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THE PRINCIPAL’S NEWSLETTER

MYP Arts Assembly 2020

By Mr Robert Muntzer

Dear Parents and friends

Welcome to the fifth issue of the School Newsletter of 2020-21. In this issue, we look forward to sharing
with you:

  • News from the Principal
  • Whole School Events
  • News from Primary School
  • News from Secondary School
  • Forthcoming Events

News from The Principal

We are almost there! It has been a very challenging year for the whole Hanova learning community and most of us – students, staff and parents – have faced unprecedented difficulties and have made many sacrifices to get through 2020.

I want to acknowledge some of the sacrifices – and achievements – made by our community this year. Many of our teaching staff and some parents have been separated from their families, children and friends – in some cases for almost 18 months. For some, this has been extraordinarily stressful and traumatic.

Some staff lost very close relatives and were not even able to attend their funerals; others have close
relatives who are very sick – even terminally so – and are unable to be with them. Almost all the expatriate staff returned to China in March – in spite of the Covid-19 crisis in the country
– to be able to teach the children. And they have continued to do so since then – in some cases, school staff have not had a rest since March.

Therefore, in my opinion, it cannot be under-estimated how professional and committed our staff have been and will continue to be in supporting their students. And I would like to think that our parents join me in thanking them for what they have done.

In spite of all of this, we have achieved some amazing things this semester. And here, I’d like to share a few from Primary School and Secondary School.

Primary School:

  • We survived!!! Ha ha!!
  • Physical homeroom teacher in EVERY class!
  • Smooth beginning of the academic year under adverse circumstances
  • Staff self-study on Assessment
  • Resuming of PYP Assemblies
  • Successful Parent Teacher conferences
  • House T-shirts and bringing the house system back to life
  • Readjustment of teacher expectations and helping students readjust to face-to-face learning and school routines
  • Winter Concert and 2 Hotel performances – thank you to Amelia and those who supported
  • First semester reports sent through ManageBac for the first time in PYP.

Secondary School:

  • The hard work and the team work-spirit of Secondary teachers help us to solve the absence of some teachers.
  • The Secondary School academic standards are improving, due to the changes made to the MYP
    Assessment policy.
  • This year we will start end of year exams for every MYP year group to better prepare them for the IB Diploma.
  • We are preparing some strategic changes in Years 10 and 11 as a transition programme for the
    Diploma.
  • Continual and consistent follow up meetings with parents in DP and MYP
  • We revised and established clear Hanova Diploma standards and these were shared with parents
  • Diploma teachers and students have been catching up the work and assessment that was affected by the lock down.
  • MYP info session and MYP Parent-teacher-student conference were developed successfully.
  • Two DP info sessions and the DP parent-teacher-student conference were developed successfully.
  • We have implemented a plan of horizontally aligning the curriculum in terms of the ATLs (Approaches to Teaching and Learning)

I’m sure that we are all looking forward to the coming much-deserved holiday. Therefore, wherever
you are and whatever you do, on behalf of the school community, I’d personally like to wish you every happiness and health over Christmas and the New Year of 2021!

Whole School Events

Hard-pen Calligraphy Competition
In November, Hanova had our very first Hard-Pen Calligraphy Competition organised by the teachers of Chinese, all students were encouraged to participate to showing their Chinese learning as well as win House Points for their houses. The students were divided into three groups: Group 1 (Year 1 to Year 3), Group 2 (Year 4 to Year 6), and Group 3 (Year 7 to Year 12). There were a total of 2122 student and staff votes that led to 45 Highly Recommended pieces of during the public voting week. It was a heated competition. We had the first place (one in each group), second place (two in each group) and third place (three in each group) winners of different groups in the fourth week of November.

The first-place winners only got 105, 129 and 100 votes separately in each group, and they were not leading by a wide margin, however, each of them has win 100 points for their own House. The runners-up in each group win 80 points, while the third-place winners get 60 points and 40 house points went to the remaining Highly Recommended winners. The participants also got 10 points for their houses.

