Mr Lau Chi Yuen (B.Sc., P.C.Ed., M.Sc., M.Ed.) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Good Morning, Colleagues and Students,
Welcome back to school. This is the first day we meet again after a long summer vacation. I would like to wish everybody a fruitful year to come, improvement and good health.
As this is the beginning of a new school year, let me introduce our new teachers to you all. First, we have Mr Brian A. Dietrich. He is our school’s new Native-speaking English teacher. Another teacher is Mr 黃新禧. He will be teaching PE in place of Mr 林啓超during his sick leave. We also have Ms 鍾秀梅 teaching Chinese in place of Ms 劉彩英 during her sick leave. There are two new teaching assistants. They are Mr 鄭栢軒 and Ms 潘嘉恩.
It’s Tanghin’s 35th year. For the past 34 years, the school has been providing students with an all-round education, laying equal emphasis on the five aspects: moral, intellectual, physical, social and aesthetic development. With the joint efforts of both teachers and students, our achievements in various areas of education are encouraging. To celebrate the 35th Anniversary of our school, we have adopted the slogan, 「承基建業 振翅高飛」”Fly High, See Wide, Strive for a New Climb.” With 35 years’ arduous efforts, our school grew from an entirely unimpressive estate school to one that earned territory-wide appreciation and recognition, and secured a place among the top schools. Yet, this is not a time to rest on our laurels. We have to pass the spirit on. We will continue to climb high and make breakthroughs. There will be a chain of celebration activities including two academic talks. We have invited Professor Chu Ming Chung from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Physics, to be our guest speaker. The topic is「由觀星開始——一位物理學家的成才之路」 Another guest speaker is Professor Ng Mee Kam, from the Department of Geography and Resource Management, also the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She will talk about「規劃我城——新舊共融 理想家園」Besides academic talks, we will organize a fund-raising walkathon, Open Days, an anniversary feast and an evening variety show, etc. We look forward to your active participation in all these. More, we have designed our 35th Anniversary Edition T-shirt and the commemorative version of single-line paper which will be available for sale in due course. Meanwhile, we are preparing for the issue of our School Magazine’s Special Edition.
In the fifth HKDSE, our students’ performance is still satisfying, though the average credit percentage suffers a slight drop. The average pass rate of all the subjects this year is 100. 85.4% of the students attained an average of Level 4 or above while Hong Kong’s average is only 34.9%. 96.57% of our students fulfilled the University Admission Requirement (i.e. 「3322」 or above for the core subjects, plus Level 「2」or above in one elective subject), while Hong Kong’s average is 36.3%. 84.57% of the students attained Level 4 or above in 5 subjects, while Hong Kong’s average is only 20.2%. 97.14% were offered a seat in a university degree programme through the Jupas System. On average, each student attained 0.4 (Level 5**), 0.94 (Level 5*), 1.54 (Level 5), and 2.51 (Level 4). 50.86% of our students were admitted into the 3 top universities in Hong Kong, namely The University of Hong Kong (HKU), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). As we can see, our students’ performance is rather outstanding among all the schools in Hong Kong. Yet we must not be complacent. Instead, it is time for evaluation so as to make further progress. To be frank, our students’ performance in this year’s DSE is not as satisfying as that of the previous years. Some set rather low demand on themselves. Some started working hard too late. In the end, they could not be offered a place they preferred in the university and some even did not get any offer. They regretted not having done enough but it’s no use crying over spilt milk. So we should know the importance of hard work. Don’t idle away your time. Face your own limitations and find ways to fix them as early as possible.
In the non-academic aspects, our school managed to have a balanced development. In the World Rope-skipping Championships 2016 held in Sweden, 10 of our students were in the team representing Hong Kong and they were all awarded medals in recognition of their brilliant performance. In fact, our students’ sterling performances in different areas have won for our school numerous awards which testify to our students’ all-round abilities and tenacity.
The Rio de Janeiro Olympics has been over. I would like to have some sharing with you about it.
The Olympics is a platform that exhibits the competition between powers, the trial of confidence, the fruit of teamwork and the harvest of long-term preparation. It is also an ideal setting for the development of friendship. We have a Chinese saying, 「台上一分鐘，台下十年功」which means ‘It takes years of hard work and practice to put on a wonderful performance.’ Every athlete we saw on the sports-ground has been through years of harsh training and paid great efforts. But in this year’s contests, we witnessed that some shed joyful tears for their success; some felt disappointed and put the blame on others; some persevered towards their target despite their injuries while some, even though lost, got the peace of mind as they have already tried their best. Can we derive something enlightening from these scenes?
