We are very excited by the news that our new classroom furniture arrives over the Easter Holidays.  As previously mentioned we have purchased ergonomical chairs for all of our children.  The chairs have been scientifically proven to improve levels of concentration and are a lot more comfortable than traditional school chairs.

You can download the information flyer for the chairs by clicking HERE.  We also have new tables arriving which are designed to go with the chairs.

The student council are in the process of arranging to the have the old furniture donated to charity.   At this stage we are hopeful that our Year 1 & 2 furniture is going to a local kindergarten and our Year 3-6 furniture is going to Crossroads.


Patrice Shadbolt sent the following message to our Year 6 parents recently.  I thought it would be useful to share so that everyone is aware of what the Year 6 Exhibition involves at Peak School.

“On the 19th March 2012 the Year 6 students will embark on an exciting inquiry unit, which is the culmination of their PYP education, the PYP Exhibition. The Exhibition, which stems from personal interests and passions, requires students to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems. Our central Idea is ‘Human behaviour shapes lives’, considering (age appropriate) global issues that are significant and relevant.

The PYP exhibition has a number of key purposes: 

  • for students to engage in an in-depth, collaborative inquiry
  • to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own learning
  • to provide students with an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives
  • for students to synthesize and apply their learning of previous years and to reflect upon their journey through the PYP
  • to provide an authentic process for assessing student understanding
  • to demonstrate how students can take action as a result of their learning
  • to unite the students, teachers, parents and other members of the school community in a collaborative experience that incorporates the essential elements of the PYP
  • to celebrate the transition of learners from primary to middle/secondary education.

 What role do parents have in the Year 6 PYP Exhibition?

Parents/guardians will/may:

  • share their expertise by volunteering to speak to the classes or groups on relevant issues and/or organizations
  • gain an understanding of the Exhibition through attending information sessions and reading newsletters
  • support and encourage your child and teachers throughout the process
  • help students to access resources – people, places, media and information
  • encourage independent inquiry and respect student ownership of the process
  • have an opportunity to reflect and give feedback on the exhibition
  • celebrate with the students by attending the staging of the exhibition.

 Dates to remember:

  • 18th April – 8:30 a.m. Exhibition information session for parents and students
  • 24th May – evening (time to be confirmed) – opening ceremony and exhibition for parents
  • 25th May – Exhibition open to the wider community

We very much look forward to your involvement and please talk to the Year 6 teachers if you feel you can contribute to this unit”.

Patrice Shadbolt – VP/PYPC


Summer Works is a fancy name for all the work that gets completed over the summer holiday (July/August).  As you know this summer we are already set to redevelop our performing arts area on the lower floor of the school (see previous blog entry for more details on this redevelopment).

Also this summer we are hoping to replace the astro turf (artificial grass) and safety matting for the playground to the right as you walk up the stairs.  This is a joint venture between the PTA and the School and recognises the fact that both the astro turf and safety matting are in need of being replaced.  Currently we are only at the tender stage of the process but we are very hopeful that both will be replaced at the end of July/early August of this year.  This is a significant cost and again we thank the PTA for agreeing to fund 50% of this project.

I can also confirm that the entrance way and parts of the external walls of the school will be painted over summer as well.  I have negotiated with ESF the painting of the entrance way and the large external wall in the lower playground (the large retaining wall on the left as you enter the school).  They have agreed to include the “Peaks” as well as retain the sun (artwork which has faded over time).  Work will also cover the cleaning of the large shade cover (canopy) and associated poles.  The back of the school will also be painted but as this is around the back (side facing the upper playground) it is unlikely to be noticed!


I read an article in the SCMP last weekend about a new application which has been designed by a father who was concerned about the pollution levels in Hong Kong.  He has created a free app that simply uses the information readily available from the monitoring stations and then compares the current level of pollution with how other countries would advise.  It is useful if you want to know what advice other countries would be giving should they be experiencing similar levels of pollution as currently recorded in Hong Kong.

It might help you decide what activity to do next with your child, during their holiday, should they be staying in Hong Kong over Easter!

The application is called Hong Kong Air Pollution (screen shot below).


Chris Binge (Principal) and Gareth Stevens (Vice Principal) will be giving a presentation to interested Peak School parents on May 8, starting at 6pm.

The focus of the presentation is to inform parents about the future at Island School with a particular focus on;

  • The curriculum
  • Buildings

This presentation will be particularly beneficial if you know your child/ren are going to Island School or if you are thinking of sending your child/ren to Island School in the future.

