This Week in HZ
- Full Speed Beyond! + Exchange with Local Partner Schools (15 June 2021)
- Exploring Shanghai and Going Beyond (11 June 2021)
- Endeavor Exhibition and "History Has Eyes" Performances (3 June 2021)
- HZCIS Students Explore China in both Academics and Athletics (25 May 2021)
- House Retreat Further Enhances Friendships (18 May 2021)
- CIS and Greentown Yuhua students work together to overcome obstacles in Xixi Wetland (13 May 2021)
- China as our classroom inspires and stimulates student creativity (4 May 2021）
- HZCIS blooms with vitality, poetry, and service, both on and off campus （27 Apr 2021）
- HZCIS students officially start their term in Hangzhou! (20 Apr 2021)
- Extracurricular Weekend Events at Hangzhou CIS (13 JAN 2020)
- Weekends in Hangzhou (2 Dec 2020)
- Hangzhou CIS Collaboration Celebrations (25 Nov 2020)
- Wonder in Beijing (18 Nov 2020)
- Hangzhou CIS students participate in the Greentown Yuhua International Cultural Festival (11 Nov 2020)
- Happy Halloween! (4 Nov 2020)
- A Satisfying End to HZ7’s Beginning Term (14 Oct 2020)
- The Beyond Endeavor (7 Oct 2020)
- Dragon Boat Training and Promoting the Spirit of Cooperation (30 Sept 2020)
- Linking to the Community and Enriching Students Learning Experiences (23 Sept 2020)
- Students celebrate Teachers' Day and Mid-Autumn Festival (16 Sept 2020)
- Students appreciate the ancient rhyme of the Grand Canal (9 Sept 2020)
- Chronicles of HZCIS 2018/19 by Hyning Gan Y11
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!
We finished our academic learning for the school year with a few special events this week. The first event last Thursday was the Endeavor Exhibition, showcasing student achievement over the past term in their autonomous learning “Endeavor” classes.
In this elective course, students were able to choose between developing science fair projects, building businesses, or creating new artistic worlds. With their teachers’ guidance, students had the chance to fully develop their abilities to learn independently and to formulate their own ideas based on their learnings.
The exhibition itself was exciting and inspiring as students enthusiastically shared their creative experiences and original ideas with their peers and members of the HZ community.
An additional highlight from this week was that our students from both the Hangzhou and Hong Kong cohort finished their Collaboration project “History has Eyes.”
As part of this interdisciplinary inquiry, students drew inspiration from the lives of ordinary people from China’s Reform and Opening Up era. The student presentations combined knowledge of history, drama, film, music, visual art and digital design with their own unique ideas. The selected style of the final performance was immersive theater, which forced the audience to interact with the performance and artifacts. This experimental method of artistic interpretation truly showcased our students’ creative and empathetic abilities and left a deep impression on the teachers and Coach Mentors.
As the Hangzhou based cohort closed this year’s academic learning, our Hong Kong cohort got a head start on their journey - Beyond. Hong Kong students gathered on Saturday afternoon to begin their two-week-long residential Beyond experience, while Hangzhou students finally embarked on their Beyong trip the following Sunday. We are all looking forward to the wonderful achievements of the students in the next few days!
At HZCIS, China is our classroom not only for academic learning, but also for physical education. This week during Move Time classes, students took to new heights as they climbed the highest peak on the outskirts of Hangzhou. Students, teachers, and Coach Mentors enjoyed the thick, luxuriant bamboo-studded pathways and explored some caves along the way. The sweat, and hard work of the challenging climb was rewarded with a huge sense of achievement when they reached the top.
Meanwhile, in Chinese classes this week, HZ 8 learnt about traditional Chinese clothing - Hanfu, and of the recent trend to revive it.. As they tried on the Hanfu, it was as though they were travelling back in time to experience the etiquette of ancient China.
Sports were equally busy this week, providing a number of opportunities for HZCIS students to shine in athletic competition and interact with students around the HZ community. On Thursday, HZ students won 3-2 at the football match against Greentown Yuhua School. On Saturday, HZCIS hosted the first ever Hangzhou International Schools Frisbee Tournament. We welcomed students from Hangzhou International School and King's College of Hangzhou to play for an afternoon on our Greentown campus field. Also on the same Saturday, HZCIS students were invited to participate in the inter-school badminton league of Hangzhou International Schools. Our women’s badminton team won championships in singles and doubles, and the men’s team won third place in singles and doubles.
One day schoolmates, the next lifelong friends. This week, HZ8 students embarked on their House Retreats. All four Houses travelled off campus to different places in and around Hangzhou to spend two unforgettable days and nights with their roommates. The purpose of this retreat is to help everyone get to know each other better and create a positive home environment for our students.
