Welcome to 2022!

Jan 7, 2022

We start the new year with cause for cautious hope of better things to come in our community. While a new variant of the pandemic that has reshaped our world over the past two years is making headlines for its virulence, there appears to be an emerging trend towards COVID-19 evolving into a milder, or less lethal form. It is true that travel remains difficult, and new restrictions on entertainment and dining in restaurants are frustrating for many, but our prospects for good health this year seem better than at this time last year.

Our schools (Pre-School, Primary School, and Secondary School) have settled into a steady routine of relatively ‘normal’ classes and activities, and we hope for an uneventful second half of the academic year. Preparations are in hand for a second round of experiential learning activities for the upper grades, much to the delight of our students in those grades. The Class of 2022 is well on-track with its preparations for the May session IB Diploma Examinations. The 60 students making up the graduating class this year have also lodged a record-breaking number of applications (over 800) and offers of enrolment are beginning to arrive (over 100). At this time of the year, it is with a growing sense of nostalgia tinged with relief that our Grade 12 students contemplate the passage of the dwindling number of weeks left in their school education.

The ISF Gallery construction project, while creating the occasional inconvenience, has achieved steady progress and there are signs that an ‘unveiling’ of our new facilities is not too far away. We hope to have more news on developments very soon. Members of the ISF family who this week have walked through the reconstructed gallery space, formerly known as the ‘IT Corridor’, will have had a foretaste of what is to come when the rejuvenated Clifford C.F. Wong Primary Library and the redesigned S.K. and Margaret Wong Gymnasium are formally opened. As always, I ask all members of the ISF community and particularly our students to exercise caution when approaching work sites on campus. Safety barriers are in place to prevent unauthorized entry – please respect these!

This new year offers something special for those who value trivial oddities. If your favorite number is ‘2’, this year is very special because ‘2022’ contains three 2s. Statistically, a year with three identical digits is unusual, usually occurring just twice each century (e.g., 2000 and 2022, 1911 and 1999, 1811 and 1888, etc.); we have not seen a year with three 2s since 1222. In that year, China was in the final years of the Jin Dynasty in the north and the Song Dynasty in the south, both of which ended with the Mongol conquest under Genghis Khan and the establishment of the Yuan Dynasty in 1271. Going one better, in two hundred years we will see the unusual mathematical phenomenon of a year with four identical digits: 2222. Mathematicians, both young and old, can enjoy a moment of quiet satisfaction in this year, particularly on the 2nd of February (2/2/22)!

We have just four weeks between the two ‘new years’ we celebrate in our community each year. It will be a time of purposeful study and work for all in the ISF community. I hope that it is just the first part of year in which each member of the ISF community enjoys good health, professional reward, and personal success!


Dr. Malcolm Pritchard

Head of School