Message from the School Director
We’ve seen singing snowflakes, snowmen, Christmas trees, elves, and Santas around school recently! The festive decorations are being hung and excited students are practising eagerly for our upcoming End of Year Concert on 10 December.
Dear parents and children,
It’s been a month of celebration, with the children learning about the traditions of Diwali and Hanukkah. Embracing diversity and being open-minded about different cultures and religions, broadens children’s understanding of the world and helps them to be kind, tolerant and respectful of others. We are grateful to our wonderful parents for coming to school and sharing these special festivities with the students.
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.
Teachers are now finalising children’s first academic reports for the year, and we are delighted 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 thrilled 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 10 December, when we’ll also be announcing Head Boy, Head Girl, and Class Captains for 2018-2019! 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 10 – 19 December at Mills, including art, puppetry, musical theatre, storytelling and cooking activities. These workshops are sure to inspire and delight the children, so sign up early and join in the fun!
Down on the Farm is such a great theme for Playgroup aged students. It’s a fantastic way to introduce new animals and encourage early listening skills through animal sounds. This month we’ve been introducing our Playgroup students to all sorts of animals found on the farm such as the pig, sheep, horse and cow. Playgroup have done a fantastic job at starting to recognise and identify animal sounds to the correct animal.
Visual images, storytelling, expressive arts, and creative movement have all been used to reinforce the many new animals we’ve learnt about over the last four weeks. We even practiced our fine motor skills by shearing sheep in class!
For most of our Playgroup students, the theme Down on the Farm was the first time they’d come across a scarecrow, and we used our sensory bins and games such as Pin the Hat on the Scarecrow to introduce the concept. We had lots of fun using rakes and spades to search for the different parts of the scarecrow and then put him back together again!
This month Pre-Nursery students focused on the topic Colours and Shapes Make My World. The children loved exploring the different coloured water beads in the sensory bins and were amazed by how squishy, slippery, and bouncy the beads are once soaked in water. They carefully scooped up the beads into small containers – a fun way to develop good hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
They also enjoyed using both hands to mix paint and discovered how to create new colours during the process – a wonderfully tactile introduction to colour theory and science!
The students have been learning how to coordinate and control their big muscle movements by jumping or hopping from one coloured circle to another. They’ve also been busy using large blocks during imaginative play to build castles and role play on the telephone!
Math concepts have been introduced through fun puzzles and sorting and matching activities.
We’ve been developing creativity and decision-making in the Pre-Nursery children by encouraging them to select colours, shapes, and materials for their artworks. How proud they are of their finished outcomes!
Soon we’ll see you at the End of Year concert. Most of the children are excited to sing and dance for everyone but a few are still a little timid, so please encourage them for their efforts.
Ms Felicity, Ms Jasmine, Ms Rhawnie and Ms Rebecca
During November K1 learnt all about themselves. Thank you for sending in the adorable photos of the students – we had lots of fun guessing who each baby was and discussing how they have changed over the years. They also enjoyed making their own personalised booklet, colouring it with their favourite colour, and drawing their favourite things inside.
This topic provided so many great opportunities for the children to learn valuable self-help skills; how to take care of themselves and their belongings, and how to help out at home by tidying away their toys, cleaning the table after meals, or hanging the washing on the clothes line.
The students were eager to practice getting dressed – tasks such as putting on a cardigan and closing the buttons or zipping up a zipper on a fleece provide excellent fine motor skills practice, which helps with pencil grip and writing later in the year.
They also had lots of fun during our theme-based obstacle course race! This involved the students having to first make their bed then crawl through the tunnel and put on their shoes as quick as they could. The students demonstrated confidence and were excited to be able to complete the course all by themselves.
They are also learning to use mathematical language and can often be seen measuring and comparing heights whilst standing next to each other in a line and saying “I am a big boy/girl” or “I am taller/shorter.”
We’ve been busy practicing for the upcoming End of Year Concert and the children are looking forward to performing for you all. Please remember to hand in a set of pyjamas, if you have not done so already.
Ms Urwashi and Ms Wanna
K2 have focused on the topic of Mini-beasts and ended the month with an assessment of this topic. We have explored many bugs but placed specific focus on butterflies, spiders, bees, and ants. The students have learnt where each bug lives, what they eat, and their bodily features. They created craft works and used these as props to act out stories, perform songs, and help them better explain the mini-beast.
Much progression has been seen in the phonics and numeracy classes. Consonant Vowel Consonant (CVC) words have been the focus in phonics class with the letters that they know. This has allowed the students to slowly grasp the idea of blending a combination of letters to create full words. We have also started writing full sentences where the focus is on the spacing of words and the use of basic punctuation like capital letters and full stops. In numeracy classes, the students have been focused on the idea of adding and subtracting during a number of practical counting and grouping exercises.
