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GSIS Gazette – Issue #67

19th November 2021

Principal's Column

Dear Parents

This week, we honoured staff members who have been committed to GSIS for many years with our “Long Service Awards”. The dedication to our students that these colleagues have shown for five to 30 years is extremely impressive. I feel deep gratitude for these combined 300 years of loyalty that have come together through the hard work, memories, knowledge, and developments of these colleagues that make our school the great place that it is. The awards ceremony was an opportunity for us as a team to draw strength in mutual appreciation, and I would like to thank the entire staff for their great work and tremendous commitment.

Unfortunately, I must also take this opportunity to bid farewell to a valued and respected colleague on the Senior Management Team who will be leaving GSIS next week. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Suzannah Denness for her work and wish her the very best in her future endeavours.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Best regards

Dr Dirk Bennhardt
Principal
Email


Managing Director's Update

Dear Parents 

As you may be aware, I am leaving GSIS on Tuesday, 30th November and this will therefore be my final Gazette; I will miss sharing updates with you. First things first, thank you for your collaboration and support through a challenging, yet productive, few weeks.  I have some good news and key points to share as below:

Updates on the last few weeks:

2nd Pokfulam Service Agreement (SA) and Tenancy Agreement (TA): 

We have satisfied all the enquiries and checks from the EDB.  We were instructed that the EDB was ready to receive our application for the 2nd Service and Tenancy Agreements.  We submitted the full set of documents on 1st November and are waiting for the EDB’s approval for the 5-year SA and TA (maximum validity of the 2nd SA is 5 years).  While waiting for the approval, the EDB has granted the extension of our 1st SA and TA until 5th March, 2022.

Shuttle Buses 

Shuttle Buses arranged last week successfully transported 275 students to our Peak Campus when access to Guildford Road was restricted due to the landslide.

EDB Random Compliance Check

We passed the random compliance check from the EDB for both campuses.

Pokfulam Campus Closure (URTI)

As per the CHP’s order due to URTI, the PFL campus was closed from Friday, 12th November for 5 days.  The entire campus has been thoroughly disinfected professionally, ready for the students’ return on Wednesday, 17th November.  We thank the parents and staff for their full collaboration with the compulsory testing that made resumption possible.

The Stakeholder Engagement Survey 

Focus groups concluded last week.  The survey is due to be shared on Tuesday, 30th November and we ask for your full participation to ensure the school’s further development.

As I said above, the last few weeks have been challenging but collectively, we overcame the issues one by one.  On reflection, please allow me to share some collections of key challenges faced and progress we made together for the year completed.

Managing Director’s Report on Academic Year 2020/2021(the year completed in July 2021)

The 2020-2021 Academic Year (last year) was probably one of the most challenging years in the history of school operations.  The ever-changing pandemic situation and its subsequent restrictions imposed on schools in Hong Kong were unprecedented.  I am impressed with the agility and resilience our team demonstrated throughout.  The numerous resumption applications to the EDB and the actual implementation would not have been possible and approved without the relentless hard work and support from all staff, especially the Administration Team.  

We had a rocky start due to the task given by the government (taking fortnightly PCR tests without legal support).  However, although difficult, we were able to eventually align all staff towards the goal by providing extra and individualised support to those in need.  I was also grateful for how our staff and community united together to create a safer environment for us all, by supporting and encouraging all to vaccinate.  Our staff and student vaccination rates were top among schools in Hong Kong and this would not have been possible without active participation from each one of us.

Despite a challenging context, we were still able to achieve substantial progress against our 5-year strategic plan and the yearly strategic objectives, on top of our daily operations and special measures required due to the pandemic.  In summary, 2019/20 was a year that the structure, process, policy and revamped procedure were put in place in priority areas to modernise our school and enable our operations.  Roles and accountability were clearly defined and in 2019, the Performance Appraisal system was launched to measure the progress and performance, as well as to identify, support and develop career aspirations.  Such work enabled us to focus on efficiency enhancement in all areas for Academic year 2020/21.  Although GSIS is a not for profit educational organisation, we strive to maximise the value and impact for our students through good management and utilisation of the tuition fee income entrusted by parents.  Through the established performance driven culture, we were collectively able to achieve great KPIs and outcomes.   

