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Lower School Newsletter 27 February 2023




DATES                 Upcoming Event

*28 February   Round 3 CCA registration commences                         *3   March       100 Day Celebration   *27-29 March     Book Fair                   *28 March    Student-Led Conferences  *31 March    Mid-term progress reports *3-5 April    Spring break/tomb sweeping

2023-2024 dates

*23 August -15 December -Semester 1 2023                                                *09 January -21 June         -Semester 2 2024

            MANDARIN CURRICULUM                           MORNING -ECE- EY-K                   EVENING-EY-12 

Parent Coffee Morning NWEA reports 

Last Thursday we were so glad to have over 40 parents show up to listen to and have questions answered about the NWEA MAPS Test. Much of the discussion was around how teachers use the scores, what growth mindset means, how NWEA measures and produces scores and overall data collection established by NWEA.

Here were some of the key takeaways from the coffee morning session:

The MAPs test is an adaptive test, and all students experience a different test based on their answers. The questions get easier with incorrect answers and get more difficult with correct answers.

The NWEA MAPs test is not timed but students tend to finish it in less than an hour. Their RIT score is used to ensure there is a stable measure for outcomes of the test.

MAPs testing is not a standardized test or considered high stakes. We use the data to help facilitate teaching and learning.

In order to prevent students from guessing, NWEA has a feature that pauses testing and alerts the test monitor of a student guessing and going too fast. This helps ensure students are given needed refocus when applicable and helps in making sure your child’s score reflects their abilities and knowledge.

Your best source for supporting your child and their indicated NWEA MAPs scores is your child’s teacher. They can help and discuss any and all facets of what your child’s strengths and areas of growth are.

Whether you were able to attend this coffee meeting or not, no worries, if you have any questions or guidance needed that go beyond what your child’s teacher can offer, please feel free to reach out to me and I will be more than happy to work with you in answering and guiding.

              Principal's Message        

Dear Parents,

Seeing so many of you in the school attending events and assisting on field trips has been excellent. 

Mandarin Curriculum Morning and Evening

I'm sure you, like me, were so proud of our students and the work they are doing with their fabulous and hardworking Mandarin team.

I know the ECE parents were delighted to learn what the program looked like for their child and the rest of the early-year classes. The children were so excited to have you in their learning environment with them, and they very capably explained and demonstrated the provocations that support their Mandarin development.

Our Gr1-5 students were so impressive and delighted sharing all they had been doing, whether new to Mandarin or having spoken to it since birth.

It was exciting that they could help me translate their work into English so that I could understand.

We sincerely thank all the Mandarin staff and Ms. Sarah for her work in creating and editing the video.

Field trips

Our students enjoy getting out into the local community and exploring museums, ancient towns, nature walks, exhibitions, and live performances as they make real-life connections to their inquiry learning. We hope you have enjoyed the time with the students too! Thank you to the many parents who have supported the classes as they leave the campus.


Please monitor and check your children for flu-like symptoms, and if they don't ease quickly, then please seek medical support. We urge all parents not to send children to school if they are unwell and to give adequate time for recovery before returning to the classroom. 

Count Up to 100 Celebration this Friday 3 March 

I hope you will help your child join in the fun and dress up as someone 100 years to celebrate this milestone at HIS Lower School. All students from EY1-Grade5 will participate in fun filled Math focussed tasks to celebrate the day. Grades will also join together for a parade.

CCA Round 3

Please note that registration for the next round of CCA's starts tomorrow, Tuesday, 28 February, and finishes on Saturday. You will receive information on how to register on Moments.

Have a great week.

Kind regards,


Lynn Pendleton 

LS Principal


Our students from K-Grade 5 are counting up to 100 days of school this academic year. This is a terrific opportunity to be involved in Math talks and to see the different ways the numbers can be represented! Each class will have about 3 numbers to explore! We will have a celebration when we reach 100 days!

       Students from K to Grade 5          Start preparing your costumes to help mark                          our first                                                100 Day celebration                    at our new HIS campus!

Health and Safety Reminders Care for our LS community

 Wearing masks to enter the school is optional for students and staff. Masks will still be available for students who want to wear them. 

