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GSIS Gazette – Issue #48

13th May 2021

Dear Members of the School Community

From the outside, one focus of the school in the past and current school year has ostensibly been dealing with some of the rather irritating events we were faced with.

These were school-political issues such as the situation of the Business College, questions about the school’s Articles of Association, differences between the former board and the German and Swiss Consulates, replacement or re-election of the board, school challenges such as the online learning phases (sixths rule, thirds rule), a super-spreader outbreak in Hong Kong and the opening of the school to all students under the condition of regular voluntary testing of all staff.

Some issues, especially those of a political nature, have generated a great deal of attention, unrest and disparity in the school community.  This could lead one to assume that the quality of a GSIS education may have suffered or that school management may have become too distracted and moved to survival mode. However, I would like to emphasise that the academic and intellectual development of our students, as well as the emotional and social development, have never been influenced by political issues. School management, department heads, teachers, as well as students, have remained unaffected and have taken up the challenges of school learning under the completely new circumstances and conditions of the pandemic. We progressed in all our development tasks, from curriculum development in the English International Stream to the internationalisation of the German International Stream, to the best possible preparation for the final examinations in both streams.

Furthermore, our school-wide Strategic Action Plan is a detailed action-orientated supplement to the Strategic Plan published last year. Our Strategic Plan has five pillars:

  1. Teaching and Learning
  2. Holistic Education
  3. Finance and Operations
  4. Communications and Development
  5. Governance and Leadership

It was supplemented in all departments from Kindergarten to the Secondary Department by a detailed Strategic Action Plan, which defines the further substantive school development work. In the process, objectives, subgoals, actions, indicators, timeframes, responsibilities and evaluation procedures were precisely defined and agreed upon for internal school use, thus creating a guideline for school development in all areas.

In future, all areas of school development will continue to be evaluated on an ongoing basis. The board and school management agree that the stakeholder survey from the end of 2017 requires a follow-up survey in order to maintain the evaluation circle of “survey – evaluation of the survey – definition of objectives – implementation – evaluation of the objectives. The quality inspection (Bund-Länder-Inspektion[BLI]) of the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA), which had to be postponed several times due to the pandemic, is also to be resumed in the next calendar year in combination with a preceding peer review and an online survey. This sets the course for further development and analysis of the previous development steps in order to ensure strategic, well-founded and profoundly evaluated quality development.

The high quality of learning and teaching in the context of our mission statement, which stands for “educational excellence in a vibrant, creative and caring community”, is our first and foremost concern at GSIS. This has never been compromised or jeopardised, but has always been the centre of everything that we do as a school.

I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Ulrich Weghoff

I am sure that you have seen the great news shared in our email yesterday.  We will be operating full-day lessons from Monday, 24th May 2021.

As you know, in September 2020 we were one of the few international schools granted full day resumption with a thorough staggered lunch schedule, designated lunch spaces and cleaning routines. The EDB has confirmed that any international school who had previously been given permission to open for full days can do so again from the date above. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our Administration team, especially Operations, for their detailed planning, and smooth and safe implementation in this difficult context.  I’d also like to thank the Department Heads/Deputy Heads for making the schedule possible.  Without these great efforts together, we would not have been granted full resumption last year and able to start again from 24th May.

I am also pleased to share that many of our staff are now fully vaccinated (two doses + two weeks) with many more in process and likely to increase over the coming days. We would like to reiterate that the fight against Covid-19 is a whole community effort and we urge our community to vaccinate and adhere to government social distancing guidelines to make GSIS a safe and healthy place for our students and staff.

The school is prepared to open fully for in person classes right from the first day of next academic year, and we have shared detailed information as reference for your travel planning.  With regards to the new quarantine measures announced, we are still waiting for the government’s clarification as to the meaning and implications of ‘Self Monitoring’. Therefore, until we receive this, the school will adopt the definition of ‘Medical Surveillance’. Anyone ‘Self Monitoring’ must wear a mask at all times, measure and monitor their temperature and inform the school immediately should they have fever or show signs of a Respiratory Tract Infection (RTI). Please note that based on CHP’s guidelines staff, students and community members who are under ‘Medical Surveillance’ can enter the school premises.

