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Heep Yunn School

Comprehensive Review Report

School Address: 1 Farm Road, Kowloon City, Kowloon Review Period : 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 17 and 24 May 2018

Quality Assurance and School-based Support Division Education Bureau

August 2018

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Page

1. Introduction 1

2. School Performance 4

3. Concluding Remarks 20

Education Bureau

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (201 8)

Contents

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1.1 Basic Information about the School

(Text provided by the school)

 Heep Yunn School is an Anglican (Sheng Kung Hui) school established in 1936 when two former C.M.S. (Church Missionary Society) institutions, namely Fairlea (1886) and Victoria Home & Orphanage (1887), collaborated for a common educational purpose.

Hence, the name “Heep Yunn” means “United Grace”. The founders were committed to bringing education to young women and orphans, empowering students to bring enlightenment to the nation and support to the people. Academic and co-curricular activities are complementary components in the school’s holistic education to maximise the potential of every student in the spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, aesthetic and physical facets.

 Since its change to the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) mode of operation in 2012, the school has been endowed with more flexibility in enhancing the effectiveness of its learning and teaching. On the academic front, small-group teaching has been implemented in the four core subjects, namely English, Chinese, Mathematics, Integrated Humanities in the junior forms and Liberal Studies in the senior forms, serving as a means to cater for learner diversity and nurture individual talents.

 Flexibility in the deployment of resources has also given the school-based curriculum a more international outlook. In addition to the optional Japanese, Spanish and French classes offered in collaboration with universities in Hong Kong, internationally recognised examination syllabi have also been integrated into the curriculum to suit students’ individual needs and levels and to encourage students to aim for excellence.

 The DSS funding structure has granted the school a competitive edge to initiate programmes that benefit students’ lifelong development. The mentoring scheme has been pioneered to further cultivate students’ generic skills and train their leadership abilities. All students have developed a mentee-mentor relationship with the teachers, receiving individual care and support.

 The school is committed to providing all students with quality education, providing fee subsidy arrangements, including fee remission schemes, academic and co-curricular scholarships and additional financial support from the Opportunity Enabling Fund of the School Council, to support students with financial concerns.

1. Introduction

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 In the 2017/18 school year, the school has a student population of 1040 students in 30 classes. The class structure and enrolment are as follows:

 By and large, Heep Yunn School is founded on the Christian principles of unity and love. The school takes pride in the commitment to quality education that equips students with lifelong skills, and develops them into global citizens and devoted leaders with vision and virtues. The school has firm conviction that their graduates will live up to the school motto of “In strength and grace we stand united, in faith and love we are committed”, and lead a fuller life in love and grace.

1.2 Comprehensive Review Methodology

The comprehensive review (CR) was conducted in May 2018 to evaluate the school performance in four domains of work, viz., Management and Organisation, Learning and Teaching, Student Support and School Ethos, as well as Student Performance. The CR team comprised 13 inspectors and a lay member.

A preparatory visit to the school was made on 25 April 2018 to explain the objectives and operation of CR to the teaching staff and clarify their queries about the review. A meeting was held with the School Management Committee (SMC) to learn about their views on the development of the school.

The Principal also took the opportunity to brief the CR team on the strengths and development priorities of the school.

A meeting with parents was held on 25 April 2018 to solicit their views on the school. A total of 37 parents attended the meeting.

The CR team employed the following methods to review the performance of the school:

- Scrutiny of documents and data provided by the school before and during the school visit;

- Observation of 62 lessons taught by 58 teachers covering Liberal Studies in the senior secondary curriculum and the following subjects under the eight Key Learning Areas (KLA):

KLA Language Chinese Education

English Language Education

Mathematics Education

Personal, Social &

Humanities Education

Science Education

Technology Education

Arts Education

Physical Education

Subjects inspected

Chinese Language

English Language

Mathematics Geography, History

Chemistry, Integrated Science

Business, Accounting &

Financial Studies

Music Physical Education

Level S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 Total

No. of Classes 5 5 5 5 5 5 30

No. of students 180 180 180 180 161 159 1040

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- Observation of various school activities, including morning assemblies, sports team practices, choir practices, science exhibition, lunchtime mini- concerts, student association meeting, orchestra practices, Chinese and English debating team training, etc.;

- Meetings and interviews with members of the SMC, Principal, Assistant Principals (AP), panel chairpersons, heads of functional groups, teachers, school social worker, parents and students; and

- Scrutiny of samples of students’ work and examination papers.

The findings presented in this report were derived from the corporate judgement of the CR team based on the information collected through the above-mentioned methods.

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2.1 Continuous Development of the School

Since becoming a DSS school in 2012, the school has experienced many changes. The teaching staff has been steadily increased to around 100 at present, reducing the teacher-student ratio drastically, enabling teachers to give more attention to individual students in both learning and teaching as well as student support services. In particular, it has enabled the effective running of small-group teaching in most subjects and the personal mentorship programme for students. Since the last External School Review (ESR), there have also been changes in both the Principal and Vice-principals. The experienced Principal and Vice-principal left in the last and current school year respectively.

Nevertheless, continuous improvement in various areas of the school is apparent and congratulatory.

The school has evidently made good progress in administering the Planning- Implementation-Evaluation (P-I-E) cycle of school self-evaluation (SSE).

