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GSIS Gazette – Issue #16

10th January 2020

Principal's Column

Welcome back to GSIS and Happy New Year!

I hope each of you had a restful and meaningful time with your family and friends over the Christmas break, and I would like to extend a very warm welcome back to all students and staff after a restful and well-deserved break. The term is certainly back in full swing and as busy and productive as ever. There is a wonderful sense of positivity and energy around both the Pok Fu Lam and Peak campuses, and the students appear to have settled back into the rhythm of the school with ease.

As a community, we are fully committed to supporting each of our students to develop into independent young people who have the confidence and knowledge to become the people they want to, unafraid of the challenges which they may encounter along the way.

I wish you all a very happy 2020.

Ulrich Weghoff

Updates and Announcements

From Head of German International Stream

Dear Parents

I welcome you and your children back to GSIS after a hopefully very relaxing and eventful Christmas holiday and to a great start to the next school term in 2020. Wishing you a prosperous and happy new year with many wonderful moments for your families.

In the coming months until the end of the school year, we look forward to many exciting challenges, activities and highlights in the German International Stream with our students and the entire school community. We want to build on our previous experiences, further develop current concepts and tackle new ones.

I look forward to a continued and trustful cooperation and would like to invite you to enrich our plans and projects with your ideas and assistance so that we can look back with satisfaction on a successful 2020 at the end of the school year.

Grit Cichon
Deputy Principal / Head of German International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Updates and Announcements

No updates/announcements this week.

Primary Corner

Dear Parents

Wishing you all a Happy New Year. The beginning of the school year is almost more important than the start of a new calendar year, but we all have made our well-intended resolutions for the new year. I hope that we are all able to realise our New Year's resolutions.

I hope you had a good holiday and enjoyed the Christmas break with family and friends.

Upcoming events for Primary Parents

In the next two months some parents’ events will be taking place, which are related to specific topics in school.

  • 16 January 2020: Dealing with the Internet and software
  • 6 February 2020: Social behaviour in primary school
  • 27 February 2020: Apps and online resources - workshop for parents

You will be invited to the individual events respectively and we ask you to register so that we can ensure an appropriately sized room is arranged.

I look forward to welcoming many of you to these events.

Updates and Announcements

K01-K04 Parent Information Evening - Use of Internet and Software - on 16 January 2020
Primary Peak - Lunch Order February 2020

Priska Erni
Head of German Primary Department

Inga Riedel-Narayan
Deputy Head of German Primary Department

Secondary Corner

Dear Parents

I wish you and your families a happy, flourishing and successful new year!

The first week of school after the Christmas holidays has started for our secondary students with two interesting events in the field of natural sciences. Mr. Summe will give you further details:

Excursion to BASF

On Wednesday, 8 January 2020, K11 and K12 classes visited the BASF headquarters in Central. As one of the world's leading chemical companies, the students had the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes. Especially during the two presentations on the topics of e-mobility and Chemistry drives Sustainability, the students were very attentive and asked excellent questions, which are derived from a strong interest in visions of the future and life in the future. This is a successful start for further cooperation between BASF and GSIS!

Science Admission Talk - Green Energy!

As an expert in her field, Dr. Jade Shi, lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University, reported in her talk Green Energy Innovation towards a sustainable future on the possibilities of focusing on sustainability in our future and the role of renewable energies in this context. She was able to inspire our K10 - K12 students as well as 5 ESD students and answered the well-considered questions in the following Q&A session. It was a successful event for the first Friday of the school week!

Our high school graduates are now in the middle of the preparations for the written examinations. In this context, I would like to recommend you to read a newspaper interview on the subject of exam anxiety (published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on 8 January 2020):

Updates and Announcements

Term 2 Secondary ECA Sign-Up

Wiebke Langer
Head of German Secondary

From Head of English International Stream

Dear Parents

Happy New Year! I hope families were able to enjoy some valuable time together over the recent break and have resolved to make the coming year their best yet!

I must confess that I cannot quite believe that this year is 2020. It feels very much like ‘the future’ to me, probably because I was brought up on a diet of science fiction shaped by Asimov & Dick, as well as movies like Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and the TV series Space 1999, all of which served to set a temporal boundary for me as a teenager growing up in the 1970s that I have not quite shaken off; even the magnificent Blade Runner (1982) was set in 2019! It seems that my future has well and truly arrived...

