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GSIS Gazette – Issue #4

20th September 2019

Principal's Column

I can hardly believe that here we are already, Issue 4 of the GSIS Gazette.  This means our term began five weeks ago and when I reflect on what we have all achieved in that short time, it is simply astonishing.

On Monday, we celebrate Wellbeing Week and this is a highlight of our school calendar.  Over the course of a student’s education, they spend over 8,000 hours at school and it is therefore our responsibility to provide an ideal environment to promote good emotional wellbeing.  We want all our students to feel supported throughout their journey with GSIS in a school that is caring, understanding of the challenges of adolescence and academic pressures.

There is clear evidence that good health and emotional wellbeing is a key indicator of academic achievement. GSIS is committed to an education for life and it is important that as educators, we get the balance right.  We must work together to better prepare our young people for the next stages of life and long-term success in whichever path they choose. As a school, we take positive mental health seriously and we must support any children who are struggling with anxiety, stress and depression by playing a positive role in our students’ lives.  

I wish you all a wonderful and happy weekend.

Ulrich Weghoff

From the Chair of the Boards

The Association and Foundation Boards are pleased to announce the strengthening of the boards with the addition of three new directors.

Ms Eliza Fok, a current Foundation Board member, has joined the Association Board. Ms Fok actively supports her community including currently serving as the Chairman of the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation.

Ms Priscilla Wong, a Foundation Board member from 2009 to 2018, has joined the Association Board. She has diverse experience in public service. Presently, Ms. Wong is the Chairman of two statutory bodies of the HKSAR, the Minimum Wage Commission and the Employee Compensation Assurance Fund Board, as well as a Convenor of the HKSAR Financial Reporting Review Panel and a Member of the Hospital Authority and the HKU Court and Council.

Mr Mark Shuper has joined the Foundation Board. Mr Shuper’s experience includes a career in finance followed by the founding and management of the Sprouts Foundation which establishes educational programs for underprivileged children in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia.

The Association and Foundation Boards are grateful for the new directors’ support and willingness to serve on a GSIS Board.

Roland Müksch
Chair of the Boards


Dear Parents

We have had a wonderful week of events and it has been great to meet old and new friends at the school. Last week we showcased the movie “The Lives of Others” a fascinating insight into the Stasi and everyday life in East Berlin. The English book club had a lively discussion in regards to “Educated” by Tara Westover a controversial memoir about a young girl kept out of school but escapes her survivalist family to earn a PhD from Cambridge. Whilst the German book club also met over dinner to discuss "Kinder than solitude” by Yiyun Li which looks at human nature and the virtues of loyalty when three friends are separated by an incident. On Monday the hiking group kick started their adventures with a trip to the idyllic island of Cheng Chau. Finally it was lovely to meet with parents new to GSIS and get to know everyone a little better over coffee and cakes. 

Next week we invite you to join us at:

Start of year lunch - Monday September 23rd 12:00pm
As is our yearly tradition we would like to invite you to meet, chat and enjoy a nice meal with us at our Start of Year Lunch at  Maxim’s Palace in Central. The restaurant is not only famous for its delicious Dim Sum, but also for serving them the old-fashioned way in little carts. If you would like to join please email us at

Screening of the LIKE movie - Tuesday September 24th 6:30pm
Exploring the impact of social media on our lives and the effects of technology on the brain. The movie was filmed in Hong Kong using students from other international schools, so the content is extremely relevant for students and parents in the GSIS community. If you would like to join us for our special free screening please sign up using

Diwali at GSIS - Celebrating diversity
We have had a wonderful sign up for our Diwali celebrations at GSIS on Thursday 31st October. If you would like to be kept in the loop or help out with providing food, making an educational board or have kids that would be interested in putting on a short dance display then please send us your details through the linked form

Anouska Mutreja
Chair of Parents@GSIS

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Updates and Announcements

Kepow! Theatre Performance

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Date: 27 September
Time: 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
Location: IB Hall, Peak Campus

Open to the whole GSIS Community

Chris Hoskins
English and Drama Teacher (ESD)

Bus News

Since the beginning of term, GSIS has received numerous complaints from parents regarding the bus timing changes, cancellation of the Kowloon bus service by Kingsview and other various teething issues.

Unfortunately, the change in the Kowloon bus service was out of our control and given the short notice given by them, Kwoon Chung Motors was our only realistic option.

The school is working closely with Kwoon Chung Motors to raise any complaints and compel them to provide a better and more efficient service to our families.  However, as you will appreciate, these complaints can only be handled and answered by the bus service provider themselves as they are the third party supplying you with this service.

Please rest assured that we are continuing to monitor the situation closely and in early 2020, we aim to provide you with a review of the above changes for the next academic year.

Should you have specific concerns / questions, please contact the GSIS Bus Coordinator or Alice Yau, Kwoon Chung Motors.

GSIS Afternoon Activities (AA) & Extra-curricular Activities (ECA) - Pok Fu Lam Campus - Term 1 - 2019/20

Dear Parents

Welcome to the school year 2019/2020 in Pok Fu Lam.

