Welcome Back! Welcome back to all our students and families returning to school for this new academic year. I hope you all enjoyed an excellent and restful summer, so we can start the new academic year with enthusiasm.
A big welcome to all the new students and families joining our school community: we look forward to knowing you all, to involving you in the academic and extra-curricular activities of our school and to creating together the best opportunities for our students. We hosted an induction morning for new families, but I invite you to meet any of us in school at your earliest convenience, to better know in person the school teaching and non-teaching staff.
We have also welcomed all our new teachers and members of staff, some still adjusting to their new life in Xi’an: I encourage you to meet them in person during the next weeks. Together with the returning staff, we worked together since the beginning of August, to prepare the academic and operational activities of our new school year in terms of academics, facilities and services.
Our fifth year starts. On Monday August 15th our fifth year has started and it is great to be part of an international school continuing to grow and to increase its educational excellence. Let me then start the new school year with a series of news for this school year:
- This year we are completing the first IB Diploma Programme (DP): our current Year 13 students will be the fist cohort to graduate during 2017, while our Year 12 students will start the same journey in their foosteps: we will all support them to ensure excellent results.
- Next week we will host a Team from the IB Asia-Pacific Office, as a final step to receive the authorisation for the Middle Years Programme (MYP): we are all thrilled to complete this process after all the preparation work carried out.
- We are also progressing rapidly towards authorization for the Primary Years Programme (PYP) during this school year, and we will keep you informed of our achievements in due course. Once completed, Hanova will become an IB Continuum School, the gold standard in international education.
- Hanova is also an authorized Cambridge School since June 2015, offering the opportunity to sit for the prestigious Cambridge IGCSE exams. In particular, Hanova’s MYP students achieved outstanding results for the Summer 2016 exams: all students passed their subjects with 100% passing rate and 77% of the students achieved A*s – As (the highest grade)! Congratulations to all students and teachers for the effort demonstrated, shown by the impressive results in the very first Cambridge session for our school!
- We have also officially become a Candidate School for the accreditation process with WASC (the US Western Association of Schools and Colleges): we received a very positive feedback after last year’s initial visit, giving us confidence to obtain full accreditation in the near future.
- In Secondary School we will then offer from this year: Psychology to our Diploma Programme and Korean as a mother tongue language throughout Secondary School, and also Spanish (in addition to French and Chinese) and more English as additional languages. We have developed a wonderful English Acquisition booster course, which will focus on enabling our second language students to access the curriculum more quickly. Since English is the language of instruction throughout the school, it is obviously vital that all our students have the correct level of both the spoken and written language to facilitate this.
- In Primary School our growing community has meant the English and Learning Support has grown, and a new program related to mother tongues will be added this year, to further support internationally minded students.
- We will finally expand our social and extra-curricular activities, from sports to arts to student leadership, after becoming a licensed center to offer the prestigious International Award. We will then leverage this to establish more contacts with other schools and academies where possible, so as to provide our students with more opportunities to learn, compete and increase their skills.
- We have finally carried out some refresh of the school infrastructure, with focus on health, safety and security. Some improvements are visible, like the small door leading to Primary, while others are less visible. We will also implement more comprehensive policies and procedures, with your help and collaboration, to ensure the well-being of our students.
We hope that all these improvements, achievements and new programs will show our commitment to make Hanova an excellent and successful International School, and I wish you, together with all the Hanova Teams, a very happy, interesting and rewarding Academic Year. Thanks again for your continuing support.