Concluding with the news that Anise have roared into the lead in the race for the House Cup this year, I reflect positively upon a term of great endeavour and strong progress on all fronts.
The opportunity to reconnect with 2021 Academic Scholars, Yazhuo and Vison (now at King George V and the Chinese International School respectively), stands as a particular highlight of our final week and we can now look ahead to a much deserved break ahead of our return on Wednesday 12th April.
A three-day run will lead neatly on to attendance at an International Schools Fair led by friends at The Standard on Saturday 15th - another engagement with the School Management Committee also lies close on the horizon.
Between now and then, I hope that students and families enjoy a restful and nourishing break.
Following attendance at an extraordinarily enriching conference alongside colleagues from the Federation of British International Schools in Asia, this week saw the conclusion of a second round of Parent Teacher Conferences and the presentation of a thrillingly hilarious production from students in Year 2. Performed in front of parents and friends yesterday evening, we now look ahead to the final week of what has been an enormously rewarding term.
The return of 2021 Academic Scholars, Yazhuo and Vision (now at King George V and the Chinese International School respectively), will provide food for thought as we warm up for 2023 nomination, while a meeting with the Shrewsbury Parents Association will allow for the finalisation of plans leading up to an Annual General Meeting, scheduled to take place on 21st June.
We wrap up on Thursday 30th March and will be ready to welcome students back into school on Wednesday 12th April. Earth Day, One World Week and a flurry of seasonal performances and presentations await, alongside the eventual graduation of the Class of 2023.
It seems strangely fitting to conclude the week in which the last remnants of a programme of measures designed to ward against the regional risk of Covid contraction were withdrawn outside of Hong Kong. A first business trip in three years, Thailand has already proven enormously hospitable, as have colleagues from across the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA).
Having safely navigated a busy opening agenda, we now move into a series of Keynote presentations to mark the 29th annual FOBISIA Leadership Conference.
I'll be home for the dawn chorus on Sunday and then back on campus to Chair our weekly Senior Leadership Team meeting on Monday afternoon. The conclusion of a productive second round of Parent Teacher Conferences and delivery of a dramatic performance entitled There's A Sunflower In My Supper led by students in Year 2 are sure to be highlights, with the end of our second term now fixed on the horizon.
Opening with lunch at the private residence of the British Consul General and concluding with the departure of students in Key Stage 1 for an Athletics Meet in Sai Kung, we've enjoyed another varied week of activity and engagement, mid-March.
The steady emergence of a service programme likely to involve partnership with an exclusive set of regionally based charity groups has also drawn attention, as has an upcoming engagement with the School Management Committee.
A journey to Bangkok for the Federation of British International Schools' Annual Conference next week will be my first out-of-region business trip since a recruitment round conducted over the course of a few frosty Shropshire days in January 2019. I greatly look forward to re-engaging with colleagues and drawing upon their experience and camaraderie. Next week will also see the arrival of a second round of Parent Teacher Conferences and the delivery of another class assembly from students in Year 1.
Before and after. Now and then. The unveiling of smiles after a period of almost three years this week proved both thrilling and evocative. Only now might we reflect upon the broader impact the forced insertion of such a fixed and constraining barrier for such an extended period of time may have had upon the way in which we see ourselves and the relationships we share. While many celebrated wildly, others have chosen to tentatively a little more gently in this first phase. However ten you choose to travel, a bright and exciting new chapter lies ahead.
Coinciding with the demarcation of Book Week and the arrival of our Board of Governors, the last five days have certainly kept us all well occupied. Highlights include the hosting of authors Amber Le Scelle, Susan Younan, Ritu Hemanani and Bailey Cherry, breakfast with a group of parent representatives and lunch with Student Council, announcement of a bookmark design competition and the arrival of dress like an adjective day.
With the Federation of British International Schools' Annual Conference now on the horizon, I look forward to engaging with the British Consul General, Brian Davidson, early next week, before I welcome yet another group of parents keen to learn more about the many benefits of a Shrewsbury education onto campus for a digital tour on Wednesday.
The visit of representatives from Harrow, Kellett, Malvern College and Nord Anglia proved a particular highlight this week. Feathers plumped, they were keen to differentiate themselves, as they sought to generate interest from graduates for Year 7 entry. Otherwise keen to luxuriate in the enriching professional dialogue that commonly follows time spent in classrooms, this afternoon concluded with a masterful presentation of The Gruffalo by a group of our youngest primary students. A little later this evening, I look forward to welcoming those in Year 4 back onto campus following an extended outdoor educational visit.
