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A Design for Life

The Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Section initiated a number of Collaborative Research and Development (“Seed”) projects in the 2021/22 school year to support the implementation of some of the major renewed emphases in the CDC English Language Education KLA Curriculum Guide (P1-S6) (2017) in both primary and secondary schools.  Teachers participating in the following “Seed” projects will share their project experiences:

  • Developing Students’ Creativity, Collaboration and Problem Solving Skills through Creating the Makerspace in the Junior Secondary English Language Classroom;
  • Reading across the Curriculum: Reading for Breadth and Depth;
  • Read to Speak: Developing 21st Century Communication Skills through Interaction with Multiple genres and Multimodal Texts;
  • Building Character through Characters: Implementing Social and Emotional Learning in the English Language Classroom through Stories; and
  • Glocalisation: Developing Students’ Language and Intercultural Competence through a Multicultural Language Arts Programme in KS2.

In support of the campaign on “Promoting Positive Values and Attitudes through English Sayings of Wisdom 2021/22”, “Week of Hope”, a signature school-based activity, was organised in primary and secondary schools.  Teachers from some of these schools will share ideas for promoting positive values and attitudes in the context of English Language Education in their schools.

A Design for Life: Values Education in English Language Education

Albert TSANG, Project Manager II, Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Harriet CHOW (Vice Principal)
Sam Shui Natives Association Huen King Wing School

“Values Education is an essential element of whole-person education, which aims at fostering students’ positive values and attitudes through the learning and teaching of various Key Learning Areas/subjects and the provision of relevant learning experiences” (taken from the EDB “Values Education” webpage).

Thoughtful design of students’ values education experience can be conducive to their whole-person development and help pave the way for a life of opportunity, contribution and fulfilment.  As part of the campaign on “Promoting Positive Values and Attitudes through English Sayings of Wisdom 2021/22” (SOW 2.0) (co-organised by the English Language Education Section and the Native-speaking English Teacher Section) schools were encouraged to organise a school-based English week featuring a variety of English learning activities that centred around the overarching theme of “Hope” to integrate values education into English language learning.

In this session, using the Design Thinking framework as both a reflection and planning tool, Mr TSANG will engage a primary school in a forward-looking imagination of what an event of “Positivity” would look like in the 2022/23 s.y, based on their experience in the “Day of Hope” organised in the 2021/22 s.y. During the sharing, common considerations such as student-centredness, student participation, the iterative nature of the planning process, etc. will be discussed.

Values Education in School-based English Language Curriculum (Primary & Secondary)

Sharon LAM (Head of LAC Group), Kelvin CHEUNG (NET) and Joyce HUNG (English Teacher)
Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School

In the post-pandemic era, as countries have started to reopen borders, students of Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School joined a themed ‘packaged tour on Hope’ in May 2022, an initiative to promote positive values. With the ‘boarding pass’, all Carmel passengers were enchanted, if not infected, by the seeds of hope floating in the air around the campus. ‘First-class’ services and activities included creative extension of the readers from the Language Arts module as well as the interactive exhibitions of students’ excellent works. The celebration of a diversity of talents enhanced both the linguistic competence and affective experience of students. In this session, teachers in charge of the “Week of Hope” will take participants on a thrilling ride to experience the highlights of the week-long event.


Harriet CHOW (Vice Principal)
Sam Shui Natives Association Huen King Wing School

The “Week of Hope” was received as a Day of Hope at Sam Shui Natives Association Huen King Wing School last year with a number of suggested activities found in the support kit from the EDB being implemented by our English teachers in a local primary school context. The theme “Hope” was highlighted throughout the day. Students of different year levels participated in various activities, namely “Learning through Songs”, “Making a Life Motto Today”, “Tree of Hope”, “Gratitude Jar”, “Cloud of Hope”, “Learning in Short Animations” and reading e-books about famous people who did not give up and succeeded. The session will share how the school adapted the suggested activities as well as the learning and teaching materials on the Sayings of Wisdom website for their unique learning context to achieve their goal – trying out a variety of activities and infusing positive values into the school-based English language curriculum at different levels.

