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Hanova IB Diploma CAS Excursion 2018

By Mr Robert Muntzer

Dear Parents and friends

We hope that you all enjoyed this last ‘long weekend’; for most of us, it was a well-deserved rest after a very busy week of successful events.

The teaching and support staff of the school underwent professional training last week and there were several workshops aimed at improving the teaching and learning in the school. The Secondary School staff reviewed the whole of Section C – Curriculum; addressing the 45 IB standards and practices in written curriculum, collaborative planning, teaching and learning and assessment. There were also workshops in English language teaching and Approaches to Learning (ATL).

In Primary School, the classroom teachers and teaching assistants developed their written curriculum, and there were also workshops on using Jolly Phonics, and meetings designed to improve our languages and English provision, and training for our teaching assistants.

At the same time, the Diploma students in Years 12 and 13 planned and undertook their DP CAS Excursion; from all accounts, this was not only enjoyable but provided lots of learning opportunities.

Back in school, we are happy to announce that Ms. Yeri Wang has joined the Hanova team as Teaching Assistant for Year 4. We also hope to announce the recruitment of a Year 5 teaching assistant shortly.

News from Secondary School 

IB Diploma CAS Excursion. China has seen many capitals throughout history, switching capitals between dynasties and even seasons. This has led to a long list of Chinese capitals, and fitting for a country with a history as long and rich such as this one. Of these capitals,

Beijing – the present capital of China – has been the capital multiple times, and now has been capital for almost seventy years. These years brought many changes to Beijing, both culturally and economically; being shown both in infrastructure and heritage sites. Sites that, if living in china, (which we were) we had to see.

So last Thursday at 7am, after the intensive planning of our friends in Year 12 and the school, we made this plan a reality.

The journey spanned many hours, four by train and more by bus. Though through transit not much tends to happen, we still came across many landmarks. Landmarks such as the brand-new spanking train-station, the heavenly Macdonald’s coffee and the gorgeous train seat in front of us, showed an epic of transit. In the bus, we encountered a timeless murder mystery, “who caused all this traffic?” and “When would we get out alive?” the answer was debatable and unclear. However, after many interrogations and a short nap, we awoke forgetting these questions, and were completely shocked to be in a completely different scene. Scenes with luscious green trees beside open winding roads. We had escaped traffic and were now driving to Gubei Watertown, north of Beijing.

Gubei was peaceful, its architecture a reminder of older times. The path we walked, carefully cut stone, the hotel we checked into, crafted and cured wood. The scene was picturesque, something everyone with a phone, a camera or both, would capture later. First though, we needed food, and what better place than the Manchurian restaurant at the hotel. This food put the Macdonalds to shame! Filling meaty stewpots, well-seasoned and prepared vegetable dishes; it was great. It served as fine fuel for the path ahead.

The Great Wall of China, an incredible monument, stood in the distance from Watertown. Like some ancient snake golem frozen in time, challenging us to come slay it. In the face of such an archaic colossus who were we to turn down this challenge? We moved at night, in groups of two, we hiked the hill and snuck up the spine of the snake. Reading the remnants of good luck and goodwill left by previous souls, we advanced further up the wall. Cold winds flowed, and our inexperienced legs ached but that wouldn’t stop us. Our eyes, lit up by the lanterns and lamps, not just on the wall but also from Watertown just below us. We noticed flames and lights coming from the base of the hill. Only later would we find out what these were. In that moment we were still focused, we had to get to the end. Once we reached the end, we took a group photo; a memento of the night’s struggle. The flames and the lights were still there when we returned; they were a fantastically well-engineered light and water show.

But, it was time. We had to go into the city; we had to experience the capital, with our two feet and eyes as the majority of the citizens there did. It started once more with a bus, this time however we were prepared. Though three accidents ahead of the road had attempted to hinder our speed, it did not deter us. We still arrived, ready to walk to our hotel. A short walk, that actually revealed lots of interesting things. The roads were surprisingly not trafficked, considering how close to the center of Beijing we were. The streets incredibly well gardened considering this fact as well.

