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Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Student-led Seminar

Dear Parents and friends

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Student-led Seminar - written by Mr John McGovern, TOK Coordinator.  The DP2 students are currently working on their TOK essay. This is the final project for the DP core component of TOK, worth 67% of their overall grade. Each year the IB releases 6 questions and each student has to choose one and write a 1600 word essay on the question, grounded in TWO areas of knowledge (Mathematics, the Natural Sciences, the Human Sciences, the Arts and History).

Here are the 2023/2024 questions (abridged):

- Is subjectivity overly celebrated in the arts but unfairly condemned in history?

- How can we reconcile the opposing demands for specialisation and generalisation in the production of knowledge?

- Nothing is more exciting than fresh ideas, so why are areas of knowledge often so slow to adopt them?

- Do we underestimate the challenges of taking knowledge out of its original context and transferring it to a different context?

- Do we need custodians of knowledge?

- Are we too quick to assume that the most recent evidence is inevitably the strongest?

This year the DP2 students led a seminar where they introduced their work on their essays so far, discussing their chosen titles, chosen areas of knowledge and the examples they are using to illustrate their arguments. In the audience were secondary school teachers and also DP1 students. Not only could the DP2 students get extra feedback on their essays through the question and answer session, but the event also introduced the TOK essay to the DP1 students.

The TOK essay is one of the most challenging pieces of work that any IB student ever has to complete, and this year our students were thanked for their contributions as they confidently explained their approaches to the questions.

Hanova Hawks Girls compete ‘Grand-Slam’ in Basketball! - written by Coach Jason Cui.  Hanova Hawks girls' basketball team competed in the U19 Chang'an Cup last week. This was a 3-day event with 11 international school teams at XLIS.

Our girls defeated SSFBC Unicorns by 35-10 in their opening game, following that up with a 44-11 victory over MLIS Dynasty. The girls’ outstanding performances on Friday made them 1st for the semi-finals. Our girls implemented their zone defense strategy successfully, beating KCIS Takins by 23-16.

After a dramatic last second victory over XIS Warriors it was XLIS Blue Dragons who progressed to face the Hawks in the final. In what was a very tough, physically demanding game the Hawks came through the final to win by 19-10, once again becoming the High School Chang'an Cup champions!

The competition is getting stronger and the girls team continues to work hard, learn, and show a desire to improve. Our opponents really pushed us hard, but the girls found a way to win. It's a story that will inspire future generations of Hawks to pursue their dreams and never give up.




All-Star Tournament Team: Minyu Kim

Final MVP: Alice Zhang

Newly Reorganized Hanova Parent-Teacher Association - written by the Hanova PLT & School Board.

Dear Hanova community,

On behalf of the School Leadership Team and School Board, I’m excited to introduce our newly reorganized and reinstituted Hanova Parent-Teacher Association (HPTA). The HPTA is an important, positive vessel of communication, planning, and culture-building for our school community. Our new committee convened last Wednesday, January 24th for nearly 3 hours, meeting also with members of our Pedagogical Leadership Team (PLT) and Admissions Liaisons. The new HPTA committee is composed of 14 parents and teachers/staff from six countries, highlighting the commitment we have at Hanova to include diverse cultures, languages, and ideas from our community as we work together for a better Hanova for all students.

Ms. Angela Chen, HPTA President, highlighted the importance of working on behalf of all students and listening to the ideas of community members. With her previous experience serving on PTAs at schools in Shanghai, Ms. Angela is poised to guide the HPTA during her term as President running through June 2025. Mr. Luke welcomed all members of the committee, PLT, and Admissions members, engaging them with a simple activity to understand the “cultural icebergs” we are as people, with seen and unseen values we hold. Members also reviewed the HPTA committee’s Essential Agreements and the purpose of the HPTA before moving on to matters of business for future meetings and event planning.

Outside in the cold, a picture of all members at the “Hanova Rock” set below the bridge that connects our Primary and Secondary school budlings, symbolically showed the commitment our parents, teachers, and staff have at Hanova to keep moving forward on behalf of all students’ learning and wellbeing.

Below is the entire HPTA committee by role, name, and year of child (in parentheses).

