Island School PTA Newsletter

February 2013

Message from Co-chairs

Kung Hei Fat Choy to all of our Island School families.

We have had an overwhelming response to the ‘ISPTA Administration and Liaison Officer’ advertisement in the South China Morning Post. A Hiring Sub-Committee was established to ensure that the process was open and fair. After shortlisting the applicants, we spent two days interviewing candidates.

During the hiring process, there was an emphasis on making sure that the PTA’s mission of welcoming parents, students, teachers and staff to the Island School community was upheld. We look forward to our new administrator starting work after CNY.

The committee is working very hard planning the upcoming Charity Raffle Draw and the Spring Cultural Fair. The famous international food festival is back with parents already volunteering to share culinary delights from their home countries. As the format for this fair is new, please note that we will not be accepting any donations of books etc. For more details on the Fair, please scroll down.

We look forward to seeing you all at the Spring Cultural Fair!

Amani Sue and Toni Flynn


Year 8 & 9 Coffee Morning - February 19 (details below)
Spring Fair/cultural evening - April 12 (details below)
Year 11 Dinner Dance - April 26

Upcoming Spring Fair/Cultural Evening

We are delighted to announce that our next Fair will take place on the evening of Friday 12th April 2013.

The Spring Fair will take place around the existing Cultural Evening and will feature our famous Food Hall (with cuisines from around the world)!

Further details to follow but, in the meantime, please put the date in your diary and, if anyone would like to volunteer or help in any way, please contact me on

Once again, we will be looking for Raffle Draw prizes.

Over the past few years, the Raffle Draw has been a major fund raiser with all proceeds going to the ISPTA and the Nicola Myers & Kenneth McBride Memorial Fund. The Fund was established in 1985 in memory of two very special Island School students who tragically lost their lives that year. (See below for details)

We already have some wonderful donations including: Cathy Pacific business class tickets to Tokyo, Island Shangri-la dinner vouchers and a case of wine.

We would be so grateful if you could let us know if anyone is able to donate prizes such as: hotel accommodation, electronic goods, spa vouchers, and, if so, would they kindly be in touch with PTA at

Save a Lai-See and Support the Charity Raffle Draw

What is the purpose of the Charity Raffle Draw?

It was almost 28 years ago that Island School lost two students - Kenneth McBride and Nicola Myers. On the 20th of April 1985 whilst studying for their final exams, they were brutally murdered in Braemer Hill. In the aftermath of the grief that swept their families and the school community, the Nicola Myers and Kenneth McBride Memorial Fund was established.

The aim of the Fund is to assist local Hong Kong secondary school students in continuing their education by granting scholarship funds to help cover the cost of books, travel, uniforms etc. The scholarship funds are awarded to students, who are in genuine financial need and without which, would not be able to continue with their sixth-form education.

Last year, the ISPTA was able to provide scholarship awards, through the Fund, to almost 100 students from schools throughout Hong Kong. The students were chosen by the Principals of their respective schools, based on outstanding academic ability as well as strength of character. This year our aim is to award these scholarship funds to many more students.

The ISPTA is committed to continuing to support the Fund because in the words of former Island School Vice-Principal Chris Forse, they were "the embodiment of all that we stand for: bright, confident and caring."

Your children will be bringing home raffle books in early March. Please encourage them to sell the raffle tickets by explaining that it is for the benefit of students in the wider community who are in genuine financial need.


  • We fund the red shirts for the I.S. sports teams (see photos below)
  • We employ an administrator
  • We sponsor the Year 13 Graduation
  • We provide funds to the Island School Student Union (ISSU)

Membership to the PTA is compulsory

Membership fees are $550 per family

The committee members are all volunteers and many are working full-time.

Please support your ISPTA as we are all parents like yourself who are committed to ensuring that every child gets the best out of their time at Island School.

Year 11 Lunch - thanks for joining us!

Year 11 Lunch and Beyond!

It was great to see so many of you last week at our year 11 lunch at Giando's. What a wonderful lunch we all shared catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

We will be in touch soon with news regarding our get together on the night of the year 11 Dinner Dance. We are looking to book a restaurant for dinner near to the children's venue and hope to show the young ones we can party just as hard!

We appreciate all your support and very much look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on April 26.