The results of the House Points are as follows:

Primary
Tang 1st – 730 points
Qin 2nd – 650 points
Han 3rd – 620 points
Song 4th – 530 points

Secondary
Tang 1st – 360 points
Han 2nd – 420 points
Song 3rd -170 points
Qin 4th – 350 points

Book Fair. Beijing Share Kids Children’s Bookstore returned to Hanova to run our annual Book Fair last week. They set up books for purchase on Monday, 30th Nov and Tuesday, 1st Dec. The Share Kids provided an easy way to get access to good English books for students that they can actually select and look through themselves. This was a great chance for our students to look through the books on offer. Our students visited the Book Fair on Monday and Tuesday and they enjoyed the Book Fair very much. From the Book Fair, most of the students got the books they wanted. It is hoped that the holding of the Book Fair can increase students’ interest in reading and develop a good reading habit.

Upcoming Events in the library. Christmas holiday Seen reading activity! This is a Holiday Selfie Contest! Please take a picture of yourself reading while on your Christmas holiday.

News from Primary School

Play-based Learning in Nursery. Every day, Nursery students have the opportunity to learn the way they learn best: through play! For young children especially, play is how they come to understand new concepts. In Nursery we are very busy developing our thinking skills, our problem-solving skills, and our social skills.

Engaging in symbolic play stimulates our brains and allows us to explore different life roles and
different emotions. We work on our impulse control and learn how to cooperate, share, and negotiate. We practice our decision-making skills and strengthen our language and other social skills. We learn how things work in the world by manipulating loose parts and discovering materials in our sensory bins and on our light table. By playing, we can figure out the relationships between items, and gain knowledge of size, shape, and texture. Through it all, Nursery is developing their self-confidence and perseverance on their way to becoming global learners.

Tom and Yi Fan using teamwork to problem solve.

Joanna and Sophia retelling the story, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.”

Siwoo strengthening his fine-motor skills, while also gaining knowledge of weight and capacity.

Clara engaging in symbolic play and role-playing a birthday celebration.

Romeo and Patrick exploring light, color and shapes.

Daniel and Gunn gaining knowledge of weight, capacity and viscosity.

News from Secondary School

2020 F/W Music Project Overview. It’s a pity that we did not have the Art Assembly this semester, so we used some pictures and videos to show students’ learning content and effort. (The videos have been uploaded to Managebac).

As the freshmen for the MYP Music programme, Year 7 students start from a ‘warm-up’ unit to
emphasize collaboration and self-management ATL skills in the Music subject. The students have been introduced to the Music programme and the Arts Process Journal system.

From Unit 1, students learned basic chords of the guitar, how to read notation, and how to understand the arrangement of the song. Unit 2 focused on traditional Chinese Musical Instruments. Students learned how to read and write the names of Musical Instruments in Chinese and compare them with traditional instruments from other countries. They’ve done deep research for at least one traditional Chinese instrument and designed a promotional flyer that was displayed on the bulletin board. Each student chose a Musical instrument (Chinese or Western) for practice and eventually grew in their playing abilities.

This semester, Year 8 MYP Music concentrated on Music technology and emphasized instrument skills via band practice. The students learned how to use GarageBand to compose a song and reviewed the song structure they learned in Year 7. They also learned the vocabulary and keywords of Music technology, as well as learning to control the lighting system in the sound room. During the pop and orchestra units, students worked on improving their performance skills, and crew duties as they learned about the stage setting (and design) of a pop band and Orchestra.

We have done two units and one mini project for Year 9 this semester. We start the dance unit firstly,
students learned basic elements of dance, the skills for choreography,stage setting in this unit. The
second unit is Film Music. Understanding Music in relation to history and culture; listening to, analyzing, and describing Music.

The last mini-unit is the student-lead performance, they separated into groups and prepare the notation and action plan by themselves (supervised by the teacher).

