Prevention of Spread of Seasonal Influenza in School – Advancement of CNY Holidays

The Education Bureau has announced the early start of the Chinese New Year holidays due to concerns over influenza for all kindergartens and primary schools starting 8th February.

NIS will have the following arrangements:

– The Chinese New Year holidays will start on 8th February and students will return to school on 26th February.

– NIS Kindergarten and Primary School will be open for those families who cannot provide supervision for their child at home between 8th February-14th February. If possible, please contact the office to let us know if you need to drop your child off at school during this period (or for certain days) so we can make accommodations.

    * Drop-off and pick-up times at the Kindergarten will remain the same as the start and end times for the AM/PM classes. At the primary school, you can drop your child off at 8:45am and pick them up at 3:15pm.

    * The School Bus and Hot Lunch Services are suspended during this time so you need to find an alternate way of travel, and your child must bring his/her own lunch.

– Teachers will assign Home Learning for your child for those suspended days of school.

During the holidays, parents should note the following measures to keep your child healthy:

– To maintain good personal hygiene and cover nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing and wash hands thoroughly afterwards;

– To maintain good indoor ventilation;

– To build up good body immunity by maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly and taking adequate rest; and

– To avoid going to crowded or poorly ventilated public places

Please contact the office should you have any questions or concerns. We hope you have a healthy, happy and blessed CNY this year.

Yours faithfully,

Bonnie Chan



First Day of Kindergarten – 21 August

Welcome back to the Kindergarten students, we are excited to see our students and families again after the holidays.


First Day of School – August 14

Welcome back to a new school year, 2017-2018.


Principal’s Message May 24, 2017

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.—3 John 1:2

NIS welcomed Canadian holistic nutritionist, Cristina Tahoces, to speak with our parent community last Wednesday. During the talk, Cristina shared her main strategic approach to a healthy diet which she has named “Sleep-Love-Poop”. There are important foods that can help our children and us sleep better which is needed for cellular regeneration and those foods that sabotage our efforts. The right foods are needed to help with boosting immunity and giving us energy. In addition when planning our meals, we need to reflect if what we have selected is an “I love me” food. This means we are selecting food that helps with regulating our blood sugar which can lead to better memory and ability to handle stress. Finally, we need to ask if the foods we are eating are going to help us poop. Waste elimination is crucial to immunity and our overall happiness. We all know what it feels like to be bloated and it is not pleasant.

The following is a summary of her talk and her suggestions for meal planning which can help to achieve her healthy “Sleep-Love-Poop” philosophy:

My philosophy is that you don’t need to give up all of life’s guilty pleasures in the journey to eating a more nutrient-rich diet. You just have to trade empty calories from nutrient dense ones. Using this “trade up” ap-proach consistently will mean that your family’s diet will increase in:

Higher quality protein to make sure your kids and you have the energy needed for growth, regeneration, brain power and stress management;

Antioxidants to boost immunity and ward off the negative impact of our polluted environment;

Essential Fatty Acids to help lower inflammation in the body and boost brain power;

Slow-release carbohydrates to regulate blood sugar and ensure a steady energy level throughout the day and a constant release of food for the brain;

Fibre to ensure beautiful, regular poops that are key to keeping happy and healthy.
Increasing the nutrient content of your food will arm your family with what it needs to build immunity and reach the goal of “Zero Sick Days”.

My remedies have been tried and tested by my family & clients. After I had kids, I was so weak and depleted. I developed severe allergies and constantly had sinus issues. These remedies were life savers for me and I have used them to nip a fair few sore throats and runny noses in the bud over the years. There is always a role for prescription medicine – don’t get me wrong! But sometimes, having the knowledge and confidence to use safe, affordable, natural remedies is all we need.

The following are three links suggested by Cristina to help you choose a good probiotic, and to encourage your child to eat what you want them to eat:

After the parent talk, Cristina left behind her survival guide to staying healthy and energized. Parents can visit the office and ask for a copy to explore some of the nutritional recipes she suggests that would provide a well-balanced diet.

Cristina Tahoces contact: THRIVE Nutrition Practice Facebook: Thrive Nutrition Practice Phone: 6332 1181 Email: [email protected]


Principal’s Message May 10, 2017

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction on her tongue.—Proverbs 31:25-26

It is with great joy that I announce the birth of Ma Laoshi’s son, Leo, last week. He came into the world just in time for Mother’s Day! As she shared about her sleepless nights, it made me think of all the amazing mothers I see at NIS and my own mother who experienced all that with their first-born, and perhaps with their second or third-born too.

Having never been a mother myself, I cannot even begin to comprehend the selflessness, love, sacrifice and commitment of what it means to be a mother. We have all seen it on TV, in movies, read articles about it online about the hectic lives of mothers, but I wanted to hear first hand accounts of what motherhood is like and started asking my friends and staff members what it is like to be pregnant, give birth and have a little person fully dependent on you. What are those first couple of years like for new mothers?