I attended the one we held at Glenealy School about 2 years ago and it was very well received by the parents who appreciated the update and found the evening very informative.

Please contact the office if you intend to attend the presentation so we know how many parents to cater for.

MATHS CHALLENGE – for children of all ages!

For those that know me well it will come as no surprise that I am passionate about Maths.  Obviously I value and strongly support all the areas of the curriculum but I do enjoy teaching and learning about Maths the most!

I have 3 maths questions below and my challenge to you is to get all 3 correct.  Please email your answers to me by Wednesday, April 18 and all correct entries will go into a draw for a small prize.  My email address is

Question 1 – Sue’s mother told her: “I am four times your age, and your grandma is twice my age.  When I am grandma’s age, you will be 45”.  How old is Sue?

Question 2 – Seven cubes are put together to form an H-shape  as shown below.  Then the whole outside of the H-Shape is painted black.  If the cubes are then separated, how many of the cubes have exactly four black faces?

Question 3 – Jisang keeps parrots and mice.  In total his pets have 12 heads and 40 feet.  How many parrots does he have?

Good luck!


The deadline for responding is 23 March (next Friday) and at this stage we have about a 25% response rate.  Thank you to the parents who have already filled in the online survey.   For those parents who have not filled it in yet can I please stress to you how important your feedback is to us.  It will help shape our next three years and we really need your input.  The survey takes about 15 minutes and you should have received at least one email direct from ESF inviting you to participate.  Please use the link in that email to access the survey.  Please use the survey to tell us what you feel is working well and the areas we could be improving on.


Earth Hour takes place on Saturday the 31st of March throughout the world.  However Earth Hour at Peak School takes place throughout the whole day on Thursday the 29th of March.  The Environmental Group from Peak School are busily promoting the day and have asked me to share with you what is planned for the day.

The day will involve the following;

  • Black and white – all children are encouraged to dress up in black and white or a combination of both.  This is to represent the turning on and off of lights which is a large component of Earth Hour worldwide (lights out for one hour from 8.30pm-9.30pm).
  • Donation – a small donation will be collected from each student who dresses up and the money will be given to the WWF Charity Group.
  • Nude Food – children are encouraged to ensure their snack and lunch come to school on the day with little or no packaging.  If packaging is required it is hoped that it can be recycled or recyclable.
  • Poster competition – children will learn more about the poster competition on Monday at assembly
  • Lights out (and all other electrical devices) – the idea is that non necessary lighting and electrical equipment will be turned off for the whole day and that each classroom will turn off all electronic devices for an hour at some point during the day.
  • Class pledge – we hope to continue the focus on saving energy so we are encouraging all classrooms to share their “pledge” with the school on the Earth Hour assembly to be held on Thursday the 29th of March.  The class “pledge” will be a commitment to saving energy in some way for the rest of the year (ensuring all electronic devices are turned off at the end of the day etc).

Here is the PowerPoint presentation the children have created to present to the children at our weekly assembly on Monday the 19th of March.  It also includes the official Earth Hour 2012 Video.

iPad Applications of the Week

I spoke to our Chinese teachers about the applications they use on the iPads, donated from the PTA, to help our children learn Chinese at school. Please note that some are generic applications that have uses across all curriculum areas.
They recommended the following applications (in no particular order);

1. ScreenChomp and  Sock Puppets – mostly for listening and speaking activities (Y1 to Y6)
2. Drawing Pad, for writing (Y1Y2)
3. WordTracer-CN as a dictionary (Y3 to Y6)
4. Notes, for writing (Y3 to Y6). An excellent app to reinforce the Chinese character writing principle (children need to follow the right stroke order to get the right characters on the handwriting mode.)
5. Pinyin (Y3 to Y6)
6. Pages (writing)
7.  Pleco and KTdict C-E (Chinese dictionaries)
8.  ChinesePad (writing)


With the weather cold and cloudy what better time to have the children turn to art as a way to spend time inside.  I came across a website called Artsonia and basically it is an online art gallery for children.  It has over 15 million pieces of art displayed and is a great way to store your child’s artwork in one place.  Other children can comment on it and it is easy to share with family and friends.  It is also a great place to go to get ideas to inspire your children and for them to try new ideas – a terrific source for inspiration!  A great website for those budding artists!

Click HERE to go to Artsonia.