Island School PTA Newsletter
2018-19 Term 1, December 2018
Message from the Chair
Most of us welcome January as a time of new beginnings, as an opportunity to resolve to live, think, or behave differently. This year promises to be a time of community building and reflection for the many accomplishments that have defined our past. The demolition of the old Borrett Road campus, highlights the change that our community of students, teachers and parents have embraced. This year we plan to focus on the needs of our current school community at the Shatin Wai & Tai Wai campuses.
The ISPTA office has been busy planning for upcoming parent events, the Spring Carnival in March, for which we need to arrange licenses and invite vendors, design the promotions and solicit volunteers. I invite you to come share in the preparations and enjoy an afternoon of fun, food, and good company at the Shatin Wai Campus. We will host the International Food Hall, with our parents preparing their own cuisines to share at the Spring Carnival. In the past, we have had representations from China, India, Italy, Korea, Japan, crepes and baked goods. If you would like to volunteer in cooking, serving or donations please get in touch with Azeez, our ISPTA manager and he will put you in touch with the relevant parents. We bring back the ever popular Kitchenware Stall at the Spring Carnival, and we will be requesting volunteers to help with the sorting and sales.
The ISPTA is a limited company with some committee members that are directors. Being a director adds a huge responsibility on the parents who volunteer to join the executive committee. We have been advised by the ESF to move towards becoming an association-this reduces liability, and a group of us will be working on the proposal. We will keep you informed of the developments.
We are looking for parents that have a financial background and can find some time to help us. If you do have the necessary abilities, do reach out to me for further details.
Last but not the least, I would like to thank our new ISPTA executive committee members who play an important role in making all these events happen. Jennifer Seeto, is leading the Spring Carnival arrangements, with Tania Shao and Ekta Sharma, the foodhall. Tarja Joro and Lamey Chang will handle communications, donations & sponsorships, while Manju Anand participates as advisor and keeps notes in her role as secretary. Alex Chin ably manages our finances and budgets with assistance from Mr Lee and Azeez Kasubhai. I keep an overview of all the ISPTA related brainstorming, planning of events and follow up with the details, in addition to managing all the designs for our events.
We have enjoyed organizing for you, the numerous events listed below. This would not be possible without our parent volunteers who help us on an ad hoc basis and respond to our requests for volunteering from time to time.
Do say hello when you see us, or drop us a message - we'd love to hear from you!
For and on behalf of the ISPTAL committee.
ISPTA Limited AGM
Alefiyah Ebrahim was elected the chair of ISPTA for 2018-19. Manju Anand, Alex Hon Siang Chin, Tarja Joro, Terry Kwok, Gini Lo, Alisha Ma, Soundari Mukherjea, Jennifer Seeto, Tania Shao and Anishi Sheth were elected as voting members of the committee. Lamey Chang, David Fung and Ekta Sachdev will participate as parent members.
We are pleased to welcome the new committee members and strive to serve the Island School community.
ISPTA Roundtable for Y10-13 Parents
The Parents’ Round Table session was started with the objective for us all to engage in a constructive discussion and so that we can learn from the experiences of the parents who have been through the HE process. The Panelists give a high level overview of their personal experience. They are not responsible for the curriculum but place their experiences within the structure of what is available. We steer the conversation towards the panel’s personal EXPERIENCE of the process, rather than the process per se.
The session on October 9th, 2018 focused on past Y13 parents’ experiences around two questions
1. University Choices - experience of applying to UK/USA/Canada/Australia
2. Experience of how Elements courses feed into IB and how the Elements courses helped in the overall HE process/university application.
We set the tone for the session reiterating the purpose of the session with the caveats about reaching out to the school for specific student queries. We also acknowledged the effort and the support from the HE department throughout the student’s journey, the VISION newsletter, the new website and recommended that the parents use these resources effectively.
