The Crane, 24 April 2020


  • Teacher introduction;
  • Rainbow window project;
  • Ideas for maintaining balance on Golden Week.

Principal’s Message

Dear HIS Community

Due to continued uncertainty related to the Coronavirus situation, HIS will continue distance learning after Golden Week through to Friday 22 May. We will monitor the situation and make a decision regarding the last four weeks of school closer to this date. We would like to thank you all for your support and congratulate you all on supporting your children’s learning so well in what is a very new situation for us all. We would also like to continue to gather feedback from students and parents so here is a short survey for you on your experience so far. Thank you.

In this image, you can see the flowers on the wisteria planted by HIS PTA members 18 months ago. This did not flower in its first year, last year, but is beautiful at the moment as it welcomes Spring with these lovely blossoms.

This week’s Ted Talk caught my attention with the advice from Ted Nash about, among other things, the importance of our ability to rewire our instinctual response to challenge. I thought that this may be a useful perspective considering all of the surprises that Coronavirus has had for us in 2020.

I hope you all have a great Golden Week and look forward to seeing you (virtually) after Golden Week.

Kind regards

Damian Rentoule

Teacher Introductions

The last in our series of introductions of our five teachers who are joining our team in 2020/2021. We are looking forward to meeting them all here in August 2020.

Sarah Neimann

  • British/South African 
  • DP Global Politics, TOK, and MYP Individuals & Societies
  • Previously taught in the UK, China, and Thailand

Originally from South Africa, I went to school and university in the UK where I started my teaching career. I have been teaching internationally since 2016 and most recently taught in Bangkok before joining the community here at HIS.

I am an anthropologist at heart, and a lifelong learner with a particular interest in history, culture, language, and psychology. When I’m not studying and exploring the world around me, I dive into training parkour and martial arts; particularly BJJ, kenjutsu, and archery.

Jonathan Nock

  • Unites States
  • Primary teacher
  • Previously taught in Singapore, Malaysia, Mongolia, Romania, China
My name is Jonathan Nock ( you can call me J!) and I have been teaching the PYP internationally now for 8 Years. I am excited to be moving to Japan as it has been at the top of my list of places to be for some time now. When not working, I enjoy making photographs on film, flyfishing, rock climbing, and a host of other activities. I look forward to meeting you all soon.

Rainbow Window Project from Yumi sensei’s Primary Art Classes

Here is an idea from Hinano (Gr5) which could keep you occupied over Golden Week. Rainbows in the windows. Thank you for sharing, Yumi sensei.

HIS PYP Students Put Rainbows on Windows

Ideas for routines during Golden Week

Moving into a holiday after a period of distance learning may be quite a different experience than a regular holiday. If you are wondering about how to make the transition easier, we have some ideas. Although there are no regular distance learning classes during Golden Week, it is important to remember two things. Firstly, everyone needs a break, which is what a holiday is for. Secondly, however, routines are as important in the holiday period as they are during school time.

Routines help us to keep a healthy balance and as IB learners, being a balanced learner is extremely important. We have the physical, emotional, and intellectual aspects of our lives to consider. With a routine established (as flexible as you need it to be considering the needs of the family) you can ensure that no specific area is being missed.

I would recommend the following four as essential items in any routine:

  • Exercise – Indicate times and what type of exercise this is going to be.
  • Reading – Indicate times and what types of reading this is going to be including the language and level of challenge. (i.e. There is nothing wrong with manga, but this shouldn’t be the only reading.) I always read the same books that my daughters were reading and we often talked about them over the years. I always enjoyed these conversations.
  • Device-free times – The need to be device-less for periods of time may well be the most essential item on this list.
  • Sleep patterns – Yes, a definite time-for-bed & wake-up-time is important for our older students, as well. We need at least 8 hours of sleep in a fairly regular pattern.

These would be my top four recommendations and other items that could be useful include:

  • Any sort of art activity, especially one that does not involve a device. See the suggestion of rainbow drawings above.
  • Watching documentaries and discussing as a family. Takako sensei shared a link to a free series of documentaries linked to action. That could be a good place to start.
  • A time for journal writing. Reflections on the day, for example. This is a great one.
  • For secondary students, and primary students if you have one, practicing your musical instrument each day is important.

My advice would be to create the routine as a family, write it on a piece of paper, stick it to the fridge, and keep it handy. A balanced break is a good break.