As you know David Post resigned as School Council Chair earlier this year and Duncan Macfarlane has stepped into the role until the end of this academic year. I am delighted to inform you all that two gentlemen have come forward who are prepared to stand for the role. I have met with both men and they are clearly passionate and intelligent people who will contribute significantly to the school community. Both are now meeting with Belinda Greer, the CEO of ESF and we hope that in the coming weeks we will be in a position to announce who our new School Chair is moving forward.
Head Lice is an ongoing issue for schools and parents around the world and we are certainly no exception to this rule. According to the latest articles on the problem there is no foreseeable treatment that will eradicate the problem once and for all.
As a school we are always caught between parents who want us to do more (check hair, send out alert emails etc) and those that get frustrated when they continue to receive emails about infections.
What we have decided to do is look at the latest recommendations coming out of Australia, New Zealand, North America and the UK to see if our current approach is in line. What we have found is that there are many contradictions and clearly the issue for other countries is such that no one can really agree on the best approach. Unfortunately there are no apparent guidelines provided by the Hong Kong authorities either.
One message that is consistent however across all the countries is that the school and the parents must work together. The literature makes it very clear that a model where the school is relied upon to check for Head Lice does not work. It is also clear that emailing parents every time a detection is noted does nothing but raise anxiety levels.
Nurse Clara is currently putting together an information booklet for our parents and we hope to have this available early next term. It will provide the latest ideas proven time and time again to be the most effective. Of course we cannot guarantee the advice will always be successful and all that we can do is make the information available in the hope that parents look at the advice provided by other countries on this issue.
As previously mentioned there is the ESF stakeholders survey in the coming weeks. There will be questions set by the Foundation that all parents will be asked but each school also has the opportunity to ask questions specific to them.
One question we will be asking will be related to Chinese. There has been an ongoing debate amongst parent and teachers about the balance between the focus on oral and written work. We have some parents who feel strongly that the focus at school should be on the oral and that the school’s goal should be to have the children conversant in Chinese by the time they finish high school. Others argue that the focus should be on written work as this is more important.
The school council are interested in your views on this issue and look forward to your feedback in the ESF Stakeholders Survey. The issue with placing an emphasis mainly on oral is that the children are tested at high school on their writing and reading ability. However if we mainly focus on writing, how practical in everyday life is it to be able to read and write better rather than speak. It is an interesting discussion to have so we will be interested in your views.
Another question that we will be asking is around the school council supporting particularly areas (focus areas). There will also be a question around what area of learning e.g. Individual needs, IT equipment and/or a particular curriculum area, you would like to see the School Council provide more resources for the school to assist the development.
We will be having a lockdown drill next week where the children and adults will be expected to follow the schools guidelines for such an event. We do this termly so that the children know exactly what to do and it also means that any new students are fully aware of the procedures involved. Initially I informed the parents in case their child was worried about the drill but the reality is that all children seem to really enjoy the opportunity to ‘hide’. I will mention to the children at assembly on Monday that there may be a lockdown in the coming weeks but will not be any more specific than that!
Disclaimer – Please do not read the following if you did not sign up to ‘opt into’ receiving materials that could be considered “Direct Marketing” from the school. What constitutes direct marketing is such a grey area but when it comes to charities that do not charge for their ‘service’ I do like to promote it where appropriate and possible. Mr Garnett
I was contacted recently by Lindsey McAlister OBE, who asked if I could share the below. As there is still plenty of time before the entry deadline I am happy to oblige.
What is YAF
The Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation (YAF) is a charity that provides high quality, non-competitive and free of charge arts experiences for young people aged 5 to 25. Since 1993, YAF has been organizing inclusive and inspirational projects that reach out to young people of all cultures, backgrounds, languages and abilities, and we actively create opportunities for disadvantaged and underprivileged young people. Each year we reach over 800,000 young people with our projects, in terms of art skills learning and personal growth.
Please click on the link HERE to learn more about a show they are putting on and that they are now calling for interest for all 9-25 year olds to audition.