A great amount of information has been shared in the email yesterday about traffic issues at our Peak Campus.  Once again, I’d like to urge your cooperation to relieve the traffic challenges we have.  Here is a list of Dos and Don’ts for reference, thank you for working together with the school for smoother traffic for now and for the future.

Lunch order:
The link to order lunch is valid. The latest menu and order form have also been uploaded to the link. Please remember to place your lunch order before May 21st the latest.

The weather in Hong Kong has been great the last few weeks, I wish you and family a great weekend.

Clare Chiu
Managing Director

Community Committee

Don’t miss out on our Online Quiz Night next week- Thursday 20th May at 7pm. You can play as an individual or as a team - open to students, parents, alumni and staff. The three teams with the most points at the end of the quiz will win some fantastic prizes. Topics will include The Arts, Food & Drink, Science, Politics and more. If you’re up for the challenge, please register by Tuesday 18th May via our online quiz registration form.

A huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to complete our recent questionnaires. We have received more than 300 notes of positive feedback on staff members but we still need more so please keep sending them in via our online staff appreciation form - all comments will remain anonymous. Please remember to include secretaries, IT staff, finance, facilities, admissions, lab techs and counsellors as well as class and subject teachers. We are sure they will all love to receive your notes.

Community Committee

Schoolwide News

Cafeteria Online Orders
University Guidance: Upcoming Events (External)

German International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

Primary Corner

Dear Parents, 

It has been a busy and colourful week with books and reading at the forefront.

On Monday, many children turned up in their pyjamas and snuggled in for early morning reading. The craft work on book characters was a great success.

Mr Hilbert told the classes that he sees faces on many objects in the environment and thus comes up with his book characters - it was exciting to listen to him. We are looking forward to sharing many photos with you soon.


The transition from Kindergarten to Pre-Primary, Pre-Primary to K01 and also K04 to Secondary is an important and special moment for the children and also the parents. Parents' information evenings on this topic are held during these weeks. But the classes are also preparing for the change. In the next few weeks, the new class teachers will meet the new pupils to get to know each other. Exchange among the teachers of the different levels is also important in this phase.


You may have seen that the EDB has published some new guidelines for the school. At this stage this does not affect the primary school as the children are already taught the full school day. We are still not allowed to conduct ECAs/AAs. However, we are already planning for the new school year and will hopefully be able to start our afternoon programme again then.

Priska Erni
Head of German Primary Department
Inga Riedel-Narayan
Deputy Head of German Primary Department

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

Secondary Corner

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

English International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

Primary Corner

Dear Parents

Our Book Week was a great success and we loved celebrating together, on campus. The children have been quite creative with their recycled book characters which are decorating our entryway.

You may have seen that the EDB has released some new guidelines for schools. At this time this does not affect the Primary, as we have already resumed at 100% for our full school day. We still are not allowed to hold ECAs/AAs. However, we are looking towards the fall and are working on building an ECA/AA programme in the hopes that we will be back to our normal schedule.

Have a great weekend!

We are beginning our planning for next year, which includes determining which teachers may switch year levels, introducing new staff, and working on transitions from PFL to the Peak and from the Upper building to secondary. Prior to the end of the year I will introduce to you our new staff members and inform you of any changes to teaching assignments. The students will also have a chance to meet with their new year level teachers and get to know them a bit better.

Kim Cunningham
Head of English Primary Department
Donna Morley
Deputy Head of English Primary Department

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

Secondary Corner

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

Book Reviews

Departmental News and Announcements

Sadie by Courtney Summers 


Upcoming Events 2021

Careers Workshop

Thursday 20 May 2021
12:00 - 15:20 HKT
More Info »

Class of 1996 25 Year Reunion

Thursday 17 Jun 2021
18:00 - 21:00 HKT
More Info »

Community Networking Breakfast

Friday 17 Sep 2021
08:00 - 11:00 HKT
LRC, Mid Levels
More Info »

Annual Alumni Reception

Wednesday 24 Nov 2021
18:00 - 22:00 HKT
Watermark, Central
More Info »

Community Committee's Christmas Bazaar

Saturday 27 Nov 2021
German Swiss International School
More Info »


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