It is never an easy task to be first-time students in a secondary school. One of the hurdles to leap over is for them to get used to the all-English environment and master new subjects. To ensure a smooth transition and enrich their summer holiday, we have tailor-made a summer bridging course to give our pre-S1 students a glimpse of secondary school life.

Throughout the ten-day programme, students had lessons on various subjects, allowing them to explore topics in Life and Society, Drama, Dance and many more. Not only did they get used to the new teaching style and the use of English in lessons, they also made friends with the new schoolmates. It took immense courage to free themselves out of their comfort zones and demonstrated enthusiasm inside and outside the classroom.

The drama performance surely marked a perfect end to the orientation. The students rewrote the ending of Hansel and Gretel with creativity and performed their own adaptation on stage. Each class showcased their talents in script-writing, props-making, acting and stage management. During the preparation, they learnt how to cooperate and communicate with one another. The experience also empowered them to take an initiative to find their own answers to questions, in addition to giving them a great sense of satisfaction and valuable friendship.

We wish our newcomers the best of luck in the future!

On 157th Prize-giving Day, we had Mrs. Connie Lau as our guest of honour. Mrs Lau is currently a fellow member in the Association of Chartered Accountants and the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She started her professional career with KPMG and later moved on to be the controller in a private group of companies. Mrs Lau also shows dedication to the nurturing of students. Apart from having served as the Vice-chairlady and subsequently Chairlady of the Parent-teacher Association, she has also been serving as our independent School Manager, offering advice and suggestions for the betterment of the school. Besides, she also serves as the secretary and executive committee member of LPD Educational Foundation Ltd, a charity organization that provides life education to students, supporting them in their learning and personal development.

Mrs Lau recalled her childhood struggles with a positive attitude. Despite earning her own living at a young age, Mrs Lau gave her best in every single assignment given to her. She worked her way up from the junior position, worked overtime, solved problems with her colleagues for the clients, observed ethics and maintained integrity, prepared for demanding professional examinations and lent a hand as far as she could. She is truly a role model of diligence, perseverance and positivity for us.

Apart from Mrs Lau, we had Sr Agnes, our School Supervisor, Sr Veronica, our Principal, Miss Florence Kwok and Ms Lam Mei Yee, our Vice-principals, Ms Priscilla Kwok, our Assistant Principal, Ms Fiona Chan, the Chairlady of the Alumnae Association and Mr Kelvin Lee, the Chairman of the Parent-Teacher Association to officiate at the ceremony. Parents of awardees and prize recipients also shared the joy and honour of their children’s accomplishments.

On this end-of-year occasion, the school would like to recognise the achievements of students in service, academic pursuit, speech, music and drama festivals, prizes from orienteering to tai chi, from design and calligraphy to creative use of technologies, from track events to field events, from swimming to diving, from creative writers to avid readers, from being Christian witnesses and uniform group members to committed office bearers who serve on different teams. We look forward to seeing more unique talents among our students.

Speech by Guest of Honour, Mrs Connie Lau.

It was our pleasure to have Ms Rose Lee JP, our guest of honour, Ms Fiona Chan, the Chairlady of our Alumnae Association, Mr Kelvin Lee, the Chairman of Parent-Teacher Association, Sr Virginia, our School Manager and Sr Agnes, our School Supervisor in attendance at our 157th Graduation Ceremony on 6 July.

In the Principal’s Report, Sr Veronica gave us a comprehensive review of how Sacred Heartists develop their curiosity, further explore life and deepen their understanding of core values of the school: charity, family, truth, justice and humility.

With the collaborative efforts of Life Education Team and Catholic Society, students have reflected on major issues, such as green life, poverty and justice and understand social issues from different perspectives. To engage students in exploring life further, the school have invited inspirational guest speakers who widened teenagers’ vision of life. The career expo and year-round job shadowing programmes, annual extended learning week in November and territory-wide STEM and ICT projects have offered students of different aspirations the opportunities to develop themselves. Our school is gearing up for a three-year development plan on eLearning with the installation of Wi-Fi facilities and staff training on use of eApps. It is hoped that these initiatives would empower students to become motivated and self-directed learners with an enquiry mind.

This year, we are delighted to have Ms Rose Lee JP, a distinguished alumna to address the school. Ms Lee has served on executive positions in the HSBC Group and Hang Seng Bank as Vice- Chairman and Chief Executive, as well as being Deputy Chairman and executive committee of The Community Chest, member of advisory committee for New College of The University of Hong Kong and that of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, to name but a few.

In her speech, Ms Lee offered insights into planning one’s pathway. She gave graduates five building blocks as suggestions: set a clear goal by knowing oneself and one’s strengths, set the highest standard of integrity, make decisions based on the good ethics instilled in Sacred Heartists, be enterprising as far as possible, maintain a global perspective and finally, develop interpersonal skills because the world is moving on with increasing collaboration between parties of different opinions. After all, Ms Lee urged us to think more than our professional interests but betterment of humanity conditions and well-being.

Faustina Wong, our Head Girl, gave a vote of thanks to the parents, Sr Agnes, Sr Veronica, and the teaching staff in the past six years for their efforts. She recalled educational experiences that balance formation of the heart with pursuit of academic and aesthetic excellence. She said that graduates have benefited from transformations through ample learning experiences that help them embrace diversity and international exposure.

On this occasion, we had a bittersweet moment of bidding Mrs Maureen Lai farewell. Mrs Lai has contributed tremendously to the education of Sacred Heartists as the head of the Chinese Language Department and that of teaching staff as head of Staff Development Team. We wished her all the best after retirement.

The SHCC String Orchestra and the Junior Choir presented us mesmerizing performances on stage. The first piece was a winning piece of this year’s competition. With the conductor Mr Joe Chan, the 31 members articulated an enchanting piece of Scandinavian musical style with dance movements and melodies. The Junior Choir, which has been involved in the celebration for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR and won many prizes in local and international contests, gave the graduates blessings through their choral singing.

Speech by Guest of Honour, Ms Rose Lee.

On 30 June, S6 graduates assembled at the College hall for a thanksgiving mass. At the Mass, the Vicar General of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese, Rev Dominic Chan, reminded us that graduation is worth rejoicing. According to the Scripture read on this occasion, Genesis 17: 1, 9-10, 15-22, it is captured that Yahweh Himself took the initiative to establish a covenant with Abraham and his wife, Sarah. The gist of such a Bible reading is all about Yahweh’s initiative to bless His people. Likewise, a Sacred Heartist is essentially blessed having been nurtured in the big Canossian family. The fact that many of us have made friends with each other since kindergarten, primary school or secondary school is one of the gifts. Another gift comes from the influence the Canossian sisters and teachers have on us, through their words or deeds, one way or another. Besides this, graduates are instilled with Catholic core values, such as respect for life, calling to serve life, following Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life. Our lives are purpose-driven and God-given.

On the altar, the S6 graduates came up with a collage, with seed, seedlings, tree, woodpecker, land and sunbeam that form an agrarian theme of farming. To the graduates, their education here is certainly about sacrifices, care and labour.

Rev Dominic Chan blessed every graduate while Sr Veronica, the Principal presented each graduate with a gift. Homeroom teachers expressed their best wishes for them after that.

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Following the Mass, the witty graduates amused the audience with a series of videos, filled with adapted lyrics in lyrical or funky music. Teachers joined them on stage to give us an entertaining performance. The programme ended with a round of school song.

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