Rosaryhill School is a Catholic co-educational institution founded by the Dominican Fathers in Hong Kong in 1959, at 41B, Stubbs Road. It consists of four sections: Kindergarten, Primary, Secondary (including sixth-form), and Business Studies (which also provides sixth-form courses independent from the Secondary Section).
In early 1960 Fr. Gonzalez applied for permission to start a secondary school. At first he planned to set up a secondary school for boys only. However, he was also concerned about the arrangements for the girls to be promoted to a secondary school, so he decided to set up two new sections, one for the boys and one for the girls.
In 1961, the Dominican Primary School was renamed as Rosaryhill School. Finally the Secondary Section was set up in Septemper 1962. Fr. Gonzalez was the Supervisor and Fr. John Lopez Francisco, O.P. was the first Principal. The students who graduated from the Primary Section, constituted the first batch of students in the Secondary Section.In the beginning, the building of St. Albert's Priory was used as the school compound of the Dominican Primary School. However, the use of such a monastic structure as a school building was only a temporary measure during the time of transition before his idea of a project could be implemented. A more appropriate building was required both for an educational purpose and for compliance with the requirements stipulated in the Education Ordinance. So Fr. Gonzalez negotiated with a Chinese construction company, which finally agreed to build a new school building in exchange for the ownership of about two-thirds of the land property whereas the school kept the ownership of the rest, that is, the back portion of the site, on which a new imposing structure of Rosaryhill School was completed.
The whole school moved from the old building into the new building where the present school is located. The new school building is a rectangular structure, divided into two sections (the Boys' and the Girls' ) by a central portion comprising an auditorium, which occupies the space of two floors, a chapel, also taking up two floors in height, a library and other special rooms occupying the fifth floor. The Business Studies Section occupies the eastern wing of the sixth floor; where as the western wing is used as the residential quarters for the friars of the community. The capacity of the school gradually increased. In 1968-69 Rosaryhill School had grown to a complex situation of 3 Sections:
A Kindergarten Section; a Primary Section with two sessions; one in morning and one in the afternoon; a secondary section with two Sections, one for girls and one for boys, both full-day sessions. Altogether there were 4,500 students in all the Sections. There were some other significant events worth mentioning during the 1960's. In 1962 the Religious Department was formed as an important constituent of the school, playing the dual role of attending to the spiritual needs of the Catholic students as well as the promotion of catechetical instruction among the non- Catholics. In 1966 the first School Annual was published and the first Athletic Meet took place. The Secondary Section reached another milestone on the road of its existence in the years 1966-68. To fulfil the aim of wholesome education, a large variety of clubs and associations of different nature was set up in the Secondary Section in 1966.In 1967 the school sent the first group of Form 5 graduates to sit for the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination In the same year the Rosaryhill School Old Students' Association (RHSOSA) was formed. In 1968 the Student Council for the Secondary Section was established, one for the Girls' Section and one for the Boys'. They were later combined into one council in 1974.
In 1969 some changes took place in Rosaryhill School. Fr. Eutimio Gonzalez, the founder of the school, was succeeded by Fr. Thomas Lopez Francisco, O.P.. To provide chances for graduates to further their studies at the tertiary level, the school authority began to study the possibilities of offering a programme of post-secondary studies for the Form 5 graduates. In 1969 the plan was materialized: a two-year course was offered for Form 5 graduates for both Arts and Science Streams.
Teaching and Learning Through the Use of Information Technology
Awareness of Self-discipline and Courtesy in the Personal Growth
Serving the Community
The Executive Committee of the Student Council consists of 11 members: a Chairman, 2 Vice Chairmen, a Secretary, a Welfare Director, a Treasurer, a Press Director, a Publicity Director, a Social Service Director, an Internal Affairs Director and an External Affairs Director. Students who want to serve as executive member of the Student Council have to form a partial cabinet which consists of a Chairman, 2 Vice Chairmen, a Treasurer and a Welfare Director to stand for election. Election is usually held in late September / early October every year. The elected partial cabinet will then form its own full cabinet within two weeks.
There is also a Representative Committee which acts as a supervisory body on the work of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee have to report their works twice a year in front of the Representative Committee and class representatives.
The goals for NSS interface include:
• Curriculum – (1) to prepare a smooth bridge between the junior and senior curricula, (2) to provide a quality educational experience that addresses the totality of the student life of students and (3) to educate them to be lifelong learners and contributing citizens.
• Teaching and Learning Strategies – (1) to make all of the students actively engaged citizens who are creative, critical thinkers and lifelong learners and (2) to help the students with different learning diversities and learning styles to learn and perform to the best of their abilities.
