Principal's Blog

Following an enriching day of professional development centring upon the reformation of an evaluative report for the Council of International Schools, students returned to campus on Tuesday and quickly found their groove. The reintroduction of buffet dining for those in Primary classes proved particularly popular, as will an upcoming Summer BBQ to be led by the Shrewsbury Parents Association in June.

Next week, we host another Digital Campus Tour for prospective parents - we'll also be joined by friends at Mulberry House and the new Principal at Discovery Bay International School, Marc Morris. A review of our Operational Plan objectives aside, much of my focus will now veer to the final drafting of a report for the Board of Governors. Our meeting, to take place on the morning of the 2nd March, will be our first in person for over three years.

With memories of Chinese New Year and a chilly morning in Sai Kung with students in Key Stage 2 fresh in my mind, I headed back onto campus this week to initiate the drafting of a report for the Board of Governors and prepare for a training day with academic colleagues centring upon our relationship with the Council of International Schools.

Looking ahead to the arrival of Book Week, the delivery of an expansive outdoor education programme and the presentation of a dramatic performance by students in Year 2, we'll be very well occupied on approach to our spring break at the end of March.

We look forward to welcoming students back onto campus for the start of the second half of our second term on Tuesday 31st January.

The marking of Chinese New Year brought colour and vibrancy to campus this week - it also drew a crowd. Huge thanks to the many parents able to join us for a celebratory assembly yesterday afternoon and to the many others acting in support of a two-day pop-up flower market, featuring calligraphy and paper cutting stalls, alongside those offering traditional games and gifts. Also delighted to have been able to join students in Key Stage 2 at an Athletics Meet this morning, we now break. Students return for the second half of term on Tuesday 31st January.

Before then, the academic team will have the opportunity to engage on the reformation of an evaluative report scheduled for submission to the Council of International Schools later in the year. Working in Domain assigned teams, our very best efforts are safely in the hands of a dedicated Steering Committee.

The Year of the Rabbit now upon us, I'd like to extend my very warmest wishes to all for the festive season. Hong Kong now open for business, adventure and great prosperity lies ahead.



What a thrill it was to welcome students, parents and staff back onto campus this week, fresh from a winter break that appears to have marked the end of an era. How apt that news breaks at the tail of a Tiger and the dawn of a Rabbit.

Preparations for celebrations on campus next week afoot, we were particularly fortunate to be able to welcome Head of Chinese, Haze Kwok, onto our Digital Tour this week. Able to report on outstanding levels of engagement within lessons thanks to an unerring commitment to the practical application of new language skills, she will soon step into the spotlight once more through coordination of a celebratory performance and the opening of a Chinese Flower Market, up on the fifth floor. 

Also featuring an engagement with the School Management Committee, delivery of an Athletics Meet for students in Key Stage 2 and a meeting with friends at the British Chamber's Education Committee, we're set to mark the end of a relatively brief first half of term with a flourish.

The initiation of an early round of interviews with teachers keen to join our growing community for the coming academic year has kept me busy on campus this week. They will join a committed crop who are all now looking forward to the return of students on Monday, following a three-week winter break.

With campus brimming once more, we have much to look forward to during a brief run towards Chinese New Year. Celebrations will culminate with the hosting of a traditional Chinese flower market on the fifth floor, acting to mark our commitment to linguistic fluency and cultural appreciation.

In amongst all else, prospective parents have an opportunity to nip into classrooms themselves on Wednesday through participation in our first Digital Tour of 2023.

With the dawn of a new calendar year just a few days away, thoughts inevitably turn to the imminent return of students and our hopes for them over the coming twelve months: intus si recte ne labora.

I look forward to returning to the office next week and to reconnecting with our diligent operational team. Working tirelessly to support the smooth running of school services, no doubt the relative quiet of the winter break has proven greatly productive. Our second term opens on Monday 9th January.

A week of the winter break already behind us and with Christmas now on the horizon, I'm delighted to be able to share good news on the birth of my second son, whose arrival home earlier today caused quite a stir. Wherever you find yourselves over the weekend, I hope you revel in the festivities of the season, surrounded by those you most cherish.

A few sleepless nights lay ahead, but thoughts about the start of term are never too far away and I'll likely be back in contact with colleagues again over the course of next week. Term 2 opens on 9th January and we have so much to look forward to, with Chinese New Year landing early in 2023.

Following an extraordinary weekend Winter Festival, we drew the end of Term 1 to a highly satisfying conclusion this week with the news that Balsam House have snuck into the lead in the race to unearth our next House Champions. I hope that a restful and regenerative break lies ahead and that students, staff and parents alike enjoy a very Merry Christmas.

Our second term begins on 9th January - and the short run to Chinese New Year promises a great deal of excitement. The construction of a traditional flower market on the fifth floor, delivery of a colourful performance of dance and song to mark the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit and participation in an Athletics Meet will certainly keep us all on our toes.

Providing a fitting crescendo to a flurry of seasonal performances, our Christmas concert was a triumph of musicianship and camaraderie. Brought together through song, how wonderful it was to mark the end of our penultimate week of term alongside such a warm and committed group of parents. And there is plenty more to follow thanks to the generosity of the Shrewsbury Parents Association: our Winter Festival will run between 15:00 and 18:00 on Sunday 11th December and tickets will be available on the door.

Next week will be the last of what has proven an extraordinary first term. A twilight tour for prospective parents and final meeting with our School Management Committee will feature alongside an update on the relative position of our House teams. A first set of written reports will also land. Featuring words of enthusiastic celebration, they will also act to guide our forward journey and a second set of Parent Teacher Conferences scheduled to take place in March.

If there was any risk of us missing the onset of December, students in Early Years classes were certainly keen to mitigate. Taking to the stage on the first of the month, they performed admirably and with great courage in front of a packed audience of parents and siblings.

Recognition must go too, to those involved in the delivery of STEAM Week. Classrooms have been abuzz with activity centring upon thematic interconnection, design-led review and scientific exploration, all on the subject of sustainability.

Monday will see the arrival of our penultimate week of what has been a truly magnificent term. A Christmas Concert and the delivery of academic reports now on the horizon, winter is fast closing in.

Fresh from the opening of the Tseung Kwan O Cross Link Bridge on Sunday, a season of performance began in earnest this week with a thrilling theatrical presentation led by students in Year 5 and 6. The story of mystery and intrigue led to the identification of a highly unlikely culprit, delighting students and parents along the way. Huge thanks to the cast, the crew and all others acting in quiet but determined support of this wonderfully talented group.
Next week, our youngest students take to the stage for a winter celebration of song and dance. The arrival of December will also be marked by the announcement of the winners of our Christmas card competition and the installation of a large Norwegian spruce. Also on the horizon, a vibrant weekend bazaar hosted by the Shrewsbury Parents Association.
Able to close the week through connection with friends across the Federation of British International Schools network, I now look forward to joining the opening ceremony of the Tseung Kwan O Cross Link Bridge on Sunday. An impressive feat of engineering, it will act to widen direct access to LOHAS Park and vastly improve the journey of students travelling to and from Hong Kong Island each day. The best primary school in Hong Kong is just about to move 15 minutes closer to Central.
Next week will also bring interaction with the Education Committee at the British Chamber, a full review of our Operational Plan and the presentation of our first seasonal performance courtesy of students in Year 5 and Year 6. The Mystery at Magpie Manor promises to engage and enthral - it will lead us neatly towards a presentation hosted by our youngest students and the delivery of a Christmas concert during the penultimate week of term.
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