2016-2017 – Aim high, Fly high

Time flies.  Our school is going to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee in 2018 and we have already celebrated the Commencement Ceremony a year in advance.  The theme for the anniversary celebration is HOMECOMING. On the surface, we are simply inviting all alumni, retired teachers and other relevant parties who have a close relationship with SJACS to come back to the campus for the biggest celebration ever.  We are hoping that the reunion will be a fruitful and successful one, such that the entire St. Joseph’s family will be able to bond even closer.  To get deeper into the core essence of HOMECOMING, we need to review what we have achieved in recent academic years, and thus springboard to another milestone of the school’s development.  To achieve this, Goal Setting is the key prerequisite to success – it defines the aim of the school to further uplift its reputation, not only within our locality, but also to create a bigger impact that goes beyond the district boundaries.

If you ask the best hunter in the world to take aim, the hunter would ask “at what”?

Only by setting a clear goal can we succeed.

Short Term Goals

Re-establish the Reading Culture in School: Create a school environment in which our students are encouraged to read on electronic devices.  The more you read, the more inspiration you will get from the materials.  Reading is the gateway for our students to be exposed to the limitless possibilities of the world, but also they can enrich their overall speaking, writing and communication skills in their daily life.

Promote Self-directed Learning: Another key component is the establishment of the Learning Community in SJACS – students are expected to do preparation work at home prior to coming to class so that they can maximize the class time in discussions with their teachers and other students on any questions.   Teachers can also have sufficient time to share more in-depth knowledge about the subjects in addition to the planned teaching schedule.  Students’ learning outcomes will be enhanced from this interaction in teaching and learning during their daily lessons.

Implement Project Learning Program: The program aims to help the junior form students in building a foundation for the School-based Assessment Projects (in Chinese Language, English Language, Visual Arts, ICT, Physics, Chemistry, Biology or the IES) as they are promoted to senior forms.  It is known to educators that the likelihood to excel in studies of well-prepared students would be significantly higher than those who come unprepared.

Support All-round Development of our Students: SJACS is well-known in the district of Kwun Tong for being strong in the sports arena and the uniform groups.  Apart from the current commendable achievements, striving for a balanced campus life is exuberantly welcomed.  Students are encouraged to spend time on activities of a different nature in order to nurture their all-round development in both academic and extra-curricular pursuits.

Long Term Goals

Continuous improvement in Josephians’ Academic Performance: It is not only our short term goal, but also the main focus of the school in the long run.  In order to help enhance the standard of our students’ performance, more measures such as the Whole School Reading Programme, foreign language classes, study groups, and mentor scheme will be promoted in the junior forms – aiming at raising their overall academic performance and this would then lead to a stronger foundation for their senior form studies.  More importantly, Josephians will be required to put more effort in developing their language skills not only for the preparation of the HKDSE, but also for the long-term benefits to future career progression.

Character Education: As quoted in the famous idiom, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” – I am so proud to see the graduates of SJACS possessing the characteristics of being passionate, kind-hearted, cultivated, understanding and well-mannered.   Also, they will be able to contribute to society through the nurturing of the school with the five Catholic Core Values – Justice, Truth, Love, Life and Family.

The Development of Arts Education: The school is aiming to shape Josephians in an all-round approach.  More activities and training on Arts education would be introduced to those who have interest in these areas, and their talents could then be further developed during their school life.

As we step closer to the goals I have set forth above, I am hoping that SJACS will be one of the outstanding schools whose good reputation goes beyond the district of Kwun Tong, but more importantly, I hope SJACS will be able to win the hearts of many of our Josephians and their parents by being the pride of their life.

The goals listed above are important in the future development of the school in the coming years – we will not, however, move towards those goals without the support from our parents, teachers, staff, students and alumni.

Fellow Josephians, let’s walk and work together towards our goals.

