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Upper School Newsletter March 25, 2024



Mar 26           Assembly with Olympic Swimmer      Mar 28          Footbal match w/ local school 4:30pm  Mar 28           Meeting Grade 5 Parents                    April 1           DP Visual Art Exhibition                      April 2           Assembly (Gr 6-12)                              Apr 3-5   Tomb Sweeping/Spring Break (no school)  Apr 3              CCA 3 Begins                                      Apr 11            Parent Meeting (GR 6,7,8)                  Apr 16            Personal Project Exhibition                  Apr 21            International Day                                  Apr 23           Grade 12 Pep Rally                                Apr 24-May16   DP EXAMINATION                        Apr 26           Professional Inservice (no school)        Apr 26-27      ACAMIS Leadership Conference        May 6-10       NWEA Testing (Gr 6-8)                        May 20-24    China Trips (Gr 6-10)                            June 1            SAT                                                      June 4-11      Gr. 11 Exams                                          June 14         Graduation                                            June 21         Last Day of School

      CLICK HERE for More Photos      


Mr. Fursey Gotuaco

Upper School Principal



                                           John C. Maxwell


                                            Stephen Covey


It was a wonderful Tuesday as we had students do a presentation for their parents reflecting on their progress to date and  their goals moving forward.  They were analytical and objectively critical of their ATL Skills and their academic progress.  We heartily thank all of you parents who came in to not just be an audience but to also engage your child in how they could have an even more discerning eye towards their progress and goals.

We capped off our weekend with fabulous student led athletic teams.  We had Under 14 Volleyball teams in Shanghai and Suzhou.  We had our soccer players... sorry, FOOTBALL players at a tournament in Nanjing.  Both both boys and girls performed admirably in the sometimes wet weather.  They were great!

While here under our own roof, the Badminton teams gave everyone a run for their money with excellent play in both gyms!  We had high school players, middle school players, and we even had a 5th grade student playing!!!  AND SHE WON!  Kudos to all our athletes who took it upon themselves to go the extra mile and challenge themselves in an athletic endeavor.  

But we weren't done yet!  The fine arts got into the swing of things starting our weekend off with the orchestra playing at lunch time - with a student conductor!  YES, the orchestra was STUDENT LED!!!

The night ended with a fabulous production in the Black Box.  The students gave it everything they had as they had their full house audience laughing in the aisles!  We had students on stage!  We had students backstage!  We had students playing an onstage role of a backstage person!  There was tragedy!  There was comedy!  There were sword fights and there was a lot of blood!  Tons of blood!  Funny blood!  

Whether they were on the pitch, on a court, or holding court on stage, the students at HIS were leading the charge this weekend!  They stepped forward with courage and grew their comfort zones.  On any given weekend, you will see students growing their teamwork, or their partnering skills, or their kinesthetic thinking skills.  They are leading their teammates, their doubles partners, and their cast mates.  They are willing to stand out there in front of everyone and risk.  They threw caution to the wind and gave sacrificed person gain for the good of the teams on which they belonged.  That is all part of students owning their education.  They are leading themselves and others on this journey.  

Our students are leaders!




HIS PAFA Lunch – Namaste India: a cultural feast! (QR code for photos attached)

The PAFA team left no stone unturned in creating an immersive Indian ambiance. The venue, Rosae Hall, was beautifully decorated with colorful fabrics, pretty umbrellas, and exquisite Indian Mandela paintings. To add an authentic touch, special decorations were brought directly from India, thanks to the efforts of Anuja. One corner of the hall showcased a decorated bicycle adorned with flowers, while the showstopper of the event was a photo booth shaped like an Indian auto-rickshaw.

As guests arrived, they were warmly welcomed at the registration table, where each person received a lovely Indian bangle and a bindi, a traditional forehead decoration. Some parents even dressed up in traditional Indian clothes,and PAFA had thoughtfully arranged a room displaying clothes borrowed from Indian parents, allowing everyone to experience the beauty of traditional Indian garments. It was heartwarming to witness parents donning sarees, suits, and Lenghas, taking pictures in colorful dupattas against the backdrop of the meticulously decorated area.

There were fun activities for everyone to enjoy and learn more about Indian culture. People could get henna tattoos on their hands, temporary designs. They also had pouches that they could decorate with pretty Indian laces and take home as souvenirs.

After the activities, everyone went inside and enjoyed a delicious variety of food from the hotel, including some tasty Indian dishes. The flavors and smells of the food made everyone feel like they were in India.

