Author Archives: Mr. Kearney

Week 11 Update Media Center Trip and Spelling Bee Finals

Spelling Year 3: report journalist anchor news significant gently simply horribly possibly comfortably

Spelling Year 4: report journalist anchor news significant expansion supervision suspension tension fusion

Dear Parents and Children,

Media Center (26)

I am pleased to report that another dynamic week of learning and discovery has passed us by in the Year 3-4 Johannesburg class. The students plunged straight into learning after the Autumn break without skipping a beat. We started a number of new earning units this week.

In English the students learned that the ending of words sometimes changes when a suffix is added and we looked at “ly” and “sion” suffixes. We then held our class Spelling Bee quiz. I am so happy that so many participated since the words were challenging. Congratulations to Reyansh, Cherry Blossom, Jeremy and Juveria for making it to the finals which will be held on Wednesday 13 November at 5:30 pm. Please study the word list provided last week.


We also started our non-fiction writing unit on News Reports. The students viewed some examples of other schools making news reports before understanding the structure and features of a basic news report. We had fun turning classic nursery rhymes into news reports in preparation for our trip to Ulsan Media Center today. The students had a fantastic time experiencing a real news studio and you can see their news productions soon.


Media Center (2)

Media Center (19)


In Math we ended off our geometry unit by learning how to calculate the area of compound shapes and triangles and applied this understanding to word problems.  Next week we will look at handling data and problem solving.


In IPC we also started a new unit on “people who made a difference”. We had a quiz about significant people throughout history and talked about important historical figures that we know. I look forward to learning more about people from the past and present who have made a difference.

In P.E. We started our cooperation games unit and the students had fun playing team orientated activities, learning to work together to overcome a challenge.


That is all for this week. Have a great weekend.

Mr. Kearney More…

Scary Dress-Up Day, Media Center trip Permission form and Spelling Bee words

Dear Parents and Children,


What an eventful and productive week it has been. We all thoroughly enjoyed the treats and activities for our annual scary-dress-up day event. Congratulations to the winners of the costume competition, Anna your spider costume really gave us a fright! The students hard work in creating their interactive scary choose your own adventure stories really paid off. Everyone enjoyed playing them.




In other learning this week we completed our English unit on poetry by planning a poem about chocolate and answering comprehension questions about an eye-opening poem from India. In Math we reviewed the features of polygons and regular and irregular shapes and triangles then moved on to calculating area and perimeter.



We were busy in IPC this week as we completed our unit on Chocolate by understanding the chocolate trade and what fair trade means. The students enjoyed the chocolate making activity and it was a treat for the whole school to taste the chocolate that we had made. In P.E. we had fun playing cricket as part of our unit on striking and fielding games.






Spelling Bee: I am pleased that a number of students have volunteered for the class Spelling Bee. We will do the class competition in the week that we return on 4 November. Any students who want to take part must use the break to study the list of words. You can find the list of words by clicking here.

Ulsan Media Center Trip Permission Form: On Friday 8 November we will have a trip to Ulsan Media Center as part of our new English unit on News Reports. The students will see how a news report is created from script to different media and the trip will take place during school hours. Please click here to complete the online permission form if you would like your child to attend. The form must be completed by Tuesday 5 November.

That is all for this week. Do have an enjoyable Autumn break. We will see you on Monday 4 November.  Be safe if you are traveling and we wish peace, joy and happiness to all those celebrating Diwali over this period.

Mr. Kearney. More…

Week 8 Update, Spelling and Winter Uniforms

Spelling Year 3: culture energy health horizontal vertical kindly safely rudely secretly

Spelling Year 4: culture energy health horizontal vertical confusion decision explosion decision invasion

Dear Parents and Children,

We have had a full week of learning and discovery in the year 3 – 4 Johannesburg class and the students have much to show for it.


In English the year 3’s learned new words with the “ly” suffix and the year 4’s learned “sion” words.  They also continued to develop their scary adventure story games in PowerPoint in preparation for the Scary Dress-up day next Friday and I am very excited to see the rest of the school enjoy playing the games on which they worked so hard. I am pleased that we have integrated our ICT lessons into our English learning and the students now know how to insert music into their presentations. We also looked at chocolate poems from different cultures, first understanding that cultures are different and will therefore have different perspectives on things. We tied in with our IPC Unit on Chocolate and learned about the unfortunate nature of the slave trade in making chocolate.



In Science this week we investigated the different rates at which various types of chocolate melt and looked at how chocolate affects our health. The students created wonderful bar graphs to show how energy from chocolate is burned-off at different rates by doing different things and how this affects our health.



