CONGRATULATIONS to Mars, Jayden and Felix, coming first, second and third in our poll for the people's favourite one-min water-themed videos. All these shortlisted videos are great but viewers may have their different preferences. Did you pick the winning videos?
Interestingly, the first two places go to videos which talk about the same thing – a magical pen which can draw things that come to life in the water! I wonder where I can get one!
The third place goes to a magic act with a glass of water which we all can learn and do! Good work!
Thanks to all of you who have watched the videos and voted. Be creative, flexible and wonderful, like water! We'll play this game again soon! Stay tuned!
Dr H C Lee
Hello to all! Here is a fun poll for you during our prolonged holiday – the 15 newly shortlisted 1-min water-themed videos from our creative P.6 boys are now waiting for your votes! Please enjoy them all, login to e-class, go to the survey section and then vote for you favourite one(s).
The voting begins now till 21 Feb (Friday). The top 3 videos will be celebrated! Have fun viewing and stay healthy! ^o^
[21 Jan 2020] The 10th episode of our annual speech and drama event “Speech Gala” seems to have displayed to the audience a new stream of energy flow with our new School Principal Ms Sylvia Chan officiating the event for the first time, with HKU’s Senior Lecturer Miss Nicole Tavares adjudicating the competition for the first time, with twin winners in the P.6 Public Speaking category for the first time and so much more.
Personally, I feel that this year’s Speech Gala is extraordinarily special because I finally had the chance to meet Miss Tavares after over a decade since I last met her in HKU where I completed my teaching diploma. Miss Tavares was my teacher and mentor. Her professionalism, cheerfulness and positiveness have been staying in my mind. She carried on with all these precious qualities to my school and appreciated and supported our boys to the fullest. Seeing her at work made me feel like a student all over again!
While the Gala gives all the boys equal opportunity to take part in the learning and training of the language arts materials, I am surprised every time by the different ways the finalists employ on stage to give a distinctively new life to the piece they perform. So much effort and innovation is shown year after year!
I congratulate all participants in the finals and thank all my English Teaching teammates for making the event educational and entertaining again.
I am already looking forward to witnessing the next Speech Gala!
Dr H C Lee
Check out the event’s photos in here.
GOOD NEWS from some of our great English speakers!
[18 Jan] Jadon Lee (6E) was awarded FIRST RUNNER-UP at the prestigious 21st Century Cup – National English Speaking Competition (Senior Primary Section, Hong Kong Region). Guests of Honour such as the Secretary for Education Mr Kevin Yeung JP and former President of the Legislative Council Mr Jasper Tsang GBM JP officiated the event.
Jadon went through the video submission stage, a semi-final and a final to receive this tremendous result. This speaking contest required him to do a prepared speech titled "Colours of the World" with a question-and-answer part for the semi-final and final. This is the first year that a Primary Section was introduced in this competition and we are glad that two students of YWPS reached the finals. Congratulations to Jadon again and hopefully more of our boys will experience this next year.
[17 Jan] Today, the Prize-winners' Recital of the Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival was held in our own School Hall. This was an amazing experience to our teachers and students.
Congratulations to Lincoln Kong (6C) for being invited to perform in the occasion as he was commended by judges as one of the most outstanding English performers in this year's Speech Festival. His Verse Speaking performance of "Daddy Fell into the Pond" earned him 90 marks. Good job Lincoln!
[11 Jan] By Dr H C Lee
This afternoon was memorable in many ways. I was unbelievably fortunate to be granted winner in the English Open Section of "Love Is All Around" – The 2nd Chinese & English Essay-Writing Competition.
The writing task was an interesting one. We were asked to review/respond to a 6-min animation known as "The Last Knit", which is a popular video created by Laura Neuvonen. I wasn't sure if poetry would be a good idea for this writing contest but still decided to try regardless of the result. I submitted a 1300-word poem titled "Cocoon" in response to the video as I thought that the video was poetic in the first place. In my acceptance speech, I thanked the judges for recognizing my use of poetry and wished all people to have the wisdom not to live in an invisible cocoon.
