathways. This has led to the first Progress Check Card coming out soon, where students have an opportunity to engage with and reflect on their progress with a holistic grade, a target grade, and by completing a self-appraisal.
The beginning of Year 13 can sometimes be likened to jumping on an extremely fast treadmill, and that has been no different this year. After all the learning that led to the Year 12 internal exams, students have now been focusing on completing Internal Assessments and for those subjects which have them, getting practice for their exams in May 2023. The IB Core elements are reaching their completion now as well:
- In Theory of Knowledge, the Essay questions were released at the beginning of September and students are going through the process of breaking down the questions to write their final essay
- For the Extended Essay and Reflective Project, students have been submitting drafts and getting feedback from their supervisors. They will need to act on this feedback quickly and soon submit their final products.
Year 13s are also preparing for their life after South Island – completing personal statements, looking at post-secondary options and requirements, and preparing to apply to prospective universities. With all this going on, it is certainly a challenging time where coping skills and study habits are tested. Although it seems difficult at the moment, I am confident that our students will look back on this period with pride in how much they overcame and grew as independent learners.
VALUES IN ACTION
Amongst all their academic pressures, Senior School students have done incredible work rebuilding connections in our South Island School community through their leadership and dedication. You can read about many of these in the end-of-week newsletters below, but just to list a few: house leadership teams (house assemblies and inter-house events), prefects (assemblies, welcoming guests for open days), student-led events, student council, and the development of the South Island Councils Association to streamline all the work being done by student leaders at South Island and provide opportunities for more to get involved.
The active leadership of the senior students was one of the biggest reasons I was interested in the Head of Phase role at South Island School, and my experience in my first few weeks here has confirmed that this is really one of the biggest strengths and highlights of this fantastic school.
During their induction day, Year 12 students participated in two sessions run by the South Island School counselling team. In the first session, they were introduced to the SIS Wellbeing Toolkit and reminded of the many supports we have available to support their well-being. In the second session, they explored the concept of “burnout” and were able to try some strategies to alleviate stress.
As mentioned above, this is a stressful time for Year 13 students, which makes monitoring and developing positive well-being even more crucial. Students across all year levels recently completed the well-being survey during tutor time, which was followed up with 1-1 conversations with tutors and Heads of House to find out how we can best support their wellbeing.
Well-being remains at the heart of everything we do at South Island School. Just as the heart pumps life-sustaining blood through our bodies, positive well-being provides the energy needed to be successful in the curriculum and for students to bring their Values into Action.
Head of Phase (Year 12-13)
September Weekly Newsletters
- 26 Sep – 30 Sep 2022
It has been amazing to welcome back Music Fest this year. There were wonderful performances from all of the year groups with great music and fun by each of our spirited houses. Well done to all the students who performed as well as students who made up the fantastic audience, coming out to support each other.
Team Teaching Action
The English Department creativity was flowing this week, thanks to Music Fest. Year 11 students from Miss Bou’s and Ms Percival’s groups joined forces to explore how poets express cultural identities in “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou and “An Unknown Girl” by Moniza Alvi. Without context or knowledge of the poems, they interrogated the word choices the writers made and tried to recreate the poems from the lines they had. The links they were able to make between the poems were phenomenal, as were the students themselves!
Miss Bou was in action again later that day with Mr Stirling-Reed and their Year 13 students with a focus on examination skills. Using real-time examples from the students’ recent practices, they explored different ways to approach the examination. By combining HL and SL groups, the students competed to see who knew more about what success on Paper 1 looked like.
The Inside Out Project @ SIS
The concept of this project developed by the French artist JR was designed to give everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and beliefs with their communities and the world.
The Inside Out Project at SIS provided individuals with a vehicle to make a statement about their well-being during the global pandemic. Each participant was asked to select a number between one (high) and five (low) to indicate how they felt about the COVID-19 pandemic. The selected number was then placed on their mask for the photo.
The project challenges us to use photographic portraits to share untold stories and images of people in their communities. These are now documented and exhibited on the 7th floor of D Block. To learn more about the global INSIDE OUT PROJECT visit HERE
This year we have Chih-rong Kuo (13K1) and Anjelica Law (13S1) from Year 13 leading the Student Council (StuCo).
They held the first whole school student council meeting last Tuesday (20th Sep) morning, which meant that the student representatives across all year groups gave up their Tuesday morning lie-in to attend! In this meeting, the different house groups presented their house initiatives for the year, along with upcoming meeting schedules, working towards the goal of ensuring all students at SIS have a voice in what happens in our community.
Virtual Pet – Solve Office Problem
Congratulations to Neo Lung (10N1) who recently appeared twice as a guest speaker at his Computer School. Neo was asked to talk about his experience of designing a virtual pet to help to solve office boredom. Well done Neo!
Meet The Team – Head Prefects
This week we are pleased to introduce our fantastic Head Prefects for this year:
- Head Prefect Students
- Thomas Hafner (13C1)
- Kiki Ko (13N2)
- Head Bauhinia Prefects
- Jake Yan (13C2)
- Riya Rao (13M2)
- Core Head Prefects
- Aashika Mamgain (13M2)
- Bosco Yeung (13S1)
- Lily Mengual (13M1)
- Sian Littlewood (13B1)
The team are excited to share with you their responsibilities as Head Prefects and also roles within different councils and initiatives HERE.
Linked below are this month’s weekly newsletters:
- 19 Sep – 23 Sep 2022
- 12 Sep – 16 Sep 2022
- 5 Sep – 9 Sep 2022
- 29 Aug – 2 Sep 2022
- 23 Aug – 26 Aug 2022
Reminders & Upcoming Events
- Tuesday 4 – [Public Holiday] – Chung Yeung Festival
- Wednesday 5 – Full Canteen Service Resumes
- Monday 10 – Friday 14 – Mental Health Awareness Week
- Tuesday 11 – Year 7 Camp Info Session For Parents
- Monday 17 – Friday 21 [Half Term]
– ESF Sports & Language – Autumn Camps – more information HERE
- Tuesday 25
– Deadline To Return EDB Student Grant Form To Tutor
– Autumn Concert
- Friday 28 – Athletics Day (invitation only)
- Monday 31 – Friday 4 November – Make a Difference (MaD) Week
- Friday 11 – Diwali Night
- Monday 14 – Wednesday 16 – School Photos
- Tuesday 22 – Thursday 24 – Whole School Theatre Production: Mermaid
- Friday 9 – Family Bauhinia End of Year Assembly
- Friday 16 – Whole School Assembly