Message from the School Director
We love celebrating cultural festivities at Mills, to deepen our understanding of the world, exchange views and beliefs, and build appreciation and unity amongst our students and the wider community.
At the beginning of October we transformed our Star Room into an outdoor picnic scene for the Mid-Autumn festivities and the younger children enjoyed seeing the K3 students reenact the story of the Moon Fairy Chang E and her rabbit Yu Tu. Participation in the performing arts in a supportive environment encourages self-expression and helps enhance children’s social interaction and cooperation. This proved a great opportunity for our older students to develop self-esteem, confidence and poise so early in the academic year. Well done, K3!
Then on 19 October we celebrated Diwali with four of our parents visiting school to explain the festival to the children. We’re always grateful to have parents and family members join in at school, so do let me know if you’re interested in getting involved in any way during our special events throughout the year.
We ended this month with our friendly Halloween party! Teachers and students got into the spirit by dressing up in creative ways, and one student from each class was presented with a little prize for most inspiring costume. Activities and games included Ghost Busters’ Laboratory, Fun Frankenstein’s Kitchen, Witches’ Cauldron and Silly Scary Olympics, amongst many others. All of these fun group activities developed teamwork, leadership, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills, as well as gross and fine motor development.
The students were so thrilled to have parents and caregivers support them during their first Parents’ Assembly on 9 October, when they presented a wide range of English and Mandarin songs based on the theme Look What We’re Learning. Many of our young students had not performed to an audience before, and it’s not an easy thing to do at first. Tackling new challenges is, however, a wonderful opportunity for the children to discover what they’re capable of, gain new skills, and develop self-confidence. These types of activities stimulate the body and the mind, and can have a positive effect on children’s emotional behaviour and development. If done often enough, they help develop social, motor, emotional, and language development. Let’s recognise both the challenges and the benefits of these activities for young children – please encourage them and don’t forget to applaud their wonderful efforts each time! We look forward to seeing you at our next Parents’ Assembly on Monday, 6 November.
As our first topic of the year was completed during October, all students have done their first topic-based assessment and the results are encouraging. There has clearly been abundant learning taking place in all classes, and the children have gained a lot of knowledge and understanding about their respective topics.
We also sent home the students’ portfolios during the mid-term break, so you could see some of the activities they have been working on since August. We hope you enjoyed looking at their work, and thank you for returning the portfolios after the holiday.
As the weather begins to cool in November, K1 to K3 students will have their physical education lessons outdoors, weather permitting, and this is sure to be fun and invigorating!
Note that students will change from summer to winter uniforms by mid-November, so please complete your winter uniform order form and return it to administration as soon as possible.
Look out for our first Early Learners Open Day on Sunday, 5 November when children of 3 years or younger are invited to come to school for a fun-filled event that includes singing, storytelling, movement and art activities delivered in English and Mandarin. What a wonderful way to experience our wide range of co-curricular classes for the younger kids at Mills!
Please feel free to contact me at any time to seek advice, provide feedback or discuss any concerns you may have.
It has been great watching new Playgroup children settling well into class and thoroughly enjoying the class routines. Circle time is one of their favourites! They love singing songs and dancing to music in the Star Room.
Our themes for this month were Watch Me Grow and Autumn, and we have learned that healthy eating makes us grow! We made flower height charts to find out who’s the tallest of us all.
We enjoyed using crayons and our hands and fingers to create caterpillar artworks. We practised our fine motor skills by sticking different textured papers on a jumbo pencil artwork – it was fun!
Our special Teddy Bears’ Picnic is something we look forward to every Friday. We make themed artworks and eat with the teddies too!
We participated in the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration by making our own lanterns. We painted them red and added gems and sequins. We painted leaf people and enjoyed playing in our autumn-themed sensory box.
Time flies fast and we are on our way now to our next theme of Down on the Farm – E I E I O!
October was full of exciting festivals and celebrations, starting with the Mid-Autumn Festival, then Diwali, and finally Halloween.
Students had a lot of fun participating in the Mid-Autumn lantern parade and learning the story of Chang’e flying to the moon. We used cooking ingredients to make play dough and then stirred, poured, spooned, and kneaded the play dough to create moon cake moulds.
A big ‘thank you’ to Rihansh, Tania and Matthew’s mummies for explaining the wonderful tradition of the Diwali festival to all Mills students. PN children learned that a diya is a small light that is lit especially at Diwali. They each painted a diya and made a pretend candle to put on it.
Whilst working on Halloween inspired projects, the children strengthen their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they threaded their spider web. Attaching wooden pegs onto the cut-out spiders required the PN children to count (1-10) and reinforced their pincer grip which strengthened those little finger muscles as they clipped on pegs as spider’s legs. Developing those fine motor skills is vital preparation for later pencil control.
Autumn Leaves are Falling Down is the song for our next Parents’ Assembly and the children got to explore real autumn leaves through their senses – sight, touch, smell, hearing.
Ms Alice, Ms Wendy, and Ms Rhawnie
K1 students have completed their first theme Animal Magic and they did an impressive job during their recent assessments! They are now able to name and sort animals into jungle, farm, and sea animals.
They had fun mixing sand and paint to create their muddy farms, forming patterns for fishes, and practising their fine motor skills whilst beading the jellyfish!