Though all in different locations, each house team participated in similar activities, such as writing thank-you cards to their roommates, designing house slogans, creating Dragon Boat Race T-shirts, etc. With the blue water and green mountains as a backdrop, our students embraced the great outdoors and formed deep friendships with their classmates.
Dragon Boat racing, a traditional Chinese custom, came as the indispensable culminating event of House Retreat. In the warmth of May, the Hangzhou CIS Dragon Boat Race cast off on Wednesday!
The competition was divided into the “Snow Panda” team, comprising the second and third floor students, and the Qilin team with the fourth floor students. All morning, we watched three fierce races between these two teams: a boys’ race, a girls’ race, and a mixed gender race. As the water below churned with relentless paddling, housemates shouted and cheered their teams on from the bridge above. The narrow dragon boat carried the weight of deep friendships and hard work.
In Hangzhou 8, we see the qualities of persistence and dedication. Thanks to all the students for their efforts, and thanks to the teachers and Coach Mentors for their participation and endless support!
The highlight of this week was definitely Maths day in Xixi Wetland. After a morning briefing from Lead Maths teacher Chen Yuan Laoshi, 13 groups, comprising of both HZCIS students and students from Greentown Yuhua School, set off to Xixi Wetland to complete a series of tasks centered around Maths and discipline subjects, including Chinese literature, English literature, French and Spanish. Throughout the day, students were challenged to unlock codes, solve puzzles and riddles, and play games using their interdisciplinary knowledge and logical reasoning.
Preparation for Beyond is also in full swing. Students have already presented a range of creative project ideas, from organizing a live-broadcasted football tournament to providing assistance to animal shelters in rural areas. Over the course of Beyond, students will sow the seeds of their dreams and let these new and interesting ideas take root.
On Wednesday, we were very happy to welcome CIS Board of Governors, Ms. Ti Hua Dennig, to our school. Ms. Dennig was very interested to see HZ8 engage in regular academic and residential life, especially after their long and arduous journey to get here. She observed classes and listened to the students as they shared their Collaboration projects with her. Ms Dennig also asked our students about the Hangzhou experience so far, in which the response was very uplifting. During her visit, Ms. Dennig also spoke with some teachers and heard how grateful we all are to have students on campus after such a long separation. She truly appreciated the students' diligence, active integration into local life in Hangzhou, and confidence in using Mandarin to express themselves. She also appreciated the Hangzhou team's efforts to create the best possible experience for the children.
We look forward to seeing what 8 Hangzhou brings us next!
Experiential learning was the theme of the third week of Hangzhou life. Whether the Chinese cultural experience activity or the official opening of the autonomous learning project - "Beyond", HZ8 students are seizing every precious opportunity to create their own and exciting learning experience.
On Wednesday, students took their first Chinese Connections trip--a journey through the past and the present. The first stop of the activity is Alibaba to give students a taste of modern business practices and the opportunities created by entrepreneurship. Under the leadership of Alibaba staff, the students listened to the history of Alibaba and then took an interactive AI tour of the venue.
Upon completion of their brief tour of the modern, students traveled to Hangzhou’s past at the China Silk Museum, the world's largest silk museum. There they competed in a trivia contest in order to learn all kinds of knowledge and history about silk.
In the evening, the students strolled among the willows in the gentle evening wind along the Su Causeway, immersed in the beautiful scenery of the West Lake. Finally, the students came to the West Lake to watch the large-scale live performance "Impression of West Lake." The traditional myths and legends interwoven with dazzling lighting effects left students with an unforgettable viewing experience.
On Thursday morning, we officially launched the Hangzhou CIS signature autonomous learning project - "Beyond.” The students of Hangzhou 8 immersed themselves in achievements of previous Beyond projects, and listened to the HZ6 students share their experiences and advice. The seeds of creativity and dreams of possibilities are beginning to sprout in the students' hearts.
On Thursday, we invited Ms. Gloria Yan from Geely Group, the brand and strategic planning company, to our school to share with our students about the current development and future of electric vehicles. The students actively listened to the talk, which further enhanced their understanding of the electric vehicle market in China, and then asked insightful questions during the Q&A afterwards.
We look forward to seeing how HZ8 continues to surpassing themselves and turn more inspiration and imagination into reality.
The second week of on-campus learning brought incredible opportunities through Dragon Boat training, the English class Poetry Cafe, and Links service learning.
Dragon Boat Training
Jiangsu and Zhejiang are the birthplaces of the Dragon Boat Festival. This week, students went to Xixi Wetland water sports base in their House teams for their first experience with this traditional Chinese sport. With drums beating, they paddled against the tide, laughed together as they learned the sport, and built up sweat through the challenge of strenuous exercise. HZCIS students always enjoy building team spirit and forming deep friendships via Dragon boating!
On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons last week, all HZCIS students gathered in the theatre to share their original poetry with each other. Our Hangzhou students in Hong Kong also participated via zoom.
