As a new year comes round, everything starts anew. I wish everyone a fresh start in this year. Now that the pandemic subsides, primary and secondary students get to resume normal school life just like the Pre-Covid days. It is gratifying that vibrant learning and multifarious activities can be restored to their original arrangements. The year of 2023 is destined to be a splendid and rewarding year as students can exhibit their full potential by partaking in different activities and competitions and reaching their academic goals with excellent results.
The renovation of our school’s library has also been completed with a new look. The revitalised library has not only increased its collection of books to 30,000 books, but also designated various reading zones and self-study areas to enable students to read and learn comfortably and fruitfully. The school’s library will, for sure, be one of the most popular school facilities in days to come as students can immerse themselves in the joy of reading.
Having mentioned the delight of reading, I would like to recommend two books to all of you, which are surely a good read to acquire and understand the authors’ wisdom and insight.
Principal Lo Kwok Leung
The Present by Spencer Johnson
The Present, by Spencer Johnson, is about finding your own path and exploring self-growth. This is a story of a young man’s journey to adulthood. When he was young, he heard from a wise old man about The Present, a mysterious gift. According to the old man, The Present is regarded as the most valuable gift in the world, which brings us personal happiness and lifelong success. What exactly is the ‘‘gift’’? Why not read the book and find it out by yourself?
Friendly greetings to all and, on behalf of all teachers, welcome all new students to join our ‘PO TONG’ family.
As usual, the work schedules of all teaching and non-teaching staff are occupied with different tasks every summer holiday, including enrichment tutorials, preparatory work for the new school term curriculum, coordination work for cleaning the school campus and renovating facilities, upgrading computing systems of school computers, etc.. As a result of the changed timetable after the recurrent outbreak of pandemic, this year summer holiday was unprecedentedly short, posing an uphill challenge for all of us to compete with the time. In spite of this, our unwavering commitment to cultivating a more pleasant learning environment in return for a more fulfilling and rewarding new school year always fuels us to get all tasks well done.
Quite a number of areas in the school campus look different after the summer renovation. Additional lockers were placed in classrooms for more storage space. To replace the aging overhead projectors, each classroom was equipped with a 75” smart TV for better projection quality when teaching materials displayed. The renewal of our school library will be soon completed, ready for stacking more books for display and providing more silent areas for self-learning. In addition, though the purchase of new students’ desks and chairs and the delayed repainting works because of bad weather have yet to be completed, what we eagerly anticipate is the great comfort and welcoming ambience in the school which can greatly favor students’ learning. The situation of COVID-19 outbreak remains volatile, but we always seek opportunities to expose students to different activities, both intra-school and inter-school, to foster a sense of fulfilment in them and enrich their learning experience throughout the secondary schooling. Recently the increasing number of confirmed cases still concerns all of us. May all students do your utmost to relieve the situation by getting vaccinated as early as possible.
Here is a perfect chance for me to congratulate all the form 6 graduates, with a great sense of joy, approximately 110 of whom enrolled in the undergraduate programmes in universities. Even delightful is 50 graduates successfully admitted to the Hong Kong ‘Big Four’ universities (the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Science and Technology, the Polytechnic University), with 15 of whom entering the University of Hong Kong. The remarkable results are surely the learning target for fellow schoolmates to understand how important setting precise and clear goals is, particularly in preparing for the HKDSE and opting university programmes.
A new school year marks a new page in life. ‘NEW’, to most of us, is very likely associated with changes and anticipation. In the upcoming school year, as expected, some new challenges confronting different students – adaptation to learn in an English-speaking environment for form one students, pressure to score high in tests and exams for better class allocation in the senior secondary for form three students, difficulties in mastering more advanced and in-depth subject knowledge for form four students – are never easy to overcome. Frank to say, there is no shortcut but to devise effective strategies which can maximize the learning outcome. Jotting down personalized notes in lessons, revising them very constantly, consulting teachers when encountering ambiguity, all these are seemingly trivial but in fact greatly help lay good foundation for getting closer to the target. To form five students, nearly one and a half year is left before your graduation, meaning that time management is a great challenge for you all to get well-prepared for the HKDSE and at the same time engage yourself into different activities to improve your skill sets and enrich your life experience. Time is even less, approximately 8 months, for form six students to battle against the HKDSE. No worries. With your complete readiness and confidence, we are pretty sure the results will be very satisfying.
