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The Principal's Newsletter

Parent-Teacher Session on English Learning Programme at Hanova

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

English Learning Programme Information session. The school presented to 30 interested Korean and Chinese speaking parents this last Tuesday on the English Learning Programme at Hanova.  We know the teaching of English is the key purpose of our school for many of our students.   The session started with Mr Quigley (MYP and EAL coordinator) laying out the overall philosophy and approach of the school, backing this up with the research evidence into good learning and teaching. Ms Ranger followed this up with the description of some techniques and approaches that speed up the learning process for students acquiring English. 

With the two levels of translation into Chinese and Korean there was very little time to answer parents’ questions on their perception of English Language Support.

We would like to follow up this initial session with a further session on November 26th where the English Language Support (ELS) department will answer questions from parents.

We would very much like you to send your questions on ELS direct to May Liu (  These can be sent in Korean, Chinese or English, whichever is easier for you.

Following this next session we are considering producing regular information to parents either through a dedicated newsletter, through workshops or through our website to help you support your child at home.  Obviously we would like your views about the usefulness of such an approach.

The first tip for you to help your child is:

Listen to them read aloud in English for a few minutes (their age + 1minute is a good amount of time.  So an 8 year old would read for 9 minutes).  If you speak no English this does not matter and can be a benefit.  You should ask your child then what was the passage they read aloud about.  It is very important that they read out loud as they can then go through the process of self-correction and pronunciation themselves.  It does not matter that they make mistakes.  This practice enhances their learning.

Philippines. The students have started to talk about their concerns about the terrible tragedy that has been unfolding in the Philippines.  This situation is particularly personal to some in the school, parents and staff who have relations or friends in this storm torn zone.  As a school we want to respond to this human disaster. At the moment we have a donation box in the Front Lobby. Other fund raising projects are being planned and the Student Council are coming up with proposals and will share information with the community in the near future.

We are keen to encourage the students to know that they can make a small difference in people’s lives in response to need. We will have an age appropriate short presentation on this in assembly

Scholastic. A number of parents ordered books through Scholastic.  Thank you for getting your orders in early so we could submit the completed order on 28th October.  We have been told that they will arrive by Saturday, 23rd Nov ember.  We will send them home to you on Monday, 25th November.  If you cannot remember which books ordered, please check with Ms Feng at  We hope all of the ordered books will arrive and we are seeking confirmation of this currently.  We hope this is helpful to you! 

Book Fair. Beijing Star Kids Children's Bookstore are returning to set up books for purchase on Thursday, 21st and Friday, 22nd November.  We are the first school they are visiting on this tour of Xi’an so the quantity and choice of books should be good.  This is the easiest way to get access to good English books for parents that you can actually select and look through yourselves. The Book Fair will be open to parents and friends on Thursday and Friday from 8:15-8:55am and again from 3:35-4:30pm in the library. This is a chance to look through the books on offer, either with your child or on your own.

The students will also have a timetabled time (see below) to visit the Book Fair with their class.  You would be most welcome to join your child at that time with their class to select books together. 

If your child visits the book fair without you, then any book they select can be put aside for them. In that way they can write down any books they would like to purchase for you to approve and then they can return with the money the next school day.  Please send any money in a sealed envelope with your child’s name, the amount of money and the book title (if known).

If they are unable to bring the money before lunch on Monday, 25th November then the books will be returned to Beijing Star Books.

Book Fair Timetable

N/R students and parents       Thursday, 21st November        9:35-10:15am

Y1 students and parents          Friday, 22nd November        9:35-10:15am

Y2 students and parents          Thursday, 21st November        11:10-11:50am

Y3 students and parents          Friday, 22nd November        11:10-11:50am

Y4 students and parents          Friday, 22nd November        1:20-2:00pm

Y5/6 students and parents      Thursday, 21st November        1:20-2:00pm

Y7-10 students (and parents) Thursday, 21st November        11:50-12:15pm

Y11-13 students (and parents) Friday, 22nd November        11:50-12:15pm

Parents and students  Thursday, 21st November                           8:15-8:55 3:35-4:30pm

Parents and students  Friday, 22nd November                           8:15-8:55 3:35-4:30pm

Teacher Training and Saturday Sports. All primary staff and related staff will be receiving training from the International Baccalaureate (IB).  The title is ‘Making the PYP Happen’ and this training will happen on Friday and Saturday.  The School Office will be open on Saturday and on Monday and Tuesday.  As many staff are involved in the training on Saturday there will be no Saturday Sports this week.  Saturday Sports will resume the following Saturday, 23rd depending on the weather.  The last scheduled Saturday Sports is at the end of November on 30th.  This again is dependent on the weather.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events

Wednesday 13th                        Year 7,8,9 and some EAL students from Year 10 and 11 on Science Field Trip

Friday, 15th Saturday, 16th        IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) training for staff. School closed to students

Saturday, 16th                             No Saturday Sports

Wednesday, 20th                        School reopens to students

Thursday, 21st Friday, 22nd       Beijing Star Kids Book Fair

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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