Students made full use of personal inspiration to create poems with authentic feeling and insight, and they covered a variety of themes and forms. It was particularly admirable that every student-poet bravely shared his/her own creation and some even shared extra during the open mic portion of the event.
Links service learning
Establishing meaningful and sustainable connections between our students and the wider Hangzhou community is a core value of the Hangzhou program. Hangzhou Links, our student-led, service learning and community interaction program, fulfills that purpose. Links kicked off last Wednesday with students’ first site visits to eight locations. HZ8 students once again displayed their extraordinary abilities and high standards at their respective locations, and returned with wonderful stories and unique viewpoints to share with their teachers.
HZ8 students collaborate with managers at China’s Grassroots Football to help improve football training.
At the Moganshan school in Deqing, HZCIS students provided training courses in badminton, ultimate frisbee, and bowling. They also experienced bamboo dance for the first time.
At Huiling & Ya’en Autism Center, HZ students joined in making handicrafts, dancing, singing, and playing sports.
At the Nature Conservation Association in Qingshan village, our students successfully found and identified more than 30 different plants and flowers and recorded them in embossed journals.
In Hangzhou Fuyang Democratic School, HZCIS students become tutors, offering interesting English classes for fourth graders.
At Greentown Yuhua school, HZCIS students played games and sang English songs with the students.
At Jinlin reading center, HZ8 students taught kindergarten children some simple scientific knowledge and ran English lessons related to animals.
In the middle of April, our Hangzhou campus is blooming with poetry and vitality. Our dedicated students have displayed their creativity and abilities through a number of activities and they have actively contributed to the community around them.
Having completed 21 days of centralised quarantine accompanied by a team of chaperones including CIS Deputy Head of School, Li Bin, teachers, and parents from HKCIS, our HZ8 students finally arrived on campus on 12 April! Friends from our Greentown Yuhua sister school were waiting at the school gate in the early morning to welcome our students, and HZCIS faculty and staff prepared wonderful opening activities with many surprises for the students. HZ8’s unique term on campus has officially begun!
Our HZCIS campus, silent for more than a year, has regained its vigor and vitality with the students’ arrival. Monday morning’s activities began with students, teachers, and chaperones gathered together as our HZ team expressed their gratitude for the chaperones’ commitment to accompanying students during quarantine. Students even surprised their chaperones with heartfelt video messages. Following that, HZCIS School Director, Ms. Zhang, welcomed the students on behalf of our HZ team, and presented souvenirs to the chaperones. HZ8 students in Hong Kong also sent greetings and blessings to the students in Hangzhou. We were then honored to welcome a special guest: CIS Board Member and HZ8 parent, Mr. Charles Chen Yidan. Mr. Chen made an inspiring speech to teachers and students, praising the positive attitude, grit, and resilience HZ8 students displayed during their 21 days of quarantine. He then distributed lovely "Year of the Ox" gifts to each of our students and teachers, and finally presented gifts that had been carefully prepared by our HZ8 parents to each chaperone teacher. Finally, CIS Deputy Head of School Ms. Li expressed gratitude to the HZCIS team for their efforts in welcoming the students and helping them to successfully complete the three-week quarantine.
At the end of the welcome party, Ms. Zhang made the exciting announcement about House Teams. Students from all eight dorms were very excited to start residential life together with their roommates.
On Monday afternoon, our two-day Orientation program officially began. Up first was Campus Explorer, a treasure hunt for QR codes around campus that helped to familiarise students with their new surroundings. Mr. Pollock and Mr. Jones prepared a trivia game using the clues and finally the Dorm Duel--a special challenge to close the activity. At the end of the day, students, teachers, and parents enjoyed a delightful barbeque dinner on our patio, specially prepared by our wonderful canteen staff.
Students and teachers enjoying delicious BBQ together
We made it!
Tuesday morning brought the exciting Hangzhou Hunt, in which students traveled around the city of Hangzhou in search of their hidden teachers. Our HZ8 students at Braemar Hill became the “Command Center,” navigating maps and bus routes as they guided onsite teams around town. The activity was a fantastic opportunity for students to get to know Hangzhou, as they saw important places and famous scenic spots all over the beautiful city. They not only had the chance to browse and become familiar with the city and scenery of Hangzhou, but also the chance to bond as House teams, developing teamwork, cooperation, and problem solving skills together as a dorm unit. After the Hangzhou Hunt, students celebrated the formal start of boarding life by enjoying their first House dinner off campus with their Coach Mentors and Head of House.
On Wednesday morning, students continued on-campus Orientation with information sessions about child protection policies, community service opportunities available through our Hangzhou Links program, extracurricular activities, and sustainability initiatives. The students then took their first House photos on our beautiful Hangzhou campus.
As a conclusion to the three weeks of quarantine, Wednesday afternoon featured the “Million Dreams” showcase, an opportunity for students to share what they had worked on during self-directed time over the quarantine period. Students expressed their thoughts and ideas in various art forms such as music, painting, dance, film, etc. These unique displays won warm support and applause from our whole community.
