Welcome to 2020, and what an exciting new year it promises to be. As we ring out 2019 and welcome 2020, the Huili School Hangzhou heads of departments would like to reflect on past successes, and look towards the future.
As a bilingual school, Mandarin is incredibly important for our pupils. In order to provide a well-rounded Mandarin curriculum, the Mandarin department organised several exciting and engaging activities for pupils. For example, the Chinese handwriting competition, where all pupils were encouraged to participate and practise their Chinese character writing; and the 28th National Olympic Writing competition in which 32 Huili pupils participated, with 6 of them standing out in the National round. Additionally, we invited Tangtang, a renowned writer, she inspired pupils to learn writing skills from reading books. Teachers have participated in regular teaching research as well, with the highlight being a thematic seminar on ‘Differentiated Teaching Strategies in Teaching Ancient Poems’ to make teaching even more effective.
Learning Mandarin is fun. It enriches pupil’s learning experience, broadens their horizons, and instills them with precious qualities to build their character and personality. I hope our Huili pupils can keep their love of reading and will consume more good books in this coming year!
English Support have been delighted in the progress we have seen from the children we have worked with during the first term of the 2019-2020 academic year.
In Grades 1 to 3, we have worked with children to develop basic interpersonal communication skills, and it is fantastic to now be able to have meaningful two-way conversations with these children. We have also supported Grade 1 to 3’s fantastic reading programme, Read Write Inc. Through this, it has been wonderful to see the children develop their early reading skills.
In Grades 4 to 8, most of our work has been in supporting language learning in-class, helping English and theme teachers to offer contextualized learning experiences and offering a little extra individualised support to children where needed. It has been fantastic to see children at all levels of English participate in and enjoy their English and theme classes. Well done to the children!
Next term we hope to see even more progress, and this will require even more effort from the children. In particular, employing good listening strategies in class is key. These strategies include maintaining eye contact with the teacher while he or she is speaking, remaining silent while others are speaking and sitting still with good posture. Doing lots of reading at home is also extremely important, as is, of course, trying your best with class and homework assignments. Good luck to everyone in 2020 from English Support!
In the past term, maths teachers were fully committed to continually help pupils to build up their self-confidence and interest in maths and become more competent maths learners.
Maths teachers in the lower grade pupils offered extensive materials for them to explore and taught them to apply divergent thinking, making maths learning colourful and meaningful. Teachers for upper grade pupils lay emphasis on their understanding of maths concepts and history, giving them a deeper and more relevant learning experience. Maths week provided a wonderful opportunity for students to explore maths. They were encouraged to find maths everywhere and presented their explorative outcomes to others. They also actively joined in international maths competitions, such as Maths League and American Mathematics Competition 8.
I hope Huili pupils can be more responsible in the year of 2020, which means to be responsible for their own speech, actions, and study as they learn to become self-sufficient learners.
What a great start to the year it’s been so far with Theme. Already we’ve had numerous field trips, activities and performances that have allowed our students to show themselves through the rich Huili Values. Grade 1 have shown lots of kindness during the term as they studied ‘Flowers and Insects’ and learned how to take care of living things. Grade 2 have shown lots of courage through their unit ‘All Dressed Up’ where they presented what they had learned through performing in front of the parents in English! In their ‘Forces’ unit, Grade 3 showed integrity through their testing. They concluded that by changing one variable, they were able to gather fair and accurate data that they were able to present to the class through graphs and tables. Grade 4 displayed plenty of respect in their unit ‘Land Sea and Sky’. They specifically learned that we should respect animals and their habitats and how we should preserve their habitats for the generations to come. In their unit ‘Let’s Plant It’, Grade 5 learned about responsibility in relation to the environment and why it is important to take care of it. They can take this knowledge and apply it to the community to make Hangzhou a cleaner, greener place to live.
We look forward to many more exciting events in theme in the new year!
In our second academic year at Huili School Hangzhou a robust, exciting and success 1st semester in sports is coming to an end. The focus for all the pupils in PE when we returned in August was preparing for sports day. This year there were four separate events over two days. We ensured that all the pupils were given the opportunity to compete in this and try their hardest for their house.
This is the first year that we have been part of the Hangzhou International Schools Athletic Conference (HISAC). The grade 7 boys were successful in winning the first tournament of the year which was in touch Rugby at Hangzhou International School. The swimming team came second at King’s College Hangzhou which was also as a part of HISACs. The under 11 boys football came 3rd at Harrow Shanghai International as part of the Shanghai School Sports Association.
Another area of PE that we value is our outdoor education programme. The pupils involved completed a huge 8.2km hike whilst climbing 257m of elevation. The students reached the top of Nangaofeng Peak, leading the navigation aspect themselves. The day also included tent building, camp cooking, caving with head lamps and team building exercises.
We are looking forward to basketball competitions in schools in Shanghai and HIS. Some of the pupils will also compete in the house swimming competition in April. A huge well done to everyone involved in all aspects of PE!
Pupils have been busy these past few months in art classes, investigating a wide variety of subject matter and experimenting with a range of media and exploring different processes. Art lessons have been invigorating, challenging and enjoyable. Each grade has demonstrated artistic growth through the creation of highly expressive and individual artworks and projects. It has been wonderful to see the progress pupils have made since August.
Pupils in Primary school have explored a variety of themes including still life, post- impressionism, space, and self-portraiture while making connections to their personal experiences and the world around them. Through guided practice they have begun to develop the ability to use the creative process and the critical thinking process in their investigations. They have experimented with media and techniques such as water colour painting, graffito, low-relief sculpture, puppet-making, and printmaking.
Lessons for pupils in Junior High have placed an increased emphasis on the development of technical competence and a growing understanding of art criticism. Pupils have analysed significant works from art history and developed an appreciation for a myriad of styles.
In the New Year, the art department is looking forward to seeing pupils continue to progress and demonstrate their dedication and talent. Pupils are encouraged to push themselves to improve through each activity and to focus on critically evaluating their own artworks.
2019 has been another busy year with many challenges and excitement for our pupils.
They are showing excellent progress in their English learning and our Grade 1 to 8 pupils have all progressed well this term, both educationally and socially. I believe that the biggest indicator of success in primary is that most of our children are now more confident in their speaking and writing ability. When I walk into classrooms with visitors, it is heart-warming to see children volunteering to speak to us in English and show off their latest piece of work. In the higher grades the writing ability of almost all the learners has improved. This is evident in all the work that is put on display in our corridors and in their books.
It is important to remember that, no matter what, we celebrate all the achievements of all our children, and support them to be the best that they can be. It is important to keep on learning and continue to develop individual talents while learning to get on with others, problem solve, be self-motivated and inquisitive.
Next term, I am confident that we will see further development and improvement in English language learning as the English team will continue to provide modern teaching and learning practice, to the highest standard.