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

RSE – PARENT PRESENTATIONS

RSE Parent Presentations
Thank you to all the parents who joined us for the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) parent presentation on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  You may access the powerpoint presentations used during the information session by following the links below.
Please feel free to reach out to me and / or to Mrs. Roma, if you have any further questions regarding the RSE program at Peak School.
chiqui.colet@peakschool.edu.hk
rachel.roma@peakschool.edu.hk
Thank you
Chiqui Colet
Y1 – Y3 RSE Parent Presentation – Click HERE
Y4 – Y6 RSE Parent Presentation – Click HERE

MESSAGE FROM THE PTA

Dear Peak School Families,

As you may know, dollars raised by the PTA have a direct impact on Peak School students. Each year, we are presented with a wish list from Bill and the Peak School team. The PTA is currently raising funds to cover the cost of:

  • Visiting Authors Program (ongoing funding for the past 10 years, as well as virtual Author visits for this school year and hopefully physical visits next school year and beyond)

  • New levelled readers across the Year Groups

  • Mathletics subscription for all the Year groups that use Mathletics

  • Significant ICT support (includes laptops loaned for home learning)

It is our goal to not only raise funds but use our fundraising events to continue to build community and create fun opportunities for our families to enjoy even when we cannot be together in person. We hope you have enjoyed our virtual events thus far and please do sign up for this next opportunity to have a fantastic Taco Tuesday experience at home whilst supporting Peak School!

Kind regards,

Peak School PTA

PTA TACO TUESDAY

Please click on the logo below to learn all about the upcoming PTA Taco Tuesday.   All the information is in the link below and a small leaflet was sent home today with the children regarding Taco Tuesday.

PTA AGM REMINDER

The PTA wanted to send a friendly reminder that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 8:00 am this upcoming Monday, April 26, 2021 via Zoom (please see app message for the link as I do not want to share it on a public blog).
The PTA would be grateful for your support and participation, and in particular helping to ensure we have a quorum. The financial statements to be approved are attached and below is the agenda. The meeting should be approximately 30 mins.
Thank you in advance!
Peak School PTA
AGM Agenda:
  • Welcome / Regrets
  • The Chairpersons’ Report
  • To consider a resolution to (i) receive the Honorary Treasurer’s Report for the 2019/20 Financial Year and (ii) adopt the Audited Reports and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2020
    To consider a resolution to appoint the Auditor for the 2020/21 Financial Year
  • To elect the new Executive Committee to serve until the next AGM
  • Any additional matters affecting the affairs of the Peak School Parent Teachers Association Limited, which have been submitted to the Honorary Secretary for inclusion in the Agenda not less than seven (7) business days before the date of the meeting
  • Any other business

PARENT CONSULTATIONS

We have our Parent Consultations on March 25, April 13 and April 14.  This time we are doing it a little differently to cater for the different needs of our year groups.

 

Parent Consultation Logistics

Year 1-4 – Parent Consultations – This includes just the parent and the teacher.  The child should not attend

Year 5 & 6 – 3 Way Conferences – This includes the child, parent and teacher.  They all need to attend the conference.

 

Parent Consultations Arrangements

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

 

Classroom Teachers

25 March – 2.00pm – 7.00pm

13 April – 1.00pm – 4.00pm

14 April – 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Jane Engelmann (Music and Performing Arts)

Please note you will not be able to book a time slot with Jane Engelmann but she is offering parent consultations.  She can only see so many families and she is reaching out to those parents that she needs to meet with separately to coordinate a time.  If you need to talk to Jane regarding an important issue, that you would like to discuss, please email her – jane.engelmann@peakschool.edu.hk

There are no Chinese or PE consultations this round.

 

All Bookings Open To Parents via Gateway

15 March | Monday | 12:00 PM

All Bookings Close To Parents via Gateway

22 March | Monday | 12:00 PM

 

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 RECORDING SHEET

With all the children back next week, it is imperative that our parent community err on the side of caution and keep their child or children home if they are exhibiting any flu like symptoms.   We must all work together to keep our children safe and if you are in any doubt please keep the child or children home.

We are still having children arrive to school without their temperature recorded.

This is a concern moving forward.  We appreciate that all the children have their temperature taken by our thermal camera at the school entrance but it is the fact that children are leaving the house not having their temperature taken which is of concern.

As a community we have a responsibility to keep each other safe.  If children are coming to school without having their temperature taken in the morning before leaving their home, that is putting us all at risk.

Please take your child’s temperature and record it in the ESF App.

Alternatively – you can download and print off this document (click Temperature Record Sheet.docx) which allows you to record the temperature each morning and the child can bring the piece of paper to school.

None of our children should be leaving home without having their temperature taken for their own safety and the safety of others.  Please take you child’s temperature every morning and record this accordingly.

DISTANCE LEARNING – STAKEHOLDER SURVEY RESULTS

Thank you for the taking the time to fill in the distance learning survey just before CNY.

We have analysed the results and these can be found on the following table by clicking HERE.

The results are very positive and whilst we can celebrate all the things we are doing well, we are also conscious there are things we can tweak or development further.  We have shared all the individual feedback to the appropriate teachers so that they can look for trends and, if appropriate, respond to individuals to provide additional support or to seek clarification regarding a comment.

The table, with the link above, represents responses from close to 150 parents, 40 staff and 150 Year 4, 5 and 6 students.  It is the most comprehensive survey we have done since our distance learning provision began.