Million Dreams Showcase
While gradually adapting to campus learning life, students also seized various opportunities to participate in sports activities inside and outside the school. On Thursday afternoon, our Dream Teams traveled to Hangzhou International School for friendly football and badminton matches. HZCIS female badminton team won their game!
Furthermore, Saturday afternoon was our first Varsity Day! Students competed with excitement and enthusiasm in a series of races on our shared Greentown track. All of our athletes gave it their all, trying their best to set new PRs as their Housemates wildly chanted and cheered them on from the stands. The atmosphere was extremely supportive and we are all looking forward to the next Varsity event!
Students ended the week by going shopping off campus with their dorms and Coach Mentors on Sunday to gather any essential items they need to ensure a comfortable life here in Hangzhou. It was a happy and relaxing day for all.
The first week in Hangzhou was busy, full, and happily enjoyed by all on campus! Although it's a great pity that our HZ8 students in HK can't come to Hangzhou in person and learn face-to-face with the teachers here, they are still excited and looking forward to continuing the learning journey of HZCIS online.
This weekend, nearly 20 students from the Hong Kong CIS Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Band joined peers from HZCIS and Greentown Yuhua school for the 8th Annual Music Exchange Concert, here in Hangzhou. The Symphony Orchestra brought us "Symphony No. 4L in C major (Jupiter)" and "Carmen Suite" by Georges Bizet, while the Jazz Band performed songs such as "All My Loving" and "Soul Bossa Nova.” The final programme was "Mamma Mia" medley, performed by the CIS Symphony Orchestra together with our Hangzhou CIS Girls’ Choir, composed of teachers and students. It was a lovely evening of musical enjoyment that brought together students from all three learning environments. We are grateful for the music team’s diligence and passion in creating such a sonorous experience for all.
Last Saturday, our HZCIS boy’s and girl’s basketball teams travelled to Hangzhou International School for a tournament with the Hangzhou International Schools Friendship League. The league includes schools such as Hangzhou CIS, Hangzhou International School, BASIS International School, Hangzhou Olive School Affiliated to Beijing Foreign Studies University, and more. Through their efforts, our boy’s and girl’s teams won by a landslide!
It is inspiring to see how HZCIS students balance their full academic course load with active participation in challenging extracurricular events, and how they learn and grow through such exchanges.
After an invigorating week of classes, Hangzhou CIS students welcomed Varsity League Sports on Saturday, our way to unwind and build community on weekends. Teams from each dorm matched up for football, rugby, volleyball, and netball matches, cheered on by their floor cohorts. Students always create a lively, competitive, and encouraging atmosphere on Saturdays as we wait to see who will top the league charts: second floor Snow Leopards, third floor Pandas, or fourth floor Qilin!
During self-directed time on Sunday afternoons, students and teachers having been taking the opportunity to continue working on the Beyond Endeavor project, which is now in full swing. With united interests and goals, the team is in the early planning stages, dividing the labor and tackling the beginning tasks. They are totally immersed in the passion of creation.
At Hangzhou CIS, exchange and cooperation among students is always visible, including collaboration with alumni. This week, HZ6 alumna and founder of Muse school magazine, Amy Shin, flew from Hong Kong to Hangzhou to encourage HZ7 students to join the Muse team. Muse provides students with opportunities to engage in creative writing and other artistic tasks purely for the enjoyment of creation, thus recording their experience in Hangzhou throughout the year.
At Hangzhou CIS, life is robust both in and out of the classroom, learning and leisure are one and the same, and cooperation and innovation are constantly reinforced. We hope that this year's students will continue to create and harvest more exciting work throughout the rest of the year.
Last week, Hangzhou CIS was filled with scholarly energy as students completed 3 Collaboration enquiries in celebratory showcases: Hangzhou Hawks’ Pitch Competition, Designing Social Change’s Charity Gala, and Science Alive’s dramatic performance. The exhibitions wonderfully displayed our students’ abilities to think, explore and find solutions to authentic real world problems.
In Hangzhou Hawks--an interdisciplinary Collaboration course involving Design, Humanities, Visual Art, and Film--students put their entrepreneurial skills to the test by creating an innovative product and planning its marketing mix from start to finish, culminating in a pitch competition which took place last Wednesday. We were honoured to host 6 parent judges as our Hangzhou Hawks, who watched 10 groups pitch various product ideas, from stress-relieving candy to a Chinese medicine app and more. The parents gave invaluable advice to each group about what the students did well on their business plans, products, and promotions, and how they could improve, before selecting one overall winner to receive an initial investment. We are grateful to the parents for sharing their time and expertise in this unit!