We had on the panel:
1. Jyoti Gupta, whose daughter is currently at HKUST (she had applied to Canada, US and HK, got admission everywhere and chose to stay in HK)
2. Lanchesca Lee, whose daughter is at Brown (applied to US)
3. Shaik, whose son is in UK, Liverpool
4. Linda Biek, whose son is in HKUST
The panelists recounted their personal journey navigating through the process, the role of the student and importance of owning the process, what worked well and some of their pain points. The conversations were around choice of university location, extra curricular activities, summer programs and handling anxieties.
The discussion was rated by the parents as very useful in terms of providing overall perspective and allaying some of the anxieties. It was well attended with about 50 parents from Years 10,11 and 12 present and rounded off with a lively Q&A session.
We plan to continue to organize the Roundtable twice a year.
Year 11 Parents' Luncheon
Year 7 Parents' Junk Boat Trip
Y7 and 8 Parents' Quest Week Happy Hour
Y11 and Y12 Parents' Coffee Mornings
Y11 Parents' coffee morning took place on November 21st 2018.
Vice Principal Matt Rappel spoke to parents about wide variety of topics including IB Options Timeline, explaining the differences between the various courses available including the different options available in view of the compulsory math requirement. Matt also recommended some student lifestyle habits including social media vigilance. He explained aspects of the new Evidencer, the grading systems and answered parents’ questions.
Head of HE and IBCP Coordinator Stuart Wilkinson gave some further education pointers and information on UK, USA & Australia universities including responding to parent questions.
Year 12 Parents' coffee morning took place on November 16th.
Vice Principal Justine Oliver, Senior Head of Rutherford Pat Chan and Higher Education Guidance Counsellor Rebecca Lucas-Timpany spoke to parents about a wide variety of topics. Highlights were IB choices changes, key dates & deadlines, constructive lifestyles habits, soft skill development, extended essays tips & deadlines, reference writing process and HE Department’s increasing involvement in student’s future education choices.
Mother Tongue Books collection
A big thank you to all parents who have supported the mother tongue books collection! Many great books have been added to Library's collection of mother tongue books – books in languages spoken at homes of our Island School students.
We continue the project, and reach out to parents to continue donating mother tongue books in new or near-new condition in approximately Y7-8 reading level. Please keep the initiative in mind during your summer travels!
As the Library has already good collection of books in English, Chinese, Japanese, French and Spanish (languages are taught at IS), they are focusing on all other mother tongues: Hindi, Korean, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Dutch, Urdu, you name it!
They are interested in both books originally written in mother tongues, as well as mother tongue editions of some of the very popular fiction series, like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, The Land of Stories, The Diary of Wimpy Kid, etc.
For further questions, please contact our librarian, Mrs Emily Leung at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ISPTA through Tarja Joro at email@example.com. Books can be dropped off at the library on either campuses.
SAVE THE DATE!
ISPTA Key Dates
- 13th Feb- Year 7 PTA Coffee Morning
- 27th Feb- Year 10 PTA Coffee Morning
- 4th March- Year 13 PTA Coffee Morning
- 30th March- Spring Fair
Year 8 and 9 Coffee Morning dates to be confirmed
Please see school calendar at http://island.edu.hk/calendar/ for details on school events
It's a good way to be in touch with other parents from your child’s year group and address queries, advice, ideas and help in settling down and being part of the Island School community.
We have seven WhatsApp groups managed by Parent Representatives of each year group, who help to connect the parent community. These groups are especially useful for parents who are new to Island School.
Parent Lounges - The Big Chill and The Uncommon Room
The Tai Wai Lounge (The Big Chill) is located on the ground floor between the library and general office.
The Sha Tin Wai lounge (The Uncommon Room) is a cottage located away from the main school building at the back of the playground.
Tea, coffee and cookies are available.
Free wifi and power sockets are available at both the lounges.
If you do have any suggestions for improvement, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please do leave your contact email or phone so we can update you on how we addressed your concern.
Newsletter published by our lovely ISPTA committee ladies
Island School PTA is the owner of the copyright in all content of this publication. Distributing, modifying, copying or using any content of this publication in any manner for public or commercial purposes without written permission from Island School is strictly prohibited. Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of Island School or the English Schools Foundation.