The Secrets of Happiness: A Task-based Approach to Instilling Positive Values in Young Learners

Dennis TAM Wai Fai (English Panel Chair)
S.K.H. St Peter’s Primary School

It is easy to give in to feelings of doom and gloom in this pandemic. Research has shown children are struggling to stay positive under the circumstances not only in Hong Kong but also across the globe. Students’ mental health is one of the most neglected areas but teachers at S.K.H. St Peter’s Primary School think it is high time they started helping children to take care of it. Students delve into other cultures and reflect on their own to discover the keys to happiness. Through different tasks and examples from around the world, the teachers explored the definition of “happiness” and enabled students to unlock different secrets of feeling fulfilled and positive.  The unit of work developed is based on the “Seed” project on “Glocalisation: Developing Students’ Language and Intercultural Competence through a Multicultural Language Arts Programme in KS2” 


Lion’s in a Flap – Keep Calm and Carry On! 

Polly HUNG (English Panel Chair), Minnie ZHU (English Teacher) and Aaron Christopher JACINTO (NET)
Pat Heung Central Primary School

In this experience-sharing presentation, the Social and Emotional Learning Team from Pat Heung Central Primary School introduces how Values Education is integrated with English Language Education. The sharing is based on the school’s experience in the “Seed” project on “Building Character through Characters: Implementing Social and Emotional Learning in the English Language Classroom through Stories”. By showcasing samples of students’ work, they explain how they used tailor-made materials, realia, props and online platform Padlet to implement interactive activities, including an online sharing journal displaying students’ understanding of the protagonist’s emotions and their own worry-based journal. In addition, they demonstrate how these activities were conducted in their classes synchronously and asynchronously with the book Lion’s in A Flap so as to take care of young learners’ emotional needs in the midst of this capricious pandemic.

"Week of Hope": Building Optimism in Our Students

KWOK Hoi Ting (English Panel Chair), HO Yuen Kwan (English Panel Chair) and Maria Goretti WONG (NET)
Po Yan Oblate Primary School

The session focuses on building optimism in students through infusing cross-curricular activities in school with elements of Hope. Developing positive values ​​and attitudes through different learning experiences has been the school’s major concern in the past year amidst guiding students to understand the truth of the Catholic teachings in the PERMA Model (Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment). The Week of Hope was a week of English Activities integrating Music and Visual Arts in an attempt to build a positive motivational state in students with average to low family support during the difficult COVID months.


Values Education in School-based English Language Curriculum

Emily LO (English Panel Chair) and Michelle LEE (Vice English Panel Chair)
Canossa Primary School (San Po Kong)

The school has been implementing values education in English for 5 years. Resources created include P1 to 6 home reading booklets, based around the Canossian values. Teachers annually choose values for their school and engage their students in deep meaningful activities. They teach the values through appropriate texts available as hard copies or on e-platforms.

This year, the school’s theme was "Hope”. The students spent the Hope English Day to explore the meaning and many faces of this important value. There were exciting activities, such as The Tree of Hope, English Sayings of Wisdom (SOW) board games, arts and crafts, SOW videos and Rugby English Active Learning Practice.

English Day's events have filled the students with hope and inspiration.

How Academic Conversations Help to Foster Critical Thinking and Language Skills Development

Jenny CHAN (Vice Principal) and Adam DOWLER (NET)
St Mary’s Canossian College

Academic Conversations can be viewed as classroom talk that fosters critical thinking and content understandings.  Through collaboration with the NET Section officers, the English teachers of St. Mary’s Canossian College were able to identify the project focus - supporting students in developing some core skills of Academic Conversations.  Engaging students in academic conversations is a powerful strategy for promoting higher-order thinking skills and to this end, the project team has successfully adapted an area of the existing junior secondary English Language curriculum to accommodate the use of multimodal texts supported by more interactive task-based learning activities.  In this session, the team will talk about some of the strategies, activities and tools being used.


Developing Empathy & Understanding of Different Perspectives through Action

CHAN Yuen Mei (KLA Coordinator) and Yvonne LEE Wing Chi (English Panel Chair)
Queen’s College

“Wouldn’t it be more interesting to engage students in hands-on activities and see what it is like to empathise with someone?”