10 business teams pitched to the live audience of 6 Hangzhou Hawk parent judges
Our Hangzhou Hawk judges and classmates listen attentively to the pitching teams
In our Humanities and Design Collaboration, Designing Social Change, students researched societal problems in both Chinese and English, and then presented dual-language solutions to teachers, classmates, parents, and our visiting colleagues from Hong Kong CIS. Student-chosen topics included women’s workplace rights, rural education, air quality improvement, and plastic overuse. The projects aim to provide solutions to social issues. Attendees at the Charity Gala last week voted on the most worthwhile cause and solution, and the winning teams will be invited to continue their work, with school support, over the remainder of the year.
Moments at the Designing Social Change Charity Gala, where students presented their design solutions to visiting teachers and parents from HKCIS
In Science Alive, students combined drama skills with knowledge of scientific processes to act out the experiences of patients who suffer from illnesses with no current cure: cancer and Alzheimer’s. After hearing from a panel of teachers and staff members whose loved ones had experienced these critical illnesses, students researched the cellular processes of disease and then created and directed their own performances. The resulting production was intense and highly emotional, and it deeply touched the hearts of audience members.
Scenes from the students’ heartfelt performance.
Project-based, collaborative learning at Hangzhou CIS facilitates in-depth study of authentic problems, and Collaboration enquiries help students to transfer their school work from the classroom into the real world.
From November 11 to November 15, Hangzhou CIS teachers and students travelled to Beijing for Wonder in Beijing. Twelve mini-groups of students designed their own itineraries according their learning tasks as actors, musicians, photographers, designers, visual artists, and memoirists, with one whole-school trip to the Great Wall. With China as their classroom, students communicated and interacted with local people in Chinese--sensing, crafting, experiencing and savoring each moment there. Let's follow the students as they explore the storied and cultured international metropolis.
Students observe the magnificence and solemnity of the ancient capital.
Juxtaposing the ancient sites, students relish in the new tastes and fashions that modern Beijing showcases.
Students pause to engage their senses and savor the early winter.
Experiencing and capturing the city.
Students enjoy moments together and absorb the wisdom of elderly Beijingers.
Traveling through hutongs, students soak up the charm of old Beijing.
In moments of reflective creation amidst the chaotic city, students craft depictions of the most beautiful scenery and outline their most unforgettable memories.
Students sense and savor famous delicacies, mouth-wateringly worthy of their reputations: Beijing roast duck, fried noodles with soy sauce, lamb hot pot, and more.
“Not to the Great Wall is not a hero.” Feel the wisdom and power of the ancients on the dragon circling the mountains!
In final moments worthy of wonder, CIS school leaders—Sean Lynch, Head of CIS; Sally Zhang, Director of Hangzhou CIS; Jen Grace, Head of Curriculum of Hangzhou CIS—and two student representatives shared Hangzhou CIS’s innovative model for student growth, and ideas for CIS future development, at the Future of Education Now conference held at the Western Academy of Beijing.
During the conference, Hangzhou CIS representatives were honored to hear Dr. Jane Goodall's report on service learning.
Wonder in Beijing has come to a successful end. We look forward to the upcoming exhibition of students’ research projects!
The Autumn sky was clear last week as students from Hangzhou CIS attended the annual Greentown Yuhua International Cultural Festival. This 3-day extravaganza included track & field events, sports matches, choir and poetry performances, a Student Leadership Summit, a student-run flea market, talent show, and more. CIS students took part alongside local Greentown students and students from Greentown sister schools overseas. While participating in these various cultural activities and competitions, Hangzhou CIS students excellently demonstrated the outstanding demeanor of CIS students.
Hangzhou CIS students showcased their talents at the festival’s opening ceremony
Students enjoyed the opening ceremony alongside Greentown students and international peers from Greentown sister schools, and one of our CIS students co-hosted the event.
Joy after hard work in sporting events
Stiff competition on the track
At the Choir and Poetry Recital, the Hangzhou CIS whole school choir sang Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph,” and during the poetry portion, our students performed an original poetry recitation of "three words poetry" in three languages. Both our school choir and poetry recital performances were awarded “Best Performance.” Mr. Lynch was invited to present the outstanding performance awards to the winning school representatives.
Hangzhou CIS students exchanged in deep conversations with their peers from around the world about global issues for their generation at the Student Leadership Summit.
An interview with the Greentown Yuhua campus TV station
At the Flea Market, students gave full play to business creativity
Various well-designed and creative stalls were featured by students at the flea market
The Voice and Talent of Yuhua
Our Hangzhou CIS students actively participated in the International Cultural Festival, reaping rich, diverse cultural experiences, and pushing their boundaries to develop their talents further.
Halloween came upon us just as second term was commencing at Hangzhou CIS. Even while balancing vigorous study loads, Hangzhou CIS students prepared all week for Saturday’s student-led Halloween festivities.
