Friday, 27 February 2015

eNews Issue 24

I never cease to be amazed at how full HKA is of learning. Our mission statement declares that we are a dynamic learning community and I see this daily in our students, in our teachers and in our parents. Right before the break for Chinese New Year, our G12 Diploma students submitted their Extended Essays. The topics range from the health of rivers in Hong Kong to the iron content of tofu to the role of women in Chinese literature. The breadth and depth in these studies is astounding - well done G12s! For a full list of topics, click here.
For this week, Highlights of parent involvement this week were the IB Pathways evening on Tuesday and the Community Information Evening on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Grade 9 and 10 students and their families met to learn more about the IB Diploma Programme and HKA’s pathways to graduation. The Diploma Programme is new to many of our families and this event was designed to ensure that parents fully understand the academic programme for Grades 11 and 12. Students entering Grade 11 next year are picking their courses now, so the evening was structured in part as a course fair to complement the work they’ve already done in preparing to make these selections.
On Wednesday evening, Board Chair Sean Kelly, Finance and Operations Director Dale Willetts and I had the privilege of providing an update on the school’s Five Year Strategic Plan. Thanks to all of you who attended, especially for your thoughtful questions. Part of the joy of being Head of School is learning from parents and I welcome your feedback.
We also have fun while we learn and if you haven’t already done so, I encourage you topurchase seats for the 'Back to School' Annual Gala! We will enjoy good food, good wine and good conversation and as well as raise some funds for the school.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

eNews Issue 23

The recent SCISAC Volleyball tournament was an important moment for HKA and not just for the competition. I sent my very first Head of School tweet from the games! If you’d like to follow me on twitter, I’d love to have you! Those of you who remember HKA’s monthly print newsletter, the Xiao Xi, can fully appreciate just how much change there’s been as we’ve gone increasingly paperless.

Thanks for taking the time to read the weekly eNews. We know it’s jam-packed and we all struggle to find time to absorb the many emails we receive each week. But we do our best to keep the eNews vital and useful and I encourage you to include it in your weekly reading!

We have two major events on the horizon: the Community Information Evening on 25th February and the Annual Gala on 7th March. The information evening, like its predecessor, the Board Social, is an opportunity to meet the school’s Board Members and learn more about happenings at HKA. Our focus will be a report and Q&A on the school’sFive Year Strategic Plan. Board Chair Sean Kelly will kick off the discussion with Finance and Operations Director Dale Willetts and I also providing updates.

The Annual Gala is shaping up to be a wonderful evening of fun, food, dancing and raising funds for HKA. I’m hearing that the Back to School themed dinner is something you won’t want to miss so please purchase your tickets online now! And keep an eye on the online catalogue as new items are added every day.

And congratulations to all the students who shared their talents at the DP theatre evening on Wednesday. The performances were thoughtful and provocative! Many thanks to Drama Teacher Stella Ireland and all the other faculty and parents who supported this wonderful event.

eNews Issue 22

Happy New Year! Whether you call it Year of the Goat or Year of the Sheep, best wishes to you all! At HKA, we started out the new year auspiciously with a wonderful morning of song, dance, story-telling, crafts and a bustling Temple Market. The colours, sounds and scents were a delight to all senses. For photos of this great beginning to a new year, please check our online gallery via Veracross. Special thanks to our Mandarin faculty for all their hard work and dedication.

Another highlight this week was the MYP information evening with MYP Co-ordinator Jen Swinehart and Maths teacher and co-ordinator Warren Needham. who will assume the role of Assistant Secondary School Principal for Grades 6-8 this August. Jen, Warren and approximately 40 parents spent an evening exploring the skills that are emphasised in the MYP as key approaches to learning. Armed with thought-provoking concepts, coloured pens, pencils and yellow sticky notes, the parents broke into groups to brainstorm about how we learn as individuals and to experience the sort of rigorous international education our students enjoy every day.

And Thursday was the annual Grade 1 Market Day! The photos in our gallery tell the story of the fun and the learning that this event enables and inspires. And I enjoyed cheering on our Dragonflies during the opening games of the SCISAC tournament here on campus through Saturday.

February is a busy month at HKA, even with the holiday in the middle! Thanks again to everyone for a wonderful Community Fair last Saturday, and please note the calendar highlights below, and I hope to see you at our Community Information Evening on 25th February.