STAFF DEVELOPMENT 2016 - 2017
The mission of our staff development is to enhance the professional competence of our staff and to provide a variety of programmes to support them to become proactive and life-long learners.

PDS Seminar 6 Taster of the Airship Program
The PDS Seminar 6 :Taster of the Airship Program; was held from 2-6pm on Wednesday, 5th April, 2017, at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Thirteen participants took part in the seminar including two teachers from TWGHs S.C.Gaw Memorial College, two teachers from St. Paul・s Secondary School, one teacher from HKFYG Lee Shau Kee College, three staff members from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, one representative from the EDB and four staff members from St. Paul・s Convent School.

The students, divided into teams, were observed in their final stages of making and testing airships and they were asked questions about the length of the training they had received from the HKUST professor and student helpers. After one hour of test and trial the competition began. The whole event went smoothly and it was encouraging to see students learning through teamwork, mastered the skills of problem solving, and developing their sense of creativity in their airship designs.

In a plenary session all the seminar participants noted how impressed they had been by the event and how they were already thinking about organising similar .alternative learning opportunities・ to bring fun and joy into the learning process at their schools. The professor from HKUST made an interesting observation that some students with special learning needs actually outperformed the other students in the problem-solving part of the game competitions.

Everyone agreed that they would continue to develop initiatives that enhanced student interest in scientific exploration. They saw the importance of mutual support, and greatly valued the free opportunities for training and resource sharing offered by the HKUST professors for the promotion of STEM education in local schools. Teachers from our partner schools also recognized how Paulinian students benefitted enormously from the Wednesday afternoon Diversified Interest Program and the valuable opportunities it opened up in terms of creating the right environment for school-university collaboration.

PDS Seminar 5 Use of Active Charcoal and Sharing of School-based Project Designs
The PDS Seminar 5 was held on Thursday, 9th March 2017, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m., at St. Paul・s Convent School. It was based on the title :Use of Active Charcoal and Sharing of School-based Project Designs;. Six participants, including one teacher from TWGHs S.C.Gaw Memorial College, three teachers from St. Paul・s Secondary School, and two staff members from St. Paul・s Convent School, attended the seminar.

Dr. Albert Cheung, our scientist-in-residence, demonstrated using organic food (Glocono delta- lactone), instead of an artificial chemical, to help with coagulation when making Tofu dessert. It is supposed to be a healthier way of cooking. The idea was to promote the awareness of having a healthy lifestyle with the support of scientific knowledge.

Dr. Albert Cheung, the scientist-in-residence at St. Paul・s Convent School, gave a presentation on the use of active charcoal in scientific investigations and its potential for green education. He then suggested some ways in which teachers could plan different experiments, for different year groups of students, using the charcoal.

Lastly, Dr. Cheung showed the application of using the EPDM membranes (a type of high efficiency filter) in the setting up of an apparatus for the making of compost, an organic fertilizer made from food waste. Each partner school took two pieces of these membranes back to their own school so that they could designs their own apparatus for experiments.

Mr. Tony Wong, the science Panel Head of junior forms from TWGHs S.C.Gaw Memorial College, outlined how he applies theories to practice in Integrated Science, helping students to learn in a fun way via group competitions. For example, his project .Angry Bird・, though simple, had aroused great excitement in his Secondary One students. Students studied the topic of .potential energy・, and then used materials such as wooden sticks and rubber bands to construct catapults. Creativity was encouraged by the design process and, as the students became more interested in the topic, they demonstrated ownership of the project and cooperation skills.

Ms. Shirley Shea, the Panel Head of Integrated Science at St. Paul・s Secondary School, outlined her work revising the current subject curriculum and in leading students in project learning and competitions. Topics under investigation included DNA fingerprinting, making an origami DNA model and DNA extraction from strawberries and kiwi fruit.

Mr. Ludwig Pang, from St. Paul・s Secondary School, explained how he guided students in their investigations into aquaponics, pollutants and algae. Students and teachers from his school have been actively engaged in scientific explorations this year and more than ten teams from the school were involved in outside scientific competitions.

All the teachers then discussed how they motivated and supported those students who wished to develop their interest in scientific explorations beyond formal lessons. Despite very tight schedules, teachers and students were making use of recess and after-school time for scientific activities. It was encouraging to see that student creativity, commitment and competence, regardless of student ability, were considerably enhanced when opportunities were given. Everyone recognized that STEM education has benefitted both teachers and students.