Looking forward positively, though, the year 2020 (MMXX) - one-fifth of the way through the twenty-first century - will be a leap year (an additional day always seems exciting) and there are some significant events to anticipate as well as some enduring issues to tackle. Sports fans will look forward to Euro 2020 in June and July followed by the Tokyo Olympics in July and August with no doubt more fun and games with the US presidential elections in early November and the UK’s disconnection from Europe at the end of the year.

‘Wicked problems’ will inevitably still be with us in 2020: resource scarcity, economic inequality, climate change & violent extremism, all challenges that seem impossible to solve but so pivotal to our collective future that we have no choice but to confront them as they increasingly affect our day to day lives. And our children will need to be equipped to tackle them through conceptual, creative and critical thinking allied with initiative, resilience, innovation and international-mindedness that is focused on ‘a commitment to peace, human rights and sustainable development’*. As GSIS enters the second half of its own century, our collective purpose must be to work towards creating a dynamic school environment that continues to inspire students to embody these qualities, perspectives and capabilities.

*UNESCO 2019 accessed 14.12.19 <>

I would like to wish the whole GSIS community, a very Happy and Positive New Year of the Rat and I look forward to seeing you at a school event very soon.

Best wishes

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

Kindergarten Corner

Updates and Announcements

No updates/announcements this week.

Primary Corner

Dear Parents

Welcome back to the second term. I hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday break and enjoyed time with family and friends.

We have a few personnel updates for this term. Jo Eling, who has been a teaching assistant in the SEN department is moving into a SEN teacher role for the remainder of the year. With the move of Inga Riedel-Narayan to the GPD as Deputy Head, we had an open position to fill. In order to give us time to cast a wide net in looking for candidates, Ms Eling has agreed to put her new qualifications as a teacher to use by taking on this additional responsibility. We are fortunate to have someone who knows our students well move into this role supporting our students and teachers.

Sandra Stingel will be joining us as a German as a Foreign Language teacher for the remainder of the year as well. Ms Stingel comes to us from Switzerland, where she has 27 years of experience in teaching German, French, English, History, and Religion and Culture. Ms Stingel is taking over the role vacated by Katrin Moore late in September. We are excited to have someone with her experience join our DaF team. 

We have had one staff resignation for the end of the school year. We are sorry to inform you that after nine years with GSIS, Troy Decoff is returning to Canada at the end of the 2019/2020 school year. Troy has been an important member of the Primary team and we are sorry to lose him and his family, but we wish him all the best in Canada.

On Thursday and Friday of this week, seven of the EPD staff were fortunate to attend a Professional Development course on the Cultures of Thinking led by Ron Ritchhart from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Many of the Primary staff have taken online courses through Harvard’s Project Zero and were excited to attend a live course with one of the project developers.

On Thursday, 16th January at 6.00pm, EPD parents have the opportunity to get a demonstration of how to use some of the IT systems that we use in the EPD. Our Director of Technology will host a session for parents on the effective use of Veracross, SchoolsBuddy, Google Classroom and any other topics that they wish to explore during this hands-on session. If you wish to attend please fill in this form:

Register Here

Have a wonderful weekend.

Updates and Announcements

Primary Peak - Lunch Order February 2020

Kim Cunningham
Head of English Primary

Donna Morley
Deputy Head of English Primary

Secondary Corner

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our students, parents and families.

I hope that you all enjoy a restful festive break.

Looking forward, next term begins with the "Mock" examinations for Y13 and Y11 as they prepare for the run-up to the public exams after Easter. The timetable for the mock exams may be found below, and through Veracross.

For reference, the draft timetable for the public exams in May/June is also to be found below. Students will be given the final timetable early next term.

Next term, we also ask Y09 and Y11 students to consider their subject choices for the IGCSE and IB Diploma programmes respectively. We will share more details of the options process next term but, for now, please find below our updated 2020 options booklets that give an overview of the programmes, the choices and the process. These booklets are also available through Veracross.

Thank you to all the teachers and the students for their hard work and dedication throughout this term. Thank your also to the parents for their support.

Have a good holiday. See you in 2020


Updates and Announcements

University Counselling - Upcoming Events
Term 2 Secondary ECA Sign-Up
Year 8 Field Trip to Tai Kwun
Year 9 Geography field-trip
Year 12 / 13 IB Deadlines January-March 2020

Ken Stevenson
Head of English Secondary