27 Jun 2018

Hillside Newsletter 27 June 2018

Hillside Kindergarten’s latest newsletter 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.

 28 June  Last Day of School
 29 June  School Closed for Children – Professional Development Day
 15 August  First Day of School for the 2018/19 Academic Year
 29 August  Y1 Admissions Parent Information Session (Venue: ESF Centre)
Principal’s Message

Dear Parents

As we come to the end of the school year, it is always amazing to take a little time and reflect on each and every child’s individual learning journey over the past 11 months. We (members of the Hillside Team) have had the privilege to witness first-hand the wonderful growth and development of every child attending Hillside International Kindergarten. We want to thank you for your work in support your child’s education – as a parent automatically makes you your child’s most important and influential teacher, thank you for allowing the staff at Hillside to work in partnership with you.

A big thank you to all of our terrific K2 children, their parents and family members, for supporting and attending the recently held ESF Hillside International Kindergarten K2 Graduation ceremonies. The children did a wonderful job, and the ceremony was a great celebration of their “graduation” – marking this special time before the children move into the next major phase of their ‘Educational Journey’.

A huge thank you also to the staff involved, teachers, EAs and Admin staff, who spent long hours preparing the children and supporting them on the day of the event.

This has truly been an extremely busy, productive and exciting year at Hillside (now I know why we all feel so exhausted!!). Looking back, some of the highlights have been:

  • A smooth settling period for both new children/families and new staff members
  • A successful Sports Fun Day at the Bradbury School (and we have not been rained-out now for two consecutive years!!!)
  • Children’s Christmas Parties and a visit from Santa
  • K1 Admissions interview / “play-visits” day held in January 2018
  • Chinese New Year Dress Up Day and Chinese Lion Dance performance
  • A positive Early Years practice review in the form of “Stakeholder and IB Survey”
  • Numerous trips to support the work being undertaken in our Units of Inquiry such as the trip to the Peak and the whole school theatre trip to see “The Gruffalo.”
  • Incursions with special speakers as provocations for our Units of Inquiry such as the visit from the Jurassic Garage animals, Orangutan-Aid,
  • Visits to and from primary schools to share learning under different Units of Inquiry
  • “Community Helpers” dress up day– very much enjoyed by the children (and staff)
  • Book Week character dress-up day – This was by far the most popular with the Hillside Staff…. and a number of staff just didn’t want their time on the catwalk to be up!!!
  • Hillside Book Fair with Bookazine
  • Our Hillside teachers presenting at numerous events, such as the ESF CPD days, Asia-Pacific International Schools Conference, HK PYP Network, HK International Kindergartens Festival
  • Visits to primary school for K2s and to K2 rooms for our K1s to enhance transition
  • Our K2 Leavers Ceremony at Hillside
  • Excellent results in regards to the ESF Hillside Stakeholder survey (conducted March 2018)

For us, it is now time to say farewell to those children leaving us. We will no doubt see many again somewhere, be it in their new “big” school, at the shops in Happy Valley or further afield. For K2 parents, a time to bid farewell to the first part of their child’s educational journey. We hope you and your children have enjoyed and benefitted from their time with us and we wish you all the best for the future. For K1 parents, a time to look forward to the new school year, working in partnership with the Hillside staff to here to continuously strive to deliver the highest quality play-based, inquiry-driven program that utilizing the PYP curriculum framework.

We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all the staff here for their dedication and professionalism. The Hillside staff has been magnificent in undertaking a number of new initiatives simultaneously – always remaining focused on our central goal to enhance student learning for all. The number of extra events and learning opportunities listed above, along with the daily classroom learning experiences, are further testament to their effort and professionalism.

We would also like to thank our parents for their support throughout the year. It is that support, which helps us, make your child’s education an enjoyable, challenging and creative one. The time you give up attending meetings, events, trips etc., completing school surveys (including the recent stakeholders’ survey and PYP self-study survey), reading letters, diaries, newsletters and listening to your child talk about their day is all time well spent in creating and strengthening the partnership between home and school.

We wish you all the very best for a wonderful summer.

Chris and Audrey

Hillside Staffing Arrangements

We have just completed the final K2 class lists this week, and the children have had an opportunity to meet their new teachers and new classmates, as well as visiting their new classroom spaces last Friday. The K2 class grouping has been a challenging task – it really is like putting all the puzzle pieces of a giant jigsaw together, ensuring that we cater for every child’s individual needs and at the same time maintain a balanced class group.

