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!

Alefiyah Ebrahim

For and on behalf of the ISPTAL committee.


Thank you to everyone who came to our AGM on September 26th 2018.

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.

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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.

Winter Gala

ISPTA supported the Winter Gala on December 7th 2018 with food and drink stalls. The wonderful event spear-headed by Island School students raised money for the NMKM fund, in support of students who strive for academic success but are limited by financial difficulties. The BBQ and the non-alcoholic mulled grape juice were popular sellout items.

Year 11 Parents' Luncheon

Year 11 parents opened the season for parent socials on September 21st 2018. Parents gathered at Oolaa Petite to catch up and talk about the important year ahead.

Year 7 Parents' Junk Boat Trip

ISPTA welcomed the Year 7 parents with a junk trip on October 5th 2018, joined by some of our ISPTA committee and principal Stephen Loggie. It was a great opportunity to get to know other parents, talk about the school and first school months, and to enjoy the great weather and always fantastic Hong Kong skyline.

Y7 and 8 Parents' Quest Week Happy Hour

When kids were at the camp, it was parents' time to party! Year 7 and 8 parents got together for Happy Hour drinks at the American Club on Quest Week Wednesday, November 7th 2018. The well attended event saw parents chatting, getting to know others and making it a great use of the Quest week.

Y9 and 10 Parents' Holiday Happy Hour

Year 9 and 10 parents got together for pre-Holiday Happy Hour at the American Club on Tuesday, November 27th 2018. It was a lovely event of catching up with other parents and meeting some new ones.

Y12 and 13 Parents' Drinks

The social season was wrapped up with drinks for Y12 and 13 parents on November 29th 2018 at Oolaa on Bridges Street. It was a nice opportunity to chat with other parents about what the last two years will bring with them.

Y11 and Y12 Parents' Coffee Mornings

Y11 and Y12 parents had their coffee mornings in November.

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, or ISPTA through Tarja Joro at Books can be dropped off at the library on either campuses.


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 for details on school events

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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.

If you would like to sign up, you can email PTA at or Please include parent's name, child's name, phone contact & class.

Parent Lounges - The Big Chill and The Uncommon Room

We have 2 furnished lounges for the use of parents when they are at both the campuses.

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.


Please help us and donate any chargers you do not need, to be used at our ISPTA Lounges.

Island School Council and ESF Committee of Parents

Island School School Council

ISPTA representative | Alefiyah Ebrahim

ESF Committee of Parents

ISPTA representative | Alefiyah Ebrahim

Island School Trust

ISPTA representative | Tarja Joro

Parent Representatives

Parent Representatives: if you would like to be Class or Year representative or would like more information on the role, contact Manju Anand on


Dear Parents,

If you do have any suggestions for improvement, please email us at

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

Manju Anand & Tarja Joro
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.