On 2 September, Sr Veronica, our Principal, teachers and students marked the beginning of the academic year with a neat assembly in the Hall.

Sr Vicky led the prayer and drew our attention to unity and community life. After that, Sr Veronica welcomed our newcomers, the S1 students and new teachers. When we move on to a fresh start, we just can’t overcome our excitement of seeing new faces. New teachers aside, we have newly-elected School Policy and Improvement Committee teacher members.

Stephanie Cheng, our Head Girl Core Team representative, spoke of the challenges and resilience demanded in making sketches, designing, editing and compiling the Student Companion.

The Soul Search writers recalled their collaborative efforts in the production of their own fiction. The latest student-initiated, cultural-rooted fiction was released in July to the surprise of many schoolmates. Ms Laxmi and Mrs Chung took these student-writers to see some Wanchai monuments at the brainstorming stage. The students were lucky enough to meet up our past student-writer, Mrs Elisie Sze, writer of The Heart of the Buddha to have some inspiration about creative writing.

Let us put our theme of the year, Rise to challenges and Excel in Unity into practice and make a difference in support of one another’s initiatives, as our Head Girl Core Group and Soul Search Writers did.

The ten-day intensive programme in English has given our pre-S1 students a glimpse of life in Sacred Heart Canossian College. The Summer Bridging Course 2013 in July enabled students to meet future schoolmates and spend time on Life and Society, Dance, and Drama. It was great fun.

The design of the lessons encouraged students to explore knowledge via hands-on experiences. During the course, participants had lessons on Science, Mathematics, Drama and Dance, which hopefully benefited their burgeoning interests in studies and thinking for themselves. The lessons conducted by teachers from the Abbey English Learning Centre, in particular, equipped students with practical skills in English that would benefit them even in the long run.

The Drama presentation was undoubtedly the highlight of the course! The stage performance was a good way of building their confidence in themselves by means of enacting the ending of The Green Children. Students wrote their own endings, rehearsed their parts and worked closely with the tutors on how to make use of the their body language, voice projection and facial expressions. Besides drama skills, the performance brought students closer to each other and strengthened their friendship.

With newly-acquired skills, fresh experiences and excitement, our S.1 newcomers are all ready and looking forward to taking on the new challenge – being a secondary student in SHCC!

Ms. Joyce Hui, our guest of honour, Sr. Agnes Law, our School Supervisor, Sr Veronica Fok, our School Principal, Miss Florence Kwok, our Vice Principal, and Ms Priscilla Kwok, our Assistant Principal presented awards to students who have accomplished through unstinting devotion to their studies, training for competitions, service and diverse opportunities to learn.

Ms Hui is a role model of Sacred Heartists through and through. She held key executive positions in Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the official and statutory organization in Hong Kong responsible for promoting and developing its external trade. In 1997, Ms. Hui was the first woman to be appointed Director of the Council’s New York office, overseeing its US operations. Ms Hui was also the key negotiator for Hong Kong’s successful return to the Basel Fair after SARS in 2003. Between 2005 and 2012, Ms Hui was appointed the Director of International Promotions. The appointment meant she had to oversee the formulation and implementation of the Council’s worldwide promotion activities to foster bilateral trade opportunities between Hong Kong and its global partners.

After the presentation of prizes, Ms Hui addressed the audience with food for thoughts. She gave our youngsters wise advice with her personal stories and observations from her contact with zealous small enterprises operators. The established Director of International Promotions expounded on the value of resilience, ethics, thinking for oneself, and enjoying the process more than the laurel wreath.

Ms. June Lau, the Vice-chairlady of the Parent-Teacher Association presented a token of appreciation to two leaving teachers, Mrs Shirley Yang and Miss Alli Li for their contribution to the growth of Sacred Heartists.

A few student writers of our newly published For Teens By Teens series, Sole Search, promoted their new release to the audience. It is hoped that students would enjoy putting their ideas into words through creative writing projects like that. We have to congratulate Mrs Susan Chung and Ms Laxmi for their capacity to make Sole Search possible.

 

Ms Alice Lau, Permanent Secretary of the Chief Executive’s Office, School Alumna, addressed the audience on the Graduation Ceremony in College Hall on 10 July.

Among the distinguished guests were Ms Cynthia Chan, the Chief School Development Officer of the Education Bureau, Ms Grace Wong, the Vice-Chairlady of our Alumnae Association, Ms Winnie Yu, the Chairperson of our Parent-Teacher Association, Ms Josephine Tjia, our School Manager and Sr Agnes Law, our School Supervisor.

In addition to scholarships and academic awards, the guests presented certificates and trophies to award winners who accomplished in different fields, including Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival, Inter-School Athletics Competitions, Inter-School Basketball Competitions, Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, Hong Kong Schools Dance Festival, enterprise-initiated business projects, arts contests and many more.

To name but a few of our guest of honour’s exceptional capacity to excel despite challenges, Ms Lau received the South China Morning Post Student of the Year Award in 1987 with brilliant academic results, leadership and awareness of social issues. Upon graduation from the University of Hong Kong, she started civil service in various bureaux and departments, including the former Chief Secretary's Office, the former Constitutional Affairs Branch, and the former Finance Bureau. She also held positions in the Chief Secretary for Administration's Office and the former Economic Services Bureau.

On the auspicious occasion, our guest of honour underlined a few useful tips for our graduates: be receptive to changes, be at ease in the face of adversities, and be open to risk-taking.  She added that we would certainly meet new faces, make new friends, learn life lessons and improve immensely if we embrace adversities and employ a proactive approach to problems.

Calysta Yan, our Head Girl responded with a neat vote of thanks.  On behalf of the graduates, she acknowledged the School Supervisor, the School Principal, teachers, technicians, and janitor staff’s efforts in providing them an environment conducive to nurture their talents and develop their potential.

Sr Agnes, the School Supervisor then presented Long Service Awards to experienced teachers and janitor staff who have contributed to the well-being of the school.

The guests, parents, teachers and students were treated to a 67-strong SHCC School Orchestra’s awesome interpretation of the 1st, 3rd and 5th movements of Carmen Suite, under the baton of Mr H.Y. Kwok.

Speech by Guest of Honour, Ms Alice Lau.

 

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