6 Mar 2019

Newsletter- 06/03/19

Kowloon Junior School’s latest newsletter is available to read now.


Dates for Your Diary

6 to 8 March                                       Y4 Camp

12 to 15 March                                   Council of International Schools Preparatory Visit

Saturday 16 March                            KJS School Fair

27 & 29 March                                    Y2 Trips to Mong Kok Flower Market

Thursday 28 March                           Basketball Tournament at KJS

Friday 29 March                                 Annual Music Concert

Monday 1 April                                    School-wide Exams (just kidding, April Fools!)

Tuesday 2 April                                   Wear Blue Day for Autism Awareness

Thursday 4 April                                  ESF Primary Choral Concert

Friday 5 April                                       Ching Ming Festival – No school

Monday 8 April                                    Student Led Conference (evening)

Tuesday 9 April                                   Student Led Conference (full day)

Thursday 11 April                                School Disco

Friday 12 April                                   Last day of term – Half day

15 to 26 April                                       Term Break – No school


Dear Parents,

We hope you enjoyed book week as much as we did. What a wonderful celebration of literature, reading and technology!

In relation to technology, some of you may have heard of the “Momo Challenge” recently. The evidence points to this being a hoax. However, this is a timely reminder to ensure you take measures at home to ensure your child’s online safety. As always, take your child’s concerns seriously so that you can respond to real threats and also so that your child is reassured that you will listen to their concerns regarding online worries be they real or perceived.

I have invited Mr. Paul Anderson, our leader of Maths at KJS, to contribute to the newsletter this week. Please take the time to read his report below. Additionally, Mr. Ciarian Fay presented a session on ISA and InCAS data to Year 4 and 6 parents last week; the presentation is here.


Kind regards



Neill O’Reilly



“If students are not making conjectures and reasoning, they’re not engaging in mathematics” Jo Boaler, Stanford University, 12th February 2019.

This was one of the key messages from Professor Jo Boaler of Stanford University at the Mathematical Mindsets Leadership summit I attended in February.  Jo Boaler and her team held the summit at Stanford University with district maths leaders from around the world.  We engaged with the latest research on brain plasticity and how our brains develop an understanding of maths.  This obviously has huge implications on the way we all as a learning community, foster an understanding, curiosity and passion for mathematics.

One district maths leader took the time to share his young daughter’s experience.  His daughter of 6 years old had barely begun her formal education.  One evening she said ‘Daddy, I know I will not be good at maths like you”.  He was shocked and asked her what could make her think such a thing.  She replied, “Because when we go shopping and there is a sale with money off, mom always asks you to work out the price so I know I’ll never be good at maths, I’ll be like mom.”

For me, this reinforced the impact that a student’s experience and surroundings can have on their self belief, especially when it comes to maths.  Globally and locally, many girls develop a belief that they do not have a ‘maths brain’ which leads them to turn away from maths and STEM subjects. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) is becoming more and more important in the 21st Century with most of the projected professional jobs growth in STEM related professions.  Here at KJS, we are committed to ‘Success for every child’ which means that we are trying to foster an enjoyment, curiosity and passion for maths by all our students, especially our girls.  Research has shown that students as young as 5 are developing maths anxiety in maths programmes that over emphasise speed over thinking deeply, numbers, symbols and algorithms over patterns and visuals and frequent high stakes testing over formative assessments where mistakes are valued.  Research supports and informs the programme of maths we are developing at KJS and this in turn will improve the understanding of maths by our students, their mathematical mindsets and just as importantly enthuse our students to describe the world and seek solutions through the lens of maths.

Professor Boaler’s message is a simple one, and one that is backed up with rigorous scientific evidence.  If we, as a learning community, can reinforce positive, ‘can do’ messages about maths and bring maths alive through visuals and real life contexts, then our students will develop self belief and a passion for maths as life long learners.

You can find a recently published journal article by Prof Jo Boaler about number sense and fluency attached by clicking here.  Please also follow the YouCubed link to explore more of Professor Jo Boaler’s research and student resources.


UNICEF Kid Power Programme

We have had a hugely positive response from the children (and teachers) who are now using the Kid Power Programme Bands. Unfortunately the programme is no longer available for sign up through the school.

Please be reminded of the important points below regarding the use of the bands:

  • We have linked all the bands at school. For this trial, all syncing of the bands will be done centrally at school every 2 weeks. UNICEF will then use the data to ensure food packets get to where they are needed.
  • Parents will be kept up to date periodically as to how we are doing.
  • To ensure we earn as many points as possible please remember to charge the bands regularly.
  • The bands should not be worn for swimming activities.
  • The programme period will run until 31 May.

Remember; the more you move the more lives we can save so please encourage your children to stay active.


Library News – Book Week Reflection, Book Week Pictures and Invitation to Chinese University of Hong Kong Library Project Design

Book Week Reflection

We hope you had fun with Book Week this year. After months of planning with the Year 6, it all came to fruition with activities held throughout the week from mother tongue readings, mystery readers, books from the book writing contest on display, the launch of an after-school writing club, book parade and book assembly. We even had a surprise video of principals, teachers and support staff directed, choreographed and recorded by our Year 6 library monitors.

