18 Mar 2020

Newsletter- 18/03/20

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


Dates for Your Diary

2 – 5 March                                         Y6 Local Campspostponed

3 – 6 March                                         Y6 Overseas Campcancelled, now included in local camp

9 – 13 March                                       Book Weekpostponed

Wednesday 18 March                        Y1 Immunisationpostponed

25 & 26 March                                    School Musical: Dr Dolittle Jrpostponed

Wednesday 1 April                             Y1 & 2 Sports Daypostponed

Week of 23 March                              Student-Led Conferences by distance

Monday 20 April                                  First day of Term 3


Dear Parents,

There is a lot of important information to discuss in this newsletter so please take the time to read to the end.

We are so fortunate to have your feedback. 712 of you have communicated with us regarding your child’s wellbeing, engagement and learning. This information affirms that for the vast majority of families, KJS Distance Learning is ‘Just Right’.  Below is a summary of the trends over the last three surveys. This latest survey has given us a wealth of information for schoolwide enhancements (as shared last week) together with more detailed student specific feedback for teachers to investigate and respond to.

Please click HERE to view in full image


Your feedback has been shared with teachers so that they can use the information to enhance the distance learning for each child. We already have anecdotal feedback that the enhancements we have made since Survey #3 are being well received.

Chinese Zooms: Please take particular note of the Chinese Zoom sessions now available. Despite requests for these sessions, sign up’s have been limited, so we ask that you support your child to sign up. Our Chinese Team is working incredibly hard to balance the request for daily tutorials as well as the requests for Live Zooms. The sign up to the Zooms’ offer will give us an indication of the demand for more.

Student Wellbeing and Engagement: Parent Feedback in Survey #3 indicates increasing levels of anxiety with our children and slightly decreased levels of exercise and happiness. In response, Mr Riddell from our PE department will be providing additional indoor exercise suggestions to classes this week. To alleviate anxiety, some clear steps for parents to support their children are to minimise access to media and social media, limit adult talk about the virus to facts and ways to stay well, and listen to your child and seek to reassure them. More suggestions to help you are below and here.

We also noted significant variation in the levels of engagement you expect for your child in distance learning. Teachers have this information and it has assisted them to refine feedback. Once again, we remind you if there is ‘too much’ learning for your child, it is up to you to manage the amount that your child completes and submits.

Please click HERE to view in full image


Student Learning: Some parents have expressed concerns about their child ‘getting behind’ because of distance learning. We can reassure you that we are looking at each child’s progress and continuing to use the ESF Scope and Sequence to plan meaningful and level appropriate learning for children. There is ample evidence to suggest children are being challenged and stretched with their learning and we will continue to refine our feedback to students to ensure they achieve appropriate next steps in their learning. Evidence from the school I led in New Zealand during the extended closures surrounding the Christchurch Earthquakes showed children still made a year’s progress during the earthquake year despite being out of school for a full term (10 weeks). This was nowhere near the level and intensity of distance learning as we are currently able to provide to KJS children. So be assured, your children are learning and progressing.

Thank you for all you are doing to partner with us and communicate with your child’s teacher to support success for your child.

Student Led Conferences by Distance:

Next week is Student Led Conference (SLC) week. The questions and process for these conferences will be sent by class teachers this Friday. Specifically it is important to note:

  • These conferences are between you and your child and are an opportunity to support agency (voice, choice and ownership) and allow your child to share their progress, success, challenges and potential next steps;
  • A summary of the SLC is then uploaded via the normal platforms (Google Classroom or Seesaw) by your child for teacher feedback. You can choose to upload a video, audio or text file;
  • You can see on our website ( Reporting) that if the SLC was in school, teachers would provide prompts to support the parent and student conversation. In this case, the prompts will be provided on Friday to support your conversation;
  • To clarify, these are not Zoom meetings. They are Student-led Conferences with parents and then a summary uploaded to teachers for response.

I know the teachers are looking forward to seeing the uploads during the week as we continue to support ‘Success for Every Child’ via distance learning.

Camps Y4-6: Yesterday, Mr Fay and I met with APA to discuss the options for camps for this academic year. Given the local and global situation and our focus on student wellbeing it has been decided to cancel the camps for Year 4,5 and 6. We will be working over the next few days to secure refunds and organise reimbursements and will communicate these with you as soon as we have finalised the process.

Return to School Plans: This week we are working on detailed and comprehensive plans for return to school. These plans will be shared with you before children return to school so that you can be assured about your child’s safety and wellbeing. We will be working with ESF to ensure we have considered all scenarios and situations and that we have a well reasoned and evidenced based plan for a safe return. Obviously these plans are dependent on the EDB guidance about when and how we return to school.

Once again, we thank you for your ongoing support and as always, please contact your child’s teacher if you have any concerns about your child’s learning and wellbeing. Together, we are achieving ‘Success for Every Child’ via distance learning.


Kind regards



Neill O’Reilly


Supporting wellbeing in the KJS community during COVID-19

The coronavirus (now officially named COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and uncertainty around this can bring about fear, anxiety and worry with our students. It is important to remember our children are looking to us for reassurance and cues on how to react and respond. Our Parent Survey #3 in March indicates anxiety may be increasing for some students. So, how can we support success and wellbeing for our children in these unprecedented times?

