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The Principal's Newsletter

PYP Art Exhibition 2015

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Staff appointments. I am pleased to tell you that we have three new teachers that have joined us in the last week of last term or in the first week of this. 

Melissa Biglands PYP Coordinator

Ms Biglands joined Hanova as our Primary Years Programme (PYP) Coordinator in February 2015.  She already has 7 years of PYP experience including two previous schools as PYP Coordinator.  Melissa gained her Diploma of Teaching and then her Postgraduate Diploma of Educational Studies both at universities in her native Australia.  She began her teaching career in Melbourne and brings to Hanova over 15 years of International teaching experience from Brunei, Vietnam, Qatar, Germany and China.

Caleb Hewitt- Jones. Learning and Wellbeing Coordinator, Drama, English and Humanities

Mr Hewitt-Jones joined us in February 2015 along with his wife Melissa Biglands.  He has over 15 years experience as a teacher, Learning and Wellbeing Coordinator and Educational Psychologist where he has been able to apply the training and knowledge he received whilst gaining his Masters in Educational Psychology. The vast majority of his experience has been in International schools around the world where he has taught both Secondary and Primary age students. Caleb has recently been through a successful IB authorisation at a leading school in Germany. Caleb is originally from Australia.

Sunny Park. Korean Language and Literature

Ms Sunny Park joined us in March 2015 as Korean Language and Literature teacher for senior students, currently those in Y11 and 12.  Sunny has Bachelor degrees in Psychology and Education and also holds the certificate of secondary school teaching.  She has 4 years teaching experience mainly at university level and prior to that, was a lecturer as an auditor for a worldwide company for more than 10 years in her native Korea.

We welcome all three teachers to the Hanova Community.

Art Exhibition. I hope you were able to see the wonderful Art Exhibition that was displayed hanging along the verandah making a new corridor of visual treats prior to the Chinese New Year celebrations.  A variety of work was displayed from every student from Nursery up to Y7.  These were the classes taught by Mr Ajay Jain. The children took home the artwork before the holiday.  We are sorry that this week will be the last for Abhi and Ajay Jain as they move to another part of China.  I would like to thank them for all their hard work for the children and the school and wish them all the best for the future.  Abhi has worked very hard to prepare the way for our PYP authorisation, a role that is now being taken over by Melissa Biglands.

A new teacher is in the final stages of being appointed to take over the Art teaching from Mr Jain.  I hope to include a brief bio of them in next week’s newsletter.

University visits. There are a number of events organised by our University and Careers Counsellor, Sharon Zhu. First of all, the University of Brunel has cancelled its visit on the 8th March owing to their business schedule changes. They will come back later this year. Instead, three more universities will be coming this month, University of York and University of Aberdeen from UK, and University of New Mexico from USA.

University of York is ranked as one of the top 10 universities in UK. Their leading majors are Computer Science, Education, Psychology, English, Music, and Architecture. The officer is going to visit Hanova on 17th March at 10:00 am and give our students a presentation.

The admission officer from University of Aberdeen is going to visit Hanova on the following day, 18th March around 9:30am. The University of Aberdeen is an ancient university founded in 1495. Five Nobel Prize winners are associated with the University. Their leading majors are Medical Science, Law, Philosophy, and Engineering.

The admission officer from University of New Mexico is going to visit Hanova on 27th March with the time to be finalised. University of New Mexico, which was founded in 1889, is a public research university located in United States. Their leading majors are Engineering, Medical Science, Humanity, and Biology.

The University of Bristol is going to hold a public counseling from 11:00-12:00, Thursday 13th March on the 5th Floor, Comprehensive Building The Middle School Affiliated To Shaanxi Normal University, No.12 West Ci'en Road, Yanta District, Xi'an. If you are interested in attending, please let me know so that I can arrange the transportation there.

You are welcome to contact Sharon Zhu by email ( or phone (+86 18523858055) if you have any questions.

Student Collection Card. Parents in Primary are being asked whether they would like to be involved with the trial of a new Student collection card.  This is not a scheme for you to collect more children! As the school continues to grow there are many more teachers and students.  There may therefore be occasions in the future where a teacher or other member of staff taking students may not know the adult or parent picking up a child.  At the moment if a member of staff responsible for a child, usually at the end of the day, does not know the person collecting the child then they contact the office who then either confirms the collector or calls one of the parents.

We are now offering parents of Primary students the chance to get a Student Collection card.  This is a scheme whereby a child will only be handed over to an adult at the end of the day if that adult has the relevant form of identity.  This scheme is designed to make our system more foolproof.  The scheme is intended to be policy for all Primary students next school year, depending on the outcome of the trial.  Primary parents have been written to about this separately and you should have received this letter by the end of Friday, 6th March.  If you did not receive the letter please contact the office.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events                


Tuesday, 17th                University of York Admissions 10am

Wednesday, 18th          University of Aberdeen Admissions 9:30am

Friday, 27th                    University of New Mexico Admissions – time to be finalised


Wednesday, 1st             International Day

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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