Senior School News

T3W8 – 12 May 2023

Dear Senior School parents,

Another fantastic two weeks of learning at SSIS! The events showcased below are but a small snapshot of the outstanding learning that occurs every day in the Senior School.

Learning at SSIS is not only about the artwork or performances themselves which are of course impressive but also the hours of deliberate practice that often go unseen. It’s not just about the final grade but the process of crafting excellence. How can we grade time, dedication, and hours of deliberate practice? At SSIS, strive to learn for the love of it, not just for a final grade.

Arts Evening, Swim Meet, ACAMIS Soccer Chinese Debate and Matilda: the SSIS Motion Picture

This love of learning is evident in all the sports and activities that our students participate in. While there is some focus on the final score, it’s about the process of training, the setbacks, overcoming challenges and the camaraderie. Success and learning are not a straight line, as we forget, misunderstand, and make mistakes again and again. Success is a process of hard work, hours of deliberate practice, and overcoming disappointments.


This week we also hosted the return of the annual ‘Starlight Cup’ Chinese Debate competition, where we welcomed the Taiwanese school, Korean school, NACIS and Minhang Foreign language School. We were also honoured to host the Mayor and Director of Huacao as well as our parent judge, Ms Zheng Lin.

This return of this annual debate is important for many reasons.

  • Firstly, it helps to enhance our student’s Chinese language and spoken literacy skills.
  • Secondly, this is an opportunity for students to show their knowledge, build good arguments and at the same time, show understanding of other people’s debating points as well as show empathy and respect for their opponents.
  • Finally, most importantly, these events bring our local community of Huacao schools together, building understanding and friendships between all our young people.

Thanks to our Debate team of Anita Shao, Ho Hin Eric Li, Eziekiel Brewer and Kevin Song.

Our Referees, Alba Navarro Yu, Oong Seng CHUA, Ling Fung Max Lee

On Tuesday evening, we had another celebration of student learning: SSIS’s first-ever motion picture, Matilda. It was delightful to see so many students and parents attend this event. Ms Weisz did share with me that creating a motion picture is, in many ways more challenging than a traditional theatrical performance. A special thank you to her and the team behind her that equipped our students will the plethora of skills needed to act, produce and edit this production.

Ongoing IGCSE/IBDP external examinations and G7, G8, G9 and G11 End of year exams

Effective learning and revision strategies are like the hours spent creating artwork, practicing sporting skills or learning a new chord progression. Exams are also an opportunity to celebrate student learning.

Success and learning are not a straight line, as we forget, misunderstand, and make mistakes again and again. Success is a process of hard work, hours of deliberate practice, and overcoming disappointments.

External G10 IGCSE and G12 IBDP examinations continue and Grades 7, 8, 9 and 11 end of year examination schedules have been shared via ManageBac and WeCom.

Ten ways you can help their child learn and revise

  1. Encourage Good Sleep Habits
  2. Ensure Their Child Eats Breakfast
  3. Minimise Distractions
  4. Get Them to Revise Using Retrieval Practice
  5. Get Them to Teach You the Material
  6. Minimise Procrastination
  7. Have High Expectations
  8. Provide Motivation
  9. Make Sure They Get Fresh Air Every Day
  10. Avoid All Work and No Play

For more detailed advice on each of these strategies please review the link below

10 ways parents can help their child revise (


The Grade 11 IBDP Cohort is very excited about their upcoming My IB Journey Presentation. According to Mr. Crossley, “This is an amazing event, where the wider community will be able to learn about what makes each students’ journey unique. I look forward to hearing them share about how they interact with the community through CAS, and also exploring their critical thinking in their TOK and EE courses.” The event is happening on May 17th. We are looking forward to welcoming lots of G10 and G11 parents!”

Please refer to the ManageBac and WeCom messages for the detailed sign up information.

Thanks to our Parent Support Group (PSG) for organising next Wednesday Teacher’s Appreciation Lunch. This event is always a highlight of our teachers’ calendar!


The second transition meeting for our current grade 6 parents to learn more about the Senior School has been rearranged to Wednesday 24th May. Please do join use to find out about

  • Key dates in the 2023/2024 academic calendar
  • Common Transition Challenges for Students & Parents
  • How to support your child at home
  • Appropriate Technology Use
  • Setting Boundaries for Technology Use
  • Uniform
  • Major Differences between the Primary & Senior School

Mr. Herring, the Grade 7&8 coordinator, and I are looking forward to meeting our new grade 7 parents again.


Let’s continue celebrating our students’ learning!

With gratitude

Mr Steven Gaynor, Senior School Principal

Dates for your Diary

  • Saturday 13th May: CISSA Track & Field
  • Wednesday 17th May: Teachers Appreciation Lunch & My IB Journey
  • Tuesday 23rd May: G11 End of Year exams begin
  • Wednesday 24th May: G9 End of Year exams begin
  • Wednesday 24th May: G6 Get Ready for Senior School Parent Morning
  • Tuesday 30th May: G7&8 End of Year exams begin
  • Thursday 1st June: G12 Graduation Family & Staff Dinner
  • Friday 2nd June: G12 Graduation Ceremony
  • Monday 5th –  Friday 10th June: Review and Reflection week
  • Tuesday 13th June: End of year Character, Leadership & Academic Awards

Student Wellbeing

Dear parents,

What an amazing 2 weeks it has been – with more competitive sports in The Rocket Science Long Course Swim Championships & ACAMIS Soccer…an unforgettable Festival of Art & the impressive Matilda premiere.

Now, we start revision as The End of Year exams are fast approaching. In the last Well-Being lesson, we went through stress management strategies and in the next lesson, we aim to cover a range of revision techniques. Subject teachers have also begun the revision process in school & are helping students organise their materials to facilitate smooth learning.

Here are some suggestions on how YOU can support your child at home.

Ensure they have 3 healthy meals, energy boosting snacks & keep hydrated.Create a quiet study area away from the rest of the family.
Check that they get enough sleep each night.Provide a spacious desk, suitable chair, good lighting and all necessary stationery.
Watch that they don’t cram for hours or study too late the night before an exam.Remove any distractions from this area eg. younger siblings and turn off all devices.
Display the exam schedule & help your child create a study schedule.Do some yoga/exercise as a family.
Encourage them to put their social life on hold for a bit.Make sure they rest between study sessions.
Ask questions & be reassuring in your responses.Have a clock in the room to time these sessions.
At this week’s assembly, we shared research informed Effective learning strategies with students. Please do use this summary as a basis for discussion and support with your child.

And let’s not forget that this weekend is a very special day, so I take this opportunity to wish all the lovely, devoted, caring, inspirational women out there A VERY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 🙂

Ms Shireen Naidoo, Senior School Assistant Principal


If your child is absent, please email your child’s form teacher as soon as possible with a reason. A reminder that students should arrive at school wearing full school uniform, including smart black shoes, dark socks and ties.

As the weather warms, students should no longer be wearing outer jackets and instead wear their school blazer as the first outer layer of clothing.

Please email me with any questions you may have, and we can arrange a follow-up phone call or meeting through my PA, Katharine Chen.    

Contact Information

Mr Steven GaynorSenior School
Ms Katharine ChenPA to Senior School