The English Department of Queen’s College set themselves the goal of adopting a more holistic approach to language learning and teaching in the 2021/22 school year.  Through the ‘Read to Speak’ project, English teachers made use of authentic texts and tasks to develop their S2 students’ higher-order thinking skills and empathy.  In the course of learning, students were given opportunities to practise conversational talk, presentational talk and exploratory talk. In this session, the school project team will share their experience in implementing the project.

Making it Personal: How the Makerspace Experience Enables Students to Demonstrate Greater Engagement in Their Own Learning

Kitty LEUNG (English Panel Chair), Lauren MINNIE (NET) and Rebecca MARTYN (English Teacher)
Marymount Secondary School

The project sharing will focus on how we have used the Maker pedagogy, Design Thinking and Thinking Routines to increase student engagement and create more opportunities for student agency in English language learning.

We will share some samples of student work from S1-S3 to demonstrate the progressive levels of agency and the various ways the pedagogy has been applied at different skill levels. We aim to identify some traditional ‘problems’ observed by language teachers, e.g. generic and shallow content in writing tasks, and highlight how the pedagogy has been used to address these “problems”. We will also show how the Design Thinking process and the use of Thinking Routines increased student engagement, allowing them to connect with topics and themes and produce more unique and complex ideas.

When exploring student work and activities, we will explore the links to assessment: how these innovative practices are linked to traditional assessment methods and how we assess or measure generic skills, as well as assess the efficacy of the Maker tasks or Thinking Routines. 

Reading across the Curriculum in the English Language Classroom - Reading for Breadth and Depth

Liza WONG (Junior English Panel Chair)

St Paul’s School (Lam Tin)

Mr Aaron Cheuk Lun LAM (English Panel Chair), Amy YUEN Ching Man (Deputy English Panel Chair),Ophelia CHEUNG Yuet Yan (English Teacher) and Carrie PENG (NET)
Newman Catholic College

Promoting Reading across the Curriculum (RaC) in the English classroom broadens students’ knowledge base and develops their reading skills and academic literacy. In this session, teachers from two project schools, with different contexts and student needs, will present how their RaC unit was implemented in S1 English lessons to advocate reading for breadth and depth. St. Paul’s School (Lam Tin) will illustrate how the content and language links identified between English and non-language subjects are explicitly taught to enhance cross-curricular learning. Newman Catholic College will share how a text set is created and used to widen students’ reading perspectives and deepen their understanding of the topic. Opportunities for further connecting students’ learning experiences and applying the input from RaC will also be explored.


SELebrate the Growth in Mindset and Skill Set

C.C.C. Heep Woh Primary School (Cheung Sha Wan)

Mr Jack WRIGHT from C.C.C. Heep Woh Primary School (Cheung Sha Wan) will share his experience and teaching strategies in deconstructing the reader Humpty Dumpty After the Fall, in which scaffolding for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and reading were done in parallel, with one mutually supporting another. The sharing is based on the school’s experience in the “Seed” project on “Building Character through Characters: Implementing Social and Emotional Learning in the English Language Classroom through Stories”. Participants are invited to witness the journey of how Humpty Dumpty got back up again and SELebrate the growth in mindset and skill set.


Developing Intercultural Competence in the English Language Classroom

Rachel CHAN Yi Ting (English Panel Chair) and Fion LEE Wai Yan (English Teacher)
Q.E.S. Old Students' Association Branch Primary School

Teaching English as a second language is not only about students’ competence in the four language skills, but also about their intercultural competence. In the 21st century, students need to encounter people from different places and cultural backgrounds. It is essential for them to develop a level of intercultural competence in order to communicate effectively with people all over the world. With this in mind, QES Old Students’ Association Branch Primary School implements a Multicultural Language Arts Programme in KS2 (P4-6).  In this session, teachers are going to share the lesson planning, lesson implementation and the learning outcomes of this unit based on the “Seed” project on “Glocalisation: Developing Students’ Language and Intercultural Competence through a Multicultural Language Arts Programme in KS2”. The session provides insights into ways to develop students’ intercultural competence in the English learning classroom.

