Welcome

Welcome to my Principal blog.

This blog is designed to provide the latest in news and updates on the happenings at Peak School along with information on a number of topics related to education.

Enjoy!

Bill Garnett

NEW SCHOOL COUNCIL CHAIR – MALCOLM KEYS

On behalf of the school community, I would like to welcome Malcolm Keys to our School Council.  Malcolm is an ex parent of Peak School and his two daughters are currently attending an ESF Secondary School.  We are very lucky to have Malcolm join us as he has spent the last 6 years as the School Council Chair at Beacon Hill School meaning he has lots of experience and will add real value to our School Council.

Malcolm joined our School Council meeting this week as Chair and we look forward to having him lead our School Council into the future.

RSE UPDATE

ESF have reviewed the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) program across all schools.  A new curriculum program for RSE has been developed and the intention was for this to be introduced in Term 3 of last year but owing to the Hong Kong situation across the year, the staff training was suspended.  Hence we were unable to introduce it to our children in Term 3 as planned.

This year we are looking at training our staff in Term 2 with a view of introducing the new comprehensive RSE program in Term 3 this academic year.  We will provide parent information sessions next term so that all parents can learn about the new RSE program in greater detail.

The RSE program roll out is being led by Chiqui Colet and Rachel Roma.

The ESF RSEpolicy is informed by WHO guidance on Standards for Sexuality Educationand references material from the Victoria State Government Dept of Education and Early Childhood development,Australia

Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in ESF is:

  • developmentally appropriate to the student’s level of understanding as informed by research and best practice
  • relevant to young people’s lives
  • based on a holistic concept of wellbeing
  • based on gender equality, self-determination and the acceptance of diversity
  • based on scientifically accurate information
  • cognisant of the Hong Kong and international context
  • sensitive to culture and values of families

 

PARENT SUPPORT – LUNCHTIME SUPERVISION

In case you missed the email from the office regarding filling in the Google Form for lunchtime supervision (once we are able to go to full days), please click HERE to access the Google Form.

The times we are looking for, in terms of parental supervision are as follows:
Year 1, 2 and 3 Rotation – 12.00 – 12.25 and 12.30 – 12.55

Year 4, 5 and 6 Rotation – 1.00 – 1.25 and 1.30 – 1.55

It would be great if we had more to help with Tuesday afternoon (Year 4-6) and Thursday afternoon (Year 1-3) but we have had a terrific response thus far with close to 50 parents signing up.  We will confirm times etc once we know more from the EDB regarding going full day.

We are hoping that we are able to have 3-4 parents per day per rotation (55 minutes in total).  You will always be supported by a member of staff.
We have had a terrific response from the parents regarding lunch supervision so we are ready to go once the EDB provides us with the green light!

EDB PLAN SUBMITTED

The EDB confirmed that they would accept revised plans from PS and having had to update/revise a lot of our plan, we were in a position to submit the plan yesterday (Thursday).

Hopefully we get a response from the EDB early next week.  We are expecting to have to make some changes as we are hearing from other schools, since our submission, that these schools need to change some of the lunch eating procedures before the EDB will look at the plan any further.  We have submitted similar lunch eating procedures so we anticipate that the EDB will come back to us with some required, but manageable, changes.

One concern at the moment is the level of URTI cases in Hong Kong which, is obviously bad enough to force the closure of Kindergartens for two weeks, but hopefully this does not affect their decision to allow us to extend the school day to 3pm.

I know it has been frustrating for some parents regarding EDB’s stance re allowing us to have snack in the classrooms but then not allowing us to have lunch in the classrooms.  I get asked “what is the difference?”  I cannot speak on behalf of the EDB so my job has been to focus on, and understand, what we can and cannot do and then work out ways to work around these.  Which, I believe, we are close to doing.

They have been very clear that they will not allow children to eat lunch in the class so we plan to turn the hall and the art room into “cafeterias” so that our children will eat in these areas during their lunch time.  This means the hall and art room cannot be used for anything else but this is something we can manage.  Chairs will be 1.5m apart to ensure safe social distancing.  This is all subject to approval.

Parental Help

I mentioned last week we are likely to need your help if the EDB approve the plan.  This is because we have 4 x 25 minute rotations to manage from 12.00pm – 1.55pm.  This is so the children get 20 minutes to eat and 25 minutes on the playground.  If our application is approved we will be asking parents, that are in a position to help, to come to Peak School to help supervise the children eating and/or supervise them play for a period during the lunch rotations.  You will always be with a teacher but with your support we are able to supervise all the areas necessary.  Please look out for an email next week, as if the EDB approve our application, I will be sending out an email requesting help.