To yield great harvests, a start with new aspirations and ambitions is always important. An ancient Chinese proverb tells ‘The best time is always in the beginning, like morning in a day and spring in four seasons, which need to be appreciated most. What’s more, the secret of success in life lies in diligence.’ My strong belief is hard work always pays off. Gradual steps to your goal, together with your persistence and attempts to take concrete actions, are always followed by rewardable results delighting you at the end.
My dear students, let’s keep our chins up to strive for the best school year together.
Principal Lo Kwok Leung
The End of 2021-2022 School Year
Time flies. It comes to the end of school term after all demanding challenges, in particular the fifth wave of pandemic and the recurrent shift from face-to-face classes to online virtual classrooms. To curb the spread of epidemic, the special vacation in March purposefully bringing forward the summer holiday was unprecedented. All these sudden changes confronting us since the pandemic are getting more complex, for sure interrupting our pace of life, and hence intervening with our plans originally formulated at the start of the year.
We were pleased that the class resumption in May has gradually brought back our normal routines. Apart from school lessons, the enrichment activities like the PLK affiliated schools table tennis competition in June, OLE and post-exam activities were chances for our students to stretch the boundaries of their potentials and create precious school life moments before the end of school term.
Our students' innovative minds and courage to take risks were not dismissed because of the continuous impacts brought by pandemic. Big harvests from many interschool competitions have delighted all of us, including:
- Inter-school A.I. Formula Edge Competition (Champion)
- The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition iGEM (Bronze Award)
- Greater Bay Area Gifted Math Competition (Star of excellence)
- Guangdong-HK-Macao Greater Bay Area Gifted Creative Writing Cup for Year of the Tiger (Star of excellence)
- Let's Enjoy Hong Kong Culture - Video Production Competition (Champion)
In addition to the abovementioned, the achievements awarded from other competitions prove that participating students have been working hard towards enhancing their existing strengths and pursuing new ventures. What I expect is our students' active participation, particularly their bold attempts to build up resilience towards challenges. Always mindful of the saying: "Be proud to win and delighted to fail". The first step to make attempts can be attributed to much of the success afterwards, finally bringing satisfactory results and uncountable delights.
'PO TONG' is all of our students' second home, where continues to drive their growth and foster essential qualities. As we all know, good tools are prerequisite to the successful execution of a job. To cultivate a pleasant learning environment and guarantee teaching quality, a number of renovation works have been carried out in the summer holiday. The addition of student lockers in classrooms for individual use aims to provide more room for storage and to avoid transmission of virus during pandemic. Each classroom is going to be equipped with a 75-inch smart TV which can display high-resolution images and hence allow better teaching efficacy. Our school library has been under renovation until October, to create more space for self-study areas, leisure reading corners, group discussion rooms and additional bookshelves for storing and displaying more books. Other renovation works include repainting school walls and laying optical fibre cables throughout school campus, expected to be finished in the year ahead and create a vibrant environment for teaching and learning.
May I take this chance to share the British Cycling Team's story which is a good lesson to learn. Back in the day, the team's disappointing race results discouraged most biking businesses from selling biking gears to the team for fear of their reputation being damaged. In 2003, Dave Brailsford was appointed as the head coach of the team, subsequently setting new heights to their achievements. The big win, six gold medals, in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was just a start. Shortly after, the team won a boatload of gold medals at the 2012 Olympics in London and set stunning records by winning 5 grand champions in Tour de France within six years. What was Dave’s recipe? Probably his attention to details no matter trivial or minor and abilities to observe areas for improvement were the key.
Dave made a series of minor changes, including redesigning the bike seat cushion to bring comfort to cyclists, applying alcohol to the tyres to increase the friction, ordering cyclists to wear electric heating leggings to keep the body at desirable temperature, hiring surgeons to teach cyclists proper ways to wash hands to avoid flu infection, etc. To Dave's strong belief, every little bit counts in the better and significant improvement.
