News

Mar
29

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

Mar
15

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 https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/understanding-childs-challenges/talking-with-your-child/how-to-say-it-questions-to-ask-your-child-about-school.

  • 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.

Mar
2

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.

Feb
15

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.

Jan
24

Applications Due for 2017-2018

We will soon be reaching the 23 February deadline for accepting applications for Years 1, 2, 3, and 4 for the 2017-2018 school year..
 
If you wish to apply, please first attend a school tour and then submit a completed application package by 3pm on the 23rd of February. You may book a school tour here and download the application form from this page.
 
If you have any further questions or concerns regarding admissions, please contact our admissions officer at 2658 0341.  We are happy to assist you in this process.
Jan
11

Principal’s Message January 11, 2017

For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11

The new year is always a time for a fresh start. We hear people talking about setting new years resolutions but after a few months, it may not always be easy (or possible) to stick to the plan even if their heart tells them it’s the best thing they can do for themselves this year. For children, writing resolutions teaches children to be reflective, how to set achievable goals, decide what steps they will take to reach those goals, and stick to what they say they will do. It is a wonderful way to start out the year with their family when they sit together and think about what they would like to change or do better in the new year. But again, it is likely even harder for children to keep up with their resolutions. However, there are steps that parents can take to encourage and support their child as they reflect and set goals for themselves.

Parents Magazine suggests eight ways to help children make new years resolutions. The following is a summary of their original article in their online site: http://www.parents.com/holiday/new-years/resolution/8-ways-to-help-kids-make-new-years-resolutions/

1. Be Resolution Role Models—Parents can share their own resolutions with their children so they can see how their parents would approach the task. Some of the children’s resolutions can actually be modelled by the parents themselves. Dr. Carter says, “If what you want is for your kids to be out the door earlier, you need to work on yourself. I saw that when I was consistently ready at the time I wanted to leave; it was possible to ask my kids to make changes. Let’s not ask them to do more than we are willing to do.”

2. Keep a Positive Approach to Resolutions—When you sit down with your chil-dren, begin by going over the positive things that they accomplished in the past year rather than pointing out their shortcomings. Have children brain-storm things that they are able to do now that they were not able to do last year. Help them to reflect what they did to make that possible. Afterwards, ask them what they want to improve for this coming year.

3. Suggest-Don’t Dictate Resolutions—Children need to feel responsibility and ownership for their choices. Listen to what your children tell you and help them to make sure it is age appropriate and achievable. You may come up with cate-gories for them such as—personal goals (NIS has eight—enquiry, morality, resilience, communication, adaptability, respect, thoughtfulness, cooperation), friendship goals, helping goals and school goals.

3. Narrow Down the Resolution List—Two to three goals are reasonable. Break each of the goals into smaller steps to plan how it can be achieved. These resolutions need to be concrete, specific and manageable. “I will behave better” is too general. Help students to focus on which particular behavior they can work on. For younger children, they can draw a picture to express themselves.

4. Take Turtle Steps Toward Big Resolutions—Dr. Carter says that turning good intentions into habits is an important skill to teach children. She suggests parents break down each resolution into small and slow steps to help children achieve their goal. Make it easy to do over a period of time. It can be weeks or even months. Check in with children weekly or periodically to acknowledge how they are doing and do not bribe them into doing the resolution.

5. Follow Up but Don’t Nag About Resolutions—Avoid nagging children when they experience a lapse; rather affirm how hard it is and ask them to reflect what is making it difficult for them to achieve their goal. If the plan in achieving the goal is not working, parents can always adjust with the children.

6. Make Family Resolutions Together—This brings families closer. Suggest to children that they set two personal goals and one or two family goals. This can be as simple as “visit grandma more often” or “plan a trip”.

7. Make Resolutions a Ritual—Make sure there are no distractions when you gather to talk about how the resolutions are going and pay attention to each other. Set a tradition of praying together first or having hot chocolate together every time you talk about it. Appealing to the senses and helping create a warm environment is important.

Dec
16

Principal’s Message December 15, 2016

Principal’s Message

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11

Christmas is such a special time of the year. It is a time to get away from the busyness of everyday life, to slow down, and be with family and loved ones. It is also a time to reflect on why we have Christmas at all—it is to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus. Every year NIS will put on a concert to remind everyone of this very special birth and this year the message is simple—the concert’s name is Super Star because it focuses on the “chosen star” to guide the shepherds and wisemen to the stable, but we all know who the real Super Star is…Jesus.

