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GSIS Gazette – Issue #85

23rd September 2022

Principal's Column

Dear School Community,

After over two exceptional years due to the COVID situation, school life is increasingly returning to normal. The announcement of the possibly lifting of the hotel quarantine would be another step towards normalisation. I am particularly pleased that this will make travel and family visits much easier again for many families from the GSIS school community. A major contribution to this has been the vaccinations, which have significantly reduced the risk to the population. The EDB and CHP continue to emphasise high vaccination rates, so I must ask that you remain vigilant and attend and report booster vaccinations to the school as soon as possible.

Hotel quarantine and school trips

Class trips and participation in international competitions have always been an integral part of school life at GSIS. The next generation has a right to experience the network of our world and so we are evaluating on when international exchanges can take place again. The biggest problem at the moment seems to me to be that students cannot travel back in case of an illness abroad and that supervision must be guaranteed for each of the divided group. For this we are currently considering how possibilities can perhaps be created by involving the parents. - However, we will have to wait until the hotel quarantine is finally lifted.

New Strategic Plan

A good school is characterised by having long-term visions and plans. The current strategic plan, which was made for the years 2019 to 2023, will soon expire.

Due to the pandemic, parts of this plan could not be fully implemented. Therefore, it is all the more important to prepare a new sustainable and up-to-date plan now. A key component of a new plan will still be the focus on the school's academic excellence. At the last SMT meeting, there was a productive discussion on the inclusion of two additional aspects in the new Strategic Plan. On the one hand, it was pointed out that in our efforts to teach diversity and tolerance as a guide to life, we should again refocus more on the school's roots of the German and Swiss culture. On the other hand, we should strive more than ever to ensure that all GSIS students, as future leaders, are aware of their responsibility towards our world and implement a sustainable way of life. I see both ideas as excellent additions to our educational mission and I am curious to see how the entire school community feels about these ideas.

Participation at GSIS

In all areas of school life, participation of the different groups in the school is important so that school decisions have the best possible viability.

In addition to student participation, parent participation is an indispensable part of the culture at GSIS. Next Tuesday, 27. September the KPR secretaries will be elected from the ranks of the elected KPRs. More information about this election is in this Gazette. I would like to thank all KPRs for their commitment and look forward to working with them in the future.

I wish the entire GSIS school community a wonderful weekend and remain with best regards.

Dr Dirk Bennhardt
Principal
Email

Parents' Committee

Dear all, the GSIS Hiking Club is back! Our next hike will be on Thursday, 6th of October and will start with the Dragons Back!

Please email me if you are interested: nstaack@learning.gsis.edu.hk

Kind regards,
Natalie Staack

Parents' Committee
Email

Schoolwide News

Student Grant (2022/23 School Year)

Dear Parents,

We have received the EDB's circular that a further one-off student grant of HK$2,500 will be given for each Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary student for the 2022-23 school year. All GSIS students will be eligible.

Same as last year, all forms will have to be collected from and submitted to the EDB via the school. The school will not be given much time to verify data and complete submission for the entire school, therefore your full collaboration to adhere to the deadline given will be needed.

A separate email will be sent to all parents including detailed information on how to complete and submit the form to the school.

Thank you

Jaspal Singh
Chief Administrative Officer
Email

Election of KPR Secretaries and Deputies on 27 September

Dear KPRs,

Thank you again for volunteering to support our school community in your role as Class Parent Representatives. As the Senior Management Team, we very much look forward to working with you this academic year.

On Tuesday this week you should have received the meeting invite for the election of the KPR Secretaries and Deputies on Tuesday, 27 September 2022. If you have not received the email, please make sure to check your school-issued @learning KPR email account as all KPR-related communication will be solely run via this account. Early next week you will receive the Google Meet links to the two meeting parts on Tuesday, 27 September:

1) Overview session at 6:00 pm and
2) Departmental election sessions at approx. 6:30 pm.

Please be aware that no private email account logins will be accepted and you will only be able to attend the meeting with your @learning KPR account.