Similarly, to learn better, spotting minor areas to make changes can be the first step, followed by cultivating a good habit to constantly review and reflect. With strong determination to loop such steps, improvement can be easy. Wish my sharing bring insights to you and motivate you to take the first step. Let us enjoy probably the shortest but still rewarding summer holiday and forge ahead in the coming new school term.
Principal Lo Kwok Leung
Cheer our Form 6 students up!
Dear Form Six students and parents,
This new year 2022 has come with a new wave of COVID-19 striking hardly at the routines of Hong Kong. Since the outbreak in late February, the number of confirmed cases has continuously hit its record high, reaching ten thousand or more in a day. Current measures to stop virus spread include suspension of face-to-face classes in all kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools, bringing forward the summer vacations in all schools, restrictions on dine-in services at night and temporary closure of many businesses. Amid the severe epidemic situation, strict compliance with the precautionary measures, early vaccination and constant observations on the health of ourselves and others are all key to fighting the epidemic. For students to learn and live better in this new norm, capabilities to properly regulate emotions, persistently develop multi-pronged study strategies and constantly practice healthy lifestyle are vital.
According to the announcement made by the Education Bureau (EDB) and the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) on 28th February, the written examinations will tentatively commence in late April as scheduled, but adjustments have been made for some examination dates to compress the examination period into three weeks (For more details, please visit HKEAA's website: http://www.hkeaa.edu.hk/tc/hkdse/). With the strong blow of this new wave, besides suspension of face-to-face classes and cancellation of mock examination, students are deprived of chances to return to the school campus to attend tutorial lessons and seek for additional guidance from teachers. Despite all the above restrictions, our teachers have prepared mock exercises and arranged online learning lessons to get students more ready for the DSE. We all understand, in the face of the challenges and uncertainties brought by pandemic, anxiety and helplessness when fighting alone can weaken one's mind. My sincere advice to students is 'shared sorrow is half a sorrow'. Proactively sharing confusion and doubts to family, fellows or teachers, regardless of whether their problems can be resolved, is practical to get a relief.
Given Omicron is highly contagious, students should be more aware of personal hygiene, always put on surgical masks, wash hands frequently, avoid going to crowded places and having meal gatherings. What I genuinely anticipate is my students are at their best to battle against the DSE.
Our school will pay close attention to the latest announcements released by the EDB and the HKEAA and keep students well-informed about the updates and all follow-up measures concerned. It is my earnest hope that parents provide students with more support and encouragement to maintain their positive mindset throughout their revision time. In case of any enquiries, please contact our teachers via email or any instant messaging applications.
Wish you good health and all the best!
Principal Lo Kwok Leung
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
We all understand the ephemeral nature of human life. Sadly, this new year 2022 has come with a new wave of COVID-19 striking hardly at the routines of Hong Kong. Current measures to stop virus spread include suspension of face-to-face classes in all kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools, restrictions on dine-in services at night and temporary closure of many businesses. Amid the severe epidemic situation, strict compliance with the precautionary measures, early vaccination and constant observations on the health of ourselves and others are all key to fighting the epidemic. For students to learn and live better in this new norm, capabilities to properly regulate emotions, persistently develop multi-pronged study strategies and constantly practice healthy lifestyle are vital.
All creations are reborn on New Year's Day. A new year marks the new start of setting personal goals. My heartfelt hope is to see students take initiative to set goals based on their learning progress, participation in extracurricular activities or personal habits, regardless of the scale involved. In fact, even restraining one's temper can be a year-round goal so long as that fits individual needs. After goal setting, the most important, but challenging, step is to formulate strategies and put them into practice. As the saying goes, 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step'. The first step to the kick-off of a journey is always crucial to success, to be followed by taking concrete actions and making necessary adjustments. Here is a thought-provoking story extracted from Atomic Habit written by James Clear.
On the first day of class, Jerry Uelsmann, professor at the University of Florida, divided his film photography students into two groups.