We hope you enjoyed your child’s performance that night. This is a special edition of the Principal’s Newsletter to celebrate Christmas. You will find photos from the Christmas Concert and videos of the last day of school’s festivities. From all of us at NIS and Generations, have a blessed Christmas and a happy new year!

Nov
30

Principal’s Message November 30, 2016

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.—Philippians 4:6

Thanksgiving is a special time for families and friends to gather together to appreciate and reflect on all the wonderful things they have been blessed with. Although Hong Kong does not set a specific day for this like other countries, being thankful and reflective is something that we can do any day during the year.

I remember a while back, I saw some of my friends were challenged on Facebook to share something they were thankful for each day over a period of days. There were also other challenges where it was more specific like being thankful for their spouse. I enjoyed reading these because the things they were thankful for on a daily basis were not big things that happened that day, but in the little things that happened. It really makes one think to not take things for granted. A simple opportunity to enjoy a brief lunch with friends during a busy day is a blessing. Having your child give you a hug when you come home after a long and tiring day at work is a blessing. I am thankful for my parents and in-laws who are currently visiting. We may have less privacy, but when they came home late last night, it made me realise how much I enjoyed having them here. Their love and support shows through every time we get off work. We have good conversations about the day, there is laughter and then we eat dinner and watch television together.

I read in a book that one family had a tradition of having everyone write something they were thankful for during Thanksgiving and would string up the card at home. Over the years, the string would get longer and longer. The children could read it as they got older and it became part of their family’s story. Help children to be reflective and have a thankful heart.

But what happens when there are things that plague us and tug at our heart strings? Being thankful seems like the last thing we want to do. This is the reality for children as well. The Bible tells us that giving thanks when undergoing suffering is very difficult, but it is meant to strengthen our faith—”For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 17-18. God knows all that is happening. He is purposeful and not a random God.

Helping children to acknowledge those negative feelings and issues are important because they will always encounter ups and downs in life. Help them work through their feelings so that regardless of the outcome of the situation, the children become more thoughtful in difficult situations and can handle it better.

I encourage families to take up the ‘Thankfulness Challenge’ and do it for one week. Ten minutes of family time each day for one week to go around telling each other what they are thankful for and why. It is a wonderful way to start your evening together or right before bed, and then pray and praise God for those things.

Nov
17

NIS Primary: Interview for 2017-18 Applications

We will have our primary school interview for academic year 2017-18 on 7th January, 2017.

Please attend a school tour and submit a complete application package by 3pm on 1st December, and an email will be sent by 5pm on 12th December for the interview time and details. You can book the school tour and download the application form on our website.

If you have attended our school tour and sent your complete application package on time but have not received an email from us by then, please contact our admissions officer on 2658-0341 after 13th December. We are happy to assist you in this process.

Nov
16

Principal’s Message November 16, 2016

When you talk, do not say harmful things. But say what people need — words that will help others be-come stronger. Then what you say will help those who listen to you. — Ephesians 4:29

Parent-teacher conferences are happening this Friday, November 18. Most of our families have booked a time to meet with their classroom teacher. If you have not made an appointment, you can still log into the PTO system to reserve a time. The username and password have been emailed to you by the office.

Some students are anxious to have their parents talk to their teachers while others are confident and happy. It is important to let your child know you are interested in how they are doing in school and that you are there to support and help. Allow your child to share with you any strengths and struggles they are experiencing in class and this can always be something you discuss with the teacher when you go in.

Unlike the comic strip on the side, parent-teacher conferences are meant to encourage parents and the school to work collaboratively for the development of the child. This means that there is open communication, and NIS strongly believes that positive home-school relationships are vital to helping the child be successful.

During the conference, teachers will share about your child’s progress in their learning in the various subjects. Parents should come prepared with questions they may want to ask the teacher, and to prioritise which questions are most important so they are asked first in case time runs out. Although different areas of concern may be raised during the conference, remember to celebrate what your child is successfully doing in school and then be realistic with expectations for the areas of concern. It is important to know where your child’s struggles are before a solution can be mapped out. However, the focus during the conference should not be on the problem, but rather on the solution and how to move forward. Plan with the teacher on how to provide support at home and find out what the school is also doing to help. The teachers will offer suggestions, but parents know their child the best so it would be helpful to give insight on the child to help the teachers understand him or her more.

After the conference, speak with your child about what was discussed during the meeting. Encourage them with what they are doing well and let them know you are aware of the areas they are struggling with, and together talk about ways on how they can work on it. The teacher will keep in touch with you after the conference and this is a great opportunity to strengthen the parent-teacher partnership. It also shows the child that learning is a priority and there is consistency between what is happening at home and school.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday.