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The Principal's Newsletter

Hanova’s first ever Parent Teacher consultations

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Kitchen opening. We were very pleased to serve our first meal prepared in our beautiful new kitchen last Friday.  Our Korean visitors and students were the first to have the opportunity of a Hanova meal.  There were a number of Korean dishes, beef stroganoff and even a dessert which was also very popular.  As you will know if your child takes school lunches, the kitchen has provided fresh dishes to all our students this week.  Our manager of the kitchen and head cook is Mr John Gillick.  He is one of our parents and also the husband of one of our teachers.  He is ably assisted by Ms Huang Rong, as cook, and Ms Wang Wenying, who also prepares the meals in the morning, evening and weekend for our boarders.  I would like to extend a warm Hanova welcome to these new members of staff.

Professional Development. Our school tagline has been “inspiring lifelong learning”.  This means all of us in our school community see ourselves as learners.  There are always ways to improve what we do, and it is only through that constant reflection and action that we will achieve that of which we are capable.  I have written before about our daily staff briefings and weekly Teaching & Learning meetings that are so central to our development. 

This week we are introducing teachers to our system of observing each other’s practice in the classrooms.  We believe that having a professional colleague to help us reflect and improve our practice is invaluable.  Each teacher will have a meeting with a peer to discuss the aspect of their teaching that they are going to review – for most of us this will be around assessment with the main focus being helping students to develop their portfolios. Then there will be a lesson of observation, followed by a meeting for a professional review and to agree targets for improvement. Your child may comment that they had an extra teacher in their class in one lesson – it may be our peer review process in operation.

Parent School Association (PSA). Our first PSA meeting was held back in October.

It was decided that the PSA’s purpose was to:

  • support the running of the school
  • build community spirit
  • have fun
  • support a volunteer programme
  • review events and make suggestions about the running of school events
  • run events and fundraise

It was also a forum to raise questions and comments about the school. 

Our second meeting will be held on Tuesday, 20th November.  There will be an opportunity to learn something about the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum in short meetings for the primary years and the middle years from 3pm.  This will be followed at 3:30pm by a PSA meeting where previous events will be reviewed, where the plans for the performance of a Christmas Carol will be discussed along with other events.  Parents and friends will also have an opportunity to make comments, suggestions or raise concerns about any general aspects of the school.

Please put the event in your diary and come along whether it is just to listen, make suggestions or offer your assistance.  A strong PSA helps to build a stronger community and a stronger school.

Parents Consultations. Thank you for your support of your child and the school by attending our first ever Parent Consultations last week.  It was so good to hear some of the talking about their learning.  We hope you found the consultations very worthwhile.  In any case, your child will know you value what they do at school by being able to attend.  Thank you that parental attendance was so good.  If the dates or times of the consultations were not possible for you, please do not hesitate to contact the school to arrange an alternative date.  Similarly if a problem or concern should ever arise please contact us through the Communication Diary, by email or by phone.  The education of your child is a three way partnership, and whatever comments or concerns or information you can add is of significant value.

Christmas Carol School Production. This week the students have started learning the music and some of the lines that are going to form part of “Christmas Carol”.  Other students are starting to work on the stage set and a further group on the stage design.  We are also going to be starting soon on the costumes for the production.  If you are able to help in any of these activities and haven’t yet had a chance to volunteer please don’t hesitate to contact us – we will be delighted to hear from you! 

School Council Meeting. The Student Council met this week and learned how they can make proposals at a meeting.  They also talked about some ways that we could raise funds for Yellow River Soup Kitchen using Movember, which involves some of our staff growing moustaches and/or beards for an entire month.  More information will follow on this. One other topic that was discussed was a proposed Student Council Shop at Hanova. Student Council members will soon be sending out surveys to students and parents as a first step toward this goal.

Middle Years and Senior Years (MY and SY) Newsletter. We hope you enjoyed the Secondary school newsletter that should have dropped into your email last Tuesday.  We hope you found it informative.  If you have any comments or questions about it, or would like to receive a copy of it whether your child is in our secondary school or not, please contact us.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events


Friday, 9th                                      Duathlon 12:30pm start

Wednesday, 14th                          Second after school Ballet class

Tuesday, 20th                                Parent School Association 3:00-4:35pm

Friday, 30th                                    Movember Charity Assembly



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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