Click to download the 2023-24 Hillside Calendar. You can also access the school calendar via the ESF App.
1 September: Parent Webinar: Hillside's Chinese Programme
5 September: K2 Parent-Teacher Meet and Greet
8 September: Parent Forum: Engagement and Parent Involvement (Details below)
Dear Hillside Families
It has been lovely to catch up with all the returning children, parents and staff the past week, and I look forward to getting to know our new children and families over the coming weeks. We have some important information to share this week, so please take some time to read through the newsletter.
We believe that strong parent-school partnerships are essential for the children's education journey. With that in mind, we cordially invite you to a special Parent Session on Engagement and Parent Involvement.
Date: Friday, 8 September
Location: Zoom - Click to Register
During this session, we will share practical ways for parents to get involved and connect with our school community. We are also keen to hear your feedback during this session. Your active participation in your child's education positively impacts their learning journey.
Hong Kong expects typhoon" Saola" to reach the city later this week. Therefore, we want to direct our parents to our website for the Severe Weather Procedures. In case of class suspension due to inclement weather, we will inform parents via the ESF App messaging system as soon as we have confirmation from the Education Bureau.
We will do our best to share some optional home activities or distance learning on any occasion in which face-to-face learning is disrupted. However, in the case of an unforeseen situation or short notice, please allow our teachers some preparation time to settle their own families before communicating with you.
Dropping off a young child at kindergarten for the first time can be an emotional experience for both the child and the parent. While some children are fully confident to say goodbye, others cry, scream, or go into a full tantrum.
In these cases, it is important to establish a "Goodbye Routine". Talk to your child about a special goodbye ritual you will do when you leave them at school each day. Maybe it's a high-five, a double kiss, or a big bear hug. Try doing your goodbye ritual when practising time apart (e.g., going to the shops) or even when tucking your child into bed at night.
It might also be helpful to bring a "Transitional Object" such as a small stuffed animal, a photo, or even a smiley face drawn on their hand. These familiar items, or "transitional objects" called by child psychology experts, ease separation anxiety and help your child feel closer to you when you are absent.
Children often take their cues from trusted adults (parents and teachers). Stay upbeat, and try not to let your child see that their separation anxiety is getting to you. Instead, smile, remind them what they can expect that day, and talk about how much fun they will have at school.
However, at the same time, don't minimise their concerns. It is essential to acknowledge their emotions. Instead of saying, "Stop crying", say, "I know you're sad, but your teachers will keep you safe, and you will have fun."
Say goodbye using the ritual you've practised, reassure your child you will be back after school, and then "Make the Break". It may feel insensitive to leave when your child cries or begs you to stay, but lingering can backfire. Don't delay or give them "one more minute," as it can provide children with the misleading impression that you may be able to stay indefinitely.
If the separation anxiety persists, please don't hesitate to contact your class teacher for support.
We wanted to bring your attention to an important matter regarding snack time. We have noticed that some children have been bringing large grapes as part of their snacks. While grapes are a nutritious and delicious choice, we want to emphasise the importance of cutting them into smaller pieces before sending them to school.
Large grapes, especially for our younger children, can present a potential choking hazard. By cutting grapes into smaller, bite-sized portions, we can mitigate this risk and ensure the safety of all our children during snack time.
We kindly request your cooperation in preparing grapes appropriately for your child's snack. Here are a few guidelines to follow:
A warm reminder that Hillside is a nut-free school. Please do not allow any food that contains nuts or traces of nuts to be brought into the school premises. We have children with severe nut allergies, so all at Hillside must abide by this rule.
Snack is optional. If you feel snacking is unnecessary for your child, there is no need to pack a snack. Baby yoghurt drinks might be an alternative option instead of a full snack.
You may be aware that when there are certain types of elections in Hong Kong, the Education Bureau (EDB) requires that all schools are closed the day after the election has taken place. Doing this allows schools, where required, to be used as polling stations.
There will be District Council elections taking place on Sunday, 10 December. As a result, EDB has notified us that all schools in Hong Kong should be closed on the following day: Monday, 11 December. This impacts all of our schools, whether they have been selected as a polling station or not. We have therefore added this date as an additional holiday day to the ESF calendar. You can access the 2023/24 calendar here.