Dear parents and carers
Welcome back to the start of a new school year. We have had a very smooth start to the year with students very excited to be back in their new classes, with their new teacher and catching up with old friends and making new ones. There were also many parents who seemed just as excited about the start of school as their children! Our year 1 students are of course, very excited to be here for the first time and are settling in to BIG school extremely well.
We are also very pleased to welcome all our new students in years 2-6, some 26 in all, and their families to Clearwater Bay School. Some families have moved to live in the Sai Kung/Clearwater Bay area with students transferring from other ESF schools, other students are from other Hong Kong Schools and others are from all over the world. We hope your time at Clearwater Bay School will be both very positive and rewarding.
We are also pleased to welcome several new teaching staff this year including, Ms Wendy Egan our new Literacy & Numeracy coach / PYP Coordinator for the Primary Team (Years 4 – 6), Mr Greg Rawson (Year 1), Ms. Sonia McNeill (Year 3), Mr Eric Shadbolt (Year 6), Mr Edward Dong (Chinese) and Ms Megan Snelgrove (Individual Needs Years 1-3). Mr Karl Tsang is also joining us as a new Year 2 Education Assistant and Ms Gina Chik will be joining us next week as our new Admissions Officer, replacing Ms Maggie Cho who is leaving to return to Australia.
Our school leadership team this year consists of Ms Kathy Derrick who will take on the VP role responsible for the Primary team (Years 4-6), Assessment & Reporting and Individual Needs. Ms Lisa Harris is acting Vice Principal for term 1 whilst we advertise the vacancy created by Mr Kean leaving at the end of last year. Ms Harris is responsible for the Early Childhood team (Years 1-3), admissions and Chinese. Ms Wendy Egan is the Literacy & Numeracy coach / PYP coordinator for the Primary Team and is overseeing Mathematics across the school, whilst Ms Aisling Gormally is in a similar Coach and PYP Coordinator role for the Early Childhood Team (years 1-3). She will also oversee Literacy and English across the school. I am also very pleased to be continuing in the principal’s role at CWBS and I look forward to a very positive and productive year for all students, staff and parents! A staff list is included later in this newsletter.
Parent information nights.
Our beginning of the year, parent information nights are a great opportunity to meet your child’s new teacher and find out about the teaching and learning program for the term/year. Details are listed below, with all parents most welcome to attend. Please note, when you arrive at school you should come up to the hall first rather than going directly to classrooms.
Year 1 -3 on Tuesday 28th August from 6.30-7.30pm
Years 4 – 6 on Thursday 30th August also from 6.30-7.30pm
Specialist subjects/teachers – Wednesday 5 September from 6.30pm-7.30pm
Student information Sheet
With this newsletter we are sending home a Student Information Sheet so that you can provide your child’s teacher with relevant information about your child. This will help the teacher to easily and quickly get to know your child and ensure they are better able to cater to their needs. Please complete the sheet and return it to your child’s teacher at school. If after completing the sheet you still feel that you need to discuss your child’s particular needs then please ring the teacher to discuss these or to arrange a mutually convenient time to meet with the teacher.
My Cultural Story Day
Due to the huge success of the My Cultural Story day last year, we will be holding it again at the start of our year to support the focus on students getting to know each other. My Cultural Story Day will be held the week after next in week 3 on Wednesday 29 August. The day will focus on each child’s cultural background and experience. We will be sending home a ‘Cultural Story’ sheet next week so that students can come to school ready to share their cultural stories on the Wednesday. We will continue with the option of dressing in national costume or colours and sharing cultural foods for snack/lunch. We would also love to hear from any parents who would like to come in and share cultural information or read a story in their mother tongue. Further details will be provided by each year level in the next week.
Chinese Grouping Update
The Chinese teachers are finalising groupings in Year 2-6 for the Chinese program. You will be notified in week 3 as to which grouping your child will be in and who their teacher will be for this year. As we have over 30 new students from Year 2-6, it takes time to ensure we place students in their appropriate groupings according to their level of learning. The teachers have used benchmark assessments, student work and observations as the basis for deciding on a student’s level. From our assessments over the last couple of years, we can see that the level of Chinese proficiency has increased across the school. This is very exciting for our Chinese program as it means the standard continues to increase. Year 1 students will stay in their own classroom for Chinese lessons for Term 1 and will move to a grouping system based on their language learning in Term 2.
