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The Principal's Newsletter

Hanova student body continues to grow!

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Growth of the school. Following an Admissions Panel meeting approval has been given for 6 more students to join us in the next 3 or 4 weeks, bringing numbers into the 80s.

We have had a number of parents visit our school as well as companies looking to recommend appropriate schools for their expatriate employees.  It is great to have so much interest in the school and what we are building here, but we need to be cautious that we retain and develop the very characteristics that make us attractive.  The quality of the education we provide is always at the forefront of every decision.  We believe that if we focus on providing the highest quality of education possible then our school will progress well.

When parents apply for their children to come to our school, they tour the school and then have a meeting with the Principal.  This meeting is to explain the approach to education that we take and the philosophy of the school.  It is also to interview the students, depending on their age.  We do this to assess their level of English, but mainly to check their attitude to school and willingness to apply themselves to their work.  We want to ensure that any new student that we consider for admission is a good fit for our school, and that their family will support them in their education.  At this stage parents may consider that an International Education is not appropriate for them.  Once the parents confirm their application then details of the student’s age, nationality, mother tongue and any special aptitudes or needs are taken to the next Admission Panel meeting.  This panel made up of programme coordinators and teachers considers the needs of that student and the impact this will have on the rest of the class.  We consider whether we can offer this student an effective curriculum.  We also consider the balance of languages, nationalities and language needs in the teaching groups the student would join.  A new admission should not impact significantly on the learning of the rest of the class and often can enhance that learning.

If admission is refused then the parents are informed of the reasons. They may request to go on our waiting list, if school considers the student may be able to be admitted in the future. 

It is important for us to keep the balanced international nature of the school.

Thailand trip. The middle year and senior year students seem to be having a great time on their field trip to Thailand this week.  Those of you with children there should have been able to keep up with events by going on the wiki called Hanovablog.  Mr Gallerno sent an invite to join this wiki before the trip left, and Mr Gallerno along with Ms Gillick have been sending regular updates.  If you had problems viewing this, no matter as Ms Liu has been sending email latest to all parents of students on the trip. We hope you enjoy seeing what they are up to.  There will be more about this in next week’s letter.

Playgroup. The second week of the playgroup saw even more people here than the first week.  It is proving much more popular than we thought, as we had originally anticipated half a dozen or so attendees.  We have decided to revise the organisation and the space to better suit the needs of the toddlers.  The session will now start with free play at 2:30pm, and teacher directed activities at 3pm.  As before the session will finish at 4:30pm. The playgroup will start in the larger Nursery Reception classroom from Tuesday. More information will be given at the next session on Tuesday with a written summary in English and Chinese.

Talent show. Our Talent Show for the students is on Saturday, May 11th.  At this students may showcase performances that they have been practising.  There are limits to the time that an individual performance can take and some limitations to content.  There is a meeting on Monday in the auditorium for any student interested in finding out more about this event.  Auditions will begin in the near future.  More information will follow about this exciting event.

Read-a-thon. We will be beginning another Hanova first with a Read-a-thon very soon. This Read-a-thon is a reading challenge for our PYP students to get them reading more books at home and to foster a further love of reading. The Read-a-thon will begin on Monday, April 1st and end May 6th so the children will have a whole month to meet their reading target. A letter went home to parents earlier this week. So let’s getting reading!

Staff training. Ms O’Connor has been away from school for 1½ days this week in Shanghai.  She has been attending training so we can prepare for accreditation by the Western Association for Schools and Colleges (WASC).  This process will take 2 or 3 years and is part of our quality assurance programme.  Ms O’Connor will lead us in this process. The students that Ms O’Connor teaches have been set work in her absence and the class has been covered.  This is so the learning programme can continue in her absence with as little disruption as possible.

Please remember that school is closed for two days next week for Qingming festival holiday and teacher training.  No school on Thursday, 4th and Friday, 5th April.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events

Sunday, 24th to Sunday, 31st   Middle and Senior Years educational trip to Thailand

Thursday, 28th                                          Primary football match at XIS – students back for normal bus


Monday, 1st                                 Student meeting re Talent Show

Monday 1st                                  Read-a-thon starts for Primary students

Thursday, 4th and Friday, 5th   School closed for staff training and Qingming festival holiday

Monday, 8th to Friday, 12th     Middle and Senior Years Exam week

Friday, 19th April                        Sports Day

Friday, 19th April                        Exam results sent 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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