The students were so enthusiastic about their plans that our kitchen staff caught the spooky spirit and surprised our community with tricks and treats on Halloween night! Under orange lighting, each table was set with jack-o-lanterns, carefully baked pumpkin and chocolate pies, and colourful candy.
In preparation for the Halloween party, members of the Arts, Social, and Residential Committee decorated a haunted house and baked sweet treats for all the revelers.
Teachers and students then donned costumes, scary and delightful, for the big Halloween party. There was constant screaming and laughter--a happy party atmosphere!
Despite the fright of Halloween night, joy and warmth lingered in everyone's heart. Students savored the holiday moment together in the company of friends and the care of teachers and staff, even while far away from their families.
Up next week: Greentown International Culture Festival provides a colorful campus life!
Dormitory life builds community and promotes friendship among students
Our six dormitory house teams traveled to distinctive destinations surrounding Hangzhou for a two-day House Retreat last week. Through a series of carefully designed activities, students reflected on themselves and their integration into the greater whole of the house team, with the aim of enhancing mutual respect, trust, and friendship. Through these two days together, our house teams grew closer in thought and created memories to hold on to for the rest of the year.
Students participated in a series of rich and colorful community-building activities during House retreats
Dragon Boat Competition Shows Sports Spirit
Throughout this term, Hangzhou CIS students have trained hard in the hot sun for the long-anticipated Dragon Boat race, which finally transpired last Friday afternoon. Houses, dressed in their dorm colors, met in the library to invigorate themselves as teams before excitedly setting off together to Xixi Wetland Park for the races. The air was filled with the competition’s friendly atmosphere, the sound of strong drums guiding the boats, and students cheering for their house and floor teams. Through this one experience, our students fully embodied Hangzhou CIS’s four pillars: challenge, character, community, and China. We all returned to campus that evening with the sounds of of the race still ringing our their ears, and the spirit of teamwork and community lingering in our hearts.
Contestants struggle to win the prize
Students cheer for their teammates
Students feeling that true sense of satisfaction that comes only after exhaustion
First term closed on Saturday with a song, dance, or skit performance from each house, which they developed during the House Retreats. After the performances, the results of the Dragon Boat race were announced: Second floor Snow Leopards won the championships across the board: male, female, and collective group! Congratulations to the Snow Leopards, and sincere commendations to the ardent efforts put forth by all students!
A moment of glory
On the road to self-improvement, Hangzhou CIS students are learning to help each other and make progress together by facing challenges, building character, and strengthening community. They have successfully completed their first semester of study in Hangzhou, and we all look forward to more wonderful Hangzhou CIS events and interactions next semester.
With support of the CIS annual fund, Hangzhou CIS was honored last week to welcome three experts-in-residence from the United States: Thinker-in-residence and Planet Walker, Dr. John Francis; solar unmanned Shipmaker-in-residence, Damon McMillan; and former lead Humanities teacher and founding member of Hangzhou CIS staff, Innovator-in-residence, Daniel Kinzer. Together with our Hangzhou CIS community, this team initiated the planning phases of an exciting new project: to build the the first unmanned, solar-powered boat to cross the Pacific ocean, the Beyond Endeavor.
Throughout the week, students capitalized on our guests’ expertise in many different ways. At TedxHangzhouCIS, students listened to our guests' inspirational stories about lessons learned from silently walking the planet Earth for 17 years, about the tumultuous journey of creating an unmanned solar-powered ocean-going vessel, and about traveling to the edge of the world in Antarctica. We paused for a meditative moment to enjoy our shared connections with Thinker-in-residence, Dr. John Francis, by exploring Hangzhou's ancient canal together on foot. Finally, we put this thinking and innovating to use with Damon McMillan, Maker-in-residence, as we developed the first ideas for bringing the Beyond Endeavor project to life. Through these shared experiences, students opened their minds and eagerly discussed the possibilities for a more sustainable future, as envisioned in the ship-building project. By the end of the week, more than 50 students signed up to join in the creation of the Beyond Endeavor, and we are eager to move to the next stage of its development.
Teachers and students peacefully traverse the ancient canal in Hangzhou, engaging in Planet Walk with Dr. John Francis. Also shown: students visiting Hangzhou Bay as the future launch site for the Beyond Endeavor.
At TedxHangzhouCIS, teachers and students listened to stories from our three guests and brainstormed the future together.
The launch of the Beyond Endeavor provides Hangzhou CIS students with new challenges, opportunities and innovative practice platforms, so that students can constantly reflect, rebuild, improve, and surpass themselves while expanding their knowledge and interest in learning.
Dragon Boat Training
This term, Hangzhou CIS has been inundated with team spirit as House teams gain expertise in the art of Dragon Boat racing. Every week, students train with their houses in Xixi Wetland Park, culminating in the upcoming Inter-House Dragon Boat Race at the end of the first term. With less than two weeks left to the competition, spirits are high and teams are rivaling to reach the top of the leaderboard. The spirit of the challenge is seeping into our whole community, led by our energetic students as they maximize their efforts in the water.
