16 Nov 2018

Hillside Newsletter 16 November 2018

Hillside Kindergarten’s latest newsletter is available to read now. Find out the latest news from around the school and upcoming events.

Important Dates

Click HERE for the Full Hillside Calendar and instructions to subscribe.

 23 November  Hillside Sports Day @ HK Football Club
 30 November  Dress Green Day
 13 December  Last Day of Term 1
 7 January  First Day of Term 2
 10 January  Kids Fest Theatre Trip – HK Academy of Performing Arts
Principal’s Message

Dear Parents

This week I would like to begin this newsletter by saying a huge thank you to all of the Hillside staff for a job well done. Seven years ago we commenced our journey of implementing the PYP at Hillside International Kindergarten. I can remember on more than one occasion (both in my current role as Principal of Hillside and previous role as ESF Kindergarten PYP Adviser) sitting across the table from the Hillside staff at curriculum planning meetings and seeing a great deal of frustration and confusion.

What a difference we see now after nearly seven years of working with the PYP curriculum framework. We are proud of our ability to deliver a rich, inquiry-driven, play-based educational program for each and every child and this has been achieved by the professional dedication and hard work of all our staff.

Last week, Hillside International Kindergarten had our first IB PYP Evaluation visit. Two representatives for the IB spent three days at Hillside evaluating all aspects of the program that we offer.

Quality Teaching and Learning: Priority (1)
Hillside’s 5 Year IB PYP Evaluation visit – November 5-7 2018.

Programme evaluation is both a requirement and a service provided by the IB Organization to IB World Schools. The aim is for the IB to ensure on a regular basis that the standards and practices of the programmes are being maintained.

The Programme standards and practices is the foundational document used by schools and the IB to ensure quality and fidelity in the implementation of its programmes in IB World Schools. The IB is aware that for each school the implementation of an IB programme is a journey and that the school will meet these standards and practices to varying degrees along the way. However, it is expected that the school makes a commitment towards meeting all the standards, practices and programme requirements.

This process allows the IB to work closely with schools in their ongoing development of the programmes. It does not seek to appraise or assess individual teachers or students. It is a process of formal reflection involving all stakeholders within the school community.

Within this process, there are certain expectations for the school and for the IB, which are listed below:

The school is expected:

  • to determine its own assessment of the implementation of the programme, according to the Programme standards and practices and programme requirements
  • to identify major achievements during the period under review and to identify practices that need further development.

The IB is expected:

  • to analyse and evaluate the school’s implementation of the programme, according to the Programme standards and practices and programme requirements
  • to commend schools on practices that address the Programme standards and practices in ways that solve challenges faced by the school and/or show outstanding implementation
  • to provide guidance on enhancing the implementation of the programme in the school

I am pleased to inform our school community that we had an outstanding PYP Evaluation visit. It will be 4-6 weeks before we receive the official recommendation and written report from the IB, however both throughout the visit, and at the end of the three days, the visiting IB team members provided a great deal of positive verbal feedback to us and we are thrilled to share some of this with you now. We will keep you informed of the final outcome as soon as we hear from the IB.

Initial verbal feedback received at the ‘Exit’ meeting with the IB PYP visiting team members

  • The kindergarten staff are outstanding professionals – highly engaged in the program and it was most obvious that the learning needs of the children is the number one priority.
  • It was evident that all stakeholder groups had a sound understanding of the PYP and were all in alignment in regards to the school’s Mission and Vision
  • Engagement of all the children exemplary (excellent teacher / EA questioning)
  • Physical / Learning environment outstanding including: displays, overall kindergarten and individual classroom layout, learning centres (in fact, all areas of the Kindergarten).
  • The Professional Development programs that all staff can access at Hillside Kindergarten is exemplary
  • Level of parent support is extremely high – parents extremely happy with both Hillside and the PYP program that it is delivering. Parents find the school to be extremely welcoming and inclusive – impressed to see the large number of parent volunteers engaged in all aspects of the program
  • A highly skilled, hands-on knowledgeable and pro-active management team that clearly provides outstanding leadership, support and guidance. Demonstrated a very good understanding of all aspects of the program and have a clear vision for the Kindergarten – identifying the next steps for continual improvement
  • Hillside’s daily K1 and K2 ‘Open-play’ program commended – well organized and linked to the program / PYP Transdisciplinary skills. Children fully engaged throughout open play sessions and were able to independently choose from a large range of learning engagements on offer
  • The curriculum is delivered through a strong play-based, developmentally appropriate program – utilizing an inquiry and concept-driven approach to learning
  • A very well organized visit. Documentation is of extremely high quality, and it is important to note that observations showed that what was occurring in classrooms was equal to, or above, what was stated in various school curriculum and policy documents.

At Hillside we pride ourselves on working together as a team. Each and every staff member has worked hard to implement and build the PYP at our school. I would, however, like to say a huge thank you and acknowledge Hillside’s PYP Coordinator / VP Audrey Tang for providing outstanding leadership and guidance throughout all stages of our PYP implementation journey. I know you will join me in congratulating Audrey on a job well done!!!

Hillside Sports Fun Day – Friday 23 November 2018

We cordially invite all parents to join us at our annual Hillside Sports Fun Day on next Friday, 23 November at the Hong Kong Football Club in the hockey pitches (3 Sports Road, Happy Valley). Click HERE for the Access Map.

The day will begin at 09:00AM for all children (both morning and afternoon classes) with a welcome and a warm up. We will meet all families directly in the hockey pitches at the Hong Kong Football Club, and there will be no classes operating at Hillside and no school bus service available on this date. Please do not arrive before 08:45AM so that we have time to set all the activities and equipment on the pitches before the children arrive. The day will conclude around 11:15AM with a break built into the rotational activities to rest those little bodies. Parents can also take their child for a break whenever they feel their child may need one.