The highlight of the afternoon was the lively dance session led by Namrata, a talented HIS Parent on the infectious beats of Indian music. Everyone joined in and had a blast dancing together. The whole room was filled with laughter and happiness as parents showed off their dance moves.

Namaste India: A Cultural Celebration organized by PAFA was a big success. It brought people together and offered a glimpse into the vibrant and wonderful culture of India. It showed how important it is to appreciate and celebrate different cultures. By the end of the day, everyone had made great memories, formed new friendships, and gained an understanding and appreciation of Indian culture.

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PAFA Kitchen #5

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PAFA Kitchen #6

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PAFA Lunch

PAFA Kitchen -Chinese and Indonesian deliciouscooking sessions

Chinese kitchen

After a rejuvenating Chinese New Year break, we kicked off the Year of the Dragon with a unique cooking class led by our very own parent chef, Melody. With the assistance of two other parents, we delved into the world of Chinese cuisine on a chilly snowy morning. Excitement and warmth filled the classroom as we learned how to make a variety of dumplings, including chicken and shrimp, as well as vegetarian options for our non-meat eating friends. For many of us, it was our first time trying our hand at filling and folding dumplings, making for an unforgettable experience.

From there, we moved on to cooking succulent pork ribs, infused with traditional Chinese spices, and a refreshing spicy tofu and enoki mushroom salad. As the ribs slowly cooked, Melody also taught us how to make a simple yet satisfying hot and sour soup, perfect for the winter weather. To top off the class, the Pafa kitchen team treated us to Thang yuan, a delicious Chinese dessert, while we all enjoyed our freshly cooked dishes and engaged in lively conversations. It was a fun and educational experience for our international parents, providing them with a glimpse into the world of Chinese cooking.

Indonesian kitchen

On a beautiful and bright Monday morning, the parents of the community gathered at The Kitchen to indulge in the flavors of Indonesia. The event was organized by our very own Pafa member Renata Branham and Yanti McLaren, with assistance from Katie Zhang. As the lively Indonesian music filled the air, the chefs began their class with a burst of vibrant colors from the ingredients used for cooking. The first recipe shared was Bakwan Jagung, a simple yet delicious corn fritter dish with a secret ingredient that delighted all the participants.

Next, the famous Gado gado salad with peanut sauce dressing was taught, followed by the main course of Gulai Ayam and Temp Orek, both of which were incredibly flavorful. To end the session on a sweet note, the chefs shared  Kue Lapis, a traditional dessert. As the aroma of the dishes filled the room, it caught the attention of various students and faculty as well who were around for their lunch. It was a truly enjoyable and enriching Monday morning for all who attended.


Please remind your children to put their names on their items so that we can return it to them.  If your child has lost any clothing or items like water bottles, please take an opportunity, when you are on campus,  to look through our lost and found for any items that might be yours.


go to the calendar tab on the school website and scroll down

PAFA Fitness

Join us for a Yoga session this Thursday morning! 


Nurturing Education through Screen Time and Offline Activities

by Danie de Beer

Director of Technology

The Importance of Sleep, Screen Time, and Relaxing Time for Students

In today's fast-paced world, students are constantly bombarded with academic pressures, social obligations, and technological distractions. As a result, many students struggle to maintain a healthy balance between their schoolwork, screen time, and relaxation. In this article, we will explore the importance of getting enough sleep, managing screen time, and making time for relaxation in order to support students' overall well-being and academic success.

Importance of Sleep:

One of the most crucial factors in a student's academic performance and overall health is getting enough sleep. Research has shown that sleep plays a vital role in memory consolidation, cognitive function, and emotional regulation. When students do not get enough sleep, they may experience difficulties concentrating in class, retaining information, and managing their emotions. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a host of health issues, including obesity, depression, and decreased immune function.

To ensure that students are getting enough sleep, it is important for them to establish a consistent bedtime routine, create a sleep-friendly environment, and prioritize their sleep schedule over late-night studying or screen time. By getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night, students can improve their academic performance, mood, and overall well-being.

Managing Screen Time:

In today's digital age, students are spending more time than ever on electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. While technology can be a valuable tool for learning and communication, excessive screen time can have negative effects on students' health and academic performance. Research has shown that prolonged screen time can lead to eye strain, disrupted sleep patterns, and decreased physical activity.

To manage screen time effectively, students should set limits on their device usage, take regular breaks from screens, and engage in offline activities, such as reading, exercising, or socializing with friends. By reducing screen time and balancing it with other activities, students can improve their focus, productivity, and overall well-being.

