To mark the commencement of this school year, Sr Ursula led an opening prayer offering ourselves in the care of God, the Creator and guidance. Sr Agnes, the School Superviser, greeted everyone with a blissful speech on gratitude, vitality of life and hope for another year of learning and growth.

Sr Veronica, the School Principal, introduced the new teachers, welcomed the S1 newcomers and everyone, as well as spoke of the school theme and major concerns. Shared the fundamentals of Catholic core values: life, family, love, truth, justice and Canossian humility, our College aims to achieve Learning with passion Living with integrity. In her welcome note to the audience, Sr Veronica put emphasis on the importance of formation of the heart.  She enunciated that it is important that we live what we proclaim, making an effort to respond to the challenges of the century with Catholic values, Canossian insights and readiness to connect with the world through sharing of our gifts and talents. The Principal added that it is necessary to find a purpose to learn, reflect on one’s learning and develop one’s sense of curiosity and perseverance during the pursuit. In terms of real integrity, Sr Veronica made a point that we have to reflect on events that we have been through and make better choices every now and then.

The Head Girl Core Group introduced thoughts of the designs of our Student Companion.  The designers aimed to invite schoolmates to establish healthy habits, deepen self-understanding and review one’s progress of work through the planner covers and activities. There is a full range of eye-opening landscapes, metaphoric images and thought-provoking ideas in the planner this year.

Followed the ceremony, two German language students introduced a new guest, PASCHi from Germany. It is part of a German-learning project, in which our school’s German language learners visit different classes with PASCHi and teach us some German phrases.

Miss Florence Kwok, the vice-principal, Miss Clara Ho and Mr Mo gave reminders and updates on scholarships, student assistance schemes, clubs and activities, timetable and discipline matters respectively. We sang our school song before the end of the official reopening ceremony.

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.

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