Longer term, we received encouragement and reassurance from the parents that the overall improvement of the traffic condition had been improved and the measures in place were working.  The school engaged parent representatives for two years for the annual tender to recruit a new bus company to bring better services to students and parents at costs.  Most importantly, it is preparation for a mandatory bus policy which will be necessary once the construction at Mansfield Road starts. Furthermore, it was felt that in order to implement this, the school must ensure a reliable bus service to move forward with this. Many schools in Hong Kong who use KCM are equally frustrated, but the worry and risk associated with bringing in a new service provider is a challenge.  We are the only international school to have successfully made the switch.  The school has done its best to manage the tendering process and endorse the decision of the Bus Company Selection Committee, and to support Synergy to settle in its operations at GSIS.  Together with Synergy, the school will continue to evaluate and support Synergy’s services; we thank parents’ understanding and support in the school's initiative and action of bringing in a new bus company.

In partnership with the Police, Transportation Department, District Council, Developer (Wheelock), the school is also exploring an off-site drop off area and shuttle bus should the traffic worsen due to construction.  

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank staff members, parents and community members for the support given to the school. After two years in post, I am leaving the school at the end of November 2021 proud of what we have achieved together.  I ask for your continuous support and encouragement of the school, particularly to the Administration Team who have cared deeply and given their best efforts in every way possible.  Many of them are the silent and reliable heroes working behind the scenes to turn everything from a plan to a reality.  

I would like to share below some highlights from 2020/21:

Enhanced Efficiency (results audited)

Consolidated Incomes & Expenditure (Association & Foundation), after intercompany contribution between Association and Foundation.

  1. Income: 2% below the budget
  2. Expenditure: 6% below the budget.  Although a small portion of cleaning force was outsourced in 2020/21 for better cleaning quality required for pandemic, the major saving had been achieved from administrative personnel costs starting from March 2020 (Academic Year 2019/20) due to active and conscious manpower utilisation by redefining and merging roles etc in preparation of economic downturn and potential declined tuition fee income.  
  3. Surplus: HKD 172% over the budget

Headcount for Administration Staff 

  1. 2020/21 Budget: 96 pax
  2. 2020/21 Actual: 79 pax (active manpower utilisation started from March 2020: Academic Year 2019/20 by redefining and merging roles etc in preparation of economic downturn.  A small portion of Cleaning Force was outsourced in 2020/21)
  3. 2021/22 Budget: 79 
  4. 2021/22 September Actual: 73 pax 

Student and Administration Staff Ratio

  1. 2020/21 Budget: 12.8 (each administration staff supporting 12.8 students)
  2. 2020/21 Actual: 15.3
  3. 2021/22 Budget: 15.7
  4. 2021/22 September actual: 16.9 

Better Service at Costs

  • A new bus company was tendered and selected to enhance students’ and parents’ experience and in preparation for mandatory bus policy at Peak Campus
  • Thorough implementation of tendering and procurement policy to elicit better services at costs and for compliance.

Finance Sustainability

  • Procedures and policies were refined to enhance the efficiency and the roll out of the entire ERP.
  • Overall operations will be further streamlined once SAP and portals are synched and rolled out in 2021/22 with solid progress achieved in 2020/21.
  • Capital levy was announced and promoted for the intake in 2021/22 to recruit a variety of families to selected year groups.  
  • All school fees were re-formalised with the EDB such as debenture, capital levy, 60-day late notice fee and registration fee etc.  Phased implementation was introduced in 2020/21 to tie re-enrolment with registration fee that enabled the school for better resources planning and protected the school’s financial sustainability.