Next we went and saw one of the most interesting sights of the whole trip, The Forbidden Palace and Tian An Men Square. Two places serving as grand capitals of the same city not that far apart in use times, but in reality completely different. Similarities these structures shared were the sheer scale and the attention to looks as well as security. Apparently, there were no bushes in the forbidden palace so that assassins could not hide in them.

Our trip to Beijing, actually was very interesting. I think we achieved what we had aimed to achieve, experiencing something new, which I believe is the best part of anything. Experiences – especially the different ones – can be in your memory for your whole life. The best ones are great for establishing perspective and outlook, and also serve as keystones in your life to look back on. That’s why I believe everyone should always strive for new experiences. Have the best experiences you can, or just do what you’re comfortable with. It’s your life.

Joss Muntzer, CAS Reporter

“2018 CAS trip was amazing! It was great that we could explore magnificent Chinese culture. While planning the trip, classmates and I talked a lot, and we’ve got much closer to one another. During the trip, we’ve looked at Chinese constructions, history, and traditions. We could learn the attitudes which we should have when we try to experience and understand other cultures.” Lisa Kwon

“It was interesting to see the culture of Beijing with visiting several places that can show the different culture of China. We walked a lot so that we could see the cultural differences and landscapes of Beijing. I loved experiencing different cultures of China and seeing the cultural places in Beijing with this CAS Cultural Trip.” Sally Kim

“I absolutely loved seeing some of China’s most culturally rich ancient and modern destinations. On the trip we walked around 80km, spoke in other languages and worked hard Individually and collaboratively, making the trip an extraordinary adventure.” Micah Rice

MYP News. The learner profile is a fundamental building block of our education, but have you ever thought about what it means for our students?

We discussed these questions in our assembly last Friday.

Calling all MYP students! We are recruiting new members for our MYP Orchestra now! We want more students to share the joys of making music in our programmes. If you play an instrument (e.g. violin, cello, flute and etc.) or are interested in a management position, please feel free to contact Ms. Jiang on

The aim of our house system is to provide a sense of competition and fun through a range of school based activities. Students learn how to work in collaboration across the year levels.


Students and Teaching Staff in Hanova International School are in one of four houses, Han House, Qin House, Song House or Tang House.

Our Houses are named after important Dynasties over time in China.

Han House – The Han Dynasty was the second Imperial Dynasty of China

Qin House – The Qin Dynasty was the first dynasty of Imperial China

Song House – The Song Dynasty was from the late 10th to the 13th centuries

Tang House – The Tang Dynasty ruled during the 7th to the early 10th centuries

Please see our school website for more information on our Houses.

This week, Primary School students met in their House groups to listen to the ideas of Year 5 and 6 students then voted for the student they would like as their House Leaders for the year.

Congratulations to our Primary School House Leaders for the 2018 – 2019 academic year.

Han House          Coco Wong and Tzeyo Ng

Qin House           Ryan Kim and Adele Yoon

Song House     Daniel Choi and Emma Christ

Tang House     Tabea Jarc and Tony Wang

Thanks again for your continuing support.

Robert C. Muntzer


Upcoming Events

Please take note of these dates, while we will soon inform about any additional events and activities that will take place in the following weeks:

1st to 5th October National Day Holidays

Friday, 12th October MYP Interim Reports

Wednesday, 17th October MYP PTC

Friday, 26th October UN/International Day

Wednesday, 31st October Year 12 IB DP Reports

About our Head of School

Mr Robert Muntzer

School Principal

Mr Muntzer is the current School Principal of Hanova. He is highly experienced International Baccalaureate (IB) educator who has worked at Hanova as Deputy Principal, and Secondary IB Diploma Coordinator. His former posts include DP Coordinator in Dulwich College Shanghai, founding Director of Studies and IB Coordinator at Repton School Dubai along with Head of English and Head of Languages at schools in Thailand, Ethiopia, Zambia, India and Vietnam. He holds a Bachelor Degree in English from University of Warwick (UK). He has two children both educated in IB World School International schools

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