Parent Members Teacher/Staff Members
President: Ms. Angela Chen (Y4 & Y8)

Vice President (Planning): Ms. Victoria Luo (Nursery, Y3, & Y5)

Vice President (Community Engagement): Ms. Haiyan Wu (Y5)

Parent Liaisons:

  • Mr. Kushal Ashok (Y2)
  • Ms. Sookjung Ko (Y7)
  • Ms. Miyeon Choi (Y7 & Y8)
  • Ms. Ting Nan (Y4)
  • Ms. Qinyi Gu (Reception & Y3)
  • Ms. Zhang Bin (Y4)
Teacher Representatives:

  • Ms. Alicia Price—Primary
  • Mr. Hyungchan Im—Secondary (Y3)
  • Mr. John McGovern—Secondary (Y1)

Secretary: Ms. Jane Lei

Ex-Officio Members:

  • Ms. Janice Cao—Assistant Managing Director
  • Mr. Luke Roberts—School Principal


Hanova PLT and School Board

Year 8 Students perform heart dissections - written by Mr Russell Glavey, Mr German Camilo Quiñonez & Ms Shirley Qi, MYP Science Teachers.  As part of their unit on Systems, Functions and Transformations, Year 8 students have been looking at human body systems including the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems.

Today they did a heart dissection identifying the major external and internal features of the heart.

Later they will go on to consider system interactions such as oxygen flow from the respiratory system to the circulatory systems and the implications of smoking as a lifestyle choice upon these system interactions.

Meet with Chunshan Education Foundation - written by Ms Lydia Song, Secondary Librarian.  On January 23, a representative from Chunshan sent a certificate to the school, expressing their gratitude for helping with building up 2 book corners and providing more rural children in Shaanxi with more high quality books.

Mr. Luke welcomed Chunshan's visit and looked forward to seeing that more projects could be integrated into Hanova 's teaching and learning systematically. Chunshan shared another popular charity project: a shoebox gift, in which participants are supposed to prepare a blind box gift for children with some stationary, toys, and necessities inside. Mr. Luke was supportive of sharing this project with the whole school step by step and stated that some school programs like Service as Action, CAS, House Competition, and EOTC need to go with such charity programs to extend student's learning experiences and perspectives. In addition, it is conducive to educating more caring and open-minded learners.

U19 Boys' Basketball Season Comes to an End - written by Coach Lindsay Meltzer.  The U19 Boys Basketball Team at Hanover International School had an amazing season. They worked hard and showed dedication by attending practices and working together as a team. Throughout the season, they showed discipline and determination, pushing themselves to improve both individually and as a team. They played against tough opponents and never gave up, always fighting until the final buzzer of every game.  Their season's success was a result of their collective effort, strong work ethic, and understanding of each other's strengths and weaknesses.  Overall, the U19 Boys Basketball Team at Hanover International School had an exceptional season, reflecting their commitment to practices and teamwork.  Their success not only shows their growth as athletes but also represents the values of Hanover International School.

The boys finished their season on a high note with a well-deserved victory against a team that was equally skilled. Their success can be attributed to their unwavering commitment, as they played with maximum effort throughout the entire game. By dominating the rebounds and displaying relentless defense, they forced their opponents into making numerous turnovers. On the offensive end, their teamwork and precise passing led to finding the perfect shots, while their strong offensive rebounds resulted in successful put-backs. It was truly a remarkable game to conclude their season.

Season MVP: Will

Season Most Improved Player: Neil

Best Defensive Player: Astor

Chang’an Cup Tournament MVP: Noah and Tony

University Visits Update - January 22nd, 2024 - written by Ms Jane Lei, University & Careers Counselor.  On a recent visit to Xi’an Hanova International School, international student recruiter from the University of British Columbia showcased the extensive programs available in UBC to our students. The visit provided an opportunity to gain insight into the unparalleled resources and educational experiences offered at UBC.

As the #1 most international university in North America, UBC prides itself where academics and culture come together by unique opportunities to learn and grow, endless support from the community. It also ranked as Top 30 university in the world for overall impact towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Top 40 research university in the world.

The university visit allowed students to witness firsthand campuses and facilties, cutting-edge technology, and expert faculty that make UBC a popular choice for international students. Students were able to engage with recruiter to gain a deeper understanding of the admission process and experiences available to UBC students.

At Hanova, we offered lots of opportunities for our high school students to learn more about higher education systems around the world. This academic year, we hosted nearly 30 universities such as Wesleyan College, Michigan State University, University of California, Santa Cruz, Denison University , University of Toronto, University of Calgary, Queens University, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. For future university events, stay tuned!

About the School Principal

Mr Lucas J. Roberts

School Principal

Mr Lucas J. Roberts is the current School Principal at Hanova. Mr. Luke, as he prefers to be called, has served in international school education in China for the past 14 years in Wuxi, Shanghai, Suzhou and Beijing. He has served during those years as Secondary Principal, whole school Vice Principal, School Principal (K-7th grade), High School Principal and Primary School Principal. He graduated university with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies and continued on to earn an M.Ed. in Educational Administration. He joined Hanova in the summer of 2023 and is currently working on completing his Ed.D in Educational Leadership through Wilkes University (USA).

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