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The Principal's Newsletter

Hanova welcomes China’s Ministry of Education

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Curriculum Information Afternoon. It was very good to see most of our parents from Nursery to Year 4 at the curriculum information afternoon on Tuesday.  The parents heard information on how the classes were run and organised, and were able to ask questions.  We very much appreciated the positive support from parents.  The issue of homework did come up, and that not all classes seem to be dealing with this in a similar way.  The second of our curriculum information sessions for Y5-13 has been running today.  I will collate feedback from all of these sessions.  This will be considered at future Senior Leadership Team meetings to consider our best response to any queries.  If you were not able to attend, or did not have the chance to raise a particular enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact me at  The more information I have on how you perceive the school the better.

International Day and Art Exhibition. This event is taking place on Wednesday, 17th October.  Details will follow.

As part of the celebrations to mark International Day, a large colourful tree is being created to stand in the entrance of the school. Mrs Varjavandi is looking for pieces of fabric and (clean) old clothes that can be recycled - the more colourful, the better. If you have something that reflects where you come from that would be wonderful, but even a humble tee shirt can be incorporated into the tree. Also any leftover yarns, string or ribbons will be used. Donations of materials should be brought next week, so work can begin at the Extra Curricular Activities.

Extra Curricular Activities. An email (and hard copy) was sent to everyone yesterday (Wednesday) with the choice of extra curricular clubs on.  For this block of time (September 21st to November 2nd) the activities are:

Tuesday – Music and Movement, Baking, Lego, Football, Chess, Music, Homework

Thursday – Multi-skills Games, Arts and Crafts, Dance, Textile Art, Tennis, Newspaper, Portal Puzzles, Homework

Monday – Dance

Please note buses will leave school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 3:45pm and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:45pm.  If your child is leaving at a different time on any of these days please inform us in writing (email, letter or in Communication Diary) so we are not looking for them to go on the bus!  As our school has only two buses while we are small, alternative transport arrangements are, unfortunately, the parents’ responsibility.

Please ensure you return each of your child’s selection of activities so we can try to match as many students as we can to their first choices.  If there are either too many for a particular activity or too few to run it, then we will seek to allocate your child to their second choice.  There may even be occasions when we have to use their third choice.  We will record those students who did not receive their first choice, so in Block 2 of ECAs we can ensure there is a fair distribution of less “lucky” students.

Visitors. We have been delighted to welcome so many visitors from the Government and from the USA to visit our school.  Their positive comments about the school facilities and its atmosphere – such as “You can feel the energy in the school” – have been most encouraging.  Amongst the many visitors has been Mr Zheng Zhenyi, Director of Elementary Education from the Ministry of Education of China.  He expressed how impressed he was not only with the facility provided by Hanova, but also the high quality staff and curriculum of the school. He encouraged the school to further contribute to the growth of Xi’an’s foreign invested business community and economy.

Staff training and absence. Last Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday Mr Quigley attended International Baccalaureate (IB) training in his role as Middle Years Coordinator under Mr Gallerno (Head of Secondary).

Mr Quigley was able to develop his skills and made some great contacts with other coordinators, principals and consultants.  In a small International School it is very important that we are able to develop inter-school links as well as receive high quality training.  It is these professional links and the sharing and stimulation between schools that helps so much in us continuing to push the boundaries of the highest quality of curriculum and learning and teaching.

We try to minimise the absences of any teacher from their classes.  When the absence is planned the teacher leaves detailed lesson plans for the substitute teacher (usually one of our teaching staff) to deliver the programme to the students.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events


Thursday, 20th                            Curriculum and Class Information Y5-13 – times vary – from 2:30pm

Tuesday, 25th                              Extra curricular activities begin

Thursday, 27th                            Extra curricular activities begin

Friday, 28th                                  Last day of school for Mid Autumn and National Day


Tuesday, 9th                                School re-opens

Wednesday, 17th                        International Day and Art Exhibition


About the Author

Martin Hughes

Former School Principal

Mr Martin Hughes was the founding Principal of Hanova from 2012-15. Prior to his time at Hanova, he already had 23 years of experience as Principal in the UK and China at five different schools - including posts at Wuxi EtonHouse and EtonHouse's flagship Suzhou school. During his time as founding Principal at Hanova, he helped support the initial IB Diploma Programme authorisation (2014) and used his educational vision to help plant our then brand new school on a firm foundation. Under his leadership, Hanova's motto emerged, "Enabling children to become independent, creative and lifelong learners!"

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