Sha Tin College

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Sha Tin College 沙田书院 (STC)
Address
3 Lai Wo Lane, Sui Wo Road
Fo Tan, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
Coordinates 22°23′34″N 114°11′18″E / 22.39278°N 114.18833°E / 22.39278; 114.18833 (Sha Tin College)Coordinates: 22°23′34″N 114°11′18″E / 22.39278°N 114.18833°E / 22.39278; 114.18833 (Sha Tin College)
Information
Type Public, comprehensive, secondary, co-educational
Established 1982
Principal Marc Morris (2011)
Enrolment 1,200[1]
Color(s) White, Light Blue, Navy Blue
The Sha Tin College sign on Lai Wo Lane

Sha Tin College (Chinese: 沙田學院, Abbreviated: STC) is a co-educational international secondary school in Hong Kong and a member of the English Schools Foundation.

Established in 1982 as the Shatin Annexe based in the campus of KGV School in Kowloon Tong, the school relocated to 3 Lai Wo Lane, Fo Tan in 1985, adopting its present name.[2] While most students follow the I/GCSE and International Baccalaureate Diploma programmes, the BTEC Extended Diploma was also offered as a pilot programme from August 2011.[3] The school is currently led by Principal Marc Morris. Enrollment stands at approximately 1,200 students, drawn mostly from the New Territories and North Kowloon areas. Sha Tin College was until recently the youngest of the ESF secondary schools, being founded in 1982.

Students graduating from Sha Tin College enroll in universities around the world, with predominant areas being Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Hong Kong. Sha Tin College is located on a hill in Fo Tan, Sha Tin and provides education from Year 7 through Year 13. From 2013-2014 onwards, Sha Tin College's houses are based on a mythical theme and each of the four houses is named after a mythical creature.

The school had its own indoor gymnasium built in 2002, with two basketball courts, six badminton courts, three volleyball courts and a rock climbing wall; there is also a swimming pool and an astro-turf pitch. Sha Tin Junior School, which is located right next to the college, can be viewed as its feeder school with students having the option of directly graduating into the college.

Students[edit]

The school currently has roughly 1200 students enrolled, from ages 10 to 19.[4]

Sha Tin College is a private comprehensive school, thus does not accept students from an academic perspective, but those who are already fluent in English, or those who cannot attend local schools. The student population and demographics are predominantly Asian – notably middle-upper class Hong Kongers with dual nationality – when compared with other international schools.[citation needed]

Curriculum[edit]

In Key Stage 3 (years 7 to 9), students are required to take a wide range of subjects including one or two chosen foreign languages as part of the curriculum. Students are grades on assessments as well as homework, and these grades contribute to their end-of-year grades. The subjects include: Art, Drama, English, History, ICT, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Music, Physical Education, Religious Studies, Geography, Science, Technology and Global Skills.

GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) is the curriculum designed for Years 10 and 11, being broad and balanced. Sha Tin College offers both the international IGCSE and GCSE programs, depending on the subject taken.

The school provides subject choices to suit the aptitude and interest of students. This choice is structured in a way that it is balanced and it ensures students can build on their strengths whilst keeping their options open in the future.[5]

All students taking the I/GCSE course study the following:

The elective subjects are mostly subjects already studied in Years 7-9 (with the exception of Business Studies and Economics), which provides continuity. The fourth option allows students to specialise by taking a second subject from one of the previous choices. This gives good degree of freedom within a structured framework.

The IB Diploma Programme is the curriculum for the senior school (Years 12 and 13).[7] Most students elect English Literature A or English Language and Literature A and another foreign language, often Mandarin; the remaining four groups are scattered through various subjects of Humanities, Maths, Science / Design and a sixth choice.

Houses[edit]

Each house is headed by a Head of House, two Heads of Creativity, two Heads of Action, two Heads of Service and two Heads of Environment from the senior school (Year 12-13). The Heads are in charge of organising the events within their house throughout the year. The current houses are D - Dragon (Yellow), G - Griffin (Green), P - Pegasus (Blue) and X - Phoenix (Red).

The students engage in annual Sports Day, Swimming Gala and Glee events as part of their house, whereupon points are earned and compiled. Other inter-house competitions include netball, volleyball, cricket, rounders, basketball, badminton, chess and debating, among others. Credits and commendations earned by students also contribute to the final house point total. In general there is much rivalry between each house during inter-house events although there is little differentiation during normal school periods. Students remain in their houses until graduation and attend sporting events and various other activities as part of their house.

