Rev. Joseph Yim, the celebrant of this year’s school reopening mass, gave a sermon on Catholic values, refreshing our mind with much taken-for-granted gifts from God the Creator. His message underlines the fundamentals of life as a gift bestowed, family as our first home, which nurtures us with parental love, school as our second home, which instils in us thirst for the Truth and passion for the pursuit of righteousness. The reverend urges us to wake up every morning in appreciation of life and vitality and cherish every opportunity to practise the virtues and equip ourselves for the good of others.
In the Eucharistic Celebration, student representatives offered our student companion and prayer book, followed by prayers of good intention: prayers for our school community, local society and peace of the world.
In awe, we participated in the commission of Catholic Society ex-co members, teachers, and students in the mass. The mass is an embodiment of our faith in Him, symbolic of what we count on in our endeavours.
Sr Agnes, the School Superviser, Sr Veronica, the Principal, Miss Florence Kwok and Ms Lam Mei Yi, the Vice-principals, Ms Priscilla Kwok, the Assistant Principal officiated at the installation of student leaders in office after the mass.
The ceremonial party together with teacher advisers and heads of teams took turn to present badges to the head girl, head girl core group, president and vice-president of the Student Council, house captains and deputy captains, heads and deputy heads of various teams: guidance sisters, career assistants, student librarians and Green Torch. Class teachers pinned badges for class prefects before the Head Girl of this year, Connie Chan, addressed the school.
Connie Chan started with her conviction that it is a privilege to serve with other head girl core group members. She said that it is a rare opportunity to be a part of this safe haven and caring environment to help us explore the future. In enthusiasm, the head girl invites us to join her in laying solid foundation, putting virtues into practice, immersing ourselves in the joy of service and cultivating a positive outlook of life.
Sr Veronica officiated at the opening of a science installation in the reading corner. The set-up is a physics project completed by last year’s graduates, in the hope of passing on the wonder of workings of physics theories.
On 1 September, Sr Veronica addressed the school congregation with the theme of the year, Celebrating a life of solid foundation and sound values. The Principal introduced the theme with a keynote message on making responsible choices on different occasions. She imparted on the significance of being aware of the consequences of our choices. It is suggested that we have to be do the right thing at the right time to the right person.
The ceremony also saw the introduction to new teachers, who greeted the audience with warmth and enthusiasm. In response to the lure of new faces, everyone applauded.
The Head Girl Core Group further gave a comprehensive introduction to the design of the Student Companion of this academic year. The graphics, connotations of imagery, choice of colours and choice of quotes were carefully explained with a storyboard. It is hoped that Sacred Heartists would undertake challenges in a proactive fashion. That is, to stand tall against huddles ahead with conviction. We would have more chance of success if we do so. The credits of this design must go to the advice of Sr Veronica, the Principal, Miss Florence Kwok, the Vice-Principal, Ms Priscilla Kwok, the Assistant Principal, Miss Irene Yung and Ms Paula Kong for language support, and the artists who went through rounds of draft to perfect the visual effects, the Head Girl Core Group for coordinating the project from scratch.
There were updates concerning the new academic years from different teachers-in-charge: Miss Florence Kwok on scholarships and awards, Mr Anthony Mo on school rules updates, Miss Clara Ho on One –student-one –post application and exemption, as well as nomination of Student Council for 2015-16.
On the recent Monday and Thursday, beneficiaries of The Fung Scholarship for Global Exposure shared with the audience their unforgettable overseas experiences in summer. With the generous funding the Fung Scholarship, a group paid a visit to Geneva, the headquarters of major NGOs, namely, The United Nations Office, The World Health Office, The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as The International Committee of the Red Cross. In retrospect, the beneficiaries found it ever more necessary to cultivate qualities that international organisations look for: understanding, global awareness and respect of differences between people. Another beneficiary, Connie Chan, was funded for a programme at Berkeley Business Academy where she deepened her understanding of social responsibility of leading corporations and latest management concerns. She reflected that the overseas study fueled her commitment follow her dream. The third party of beneficiary was Jasmine Cheung, whose summer was spent in Teen Summer Language Camp in Paris. The language and cultural immersion programme has nurtured her confidence in engaging in conversations while learning a foreign language.