Making Time for Relaxation:

In addition to getting enough sleep and managing screen time, it is important for students to make time for relaxation and self-care. High levels of stress and anxiety can have a detrimental impact on students' mental health, academic performance, and overall quality of life. By incorporating relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or hobbies, students can reduce stress levels, improve their mood, and enhance their resilience in the face of challenges.

It is essential for students to prioritize self-care activities, such as exercise, hobbies, socializing, and relaxation, in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance. By taking breaks, practicing self-care, and seeking support when needed, students can improve their overall well-being, academic performance, and long-term success.

HIS International Day 2024!

Save the date, Sunday, April 21st

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. 

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 a traditional dance/song on stage, share celebrations from your country), and if you are not in an HIS Families Groups, but either you or your child are from those countries, please contact Ms. Andrea Stubbs:

Family Groups (ONLY if you or your child are from the country): Germany, South Korea, France, China (HK, Macau, Taiwan), South America, USA, Italy, Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippines), India, UK, Australia and New Zealand, Portugal, Mexico, etc.  


The strings orchestra performed the theme from Game of Thrones as a warm up for the production of Game of Tiaras.  In addition to all the great players, we also had Anna Lu who conducted the orchestra!  For at least one day.. ANNA LU, MOTHER OF DRAGONS!!!

Fabulous job String Orchestra!!!

                                                   HIS                                                                          COLLEGE COUNSELING INFORMATION                     

Carrie Sun

Upper School Counselor

 "Global Horizons: Navigating University Visits for International Students"

Part One

For HIS students planning to study abroad, understanding how to navigate university visits can be really helpful in making informed decisions. This week, we focus on how to effectively plan and engage in campus tours globally.

Strategic Planning for Your Campus Tour

Begin your preparations early, preferably in your penultimate year of high school. Carefully select universities that align with your academic and personal interests, considering not just the institution, but the lifestyle and opportunities it offers. I would recommend if at all possible visiting the top three to four schools on your list

Engaging Actively in Campus Tours

Stay at the front of the tour to fully engage with the guide and surroundings. Don’t accept a "real estate" tour; this is about getting a feel for the campus environment. Asked the questions you want answers to and while you are walking around gauge the walking distances to essential places like libraries, labs, and lecture halls.

Exploring Beyond the Campus

Venture beyond the campus to discover nearby coffee shops and restaurants. This exploration is crucial for understanding the daily life and community you might join. These local haunts can offer a more authentic sense of the area’s culture and vibe. Make a contest out of it-for example find the best Chinese food you can within walking distance of every school you visit!

Interactive Inquiries

Ask the admission office when you make the appointment if you can speak with a professor or teaching assistant in your field of interest. Requesting a private conversation can provide deeper insights into academic life and opportunities at the university. Also ask them if while on campus you can visit the buildings of your academic department of interest. It really helps to be able to visualize where you will be spending a lot of your time over the next three to four years studying what you are passionate about!

Stay tuned for next week's Part Two, where we'll delve into crucial aspects like local community integration, financial considerations, and building a support network as an international student. Your journey to finding the perfect global university is just getting started, and university counseling department will be there with you every step of the way!



TEST DATE                       REGISTRATION

JUNE 1                                   MAY 17


We encourage students to contact one of the university counselors  with any questions about university entrance requirements. 

                  Mr. Mark Donagher

                          Ms. Iris Zhang

                          Ms. Carrie Sun

                     Dr. Ryan Beddows

                      Dr. Monica Prieto

Fridays HIS Artisan Food Market is back! 

Every Friday from 2:30 to 4:30 pm

Every Friday HIS along with our community Artisans will offer to purchase tasty treats and excellent snacks from the different food vendors attending.

Come for a pleasant afternoon to end the school week, and head out for a relaxing and fun weekend with a happy stomach!

For information, contact Ms. Andrea:

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On Saturday HIS hosted the 2024 U19 HISAC Badminton Tournament. Close to 100 players from 6 schools in Hangzhou and Ningbo participated in Boys and Girls Singles and Doubles events. HIS had a big contingent of almost 30 players and faced some really strong competition which was a fantastic step up for them to experience before upcoming SISAC and ACAMIS tournaments in April. HIS tasted success in both girls Divisions with our girls in the doubles combination of Vinisha and Raina taking 1st Place. An extra special congratulations to Grade 5 Xiner who was called into the team following her U14 HISAC win the previous Saturday and was again triumphant in the U19 Competition against much older opponents. She battled physically after a long day of singles matches and took out the Championship match in 3 close sets, 16-14 in the deciding 3rd set! 