In academic pursuit, we experience incessant competitions, successes, failures and then we pull ourselves together and start all over again. In life, it’s the same. To be the winner, we may get some inspirations from the Olympics.
- Target and Resolve
Before the Olympics, some countries focused on one thing: becoming the champion country in terms of the number of medals. To reach this target, coaches and athletes had their lives around plans, strategies and training. They literally ate, breathed and slept their sport. Their minds were obsessed with a single purpose: to be the world’s best. The same spirit can be applied to studies. As students, we should also set for ourselves a high but reachable target, have an implementation plan and work with resolve towards it.
- Know your Strengths and Weaknesses
No one is a born champion; the athletes are no exception. Their competitive edge is truly a result of long-term practice, the readiness to take the advice of their coaches, and the drive to maximize their strengths and fix their weaknesses. In fact, everybody has his own strengths and weaknesses. If we can do constant self-reflection, target our weak areas and make improvement, we can also give full play to our potential and attain success. On the other hand, some students are unwilling to change, indifferent to teachers’ advice, indulge in bad habits and incapable of self-reflection. They don’t realize that they are actually damaging themselves and the impact can be far-reaching.
- Mutual Support and Collaboration
In the Olympics, there are individual events and team events. Team events require the cooperation and mutual support among team members. Every member should play a contributing role to the team. Individual glorification is not encouraged as it may have a negative impact on team performance. On the other hand, though individual events don’t involve any team work, the athletes often benefit from the cheering and encouragement of their supporters and have their level of performance enhanced. What can we make out of this? We learn that in the process of learning, if we can have more cooperation, mutual assistance, discussion and sharing with our schoolmates, we can surely learn better. As the Chinese saying goes, 「事半功倍」 ‘We can pay less, but gain more.’
Hong Kong cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze was the hope of Hong Kong for the gold medal. She herself also aspired for it. However, she was crashed out of the women’s keirin semi-final at the Rio Olympics after she was hit on the elbow by her Australian opponent, Anna Meares and ended up sprawling on the track. When Meares took bronze in the event, Lee came up to her with her heartfelt congratulations. When asked about her disappointment in the keirin, Lee generously claimed that it was only an accident. She said, ‘After all, Anna took bronze and it’s a compensation for my crash!’ In the following women’s cycling sprint, she faced off against Meares and successfully beat her as well as other opponents, and got into the quarter final despite her injuries. After the showdown, Lee Wai-sze and Anna Meares clasped hands and the scene won thunderous applause from the audience for their sportsmanship. Lee’s story enlightens us. Like Lee Wai-sze, we may encounter adversities in life or in study. We should not fear injuries or failures. Never easily give up. Stand up where you fall. ‘Trial and error’ is the mother of success. This has been true from time immemorial.
- Fair Play
Fair play is a prerequisite for any competition. That’s why we need to have ‘head referees’ and ‘sampling mechanisms’ to guarantee it. In this year’s Olympics, some athletes were disqualified because of jumping the gun or failing the doping test. Justice was upheld. Similarly, in our daily life, whether we are talking about study or our personal behavior, we value honesty and despise cheating. We compete with our true ability and place our trust in a fair and socially-recognized system.
The founder of the Modern Olympic Games Pierre de Coubertin once said, “The day when a sportsman stops thinking above all else of the happiness in his own effort and the intoxication of the power and physical balance he derives from it, the day when he lets considerations of vanity or interest take over, on this day his ideal will die.” For study, it’s the same. We should learn to enjoy the pleasure of learning, instead of just fixing our eyes on examination contents. We should actively pursue knowledge instead of being bound by textbooks or examination papers. Don’t waste time! Don’t waste life!
34 years’ struggle puts Tang Hin among the most prestigious secondary schools in Hong Kong. Our achievements certainly does not stem from a piece of luck. It’s the fruit of resolve, perseverance and perspiration. It’s the beginning of our school’s 35th year. I hope you can pass on the unfaltering spirit, set higher targets and have a solid plan to realize them. And I’m sure all of you will grow up to be leaders of tomorrow.
Lau Chi Yuen
HKTA Tang Hin Memorial Secondary School
1st September, 2016