Facility Management

  • Facility Management Team transformation was audited in Summer 2021 and scored 75% which was an outstanding result
  • Key summer projects completed to enhance school facilities
  • Legacy Air Conditioning problems at Upper Building were diagnosed and will be resolved between October to Summer 2022.  Contingency plan well in place to address ad-hoc issues when solution works are in progress.

Project completed in summer 2021.

Compliance to Regulatory Bodies’ Requirements

  • PICS (Personal Information Collection Statement), Community Communication Policy, Tendering and Procurement Policy were launched to strengthen the school’s operations, harmonise the community and provide protection to the school and community at the data privacy protection and compliance areas.
  • New Membership Application and Renewal procedure were launched to build a robust membership database and to prevent irregularities from happening.  A new Membership Portal has also been built and will be launched in 2021/22 to further strengthen the database and application and renewal procedure.
  • Newly refined re-enrolment and new membership procedure and portal ensured all parents and community members consent to PICS and other policies which not only enabled the school conduct its duties, but it protects the entire school and community re data privacy and usage.  

Community Engagement & Communications

  • The school’s timely communications via emails and Gazette have become a reliable source of information for students and parents.
  • The readership of Gazette has increased substantially and parents surveyed appreciate the weekly updates from the school
  • Our social media has successfully achieved the goals: (1) showcased the GSIS spirit and community engagement (2) delivered our brand promise: showcasing students’ achievements in all areas (3) generating interest for GSIS events and admissions enquiries. 

Admissions

  • Assessments and interviews were successfully implemented despite the challenges faced in pandemic.
  • Seats were filled and healthy shortlists were created.
  • Number of withdrawals were modest compared to others and on track with the budget and previous years, due to close communications and follow-ups.
  • Re-launched re-enrolment, satisfactory result was achieved with more understanding and compliance from parents.  
  • Registration Fee was fully implemented and ready to be brought forward to March in 2021/22.  These new policies in place would provide a better forecast of student number and have been updated in all relevant documentation.  

HR

  • New Welcome Package and Induction Programme tailored to meet individual’s needs in the context of pandemic which was well received by all new staff.  
  • Support the leadership and all staff to take testing and vaccinations through open communications and individualised support and coordination.  
  • Staff retention and recruitment was the focus which was a challenge faced by all schools.  
  • Dedicated support to staff members’ well-being from counselling services to personalised support when in need

IT Operations as an enabler

  • Data Security audited and action plan in place for partial implementation in 2020/21 and 2021/22 onwards.
  • Upgraded PFL wifi network and firewall to improve online learning experience for Kindergarten and Primary students
  • Enabled major events participated by hundreds: AGM/EGM, Career Day, Townhalls 
  • Upgraded the firewall at Peak Campus to provide better IT security for the school
  • Updated and managed all license for online learning
  • The design and deployment of SAP to enhance finance efficiency (a system to streamline and connect budget, expenses and procurement)
  • Implemented and supported the Redefined Membership Application and Renewal Process and designed the new portal to strengthen the membership database and relevant operations.
Clare Chiu
Managing Director
Email



Community Committee

Beach clean up winners

Following the fantastic community beach clean ups we would like to share with you some more details about the competition winners.

Most rubbish bags collected:

On Sunday, 17th of October 2021 around 50 family members of K02A and K04A joined forces to fight against marine and beach pollution. Their aim was to clean up a really dirty and smelly hidden beach on Lamma Island. They spent 3 hours collecting rubbish and found many funny things including toothbrushes, combs, light bulbs, a squeaky duck, a rescue ring, shoes and flip flops, and a buoy. They even managed to persuade another family on the beach to join them

Most unusual item:

During the half term holiday a group of K07B students ventured out to Rocky Bay Beach in Shek O. They managed to collect around 20 bags of rubbish. They win the prize for most unusual item for their haul of a radio, metal grate, helmet and many golf balls.