We prioritised the needs of the children, some friendship groups and primary school zonings (especially with the small catchments, i.e. Peak and Glenealy Schools).

We are still finalising afternoon places (because we have had some recent afternoon withdrawals), so some of the class lists are not yet fully complete.

K2 Teachers:

Dragon Gecko Tiger Turtle
Juliet Kenyon Aylish Franklin Sharon Hubber AM

Amy Lau PM

Brenda Yuen


K1 Teachers:

Dolphin Frog Monkey Panda
Rebecca Smith Dawn Semple Sara Burton Fiona Tudor


We will bid farewell to a few of our long-term Hillside staff members this academic year. Sue Neilson, our Senior Administrator, will be retiring the end of this school year. She has been such an integral part of the Sheung Wan and Hillside team for many years (since the beginning of old Sheung Wan kindergarten 19 years ago!!)

Two of our wonderful Educational Assistants, Tita Wu and Melu San Jose, both long-term staff from both Sheung Wan and Hillside, will also be retiring after working with us for so many years. They will all be sorely missed!

We also say farewell two teachers from Hillside this academic year and thank them for the huge contribution they have made to Hillside. After working in the Asia Pacific region and Hong Kong for a number of years, Kylie De Vos will be moving onto her next adventure with her first port-of-call being her home town of Melbourne, Australia. Congratulations to Nicole Arnulphy, who has been appointed to a prestigious International school located in the Middle East. Nicole will continue to pursue her passion for working in the Early Years – and also her second very important life passion – Sailing!! I am sure you will join us in wishing these ladies all the very best for the future.

Congratulations to Laura Bousfield, who will move into the newly funded /created SENCO role at Hillside. Laura has extensive experience supporting children of Kindergarten age, particularly those that may present with Individual needs. She also holds SEN qualifications at the Master level. Laura will continue to work Part-time in this newly established SENCO role at Hillside.

We have secured our replacement teachers; all are experienced and well qualified Early Years educators. Amy Lau, current Dolphin class EA, has completed her teacher training a few years ago, and has most recently undertaken a (12) week teacher maternity cover for K1 Dolphin class. Amy will take over Laura’s afternoon Tiger class and commence a job share arrangement in the new academic year.

Aylish Franklin, who taught Year one at ESF Bradbury school for a number of years before relocating back to the UK to start a family. Aylish is thrilled to be returning with her family to work and live in HK. She will arrive over the summer to join the Hillside team and will be the teacher of K2 Gecko class.

Sara Burton, who prior to joining us as an EA at Hillside, was a Kindergarten teacher at a well-established and respected HK international kindergarten. We are very pleased that Sara successfully won the teaching position vacancy that we had at Hillside. She is very excited to commence her new role and will be the teacher of K1 Monkey class in the new academic year.

Amy, Aylish and Sara are fully qualified Early Years practitioners, and bring with them a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills to the Hillside team.

Year 1 ESF Primary Admissions (for the 2019/20 Academic Year) – SAVE THE DATE!!

We will facilitate an information session for kindergarten parents to explain the ESF Year 1 Application and Admissions Process. This will take place at ESF Centre (25/F Fortis Centre, 1063 King’s Road, Quarry Bay) on Wednesday 29 August 2018, from 6-7.30pm.

The ESF application lodging period takes place between the 1st and 30th September each year. For further information on the current process, you can visit the ESF website. http://www.esf.edu.hk/admissions-policy

Update on the Great Work Undertaken by Charity Organisation Impact Hong Kong – Nicole Arnulphy

Hillside’s Christmas charity recipient this year was Impact Hong Kong, and after Hillside’s generosity and support a lot has happened, hence this quick update. The founder of the charity, Jeff Rotmeyer, won Hong Kong’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. Eleven homeless people have joined the program run by Impact that assists individuals to reintegrate into society by providing counselling, financial planning, and other assistance such as helping people get an apartment.

The Hillside Christmas charity drive enabled Impact HK to spend money on other additional services to support the homeless. Hillside’s generosity also meant that the week before Christmas, instead of the bottle of water, piece of bread and banana typically handed out, each of the four hundred homeless we support received one box drink, such as Coconut Water or lemon tea, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a towel and up to three non- perishable snacks, as well as bedding, blankets and socks.

You can be a part of Impact by liking them on Facebook or checking on the website.


Thank you all for your support and taking the time to teach your children that #kindnessmatters.

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
Parent Volunteer Sign-up

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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