You haven’t failed until you quit trying.” — Anonymous

Lastly, I would like to express my grateful appreciation to Mr. Koo, our supervisor, for his guidance and support over the years.  Also, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new supervisor, Mr. Chu Fu Yau, and we are looking forward to great success under his guidance in the years ahead!

Benedict Poon

Principal

 

2015-2016 – The Era of CHANGE

SJACS has entered its 58th Anniversary in 2016.  Being the Principal of the school for the 2nd year, I intended to lead the school moving forward by introducing a series of new policies that thoroughly complied with the main theme of the Year — CHANGE.

I have undergone a year of adaptive transition since I took up my new role in the school last year.  With all the support from teachers, students, parents and the alumni, a series of CHANGE have been made primarily in the school policies, which include the New Time Table, New arrangement for the Morning Assembly, the introduction of ECA periods, the After-schoolSelf-study Room Arrangement, the introduction of New School Jacket as well as some administrative procedures for various stakeholdersetc.  All these new policies undoubtedly have imposed certain degree of positive impact to both Teachers and Students at SJACS.

This year, the word “CHANGE” has been adopted as the main theme of the year.  We have truly faced many “CHANGEs” throughout the academic year.  At the beginning of this year, I introduced the concept of “CHANGE” to all Josephians with its contributing components in the word itself – with the building up of students’ Confidence, Humbleness, Assertiveness, Nice Character, Gratefulness and Energy, St. Jo’s Boys may hopefully have a clearer goal in which it may help them accomplish a strong sense of willingness and up-going attitude to pursue their dreams.  Eventually, all Josephians are expected to possess the characteristics of constant changing and pushing themselves to excellence in the near future.

Regarding one of the CHANGEs — the New Time Table (10 periods a day), that aimed to provide more meeting time between Teachers and Students, enabled the nurturing of a closer relationship between these two parties.  Also, since students were required to spend more time in the school, this arrangement has given extra working time for those parents who struggle for living.  More importantly, students could stay longer in the school and this enabled them to make use of the school premises effectively.

The new arrangement of the Morning Assembly, undoubtedly provided more opportunities for the F.6 Students to speak in front of their schoolmates, encouraging more sharing with others on personal opinions on one hand, and it also helped enhance the reading habit among the Josephians.

It is hoped that the introduction of ECA Periods may ensure a higher participation of Students in certain Clubs, Interest Groups, Uniform Groups, School Teams as well as some newly introduced Societies.  Every Josephian may have the opportunity to join at least two different ECA programmes on the last two lessons on alternate Fridays.  Additionally this is also a good approach to help Teachers-in-Charge to organize activities on a regular basis during ECA periods rather than spending extra time after school accordingly.

The After-School Self-Study Room Arrangement provides the venue for those Josephians in need of more self-study areas facilitating group discussions.  This will also enhance the sense of belonging tremendously.

The Introduction of New School Jacket not only helped keep students warm in winter time but also it was believed that instead of wearing non-uniform jackets, a sense of unity may finally be established.

On the other side of the coin, it is known to us that any CHANGE in an organization may also bring certain level of uncertainty and anxiety to stakeholders in early stage; while continuously there were rooms for improvement or fine-tuning of the newly-carried out policies along the process.  In order to minimize the level of negative perception of those CHANGEs, the school had informed all stakeholders of the new policies prior to implementation in the last academic year.  With that soft landing strategy, different stakeholders may have more buffer to understand all the CHANGEs and hopefully accept them in a more positive and supportive manner. The good news is after we implemented the CHANGEs to all Josephians at the beginning of the current school year, we begin to see the acceptance of the CHANGE by the stakeholders gradually.

It is obvious that we all have to undergo a period of transition before all the new policies were internalized.  We should also admit the fact that the school would receive different opinions, whether positive or negative, from different stakeholders about the CHANGE.  We all should remain open-minded before the CHANGE becomes mature.  I have the strong belief that Rome was not built in a few days and hope that the success of the policies will be witnessed in the long run.

