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The Principal’s Newsletter

Year 7 EOTC to Neolithic Banpo village museum

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Secondary Award Assembly. We would like to congratulate the following students who were our first awardees at the Secondary School Assembly on 5th December:

  • Academic Awards nominees earned 5 house points for their house:
    • Nicole Quilaton, Jimmy Li, Amée Trull, Rodrigo Martin, Aino Jauhiainen, Kelly Lee, Cory Quilaton, Ellen Lee, Emily Chen and Catherine Nam,
  • Academic Awards winners earned 10 house points:
    • Pierce Fu, Andy Kim, Aino Jauhiainen, Emily Chen, Jenny Kim and Sam Lee
  • Special Award winners received 10 points for their houses:
    • Catherine Nam was awarded the Creativity Award for the dramatic use of contrast in her self portrait,
    • Ben Lee was awarded the Community Service Award for organising the student run in the City Wall Marathon and raising over RMB 1000 for the Yellow River Soup Kitchen from sponsorship,
    • Andy Kim was awarded the Sports Award for his constructive engagement in the Physical Education lessons.
  • Emily Chen received the Board Award, which was 2 movies (plus popcorn and ice cream) and an academic dictionary.

Thank you to the parents that were able to attend this special event and well done to the students!

Gran Melia Christmas tree lighting ceremony. A group of Primary students led by Mr Bruce Gorchitza sang Christmas Songs at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Gran Melia hotel in Xi’an last Friday evening.  A number of parents and teachers were there to watch and support the children who sang beautifully.  They were generously treated to food and small gifts by the Hotel GM, Mr Ignacio Martin at the hotel.

Banpo Y7 trip. Last Thursday, the year seven students were treated to a visit to the first Xi’an. Around 6000 years ago a Neolithic tribe settled permanently to the east of the Third Ring Road. Today we know them as the Banpo people. The museum houses this ancient settlement along with a stunning collection of extremely well preserved artifacts including neolithic artwork, pottery, tools and quite a few mysteries.

Students were asked questions pertaining to the significance of the totemic artwork and the etchings found on several pieces of pottery. The most vexing question put to them was the significance of the differing positions that many of the Banpo were found buried in, a puzzle to which academics have no clear answer.

The Banpo fieldwork forms the final piece of assessment in this semester for the year seven Humanities unit on ancient settlements. They are producing documentaries on these questions and more.  We intend to showcase a good example of a student documentary at an assembly after the Christmas break. Many thanks to Mr Bonke, Ms Qi, Ms Ping and Mrs Conole for their assistance in making this such a successful trip. The students represented the school very well in the attitudes and behaviour they presented. In fact, the trip was such a success that we plan to make it a permanent part of the junior Humanities curriculum.

Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs). Preparations are well underway for the next block of ECAs which are planned to start the 3rd week of the next semester.

We gained a lot of parental feedback during Block 1 of ECAs, especially in September.  Many students loved the activities they did, but a number of difficulties were identified.  Firstly with the large number of young children in the school, extending the day by an hour twice a week is too much for many of them.  We are hoping that some time in the future we may be able to be big enough to run buses at different times for different sections of the school.  That is not about to be happening soon unfortunately.

Secondly, a number of parents, especially of the younger students said there were insufficient choices for their age group, especially of non-paid activities.  Thirdly, some activities were felt to be not of high enough challenge or interest.

We have listened to these difficulties and reviewed what we are offering for ECAs for the second block.  We have decided that when ECAs restart in January that we want to offer more choice.  ECAs will therefore be held just once a week, on Wednesdays.  We hope these changes meet parental approval.  You will receive the booking form for ECAs the first week after the midwinter break.  We will date the forms on receipt so that we can use the time of response as one of the criteria for allocating students to the more popular clubs.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events

Wednesday, 10th          Y5 performance of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for Primary students

Saturday, 13th               No Saturday Sports for the winter as notified in last week’s Newsletter

Friday, 12th                    No Primary Assembly

Friday, 12th                    Assessment and Reporting in the MYP 4pm-5pm in auditorium

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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