Originally there were four houses of Armstrong, Drake, Hillary and Scott, named after various explorers throughout history. This was a departure from tradition of other ESF secondary schools, whose Houses are generally named after school benefactors or school founders. In 1998 two more houses (Kingsley and Tasman) were added to increase competition and a growing demand for more student places by school applicants and their parents. Tasman was derived from the house of Scott and Hillary, while Kingsley was derived from the house of Armstrong and Drake. The colours for each house were as follows: Armstrong was yellow; Drake was blue; Hillary was green; Kingsley was purple; Scott was red; and Tasman was orange.

Starting in 2013/2014 academic year, the six houses were reduced to four. This meant that the 6 houses that had existed were removed and replaced by new houses. The new four house names, logos and colours were decided by contests students participated in. The new house system merged the teaching groups within the houses, in order to keep the teacher-student ratio consistent. The new changes in the house system were controversial due to much uncertainty about the future, and the hard work student leaders spent on their now to be removed houses. Anger among students also led to a petition against the new houses, which hundreds of students, alumni and parents signed; However, the management continued with the change, saying that it would help management of the school become easier.

In May 2013 it was announced that the naming of the new houses would follow the theme of mythical creatures.

Sha Tin College Swimming Gala 2011

Form Groups[edit]

For each year, there are two forms for each house. Each form has a form tutor who is as such affiliated with that house. The form tutor can choose to stay with that form until the end of Year 13, where they subsequently graduate. The form tutor is responsible for that form and sees them in a daily 20 minute session from 08:15 to 08:35. He/she deals with mostly administrative tasks such as collecting forms and organising house events, and in senior school acts as the students' CAS advisors. There are usually student reps from each form who deal with various types of activities.

Daily Timings[edit]

Until June 2013, there are 4 periods a day, with 75 minutes per lesson. However from August 2013 onwards, there are 5 periods a day, with 63 minutes per lesson. Total teaching time increases from 1500 minutes to 1512 minutes per week. A typical schoolday looks like this:

  • 08:15 - 08:35: Registration / Assembly / Tutor Time
  • 08:35 - 08:40: Movement Time
  • 08:40 - 09:43: Period 1
  • 09:43 - 09:47: Movement Time
  • 09:47 - 10:50: Period 2
  • 10:50 - 11:15: Morning Break
  • 11:15 - 12:18: Period 3
  • 12:18 - 13:10: Lunch
  • 13:10 - 14:13: Period 4
  • 14:13 - 14:17: Movement Time
  • 14:17 - 15:20: Period 5

However on Wednesdays, school ends after Period 4.

Uniform[edit]

All students in Years 7 to 11 are required to purchase and wear the issued school uniform. Uniforms are generally school-specific in terms of colour and style. Students in the senior school (Years 12 and 13) are allowed to wear casual clothing.[4] On the last day of Year 11 it is customary to get signatures from classmates and friends on one's uniform and also customise it often by ripping it and/or putting patches on it, although some students donate their uniforms to schools in Nepal.

Sha Tin College uniforms consist of a standard white button-up shirt with the school logo emblazoned on the left-chest pocket. Boys are expected to wear the straight-legged navy trousers while girls have the option of navy trousers or skorts. No tie is required but the uniform also includes a navy jumper, fleece, scarf and P.E. shorts with the gold and blue school logo emblazoned on all.[4] Students of the upper school are also allowed to have two facial piercings; and people in the lower school are allowed one. Students are required to wear black leather shoes, while trainers are not allowed.

The PE uniform consists of a plain house colour shirt with your house name sewn on the sides of the sleeve. The pants are navy blue with a school logo on the back pocket. The uniform is a polo-styled shirt in yellow, blue, green and red according to the student's house colours, with navy collars and navy tracksuit shorts or bottoms.[4] There has also been an addition of a PE hoodie to the list of items of uniform. It used to consist of a white polo shirt with a diagonal stripe across the front in one's house colour until 2002.

Sports[edit]

Sports facilities include a swimming pool, a multi-purpose sports hall with badminton, basketball and volleyball courts as well as climbing facilities and an astro-turf. All are shared with Sha Tin Junior School, the College's feeder school.

Additional activities such as canoeing, rowing and hiking are available to students during CAS Week and camp, while many existing extracurricular activities offer golf or other sports. The annual inter-house Sports Day is commonly held at the Hong Kong Institute of Education stadium in Tai Po. Given the school's mountain-top location, the inter-house cross-country run is held on-site. Students are expected to run up and back down the hill, circle around Mei Wo Circuit, a neighbouring residential area, with students in middle school and above needing to run back up and down the hill again, finishing at the gates of the school.

