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The Principal's Newsletter

Hanova wins Secondary Football game vs XIS

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Sports Match. We had a lovely afternoon last Friday with students, staff and parents from Xi’an International School (XIS) on a beautiful sunny and warm spring afternoon.  XIS visited Hanova for a football match between the older students from each school.  Both teams were cheered on by their own supporters with the primary students from Hanova spreading good cheer and encouragement with their enthusiastic support.  The teamwork and work rate from both schools was so intense that it seemed unlikely they could last the full 40 minutes.  Although very competitive, the sportsmanship shown by both schools was exemplary.  The game finished with the players lining up and shaking the hands of their opponents and match officials.  The match finished 3-0 to Hanova with the game much closer than the scoreline suggests.  We have been invited for a rematch back at XIS, which we intend to hold on Friday, April 4th.  We are looking to play other sports events with other schools in the Xi’an district.

New member of teaching staff. As you may be aware our school is developing very quickly and is undertaking many new initiatives. We are dedicated to providing the best possible educational standards to your children, and require more complete management in our now larger school to carry out these initiatives.  Ms Natalie O’Connor, as a deputy principal, is picking up a number of these new developments, but we do not wish this to divert her efforts away from the students.

I am therefore very pleased to tell you that we have a new, but very experienced international educator joining our team.  This is Mr Reinier Jessurun from Sydney, Australia who has more than 26 years teaching experience as a class teacher, EAL teacher, Principal and leader/designer of programmes for gifted and talented students.  He has taught in places as diverse as Scots Preparatory college in Sydney, in Wuxi in China, Germany, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Papua New Guinea.  Reinier has training and experience of IB being a PYP coordinator in one school.

Mr Jessurun will plan and work alongside the Y5/6 team and free Ms O’Connor from most of her class commitments.

Parents of Y5 are invited along to hear more about these curriculum plans and to meet Mr Jessurun.  More details to follow when Mr Jessurun is settled in Xi’an.

Hanova Languages Policy and Practices. We have been busy working on completing the Languages Policy at Hanova over the last few weeks. Sections of this will be shared with the community when they are agreed. We are keen to involve all members of our community in this endeavour. It would mean coming into school for about two meetings between now and the end of the year. If any parent would like to be a part of our Language Policy steering committee, please contact Mr Muntzer on  It would be excellent if we could have one representative from the Chinese and Korean communities, and at least one parent whose son or daughter has another mother tongue such as French, German or Spanish.

Senior Years University and Careers Counselling. As many of you are aware, we have been surveying students in Years 9 to 13 to find out what university degrees they are aiming for when they leave Hanova. At the moment, individual students are being met with to get a more defined idea of their needs and how we can best prepare them. During the course of these meetings, students are being given suggested subjects to study at Diploma level that will meet their university entrance requirements. Once this is done, letters will be going home to parents identifying the suggested subjects needed. Between now and the end of the academic year, our Year 12 and Year 11 students will also have the chance of being given more subject specific information so that they can confirm their Diploma subjects for next year. If anyone needs any further information on this process, please contact .

Weekly Assembly. I am rather disappointed to inform you that the whole school assembly, a tradition at Hanova from the first week of opening has had to be amended.  The high numbers of attendees at this weekly gathering has meant that not everyone can be seated.  Of greater concern is the evacuation time of the auditorium in the event of an emergency.  Consequently a decision has been taken to split the assemblies vertically across the school. We like the fact that the youngest students can see what the oldest do, so they understand what will be expected of  them as they grow through the school.  We are also very pleased to see the care and responsibility that our older students demonstrate to the younger ones.  We believe this is partly because we all meet together in assemblies.

The change to a fortnightly assembly shall happen starting this Friday.  We will review the process and see whether we can get both assemblies in each week without having to disrupt the current timetable

Starting from this week.

This Friday (21st March):

Year                   12/13

Year                   7/8

Year                   5

Year                   3

Year                   1


Next Friday (28th March):

Year                   10/11

Year                   9

Year                   6

Year                   4

Year                   2

Year                   N/R

This will run for the next two weeks and then we will consider any feedback from parents, staff and students before finalising the arrangements

Health and Safety. The school held a fire evacuation practice on Wednesday.  This was the first practice for some of our new students and staff.  The building was cleared and every one checked present in under 4 minutes.  We will be holding a further evacuation practice in the near future to improve the efficiency of the evacuation.

On another health related note, the water coolers have been serviced and cleaned as part of our maintenance programme.

Overnight trips – Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC). Staff are in the final stages of planning extended journeys for students from Y5 and above.  These are great opportunities for students to extend their learning and to have an opportunity to develop interpersonal skills, and a degree of independence and confidence.  Information will be going home very soon about these trips.

New Hanova Buses. We ordered new Hanova buses in our school’s livery a couple of months ago, and we are happy to tell you that the first two have arrived in Xi’an.  Beginning Monday 24th March there will be two new Hanova school buses to replace current no. 2 and no. 5 buses. Another one is expected by the middle of April to replace current bus no.4.  They will be driven by new drivers who are being trained and accompanied by the bus manager.  We are very proud to have these new buses to serve our students as they are easy to identify and look great.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events

Monday, 17th –Thursday, 20th Exam week MY and SY

Monday, 24th                              New Hanova buses - numbers 2 and 5

Tuesday, 25th                               Y4 trip 

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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