Major concerns are set with good consideration of the stakeholder surveys and through thorough deliberation by the School-based Administration Committee (SBAC). A clear mechanism for formulating annual school goals is in place and the opinions of teachers and other relevant data are well taken into consideration. In the School Development Plan (SDP) 2012/13 – 2014/15, the major concerns set, namely “academic enhancement”, “community building”, “encourage a global vision” are, in general well geared towards addressing the needs of the school and the students; as well as in alignment with the current trend of education development. Moreover, the major concerns for the 2015/16 – 2017/18 school development cycle are more focused than the preceding ones. For instance, in the academic area, the major concern of “academic enhancement” in the SDP 2012/13 – 2014/15 is rather broad whilst in the SDP 2015/16 – 2017/18, “to enhance the effectiveness of learning and teaching through promotion of e-learning” has a clearer and more focused objective. While the other major concern of enhancing career and life planning is in line with the current trend of education development, the school has also realised the increasing challenge and resulting pressure facing both students and teachers recently and rightly put up as another major concern the promotion of a healthy school environment to safeguard the physical, mental and spiritual health of all.

The major concerns are well cascaded to the subject departments and functional groups, whose annual plans include corresponding implementation strategies in good alignment with the school plans. For instance, in relation to the major concern of enhancing learning and teaching, the English Department echoes the school’s development focus of promoting e-learning, asking students to share their views on literature and give peer feedback on an e-learning platform, and has adopted an online reading programme with graded articles and guided questions. In the promotion of self-learning, the strategy of provision of deeper pre-lesson preparation is also well adopted by many subjects to enhance student learning. Furthermore, in the promotion of career and life planning education, a whole-school approach is duly adopted.

2. School Performance

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Besides, through the personal mentorship system and inviting the alumnae to provide career guidance to students, students are given close individual care and support by their teachers as well as present and past Heep Yunn sisters.

Worth commending is also the popular strategy of providing teachers with the opportunities to take part in various kinds of physical activities as a means to promote healthy life styles. The strategy is effective and welcome by many teachers. Nevertheless, subject departments and functional groups have autonomy in making their respective plans and following them through.

Variation in the pace of development is expected. To raise the effectiveness of implementation as a whole, more specific school-level objectives, both long-term and in stages, should be set. Middle managers should grasp and monitor the progress of implementation in the respective departments and groups. More aligned practices through closer monitoring could then be achieved. Recently, in the promotion of e-learning, more specific objectives have been set at school level. Such practice helps minimise the discrepancies and maximise the effectiveness, and should be promoted.

In evaluation, surveys are regularly done to elicit the views and feedback from teachers and students; data of students’ performance like participation rates are also collected for analysis. In-depth reflections on some programmes are also seen. For example, on life planning programmes, it is said that “students were inculcated with the proper notions of professionalism and work ethics and were provided with inspiration for their future pathways”. The emphasis on the benefits for students is rightly put. The English Department is also effective in conducting detailed analysis to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of students for providing feedback to facilitate improvements in learning and teaching. However, the effectiveness of evaluation varies. As shown in some past school plans and reports, both the success criteria and methods of evaluation need refinement. As the focus is often put on the completion of programmes instead of deliberation or reflection on the effectiveness of student learning, difficulties encountered and areas for improvement, the reports contribute little to the P-I-E cycle of SSE. More effective evaluation needs to be done by gauging the achievement of the objectives and goals set, and providing feedback to future planning. As demonstrated in the recent planning on e-learning as well as the reports on the developments in the provision of small-group teaching, personal mentorship system and scholarship and subsidies, the school has made marked improvement in P-I-E in different areas. Clear objectives, systematic implementation and in-depth evaluation making use of appropriate qualitative and quantitative success criteria for measuring achievement of targets, are in place. They can serve as exemplars for all, both at the school level and the subject and committee level, to improve the administration of the P-I-E cycle for continuous improvement.

United and committed is the Management towards the well-being of the students and school. The School Council and SMC give their full support to the continuous development of the school. Together with the Principal, they give their best in maximising resources and deploy them benevolently for the best interests of the students. Since turning into a DSS school, with more resources secured for flexible use, the school has succeeded in putting into place an expansion of the teaching staff and enhanced development in various areas of the school. The enhanced representation in the SMC since becoming

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a DSS school is embraced in the SMC, who is pleased not only with the increased voices from different members such as the representatives from teachers, parents and the alumnae but also with the extra support from the members who are from various professional fields. It is commendable that from financial matters, staff appraisal, space allocation to matters related to learning and teaching, such as small-group learning and increase of lesson time, the SMC is heavily involved in the operation of the school. It is particularly impressive that many designated sub-committees are formed within the SMC to take care of the various school affairs. Besides, a Chief Financial Officer is duly appointed to take care of financial matters, contributing to the current healthy financial condition of the school. It has to be mentioned that the school is consistent in ensuring that its students is well supported under its school fee remission and scholarship scheme, as pledged in the Service Agreement.

Since taking up the principalship in the last school year, the Principal has initiated a number of improvement measures in various aspects of the school.

She is proactive in widening her knowledge about the current developments in education, and insightful in bringing back the suitable initiatives for improvement of the school. Being an old girl and a former teacher of the school, she understands very well the culture of the school as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the teachers and students. Hence, she is able to be strategic and tactful when bringing about the desired changes, allowing teachers time to absorb the changes and giving them space to work on them progressively. For instance, in initiating the changes in the staff appraisal system, she is discreet in eliciting the views of teachers, unfolding the proposed changes in steps, piloting them out and starting with the appraisal of herself and the middle managers. The changes are an apparent improvement than before as teachers’ performance in different aspects will be duly assessed and with enhanced transparency.

Under the Principal’s leadership, the management structure has been reconstructed and streamlined for improved effectiveness and efficiency.

