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The Principal's Newsletter

Upcoming IB Diploma Programme verification visit

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

IB Diploma Programme Verification Visit. Next week will be see the culmination of a lot of hard work by the Secondary School teachers and administrators of the school.  We have visitors from the International Baccalaureate (IB) coming to inspect our school to judge our readiness to deliver the IB Diploma Programme (IB DP). Mr Matthew Thomas is the Visit Leader and Mr Sencer Donmek is the Visit Member. Both are experienced IB DP Coordinators and are working in international schools in Japan and Indonesia respectively. Hanova International School, Xi’an, therefore extends a warm welcome and best wishes to the IB Verification Team when they arrive next week.

There are also a number of parents, and, of course, the students also involved in meetings with this Verification Team. Those involved in the parents meeting are kindly reminded that there will be a pre-meeting this Friday at 2.30pm in the Common Room. A group of our Year 10 and Year 11 students will also be meeting with the visitors and this meeting will be next Friday at 9.00am in the Diploma Common/Study Room. With the exception of a tour of the school facilities on Wednesday afternoon, the various meetings will take place on the third floor – and so will not disrupt the learning in the school or its daily routine.  This programme preparation has been led by Robert Muntzer, Deputy (Secondary) and DP Coordinator-Designate.  Subject to successful authorisation, we aim to implement the DP from August 2015.  We hope to be able to give you the outcome of the visit before we break up for Christmas, after the IB Verification Team have sent their findings to the IB and their evaluation has been moderated. In the meantime, we would like to thank all of our Hanova community who have been part of this historical moment in the school’s history.

Board of Directors Support for the IB Diploma Programme. It’s been no secret that the Board of Directors at Hanova School has been determined and committed to becoming an IB World School since its foundation in 2012. Some parents who attended the last IB Diploma information evening will recall the Diploma subjects information. However, what many parents may not be aware of was the announcement made at that meeting. Being an inclusive, community-driven school, the Board have decided to give something back to our community. Given that it is a universally recognised high quality qualification, undertaking the full IB Diploma is quite expensive for parents.

We are therefore proud to announce that, as of August 2015, the Board will waive a percentage of fees related to Diploma students. All IB World Schools have to pay IB for their services, examinations etc. Part of this is the ‘IB Annual School Fee’. The majority of IB schools world-wide pass this on to parents as a part of their school fees. However, the Hanova Board will subsidize this IB fee by 50% for full Diploma students and by 25% for students taking Diploma Subject Courses (Certificates) – thus marking a significant saving for our parents. Furthermore, most school charge parents administrative fees for Diploma students because of all the external examinations and examination script deliveries. Again the Board have decided to waive these expenses and they will be covered by the school – not our parents. It has been decided that this policy will remain in effect for the next three years until it is reviewed in August 2018.

Year 11 Possible IB Diploma Subject Choices. We have now completed the third round of individual careers meetings with the Year 11 students. Parents and students in Year 11 will shortly receive information from us that confirms their provisional subject choices that have been based upon their university ambitions.

These are likely to change but at least now our students know what subjects they have work towards during the remainder of Year 11. Subject to IB authorisation, it is expected that Year 11 students will be able to confirm their subject choices well before the summer holiday. This will enable them to get properly prepared before August 2015.

Hanova Library. Our Library Coordinator, Amy Hou, who joined us shortly after the start of this school year, has been working hard in upgrading our library and teaching Library skills to the students.  She has been working in collaboration with Ms Camellia Feng, Librarian and some teachers on the Library Committee.  Some updates follow.

For Secondary students. We have purchased an academic database – Questiaschool, which is the premier online library and research tool for high school students. Its collection of thousands of digital titles (83,000 full-text digital books, and 8 million articles) and productivity tools supports cross-curricular studies in standard and advanced high school-level courses. We have also ordered a printer for students who will be doing the Diploma Programme for the purpose of research. Middle Years Programme (MYP) students started having library lessons this last week. During this lesson, students are able to improve such aspects as their information literacy, research skills, references and citation skills.

For all students. We have collected 8 free online resources uploaded on our library website in areas including earth science, math study, Chinese language study, dictionary and also free online book database.  Our library website can only be accessed form inside the school.

Short Story Competition (12-18 years old). For those Secondary Students who fancy themselves as budding short-fiction writers, Mr. English is currently promoting the Little Star/Yew Chung International School Short Story competition.  This is an annual writing competition, which is held amongst the top international schools in China. Winners have the opportunity to be published and attend a Grand Ceremony in Shanghai in March 2015.  Each participant will receive a copy of the winning short stories in a published anthology.  If your child is between the ages of 12-18 and would like to participate, please encourage him/her to ask Mr. English for further details. 

The deadline for submission is 6th January 2015.

Staff. We will be welcoming a new member of staff to the Liaison and Marketing Team next week. Ms Zena Yang has graduated from Curtin University in Malaysia, and completed her Management Masters in Massey University, New Zealand.  She worked in administration in an immigration law firm in Auckland, working directly with partners of the firm on various legal projects. She is fluent in Chinese and English.  Her email is and her mobile is still 15389095953.  We welcome her to our team.

Ms April Hu (aka Tursun) will leave Hanova to pursue opportunities elsewhere.  We thank April for all the work she has done in her time here and wish her all the best for the future.  Lucy Liu ( will lead the marketing team.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events                

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

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

Monday, 24th & Tuesday, 25th              IB PYP Consultant 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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