• Assessment – (1) to make students understand the principles of and familiar to NSS assessment mode and (2) to use assessment to promote students' learning and monitor students' progress.
Rosaryhill school has set up a NSS Education Planning Group to steer the direction and to formulate a strategic plan for the preparation of NSS curriculum. In particular, the school has different teachers-in-charge to look after the curriculum planning and development of Liberal Studies (LS) and Other Learning Experiences (OLE) as well as Applied Learning (ApL).
• For Liberal Studies, a Liberal Studies Education Team has been set up to examine the Liberal Studies NSS curriculum, exploring its connection between other subjects, OLE as well as life-wide learning opportunities, and developing strategies for supporting LS learning. • For the OLE, the school has a strong Co-curricular Activities tradition and policy to ensure quality experiences. Building on the existing strengths is our main principle for examining and developing the OLE programmes for our NSS students. We are now studying the strategies of developing a comprehensive and balanced OLE programmes to match with the NSS learning expectations and goals for students of different potentials and aspirations. • For Applied Learning, Rosaryhill school is collecting relevant information about the provision of ApL by outside course providers and will develop careers guidance strategies for NSS students who are going to take ApL.
Curriculum Framework Supporting the Implementation of NSS
For effective implementation of NSS, the curriculum framework has been structured into eight Key Learning Areas (KLAs), with emphasis on (a) continuity of learning across levels, (b) continuous learning skills e.g. critical thinking, creative thinking and study skills, and (c) assessment for learning.
Bridging between Junior and Senior Curricula
Rosaryhill school has developed our school-based junior curriculum and purposeful learning materials to help students prepare themselves to meet the learning targets of the NSS. For example, Rosaryhill school has offered Integrated Humanities (IH) and Integrated Science (IS) in S1 and S2 and individual PSHE (Personal, Social and Humanities Education) subjects and Science subjects in S3. For S1 and S2, this curriculum design is to help students to see things in a wider perspective and in an interdisciplinary approach. Also, the individual subjects in S3 help students acquire adequate foundation knowledge and skills for their learning in the NSS Liberal Studies and any individual NSS academic subjects. At present, each Subject Panel is examining their NSS curriculum, planning for both breadth and balance of the curriculum continuum of their subject which contributes to the development of skills, knowledge, values and attitudes necessarily for students to prepare their NSS learning.
Supporting Means for developing Life-long Capacities and Positive Values
The curriculum framework and time-table are sufficiently flexible to provide for the needs and aspirations of students for their whole-person development. Rosaryhill school has provided students with a multifaceted learning experience which builds up their life-long capacities and positive values. These are expected to be achieved in the Education Reform. For example:
• Moral and civic education The Life Education Periods, Religious Studies, some club activities, Study Tours to China, etc are aimed to nurture good character of our students and to develop their personal growth, respect for others as well as their national identity.
• Physical and aesthetic development Visual Arts, Orchestral, Drama Club, Art Camp, Inter-school Musical Festivals and Inter-school Drama competitions, and Rosaryhill Tournament, Sports Teams as well as Study Tours to Local Heritage sites and Museums, etc are aimed to give students an aesthetic and physical awareness and develop their ability of aesthetic appreciation as well as lead our students to healthy living styles.
• Community service Uniform groups, visiting elderly homes, and other voluntary community services, etc are aimed to help students to gain a better understanding of the community and to develop students' commitment, responsibility as well as sense of empathy.
• Career-related experiences In addition to Career talks and exhibitions, Rosaryhill school also provides S6 students an unique and authentic business-running experiences through our Company Programme. Students' career aspirations are supported by our Career Guidance Team.Rosaryhill school also provides student leaders with leadership training programmes to nurture their leadership character and skills. And it is compulsory for every S1 student to join either uniform units/Sports Teams/Choir or Instrumental Groups, so that everyone of them is exposed to other learning experiences in different areas.
Four Key Tasks In order to prepare the first cohort of NSS students, Rosaryhill school has started promoting four key tasks at a very early stage. Hence, students will have a better conception of the four key tasks as well as appropriate strategies, diverse skills and confidence to facilitate their NSS learning.
• Moral and Civic Education The school's strategies to help students establish their values and attitudes including two Life Education Periods per cycle, Sharing at Morning Assembly, infusing the teaching of moral and civic education into subject curricula (e.g. Basic Laws teaching in Integrated Humanities; sex education, family planning, environmental protection and conservation of energy in Integrated Science), students exercising their voting rights in House and Student Council Elections, and whole-school Environmental Education, etc.
• Reading Everyday 15-minute Morning Reading Session and the setting of a class library in each class have successfully established a reading culture in the school. Students are encouraged to read broadly. In fact, the reading culture has been reinforced by some other measures. For example, subject reading schemes (English Language, Chinese Language, I.S., Physics, etc), YRP (Youth Reading Programme) and book report writing competitions. Two Book Exhibitions are organized every year to increase students' exposure to books of different varieties.
