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GSIS Gazette – Issue #82

24th June 2022

Principal's Column

Dear School Community,

Presently I am looking out of my office and watching over the south of Hong Kong. The view is fantastic, I can see Wong Chuk Hang, Ap Lei Chau, Lamma and far beyond. I think about the fact that for many members of the school community, a far and long-awaited journey is about to begin.

I note with satisfaction that despite this year's difficulties, the school has overcome all problems. The students, the teachers, and the administration team of GSIS have yet again performed magnificently. Together, we have taken decisive steps towards the internal school stability and look forward to continuing to improve GSIS in the next school year, both with a new strategic plan and from a facilities perspective. Here I must extend a very special thank you to the Board. Each Board member has invested many hours in the past year in GSIS and the collaboration has always been very productive. I look forward to implementing our joint plans together in the coming year.

We will start the next year with a new Chief Administrative Officer, Jaspal Singh. I am sure that Jaspal is the perfect fit to take the GSIS a significant step further.

As of 12 September, we also will have new leadership in our Advancement Department in Ms Jenny Johnston, who brings extensive experience from Vietnam, Panama, the USA, and Hong Kong with her. She will bring her current invaluable experience as Director of Marketing and Communications at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong to the GSIS.

Both in the areas of Faculty and Administration, we will start the new school year with our current established teams as well as the new important additions. The departures are sad, as they are every year. However, setting out for new shores is part of life. We wish our former colleagues all the best on their new paths.

Finally, I wish all members of the school community a relaxing summer holiday and many wonderful encounters with friends and relatives. Together we will start the new school year with new strength. I look forward to seeing you again in a relaxed Hong Kong.

With best regards,

Dr Dirk Bennhardt
Principal
Email

Schoolwide News

Summer Internship Opportunities at TTI

Dear Students,

TTI graciously offers our GSIS students internships in various departments during this Summer break. If you are interested, please feel free to contact Isabella Chan.

Best regards,

GSIS Advancement
Deputy Director of Advancement
Email

Leavers School Year 2021/22

For all who have left us this school year,

We would like to express our sincere appreciation for all the hard work you've contributed over the years. You were a great addition to GSIS, and we are sorry to see you leave. It has been an honour to work with you and please know that you are appreciated! We wish you every success for your future. 

August 2021 
Jun Niu Librarian
September 2021
Sue Prinsloo  ESD University Counsellor
October 2021
Jessica Benson EPD Teaching Assistant
Cheung Wang Tat  Electrician 
November 2021 
Suzannah Denness  Director of Advancement 
Brett Morris EPD Teacher 
Kanas Chung  Student Service Coordinator
December 2021 
Inga Riedel-Narayan GPD Deputy Head of Department 
Edwina Moffat ESD Secretary
January 2022
Clare Chiu Managing Director 
Joseph Dandan Senior Systems Engineer 
February 2022 
Sylvia Wolf  KG Teaching Assistant 
Piu Chan  Temporary Data Entry Clerk 
Yeng Ng Maternity Cover
March 2022 
Trevor Wilcox Creative Marketing Manager
Charlotte Ki Chan  PFL School Nurse 
Esther Cheng  Accounting Assistant
Shiva Kazemi Maternity Cover
April 2022
Sophie Blackburn KG Teaching Assistant 
Nathalie Comty ESD Head of Student Support & Inclusion
Bruwera Coetsee  Advancement Manager 
May 2022
Maneesha Kanwar  Director of Human Resources
Holger Juengling  KG Teaching Assistant 
Isabelle Voegelin GPD Teacher 
Manon Fischer  Executive Assistant to Principal & Bilingual Translator
Melody So Fung Ying  Office Assistant 
June 2022
Luke Frenken  GPD International Youth Volunteer
Ella Weindel  GPD International Youth Volunteer
Maria Grab  GSD Psychologist for Learning Support
Alexander Banke  GSD German Relation Officer & Secretary
Tiffany Chin  Student Service Coordinator
Heung Yik Yin Katy Cleaner
Teresa Hobbs Admissions Manager
Johnny Siu Facilities Technician
Shirralee Sisson Maternity Cover
July 2022
Kim Cunningham  EPD Head of Department
Meike Kronenbitter KG Teacher 
Geoffrey Lam KG Teaching Assistant 
Jamie Tsang EPD Teacher 
Sabine Troll-Diefenbach GPD Teacher 
Lena Widmann GPD Teacher 
Christopher Taylor ESD Teacher 
Jessica McCarroll ESD Teacher 
Julia Surman ESD Teacher 
Nicola Culican ESD Teacher 
Sapna Ramanathan ESD Teacher 
Christiane Biere-Chiang GSD Teacher 
Judith Wagner GSD Teacher 
Julian Lederer GSD Teacher 
Karsta Rautenberg GSD Teacher 
Ooi Bee Chuan Cleaner 
Cheung King Shing Maintenance Technician 
Denise Lam Laboratory Technician 
Sky Ng Finance Intern 
Leung Kwai Lan Cleaner
HR Team

Email

Consumption voucher (Phase II)

Dear School Community, 

We have some great news! 