Since the leaving of the former Vice-principal in this school year, the school has now appointed six AP to take care of school administration, academic affairs and student affairs respectively. The division of labour is clear; the Policy Guidelines for Management and a Procedural Manual for School Administration and Management of Resources are refined. The SBAC, comprising the key middle managers who meet frequently to discuss major policies and matters arising with the Principal, is an effective administrative hand. In particular, it allows the committee members to arrive at consensus among themselves before launching the initiatives and strengthens the communication between the departments and functional groups. Recently, various new committees and teams have been duly formed to take care of the various areas of developments. For example, under the new Academic Committee, the Reading to Learn Team, Basic Law Education Learning Team, STEAM Education Team have been formed to coordinate and lead the respective developments in curriculum; the Healthy School Committee has been set up to take care of the related major concern. As most of the education initiatives require a whole-school approach and collaboration between subjects as well as functional groups, enhanced holistic P-I-E at both school and KLA level is desirable. To expedite effective implementation of

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the initiatives, the middle managers in charge of the different areas of school development should strengthen their leadership role in enhancing the collaboration among KLA/subjects and functional groups. For example, in the promotion of reading across the curriculum and STEM education, school or KLA level leadership, in terms of coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the collaborated effort of teachers would definitely help achieve even better results.

Conscientious of improving students’ academic results, most teachers have all along been eager to update themselves by attending professional development activities, particularly those related to public examinations, like those organised by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA). In relation to the school’s development focuses of e-learning and life planning education, teachers have also attended related seminars and workshops organised by the Education Bureau (EDB), and sharing sessions by teachers of other schools. Due emphasis is also put on supporting newly recruited teachers, with an effective induction programme organised by the Staff Development Committee. Within departments, much discussion, supervision and assistance, in the forms of subject meetings, collaborative lesson preparation (CLP) and peer lesson observation (PLO) followed by evaluation of teaching strategies, are provided to cater for the development needs of the new teachers and facilitate the continuous capacity building of the subject teachers. For example, the English Department has invited former panel chairpersons as advisers to give English teachers training and advice on classroom teaching, in particular the teaching of elite classes. Nevertheless, to keep abreast of the trends in education and curricular and pedagogical development as well as enrich their knowledge and skills regarding the promotion of the new initiatives, middle managers and teachers at large should attend more seminars, workshops and sharing organised by the EDB. The Staff Development Committee could take up a more proactive role in exploring the professional development needs of the school and teachers and planning of professional development activities holistically. Reference could also be made to the revised appraisal system for devising suitable professional development activities.

Teachers are committed to their teaching, and they share effective pedagogies and resources on their own free will. PLO, often arranged on a voluntary basis in many subjects, is conducted to facilitate professional exchange on classroom practices. It is also commendable that CLP is arranged within the timetable for some subjects. To build on strength and expedite the pedagogical changes desired, such CLP, in conjunction with focused PLO, should be made full use of for deliberation on learning and teaching strategies, and should be promoted across subjects. Cross-KLA PLO could also be advocated so that good practices, for example, in teaching reading skills and adopting strategies to cater for learner diversity, could be shared among all teachers, including language and non-language teachers. In view of the variation in the teaching effectiveness among teachers, as observed in lesson observation, enhanced professional sharing is important to help raise learning and teaching effectiveness as a whole, to help students reach an even higher level of performance.

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2.2 Learning and Teaching

Commendable efforts have been made in providing students with a broad curriculum and diverse learning experiences. In alignment with the school mission, there is a clear whole-school curriculum framework to promote students’ moral, intellectual, physical, social, aesthetic and spiritual growth, with a wide range of life-wide learning activities organised to enrich their learning experiences. A Personal Growth Programme (PGP) designed for S1 to S5 students and the numerous co-curricular activities (CCA) organised by the subject departments and functional groups succeed to help enhance students’ authentic learning experiences and widen their horizons. Ample chances are provided for the talented students to extend learning beyond the classroom, develop their potential and demonstrate their learning outcomes.

With the school-based Religious Studies (RS), Family and Life Education (FLE) lessons, morning assemblies and talks, values education is appropriately carried out to cultivate positive values in students. In sum, students’ whole- person development is well fostered.

A broad curriculum with a wide range of subject choices are provided for the senior secondary students. With reference to the results of student surveys, a flexible combination of choices is provided to meet students’ preferences.

Apart from the electives of KLA, other languages, namely Japanese, French and Spanish, are also offered. Together with the provision of Applied Learning courses, students’ learning needs and interests are well addressed.

The school-based RS and Music lessons are suitably included in the senior secondary timetable to foster students’ Moral and Civic Education and Aesthetic Development, Career-related Experiences and Community Service are adequately addressed by the different committees and functional groups.

However, the need to arrange timetabled PE lessons to nurture students’

physical development in the senior forms is not well attended to. To ensure that all students have a balanced development in the five essential learning experiences in Other Learning Experiences (OLE), the school should strengthen the holistic planning of the learning activities by making reference to the guiding principles and the suggested modes of implementation as stipulated in the Secondary Education Curriculum Guide (SECG).

The school puts much emphasis on the interface between the junior and senior secondary levels by introducing some senior secondary elective subjects such as Business, Accounting & Financial Studies (BAFS) and Economics in S3.

Besides, some learning elements of Liberal Studies are incorporated into the junior Integrated Humanities (IH) curriculum. On the other hand, the essential learning elements in the junior secondary curriculum of some KLA, for example, Personal, Social and Humanities Education (PSHE) and Technology Education (TE), are not fully covered. Besides, the allocation of lesson time to some subjects is not in alignment with the recommendations of the Curriculum Development Council (CDC). This should be rectified to ensure that students could build up a solid knowledge base in their junior secondary years. To achieve a more balanced curriculum, the school should continuously review and adjust the school-based curricula with reference to the learning targets of the different KLA.

In response to the recommendations of the last ESR, enhancing students’ self- learning ability is included as a major concern in the SDP 2012/13 – 2014/15.

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To develop students’ self-study skills, training sessions on subject-based learning skills are conducted during the S1 bridging programme. Students are frequently asked to prepare for class by searching for information online and doing pre-lesson tasks on e-learning platforms. This enables them both to learn at their own pace and go deep to extend learning where appropriate.

