Welcome to 2017!

Welcome to 2017!

February 17, 2017

With the Christmas and Spring Festival holidays now behind us, we have well and truly passed the half-way mark in the current academic year. For many of our students and teachers, this marks a return to regular school routines, co-curricular activities, training in various sporting disciplines, and rehearsals for forthcoming productions and concerts. For many of our families, the resumption of regular school operations means the return of well-established family routines and perhaps a sense of 'normality‘ in the home.

In the coming months, we will see some significant events taking place, some highly visible, some less so, as various projects underway at present move steadily towards completion.

The work on the two new buildings offer the most visible changes underway at our school. Both buildings have now 'topped out‘ and much of the attention now moves to fitting out works. Roadworks to lay new electrical cable to energize the northernmost new building are now nearly complete; the disruption to traffic was minimal and the project was very well handled by Hong Kong Electric. Regrettably, slow progress in some other aspects of the construction project will delay completion until nearly the end of the Academic Year. There is a slow-building tension as we wait for the day that the 'green wrapping‘ is removed from this most significant gift from our Foundation to the ISF community!

In the coming months, both Primary School and Secondary School will stage performances and host concerts, all important learning opportunities for those who will overcome nerves to take the stage in front of a live audience to share their skills and talents. The Secondary School production of Honk! will light up the H.J. Zhang Black Box Theater at the end of March. The annual Primary School production of "The Phantom Tollbooth" will take place right at the end of the Academic Year.

One of the less visible initiatives underway at the moment is the International Certification project. Teachers and students have engaged in a range of activities through which we have been exploring global citizenship and stewardship in ways that are unique to ISF. Student service learning, sustainability, citizenship, and co-curricular learning have all been a part of this project. Visitors from the Council of International Schools will spend time at our school in mid-April to monitor our progress and offer guidance. At a time in world history when the word 'global‘ suddenly seems to have lost its luster in some quarters, this project has taken on an unexpected importance and urgency.

We should also spare a thought at this time for one other important group of students, for whom the relentless march of time is much more worrying: members of the Class of 2017 are now entering the final weeks of school. While the future no doubt holds more study, more homework, and more exams, the passage from childhood to adulthood through the exacting portal of Diploma examinations, followed by graduation, is for some a daunting prospect. We wish our small band of Grade 12 scholars every success in this final 'lap‘ of their school lives!

In closing, this is a most appropriate time to remind each of us to observe and preserve the 'balance‘ that lies at the heart of the featured virtue this month!

Dr. Malcolm Pritchard
Head of School

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