Everyone on the left side of the classroom, he explained, would be in the "quantity" group. They would be graded solely on the amount of work they produced. On the final day of class, he would tally the number of photos submitted by each student. One hundred photos would rate an A, ninety photos a B, eighty photos a C and so on.
Meanwhile, everyone on the right side of the room would be in the "quality" group. They would be graded only on the excellence of their work. They would only need to produce one photo during the semester, but to get an A, it had to be a nearly perfect image.
At the end of the term. He was surprised to find that all the best photos were produced by the quantity group. During the semester, these students were busy taking photos, experimenting with composition and lighting, testing out various methods in the darkroom, and learning from their mistakes. In the process of creating hundreds of photos, they honed their skills. Meanwhile, the quality group sat around speculating about perfection. In the end, they had little to show for their efforts other than unverified theories and one mediocre photo.
In fact, attempts to make plans without actions are futile. Oppositely, the effort to take concrete actions always bears fruits. Coming up with twenty ideas when writing an outline for an essay, for example, is a plan. Practically picking up a pen to write the essay is an action. Persistent actions like practising writing skills for one to two hours every day are always the practical way to achieve goals.
My anticipation is to see students kick off the new year with clear goals, strategic plans and strong determination to take concrete actions. May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a rewarding and healthy year of tiger.
Principal Lo Kwok Leung
Embrace the New School Year
It is my privilege to be appointed as the new Principal in this inviting and welcoming 'PO TONG' (Po Leung Kuk Celine Ho Yam Tong College) family. In addition to inheriting its long-standing culture with my humbleness and thankfulness, what I am devoted to is aligning the school's policies with updated practice and making necessary changes with my vision and innovation. The continued growth of PO TONG is attributed to our commitment to cultivating students to possess decent personal qualities. With our belief in the motto of PLK's affiliated schools, "Love, Respect, Diligence and Integrity", students are well-nurtured to demonstrate helpfulness, respect for others, diligence and sincerity.
Moral education tops the list of our aim to provide quality education, so does our great emphasis on students' academic achievements. The result of 2020-2021 graduates in 2021 HKDSE is a remarkable success, with a 99% passing rate and a 54% credit rate averagely in all subjects. This year, students thrived in Biology, 82.6% and 47.8% of whom attained level 4 or above and level 5 or above respectively. Over three-fourths of our graduates successfully enrolled in UGC-funded Bachelor's Degree programmes through JUPAS. Such phenomenal achievements of our graduates can be the aspiration for our current students, providing them with a clear goal to work diligently to obtain better results in the upcoming HKDSE and continue their persistent pursuit of targeted university programmes.
This year, restricted by the limitations resulting from the pandemic, our opening ceremony had to be conducted by means of playing video recordings in separate classrooms. Since the start of last year, Hong Kong has been experiencing drastic changes brought by the pandemic. Class suspension, half-day schooling, the alternation between online and face-to-face teaching, all these are unprecedented, posing enormous pressure and burdens to teachers no matter when preparing for teaching materials, maximizing teaching outcomes, and offering timely emotional support to students if necessary. May I take this opportunity to extend my sincerest gratitude to all the effort paid by our devoted teachers.
In the face of the current pandemic situation, half-day face-to-face class arrangements are still suggested. Such mode of schooling is a real challenge to students, indeed assessing whether they are determined and perseverant enough. As a proverb goes, 'When Heaven is about to confer a great office on any man, it first exercises his mind with suffering.' Doubtless, the experience to overcome today's challenge is a good foundation for achieving future goals against all odds. At the beginning of this new school year, I anticipate my students being adaptive to the new norm of learning, setting clear year goals, regulating time to be great at learning. Perseverance is always the key to success. Together with the support rendered by teachers, family and friends, the determination to moving forward is the fuel for clearing all the stumbling blocks. We all look forward to the disappearance of pandemic with the passing of time. When we look back at that moment, our experience to battle against the pandemic has, as time goes by, equipped us with more persistence and abilities to overcome challenges.
Let's embrace our new school year. With the new goal ahead and the continued support given by teachers and me, we wish our students success in the days to come.
Principal Lo Kwok Leung