As observed in lessons, students generally demonstrate good self-learning habits and skills, using the results of their well-prepared pre-lesson work to facilitate classroom learning and jotting down main learning points on their own initiatives. Students’ self-learning skills are also well developed and demonstrated in the many subject-based projects. To help students consolidate their skills of integrating their learning and exploring themes from various perspectives, teachers could put more emphasis on cross-subject projects.

Nurturing students’ global vision is another major concern of the last school development cycle. Some effective strategies have been adopted. For instance, students are provided with the opportunity to learn an additional language. Besides, they are to explore the social issues outside Hong Kong through participation in the PGP and the forums on global issues organised by the Student Association. Students also take part in many overseas study tours, exchange programmes and competitions to widen their horizons.

Nevertheless, in line with the school’s development focus of cultivating students to become a global citizen, the inclusion of exploration of global issues in the curriculum of some subjects in the junior forms could be strengthened.

The effectiveness of learning and teaching is enhanced through the promotion of e-learning, where a whole-school approach and specific development objectives are present. As one of the major concerns of the current SDP, the school has rightly started with the enhancement of hardware and building up of teachers’ professional capacity. Professional development activities such as sharing among teachers and visits to other schools have been duly conducted to help equip teachers. Besides, to enhance students’ information technology (IT) skills and promote information literacy, related learning elements are incorporated in the lessons of many subjects. In the 2017/18 school year, the planning of the e-learning promotion is enhanced. The Academic Committee has formulated clearer objectives, like enhancing students’ engagement and participation at different stages of learning, to help subject departments plan their e-learning activities in a more focused and comprehensive manner.

Good results have been achieved as e-learning activities, through the use of tablet computers, mobile applications and online platforms, are being adopted by many teachers. In class, students use e-learning tools to learn and interact;

outside class, extended e-learning tasks are often given. In addition, some subjects promote e-assessment for tracking students’ performance, identifying their learning difficulties and giving them timely feedback.

Promotion of reading is enhanced in this school year under the leadership of the Reading to Learn Team, with a wider range of strategies being adopted.

For example, reading activities, such as book fairs and reading sharing are held to raise students’ motivation. In the reading period observed, students are very absorbed in reading. A good reading atmosphere is evident. Outside class, some students show interest in reading and initiate online sharing of

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reading. At subject level, the language subject departments run various programmes and activities to raise students’ reading interest and skills.

Nevertheless, while some subjects do strategically incorporate reading into their curriculum and assessment, subject reading resources are limited. To promote subject reading, which is in line with the education trend of promoting reading across the curriculum (RaC), the role of the teacher-librarian in rendering support to the subject departments should be strengthened. To consolidate and enhance the reading culture in school, holistic planning of the promotion of reading and adoption of a whole-school approach to develop RaC are desirable. The Reading to Learn Team should enhance the collaboration between the teacher-librarian and the subject departments, devise different ways to grasp a better picture of students’ reading habits as well as strengthen the monitoring of the promotion of reading by different subjects.

The school, in general, keeps abreast of curriculum development and address the latest trends in education in a timely manner. Teacher professional activities, such as Staff Development Day and group exchanges, are organised to disseminate the curriculum development initiatives as stipulated in the SECG. To implement the Major Renewed Emphases, the school has duly set up task forces for the promotion of STEAM education, Basic Law education and reading to learn. At present, both the promotion of STEAM education and Basic Law education are at a good pace. Headed by the STEAM Education Team, a structured promotion of STEAM is advocated, building on the previous successful experience of the school in organising science-related activities. To help students integrate the knowledge and skills of different disciplines as well as develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, they are encouraged to participate in many related external competitions and activities. Exhibitions and sharing by winners are also organised to promote STEAM to all students. Furthermore, relevant learning elements and tasks are incorporated in the Science (S1-3) Curriculum; formal STEAM training is provided for students interested at all levels. On the promotion of Basic Law education, different subject departments map their learning elements related to the Basic Law with the junior secondary curriculum for incorporating them into the teaching schedule. Besides, suitable activities are organised to enrich students’ knowledge of the Basic Law. Among others, talks on life events are held to explain the relevant articles using life experiences in the assembly;

the learning platform Basic Law Online Course for Secondary School Students’

Self-directed Learning is duly introduced to students; and students are encouraged to participate in the various external competitions regarding the Basic Law.

The school has deployed abundant resources to cater for learner diversity, through an array of measures including the provision of small-group teaching for most subjects and numerous pull-out classes. The support for the less able students under the Enhancement Team is comprehensive. A series of programmes are appropriately conducted after school and during the summer holidays, covering enhancement of subject knowledge and study skills.

Besides, an academic support programme is flexibly arranged for the sports team members to meet their individual schedules. The team works in close collaboration with the related subject departments to identify students most in need, and both the target participants and coverage of content are suitably adjusted based on bi-yearly reviews. To evaluate student’ needs

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comprehensively and accurately, there is also close collaboration among form teachers, counselling teachers and social workers. In addition, parent meetings are also organised to enhance the mutual understanding in supporting students. As a whole, the support for students in need are well catered for.

On the other hand, the promotion of gifted education under the leadership of the Enrichment Team could be enhanced. Though adequate information and support are given for the more able students to take part in activities and competitions outside the school, the team could take a more active role by formulating a holistic plan on the provision of these programmes to address the diverse learning needs and interests of the students. Some outstanding efforts in catering for the needs of the more able students are seen. Some subjects suitably adapt the curriculum and design tiered assignments.