Not surprising, they always begin by describing the busyness of their life, and everything they had to give up. They shared how they love to travel and used to do that very easily with their other half, but it is no longer the case now. One of my friends prayed desperately the first time she traveled with her daughter that she would not cry and disturb the other passengers. It sounded very stressful for a flight that was over ten hours. Some told me about worries they had and how they have their child’s next ten years mapped out.

After hearing all that, I would ask them if there is anything good about being a mother. That’s when all the beautiful “mom moments” came. They told me that feeling of fulfilment is indescribable. When you see how cute they are, when they hold their arms up to you wanting a hug or to be carried, and you know their whole world is you, nothing else matters. Every milestone is special and kept in mom’s heart. One mother told me that she was very happy enjoying life with her hus-band—just the two of them, but it was after having a child that her family felt complete. It teaches patience (and tests patience!) and all their experiences as a mother has helped them to become a better per-son.

This Mother’s Day, I want to recognise all the wonderful mothers out there who work tirelessly and endlessly taking care of the family and the children. Thank you for everything that you do. God bless you and your family, and have a great and memorable Mother’s Day this year.


Principal’s Message April 26, 2017

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.—Psalm 3:24

As adults we are so busy with work and family—with errands to run, people to see, meals to prepare, plus a myriad of other responsibilities. Sleep sometimes becomes secondary as project deadlines and other time sensitive things require our attention. However, sleep is as important as food and safety. It has a huge influence on health especially in the develop-ment of children. When it comes to sleep, amount and quality is the key. Sadly, Hong Kong children often have less than the optimal amount. It is surprising to see just how many hours of sleep children need.

How does your child measure up? Stop and calculate the number of hours your child has on an average night. Ready for the numbers?
3-5 years old—11-13 hours 6-13 years old—9-11 hours

That is a lot of hours but it is crucial in their development. Even as adults when we do not have enough sleep we be-come more irritable, less focused and slower in responding. How much more so for a child.

From the Harvard Medical School, studies have shown that the amount and quality of sleep have an effect on learning and memory. Learning and memory have three functions: acquisition, consolidation and recall. Acquisition happens when new knowledge is being learnt. A tired child will not be able to focus their attention which makes it harder to take in new knowledge. Secondly, the consolidation of memory happens during sleep and this is vital in helping children learn new information. The strengthening of neurons that form memory happens during sleep. So if a child is not sleeping well, that consolidation after a full day of learning at school is not happening.

Decision-making is also affected. I am sure every parent has gone through days when their child did not have enough sleep the night before and was extra difficult—ranging from being more slow and sluggish to throwing tantrums or crying as they wrestle with what is happening to their brain and body from the lack of sleep. Adults will know when they are tired and can regulate themselves, but a young child will not know and so will let their emotions get the better of them. Sound judgement would be impaired.

Quality of sleep is just as important as the amount of sleep. Quality sleep is uninterrupted sleep that allows the child to move through the stages of sleep. To ensure that children are getting enough quality sleep, ex-perts agree that TVs, laptops and other technological devices need to be switched off at least an hour before bedtime. There should be a regular and consistent bedtime routine, and the room should be dark, cool and quiet. Finally, avoid caffeine at night because it takes hours to leave the system. This includes drinks like coke, and box drinks such as lemon tea.

Putting your child to bed early has huge benefits for them, but it is also good for parents! You can have some quiet time for yourself or with your husband/wife. Or perhaps you can sleep early yourself because adults should have 7-9 hours. Whatever it may be, sleep is vital and if your child is not hitting those minimum number hours of sleep, I encourage you to try it out with your family for two weeks and I am sure that you will notice a difference.


Principal’s Message March 29, 2017

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. —Matthew 28:6

I read a devotion recently and it asked, what is the single act that defines Christianity? When you look at the Bible, it is full of teachings, miracles, important moments in history such as the reign of King David and the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, the central message that runs throughout the Bible since the Old Testament is that there is a Saviour who is coming. He is the key to our salvation and none can pass through to heaven except through him. It begins with Jesus’ birth at Christmas but it is at Easter that his ultimate purpose on earth is fulfilled.

I am sure you have heard all the stories about Jesus’ death and resurrection and have watched movies about this significant event. However I encourage you to see it as more than a story or special date that comes up yearly around this time and to reflect deeply on what it means to you personally as a Christian. How is your relationship with God? Community Church Hong Kong is having Holy Week and explores how we can grow closer to God by welcoming him into our everyday lives and walking with him.

Just prior to Good Friday from April 10-12, I invite you to visit the church because they have set up stations where you can look at Jesus’ suffering as a model of how we respond in our own lives and experiences. It is a good opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ last days prior to his sacrifice of himself for our eternal life with God.

