Friday, 14 August 2015

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to HKA for the 2015-16 school year! I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer and we’re looking forward to seeing returning families and greeting new faces. In the coming days, you’ll be receiving more information about the beginning of the school year, with the regular eNews resuming on 14th August, the Friday before the first day of school.

I wanted to take a moment to update you about some happenings on campus. First, a very warm welcome to our new Secondary School Principal, Leanne Dunlap. For those of you who are new, Leanne joins us from Copenhagen International School. She is a highly experienced educator and administrator who brings much talent and energy to HKA. Welcome, Leanne!

We also delighted to introduce some new teachers and co-teachers. Please click here to view their bios. HKA is fortunate in the diversity of its faculty as well as its student body and these new faculty members bring many interesting perspectives. We also welcome several new support staff to HKA as we expand to meet the increasing demands of our growing programme.

In addition to these new faces, some areas of the campus got a facelift over the holiday. Our Main Reception area has been redesigned to make it more friendly and inviting and I hope you like the results as much as the Leadership Team do. The Secondary School common areas have also had some upgrades and the main courtyard is really coming into its own as a community space.

I’m eager also to give you an update on the Class of 2015. We celebrated 19 graduates last May, our fourth graduating class - 19 students whom we had the privilege of educating and shepherding along their pathways to individual success. We are mindful of this responsibility and of the importance it is to teach young people and we take that very seriously at HKA. We’re passionate about how we teach and we relish in the growth we see before us, every day, as educators.
Most of HKA’s Grade 12 students choose to pursue the IB Diploma or IB certificates, arguably one of the most rigorous academic programmes in the world. The International Baccalaureate exams take place in May of each year and most exam results are shared in July.

For more information about how the IB Diploma works, including the scoring and grading system, please visit

The HKA students who pursued the full Diploma in 2015 had an excellent year. All students who pursued the full Diploma passed the exam, with the highest score being 44 out of 45. Students’ overall results were within one point of their predicted scores, a frequently cited standard of success. The students who took certificates rather than the full Diploma also achieved their personal goals and can be extremely proud of their work.

For an overview of HKA’s 2015 IB please click here. For a taste of the Class of 2015’s next adventures, check out the list of university and college offers and matriculations. Importantly, HKA graduates pursuing tertiary education are attending their first choice or one of their top two choices - they are going to the schools they wish to attend and that are right for them.

While I am always happy to share stories of HKA’s academic rigour and our students’ successes, I also want to put tests and scores in the appropriate context. When we talk about “success” at HKA, exam results and university placements are only a part of the story. At HKA we stress student-centred, inquiry-based education because we believe that such an education prepares students for life, not just the next exam or application. We value a differentiated approach to teaching that stretches and engages all students and helps them develop their talents to their fullest. When people tell me that “there’s something different” going on at HKA, generally I find that this is what they mean and I’m proud of that. And with this approach to teaching, we value parents as partners. Parents contribute so much to life at HKA at every level. Thank you for being a part of this community and see you soon!

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