Cultural enrichment programme Featured

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.