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GSIS Gazette – Issue #14

6th December 2019

Principal's Column

I am sure you have already spent a lot of  time sharing your memories and talking about our 50th Anniversary celebrations with friends and family. And yet, I would like to come back once more to this very special event.

Our 50th Anniversary celebration was the most beautiful and memorable school festival I have ever experienced, and I have attended a great number of school functions. The various events of our three-day celebration offered something for everyone. On Thursday, our Alumni in particular had the chance to meet and catch up with each other and their former teachers. At the Evening of Celebration at Ocean Park event on Friday, the entire school community came together and enjoyed a wide variety of entertainment, great food and drinks, two great gala concerts, a special dance and light show, dancing to the rocky tunes of our IT team and much more. The gala concerts especially were second to none, amazing and truly spectacular, culminating in the world premiere of our school song "Spread Your Wings", composed by Christopher Tin, a world-renowned composer living in California.

Saturdays' "Heritage and Reflection" event was also a wonderful opportunity for the school community to come together in a smaller setting to celebrate 50 years of GSIS history and to enjoy a similar atmosphere to our traditional  Christmas Bazaar.

All in all, I felt that our festivities were a complete success, where everything was just right and the perfect weather combined with the political calm contributed to it. We were certainly very lucky, but above all it was the amazing commitment of so many people who gave everything during the months of preparation to create a fantastic event which will be a lasting memory for all of us.

I hope that much of this positive spirit in our community will last well into the future.

With my very best wishes

Ulrich Weghoff


With just over 2 weeks till the Christmas holidays we started to getting in the festive mood with a Christmas dinner at the FCC where it was wonderful to mingle with parents and staff and learn more about how different families celebrate. 

As well as enjoying the festivities it is also a great time of year to help those less fortunate and a big thank you to those of you who have already spent time collecting and donating items for Vision First and the refugees in Hong Kong. The Global Initiatives team is still collecting new and old items in good condition:

  • 2nd- 4th December: Clothes & Shoes for adults and kids
  • 5th- 9th December: Dry Foods
  • 10th - 12th December: Cutlery, Crockery and Stationery 
  • 13th - 17th December: Toiletries

Don’t worry if you missed the date for an item as they will still accept everything till Tuesday 17th December. Collection points are located in the cafeteria, reception, sports hall and the primary building at the Peak.

For more information please contact Julia Surman (

Now that the cooler weather has finally come to Hong Kong we look forward to our rescheduled hike on Monday 9th December. The hike will follow the Maclehose Trail section 5 with a small variation. Whilst it is a little challenging it will reward you with amazing city views from Kowloon Bay/ Hong Kong Island and Sai Kung with a final visit to the iconic Lion Rock.

If you are interested in joining the hike or have ideas for the new year please email us at

Anouska Mutreja
Chair of Parents@GSIS

Updates and Announcements

Get Your Christmas Goodies

If you didn't manage to do all your Christmas Goodie shopping at the Heritage and Reflection Celebration of our 50th Anniversary last week, you're in luck! Now available for purchase through the GSIS Online Shop, only while stocks last, we still have the following German seasonal treats in stock for you to fill up those Christmas stockings!

Check it out on the GSIS Online Shop here for all of that, as well as an assortment of other merchandise still available. Payment can be made by credit card through the GSIS Online Shop, and your goods picked up from M101 Middle Building (next to the Accounts Office), Peak Campus.


In the month of November, GSIS held its first Movember campaign, where some teachers, students, and parents alike grew out their moustaches in order to raise awareness for prominent men's health issues, namely testicular and prostate cancer. For the three of us who started Project Privates, we believe that this issue needs to be talked about, because of how common these cancers are for men, and also because of the taboo nature of these issues. This campaign has taken quite a lot of time and effort to organise, but we feel that it was worth it to help our community talk about men’s health in a more knowledgeable and open manner.

We would just first like to thank the entire GSIS community for supporting the event. In particular, those who listened to what we had to say on Parents Information Day and were willing to participate in the creation of our moustache wall. Although the main goal was to raise awareness for men’s health issues, we are immensely grateful for the HK$9000 we received in donations, all of which will be going to the Movember charity in order to further testicular and prostate cancer research. Furthermore, thank you to all who participated in Movember, because we know that it was not easy and must have been frustrating. Finally, we would like to thank Mr Markwick, because although he did not appear in any poster, he was integral in helping us plan and execute the entire campaign. Hopefully though, he'll agree to participate in our movement next year!

Once again, thank you all for your support and generous donations. Hopefully this is just the first year of what will be a long GSIS tradition!

