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The Principal's Newsletter

Students present inaugural performance of “A Christmas Carol”

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

A Christmas Carol. Our inaugural performance at Hanova took place on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  You could feel the excitement in the air before “opening night”.  The students put on a tremendous performance that was a fitting climax to the preparations that started six weeks ago.  As in so much of what we do this was very much a community effort.  Every student in school was involved in some way whether it was on stage or behind the stage from the lead actors, the singers and dancers, the narrators, the musicians, the choir, the stage crew, the costume makers, the set designers and makers.  There were so many highlights to the show that it would be unfair to pick any particular scene, moment or performance out.  Thanks are due not only to all the staff who have put so much time and energy into this, but also to so many parents who helped in large or small ways as well as to the wonderful students of Hanova, and, of course, the audiences who came along to enjoy the shows.  Four parents were presented with a small gift and cards, made and signed by the students at the final performance as a small thank you.

The message of enjoying time with your family and using your skills or money wisely to help others and spread happiness was perfect for this Christmas season. 

It even continued after the show when the pre and after show buffet, prepared by Mr Gillick our chef, the kitchen and the office staff, was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.

It was also good to have Mr Tony Day along from the Yellow River Soup Kitchen, our chosen charity for this year, to receive the proceeds from Movember.  Robin Brunzel, the School Council President, presented this to Mr Day who thanked everyone for their generosity.  To this has been added the audience donations from these two performances making a grand total of ¥5,923. 

This message of doing something, however small, to help those in need in the local or wider community is something we hope will stay with the students on into the future as they make their way into the wider world.

Government visit. We were delighted to receive a visit from the Shaanxi Provincial government, including the Chair of the CPPCC, Mr Ma Zhong Ping and the Director of the Office of Education in Shaanxi Province Mr Yang Xi Wen on Tuesday this week. They were most interested in the philosophy and ethos of our school and were very pleased to see the facilities here which they expressed as a real addition to the education provided in the province. Mr Ma stated that he could see Hanova would become a famous brand and encouraged us to have long term goals.

Chinese teacher. I am delighted to tell you that we have appointed an additional Chinese teacher to start immediately after the holidays.  Ms Sophia Suo majored in Chinese Literature from Central China Normal University and is also qualified to teach Chinese to Senior Years students in Chinese schools.  She has four years teaching experience.  She will mainly be teaching our mother tongue Chinese speakers.

Parent School Association. Our next Parent School Association meeting is on January, 10th at 3:00pm.  The meetings will start with presentations from Mr Van and Mr Quigley on the International Baccalaureate (IB).  This follows on from the well-received first meetings where the presenters started to explain what the IB curriculum means for your child in their classroom. The meetings will be held in the Library.  This will be followed at 3:30pm by a PSA meeting where previous events will be reviewed and plans for future events discussed.  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.

Winter clothing. As one of our students has been reminding us in assembly for two months winter is coming.  This week has been the first when it does seem to have got colder – we are likely to have a lot more colder weather after the break.  We noticed this week that one or two students were feeling the drop in temperature at break or lunch time, and said they hadn’t brought gloves or similar.  Please ensure your child has sufficient warm clothing so they can play outside and breathe in that fresh, clean Xi’an air!

Staff training and Mr Maclean. I am pleased to tell you that the delayed visit of Alasdair Maclean will be taking place between 2nd and 5th January.  We are currently trying to get visas finalised for his family too, so Charlotte, Isabel and Max can also visit some old friends.  As you will know Alasdair is an International Baccalaureate authorised trainer for the Middle Years Programme so we will be making the most of his brief visit.  Staff will be undergoing training that week and on the Saturday.  Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs) will be restarting on Tuesday, 8th January.

Newsletters. I hope you have been enjoying our weekly Primary newsletters.  After today the next editions will be on Friday, 11th January.  The monthly Middle and Senior Years newsletter will next be published on Friday, 1st February.  I hope you have been finding this weekly newsletter informative, with the next one due to welcome you back after the winter break on Thursday, 3rd January.

I, and all the staff of Hanova, would like to wish you a very peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year, and to thank you for your support as we come to the end of 2012, our first year.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events


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

Saturday, 15th                               Performance at XIBF Christmas event, Shangri-la

January 2013

Wednesday, 2nd                            School re-opens to students

Wednesday, 2nd to Saturday, 5th Staff training with Alasdair Maclean

Thursday, 10th                               Parent School Association meeting at 3pm

Friday, 25th                                    Student reports emailed home


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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