Message from the School Director
What a fun Book Week we’ve had. Research shows that regular storytelling and reading activities build vocabulary, language and literacy skills, whilst improving concentration, memory, and an increased curiosity and understanding of the world.
Dear parents and children,
Welcome to Term 3, our final term of this academic year. Around school, new topics of study are underway and students are on track to meet their various targets for the year. April themes have included Alphabet and Number Magic for Playgroup, Out and About for Pre-Nursery, Transportation for K1, People and the Past for K2, and Tropical Rainforests for K3. It’s wonderful that the children are so excited by and deeply immersed in their various topics of study, as they grasp new knowledge and develop skills each day. Our aim is to have every child shine and excel at Mills, through the rich and varied opportunities provided for them to explore and discover.
We began Book Week on World Book Day, with the children and staff dressing as their favourite storybook characters. Book Week this year focused on stories by author Julia Donaldson, and one of the highlights for the children was seeing parents enact the story of Freddie and the Fairy. It’s always a treat when parents participate in our school events and this particular performance was very impressive.
Other Book Week activities included a surprise visit from Gus the dog, a library excursion for K1 – K3, various mystery readers visiting classes, a poster design competition, book swap, and a book hospital activity to encourage the children to mend and care for damaged books at school.
We also enjoyed seeing parents and caregivers roll up their sleeves and have messy fun with the children in the art room during our Book Week art jam! What a wonderful bonding experience for both adults and kids.
Well done, to the children who supported Read to Feed by practising their reading, whilst raising some money for charity in the process.
Another exciting event on our annual calendar is Sports Day, which will be held on Saturday, 19 May. Once again, Nord Anglia International School in Lam Tin have offered us their wonderful sports hall and it’s sure to be a lively morning for all. Sports Day is a compulsory PE event and students’ families are invited to attend. We’ve got solo and group activities planned for the children, and plenty of opportunities for adults to join in too. We know that physical exercise improves motor coordination, self-esteem, and positive thinking, so let’s work together to encourage a healthy outlook and show our kids that exercising is good for the mind as well as the body.
Mills International Preschool was delighted to feature at the SCMP Kindergartens Festival at the JW Marriott Hotel in April, with our School Supervisor, Ms Joanna Hotung joining the panel discussion and advising parents on the importance of play for young children. We’ll also be present at the SCMP Kindergartens Festival at the Cordis Hotel, Langham Place on Saturday, 26 May, so do pop along if you can. These events are a great opportunity for us to meet with parents, answer their questions, and explain the many things that make Mills so special.
I was also delighted to meet with parents recently at school to explain how Mills prepares children for a smooth progression from Pre-Nursery to primary school. Please remember that my door is always open and I am happy to meet with you at any time to discuss your child’s experiences and learning at school.
Please note that we have now officially switched from winter to summer uniform. All students must wear summer uniform on Thursday, 3 May for our School Photo Day. Girls must wear white socks (with no patterns). No leggings or stockings are allowed. All students must wear plain black shoes during the photo shoot.
Summer Workshops – Plan ahead to prevent summer learning loss, and enrol in our comprehensive range of workshops which run from 3 July to 10 August. Check the school website for more information.
MindUP Parenting Workshop & Interview Day – Join our Parenting Workshop on Saturday, 2 June and discover how to cultivate your child’s wellbeing and emotional balance through the use of MindUP techniques. Register at www.millsinternational.edu.hk/open-day/
Playgroup children were delighted with their Alphabet and Number Magic topic this month. They began by learning to recognise the first three letters of the alphabet A, B and C. They then learnt which letter their name begins with. They had fun singing the ABC Song during circle time and then made letter-themed artworks – A for apple, B for bee, and C for cat – to reinforce their understanding.
There was lots of storytelling too during this theme and the children enjoyed dressing up as they role played as animals whilst learning specific letters, eg dressing as zebras whilst learning about letter Z.
The children used their fingers to count cookies that they fed to the cookie monster. We played the ‘number mats game’ during music and movement sessions and the children really tried hard to aim and throw a bean bag onto the correct mat as I called out the number. They developed their concentration skills as they danced to music and listened carefully for it to stop as I called out a number, then they found and stepped on the same numbered mat. What a great way to enhance focus, number recognition, and gross motor skills!
One of the highlights for this month was our Teddy Bears’ Picnic, with the children enjoying bear snacks, music, and games together with their favourite teddies. What a very memorable month!
With the sun out and weather becoming warmer, Out and About is the perfect theme for our Pre-Nursery children to explore. Discovering what we can do outside of the home and school environment, to include sub-topics such as picnics in parks, shopping trips, visits to the beach, and looking at different types of transportation to get to these places was introduced to the class. We also practised pedalling tricycles and balancing and pushing scooters as we role played travelling to our different destinations.
The big highlight for this theme was the class picnic! Helping to gather the items and to pack the picnic basket, inviting parents and caregivers to attend, and bringing in a favourite teddy from home offered the children a chance to be involved in the preparations of the event. On the day of the picnic, the classroom was filled with super excited children (and parents) jumping up and down with delight!
The Star Room at school was carefully set up for our Teddy Bears’ Picnic. For many students, this was their first opportunity to have their snack and play group games accompanied with their parents/caregivers alongside their classmates. An arrangement of chequered placemats, rattan baskets, teddy bears, music, and food created the perfect picnic spot. The atmosphere was electric – full of energy and so many happy faces!