We would like to notify you that the Hong Kong Government has just released the consumption voucher (Phase II). According to the government website, both permanent and non-permanent residents can apply for the consumption voucher (for more information and eligibility criteria, please click this link). The registration period of the scheme is 23 June 2022 to 23 July 2022.

Please visit the website www.consumptionvoucher.gov.hk to apply. 

Best regards,

HR Team

Email

University Guidance: Upcoming Events (External)

The following events are suitable and available to all students and parents of students in Y10-Y12 and K09-K11:

AUSTRALIA: FOUR TOP UNIVERSITIES

Webinar on Further Studies in Australia

Thursday, 30 June, 6:00 -7:00 pm HKT

Platform: Zoom

Representatives from The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney will speak about:

  • Characteristics of University Programmes
  • Study Life at University
  • Application Process

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, 28 June

Register

UK: UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

Recording of BMAT Webinar

Below is the link to the recording of a webinar held on 15 June 6:00 pm UKT (16 June 1:00 am HKT) about UK admission tests.

The webinar was for students who are interested in applying to study in the United Kingdom (specially at Oxford and Cambridge). Mr Martim Pereira, the organizer  of the webinar, together with Dr Matthew Williams, an Access and Outreach fellow at Jesus College, University of Oxford went through some of the top strategies for improving performance on the test.

The webinar’s focus was on the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). However, as it was a skills-based webinar, students taking any admissions tests are encouraged to watch the video recording.

https://youtu.be/QV4FZQT_uFg

Claire Wilkins
Head of University Guidance
Email

Beatrice Ugolini
University Guidance Counsellor
Email

*REMINDER* GSIS School Bus Services - New Bus enrollment for next academic year 2022/23 (Peak and Pok Fu Lam Campus)

Dear Parents,

We would like to inform you that Synergy Travel Service Limited and Lau Hon Por (School Bus Services) Limited will be providing a new school bus enrollment for next academic year 2022/23. If you would like to register your child/ children for the school bus services in the academic year 2022/23 please use the links below:

BUS COMPANY: SYNERGY TRAVEL SERVICE LIMITED - Hong Kong Island and Kowloon (Peak and Pok Fu Lam Campus)

Synergy Travel Service Limited will be continuing offering school bus services to our GSIS Community on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon with children at the Peak and Pok Fu Lam Campus for the next academic year 2022/23 based on the current service agreement.

Please visit the website of School Bus service Synergy Travel Service Ltd to view the price list, enrolment form, communication protocol, terms and conditions and FAQs using the password ‘GSIS’.

The new school bus enrolment period starts Friday, 27 May 2022 and ends on Thursday, 30 June 2022. Please note that in order for routings to be finalised and communicated in time, any applications received after the deadline (Thursday, 30 June 2022) will be put on the waiting list. 

Please contact directly Synergy Travel Service Limited for any bus enrolment matters on:

Tel: +852 2333-3055 (GSIS Pok Fu Lam Campus) / Email: gsisbus_pfl@hksynergytravel.com

Tel: +852 2333-3052 (GSIS Peak Campus)/ Email: gsisbus_peak@hksynergytravel.com

BUS COMPANY: LAU HON POR (SCHOOL BUS SERVICES) LIMITED - Clearwater Bay (Peak Campus only)

Ms Man Lau and her team will be continuing serving our GSIS community living in the Clearwater Bay area with children enrolled at the Peak Campus (only), as the current service contract has been extended by one year, until 31 July 2023.

Please click HERE for the application form Application Form Academic 2022_2023.pdf or see attachment.

The new school bus enrollment period starts Friday, 27 May 2022. Please contact Ms Man Lau (Tel: +852 6231-0123/ Email: cwb.bus@gmail.com) directly for any further information.

General information in regards to our school bus services can be found on our GSIS website under: www.gsis.edu.hk/school-life/going-to-school/school-buses.