Secondary School Assembly. In line with the IB Learner Profile, our secondary students embraced the concept of open-mindedness and began the month with our first internationalism assembly. Students from three different nationalities; South Korea, China and the USA, each gave presentations and shared information about their unique cultures. Each group touched on different topics such as festivals, cuisine, hobbies and national sports, to name only four! Each group did a fantastic job in helping to build on our current understanding of the world around us and the presentation received positive feedback from both members of staff and students. Overall, a job well done! #open-minded #knowledgeable #communicators

DP Parents Info Session. Last Wednesday, we held another DP Parents Info Session in our DP Common Room. In the meeting, parents from Y11-Y13 were introduced to the IB Diploma Core Components, the Extended Essay, the Theory of Knowledge (TOK), and the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) by our IB DP Core Components Coordinators. Beyond that, our parents were also given information about the two diploma options here at Hanova, the IB Diploma and the Hanova Diploma.

A series of info sessions for parents are planned for our current DP parents and our future DP parents, every session has one or two topics. We will send out the information about them weeks before the start of the event to parents’ email, please check your email on a regular basis. If you are interested in any particular topic, please feel free to contact our DP Coordinator, Ms. Sharon
Zhu, via sharon.zhu@his-xian.com.

How does science help us to keep our body systems healthy?

THE IMPACT OF EXTEME ENVIRONMENT ON OUR BODY
Larry Kim-Year 8
Xi’An Hanova International school

Introduction
Every biologically living individuals will have needs, according to “Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs”, proposed by Abraham Maslow, an American social psychologist, in 1986, it ranks the importance of various needs of human. From the most important “physiological needs”, in the descending order of importance, “security needs”, “social needs”, “respect needs”, and the least important “self actualization needs,” ([1]Elizabeth Hopper.(2020)) In this paper, I will establish my explanation mostly based on the most basic physiological needs, which refers to these biologically necessary needs. Every absence of a physiological need will leads directly to death. So, what would happen if human can’t meet these needs because of the environment they live in? The relationship between environmental change and biology

Biological change in individuals in extreme environments
First, let’s construct a thought experiment. Suppose there is an isolated system with an infinite capacity and it will never collapse. Let’s also imagine that there’s no matter except enough oxygen to only breathe once inside. Then randomly select a healthy adult and place him inside this system and allows him to move at will. Assuming that the temperature in this system is suitable for human survival, and that one of the most important prerequisites is that the experimental person will never be dead, will be able to keep thinking no matter what happens to his body. And will not be able to damage his own bodies in this person’s own willing.

1) The lack of oxygen: So once this person gets into this isolated system, he’ll soon find that after the first time he breathes, he can’t breathe anymore, and his aerobic tissues and organs can’t be able to get any energy supply that generates when oxygen react with glucose and will gradually stop working. So he will be trapped in a situation that he’s alive and thinking, but his body can’t move, even his heart stop pumping. ([4] Rachael Rettner.(2016)) But we can’t only consider about air, we can also consider the impact of food.

2) The lack of food and water: The environmental condition will still follows the original hypothesis, but air will be allowed to appear, but it would appear directly inside the experimental object’s body, then what would happen? After approximately a week, it will leads to the same result because the lack of glucose. But before that, the lack of water will stop the digestive system from working and cut off the glucose supply even earlier.

3) The lack of socializing: Among those “Hierarchy of needs”, because of the speciality of this experiment, we only have to consider about the “social needs”. There are no other people included in this experimental environment, and the environment will absolutely be silent because there is no medium for sound to travel. In this case, in 1954, some psychologists, W.H.Bexton, W Heron and T.H.Seott conducted a “sensory deprivation experiment,” and tested people’s psychological responses without any external stimuli. As a result, all of the participants experienced more or less, the signs of mental collapse, depends on the time that they managed to last in that experiment. This result proved that human cannot leave the social environment. ([3]exploringyourmind.com.(2020)) So in this thought experiment in this paper, it would be the same result. If the person stay in such environment for a long period of time, he will soon break down psychologically, and even if his body could live until a natural death, his thinking will be far inferior compared to the thinking of normal people living in today’s society. So what would happen if all the needs are meet (no matter necessary or unnecessary), but to replace one of the physiological needs by one of the higher needs?

