22 Feb 2019

CWBS Newsletter – Friday 22 February

Principal’s News Diary Dates Message From The CWBS Office Nurses News Learner Agency Used Clothes Recycling Program Student Council: Wear It Wild Day  Netball News Student Achievements Adverts  Disclaimer

Principal’s News

Dear parents and carers

Spelling – A word study approach at CWBS

In the last newsletter we shared information and links from our recent excellent professional development and parent workshop with Professor Misty Adoniou. If you are interested in reading further about her research and how spelling works, we have copies of her book “Spelling it Out” in our community library. Please see Angela Barwell. Some of the key points from her book are;


  • Good spellers draw upon as many sources as possible to get the spelling of a word correct.
  • Understanding how words are made not only improves spelling but also increases children’s vocabulary, which in turn improves their reading and comprehension.
  • Spelling programs should be embedded within the whole reading and writing program, and be part of all encounters with print in all learning areas.
  • All children of all ages benefit from understanding how words work, and all children of all ages are engaged by the stories behind words.

As passionate educators we are dedicated to providing the best for our students. We can see the strong benefits in teaching through a word study approach, the strategies and skills our students need to support them as successful spellers, rather than memorising words.

In your child/rens upcoming home learning you will find that words sent home will be for students to inquire into using a word study approach. Words may come from an area of focus from the CWBS spelling scope and sequence, they may be vocabulary from units of inquiry with connections to maths or science or they may have been words selected from student’s own writing.

Here are some questions students can consider when inquiring into their words

What does it mean?

Can I hear the meaningful parts of the word?

How does it sound?

What letter patterns make those sounds?

Have I seen the word before?

Where does the word come from? (origin)

Do I know other words like this one?

Some articles are attached with further information on how to help children with spelling and why spelling tests won’t help.

We hope you enjoy inquiring into words with your children and discover more about the etymology of the exciting words in the english language.

For more information: 

Spelling Article -Why some kids can’t spell

Spelling Articles – How to help children with spelling


Year 5 Learning Journey

The excitement of the year 5 learning journey was a buzz as students shared their understandings developed throughout their recent unit of inquiry ‘How the world works”.  Parents were engaged in conversations with their children about the scientific method; posing questions, fair testing, hypothesis and conclusions around a variety of experiments. Students made connections with how inventions have an impact on our environment and future developments. Thank you to those that were able to attend and the teachers and students of year 5 for an “exploding” morning

Year 5 Chinese –  Making Tangyuan (glutinous rice balls)

Last Thursday as part of Chinese New Year celebrations, Year 5 students really enjoyed making Tangyuan. This was a great cultural activity that provided a real and meaningful context for students to to use their Mandarin language.  Many thanks to those parents who came in to assist as volunteers, ensuring that everything ran relatively smoothly.

Year 1 beach trip postponed

The Year 1 Beach Trip originally scheduled for Monday 18 February was postponed due to the rain on that day.  It will now be held on Monday 4 March

Year 1 Social 

Please note the PTA Year 1 Social scheduled for Friday 1 March will now be held on Friday 31 May. 

Parent Coffee Morning 

All parents are invited to a  parent coffee morning next Friday morning from 8.45-9.45am.  This session is designed to help parents understand more about the IB Primary Years Program.  This session will be conducted by our two PYP coordinators Ms Wendy Egan and Ms Aisling Gormally.   So do come along and have all your questions answered about the PYP and what it means for your child’s learning in the classroom.

Chris Hamilton


Diary Dates

Friday 22 February Yrs 4-6 Assembly (Year 4 hosting)  2.50pm

Friday 22 February PTA – Year 5 & 6 Social

Wednesday 27 February – Year 5 trip to HK Space Museum

Friday 1 March – IB coffee morning for parents 8.45am – 9.45am

Friday 1 March – Year 1 Social 6.00-7.30pm

Friday 8 March – Year 1 Learning Journey

Monday 11 March – PTA Meeting 5.15pm

Wednesday 13 March – School Council meeting 4.45pm

Friday 15 March – PTA Family Bingo 6.30 – 7.45pm

Wednesday 20 March – Year 6 Exhibition

Message From The CWBS Office

This is a reminder to all parents about arriving late, picking up a child early and notifying the school of a student’s absence.