Remote beach:

Alex Oh Y04B, Iman Al-Ali Y05C, Rayan Al-Ali Y04B, Brian Chan Y04C, Rochelle Chang Y04B, Charles Ciemniak Y04C, Malia Ingram  Y04B and  Miko Sandaya Y04B who cleaned up Tai Tong Wan & Cheung Sha Wan on Tung Ping Chau, which is the easternmost outlying island of Hong Kong and also part of the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark.  They  collected 6 bags of garbage mainly made up of broken pieces of plastic, broken fishnets and cigarette butts.  Their unusual items included a fire extinguisher, a tyre and a boat pole.

Trash art:

On the 1st October holiday Talia Lam Y05C helped clean up Repulse Repulse Bay beach and made a beautiful centerpiece vase from a bottle, rope, food wrappers and bit and bobs that she found

Youngest entrants:

Well done to our youngest entrants all from Y01C. Clayton Tu cleaned up Repulse Bay beach with his dad finding many items such as cigarette butts, beer bottle caps, plastic soft drink bottles, rotten remains of a net, wrapping paper of cupcake and pieces of broken glass.

Isabella Bertoli who cleaned up Tai O whilst on holiday with her parents and made some beautiful trash art. Harvey Wang who worked hard at Rubbish Bay in Cape D‘Aguilar near Shek O with a group of 15 from 4 families.

Finally, a big thank you to Julia Surman (who also took part in her own beach clean up at Tong Fuk Beach) and the Environmental Protection Club for leading the campaign. Please see attached a collage showcasing the winners’ great work keeping Hong Kong clean

Christmas wreaths

The Christmas wreath decorating sessions have been hugely popular. If you would like to decorate your own wreath to take home then please sign up now as there are only limited places remaining.

  • Tuesday 30th November, morning, 10:30am -12:30pm (Parents) FULLY BOOKED 
  • Wednesday 1st December, morning,  11:00am -1:00pm (Parents) FULLY BOOKED 
  • Wednesday 1st December, afternoon, 4pm - 6pm (Staff)
  • Wednesday 1st December, evening, 6pm - 8pm (Parents/Staff)

All sessions will be in the Exam Room in the Lower building.

Sign up for events and purchasing your wreaths is available through Traditional Wreath Decorating

Christmas online shop

The Christmas online shop will remain open for a few more days till Thursday 25th November. There is limited stock remaining but don’t miss out on your chance to buy GSIS student designed Christmas cards and our bespoke GSIS Christmas tram decorations. Check out the shop at https://www.gsis.edu.hk/product-category/german-christmas-goodies/

The items will hopefully be arriving in Hong Kong during the next week and we will be arranging a pick up session for your orders for the following week.

Summer’s Kitchen

Just a reminder that Summer will be showing our community how to make her delicious pretzels on Thursday the 25th November, at 6pm. It might seem daunting learning to make this knotted German bread, but Summer assures us that it is quite simple once you learn the technique. Summer only learnt to make pretzels two years ago, and it was through the GSIS community that she learnt - when Covid started and everyone was staying home, one of her children’s classmate’s mothers taught came over and taught her how to make the traditional treat, and she has been making them ever since.

Please sign up for the cooking class using this link, we’re looking forward to cooking with you!

https://forms.gle/UZHRHhGULDvTkcxC6

Community Committee
Email


Schoolwide News

Goodbye!

Dear Parents

As you may be aware, I’m leaving GSIS as Director of Advancement next week for a new and exciting opportunity with another Hong Kong international school.

It has been a quite extraordinary three years in so many respects and it’s been a pleasure to play my role in ensuring that the school continues to celebrate our illustrious history while working together to further develop and enhance this outstanding school.

The weekly Gazette was introduced as a new initiative by my department to keep the school community informed, reduce emails, and provide updates and information on the way in which the school is moving to achieve its goal.  We hope that you’ve found it to be a very informative and valuable tool, especially as you can access it anytime and anywhere from any device.  However, as my replacement has not yet been appointed, it has been decided that for the time being the Gazette will be produced fortnightly.  The next issue will therefore hit your inboxes on Friday, 3rd December at 4pm.

