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The Principal's Newsletter

Year 5 Students perform “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” play

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Last week students from Year 5 performed the play, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, to audience of primary students and a number of parents. Everybody was entertained and impressed by the quality of the acting and the sequencing of the many scenes of the play.   Students had four weeks to learn their lines, get their costumes and props organised and rehearse various scenes.  Pleasingly all students rose to the challenge and displayed impressive cooperation, organisational and problem solving skills. Above all else, they produced a play that was child centred and marked an important milestone in the lives of Year 5 students.  Very well done!

Christmas parties. During last week and this there have been class parties throughout the Primary.  A very big thank you to parents many of whom sent so much food for the children to enjoy and even partook in several of the parties.  These were lovely community events.

Staff changes. Owing to the development of the school and our continued determination to make Hanova a top quality international school with the extensive teaching and support staff to deliver programmes of the highest quality, we have 4 new teachers joining us near the start of next semester.

We are absolutely delighted that the very popular Mrs Jeannie Rice is able to rejoin the school.  She will initially join the EASE (English Acquisition Support and Extension) team in primary.  She, her husband and 4 children are flying into Xi’an from USA on 26th January.

Mr Tony Manning from New Zealand, an experienced Primary teacher will be here ready for the start of the semester on 5th January.  He will also be joining the EASE team initially.

Ms Karin Hiscox is an experienced Special Needs coordinator. Her role will be to advise staff on extending differentiation in classes to support the needs of the wide variety of students we have.  We anticipate Ms Hiscox’s visa will be cleared and she will able to fly to Xi’an for mid January.

Mr Francesco Masetti is an addition to the Secondary team.  He will initially join the Secondary staff as Maths, Science and Technology teacher.  It is planned that he will also support the marketing team in the longer term as he has extensive business and educational experience. Mr Masetti should be here for 12th January.

This again shows the high level of investment that the Board are committing to the school as we continue to develop.

Ms Rita Yang and Ms Cherry Wang, who have both been here temporarily as interns to support the Chinese programme, are leaving.  We thank them for all their support for the school, as they take the next step in their careers.

Korean teacher request. Due to student demand we are looking to appoint a teacher of Korean Language and Literature. It is anticipated that - as of August 2015 - we will need a native speaker of Korean to teach five students in Year 12 who will be studying Diploma Korean Literature. Teaching experience would be beneficial - but the school would be giving continual training and guidance. Experience in the IB Diploma would also be ideal - but, again, the school would send the successful applicant for official IB training.

The successful applicant would be working in close contact with our English and Chinese team on a part time timetable - about 10 lessons a week. They would be teaching 8 works of literature, including 3 literary works that are translated into Korean from other languages. Under the supervision of the IB Diploma Coordinator, they would be responsible for conducting oral and written examinations. The school would provide a local salary and benefits that would be negotiable with the successful candidate.  Those interested should contact Lucy ( who will make an appointment with the IB Diploma Coordinator.

Reports. The teachers of the Diploma students and the Middle Year Programme (MYP) students have been busy collating information about the students’ performance and writing their reports. It has been a pleasure for me to read through the comments and see the grades and in particular to see the great progress that many of our students are making. You should receive these by email on Wednesday, 17th December.

It has been decided that we will only email reports to parents this year. If any parent would like a printed hard copy, they should contact Hilary ( Parents should also be able to read their child’s report via Managebac.

PYP Chinese New Year Performance. The Primary Years Programme students are planning to honour our host country by celebrating the Chinese New Year on Thursday, 12th February. We would like to invite our community to take part in this annual celebration.  Last year we showcased the many talents of our Chinese students with a range of performances from playing the cello, to a magic performance, to calligraphy.  Our non Native students celebrated by showing their respect with performances based on a ballet choreographed with Chinese movements and music, poetry recitation,  and an art show.  A highlight of the show was the Chinese dance "Yong Chun" by a group of dedicated Chinese mums! If you or your child/children would like to take part we will be sending out more information in the new year (western, not Chinese!).  If you would like to know more information, please do not hesitate to contact the office.  We hope to make this another one of the events that makes Hanova special.

PYP Coordinator’s message for parents:

Festive Season

It is the time of the year when you will get the opportunity to spend some quality as well as quantity time with your children.  I am very sure the children are looking forward to Christmas tree, presents, festive food and Santa as much as we are. That is what this season is all about; spending time, if you are lucky enough, with your family.

As a parent you can contribute to your child’s learning by giving them the most important gift which is the simplest and least expensive of all. It is the sheer time of being with you, and the opportunity and joy of being a child exploring the natural world. This time can be spent in the yard, in a park, in the container garden on your fifth floor balcony, or on the playground.

Organised activities, while having their own rightful place in a child’s life, are not the same as free, self-selected, spontaneous play; play that is unorganised by an adult where learning can be more significant.  It is during this unstructured time that children unwind, relax, focus and refresh. It is during this time that they develop the skills of leadership and conflict resolution. When the brain has a chance to process the day’s information, the child develops habits of the mind, heart and soul – thinking, creativity, loving and learning.

Play in All Kinds of Weather

Don’t let bad weather deter you: go outside in all types of weather. During all seasons, take a picnic or snack and go outside with it.  Walk and record on a calendar what you and your child notice in nature with every season. Just sit and rock on your porch or in front of your window at various times of any day and listen to the sounds. Make a birdfeeder and place it near a window so your child can watch the birds eat. Take a walk in the snow and compare your footprints and the footprints of other animals...

Those joyful childhood experiences about the world of nature, engulfing all of the five senses will create lifelong memories for you and family.

Have a safe and happy Christmas!

Abhi Jain

We wish you and your loved ones a Safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events                

Wednesday, 17th          Primary Years Final Assembly

Wednesday, 17th          MY students reports home (PY reports are planned to go home in January)

Wednesday, 17th          Last day before Christmas holiday

January 2015

Monday, 5th                   First day of second semester

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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