Please feel free to contact our Students Services Team under buscoordinatar@gsis.edu.hk for any other questions.

With kind regards

Angelin, Natasha, Conny
STUDENT SERVICES TEAM
Email

GSIS School Shop Updates

Dear Parents

 

Please kindly note that “GSIS Week” of 2022-2023 will be held on Friday, 26 August 2022 to Friday, 2 September 2022, Saturday included at the Kukri shop located in Wong Chuk Hang.

 

All GSIS uniforms will be displayed in the shop and Kukri’s staff will be happy to assist you.

 

Address: Unit B, 6/F, Gee Chang Hong Building, 65 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Hong Kong
(please see attached map)
Date: 26 August 2022 - 2 September 2022
Working hour: Monday to Friday - 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday - 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 

Please kindly be reminded that starting from school year 2022-2023, students should wear the new range of P.E. kit, here you can find a presentation of GSIS new range of P.E. kit.

 

Further information will be published on the first Gazette at first week of school resumption, thank you.

 

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at Schooloutfitters@gsis.edu.hk!

 

Kind regards,

Angelin, Natasha, Conny
Student Service Team
Email

German International Stream

From Head of Stream

Dear Parents,

We have made it - the long-awaited summer break is upon us after another challenging year. Looking back, many of us will say: The third school year, defined by COVID-19 and online learning at times, and in which many extracurricular highlights could not take place or only with very limited attendance, is thankfully coming to an end.

After 2020 and 2021, we start the summer holidays again with a mixture of uncertainty and hope: uncertainty about the current development of case numbers and their impact on life in Hong Kong on the one hand, hope for a permanent relaxation of the strict entry regulations in Hong Kong following the example of other Asian countries.

Of course, we also hope for a school year without online classes, even though this year proved again that online learning can be successful. The great results in the Abitur Examinations and the Examinations for the Mittlerer Schulabschluss are impressive testimony of this. Congratulations once again to our Graduates.

The end of a school year is also a time to say goodbye to loved ones from our school community who will be greatly missed when we return in August. Many students will be moving back to Germany or elsewhere abroad with their families or have already done so during the second half of the year. I hope that each and every one of them can take with them the fond memories of their time at GSIS and wish them a good start at their new school.

The following colleagues from the German International Stream will be leaving us in the summer to take up a new professional challenge either in Germany or at another location abroad.

Kindergarten: Meike Kronenbitter

Primary School: Sabine Troll-Diefenbach, Lena Widmann, Isabelle Vögelin, Luke Frenken (Volunteer), Ella Weindel (Volunteer)

Secondary School: Christiane Biere-Chiang, Maria Grab, Julian Lederer, Karsta Rautenberg, Judith Wagner

Administration: Manon Fischer (Assistant to the Principal), Alexander Banke (GSD Secretary)

I would like to thank all colleagues for their great work with our students, their great commitment to all members of our school community and their long-standing loyalty to our school. All the best and a successful start at your new place of work.

I wish you and your family, as well as all colleagues, a wonderful and restful holiday. I hope you enjoy the summer in a relaxed way and I look forward to seeing you again in August.

Kind regards,

Grit Cichon
Deputy Principal / Head of German International Stream
Email

Kindergarten Corner

Dear Parents,

​​Today was the last day of school, and we all enjoyed the unexpected ice cream treat - what an excellent way to pave the path to our well-deserved summer holidays. A big thank you to the Board of Directors of GSIS for their thoughtfulness!

In addition, we would like to thank our parents and caregivers for their support and collaboration throughout this unprecedented year. 

For families leaving Hong Kong or GSIS, we wish each of you the best for the future and hope you will take away many fond memories of GSIS.

Other families will be heading home during the summer vacation and may you have a marvellous time with your loved ones. Stay healthy and have a smooth and safe journey back to Hong Kong.

We look forward to another exciting academic year with the new families and the existing ones. See you all on Thursday, August 25 2022, for our Welcome Coffee Morning.

Have a fabulous and restful summer!

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,

The last day is over and we had just had some exciting days at the German Primary School. Be it the Friendship Week or the pre-primary activities with the Y01.

Although this school year has not been an easy one, I think we have all grown from the challenges. Together we have faced the obstacles, looked for a good solution and optimised it again. I would like to thank you for all your understanding, support and constructive feedback.

