This Week In HZ
- HZ9’s First Term: One Learning Experience in Two Cities (18 OCT 2021)
- Full Speed Beyond! + Exchange with Local Partner Schools (15 June 2021)
- Exploring Shanghai and Going Beyond (11 June 2021)
Welcome to HZ!
On 5 September, Hangzhou CIS campus welcomed our first cohort of HZ9 students! Students arrived with their luggage and a strong sense of anticipation and curiosity about the new chapter of learning in Hangzhou. Our 11 students (now increased to 15) received greetings from Director Zhang and explored the lovely campus with our Coach Mentors. In the evening, everyone enjoyed a pizza party and an ice breaker game. It was a day of long travels and happy activities. The students were able to get their first taste of some hallmark Hangzhou routines starting with the first tech time at 9:00pm, followed by the first Family Time, and lights out at 10:00pm sharp. Sweet dreams, and congratulations for taking the first step in the long and rewarding journey we have yet to experience!
Mid-Autumn Festival was the first major celebration on the Hangzhou Campus with HZ9. Students in Hangzhou learned how to make exquisite and delicious mooncakes, and students in both Hong Kong and Hangzhou prepared performances for the Mid-Autumn assembly. The fantastic performances created a truly festive atmosphere. The collaborative performance of 刀马旦 was the highlight of the night, with Hong Kong students dancing to the music created by our Hangzhou students. Happy Mid-Autumn! May we all be blessed with longevity, so as to share the beauty of this graceful moonlight.
At Hangzhou CIS, the learning experience is much more than simply classroom learning and studying. Our special residential program offers students a multitude of opportunities to create bonds and friendships with their peers, Coach Mentors, and teachers over the course of their time here. At 9:00pm every evening, dorms meet together for Family Time, a sacred time to chat about their day, play games, and wind down for the evening. On weekends, students enjoy self-directed time, with Saturday outings being undoubtedly the most anticipated time of the week. The most popular activity is currently the arcade! Many of our students have recently discovered this option and have thoroughly enjoyed playing together and enjoying meals together off campus.
In Hong Kong, students are living every day to their fullest.
A day in the life at HKCIS:
By 7:30am on any given day, most HZ9 students will have already arrived at school, and many can be found waiting in front of the library, ready to rush inside to revise their schoolwork. When the clock strikes 7:50am, everyone stops what they’re doing and heads to their classrooms to arrive on time via Zoom.
Students have all adjusted to virtual learning, seeing their teachers through a screen is no longer an odd phenomenon, and sharing devices with friends makes the day even more fun. It isn’t strange for friends to share screens for class, and if headphones run out of battery, sharing with a friend is always an easy solution.
Mid-Autumn Festival arrived with great fanfare, starting with an assembly that offered a chance for the whole HZ9 cohort to come together as a community. Everyone had a chance to showcase their talents and even play online carnival games together. Some wrote and performed their own songs, some formed their own bands with friends, some danced, and others created traditional Chinese puppet plays and poetry recitations. A highlight was one performance where students in Hong Kong recorded beautiful dance performances to music played by their Hangzhou peers. The carnival games were equally delightful, with a diverse range of activities from Chinese Kahoot to singing. Everyone had a great time celebrating together under the Mid-Autumn moon.
Virtual Field Trips
Although students in Hong Kong could not physically participate in Collaboration field trips for the unit “Artists of Hangzhou”, Coach Mentors made up for that by taking them on virtual trips to well known tourist sites in Hangzhou, sharing the beautiful sites of West Lake, the Grand Canal, Lingyin Temple, and the Longjing tea fields through Zoom. The Coach Mentors then helped students complete their research by conducting interviews with local residents, gathering photos, savoring sights and sounds and tastes and reporting back to students at Braemar Hill. Virtual field trips gave the students in Hong Kong a chance to learn about Chinese culture in an enjoyable way. Despite not being in Hangzhou physically, everyone’s hearts have connected with the city known as “paradise”.
This Friday afternoon, students in Hong Kong took the lead in holding their Beyond exhibition. The projects included an electric go kart built by 6 of our students, which earned Mr. Lynch’s approval, Health drinks, Western-style baking - complete with a Beyond cake specially crafted for Hangzhou 8, songs, performances, and even some exquisite earrings. Students shared their ungraded passion projects with their peers, teachers, and parents for an unforgettable evening.
