Senior School News

T1W7 – 14 Oct 2022

Dear Senior School parents,

I trust you had an enjoyable and restful time with your families over the October National holiday. While we are currently implementing our distance learning plan, we are planning for a return to School on Wednesday 19th October. Do continue to regularly check your ManageBac and SSIS WeCom messages for updated information regarding PCR testing and the requirements to return to school. 

Postponement of Excursions 

The scheduled return to School on Wednesday, 19th October makes the final logistical planning for the excursions very challenging as well as the need to balance COVID-related risk factors. Therefore, we have unfortunately made the decision to postpone the excursions until Spring. The exact new date is yet to be determined. Monday, 24th to Friday, 28th October (T1W9) will be a normal teaching week (week A). 

Primary School Prize Presentation Ceremony 

Before the break, I was honoured to attend the Primary School Prize presentation ceremony. While it was great to see all primary students rewarded for their continued excellence, I was especially delighted to see last year’s grade 6 students (this year’s grade 7 students) receive their awards. I have already met many of our prize winners and I am excited to follow and support their further academic development in grade 7. 

House Captain’s and Student Council investiture 

Before the holiday, we introduced our new House Captains to the Senior School and this week’s assembly main focus was the Student Council investiture. I want to take this opportunity to thank all student leaders that dedicate so much of their time to listening to the student body and working with us to improve the student experience at SSIS. Below is a quote I shared with students at assembly and some words for all leaders to reflect on. 

“The Challenge of Leadership  

is to be strong but not rude;  

be kind, but not weak;  

be bold, but not a bully;  

be humble, but not timid;  

be proud, but not arrogant;  

have humour, but without folly.” 

– John Rohn 

Start of Year Parent Meetings 

It was fantastic to meet many of you at the grade 7 transition morning and the Meet the Principal Coffee morning. I am re-sharing with the whole community, the start-of-year advice for supporting your teenage children.

1. No mobile phone use during meals 

  • Eat dinner together & encourage regular face to face communication. 
  • Ring fence “family time”. Ask open questions. Also encourage your children to put their phone away when they need to focus (on homework!) and limit notifications. 

2. Turn off electronics, including phones at a specific time each night 

  • Improve the quality of sleep & help children control their “fear of missing out”. Sufficient sleep (up to 10 hours for G11& 12 students) leads to improved concentration, memory and creativity.

3. Have a homework routine 

  • Same time and the same place. This helps children to organise their time and in the long term promotes independence. 

4. Encourage reading routines 

  • 30 minutes to 1 hour a day, on the bus or at set time and place at home. Reading opens up the world to students. Older students are also encouraged to keep up to date with global news. 

5. Regular exercise and active breaks-  

  • Children should exercise for at least one hour a day. Expose your children to a wide range of activities. Balance academics with athletics, interests & hobbies 

6. View failure as opportunity for growth and to learn 

  • Failure is an integral part of learning and should be viewed as an opportunity for growth and to build resilience. Encourage your students to challenge themselves and see failure as an opportunity. Learning new knowledge, skills or dispositions is hard, so students need a supportive yet challenging environment to develop the “grit” to keep at it. 

7. Strong school-home communication encourages high academic expectations 

  • Encouraged to email teachers, coordinator, counsellors or Principal. 
  • Read school ManageBac messages and newsletter. 
  • Check your child ‘s ManageBac subject pages on a regular basis. 

Mr Steven Gaynor, Senior School Principal

Dates for your Diary

  • Monday 17th – Tuesday 18th October (T1W8): Senior School Distance Learning
  • Wednesday 19th October: Return to School
  • Monday 24th – Friday 28th October (T1W9): Autumn Excursions (to be confirmed)
  • Friday 4th November (T1W10): University Fair (G9-12, Periods 3 &4) 
  • Monday 7th – Friday 11th November (T1W11): Reading Extravaganza week   

Student Wellbeing

Dear parents,

It is with great pride that we celebrate our student council and house captains. Students have been through a selection process and proved their worth so please congratulate each – please read the SSIS WeChat post for full details. October is also the month of ‘Culture & Diversity’ – house captains have worked on a photo challenge – so, put on an outfit that best represents your culture or show your culture in a creative way, take a photo and submit. The second is a speech contest on ‘Embracing our differences’ open to Grades 7-10. There are so many other exciting initiatives happening like: Bark for Life, Green Hoaloha, IG Tutoring and house dodgeball. Do encourage your child to get involved:  

What one learns in the classroom is just a small part of the learning process. The real learning starts when one challenges themselves outside the classroom”. 

Ms Shireen Naidoo, Senior School Assistant Principal

Academic Coordinators

We are now well into undertaking the first major summative assessments for all subjects. I would like to build on the advice, mentioned by Mr Steven Gaynor, about making sure that your child has a ‘healthy’ study environment to complete homework and assessments. Please make sure that it is comfortable, light and free of distractions. Also, I encourage you to talk with your child about their ManageBac assessment calendar which mentions all upcoming school assessments. 

Mr David Herring, CLSP Coordinator

We are at the halfway point in the Term now and the students may be facing a lot of assessments. While we want the students to do well in these summative assessments, we also want the students to maintain a healthy balance and manage their stress and workload. Keeping track of upcoming important dates through ManageBac and their planners is a vital tool, but we also encourage the students to reach out to their subject teachers whenever they have questions, or even just to talk about their progress in their subjects. 

Mr Andrew Cole, IGCSE Coordinator

As our G11s begin to embrace the IB Core traits, it is a fantastic time to ask them about the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) projects. Your child chooses their own projects, so you can ask them what they are getting involved with; is it helping stray animals, promoting environmentalism, getting involved in sport, or something else? This enrichment is a crucial part of the IBDP experience. 

Mr Adam Kent Crossley, IBDP Coordinator



A reminder that students should arrive at school wearing smart shoes and ties. As the weather starts to cool, students should also 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 through my PA Katharine Chen.

Contact Information

Mr Steven GaynorSenior School
Ms Katharine ChenPA to Senior School
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2024-04-24 07:27:37
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