The award ceremony was held in a hotel in Wanchai. I was happy to bump into a friend, Ms Janice Getzlaf, whom I knew from the Speech Festival. I also got chances to speak with my fellow awardees and guests in the ballroom. It was a great atmosphere in the occasion and I thought it was too good to be true.
For those of you who are curious about my winning piece...well, you need to watch that video first to be able to make sense of my verse. While it may not be the best poem I've ever written, it's certainly the longest one. Hope it brings some inspiration to you all.
[9 Dec] A huge congratulations to Ms Jenny Ho and Miss Janice Chui's Junior Choral Speaking (P.1-3) group winning yet another FIRST PLACE in the Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival this afternoon.
Their interpretation of the verse "The Sad Story of a Little Boy That Cried" (anon.) impressed the judge, who awarded them 89 marks. The imaginative poem describes how a crying boy loses himself and becomes a big mouth which occupies his entire body. The team dramatized and visualized it cleverly.
The judge wrote: "...Interesting asymmetrical grouping. A very lively collective sound. Rhythm very well contrasted. The orchestration was most inventive - and movement and gesture were very well synchronized. Well shaped by pause - the lyrics delivered with clarity and energy! All "faces" were involved fully. Exciting visual aids!!!"
Huge effort from the teachers and boys has led to a huge success. Congratulations again and we are all proud of you!
Dr H C Lee
P.S. This is the team's 8th win since YWPS relaunched in 2003.
[29 Nov] So much uncertainty before the Speech Festival this year as the Festival cancelled their sessions up to 27 Nov. The tricky thing was that our Thematic Group Speaking Team's contest was scheduled on 28 Nov. I had almost no hope that our session would be able to go on; I had little confidence to get on with the training; and I was planned for other outlets for these boys' performance if the cancellation would extend...but then, miraculously, the contest did go on as scheduled. And we took part, and won!
We were well aware of the fact that we were the only group entering this relatively less popular category this year (as the rules are harsh and preparation takes a lot more time than the others!). Nevertheless, I set a high goal for the boys – they needed to get at least 88 marks from the adjudicator! And they did!
A bonus for the day was that we didn't expect to be able to watch any other competitors' work in the venue because our category had only us to perform. Yet, Thematic Group Speaking was grouped with Words and Movements in the same theatre. So, we watched all the performances and listened to the judge's feedback to them as well. That was some fruitful learning of styles and creativity on stage!
And the best moment, out of our expectation, was when the judge commented on our work and praised us by saying that we were awarded the highest score in the entire session (including the Words and Movements groups)! Somehow, in terms of scores under the same judge, we could still be proud that we outplayed the other groups!
We didn't give up, we didn't relax, we fought for a better "us" in the end regardless of whether or not there were opponents, and, we learned some valuable lessons. The topic of our act is "The Story of Rain" and it's of course water-related. Flexibility and adaptability are the key abilities of water that we learned in this amazing and unique experience. Keep this up, boys!
Dr H C Lee
P.S. We have video-recorded the final rehearsal of our performance. The clip will be available soon.
(Text by Ms Peggy Yau)
When I was invited to be the next teacher who shares something related to water on the English Department website (here), I carefully thought about it.
Water cycle? Water pollution? Hydrology? Oceanography? I’m sure you all can tell a little about it.
The wondrous experience in the water? A deadly accident in the water? The best descriptive writing about the water? They shouldn’t be something too unfamiliar to you.
Then I think I shall do something different, something special – in a sense it can make you think, make you reflect on it, and make you respond to it. Here, I have written a fictional poem titled The Last Drop of Water. What would you do if you have the last drop of water? What would I do with my last drop?
The Last Drop of Water
Is the Earth coming to the end?
Dried rivers, dried seas.
Dried puddles, dried streams.