In Math we concluded our unit on multiplication and division by learning the written method for short division. We applied this to solving word problems in a fun group activity. We then moved on to our Geometry unit with a review of symmetry and symmetrical patterns and the properties of regular and irregular 2-D shapes.


In P.E. this week we were indoors, utilizing our gymnasium due to the weather but the students had fun applying their throwing, fielding and kicking skills to the game of kick-baseball. They are really understanding the finer points of the strategy of the game and I look forward to them improving as we play it next week.



Finally, you will notice that the HFS Winter Uniform orders have been delivered and went home with your child today. Please check that you have received the correct uniform, label it on the inside with your child’s name in permanent marker and feel free to start using them from Monday as the weather begins to chill.

That is all for this week. Have a wonderful weekend.

Mr. Kearney. More…

Week 7 Spelling and Update

Spelling Year 3: interactive flowchart ancient descriptive trade hear here heel heal knot

Spelling Year 4: interactive flowchart ancient descriptive trade meddle medal missed mist scene

Dear Parents and Children,

A short but productive week has passed us by in the year 3-4 Johannesburg class. We were all thankful for the mid-week break but the students have still been busy.



In English we continued developing our interactive choose your own adventure stories by typing them in PowerPoint to tie in with our ICT lesson. I am excited at how creative their stories are and have no doubt that the rest of the school will have fun playing them when they are finished. We also reviewed homophones, playing a fun game where the students had to create clues about the meanings of the words.

In Math we continued learning about written methods for multiplication looking at column multiplication and starting on using a number line and “chunking” for division. I am constantly impressed at the student’s calculation abilities.

In IPC this week we learned about the history of chocolate, from its earliest known use by the ancient Olmec tribe in Meso-America to the turbulent history of the Mayans and Aztecs until it was eventually brought across to Europe by Columbus and the Spanish explorers.  In groups, the students created timelines of what they had learned. Next week we will delve into the science of chocolate.




IN P.E, we started a new unit on Striking and fielding games since the students have developed their throwing and striking at targets in the previous unit. In this unit the students will understand that the basics of games such as Baseball, Cricket and softball are striking – hitting a ball, Fielding – catching a ball and pitching or bowling – throwing a ball to get points. We will develop these skills over the next few weeks. We practiced our fielding skills with a fun new game called “Chuck the Chicken”. Ask your child how to play it.



That is all for this week. Have a wonderful weekend.

Mr. Kearney More…

Farewell to Cortney and Nikolay and Week 6 Spelling and News

Spelling Year 3: climate weather halving doubling choose early learn heard rehearse search

Spelling Year 4: climate weather halving doubling choose illegal illogical illiterate illegible illicit

Dear Parents and Children,

A short but eventful week it has been in the year 3-4 Johannesburg class. Firstly, we had to bid a sad farewell to Cortney and Nikolay as they depart Korea with their families. It has been a pleasure having them in my class for the past few years and we wish them luck and happiness for their next adventure.


The students performed their assembly brilliantly, creating a wonderful play about confidence and showcasing their IPC project for the Brainwave using Augmented reality. The school had a great time scanning the cards to see what would pop up.



In class this week the students were very busy. In English the year 3 students learned “ear” words and the year 4’s learned that the “ill” prefix can also mean “not”. In grammar we learned about adverbs and the students had a great time linking our IPC lesson to our English by deconstructing a “Choose your own adventure” game to see how they can plan their own. They came up with wonderfully creative ideas today in their plans.



In Math we continued with multiplication and division learning that we can divide by 4 by halving and halving again and multiply by 4 by doubling twice. We consolidated that learning by doing some problem solving and applied it to multiplication and division word problems.

In IPC we continued our exploration of chocolate by learning about where cacao trees like to grow and why they grow there. The students had fun trying to find countries on the globe and had to think about what the regions had in common. We also learned about the difference between weather and climate. Next week we will start to look at the history of chocolate and we will link to our English poetry unit in an interesting way.





In P.E. we completed our unit on target games by practicing striking a ball for accuracy toward a target and the students had to work in groups to create their own games about throwing and striking toward a target. All in all, a short but busy and fun week. I look forward to the next one.



Have a great weekend,

Mr. Kearney More…

Week 5 Spelling and News

Spelling Year 3: calculate revise adverb factory cacao straight brain faint waist afraid

Spelling Year 4: calculate revise adverb factory cacao impossible immature immortal imperfect impolite

Dear Parents and Children,

I am pleased to say that the learning is progressing steadily in the Year 3-4 Johannesburg class, another full week of learning is under our belt.