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those that I’ve worked with at GSIS and to the community for being so supportive.

Best regards

Suzannah Denness
Director of Advancement
Email

Movember

In support of men’s health and Movember a group of Secondary Male teachers are growing Mo’s for the month of November. Be sure to check back next week to see the progress with their Mo's.


Julian Lewis
House Coordinator, Head of PE, Physical Education Teacher
Email

University Guidance: Upcoming Events (External)

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

ASIA PACIFIC: UNIVERSITY FAIR

Destination Asia Pacific: Virtual University Fair 2021 

Saturday 20 November 3:00pm-5:00pm HKT

This is a unique opportunity for Cambridge International students to learn more about studying at university in Asia Pacific. Meet with representatives and admission officers from over 30 of the top Asian universities who will be available to answer specific questions about the application procedures, entry requirements, scholarships and visa procedures.

View the participating universities and register here.

UK: KING'S COLLEGE LONDON

KCL x HK virtual visit

Monday 22 November 8:00pm-9:00pm HKT

KCL is a comprehensive university which offers many undergraduate programmes including professional ones such as Accounting and Finance, Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, etc. King's College London is one of the top 10 UK universities in the world and is London’s most central university, with five campuses in the capital.

Get a taste for life at King's at our online event for those interested in undergraduate study.

Register

This event will take place on Microsoft Teams.

Your Microsoft Teams link will be sent to you via email prior to the event. If you do not receive this reminder, please contact calum.1.hebron@kcl.ac.uk.

UK: UNIVERSITY OF YORK

Undergraduate Virtual Masterclasses

November-December 2021

The York Masterclass Series gives students the opportunity to experience firsthand, the outstanding teaching at York in an interactive taster session led by York academics who are leading experts in their field.

Department of Biology

Tuesday 23 November 1:30pm-2:30pm GMT (9:30pm-10:30pm HKT)

Register

Department of Psychology

Wednesday 24 November 10:00am-11:00am GMT (6:00pm-7:00pm HKT)

Register 

Tuesday 30 November 1:30pm-2:30pm GMT (9:30pm-10:30pm HKT)

Register

Thursday 9 December 4:00pm-5:00pm GMT (Friday 10 December 12:00am-1:00am HKT)

Register

Department of Economics and Related Studies

Monday 29 November 10:00am-11:00am GMT (6:00pm-7:00pm HKT)

Register

Department of History of Art

Wednesday 8 December 10:00am-11:00am GMT (6:00pm-7:00pm HKT)

Register

The York Management School

Wednesday 8 December 1:30pm-2:30pm GMT (9:30pm-10:30pm HKT)

Register

Claire Wilkins
Head of University Guidance
Email

Beatrice Ugolini
University Guidance Counsellor
Email

German International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Dear Parents

Much to our relief, the Pok Fu Lam Campus was able to open its doors on Wednesday and resume in-person classes. We would like to thank all parents for their understanding and unconditional compliance with the measures from CHP. In addition, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to many who worked behind the scenes to ensure that we had everything ready for school resumption. 

On Thursday (18th November) the Kindergarten's first Parent Representatives meeting of this school year took place, and we thank all our KPR’s for collecting and raising open questions from individual classes. We will share the Minutes of the Meeting with you as soon as they are ready.

As announced last week, we promised to share more information regarding our Parent-Child Christmas Activities in this issue of the Gazette. Unfortunately, we cannot assess at this moment whether we can host an event of this nature.  As soon as we know what we can do, we will inform you via email.

We look forward to our Sports Days on Thursday, 25th November (GKG classes) and Friday, 26th November (EKG classes). Remember to dress your child in their house team shirts or house colours and support us by practising the "House Team Chants" at home with your child.

We wish you a pleasant weekend.

