29 Jun 2017

Hillside Newsletter 29th June 2017

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 School Calendar in PDF.
Click HERE to subscribe to our Google Calendar which includes reminders and alerts.

Thursday 29 June Last Day of School Year
 Friday 30 June Staff Meeting Day
 Tuesday 15 August  First day of school for all returning children
Principal’s Message

Dear Parents

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. Finally, special thanks to everyone for understanding that we had to make a late notice change of dates for the ceremonies due to the EDB directive of the suspension of all HK kindergartens for two days due to the extreme weather conditions that HK was experiencing.

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 HK Football Club
  • Children’s Christmas Parties and visit from Santa
  • Hillside Christmas Giving Tree to support The Box of Hope programme
  • K1 Admissions “play-visits”
  • Chinese New Year Dress Up Day and Chinese Lion Dance performance
  • A positive Early Years practice review in the form of “Early Years Strategy Survey and Self Study”
  • 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 Way Back Home.”
  • Incursions with special speakers as provocations for our Units of Inquiry such as the visit from the Jurassic Garage animals, Orangutan-Aid, Project C: CHANGE
  • 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)
  • 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
  • The enhancement of our outdoor playground area has made it safer, along with being aesthetically beneficial
  • Partnership with SPOT Therapy Centre at Hillside – to provide ‘on the spot’ Speech and Language support for our children if required
  • Visits to primary school for K2s and to K2 rooms for our K1s to enhance transition
  • Our K2 Leavers Ceremony at Hillside

For us, it is now time to say farewell to those children leaving us, either to primary school or to other places. We will no doubt see them 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 and look forward to their primary years. 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 here, and our continuing journey in utilising the PYP curriculum framework and always striving for continuous improvement.

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 have taken on a great deal of professional learning again this year – and this has supported us when undertaking and implementing our ‘improvement driven’ change agenda. 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 will bid farewell to a few of our wonderful Hillside team this academic year.
Congratulations to the Gecko class teacher, Wasuwee White, who will move to take up a primary teaching position at Renaissance College HK (after the birth of her child and the subsequent period of maternity leave). We thank Wasuwee for her significant contribution to Hillside over the past seven years, and I am sure you will join us in wishing her all the very best for the future.

We also farewell Educational Assistants Yvonne Hung (6 years of service) and Megu Aoki (18 months of service). They have both been valued members of our team, and we wish them all the very best as they move onto new and exciting endeavours.

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., 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

Have a wonderful summer.

Kind Regards
Chris and Audrey

Hillside Staffing Arrangements

We have just completed the final K2 class lists this week, and the children have been meeting their new teachers and new classmates, as well as visiting their new classrooms today. The K2 class grouping has been a tricky task putting all the puzzle pieces together, ensuring that we cater to the children’s needs and keeping a balanced class group.

We prioritised some friendship groups, the needs of the children and primary school zonings (especially with the small catchments, i.e. Peak and Glenealy Schools). After many drafts, and numerous back and forth discussions with all the teachers, we are now able to share the final version with parents.

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 Dawn Semple Sharon Hubber AM

Laura Bousfield PM

Brenda Yuen


K1 Teachers:

Dolphin Frog Monkey Panda
Rebecca Smith Kylie De Vos Nicole Arnulphy Fiona Tudor


Sharon Hubber, current Dragon class teacher, and Laura Bousfield, current Tiger class teacher, will commence job share arrangement in the new academic year, allowing both Sharon and Laura more time with the family (especially their newborns). Hillside is a family-oriented community, and we are pleased that we have been able to facilitate this arrangement.

Therefore in the new 2017-18 academic year, the Tiger class will be shared, with Sharon responsible for the (AM) class and Laura responsible for the (PM) class. In the future, it is anticipated that Laura and Sharon will revert to full-time teaching posts in the Kindergarten. Brenda Yuen will continue as the Turtle class teacher.

We have secured our two replacement full-time teachers, both of whom are currently working in other well established and respected International Kindergartens on Hong Kong Island. Juliet Kenyon will be the new Dragon class teacher, and Dawn Semple will be the new Gecko class teacher. Both Dawn and Juliet are fully qualified Early Years practitioners, and both bring a wealth of experience. We are excited that both ladies have been able to join our Hillside team.

Hillside finds itself in quite a unique position as currently, we have (7) of our staff members pregnant and due around the same – September and October 2017. We are currently finalising staffing appointments for the up-coming academic year. It has been a challenge to manage the logistics of having so many staff off at the same time, and ensuring that we continue to provide a high-quality educational programme.

Year 1 ESF primary admissions (for the 2018/19 academic year)

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 30th of August 2017, 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/policy2013/

K1 News

Please visit our class blogs on the Hillside Learning Hub for your child’s latest class news and photo gallery. Please contact kinder@hs.esf.org.hk if you cannot access the Learning Hub.

Dolphin https://hs.lg.esf.edu.hk/course/view.php?id=1506
Frog https://hs.lg.esf.edu.hk/course/view.php?id=1524
Monkey https://hs.lg.esf.edu.hk/course/view.php?id=1525
Panda https://hs.lg.esf.edu.hk/course/view.php?id=1523
K2 News

Please visit our class blogs on the Hillside Learning Hub for your child’s latest class news and photo gallery. Please contact kinder@hs.esf.org.hk if you cannot access the Learning Hub.

Dragon https://hs.lg.esf.edu.hk/course/view.php?id=1527
Gecko https://hs.lg.esf.edu.hk/course/view.php?id=1526
Tiger https://hs.lg.esf.edu.hk/course/view.php?id=1528
Turtle https://hs.lg.esf.edu.hk/course/view.php?id=1529
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