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The Principal's Newsletter

University and Author Visits

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

2015-16 School Year. Plans are well underway for 2015-16 School Year – the first school year where Hanova will teach the Diploma Programme as an IB World School!

Student numbers. A number of our year groups are full or nearly full so parents will soon be asked about whether their children are staying at Hanova next year.  The school has been full for certain mother tongue speakers, nationalities and levels of English for some time, but now we have reached, or are nearing, capacity in a number of year groups. 

Parents will be asked to confirm the continuing need of a place(s) for their children, so that we can ensure places for our current students.  We can then offer vacancies to some new applicants.

Staff.  The staffing complement for next year is nearing completion.  In order to serve the needs of the students taking the Diploma there has been the need to make some additional appointments.  Some other subjects are not required by the particular cohort of students we have next year in the Diploma.  As is common in international schools, there are also some staff moving on at the end of contracts.  More information will follow as we finalise next year’s staffing.

Programme Developments and Timetable.  This week the management team have almost finalised the timetable for next year.  The initiation of the Diploma Programme is the most important development next year.  There are plans for some changes in the daily schedule including the separation of the lunch break between Primary and Secondary to make more effective use of the teaching time and the facilities.  The start and finish time for each school day will be very similar to the current one.

Premises.  Some minor changes to the premises are planned to enable the expanding faculty to effectively carry out their teaching.

Calendar.  You will find attached to this letter the calendar of holiday dates and some of the main events, including dates of reports, exams, parent conferences.  You will be informed via the Newsletter and on the website of any revisions and additions to the calendar. 

Author visit. It is rare in schools of Hanova's age to have an author visit, but on Monday and Tuesday this week, we had the privilege to have Trevor Kew, a six-times published author, visit Hanova and deliver writing sessions for students in Year 7 to Year 9. The English department are very keen to engage students in developing their creative voices, and this was yet another great chance for the Year 7, 8 and 9 classes to practise this with a seasoned professional.

Over Trevor's two day visit, the classes were taken through the creative writing process, practised writing short stories themselves, and had the opportunity to read excerpts from some of his novels.  The students across all year groups enjoyed the activities immensely, and many bought copies of Trevor's books to read at home. Even some of our more reluctant readers were seen to be running up to Trevor at the end of the sessions to shake his hand!

If your child would like a copy of one of Trevor's novels, or needs to pay for a copy that they have ordered, please remind your son/daughter that they must take their money to Miss Amy Hou, our librarian, during morning break-times.  Existing copies are limited, so purchases will be on a first come, first served basis.

University Visits. This week we were honoured to have a recruitment officer from INTO China ® representing 2 top universities in China; Nankai University and Dongbei University of Finance and Economics.

Nankai University provides a Medicine MBBS for international students. The Nankai MBBS is a six-year, English-medium programme, which contains 4 years in class and 2 years clinical experience. Medical degrees awarded by Nankai University are internationally recognised and validated by the World Health Organisation (WHO). An MBBS degree from Nankai is a primary medical qualification (PMQ) allowing direct progression into professional medical practice.

Dongbei University of Finance Economics (DUFE) provides International Business Management programme and Hospitality and Tourism Management programme. DUFE was founded in 1952 and is one of China’s top-ranked finance, banking and economics universities, consistently in the top three nationally for producing the most employable graduates. The International Business Management is a 4-year English programme combines the theory and practice of business management with an emphasis on international business issues. 

The entry requirements for all programmes listed above are that applicants need to reach the IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. Applicants with IELTS 5.5 can enroll on a pre-sessional, English Course prior to commencing their studies. No Prior Chinese Language is needed. Scholarships are available for all programmes. Applicants with foreign passports (excluding passports from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau) are eligible to apply.

If you are interested in any of these programmes, please feel free to contact our UCC, Ms. Sharon by phone (+86 18523858055) or email ( for more information.

Please be reminded that the University of New Mexico is coming into school this Friday at 1.00pm. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend this event because this is another US university that recognises the IB Diploma and awards significant scholarships for IB Diploma graduates.

Work Experience and End of Year Examinations for Years 7 to 12. Please be advised that the planned work experience week for students in Years 10 and 11 will not be taking place this year. We have therefore changed the dates for the end of year examinations for students in Years 10, 11 and 12. The examinations will now take place from Monday May 4th to Friday May 8th. Examinations will be conducted in all subjects and will cover all the work that the students have studied this academic year.

Year 10 examination papers will be based upon those similar to IGCSE and Year 11 examinations will incorporate IB Diploma type elements as well. Students and parents will receive the examination week schedule next week and it is strongly encouraged that students use this as the basis of their revision schedules. End of year examinations for Years 7 to 9 run from Monday 11th May to Friday 15th May.

Award Assembly. On Friday 27th March 2015, the Hanova International School of Xi’an will hold our second Awards Assembly where outstanding academic students will be awarded Faculty Awards. The student with the most Faculty Award nominations will receive the Board Award. As the name suggests, this award is donated by our Board of Directors. It includes a fun and a serious element. All parents are invited to attend the Award Assembly which starts at 2:55pm.

International Day. Thank you for your response to the letter requesting food for International Day next Wednesday.  We are looking forward to seeing many parents take part in at least some parts of this day where we celebrate our diversity.

Evacuation Drill. We held an Evacuation Drill, sometimes better known as Fire Drill, on Wednesday.  Everyone was out of the building in 3 minutes and that was confirmed against registers inside 5½ minutes.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events                

Friday, 27th                    University of New Mexico Admissions 1pm

Friday, 27th                    Secondary Award Ceremony 2:55pm


Wednesday, 1st             International Day

Thursday, 2nd   Last student day before Qing Ming Spring break

Friday, 3rd                       Professional Development Day for Teachers

Monday, 13th                First student day after holiday

Wednesday, 15th          ECA Block 3 begins

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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