Sophie Burdel
Head of Kindergarten
Email
Eileen Mah
Deputy Head of Kindergarten and Deputy Child Protection Officer Pok Fu Lam Campus
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

Primary Corner

Dear Parents

We are pleased to complete our first week of Primary Peak ECAs/AAs in 22 months!

This week I have some rather sad news for you. My deputy Inga Riedel-Narayan will leave GSIS at the beginning of Christmas break and return to Germany. I would like to thank her for her great work, reliability and constant commitment. The two years went by quickly, but together we had to master a lot. I wish her all the best in Germany and much fun in her new job.

The good news, however, is that we have also found a successor. After Christmas, Beate Weinhardt will take over the position of Deputy Head in GPD. I warmly welcome her to the team and look forward to a good working relationship.

Parents Information Event - Internet Safety

We would like to cordially invite you to our information evening “Internet Safety”.

At this evening you will learn more about:

  • Management of Digital Media and Technology at home
  • Cyberbullying
  • Use of Technology
  • Parent information – Tips for at home
Date: Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Time: 6pm – 7.30pm
Location: Peak Campus, Upper Building, UG04 or online

Please register for the event by Thursday, 25 November 2020 with the help of the link. Once we know the number, we will then inform you whether the event can take place in person at the Peak (if less than 20 people) or online.

Register

We wish you a lovely weekend.

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

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.


Secondary Corner

Dear Parents of the German Secondary Department

The first months of the new school year are behind us. They have shown us that although many things have improved compared to a year ago, a lot is still quite different than before the pandemic. We are all struggling with the circumstances of the corona crisis and are constantly facing new challenges. But the ones most affected are our children. For our children, school is not only a place where they acquire skills for the future, but their everyday life. It is a part of their living space in which they can develop. It is our priority to ensure that this living space is available to them.

Therefore, I would like to point out once again that the Parent Information Days on 25 and 26 November can unfortunately only take place online again. Nevertheless, I hope for an active participation. Let us think and plan together in the best interest of our children to regulate the consequences of this pandemic, which will undoubtedly occur.

I cordially invite you to use this opportunity to meet with the teachers during those days.

Please do not hesitate to contact us beyond the PID should you require more consultation time.

I wish you and your families a wonderful weekend.

Frank Weinhardt
Head of German Secondary Department
Email
Arnold Leitner
Deputy Head of German Secondary Department
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

English International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Dear Parents

Much to our relief, the Pok Fu Lam Campus was able to open its doors on Wednesday and resume in-person classes. We would like to thank all parents for their understanding and unconditional compliance with the measures from CHP. In addition, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to many who worked behind the scenes to ensure that we had everything ready for school resumption. 

On Thursday (18th November) the Kindergarten's first Parent Representatives meeting of this school year took place, and we thank all our KPR’s for collecting and raising open questions from individual classes. We will share the Minutes of the Meeting with you as soon as they are ready.

As announced last week, we promised to share more information regarding our Parent-Child Christmas Activities in this issue of the Gazette. Unfortunately, we cannot assess at this moment whether we can host an event of this nature.  As soon as we know what we can do, we will inform you via email.

We look forward to our Sports Days on Thursday, 25th November (GKG classes) and Friday, 26th November (EKG classes). Remember to dress your child in their house team shirts or house colours and support us by practising the "House Team Chants" at home with your child.

We wish you a pleasant weekend.

Sophie Burdel
Head of Kindergarten
Email
Eileen Mah
Deputy Head of Kindergarten and Deputy Child Protection Officer Pok Fu Lam Campus
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

Primary Corner

Dear Parents,

We are pleased to complete our first week of Primary Peak ECAs/AAs in 22 months!

I wish to inform you that I have submitted my resignation as the Head of the English Primary Department. Due to the travel restrictions which impact us all, I am currently unable to be with my family on a regular basis and I have made the difficult decision that I need to return to the US to support my own children. I am honoured to have worked with colleagues who are highly skilled professionals, and who have continued to grow and improve the EPD during difficult circumstances. Despite all the challenges the past few years have presented, they have never stopped putting the wellbeing of our children first. Our students are amazing individuals and I will miss working with students who are so excited about learning every single day!

