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The Principal's Newsletter

Hanova begins its third year!

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Start of our third year. Welcome to all our new families and welcome back to our returners for our third year here at Hanova.  We hope you had a great summer and hope everyone is looking forward to the year ahead as much as we are. There has been a big increase in teaching staff from 34 at the end of last year to 45, once the last 3 teachers have received their visas and arrived!  Many of these are to meet our drive to improve the quantity and quality of subjects on offer especially in the Secondary school.  Teachers new to our school started arriving in mid July and were all here, except for these 3, for the start of induction on 6th August along with the Leadership Team.  The returning teachers joined them ready for school preparation a few days later. This preparation time is essential in readiness for the new year.  The school is supported by another 44 staff, 18 of whom are Teaching Assistants, with the remainder being administrative staff, maintenance, cleaners and security guards.  I am pleased to tell you that we have finally managed to find and appoint a school nurse – Ms Carrie Yan. Biographical details for our teaching staff are on the school website, along with some of the support staff.  These details will be added in the near future

We were delighted to receive so many applications from parents for their children to be admitted to Hanova, but have unfortunately had to turn away a significant number of applicants.  This was mainly because their English was not strong enough and/or they came from groups that would have become over represented in the school.  We have increased the requirements for entry to the school particularly from Y6 and up.  This is because we want all our students to have a realistic chance to access the Diploma Programme, which we hope to begin in 2015 in Y12.  We have not accepted students who we think don’t have a good chance of meeting the required very high standards.  We have offered places to a total of 215 students, a relatively small increase on the 207 students we had at the end of last year.

There are many curriculum developments particularly in the secondary school with the number of courses/classes on offer having increased from 40 to 98. Our school’s first year was to establish a quality base for our programmes and community events, the focus in the second year was on the growth of the school.  In our third year the aim is to significantly increase the range and quality of the curriculum in terms of expectations on students, and to improve the consistency across the school. When you visit the school you will see a number of changes to the use of the rooms in the school.  You will also find a number of rooms have been divided to cater for the increasing number of courses on offer and the reduction in the number of taught groups with more than one year in them.

Curriculum Information evening. We are running curriculum information evenings for each year group throughout the school. This is so parents can find out more about the sorts of things the students are learning and the expectations and procedures in each class.  These are planned to be on 2nd September (Primary) and 5th September (Secondary).  More information to follow shortly

Newsletters. The following newsletters are all part of us keeping the parents and wider community informed.

  • Welcome Newsletter
    • This welcomes parents and students to their new classes or subjects.
    • It is sent in the first few days of the year.
    • Everyone in the Primary Years should have received a Welcome newsletter from the homeroom teacher.
    • At the end of this week you will receive timetables by email, if you have not already received them. If you would like a hard copy please do not hesitate to contact us. 
  • Principal’s Newsletter
    • The Principal’s Newsletter covers items relevant across the school.
    • It is sent once a week by email on Thursday. It is also available Thursday evening on our website. Again let us know if you want it in a different format. 
  • Primary Homeroom Newsletters
    • These cover what has been taught in the last two weeks, what is planned ahead, and more general information, such as How you can help your child in their learning.
    • These are sent once a fortnight in email. Again let us know if you require a hard copy.
  • Middle and Senior Years Curriculum updates
    • These break down our whole year curriculum documents. They give information on the units of work being taught and planned and give parents general information by subjects.
    • There will be monthly newsletters sent from the Secondary section of the school.

Other changes as notified in New Family Induction day. As last year we continue to ask all visitors to sign in, except before 9am, or after 3:20pm. This is so we know who is on the school site and the reason. We ask that parents do not come in at lunch time to check on the children, or to deliver things their child might have forgotten.  If this situation arises please just deliver these items to the school office.  It can be disruptive to students to have their learning interrupted by parents visiting, especially for the younger children.  If this causes particular difficulties for you please contact the liaison team.

We will be introducing a Parents’ student collection ID card (2 per family).  We hope to have these in later this month or next.  More information to follow.  We have hired security guards for the school also during the day.  These developments will enable improvements in managing the increasing number of visitors to our school.

Sending money. If you need to send money to school, please send this, as stated in the Family Handbook, in a sealed envelope, with the name of your child, class, amount and what the money is for.  Even if you come to pay the money yourself we will require the information on an envelope as it will be sent to the accounts office.  Just a brief reminder that the lunch fees, that you may have ordered for your child for August, need to be paid by Monday, please.

School bus. You should also have received an email identifying the pick up times and places for your children if they are on the school buses.  We now have six buses to accommodate all the students and to try to reduce the travelling time to a minimum for as many students as possible.  4 of the 6 buses have no spare seats so unfortunately we are most unlikely to be able to take any parents home on buses or to accommodate occasional changes in the bus you may wish your child to catch – such as when they are going to a friend’s house.

Our earliest pick up times are 7:35am at the moment for 4 of the buses.  We are looking at trying to resolve the earlier pick up times for a few children.  If your child is not going to catch the bus on any particular day please let the school know the day before in writing via email or the Communication Diary or call the bus teacher 30 minutes before pick up time

Please let our bus liaison manager, Ms Lucy Liu (, know if there are any questions about the new bus schedule or errors in it.

Our aim is to minimise the travelling time within reasonable cost restraints.  We have been contacted by one parent in Qujiang, who is happy to pay additional costs, if we can put on an additional bus to reduce travelling time.  If you would be interested in this please let Lucy know.

Assembly. Assembly for Primary students remains on Friday morning in the auditorium from 9:05-9:35.  Middle and Diploma students have assemblies on a Friday afternoon in the last two periods.  This is so they can focus on the requirements of their Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) for the Middle Years and Community and Service for the Diploma Years.  There will be assemblies across the whole school which will be held on Friday afternoons some weeks.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events

Friday, 22nd                                 Assembly – PYP 9:05


Tuesday, 2nd                                Class curriculum information

Tuesday, 9th                                Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs) begin

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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