In English this week we learned about “ai” words and that the “im” prefix also means not, similarly to the “in” prefix. completed our class reader “The Hodgeheg’ and learned that Max finally did find a safe way to cross the street to get to the park. The students worked well in groups creating summaries of the final chapters. We also revised the rules for using inverted commas for direct speech. The students will start planning and writing their own adventure story next week, linking with our ICT unit for an exciting project.



In Math we revised using the grid method for multiplication calculations and learned strategies to calculate the 6 times table and the 8 times table by doubling the 3 and 4 times table respectively. We also learned that you can calculate the 4 times table by doubling and doubling again – a neat mathematical trick.



In IPC we continued to learn about chocolate, specifically how it gets from seed to wrapped up in the shop when we buy it. Next week we will be exploring where cacao trees grow and why and looking at the history of chocolate. ICT was very exciting this week as the students learned how to create and insert hyperlinks in their Google slides. We will use this skill in the coming weeks as they create their own “Choose Your Own Adventure” games. In P.E. the students worked on throwing for accuracy in their target games unit. We had fun throwing bean bags and Frisbees, trying to get them into a hoop and understanding the difference of throwing each of these.



Today we went with the whole school to the HHI Arts Center to view the amazing Monet exhibition. The students have been learning about this in art class and it was a fantastic experience to see the artworks come to life in glorious animation. The students thoroughly enjoyed it.




The weather is becoming colder and we have developed an HFS winter uniform in the form of a navy blue long-sleeve zip-up hooded jersey. The uniforms are mandatory for all students and today you may notice that the winter uniform order sheets home with your child. They are to be returned completed and with the 20 000 Won fee by no later than Friday 4 October. The uniform should be delivered by 18 October. Thank you for your understanding in this regard.

That is all for this week. Do have a wonderful weekend.

Mr. Kearney


Week 4 Spelling and Update

Year 3 Spelling: chocolate direct indirect subtract strategies they obey grey prey survey

Year 4 spelling: chocolate direct indirect subtract strategies incorrect incomplete infinite inactive inedible

Dear Parents and Children,

It has been a full week in the year 3 – 4 Johannesburg class in more ways than one. We started this week with a fire-drill and the students did exceptionally well. I have no doubt that they will know what to do should there ever be one at the school.



In English this week we completed chapters five and six of “The Hodgeheg”. The students are really enjoying Max’s unfortunate exploits and we learned how to do a summary. In our spelling and vocabulary, we learned about “ey” words in year 3 and in year 4 that “in” as a prefix sometimes means “not”. In Math we continued with strategies for quick mental addition and subtraction. We will focus on multiplication and division next week.


In IPC the students finished off their “Brainwave” Unit by presenting their prepared lessons to Mr. Kim. He was enthralled to hear about how to play cricket, football and baseball as well as learning some Korean and all about Disney movies. We also started our new IPC unit, “Chocolate” with an awesome lesson about how different chocolate affects our senses. The students had fun tasting a variety of yummy (and not-so-yummy) chocolate.





In P.E. we continued practicing target games with some “Human Bowling” and actual bowling. I am pleased that the students looked so sharp for their class photos. We ended off the week with a fantastic trip to the Promenade Festival at Taehwagang Park. It was entertaining to see the performers out in the open. We enjoyed two shows – a dance performance and a hilarious “drawing circus” clown duo. Some of our students were lucky enough to participate.



I look forward to next week’s learning being as fun. Have a great weekend.

Mr. Kearney More…

Chuseok, weekly update and Promenade Trip Permission Form

Dear Parents and children,

We have had a short but productive week in the year 3 – 4 Johannesburg class. Our Chuseok program went off without a hitch and I was so proud of the hard work that the students put forth toward their presentations. They looked great in their outfits as well. Thank you to all the parents who attended, the students really appreciate you being there to see their performances.





In class this week we have been busy, reviewing chapter three and four of our class reader “The Hodgeheg” with some comprehension questions and learning about how apostrophes are used for contraction.  There are no spelling words for this week since it was so short. In Math we reviewed basic addition facts and strategies as well as doing a times table test.



In IPC we continued learning about the brain, specifically ways in which we can take care of it, linking to ICT as the students had to discuss the topic and then watch a video to see if their ideas were correct.


