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The Principal's Newsletter

Parent Involvement at Hanova

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Parental Involvement at Hanova. One of the key strengths of our school is the level of support and involvement we are privileged to get from our parents.  This grew steadily last year and is something we wish to continue to develop this year.  Judging by the attendance at our Curriculum Information afternoons held this week, this looks likely to continue.

There are many ways you can get involved with your child’s education not only at home but also, if you have the time, at school.  Two groups are particularly important in this.  They are the Parent School Association (PSA) and the Parent Volunteer Group.  Please see below for more information.

Parent School Association. Last year we started what turned out to be a very successful Parent School Association (PSA).  The PSA’s purpose was several fold, including to support the running of the school, to build community spirit, to have fun, to support a volunteer programme, to review events and make suggestions about the running of school events, or even to run events.  It was also a forum to raise questions and comments about the school. Our first PSA meeting of this year will be held on Thursday, 12th September.  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.  These meetings will help to explain the curriculum your child is experiencing.  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 from the end of last year and plans for future events will be 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.

Parent Volunteer Group (PVG). Last year a very successful Parent Volunteer programme was run in school.  These parents were an invaluable source of assistance for the school, but also seemed to gain a lot of enjoyment from the programme.  We originally looked for parents who might have specialist knowledge (e.g. running a company), special skills that might help in an ECA or at special events (e.g. cooking, painting scenery), a willingness to help in the classroom (e.g. reading stories in mother tongue), or in the office (laminating, library cataloguing, putting up displays).

Please let us know if you are willing to be considered as a volunteer.  Mrs Jeannie Rice and Ms Stacey Nunweiler are the parent volunteer coordinators.

There will be an informal meeting on Wednesday, 18th September 3:00-3:45pm to chat about parents ideas.  All are welcome to this meeting.  Please do come along to this meeting even if you doubt it is for you.

Curriculum and Class Information afternoon. It was very encouraging to see the large turnout for this event.  We hope you found this useful.  Certainly the feedback we received was positive.  Please remember if you have any concerns don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange a meeting.  Don’t delay until the Parent Consultations in October if there are any issues now.  A few parents were not able to make the meeting.  If you were one of those you may like to request any materials such as a parent handout or the powerpoint your child’s teacher may have prepared.  Please contact May Liu in the office at

Attendance at School. This year the school started earlier in the year: 19th August as compared to 3rd September last year.  This is because we decided to get more teaching days in before our older students sit external exams such as Advanced Placement (APs) and International General Certificates of Secondary Education (IGCSEs).  This earlier start to the year meant some students missed a few days at the beginning.  We want to work with parents to maximise school attendance.  Sometimes in a multinational school missing a day or two of school is unavoidable.  However, every school day is important, so we want the students to attend all sessions whenever they can unless they are ill.  The curriculum often moves on at a rapid pace and, although we seek to support students who have missed some aspects, this is not easy to do and is nowhere near as thorough as 100% attendance.  This missed learning cannot be covered effectively by additional homework as inquiry learning is something that is enabled by the teachers and the school environment.  If you are considering whether your child should miss some days of school please do make an appointment to speak to the programme coordinator and/or the homeroom teacher.  Obviously we all want the best decision for each student and we realise that sometimes this can mean missing school. 

School Calendar. Some of you will have noticed that there is an additional training day added to the student holidays compared to the School Calendar elsewhere on this website (  This is for teacher training for the Middle Year Programme (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB).  The total number of student days is 180 and the number of teacher staff days 194. We are currently fixing a number of additional events throughout the school year.  These will be updated very soon – we hope during next week.  So keep an eye open for the updated calendar. 

Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs). ECAs begin on Tuesday 10th September.  You should have received an email home today detailing the choices of events for both Tuesdays and Thursdays.  For those of you new to the school the buses arrive home 1 hour later on both Tuesdays and Thursdays.  If you do not wish for your child to attend either of the ECAs then please arrange collection for them from the school at 3:35pm. 

We do hope that your child enjoys trying out the activities in the ECAs and may even discover a new interest or further a former one. 

One parent suggested that it would be better to run the buses home at the usual time on one of the two days as the day is very long for some students.  Discussion about the ECAs will form part of the PSA meeting next week.  We welcome your views.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events

Tuesday, 3rd &                            Curriculum information afternoons

Thursday, 5th                

Tuesday, 10th                              Extra Curricular Activities begin

Thursday, 12th                            Parent School Association meeting at 3pm

Wednesday, 18th                        Parent Volunteer meeting at 3pm

Thursday, 19th &                        School closed for Mid Autumn holiday and

Friday, 20th                                  IB Middle Years training for teachers

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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