21 Jun 2024

ISPTA Newsletter 2023-24, Term 3

Island School PTA had an exciting and productive Term 3 with various well-being initiatives, events  and sponsorships. We capture the highlights in this last newsletter of this academic year.

Wellbeing Initiatives

Coffee ZOOM Sessions 

ISPTA continued supporting school leaders in the Coffee Zoom morning sessions by facilitating the Q & A sessions to enrich understanding of the topics. There were three coffee zooms in term 3: ‘Executive functioning skills and emotional regulation’, ‘Navigating complexities of artificial intelligence’ and ‘How student support services at IS can support your child’ (specifically for Y7 and new families joining Island School). The recordings for these sessions can be found HERE. In addition to our role as mediators, ISPTA supports these sessions by suggesting topics relevant to parents regarding children’s education and wellbeing in the evolving educational and parenting landscape. 

Third Session with Dr. Mark Gandolfi: Parenting to promote effective social media engagement

The term started with the culmination of our 3-Part Parent Speaker Series with Dr. Mark Gandolfi. Dr Mark, who has over 40 years of experience in healthcare in psychology and wellness for children, teens and families, offered valuable and enriching parenting tips to support children’s wellbeing and education in this era of digitalization. After the first in-person session ‘Parental Wellbeing: strategies for self-regulation’ in February, and the second session in March, ‘Parenting tips and strategies to boost student wellbeing’, the third and final session in Term 3 on April 25, focused on ‘Parenting to promote effective social media engagement’ in which Dr. Mark shared strategies for parents to navigate the challenges of social media use with adolescents. We are very pleased that our primary schools’ parents of Glenealy, Peak and Beacon Hill also joined us in these sessions. All parents found great added-value from these three sessions sponsored by ISPTA. 

Motivational Speaker: Lonnie Bedwell Talk

On May 30, we continued our strive to support the Island School community’s mental health by hosting Lonnie Bedwell, an inspirational and motivational speaker from the United States. Lonnie Bedwell, a blind adventure athlete, shared his inspirational journey of how sudden blindness from an unfortunate hunting accident did not hold him back from pursuing his dreams. With his courage and the support of loved ones, he found the strength to live life to the fullest and appreciate people for who they are. Lonnie’s journey of kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, and raising three children while blind was an inspiration and an impressive reminder for our students and families to chase our dreams every single moment and to persevere through hardships. It also gave our students a lesson to support each other, especially peers and family members who need it the most, due to disabilities or other challenges. It was wonderful to see our students and parents engaged and asking Lonnie questions about forgiveness and his adventures. Lonnie showed the IS community that “anything is possible if we believe in ourselves”. Lonnie’s talk was in collaboration with ESF Kowloon Junior School and SENsational Foundation https://sensationalhk.org (a charity based in Hong Kong). The proceeds from the talk will go towards Lonnie’s charity, the Blind Veterans Association, a non-profit organisation, supporting the mission of Lonnie Bedwell.

ISPTA Events

Class of 2024-Graduation Reception

On May 21, we proudly celebrated the graduates of the Island School Class of 2024.

The graduates and their families came together to mark this collective achievement in a ceremony that was heartfelt and joyous. After the ceremony, students and parents enjoyed a reception of drinks and hors d’oeuvres, hosted by the ISPTA, and live jazz music led by Mr. Travers and cohorts. New this year were the multiple backdrops for photo-taking opportunities.  We offer a massive thanks to the committee members and parent volunteers who went above and beyond the decorations call to make this all happen. ISPTA wishes the graduates all the best with their future endeavours. We hope to see our Y13 students back on campus as alumni. – Once an Islander, Always an Islander!

Island School Y7 Transition Day

While we bade farewell to our Y13 students, on May 31 school leaders and ISPTA welcomed students and families joining Island School in Y7 in the new academic year. As part of our sustainability drive, ISPTA, with the help of parent volunteers, held a gently-used uniform sale for new families to buy uniforms for the new school year. We welcomed parents to the school and shared the role of PTA and ways to get involved in school life through volunteering. PTA committee members also mingled with the new parents and guided them to sign up for the Y7 WhatsApp group. It was lovely to see our youngest students and their parents involved in house games. It was hard to tell who was more competitive, parents or students! PTA sponsored the gifts for the house games and pens for the new students as part of the welcome events. Thank you to the committee and parent volunteers for supporting us in welcoming our incoming Y7 families. 

Fathers’ Drinks 

June 4, ISPTA hosted its very first Fathers’ Happy Hour, in Lan Kwai Fong, Central. It was a truly memorable event, brimming with excitement and camaraderie. This inaugural event was an exceptional opportunity to connect with a unique mix of new and current fathers. The timing coincided with Father’s Day celebrations, adding an extra layer of joy and significance to the event. Attendees were engaged in relaxed conversations over drinks and shared their thoughts on the school community, the ISPTA, and how fathers can be more involved in their children’s education and school life.

A heartfelt thank you to all the fathers who attended and contributed to the event’s success. Your willingness to engage and support is truly inspiring and highlights the collaborative spirit cherished at Island School. We look forward to building on this positive momentum and hosting more such events in the next academic year.

ISPTA Sponsorships

In addition to offering support for major events and deserving projects during the school year, ISPTA also enjoys taking the opportunities to sponsor our students in times of celebration.  During Term 3 we were able to do just that by sponsoring pizzas for Door Decorations and other competitions during Book Week, by supplying prizes and pens for our incoming Y7 students and parents, and by sponsoring drinks for all six houses on their end-of-the-year House Nights. What a pleasure to be able to support our students and families during these enriching and fun events. Last but not the least ISPTA acknowledged the hard work of our teachers and staff by organising samosas to say a big thank you for their hard work for a fantastic year for our students.   

Key Events for Next Year

There are 2 very important dates to save in your calendars now as we look forward to Term 1 of the new academic year:

  • Sept 12 – ISPTA will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) which will be a celebration of this year and our contribution to IS life. 
  • Nov 22 – the Winter Fair will be back, better than ever! 

Wishing Families a Wonderful Summer Break

As Term 3 and this academic year draw to a close, I thank all committee members for their dedication and support towards our events and initiatives. I also thank the school leadership and staff for working closely with us to support our families. Lastly, everything we do is possible with the involvement of our parent volunteers and I am very thankful for everyone who has supported us with their time and effort. I wish everyone a wonderful summer break to switch off and rejuvenate for another exciting and productive school year ahead!


Best Wishes, 

Fatema Jangbarwala
Chair, Island School PTA