27 Jun 2019

Hillside Newsletter 27 June 2019

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.

 27 June  Last Day of School
 28 June  Summer break begins for children
 15 August  First Day of School
 21 August  Year 1 Admissions Parent Info Session
Principal’s Message

The end of each academic year is always a time of reflection – looking back at what went well, celebrating our achievements (and learning from our failures) but more importantly, it is a time to continue to plan for the future ahead. We have a fantastic learning community here at Hillside. We are so fortunate to have such inquisitive children, wonderfully supportive parents and a dedicated teaching team.

As we come to a close of an event-packed school year, we look back beaming at how much our Hillside children and staff have covered together, over the past 11 months!

The year’s highlights would include:

  • A smooth settling period for both new and returning children/families and new staff members
  • Meet the K2 Teachers in September
  • A number of parent workshops including: on Home-School Partnership; Introduction to the Primary Years’ Programme (PYP); Bringing Active Learning Home; Phonics Fun; Wellbeing for Early Years
  • A successful Sports Fun Day at the Hong Kong Football Club
  • An outstanding IB PYP Evaluation
  • Dress Green Day to support Hillside’s Enhancement of our Environment in November
  • Hillside’s annual Christmas appeal – the donation of dog and cat food to Kirsten’s Zoo
  • K1 and K2 Class Christmas Parties and a visit from Santa
  • K1 Admissions interview / “play-visits” day
  • ESF Hong Kong Run
  • Chinese New Year Dress Up Day and Chinese Lion Dance performance
  • School trips to supplement our Units of Inquiry such as the whole school trip to watch “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt
  • Special speakers as provocations for our Units of Inquiry such as the visit from the Jurassic Garage animals, Orangutan-Aid, yoga and musical instrument workshops
  • Visits to and from primary schools to share learning under different Units of Inquiry
  • Hillside Book Fair with Bookazine in April
  • The much-awaited Book Character Dress-up Day
  • Parent Teacher Conferences
  • ESF The Journey: An Exploration of Art 2019 Exhibit
  • Zero Plastic Snack Day
  • Crayon upcycling as part of the K1 Unit, the concept of Change, and being eco-friendly
  • Donation of lovely Upcycled Crayons to The Hub
  • K2 visits to primary school and K1 visits to K2 floor, to enhance the transition
  • K2 Helper Programme and K1 Visitors to K2 learning engagements
  • Our K2 Celebration of Learning at Hillside in May
  • K2 Graduation Trip to “Maggie and Rose” Repulse Bay
  • K1 Science Learning Week
  • Water Fun Day

We have accomplished so much! We are certainly proud as a community to have achieved an outstanding IB PYP Evaluation! The successful implementation of the IB Primary Years Programme is a prized feather in our cap. We could not have done it without the leadership of our Hillside Principal Chris Duncan, who resigned shortly afterwards from the school for medical and health reasons. We miss Chris’ passionate leadership thoroughly, yet through it all, what remained was how the Hillside family, children and staff, displayed amazing resilience and took it all in stride!

A warm round of applause to all of our awesome K2 children, their parents and family members, for supporting and attending the recently held K2 Celebration of Learning! The children did a wonderful job, and the graduation ceremony was very well attended, despite the uncertain road and traffic conditions from the inclement weather and the public protests in Admiralty.

Much appreciation goes to all teachers, EAs and Admin staff, who spent long hours preparing the children, the certificates and venue, and supporting them on the day of the event.

Farewell to you, our dear K2 children and parents. We hope you and your children have enjoyed the many days of learning and discovering, and benefitted much from your time with us. We wish you only the best for the future. For K1 parents and children, we look forward to our new school year ahead, working in partnership with the Hillside staff to deliver the highest quality play-based and inquiry-driven program utilizing the PYP curriculum framework.

We can never thank the people here enough, for their dedication and professionalism. The Hillside staff shines at undertaking 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 initiatives, are further testament to their awesome agility, and incomparably generous spirit!

We will also bid farewell to two of our Hillside staff members this academic year. We wish both Sam Worley, Monkey class EA, and Hansoo Jang Dolphin class EA all the very best with university classes, and relocating back home to Korea, respectively.

Last but not least, thank you to all parents, for your unwavering support throughout the year. It is that support, which helps us make your child’s education enjoyable, challenging and creative. The time you carve out to attend meetings, workshops, events, and trips, to complete school surveys, read emails, diaries, newsletters and to listen 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 of a wonderful summer!

Kind Regards

Acting Head of School

Year 1 Primary Admissions Info Session (for 2015 births)

We will be facilitating an information session for kindergarten parents to explain the ESF Year 1 Application and Admissions Process for children born in 2015. This will take place at ESF Centre (25/F, 1063 King’s Road, Quarry Bay) on Wednesday 21 August 2019, from 6-7.30pm.

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

Hillside Staffing Arrangements for 2019/20

We have just completed the final K2 class lists this week, and the children will have an opportunity to meet their new teachers and new classmates, and visit their new classroom spaces on the last day of school. 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 have prioritised the needs of the children, and primary school zonings (especially with the small catchments, i.e. Peak and Glenealy Schools).

You would have received communication from ESF, I am grateful to remain as the Acting Head of School for the new academic year whilst ESF undertakes the recruitment process for a new Principal.

We are pleased to have Laura Bousfield taking up the role of the Vice Principal / SEN Coordinator and Brenda Yuen as PYP Coordinator of Hillside for the academic year 2019-2020. Both Laura and Brenda are well-known teachers within the Hillside community and will do a fantastic job in supporting my leadership of the school in the months ahead.

We have completed the process of backfilling their teaching positions. Current part-time Tiger teacher, Amy Lau, will take up a full-time position, and have secured Michelle Wong, an ex-Hillside teacher who has relocated back to Hong Kong, as our replacement teachers.

K2 Teachers:

Dragon Gecko Tiger Turtle
Juliet Kenyon Aylish Franklin Amy Lau Rebecca Smith

K1 Teachers:

Dolphin Frog Monkey Panda
Sharon Hubber (AM)

Michelle Wong (PM)

Dawn Semple Sara Burton Fiona Tudor
End of Year Reports and Portfolios


The latest Unit of Inquiry reports (for both K1 and K2) are available for parents to access on Gateway. To access your child’s report:

  1. Please log into Gateway https://hs.tg.esf.edu.hk to access your child’s report. If you forgot your login details please use the “forgot password or login name” function. Gateway will send you an email for resetting password shortly.
  2. Once you’ve logged in, select ‘ARR Report‘ on the main screen. (Please see Screenshot below)
  3. Select the relevant report template. This will create a PDF file that you can save as a soft copy or print out if you wish. If you have more than one child, select the appropriate child in the top left corner.

Please follow the steps below to access your child’s e-portfolio:

  1. Once you’ve logged into Gateway, select ‘VLE‘ on the main screen. (Please see Screenshot above)
  2. Click on your child’s portfolio, under ‘Portfolio’ on the top menu bar.
  3. On the right-hand side under the heading: “Hillside Kindergarten Portfolio 20XX-20XX”. You should see a ‘document symbol’ (Please see Screenshot below)
  4. Click on the document symbol and your child’s portfolio should download automatically to your computer, and then you can save it as a PDF.
  5. Don’t forget to also click on ‘Children’ on the top menu bar to visit your child’s class blogs. This is not downloadable.
  6. For any individual PDF files, you should find a ‘download’ button on the button left to download and save to your computer. (Please see Screenshot 2 below)

Screenshot 1


Please contact the office at admissions@hillside.edu.hk if you have any difficulties accessing these platforms.

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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