It’s great to see their enthusiasm for learning.
Show and tell has been a huge success this month! During this activity the children share their thoughts and opinions, and also learn to develop good listening skills. Later in the term, we will encourage them to ask each other questions and this will help enhance their conversational skills. Thank you parents, for encouraging the children to bring items into class to show and discuss.
The children have also been learning about Halloween; they made special trick or treat baskets, amused themselves digging in the soil to find googly eyes, worms and spiders in the sensory box, and pretended to put these in the witches’ cauldron (pumpkin) to brew potions. Very imaginative!
Our next theme is I Am Growing Up, with the children exploring topics such as healthy eating, the five senses, measuring heights, and sorting by size. They will learn to make comparisons between how they looked as babies and how they look now, so it would be great if you could send in some family photos showing your child when they were younger and more recent ones too. Thanks in advance for your involvement in this activity!
Ms Jean, Ms Jasmine and Ms Michelle
Welcome back from your holiday, K2! We hope you had a good rest.
The K2 students have been learning all about storybooks during the month of September and October. Thank you for the wonderful show and tell tasksheets that the students have handed in. It was good to see that the children enjoy regular storytime at home. They also enjoyed making their Ghostbusters artwork and singing along to halloween songs recently.
The students have also completed their first K2 assessment and they did very well. We focused on their listening and communication skills during this assessment. The children’s handwriting has improved a lot and we can see they take great pride in completing their homework. Thank you once again for supporting your child at home. They have learned the phonic sounds s – a – i – p – n – c – k – e and will be learning the sounds h – r – m – d – g –o – u soon.
Our next theme is Mini-beasts and the children will visit the Insect Centre at Tai Po Waterfront during November to expand their knowledge and experiences of this topic. They will learn about the habitats of different insects, and also focus on ladybugs, bees, ants, and butterflies. This is a wonderful theme to enhance their understanding of the natural world and their general knowledge.
Ms Franziska and Ms Wanna
K3 students continue to work hard and are becoming more aware of expectations in class.
Their confidence has grown in so many areas during their studies and exploration of the theme Journey Back in Time. We recently visited the Hong Kong Science Museum and were able to see real hieroglyphics, Egyptian mummies, and the coffins they were buried in. For this topic of study, students also performed a theme-based poem during the October Parents’ Assembly. What a great job they did!
K3 had fun developing their fine motor skills as they kneaded and rolled clay to create special moon cakes during their exploration of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Once dry, they then painted their moon cakes in a wide range of colours. These artworks look good enough to eat!
During Halloween week K3 followed a design brief – they were asked to sketch a fun monster that would then be created in 3D. They learnt how to paper mâché balloons and then once dry, these were painted and decorated with fun facial features, hair, and various shaped body parts. We then had a class discussion about the characteristics of each monster and what their names were. The children really enjoyed following the design process and are super proud of their monsters.
Over the past couple of months K3 have formed great friendships and bonds; they play nicely together and are very supportive of each other. They know the importance of tidying up after themselves and how to store things in the correct places. I am so proud of them. Keep it up, K3!
Playgroup Junior and Playgroup
Our Playgroup children celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival with lanterns while singing Hold the Lanterns during movement time and they also celebrated Halloween through various fun activities. We have now moved on to the new theme of Farm Animals and the children have been learning to imitate the sounds of different animals.
Shih Laoshi (Miss Yan)
Our PN students were thrilled to learn more new things during October. Not only did they continue learning about their topic All About Me but they also learnt about the customs and foods for the Mid-Autumn Festival through different stories and whilst carrying their lanterns and singing with their teachers. They also dressed up in their Halloween costumes to celebrate this festive day.
Shih Laoshi (Miss Yan)
During October, K1 students learnt about different farm animals and three festivals – Mid-Autumn Festival, Diwali and Halloween. They demonstrated how to apply their knowledge to daily life by showing how to fish with fishing rods and by identifying differences between buttons on Chinese costumes and those on their school cardigans. Some students were also able to use a toy frog and tell their classmates There is a frog on the farm.
They learnt one to three in Chinese characters and recognised numbers 1-5 during the teaching of animals and festivals. Not only has their knowledge in Chinese and maths improved a lot, but also their expressive communication skills in Mandarin. Keep going, K1 students!
Chen Lao-shi (Ms May)
K2 students have had a wonderful time learning about various festivals during October. They celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival by listening to a story and viewing a performance about this traditional Chinese festival. They got into the spirit of Halloween as lots of pumpkin baskets appeared around school. Students also learnt about the customs of Diwali, an Indian festival. Through celebrating different festivities, we encourage the students to appreciate the traditions and cultures of different countries. These festive activities reinforce their understanding of the world and appreciation of others.
Fan Laoshi (Miss Selina)
K3 students have been revising their knowledge of Egyptian history during October. They also learnt about the customs of the Mid-Autumn Festival and can recognise words such as moon cake and lantern. They also celebrated Diwali and Halloween at school. Not only did they learn the names of the festivals, they were also able to use complete sentences such as We eat moon cakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival, We have pumpkin at Halloween and Happy Diwali to show their understanding of different celebrations and festivals.
Shih Laoshi (Miss Yan)