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GSIS Gazette – Issue #68

3rd December 2021

Principal's Column

Dear Members of the GSIS Community

The past two years have been a very difficult time for everyone in Hong Kong.

At GSIS, due to the protests and the pandemic, school lessons were interrupted or switched to an online format. In reviewing the Principal's Report for the 2020/21 school year, I could see how much has been accomplished by the entire GSIS team but also by parents and students.

I am deeply impressed by the exceptional management by the previous team of Mr Ulrich Weghoff and Ms Clare Chiu. I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank Ulrich Weghoff for his outstanding work as Principal at GSIS and wish him all the best for his well-deserved retirement. Ms Clare Chiu has also decided to take on new challenges after her commendable work here at the school, and this week she completed her last day of work at GSIS.

From my first day at GSIS, Clare made a great impression on me and I highly appreciate her expertise, dedication, and strong identification with the school. Watching Clare manage a variety of complex tasks such as the transition to the new school bus company or emergency situations such as Black Rain or Typhoon, the landslide and the precautionary closure of the Kindergarten by the CHP, which she and her team handled to the utmost satisfaction of almost all members of the school community, I realised that with Clare's departure, she will surely be missed very much at the school. However, Clare has made provisions for us as well and has prepared her team for her departure so that operations will continue to run smoothly.

Dear Clare – I have only had the chance to work with you for a short time, but I would like to thank you most sincerely for your devoted work at GSIS and first of all wish you a good and well-deserved rest in the coming weeks. You have chosen the most difficult time in the school's history for your work at GSIS and have overcome the challenges in an extraordinary way.

I also wish you all the best for your future and hope to meet you many more times here in Hong Kong. - Thank you very much

Dr Dirk Bennhardt
Principal
Email


News from the Board

Dear GSIS Community

The Board would like to express its sincere thanks and appreciation to Ms Clare Chiu and Ms Suzannah Denness for their hard work and commitment to GSIS. We wish the both of them happiness and success in their future endeavours.

Additionally, the following recent changes have also taken place:

  • Mr Reda Abouhanine resigned as a director of GSIS Association Limited
  • Mr Christopher King (current parent) has joined as a member of the Building Committee
  • Ms Katherine Chan (current parent) has joined as a member of the Governance Committee

The Board will provide a quarterly update before the Christmas holidays.

 

Board of GSIS Association Ltd.
Email



Community Committee

Christmas celebrations

It’s been a busy week with the delivery of all the Christmas goodies from Germany as well as the advent wreaths.

Thank you for the support with your purchases of the Christmas Goodies and we hope that you all enjoy a taste of Germany over the Christmas holidays. All bags should have been collected by now but if not, you can collect your items from the Main Reception, Lower Building, Peak Campus.  A huge thank you must go to DB Schenker for all their help getting the items from Germany to the school free of charge and in time for Christmas! In addition we would not have been able to provide you with such a wonderful offering of goodies without the hard work behind the scenes in selecting, arranging and packing of items by Clare Siu, Nicole Nitzsche and Valerie McMorran in Hong Kong as well as Annette Berg in Germany.

It truly is the start of advent when the wreaths arrive at school and it has been wonderful to see so many beautiful and creative designs for your homes and the school. From arranging the wreath and the candles delivery to all the sparkling, multi-coloured baubles and leading all the fun sessions with parents and staff we thank Natalie Staack, Alanna Chan and Hatsune Kasai. The Community Committee also delivered handmade wreaths, made by GSIS parents, and Christmas cards designed by GSIS students to the German, Swiss and Austrian consulates. The consulates deeply appreciated the gesture and thanked the GSIS community.

Finally we hope that the students all enjoy their Christmas chocolate lollies or Haribo sweets for St Nicholas next week. If you have ideas for other festivities you would like to see celebrated within the community please do let us know at communitycommittee@gsis.edu.hk

Book Clubs

English Book Club:

We would love to reinstate the English Book Club. In a bid to get a group together we met in a small group to discuss “Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguri. Below is a book review by Alison Keller, English Book Club Member. If you are interested in joining the English Book Club, please contact Alison at Ali.Taylor.Keller@gmail.com. We aim to have a casual get together once a month for a friendly discussion of the chosen books.

