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Hanova’s PYP EOTC Week: A Return to Adventure

Dear Parents and friends

Hanova’s PYP EOTC Week: A Return to Adventure - written by Mr Andrew Symonds, Upper Years Coordinator.  After a year of local explorations due to the pandemic, Hanova International School proudly resumed its full-scale Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) program last week, rekindling the spirit of adventure and discovery among our students.

Year 3: Explorers on Campus - Our Year 3 students embarked on a journey of learning right here around Xi'An and on our own campus. Through a series of field trips and activities, they connected with nature and each other. The hands-on experiences fostered a sense of curiosity and wonder, proving that sometimes the greatest adventures are just a stone’s throw away.

Years 4-6: Venturing Beyond - The older cohorts ventured further afield, immersing themselves in a variety of enriching activities. They marveled at ancient cave dwellings, understanding the historical significance of these natural habitats. In the farming fields, they sowed the seeds of sustainability, learning the value of hard work and patience.

The art of shadow puppetry allowed them to tap into their creative minds, crafting stories that danced in the light. Survival skills sessions were not just about learning to thrive in the wild; they were lessons in resilience and adaptability.

Evenings were spent around bonfires, sharing stories and building camaraderie. Camping under the stars was a highlight for many, as was the Master Chef cooking competition, which turned teamwork and culinary skills into a deliciously fun challenge.

The Benefits of EOTC EOTC isn’t just an escape from the classroom; it’s an integral part of our educational philosophy. It encourages active learning, fosters social skills, and promotes physical health. Most importantly, it helps students develop a lifelong love for learning by showing them that the world itself is the greatest classroom of all.

As we reflect on the success of this year’s EOTC week, we are reminded of the boundless potential of our students. We look forward to continuing this tradition, expanding the horizons of our young learners, and watching them grow into well-rounded global citizens.

Year 9 Humanities field trip to Xi’an’s Muslim district - written by Mr. Gary Wood – MYP Humanities.  The Year 9 Humanities students embarked on a field trip to Xi'an's Muslim District last Friday, as part of their unit on culture. This experience provided the students with a unique opportunity to observe and understand the cultural diversity within China. The district, known for its lively atmosphere and rich heritage, offered students a firsthand look at how the Hui ethnic group’s lifestyle and traditions differ from mainstream Han Chinese culture. Highlights of the visit included exploring bustling markets, tasting traditional Hui cuisine, and engaging with local residents. A significant part of the trip was visiting the Great Mosque of Xi'an, an ancient piece of architecture that stands as a testament to the long history of Islam in China. During our visit to the Great Mosque, we were greeted by the call to prayer echoing through the air. Given that it was a Friday, this signaled the gathering of Muslims from across the city and the Xi'an international community for their Friday prayer. During this time, students gained insights into the historical importance of the mosque and the distinct cultural traditions of one of China's 56 ethnic groups. Additionally, they had the opportunity to observe individuals from diverse countries and cultures, further enriching their understanding of global diversity. This field trip not only enhanced the students' cultural awareness but also deepened their appreciation for China's ethnic diversity.

A big thank you to Mr. McGovern and Miss Mindy for their help and support during this fantastic field trip!

Year 3 Students' Exhilarating EOTC Experience - written by Ms Lindsay Meltzer & Dominique Wilinska-Essa, Year 3 Teachers.  The Year 3 students embarked on an exhilarating Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) adventure that commenced with a visit to the Chanba Wetland Playground. Their excitement was tangible??? as they explored how the playground machines operated through their own force and teamwork. Fearlessly, they challenged themselves to try different equipment that might have initially appeared daunting.

As dusk settled, the soccer field transformed into a cozy campsite. Students collaborated to pitch their own tents, creating a sense of camaraderie. The evening unfolded with a campfire, laughter, games, and the delightful experience of roasting marshmallows and trying s'mores for the first time!

