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GSIS Gazette – Issue #63

15th October 2021

Principal's Column

Dear Parents

This week, I’ll be talking about one of our key core values, Compassion.  This word originates from the Latin root ‘com’ and ‘pati’ (to bear, suffer) and according to the dictionary, compassion is defined as ‘a sympathetic consciousness of others’.  Another description that I personally like is ‘compassion is the heart’s response to sorrow’ and we show this by considering other people’s feelings and showing care, kindness, understanding and empathy to all.

Our students and staff make a difference.  I believe education is the most powerful gift and ours to give to all of those we serve as educators; its true purpose goes beyond academic learning and certificates.  Schools play an increasingly central role in cultivating the necessary social, emotional and ethical skills to support students’ development of values to lead a good life in an ever-evolving world.  I am a firm believer in bringing mindfulness to educators and students alike and from my observations at GSIS, we cultivate this through the breadth of our curriculum we offer in both Streams, as well as focusing on engaging and involving students along their journey with us.  

As the leader of the school, I am committed to a compassionate organisational culture as this builds resilience and fosters a team-spirit, as well as cultivates a work environment where staff feel a great sense of commitment to the school. In collaboration with a team, I believe in leading empathically to make a positive difference in our student and staff lives where compassionate leadership is seen as the norm.

I wish you all a relaxed weekend.

Best regards

Dr Dirk Bennhardt

Community Committee

We were so happy to see how popular the online Christmas shop was, and that some of the items were already sold out by the end of the first day! We have amended our orders to ensure that we have more stock of the popular items so that everyone has a chance to enjoy them. For German treats like stollen, lebkuchen, cinnamon star cookies and much more, please order through

Please also note that we are supporting a couple of charities through the online shop. We are offering 

  • Christmas crackers for the Zubin Foundation. These crackers are decorated beautifully in red and white with intricate, hand-drawn sketches representing Hong Kong and Christmas. They are a fantastic decoration on your Christmas tree or dinner table. Each cracker contains a crown, a joke and a novelty item. All proceeds go towards the Zubin Foundation's work for Hong Kong’s marginalised ethnic minorities in mental health, support for women and girls and providing jobs and opportunities.   
  • Mulled wine/Gluhwein packets are made lovingly by GSIS Alumni Nicole Yih. The packs contain a festive blend of allspice, bay leaves, mace, ginger, nutmeg, star anise, topped with cinnamon sticks and dried fruits (cranberries, lemon, orange). They make a perfect Christmas gift for friends and co-workers, or to spice up your holiday parties. For an alcohol-free option, the spices can be used with apple or grape juice. 10% of the proceeds raised will be donated to Nicole’s charity partner, Box of Hope, which provides Christmas boxes to tens of thousands of underprivileged children across Asia.

We would also like to call on all students from Kindergarten to Y13/K12 to send us your festive art designs and win the chance to have your design on the front of one of this year’s GSIS Christmas cards. 

  • Size: A5 or A4 (design will be reduced to fit an A5 size card) 
  • Bright festive colours with a Christmas theme 
  • Include your name & class on the back of your artwork 
  • Kindergarten & Primary students to give their submission to their homeroom teacher 
  • Secondary students can place them in a box at the main reception of the Lower Building 
  • All submission must be received by Wednesday 4th November

Packs of the Christmas cards designed by GSIS students are also available for sale on the online Christmas shop.

Finally well done to those who have already taken part in a beach clean-up over October. The Environmental Protection Club and Community Committee call on the GSIS Community to carry out your very own Beach Clean-up before the end of the month! Given the recent typhoons, even more rubbish has been swept up onto the beaches. There are plenty of prizes to be won for the most rubbish bags collected, most unusual item found and most remote beach/location. Please send photos of your hard work to


Community Committee

Schoolwide News

University Guidance: Upcoming Events

The following events are suitable and available to all students and parents of students in Y10-Y13 and K09-K12:



Monday 18 October 9:00pm HKT

Top US Universities discuss the realities of how universities review 'Test Optional' candidates without SAT/ACT test scores, and what 'Holistic Admissions' really means.