The children will (in class groups) rotate through a series of activities, with a break for a snack about halfway through the morning. Please note that we are not permitted to bring food or drinks into the Football Club, but a snack bar will be available for parents to purchase snacks or drinks (cash only). The activities are games and events designed to encourage the participation of all the children in physical activities – running, jumping, balancing, climbing, throwing, kicking and hopping etc…

Due to both the AM and PM classes coming together for this event, we unfortunately do not have capacity for additional children (such as siblings) to attend this event. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding with this request.


We would like the children to wear a coloured t-shirt to add to the atmosphere on the day. Please have your child wear a (predominantly) plain, coloured t-shirt to the event according to the list below. The t-shirts do not have to be identical!

Hillside Annual Christmas Appeal – Supporting the work of HK based Animal Charities

Each year, Hillside Kindergarten selects a charity to support at Christmas time. This year Hillside Kindergarten would like to assist those charities and organizations in HK that do such a wonderful job caring for the hundreds of dogs and cats that sadly end up in their care.

Commencing from next Monday 19 November 2018, we will have large collection boxes placed in our school foyer ready to receive donations from the Hillside community. We would very much appreciate your support by sending into Hillside with your child some and dry dog and cat food.

Please join us in caring for the abandoned and unwanted animals at this festive and cold time of year. Our appeal will run until Monday 10 December 2018. Collection boxes shall be available at the Hillside Kindergarten reception up to that date. As always, we thank our wonderful Hillside community for your on-going support.

Dress Green Day to support: Hillside’s Enhancement of our Environment – Friday 30 November 2018

The outdoor environment is a rich, dynamic and natural space for learning and development in children of all ages. Its value as an essential learning resource has been recognized by many pieces of research into best practice in the Early Years. At Hillside we are fortunate to have an outdoor space (a very rare commodity for most Kindergartens in Hong Kong). This is an area I would like to develop over the next couple of years so that our outdoor area is a natural and authentic extension of our classrooms. Stage (1) of this project has been to establish a natural garden setting – this task was directly linked to K2’s Sharing the Planet Unit of Inquiry a few years ago. As time has passed, we now need to replenish our garden area (and other areas outside with a variety of plants).

As the next stage of our greening project, we would like to invite your child to take part in our Dress Green Day on Friday 30 November 2018. It would be greatly appreciated if you able to donate a potted plant to our kindergarten on this day as part of our initiative. The Garden area has actually been established in an area that does not get much sun (we needed to develop an area that would not impact on our twice daily bus drop off and pick up) so any plants that are particularly shade tolerant would be really beneficial (but all donations of any types of plants would be very, very welcome). If you are able to help please send your plant in with your child on Dress Green Day. Many thanks for your support with this initiative.

Get Your Tickets! Theatre Trip for Hillside – “Kids Fest 2019” – Thursday 10 January

We have received information from HK ‘Kids Fest’ 2019 about an upcoming opportunity for the Hillside children to see a live theatre production. Over a number of past years, Hillside children, staff and parents have attended this event and we have always found the live theatre productions to be of an extremely high standard, along with being well targeted to the age group of our children.

We are pleased to inform you that we have secured a booking for the entire theatre (for both the Hillside AM and PM sessions) to see the production titled “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts (1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai). The date for Hillside to attend this production is Thursday, 10 January 2019. We believe this will be a great experience for our children and we are excited to be able to accommodate the whole school to see this production on one day!

We will meet all attending families directly at the venue; please do not come to the Kindergarten on that day and the school buses will not operate. The show runs for approximately an hour. The morning families are invited to the 9:45am show and the afternoon families are invited to the 12:00noon show.

We get a special school discount price of $430 for TWO tickets. Please send in payment to secure your booking, we will need to confirm final numbers with the production house before Christmas. Payments can be made by cheques, payable to “ESF Educational Services Ltd”. TICKETS ARE CONFIRMED UPON RECEIPT OF PAYMENT (First-come-first served-basis).
Please place your cheque in a sealed envelope labelled with your child’s name and class, along with the number of tickets you wish to purchase.

Please contact us on 2540 0066 or kinder@hillside.edu.hk for any enquiries.

ESF Hong Kong Run – Saturday, 26 January 2019

The ESF “Run for Our Future” is the major community engagement event organized by the English Schools Foundation (ESF) among the annual ESF

calendar of events. It will be comprised of a running course of 1km to 10km, with adjacent community activities and carnival at Hong Kong Science Park.

The ESF Hong Kong Run:
Date: Saturday, 26th January 2019
Time:  start from 0830
Venue: Science Park, HK
Distance: 1Km, 3Km and 10Km
Open to: Students and families, teachers, support staff and their families and friends
Registration fee: Individual $200 / Family Run $450 (shuttle bus service from University Station to Science Park)
Online registration: https://hkrun.esf.edu.hk/en

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kind Regards

Class Blogs

Please click on the links below to visit our class blogs on the Hillside Learning Hub for your child’s latest class news and photo gallery. Please contact kinder@hillside.edu.hk if you cannot access the Learning Hub.

Dolphin Dragon
Frog Gecko
Monkey TigerAM    TigerPM
Panda Turtle

Inspiring Futures

Data Privacy The information we collect from you is in accordance with the ESF Personal Data Handling Policy and its related Personal Information Collection Statements (“PICS”). Our PICS statement is available online. http://www.esf.edu.hk/privacy

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