Learning all about shopping at a supermarket offered lots of educational fun. Shopping lists were distributed to the children, encouraging observation, decision making, counting and sorting, social and language skills as they role played ‘buying’ the listed items.
Looking at the different ways we travel to get to places was a topic for good discussion. The children’s favourite mode of transport was the big bus of course! The Wheels on the Bus, Down by the Station, Row, Row, Row Your Boat are some of the songs we sang along the way. April was a month full of role play activities, reinforcing that so much learning happens through the simple act of play!
Ms Celia, Ms Jasmine, Ms Rhawnie, Ms Wanna, and Ms Wendy
Our Transportation theme has brought lots of joy to the classroom. The children have loved playing with their favourite cars and trains, making different vehicle noises with friends, and creating their own model aeroplanes. Water play was a popular activity, and the students loved the process of predicting and then observing to see if objects would sink or float during their science experiments.
With your help they’ve created a great group project, their Transportation Book, and they love to turn the pages, look at the pictures, and tell everyone which mode of transportation they took and where they went! Thank you for participating in this activity.
Book Week was full of fun! The children loved dressing up as their favourite storybook character, visiting the library, and reading Julia Donaldson’s stories. We focused on Room on the Broom and the children were able to memorise some of the rhymes while looking at the pictures such as cat/hat, ground/found, paws/jaws, pond/wand, etc.
Learning phonics is fun! S-s-s-snake! Whilst practising the s sound they pretended to be snakes and crawled on the floor. Some of the children have impressed us recently as they are now beginning to spell out simple words such as bus, hat, cat, pig, big and bed.
Ms Jean and Ms Michelle
The students have gained confidence with their show and tell the last few weeks. Let’s continue with the great show and tell K2! Thank you for the lovely posters handed in during Book Week. Everyone did a wonderful job!
We have now started to study our new topic of People and the Past. The children understand the concept of history and that Stone Age people lived thousands of years ago. They had so much fun creating cave paintings and clay necklaces, and they helped to paint a cave that is now displayed in the classroom.
In Phonics the students will learn the sounds ou – oi – ue – er – ar in May. After completing the phonic sounds they will receive the My Phonics Workbook 2. The students will not be completing this book by June as this workbook will also be used in K3.
In May the K2 children will visit the History Museum and the Railway Museum, and this will further extend their knowledge on the current topic, which continues into the month of May.
Graduation is around the corner and we would like to remind the students to bring their ukuleles to school as Mr Eric is teaching them the Mills School Song and it is important that they know the song for Graduation.
We have started our new topic for this term, which is Tropical Rainforests. The students have enjoyed getting to know the various rainforest animals and learning about their habitat. During our art lessons the students enjoyed making colourful macaws and sleepy sloths, which will be on display soon. They are currently in the process of designing their own model of a rainforest which has been a lot of fun. They were given free rein to imagine, design, and create unique rainforest animals. I can’t wait to see their end results.
During Mathematics they have started to learn about time and with that came fractions, which is a tricky concept to grasp, but with continued practise they will become more competent in this area.
We have just had the best week celebrating Julia Donaldson during Book Week. The K3s focused on the storybook Monkey Puzzle. I was very impressed by the amount of effort the kids put in to dress up as their favourite book character. Thank you to the parents who were able to make the family art jam at the end of Book Week. It was a great success and the kids really loved it.
Thank you for the continued support and encouragement you have shown the children.
Playgroup Junior and Playgroup
During the recent Numbers topic, Playgroup children learned numbers 1 to 10 through different physical games. They particularly liked to put the corresponding candles on the cake with printed numbers and they followed the music to sing the One, Two, Three song.
Shih Laoshi (Ms Yan)
Pre-Nursery children learned about going to the supermarket and playing in the park as part of their Out and About theme. After shopping in the supermarket, they role played feeding the toy person by putting food items in its mouth and naming the foods. They also used clay to make different foods. This activity promoted the development of small muscles in their fingers and hands.
Shih Laoshi (Ms Yan)
During the theme of Transportation, the children learnt about transportation on the land and in the sky, through singing, storytelling, painting, and competitive games. They learnt the names of various modes of transportation, sang the I’m a Train song, played the game Operate a Train, and completed transportation-themed puzzles. Everyone had a great time!
Chen Laoshi (Ms May)
During their history-based topic People and the Past, the children learnt about the Stone Age people and that they lived in caves. They explored early forms of writing such as hieroglyphics through cartoon stories, physical games, and word card games. They were particularly interested in pictographs. During the game Seeing and Guessing Words, they looked at the pictographs for day, month, mountain and water, and found the corresponding characters for each one. By doing so they could appreciate the charm of the pictographs and the wisdom of ancient humans.
Fan Laoshi (Ms Selina)
Students have been learning that tropical rainforests are divided into four levels – the emergent layer, the canopy layer, the shrub layer and the surface layer – and trees grow to different heights in each layer. Through the story Animals of the Rainforest, they learnt to name the different rainforest animals and their living habits. They also role played being rainforest animals, and during this game they were able to introduce the characteristics of each animal in Mandarin. In addition, they learned to sing Animal Gymnastics. The children thoroughly enjoyed these activities.
Shih Laoshi (Ms Yan)