School Calendars

Call Us

+86 029 88693780

The Principal's Newsletter

Spring staff additions

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). We have received a couple of enquiries from a parent about two items in our current school calendar and thought it was worth sharing the information especially to relatively new parents.  The first question asked about IGCSEs. 

As part of our school development plan we are working towards the implementation of IGCSE exams.  These are internationally recognised exams provided by Cambridge International Examinations that are sat at the end of Year 11.  IGCSEs were originally based on the exams that 16 year olds sit in UK, with the curriculum being rewritten to suit the needs of international students.  One of the biggest reasons for us to implement Exam Week in the Secondary school is to further prepare our students for exams such as these and IB Diploma Programme (DP) exams.  The date (5th May) on this year’s calendar marks the time when IGCSE Examinations begin in the Northern hemisphere and at this point is for our reference only.  Once we become a Cambridge accredited school we will be providing students with the opportunity to sit these exams.  More information will follow on these exams and curriculum as we move to implementation. 

Student Led Conferences (SLCs). SLCs are Student Led Conferences.  This is an opportunity for parents to come into school and spend time (up to half a day for older students) with their child reviewing and discussing the learning that they have acquired throughout the year.  Students will be using their Portfolios, and for older students additionally their laptops, to show this learning as well as showing their parents around any classrooms that have their work on display, or that can help parents understand the learning.  This is a very important opportunity for your child to show, not only their academic development, but also other achievements that they have made within the school.  The date for the SLCs has been moved to Tuesday, 17th June (from 2nd May on older versions of the calendar).  The reason for this is so that the SLCs follow on after you receive your child’s final report.  It is also so the teachers can focus on preparation work for our Diploma Programme verification visit planned for November.

Staff. Some of you may have noticed that Ms Cate Low has been absent this week.  On holiday in Beijing she had a slight disagreement with the Great Wall and unfortunately for Cate the Wall came off better!  Poor Cate has some abrasions, bruising and other injuries caused by a fall.  She is fine but unfortunately not fit enough to come into work.  We wish Cate all the best and hope she is well enough soon to return to her duties – she is missing the children!

We are very grateful that we have been able to call on an experienced teacher to work in with the Nursery/Reception class along with Ms Rosie Donkin and Ms Jenny Zhang.

Danielle Hanson has more than 10 years’ experience teaching in public and private schools, including two Early Childhood Centres, mainly in her native United States.  Most of her teaching has been with students from Y1 to Y3, although she is qualified to teach other year groups.  She also has experience in teaching from Y1 all the way to Y13 in Macao.  Danielle is a graduate from California State University Los Angeles.  Initially she joins as to provide cover for Nursery/Reception, but will soon be working to provide additional English Language support in the school.

Nancy Hao has joined our team of Chinese teachers.  She gained her BA in English at Xi’an Fanyi University and then her MA in Hong Kong Polytechnic University.  Nancy has 3 years teaching experience in Hong Kong. Nancy’s arrival enables us to reorganise, and she will mainly take over Emma Zhang’s classes as Emma moves to other duties in school.

Hilary Hao has joined us as International Baccalaureate (IB) administrator.  She is working to provide admin support to our IB coordinators as we work hard towards gaining authorisation for our three programmes.  The DP is the focus of the administrative workload initially, with the work in this area supporting the Middle Years (MYP) and Primary Years Programmes (PYP). Hilary gained her BA in English at Sichuan International Studies University and her BA in Linguistics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).

She has worked for a year, firstly as part-time then full-time, as a junior research assistant at the Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies of the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, CUHK.

We welcome these three new members of staff.

Sports Day. On Friday 25th April all students will be participating in an Athletics event on the premises of the school. There will be events for the younger students held during the morning from 9:00 to approximately 10:00.  This will be for students in Years 3 and under.  Afterwards, younger students shall return to class for the remainder of the day. Our younger student will be participating in a number of rotational activities such as 1) spoon and potato race, 2) bean bag throwing and 3) sack race.  Much fun and laughter is assured, along with plenty of photograph opportunities. Older students from Years 4 and upwards will compete in six events: 1) 100 metre sprint, 2) 160m shuttle run, 3) standing long jump, 4) high jump, 5) discus or tennis ball throwing, 6) 4 x 100 metre class relay. These events are scheduled throughout the day commencing at approximately 9:00.