Nominations

If you are interested in representing the KPRs in your department as KPR Secretary, you are welcome to either

  • contact your respective Head of Department to let them know beforehand or
  • express your interest for this role directly at the election session.

At the beginning of the election session, the respective Head of Department will ask all participants in the department if they would like to nominate themselves, which will be possible up to the point of voting. If you have any questions about the election process, please contact your Head of Department.

For information on the KPR and KPR Secretary role, please also see the KPR section (p. 45–46) of our House Rules. Thank you very much for your time and I wish you a productive meeting and a successful election on Tuesday.

Best regards,

Dirk Bennhardt
Principal
Email

Cafeteria - Lunch Menu / Lunch Order for October 2022

Dear Students and Parents,

Please find attached the October 2022 lunch menus for our Secondary and Primary Students. Alternatively you can also find further information on our website.

Currently hot lunches will be provided in take-away boxes.  Each day Secondary students can choose between four different hot dishes, including a vegetarian option. The prices per each meal remain at HK$35 , HK$37 and HK$39 respectively for this academic year 2022/2023 and are payable by Octopus card only when lunch is collected. No cash payment will be accepted.

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

Primary parents are welcome to pre-order hot lunches for their child/children who are participating in courses in lesson 9 and 10. Pre-ordered lunches for Primary Students will be delivered to the Upper Building each day at 1:15 pm.

Please click on the link below for your respective pre-order:

Primary Pre-Order Lunch Form October 2022

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

For further questions please feel free to contact directly Mr Ariel CHAN, Operations Manager, Compass Group Hong Kong Limited, or Mr Baric SO, Unit Manager Chartwells / Compass Group Hong Kong Limited under the following email address: gsis@compass-hk.com .

With kind regards,

Angelin, Conny, Emily and Minerva
Student Services Team
Email

Attachments

https://www.gsis.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/GSIS_Lunch_Primary_October-2022.pdf, https://www.gsis.edu.hk/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/GSIS_Lunch_Secondary_October-2022.pdf

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:

CANADA: BRITISH COLUMBIA, MCMASTER, TORONTO

Information Session on further studies in Canada
Thursday 29 September 6:00pm-7:30pm HKT, Platform: Zoom

Register
Registration deadline: Tuesday 27 September

HK: CHINESE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG

Healthcare Innovation and Technology Summit 2022
Friday, 14 October, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm HKT
Venue: Charles K. Kao Auditorium, Hong Kong Science Park
Format: Hybrid (Physical & Online Streaming)
Language: English

For more details and registration, please click here.


2022 Information Day for Undergraduate Admissions
Saturday 15 October
Venue: University campus in Sha Tin

Please visit www.cuhk.edu.hk/infoday to gain access to news and announcements about this event.

HK: HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY

PolyU Undergraduate Info Day 2022 

Saturday 8 October 9:30am-5:30pm HKT
On Campus and Online

Register

  

INTERNATIONAL: THE STUDENT WORLD

International University Fair
Wednesday 28 September, 10:00 am - 1:30 pm UTC (6:00 pm-9:30 pm HKT)

Register

Claire Wilkins
Head of University Guidance
Email

Beatrice Ugolini
University Guidance Counsellor
Email

Learning Beyond the Curriculum

It is great to see students back on campus during the past month and to hear of their summer escapades. What I didn’t expect was the extent to which the learning inside the classroom had such an impact on activities outside the classroom, as some current IB students used their set texts in IB English Language and Literature to inform their summer thoughts and adventures.

One student, who has covered the work of multimodal artist Barbara Kruger, voyaged to the Big Apple and managed to go to an exhibition at MOMA. My jaw dropped when I was sent a picture of Kruger’s exhibition. It was great to see subjects covered in class motivating a student to visit the artist's live show.

More hard-hitting was another integration of set text and life decisions. One student used the summer to visit possible universities in the U.S. When I was sent this Liza Donnelly cartoon by the student, it made me realise the shocking context of deliberations that students have to make. Much of the IB English Language and Literature course discusses feminism. It was eye-opening for me to think of the considerations of our senior students and their destinations for tertiary study.