  • Review of Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

In the latest novel by Nobel Prize-winning author, Kazuo Ishiguro, the main character, Klara, an Artificial Friend (AF), brings us through her life for sale in a shop window to her time in the home of a sickly, teenage girl, Josie.  Klara is exceptionally empathetic, setting her apart from the other AIs and creating a human-like persona.  This story takes place in a dystopian world where humans and AFs live side-by-side as solar-powered AFs who are designed to keep teenagers company. In some respects, the world seems eerily close to our own, with similarities such as inequality, a dependence on AI, and apprehension about the future of our children.

Themes in this book include love, loneliness, emotional intelligence, artificial intelligence and social class. Let us know your thoughts if you have read the book or you have suggestions for our next book to read.

German Book Club:

Dear bookworms, we would like to share with you details of the book we are currently reading in the German book club. Perhaps you can enjoy it if you have some spare time during the Christmas season, or it would also make a lovely gift. If you have any questions or are interested in joining us, please contact us by email at communitycommittee@gsis.edu.hk

  • Review of Stay away from Gretchen by Susanne Abel

This book is about a great love during dark times. The well-known Cologne news presenter Tom Monderath is worried about his 84-year-old mother Greta, who is forgetting things more and more every day.   This annoyance in his seemingly perfect life however, unexpectedly turns into a gift. Gradually, Greta shares stories about her life - about her childhood in East Prussia,  escaping from Russian soldiers in the icy winter, her longing for Tom’s missing father and her successes on the black market in Heidelberg. When Tom comes across the photo of a little girl with dark skin, Greta falls silent. For the first time, Tom begins to delve deeper into his mother's past, not just to finally understand her sadness, but also to understand his own happiness.

Community Committee
Email


Schoolwide News

Secondary Christmas Concert

We are optimistic that we can go ahead with the Secondary Christmas Concert on Tuesday 14th December, 6.30pm, in the Lower Building Sports Hall (4th floor). Parents and members of the community must reserve tickets beforehand as we have limited capacity due to COVID regulations. Please click here to book your ticket (you must fill in the form once per ticket):

https://www.gsis.hk/xmasconcert2021

The concert will feature almost 100 students in various ensembles, including the Orchestra, Choir, Vocalis Chamber Choir, Bands and more. This is GSIS’s first major concert in sometime, and we are really looking forward to sharing live, festive music with the GSIS community once again.

If your son/daughter is performing, please note that they will remain in school on Tuesday 14th to prepare for the concert, which will finish at around 7.45pm. There will be no buses after the concert.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Director of Music, William Goldring, at wgoldring@gsis.edu.hk.

William Goldring
Director of Music (ESD)
Email

December Lunch Menu - Secondary Students Only

Dear Secondary Students and Parents,

Please find below information to the December lunch menu:

December 2021 Lunch Menu

Alternatively you can also find the December lunch menu on our website under the following link: https://www.gsis.hk/cafeteria/ .

Secondary students can have their hot lunches served on plates or if students are not eating their lunch within the premises of the cafeteria, their lunch will be provided in a take-away box due to hygienic reasons.

Each day Secondary students can choose between three different hot dishes, including a vegetarian option. The prices per each meal remain at HK$35 and HK$39 respectively and are payable by Octopus card when lunch is collected. No cash payment will be accepted.

In addition to hot lunches students can also choose from a wide range of ciabattas, croissants and other snacks including smoothies at our coffee corner.

Social distancing rules while eating and drinking still apply and need to be obeyed at all times.

With kind regards,

Cornelia Zavou
Student Service Team
Email

Attachments

https://www.gsis.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/2112_GSIS_menu_Final.pdf

School Bus Service – 2nd enrollment (Peak Campus Only)

Dear Peak Parents

We would like to inform all Peak Parents that Synergy will be providing another round of registrations for parents who are either on the waiting list or now would like to sign their children up for the school bus, for Hong Kong island and Kowloon area.

If you would like to arrange for your child to use the school bus service from Tuesday, 4th January, please click here to view the relevant information (password ‘GSIS’). The enrollment period is from Friday, 26th November to Friday, 10th December 2021. Please note that in order for routings to be finalised and communicated in time, any applications received after the above deadline (Friday 10th December 2021) will not be accepted. It is also not environmentally friendly to run a bus for a small number of students, so we ask for your understanding in advance if the registration numbers do not warrant more routings and buses.