Biological change in groups in extreme environments
When two or more peoples exist in the experimental environment, it is considered as new species, according to a German zoologist Ernst Meier’s point of view on exotic speciation. ([6]Ernst Mayr.(1942)) And now as they could be considered as species, there would be a high possibility to form a variation in the process of reproduction, according to a British biologist Charles Robert Darwin’s view about the variant gene accumulation, after the appearance of the first mutant that could better adapted to the surrounding environment, as that it would be easier to survive, so there would be more chance for it to carry on its genes in the process of reproduction, and new variation will occur again in the process of that… In the same way, multiple mutations leave only the ones that are best suited to the environment. ([5] Charles Robert Darwin. (1907)) According to these theories, they will develop functions suitable for the environment when evolving, so they could still survive. ([7] Jones, Mary; Fellowes-Freeman, Diane; Sang, David.(2012))

Simplifying the complex part in my summary
Now, in my summary, some people might ask, is Maslow’s theory wrong? Actually, It isn’t. His theory is only about human, and since they have already formed a new species, they can’t be called a human anymore. In the 1st century AD a Greek philosopher Plutarch proposed “the ship of Theseus paradox”, It mentioned that there’s a ship called the ship of Theseus, and all of it’s components could be changed anytime at anyplace when it’s sailing, so when all of the parts are not the original parts of the ship, could the ship still be called as the ship of Theseus? ([2]Anya Leonard.(2020)) The result would be the same for this paper. Or, if there indeed exist a way to force human being to rapidly evolve into a more advanced species, why isn’t anyone using it now? First of all, this thought experiment is based on the precondition that every experimental subject will never be dead. So this precondition provides enough time for them to evolve, otherwise they will soon lose their life because as their basic physiological needs has not been meet. So experiments such a this could be be done in real world, no matter considered from scientific level or from a moral level.

References
[1], Elizabeth Hopper.(2020).Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Explained.Social Sciences.https://www.thoughtco.com/maslows-hierarchy-of-needs-4582571

[2], Anya Leonard.(2020).What Makes you YOU? The Paradox of Theseus’s
ship.Philosophy.https://classicalwisdom.com/dialectics/what-makes-you-you-the-paradox-of-theseussship/

[3], exploringyourmind.com.(2020).Sensory Deprivation and its Frightening Effects.Experiments.https://exploringyourmind.com/sensory-deprivation-and-its-frightening-effects/

[4], Rachael Rettner.(2016).The Human Body: Anatomy, Facts & Functions.Body
System.https://www.livescience.com/37009-human
body.html#:~:text=Our%20bodies%20consist%20of%20a%20number%20of%20biological,of%20the%20heart%2C%20blood%2C%20blood%20vessels%2Carteries%20and%20veins.

[5], Charles Robert Darwin.(1907).On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

[6], Ernst Mayr.(1942).systematics and the origin of species from the viewpoint of a zoologist

[7], Jones, Mary; Fellowes-Freeman, Diane; Sang, David.(2012). Cambridge Checkpoint Science Course-book 8

Super Chinese Cup 2020 Competition. This month, our Secondary Hanova non-Chinese native speaking students participated in an online competition hosted by SUPERCHINESE. This competition is open for worldwide foreign secondary school students, there will be 3 rounds, each one testing our Chinese listening, speaking, reading, and writing abilities. This is a wonderful opportunity to push and test the limits of our Chinese proficiency, strengthen our international understanding of Chinese language and culture. Congratulations to these students who made it into the second round, by placing them in the top 30% of the round 1 proficiency test:

  • Adele Yoon, Bella Yoon from Year 8
  • Ellie Bae, Jenny Lee, Teng Xuan from Year 9
  • Jack Lee, Lily Yun, Robin Joo, Sean Im from Year 10
  • Elijah Smith, Julia Palmeira, Jessica Yoon from Year 11
  • Esther Kim, Pelin Kayacik, Xun Khang from Year 12