Our Grade 5-8 Volleyball teams finished their seasons on Saturday with 4 teams travelling to 4 locations across Shanghai and Suzhou. These tournaments give students the opportunity to play many games in 1 day against a host of International Schools in those cities. While the students are there to do their best, the beauty of these CISSA CRE is that they focus on participation and fun. There are no trophies or medals, just lots of your boys and girls enjoying themselves, making friends and improving their skills and understanding with help from their coaches. It is a fantastic philosophy for sports at this age and all reports are that our students had a great time – even if they had a very early departure!! Well done to all students and coaches on your volleyball season which has now ended. We had fantastic numbers at practices and look to have some talent moving through to Varsity teams in coming years. 


In their first road trip of the season, the Varsity Football teams put in a strong showing at the ISNAC Tournament in Nanjing. HIS is an invited guest of the newly formed ISNAC competitions (International Schools of Nanjing Athletics Conference) and both boys and girls made the long trip to Nanjing worthwhile by getting some great results and competitive contests. The Boys backed up their HISAC win the previous weekend by finishing as Runners-up, losing only 1 of their 4 matches by the narrow margin of 3-4 to the eventual Champions from Hefei. The Girls continue their good run of form and won all 4 matches without conceding a goal and playing some fantastic team football which left opposing coaches lost for answers. Captain Angel was particularly impressed with the improved on-field communication by the players. The teams now have a few weeks before upcoming SISAC and ACAMIS events in April. 


Current Seasons 

Varsity Football (Soccer) - Monday, Wednesday, Friday 

Varsity and Grade 5-8 Track and Field – Tuesday, Thursday 

Grade 5-8 Basketball Season –Monday / Thursday 

Grade 5-8 Touch Rugby Season –Tuesday/ Thursday 

Upcoming Dates 

Thursday 28th March – Grade 5-8 Boys and Girls Friendly Football matches @ HIS vs Hupan School, Baimahu. (from 4:30) 

Saturday 30th March – HISAC Swim Meet – Round 3 @ Wellington College Hangzhou 


Registrations have now closed for CCA3. Late registrations can still be submitted online at the HIS website for the CCA activities which still have available places. 

CCA3 begins immediately after Qingming Festival Holiday on Monday 8th April. 



Monday: Regular Swim Team Practice (Tadpoles, Blue, Pre-Gold, Gold) 

Tuesday: Swim Clinic (Gold - 6:30 – 7:30 AM), (Silver - 3:30 – 5:30 PM) 

Wednesday: Swim Clinic (Gold - 6:30 – 7:30 AM), (Pre-Gold - 3:45 – 5:45 PM) 

Thursday: Swim Clinic (Gold - 6:30 – 7:30 AM), (Bronze - 3:30 – 5:30 PM) 

Friday: Blue and Tadpoles - 3:30 – 5:30 PM 

Please plan accordingly and make your transportation arrangements.  


Essential – Fins, Kickboard, Water bottle, Swimsuit, Goggles, Swim Cap 

Recommended – Pull Buoy, Hand Paddle 


We wish the best of luck to our HIS Dragons swimmers who will participate this Saturday, March 30, at the HISAC Round 3 Swim Meet hosted by Wellington College Hangzhou! 


Due 4:00 PM Tuesday, March 26 



Gold Squad – Jake Li (G6) 

Pre-Gold Squad – Yichun (Nemo) Zhang (G5) 

Silver Squad – Layton Lao (G4) 

Bronze Squad – Tilda Iburg (G6) 

Blue Squad – Aloise Caboche (G5), Samuel Lu (G4) 

Tadpoles – Erin Wu (G2) 


March 26 to 29 – HIS Swim Clinic (New) 

March 30 – HISAC Round 3 (WCIS) 

April 13 & 14 – SSL Championships (SASPD) 


Swim Team Registration and Handbook 

2023-2024 Swim Meet Schedule 

Aquatics Calendar 

HIS Swim Records 

Swim Meet Results 

International Baccalaureate 

Diploma Programme


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Student Leadership is a priority here at HIS. 

Each week, we spotlight a student leader and give them an opportunity to tell you about their clubs, sports, and activities.  

Game of Tiaras – March 23 Showday!

Weekly Princess – Cinderella

by Tonya Liu & Bonnie Wang

By Elaine Lu  Gr 9 (President UNSC)

Allison Wang (gr 8) (Deputy President UNESCO) 

On March 14-17, 2024, the HIS delegation of 25 delegates and 2 committee presidents shined at their destination, DAISMUN XIV. With the theme of “Redefining the Impossible: Realizing the Changes”, delegates were able to gain invaluable insights into the complexities of global diplomacy and the art of finding common ground in a diverse world. After weeks of preparations, delegates spent the weekend in their committee rooms working hard to combat complex issues. 

