Father Matthew Chan officiated at this year’s School Reopening Mass.  In his sermon, the celebrant expounded on the positive impact of a warm, hopeful, hearty personal touch. To convince us, he told a story of a little boy who dispelled the distressed thought of a widow with cheerful greetings and a broad smile.  In the story, the small act of warmth eventually gave the downcast a gleam of hope for life. The central idea of the mass is about discerning what is good and do so for the good of others. During the offering, students presented at the altar our Student Companion and prayer book, symbolic of commitment to lead a positive student life in His guidance.

We witnessed the installation of committee members of Catholic Society in office. In unity, the ambassadors of Catholic faith pledged that they would make Jesus known with their example and activities promoting faith in God. Followed that, teachers and students committed ourselves to live up to the theme of the year, Celebrating the past with gratitude, Embracing the future with hope, Sharing our life in love. In the end, Father Chan assured us that as long as we live in gratitude and kindness to our neighbours, we shall not run short of God’s peace.


In the installation of student leaders in office, Sr Agnes, Sr Veronica, Miss Florence Kwok and Ms Lam Mei Yee took turn to present badges to Head Girl Core Group, Head Prefect and Deputy Head Prefects.  Then Ms Priscilla Kwok, together with Ms Yoshie Li, Ms Laura Lai and Mr David Hung presented badges to Audentia, our elected Student Council president, vice-president and heads of boards. After that, the advisers of six houses presented house flags and badges to their own House Captains and Deputy House Captains.

Sonia Chow, Head Girl of 2018-19, marked the commencement of academic year with her maiden speech on passing on the Sacred Heart heritage, that is, passion and compassion; charity and humility. The newly appointed Head Girl connected the past to the present with the important values shared by our six distinguished alumna. She encouraged us to embrace challenges with a positive mind and fill our lives with faith, hope and diligence. She furthered the benefit of student activities, through which participants would deepen their self-understanding and be able to practise how to serve the community and the needy in Sri Lanka and Cambodia with love.

Before the end of the ceremony, Sr Veronica involved us in expressing our gratitude for the effort of the janitor, clerical staff, student volunteers and teachers who lent a hand in restoring the campus in good shape.

 

What would you expect from a dance exchange trip in Yunnan? Our school dancers joined a cultural trip of Hong Kong Federation of Dance this summer, from which they had person-to-person contact with local ethnic minorities, caught a glimpse of their choreography style, learnt about the unique way of Yi Zu vocals, made rose cakes and rose jam from Yunnan rose petals, as well as practised Wa Zu dance against the mountainous landscape and retiring villages.

If dance isn’t your thing, perhaps you would find choral workshops in Norway with masterclasses conducted by masters from Norway and Germany of your interest. The school choir attended an international choir festival from which they learnt Norwegian common songs, witnessed how musical instruments of the past were played, practised improvisation in mixed choirs, visited museums, monuments, mines and learnt about history of evolution of a mining village, attended concert tours and participated in performance of Mama Mie with rhythmic body movements.

What if you were of an extrovert type? Then why not find out what happened in the World Scholars’ Cup Global Round in Barcelona from our S5 Literature in English students? The international quiz event aims to motivate young people to discover new strengths and offer them opportunities to discuss issues and ideas relevant to today’s world.  The theme of this year was An Entangled World.  Competitors all engaged in a week of exhilarating and competitive team debates, collaborative writing, the Scholar’s Challenge and the Scholar’s Bowl. The week was more than tense contests though: there were the scholar’s show, the cultural fair, the scavenger hunt at the Spanish village with youngsters from nine other countries and the scholar’s ball.  Both teams qualified for the Tournament of Champions at Yale University this November with their zeal for learning and exploration of the unknown.

Speaking of imaginative ideas, another group of students took part in a model creation challenge in New York. As champion of a local innovation contest, our SHCC delegate presented their winning model design on interconnectivity to visitors of the Smart City Initiative in New York this summer.  Through contact with local laboratory engineers about sidewalk idea, they had enriched their understanding about applications of technology in making life in the city more pleasurable and environmentally-friendly.  The most innovative ideas for them were burial park, recycling machine, use of huge data, smart car tower, self- checkout counter and many smart city features in place in New York.

Innovative ideas can well be expressed in artistic forms. Ask our SHCC Art Team members and they would tell you more.  This summer, they made as many as 80 sketches at 38 degrees in Japanese gardens, courtyards, pagodas and parks. Were it not for their interest in drawing, they would not have been able to do so. The excursions to local art houses and neighbourhood had deepened their understanding about art as a cure of the heart. What’s more, in the visit to Benesse House Museum, they realised the possibility of integrating nature with details in architecture. The experimental project was but one of the mind-boggling experiences. The Japanese artists had their own ways of looking at art form and space through their attention to details and astute observation of natural light and seasonal changes. It was a truly uplifting experience for our art students.

While artists possess exceptional sensitivity to the environment, global leaders are good at collaborative work. In this year’s Global Youth Conference, our school delegates played host to receive young women of Canossian families from The Philippines, East Timor, Malawi and Italy. Identified themselves as changing agents, the young Canossians took part in a range of activities to enhance their intellectual and inter-personal skills: finishing tasks at check-points, attending Crossroad workshops, attending talks of two Canossian graduates: Prof Raees, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Chinese University and Miss Diana Lee of Mymailbox852. The programmes offered them insights into life of the have-nots, deepened their understanding about the feelings of being treated with scorn and contempt as the poor in society. As organsers of the conference, our Sacred Heart leaders learnt lessons about the importance of contingency plan, standing out from the rest as host and getting used to giving explanations as coordinators.