Below is more information from Community Church Hong Kong:

I’m often asked, “How do I grow closer to God?” That is a great question and I often ponder that question myself. Dallas Willard said that the best opportunities to grow are the “trials of ordinary existence.” We grow by welcoming God into our everyday challenges and walking in them with God’s perspective and grace.

The Stations of the Cross give us a wonderful opportunity to look carefully at Jesus’ suffering as a model in how to respond to the injustice and pain in our own lives. In the Stations of the Cross, we see every type of suffering that we might experience:

Spiritual Suffering – Jesus wrestled with his will as he pleaded with the Father to avoid the impending suffering.

Relational Suffering – Jesus was betrayed and abounded by those closest to him.

Social Suffering – Jesus was the victim of a corrupt and unjust political system.

Physical Suffering – Jesus was tortured and killed.

Throughout all of this suffering, we see Jesus displaying love for those around him, a forgiving spirit and a trusting heart towards his Father. Jesus was able to view his suffering through the lens of the Kingdom of God, rather than the world’s value of control and comfort.

How do we journey in our suffering? What is our perspective? Our trials and suffering can be a powerful way to commune with Christ and grow as his followers.

I would like to invite you to journey through the Stations of the Cross this year – to remember what Christ has done for you and to grow in him through your own trials.

Community Church Hong Kong
Address: 1/F, J+ Building, 35-45B Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan
Phone Number: 2551 6161


Principal’s Message March 15, 2017

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. —Matthew 7:7

The importance of questions. We encourage the students to be enquirers and to ask questions not just to clarify when they do not understand something, but to get answers to those burning questions they have in their learning. At home, we would like to encourage parents to ask their children questions as well.
Last week, we started explaining IPC’s 9 areas to embed learning and touched upon questions that can be asked to discover what children have been learning in class. Asking questions is easy, but getting children to answer beyond a few-words can be difficult at times when he or she does not offer much.

Communication is an art and there are ways to ask questions that can elicit a more insightful answer from your child about how their day went and what they learnt.

The following are tips on how to formulate questions taken from

  • Try to ask open-ended questions to keep a conversation going. If you ask your child questions that can be answered with one word (yes, no, a name), then you’ll probably get a one-word response.
  • Often kids are not specific, so you have to ask for specific information when you want it.
  • Starting with factual questions is a great way to ease into conversation.
  • Avoiding emotion-packed words (happy, sad, mean) can help the conversation go on longer.
  • Asking positive questions gives your child a chance to express concerns. Negative questions tend to stop a conversation.

You can also help students to focus their answers by asking questions that go from the general to specific to help students access their memory and recall better. If you ask students what they learnt today, some may say “electricity” (for example). You can follow-up with a question about what it is about electricity that they learnt about. To further gain an understanding of activities your child was engaged in and what they were learning, you can further ask them what they did that was related to electricity. Ask why they think they did this activity and what skill they were trying to learn or perhaps what they were trying to prove if it was an experiment.

The whole process takes time and active listening, but with practice, children will be better at explaining themselves and sharing about their learning and school life.


Principal’s Message March 1, 2017

The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.—Proverbs 18:15

Every school in the world professes itself to be learning-focused.

While NIS is a learning-focused school as well, what’s more important is that we are constantly reflecting on how we can continuously improve learning and offer the best education to our students and families.

Over the next few weeks in the school newsletter and also in a display in the hall, we will share with our community how NIS views learning and our shared vision of the kinds of students we want to develop. We want to begin with the end in mind when planning learning experiences and instilling character development in our students.

The International Primary Curriculum establishes a strong culture of learning in the school and we will explain the 9 criteria we follow to embed great learning at NIS.


Principal’s Message February 15, 2017

Arise, for this is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.—Ezra 10:4

Three-Way Conferences (or also known as Student-Led Conferences) are taking place this Friday. It is a time for the student, parents and teachers to meet and celebrate the learning that has been done thus far in the school year and to identify areas where goals can be set to continuously grow academically, socially, spiritually and physically.

Normally, during a parent-teacher conference the teacher would be explaining to parents the progress of the child, but three-way conferences are student-driven and is an opportunity for the child to share about their learning experiences from their perspective, and understanding of themselves after reflection. It is a time for parents to encourage and recognise the child’s efforts and to set goals together so the child knows what to work on in the coming term, parents know how to support at home and teachers can also support at school.

Some students are anxious during parent-teacher conferences because they are not in the classroom during the meeting, but for three-way conferences, it can be a different kind of nervousness. Children could be cautious and worried that they may be reprimanded by their parents and teacher at the same time. Please have a talk with your child before Friday about coming to the conference. Let them know that you look forward to hearing about them talk about their learning so you can en-courage and support them in their learning journey and development. The focus is on moving for-ward together.