Head of School’s “Back to School” Welcome Message

30 August 2023News

Dear FIS Community,

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year! I trust students and yourselves enjoyed a rejuvenating summer holiday. The entire FIS team is excited to welcome students back on our four campuses.

Increased enrollment

I am happy to report that a total of 2,700 students will be back at school on Thursday, almost 200 more than last year. With a very low departure rate this year, these are 500 new students who are joining our diverse and engaged community of learners. This is a sign of the positive dynamic in Hong Kong and the attractiveness of FIS in both streams, as this growth is due to increased demand as much as natural cohort progression. I was delighted at the new parents’ welcome meetings to greet a number of families who left Hong Kong one or two years ago and are now returning. Last week, we welcomed and inducted 43 new faculty who are joining our talented and supportive team of 400+ faculty and staff members.

FIS’s 60th anniversary

This back to school is also special in that, as most of you know, it is our 60th anniversary. We are proud of our heritage and our place as a hallmark of French and international education here in Hong Kong and in the world. After a winter and spring full of celebrations, we look forward to more opportunities to engage around this event between now and December.

Successful French Ministry accreditation (homologation)

Also note that In July, we learned that after a successful visit last March, the French Ministry of Education renewed our accreditation (homologation) for the entire French stream and also extended it to our Petite Section classes. As a Petite Section thru Terminale (3 to 18-year old) school, FIS remains a flagship school in the AEFE network in the Asia region and worldwide.

Summer renovations

I wish to extend my thanks to all the FIS staff members from our operational teams who worked tirelessly over the summer to prepare for the upcoming school year. Of note, and in line with our strategic objective of continuing to develop and improve our infrastructure, we completed the third phase of our extensive renovations of our campuses. An upcoming illustrated Bulletin entry will detail all the transformations and improvements made. Here is a brief summary:

In Blue Pool Road, students will inhabit a fully transformed 5th floor with new upgraded classrooms, nurse room, and Vie Scolaire offices, and space has been made on the ground floor for new and more spacious changing rooms as well as a new fitness room that will be equipped and operational after October break.

In Jardine’s, we finished the 3-year long process of transforming all classrooms into innovative spaces for 21st Century learning. We also refurbished the main canteen, the nurse room, redesigned and resurfaced the playgrounds, upgraded the kitchen to improve food quality, and more. And a large block of facade was renovated and repainted, with a new main entrance. Look up when driving or hiking up Mount Butler Road, the view is spectacular!

Chai Wan was prepared for its first year as a fully-dedicated early childhood education campus, with an exciting and brand new playground as well as age appropriate lavatories. I hope you will come and visit to see for yourself the great improvements these represent for our learners.

Typhoon information

As a typhoon seems to also want to welcome our students back, please pay attention to an upcoming information to be sent to you by email and posted on our website by our Communications team on typhoon protocols.

Weekly Bulletin starting next week

I invite you, starting next week, to read our weekly Bulletin that has all the information you need to stay up-to-date with our school, as well as to pay special attention to communications from principals on our Engage platform.

As I start my second year as your Head of School, I could not be more proud and delighted to lead a community that shares a common purpose of educating our students for their future. Welcome back, and looking forward to a wonderful and productive academic year.

Dr. Emmanuel Bonin
Head of School

Back to news