Class homepage

The class homepages have been updated for the last time this school year. Above all, you will find some new photos from the last few weeks on it. Have fun exploring! At the last KPR meeting, it was pointed out again how troublesome it is to open the class homepages as they are linked to the student accounts. I will sit down with our Director of ICT to see how we can streamline this and continue to maintain great security.

Best of luck to those families who may be moving on from Hong Kong. We hope that you find your new school as amazing as GSIS. I hope that everyone enjoys their extended summer holiday and you are able to make some wonderful memories.

Priska Erni
Head of German Primary Department
Email

Inga Riedel-Narayan
Deputy Head of German Primary Department
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

2022-2023 ECA/ AA Update


Secondary Corner

Departmental News and Announcements

Secondary ECA

English International Stream

From Head of Stream

Dear Parents,

It is certainly with some relief that we have reached the end of the school year still enjoying face-to-face classes and having fulfilled a number of significant events in the school calendar.

Year 6 Graduation

It was such a pleasure to attend the recent Year 6 Graduation on Thursday and to be part of a wonderful audience of parents to mark the students’ completion of their primary education. The students’ confidence and poise highlighted by articulate speeches and fantastic musicianship were a testament to their primary learning experience guided by an incredible team of teachers.

Exam Factory?

Our Year 13 and Year 11 students will be looking forward to receiving their IB Diploma and I/GCSE grades in July and August respectively. Whilst we anticipate great things from our students to match their hard work in preparing for the public examinations, please let us not think that we are just an ‘Exam Factory’.

GSIS students are well-rounded, dynamic young people who make a significant commitment and difference to their communities through various service projects, fundraising events and mentoring programmes throughout the year.

We have a fantastic sports department who are just itching to get back into local competitions in Hong Kong representing the school in soccer, tennis, field hockey, ball hockey, basketball, swimming and athletics. If ever you come into the secondary school, please look in on the Sports Hall where you will see banners of achievement recording our successes over recent years.

A huge number of our students are talented musicians, many of whom have achieved ABRSM grades and Licentiate standards. Those of you who have attended our concerts, productions and exhibitions will know what incredible artists we develop here. But we also have burgeoning groups of designers and debaters, writers and activists alongside our scientists, mathematicians, anthropologists and linguists.

GSIS is an incredible place to work and grow for students and staff. We will continue to improve ourselves and make this an exciting place to be so that we can

‘ . . . develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who

help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’

IB Mission Statement

To those students and staff leaving us today, Vielen Glück und Gute Reise! Remember the good times you have enjoyed with us and know that you are always welcome to return to share your stories. We hope we have made a real difference to your world and look forward to hearing about the impact you make in the future.

Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing most of you in August!

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

Kindergarten Corner

Dear Parents,

​​Today was the last day of school, and we all enjoyed the unexpected ice cream treat - what an excellent way to pave the path to our well-deserved summer holidays. A big thank you to the Board of Directors of GSIS for their thoughtfulness!

In addition, we would like to thank our parents and caregivers for their support and collaboration throughout this unprecedented year. 

For families leaving Hong Kong or GSIS, we wish each of you the best for the future and hope you will take away many fond memories of GSIS.

Other families will be heading home during the summer vacation and may you have a marvellous time with your loved ones. Stay healthy and have a smooth and safe journey back to Hong Kong.

We look forward to another exciting academic year with the new families and the existing ones. See you all on Thursday, August 25 2022, for our Welcome Coffee Morning.

Have a fabulous and restful summer!

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,

Thank you for another wonderful school year. While we are not quite back to normal, all of us seem to be adjusting and rolling with each change that comes our way. We have been able to resume many of our normal activities and it seems that the children have a new appreciation for some things they may have taken for granted - break time with the entire year group, PE activities where we share equipment, working in cooperative groups, ECAs, camps, ice cream parties, and more! 

Best of luck to those families who may be moving on from Hong Kong. We hope that you find your new school as amazing as GSIS. I hope that everyone enjoys their extended summer holiday and you are able to make some wonderful memories.

Kim Cunningham
Head of English Primary Department
Email

Donna Morley
Deputy Head of English Primary Department
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

2022-2023 ECA/ AA Update


Secondary Corner

Dear Parents and Students,

The end of a busy, productive, challenging and yet enjoyable year is upon us. Well done to everyone on getting this far.

