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The Principal's Newsletter

Y6 Exhibition, Y11 Personal Projects and Y13 Extended Essays

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Student Led Conferences. Student Led Conferences (SLCs) will run on Thursday, 20th June.  Put the date in your diary and try to attend in support of your child’s learning.

Your child will have spent a great deal of time and effort in preparing for this event in order to share with you reflections on their learning this year. We do hope you will be able to attend and share in your child’s celebration of their learning.  We are aware that to attend this meeting is very difficult for the parents of some of our boarders.  These students will give their presentation to a member of the Korean staff.  We hope also to video this meeting for those, hopefully few, students whose parents cannot attend.  In this way students will still be able to communicate their learning to their parents when they get back to Korea.

Student Led Conferences provide a chance for your child to show you what they have done at school throughout the year. The conference involves your child leading you through the viewing of a portfolio with a few examples of their work, a series of hands-on learning activities and a trip around the school to show you all the classrooms and learning areas that they visit during a typical week.

Each child will have between 20 and 40 minutes in their classroom to present their work to you, the parents.  After viewing your child’s portfolio and engaging in a few activities you are free to visit the rest of the school.

SLCs are not designed to show you everything your child has done throughout the year. Rather they give you a valuable glimpse into your child’s learning journey – what they do, how they do it, how they feel about their work and learning.

All class teachers will be involved in the preparation of students’ portfolios and the activities that they will complete during the visit. The teachers will provide the children with an understanding of what will happen on the day, help them develop a schedule and assist them in preparing a map showing where to go and what to do. However the SLC is not meant to be a form of parent-teacher conference.

Mum and dad are the audience for the child’s conference.  Your child knows what they are doing.  They will have practised what will happen and know where to go and what to do.  This is your chance to be the follower – your chance to be the learner about what your child has been doing at school.  This is also true at the middle and senior years level but with a higher level of sophistication.

Y6 Exhibition, Y11 Personal Project and Y13 Extended Essay. I wrote to you about student research at Hanova in the principal’s newsletter of 9th May. There is a common theme throughout our school of encouraging students to think for themselves and to investigate and research into aspects that may be of interest to them.

This theme is one of the central ideas in being an International Baccalaureate (IB) school.  At the end of each programme there is a culminating project.  In the primary years this is the Y6 Exhibition, the Personal Project in the middle years and the Extended Essay in the senior years.

You will have the opportunity to see and hear these projects on June 20th.  This is the day for the Y6 Exhibition and the presentation of the Y11 Personal Projects and Y13 Extended Essays.

Students demonstrating these aspects of their learning won’t take part in Student Led Conferences (SLCs).  Just like other students they have been preparing and developing their e-portfolios which parents can see on 20th.  It is just that these students in Y6, Y11, Y13 have undertaken their projects in place of SLCs.

Enrolments for August 2013. Letters went out to some 35 parents on Monday this week to inform them whether we were able to offer their child a place in Hanova for August.  About 12 students were not able to gain admission because we are full in some year groups for students who have Chinese as their first language and in others where students have Korean as their first language.  Our school is committed to maintaining a truly international atmosphere.  We are therefore continuing to take the decision on each application based on their nationality, their first language and their English proficiency.  As our school seems to be growing in popularity there will be more cases where unfortunately we are full for some students.  It is very important that we only admit students to whom we can provide an appropriate curriculum.  However, it is equally important that we are mindful of the impact of those admissions on the whole school community and preserve the international nature and atmosphere of our school.

Latest forecasts seem to indicate that we will start with about 105 students in August.

Mosquitoes and flies. We are trying to keep these pesky critters to a minimum in and around school.  There seems to be less of them than there were two or three weeks ago.  Doors and windows are kept closed and air conditioning on where possible.  There are a number of plug in mosquito repellants.  We are currently seeking advice from a company about reducing the number of mosquitoes around the school which may help when students are out at breaks.  A couple of parents have recommended stickers that can be bought at chemists, such as Watsons, that repel mosquitoes.  You may like to consider these for your child especially children who get bitten a lot, though I don’t know enough to recommend for or against this product.

Powerschool. A number of staff along with the assistance of our owner’s staff have been training up for the implementation of the management software, Powerschool, from August.  This software, used by many of the largest international schools, will help us organise much of the information we have to keep in school from attendance to uniforms to particular information about students well-being to grades.  At the moment we are using a mixture of Microsoft Word and Excel and the Managebac software with which a number of you, especially in the middle and senior years, are familiar.  In the transition period we will be running both systems side by side until we can implement Powerschool fully.  This is part of our School Development Plan seeking continual improvements.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events

Friday, 7th                                    N-Y1 trip to Aquarium

Friday, 7th                                    Y9-13 Prom at the Kempinski

Wednesday, 12th                        School closed for Dragon Boat Festival

Thursday, 20th                            Student Led Conferences

Thursday, 20th                            Y6 Exhibition, Y11 Personal Project, Y13 Extended Essay

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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