23 Jan 2020

Hillside Newsletter 24 January 2020

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.

 24 – 31 January  Chinese New Year Break
 4-5 February  K2 Tai Tam Trip
 14 February  Lion Dance
 18 February  Parent Workshop: Importance of Play (Click HERE)
 25-26 February  School Photo Day
 2-3 March  PYP In-school Workshop for Teachers – No School
 11 March  Parent Workshop: Sleep Solutions for Young Children (Click HERE)
 17-20 March  K2 Parent Teacher Conferences
 24-27 March  K1 Parent Teacher Conferences
 2 April  Last Day of Term
 3 April  End of Term Teacher Meeting Day – No School
 6-17 April  Easter Break
Principal’s Message

Dear Parents

Where did January go?! The past few weeks have been so action packed, and before we know it, the Lunar New Year has arrived! I say Lunar New Year, because we want to recognise this festival as celebrated by different ethnicities and not just by the Chinese. As part of international mindedness, we will be exploring cultural diversity. Here’s a wonderful resource for your reference – a 2019-2020 Cultural Diversity Calendar that highlights various festivals and holidays around the world that you may want to explore with your child. It ranges from cultural festivals, such as Easter and Dragon Boat Festival, to the International Day of Yoga and World Oceans Day!

It has been wonderful to see the children highly engaged in their current Unit of Inquiry on How We Express Ourselves. The theatre production: The Gruffalo was a great finale to the unit. The children loved the show and are still talking about it. We strive to provide our children with a well-rounded curriculum – and the opportunity for them to see a live theatre show helps to develop an appreciation of the Arts from an early age. We are so pleased that we have the opportunity to expose our children to such high quality theatre productions.

When we return, our Chinese teacher, Yammi, will be leading us in a number of Lunar New Year related activities and on Friday, 14 February we would like all children to come dressed in a traditional outfit, if possible. As part of our celebrations, we have secured the services of an outstanding Lion Dance troupe that has entertained and amazed us for the last few years at Hillside. Due to the limited space we have available, we unfortunately are unable to invite parents to this performance. However, I am sure you will hear all about this wonderful experience from your children. Keep an eye out for the pictures that we will be uploading on the class blogs.

Wishing you and your family good health and a prosperous Year of the Rat ahead!

Acting Head of School

ESF App, Hillside Facebook Page and Phasing Out Paper Diaries

The much anticipated ESF App is almost ready to be rolled out and we are very excited to be part of the first phase. We will also be launching the Hillsde Facebook Page as part of this new initiative, and the news feed will be linked within the App. The ESF App will serve as our all-in-one mode of communication moving forward.  We will be phasing out our paper diaries once the app is launched.

The app will be available on both iOS and Android. We anticipate the app will be ready for parent access shortly after Lunar New Year with more details to follow. Each family will receive a unique key via email to unlock their account.

The ESF App is very intuitive and provides quick access to the following functions for ESF parents, students and teachers:

  • Messages: for general bulletins and child specific communications
  • Diary: for general and child specific dates of events and appointments
  • News: links to social media for ‘nice to know’ celebrations of what happens in ESF schools
  • Contacts: Important names, emails and phone numbers and a directory of staff email addresses
  • VLE: secure link to the school’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
  • Timetable: overview of the student’s timetable
  • Homework: listing of current home learning tasks for a student
  • Teachers: names and email addresses of a student’s teachers
  • Absence: function through which you can send an email to the school with details of the student’s absence
  • Bus: function through which you can send an email to the school and bus company with details of the student’s absence from the school bus
  • ESF App is configured in one go for all students/schools within the ESF through a secured pin sent to a registered email
HK Government’s Student Grant Scheme

We are pleased to announce that every ESF student is eligible to receive a HK$2,500 HK Government’s Student Grant. Click here to read the full letter.