To complement the curriculum and to offer our students a chance to discover other strengths and abilities in addition to their academic skills, we offer a diverse Afternoon Activities Programme (AA) and an Extra Curricular Activities programme (ECA).

AAs at Pok Fu Lam are taught from Monday till Thursday after normal class lessons. They are offered in two terms each school year.

The ECAs are delivered by our own teachers after the regular school day and available for students from DVOR-Y01.

The ECAs are booked annually at the beginning of the school year and do not require rebooking in Term 2.

Students have the opportunity to eat their healthy lunch before the start of the activity at 12:50 pm in a supervised environment.

For more information about our AA and ECA programmes and course descriptions of each activity please visit our website at “learning outside the classroom”, the latest information will be available shortly.

Online booking for Term 1 at Pok Fu Lam Campus opens on Friday, 27 September 2019 at 10:00 am and closes on Wednesday, 2 October 2019 at 10:00 am. Booking will be offered via SchoolsBuddy, you will receive all information regarding registration shortly. 

The AA and ECAs programme in Pok Fu Lam will commence on Tuesday, 29 October 2019.

Please check all course details including the dates, times, course fees and descriptions carefully and make note of any special information as described in the course description.

Students must be 4 years old when the activity starts.

Please find attached following documents for your reference:

  • AA calendar & AA schedule -  Pok Fu Lam - Term 1 – 2019/20
  • ECA Pok Fu Lam Schedule 2019/20

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Yours sincerely,

Simone Braun
Activities Programme Manager
Cathrin Zondler
Activities Programme Assistant


From Head of German International Stream

Grit Cichon

Dear Parents

Looking ahead to the weeks leading up to the Autumn holidays, we see a fully packed school calendar with a variety of interesting and exciting events. Thus, we can especially look forward to the following highlights:

  • Events to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
  • Well-being week at GSIS from Kindergarten to Secondary Departments
  • Guests from Germany: Big Band of the Angelaschule Osnabrück
  • Discovery Week in Secondary Departments
  • Project week in Kindergarten

All these multifaceted events require many helpers - students, colleagues and parents who plan, structure, organise, rehearse, create and decorate both inside and outside of the school buildings. In addition, there are the preparations for our 50th Anniversary celebrations, which have been underway for many months and in which the entire school community is actively involved. The German International Stream is also looking forward to a very special week in November with the Bund-Länder-Inspektion (BLI) taking place.  We will be put to the test and measured against the highest standards for German Schools Abroad in order to once again receive the quality seal as Excellent German School Abroad.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have been working tirelessly for weeks and months, thereby making it possible to transform this variety of events into very special experiences.

Last week I asked you as Child Protection Officer for the German International Stream to appoint an official guardian in case both parents are absent from Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the form specified does not refer to the appointment of a temporary guardian. Therefore, please do not use the link mentioned in Gazette Issue 3.

Please send the information by e-mail (no form required) to the respective school office:

I apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

I wish you a pleasant and enjoyable weekend.

Grit Cichon
Deputy Principal / Head of German International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Sophie Burdel
Eileen Mah
Dear Parents

In line with our GSIS Well-being Week we would like to inform you that the educational puppet troupe “The Kids on the Block” will visit our Pok Fu Lam Campus on Monday, 23 September 2019. They will perform a puppet show with the title “Healthy Snack” for all Kindergarten children at our Pok Fu Lam Campus.

Kind regards

Sophie Burdel
Head of Kindergarten

Eileen Mah
Deputy Head of Kindergarten

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Updates and Announcements

No updates/announcements this week.

Looking for what's been going on in class this week?

Check out the class Weebly blogs.


Primary Corner

Priska Erni

Wellbeing Week
I am very pleased that next week will all be themed towards well-being. In this hectic world it is very important to know each other well and to find a healthy work-school-life balance. Getting to know each other starts very early and next week we will focus on it through different activities for students, parents and teachers.

GSIS Family Photo
Please don't forget! Please have a look again at last week's article.

Who will submit the funniest picture?

Priska Erni
Head of German Primary Department

Looking for what's been going on in class this week?

Check out the class Weebly blogs.


Looking for what's been going on in class this week?

Check out the class Weebly blogs.

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5Year 6DaF

Secondary Corner

Wiebke Langer

Cultural Exchange
In October we will welcome a group of students from Germany to visit GSIS for one day. Mr Scholz, the former Head of the German Secondary Department, will accompany the group and we are looking forward to seeing him again. In preparation for this visit, a Skype conference has already taken place between our K11 students and the students from Germany. They discussed current topics such as the Fridays for Future movement and compared schools and the way of life in Hong Kong with that in Germany.

Class tests and exams
After the first weeks of school, the first class tests and exams are already on the agenda.

You can find the dates for class tests in the Veracross portal and no longer on the GSIS homepage. In some cases the dates might change again, therefore please check back from time to time. The portal is being updated regularly.