Individual teachers demonstrate effective small-group teaching, adopting appropriate grouping of students and differentiated teaching strategies. Such practices should be widely promoted. To enhance the overall effectiveness of stretching students’ abilities, more efforts could be made to improve Level One of the three-tiered implementation model of gifted education advocated by the EDB, by making more distinctive adaptation of the curriculum and classroom learning and teaching strategies. For example, more attention could be paid to strengthening the immersion of the three core elements in gifted education, namely higher-order thinking skills, creativity and personal- social competence, in the curriculum for all students.

The Academic Committee, headed by two AP, plays a prominent role in leading curriculum development. Recent improvement in curriculum evaluation is evident, for example, in the promotion of e-learning, implementation of small-group teaching and provision of other languages.

At KLA level, though enhanced monitoring is put in place by appointing KLA coordinators and conducting curriculum reviews, further strengthening of P-I- E, such as formulating concrete plans to follow up on curriculum reviews and in promoting KLA-based focuses is desirable. Collaboration among subjects within the same KLA, for example, in designing cross-curricular projects and conducting KLA-based professional development activities could also be promoted. To enhance the effectiveness of the implementation of the various curriculum initiatives, the school should strengthen the role of the KLA coordinators in leading the subject departments. They could be encouraged to attend more seminars to keep abreast of the latest curriculum development of the respective KLA. At subject level, subject departments can formulate their plans in alignment with the major concerns, and most are able to evaluate their tasks thoroughly with reference to the qualitative and quantitative data.

Some subjects can also make effective use of evaluation data to inform curriculum planning and refinement of pedagogy. However, on the whole, in evaluation, most subjects focus too much on task accomplishment. More holistic evaluation of achievements towards objectives and goals and in terms of student learning is desirable.

In assessing students’ performance, the school and subject departments uphold the principle of having both formative assessment and summative assessment.

Paying appropriate attention to the interests of stakeholders, it is on the right track in making its assessment policy more transparent to students, teachers and parents. In addition, the school is able to review and flexibly adjust its assessment policy continuously. Quality assurance mechanism for the design

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of summative assessment is appropriately administered. Project learning is suitably incorporated in most subjects as formative assessment for promoting students’ self-learning and higher-order thinking.

It is commendable that individual subjects take learner diversity into consideration and make good attempts in designing assignment tasks to cater for students with different learning styles and abilities. The school is able to respond quickly to the SECG in promoting quality assignment, by devising a

“checklist for selecting or creating quality assignments” and a school-based assignment inspection form. Nonetheless, as subject department heads have autonomy in conducting assignment inspections, its use is not prevalent at present. In view of the variation in the quality of the design of the assignments among subject departments, the school could reinforce the use of the form by subject departments to raise the quality of assignments.

To echo the current major concern “to enhance the effectiveness of learning and teaching through the promotion of e-learning”, e-learning tasks such as reflection, online reading tasks and short writing are regularly assigned for pre- lesson preparation and post-lesson consolidation by individual subjects.

Students are also assigned tasks with peer evaluation and comments on the e- platforms. While student-student interaction is enhanced and student learning is effectively extended beyond the classroom, assessment as learning is also promoted.

The school shows improved awareness of promoting assessment for learning.

Subject teachers, in general, are able to provide constructive feedback on students’ assignments to help them improve. The school has made a good start by building up teachers’ capacity in the use of assessment data through e- platforms, such as the Student Assessment Repository (STAR) platform and the Assessment Quality Assurance Platform provided by the HKEAA. With the timely delivery of the rich assessment data by the Assessment and Examination Team to the Enhancement Team, class teachers and subject departments, post-assessment remedial measures to support student learning are duly put in place. Optimal use of assessment data by individual subject departments to understand students’ learning difficulties and provide feedback to improve pedagogies as well as curriculum planning is observed. However, such practice is not common and should be promoted across subject departments.

Lessons are delivered with clear learning objectives. Learning content is well aligned with the learning objectives and activities are properly sequenced in most of the lessons. Apart from lecturing and questioning, a variety of learning activities are also arranged, providing students with ample interactive learning opportunities. A student-centred approach is widely adopted.

Good planning of learning activities and effective questioning and feedback are observed in some of the lessons. There are much teacher-student and student-student interaction; and the learning atmosphere is conducive to enquiry learning and higher-order thinking as appropriate. Students are attentive and serious in learning. Most of them are fully engaged in the learning activities and exhibit conscientious effort in completing learning tasks.

They also display the self-learning habits of doing pre-lesson preparation as well as taking the initiative to take notes and highlight key learning points during lessons. Most students can master the lesson content well. In

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general, both students and teachers display a good command of English and Chinese for learning or teaching the subjects with the prescribed medium of instruction.

Teachers are friendly, approachable and have a good rapport with students. A supportive classroom learning environment is present. Teachers’ exposition and demonstration are clear. A wide range of classroom and teaching resources are deployed to stimulate students’ interest and facilitate their understanding of the learning content. With the generally high calibre and good learning attitude of the students, in-depth pre-lesson tasks are suitably assigned to foster students’ self-learning. While students are well prepared before class, teachers are also able to make use of students’ learning outcomes to arrange related learning activities to consolidate and extend students’

learning, enhancing classroom learning and teaching effectively.

Pair work and group work, including discussions and presentations, are properly arranged in many of the lessons to enhance student interaction and knowledge co-construction. Some of the learning activities are well designed with meaningful learning contexts related to students’ daily-life experiences for them to apply knowledge and skills. Students’ active learning is effectively promoted. However, some activities fail to enable students to grasp the learning content or facilitate meaningful or in-depth discussion.

The design and arrangements of these activities need to be improved. In general, students have very good communication and collaboration skills.

They are confident in presenting ideas and learning outcomes in a clear and well-organised manner, demonstrating their proper understanding and application of the knowledge learnt and, at times, higher-order thinking skills.