• Project Learning The school aims to use Project Learning as a strategy mainly to (a) provide all students with opportunities to discover their strengths and interests; (b) enhance students' understanding of the strengths of each discipline perspective in a connected way and the relevancy of different subjects to their life; and (c) develop students' generic skills, creativity and thinking strategies for the construction of knowledge and problem-solving. The Project Learning takes an inter-disciplinary approach and it is a collaboration among Chinese Language and Integrated Humanities (S1), Integrated Science and Mathematics (S2), English Language. Arts and Computer Studies (S3) and Learning Strategies Development Team. It adopts a classroom teaching approach and is supplemented with a mentor system (in S2 only). Through this three-year programme, teachers can facilitate student learning in different subject matter, project learning skills, study skills as well as thinking and creativity skills. Junior students are provided with a three-year project learning experience before they are promoted to the senior level. Therefore, they could have a better preparation and more confidence in doing their NSS project learning.
• Using Information Technology Using IT to foster teaching and learning has been promoted. Students are provided opportunities to use IT in classroom learning, searching information and presenting their learning, etc.
• Motivating Students to Learn in Various Environments In order to open up a multiplicity of teaching and learning perspectives to students, Rosaryhill School has organized different learning outside classroom and outside Hong Kong programmes in the Integrated Learning Week. Our Integrated Learning Week programmes provide students rich authentic learning experiences by making use of Hong Kong reality (eg Study Tours to the Local Heritage sites and Astronomy and Geography Camp) and China reality (e.g. Study Tours to Beijing, Yunnan and East China). The Integrated Learning Week allows more variations in teaching and learning and promotes dynamic and metacognitive learning. In fact, students are encouraged to see the multiple uses of what they have learnt in class and construct the meaning of knowledge internally through different means e.g. writing, observing, photo-taking, drawing and artwork production, etc. The Integrated Learning Week will encourage our students to be more capable in studying NSS subjects which require personal construction, enquiry as well as contextualized learning.
• Diverse Teaching and Learning Strategies In order to develop broader NSS goals such as learning how to learn and developing generic skills, diverse teaching and learning strategies have been promoted. For example: issue-based learning and contextual approach in Biology, STSE (science-technology-society-environment) approach in Chemistry, problem-based learning in Health Education and Home Economics, developing generic skills through Project Learning, integrating critical thinking skills in teaching and learning, increasing the awareness of current issues by newspaper cutting, and trying out different cooperative learning practices eg group discussion and peer coaching. Independent learning is also encouraged (e.g. learning English Language online one lesson per cycle and after school and engaging students in the Talking Booth activities three times per cycle doing reading aloud, short presentations and group discussions).
• Catering for Learner Differences Students are in different cognitive and affective development with different interests and learning styles. Under the NSS, all students will have the opportunity to receive three years of senior secondary education. It would mean greater student diversity. Rosaryhill school has already engineered to cater for learner diversities. And it has developed concrete strategies in streaming, curriculum design, learning-and-teaching, and assessment method. What's more, the streaming of classes according to student English Language ability has enabled the teachers to use the materials pitched at the level of the class. Grouping based on ability also applies into Mathematics learning in S1 and S2. This ability differentiation will enable our students to learn more effectively and confidently.
Continuous Assessment Under the NSS, the public examination will be complemented with continuous school-based assessment. And students' performance will be reported in standard-referenced format. Our assessment policy is responsive to the NSS requirements. Rosaryhill School has adopted a continuous assessment policy especially in the junior form. Students' coursework are counted as part of their test and examination marks. In this way, students of different learning pace and learning styles will be catered for better.
Assessment For Learning Assessment serves a lot of purposes. In addition to assessment of learning, assessment for learning has been practiced in school to promote students' learning and to modify teaching and learning activities. Reflection-writing, giving constructive feedbacks for improving students' performance, Project Learning are some of our assessment for learning examples.
Student Profile Rosaryhill School has implemented a system of recording student learning profile for our current first and second cohorts of NSS students. These students will share as a pilot on the development of school-based student learning profile. At present, everyone of them has a student profile keeping all their necessary documents of learning including their academic performance in school, their OLE records as well as other recognized achievements and awards. Students are encouraged to set their goals at the beginning of the school year and reflect on their learning afterwards. Whereas teaching students how to plan their learning path based on their abilities, interests and aspirations and using it as a communication tool between teachers, students and parents would be our next steps for preparation.
Remarks : (E ) = Subjects to be taught in English , (C ) = Subjects to be taught in Chinese