I need to stress there is still a chance that the EDB will come back and reject our application or worse still, insist on conditions we cannot meet.  Whilst confident we can meet the requirements, I cannot guarantee their response will be a positive one regarding extending the school day but I know you appreciate and understand this.

MESSAGE FROM NURSE MICHELLE

Message from Nurse Michelle

Owing to the high level of upper respiratory illness (URTI) in Hong Kong we are closely monitoring absentee numbers here in school. If your child is displaying any of the following symptoms please keep them at home. URTI symptoms could include but are not limited to fever (>37.5 forehead skin temp), nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough, headache, muscle aches, generalised malaise.

Please inform the school if your child is unwell and state the specific symptoms for their absence. If your child has seen a Doctor please provide us with the Doctor’s certificate. 
Students should be fever / symptom free (without medication) for 48 hours before they can return to school. We appreciate your help with this matter.
Note from Mr Garnett
Regarding the ESF App to record your child’s temperature.  Unfortunately the ESF system does not support having additional adults able to input the information e.g Aunty, Helper etc.  You do still have the option of downloading the sheet (see earlier post in my blog) and writing the information on the form and having your child bring this to school.

SCHOOL DAY ARRANGEMENTS

Unfortunately, I am not in a position to announce any changes to our current school day arrangements but we are planning for both a full day option and an extended day option e.g. 1pm finish, should either option become available in the near future.

ESF are talking to the EDB and we are hoping the EDB will reconsider their position on ESF Primary Schools not being allowed to open for the whole day.

As soon as there are any developments in this area, we will let you know but should they change their mind we will be able to move quite quickly.

PARENT CONSULTATIONS

We normally have 3 Way Conferences in Term 1 and then Parent Consultations in Term 2.  This year we are going to have the Parent Consultations in Term 1 as we feel it is very important that we get a chance to meet 1:1 with the parents at this time.  Parent consultations only involve the teacher and the parent and not the child.

Parent Consultations Arrangements

Please note that all the Parent Consultations will be conducted over Zoom

Classroom Teachers

26 November – 3.30pm – 7.30pm

30 November  – 1.00pm – 5:30pm (no zoom lessons for the children in the afternoon)

 

Specialists times

Chinese

23 November 1-4pm

26 November 3.30pm – 7.30pm

30 November 1pm – 5.30pm

2 December 1pm – 4pm

PE (Term 1 only) – Please book one slot per family

23 November 1pm-4pm

26 November 3.30pm – 7.30pm

30 November 1pm-5.30pm

Music (Term 2 only)

March, Term 2

 

All Bookings Open To Parents via Gateway

6 November | Friday | 9:00 AM

All Bookings Close To Parents via Gateway

20 November | Friday | 12:00 NN

Here is the link for the video guide for the Gateway booking – HERE
Parents can email ictsupport@peakschool.edu.hk for any account access issues.

TEMPERATURE CHECKS IN THE MORNING

We are noticing a growing number of families that are forgetting to do the temperature check in the morning.

This is actually a requirement as set by the EDB to ensure all our children are kept safe as they travel to school.  With the cooler weather fast approaching it is imperative that you check your child’s temperature and record it before allowing your child to leave the apartment.

You can either record it on the app or via the form (you will need to print it off).  Click HERE to download the form.

Please help us keep our children safe by ensuring they are free of fever before leaving home.

PAU SYSTEM INSTALLATION

Over the Christmas holiday we are getting a PAU system installed at the school.  I am not actually aware of what the PAU stands for but I do know the following:

The PAU system that ESF will install at Peak School addresses 3 main issues

  • Air flow – ensuring air outside the classroom is continuously mixed with air inside the classroom. This ensures the air levels are always at an optimal level which will obviously help children and teachers remain focused (there is scientific research around the impact of air quality in the classroom on learning).
  • Humidity – the system would control the humidity which is a big issue for us up on the Peak. This reduces allergens which will be a big plus for a number of children and staff. Rooms at the correct humidity are also easier to heat or cool down (saving energy).
  • Air Quality – the PAU system will filter the outside air before pumping clean air into the classrooms. This will include the filtration of PM2.5 and PM10 particles meaning when it is polluted, cleaner air will enter the classroom.  When the children are kept inside on high pollution days, we know they are safe in their classroom and breathing clean air.

Other pros include:

  • There is little to no noise in the classrooms as the system is based outside
  • ESF are paying for all of the work so there is no cost to the school!

Note

Owing to the terrific support of the PTA we have high quality air purifiers in each room and these will continue to support our air quality as well. However, they won’t have to work as hard, as cleaner air will be pumped into the classrooms rather than unfiltered air which is the case at the moment. It really is the best of both worlds that ensures our children and staff are kept safe and have optimal air quality all year round.