Near the end of the lessons, homework exercises or extended learning materials are usually provided to consolidate and extend students’ learning.

However, not many teachers can manage the time well to conclude the learning points to help students consolidate what they have learnt.

In general, questioning is effectively used to enhance student learning. In many lessons, a wide range of questions is asked. While questions are frequently posed to check students’ understanding, prompting, probing, or rephrasing of questions are also used to provoke their thinking and guide them to elaborate their answers or provide peer feedback. In some lessons, higher- order thinking questions are given for the more able students to lead them to examine issues from multiple perspectives and inspire them to think more deeply. In view of the high ability of most students, such practice of stretching students’ potential should be more widely adopted. When called upon to answer questions, students are always confident to share their views with classmates. The best performing students provide answers with justifications using subject-specific vocabulary and concepts. A good mastery of the subject knowledge and problem-solving skills is evident.

Teachers’ feedback is often timely and positive. Concrete feedback is sometimes given to help students improve their learning. More constructive feedback focusing on students’ learning difficulties is desirable. Peer comment and peer assessment are encouraged to facilitate peer learning. In the lessons where sufficient guidance on peer feedback is provided, students are capable of correcting classmates’ mistakes and giving constructive feedback. Most students are receptive to the comments and use them to

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improve their answers. Good critical thinking and reflective skills are shown.

In line with the school’s major concern, e-learning tools, e-platforms and mobile computing devices are appropriately used to enhance learning and teaching effectiveness inside and outside the classroom. For example, teachers use software and mobile applications suitably to check students’

understanding, help them understand abstract concepts and let them display their learning outcomes. Students show enthusiasm during the process.

Teachers make good use of students’ responses online or the e-assessment results to identify their learning difficulties and give them timely feedback.

Besides, the recording of students’ learning performance using mobile devices has effectively facilitated peer feedback and students’ self-reflection.

Furthermore, e-platforms are suitably used for facilitating pre-lesson preparation and exploration of online e-learning resources to extend student learning and foster enquiry learning; as students are given opportunities to make good use of their pre-lesson preparation work to facilitate and enhance classroom learning.

The effectiveness of catering for learner diversity in the classroom varies. In some lessons, only a narrow range of strategies like providing individual support is adopted. In some other lessons where learner diversity is well catered for, teachers have a good grasp of students’ learning difficulties and can properly address their learning needs. They can direct questions with different levels of difficulty to students of different abilities, paraphrase students’ responses and provide specific feedback to help them improve.

Students are strategically grouped and provided with tiered learning tasks to maximise classroom participation and interaction. Some challenging tasks are specially assigned to stretch the potential of the more able students.

Furthermore, adequate chances are provided for individual students to demonstrate their learning progress to facilitate assessment for learning. The above good practices could be shared among teachers to enhance the overall effectiveness of catering for learner diversity.

2.3 Student Support and School Ethos

The school actualises its commitment to providing students with a holistic education in an equal and positive learning environment whereby students are able to develop the capacity for empathy and extend their potential to the full.

The strategic support services in a whole-school approach are interconnected in which students’ needs as a whole and as individuals are catered for. Due reference is made to the quantitative and qualitative data deriving from stakeholder surveys, school-based surveys and teachers’ observation to identify students’ needs and draw up appropriate major concerns. Most of the functional groups plan and implement coherent strategies in discreet steps.

Good collaboration among some of the groups is evident, particularly in the delivery of programmes and activities regarding goal setting and life planning.

As a whole, the student support services are run smoothly with effectiveness.

Nevertheless, in planning, more in-depth analysis of the Assessment Programme for Affective and Social Outcomes results could be made to enhance the understanding of the development needs of the students. In evaluation, some groups focus only on the completion of individual

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programmes and some have not set clear success criteria. More attention should be paid to having effective methods of evaluation and assessing the attainment of set objectives, emphasising the impact of the strategies on student learning to feed back to planning.

In line with the education trends and students’ needs, the school plans strategically to promote life planning education, adopting a whole-school approach. With the dedicated efforts from all teachers, an effective life planning education is in place to facilitate students’ self-understanding, goal setting, reflective thinking and articulation to progressive pathways.

Through structured FLE lessons at the junior secondary levels and career lessons at all levels, students are guided to understand their personal interests and aptitudes as well as to acquire practical information and life skills at different stages. Prudent arrangements in the Mentoring Scheme, such as mapping of teacher mentors according to students’ traits, providing training and analysis of students’ orientation and centralised arrangement of formal meetings between mentors and mentees, enable students to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) goals and consolidate them through regular reflection. A distinctive programme in life planning education is the Four-day Work Experience Placement Programme for all S4 students, which enables students to have a taste of work life and understand more about the required skills and attitudes in authentic workplaces.

Appropriate briefing, debriefing and sharing sessions throughout the process are aptly provided to equip students with the job knowledge and practical skills, help them consolidate their learning, facilitate their reflective thinking as well as share their learning with schoolmates. In sum, considerable success has been attained by the school in equipping students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes for making wise informed choices in accordance with their interests, abilities and orientations.

Nurturing the whole-person development of students is a core part of the school’s mission. Towards this, the school builds on its strong tradition in providing students with a wide range of CCA, including sports, music, interest groups, religious and social services, as well as various life-wide learning experiences. Departments and functional groups organise multifarious activities, such as visits, joint-school programmes and community services to develop students’ multiple intelligences. To ensure that students take part in sports, a One Sport One Life for S1 and S2 is promoted effectively. Starting from this school year, a good attempt has also been made to shortlist students who are not participating in CCA at all, with an aim of helping them find their interests. Looking forward, the school could refine the procedure so as to ensure that timely intervention and support are provided. It is highly commendable that the school encourages students to participate in numerous inter-school and external competitions, locally and overseas. Accustomed to pursuing excellence, students are able to develop and demonstrate their potential to the full in these CCA. Moreover, the principle of equal opportunities is well adhered to and every student is able to engage in PGP and diverse life-wide learning activities. Students, in general, are enthusiastic and eager to participate in and excel at activities and competitions.