For the majority of students, the final 'event' of the term will be the collection of the school reports on Friday (these will also be available to parents electronically via Veracross). No doubt students will be nervous or anxious as they await the reveal of their grades. However, it is important to note that reports are waypoints in an educational journey that leads, in most cases, to public exams (more on that in a moment). As such, grades are only part of the story. The vast majority of our students achieve excellent grades in most, or all, of their subjects and deserve to be very pleased with their achievements. There is always room for improvement and that is where the report comments written by teachers come in. In many ways, these comments are more valuable and important than the grades themselves as they form the basis for the next steps in learning.

For our Y13 and Y11 students, the examination results will be released during the holiday. IB Diploma results are available on July 6 (see emails from Mr Wray and Ms Wilkins for details) whilst Cambridge IGCSE results will come out on August 18 (Ms Crouch will supply instructions in due course). The Pearson Edexcel IGCSE results are a little later on 24 August.

Looking ahead, please see attached for letters outlining the arrangements for the start of the academic year in 2022/23. These will also be sent via email to all parents and students.

To those of you leaving GSIS, I wish you every happiness and success in your future endeavours. To those returning, I wish you a safe and relaxing summer and look forward to seeing you again in August.

Ken Stevenson
Head of English Secondary Department
Email

Attachments

https://www.gsis.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Year-07_Start-of-Term-1.pdf, https://www.gsis.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Year-08_Start-of-Term-1.pdf, https://www.gsis.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Year-09_Start-of-Term-1.pdf, https://www.gsis.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Year-10_Start-of-Term-1.pdf, https://www.gsis.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Year-11_Start-of-Term-1.pdf, https://www.gsis.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Year-12_Start-of-Term-1.pdf, https://www.gsis.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Year-13_Start-of-Term-1.pdf

Departmental News and Announcements

Secondary ECA

Year 10 Geography Trip

Wellbeing Corner

Why saying goodbye is important and a few final words from me

As another school year draws to a close, inevitably we start the goodbyes. I am sure many of you have seen friends and family already depart from GSIS, and Hong Kong. Goodbyes suck. Goodbyes can be uncomfortable but they are fundamental to our relationships. 

Goodbyes finalise things, they bring closure. Goodbye experiences begin from the moment we are born - saying goodbye to the warm uterus and into the bright, colourful world! We learn ‘basic trust’ (Erikson, 1958) very early in our lifetime - even if we leave a baby's sight, they very quickly learn that we will come back to comfort, soothe, feed, clothe them (can you tell I am a new parent?!) 

When one develops basic trust, we also develop attachment and then form a relationship, a friendship, a connection. Often people will dismiss forming friendships or relationships with others because the theory goes that ‘if I don’t get close, I won’t get hurt’. This could not be more untrue. 

In school counselling (or any counselling for that matter), we often encourage students to have a “good goodbye” (or more technically, “termination process” or “closing session”) if they have been working with the counsellor for some time and indeed, formed a healthy working relationship. Endings and goodbyes can be powerful because it often is a time when you release how you feel about someone - it is then that you realise you are in a relationship with them (and how much that means to you). 

I see my time at GSIS a lot like a therapeutic relationship - it has seen grey, cloudy days but also great breakthroughs. In my time at GSIS, I have seen the whole school counselling team more than double in (wo)man power, mental health initiatives being put into action, wellbeing week proposed and realised, and a huge leap in acceptance, understanding and conversations about the mental health of young people and children across the school grow. My conversations and sessions with students have been delightful, surprising, saddening but always eye-opening. My ‘relationship’ with GSIS has always gone from strength to strength. 

Sometimes we avoid saying goodbye because we know it will be uncomfortable “it’s easier that way”. When we go to counselling, there is often one shared goal, common to every person sitting in the other chair - to share how they feel, feel heard and not judged. When we avoid saying goodbye, we lose the opportunity to do just that. 

My relationship with GSIS has been an emotional one, and one where (basic) trust has been the steadfast foundation of my work. I am grateful that  GSIS trusted me to provide this important student service. This is a caring, compassionate, vibrant community - one which celebrates change, diversity and differences. I am thrilled that during my last week at GSIS, there is an opportunity to support Pride Month. Partaking in the activities during the week are optional but we do hope all students are supportive to their LGBTQIA+ peers and allies. 

Being able to celebrate Pride at the end of my time at GSIS marks a giant milestone in acceptance, understanding and awareness. As I do my “good goodbye” with GSIS, as I would with any closing session with a student, I only wish for GSIS to continue to grow and be the best possible version of itself. It has been a splendid relationship. 

 

Until we meet again - be open, be kind, and remember the importance of goodbye.

Tanya Schindler(School Counsellor)

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