The Project Privates Team
Julian, Nathaniel and Ronny (Y12)

Kindergarten Corner

Updates and Announcements

AA and ECA Arrangement for Thursday, 19th December 2019

Primary Corner

Joint Christmas Carol Singing - 13 December, Peak Campus
I am very pleased that many parents have already signed up for the Christmas Caroling. We will sing Christmas songs together with the students and parents of EPD.
With the support of KPRs and Parents@GSIS we can offer you a bus to Central after the event and there will also be biscuits and refreshments.

Christmas Around the World - 13 December, Pokfulam Campus
We are also celebrating Christmas at our Pokfulam campus. I am very happy to welcome you to this event and I would like to thank all parents who are actively involved.

50 Year Anniversary celebrations
Wasn't it a great event? I would like to thank all of you for your participation and hope that you and your children enjoyed the evening at Ocean Park or the Saturday afternoon with raclette and stollen.

Santa Claus
This morning Santa Claus visited GSIS. We welcomed him in our Assembly and later students had the opportunity to visit him. A big thank you to the sponsor of the chocolate Santa Clauses - the students enjoyed the treat!

Updates and Announcements

AA and ECA Arrangement for Thursday, 19th December 2019

Priska Erni
Head of German Primary Department

Inga Riedel-Narayan
Deputy Head of German Primary

Secondary Corner

Dear Parents

In the upcoming week, we have two interesting events scheduled for our students:

Biology Excursion to the "Pink Dolphins"
Mrs Hoskins has organised a Biology Excursion for the Lower Secondary students (K05-K07). On Friday, 13 December, our students will join a boat tour guided by Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department staff to learn more about the endangered pink dolphins.

More detailed information will be emailed to parents of participating classes.

Wiebke Langer


Youth Debating Competition (Jugend debattiert)
We are very pleased that the school youth debating competition "Jugend debattiert" will take place for the third time at GSIS on 12 and 13 December 2019.

This year students will debate the following questions:

Age group I (K08- K09):

  • Should emotional advertising be banned?
  • Should GSIS replace grades with written reports (verbal assessment)?
  • Should there be mandatory testing (TÜV) for school caterers in all German Schools Abroad?

Age group II (K10- K11):

  • Should there be mandatory testing (TÜV) for school caterers in all German Schools Abroad?
  • Should there be graphic shock photos printed on meat packaging, similar to cigarette packs?
  • Should GSIS introduce a Social Credit System?

What is Youth Debating (Jugend Debattiert) about?

"Jugend debattiert" is a programme to promote the language and political literacy of students in secondary schools. In Germany over 1200 schools engage in debates to select the best debaters in competitive debates. The ability to discuss, to express oneself verbally and to conduct conversations is of great importance in the professional environment of the 21st century. Therefore GSIS and other German Schools Abroad also offer "Jugend debattiert" debating competitions.

The best debaters of our school are determined in a school competition, which is divided into preliminary rounds and finals.

In the preliminary rounds, eight students of age group I (K08 and K09) and eight students of age group II (K10 and K11) will compete against each other. The four winners of each age group will then take part in the finals.

In the finals of the school competition, it will be determined which four students will represent GSIS in the cross-regional competition.

The cross-regional competition will take place in June 2020 at the German School in Beijing. Participating schools are: German School Shanghai Hongqiao, German School Tokyo Yokohama, German Swiss International School Hong Kong, German School Beijing, German European School Singapore, German School Kuala Lumpur and German School Seoul International.

Ece Nicolaus
Teacher of Biology and German
Regional Coordinator for Jugend Debattiert in Asia

Updates and Announcements

No updates/announcements this week.

Wiebke Langer
Head of German Secondary

Kindergarten Corner

Updates and Announcements

AA and ECA Arrangement for Thursday, 19th December 2019
KG2D & KG2L - Rescheduled Outing to Victoria Park & Central Library

Primary Corner

Updates and Announcements

AA and ECA Arrangement for Thursday, 19th December 2019

Secondary Corner

Please find below the draft schedule for the mock exams for Y11 and Y13.

It should be emphasised that the mock exams are just that: mocks. They are an opportunity for Y11 and Y13 students to experience the intensity of the formal public exam sessions and to gauge their learning and preparedness for the real exams in May/June.

The mock exams also provide a useful opportunity for students primarily, but also for teachers, to identify any gaps or areas of relative weakness. These areas can become a focus of the revision programme leading up to the public exams.

Please monitor your child(ren) carefully. If they are studying and revising for too many hours each day, they are probably not revising effectively and will inevitably become tired and stressed. Please reach out to your child's Class Teacher, Head of Year or Ms Hood (Deputy Head ESD) or Ms Clayton (IB Coordinator) if you have concerns.


Updates and Announcements

No updates/announcements this week.

Ken Stevenson
Head of English Secondary