Message from the School Director
Welcome back, everyone! What a joy to see our students recharged and ready for the fun and challenges that lie ahead for the new school year.
Dear parents and children,
The beginning of the school year marks a time of promise and potential, and 2018-19 is no exception! With skilled and devoted staff and a supportive family community at Mills, each and every student is poised to achieve academic excellence, become emotionally and physically stronger, and grow their talents.
Our goal is to provide a nurturing environment where all children flourish and become responsible, caring people. Thank you for understanding that it can take a few weeks for a child to adjust to a new class, peer group, and teacher. Throughout September, we’ve see the children settle in, play well, work hard, and make new friends.
We watch as even the youngest Pre-Nursery students quickly identify their cubby, change their shoes, and place their items for class in the drop off boxes. It’s reassuring to see the children so keen to do things for themselves as this promotes important practical life skills.
K1 children are developing their confidence and social skills as they foster new friendships and learn to work together. We also see them widening their vocabularies with pre-writing and counting activities.
K2 students are making firm attempts at writing both in Chinese and English. They’ve also been gently introduced to their Jolly Phonics and numeracy programmes.
Higher up the school in K3 (Year 1) we are seeing wonderful efforts being made during spelling and numeracy exercises. Dictation, aural comprehension, and mental math tests will be introduced soon.
Our Mills community is important to us and we have lots of exciting family events planned for the upcoming year. Nothing brings people together like festivals do, and cultural celebrations are an important part of our school life. These events enhance communal harmony, appreciation of others, and an understanding of the world for young children. It was great to see so many of you join the children and teachers in the art studio recently, to create artworks based on the Mid-Autumn Festival.
During the upcoming school year, I encourage you to take an active role in your child’s learning and get involved in their school life. Opportunities during October and November:
- Sign up to be a Mystery Reader
- Attend Parents’ Assembly
- Join our first Family Art Jam on Saturday, 27 October
- Participate in the Diwali, Thanksgiving, or Hanukkah celebrations
We’re always delighted to meet new parents and share with them the wonderful things we do at Mills. We had two busy days at The Standard Kindergarten Fair and the SCMP Education International Schools Festival during September.
We also welcomed Sai Kung & Clearwater Bay Magazine to Mills recently, to discuss the MindUP™ programme, which teaches students focused attention, kindness and empathy. We’re proud to be the only MindUP™ preschool in Hong Kong and thrilled to share this valuable curriculum with children and parents in the wider community.
At Mills, we believe that direct and open communication is best. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher, or our administrative staff if you have questions, need clarification on something or wish to discuss personal academic and social goals for your child. We are always pleased to meet with you for scheduled appointments or to connect via your child’s Communication Book, by email or telephone. Also, please do not hesitate to contact me, or schedule a time to meet, if you have any questions or concerns over the course of the year.
We’re committed to supporting your children’s learning and this year we’ve extended our popular co-curricular programme, with 30 courses for children aged 2 – 6 years. We were proud of our co-curricular students for attaining excellent results in their Cambridge Starters examinations in July. Mills students achieved up to 15 shields – the top mark for this examination!
Let’s work together to make this a year of growth and achievement for all children at Mills.
Playgroup classes have kicked off with lots of exciting games and activities to promote all sorts of fantastic opportunities to learn and explore more at school!
This month we’ve been focusing on the theme All About Me and the children have been learning about their body, facial expressions, and different things they like to do.
This has of course involved lots of wonderful singing and dancing with musical instruments in our Star Room, as well explorative free play in the Wonder Room. Our Playgroup students have become much more confident as they discover what different things they like to play with by interacting with their friends!
Throughout our theme, the students have been embracing new and different textures, experimenting with paint, crayons, and even play dough.
Have a look at our Playgroup and Playgroup Junior students having fun in the ball pit!
Our Pre-Nursery children have made a wonderful start to preschool! They arrive each day excited to be in class, see their teachers, and meet new friends!
They have quickly familiarised with daily routines such as changing to indoor shoes, and putting their folder and water bottle in the basket outside the classroom. They wave goodbye to parents and caregivers, make their way to their classroom, and engage with a wide range of fun table-top activities.
For this first month of school, we have been exploring the theme Amazing Me; learning parts of the body, identifying facial features, learning about feelings and emotions, exploring the five senses, sharing family photos with friends, and making new friends.
Play with a purpose is fun! Through these activities the children make sense of the world around them, develop social and cognitive skills, and gain self-confidence.
Look at our Pre-Nursery children as they explore their sense of touch by stepping on different textures using their little feet!
Being creative with different painting and decorating techniques!
Browsing books in our reading corner!
Learning to share and play with new friends!
We would like to thank you for your support during the first month, and for trusting in us to make each day fruitful and fun for the children.
Ms Felicity, Ms Jasmine, Ms Rhawnie, and Ms Wanna
K1 have settled fully into their new class and routines of school life. It is a joy to see so many happy faces filled with enthusiasm and energy each day.
The students have been busy exploring the theme Animal Magic and have learnt about jungle animals, aquatic animals, and farm animals. They loved searching for jungle animals in our interactive tropical forest whilst learning their names and different characteristics. They were amazed to learn that crocodiles and hippos can live harmoniously together in a river.