Students practice rowing under the guidance of professional Dragon Boat coaches
The students struggle to scull together in the Xixi Wetlands and learn to sail forward in coordinated movement.
Hangzhou CIS students are not only improving teamwork inside our campus, but off campus, too. In sports and academics, our students are connecting to each other and to the greater Hangzhou community.
In sports, our Dream Teams are engaging in friendly matches around Hangzhou. Last week, the HZCIS basketball team met with Greentown Yuhua School for a swift and athletic game. The students struggled hard on the basketball court, and eventually Hangzhou CIS lost by only one point. At the same time, our Hangzhou CIS Volleyball Team traveled to Hangzhou International School for a volleyball match. Competition is helping our students to strengthen their character and relationships, and bringing them closer together with a shared sense of challenge.
In academics, Hangzhou CIS Chinese Language and Literature students enthusiastically participated in a poetry recitation contest with Greentown Yuhua High School. Their generous and confident stage performance was unanimously recognized by the judges and eventually won the award for elegance. Collaboration classes also had a chance to engage in meaningful discussions with Greentown students about topics that affect Chinese students. In the early morning sunshine, CIS students and Yuhua students spoke freely and exchanged views on community service and school life, which opened a window to further understand the learning and life of local students.
Hangzhou CIS students and Greentown Yuhua students match up on the basketball court in friendly competition
Hangzhou CIS students also played in a friendly volleyball tournament with Hangzhou International School
Chinese Language and Literature students recite Chinese poetry at the Greentown Yuhua school poetry competition
Hangzhou CIS students interacted with Greentown Yuhua students during Collaboration class, finding out about real topics related to their Humanities studies from local students.
With the Mid-Autumn fragrance of sweet-scented osmanthus still in the air, students here at Hangzhou CIS continue to make rich connections between learning and the world around them. This week’s highlight was the launch of Hangzhou Links, our student-led community service program. Led by 12 enthusiastic student leaders with teacher assistance in the background, the Hangzhou Links program currently supports partnerships in 12 institutions, including China Grass-roots Football Association, The Nature Conservancy, School for Children of Migrant Workers, Jinlin Reading Centre, Autism Children's Centre and Welfare Home for the Elderly. Earlier this month, the Links student leaders joined forces with Hangzhou Studios, our student-run film crew, to create trailer videos for all of the service centres. All students had a chance to watch the trailers, then chose service projects based on their personal interests and abilities. Tuesday, September 17th set the program into full swing, with students traveling to their chosen sites off campus.
Student leadership has given community service a deeper level of meaning, and we have already received positive feedback from our community partners. Our student leaders are making a big difference in both the lives of their community partners and in the lives of their classmates, especially by cultivating their peers’ enthusiastic participation. While serving and making contributions to the service centres, Hangzhou CIS students are beginning to build their understanding of the community where they live. Their rewarding experiences in the community are beginning to offer a sense of fulfillment, as well as well as helping them to realise how important their knowledge and abilities are to others. The process has already increased students’ motivation to learn, and we anticipate an incredible amount of positive growth throughout the year with this program.
Students serve in kindergartens, migrant children's schools and other centres.
Students accompany the elderly in the assisted living centre.
Students in The Nature Conservancy, Qingshan Village
The Second Hangzhou Trip
On Thursday, students had another chance to travel off campus, this time for our second trip in the Chinese Connections series, "Ten Perfect Hangzhou Trips.” The purpose of this trip was to engage students in traditional craftsmanship at the Hangzhou Art and Crafts Museum. Students chose from traditional Hangzhou oil-paper umbrella making, oil-paper umbrella painting, plant dyeing, and making things using cold porcelain clay. Through these activities, the students not only contacted and learned a variety of traditional handicraft skills in Hangzhou, but also developed their imagination and creativity by producing their own original work.
Students learn how to make oil-paper umbrellas and how to paint oil-paper umbrellas.
Students use traditional chilled clay to make flowers, plants and personal creations
Students are learning to make traditional tie dye works, using grass and trees.
It was also a big week on campus for students, with major events happening in our Hangzhou CIS curriculum. On Monday and Wednesday, students finished their first round of Collaboration learning enquiries, and on Friday they launched into the world of interdisciplinary, collaborative learning. Students are now fully engrossed in three different Collaboration classes: Hangzhou Hawks, a collaboration of humanities, arts and design; Designing Social Change, a collaboration between design and humanities; and Science Alive, a science and drama collaboration. Two of these units are strengthened by the help of parent-experts, with students in Hangzhou Hawks and Science Alive receiving guidance from professionals in applicable fields. Our Hangzhou CIS community is grateful for this support, and we know that the students are reaping the benefits of their parents’ expertise and insights.
