Message from the School Director
Welcome back to Term 2! We began the new year by celebrating Care for All Things week, and learning the importance of respecting and loving our environment, school, people, and animals.
Dear parents and children,
Happy New Year!
2018 is set to be a great year for growth and progress. All of the important foundations and hard work accomplished during Term 1 are certainly paying off, and the students are increasingly eager to delve in, question, challenge, and learn new things each day at school. This is very rewarding to see and no doubt will yield wonderful results throughout the year.
The New Year often begins with a list of resolutions and focus on what is truly important in our lives, and we shouldn’t have been surprised that our Care for All Things ‘day’ quickly developed into a week-long list of events in school. When we asked the children what things were important to them, it became clear that family and friends, teachers and school, animals and the environment were all top of their lists!
The children were so engaged when World Vision visited school and presented Goodbye River to teach them about the importance of healthy living and caring for the environment. Students gained a great understanding of how pollution is harming the earth, why some poor children have no access to clean water, and what we can do to help them.
We also had a visit from Heifer International, who introduced the children to their Read to Feed programme. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to encourage the children to use their reading skills and love of exploring books over the next few months to raise money for poor farming families in Sichuan. Don’t forget that completed sponsorship forms and money raised should be returned to school by Monday, 9 April. Happy reading, everyone!
The children also discovered the feel-good benefits of keeping their classroom organised, assisting and leading younger students during social activities such as snacktime, assembly and home time, donating food items to less fortunate families in Hong Kong, and sharing their time and love by presenting songs, games, and plants to the elderly at Lei Yue Mun Day Care Centre. What a great start to the new year and a pleasing way for the students to develop their personal, social, and emotional skills, and show how much they care!
We were delighted to participate in the recent Top Schools EYFS Experience Day and present our experiences teaching MindUP curriculum to Mills students. MindUP helps young children develop vital skills in the area of personal, social and emotional development. It provides children with knowledge, strategies, and tools that help them reduce stress and anxiety, improve concentration and academic performance, and develop greater self-awareness. Mills students have been learning to name three parts of the brain: the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the pre-frontal cortex, and understand their functions. They know that through simple breathing techniques and regular ‘brain breaks’, they have the capacity to use their brains in more effective and creative ways, and this in turn helps them deal with any little stresses they may be feeling. At Mills, we see students of all ages demonstrating greater empathy towards their classmates, and increased ability to handle their emotions and control their reactions to challenging situations. We’re seeing happy, calm, focused and resilient students as a result each day at school.
Re-enrolment for 2018-2019
You will have received an important email on 25 January, regarding your child’s re-enrolment for the 2018-2019 academic year. Places are filling extremely fast, so if you have overlooked sending back your reply slip please do so immediately, in order to secure your child’s place. We thank you for entrusting your children’s care and education to us and look forward to guiding their learning during the next academic year.
Please keep your children at home if they are at all unwell or showing any signs of illness or tiredness. If you believe that they require a mask, please do not send them to school. Every school day is a busy one, requiring students to give of their best and be dynamic, alert, and able to concentrate on every task put to them.
Chinese New Year Workshops
With Chinese New Year fast approaching, don’t miss out on our festive workshops at Mills from 5 – 15 February with lots for the children to do and learn, including visual art, musical theatre, drama, and food art.
Wishing you all a healthy, happy, and prosperous Year of the Dog!
Playgroup children got off to a boisterous and fun start in 2018 by learning about musical instruments. We used our hands to play drums, maracas, shakers and guitars, and then used our feet to play on a giant keyboard!
We welcomed in the New Year in our art studio by creating a New Year banner and painting fireworks! We love sensory activities and exploring tactile materials, and it’s great getting messy together and using our hands to paint rather than using a paintbrush. What an enjoyable time we had during art time! We had a countdown and also practised counting up to 12 together!
Playgroup students have been introduced to our special MindUP chime and sensory bottle this month. They are very attentive and focused when they hear the noise of the chime. These activities help calm, relax, and settle the children after their free playtime.
We are so excited about our upcoming themes Up and Down and Chinese New Year during February. I look forward to more fun and learning with you and the children next month.
We kicked off the new year with our engaging Animal Stories theme. With hands-on and topic-based activities, the children learnt so much through exploration and play. Identifying which animals are on the farm: cows, sheep, chickens, pigs and ducks, and the sounds they each make was reinforced through a range of activities, as well as singing Old MacDonald Had a Farm in English and in Mandarin!
One of the highlights of Animal Stories was having the children role play milking a cow, cracking and peeling eggs, cleaning the muddy pigs, and shearing the woolly sheep! What a memorable way for the students to learn what each farm animal produces.
Outside the classroom, using whole body gestures allowed the children to use dramatic movements to mimic the different farm and jungle animals from our stories: crawling, slithering, stomping, swinging, jumping and leaping during our PE lessons. The children also used the large wooden climbing frames in the Wonder Room as equipment to climb and swing from, just like cheeky monkeys! Gross motor, core control and coordination were strengthened and developed through such activities.
