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The Principal's Newsletter

PYP Student Day Trips & MYP Residential (EOTC)

By Mr Martin Hughes

Dear Parents and

Personal Project Presentation Ceremony. On Friday 29th May, students from Year 11 will be sharing with all Hanova Middle Years students and the wider school community, their experiences of the Personal Project.

The Personal Project is a compulsory 6-8 month activity that students in Year 11 must undertake in order to complete the MYP.  This requires students to plan, design, complete and reflect upon a ‘product’, which can be anything from organising a charity event, doing something artistic, or even creating a video game.

This is an important occasion for the whole Middle Years cohort, as the students will have the opportunity to see the work that lies ahead of them, and to learn from our Year 11 students.

We would like to extend an invite to parents of the current Year 11 students.  We will commence the ceremony on Friday 29th May in the school auditorium at 12.40pm, before moving to the third level of the building where the students will share their presentations.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Inspection Visit from Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). As many Secondary School parents know, Hanova is applying to Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) to become authorised to offer International General Certificates of Secondary Education (IGCSEs) examinations from November 2015. The IGCSE examinations are - like the IB Diploma - universally recognised and would be an option for students at the end of their Year 11.

As part of our application, we will be visited by Mr Brian Quin, who is the CIE Schools Development Manager, this coming Tuesday at 11:30.

He will be meeting with staff, parents, students and the Board and reviewing our preparedness. We will keep you informed of our progress.  Parents of students in Years 9-11 are invited to meet Mr Quin at 11:30 in the auditorium.

Middle Years Programme (MYP) Consultant Visit. On 4th and 5th June, we are very pleased to welcome Mrs Anne Fowles to visit Hanova to assess the school’s readiness to implement the Middle Years Programme.  Mrs Fowles serves as the Chair of the IB Heads Council, is a member of the Board of Governors for the IB, has many years experience of leading IB schools across Asia, and is an adviser and experienced visiting team chair of the Council of International Schools (CIS) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).  Mrs Fowles is also the Head of IGB International School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

She, and the school, will have a busy schedule whereby she will evaluate the standards and practices that have been put in place to ensure that the Middle Years Programme runs according to IB regulations.  Teachers and students will be involved, and as the procedures require the wider school community to be involved, the school would also like to invite parents to be part of the process.

Mr David English, our MYP Coordinator, will be in contact with some of you to determine whether you would be able to join us during the consultation visit for a brief informal chat with the consultant.  If you would like to volunteer, please feel free to contact him by calling the main school office, or by emailing him at:

Year 10-12 Residential. Last week our Year 10 to 12 students were in Yangshuo, Guangxi, for their residential trip with Ms Laura Kang, Mrs Shirley Qi, Mr Peter Donkin and Mr Martin Herben.

The trip for the students was carefully planned in advance, together with the organisation 'Terratribes', to develop our students' leadership skills, perseverance, and cooperation. This was done by going on a three day hike through the beautiful Karst mountain scenery. During our hike we learned about orienteering, setting up tents, cooking our own dinners, and how to pack our bags most efficiently. On top of this we got to paint our own hand fans, cook our own local restaurant meals, play cooperative games and deal with some crazy weather conditions. The students really impressed all the tour guides and teachers with their musical talents, their ability to work well as a team and their positive attitude during the whole trip. As well as a few blisters and wet clothes, we all brought back memories of one of the most amazing trips in Hanova's history to date.

We hereby want to thank all students and parents for helping to make this year's Residential such a great success.

Years 5 and 6 Day Trips. Last week Y5 and Y6 experienced some day trips and an in-school Problem Solving day.  The classes tried some new and adventurous things. Students got to try their hand at pottery, experiencing first hand how difficult it is to make pottery and how talented our ancestors must have been. They hiked up Chihua Mountain and grilled their own food; not only trying new skills for some, but having a tasty outcome too!  Year 5 had a great time catching fish in the mountain stream. Students also got a chance to try their hand at rock climbing and really challenge themselves.

The outdoor week was finished off with a Problem Solving day on Thursday.  The problems were ones they had to work on and solve together in their mini teams.  They showed real creativity, teamwork and dedication as they wrestled with the problems with which they were presented ranging from trying to work together to get all members of the team through different holes in a spider web, to ski slalom requiring coordination of effort and to trying to get a plan using just some string to get a bottle out of a forbidden area. Students greatly enjoyed these character-building activities.

