Student support

There are many structures and processes in place to help ensure that the transition from primary to secondary
school is as seamless and as joyful an experience as possible. One of the most important features is, of course, the new relationships that Year 7 students will build with friends, Tutors, teachers and every individual with whom they come into contact in the school.

We have a peer mentoring programme so that friendly and knowledgeable Senior School students
can share their tacit knowledge of our values and beliefs with new students. Tutors, the Head of
Year, the Deputy Head of Year and the Head of Section are all part of an efficient and dedicated
team working to solve problem on behalf of all students.

Additional key members of the student support team upon whom students can call for advice and
with whom they build strong relationships are our school counsellor, social worker, and Medical
Officer. They, along with other members of staff in the Guidance and Achievement team, oversee
students’ academic, social, emotional and physical progress.

An array of administrative support is also available for assisting students who encounter problems with the use of Intranet, Internet and other IT.

Learning Support

The Learning Support Department aims to help students who have needs which may not be wholly met through the normal curriculum framework.

These students may include those for whom English is either an additional
language (EAL), those who need additional English support (EAP), those with special educational needs due to learning difficulties (SEN) and students who are identified as gifted or talented.

The key principles are as follows:
• Children of all abilities are entitled to the full range of curriculum experiences with appropriate support
• The purpose of education for all children is the same, and their goals are the same, although the help that individual children need in progressing towards them will be different
• Individual teachers, in order to be fully effective, need the support of a whole school commitment to meeting individual needs.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)
The focus of this programme is to give a combination of English language and academic skills support to students so they can reach their full potential in all their subjects and examinations.
Year 7, 8, 9
Students are withdrawn from their library lesson and/or GTS lessons to receive small group instruction to improve their literacy skills.
Years 10 & 11
Students can opt to take either the Study Skills course or the University of Cambridge examination course. The Study Skills course helps students handle the demands of the curriculum by focusing on organizational skills, study skills like notetaking, how to revise for a test and test taking skills. It also provides academic writing support for written coursework. In the examination class (IGCSE), students’ reading, writing and oral skills are assessed.
Years 12 & 13
Support is offered during student’s free lessons to help them improve their academic writing skills.

Students with Special Educational Needs (SEN)
A wide range of services are available dependent on each student’s level of need. This may include in-class support from an Educational Assistant or Learning Support teacher, pull-out, small group support lessons, development of a student support plan or an individual educational program, and/or placement in the Learning Support Centre.

Gifted and Talented
Enrichment and extension activities are available to help students develop their special abilities and talents. Departments offer special activities and information is shared about programmes in the community.

Please contact the Head of Learning Support for further information about these programmes.

Counselling Service

The College employs the services of qualified, experienced and professional registered counsellors under contract from PsychCentral who meet students, by appointment, in school. The types of issues counsellors support with include: relationship and friendship problems, depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, self-harm, anger management, productive communication, low self-esteem, cultural and relocation adjustments, organization, panic attacks, bullying and goal setting. They are also experienced in a number of techniques including: solution focused, crisis and addiction counselling, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy, cognitive re-framing, narrative therapy, play therapy and psycho-educational techniques, inter alia.

Our counsellors liaise with parents and undertake family counselling. Their approaches align with our College values, goals and mission. They have a comprehensive knowledge of our curriculum, practices, priorities, in addition to a detailed knowledge of many families. They work outside STC, too, so their understanding of the Hong Kong context is extensive. The counsellors optimize their network of contacts if there is a need to refer/recommend students who may benefit from seeing other specialists.

Additionally, our counsellors liaise with teachers, offer advice and guidance. They actively collaborate with our School Health Professional, the Leaning Support team, and the Guidance and Achievement team. They provide professional development for staff and lead presentations to parents on such topics as positive parenting and effective communication.

Our counsellors can be contacted by email and phone. Their office is Room 332.

Social Worker

Staff, students and families are fortunate to have a professional social worker based at Sha Tin College four days a week. Ms Eunice Wong is employed by the YWCA and lends her expertise to our school by being available, actively listening to and addressing issues such as: parent-child relationships and overcoming conflict, school adjustment, the influence of peers, coping with stress and other matters of wellbeing in an effort to promote a balanced approach to school life and academic demands.

Ms Wong also leads on charity and outreach work with her connections to other Hong Kong agencies. She supports students with CAS projects and is actively involved in the daily life of students. She is instrumental in facilitating a wide range of placements and projects for students to undertake, irrespective of their age. These include work with local charities, the elderly and other ‘at risk’ groups in society. Students report that they find these community service experiences meaningful and insightful.

Ms Wong can be contacted by email and phone. Her office is Room 331.

Medical Support

The Medical Room is located in Room 104 on the ground floor, next to the Main Office. Students can gain permission to see the nurse to consult on injuries and illness, though they cannot remain there for longer than it takes to assess them. Our School Nurse, Nicole So, is a qualified, registered Hong Kong nurse health care professional. She deals with a plethora of students and families each day. .
In the event of an accident, Nicole, or a colleague, will contact parents immediately. If necessary, Nicole, or teacher will escort the student to the Emergency Department of the closest hospital. If the accident is not an emergency,parents will be are asked to collect their child from school.