In Hangzhou Hawks, students leapt at the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of business professionals via live video conferencing.
Discovery U Enterprise Innovation
On a final, exciting note, 12 students enrolled in the Discovery U Enterprise Innovation Team, led by teachers and Coach Mentors, went to Shanghai last Friday afternoon to attend the China Start-up Ecology Summit in 2019. They had face-to-face exchanges with many leaders of innovative enterprises and were deeply inspired by their interactions. Lead on, students!
Students participating in China's Initial Eco-Summit in Shanghai
A week's time brought more color to the trees and more color to our students’ lives. We wish every student a bountiful harvest in the beautiful golden autumn season of Hangzhou.
Tuesday, September 11th marked the 35th annual Teachers' Day in China. Teachers’ Day is very important in China, as students nationwide paused to offer thanks and give back to their educators. On Monday, HZCIS students displayed their gratitude with an original video of thanks to all of our teachers, and gave each teacher a homemade card filled with messages from every student in every House. The teachers felt overwhelmed by students’ appreciation and sincerity on this special day.
Students deliver homemade Teacher's Day thank you cards to happy teachers.
On Friday, HZCIS kicked off our Mid-Autumn Festival celebration by recording the song "The Moon Represents My Heart" for CIS students, parents, and teachers in Hong Kong. We sent sincere wishes for a happy festival to our Hong Kong family and friends.
Later that evening, our HZCIS family gathered together to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. Mr. Lynch’s witty and humorous speech set a delightful tone for the evening, followed by a variety of student-created talent and art performances. We watched together as students recited ancient poetry, sang Chinese songs, performed original raps in Chinese, and read poetry based on one month of life in Hangzhou. At the end of the program, our wonderful coach mentors surprised students with their own performance! Ms. Zhang closed the show with happy festival greetings to our whole community, and students got to enjoy moon cakes and a riddle contest at the end of the evening.
Mr. Lynch and Ms. Zhang offer their holiday wishes to the students.
Students recite poems related to Moon
Students perform original raps in Chinese
Students sing Chinese songs such as "Recalling Jiangnan"
Students read poems created for one month of life in Hangzhou.
Students enthusiastically guess the answers to traditional riddles
“Though far apart, we all share the beautiful moment when the bright moon rises above the sea.“ Gathered together as a family in HZ, HZCIS students spent an unforgettable Mid-Autumn Festival night.
Hangzhou is a beautiful and storied city with a rich collection of important cultural landmarks. On Thursday, September 5th, HZCIS launched this year’s Connection programme with a school trip to the 2500 year old Grand Canal, one Hangzhou’s three UNESCO World Heritage sites. The first stop on the tour was the featured GongChen arch bridge at the southernmost landmark of the canal from Beijing to Hangzhou. From there, we boarded three dragon boats and sailed to the West Lake Culture Square, where students and teachers admired the Grand Canal model set. After that, students enjoyed the beautiful sunset along the West Lake and interacted with local citizens. Heads and hearts filled with culture and beauty, teachers and students relaxed together at the end of the day by sharing a house meal with delicious local cuisine at Zhi Wei Guan, one of Hangzhou’s most famous restaurants.
Students exploring around the famed “GongChen”arch bridge.
Cruising the canal in traditional dragon boats
Students admiring the Grand Canal model set and engaging in modern city life at West Lake Cultural Plaza
Exchanging with Hangzhou citizens by the West Lake and tasting delicious Hangzhou food at ZhiWeiGuan
We all savored sunset by the West Lake, a momentary gift from nature.
Curriculum Update - Collaboration (Arts)
After 2 weeks of preparation and practice, this week witnessed the end of the first round of Collaboration classes. In Collaboration, students learn and grow together through interdisciplinary enquiry-based projects, engaging in stimulating classroom investigation and authentic cooperative learning tasks. Well done, students, and on to the next challenge!
Students showcase their artistic growth in China Changed, an interdisciplinary enquiry comprising visual art, film, drama, and music.
Varsity Sports Update
Varsity Sports launched this week at HZCIS! The third floor Pandas scored wins in netball, volleyball, and rugby, with the fourth floor Qilin winning football. Our coaches complimented this year group’s incredibly high level of athletic skill, and they enjoyed the encouraging but competitive atmosphere in the sports arena. It was a superlative Saturday, with athletes sweating like wildfire and cheers ricocheting around the school from one court to another.
Less than three weeks after the start of our school year, our shared experiences at HZCIS are already taking deep root in the hearts of our school community. Through the trip to the ancient canal, modern square, and famous restaurant, our students are beginning to broaden their understanding Hangzhou’s rich history and culture, while building connections to China and to each other. Through deep study, students are already realizing the challenges and joys of creation. Through Varsity League sports, students are developing friendships and building character. After a great third week of school, what’s in store for this week? Stay tuned for more updates from HZCIS!