3 Feb 2020

Message to Students

Dear Students,

Kung Hei Fat Choi. I hope you had a happy, memorable Chinese New Year holiday and that the ‘Year of the Rat’ will be a fulfilling, enjoyable one for you, and your family.

I am emailing you for several reasons linked to your wellbeing.

As you know, the Hong Kong government has closed schools to students until March 2. The reason for this is to help limit the spread of the Coronavirus. You will receive a lot of messages and information from various people at Sha Tin College whose job it is to work together to help make the best of this unusual situation.

Everyone at the College is thinking about the most appropriate ways to continue our focus on teaching and learning, as well as the support they can provide you. Teachers are aware that you may have questions and that you may also feel uncertain, or even a little anxious, about these weeks away from school. Some of you may be anxious about deadlines, exams, or even about the wider community issues, such as the virus, ill friends and relatives.

A lot of planning has occurred to normalise things as much as possible. You will be:

  • Working through your timetabled lessons.
  • Collaborating with your peers.
  • Hearing from (and seeing!) your teachers.
  • Having daily contact with your Tutor.

Even though all these things will help you to feel as if you are at ‘school away from school’, it is important that you are aware that, occasionally, you may have negative thoughts and feelings. This is natural and we expect this to happen. Here are some tips to help you manage if you notice these things happening to you –

Try turning a negative thought into a positive thought. For example, instead of thinking ‘I’ll never be able to do this!’ substitute this with ‘I’ll give it my best shot’. Share your thoughts and feelings with an adult you trust.  This might be a parent, older sibling, a teacher, your Tutor, a student leader.  It might help you to write these negative thoughts and feelings down, in a journal. Speak kindly to yourself.  Use mantras every day such as ‘I am a good friend and people like me’.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and forgive yourself. Do something you love to relax.  This might be reading, watching Netflix, playing cards, knitting, drawing, listening to/playing music, cooking or hanging out with your pet. Stay in touch with your friends because they can be a source of comfort, make you laugh and they understand what you are experiencing. Don’t spend more than an hour or so each day on Instagram, WhatsApp or your phone.

Aim for balance, if possible. This means:

  • Get at least nine hours of sleep each night.
  • Eat nutritional food.
  • Go outside (or at least take a break from sitting at your desk) several times a day.
  • Exercise – for your spirit, body and brain.
  • Don’t limit yourself to sitting at your desk all day or just doing academic work.
  • Do what you love. This might be cycling, basketball, running, hiking, netball or yoga. There are loads of YouTube clips you can watch/follow if it’s too difficult to meet up with friends or go outside.
  • Be grateful. Science shows this boosts wellbeing.

Don’t forget:

  • We have four counsellors and two social workers at school. They are dedicated to helping you. Look on the SMART banner for details.
  • You have skills of self- management and you know that using your time in sensible ways will give you a sense of fulfillment and achievement.
  • You are resilient. Even if you feel a little bored, isolated or lonely, you will ask for help, when needed, and you WILL make it through this difficult time.

Some Resources for You

Smiling Minds Ap

Free Guided Meditations Reach Out Worry Time

Best Anxiety Apps 2019

Five TEDTalks on Stress Management The Brain Changing Effects of Exercise TED Talk
How the Food You Eat Affects your Brain A Simple Trick to Improve Positive Thinking

Happy by Pharrell Williams

Stop. Breathe. Think.

Worry Tree


Mind Shift

Head Space