ESF has now come up with an arrangement with the Education Bureau to streamline the application process for ESF parents. Parents should follow these steps below:

  1. Parents can log into the Gateway, where you will find the Student Grant Application Form.
  2. Download and print out the Form which is already pre-printed with your child’s details, with the ESF stamp.
  3. Check if all student details are correct, then complete the rest of the form.
  4. Remember to sign, and submit the completed form to your child’s school by Monday, 10 February (DO NOT send it to ESF Centre or the Education Bureau).

If you have any enquiries, please contact us at kinder@hillside.edu.hk

Professional Development Days and School Closure Days

ESF “aims to be a key driver of best practice in teaching and learning by creating joyful learning environments and having exceptional teachers who bring out the best in every child through a personalised approach to learning” – from ESF Strategic Plan.

The key to quality education is for all staff to engage in high quality and regular professional development (PD). This includes when teachers attend conferences or workshops, learn on their own, or join our collaborative learning community. As we want our children to become life-long learners, we too, should model our passion as a life-long learner. Regular PD ensures teachers are able to apply the latest research in their classroom, include new concepts and innovations in the curriculum and inspire each other to be better educators.

We are very fortunate to be a part of a big organisation such as ESF that is well-known for providing PD opportunities. These opportunities are offered throughout the school year in different formats, such as twilights after school, weekends, or during the school day. Please make note of the following school closure dates. These are our final PD dates for the academic year.

  • Monday 2 & Tuesday 3 March: In-school IB workshop on ‘Encouraging Children’s Creative Instincts in the Classroom.’

Creativity features prominently on the list. Although creativity itself is a vast and elusive concept, we can look at tangible ways to promote creativity in the classroom and equip children for the future. In this workshop, you will develop the following understandings: ● The nature of creativity ● Models and approaches to creativity ● The role of creativity in education ● Creativity in the curriculum (teaching creatively and promoting creativity in children) ● Ways to promote creativity in yourself and in your teaching practice building learning communities that promote creativity

  • Friday 3 April: End of term teacher meeting day – OPRS training and curriculum upskilling.

Hillside is dedicated to sustaining high quality collaboration across the Hillside Learning Community (teachers, children, parents).  Whilst we are planning for teaching development, we also have opportunities for parents. We have rescheduled the Importance of Play from Term 1 to Tuesday 18 February. As a response to some parent feedback last term, we have secured a Sleep Specialist to speak about Sleep Solutions for Young Children on Wednesday 11 March. Please click HERE for more details about the upcoming Parent Workshops.

Outdoor Play Precaution: Mosquitoes and Midges!

At Hillside, we are extremely fortunate to have a large outdoor play area surrounded by a lot of trees and foliage. However, at certain times of year, mosquitoes and midges emerge which can cause problems as some children are more susceptible / sensitive to insect bites. If this is the case with your child, we encourage you to apply mosquito repellent/patches onto your child each school day.

We take health and safety issues, including mosquito control, very seriously. We have have put measures in place to address and alleviate this problem. For example, there is a mosquito lantern installed under the covered area outside and industrial fans to keep the air circulating. In addition, regular fogging is carried out fortnightly.

We constantly ensure there are no areas with stagnant pools of water. We are regularly inspected by ESF Centre Facilities staff who check for possible mosquito breeding grounds. During the holidays, we also arrange to have pest control carried out in our classrooms and in the outdoor area.

We will continue to work with ESF Centre Facilities to explore further options that will help to alleviate the issue of mosquitos in our playground.

On this note of outdoor play, hats are also essential and therefore should be accessible in your child’s school bag every day.

Please note that we follow the advice/guidelines provided by the EDB/HK Observatory in respect of hot weather warnings. If it is too hot for outdoor play, our teachers will be advised, and indoor play will be rearranged to accommodate the closure of the outdoor play stations.

Learning Blogs

Please click on the links below to visit our year group learning blogs on the Hillside Learning Hub. Please contact kinder@hillside.edu.hk if you cannot access the Learning Hub.

K1 Learning K2 Learning

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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