Exploring, Engaging and Enthusing: Creating Ways for Students to Communicate Confidently about their Learning through the Read to Speak Project

Jane TSANG, Veronica NG, Vivian LAM and Emily CHENG (English Teachers)
Tin Ka Ping Secondary School

In this session, S1 teachers from Tin Ka Ping will run a panel discussion highlighting the impact the Read to Speak project had on their classes and different members of the teaching team. They will explain how utilising a range of multimodal texts helped them seamlessly connect students in the classroom with cross-border students. They will discuss how subject material was devised to cater for learner diversity, how an in-house workshop and the NET Section professional development programme altered their practice and the ways they were able to harness the strengths of students to impact their understanding of the C.S. Lewis text, “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.” This will be an interactive session where the audience can ask questions. 


Designing Authentic Tasks for Students to Articulate their Understanding of Social Issues through the Read to Speak Project

Fiona LIU (English Panel Chair), Rosa KWOK (English Teacher)  and Craig ROBERTSON (Regional NET Coordinator)
Clementi Secondary School

The Read to Speak “Seed” Project provided S2 students at Clementi Secondary School with a platform to develop oracy skills. In this session, teachers will highlight how engaging students in authentic learning tasks and collaborative activities prepared students to carry out research on local social enterprises. They will also explain how incorporating various texts, including multimodal texts, changed their approach to enabling students to examine how to protect the disadvantaged in the local community. To wrap up the session, they will demonstrate how students were scaffolded to move beyond ‘learning to talk’ to articulate their understanding of the social issue.

Teaching and Encouraging Empathy in our Students through Makerspace

Anita MA (Assistant English Panel Chair)
LST Yu Kan Hing Secondary School

Empathy, as one of the ten priority values, is essential to a healthy society but how can it be taught in the English classroom? In this session, we will describe how, through the Makerspace “Seed” Project, S1 and S2 students were equipped with thinking routines and steps in design thinking, which helped them understand the meaning and importance of empathy. We will go on to show how students experienced a series of tailor-made projects where they put what was taught into practice. With this first-hand experience, the value of empathy was slowly internalised with the result that they can understand and address the needs of others in their maker projects.


Designing Engaging and Educational Games: Slumdog Millionaire and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Diane KOPMAN (NET) and Thomas MA (English Teacher)
Kwun Tong Government Secondary School

In the Makerspace “Seed” project, S3 students were introduced to 8 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 1-6, 8 and 10) through the novel Slumdog Millionaire. After reading the novel and watching excerpts of the film, students found examples in the story of the issues that these SDGs aim to address, e.g. SDGs 1 and 2 (No Poverty and Zero Hunger), SDGs 3 and 4 (Good Health and Quality Education), and SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) address issues that appear in the early scenes of the novel when Jamal, Salim and Latika are children; SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 8 (Decent Work) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) address issues that the characters confront as they struggle for survival. At the end of the project, students used the Design Thinking process to design games with cards and dice for English Fun Day. The purpose of the games was to introduce the S2 students to Slumdog Millionaire and the SDGs and the challenge was to design games that were engaging and educational. In this session, you will be able to see how the S3 students met this challenge.

Fostering Positive Values and Attitudes through Puppetry

Dudley Colin Roger HERMAN (NET), Milky LAU Tak Yee (English Teacher)
Kowloon Tong Bishop Walsh Catholic School

To help visualise the concept of Hope, the professional puppetry team of Kowloon Tong Bishop Walsh Catholic School used four characters to represent the four different aspects of hope. The interaction between all the characters enabled audiences to gain a better understanding of the idea of hope. Relevant situations and music were also used to allow audiences of all ages entertainment and self-reflection. Participants are encouraged to join the session to know more about how the team came up with the production of this award-winning entry. 


William YEUNG (English Panel Chair)
Ma On Shan Ling Liang Primary School

Hear from the creative puppetry team of Ma On Shan Ling Liang Primary School about how to paint the world with colours and hope. The puppetry award-winning school will share their experience in producing the award-winning puppetry show – The Paint, and you will get a better understanding of how to make a seemingly abstract idea (Hope) visible in a performance.  Participants are invited to see how the positive values are expressed through different elements of a puppet show.

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