Reading animal stories was well received by the children. Popular titles such as Walking Through the Jungle, From Head to Toe and Old MacDonald Had a Farm kept the children engaged and interested. Storytime is a great opportunity to teach our young students a wide range of concepts and develop their understanding of the world. During storytime we introduce them to new vocabulary and rhythms in language, enabling them to develop an interest in literacy from an early age.
We all had so much fun in and out of the classroom this month.
Ms Jasmine, Ms Rhawnie, Ms Wanna, and Ms Wendy
The children have been growing both physically and cognitively since the Christmas holidays. They have become a lot more talkative, imaginative, and interactive in class and have begun to invent their own games and stories.
Care for All Things week at the beginning of January was a great opportunity for the children to explore the world and learn how to take care of our planet, our school, our family and friends. They loved listening to the stories about our environment and discussing what we can do in our daily lives to protect the earth, including the 3Rs (recycle, reduce, and reuse).
We started off our new term with the theme Jobs People Do. Students learnt about the tasks involved in different occupations, where people work, and the various tools and uniforms people wear. They’ve also enjoyed sharing what they want to be when they grow up. We set up a few dramatic play corners in the classroom (fire station, hospital, post office, etc) and the children were excited to role play occupations with props and toys. They’ve been nursing and healing baby dolls as they role played being a nurse/doctor, used their fire engine, hoses, and water to bravely save people from the fire, practised their cooking skills whilst being a chef, and they’ve even led circle time as the teacher! During this topic we’ve seen their imaginations really blossom.
In Literacy, the children have learnt more vocabulary including letter i and j words. They loved experimenting to see how ice melts and were so excited to taste ice too!
They’ve also become increasingly curious about their surroundings and often ask probing What and Why questions. It’s great to see their confidence and understanding develop as they enquire and explore more.
Ms Jean and Ms Michelle
Thank you once again for the lovely Christmas cards and postcards we received in December from the children. It was so nice for them to keep in touch with school during the break.
During January, K2 students have been learning all about Hong Kong. They took a closer look at where they live and which MTR station is the closest to their home. They enjoyed learning the song Hong Kong Taxis and going outside to see what types of transportation they could spot in Yau Tong.
The students also learned about Children Around the World and we focused on three countries: South Africa, Australia and China.
In phonics, the students will learn the sounds j – oa – ie – ee during February. They are showing good progress in phonics and some of them have started recognising simple words as well. In Numeracy we have focused on writing the date on their tasksheets and they have done a great job.
Our topic for the month of February continues with Children Around the World and Chinese New Year. We also look forward to the Chinese New Year assembly and school celebration during the month of February. We hope to see you at the next Parents’ Assembly on Monday, 12 February.
Welcome back, after what I hope was a great holiday.
We have been busy in K3 from the start of the new year. During the first week of school we focused on our Care for All Things topic. We investigated and discussed ways to be kind to our friends, family, animals, and environment. We ended the week by visiting a local retirement centre where the students presented English and Mandarin songs, and played games with the elderly.
K3 students have started using their My Literacy workbooks – the activities in the workbook encourage the children to fill in missing words and create sentences which they then practise reading on their own.
During mathematics lessons, the class has been focusing on number bonds and they are working their way towards being able to do sums up to twenty.
The students have been learning to use various breathing techniques to develop their concentration and focus. These breathing strategies are linked to the MindUP curriculum, which improves the children’s ability to apply themselves well to their academic work, and increases their sense of empathy and understanding of others.
During January, the K3 students have also been learning about healthy eating and the different food groups for their Health and Nutrition topic. We have also focused on personal hygiene. During art lessons the children created a range of healthy and unhealthy papier mâché foods from card and paper, and they then painted and decorated their artworks to finalise them.
Thank you for the ongoing support and love you show your children – it is evident in their good attitude to behaviour and work.
Playgroup Junior and Playgroup
Our current theme is I Can Sing and Dance. Playgroup students have been introduced to the names of different musical instruments such as triangle, tambourine and drum. The children had lots of fun exploring and playing the musical instruments during various class activities.
Shih Laoshi (Miss Yan)
Our Pre-Nursery students have been learning about various animals such as crocodile, elephant, dog, chick and duck for their current theme Animal Stories. They also explored the sounds of different farm animals whilst singing songs.
Shih Laoshi (Miss Yan)
The current theme for K1 students is Jobs People Do. Through various activities, they learnt different occupations such as teacher, chef, police officer, firefighter, doctor and nurse. They also learnt how to match the equipment to the people with different occupations, eg teachers use books, chefs use knifes, and police officer use handcuffs. Well done!
Chen Laoshi (Miss May)
K2 students have been investigating the theme I Live in Hong Kong. They have been learning about various Hong Kong transportation, such as mini-bus, tram, MTR, ferry, and plane. They also explored various famous foods from Hong Kong, such as siu mei, shrimp dumplings, and Chinese pudding. Through our MindUP activities, we have noticed that the students’ listening and concentration skills have improved. Good job!
Fan Laoshi (Ms Selina)
The recent theme for K3 students was Health and Nutrition. They learnt about different foods such as strawberry, watermelon, chocolate and ice cream. Through a range of activities, they have learnt to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy foods, and the importance of healthy eating. They have been practising introducing the foods in Mandarin during class activities. Well done, K3 students, for participating in all of the activities.
Shih Laoshi (Ms Yan)