At lunchtime for primary students, and about 2:00pm for older students those who have been successful in their events will be awarded medals by Mr Hughes. Students are reminded to wear their PE uniforms, bring a hat, water bottle and a variety of clothes in case of any climatic changes that occur during the day. All students are reminded to participate to the best of their abilities, support each other and share the success of others. Parents are warmly invited to come along and observe the students in action, but are reminded to not disrupt teachers who will be very busy organising events and attending to other matters. Let's hope we have a warm and sunny day that promotes a wonderful atmosphere of participation.

These next 2 items are a repeat of the additional information sent out on Friday, 4th April.  You may have missed these as they were additional to the usual Principal’s weekly newsletter.

Hanova Talent Show. The Hanova Talent Show is now officially open for entry! The final round of the contest will be held on Saturday May 10th at Spring Carnival, and heats will be held at school prior to this. The Talent Show is open to students of all ages, individuals or groups, and we welcome all genres of performance – music, dance, drama, comedy, magic and more! Entry forms are available from homeroom teachers or at the office. These must be returned by Friday April 18th, so that the heat/audition process can begin the following week. If you missed this information and therefore the deadline, please contact Ms Lee (

2014-15 School Calendar. You will find the 2014-15 calendar that was sent out to parent on 4th April.  It is on the school website at   It identifies the school term times and holiday times for next academic year.  It may be that there may need to be some minor alterations in the future depending on such details as school authorisation visits and related staff professional development, which we cannot finalise at the moment.

Carnival. Hanova will be holding our annual Carnival event on Saturday, May 10th  from 9am-2pm. This is a great chance for everyone in our Hanova community to come in to have fun, play games, do activities, win prizes, eat lunch and enjoy our Talent Show. All funds raised from this Hanova event will be donated to Yellow River Soup Kitchen. Please make sure to mark this on your calendar!

Four important issues related to Carnival that parents should know about:

Carnival Lunch: Part of Carnival in the past included a shared community lunch, which required parents to donate and serve dishes of food. We understand that this is asking a lot from our parents, so for this year the Carnival committee checked with Shangri-La Hotel to find out how much it would cost for them to cater the Carnival lunch. In an incredibly generous gesture, the Shangri-La Hotel has offered to provide all of the food, staff, and equipment required to serve lunch at Carnival free of charge as part of their Community Service programme. This means that Hanova parents do not need to bring in food for Carnival. The Carnival committee would like to sincerely thank Shangri-La Hotel for this amazing and kind donation!

Yard Sale: At the last Parent Volunteer Group meeting, a suggestion to have a Yard Sale during Carnival was raised by parents. We will be collecting items such as toys, DVDs, books, clothing, and other items that will be available for sale during Carnival. If you have any of these items in your home that are in good condition that you would like to donate, please send them to school with your children and leave them with their homeroom teacher. All items that are not sold will be donated to Yellow River Soup Kitchen. Any parents who wish to volunteer to help organise the Yard Sale during Carnival should contact us as soon as possible (,

Lucky Draw: Lots of Lucky Draw prizes will be given away during Carnival. If parents or their workplaces would like to donate discount coupons or any other prizes, the Carnival committee would be grateful. The wonderful staff at Shangri-La Hotel has already indicated that they will be giving away vouchers as Lucky Draw prizes; we would like to invite other parents and their companies to make donations.

Carnival Games or Activities: The Student Council, supported by Hanova staff members, will be responsible for organising games and activities during Carnival. We would also like to request support from any parents who could help by organising games or activities. The Carnival committee recommends that parents work in pairs or teams to make arrangements. Ideas include: making and selling balloon animals, having a “mystery box” where children reach in and grab a prize, or painting flower pots. Any parents who are interested in organising a game or activity should contact the Carnival committee as soon as possible so that we can make arrangements to support you (,

Ferry disaster. Our thoughts are with the families experiencing the trauma and heartbreak caused by the tragedy of the Korean ferry disaster.  If you have been affected directly or indirectly by this tragic event our thoughts are with you in particular.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events

Tuesday, 15th                              Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs) begin Block 4

Friday, 18th                                  Talent show entries closing date

Friday, 25th                                  Sports Day

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!"

More News & Events

© 2012-24 Xi’an Hanova International School. All Rights Reserved.