The HIS Delegation and Presidents are thankful for the guidance of our MUN directors, Ms. Chelsea Wood, Mr. Joel Bastedo, and Ms. Carrie Sun, in addition, the Upper School Principal, Mr. Fursey Gotuaco.  

For DAISMUN XIV, the committees have been divided into 4 different sections that welcomed all levels of experience. These included: Beginner (UNEP), regular (UNOOSA, UNESCO), advanced (UNSC), and special committees (ICJ, US Congress). Topics ranged from eliminating hyperinflation, addressing post-natural disaster humanitarian needs, to regulating biotechnology to restrict criminal and improving safeguards for nuclear energy fueled space operations. The US Congress senators passionately addressed women’s access to reproductive freedom and combating climate change and its effects. The delegates’ ideas, skills, and commitment to dialogue are invaluable in shaping the resolutions and policies that aim to address the world's most pressing issues.  

The committee awards are always highly anticipated during the closing ceremony. The president and deputy presidents of the committees would review on the overall performance of delegates and nominate awards. The awards at DAISMUN XIV included outstanding delegate/s and best delegate in each committee, and overall best delegation. UNEP, UNOOSA, UNESCO, ICJ, and US Congress each presented 2 Outstanding Delegate awards and 1 Best Delegate award, and UNSC presented 1 Outstanding Delegate Award and 1 Best Delegate award. 

Every delegate from HIS did their best during the conference, asking numerous POIs, submitting endless amendments, and contributing greatly to fruitful debates. The HIS delegation took home 10 individual awards across all six committees. This included: 

UNEP: Outstanding delegate, Kanisha D  

UNOOSA: Outstanding delegate Sylvie H and Ruhi G; Best delegate Tiger L  

UNESCO: Outstanding delegate Amber L; Best delegate Naomi X  

US Congress: Outstanding delegate Divay A, ad David Y  

UNSC: Outstanding delegate Preston R  

ICJ: Best Witness Joshua C   

The HIS delegation was proud to bring back the final award, BEST DELEGATION. This DAISMUN XIV experience created another unforgettable memory for our MUN group and we returned to Hangzhou with new knowledge and insights. 

Outside of committee rooms, we also had fun at Dalian. As a group, we went on beach walks, had dinner together, and some joined food and mall adventures with Mr Gotuaco, enjoying the time we had together for our last MUN trip of the year. Despite the coldness of the wind and sea, all of us were very excited about going to the Golden Pebble Beach. We played in the water, walked in the sand, and took pictures of everyone so we can capture every moment we had together. While one group of students were at the beach, the other group went to a nearby mall, Wanda Plaza. They ate dinner together, hung out at the mall, and even some of the most hilarious moments of the trip were created with them. No matter what activity we were a part of, we made the best of it and it made our trip to Dalian more memorable. 

Our unforgettable Dalian trip ended as the plane hit the ground in Hangzhou on Sunday afternoon. It marked the end of our last conference of the 2023-2024 school year but was also the success we will continue to strive for at MUN conferences in the future. Congratulations to all the delegates for such a successful conference. 


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CLICK for Dragon Shop Catalogue

Middle School Uniform Guidelines 6-8

Middle Schoolers should wear tan shorts, trousers, or skirts and a navy blue polo shirt (short or long sleeved) with the HIS book logo. A navy fleece or cardigan sweater with the HIS logo or other approved outerwear such as the HIS hoodie sweatshirt can be worn in the cooler weather. All students must wear laced shoes.

High School Uniform Guidelines 9-12

High Schoolers should wear tan shorts or trousers, or plaid skirts (girls only) and a light blue Oxford cloth button down short or long sleeved short with the HIS book logo. A navy fleece or cardigan sweater with the HIS logo or other approved outerwear such as the HIS hoodie sweatshirt can be worn in the cooler weather. All students must wear laced shoes.

Students will be asked to remove outerwear (coats, hoodies, sweatshirts, etc) in lessons unless they carry the HIS logos. Students who are cold will be invited to go to the Dragon Shop to purchase acceptable HIS items. 

Families can purchase items at the Dragon Shop open 

Mondays to Fridays from 

8:05am - 2:45pm and 3:15pm - 4:00pm

For more information, please contact the Dragon Shop:


See the updated lunch menu weekly and monthly as posted on the school website. 

Lunch Menu

HIS Mission Statement

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


Hangzhou International School
2190 Xiangbin Road, Bin Jiang District, Hangzhou 310052
Phone: +86 571 8669 0045
Email: Website: