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The Principal’s Newsletter

International Day 2013

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

International Day. We had a fantastic day on the Thursday before the holiday.  Our International Day started with a parade of students and teachers in costumes from each of the 22 countries represented in our school.  The children spent most of the day going round to “visit” various countries and doing activities such as Irish Dancing, a Korean paper game, Australian football, Chinese paper cutting, singing in Spanish and even pretending to be a cow from the Netherlands!  The highlight of the day was the fantastic International buffet held in the Dragon Court.  The variety, quality and quantity of the food on offer were amazing.  Thank you so much to all of you parents and staff who contributed your time, culinary skills and the food so generously.  It was a memorable occasion celebrating the diverse internationalism of Hanova.

Parent consultations. These are taking place next Wednesday and Thursday.  You will have a chance to hear how your child is progressing and what the next steps are for them.  You will also have a chance to ask any questions you might have. Samples of the children’s work are often a part of this discussion too.  As you may know in the IB curriculum much of the students’ learning happens by active inquiry and discussion and is not recorded.

You should receive appointment times with the teachers for these 2 and 3 way conferences by Friday.  The buses will leave next Thursday at 3:45pm as there will be no ECAs. 

The length of appointment times in the secondary is 10 minutes for each subject, but is 15-20 minutes for the Primary homerooms. If issues are raised in these consultations that require a longer discussion then we will arrange a follow up appointment. We are looking forward to seeing all parents on these days.

Y5 and 6. This class has now been split for most of their learning.  As the numbers in Y5 and 6 combined have increase this week to 25 with a number not having mother tongue English, we decided to extend the splitting of the class for the majority of lessons.  Mrs Nagarajah takes the registration for Y5 and Ms O’Connor for Y6.  Both classrooms are on the second floor with Ms O’Connor taking over the Art/Tech room (A210).  A letter giving more detail on this adjustment in organisation was emailed to parents of Y5 and 6 children on Monday.  If you didn’t get it and would like a copy please contact Ms May Liu (  

Staffing. We have welcomed this week Ms Stella Zhou on to our staff.  She graduated from Hua Qiao University, Xiamen in 2011 with a Bachelor degree in teaching Chinese.   She taught Chinese for the last two years in an International School in the Philippines, before returning to her hometown, Xi’an. 

We have also welcomed Anthony Tao as a work experience student.  He is helping out with a number of tasks in school before going to study for his Bachelor Degree in USA.

We unfortunately have said goodbye to Athena Hao in our office.  We thank her for her work in Hanova and wish her the best in the future.

Parent School Association (PSA) meetings in Korean and Chinese. Our next PSA is being held on Tuesday, 22nd October.  I would like to offer Korean parents to an informal pre-meeting on Friday 18th October at 9:45am.  This is immediately after assembly.  The purpose of this meeting is to discuss issues in Korean that are of interest or concern to our Korean community.  Some of these topics would then be taken forward to the full PSA meeting the next Tuesday.

I would like to offer a similar informal opportunity to our Chinese speakers on Friday, 18th October at 3pm.

Xi’an International Business Forum (XIBF) Christmas Party. This year XIBF will hold the fifth Christmas party at the Westin Hotel on December 14th.  Find out more about this event on the attached flyer.  If you and your family would like to go please let us know by October 25th as there are discounts for companies who book tables.  We are likely to be asked to give a mini-performance at this event.  This is an extra informal fun thing that your children (and you if you wish!) can be involved in. The seats are limited, so please book your tickets in advance. 

School Evacuation Practice. The school was cleared and all students checked as present in 3 minutes at our Fire Evacuation practice just before the holiday.  Such practices will take place periodically so children know what to do in case the school building needs evacuating.

Book Fair and Scholastic Books. We have arranged a Book Fair with Beijing Star Kids Bookstore on Thursday, 21st and Friday, 22nd November.  This is an opportunity to purchase books in English.  These books would be available immediately.

In the past we have also sent home a magazine from Scholastic Books.  Last year it took a while for the orders to arrive from Scholastic after we had sent them in.  We are planning to send in an order on October 28th.  You can ask Ms Camellia Feng in the library for a Scholastic magazine, or ask Ms May Liu in the office.  The magazines will also be available in the Office and Library on Parent Consultation Days.  Any books ordered are likely to come before the holiday break, but it cannot be guaranteed.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events

Thursday, 10th                            Y2 trip to Tang Dynasty 8:55am-3pm

Saturday, 12th                             Saturday Sports restarts

Tuesday, 15th                              Playgroup 3-4:45pm

Wednesday, 16th &                   Parent Consultations 2:30-7pm

Thursday, 17th                            2:30-5:30pm No ECAs, buses return at 3:45pm

Friday, 18th                                   Informal Q&A on school for Korean speakers 9:45am

Friday, 18th                                   Informal Q&A on school for Chinese speakers 3pm

Monday, 21st                               Y7-9 Humanities trip to Metso and Intel 9am-3:15pm

Tuesday, 22nd                              PSA meeting 3pm

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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