With that in mind, please spend a few minutes to tell us what we did well, what we could improve on and what you’d like to see for next year. Please fill out the following form.


Book Week Pictures and Videos

Thank you to our Library Monitors and ICT department who helped us document our exciting events throughout the week. Photos and videos have been shared on our Facebook page.


Invitation to CUHK Library Project Design

Now that Bookweek is over, we want to bring your attention to our Library’s next exciting event. KJS Library is collaborating with the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) School of Architecture to redesign the interior of our library to make it more engaging for our students.

We initially contacted CUHK School of Architecture after they were featured in SCMP’s article. Mr. O’Reilly, Mrs. Parker and I visited the Book Tree and met with Professor Peter Ferretto in September last year. We were amazed at how the design impacted the local community. As such, we invited Mr. Ferretto and his team to KJS to discuss collaboration opportunities.

After an initial site visit in October, Mr. O’Reilly, Mrs. Parker and I determined this project was worth pursuing. Phase one was to understand how the library is currently used, needs of the school community and visits to other parts of the school. We invited Years 1 to 6 students, parents, teachers and SLT to answer questions to the team and to discuss what their ideal library would look like. The KJS Library Team also issued a survey to the school community for those that could not attend. The response was overwhelming.

We now need your help with Phase 2. KJS Library Team would like to invite you to attend a presentation made by the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) School of Architecture at 3 pm on Wednesday 13 March. Four teams will present their redesign proposals for the interior of our library and we would value your voice in this process so that we might achieve the best design and outcome for our children.

We promise to provide snacks and drinks to thank you for your attendance. Please click on the following link so we can prepare for attendance numbers.

Macy Lau and the KJS Library Team


PTA Update

The school fair is next weekend, Saturday, 16 March 2019.  We cannot host a successful fair without your help.  Please come forward and volunteer even if it’s just for one hour.  An hour or two of your time would make a huge difference.

We need help for:

  • Food Stalls – the Western stall and the Asian stall – to help sell the food at the counter; donations which will be used to purchase food are also welcome

  • Face Painting – if you can help with simple or elaborate designs, please sign up to help

  • Hair corner – help us sell hair accessories, we have lots of new items for sale this year
  • Temporary tattoos / body art – this year we be introducing new temporary tattoos products – if you would like to help, please let us know
  • Green Counter – we will be selling a variety of seeds and plant materials – if you would like to help, get involved

Please sign up by Thursday, 14 March 2019 so we can place volunteers in their time slots accordingly. Contact details of all volunteers will be shared with other members of their group to ensure the smooth running of all stalls.


Set up for the fair

Please be reminded that any set up for the fair will have to take place after 5pm on Friday, 15 March 2019 or on Saturday, 16 March 2019 from 9am onwards.


Stage Performances at the fair 

Please send your child’s piece of music to pta@kjs.edu.hk if they will be performing on stage.  Please also inform us of any special equipment needed so we can make arrangements accordingly.


Purchases at the fair – Stamp Card

We have adopted a Stamp Card system this year and a special Early Bird offer is available from now until 12pm on Friday, 15 March 2019.  For every $200 spent, you will receive another $20 in coupons. Please refer to the letter that was sent out yesterday from the PTA.

The stamp cards will be used for games, activities, and international food at the fair, including popcorn and cotton candy.  Counters like the Green stall, pizzas, ice cream, pop up book shop, the White Elephant stall and the bar will accept cash only.


WeUse Tableware and Cutlery

In an effort to be sustainable and green, we have hired WeUse, a rental company for tableware and cutlery.  No plastic or paper products will be used at our International parent-led food village.  Instead, tableware and cutlery can be borrowed from WeUse for a minimal fully-refundable deposit of $10.  Each item you borrow will incur a $10 deposit. You should receive your deposit in full provided that all items have been returned. WeUse will have staff on site to assist with any queries.

We encourage you to bring your own containers from home for food purchases if you do not wish to participate in the rental service.


Water and drinks

Water stations will be placed at various sites on various floors at the fair.  Please bring in your own water bottles.

We have hired an outsourced bar for the fair for wine and beer.  In accordance with ESF policy, we will have school staff ensuring that responsible drinking is practiced.

Thank you to all the parents and companies who have sponsored us this year.  We are still receiving donations and are grateful for your support.


Student Success

The celebration of student success will channel to our Facebook page. You can find the school’s Facebook here. Please keep the photos and stories coming of our children shooting the AAROW’s of Success!


ESF and Other Notices






  1. 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.
  2. If you do not wish to receive our newsletters by email, you may contact the school office at office@kjs.edu.hk to opt out. Our newsletters will still be accessible on our website https://www.kjs.edu.hk/kjs-news/.
  3. In accordance with our Personal Data Handling Policy, Kowloon Junior School and English Schools Foundation may place your child’s photos, name, school work, activities and accomplishments in our newsletters or other publications (including but not limited to our websites and social media sites).  If you would like to opt out, please email the school office at office@kjs.edu.hk.