Eyes will then be drawn towards the first in-person gathering of our full Governing Body in over three years. First up, the hosting of a selection of parents keen to explore the benefits of a Shrewsbury education through the undertaking of a series of extended campus tours. A productive weekend awaits.
Our second Recital Concert of the year proved the jewel in the crown this week, with students as young as five taking to the stage for a solo performance in front of an expectant crowd of parents - and what a pleasure it was to observe such immediate personal growth.
Lesson observations continue next week, as does the cycle for class led assemblies. Next to feel the warmth of the Auditorium spotlight, a group from Year 1. Equally keen to impress, representatives from Harrow, Kellett and Malvern College will be dialling in for an audience with Key Stage 2 parents all seeking to weigh their options for entry at Year 7. Able to conclude with an open morning for prospective parents on Saturday 25th February, a first physical meeting with the Board of Governors in over three years is now firmly fixed on the horizon. With their visit falling inside Book Week, attendees can expect to be thoroughly engaged.
Year 5 and 6 students have been out and off, over and under, on an outdoor educational visit this week. Campus may have been a little quieter in their absence, but it has been no less productive. Having hosted representatives from Mulberry House, Discovery Bay International School and the English Schools Foundation over the last five days, I'll have certainly earned my fireside s'more on arrival at base camp this evening.
An engagement with the School Management Committee features prominently next week, as does the initiation of a second sequence of formal lesson observations - and I greatly look forward to engaging in the professionally enriching dialogue that will follow, mindful that I will be a guest in the classrooms I visit. A second Primary Recital Concert of the year will doubtless draw the week to a suitably satisfying conclusion.
Following an enriching day of professional development centring upon the reformation of an evaluative report for the Council of International Schools, students returned to campus on Tuesday and quickly found their groove. The reintroduction of buffet dining for those in Primary classes proved particularly popular, as will an upcoming Summer BBQ to be led by the Shrewsbury Parents Association in June.
Next week, we host another Digital Campus Tour for prospective parents - we'll also be joined by friends at Mulberry House and the new Principal at Discovery Bay International School, Marc Morris. A review of our Operational Plan objectives aside, much of my focus will now veer to the final drafting of a report for the Board of Governors. Our meeting, to take place on the morning of the 2nd March, will be our first in person for over three years.
With memories of Chinese New Year and a chilly morning in Sai Kung with students in Key Stage 2 fresh in my mind, I headed back onto campus this week to initiate the drafting of a report for the Board of Governors and prepare for a training day with academic colleagues centring upon our relationship with the Council of International Schools.
Looking ahead to the arrival of Book Week, the delivery of an expansive outdoor education programme and the presentation of a dramatic performance by students in Year 2, we'll be very well occupied on approach to our spring break at the end of March.
We look forward to welcoming students back onto campus for the start of the second half of our second term on Tuesday 31st January.
The marking of Chinese New Year brought colour and vibrancy to campus this week - it also drew a crowd. Huge thanks to the many parents able to join us for a celebratory assembly yesterday afternoon and to the many others acting in support of a two-day pop-up flower market, featuring calligraphy and paper cutting stalls, alongside those offering traditional games and gifts. Also delighted to have been able to join students in Key Stage 2 at an Athletics Meet this morning, we now break. Students return for the second half of term on Tuesday 31st January.
Before then, the academic team will have the opportunity to engage on the reformation of an evaluative report scheduled for submission to the Council of International Schools later in the year. Working in Domain assigned teams, our very best efforts are safely in the hands of a dedicated Steering Committee.
The Year of the Rabbit now upon us, I'd like to extend my very warmest wishes to all for the festive season. Hong Kong now open for business, adventure and great prosperity lies ahead.
What a thrill it was to welcome students, parents and staff back onto campus this week, fresh from a winter break that appears to have marked the end of an era. How apt that news breaks at the tail of a Tiger and the dawn of a Rabbit.
Preparations for celebrations on campus next week afoot, we were particularly fortunate to be able to welcome Head of Chinese, Haze Kwok, onto our Digital Tour this week. Able to report on outstanding levels of engagement within lessons thanks to an unerring commitment to the practical application of new language skills, she will soon step into the spotlight once more through coordination of a celebratory performance and the opening of a Chinese Flower Market, up on the fifth floor.
Also featuring an engagement with the School Management Committee, delivery of an Athletics Meet for students in Key Stage 2 and a meeting with friends at the British Chamber's Education Committee, we're set to mark the end of a relatively brief first half of term with a flourish.