I will be working with the Primary Leadership Team, Dr Bennhardt, and Simon Misso-Veness to ensure a smooth transition and the continued growth of the EPD.

Thank you for all of your support and the appreciation you have shown for the English Primary Department. 

Curriculum Event

We are continuing to share a transparent look at how and what our EPD students are learning. On 9 December we will hold another curriculum event in which we will provide information on Developing Readers. Tabitha Johnson and Stephanie Gilchrist are preparing a presentation to share with you and we will then provide Q&A sessions. An email invitation will be sent closer to the date of the event.

Have a lovely weekend!

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

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 & Initiatives

Operation Smile - GSIS Student Campaign

Operation Smile’s Mission and Vision

Every three minutes, a baby with cleft conditions is born. Millions of children are living with untreated cleft conditions, which are openings or splits in the upper lip, the roof of the mouth, or both. They are caused by the underdevelopment of facial features in unborn babies, and they are among the most common birth defects. Patients with cleft conditions suffer with difficulties eating, breathing, speaking, and being accepted by many of their peers and communities.

Operation Smile is a medical charity that strives to deliver free, safe reconstructive surgeries to patients with cleft conditions in rural areas. Inspired by their mission, we, a group of Y12 and Y13s, have formed the GSIS Smile Club. We believe that access to safe surgery is not a privilege, but a universal human right. By providing them with the essential cleft surgery they need and deserve, we can make a difference in their lives.

Holiday Cards Fundraiser

This holiday season, we have designed our very own Christmas cards to sell and spread love to those in need. We will be directing ALL profits to Operation Smile, and the donations will be used to fund programmes that bring high standards of care to patients living with cleft and other facial and dental conditions. We aim to raise $20,400 HKD by Christmas Day, which covers the cost of life-changing surgeries for 3 children suffering from cleft conditions.

With so much said, why not spread the holiday cheer to those in need?

Pre-Order Form

Pricing and Payment Method

It's $15 HKD per card. For every 3 cards (any of the three designs) you buy, there will be a $5 discount (i.e. $40 for 3 cards). Furthermore, we would also be more than grateful to receive your additional generous donations to reach our goal of helping 3 children this Christmas.

You may choose to pay in cash at the stall when you pick the cards up. Payments can also be made directly after ordering through FPS, PayMe or Alipay (specific details can be found on the pre-order form).

Pre-Orders and Card Collection

For primary school staff, students and parents -

Please fill in the form before 3rd December to ensure the availability of your full purchase. Your pre-ordered cards will be available for pickup on December 13th. Please transfer the donation amount through one of the online payment methods mentioned in the form before the pickup date. We will also send an email with more details on the pickup nearer the date.

For secondary school staff, students and parents -

A stall will be set up at the secondary school on December 1st-15th. Secondary school staff and students are welcome to purchase the cards directly at the stall instead. However, if you are interested in purchasing more than 10 cards, please fill in the form before 3rd December to ensure the availability of your full purchase.

If there are any enquiries, please feel free to email us here for more information: gsisossp@gmail.com

We sincerely hope you will consider supporting our cause! Every little bit helps. :]

Wellbeing Corner

Taking time to re-read a book you loved as a child can offer a rich experience. The elementary messages in children's literature have a way of transporting you back to a simpler time, filled with hope and effortless wonder.

"Why did you do this for me?" he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you." 

"You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing" 

-Wilbur and Charlotte, from Charlottes Web 

Six children's books you're never too old for:

  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Expery
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  • Bridge to Terabitha by Katherine Paterson
  • The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
  • Keeping up with Teddy Robinson by Joan G Robinson
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle

Happy re-reading!

School Counsellors


Highlights of the Week

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