 

Hong Kong is, comparably, a safe place for females. As our students think of where they might study, having an awareness of personal safety showed the level of their thought and maturity in planning for the future, and that our world has much we need to collectively keep on fixing.

Brendan Ghazavi-Gill

Brendan Ghazavi-Gill
English Teacher, Extended Essay Coordinator
Email

German International Stream

From Head of Stream

Dear Parents,

Four and a half weeks of school are behind us, and the school routine has returned. Face-to-face classes, homework, preparations for tests as well as the daily RAT test definitively have now replaced the peace and quiet of the relaxing summer holidays. We are also happy to be able to run the additional afternoon activities, which have been taken up in great numbers. The Wellbeing Week in the Kindergarten kicked off a series of internal and external programmes that will continue regularly throughout the school year. The Secondary Department is preparing for Discovery Week in October, which will offer once again a wide range of activities in classes as well as in mixed-age and cross-stream groups.

Class Representatives - KPRs

Parent Evenings with initial feedback on the start of your children into the new school year and the election of Class Parent Representatives (KPRs) have been completed in all departments. Many thanks to the parents who are involved as KPRs to represent the concerns and interests of the class parents and to create the best possible learning conditions for your children. I look forward to working with you again this year as well as to open and honest dialogues with you. In order to address your enquiries and concerns in the right place at all times, I would like to take this opportunity to refer to our tried and tested communication structures.

I wish you a nice and relaxing weekend.

Grit Cichon
Deputy Principal / Head of German International Stream
Email

Kindergarten Corner

Dear Parents,

We would like to thank all the families participating in our important yearly event, the Parents’ Evening cum KPR Election, on 15 September. We acknowledge those who volunteered to be Head and Deputy KPR and we look forward to seeing our newly elected KPRs at our online KPR Secretary Election on 27 September.

Wellbeing Week

Our “Wellbeing Week” has ended, but the children and teachers will touch on different areas of this subject from time to time throughout the year. Our Class Teachers and School Counsellors worked hand in hand with your children on the following topics, ‘Gratitude’ and ‘Do not Worry’.

Yoga for Kids by Amber was a huge success, and the children found different ways of dealing with anger through yoga moves and Amber’s stories.

We ended the week with a German Puppet Show based on the story “The Hug” by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar.

PFL Photo Week, 6 & 7 October 2022

Please find further information and the designated Photo Day for your child under “News and Announcements”.

We wish you a nice 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

Photo Week at Pok Fu Lam Campus


Primary Corner

Dear Parents,

First of all, this week, we would like to thank the parent who generously sponsored milk for all our kids. So please look out today or the following days if your child has a pack of milk in the school bag.

This week we started successful our afternoon programme at the Peak - may I remind parents that children with lunch from the cafeteria should bring their own cutlery set to avoid using plastic - thanks!

 Smart Watches

To keep everyone safe and on task during the school day, please note the following rules for smart watches:

  • Watches must be set to ‘Class mode’ from 7:15 to 1:15/ 3:20 (including break times)
  • If ‘Class mode’ is not available, watches must be turned off and left in a school bag until the end of school at 1:15/ 3:20
  • Watches not set to class mode / turned off will be kept by a teacher and returned at the end of the school day

 Expectations of work when children are sick

We have a number of children who are at home for longer periods due to Covid infection or isolation orders. In these circumstances, our guidelines for providing work are outlined below:

  1. Any learning assigned will be asynchronous - Live lessons will not be available
  2. Children who are unwell are not expected to complete any schoolwork - they need time to rest and recover 
  3. Children who are feeling well may complete work - the teacher assigns twice a week the essential tasks that children in school also have been working on.
  4. Any work will be shared on the usual platform for the year group. For our younger students it may be more appropriate to share by emailing parents. Your class teacher will let you know what works best.

 We wish you a great weekend!