Basketball has been a long standing tradition of Sha Tin College. The school is often regarded as the best ESF school at basketball. Competitions are held at both the inter-house level and at the inter-school level. A-Grade boys have consistently beaten all other ESF schools in recent years. This shows the dominance Sha Tin College has over other schools in this respect. Football used to be popularly played on the main netball court before class, during long break, lunch hour and after school. However as the population density increased in the school and the space was limited, it has been disallowed due to safety issues. Now it is more often played on the roof of the hall and the sports hall with astro-turf. The school has much talent in this area, but due to the lack of facilities the team does not train very often. Rugby union is a popular choice for students; previously, the school had an excellent reputation for it, but due to the graduation of most of the senior players such as the League winning Classes of 2004 and 2005, and the school slowly becoming more local, with academics becoming the top priority, the school's reputation as a rugby powerhouse waned. The U19's girls squad won the U19 'B' League, whilst the C grade boys won the 2008-2009 season undefeated, beating FIS 48-10 in the final. Badminton is quite a popular choice for students during their selection of activities for P.E. classes. Badminton is also normally used for charity events; such as '24-hour badminton' where students go on shifts to play badminton continuously for 24 hours and stay sleeping at school. Each year it raises nearly $30,000 going to various charities such as Oxfam. However, it was not held in 2012 or 2013. Field Hockey is a popular sport played at Sha Tin College. It has teams for both senior and junior boys and girls. It also contains many students that are currently playing for Hong Kong development squads. Fencing is played by some people at Shatin College, at a club in Jubilee plaza. The team is very successful, as they have won many titles in the interschool tournaments. Swimming is another popular sport at Sha Tin College. The Sha Tin College swim team has competed many years in both local and international inter-school swim meets, and have made many notable achievements. Track and Field has a long tradition in the school, and the school team produces good results in inter-school athletics competitions every year. Tennis is played by some students and they have participated in the HKSSF New Territories tournament a number of times, winning every single time.

Cross country, netball, gymnastics, volleyball and chess are also among the popular sports performed at the school.

Traditions[edit]

Year 13s' Last Day[edit]

It is a tradition for Year 13s to perform pranks all over the school on their last day of school. Students traditionally stay in after school on their penultimate day, and move tables and chairs around, as well as sticking posters up and performing other acts according to a theme that changes every year. Then, on the last day, they generally dress up according to their theme and scare students, as well as running into classrooms and taking lower year students out. However, with the arrival of Marc Morris as principal of the school in August 2011, the amount of activity on the Year 13s' last day has greatly diminished, as Year 13s are now only allowed to take part in a parade, before heading to the Senior School Centre for an assembly. In May 2013, things were changed even more, so that pre-agreed pranks that were being prepared by students were taken down and reverted by the Principal, much to the anger of Year 13s.

Glee[edit]

The Inter-house Glee competition has been held yearly since the summer of 2011, usually during the last week of school before summer break. It has proved highly popular with students and staff, and points earned from it contribute to a significant portion of the house cup, which is presented in the last week of the school year.

Last Minute Productions[edit]

It is tradition for Year 13s and teachers to prepare a 'last minute' comedy skit for the Christmas Assembly every year. It is very popular among the students for the mayhem on stage and the dry humor often presented in the script.

CAS Week[edit]

Sha TIn College student performing handstand during CAS Week in Tibet in 2011

Since the implementation of the IB Diploma into the school, CAS Week has become a vital and predominant part of the high school culture in Sha Tin College, taking place in October each year. CAS stands for "Creativity, Action and Service", an important part of the IB philosophy and curriculum, and activities during CAS Week mostly revolve around these three themes. Often, during and after CAS Week students must write a reflection on their experiences and what skills they developed during the week.

Students from Years 7-9 take part in whole-year camps at various facilities around Hong Kong whereas students from Years 10-12 take part in CAS Week activities ranging from trips overseas such as Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Bhutan, mainland China or North Korea to Hong Kong- or school-based activities such as "Global Feast" (C), "Football Camp" (A) or "Teaching English in Local Schools" (S). Overseas trips can be expensive, but they are encouraged by the school as some of them encourage open-mindedness as students get to see new cultures.

School Fair[edit]

The Sha Tin College and Junior School Fair takes place at the end of November each academic school year in order to raise additional funds for school equipment, such as computers and interactive whiteboards. 10% of the proceeds gathered from the Sha Tin College Fair is donated to the various charities elected by the Houses individually, such as the Esther Benjamins Trust and Habitat for Humanity. The School Fair comprises musical entertainment, game stalls and a raffles sale, and attracts large crowds yearly.

