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The Principal's Newsletter

IB Diploma CAS Archery

By Francesco Masetti-Placci

Dear Parents and friends,

We are now in the month of December, only two weeks before the Winter Holidays. Hereafter the news related to this week and the upcoming events up to the end of the First Semester.

Primary News. During last week Year 1a students had fun with the dreidl game and cooking potato latkes as part of their “Celebrations Around the World” Unit.

IB Diploma CAS Archery. Last Friday saw the introduction of a new sport at Hanova – archery. Under the watchful eye of our Athletic Director, Mr. Lynn, the IB Diploma students in Years 12 and 13 learned how to construct their bows, observe safety measures and had their first target practice. It was a lot of fun and leading the pack so far are Kai Trull, Rose Jiang and Leo Hu.

Plans are already afoot for setting up an Archery Club as a Secondary School ECA next semester. The CAS Archery sessions take place every Friday in lesson 6 – parents are encouraged to come along and enjoy the fun as well.

Author visit. Alan Gibbons, a young readers’ author from the UK, spent four days with Hanova students this week and shared his experiences in becoming an author. During his stay, he held special creative writing workshop sessions for our Secondary students and storytelling sessions with our Primary students, taking them from building ideas to writing drafts to the ending process. The workshops were well received by teachers and students, who enjoyed themselves very much during Alan’s workshops.

Many thanks to Alan Gibbons for visiting Hanova, to our students who have worked with enthusiasm, to all teachers and coordinators who have arranged the workshops and to our librarian, Ms. Hou, for arranging the interesting visit.

Upcoming University Visits. Hanova will continue to host university visits during the next weeks. The upcoming visits are:

  • Duke Kunshan University: at 13:00 on 7th December
  • University of Notre Dame: at 13:00 on 14th December

Parents and friends are strongly encouraged to attend these university events. For more information, please contact our University and Careers Counselor Ms. Zhu ( ).

Duke Kunshan University is a Sino-American partnership of Duke University and Wuhan University to create a world-class liberal arts and research university offering a range of academic programs for students from China and throughout the world. With the goal of spearheading the future of higher education, Duke Kunshan University is influenced and informed by both Chinese and American traditions of higher education. The shared vision of Duke University and Wuhan University is that Duke Kunshan will help address the changing needs of global higher education. As an international, intellectual community that encourages diversity, openness and creative learning, Duke Kunshan University welcomes outstanding students and faculty from around the world, who contribute diverse perspectives and experiences to this global learning environment. The university’s innovative academic programs inspire students to master academically rigorous course work, generate new ideas and develop creative solutions to the world’s challenges, preparing them not just for careers in specific fields, but to become globally sophisticated leaders and citizens.

University of Notre Dame is consistently recognized as one of the top universities in the world, in particular for its undergraduate education. University of Notre Dame is a private Catholic, a prestigious research university founded in the mid nineteenth Century. It located in South Bend Indiana, and its undergraduate education is ranked as one of the American’s top 20 universities. At the USNews ranking in 2018, the University of Notre Dame is ranked No. 18.

Christmas Lightning Ceremonies. Our Primary students ( Year 2, Year 4 and Year 5) are participating to the Christmas Decoration Lightning Ceremonies of three hotels in Xi’an, as part of our involvement in the city life.

The Performing Arts Club, which started as an ECA run by Mr. Caleb and Mrs. Melissa, has now expanded to include more girls from Year 4 and Year 5.

After a wonderful performance at the Hilton Xi’an High-Tech Zone in Gaoxin District, the group performed at the Shangri-la Xi’an last Friday night, where there was also a special performance by Year 2 students. The last performance will be on the 8th December at the Gran Meliá Xi’an.

The original Performing Arts Club will also present their play “Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge” next January 2018 at the conclusion of the first round of ECAs.

Movember. You may have noticed quite a few male teachers with fuzzy faces during this month. They did not all lose their razors at the same time! Several Hanova teachers are participating in our annual Movember charity fundraising event. Movember is a concept developed in Australia that has spread around the world. At Hanova, it involves growing a moustache and/or beard for a whole month and then styling facial hair in creative ways for a photo. These photos will be used to create a poster that will be placed in each classroom for students to view and to help them decide which teacher they would like to vote for in the categories of: Best Man of Movember, Worst Man of Movember, Best Woman of Movember, and Worst Woman of Movember. Competition among teachers in all of these divisions is fierce! Students will be given ballots, which they can use to vote. Ballots can be used to vote as many times as they wish and each vote will cost 1 RMB. For example, if a student wishes to vote for a teacher 50 times, it would cost 50 RMB. Voting will begin on Monday, December 4th and winning teachers will be announced on Friday, December 8th. Please be generous! All money raised will be added to the total donation from our upcoming Christmas Market event and given to charity.

Primary Winter Concert. A reminder to parents to book their presence to the PYP annual Winter Concert “The Crazy Alarm Clock”, which will take place Wednesday 6th December from 6pm to 7pm. An invitation has been sent to all families, asking to confirm their presence to the Homeroom teacher or the Marketing Team. Please note that confirmation is mandatory and places will be limited to 2 parents / family members per student. All our Primary students will be involved in this concert, thus parents who do not attend need to pick up their child(ren) from the classroom at 7pm.

Hanova Christmas Market. A reminder about the upcoming Hanova Christmas Market on 9th December at 10:00am, a community event devoted to fun and social activities. Staff and Parents are working hard all the preparation and logistics, to ensure it will be an outstanding day.

Secondary School Awards Assembly. Parents are reminded that we will be having a special awards assembly on Friday, 15th December at 9.30am. In addition to various activities, presentations and displays, selected students in MYP and DP will be awarded certificates of excellent academic achievement.

Food, beverages and entertainment will be provided and all parents in Secondary School are strongly encouraged to attend this celebration event.

Thanks again for your continuing support.


Francesco Masetti-Placci


Upcoming Events

Friday, 1st December                                        PYP Performing Arts Club – Shangri-la Xi’an

Saturday, 2nd December                                   SAT Session

Wednesday, 6th December                               Primary Winter Concert

Thursday, 7th December                                   Kunshan Duke University

Friday, 8th December                                        PYP Performing Arts Club – Gran Meliá Xi’an

Saturday, 9th December                                    Hanova Christmas Market

Thursday, 14th December                                 University of Notre Dame

Friday, 15th December                                      Secondary Celebration Awards Assembly

Friday, 15th December                                      PYP and MYP Student reports

Friday, 15th December                                      Last day of First Semester (Half Day)

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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