9 Nov 2018

Principal’s Message

Dear Parents, Staff, Students and Friends of WIS,

This year, our community is engaged in self-reflection as we reaccredit with the Community of International Schools (CIS). The organisation has established standards for international schools and helps us consider our areas of strength for future growth. As part of that process, we worked with parent representatives from Year 7, 9 and 13 to consider our guiding statements. I would like to share the Annual Report from 2017-18 which we have organised differently to exemplify where we deliver on each of our nine school aims. Although a considerable document, I hope it speaks to you and confirms that West Island is the diligent and caring community we know it to be in our hearts. I also hope it helps you reconnect with our aims and explains them in more depth. As a human organisation we are not perfect, but we know where we are going and we have a team of committed individuals who work diligently for our young people.

We aim for young people to experience a broad and flexible curriculum that can be personalised to individual interests, talents and abilities. This was at the top of people’s minds this week as Year 11 and Year 13 parents came together to consider future options on Thursday. We have introduced Psychology as a new course at iGCSE as well as introducing an Extended BTEC Diploma in Engineering in Year 12. It is equivalent to three A levels and combined with an IB course in maths and physics, as well as an international work experience, will enable students to enter a good range of universities in the UK and Hong Kong. Please contact Mrs Clarke if you need any further details.

Outside of the curriculum we aim for young people to embrace challenge and support in all aspects of their learning: physical, social, emotional and cognitive. A shout out to some exceptional sporting performances:

Jody Lee has won silver in the 200m and bronze in 100 m HKASA championships. C grade boys have won the football semi-finals against Australian International school (4-0) and also beat South Island School in the finals. It was a pleasure to see the championship cup in our trophy cabinet. Congratulations to Hana Lane and Lucia Bolton who represented Hong Kong in the Asia Rugby Under 18 Girls Championship held at the Kalinga Stadium in India (26th to 28th of October). Although reaching the final, they were eventually beaten by a strong Chinese team. The conclusion of this terms swimming teams was an impressive performance by the boys who produced some stunning personal best times in the HKSSF Division 2 competitions. The WIS Boys missed out on Division 1 by just a few points. Finally, well done to Rowen Henderson from Year 9 who participated in his first triathlon at the ASTC Aquathlon Asian Championships securing the third position in his age group.

Attending to the arts, Nicolas Yu who has now reached Year 9 continues to dance his way to the top. Congratulations on being accepted in the ‘Gifted Young Dancer Program’ at the Academy of Performing Arts.

Attending to cognition for us, literally, Winston Lam won the 2nd runner up trophy at the first HK Brain Bee comp finals. The competition fosters knowledge of neuroscience and promotes public awareness of brain health. Anaya Sirothia, Harshita Shree and Jessica Tsang also took part and won accolades.

For our social and emotional health, West Island hosted a conference held by MIND Hong Kong. The charity was formed last year and is gradually tackling the stigma of mental health in Hong Kong. A speaker from the Charlie Waller memorial trust promoted thinking amongst parents and school leaders. As the first Year 10 mindfulness course draws to a close, we’ll update you on the strategies we are teaching young people next week.

We hope you all made room to celebrate Diwali on Wednesday this week. If it passed you by spend a few moments now watching these fun videos to make you smile and laugh at the joy of our young people. Food for the soul.

Service this week comes in the form of awareness and fund raising for breast cancer. Congratulations to upper school students for organising information events, fundraising for research and creating positive change for us today.

Looking ahead, you are warmly invited to the Football Club on Tuesday evening from 7.30 pm to support WIS and HKFC Rovers as they play the Weez Memorial match in memory of Jamie Bruno.

Kind regards,

Chris Sammons


Coming up:

Year 12 Parents’ Evening: Wednesday 14 November

WIS PTA Comedy Night: Thursday 15 November

ELF The Musical : Thursday 6 and Friday 7 December