Angelin, Natasha and Conny
Student Services Team
Email

Sports Kit Update: New Stock Arrival at Kukri

Kukri is expecting GSIS’s sports kit delivery into their shop soon and it will be ready to sell and order online from Thursday 2nd of December.

Please note that there has been a delay on the delivery of the GSIS Track Bottoms. All other items will be available for both online and in store purchases. Please check the website for delivery details on these.

In light of this inconvenience, Kukri will be offering a pre-order function for the delayed items. Once ordered all available items will be sent out for delivery. All online orders made containing the track bottoms will have the product reserved. Upon receiving the delayed products in their Warehouse, Kukri will send all the pre-ordered Track Bottoms to GSIS in one consolidated order. All students and parents can collect their track bottoms from the School.

Please note Kukri will not offer a home delivery service for the pre-ordered track bottoms. They will be consolidated and sent to the school collectively, for individual pick up.

Description Expected Delivery/Dispatch Date
GSIS Track Bottoms 30/12/2021

Please order/collect the essential items you need as they will be in stock (or ready for pre-order) on Thursday 2nd of December. Please see Kukri’s website for full details.

Kukri Asia Ltd

  • Unit B, 6/F, 65 Wong Chuk Hang Rd, Gee Chang Hong Centre, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong.
  • Telephone: +852 2110 5757
  • 9:30am - 5:30pm (Monday to Friday)
Angelin, Natasha and Conny
Student Services Team
Email

German International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Dear Parents

Sports Day has come and gone, but many still reminisce about the chants, cheers, games and medals. The air was filled with excitement and joy as the children worked together as a House Team led by House teachers. We will shortly share with you a video recap of our sports days.

This week, the Christmas countdown began!! Our Christmas trees are up, with the children's help, and there was a lot of fun and laughter as they worked hard to place the ornaments on the tree.  Much to our delight, our Christmas wreaths have arrived in time from Germany, and we would like to thank the School Community Committee for the organisation and the generous donation.

During Advent season, opening the class Advent calendar, lighting the Advent candles, and singing Advent and Christmas carols are part of our daily routine. We are also looking forward to welcoming St. Nicolaus on Monday, December 6th,  at our PFL campus, and we are excited to see what he will read from his "Golden Book" and bring presents for the children.

For the next two weeks, the children will listen to Christmas stories and participate in arts and crafts activities and Christmas games as we approach the Christmas holidays, which begin on December 20th.

Enjoy the Advent season.

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

Pok Fu Lam Campus – Photo Week Ordering Process

Primary Corner

Dear Parents

During the last school year, a working group, interested parents and also the teachers first thought about what makes the German primary so special.

The big difference to all schools here in Hong Kong is of course that we teach in German. But to what extent and where does the culture of the DACH area (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) also influence the teaching and our expectations of the children? Where do we also absorb experiences, values, and structures from other cultures, since we also bring together many different people here at the German primary?

Together we have identified ten areas that we feel are important to promote in children so that they can become German-speaking adults who can find their way all around the world.

Independence / Organization

  • pragmatic daily organization
  • Ownership
  • Organization of learning

Self- and social competence

  • Self-perception
  • Perception of others
  • Cooperation and social competencies

Reflection of learning

  • Independence of Thought and Action
  • personal development
  • life long learner
  • Critical thinking

Each of these areas is encouraged daily in class and we place great emphasis on developing these areas. However, every other week we want to highlight one area in particular, and also address it in class so that the children are also aware of this skill.

Last week we started with the area "Independence in organizing the school day". The K04 classes took this as an opportunity to reflect on what they have already done independently. The K02 checked on their material and try to stay organized with them.

In the next few weeks, the children will talk about how and where they take over responsibility in school.

You, dear parents, can also help the children grow in these areas. Let the children take on their smaller or larger chores independently and take responsibility to see those chores through to completion. For example, homework, you can help your child to be independent by supporting him/her and asking if the homework is done or you can let him/her show it to you. And what if now the notebook is at school and the homework can not be done? Do we encourage independence and train the children to take responsibility if we solve the problem for them?

I encourage you to give the child the responsibility to do the homework on his own and to give him the chance to learn to be responsible for it.

Class homepages

The teachers have updated the class homepages again this week. Please take a look at what has been going on in the last month.

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

Pok Fu Lam Campus – Photo Week Ordering Process

Secondary Corner

Dear Parents of the German Secondary Department

We would like to thank you very much for joining our first Parent Information Days of the school year last week. We would further like to thank you for your constructive feedback and contributions in our PID meetings, which will help and support our collaboration in the future. Parents who did not have a chance to meet with the relevant subject teacher or for whom the timeslot was too short are also warmly invited to contact us for consultation outside of the PID events.

Dear parents, we are in a phase of the year in which we are all exposed to the pandemic situation and its circumstances. Especially our children need special support during this time. This year, many of them will not have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with their grandparents, the whole family or even friends. Things they have looked forward to and hoped for so long now do not occur. We as adults know such events in life. Children and young people not so much, which is why we care and support them and are there for them together as parents and as a school.

On 16 December, the penultimate day before our Christmas break, we will enjoy our Outing Day together. As also supported by parents, students will actively set out on hikes together before taking a well-deserved break for Christmas and the New Year.

Despite the circumstances, we wish you and your families a wonderful Advent season and that we all remind ourselves to keep up the joy and confidence.

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

Sports Day has come and gone, but many still reminisce about the chants, cheers, games and medals. The air was filled with excitement and joy as the children worked together as a House Team led by House teachers. We will shortly share with you a video recap of our sports days.

This week, the Christmas countdown began!! Our Christmas trees are up, with the children's help, and there was a lot of fun and laughter as they worked hard to place the ornaments on the tree.  Much to our delight, our Christmas wreaths have arrived in time from Germany, and we would like to thank the School Community Committee for the organisation and the generous donation.

During Advent season, opening the class Advent calendar, lighting the Advent candles, and singing Advent and Christmas carols are part of our daily routine. We are also looking forward to welcoming St. Nicolaus on Monday, December 6th,  at our PFL campus, and we are excited to see what he will read from his "Golden Book" and bring presents for the children.

For the next two weeks, the children will listen to Christmas stories and participate in arts and crafts activities and Christmas games as we approach the Christmas holidays, which begin on December 20th.

Enjoy the Advent season.

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

Pok Fu Lam Campus – Photo Week Ordering Process

Primary Corner

Dear Parents,

We are all excited about the upcoming holidays. Families have been determining if and how they could travel. If your family plans on being away from Hong Kong during the holidays, and you have not yet notified us, please send us an email letting us know your plans and timelines.

ECA/lunches

With the beginning of ECAs, many students are now eating lunch at school. As a reminder, students should bring their lunch with them and should not have lunches delivered.

Curriculum Event for Parents

Just a reminder that we will hold a Curriculum event next Thursday, 9 December at 3:30 and 4:45. An email invitation and presentation will be sent to you on Tuesday. We ask that you watch the presentation prior to attending the Q&A session on Thursday afternoon.  Stephanie Gilchrist and Tabitha Johnson will be leading this session regarding Developing Readers.

Buses

If your child currently does not ride the bus, and you would like to sign up, a second registration is open until 10 December. The construction on Mansfield Road could potentially impact traffic after the holidays, and bus transportation may be easier for your family. Please refer to the Student Service section in the Gazette for bus information.

Have a relaxing weekend!

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

Departmental News and Announcements

Pok Fu Lam Campus – Photo Week Ordering Process

Secondary Corner

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week.

Student Achievements & Initiatives

Refugee Union Donation Drive

Julia Surman
Global Initiatives Coordinator
Email

Wellbeing Corner

Giving Thanks

Last week, Thanksgiving was celebrated in the United States. Giving thanks and regularly expressing gratitude can have tremendous well-being benefits.

Studies show that gratitude can:

This week, consider writing a note, email or telling someone what you appreciate about them. You’ll both reap the benefits!

With thanks,

Your school counsellors




Highlights of the Week

[sgdg path="Gazette/This Weeks Happenings/Gazette 68"]

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