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The Principal's Newsletter

Hanova accepted as a Candidate school for International Baccalaureate Programmes

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

International Baccalaureate. As you may know Hanova applied to implement all three International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes –that is the Diploma Programme (DP) for students in Y12 and 13, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students in Y7 to Y11, and the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students from Nursery to Y6. I am very pleased to tell you that our applications have been favourably received and that we have been accepted as Candidate schools for all three. Official notification was received from the International Baccalaureate Organisation this week:
“Hanova International Department of Bodi School is a candidate school* for the Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, and Diploma Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Hanova International Department of Bodi School believes is important for our students.

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), or the Diploma Programme (and in addition the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit”

We have experienced staff in PYP and MYP who are already ensuring that the course content and delivery is what our students need. This is a milestone in our school’s rapid development. With our candidate status we now have full access to all the information on the IB website and on their Online Curriculum Centre (OCC).

We have already drawn up action plans to ensure we gain full authorisation as a World School in all three programmes. These are very detailed and thorough processes and likely to take 2 to 3 years – this is the fastest the IB will allow schools to become authorised. The DP runs a little differently in that the school needs to become fully authorised before the programme can be taught. Our target is to put the DP as a fully taught programme in September 2014. In the interim period we are offering Advanced Placement (AP) international diplomas and certificates and a Hanova
version for students with less strong English as our core programmes.

A Christmas Carol Performance DVD. From this week, the Hanova Student Council are offering a DVD of our wonderful performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’. This high quality edited video has a printed label and comes inside a plastic case. DVDs are being sold for 50 RMB each. All funds will go to Student Council to fund activities that will benefit the school and the community. Order forms have been sent home. If you did not get one please contact the office. Note that these DVDs make excellent gifts for family and friends in your home country. You may wish to order more than one copy!

Parent School Association. This was a very well attended meeting with more than 20 parents there to hear about the way students learn in our school and to discuss a number of matters. Parents should have received minutes from this meeting by email, detailing the discussions. Parents were introduced to Ms Suo (Chinese teacher) and Mrs Bunting (Early years) and heard about the developments that the school is able to undertake in Early Years and in Chinese as a consequence of their arrival. Discussion also occurred about the pollution levels in Xi’an and the school’s response to these. It seemed to be the general view of the meeting that the proposed school policy was an appropriate level of response to current information. School will therefore continue to make it optional for the students to go outside at lunch when the AQI (air quality index) is above 300. The wearing of masks covering nose and mouth will, at the moment, remain optional according to individual parents’ wishes. This policy will be open to review as new information is obtained or new views expressed.

Parents were also given some information about our upcoming Chinese New Year celebration. It will consist of a performance on the afternoon of February 7th and activities on the morning of the 8th. As part of our activity day on the 8th, we are hoping that members of our parent community will be able to bring in a Chinese dish to contribute to a lunch buffet. More information about Chinese New Year at Hanova will be sent home soon. The possibility of starting a pre-school playgroup was favourably received by those with younger children. School will therefore look into the feasibility of running this.

Mrs Jeannie Rice is taking over the incipient parent volunteer register and coordinating this.

Chinese programme. Our reorganised Chinese programme has begun this week with the addition of a third pathway for Chinese learning. Pathway 1 continues to be students who have demonstrated a beginning understanding of Chinese. Obviously these lessons are at different levels in the primary years from the middle years. These lessons are generally taught by Mr Varjavandi. Pathway 2 is for students who have demonstrated a developing understanding of Chinese through formal and informal assessments. They may be either first language (L1) Chinese speakers, or more likely L2 speakers who have studied Chinese for a longer time. These classes mainly fall to Ms Cheng to teach. Pathway 3 is for students who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency (oral and written) through formal and informal assessments. They are most usually L1 Chinese speakers. Most of these classes are taught by Ms Suo. We are excited at this development as we feel it allows our teachers to offer greater focus on individual student’s specific Chinese language learning needs.

Bus seating. As part of our ongoing review programme and as indicated before, we are revising the bus seating arrangements. We have been very pleased how considerate the students have been to others since they have had an allocated seat on the bus. It has also stopped some students worrying about who they will sit next to each evening. This revision means that your child’s bus seat is
likely to change on Monday afternoon as is the person next to whom they are seated. We think it is important that all the students learn to take account of others and adapt to different situations. These seating arrangements will be revised every 6-8 weeks.

Best regards,
Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events
Thursday, 17th Y3/4 day trip

Friday, 25th Student reports emailed home

Friday, 1st Printed student reports sent home, invitation to Consultations

Tuesday, 5th Parent Consultations 2:15-5:00pm

Wednesday, 6th Parent consultations 2:30-7:00pm

Thursday, 7th Chinese New Year event

Friday, 8th Chinese New Year activities

Friday, 8th School closes at 1pm for Chinese New Year holiday

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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