P.E. was a continuation of our target games, moving from rolling and throwing to striking a target with accuracy. The students had fun using hockey sticks to try and strike a cone with precision.


I am excited for our first school trip next week. On Friday 20 September at 10:30 am, after morning snack break, we will go to the Ulsan Promenade festival at Taehwagang river. We will return by 3:20 pm so that club activities can go ahead as usual. Students should wear their blue school shirt comfortable, shoes and pack a portable lunch and water bottle. Please click here to complete the online permission form by no later than Tuesday 17 September if you would like your child to attend. It promises to be a fun day of culture and learning.

That is all for this week. I look forward to seeing you at the curriculum evening on Monday 16 September from 5:30 pm to 6:15 pm. Enjoy the pictures below of the Chuseok festivities. Have a wonderful Chuseok!

Mr. Kearney More…

Week 2 Spelling and Update

Spelling Year 3: adventure knowledge skill understanding inspiring eight weigh neighbor vein sleigh

Spelling Year 4: adventure knowledge skill understanding inspiring augment caught taught daughter Autumn

Dear Parents and Children,

The second week of learning and discovery has passed us by in the year 3-4 Johannesburg class and we have been busy.


In English this week we continued to read about Max’s adventures in trying to cross the street and how he became “The Hodgeheg”. We looked at an incident in the story and learned about first-person and third person point of view. The students wrote wonderful pieces from the perspective of a character in the story. We also learned about pronouns in our grammar to reinforce our understanding of perspective.


In Math we focused on our strategies for addition of single and double digit numbers and creating number sentences from groups of numbers. The students also had the first of their weekly multiplication tests. I am very impressed with their results. The students were extremely busy during IPC this week as they worked in groups and had to pretend to be teachers planning and creating a lesson presentation using Google slides about a piece of knowledge, a skill or an understanding of a concept. I look forward to taking a back seat next week as they teach me something. We also learned about the functioning of the brain, discovering interesting facts and about the different parts. We imagined what it is like to be a neuron and created a neural web sending messages to each other across the classroom.




In P.E. we concentrated on our target games by practicing rolling and throwing for distance and accuracy. The students learned to control the power of their rolling and throwing to accurately reach a target.



On Monday we will have our Chuseok program. Please join us from 1:35 to 3:30 pm as the students put on a performance showing their appreciation for this traditional Korean holiday. Today the first homework went home with the students. It should be returned by no later than Wednesday next week. It is a fun and easy reinforcement of the learning that we have been doing in class this week and students should be able to complete it on their own. On Monday we will have a spelling test on the words listed above that the students have been practicing this week. The words include 5 from our learning areas and 5 words from the “ei” and “au” word families, respectively. I hope they take some time to practice and prepare for the test on Monday.

That is all for this week. Have a wonderful weekend. Please enjoy these pics of your child having fun while learning.

Mr. Kearney


Week 1 Update and Farewell to Joy and Faith Lee

Dear Parents and children,

We have our first week of learning and discovery under our belts and what a week it has been. Our new members, Nathan, Logan Angela and Leo, have become solidified members of the Year 3-4 community.


We began the week by creating a “class charter” which the students all agreed to follow. I am pleased that the students have quickly became accustomed to the routines and protocols that we practice at HFS.


In English we began our unit on adventure stories by reading the first three chapters of Dick King-Smith’s “The Hodgeheg” and the students are enjoying hearing about Max’s quest to find a safe place to cross the road to get to the park.  In Math we reviewed place value up to four and five digits and practiced placing 3 and 4 digit numbers on a land marked number line. The students also started working in their “Mental-Math” workbooks.

In IPC we had an exciting week of study as we discussed what learning is in our “Brainwave” unit. The students got to be “Learning detectives” as they observed what was happening in the other classes at HFS to further their understanding of what learning is.




They also got the opportunity to talk with a Professor Hawkinson at Seibei University in Kyoto via Skype to get an understanding of the different types of learning happening at other schools. Prof. Hawkinson spoke to them about the exciting and cutting edge field of augmented reality in education and we will do a project using this technology next week.


In P.E. we played some valuable teamwork games as the students learned the value of working together. The new students also learned how to play the game “Scoot” that we developed in the year 2 – 3 class last year. We ended off the week with a surprise visit from two of our former students, Joy and Faith Lee. We wish them all the luck and happiness as they head to Japan. Thank you for the gifts, We will miss you!





It has been a fun week of learning and discovery and a great start to the new year. I look forward to what the rest of the year will bring to the year 2 -3 class. Have a great weekend.

Mr. Kearney