Music and movement classes have concentrated on the theme of winter and the End of Year Concert production. We have focused on clapping and moving to the beat of a song. The students have been learning their lyrics and choreography for both an English and Mandarin performance. We look forward to showcasing these at the end of the term.
Physical education has also been an area of progress where the students have been collaborating to build obstacle courses focused around teamwork and balance. This has been coupled with learning to kick a soccer ball at a target and dribbling a ball through a set of cones.
During circle time we have been encouraging the children to speak in full sentences and to ask appropriate questions. Show and tell has been a fantastic opportunity for them to present a special item from home (excluding toys), as well as a great platform for the other children to practice using their question words and sentence starters (eg what, where and how).
Mr Marc and Ms Wanna
November has been an electrical month for the K3 class as we explored our new theme Switch on the Light. The theme was broken down into smaller topics, the first of which was ‘light’. The students explored what light is, where it comes from, why it is important, and differentiated between natural and artificial light. The class enjoyed learning about light so much that we investigated the light spectrum and how light is made. I don’t think any of us are afraid of the dark anymore!
‘Electricity’ was the next topic and the students were challenged to build circuits and represent them visually through drawings. We were lucky to have professional electrician, Kent Leung, visit class to explain how circuits work and also conduct a short practical activity with everyone.
Finally, ‘renewable energy’ was introduced to the students and it provided ample opportunity for intense discussion. The K3 class had fruitful debates about why renewable energy is so crucial to our planet, how it works, and what the disadvantages are thereof. Some fantastic drawings were produced depicting the harmful effects of fossil fuels and the advantages of renewable energy.
In and amongst our regular activities, K3 have also learnt about the celebration of Diwali and were privileged to have a Mills parent deliver a presentation to broaden their knowledge of the topic. We also enjoyed another Parents’ Assembly, celebrating the change of season to autumn, where K3 participated in a game of Pin the Hat on the Scarecrow. Thank you, to all the parents who were able to attend. The event was fun-filled and an enjoyable experience for all!
The K3 students are renowned for wanting to break a mental and also a physical sweat. Whilst we continued learning our blends in English to assist our reading and writing, we also spent ample time outdoors for PE lessons. The pollution levels have been low of late, and this month we focused on playing as a team and understanding that we can achieve more together than individually, on and off the sports field.
Our K3 STEM projects encourage the students to investigate, manipulate and experiment with a range of materials that develop the concepts, skills and dispositions that are important for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Our latest project involved constructing a mechanical claw, which the students are still having fun using around class! And we’re looking forward to the next project, building a kaleidoscope.
Only a couple of weeks to go before the Christmas holidays. Thanks for a wonderful month!
Pre-Nursery students love coming to school each day, and arrive with big smiles to greet their teachers and classmates. During November, they have been learning about Colours and Shapes and have been closely observing different objects, listening to stories, playing with theme-based resources, and building blocks. They now know common colours and shapes in Mandarin. Apart from these fun activities, they have also enjoyed singing the Colours and Shapes Song with their teachers!
Fan Laoshi (Ms Selina), Huang Laoshi (Ms Tracy)
K1 students have been exploring the theme I Am Growing Up! They made their own mirror, celebrated birthdays and sang the Good Children song in order to strengthen their knowledge on family, gender, age and numbers. They can now introduce themselves by name, gender, age, etc to their classmates. They have also strengthened their language skills through stories and sharing activities. They are now able to say “I can jump”, “I can share my books”, etc. They have also learnt self-care skills and the importance of being able to get dressed and undressed – they had fun practicing these skills by changing the clothes on the dolls at school. Students have become more aware that they have grown up throughout this month.
Chen Laoshi (Ms May)
K2 have been learning about Mini-beasts. They sang theme-based songs, explored our neighbourhood park, and went on an excursion to the Insects House in Tai Po Waterfront Park in order to investigate the insects’ world. They also learnt about the characteristics and growth processes of butterflies, bees, and ants. They can now distinguish the difference between spiders and other insects.
During extended activities, the students have learnt that there are seven days in a week and 12 months per year, and are able to recognise and write one to ten in Chinese. They have also learnt the names of shapes and colours, and are well prepared for the end of term assessment.
Fan Laoshi (Ms Selina)
K3 students have finished their topic Switch on the Light and enjoyed it so much! First, they learnt about different types of light though group discussion and card games. Next, they did an experiment with static electricity – by rubbing different materials together they observed how some objects are attracted by electrostatic force and the reason behind. They even built a simple circuit on their own. During PE activities they enjoyed designing their very own ‘build an electric tower’ competition and learnt the importance of teamwork. They students also read books and watched science videos, and learnt how to conserve electricity. We hope they use this knowledge in their everyday life and help to save the Earth!
Huang Laoshi (Ms Tracy)