Read-a-thon. You may have seen some interesting paper chains appearing in the corridors or in Primary classrooms.  These are a record of the fantastic efforts students and parents have made in the last four weeks to spend as much time as they can reading English books – a challenge for all, but especially for those at the early stages of learning English.  Our students have been super impressive.  On Wednesday there will be an extra Primary assembly at 9am to celebrate the students’ achievements, when those who have reached their personal goals will receive a certificate.  Please note this is a change of day from that previously notified.

Hanova Carnival. Saturday, June 6th from 9am-2:30pm is an important day for Hanova. It's time once again for our yearly Carnival. For those new to the school, Carnival is a special day to play games, win prizes, enjoy food and watch our talent show. It is also our biggest charity fundraising activity. This year Hanova Student Council has decided to divide all funds between Elim Kids Orphanage and UNICEF earthquake relief for children in Nepal. We hope to beat last year's total - which was over 18,000rmb. Please mark this day on your calendar and plan to bring along the whole family if you are able.

There will also be information sessions for parents, students and visitors who are interested in finding out more about IGCSE (Years 10-11) and Diploma Programme (Years 12-13).  This will take place at 11am in the auditorium.

We need help from our parent community for lunch. Part of it will be catered, but we hope that parents are willing to add their food donations to make this a fabulous international buffet. If you are willing to bring in food, please decide on a price for one serving. Tickets worth 2rmb will be used for all games and food, so if you are bringing in pizza, for example, you might decide to charge 3-4 tickets for one slice.

As mentioned, Carnival tickets will be used to pay for all games and food. They will also be used for Lucky Draw prizes. We already have a voucher from our friends at Gran Melia hotel for a deluxe room stay and other smaller prizes available. If parents can ask their companies to contribute Lucky Draw prizes it would be greatly appreciated. Books of 10 Carnival tickets will soon be on sale at the reception desk for 20rmb each and will also be available for purchase on Carnival day.

Another part of Carnival is a yard sale. The end of the school year is often a time when some families are planning to move on to other places and find that they have too many things to bring with them. If you have gently used items at home that you would like to donate, please bring them in. They will be collected by homeroom teachers and set up for sale on Carnival day. Yard sale items can be purchased for a cash donation. We are looking for some parents to assist in coordinating the yard sale. Parent yard sale helpers will manage setting up and selling yard sale items and collecting cash donations that will be given to charity. Everything that is left over after the yard sale will be donated to Yellow River Soup Kitchen.

If you can help with food or Lucky Draw prizes or would like to volunteer to manage the yard sale, please contact Lucy Liu or Zena Yang in the front office as soon as possible.

Carnival Schedule:

Games and activities: 9:00am-12:00pm

International buffet lunch: 12:00-1:00pm

Talent Show: 1:00-2:30pm

Staff. Ms Anneke Krynauw has had to return to South Africa for an operation.  She has planned this carefully to be the least disruptive to the school and in order to return in time for the start of the new school year.  We wish her all the best for a successful op and speedy recovery.

Class Photos for Yearbook. Tuesday, 26th May will be our official photograph day.  These photographs will be put into our yearbook, which is in the process of being created now - more news will come on the yearbook later.  We ask that your child wear the following Hanova uniform for the photograph:  their green polo shirt, their tan colour shorts, scooter skirt or trousers and preferably dark coloured shoes/tan coloured shoes with short white socks.  We want our students to look as uniform and as lovely as always, so your help is greatly appreciated!  Thank you for your support.

Library. This year our library procedures are a little different from previous years.  In order for us to accurately stock take, we request that all library books are returned the week of June 8th to June 12th. From Wednesday, of the last week (17th June), you are welcome to contact Ms Amy Hou ( or come to her office if you require books for your children to read for the summer holiday.

Best regards,

Martin Hughes


Forthcoming events                

Tuesday, 19th to Saturday, 23rd Year 7-9 Residential to Yangshuo

Thursday, 21st                             University of New York, Abu Dhabi presentation to parents and students  11:00

Friday, 22nd                                 Admission Panel meets to consider students applications for next year

Tuesday, 26th                              Class photograph and school photo day for Yearbook – see above

Tuesday, 26th                              University of North Carolina Chapel Hill presentation to parents and students 10:30

Tuesday, 26th                              Cambridge International Exams visitor meets parents and students 11:30

Wednesday, 27th                        Read-a-thon Assembly (Primary) 09:00

Friday, 29th                                  Personal Project presentations 12:40

Friday, 29th                                  New applicants receive offer or refusal of place at Hanova


Thursday, 4th and Friday, 5th   Middle Year Programme Consultant visit

Saturday, 6th                               Hanova Carnival and Talent show

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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