Wiebke Langer
Head of German Secondary Department

From Head of English International Stream

Simon Misso-Veness

Six Degrees of Separation

The parent community at GSIS is certainly one of the more dynamic and richly diverse groups I have had the pleasure of working with. Each time we meet there is a guarantee of good conversation, shared opinions and advice offered, a tremendous asset for a school leader as this dialogue provides an important perspective on the different facets and operations of the school. Inevitably, we are connected to myriad walks of life in Hong Kong and beyond, from finance and legal, medicine and commerce as well as the arts and education, but I often wonder how we can activate the numerous associations to which this network has access for the benefit of our students and staff.

Outstanding schools seek to offer students a range of authentic experiences and opportunities beyond the classroom in order to create a rich and varied learning environment. It is these experiences that ensure that our graduates are so much more than a singular number or collection of letters. In all departments at GSIS we have established an excellent programme of trips, visits and relationships that serve to enrich students’ learning experience. We enjoy a diverse range of visits from artists, story-tellers, academics and humanitarians and we have also established a long tradition of service learning and charity work both in Hong Kong and overseas. In the near future, we will be seeking to make deeper connections with other excellent schools in the region and globally to establish professional development for staff as well as enrichment opportunities for all our students. For our students and staff these prospects are essential to ensure a relevant, responsive, engaging and inspiring context for growth, challenge and development. 

Many of you are alumni from some of the world’s leading universities with whom our older students would love to talk about preparing a meaningful portfolio of experience to support their application and interview. You also have a rich experience of leadership, mentorship and professional contexts that could provide opportunities for our students to find, follow and further their passion to the next level.

So, my question is, how might you be able to contribute to and extend these opportunities even further? Who do you know that might be good for our students to engage with? The principle of six degrees of separation works well here although I think we can get quite a long way with two or three degrees! Of course, we cannot guarantee using all the recommendations that we might receive but it would be tremendous to build our network.

I shall look forward to hearing from you.

Temporary Guardianship erratum
Unfortunately, the link that I shared in the first edition of the Gazette to the Education Bureau Guardianship form led to the incorrect form. We are working with the EDB to establish which form they would prefer us to use. In the meantime, if both parents are to be away from Hong Kong, please do contact the relevant school secretary to inform them of your dates of absence and who will be responsible for your child.

Have a wonderful week

Simon Misso-Veness
Deputy Principal / Head of English International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Sophie Burdel
Eileen Mah
Dear Parents

In line with our GSIS Well-being Week we would like to inform you that the educational puppet troupe “The Kids on the Block” will visit our Pok Fu Lam Campus on Monday, 23 September 2019. They will perform a puppet show with the title “Healthy Snack” for all Kindergarten children at our Pok Fu Lam Campus.

Please reserve the date:

  • Joint Family Picnic (KG2D & KG2L), Mount Austin Playground, Victoria Peak. Monday 14th October 2019 from 8:30 till 11:15 am
  • KG1B Family Picnic, Repulse Bay Beach. Monday 14th October 2019 from 8:45 till 11:15 am

Sophie Burdel
Head of Kindergarten

Eileen Mah
Deputy Head of Kindergarten

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Updates and Announcements

No updates/announcements this week.

Looking for what's been going on in class this week?

Check out the class Weebly blogs.


Primary Corner

Kim Cunningham
Donna Morley

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your patience as we got underway with our first week of ECAs/AAs and our first week of students eating in the cafeteria.  Each day we made a few adjustments to make sure all of the children are in the appropriate place at the appropriate time! If you have a Year 2 or 3 student, please remind them of the following:

  • If they are eating lunch at 12:30, they meet in front of kiosks/nurse’s office on the ground floor. We take ALL students to the cafeteria.
  • If they have ordered a lunch from the cafeteria at 1:15, they meet in front of the kiosk/nurse’s office on the ground floor.
  • If they are eating lunch at 1:15 and have brought it from home, they remain in the hall in the Upper building.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Curriculum Evening.  We hope that you found the information beneficial.  

Just a reminder that next week is our Wellbeing Week.  Not only do we have activities for students, but we also have activities for parents.  Please see Ms Marquard’s information link below.

Ms Franks will be updating the Sports Weebly each week.  Please go to her ECA Weebly for results of the previous week’s competitions.

Upcoming Dates:

  • 25 September - Dr Anisha Abraham, parent talk for Wellbeing Week
  • 26 September - Dr Anisha Abraham, Coffee Morning (an abbreviated version of the previous evening)
  • 2 October - KPR Departmental Secretary election
  • 9 October - Specialist Curriculum Evening

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kim Cunningham
Head of English Primary Department

Donna Morley
Deputy Head of English Primary Department

Secondary Corner

Ken Stevenson

Hello everyone.

Just a short note this week. It was a pleasure to see so many students and parents at the University fair on Wednesday. Thanks to Ms Prinsloo and Ms Hyppolite for organising this event.

The Hamburg Exchange is going well and I am getting good reports from Germany.

I  am also glad to see all our new students are settling well and being welcomed into our community. Great to see our Y07 students in particular take to secondary school with such high levels of enthusiasm and aptitude.

Here's looking forward to another excellent week.

Ken Stevenson
Head of English Secondary Department