We have had a lot more work done refurbishing areas of the school over the summer holidays. The library, music room, Individual Needs room (Access Centre) and PE Office & storeroom were all refurbished over the summer. It is great to have these wonderful ‘new’ specialist learning spaces for students. The Learning Resources Centre (library) is being set up this week and should be ready for students to use by next week.
This work over the summer brings to an end the refurbishing of all internal areas of the school. This has been staged to take place over the last 6 years. The completion means that we now have wonderful teaching and learning spaces and facilities throughout the school. Hopefully, we can now look to upgrading some of the outdoor areas next summer!
Staff Training and CPD
We have a staff CPD day coming up on Friday 7th September. The focus will be on teaching reading with the aim to provide teachers and EAs with the latest up to date research and strategies for teaching reading and promoting reading comprehension for primary students. Please note, that as usual with whole school CPD days the school is closed for students.
Parent Gateway logins, update of details and new data privacy requirements
It is very important at the start of the year that all parents log in to their Parent Gateway account to update family, medical and emergency contact details. Please call the office on 23583221 or email email@example.com if you have any queries or need assistance.
Before and after school, drop off and pick up arrangements
Students should arrive at school in the morning between 8.00am and 8.20am. Arriving very early is a concern as no teacher supervision is provided in the playground before 8.00am. At 8.00am Year 4, 5 & 6 students are to go up to the roof to play and line up. Students in Years 1, 2 & 3 stay and line up on the main playground. If it is wet weather in the morning a bell/announcement will be made at 8.00am to send students directly to class.
After school parents collecting Year 1 students should wait outside the University gate until it is opened at 2.35pm. Year 1 students will be brought out by their Year 6 buddies and the teachers to meet you in the area immediately in front of the Year 1 classrooms. If you also have older children please arrange with them to meet you there too and leave by the University gate. Other parents collecting students in Years 2-6 should wait under the shade sail or in the undercover area for students to come downstairs and come across the playground to meet you. Please do not come onto the playground or over to the stairs to meet children as we are trying to keep this area clear so all students can come out to their bus lines and/or easily see and find their parents. Please discuss pick up arrangements with your child and make a designated spot for them to come to you.
A reminder that there is no parent parking at school when you are dropping off your child in the morning or collecting him or her in the afternoon. You can drive in and drop off in the morning, though please do not get out of your car as this really slows down and holds up the flow of traffic causing it to bank up back out onto the main road. There is no parking or pick up in the car park in the afternoon at all as we have 25 buses that must access the car park to pick up all the children. You may park in the car park next to the Caltex petrol station or in the university. Please be aware that there is also no parking on Ngan Ying Road and that the police have advised us that anyone parking on the street will be issued with a parking infringement notice. They are very keen to ensure that the street does not become blocked with illegally parked cars so that buses can access the university bus station.
Finally a reminder that school finishes for the day at 2.35pm so please ensure your child is picked up promptly at this time. If due to a one off circumstance or emergency you are unable to collect your child on time a phone call to the front office so we are aware of the situation would be appreciated. As no supervision is provided after school students should not be left waiting around on school grounds to be collected later than 2.35pm or for after school activities that do not start immediately. Please note that waiting for the buses to leave by 2.50pm before coming into the car park to collect children is not acceptable. Your cooperation would be appreciated and will ensure the safety and well being of all students.
Friday 24 August First full day all year 1 students. End of staggered start.
Tuesday 28 August Years 1-3 – Parent Information Night 6.30pm -7.30pm
Wednesday 29 August My Cultural Story day
Thursday 30 August Years 4-6 – parent Information Night 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Friday 31 August Year 4-6 Assembly at 1.50pm (Year 6 hosting)
Wednesday 5 September Specialist subjects – parent information night (all years) 6.30-7.30pm
Friday 7 September School CPD day (teaching Reading). School Closed for students.
At the student conferences, many parents asked about purchasing devices for their children to use at home.
One of our suppliers ASL is offering a special price on the brand new Lenovo Chromebooks for students & families of CWBS. We have ordered the Lenovo 300e model for our students to use next year and the most exciting feature of this Chromebook is that the screen is designed to be written on with a regular HB pencil!
ASL have prepared an order form for CWBS families, which is available to download here
If you would like more details, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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