PDS Seminar 4 Wonders of Algae & Experiment in Molecular Gastronomy (GDL)
The PDS Seminar 4 on :Wonders of Algae & Experiment in Molecular Gastronomy; was held on Thursday, 5th January 2017, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at St. Paul・s Convent School. Eight participants, including 3 teachers from TWGHs S. C. Gaw Memorial College, 3 teachers from St. Paul・s Secondary School and 2 staff members from our school, attended the seminar.

Dr. Albert Cheung, our scientist-in-residence, demonstrated using organic food (Glocono delta- lactone), instead of an artificial chemical, to help with coagulation when making Tofu dessert. It is supposed to be a healthier way of cooking. The idea was to promote the awareness of having a healthy lifestyle with the support of scientific knowledge.

He then gave a presentation on the wonders of algae as a potential source of food and energy. As a single cell organism, it can multiply fast and undergo photosynthesis. It can also act as a bio-filter absorbing pollutants such as CO2, VOCs and odor from the environment, hence producing oxygen, clean air and water. An experiment to make algae beads was demonstrated and participants were given the opportunity to do the experiment, so that they could teach students at their school.

Lastly, Dr. Cheung showed the application of using the EPDM membranes (a type of high efficiency filter) in the setting up of an apparatus for the making of compost, an organic fertilizer made from food waste. Each partner school took two pieces of these membranes back to their own school so that they could designs their own apparatus for experiments.

All in all, this seminar was an eye-opening experience for participants. It is to be hoped that they will take on board the new ideas and do their own further investigations for the promotion of green living.

PDS Seminar 3 Designs for Experiments in Scientific Investigations
The PDS Seminar 3 on :Designs for Experiments in Scientific Investigations; was held on Wednesday, 7th December 2016, from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. at St. Paul・s Convent School. Ten participants, including two teachers from TWGHs S. C. Gaw Memorial College, one teacher from HKFYG Lee Shau Kee College, one teacher from St. Paul・s Secondary School, five staff members from our school and one representative from the EDB, attended the seminar.

Mrs. Vivian Lo, the panel head of Integrated Science at SPCS, gave a presentation on how SPCS teachers had already tried out some new ideas for scientific investigation. She went on to explain how students could further develop their potential through investigative project learning.

Mr. Tony Wong, the science panel head of junior forms from TWGHs S. C. Gaw Memorial College, outlined how his school・s science curriculum had been thoroughly revised and how it had made scientific exploration more fun for all students. By using up-to-date instruments and apparatus, by adopting newly designed experiments or by adapting modified experiments from websites and YouTube, his school had boosted the subject・s popularity amongst the student body.

Ms. Florence Fung, the panel head of Integrated Science from HKFYG Lee Shau Kee College showed her very unique way of combining online classroom teaching, reading, adapting textbook materials and doing experiments in regular science lessons. Such approach had proved to be an effective teaching method as her students had shown a marked overall improvement in their performance.

Mr. Ludwig Pang from St. Paul・s Secondary School shared his experiences in guiding students in project-based studies in aquaponics, diaphonization and measuring voltage in chlorella. Subsequently, student teams had successfully undertaken a number of independent studies, from constructing the aquaponics system to making their own electric submergible motors.

From all the presentations, the teachers concluded that a bespoke school-based curriculum, perhaps involving STEM, could be effective in meeting the unique needs of individual schools. In addition, students could find science an interesting and creative subject which they could continue to explore beyond the classroom. The combination of online teaching, use of text book materials and doing experimentation is the way forward when it comes to interesting and engaging all students.

PDS Seminar 2 How to Improve Students・ Technical Writing Skills
The PDS Seminar 2 on :How to Improve Students・ Technical Writing Skills; was held on Monday, 31st October, 2016, from 2:30 - 4:15 p.m. at St. Paul・s Convent School. Thirteen participants attended the seminar, five teachers from TWGHs S.C. Gaw Memorial College, one teacher from St. Paul・s Secondary School, one teacher from HKGYG Lee Shau Kee College, two representatives from the EDB and four staff members from our school.

Mr. Peter Blythe of SPCS gave a systematic presentation on the importance of clarity and accuracy as the basic elements of a good scientific report. He introduced the various parts that make up a scientific report and gave examples of sentences and phrases that could be useful when writing about equipment, materials, procedures, results etc. He pointed out that students often confuse the .results・ part of a report with the .interpretation・ part. To avoid this problem, he suggested that students should be reminded to keep their .observations・ separate from their .interpretation・. Regarding analysis and discussion, he suggested that students should be able to distinguish between causality and correlation, and should always be able to identify areas of uncertainty. Only when made aware of the uncertainties in their conclusions would they be in a position to think of ways to reduce the influence of the uncertainties on their results.

