Message from the School Director
Winter displays of snowflakes, icicles, candy canes, twinkling lights, gingerbread houses, elves, and pretty gifts with bows have appeared around school recently, as we wait in anticipation of a special visitor from the North Pole!
Dear parents and children,
November has been a wonderful month for teaching the children about empathy and the benefits of supporting others through charitable work. Empathy is the primary emotion that inspires people to help others. It helps build good relationships and encourages children to accept others who are different from them.
We all dressed in blue on 14 November to mark World Diabetes Day and raise money for Youth Diabetes Action. This was a wonderful opportunity for the children to gain an insight into the challenges of a child just like them living with an ongoing illness. Our School Supervisor, Joanna Hotung, who is also Chairperson Emeritus of Youth Diabetes Action, read the students a story to aid their understanding and demonstrate how strength of character can help us overcome difficulties.
Then to mark Thanksgiving we supported local charity Feeding Hong Kong and their Annual Festive Food Drive. The children loved checking the collection boxes and seeing them fill up with healthy food items each day. Thank you all for generously supporting this initiative and encouraging the children to share healthy food items with families in need. These kinds of activities help to build children’s self-esteem and self-worth, by showing them that their actions matter.
For our Thanksgiving event, each student decorated a leaf at home, displayed it on our We Are Thankful Tree, and told us what they are grateful for. It’s important to encourage children to consider and appreciate the things that are truly important in their lives, such as good friends, kind parents, supportive teachers, healthy food, healthy bodies, nature, etc. The students delighted in seeing our school tree blossom each day as more and more leaves were added.
We’ve been encouraged to see more parents and caregivers join in school activities lately. Don’t forget to sign up for our Mystery Reader programme and surprise your child by popping into their class to read a story! This programme always brings delight and smiles, and makes the children’s day even more special. Please contact our administration staff if you’re interested in being a Mystery Reader.
Teachers are now finalising children’s first academic reports for the year, and we are pleased with the students’ progress at all levels; with our youngest students busy acquiring new skills each day and developing feelings of self-reliance, and our older students making great progress in their academic studies, self-confidence, and building lasting friendships.
We are delighted that many of our K2 and K3 children have been successfully interviewing for primary schools as the next step in their education, and receiving offers from prestigious schools. If you have any questions regarding upcoming interviews or the primary application process, please feel free to contact me.
The festive season is in the air at school, with students eagerly practising for our End of Year Concert on 4 December, when we’ll also be announcing Head Boy, Head Girl, and Class Captains for 2017-2018! I hope to see you all there, supporting the children in their efforts.
We also look forward to meeting you during the parent-teacher consultations in December to discuss how your child has grown developmentally during Term 1. Please feel free to voice any concerns or questions during these meetings.
Don’t miss out on our exciting Winter Workshops available from 4 – 15 December at Mills, including art, etiquette, presentation, musical theatre, and dance activities. These workshops are sure to inspire and delight the children, so sign up early and join in the fun!
Our theme for November was Down on the Farm with Playgroup children learning about farm life, animals, and crops. We had fun doing the scarecrow dance and singing Old MacDonald had a Farm and Five Little Ducks. What a delight to witness the children recognise and identify different farm animals, crops, and even our friendly farm scarecrow!
Learning the different sounds that farm animals make made our circle time an eagerly anticipated activity each day. There’s always excitement in the air each time we sing along with our duck, cow, sheep, chick, and pig masks!
We’ve also been practising numbers to 10, by counting the fluffy balls on the sheep’s body.
Whole school celebrations are so much fun for Playgroup children to participate in; they made friendly ghosts and little monsters for Halloween, and will dress up and move to a winter song during our End of Year Concert soon. We’ll continue exploring the Winter Wonderland theme during December in class, where there’s sure to be lots more fun and learning.
See you next time!
This month the children have explored the topic Colours and Shapes Make My World, and have been identifying colours and shapes in and around school.
In our Pre-Nursery classes we are serious about learning through fun hands-on activities! Through introducing the three primary colours of red, yellow and blue, and mixing these colours to create the secondary colours purple, green and orange, students had their first science lesson – shaking and mixing the colours together in bottles to create new ones.
The Skittles colour experiment allowed for focus and observation – seeing how the colours from the candies run to form a ‘rainbow of colours’ had the children fully engaged throughout the process.
Going on a Colour Hunt was a great activity to get all the students moving around the room, making this colour matching game a whole lot of fun as the children were kept active, curious, and involved!
We also incorporated our topic into the PE lessons, as the children learned to toss beanbags into the matching colour trays, play colourful parachute games, and roll balls to knock down coloured skittles. These fun physical activities help to build and develop the children’s motor skills and coordination.
Painting doesn’t have to be done with traditional brushes. In our class, we use all kinds of tools and equipment – the children created colourful Spin Artworks with a salad spinner! Having the chance to make their own decisions on what colours to use, squeeze paints into the spinner, and then turn the handle, had the children see their artworks develop from beginning to end – a wonderful process to view. The results are delightfully dynamic circles of colour!
