Senior School News

T1W2 – 8 Sept 2023

Dear Senior School parents,

Welcome back to SSIS and another exciting year of learning ahead! It was a very successful first few weeks including orientation, the first day of school, 27th Anniversary celebrations and most importantly learning throughout the halls of the Senior School! 

I want to give a special welcome to all grade 7 students and parents. Joining the Senior School is an exciting time with many opportunities ahead. I also understand that it can be overwhelming as students and parents adapt to new systems and teachers. Please do contact me or our G7&8 Coordinator Mr. Herring if you have any questions no matter how big or how small.

This year, there will be more academic support and enrichment ASPs in addition to our established athletics and sports programmes. Part of our expanded After School offerings will be the opening of the Knowledge Hub to 5 pm every day. This will permit students to stay back and study at school, try a new enrichment activity, play sports, practice performance arts or join a club of their choice! This aligns with our whole school goal of building individualised portfolios for successful university applications and giving our students more support and at the same time increasing our range of holistic offerings. 

Below is a list of enrichment and support activities we are planning to offer this academic year. Many of these offerings will be based on the number of students signing up. 

  • World Scholars Cup 
  • Model United Nations 
  • HK Young Writers 
  • Poetry Out Loud 
  • Writing Centre 
  • John Locke Institute- Essay competition 
  • American Math’s Competition 
  • Waterloo Math’s Competition 
  • Maths “Pi” Project Competition 
  • Homework and Maths Support 
  • Science Bee 
  • Science Olympiad 
  • Biology Photography Competition 
  • Economic Olympiad 
  • History & Geography Bowls 
  • Chinese culture, debate & singing 
  • G7/8 & IGCSE Tutoring 
  • Shanghai Film Festival 
  • One Act Festival 
  • Choir, Orchestra & Showband 
  • Robotics 
  • CISCO – Youth in Tech 
  • Sports Leadership & Athletic Analysis 
  • Service Learning 

This year, we again have outstanding external examination results especially considering that our graduates of 2023 were most affected by the past 3 years of COVID restrictions. Our IBDP average was 35, well above the world average of 30.2. We have again supported our student’s applications to universities of their choice. These include many of the top institutions in Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, Korea, America, Canada, the UK, mainland Europe and increasingly top universities in China. We have a diverse student body and have a history of supporting students’ applications to many different countries all around the world. This year is no exception. 

We offer a personalised pathway to build successful applications to very selective and sometimes little-known specialist colleges all over the world. A crucial element of these successful applications is our careers and university guidance programme. Please do contact our specialist university guidance Mr Gould ( ) for personalised advice on academic enrichment opportunities and planning a path to specific countries or universities.


As you spend time with your families this weekend, please do find time to read the following article ( The 9 Easier ways to get better grades ) and have a discussion with your child on effective study and wellbeing habits for the year ahead. 

With gratitude

Mr Steven Gaynor, Senior School Principal

Messages from the Academic Coordinators 

Welcome back to IBDP 

Dear IBDP Students, 

 We are thrilled to welcome you to an exciting and challenging year! To ensure your success in this rigorous programme, I would like to share 3 points to keep in mind as you start the year: 

  • Time Management: Develop strong time management skills. Balancing academics, the Extended Essay, CAS activities, and social life is crucial. Create a study schedule and stick to it, allowing time for breaks and self-care. 
  • Utilise Resources: Take full advantage of the resources available to you—teachers, textbooks, libraries, and online tools. Seek help when needed, whether it’s academic support or guidance from your teachers. Study Hall sessions are a good time to seek help and support!  
  • Stay Organised: Keep track of assignments, deadlines, and assessments. Use your student planner, Managebac or digital tools to stay organised. Being on top of your responsibilities will reduce stress and allow you to excel academically. 

As you begin this incredible journey, remember that success is not just about grades but about personal growth, resilience, and becoming a well-rounded individual. Your IBDP experience will empower you with knowledge, skills, and a global perspective that will serve you well throughout your life. Welcome back and let’s have a great year! 

Key Upcoming Dates  

  1. Deadline for Course changes – Sept. 22nd (Grade 11 only) 
  2. DP Camp – Sept 22nd  – 23rd  
  3. Grade 11 & 12 DP Information Night – Sept 27th  
  4. Grade 11 Excursion Week – Oct 23rd – 27th 
  5. Grade 12 Incursion Week – Oct 23rd  – 27th

Mr. Aloysius Chua
Senior School IBDP Coordinator 

Dear IGCSE students, 

A big welcome back to school! For our incoming Grade 9 students, you are at the very start of a challenging yet exciting journey, one in which you will not just learn and grow in an academic sense, but in taking your first steps into young adulthood. For our Grade 10 students, you are at a crucial mid-point of your journey and, as you begin your exam year, it is important to remember balance and wellbeing – this can be a stressful time, and keeping yourself organised so that you still have time for socialising and outside interests is vital. To our graduating Grade 10s, now at the start of their IBDP journey – congratulations on some amazing results! You showed great commitment and resilience over your IGCSE journey – we are proud of you and what you accomplished. 