Teachers were then asked to do an exercise in groups. They raised questions in the process and this led them to reflect further on their teaching plans and their design of future scientific experiments for their students.

PDS Seminar 1 Using STEM in Setting Up the Aquaponics System
The PDS (Professional Development Schools Scheme) Seminar 1 on .Using STEM in Setting Up the Aquaponics System・ was held on Thursday, 27th October, 2016, from 2:00 - 4:15 p.m. at the IVE (the Institute for Vocational Education), Shatin, NT. Thirteen participants attended the seminar, 5 teachers from TWGHs S.C. Gaw Memorial College, 3 teachers from St. Paul・s Secondary School, 2 members from the EDB and 3 staff members from our school.

Ms. Carmen Wong, a lecturer from IVE, spoke on the operation of the aquaponics system in the IVE and its possible uses in educational projects for students of different levels of attainment. The design of the .Constant Height One Pump・ (CHOP) system, the theory behind it, and the practical aspects of its set-up and running costs were introduced. The educational value of using the aquaponics systems in STEM learning at different levels was then opened for discussion.

A study package has been developed to facilitate teaching and learning using aquaponics, and this promotes life education, garden therapy, green education and is a pilot for the commercialization of production. The aquaponics system has proved to be a good learning tool as it provides students with a broad base on which they can apply and integrate their knowledge of various subjects, including Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Geography, Mathematics, Agriculture & Fisheries, Engineering and Technological Design.

A site visit to the .Ecocube・ in the garden of the IVE followed. At the site, participants observed operations, and practical issues and problem-solving techniques were discussed. Overall, the seminar provided everyone with an opportunity to witness how the aquaponics system survives and sustains itself when exposed to environmental factors like climate change, wind, sunshine, insect control, soil and use of organic fertilizers.

St. Paul・s Convent School - Staff Development Day
On Monday, 29 August, 2016, Ms. Jane Cheng, ex-Principal Education officer for Quality Assurance and Inspection for the EDB, conducted a Staff Development session for all the staff of SPCS. With an External Review coming up for SPCS in the 2016-17 year it was seen to be vital to have a .critical friend・ in the school to help teachers fine-tune their work before the EDB inspectors arrive.

The 3.5 hour session was both informative and interesting. Teachers were reminded of the relevance of the updated Bloom・s taxonomy of learning and they were also shown the benefits of enabling students to develop more personal autonomy in their learning. This, Ms Cheng explained, could be done by encouraging students to actively engage in feedback sessions, by the teacher building up scaffolding to enable students to become more creative when constructing their own ideas, and by the teacher not only using high-level questioning skills themselves but by actively promoting these skills in their student learners.

Ms. Cheng ended by wishing everyone well in their upcoming Review and received a warm round of applause for her efforts.

Induction meeting for new staff
On 25th of August, 2016, all the new SPCS teachers were invited to attend an Induction meeting in the school hall. Principal Sister Margaret Wong, the Induction team and the new teachers all introduced themselves to one another in a most convivial atmosphere.

Sr. Margaret then gave an overall description of the school, including its nature, mission, vision, and history, and she also explained the school badge and motto. Mrs. V. Lo followed up on this by introducing the professional guidelines for teachers and these included the rules of attendance and dress code. Student discipline and attendance systems, and rewards and punishment procedures, were outlined by Mrs. A. M. Law, and Mrs. L. Lam then presented the updated school curriculum. Guidelines were also given out on assessment obligations, copyright laws, gifts and presents rules, teachers・ log book requirements, homework and assignment policies and peer lesson observation arrangements.

Extra-curricular activities were introduced by Mrs. J. Wong. She went over the proper procedures for conducting activities inside and outside school, and presented the various forms that need to be filled-in before an activity takes place.

Safety is a priority issue at SPCS and Mrs. L. Ko explained the guidelines on how to handle accidents, contingency plans in case of bad weather, and fire drill routines. Mrs. I. Wu introduced the SPCS fee remission and scholarship scheme, and Ms. M. Kwok talked about library support and rules.

Last but not least, all the new teachers were informed that there are a lot of support systems in SPCS to help them adjust to their new environment. They were urged to not hesitate to seek help, if they encountered any problems throughout the year, from their own personal teacher mentor, their teaching colleagues and from any of the school administrators.

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