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The Principal’s Newsletter

Second IB Diploma visitation and Senior Years Diplomas

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs). The next round of ECAs begins straight after the Spring Festival break. You should have received yesterday the forms that ask you to choose activities with your child, or for older students to select their preferred activities. We hope this range of activities suits the needs and interests of your children.

Plans for Senior Years Diplomas. As several of the community may be aware, we had our second IB Diploma visitation last week. Our IB Consultant, Stewart Redden, has been appointed to advise us on your progress towards the authorization visit, which will take place later this year. The three day visit was ably organised by our current IB Diploma Coordinator, Mrs Elaine Gillick, and was a great success. Mr Redden had a series of meetings with the Board of Governors, the Principal, the school management and those teachers who have been busy preparing the many documents and policies for the authorisation application. Mr Redden was impressed by the evident good-will and collaborative spirit he saw at Hanova. We hope to receive his written report and recommendations soon. In keeping with our policy of keeping the whole school community informed, we have decided to hold two important public meetings for students and parents after the Chinese New Year. On Wednesday, 19th February, we will be holding a meeting for parents and students of Years 11 and 12. This will take place in the school auditorium at 7.00pm. The purpose of this meeting will be outline developments being made in the Hanova Diploma programme, which will be implemented in August 2014. Our current students in Years 11 and 12 will be introduced to the new curriculum and assessment practices that are closely aligned to the IB Diploma.

The second planned meeting will take place a week later. On Wednesday, 26th January, we invite students and parents in Years 9 and 10 to attend a meeting that will focus on our introduction of the IB Diploma programme (IB DP). This is a very important meeting because students and parents will be able to initially choose their IB Diploma subject options. Mr Robert Muntzer, our new Deputy Principal – Senior School will lead both meetings and will outline how to choose Diploma subjects based upon university and careers needs. We will confirm the times and dates of both these events closer to the time. However, we would strongly encourage everyone concerned to attend because of the importance to our children’s futures.

Parent School Association (PSA). Our next PSA meeting will be held on Thursday, 13th February. 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.

Parents’ consultations and student reports. It was lovely to see so many parents at the consultations on Tuesday and Wednesday where there was a chance to talk to the teachers about your child’s report and their progress. We are aware that, although the dates for the Parent Consultations had been on the calendar for some while, that the amount of notice you had of specific appointment times was very short. As we had some unexpected staff absence the system didn’t work as well as it should – apologies. We will be contacting parents over the next day or so to help set up alternative dates for some parents that fell through the net. However, we do thank you for your support of your child and the school by attending the Parent Consultations this week. It is important for your child to know you value what they are doing in school, and one way of showing that is managing to find time in your busy schedule to attend the 3 way conferences. If the dates or times of the consultations were difficult for you, please do not hesitate to contact the school to arrange an alternative date. Similarly if a problem or concern should ever arise please contact us through the Communication Diary, by email or by phone. Whatever comments or concerns or information you can add is potentially of significant value to your child’s education. You should have received your child’s report by email on 17th January and the printed report when you attended the consultations. Those who were unable to attend should get the reports either through pupil
post or by mail for those not resident in Xi’an.

Chinese New Year. We hope the students learn a lot from our Chinese New Year celebration day on Friday, 24th January. A reminder that the day will begin with a performance programme from 10-11:45. A variety of acts by Hanova students and community members should be fun and provide cultural knowledge about our school’s host country. After the performances, we hope that parents will be able to contribute to a Chinese-themed shared lunch buffet from 11:45-1:00. Starting at 1:00 and running through until the end of the day at 3:30, we have several different activities related to Chinese New Year and Chinese culture planned that should be enjoyable for students of all ages. Parents are welcome to join. Activities include calligraphy workshop, running races, various crafts and more!

Next year’s calendar. The School Calendar for 2014-15 is being prepared to go to the Board for their review. I am aware that a number of you will be booking your flights to return in the summer. The orientation day for new families is proposed for Friday, 15th August and the opening day for the students is planned to be on Monday, 18th August. These dates are subject to confirmation, but thought that early notification of our intention would be helpful.

Chinese New Year holiday. Xin Nian Kuai le! Wishing all parents and friends of the school a happy and successful year of the horse. A reminder that the last day of school is Friday, 24th January and we return on Monday, 20th February. What better way to start the new year than begin to start learning (or improving) your Chinese! If you are interested in more information about Chinese or English classes, please contact Mr Gallerno via email: or contact Ms May in the office. We have 5 potential enrolments for a Chinese class. These parents have suggested a lesson during Saturday Sports. When you email or call to express your interest, please let us know your preference or other ideas. We would like to be starting these lessons very soon after Chinese New Year.

Best regards,
Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events
Tuesday, 21st Wednesday, 22nd Parent Consultations
Friday, 24th Chinese New Year activities
Friday, 24th School closes for Chinese New Year holiday

Monday, 10th School opens for second term of second semester
Thursday, 13th Parent School Association 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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