Some interesting points to highlight, from my perspective:

  • It is really pleasing to see so much alignment between the children, staff and parents in terms of our provision.  A majority of the questions saw similar response rates across the 3 stakeholders.
  •  As a community we all feel our children, including the children themselves, that the children’s well being has been appropriately and strongly supported
  • Students responded lower in areas of the work being engaging and challenging (either too easy or too hard) and this is something the staff have worked hard to address and will continue to work hard to address
  • 78% of parents feel we have got the balance right regarding the amount of Zoom lessons, but 5.8% want less zoom lessons and 15.9% want more zooms provided.  This is in contrast to the children where 82.2% felt we have got the balance right but 13% felt there were too many Zoom lessons.  Only 4.8% wanted more zoom lessons.   Staff either felt we had the balance right or provided too many Zoom lessons (11.1%).
  • The ESF app seems to have made life easier for everyone but I know there are more features that we as a school could be tapping into so hopefully, in the coming weeks and months, you notice the app being even more beneficial.
  • Finally, 91% of our parents, 96% of our staff and 93% of our children felt that the children have continued to make progress in their learning.  This is very pleasing as the fear was that our children would not progress.  The assessments that we continue to give to our children highlight that our children, are indeed making progress.  Often in line with the type of progress we would normally see if the children were in all the time.  That is a credit to everyone involved and a testament to how hard everyone is working.

RETURN TO SCHOOL UPDATE

The return to school model we are currently implementing has proven popular with all our stake holders.  We have only received positive responses from children, staff and parents regarding having the same year groups in each day for the whole week.  Whilst we would prefer to have all the children in all day, everyone is appreciative that we are making the best of the situation/restrictions we have been presented with.

In regards to an update, EDB have made no further announcements and at this stage are requiring all schools to continue with the current model.  They are not accepting applications from primary schools to provide all day lessons for their primary aged children, face to face, so we cannot even push for a full day using the current timetable model.  We have certainly indicated we are ready to go as soon as possible so that know ESF schools can move quickly once they allow us to apply.

Please note that any “through” school that has primary and secondary aged children may be allowed to have secondary students in school for the afternoon but no school, including through schools, are allowed to have primary aged children in school all day.

The model/timetable for the foreseeable future is as below –

You will note that March 22-26 is TBC.  That is simply because we are hoping by then that the EDB will allow us to bring in more children or at least allow us to have the children in all day.  Obviously this will depend on the ongoing Covid situation in Hong Kong.  If the model is to continue, then Year 2, 4 and 6 will come in that week with Year 1, 3 and 5 set to be the year groups in the first week of Term 3.

SCHOOL OFFICE – STAFFING UPDATE

We are still in the process of finalising staff in the Office and hope to have everyone in post by the end of this term.

For your reference and information we have the following staff working in the office:

  • Mia Barnett – Office Administrator – office@peakschool.edu.hk – full time
  • Pam Stanley – Office Manager – General – office@peakschool.edu.hk (works Monday and Thursday)
  • Nicole McMahon – Admissions Officer – admissions@peakschool.edu.hk (works Tuesday and Fridays)
  • Leo Ng – Finance Officer – finance@peakschool.edu.hk – full time

We appointed a PTA administrator just before the CNY holidays but unfortunately she withdrew at the last minute.  Mia Barnett has kindly agreed to support Patrick and Erica (PTA Chair and Vice Chair) in terms of organising the buses until we can find a replacement.  We are hoping to have a PTA Administrator in place in the next week or so as we have already made an offer to someone who is in a position to start on short notice.  We are just checking referees and finalising the appointment.

By the end of the term, ready for the Term 3, we will have in place a full time Office Manager and a part time PTA administrator.  Mia and Leo will continue full time in their respective roles.

NATIONAL SECURITY LAW – IMPORTANT UPDATE

You should have received a message from Belinda Greer, our CEO, regarding an important update about the National Security Law (NSL).

I have shared the content of her message below in case you missed it but in summary, it is business as usual for us at Peak School and the NSL will have little impact on what we do on a daily basis as we will remain politically neutral and continue to respect the law of the land.

Message from Belinda Greer

I want to provide you with clarification on how the recently published Education Bureau (EDB) guidelines and curriculum arrangements for safeguarding national security pertain to us.

As an international school system, ESF is not required to adopt the approaches set out in the EDB National Security Law (NSL) guidelines, which are intended for schools that deliver the local curriculum.

All schools, however, including international schools, are expected to be politically neutral, to provide a safe learning environment and to nurture good citizens. In doing so, all schools are expected to work within three fundamental principles that underpin the NSL guidelines:

– Professional code for staff, supporting the need to live by the law of the land;
– Safe management of schools, with measures in place to prevent a breach of the NSL; and
– The need for students to understand the concept of national security and to know about the NSL.

These fundamental principles align well with our current practice. Importantly, we continue to have autonomy over curricula, learning and teaching approaches and quality assurance and we are not expected to introduce new ceremonies, such as flag raising, where this is not current practice.

EDB has confirmed that our practice is not subject to control or monitoring. This means that our teachers will continue to celebrate Chinese culture and facilitate age appropriate factual discussions about Hong Kong and the laws of Hong Kong, whilst remaining politically neutral, as we have always done.

Belinda Greer, 25 February, 2021