No matter how many policies have been introduced, the ultimate goal is to build up a better SJACS with a positive progress of the school in the near future.  I expressed my visions in the morning assembly a few months ago, about how we could aim at moving towards a well-established SJACS in both academic and non-academic perspectives – I told our students to start by the improvement of their personal conduct first, followed by the emphasis on the CHANGE of their learning attitude.  It was only under the combination of both attributes that our school, SJACS would enter a new phase of development in future.

Dear parents, fellow teachers and Josephians, I would like to take this opportunity to invite all of you to strive for the best of SJACS, and without your passion and support, nothing would be accomplished.  You are all crucial to the success of SJACS.  Hang in there, Josephians, let’s hold our hands and walk the talk together!

 

2014-2015 – a year of ‘Maximization

 

St. Joseph’s Anglo-Chinese School (hereafter ‘SJACS’) is the first institution where I serve as a school principal.  During the past few months, I have encountered many changes that have enabled me to start a new living and working habit.  Namely I learned how to drive last year, then with the blessing from God I finally got a driving license which I should have received 20 years ago!  In order to further shorten the commuting time from home to work, I moved to the city area away from my old house in the New Territories that I had lived in since I was a kid.  Having lived in the city for several months, I have begun to get used to the hustle and bustle lifestyle. Hence, I have MAXIMIZED my adaptability to a new working location owing to the changes brought by my new position.

It’s really my great pleasure to be the 5th Principal of SJACS and one of the members of our St. Joseph’s family.  The modern, green and well-equipped school campus is the best ice-breaking talking point whenever I need to introduce myself to others about my new position.  The harmonious, devoted and cooperative working environment with my colleagues comes second.  This has undoubtedly provided me with happy and grateful working relationships in the school.  Certainly, all you Josephians are another key component contributing to the development of SJACS in the future.  Without the support from our Supervisor, Mr. Koo Yee Yin, Irving, our school managers, the PTA and Josephians Association, the picture of our family would not be as bright as it is now.  I believe that with the input from stakeholders, our family will leap a step forward towards a brilliant future – therefore MAXIMIZING the hardware and software of the school to the fullest.

Despite all the ideals of our school, through my observation in the past few months, I think we still haven’t MAXIMIZED all our capacities – yet.  For instance, the well-equipped study environment and other hardware belong to all Josephians, and thus we should try to MAXIMIZE the usage of those. Whenever you think there is the need to use the premises – ASK FOR IT!  You should try to express your thoughts to your class teachers, or representatives of the Student Association and even your Principal – me!  I treasure every moment with all Josephians so I try to MAXIMIZEevery opportunity in interacting with you at the school entrance every morning.  I make use of the limited occasions talking to you in order to better familiarize myself with all Josephians.  Through every interaction, though limited in nature, and probably by now I still can’t remember all your names, I can at least recognize all your faces in my mind.

In terms of the personal growth of Josephians, it is known to many that being smartthoughtfuloutreaching and independent are all the characteristics of Josephians.  However, being the Principal, I still think you all can MAXIMIZE even more by recognizing and pushing your limits day by day.  I believe in the saying, ‘the more effort you invest today, the higher the chance for a better harvest in the future’. Josephians, please start MAXIMIZING your abilities no matter how big the challenges are in front of you so that you all can live up to the school motto, ‘Ad Astra’, to excel.

Being part of the St. Joseph’s family, parents and alumni are two important and inseparable components contributing to and supporting the development of SJACS.  This year, I have tried to MAXIMIZE the opportunities by participating in the programmes and activities held by the PTA and Josephians Association.  In return, their support to the school is tremendous.  

2014-2015 undoubtedly marks a challenging and fruitful year to me.  I strongly believe that if every one of you can work together as a big team, the family of St. Joseph will have a better future.

Dear Josephians, it’s time to MAXIMIZE!