The SHCCAA Education & Charitable Fund sponsored two members of the String Quartet to a chamber music festival in Japan. The selected orchestral members brought back enthusiasm with music-making through their involvement in Youth and Muse Chichibu Festival. During their stay, our music team members attended masterclasses, listened to advice from professional chamber musicians, practised their skills and collaborated with youths from other countries in a chamber music concert. Participants have realised the strength of learning from mistakes, readiness to perform and above all, being engaged in every chance to learn.
We are indebted to The Fung family for their generosity to students in Sacred Heart. It is hoped that these students would continue to make their aspirations possible with more vigor and enthusiasm and make an impact on at school, in their neighbourhood, in society, in China and perhaps, the global village at large.
Last summer, the Senior Choir attended the European Choir Game 2015 & Grand Prix of Nations at Magdeburg. A total of 100 choirs participated in the educational event. Our choir undertook the challenge of meeting choirs from different places, learning from each other about choral singing. The choir eventually earned a gold medal in the final competition with 91 points! To the members, the friendship concerts, jazz music workshop, visit to Technik Museum, Millennium Tower and a game of Taboggan run have equally left an indelible mark on their mind.
Three of our S5 girls, Katrina Shu, Sammi Ho and Christy Lee shared their passion for scientific investigations into use of natural substances to replace the antiperspirant at the market. The winners of Biology and Health (Senior Division) in the Hong Kong Youth Science and Technology Innovation Competition 2014-2015 gave us a neat report on the methodology, observations, results, analysis and areas of future studies.
There was another team of science enthusiasts, Natalie Chan and Annie Cheung, who finished their 1+1 Science Tip-top talent Scheme. The scheme constitutes three parts: a mentorship programme that offers youth inquiry-based training, a research fund for them to launch a project of their own choice in local universities, as well as educational programmes or visits to local research centres. They were selected as one of the five teams in the scheme among all the secondary school contestants. In their project, Natalie and Annie investigated into the significance of Vitamin C on prevention of cancer. They were grateful for the chance to see for themselves the advances in local laboratories and the precious hands-on experience to work with frontline local scientists.
Some 20 students interested in cultural immersion programme had a great time in Brighton, where they had drama, games, poetry and creative writing workshops to experience what it takes to learn English in English. To add flavor to the cultural experiences, the school organized excursions to the pier, arranged an etiquette class, in addition to a must-have itinerary, visit to the British Museum and a fish and chip takeaway by the coast, with ketchup!
Two German students from S4 and S5 have won a Goethe Institut scholarship, which offered them the chance to attend a young learner course under a project, Schools: Partners of the future in Germany and Hong Kong respectively. Both of them attended German lessons for 3 weeks. Besides having lessons, the S5 student joined musical, cultural and sports activities during her stay in Germany. She also had a chance to meet young counterparts from other parts of the world. They were grateful to be given the chance to learn more about German and the country.
This year’s Canossian Global Youth Conference explored the question, poverty. Participants from different Canossian schools worldwide presented their own places’ stories of poverty. In collaboration, the youth engaged in Crossroads project on refugee livelihood. Through simulations, they felt for themselves what it is like to live in a slum area, making ends meet with meagre wages from selling paper bags. The Conference allowed them to realise their roles in responding to the need of the famished and appreciative of the uniqueness of different cultures. Our students are going to raise funds for Good Angel, a local charity serving the hungry with cooked food. Please support the good cause on Dress Casual Day.
Overseas excursion is a gift to a selected few but every sensible Sacred Heartist makes wise choices and seizes the day to equip for the future. There are ample learning opportunities in disguise. Reach out for them and waste not!