In the light of grooming global leaders, the Fund’s Scholarship for Global Exposure sponsored outstanding students to enrich their mathematics and science knowledge in St Andrews in Scotland. Recipients of the honour made the most out of the opportunity. It was a once-in-lifetime experience to engage in dissection of sheep brain, assess stress level of birds with avant-garde apparatus, measure temperature of ice cores, observe mice’s brains with a microscope, and do academic lab report after conducting experiments. Science enrichment aside, our scholarship awardees had a wonderful time learning Scot dance, watching the movements of falcon and deer at close distance. They found the trip rewarding in that it made them realise the importance of precision and prudence when handling laboratory investigations and reports.

A visit to Boston Music Institute with our SHCC Orchestral members would make you think differently about ensemble and chamber music. This summer, the members of our school orchestra undertook a music training programme for musicians in Boston. During their stay, they had benefit of attending classes offered by professional musicians. The intensive sectionals and rehearsals under the baton of music director and master classes given by leading violinists had enriched their understanding of performing art. Apart from classical music, they had a good time visiting MIT and Harvard, Museum of Fine Art, Museum of Science, Quincy Market, picking fruits and seeing street art, not to mention making music at symphony concert hall with other orchestral members.

Music enthusiasts enjoy the process of making music, but what about those who have an eye for space science and technology? The answer is with participants of Stanley Ho Astronautics Training Foundation astronomy camp 2018. Few students spent their summer on exploration of the mystic rocket design and satellite data. Through introductions given by local space scientists, our students were able to learn a little more about China space breeding base, earth observation, space technology, functions of rockets and many latest developments in aero-science and space science in China. Other than visits, they took part in astronomy science quizzes and felt the tension of competing with like-minded counterparts who have more ideas about the high-end science subject.

There was another science summer camp on synthetic Biology specialised workshop for outstanding Biology students in summer. The camp gave them sophisticated ideas about classifications of animals and features of species. They found observation of specimen and identifying classes of animals especially rewarding.

The 15th Asia-Pacific Conference on Giftedness Youth Camp shared the same vision of grooming creativity and giving participants room to demonstrate their creative niches in art and science. There were some brand new learning experiences for participants looking for inspirations: brainstorming activities and galley-style walk-through presentations, competition on nest building project that attract the most migratory birds, trade resources in entrepreneur project and creating art with mathematics applications.

The presentations on cultural enrichment programmes from different student groups on 8 and 10 September allowed students who have learnt beyond the classroom to share the excitement of learning through different means and with different types of people. It is time we passed on the pleasure of learning and sustained the interest in learning in the beginning of the academic year.

On 3 September, we marked the beginning of the academic year with a warm welcome to our new faces, teachers and S1 students. Apart from that, we witnessed the presentation of Miss Tak-lun Wong Memorial Scholarship for Music to Flora Yeung, the first recipient of the award in recognition of her pursuit of professional music training at a degree-awarding institution.

Sr Veronica, the Principal, introduced the school theme, Celebrating the Past with Gratitude Embracing the Future with Hope Sharing our Life in Love with reference to the past endeavours of Canossian sisters who made it possible to establish a school in less than a month after their arrival in Hong Kong in 1860. In 2020, our College will celebrate her 160th years of establishment. With gratitude for the missionary’s effort, we are reminded of embracing the future with hope and sharing life with love.

Miss Florence Kwok, our Vice-principal, further introduced the SHCC graduates profile on expected qualities: versatility, integrity, charity, humility, modesty, perseverance and awareness of global citizenship.

Each year, our Head Girl Core Team is responsible for design of Student Companion, a schedule book for students. Lorraine Chan, Flora Yeung and Abby Chan highlighted a few features of this year’s design. Perseverance governs the theme of the schedule book. With that theme, the team members compiled aspirations from six eminent role models of Sacred Heart Canossian College: Mrs Mei Ng, Prof. Dora Choi, Ms Rose Lee, Mrs Anson Chan, Prof Rosie Young and Miss Ophelia Chan. Their messages essentially unearthed values and visions shared by Sacred Heartists: Perseverance with passion, with commitment, with wisdom, with open-mindedness, with integrity, with flexibility.  It is hoped that schoolmates will find source of inspiration from the brief introductory paragraphs about each of them and take after their aspirations to equip themselves and contribute to betterment of others’ well-being. The borders of the schedule book and cover design features a range of school activities: playing the piano, crossing the hurdles, passion in service, participation in international events and competitions and the like. The schedule book has been bound in two in response to a survey finding on the schoolmates’ concern for a thinner schedule book.

Stepping onto a new school campus with all manner of questions in head, one is often hit by the stress of adjusting to new surroundings. To help our pre-S1 students get started, a ten-day bridging course was tailor- made to let students have a taste of what it is like to study at Sacred Heart, an all-English environment that enables students to develop as well-rounded individuals.

 

From campus tour to lessons on Science, Life and Society, Drama and many more, students explored new topics through discussions and interactive games in class. The teachers from an English learning centre equipped them with practical skills in English and helped them get used to the use of English in lessons.

On the last day of the programme, students performed their drama on stage. Each class had to rewrite the story of the Greek myth, A Little Errand Girl’s New Dress, based on a theme. There were four themes altogether: Modern Hong Kong, Ancient China, Ancient Greece and Futuristic. The perks of winning prizes aside, students left their comfort zone and forged stronger ties with one another, from script-writing to practising with their tutors on the delivery of their pieces. The spark, vitality and the excellent display of team spirit in their performance surely marked a wonderful end to the orientation.

We wish our S1 newcomers every success in the future!

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