Kung Hei Fat Choy

Sara Russell

Year 8 & 9 Upcoming Coffee Morning

Year 8 & 9 Parents Coffee Morning

Tuesday, Feb. 19th, 8:15-10:15am

35 Garden Rd


Parents of Year 8 & 9 students are invited to attend a coffee morning at the Helena May on Tuesday, February 19th. Mr Binge will be joining us to discuss the options process.
See invite below.
Please RSVP to by 13 February if you would like to attend.

PTA Committee meeting minutes summary for February 4, 2013

  • Representatives from environmental student group (“WANBO”) made a good presentation to the committee outlining their proposal for 2 new water fountains.

  • Katie presented a proposal for a parent website which would be accessible from the main school website.

  • 90 applications were received in response to the advertisement for a new PTA administrator and liaison officer.

  • We are very excited about welcoming one of the candidates for the PTA administrator position on board shortly, after CNY.

  • Y10 coffee morning was very well attended. Y8-9 combined coffee morning will be held on Feb 19th and Chris Binge will talk about the options process.


  • Raffle will be drawn at the Spring Fair and the tickets are in print now. Students will be invited to make presentations to their tutor groups to raise awareness about the Nicola Myer Kenneth McBride foundation and to encourage all students to get involved in selling tickets. Target date for ticket distribution in classrooms is Tuesday 19th March during tutor period (lesson 5)

  • There was discussion about the PTA sponsoring an inter-house charity competition.

  • The redevelopment of IS was discussed and questions raised about how to involve the broader IS community (including alumni) to help bring the situation to a satisfactory and timely resolution.

Treasurer's Report

  • December net income was $190,555. Net surplus is $84,396.
  • The PTA will be able to fund more items on the school's wishlist once all outstanding PTA membership fees have been paid.
  • It is an ESF regulation that all families must be paid members of the PTA. We will be issuing a reminder letter to those parents who have not yet paid.

Forgotten to pay your PTA Membership Fees?

If you feel that you may have forgotten to pay your fees, please call or email the PTA office to check on 2140 6806 or

Please click here to download a form and enclose a cheque payable to:

‘Island School PTA Limited'.

Thank you for your support!

Review of ‘Technology and the Brain’ Talk

“SOS” – Navigating in the Technological Sea



Phantom Vibration Syndrome

Net Gens, i-Gens and Gen Cs


As parents, have you heard of some of these terms before? Don’t worry if you feel a bit lost because you are probably in the Baby Boom or Generation X demographic. Our groups are still catching up to the rush of Internet penetration in the world today. Welcome to the Technological Sea and the waves of change lapping at your consciousness about what to do when parenting your children. Their generation seems infinitely more savvy and familiar with sailing in the ocean of information and social exchange.

How as parents do we bridge this ‘generation gap’ of tech skills and guide the teenagers who multi-task in ways that make our heads spin to understand their digital world? They study, text, listen to music, Facebook, instant message, e-mail, watch TV and talk to their friends all at the same time! Are you dizzy yet in understanding this? Is this a ‘good thing’ what they do in multi-tasking? They think so. However, studies show that maybe this is not so healthy after all.

It is true that this is their communication world today. But, rather than fear the rapid tech advances, we can help to manage their stress and anxiety that accumulates from over-exposure to the juggling act at hand. Good old-fashioned sleep, periodic ‘unplugging’ and family time are touted as remedies for too much techno time. Studies show that even the fast-paced kids of today need time-outs from their plugged-in world. They may think that multi-tasking is the new normal, but simple face-to-face and a good night’s rest are balancing and beneficial.

Dr. Larry Rosen, an expert on the ‘psychology of technology’, visited HK recently with some reassuring words for the very large audience of parents (and children). Gaining knowledge on how multi-tasking, internet, mobile phones and social media impact child development helps reveal strategies to cope in the relentless pace. Our world of technological advances is not going to slow down, but we can learn how to find a sense of ‘restorative balance and self-awareness’ in order to help our children navigate the teenage years.

For further reading:

And hey, what about those words up there?! Well ask your children if they have heard the terms. And then go search on the Internet for some help… homework for the parents.

Cathy Ziengs is an IS parent who tries to find humour and patience in mapping the route through these teenage years. And BTW, my multi-tasking skills are pretty lame… time for tea and a break instead.

Island School Lunch Menu

For the February school lunch menu - please click here.


The PTA Bookshop opening hours are:
Monday to Friday 10:00am-2:00pm

School Uniforms

Click here to see the school uniform price list for all your winter uniform needs.
PTA uniform shop opening hours are:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 10:00 am - 3:30 pm

Wednesday: 10:00 am – 2:30 pm

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.