Furthermore, in line with the efforts in nurturing students’ whole-person development, the school has adopted suitable strategies in fostering students’

healthy lifestyles, which is one of the major concerns for the current school

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development cycle. Through the formal curriculum of relevant subjects, moral, civic and national education and life-wide learning, students’ awareness of environmental protection is raised and their positive attitudes and skills in physical health and stress management developed effectively. In alignment with the school’s religious context, regular activities are also aptly provided to nurture students’ spiritual health. On the whole, good achievement is obtained to develop students’ healthy habits, positive outlook in life and values.

In an endeavour to cultivate students to be empathetic and altruistic as well as enhance their spirit of service, ample opportunities are provided to encourage students to participate in various voluntary work and social services inside and outside the school, locally and overseas. Inside the school, emphasis is given to encouraging students to serve their schoolmates and peers, as shown in the Big Sister Scheme and Health in Mind programme. Coherent training and debriefing sessions are duly provided to enable students to grasp the related skills and reflect on their work. Through programmes such as the Form Five Vietnam or Cambodia Voluntary Services and Cultural Exploration Tour, considerable success has been achieved in raising students’ awareness of and empathy towards the under-privileged in the world. Together with the service opportunities for diverse targets provided by the various voluntary teams in the school, students are fostered to have a deep understanding of the situations and needs of the less privileged in the local and global community.

Understanding social issues such as gender equality and social harmony learnt from community services also enables students to develop their sense of social responsibility. Overall speaking, students participate in service activities actively; and the measures and programmes are effective in enhancing their service spirit and developing their social responsibility progressively, from serving their peers in the school to the needy in society and the global community. In general, a caring culture prevails in the school, reflecting the effective ongoing cultivation of students’ service spirit.

Commendable efforts have been made to develop students’ leadership skills, through the provision of various posts of responsibility for students.

Structured leadership training organised by functional groups and teams, focusing on different specific purposes, is aptly provided. Given high autonomy, students are able to develop and practise their leadership skills effectively through peer learning. For example, the traditional Fun Fair serves as a suitable platform for all students to develop their communication, negotiation and organisation skills effectively through brainstorming, planning, coordinating and conducting the activities with each other. Under the long- established school tradition, senior student leaders take the lead to plan and organise activities and serve as trainers for their junior counterparts, displaying good organising skills. While serving as role models for their junior counterparts, they also have their leadership skills enhanced in the process.

On the whole, students are responsible in discharging their duties. To build on strength, to further nurture students to become proactive volunteers to serve, the school could consider asking them to self-nominate for the posts of responsibility more often.

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Students’ positive values and attitudes are effectively fostered through the integration of classroom learning and practical experiences as well as the caring school atmosphere with mutual respect and appreciation. The main themes set for each year level help address students’ different development needs and facilitate the effective planning of the work of the departments and functional groups in promoting values education. Priority values and attitudes selected according to the school’s context and the students’ needs are covered in the structurally designed lessons of FLE and RS, and infused into the curricula and activities of some subjects. Programmes, talks, and exhibitions are duly organised to raise students’ environmental awareness, address their development needs and enhance their ability to face the social temptations; examples include themes on environmental conservation, sex education and anti-drug campaigns. Besides, current affairs are appropriately selected for discussion during morning assemblies and class teacher periods.

The provision of Good Student Election, which emphasises the good quality of being helpful, courteous and trustworthy, is able to help reinforce desirable behaviour and foster mutual appreciation.

An effective network for supporting students’ personal growth is in place.

Apart from the Mentorship Scheme, a dual class teacher system is enforced to ensure sufficient guidance and support for students. Orientation, bridging and peer support programmes are suitably organised to help S1 students adapt to the secondary school life. The Disciplinary Board works closely with the Counselling Committee to support students by providing appropriate developmental, preventive and remedial measures. Teachers are exceptionally commendable for their efforts in ensuring that students’ learning and development needs are well catered for. For example, many teachers videotape their lessons, upload learning materials on the e-learning platform, or provide supplementary classes to support the learning of students who are absent from class for participation in external competitions. For students who are particularly active in many posts and activities, teachers take the initiative to talk with them to ensure that they are capable of handling their work. Understanding the importance of catering for learner diversity, the school has rightly allocated a lot of resources to cater for students with varied abilities. Enhancement and enrichment classes are properly organised for those in need. An early identification mechanism and proper referral procedures, with special examination arrangements and case conferences, are in place for handling students with special educational needs (SEN). On the whole, students in the school are all well cared of and the support measures have brought pleasing results. Nevertheless, to refine the student support services, the school should encourage more teachers to receive structured professional training in catering for students with SEN.

The school regards parents as valuable partners in its development. To elicit their support in the development of the students, appropriate parent education programmes such as enhancing parents’ knowledge of effective parenting skills and students’ life planning are organised. Adequate communication channels, such as parent letters, E-class apps, school website, and formal and informal meetings, are in place to enhance home-school cooperation. Parents, in general, understand well the development of the school. They are supportive and many serve as volunteers for school activities like the Fun Fair.

The Parent-Teacher Association functions well as a link between parents and

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the school as well as a channel for receiving enquiries and opinions from parents. Regular meetings and activities like Tea Chat with Parents are organised. It also works closely with the Student Association to co-organise social services to enhance students’ service spirit. To maximise the use of the rich parent resource, the school could consider further utilising parents’

expertise in different professions to benefit student learning and development, such as enlisting their support in the area of life planning and career exploration.

