Author Archives: Mr. Kearney

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


Welcome to the year 3-4 Johannesburg Class for 2019-20


Dear parents and children,

Welcome to the year 3-4 Johannesburg class for 2019-20. I am Mr. Kearney, (or “Mr. K” if you prefer) and I am eager and excited to be your facilitator through this part of your  childs’ learning journey. I look forward to seeing a host of familiar faces as well as welcoming some new students, many of whom I was happy to meet at today’s induction, to the year 3-4 community this year. I have no doubt that we will have fun as we learn together and if you take a look at the year 3-4 curriculum overview by clicking here you will see the fun themes and topics we will be covering in term 1.

I would also like to draw your attention to the year 3-4 class timetable. You can view it by clicking here ,you will notice that on Tuesdays we have P.E. and Library. Please ensure that your students wear their grey P.E. shirts as soon as you have them since we will do P.E. from the first week. This week will be their first library session and they will be allowed to take 2 library books home and must return them after 2 weeks to be allowed to take others.

Please also ensure that your child brings a healthy morning snack, water bottle and healthy lunch to school each day.

I look forward to seeing you all bright and early on Monday. Please check the class page for regular weekly updates and the weeks spelling list or feel free to contact me at if you have any queries.

Best regards,

Mr. Kearney