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GSIS Gazette – Issue #22

28th August 2020

Clare Chiu
Managing Director

New Staff 2020-21
New School App
Yearbook 2019-20

From Head of German International Stream

Grit Cichon
Deputy Principal / Head of German International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Primary Corner

Secondary Corner

From Head of English International Stream

Dear Parents and Students

Welcome back to school 2020! And a particularly warm welcome to the 145 new families who have joined the EIS community. It is not quite the start we were hoping for but we can certainly make the best of this if we all support and listen to each other with kindness and respect.

I do hope that the start of the year has gone well so far and that your children are well engaged with our online learning provision. Towards the end of the last academic year and over the summer, we have fully reviewed feedback from students, staff and parents in order to make improvements to our online programmes. Given the ongoing uncertainties in Europe and North America and an extensive review of what other schools have been doing, I believe that our online provision and operational plans continue to be effective and responsive to feedback although we are keen to improve.

During conversations with numerous stakeholders, it was clear that some of the feedback would have been more useful had it been shared with the school in a more timely manner. If students or parents have an issue or concern or even some helpful feedback about any aspect of the online learning programme, please follow the communications flowchart shown below as previously sent by our Principal and Managing Director. As you will see, the subject or class teacher is the first person to contact. Quite often concerns or complaints appear to have been shared with the wrong people and on the wrong forums, which makes it very hard for us to respond to effectively.

One of the central purposes of our Online Learning Roadmap, published at the start of term, is to ensure a shared understanding of expectations between the school, students and families. The content and application of online learning will differ greatly depending on the age of the children and the nature of each subject but we very much hope we now have a common understanding of what we can offer.

I would like to share a quick but significant thank you to the myriad of staff who have worked so hard to prepare for a very successful start to the year. Their dedication has been first class and we are very fortunate to have such a talented and knowledgeable group of people working with us.


We have asked students and families to read through the GSIS Online Learning Safeguarding Guidance. This is an important document as it seeks to ensure the online safety of all students and staff. You will notice that we expect there to be a trusted adult at home with students under the age of 12. On occasion, the teacher may request to check-in with that person before or during the online lesson.

If you or your child experience any form of cyberbullying whether through inappropriate comments in chatrooms or messaging, persistent isolation or exclusion from groups, please make the class teacher aware or contact the Child Protection Officer for your child’s school. Every disclosure will be taken seriously and fully investigated.

We are aware that some families can struggle with the challenges of online for a host of reasons ranging from sharing workspaces and technology, both parents working, children who find online learning demotivating and children missing social interaction. If you are experiencing any of these or other challenges, please let us know as we may well be able to help. Our pastoral leaders and school counsellors are available to offer advice about supporting students’ wellbeing as well as enhancing their self-regulatory skills and motivation. We are here to support everyone in our community.

Whilst at home it is necessary to engage children in co-creating the new structures and expectations for learning as well as the time for relaxing or pursuing one’s own interests. The following link takes you to an article from Dr. Anisha Abraham about Parenting Teens in Times of Crisis, it takes you to her website that includes a range of other excellent articles focused on advice for parents during these very different times.

Exam Results

We have had a very busy summer navigating the various adaptations and adjustments to the IB Diploma and I/GCSE examination results but I am very pleased to say that overall our students have performed exceptionally well:

IB Diploma:
41.2 point average score for 59 students
75% of students achieving 40 points or more

90.8% A*/A grades; 99.8% A*-C Grades
435 entries for 69 students over 11 subjects

Pearson Edexcel:
85.2% 9/8; 94.3% 9 – 7
176 entries for 69 students over 6 subjects

These figures compare very well to the school’s historic results and we are very proud of all our students’ achievements. The 2019.20 academic year was full of uncertainty and we salute these students’ resilient, positive-minded approach that has seen them through. I would also like to acknowledge the sterling efforts of their teachers in adapting to the new demands that the cancellation of examinations brought and ensuring that our students did not suffer. We have once more shown that the GSIS community is very strong when it works together for the best interests of our students.

Academic Societies

As Academic Societies at GSIS enter their second year, a number of our senior secondary students continue to plan and run a series of activities during the closure. Our current Academic Societies are:

  • Design & Architecture
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Medical
  • Philosophy

Academic Societies provide an opportunity for students to develop their interest in particular subject areas through inviting visiting speakers, offering opportunities for younger students to learn more about these areas, inspiring further commitment and organising an Action Week in school. All Societies have developed their own websites and social media accounts so we hope to launch these very soon.

This is a great opportunity for community members with experience in any of these fields to get in touch so they can support our students’ ambitions and enthusiasm. Should any of our community like to support these groups, please let me know by writing me an email or giving me a call.

University Guidance

We are very pleased to announce the recent appointment of Claire Wilkins as our new University Guidance Counsellor. Depending on the work visa timeline, we anticipate she will be with us by the end of September. Claire is no stranger to Hong Kong as she grew up here. Claire is very experienced in international university admissions, having set up and managed the first enrolment for NYU’s Shanghai Campus before moving on to become Associate Director of Admissions based in London and overseeing admissions for three campuses. Most recently, she was Director of International Admissions at Temple University in Philadelphia. Claire has extensive experience of US admissions procedures and international curriculum evaluation, as well as university systems in the UK, Canada and China, and brings with her a broad network of contacts.

Hope to see you soon

We are hopeful of a return to school before too long and await news from central government and the Education Bureau about the next steps. Until then we will stay learning online and keeping each other positive, connected and informed.

I look forward to seeing you online or in school very soon.

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

Kindergarten Corner

Primary Corner

Secondary Corner