13 Mar 2020

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

Thank you to those parents/guardians who completed our feedback survey last week. This survey focused on frequency of teacher contact and volume of work as two areas that had come up in the previous survey.  Based on feedback, the frequency of teacher contact is high, which is good to see and consistent with our expectations. The volume of work still needs further calibration, so we will continue to work on this. The results of the survey can be found here.

We are still analysing the very detailed student surveys, so we will share those results with you next week.  One observation from discussions with teachers this week is a reminder for all students to have their cameras on, as and when requested. There has been some parent/guardian feedback that some teachers are not putting their cameras on either, which therefore impacts on student engagement. We will look into this issue with our teachers.


Going forward please note the following:

1) You will have noticed some media coverage this past week about international schools allowing students to return to school. As a result of this we have had some follow-up questions from parents/guardians. Sha Tin College and ESF are following very closely and carefully the advice of EDB and the Department of Health. As such we continue to deliver high quality teaching and learning online to all our students, with a particular focus on Years 11 and 13 students. From Feb 10th we have consistently had small groups of Years 11 and 13 students on campus and have therefore been able to complete orals in French, Spanish, Chinese and English, IBDP Art work, Theatre and Drama, Food Technology, Design and Engineering and PE coursework. We have brought students into school under the most rigorous of health and safety conditions. Temperature checks, and travel declarations for students returning to Hong Kong and onto campus, have been designed to minimise any risk to our staff and students. A case of infection for anyone who has been on our campus would lead to the campus being closed for 14 days and ill members of staff would jeopardise our ability to deliver online learning. As a result of the ongoing health risks, and to ensure examination classes can continue to be taught, and that the campus can be open to host examinations when we resume, we continue to be cautious in our approach to the number of people on campus.

2) Our Year 13 students have been working hard for their upcoming IBDP Art Exhibition. While only the parents/guardians of the exhibiting artists will be able to visit the exhibition in person, we will be offering you a guided digital tour of the exhibition towards the end of next week. Watch out for this via our social media accounts. The pieces I have seen thus far are stunning!

3) Given the difficulty of planning and the associated health risks of large numbers of parents visiting the campus for rescheduled Parent/Teacher Conferences, we are going to hold our Year 12 conferences online. You will receive a letter from Mrs. Kate Rogers, VP Teaching & Learning, next week with further details. This has been done very successfully in other schools recently so we are looking forward to trying this out at Sha Tin College. Please set aside Wednesday March 25th from 1pm – 4pm.

4) As we approach the usual Easter holiday period families may be making plans to travel overseas. Parents/Guardians should be aware that, prior to returning to school once the class suspension is lifted, families will be required to complete a travel declaration. Travellers to Hong Kong from an increasing number of countries overseas are now required to complete 14 days quarantine. Students undertaking IB and IGCSE examinations should ensure they have returned to Hong Kong in sufficient time to allow self-quarantine if needed.

5) Mrs Rowlands VP has been sharing lots of resources recently to support families in dealing with wellbeing challenges resulting from social distancing and the isolation our children may be feeling. The link here from the Child Development Team at Central Health Partners gives some further advice on Optimising Distance Learning. Enjoy!

6) Our Higher Education Counsellor Ms. Gigi Lam had the opportunity to catch-up with Sha Tin College alumni at the University of Melbourne when she attended a HE Counsellors Universities visit with ESFC colleagues recently. See her article here to see how well our students have adjusted to life and their studies in Australia.

Everyone here at Sha Tin College wishes you all a healthy and happy weekend. Given it is St Patrick’s Day on March 17th I’d like to wish you all  “La Fheile Padraig sona dhuit”!

Kind regards,

Carol Larkin