The following day was action-packed. It began with a hands-on planting session, reinforcing the importance of environmental responsibility. Next, an adrenaline-pumping parachute activity had everyone's spirits soaring. A cozy movie screening of the previously read book "The Lorax" provided a well-deserved break. Finally, the day concluded with a lively pool party and board games, allowing Year 3 students to deepen their friendships and create lasting memories.


Year 5 Students share about their EOTC experiences

written by students & edited by Mr Bruce MacGregor, Year 5 Teacher.

Year 5’s Culinary Clash (ETOC) - written by Basil, Year 5 Student.

Year Five clashed in a Master Chef culinary competition in the QIN LING Mountains in Bayuan.  Our team’s chief chef was Tony. Tony’s line up included Mia, Jun, Elena, Kivi, Michael and myself.  We used creativity and teamwork to  cook culinary delicacies. Our pan-fried delectable delights  included brilliant Bok Choy, tasty Tofu and luscious Lettuce with savory soy sauce. Our omelet was out of this world!

It was most entertaining to cook food fit for a king! But the activity was more than a cooking challenge. It  helped us deepen our understanding of the central idea from the previous unit: “Matter has properties which can be manipulated.” (In appetizing ways!)

A Calming Camp Fire - written by Daniel, Tony and Martin, Year 5 Students.

On May 15th when Y5 were on EOTC in Weinan, we had a camp fire on the first night! First, we took a chair and sat down around the fire. Second, we talked about which part of the day do we liked the most. After that, we waited until the teacher gave us Marshmallows, chocolates and crackers. Eventually, we started to roast the marshmallows and added in the crackers with the chocolate. The marshmallows tasted very good! I recommend that you try the roasted marshmallow with the cracker and chocolate. We did this to become relaxed, so we would be calm enough to sleep and have energy for the next challenging day. The camp was really fun and yummy!

Year 5 EOTC : Pottery - written by Lancy, Year 5 Student.

The last day of the EOTC we went to pottery village and made pottery by ourselves.  First, the teacher from pottery village taught us how to make a pottery. Then we tried to make the pottery by ourselves. The teacher said the we should put water on our hands because if there is not enough water it would be very dry and a lot of the clay would get on our hands. He warned us that we would not have enough clay, and  we wouldn’t make pottery that was very big and beautiful. On the other hand, he advised that we also couldn’t put a lot water on it because the clay would turn to muddy water so we wouldn’t be able to make anything .

He urged us  to put our hands on the clay and make the spinner move slowly, and we should make the clay into a circle and put our thumb to the middle of the circle to make it look like a bowl. He suggested that we push the clay near of the top. We followed his advice and successfully finished our pottery.

This experience is connected to our unit of where we are in place and time. Rao to yao is the place, Qing dynasty was the time (According to “Pottery is the great survivor of history.”)

An Adventurous Mountain Hike - written by Kivi Li Y5B.

Year 5 went hiking on the first day of EOTC. It was in the Qinling mountains in Bayuan. We started from a small village. The people from Wild China gave us a banana and a chocolate candy bar each so we would have energy when we hiked. I wore long pants and a jacket to protect myself from the sun and the plants. I only brought my water bottle instead of a heavy backpack to be more successful. We were warned that some of the plants on the mountain were poisonous so we were not allowed to touch anything.

I felt a little bit worried about the safety going up the mountain because it was very high and steep, so we had to hold our buddy’s hand for safety. One local person told us not to go further for safety reasons when we had walked for about twenty minutes, but we wanted an adventurous experience of a real hike so we kept on going!

I felt very concerned because going up the mountain which was already very hard. Climbing down the mountain would be even harder. The sun was boiling hot, and we were extremely tired. We could only slide  down the mountain using teamwork because of the hot and slippery rocks. It was so challenging that even a person from Wild China slipped.

We did the hike because we could practice our teamwork, learner profiles like caring and risk-takers and our survival skills. I felt it was an amazing adventure!

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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