Please note all visitors must wear masks.

Temperature and hand sanitizer checks will still continue.

 Procedures and Protocols

 We have a number of students with high temperatures this week. Please ensure that if your child is ill that they do not attend school If your child continues with a high temperature or remains unwell, please seek medical support. We ask that parents err on the side of caution and keep children at home until they have fully recovered. 

Please pay strict attention to your COVID/flu prevention protocols and monitor your health code status regularly.

Masks are optional on entry and can be removed when children are inside the school grounds.

 Please note that if your child is absent due to COVID you must ensure they have a valid negative COVID test to reenter the school. Please forward your child's result to or

New Drop Off Procedures Main Gate

To assist with traffic flow and wet weather there will now be two access points for students when they enter the Main Campus gate. ECE procedures remain the same.

From the LS Vice Principal and PYP Coordinator Ms. Cilla 

Mandarin Language Learning at HIS: Part Two

Thank you to all the families who supported the Mandarin Curriculum event last Wednesday. Seeing so many people on our campus celebrating our Mandarin program was fantastic. The teachers and students worked hard to share their learning process with you to help you understand how we teach Mandarin at HIS.

We recognize that children do not learn a language in isolation, and the family is essential to helping our students to progress and feed confident understanding, responding to, speaking and writing Mandarin.

Here are some ways that you can support your child’s language development at home, no matter what stage of development your child is at:

· Set goals: Set goals together and how you can support your reach to reach them

· Get out: Take your child out to explore places in Hangzhou – the best way to learn and appreciate a language is to use it in context and for real purposes

· Use it: When out and about, encourage your child to use the language they are learning at school

· Notice: Highlight examples of language and language features in the world around you

· Explore: Visit museums and places that tell the story of Hangzhou and China’s history

· Get talking: Practice with native speakers as much as possible

· Be a role model: Learn a language yourself – and model the learning process

· Make mistakes: Be okay with mistakes! Learning a language is hard; encourage attempts to speak and try out new words and sentence structures

· Recast: If your child says something wrong, you can recast it by saying back what they said correctly without formally correcting them or telling them they’re wrong. For example, “Yes, we could go play at the swing this afternoon.”

· Read: Expose your child to a range of books and encourage reading and retelling the story

· Question: Ask your child a variety of questions about what they are reading

· Write: Encourage your child to write for a range of purposes – letters to friends, community leaders, stories, journals, shopping lists, etc. using the pinyin and characters they know and are learning

· Connect: Ask your child questions about what they are learning in class, what helps them to learn and how they can use their new knowledge

· Listen: Sing songs, watch TV shows, movies and plays in Mandarin

· Find out: Have a dictionary to help translate/find out unknown words

· Practice: Practice every day

· Have patience: Be patient – learning a language takes time, especially if you want to acquire academic language

· Have fun: Encourage creativity and play with the language. The more fun you can have with language, the better your child will learn and develop the skills they need to feel confident.

And, most importantly, make sure to share your language adventures with us.


            Unit of Inquiry in Action          Students from Gr1, 2 and 3 out on field trips!    Connecting to our community is inquiry.



Moments 365 Help

Help with Moments 365 is available from Mr Emlyn Majoos (Mr.M) to ensure we have all parents using this platform.  If you need a Chinese or speaker of another language please contact Mr M.and we will arrange support.

Contacting Teachers

We ask parents to contact teachers via Moments 365 or by email. Teachers are busy working with students, attending meetings, preparing class materials, and ensuring student safety. They infrequently look at their computers or mobile phones and may miss your message. For changes to pick-up arrangements or urgent news, please get in touch with the school secretaries, who are online all day.

ECE                           LS main building

Online teaching and Student/Teacher contact

For online teaching and correspondence between teachers and students we use TEAMS.

               SWIMMING NEWS          


Practice basic water safety. Teach your children to always ask for—and receive— your permission before entering any body of water. And always watch your children and stay within arm’s reach of any weak or inexperienced swimmer in the water.  