Meanwhile, the academic building on our Hangzhou campus has been busy with the buzz of Beyond, as students continued to polish and perfect their projects through the weekend, and each also decorated their Beyond display wall.
Some students went to the fabric market to buy cloth in order to sew their original creations, while others painted flowers on the terrace outside our school canteen. We also had students who wrote original musical compositions, learned new instruments, or set up their own band and made a music video inspired by their Beyond travels off-campus.
Inspired by the experience of picking peaches during their Beyond journey off-campus, the food team produced “A Taste of Beyond”--a pop up food tent on our canteen terrace featuring incredible snacks and drinks of both Chinese and Western styles, such as Shoutao steamed bun, peach icing cookies, and peach iced tea. Partnering with other students in the group, who learned about the lives of the migrant restaurant workers. Proceeds from the pop up project have gone to support helpers in Hong Kong. Alongside the food tent, another student planted the seed for an organic farm outside our school canteen by making a complete guide to organic farming. With all of these combined efforts, our canteen terrace is becoming a lively place for events and fun!
Athletics/Community Service Group
Students in this group developed their own projects centering on sports and community related themes. Some of the students increased their running endurance while practicing sports nutrition by cooking their own meals; others created lessons for local schools; and one big group spent the week preparing for a very successful charity football tournament in partnership with China Grassroots Football.
The students in the engineering group took their learning from Nanjing and formally entered the manufacturing stage this week. At present, go karts, airplanes, and even a school skeeball machine have taken shape. Every screw and every board contains the sweat of the students as they try to finish their creations.
Film and Television Group
The film and television group used their experience and inspiration on set in Hengdian to complete video editing and creation. Our community enjoyed seeing their final cuts, ranging from reality TV to documentary, advertisements, and vlogs.
Amidst all of this, on Friday we also welcomed teachers and students from sister schools, Moganshan Central School and Greentown Yuhua school. In the morning, HZ8 students enthusiastically led the teachers and students from Moganshan Central School on a tour of campus, followed by interacting with them in small film classes and ending with a wonderful talent show for the teachers and students of the two schools.
In the evening, Hangzhou 8 students and members of Greentown Yuhua school’s Environmental Protection Society gathered for the student-organized Hangzhou CIS Sustainability Fair, featuring a vegetarian menu provided by our canteen staff, and including activities and games on the theme of sustainability. Proceeds from games and activities went to support the Coalition for Rainforest Nations.
Activities like these help to fulfill our school’s mission statement by merging the East and West, promoting students learning from each other, and forming an open and inclusive cross-cultural campus atmosphere.
Finally, this Saturday evening, we all enjoyed a masquerade ball, planned by one of our HZ8 students as her Beyond project. Students and teachers dressed to the nines, donned their masks, took photos in the photo booth, danced, ate, and enjoyed performances by our students. The atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant--the perfect way to spend our last Saturday together in Hangzhou.
As our HZ 8 academic year draws to a close, we give our students a final opportunity to participate in various cultural experiences and practical activities.
Last Sunday, Hangzhou 8 traveled to Shanghai for a two-day "Wonder in Shanghai" cultural experience. The students first went to the Shanghai Museum and Yuyuan Garden in their dorm groups, to experience the historical and cultural imprints of these different locations. We then all met for a stroll along East Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street to experience the modern side of Shanghai. In the evening, we boarded a cruise ship to view the Bund and the Huangpu River. Students now cherish the memories of the summer evening breeze, the bright lights along the river, and chats and laughter among friends. The next day, the students went to Shanghai Disneyland for a day of amusement and exhilaration, ending with the incredible light show and fireworks at the iconic castle. What a fantastic two-day excursion for our Y10 students!
Visiting Yu Garden and Shanghai Museum
Walking along East Nanjing Road and the Bund
Shanghai Disneyland Adventure
On Tuesday, the highlight of the Hangzhou CIS programme - Beyond, officially began. The students traveled in their Beyond groups to Nanjing, Suzhou, Hengdian, Yiwu, Lin'an based on their project themes. They spent five days collecting inspiration and conducting experiential learning activities. Through Beyond, students have the opportunity to turn their creativity and inspiration into action and let their dreams shine into reality.
After the week off campus, students will return to HZCIS to further polish and improve their projects for the second week of Beyond. We are all looking forward to the final student achievement exhibition!