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The Principal's Newsletter

Educational visits and visitors in the PYP

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

MYP/DP information. We are delighted to announce that we have created an initial IB Diploma Programme page on the Hanova web-site: You can also reach the page from the website's top menu under Academics.

Please note that our proposed IB DP is dependent upon successful verification by the IB Visitors in November.  More pages will be up-loaded over the next few weeks and we shall keep everyone informed of latest developments.

Student Council and Community Service. We had our first Student Council meeting of the year on Thursday. Mr Gallerno explained the roles of all members and procedures that should be used at future meetings. From now on, the agenda will be set and meetings led by students who were elected to executive positions. During our first meeting, there were suggestions raised by Student Council members that should be shared with our community: Movember and Toy Drive.

Movember: Hanova has had a tradition of using November to raise funds for charity by encouraging staff members not to shave their moustaches and/or beards for the entire month. At the end of the month of “Movember”, students will be given the chance to vote for the staff member that they believe has the best facial hair. Each vote will cost 1 RMB, and Student Council members voted that all money raised will be donated to Elim Kids Orphanage (see below). The Student Council will be creating posters to promote this event and encouraging students to vote. If you notice that many teachers have fuzzy faces this month, it’s not because they all lost their razors! It is a way for us to show that we care about Community Service.

Toy Drive: Elim Kids is a fairly new organisation in Xi’an that works with children who have HIV. HIV is a very serious disease that currently has no cure. Elim Kids takes care of many of the needs of their special children, including costly medication and medical care. With the holiday season fast approaching, Student Council members suggested that we might start collecting new or clean, gently used toys that could be delivered to Elim Kids before our Midwinter Break in December. If you wish to contribute, there will be a collection bin set up in the front lobby. Donations can also be collected by homeroom teachers. Please be generous!

Educational visits and visitors in the PYP. It is exciting to see primary students going out of the campus to get experience of the real world around and also inviting parents in to contribute to our unit of inquiry. Our Reception students made their way to the supermarket to buy some healthy snacks last week. This field trip was to assess their understanding of healthy and unhealthy food. They also applied their concept of money by calculating their expenses and making payments. It was a learning experience outside the school which was very exciting for the little ones and the parents too.

Year 1 have been talking about needs and wants and healthy lifestyle in their unit of inquiry. They organised and enjoyed a ‘food festival’ in the classroom. The parents helped by getting food from their country and shared with all. It was a real treat with many healthy salads, sandwiches, juices and shakes. Some good quality time was spent discussing and eating the need of healthy food for leading a balanced life.

Year 2 will be visiting a primary school soon to see how other schools are similar or different to Hanova as one of their lines of inquiry is: How the schools are organised. This field trip will lead them to making connections and to transfer their understanding of a school outside their own school and extend their knowledge about other schools.

Year 3 has been getting lot of visitors to share ‘fables’ from different countries and cultures as they are exploring how fables can help us learn about the beliefs and values of different cultures. These types of units make our students more open minded and international minded. I was surprised to find out how knowledgeable these students have become. They now understand that fables are not just stories. You might spend some time talking to our year 3 students to know what fables are to get some interesting insight.

Year 4 and 5 have been buddying up to read together and help each other. They also have regular parents coming in to help with reading and more. It is very nice to see parents involve and feel like a part of Hanova family.

Year 6 has been making great progress too.  They are working regularly on presentations and doing some wonderful science experiments in the class. Slowly they are getting more and more confident at organising and leading the Friday assemblies too.

Safety on Bodi site. Please can I emphasise that there is a 5km per hour speed limit inside Bodi School.  Take extra care during this time and keep Bodi and Hanova students safe. Thank you for your cooperation during this week, as when we returned to school on Monday we were most surprised to see the beginnings of a trench being dug across the approach road to Hanova.

Buses have been picking up and dropping off at the roundabout inside Bodi premises.  The students are being accompanied to and from the buses and are able to walk across boarding over the dug up road. We have requested that parents bringing their children by car turn right at the junction before the roundabout and park along that road, walking their children to school by the swimming pool. We have asked not to park closer to our school (at the west side of the swimming pool) as that area becomes congested. We have been informed that this work will have been completed before Monday.

Hallowe’en. Children in the Primary may come to school on Friday (tomorrow) dressed up in Hallowe’en costumes.  All the primary students including all ghosts, ghouls and queens will meet together for the usual Friday assembly.  Some classes are doing other related activities during the day which you will have been informed of by the homeroom teachers.  It is suggested that students bring a change of clothing so that after assembly they are able to be more comfortable and focus on the learning activities for the day. 

Xi’an City Wall Marathon. We have a large contingent of Hanova staff, parents and students entering the various races at the Xi’an City Wall Marathon on Saturday.  Those 46 of us who have registered through the school and Xianese will pick up their run packet (shirt, run number and wall ticket) from the Belgian Bar.  Please be there by 8am as there will be about 120 people there collecting their run packet, changing and leaving items there.  All runners have to be on the wall by 8:30am.

English books from Scholastic. You will know that we send the Scholastic Book Catalogue home periodically for parents to order books in English from Scholastic.   Scholastic bookseller is happy to do a small order at any time.   If you are interested in finding out more please come to our library to ask for latest catalogue. Then give the order sheet and money to Ms Camellia Feng.  Books will arrive in 4-6 weeks time. 

Primary school closure for staff training. As explained in the Newsletter two weeks ago the school will be closed to Primary students only on Thursday, 6th and Friday, 7th November.  It will be open as usual for the Secondary school.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events                

Friday, 31st                                  Hallowe’en parade for Primary 9am

Friday, 31st                                   No Secondary Assembly – students with CAS advisers


Saturday, 1st                                Xi’an City Wall Marathon

Thursday, 6th & Friday, 7th       IB PYP teacher training.  School closed for Primary, Open for Secondary

Wednesday, 12th to Friday, 14th          Diploma Programme Verification Visit

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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