Know how to recognize an emergency. A person struggling at the surface or face-down in the water or on the bottom of the pool and not moving is in trouble and needs help. Tell the lifeguard or an adult right away. 


Water competency means having the basic, minimum skills needed to be safe and survive in the water. It means more than just knowing how to swim. It also includes the ability to:  

Enter the water and submerge completely.  

Recover to the surface and stay there for at least 1 minute by treading water or floating. 

Turn completely (360 degrees) and orient to the exit.  

Level off and propel oneself on the front or back through the water for at least 25 meters.  

Exit the water.  

Remember, you may be water competent in one type of aquatic environment, for example, a pool. However, this does not mean that you are water competent in another environment, such as a lake or ocean. Each environment is different, and more skill is required. 

PARENT’S CORNER: How can you help? 

Talk to your child’s instructor about strategies to help your child participate as independently as possible without mom or dad in the class with them.  

Take some time to talk with the instructor to find out how your child is doing.  

Encourage your child to use the bathroom before swimming lessons.  

Remember, children develop swimming skills at different rates. Offer praise and encouragement at each lesson.  

Review water safety tips for your home.  

Maintain a “safety-first” attitude and always be on the lookout for a possible water emergency.  

Take your child to public or family swims to increase his or her comfort level and confidence in the water. 


Our warmest CONGRATULATIONS go out to all the swimmers who moved up a level this past week. You made us all proud of your consistent hard work and dedication each day, and how far you have come. Hat’s off for everyone’s amazing efforts! Go Dragons! 


Kaho Inoue (G5) - Pre-Gold  

Ethan Yang (G5) - Pre-Gold 

Vanness Chang (G5) - Pre-Gold 

William Lou (G5) - Pre-Gold 

Pippa Willoughby (G5) - Pre-Gold 

Ning Ning Wang (G5) - Bronze 

Chloe Wang (G3) - Pre-Gold 

Byron Lo (G3) - Bronze 

Eddie Liu (G3) - Bronze 

Elsa Willoughby (G3) - Bronze (New) 

Derek Yeng (G3) - Blue 


Joon Lee (G7) - Bronze 

Fiona Hong (G7) - Bronze 

Tiger Lu (G7) - Bronze 

Hyun Park (G6) - Bronze 

Cathy Zhang (G5) - Bronze 


March 11 - Shanghai Swim League Round 4 at Shanghai American School – Pudong  

March 17-18 – ACAMIS Senior Swim Championships at ISB Beijing 

March 24-25 - ACAMIS Junior Swim Championships at SWIS Shenzhen 

April 22-23 – Shanghai Swim League Championships at Shanghai American School – Pudong 

April – HISAC Round 3 at Wellington College Hangzhou 

May – HISAC Developmental Meet at The Wave HIS 

CLICK THE LINK BELOW for Swim Meet Results 

Email for inquiries, and visit the Aquatics Swim Meet Calendar for updated events and practice schedules. 

              CCA INFORMATION                STORYBOX CREATIONS

We have been having such a great time exploring different stories, characters, and settings in our Storybox Creations CCA. With the help of Ms. Caro and Ms. Cocoa, the students have been using different materials to create their characters which will then go inside their story boxes. The students also had a chance to paint their story box and they chose some very clever settings. It will be exciting to see what they will continue to create over the next few weeks.


CCA3 registration begins tomorrow Tuesday 28th February through to Saturday 4th March  6pm. More information will be sent out through Moments in the Lower School.

Please visit the Co-Curricular page on the HIS website for more information  

You can also send an email to if you have any inquiries. 


Please assist staff by advising us early (before lunchtime) wherever possible, if you need your child to do something different at their usual pick-up time and location. Teachers focus on working and engaging their class while maintaining a safe environment. They get to their computers sporadically and may miss changes. In addition, some classes are with Specialist staff for the last lesson and bring the students to the pick-up locations. They may be unaware of last-minute changes.

If you need to make a late change to plans, I'd suggest you send a message to our Lower School secretaries, or in the ECE, and they can pass on your message.

COVID Procedures and Protocols

Please pay strict attention to your COVID prevention protocols and monitor your health code status regularly.