——By Year 12 Xun Khang

Y9 Ellie Science Essay:

Nowadays, human activities are heavily impacting the planet’s environment in ways both positive and negative. In the past few centuries, our nature and wildlife has been greatly devastated by continued pollution and habitat destruction. Still, there are visible progresses taking place in more recent days, thanks to the raised public awareness and developing eco-friendly technology. To begin with, pollution produced by human activities is a serious threat to the environment. In diverse ways, it poisons the air, land, and water sources on ground and underground. Among them, CO2 emission is a big problem that contributes to global warming. When carbon dioxide is released into the air, it gathers around the Earth’s atmosphere and traps the heat that came from the sun’s radiation. Then, it slowly releases the heat over time. As CO2 remains in the air for a long period of time, it heats up the Earth like a greenhouse, eventually increasing the overall temperature. Global warming is a huge problem because it is a major contributor to habitat destruction. As mentioned above, it greatly influences the temperature and climate of a region. Dry regions might go through a period of continued flood, while wet areas with high level of precipitation might suffer from drought. In addition, since the temperature is rising up, icebergs in the Arctic and Antarctica would melt away. This would not only endanger the habitats of the species on polar regions, but also impact underwater ecosystems due to sea level rise. Algal bloom is another big factor to man-made habitat destruction. When farmers use fertilizers on their crops, the fertilizer would often accidentally leak into nearby lakes. Since it contains mineral salts like nitrate and
magnesium, it accelerates the growth of algae in the lakes. This sudden increase in algae populationis known as algal bloom. The algae would soon cover up the surface of the lake, blocking light from penetrating the water. As light is an essential factor in photosynthesis, many underwater plants in the lake would die from lack of nourishment. This dead mass of plants would provide additional food for the decomposers. Then, the increased bacteria would quickly use up the dissolved oxygen for respiration, and eventually, only the few organisms that have adapted to live under low oxygen rate could survive. The lake ecosystem would be totally destroyed.

In order to fight against these issues, the government, groups like business and organization, and individuals should all work together in their own scale. First, the government could encourage farms to practice sustainable farming methods. The main reason why farmers choose harmful methods over eco-friendly ones is that it is much cheaper. Thus, the government would have to ensure that farmers have a basic means of getting enough profit even while using a bit more expensive, but eco-friendly methods. If they support farms that practice sustainable farming methods by reducing taxes or providing subsidies, more and more farmers would try to change their farming practices to a more sustainable one.

Businesses could also support environment by trying to be greener. Instead of using fossil fuels to run their factories, they could try to convert into more sustainable forms of fuels, such as solar, wind, and hydropower. Organizations could support and organize events regarding saving our nature. They could arrange volunteer activities such as planting trees, or helping out at animal protection center. Individuals could also make a huge change to our world when these efforts are combined. We could try to practice small yet significant daily actions to save our planet, including recycling, reducing the use of vehicles, and not making any unneeded spending. As individuals, we could also support or directly take part in environmental efforts by donating money or resources and volunteering in environmental campaigns.

Overall, the world’s state is clearly getting better – a number of statistics show that nature is slowly recovering from the damages done in past centuries. One excellent example of this is the CFC. Chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs used to be widely utilized for daily products like air conditioner, paints, and hair sprays in mid-1900s. However, as their devastating effect on ozone layer came to be discovered, countries stopped the use of it since the Montreal Protocol was first created in 1987. Thanks to the international agreement, the ozone layer is found to have recovered at a rate of 1-3% every decade from 2000, and is projected to fully recover at between 2060 and 2070. Just like this case of ozone layers, we would eventually be able to fight for the virtual well-being of our planet with help from everyone.

Upcoming Events

Please make a note of the events scheduled to take place over the next month:

Wednesday, December 16     PYP Reports issued

Friday, December 18              MYP Reports issued

Friday, December 18              MYP/DP Success Assembly

Friday, December 18              End of Semester 1, 2.00pm


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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