It is essential that all parents regularly update Medical Information for students in GATEWAY. This includes:
• Advise on any medical conditions, including allergies (and extent of), asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.
• Medications a student takes regularly ( before, after or during school hours). Any medications which need to be taken during school hours (emergency or routine), must be delivered by the parent, or parent’s representative, directly to the School Nurse, or a teacher, and an Authorization Form must be completed . The medication must be clearly labelled with student name, tutor group, name of medication, dosage instructions and expiration date. NO MEDICATION will be given to students without a completed Authorization Form. The school does not assume responsibility for any reactions which may occur following administration of medication sent from home, nor does it assume any responsibility if the parent does not send sufficient medication. The nurse must have spare student medication (injector, inhaler or pills such as. Ventolin, Epipen, Glucagon, etc). We need to be informed of the student status with vaccinations and medication, as well as dates Tetanus and Meningitis vaccinations were administered.
• Any changes in a student’s medical condition must be immediately updates by clicking on this link to forms in GATEWAY: http://www.shatincollege.edu.hk/sites/shatincollege/files/Change%20Request%20Medical%20via%20Gateway%20-%20for%20parents(new).pdf) for screenshots.

Procedures for Student Illness:
• Exposure to different strains of influenza virus each year are closely monitored by the School Nurse, and the Hong Kong Department of Health, so recommendations can be implemented. Anyone with flu-like symptoms (sore throat, runny nose, cough, body-ache, etc) needs to confer promptly with a doctor and stay home. A healthy lifestyle and sensible preventive measures are the most powerful defenses against all kinds of influenza. Frequent hand-washing with soap or detergents, a healthy and balanced diet, adequate sleep and regular exercise are examples of healthy practices. This is the flu advisory link: http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/14843.html
If a student has a body temperature>37.4 degree Celsius, she/he must NOT come to school. Fever is a sign of illness. The student should be free from fever (without medication) for 24 hours before resuming school.
• Vomiting/diarrhea: This requires students to remain at home, then be free from the symptoms for 24 hours prior to return to school.
Please note that the above mentioned symptoms do not cover all medical conditions and do not replace the need for a doctor’s consultation.
Further useful link follow:
• Asthma link: http://www.asthma.org.uk (http://www.asthma.org.uk/)
• Department of Health: http://www.dh.gov.hk (http://www.dh.gov.hk/)
• Centre for Health protection: http://www.chp.gov.hk (http://www.chp.gov.hk/)

Contact Details for Nicole SO: Direct Telephone: (852) 2607 9140, Main Telephone: (852) 2699 1811, Fax: (852) 2695 0592, E-mail:

Peer Support Team

The Peer Support Team is a student led team with students from Y11-13, spread across several years to allow students to choose to speak to a peer supporter closer to their age. We are here for students who may be uncomfortable with seeking help from teachers or the psychologist. The purpose of peer support is to allow students to have an outlet closer to their own age, so that they can seek advice and talk about issues that might be troubling them. We are also involved in heading other student activities such as ‘Niceness is Priceless’ Week.

If students encounter problems such as bullying, stress, or family matters they can come talk to us through the address peersupport@stconline.edu or by contacting one of our peer supporters directly. This information is provided on the notice board next to the Cafe.

Lastly, as TAs bound by the code of conduct, we are to keep whatever you tell us 100% confidential, unless the matter is illegal or is causing you or others harm. Furthermore, as peer supporters we will not force or urge you to tell us anything: only tell us what you feel comfortable in telling us. The matters you tell us will not be discussed with other students, teachers, family members or even amongst peer supporters, unless we are discussing it in a professional, non-judgmental manner without mentioning specific names.

Below is a section by Ms. Chris Rowlands, one of our Vice Principals:

The Peer Support Leaders at Sha Tin College were initially selected from a large swatch of dedicated students who had volunteered to undertake the training. Their respective Heads of Year decided on who was most suited for this type of leadership, who could most assuredly be relied upon to enact the role altruistically and who all the other students would best relate to.

The training, led by Larissa Kirpichnikov+ Joanna Day, our STC counsellors, was comprehensive, customised for the needs of our community and rigorous. Participants were committed to ten – 90 minute after school sessions and were not permitted to miss more than one before it was deemed that they would be ineligible for ‘graduation’. This was evidence of the serious approach adopted by all, but also the vital nature of each session.

It took only a brief time for Larissa + Joanna to build camaraderie amongst the trainees – they arrived with abundant goodwill – and to win the trust of everyone. They have diverse experience, are genuinely warm and inclusive, but also modelled all the skills taught to the student group. These ranged across active listening, acknowledging feelings, ‘mirroring’, echoing, asking open questions, the power of silence, the cues of body language, the significance of confidentiality and, above all else, the necessity of demonstrating empathy. Larissa + Joanna taught the students, often through role play and small group tasks, how relationships with a friendly, compassionate and helpful ‘other’ can build confidence, bridges and opportunities. They shared anecdotes from their own lives, professional and personal, to reinforce the qualities and attributes of an effective Peer Support Leader.

Subsequent to the formal training, which was funded through the generosity of the PTSA, Peer Support Leaders have begun to actively promote themselves + all they can offer fellow students. They have visited Year Assemblies + details about their services are posted on SMART. They will each meet with Mrs Rowlands regularly to confer about the sorts of issues they encounter as Mentors + strategies they have adopted, as well as to practice their skills. Our hope is that Peer

Support leaders will continue to train and implement what they learned in building a wonderful tradition of kindness and care for the benefit of each year group.