Masks are optional on entry and can be removed when children are inside the school grounds.

Please note that if your child is absent due to COVID you must ensure they have a valid COVID test to reenter the school. Please forward your child's result to or

HIS Social Media.

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             DRAGON NEWS IS OUT!            

DragonNews Winter/Spring issue is out online! (Poster Attached)

Click the link:

Printed copies will be distributed to the students next week. We hope you enjoy this issue!

PAFA coffee morning -RSVP- March 02-

Parents, please join us for a joyful and social morning this Thursday, March 02.

We hope that during this coffee morning you learn more about the different opportunities to connect by grade level, and about the coming school events for the whole family!

Details and QR code to RSVP are in the poster.

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Andrea.

PAFA Spring Lunch -March 15-

Join us! Let’s welcome the spring season in great company, enjoying a nice meal, and making a flower arrangement!  Scan the QR code to register.

HIS International Day!   -Save the date, Saturday, April 29

What is International Day? 

Is an HIS traditional event at open to HIS students, parents, faculty, and staff members, and the wider HIS community. During the event, we all represent our cultural backgrounds participating in the “Parade of Nations”, followed by the Dragon and Lion Dance, traditional performances, activities, food from all over the world, and much more. This year we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary as well!

Please, if you would like to organize as a country and participate in any way to celebrate your cultural background and community (traditional food, share traditional games, perform on stage, share celebrations from your country), please contact Ms. Andrea Stubbs.  

                   Lost Property               

Please label your child's jackets, coats, umbrellas, waterbottles......everything! It is very worrying to see the number of unclaimed items, some of them brand new, but without a name and the ability to find the owner! We will try and locate the owner if the item has a name on it! Please help us and avoid needing to buy new items that could be located, if only we knew who it belonged to.

              LIBRARY NEWS         

Dear Families,

Students enjoyed observing the different vegetables with magnifying glasses. And some friends inquired why they dried. Some friends would like to draw what they see. Students liked the book very much and they tried to match the animals in book with toy animals. Sometimes, you will be surprised that some students can easily find which animal is missing by comparing with the book. And some friends are using their math skills to try how to fit all the animals inside all the different boxes.

We have almost been at school for 100 days! We have a book display with many different books that have a 100 of something or are about celebrating 100 days at school. Come and check them out in the library!

This week the spotlight is on another Battle Of The Books, the book is “Magic Candies” written by Heena Baek. Here is the synopsis of the book:

Tong Tong could never have imagined what everyone around him was thinking. But when he gets hold of some magic candies, suddenly there are voices everywhere.

Is Tong Tong ready to hear it?

Both the ECE and LS libraries have a great Mandarin book selection. The students have a great choice of English and Mandarin books to check out.

If you would like to contact the libraries, please use the email addresses listed below:

ECE Library, Ms. Ivy –

Lower School Library, Mrs. Majoos and Ms. Amy –

Upper School Library, Ms. Sara and Ms. Cocoa –

Happy reading!

Best wishes,

Mrs. Majoos

Lower School Librarian


Parent and Student ID Cards

All students and parents should have an HIS Identification Card. Please review the information on the website to submit your photo to the secretary for ID card generation. HIS ID card information



School Uniform

Please wear our school uniform with pride each day, and we seek your support in having your child dressed in the complete uniform each day. We will notify you if it is a special day to dress up; otherwise, students should be in uniform. Also, please have your child wear their PE kit on swim days (Grade1-5). Please label your child's clothing to help us return it to you. We often find many items without names, and the students cannot recognize their belongings.    

Purchasing School Uniform

Families can purchase items at the Dragon Shop. It is open

Monday to Friday from 

9.00 am-11.00 am and 1.00 pm-3.00 pm

For more information, please contact the dragon shop:


Lynn Pendleton

Lower School Principal 

Aaron Ayers

Lower School

Vice Principal

Student Welfare

Cilla Giannopoulos

Lower School

Vice Principal 

PYP Co-ordinator


What's for Lunch?

See this week's cafeteria menu

HIS Mission Statement

We provide international learners with opportunities to pursue academic and personal excellence within a caring community.