Ms Alice, Ms Wendy, and Ms Rhawnie
Our K1 children have been busy exploring the topic I Am Growing Up. Thank you for sending in the lovely baby photos of the students. We had fun guessing who each baby was and discussing the differences in a baby and a big boy/girl. The children have learnt how to use mathematical language as they stand next to each other and say I am shorter or I am taller.
We are grateful to see the children attempting and succeeding in being independent in class. They now often say I am a big boy/girl. I can do it myself! They have learnt how to put on their cardigan, shoes and schoolbag, and are keen to help clean the table and sweep the floor. The children have shown confidence when approaching these activities and they were excited to be able to complete tasks by themselves. We hope they are doing these at home too!
The children have now started to practise tracing their names in class. We can see that their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills are improving. We will soon encourage them to practise cutting with scissors as this strengthens their finger and hand muscles.
Our End of Year Concert is approaching. We hope the children have been singing at home too! We’re looking forward to seeing all of you at school soon.
Ms Jean, Ms Jasmine, and Ms Michelle
K2 students have been learning about Mini-beasts during November. The students were very curious about the insects and now understand the concept of life cycles. They had so much fun visiting the Tai Po Waterfront Park and learned a lot about mini-beasts.
Thank you once again for the lovely insect-themed mind maps that were sent in for show and tell. The children did a wonderful job explaining their favourite insects to the class.
During phonics lessons in December the students will learn the sounds l – f – b – ai. We will also be focusing more on their blending skills during the upcoming month.
Our topic for December is Winter Wonderland and the children will be making lots of Christmas crafts including a gift for Mum and Dad.
They have done so well practising their End of Year Concert songs. Thank you, parents, for handing in the jeans on time – the costumes look wonderful and we are excited for you to see the children wear them.
Ms Franziska and Ms Wanna
K3 students performed really well during the November Parents’ Assembly and they all remembered the words of the poem. I am so proud of them.
Our current topic is Switch on the Light and we have blocked out all daylight in the classroom so that the children can explore different objects that produce light.
They have had a lot of fun making shadow puppets and using them to present stories for their classmates. What a great way to develop creative art and literacy skills.
The students have been learning about the different components of series circuits. They were fortunate to have a professional electrician visit class recently and demonstrate how to set up a series circuit using wires and batteries. The children were then allowed an opportunity to complete the missing parts of the circuit and switch on the light!
During design and technology lessons, the students have been making their very own lighthouse and learning about the functions of a lighthouse.
We have recently started doing show and tell in class and this is going well. Each week, two children bring an item to class and discuss it with their classmates. They are encouraged to present it clearly, allow their peers to view and use it, and then we have a questions and answers session. Show and tell is a wonderful way to enhance children’s confidence in a familiar and supportive environment, and it helps them develop valuable presentation skills at a young age.
Thank you once again, for being supportive and encouraging towards the children and their homework tasks. The benefits of these additional exercises are evident in the children’s learning and confidence already during Term 1.
I look forward to seeing you all soon for our End of Year Concert.
Playgroup Junior and Playgroup
Our Playgroup children have been exploring the theme Farm Animals and learning vocabulary such as duck, sheep, and dog through the story Mr Wang Has a Farm. They love moving the toy ducks while singing Mama Duck and Baby Duck.
Shih Laoshi (Miss Yan)
Pre-Nursery students showed great enthusiasm for the current topic Colours and Shapes. They loved participating in matching games to learn different colours and shapes, such as red, yellow, green, blue, and triangle. They also learned to sang Three Butterflies with confidence.
Shih Laoshi (Miss Yan)
Our K1 students had fun making their own mirror and singing Good Children during the month of November. These activities reinforced their knowledge of family, gender, and numerals. They are able to say her name, gender and age when asked – some of them even recognise their own Chinese name.
Through storytelling and sharing activities, they learnt to say simple sentences such as I can read and I can jump. By comparing different objects, they learnt to describe height using taller and shorter. Students were aware that they are growing up throughout this month.
Chen Laoshi (Miss May)
As part of their Mini-beasts topic, our K2 students went to the park to look for insects. They expressed curiosity about nature whilst using magnifying glasses to spot ants.
They recognised corresponding words in Mandarin during matching games. It was explained by teachers that spiders are not insects and the students understood.
Not only did they sing along to insect songs such as Beautiful Butterflies and A Little Spider but they also listened to different stories about nature. They also enjoyed a great adventure at the Insect House in Tai Po Waterfront Park.
Fan Laoshi (Ms Selina)
Our K3 students learnt about electricity during the current topic Switch on the Light. They explored ways to save power as well as ways to generate power such as hydropower and solar power. They even created an electrical circuit. Students have gained a lot of understanding about power saving. They were able to say I want to save power in Mandarin.
Shih Laoshi (Ms Yan)