Kowloon Junior School’s latest newsletter is available to read now.
It has been a very positive week as we get into full speed in the 2017/18 school year. Over the week I have met with ESF principal groups, prospective parent groups, the PTA, the finance and HR sub committee, the School Council, and our CEO, Belinda Greer. In addition I have met with the Middle Leadership Team to delve into how we can improve teaching and learning at KJS and I have met regularly with the Senior Leadership Team as we have analysed the feedback from the parent survey and as we plan for the year ahead. The overriding feeling is one of a learning and school community who are committed to ensure success for every child.
Over the next few weeks I will share the feedback from parents who completed our online survey and any actions that will be taken from the feedback. This week let’s start with the really positive!
The question was, “In which areas do you feel the school is doing really well in achieving its vision of “Success for Every Child”? The responses can be summarised as follows:
1. The school is very effective in supporting the well-being of children.
This was particularly in relation to developing confidence in students and providing a safe and happy learning environment and a holistic child centred school.
2. The school delivers a quality curriculum.
Especially in relation to literacy and reading and also the breadth of the curriculum. Additionally, parents spoke of the rich curriculum content as opposed to a rigid and fragmented curriculum focused solely on maths, literacy, and tests/exams.
3. The teachers and staff focus on effective pedagogy (quality teaching and learning).
Parents commented individual learning needs are met, children are challenged and supported and are encouraged to learn collaboratively and independently. They value the opportunity their children have for creative and critical thinking underpinned by the PYP (click here) programme.
1. Stretching or challenging learners
Parents would like to see their children more aware of needs-based targets or goals and been able to evidence progress with teacher support. We agree with this and have already commenced refining our guidelines, goal setting, and reflection strategies in literacy, maths, and inquiry. We are also working toward greater consistency across the school in formative assessment strategies and strategies to support learner agency.
2. Improve the reporting process
It appears for many parents the reporting process is not providing timely information in a format that is transparent and informative, nor gives parents a clear indication of progress, achievement, next steps, and how parents might help from home. Again we agree. One of the areas we will examine in 2017/18 is our reporting process and format and we will be seeking your input and feedback into this process.
3. Supporting and enhancing personal awareness
Like the school, parents are keen for their children to be self aware, responsible, caring, and having a positive sense of self worth in a supportive environment. Two of the areas we will focus on in 2017/18 will support personal awareness, which are well-being and agency. In addition the disposition focus in the PYP learner profile supports personal awareness.
4. Providing a broad curriculum
Despite this being identified as a strength, it was also identified as an area we can improve on. Parents noted a range of possibilities including values education, mindfulness, outdoor education, the arts, and more mandarin. As part of the bigger picture of moving KJS from ‘good to great’ we will be improving our policy review process which will include regular curriculum reviews with input from all stakeholders. This review process will highlight areas of need.
Overall the feedback from parents was consistent with our own self review data. The information above plus that of other stakeholders will help inform our 2017/18 annual plan and targets. Next week I will share more of the feedback from those who participated in the survey. In the meantime please do contact me if you have questions or contributions you would like to make as we work together toward ‘Success for Every Child.’
On a sadder note at the School Council meeting on Monday night, the council received formal notice of Karen Thomas’ resignation. Karen has won a position as Head of Primary at King Alfred School (click here) in London and will commence her new role in January 2018. I would like to take this opportunity to say what an absolute pleasure it is to work with such a dedicated, knowledgeable, and compassionate educator. I know Karen will be very missed at KJS. We will obviously want to celebrate her contribution to KJS and ESF and will advise the community of farewell events later in the term.
KGV Year 6 Parent Information Evening
Prospective parents are invited to attend the KGV Year 6 Parent Information Evening, 5.30-6.30pm in the school hall on Tuesday 19 September 2017. Please note there is no visitor parking on the school site. No RSVP is necessary. For any enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, please be reminded that the deadline for completing the Y6 to Y7 transfer form on Gateway is Friday 15 September 2017.
This year our Diwali assembly will be held on the Wednesday 18 October. As usual we will choose a selection of acts to perform following the auditions which will be held in school time on Wednesday 27 September. Excitement always runs high about the auditions and performance. As always we ask you to help manage children’s expectations – we appreciate each and every audition and value the efforts of our children, however not all will be able to present at the special Diwali assembly. The final few chosen for the assembly will not necessarily be the most polished but rather representation of different ages and types of acts to share with the community.
If your child is interested in auditioning with a spoken piece, dance, or song please click here to register.
Please note we require group performances to be registered by one parent only.
Isaac (2G) earned a silver award and a merit award in two drawing competitions. He wishes to share this joyful moment with the KJS community. Congratulations Isaac!
Hayley (2G) would like to share that she participated in The Hong Kong Children’s Choir’s 2017 Gala Concert last Sunday. She enjoyed every moment of the concert and had a great performance!
PTA Update – Lantern Festival
Our first PTA event of the year, the KJS Lantern Festival, will be held in the school playground on Friday, 22 September 2017, from 5:30 – 7:30pm. This event is free for all and parents and children are invited to come with your picnic blankets and baskets with food to share. There will be a lantern parade if your children would like to participate at 6:45pm. We were amazed by your lantern-making creativity last year.
We will be selling pre-used uniforms in good condition and some discontinued uniform items at big discounts.
Don’t forget to stop by our special stall selling various festival items including a massive collection of Halloween decorations at big discount donated by a generous KJS parent.
On this night, the PTA AGM will also be held in the Library from 6:00 – 6:45pm. The AGM will give a summary of our activities last year, a financial update of the PTA, and how proceeds of PTA events have been used in supporting KJS School projects. We will also elect the new PTA Committee for 2017-2018. Please click here for the nomination form and the description of each executive role. All KJS parents and teachers are invited to attend, so please do come and hear the latest PTA news.
Should there be more than one candidate for an executive position, then a vote will be called during the AGM. Refreshment will be provided during the meeting. We look forward to Kowloon Junior School being lit up by all the beautiful lanterns.
ESF and Other Notices…
ESF 50th Anniversary Marathon
Please click here for more information and to register for the ESF 50th Anniversary Marathon.
Date for your Diary
Friday 22nd September PTA Lantern Festival/AGM for all the family
Thursday 28th September Parents Workshop: Wonderful and Terrifying: Helping our students stay safe online
2nd – 6th October School closed – Half term holiday
Thursday 12th October Dress casual day
Friday 13th October Parents Workshop: Introduction to the Primary Years Programme (PYP)
Wednesday 18th October Diwali Assembly
Friday 20th October Teacher training (no school for students)
24th – 27th October School photographer in
Friday 27th October Quiz Night for all the family
Monday 6th November Teacher training (no school for students)
14th & 15th November KJS Musical
20th – 22nd November Y4 Camp
Thursday 23rd November Kowloon Netball Tournament
28th November – 1st December Y5 Camp
4th – 8th December Y6 Camp
Wednesday 6th December Y3 & Y4 Sports Day
Wednesday 13th December Y5 & Y6 Sports Day
Friday 15th December Term ends at midday
Kowloon Junior School, English Schools Foundation and its affiliates shall take no responsibility for any activities, events and services that are organised by other organisations or individuals and are mentioned in our newsletters.