Some key upcoming dates: 

  1. Deadline for course changes – 22 September 
  2. IGCSE Character and Leadership Day – 22 September 
  3. Grade 8 IGCSE Parents Information Session – 25 November 
  4. IGCSE Awards and Recognition Ceremony – 6 December 

Mr Andrew Cole 
Senior School IGCSE Coordinator 

Dear Grade 7&8 Parents and Students,  

Welcome to the 2023/24 academic year. I would especially like to welcome all incoming Grade 7 parents and students to the Senior School. For Grade 7 students, this can be a very anxious time of the year; adjusting to a new routine, environment and academic programme. I would like to offer the following suggestions to make the most of your time at the Senior School. These suggestions also apply to returning students. 

  • Use your planner by recording your assignments every day and get this signed off at home.  
  • Check Managebac regularly to keep up to date with upcoming assessments and record these in your planner.  
  • Ask your teachers for help and clarification whenever you are confused, they are here to help. 
  • Make the most of the vast extracurricular opportunities on offer here at the Senior School.   

Please be aware that our Character and Leadership Day is coming up on the 21st of September. This is an opportunity for students to engage with one another and build meaningful relationships with the school community. Further information will be provided on SchoolsBuddy shortly.  

David Herring  
Grade 7&8 Coordinator  

Dates for your Diary

  • Thursday 21st September: G7&G8 Character & Leadership Day Camp (finish at 8PM)
  • Friday 22nd September: G9&G10 Character & Leadership Day Camp (finish at 9PM)
  • Friday 22nd September: Community Movie Night
  • Friday 22nd – Saturday 23rd September: G11&G12 Overnight DP Camp at Sun Island
  • Tuesday 26th September: Scholarship Ceremony (8:30 – 9:15 am) 
  • Wednesday 27th September: IBDP Information Evening (6PM) 
  • Friday 29th September: Mid-Autumn Festival (no school) 
  • Monday 9th October: Return to school after the October holiday 

Student Wellbeing

Dear parents/guardians, 

I trust you have enjoyed the highly anticipated summer and spent quality time with family and friends near and far. It has been a pleasure to welcome back our students as their happy faces and excited buzz has brightened our corridors and classrooms. 

This year, we continue to enhance our Pastoral Care with carefully considered Well-Being lessons and assemblies. We will sustain our vision where ‘Every Child Matters’ & ‘Every student can be a leader’. Through CAS & Service Learning, we continue to promote Global Citizenship so that our students are world-wise and caring. Furthermore, our Student Services team are ready to offer support so should your child feel the need to talk about any matter, please encourage them to drop in.  

Some changes this year: 

  1. The new Student Planner  
  • Read and discuss the monthly themes & Future Global Leader Attributes.  
  • Check and sign the planner at the end of every week.  
  • Acknowledge & sign the Student Code of Conduct & Technology Agreement. 
  1. Form classes 
  • We have reduced this to small groups with 1 form tutor. 
  • To foster closer & healthier relationships & to provide more one to one care. 
  1. RAPS  
  • New house captains are in the process of being interviewed. 
  • Each form class will have a class ambassador to represent, promote and help with house activities. 

 Tips to help your child ease into the school year: 

  1. Ensure they have the appropriate school uniform, leather shoes and house shirts. 
  1. Check they are fully equipped with stationery, textbooks and other equipment. 
  1. Make sure they attend school on time & are punctual to lessons. 
  1. Encourage wider reading at home.  
  1. Create technology free time at home.  
  1. Praise your child with positive reinforcement.  
  1. Support a balance in academics, sport and personal time. 
  1. Enjoy education by going to museums, exhibitions or even reading together. 
  1. Check Managebac for an update on progress. 
  1. Use Schools Buddy to sign up for ASPs, excursions, sporting events etc. 
  1. Remind your child of our ‘no gaming’ rule & technology is to be used with teacher supervision. 

Finally, I encourage all parents to be actively involved in their child’s school life. This could take on simple actions like reading a book, watching a film, playing educational games, visiting an exhibition/museum or learning a new sport/instrument together.  

“Children are not things to be molded but are people to be unfolded.”  

I would like to remind students that my office is based in Block C Admin Office 217 and that they can drop in should they have concerns/questions, need help or just want to talk.

Ms Shireen Naidoo, Senior School Assistant Principal


Student Absence, Uniform and Regular communication

  • If your child is absent, please email your child’s form teacher as soon as possible with a reason. It is a Shanghai Education Committee requirement for all schools to record attendance and reasons for absence. 
  • A reminder that students should arrive at school wearing shoes and ties. Full school uniform needs to be worn throughout the school day with the exception of PE lessons. While the weather is hot, students are not required to wear their school blazers.  

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

Contact Information

Mr Steven GaynorSenior School
Ms Katharine ChenPA to Senior School

Yours sincerely,

SSIS Senior School