Every two years we invite our school community to participate in the ESF Stakeholders Survey. For those parents new to the school it is a survey that is sent out to the community and seeks feedback on a range of areas including leadership, quality of learning, pastoral care and how your child feels about school. The survey is also completed by our Year 4-6 children and all staff.
The ESF Stakeholders Survey will be held in March, 2018 and it is likely we will not be participating in the survey at this time.
Now, obviously this is not because we do not value your feedback! We most certainly do! Usually, Peak School has the highest response rate amongst the Primary and Secondary Schools because we send out constant reminders and almost insist you fill it in! We usually get over 50% of our parents responding compared to the ESF average of around 33%.
The reason we won’t be participating in the ESF Stakeholders Survey in March, 2018 is because we will be asking all stakeholders, including children, to complete the CIS (Council of International Schools) survey instead. As you may recall, back in October, we had a preparatory visit from CIS and the next step is for us to survey our community to ensure we involve everyone in our comprehensive self study. The CIS survey would appear to be more comprehensive (more specific questions) than the ESF Stakeholders survey but as I have not actually seen it, I cannot confirm this.
We will be asking all parents, staff and our Year 4-6 children to complete the CIS survey in January or early February next year. It is for this reason we will not be involved in the ESF Survey in March. We feel it is unnecessary/inappropriate to ask all our stakeholders to complete two surveys, asking similar questions, so close together.
Please keep an eye out for the CIS survey as you will be emailed a link as soon as we are ready to launch it. I can’t confirm the date just for the survey as we are waiting for the CIS survey team to contact us and they will not do this until we have received the preparatory report which we are expecting early next term/late this term.
We will provide more details when we can but at this early stage we just wanted to make you aware of the upcoming stakeholders survey.
You might be aware that videos aimed at children have become YouTube’s biggest grossing area thanks to a number of very successful/popular shows.
However, apparently, a very disturbing trend has been reported in mainstream media where unofficial cartoons of popular characters are appearing with alarming frequency with disturbing and horrific content.
It is now being reported that some people are creating cartoons, using popular characters, where characters are behaving in very inappropriate manner e.g. sexual or very violent content. Unsuspecting children are searching their favourite shows on YouTube and these unofficial and completely sick videos are being watched by children. Apparently these videos deliberately manipulate YouTube’s algorithms to bypass filters on children’s searches and the site’s YouTube Kids app.
It is unbelievable that people in this world are happy to make money by exposing young children to images and content that would be rated R18 or banned in many countries. These people make money as the cartoons are heavily advertised and as they are disguised as popular cartoons, they are sometimes getting millions of hits so the profits are apparently large. Also, as they receive many hits or views, they then appear in the “suggested videos” playlist so their profile is increased further.
The New York Times recently reported on the scale of the problem and you can read the article by clicking HERE.
Peppa pig, Frozen, Mickey Mouse, PJ Masks and many other popular characters are often featured.
Craig Hollingsworth and I are aware that a large number of our younger students enjoy watching cartoons on YouTube, and anecdotally it would appear they are often watching unsupervised. Given the risk involved of your children being exposed to some of these horrific videos, we thought it best make you aware of this disturbing trend on YouTube.
Island School’s Move to Sha Tin Campuses
Teaching and Learning
All teaching staff visited the Sha Tin campuses on the 20 November. They saw, the progress of the refurbishment works, their teaching spaces and then visited some local points of interest. Head of Humanities Stephen Budd said; “I run the ‘Local History’ Elements course and next term we will be visiting lots of places in Sha Tin and the New Territories, including the Heritage Museum, Chi Lin Nunnery and maybe some Hakka villages.”
“It will be good, there are lots of things we can learn around there.”
Staff travelled home by public transport, below is a list of a few of their start and finish destinations, routes and times.
|Sha Tin Wai, MTR, 12 mins to –
||Ma On Shan, 99 Bus 25mins
|Sha Tin Wai MTR
|Sha Tin Wai MTR
||Tseung Kwan O
|Tai Wai MTR
||Wan Chai MTR
|Tai Wai MTR
|Tai Wai MTR
||Hung Hom 180 bus
|Sha Tin Wai bus 182
||HSBC building in Central
|Sha Tin Wai 170 bus
||Causeway Bay MTR
There is a new page on the website that includes public transport information for both campuses. Please click here to read more…
House Staff have also been talking to students about the one House two campuses model. There will be no change to the pastoral or wellbeing care currently available to students. Gala evenings and charity weeks will continue as Houses work together for a common goal.
Once a term there will be a chance for Houses to come together for fun ‘It’s a Knock Out’ style events. In the final term, a student run, Glee competition is planned with performances in House groups.
You can see which teachers will be on which campus by visiting the website and clicking on About Us> Teaching Staff and then either the Sha Tin Wai or Tai Wai tabs at the top of the page.
Parents of current Island School students have been invited to Sha Tin campus tours next week and there will be an Open Day on Wed 7 Feb 2018.
See the Island School website for more information
Redevelop> Decant Latest News pageincludes weekly updates and photos.
There are also FAQs, campus specific and travel pages.
This year we are planning to review our home learning (homework) policy and in particular review the amount of homework we give our children.
I was planning to survey the parents, children and staff this term to get a gauge of how we feel as a community about homework. However, as mentioned in my other blog entry entitled “Stakeholder Feedback” we are looking to survey the community early next term via the CIS survey.
What I now plan to do is add some home learning questions to the CIS survey so we are not doubling up with the surveys. We expect to be sending a link to you so that you can complete the CIS survey in mid/late January or early February next year. Within this survey I am hoping I can add some questions around the home learning approach that we currently use and get views on what is working well and even better if.
Hopefully, via the survey, you will have the opportunity to comment on whether you think there should be less homework, more homework or to keep it the same. Historically, the community is very divided on this topic (we have surveyed the community on 2 previous occasions in the past 8 years). It will be interesting, as more research and articles have been written about the impact of homework, if the community has shifted in their thinking since the last survey. Last time we reviewed the amount of homework we give, about 50% of our parents wanted more homework and 50% of our parents wanted less!
As mentioned above, I will be asking the children and staff to complete the survey on this topic to ensure all stakeholders have an opportunity to share their views.
As you will know, SRE (Sex and Relationship Education) is a focus area this year for the school. At the beginning of the year we stated that we would be conducting a review of our current program which would include input from our parents and staff.
SRE, or CSE (Comprehensive Sexuality Education) as it now referred to, is actually a focus across the Foundation as many schools are reviewing their program. As a result, an ESF working party made up of ESF Education team members and staff from across the ESF Schools, have met to start to formulate a revised policy. As well as establish a new policy, the group are also looking at programs from around the world including one from Australia which appears to be very comprehensive. The group are going to continue to look at the quality of the programs from around the world and then provide the schools with a suggested curriculum overview that the school may or may not want to adapt.
Once this working party have put something together, it is at this point that Peak School will bring together our own working group (made up of staff and parents) to then review the recommended program to see if it would be suitable for our own context and community.