A must attend event for any applicant to the United States.




2021 Virtual Information Day for Undergraduate Admissions

Saturday 16 October 9:00am-6:00pm HKT

This online event will provide students with comprehensive information about the degree programmes, curriculum and the latest development at the University. Our eight Faculties (viz. Arts, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Science and Social Science) and the respective programmes, our nine Colleges as well as some of our administrative units will host online admission talks, chat sessions and share videos and admissions information on that day.

The highlights of the Information Day include:

  • “Higher Education in Times of Change” – by Professor Alan Chan, the Provost, CUHK (10:00am) – in English
  • Non-JUPAS Local Admission Talk (11:30am) – in English
  • Question and Answer Session for Non-JUPAS Applicants (from 2:00pm to 6:00pm)
    Real time written chatroom where you get answers to questions on application to CUHK
    Pre-registration is recommended for priority in receiving the latest updates and Online Event Schedule before the event.

Claire Wilkins
Head of University Guidance

Beatrice Ugolini
University Guidance Counsellor

Golf opportunity for students

This year we aim to enter a student team into the ISSFHK Inter-schools Golf tournament. This is for existing players with a valid golf handicap card. Students have already had the opportunity to put their names forwards for this.

For developing players, a parent has kindly offered to arrange on-course golf training sessions at Discovery Bay golf club. These could take place regularly on Friday afternoons, during school holidays, or potentially Wednesday afternoons for students with an early finish. Please contact me if you are interested, and I can connect the relevant people. Please note that logistics and financial arrangements will be made privately between parents. The ideal group size would be 4 students, who are not totally new to the game of golf.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please do not hesitate to contact me so that I can help facilitate.

William Goldring
Director of Music

German International Stream

Primary Corner

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

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

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

Secondary Corner

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

Student Achievements

"Art Competition by the Goethe-Institut „Covid and I“

For the past month, Fast Track students from K06A, K06B, K07A and K07B have been working on their entries for the Goethe-Institut's current art competition. The theme set is "Covid and I," and students were asked to create a comic strip of at least eight images depicting their experiences with the virus over the past year and a half. The task was to label the speech bubbles and narrative texts in German, the newly learned foreign language. In addition, the participants had to demonstrate their mastery of the comic format, creativity and inventiveness, as well as technical and drawing skills.

The students processed their experiences with quarantine, caring for sick family members, wearing the mask, online classes, but also with the trips some families took to avoid the virus in the early days of the pandemic. Mutual aid was also addressed and in some comics the virus itself has its say.

In preparation for the contest, all 6th and 7th grade students worked on the basics of the art genre of comics and knowledge of perspective in comics.

The participating students energetically created their entries outside of class and discussed them weekly in Art class.

The deadline was yesterday. Let's keep our fingers crossed for all the students that their work will be crowned with success.,,

(Click thumbnail/s to enlarge image)

Karsta Rautenberg
Head of Art, Art Teacher, French Teacher

U19 Badminton Double

Very memorable and encouraging  experience for Jayme (K07) in winning her first doubles(U19) in the  Central and Western District Age Group Badminton Competition organized by LCSD last Sunday. Being the youngest among the group she and her partner came 4th!

Wellbeing Corner

Adventure Awaits

"Just try new things.

Don't be afraid.

Step out of your comfort zones and soar."

-Michelle Obama

We may not be able to get on a plane and discover a new part of the world as the pandemic continues but that doesn't mean that adventure should stop. Adventure awaits -  and it happens as we step out of our comfort zone and try something new and exciting.

The secondary school will be taking part in an adapted version of 'Discovery week' this coming week, and the primary school will be learning about wellbeing and how we can look after ourselves during 'Wellbeing week'.

We encourage you to seek adventure and step out of your comfort zone - the possibilities could be limitless!

Have a great week ahead.

Your school counsellors

Highlights of the Week

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