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The Principal's Newsletter

Hanova hosts Parent School Association meeting

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Parent School Association meeting. This meeting took place on Tuesday and was the first of our combined Curriculum Information and PSA meetings.  We were very pleased to have such a good attendance of parents with more than 20 attending.  The 1½ hour meeting seemed to fly by as, firstly, parents were told about some aspects of the International Baccalaureate (IB) training in separate middle year and primary year sessions.  This was followed by lively question and answer sessions about various aspects of the curriculum.  Parents then commented on aspects of the Duathlon, the Consultations and Hallowe’en – these had all occurred since the last PSA meeting.   It was very heartening to hear so many positive comments about the events, but also to hear the reflections and minor suggestions on how these events might be improved next year.  A brief discussion was held on the forthcoming events of Movember and the performances of the school play of a Christmas Carol.  Other interesting and helpful comments and suggestions were made – more about some of these later.

Volunteers. At the PSA a number of parents offered their support for the school in terms of volunteering for a number of different activities. We know we have many parents with talents such as experience of running their own businesses, skills in cooking, training as engineers or designers, or skills in the creative arts.  If you have a talent or some experience in an area you would be willing to share with the children, please let us know.  Many of these skills or experiences can be most useful in broadening our students’ knowledge when they are studying particular aspects of the curriculum.  We are still in need of volunteers for helping to make the costumes for the production of A Christmas Carol – please let us know if we can add your names to this list.  Parents also volunteered themselves for various activities in the school such as helping, when needed, with office type tasks or particular activities in the classroom such as reading to students or playing Maths games. 

If there are any areas you feel you would like to contribute to the school, please let us know and we will keep your name in our volunteer bank so when we are planning events or activities we can contact you.

Alternatively, just wait for those moments when the class teacher or the school asks for help.  We value you not only as parents but also as partners in the education of your child and part of the Hanova community.

Movember Charity Assembly. Next Friday, 30th November we will be holding our Movember Charity Assembly.  As you will know some staff members have been growing a variety of facial hair during November – fairly ugly a lot of it is, too!  The School Council Executive have suggested that we can run a non-uniform day on next Friday.  If students wish to come to school in something other than school uniform for one day they will have to pay a “fine”.  There will be a minimum for the fine of ¥10, but if students wish to donate more than that, it would certainly be appreciated.  Voting ballots will also be available starting early next week.  Votes can be cast for “Best Movember” or “Worst Movember” for ¥1 per ballot.  Students can cast as many votes as they wish until Thursday, when the ballots will be counted.  Voting ballots will be available from homeroom teachers and the ballot box will be located in the front office. Staff members voted “best” and “worst” will be announced at assembly. The total donation per class from uniform fines and Movember ballots will be calculated.  The classes collecting the most can nominate one student to “shave” with shaving foam and rulers staff who are willing to put themselves through this embarrassment for charity.  For any women teachers, or men who didn’t grow facial hair, they may be willing to let students draw or stick moustaches or beards on them!  All donations from the Movember fundraiser will be collected by the Student Council and donated to Yellow River Soup Kitchen. The aim is to raise some money for a good cause and also have a bit of fun. Please let your child, or you, be as generous as you wish as all the money will go to charity.  We feel it is important for students to begin to take responsibility for making a difference to communities.

Student Council. Our Board have made a donation to the Student Council of  ¥1,500 so they can use this money to establish a budget that will be used for working towards their goals of improving the school and helping the local and wider community.  The School Council has, as you know, a President, a Vice president, a Secretary and Treasurer along with committee members from every class to carry out their goals.  Their next full meeting is on Monday, 26th November.

Uniform. Thank you so much to all of you who have supported our drive to have all the students in school uniform from the early part of November.  The students look so much smarter and it is easier for them all to feel part of the same community with the same goals.  A couple of questions have come up about the uniform.  We expect the long sleeve polo shirts to arrive in time for Christmas – this is far later than we wanted.  In the meantime please send your child in long sleeved, preferably plain and ideally neutral or school colours with their uniform on top.  The grey inner part of the coats is popular with the students on top of this.  The grey jacket is designed to be worn as part of the coat, not as part of the PE wear.  For PE (Y3 and above) the children need to bring their  own kit as we have only supplied tracksuit bottoms.  When outside it is fine for the students to wear their school uniform coats, or, alternatively, their own coats if parents, or students, feel this is more comfortable.

Xi’an International Business Forum (XIBF) Christmas Event. We have been asked by the XIBF to give a short performance of 5-10 minutes at their Christmas event.  I understand that the other International Schools have also been invited.  We are keen to take part in this, and would like to know which students are available as I know a number of you may not be in Xi’an as this event takes place on Saturday, 15th December.  You should have received a letter giving more details of this event and asking if your child would be able to attend and also if you wish to attend the event either just to watch or to enjoy the Christmas buffet dinner and activities.

Saturday Sports. We have recently received a significant amount of new PE equipment in the last couple of weeks.  Much of this equipment is specialist equipment and is being stored in room A106 next to Mrs Whitworth’s room.  We intend to keep this room locked out of school hours.  This means that on Saturday Sports one member of staff, usually Mr Sam Quan, will unlock the room and check out the equipment able to be taken outside for Saturday Sports.  If you arrive a little later for Saturday Sports (time 9:30-12:00) you will probably need to find the member of staff on duty to access the equipment you need.  We would also like all equipment to be returned to the room at 11:45am so that everything can be safely locked up to finish by 12:00.  We hope this does not hinder your enjoyment of Saturday Sports.

Collect bikes. Thank you for collecting the bikes you so generously loaned for the Duathlon.  If you have not had a chance to collect yours, please contact us as soon as you are able so we can make full use of that store room and ensure your bikes are returned.

Extended journeys. Staff are preparing proposals for the extended journeys for Y7-13 from March 25th-28th and for Y5-6 from May 15th-17th.  Y3-4 will also have an overnight stay at school in May.  These are all part of our plans for Education Outside the Classroom and extended journeys.  We are planning these events and will inform you soon of the likely costs for your child to take part in these.  We are trying to combine affordability and adventure for Y5 and above in order to make a memorable experience for our students that is also value for money.  We will be writing to you shortly with more details. We are also planning day trips out from school to extend and support the curriculum.

Clothing request for A Christmas Carol. Attention all parents!  We are requesting clothing donations for this year’s Christmas play. The items we really need are men's coats, boys’ coats, long skirts, and aprons.  Please take a look at the photo below to get an idea of the look we want.  Please have your child bring these items to school next week and please remember to put your name on all the clothing so we can easily return your items to you. If you have any questions please contact Celine Rogers or Anisha Grimmett.  Thanks for all your help!

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events


Monday, 26th                              Student Council meeting

Friday, 30th                                  Movember Charity Assembly


Wednesday, 12th                        Christmas Carol Performance at 2pm

Thursday, 13th                            Christmas Carol Performance at 7pm

Friday, 14th                                  School closes at 1pm for Christmas Holiday

Saturday, 15th                             Performance at XIBF Christmas event, Shangri-la – about 7pm

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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