They also enjoyed observing ants with a magnifying glass whilst learning the sound of letter a – a, a, a.
As a part of our role play activity for aquatic animals, the children got the opportunity to go in a submarine. They had so much fun looking at different sea animals through the windows.
In order to enhance their communication and presentation skills, the students have been participating in our daily show and tell. Children love bringing in toys and pictures to share with their friends and they have been making a great effort to present in front of a keen audience. Keep it up K1, and thank you to all our wonderful parents for helping and encouraging them to share with us in class.
Ms Urwashi and Ms Wanna
K2 has focused on the topic of storytelling during September, as well as a week celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival. We have covered Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and Elmer. All four stories hold strong messages, which the children can relate to their own lives. They’ve had fun recreating the stories dramatically and artistically, and also used the topics as a basis for learning proper penmanship during writing exercises.
Singing has been an important part of circle time and a means of practicing numeracy and phonics as well as learning to tell a story through song. In addition, circle time has focused on understanding and controlling our emotions. With the use of colours and full body expressions we are working on identifying our own emotions as well as others. Simple breathing and listening techniques in conjunction with visual representations show the students how to calm their minds during times of over stimulation or dismay.
Art has been a daily activity for the children They have been exposed to a number of different textured materials, colour combinations, and the freedom to have a little messy fun. We have created Goldilocks bowls, Three Little Pigs homes, Grandmother Wolf disguise, and an Elmer elephant.
Physical education (P.E.) has been a lesson which students have enjoyed every Tuesday and Thursday. The focus has been on balance and breathing control whilst stretching. We started with simple beanbag relays and then moved on to hopscotch where the children try to land on one foot and not fall over. This is initially difficult for them, but they pick up new skills relatively quickly, as long as the experience is a positive and focused one.
Thank you, parents, for your dedication to the children’s school schedule, homework, and reading plans. Workload will slowly increase as the year progresses but the fact of overloading children at such a young age is something I will keep in mind. They have all been learning the sounds s – a – t – i – p and will soon be learning the sounds n – c – k – e. They have also covered reading and writing numbers 1 – 10. In addition they have been practicing counting to 20. Phonics and numeracy are often put into practice during counting and ordering, whiteboard writing practice, and fine motor skills creations.
What a fantastic first month back at school! It has been a busy period, but the students are settling in well and finding routine again.
This month, the theme A Journey Back in Time has been broken into focused sub-topics of study. The students enjoyed learning about dinosaurs in their second week back at school. They were exposed to a range of different dinosaurs with a great deal of emphasis placed on identifying carnivores and herbivores.
Ancient Egypt was introduced during the third and fourth weeks with students learning new theme-based vocabulary. They quickly grasped the vocabulary and it has been fantastic to see them use these new words in sentences, and overhear them discuss these during snack times. Students also investigated the geographical setting of ancient Egypt and the importance of the River Nile.
We’ve also enjoyed a week dedicated to the Mid-Autumn Festival and learnt why the festival is held and what it represents.
Apart from our very busy theme-based work, the students have been developing their balance and agility through a range of fun and exciting activities. We even had some time outdoors.
Students also broke a mental sweat concentrating on building words and writing short sentences in literacy, and adding and subtracting in maths. In between the students’ busy schedules, we have made time to practice our mindfulness through the MindUP™ curriculum, helping students to find clarity and remain calm when encountering situations that may put them under stress.
Thank you, to both students and parents, for making the first month of the new academic year such a pleasure. Time has flown by, proving that everyone is having fun. We now look forward to the spooky Halloween month of October.
Pre-Nursery children have begun their school life and it has been challenging for them to leave their parents for the first time. During the theme Amazing Me, they learnt about themselves through various activities and sensory games, deepened their understanding of the five senses, and tried to name the five senses in Mandarin. They have overcome their separation anxiety from parents, and learnt to deal with their emotions with help from MindUP activities under the guidance of the teacher. They’ve really been enjoying sending time with and getting to know their new classmates. Well done, PN kids!
Fan Lao-shi, Huang Lao-shi (Ms Selina, Ms Tracy)
K1 students learnt about the names and characteristics of various land and sea animals. When asked Are there wolves in the sea? Where are the rabbits? How many fish are there? students are able to answer No, Here, and Three in Mandarin. They can also repeat after the teacher There are no wolves in the sea. The rabbit is here. There are three fish. The children are improving their cognitive and language ability, as well as developing their social and emotional skills. Great work, K1 kids!
Chen Lao-shi (Ms May)
Lower kindergarten is a milestone in children’s preschool life as they start writing. They begin by writing One, Two, and Three. We hope parents will continue to encourage the children to express their ideas though drawing, in order to set a good learning habit and to improve their interest in writing. During the theme Tell Me a Story, they learnt about the stories of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood through role play, art, and music. They learnt about the story narratives and used related vocabulary in sentences. Well done, K2 kids.
Fan Lao-shi (Ms Selina)
During the theme of Journey Back in Time, K3 students explored ancient Egyptian history and learnt about the sphinx and the pyramid. They designed Egyptian-style jewellery and learnt about the materials used, in order to strengthen their knowledge of ancient Egyptian culture. Their cooperation and innovation skills are greatly improved. Well done, K3!
Huang Lao-shi (Ms Tracy)