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The Principal's Newsletter

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival

By Francesco Masetti-Placci

Dear Parents and friends,

Next week our school will close for the National Holiday week, which includes also the Mid-Autumn Festival. It will be the first opportunity to enjoy a break during this academic year and we extend our wishes to all our community, especially students and parents.

 Mid-Autumn Festival. Also known as the Moon Festival, it is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar. The traditional food of this festival is the moon-cake, which comes in many different varieties. Traditionally, on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather together to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat delicious moon cakes. This year the festival falls on October 4th. In Chinese culture, roundness symbolizes completeness and togetherness.

A full moon symbolizes prosperity and reunion for the whole family. The round mooncakes complement the harvest moon in the night sky at the Mid-Autumn Festival. So, the mooncake is not just a food, it’s a profound cultural tradition in Chinese people’s hearts, symbolizing a spiritual feeling. At Mid- Autumn Festival people eat mooncakes together with family, or present mooncakes to relatives or friends, to express love and best wishes. Scholars claim that China’s autumnal celebrations date back to the Shang Dynasty, which makes this tradition more than 3000 years old. China listed the festival as an “intangible cultural heritage” in 2006 and it has been a public holiday since 2008.

IB Diploma Reports – 31st October 2017. As previously announced, we will be issuing reports for Years 12 and 13 via ManageBac on Tuesday, October 31st .

The report for Year 12 will be an interim report that will indicate achievement grades for all Diploma subjects and a progress indicator for CAS. There will be comments from the CAS Advisor and IB Diploma Coordinator.

However, the report for Year 13 this October will be a full report. This report will feature achievement grades and comments from each IB Diploma subject as well as progress indicators for TOK, CAS and the Extended Essay. There will be comments from the CAS Advisor, University and Careers Counsellor, and IB Diploma Coordinator covering Extended Essay and TOK.

The IB Student Registry is a platform that links ManageBac with IB and universities world-wide. When our students want to find out about or contact or apply to universities, they can do so directly by clicking on the university link on Student Registry.

When our students apply to a university, universities can also access the student’s Profile Page on ManageBac to see what work they have been doing in their Diploma. So it will enable our students to showcase their Extended Essays, TOK Essays, CAS etc – which will really give them an advantage over other student applications.

Later this year we will be introducing Years 11 to the IB Student Registry so that they can get similar preparation for universities.

For more information, please contact directly our IB Diploma Coordinator, Mr. Muntzer ( ).

University News. Congratulations to all of Hanova graduates and all the best wishes to them for their bright future!

Our 2017 graduating class have already received a total of 18 offers from excellent universities around the world, but the good news kept coming in this autumn: our graduates have also been offered places at Yonsei University, Chung Ang University and Kyung Hee University. We are all proud of our students’ achievements.

From September to December, our Year 13 students are all busy preparing the applications to their preferred universities, to continue their studies into higher education.

In September, we hosted the University of California at Davis and Wooster College, both from the United States. UC Davis is one of the 10 campuses of the University of California, one of the most influential public research universities in the world. Wooster College is a private liberal arts college primarily known for its emphasis on mentored undergraduate research in Ohio.

In October we will host the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), which is ranked by the U.S. News & World Report as the 3rd most influential art institution (university) in the USA. SAIC’s alumni includes Walt Disney, the founder of the Disney Company. The admission officer will review our students’ art portfolios during his visit, which is a unique opportunity for students who want to pursue Art as a university major.

In October we will also host the visit from University of Pittsburgh, named as one of the “public ivies” given its reputation as a top research public university. Pitt’s has 10 Nobel laureates, 6 Pulitzer winners and is ranked within the top 50 universities in the World.

Finally, we will host a university fair on the 18th October, which is open to parents and the public: you are welcome to invite guests and friends to join us. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend these university events, and a translator can be provided here at Hanova if needed.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact our University and Careers Counselor, Ms. Zhu ( ).

MYP News. MYP students have finished off the first set of assessments and have delivered some truly exceptional work! Displays are arranged around our school to recognize their achievements, showcasing some examples in the Friday assembly. As always, parents are welcome and invited to join in the assembly.

MYP interim reports will be available on the 13th October on Managebac. If you still find it difficult to access Managebac, please contact our IB MYP and DP Administrator, Ms. Li ( ).

The first MYP Parents, Teachers and Students Conference will take place on Wednesday 18th October. Please book the date, while further details will be sent out to all MYP parents after the holiday by our MYP Coordinator Mrs. Trull ( ).

Primary News: Field Trips. Nursery and Reception are preparing for their first field trip.

Year 1 and Year 2 have finished their first unit of inquiry and have demonstrated great focus for their summative assessment. While on their field trip this week, the Year 2 students have sent postcards to friends in school and they are waiting now with excitement to see when the postcards will arrive to their friends. They have also used their new navigating skills to travel back to school taking the subway.

Year 6 had an exciting field trip last Tuesday: they visited The Great Mosque of Xi’an and Qinglongsi Temple as part of their unit of inquiry. The rituals, traditions, artifacts, … all provide a window into beliefs and values of culture. Students had the opportunity to explore one of the oldest Mosque in China and learn more about Islam. They then observed many Buddhist rituals in Qinglongsi Temple. Year 6 students were real risk-takers, using the Xi’an metro to travel to our destinations (and some of them never had been on public transport in China). They had definitely learnt many new things to complement the subjects taught in the classroom!!

International Day. On Friday, Nov 3rd, we will be having our 6th annual International Day event. This day is intended to celebrate all of the nations and cultures that are represented by our students and staff members at Hanova, as well as to encourage students to develop international mindedness.

We will be having a series of cultural activities in the morning, including a Parade of Nations. After the parade, students will be given Hanova Passports that allow them entry into classrooms that will be set up to represent several different countries. They will participate in a wide variety of enjoyable and educational activities in each room.

Students are encouraged to wear clothing from their own culture or in the colours of their national flag. Parents are welcome and recommended to attend. More information about International Day plans will be sent home with letters soon after the holiday.

Hanova Academies. A reminder that after the holiday, the Academies’ activities will start. You should have received confirmation of your child’s class and schedule if you have registered. For any additional inquiry, please contact our Marketing and Liaison Team.

Thanks again for your continuing support.


Francesco Masetti-Placci


Upcoming Events

Monday, 9th October               School reopens after National Week Holiday

Tuesday, 10th October            School of the Art Institute of Chicago – SAIC (USA) – 1:00pm

Wednesday 11th October        University of Pittsburgh (USA) – 1:00pm

Wednesday 11th October       Assessment in the PYP – 3:00pm

Friday 13th October                MYP First Semester Interim Report (Managebac)

Friday 13th – Sunday 15th       October DP students CAS excursion

Tuesday 17th October             Baylor University (USA) – 1:00pm

Wednesday 18th October        MYP Parent-Teacher-Student Conference

Wednesday 18th October        University Fair (14 universities) – 2:00pm

Wednesday 25th October        PYP English Acquisition Programme – 3:00pm

Tuesday, 31st October IB        Diploma reports for Years 12 and 13

Friday 3rd November               International Day

Friday, 17th November            Staff Professional Development – No school for students

About the Author

Francesco Masetti-Placci

Former School Principal

Dr. Masetti-Placci was a former school Principal of Xi'an Hanova International School from 2015-2018. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Bologna and a Master in Information Technology from Polytechnic of Milan, with studies also in France (University of Rennes) and the USA (Washington University). Before joining Hanova, he previously has taught in secondary schools and universities in Italy, France, USA and China.

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