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The Principal's Newsletter

Years 5 and 6 using Mathletics programme

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Mathletics. We have been overwhelmed with admiration and overawed by our students dedication and enthusiasm and skill in maths. 

Years 5 and 6 at Hanova have been using a new maths program. This program is Mathletics and involves students answering Maths questions and problems online.  Teachers are able to select the topics that the students attempt.  This means that they can reinforce and develop what they are already learning in class.  The element of competition in trying to improve your own score is a strong motivator.  During the first two days of its use our two classes have placed in the top 3 classes in the whole of Asia and 12 out of 28 students have been placed in the top 100 students in Asia.   5 of these students were placed in the top 20, which is an amazing effort and a reflection on the students’ ability to take control of their own learning journey.  At the completion of day three Year 6 students were number one in Asia and Year 5 were number three in Asia. (STOP PRESS UPDATE 2014-02-13 – Year 5 are now number one, and Year 6 number two!)  To put this into perspective there are approximately 140 schools using Mathletics in Asia with some 20,000 students involved. Congratulations to you all and now that you have set the standard let’s try to stay on the top and be the best that we can be. GO HANOVA….

If you wish to follow our classes on Mathletics you can access the homepage at

New staff:

Chinese. Parents will have received an email about the changes in the Chinese classes that are happening.  The range of Chinese experience is broad among Hanova students. Some students enter the school having had no experience with the language while for others it is their mother tongue.  The new groupings this term have been arranged in order to best meet the needs of new and returning students based on placement testing carried out in January.

To cater for this need we have increased the number of full-time Chinese teachers to 5, as I wrote to you last semester.  We are determined to improve the quality and breadth of our provision. 

Ms Julia Zhou, a national of Germany, is joining us as Head of our Chinese Department.  She graduated from the College of Literature at Shanghai University, gaining a Masters in Education later at the State University of New York. She joins us from Taipei American School where has been head of middle school World languages.  She has 20 years experience teaching at both university and school level

Her role is to lead the Chinese department and is joining us this year to ensure plans are in place before August.

Music. Ms Maxine Lee-Morath flew into Xi’an today from her native Australia.  She joins us as a Music teacher from Waikerie High School where she was Head of Music. She is a graduate from the University of Adelaide and has a total of 10 years experience teaching Music, 6 being in schools.  She will be working with Mr Van in our Music programme partly freeing him to focus on his other roles of Deputy Principal and PYP coordinator.

Parent Language Classes. This is your last chance to be among the first group of adult language students at Hanova. We have 5 potential enrolments for a Chinese class and 3 for an English class.  These parents have suggested a lesson during Saturday Sports (10am to12 noon) or during clubs on Tuesday and Thursday (3:30-4:30).  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 next week, if possible. If you are interested in more information about Chinese or English classes, please contact Mr Gallerno via email: or contact Ms May Liu in the office. 

Chinese New Year DVD. The Chinese New Year DVD is now available for sale for the price of 50 RMB each and 30 RMB each for additional copies (2 for 80, 3 for 110, etc.). An order form was sent home by email this week. These labeled DVDs will be delivered to students or parents in an attractive plastic cover and will include edited video footage of the entire Chinese New Year performance, video of our wonderful community lunch and activities, as well as a photo slideshow. These DVD's are playable on any computer or DVD player, and they make fantastic gifts for friends and family in your home country who may not have had a chance to be at Hanova to see our highly successful cultural event. All money raised from sale of DVDs will be used by Hanova Student Council to benefit our students.

Calling All Parent Volunteers. We would like to update all our parents and inform our new parents about a "Parent Volunteer Group" that we host in school.  This programme is a way that parents can volunteer in school to help make Hanova a community focused school.  Parents can volunteer to help on a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly basis in the classroom or help with class preparation such as laminating, cutting, copying.  Parents can also help on an "every-once-in-awhile" basis for special events.  If you would like to be included in the communications for this group or have any questions, please email  or to let them know.  You will then be contacted about the next meeting to see how you would like to help out in school. 

Air Quality. Multiple times, during the school day, we check the following site with regards to the air quality index. From this data we determine whether it is an inside or outside play day.  If the AQI is 300 or above, we keep all of the students inside. Parents may choose to indicate to their child's teacher if their child/children have a choice to go inside or out if the AQI is between 250-300.  The below website's reading is the closest station to Hanova so gives the most accurate data.  We know that some of you use applications to check the AQI, but we have found that the range of AQI levels differs dramatically when using different sites. Therefore, please check the site below to get the most accurate information about our daily activities西安/高新西区

School bus. The increasing numbers in the school mean that we are acquiring a 6th bus – quite a change from last year’s two buses.  We have been promised 3 new brand-new buses with the Hanova livery.  It will take till mid March until we get delivery of these buses. We are aware that the buses have been changed by our provider at short notice this last week.  We are ensuring that any bus change has been checked.  We have made it clear that we must have advance notice of any bus change so we can ensure that everything is up to standard.

Parent School Association (PSA). Our next PSA meeting will now be held on Thursday, 20th February.  I apologise for the late notice of the change of date, but we had an important government visit arranged at short notice.  More exciting news about that visit in a later newsletter!

Please put the event in your diary and come along whether it is just to listen, make suggestions or offer your assistance.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events

Monday, 10th                School opens for second term of second semester

Thursday, 20th               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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