Priska Erni
Head of German Primary Department
Email

Beate Weinhardt
Deputy Head of German Primary Department
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

2022/23 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Programme


Secondary Corner

Dear GSD Community,

The elections of the Parents' Representatives have been completed, and all Parents' Evenings in the Secondary Department were informative and well attended. Various ECAs have started. First exams have been written, and the subjects for the written Abitur exams have been chosen.  

The new school year 2022/23 is well under way with some interesting events in the coming weeks.  

For example, the German Unification Day will be duly celebrated in an assembly in the IB Hall organised by the History, Music and Art Departments with the entire student body of the German Secondary Department as well as a representative of the German Consulate General. In the last few weeks, this event was intensively prepared and taught in the subject lessons. The Head Students will lead the event, which will be accompanied by historical, musical and artistic performances by students and staff. 

Many other events will follow in the coming weeks, such as the Discovery Week, work experience and prevention programme.  

I look forward to the coming days and wish you all a relaxing weekend.

Udo Krebs
Head of German Secondary Department
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week

English International Stream

Kindergarten Corner

Dear Parents,

We would like to thank all the families participating in our important yearly event, the Parents’ Evening cum KPR Election, on 15 September. We acknowledge those who volunteered to be Head and Deputy KPR and we look forward to seeing our newly elected KPRs at our online KPR Secretary Election on 27 September.

Wellbeing Week

Our “Wellbeing Week” has ended, but the children and teachers will touch on different areas of this subject from time to time throughout the year. Our Class Teachers and School Counsellors worked hand in hand with your children on the following topics, ‘Gratitude’ and ‘Do not Worry’.

Yoga for Kids by Amber was a huge success, and the children found different ways of dealing with anger through yoga moves and Amber’s stories.

We ended the week with a German Puppet Show based on the story “The Hug” by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar.

PFL Photo Week, 6 & 7 October 2022

Please find further information and the designated Photo Day for your child under “News and Announcements”.

We wish you a nice 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

Photo Week at Pok Fu Lam Campus


Primary Corner

Dear Parents,

We have had another fun filled week in Primary with the launch of our Term 1 ECA programme which has gotten off to a great start! 

Change to pick up and drop off for Year 4 students every day

Now that ECAs have started, children in Year 4 will enter and leave the school via the Guildford Road entrance. Please ensure that people responsible for pick up and drop off are aware of the new arrangements, children have already been informed.

Smart Watches

To keep everyone safe and on task during the school day, please note the following rules for smart watches:

  • Watches must be set to ‘Class mode’ from 7:15 to 1:15/ 3:20 (including break times)
  • If ‘Class mode’ is not available, watches must be turned off and left in a school bag until the end of school at 1:15/ 3:20
  • Watches not set to class mode/ turned off will be kept by a teacher and returned at the end of the school day

Curriculum Sessions

We enjoyed seeing many of you at the Language Curriculum presentations this Wednesday. Coming up on October 12th will be similar sessions for Music and PE, please make a note of the date for these sessions.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Donna Morley
Head of English Primary Department
Email

Eleanor Cowling
Deputy Head of English Primary Department
Email

Departmental News and Announcements

2022/23 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Programme


Secondary Corner

Departmental News and Announcements

No updates / announcements this week

Wellbeing Corner

A warm welcome to our new counsellors

We’re delighted to introduce you to two new counsellors joining the English Secondary Department - Karina Elwert (kelwert@gsis.edu.hk) and Dominique Talebli (dtalebli@gsis.edu.hk), as well as Emily Lai (elai@gsis.edu.hk), our new part time counsellor for the Kindergarten English International Stream (works Thursdays and Fridays).

Laura Maddison, our current ESD counsellor, is relocating back to the UK and her last day will be 30 September. She wishes you all the very best!

ESD parents and students, and EKG parents, please feel free to contact either Karina, Dominique, or Emily, if you need support, have any questions or concerns, or simply wish to find out more about school counselling. They’re here to listen and help, and welcome any inquiries, big or small.

The School Counselling Team

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