Blocks[edit]

Sha Tin College Block 1, from Block 3
Sha Tin College Block 2, from Block 3
Sha Tin College Block 3

Sha Tin College is built up of four blocks, one of which is separated and shared with Sha Tin Junior School. This block, more commonly known as the "Sports Block" facilitates PE lessons in the school. However due to the disconnections with the main block, many have found travelling to the Sports block quite troublesome.

Each floor of each block is often devoted to a particular subject. Each room has a room number consisting of three digits. Each digit represents the block number, floor and room respectively.

Hall block[edit]

  • Ground floor: undercover area, PTA bookshop, Nurse, PTA office
  • First floor: Old Drama Studio
  • Second floor: Hall
  • Third floor: Hall Balcony
  • Roof: Astro-Turf Pitch (connected to the fourth floor of Block 1)

Block 1[edit]

  • Ground floor: English as an Additional Language (EAL) Rooms, Main Entrance, General Office, Girls' Toilet
  • First floor: English rooms, Staff Toilets
  • Second floor: History, Psychology, International Personal Social Education (iPSE), Philosophy and Religious Studies rooms (collectively known as PRS from Years 7-9),Toilets
  • Third floor: Hall Balcony, Modern foreign languages rooms (Chinese, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian), Economics Office, Toilets
  • Fourth floor: Mathematics Rooms and Biology Laboratory
  • Fifth floor: Geography, Business Studies, Economics rooms

Block 2[edit]

  • Ground floor: Design and Technology Workshops
  • First floor: Food Technology Rooms, Detention Room, Staff Room, Seminar Room
  • Second floor: Library, Geography room
  • Third floor: Senior School Centre, seminar rooms, careers, Film Studies and Psychology room
  • Fourth floor: Science labs
  • Fifth floor: Science labs

Block 3[edit]

  • Ground floor: Chartwells Cafeteria, Toilets
  • First floor: Art Rooms, Information Technology Room
  • Second floor: Art rooms
  • Third floor: Information Technology rooms
  • Fourth floor: Business Studies and Economics rooms
  • Fifth floor: Music rooms
  • Sixth floor: Drama studios

Block 4/Sports Block[edit]

  • Ground floor: Swimming pool
  • First floor: Swimming pool entrance, changing rooms, toilets
  • Second Floor: Sha Tin Junior School classrooms (Year 4 and 5)
  • Third floor: toilet and changing rooms; Sha Tin Junior School classrooms (Year 6)
  • Fourth floor: sports hall
  • Roof: astro-turf pitch

Cafeteria[edit]

In 2007, the school decided to change the cafeteria to the present one run by Chartwells. The current cafeteria is managed by Chartwells, a subsidiary company of the Compass Group Hong Kong. It is simply referred to as "the cafeteria".

In previous years, there were two cafeterias, Mr Sy's and Café Concepts. According to the school, Mr Sy retired from service and the canteen stopped operating in 2006,[8] which only left Café Concepts for students to buy from. Managed by Chartwells, the cafeteria took over Café Concepts at the start of the 2007/08 school year in August.

Due to many attempts by the student council, Chartwell's has installed a salad bar. Since then, the popularity of the canteen has risen slightly. During the summer before the start of the academic year of 2012-2013, the cafeteria underwent renovation. A new pasta bar was also created.

Transport[edit]

There are two minibus routes stopping at the College. The most commonly used 69K route[9] goes to Sha Tin Station, while the 811A passes through Fo Tan Station. In the past, there was a coach which went to Sha Tin Station just after school, but it ceased to operate beginning term 2 of the 2007/08 school year.

There are also many school buses serving the school, with the school PTA hiring six Citybuses as school buses as well as other private school bus companies services.

Prior to the 2006/07 school year, Route 2 had a station in Hong Lok Yuen. However, that has been since filled by Route 4.

There are also numerous private light buses that serve for areas such as Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Sham Tseng, Tsing Yi, Tsuen Wan and even Park Island.

Tuition fee[edit]

As a member of the ESF, the foundation receives an ongoing subvention from the Government of Hong Kong. However, students are further required to pay a tuition fee equivalent to that of many universities across the world, in addition to supplementary costs such as uniforms.

Tuition fees are around HK$100,000 per annum.[10] This fee is the same throughout all English School Foundation Secondary Schools, but the fees are subject to an annual increase.

Notable Alumni[edit]

Shatin College in Popular Culture[edit]

Shatin College's campus has often been featured in movies and music videos. These include:

Stephen Chow's Fight Back to School (逃學威龍): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPxSWtdxoW4&feature=related

Leslie Cheung's All's Well, Ends Well (家有囍事): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvMQ98xNvKc&feature=related

G.E.M.'s 等一個他: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ordZIcwXZTs

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]