Six strategies to build resilience, and have reassuring conversations with kids are:

  1. Stay Positive: Remember to keep calm. When you show anxiety or fear, your child will pick up on this and also feel nervous and afraid. Changes to the environment and routines can create unease. Having calm, panic-free discussions can ease emotions around these changes. Check-in on how your child is feeling and acknowledge and address their worries rather than ignore them.
  2. Stick to the facts: It is important to have thoughtful conversations regarding the coronavirus to distil anxiety, worry or fear. Look at the facts. Consider your child’s age, processing, and emotions to determine how to frame these conversations to ensure your child understands. Let them know that the Hong Kong Government is doing everything they can and you are up to date on current information. Check-in on what your child is thinking and address their worries. Discuss that not everything they hear or see is real or factual. It can also be comforting to be reminded that doctors around the world are looking for ways to address the coronavirus and highlight positive news as well, for example over 79 000 people have recovered worldwide and between 95 to 99% of people recover.
  3. Consider media consumption and online exposure: When looking online, consider the source and fact-check to prevent fake news, and think before you share. Be mindful of how much media your children are exposed to and monitor and minimize how often they see content regarding the virus. Try to keep a healthy balance (both online and offline) in your daily routines and lifestyle.
  4. Eliminate stigma: It is important to be aware of how the coronavirus is explained to your children to avoid any person/group being blamed. Also to communicate that if someone has a fever or cough does not mean this person has the coronavirus.
  5. Boost Your Coping Strategies: When anyone has change or uncertainty this can create some levels of worry or anxiety. When this occurs, it is important to use positive coping strategies to manage those emotions. As every person is different, so too are our coping strategies. Regardless, it is important to practice positive strategies to calm down or modify our thinking to improve our outlook and overall well-being. Coping strategies can include: mindfulness, singing, dancing, reading, drawing & colouring, music, movies, create a gratitude list, meditation, yoga, exercise, cooking/baking, talking to a friend or family member, or doing other activities that are fun or give you joy and make you feel good.
  6. Return To School Plans: Remind your child that KJS is safe and when we return children to school there will be lots of plans and systems in place to ensure they are safe, have fun and can learn and play. This helps to build their hope and optimism for the future

If you notice your child is still worried or anxious, be assured that this is a normal reaction, and continue conversations and provide care for your child. If you find that additional support is needed, please reach out to us at KJS.  We can then work with you and your child to make a plan on how to support them during this time. We have recently employed a new School Counselor with extensive clinical child psychology expertise to assist us to meet the needs of our children.


Student Grant Scheme Form

The school office is in the ongoing process of acknowledging received Student Grant Scheme application forms.

We hope to acknowledge all parents who have submitted by the end of this week. If you are sending in an updated form (i.e. with new bank account info), please expect that you may not receive an immediate second acknowledgement. We would like to ask for your understanding on this.

In addition, ESF has asked us to reassure you that if you submit your form past the deadline (20 March 2020), EDB will still process with a delay in payment.


Library News

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The Library Team is happy to announce the launch of our KJS Virtual Library. You can access this page by clicking on the pink library button on the main KJS Webpage.

Please take time to explore the different pages. There are two pages that you will find useful during school closures:

The Online Resource PageThis page includes slides and videos on how to use online resources such as EPIC, Wheelers, Britannica, etc.

Fun and Helpful Websites – Due to the additional school closures internationally, more resources have become available. We’ve placed links to these on this page that does not require logins and passwords. Ones that require login information will be placed on the Library Splat page.


Live Author Storytelling Link

Authors internationally are offering live storytelling on different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. A list has been compiled here. Due to some time zone differences, those that cannot be watched live, authors are archiving the posts which can be watched later. For ones on Youtube, I have put videos through a safe filter and posted it also on the Fun and Helpful Websites page of the KJS Virtual Library.


Epic Ebook

As of yesterday, EPIC! announced and updated it’s availability to families – unlimited access and NO credit card required. This means that students will be able to remotely access EPIC through the end of the school year (June 30th, 2020). This offer is only available if parents join by teacher invitation link by email.

Our Library Team will be sending invitation links to Parents in the next several days. Please note that after 3 months, normal charges will apply.


My Library on Orbit

The Library Team is happy to announce that we have just enabled a new feature on Orbit Library Catalogue called My Library. My Library allows you to:

  • check current loans
  • check loan history
  • receive alerts from librarians
  • change personal settings

Students can log in through our Orbit page via the KJS Virtual Library or Library Splat page.

Username: Splat login (without the @kjs.edu.hk)

Password: kjs1234

Here is a video on how to use the video. A copy has also been placed on The Online Resource Page.



ESF and Other Notices

Learn Coding & Programming At Home? No problem!

While it might be difficult to imagine a young mind learning something so seemingly complex, it’s definitely an attainable reality…! According to a survey online, 71% of all new STEM jobs are in computing, yet only 8% of STEM graduates are in Computer Science. That’s a SERIOUS shortage of Computer Science majors.

Learning to code will increase your child’s odds of securing a lucrative STEM career, especially in a world where computing jobs are growing at over twice the national average. So, let’s unlock new tech skills and soft skills with joining one of our popular courses – Tech Explorer & Tech Adventurer. These newly launched online courses are suitable for students aged 10 to 14.

Learn More: http://www.esf.org.hk/Online-Coding-(Ages-10-14-years).html

Enrol Now: https://bit.ly/37IjBf7


Date:  2 March – 25 April 2020

Time:  Mon/Wed/Thurs  –  (3:45PM-4:45PM/ 4:45PM-5:45PM/ 5:45PM-6:45PM)

             Saturday              –  (11:30AM-12:30PM OR 2:00PM-3:00PM)

Venue:  At Your Home!



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!


  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.