Thursday, 24 March 2016

eNews Issue 29

A short but busy week! The Grade 2 exhibition kept the Upper Ground and cafe area hopping with many examples of creativity and self-expression. Well done, Grade 2s, and special thanks to the Grade 2 team for supporting the students.

This week was also our Grade 3 Community Evening. I’m always grateful to parents who share their evenings with HKA, whether it’s a back-to-school night, curriculum evening, sporting event, play, concert or Coffeehouse. HKA parents give generously of their time and the conversations we have together make a real impact on the life of the school.

And kudos to the students involved in last week’s Coffeehouse. As the rain clouds gathered, they exhibited real leadership, flexibility and initiative in moving the venue from the Verandah to the Theatre in very little time, making it possible for us all to enjoy the wonderful performances with very little disruption. Thanks!

Have a wonderful Spring Holiday and looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday, 6th April.

Friday, 18 March 2016

eNews Issue 28

Last weekend, Hong Kong Academy was privileged to host the Thinking Collaborative Conference. Over 150 educators from over 40 international schools attended, including 25 of our own faculty. The Thinking Collaborative is a leading global organisation that is committed to the idea of being “self-directed”. Students - and adults too! - who are “self-directed” are able to think deeply, reflect wisely, and engage empathetically with their peers. At HKA, we have been using many Thinking Collaborative strategies across the entire school community to develop our dynamic community of learners. If you’d like to read more, please see my recent article in hkaVoices on parents and partners and how we use the seven norms of collaboration at HKA.

It’s exciting to see how much HKA has grown in its approach to professional development for our teachers. One of the key foci of our strategic plan is the recruiting, development and retention of quality faculty and staff. Essential to that strategy is providing meaningful and challenging professional development opportunities. With this conference, as with NFI last autumn, HKA both hosted a conference and led aspects of it, and it was exciting to be able to offer this sort of leadership to our colleagues.

Thanks to everyone who attended Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences this week. Conferences are just one way in which the school fosters communication with parents, and it was great to see so many families on campus. Conferences are only one avenue of communication, though, and please know that our doors are always open.

Friday, 11 March 2016

eNews Issue 27

Many of us read the article in this week’s South China Morning Post about Harrow School’s decision to move to mandatory busing next year in response to community concerns in their area over traffic related to arrival and dismissal routines. And as I’m sure you are aware, a number of peer schools have already adopted a mandatory busing policy because of the impact that private vehicles have had in their neighbourhoods. The SCMP story is a timely reminder that while safety is the most important issue to consider with arrival and dismissal, it is not the only challenge. How a school impacts the local community is an ongoing concern and one that we take very seriously. Thank you for partnering with us as we make safety our top priority and also strive to be a positive presence in Sai Kung.

And mark your calendar for our upcoming student recital. At HKA, we talk a lot about pathways to individual excellence. Many of our students express that through music and study and practice music beyond the school’s music programme. We’re excited that these students will have the opportunity to share their talents with us on 15th April.

Friday, 4 March 2016

eNews Issue 26

Another big week for HKA! Thanks to everyone who supported another fantastic Primary School Literacy Week, complete as usual with PJ day, the continuous reading chair and dress-as-your-favourite-character day. Our continuous reading chair went for 12 full hours this year! Check out the great photos that have been posted in our School Gallery (VC) and also via our TwitterFacebook & Instagram timelines - all of them telling a great story!

A packed week for the Secondary School, too. Grade 12s sat their mock exams, and our Grade 6-11s are now on their way back from various adventures after a wonderful week of Learning Outside The Classroom. Deviating from normal routines offers our students many ways to grow and stretch, engage in service and for some, practice their Mandarin language skills. So this is always a highlight of the year.

Service learning and thinking beyond the HKA campus are intrinsic to the HKA experience, and with that in mind, I am very pleased to announce that HKA is the newest member of the Global Citizen Diploma consortium. Please see Assistant SS Principal Richard Reilly’s remarks below for more information.

Service learning is core to the HKA mission. It complements the rigour of the academic programme by providing authentic opportunities for student voice and student action, gives students new opportunities to tap into their interests and strengths, and promotes the ongoing process of self-reflection. At HKA we believe education has real currency when learners understand and value the importance of contributing to their local and broader communities. Being caring and responsible global citizens needs to be a part of the student learning DNA. The Global Citizen Diploma encourages students to explore a range of real world challenges and develop the inclination to take action while providing opportunities to develop leadership skills and to be recognised for the results of their hard work. We are all looking forward to developing this programme at HKA.