The school is also effective in tapping resources from external organisations to help implement its major concerns. A remarkable success is seen in its liaison with various firms and organisations to provide workplace experiences to all S4 students, securing over 60 places of work from different sectors, including banking, law, hospitality and some service industries. With the school’s close ties with local universities, overseas institutions and other organisations, students gain access to updated information on future studies and careers, and can pursue their multiple pathways according to their interests.

In addition, in respect of the other school development focus of promoting healthy lifestyles, talks, exhibition and programmes are appropriately organised in connection with the parish church, the government and external organisations to raise students’ awareness of physical, mental and spiritual health. Making use of its close ties with other local schools, overseas schools and its sister schools, the school is able to organise joint-school programmes, study tours and exchange programmes to enhance students’ cultural awareness and broaden their horizons. The alumnae, being the school’s valuable assets, provide unfailing support to the school, not only in the form of donation but also in providing additional manpower support to foster students’ academic and developmental growth.

A dynamic and positive learning atmosphere prevails in the school, characterised by mutual care and support. Both teachers and students have a strong sense of belonging to the school. Students enjoy their school life very much and participate actively in diverse school activities and community services. They are conscientious and passionate in both study and CCA and always strive for their best. The support given to students by their peers, the seniors and the alumnae is remarkable, demonstrating the strong tradition of sisterhood. Teachers are responsible and dedicated to supporting the different needs of the students. Moreover, students’ views are well respected.

The school is united as everyone shares the school motto to strive for self- efficacy relentlessly. The positive school ethos blends well in with the strong school heritage, contributing much to the intellectual, mental and social development of students.

2.4 Student Performance

Students are pleasant and courteous. They are highly attentive in class and exhibit a serious attitude towards their studies. They are also disciplined, eager to strive for the best and always demonstrate perseverance in school activities. Students are confident, presentable and most of them can communicate in fluent English and Chinese. They show sincere care for, appreciation of and willingness to serve others. Student leaders are

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committed, conscientious and dependable. They take the initiative in accomplishing goals, demonstrate strong leadership skills in planning and organising activities, and always serve as role models for their junior counterparts. Students, in general, enjoy school life, and participate enthusiastically and devotedly in multifarious school activities.

The overall academic performance of students is good. In the past three years, the percentages of students meeting the general entrance requirements for local undergraduate university programmes and sub-degree courses in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination were well above the territory averages of day school students. Taking into account the S1 intake, the school performed fairly well in the HKDSE Examination in the past three years.

The non-academic performance of students is very impressive. Students participate whole-heartedly in a wide range of activities, such as academic, drama, speech, debate, sports, music and service. They perform exceptionally well in sports competitions, winning the Outstanding School Award in the All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Tournaments and the BOCHK Bauhinia Bowl Award (Girls’ School) for many consecutive years. Students also have remarkable performance in the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, receiving the Best Secondary School Girls’ Choir and the Most Outstanding Secondary School Choir of the Year awards. Their very good performance in many other inter-school competitions, including the Hong Kong School Drama Festival, Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival and Hong Kong Student Science Project Competition is also well recognised. Individual students, having outstanding achievements in various disciplines, are given the South China Morning Post Student of the Year Awards. Besides, some students are selected to represent Hong Kong to attend competitions held in the Mainland as well as international competitions in many other countries, like the 8th International Youth Music Festival I held in Slovakia. Students won several prizes including the Grand Prix Award, and it was the first secondary school choir in Hong Kong winning this international award.

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As the school motto tells, “in strength and grace we stand united, in faith and love we are committed”, the school, from top to bottom, is united and committed to striving for improvement for the school and themselves. Building on the strong heritage and sense of identity of the school, every one shows wholehearted compassion and grace in their efforts, with unyielding high demand on themselves. In accordance with the vision and mission as stated in the Service Agreement with the EDB when joining the DSS, the school is persistent and successful in providing students with a Christian education that develops the whole person, instilling a spirit of public service, and building a firm foundation in both Chinese and English. A strong spirit of service, eloquence in both English and Chinese and a dedication to excellence, not only in one area of their work but in their all-round development, are typical traits of the girls of Heep Yunn.

Moreover, the school gracefully fulfills the undertakings as stated in the Service Agreement in relation to the provision of small-group teaching to enhance learning and teaching effectiveness, third language education to develop students’ international perspectives and communication skills and a personal mentorship system to strengthen the support to students, as well as providing equal opportunities for students qualified for admission. In sum, the school is delivering the quality of educational experience and student achievement commensurate with its initial proposal to secure DSS status.

Building on its current strengths, the school could make further advancement in the following areas:

Enhancing the collaboration among KLA/subjects and functional groups In the promotion of the various initiatives as led by the respectively newly- formed committees, to expedite the positive changes desired, the middle managers could strengthen their roles in the P-I-E cycle. More vigorous holistic planning with specific objectives should be made, followed by closer monitoring in terms of coordination and alignment of practices and more in- depth evaluation on student improvement and attainment of the objectives.

Building on the rich heritage of both teachers and students being passionate about striving for excellence, enhancing P-I-E would certainly help the school and Heep Yunn girls reach higher ground.

Improving the balance in whole-school curriculum planning

The school-based curriculum is broad, with a wide range of subjects offered to students. However, there is room for improvement in the provision of a balanced curriculum. Some of the essential learning elements in the junior secondary curriculum of some KLA are not covered; the lesson time allocated to some KLA is insufficient. To ensure the whole-person development of students, the school should continue to review the whole-school curriculum holistically, including the provision of the five areas of OLE, with a view to ensuring that students are provided with a curriculum which is both broad and balanced.

3. Concluding Remarks

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