Late Arrival

If your child arrives at school after 8:20am, they must come to the office to sign in.

Early Pick Up

If you are picking up your child early, whether it’s for an appointment, family event or from the nurse, parents are required to go to the front office to sign their child out.

These procedures are in place to ensure that students’ attendance records are accurate and up to date.  Records often need to be cross checked for school bus, after school activities, and in emergency situations.


If your child is sick or attending other matters which will make them absent for the day, it is important that the parents inform the school by email ( info@cwbs.edu.hk ) or phone (2358 3221). Parents need to provide the reason for being absent (sick, family, tournament etc) and if the child is sick please let us know the symptoms. The school is required to notify the Health Department should we notice a pattern of certain illness.

Nurses News

Learner Agency

This year at CWBS, we are increasing the profile of learner agency.  While learner agency has always been an integral part of inquiry-based education, we are this year striving to improve our practice in making students aware of the ways in which they can use agency.

What is learner agency?

In a nutshell, learner agency means that students have voice, choice and ownership of their own learning.

As outlined by the International Baccalaureate, “Learner agency is connected to a student’s belief in their ability to succeed (self-efficacy)…Students take initiative, express interest and wonderings, make choices and are aware of their learning goals…Students offer feedback and consult on decisions that affect them.”

Why is learner agency important?

Humans are all natural born inquirers. At CWBS our students learn through inquiry.  Inquiry is not inquiry without learner agency. By its very nature inquiry insists that learners make choices, ask questions and take responsibility for designing paths to investigate those questions.  This is done in partnership with teachers.

What this means for Year 6 exhibition

CWBS Year 6 students are presently mid way through the PYP exhibition.  This is the culminating, collaborative experience undertaken by all students in their final year of the PYP. 

One of the key purposes of the exhibition is to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate agency and responsibility for their learning.  Schools who are new to PYP will undertake a very guided approach to exhibition, with a large degree of teacher direction.  As

CWBS is a very experienced PYP school, our exhibition will be less guided, with a high level of student ownership and much evidence of student agency.

The International Baccalaureate clearly outlines that students are not expected to prepare a large event or production.  Rather, greatest value is placed upon the exhibition learning process and journey.  Further, the International Baccalaureate states that, “Events do not need to be complex or expensive to be effective.  Schools are encouraged to consider the environmental impact of the exhibition.”

The clear message above, coupled with our commitment to learner agency, means that the school community can expect to see an exhibition event on 20-21 March that may differ a little from exhibitions of years past.  This year you will see increased evidence of student ownership and student agency.  You will see:

  • Student generated inquiries, including a range of strategies and resources
  • Student collaboration (with students, teachers and mentors)
  • Students communicating their understandings independently
  • Students actively taking part in design of the exhibition environment e.g. displays of work
  • Student-designed learning goals and criteria for assessment of success
  • Students accepting challenges and persevering with a positive outlook
  • Students choosing and communicating how they took action
  • Authentic examples of students’ independent work on display

The Year 6 students and the staff of CWBS are very excited about the upcoming exhibition event.  We look forward to this opportunity for sharing student learning with the school community in a manner that shows our commitment to students taking ownership of their learning.

Wendy Egan 

PYP Coordinator Years 4-6 

Used Clothes Recycling Program

Student Council: Wear It Wild Day 

The Student Council will be holding a fundraiser to support WWF Hong Kong on March 6th. The money will be used to support WWF in protecting and restoring species and their habitats in Hong Kong. To support this initiative we ask that you dress up as an animal of your choice and provide a donation of $20.

Netball News  


On Sunday 17th of February, Typhoons had their third netball game of the season. Our entire team couldn’t believe we scored 21 goals! The final score was 21-0. Our opponents team were from AIS (Australian International School). Overall, we had an amazing time playing, we are one step closer to the finals!

Beth 6A and Maddy 6S.



On Sunday the 17th February we went to Wong Chuk Hang sports ground to play our weekly netball match. Every Sunday Eagles and Typhoons play another team to battle for the win. Eagles had a great win and the final score was 19-7!

Florence 6A

Student Achievements 

Bertie Nicolson in 4T organised a bake sale outside her home to raise money for the Hong Kong Shark Foundation. She sold her delicious produce to the hikers who went by her house. Well done Bertie.



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