There’s no clean water, not anywhere.
How can our beloved home be so bare?
Now beside the last withered apricot,
Stands a little kiddie with a little pot.
Inside it he shall carefully retain
The most precious last drop of rain.
And take a look at everyone,
Who all hold their last drop but never for fun.
Clutching their bottles, heartbroken and frail,
Would it make the very last fairy tale?
Suddenly the kiddie who always stays hopeful,
Comes up with a wheeze that’s rather unusual.
“Let’s collect all the last drops and give the apricot some drinks.
The apricot shall live, and so do other tiny living things.”
No scoffing, no disapproving,
Everyone lines up to feed the poor shrunken thing.
Slowly and gradually the apricot looks a little beamy,
And look – oh the moistened earth is now going streamy.
The stream gently enriches the soil and the plants around,
And the most amazing thing happens – there is a little cloud!
From cirrus to cumulus to stratus,
Till it finally becomes too heavy and reaches a raining status.
Now the last drops from everyone become the last drinks for the dry,
Then the water goes to the soil and becomes the cloud in the sky.
Hydrated rivers, hydrated seas.
Hydrated puddles, hydrated streams.
Is the Earth coming to the end?
No, it is not if we’re all devoted to be a friend!
What about you? What is your last drop of water? Can you create some great pieces, may it be a poem, a story, or a fable? Looking forward to your responses.
Text and photos by Mr Philip Tse
Last year, my family and I spent over two weeks in Australia during the summer holiday. For five of those nights, we stayed on an island called the Green Island, which is a beautiful 6000-year-old coral cay located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. (Q1: Do you know how a coral cay was formed?)
As you can see in the photos above, the weather was fantastic! We expected the water to be clean and clear but its purity simply left us dumbfounded. The only idea we had at that moment was to claim our snorkelling equipment and jump right into the water!
And that’s exactly what we did! As soon as we were done getting advice, half-heartedly, from the equipment guy, we merged into this natural interactive aquarium. There were all kinds of fish: big solemn-looking ones which liked to keep their distance, and tough little ones which would look right into our eyes in defending their territory. Occasionally, we would meet some starfish, rays, or even sea turtles! The turtles were definitely the superstars and they would draw the attention of literally everyone at the beach. Even the little kids would abandon the sandcastles made in a heartbeat just to catch a glimpse of them! Once there was this super friendly turtle swimming right next to me but unfortunately I could not turn on my camera quick enough. It was such an amazing moment! At the same time, I thought about the sea animals which are forced to live in polluted waters and I was saddened by the thought. (Q2: Which is your favourite sea animal in the Great Barrier Reef?)
There were many other things to do besides snorkelling and sunbathing. Taking a ride on the glass bottom boat allowed us to see even more fascinating sea animals from further off shore. Every evening, staff members would feed the seagulls, which were eagerly anticipating the food and fighting for the best positions. There were also night walks for us to join so that we could get to know more about the unique ecosystem on the island.
My favourite moment during my stay there was the hour I spent all alone at the beach one night, listening to the paddling waves and taking pictures of the stars with just a point-and-shoot camera mounted on a tripod in complete darkness. The marvellous Milky Way reminded me once again how negligible human beings are within this vast universe. We are fortunate enough to have this beautiful planet and we should all protect it. Needless to say, I was inspired by this whole experience on Green Island. (Q3: What have you done to help save the living environment of the sea animals?)
Text and Photo by Mr Sampras Lee
When we think of bodies of water, our minds are immediately drawn to the major oceans, seas, rivers and lakes of the world. But none of them, in my opinion, compares to the warmth and comfort of one particular type of water body. If you have ever had the pleasure of sitting comfortably in a nice and steamy hot spring, you would know exactly what I’m talking about!
Hot springs, in case you didn’t know, are pools of water that are filled with geothermally heated water that has risen from the Earth’s crust to its surface. This means that many hot springs can be found near areas of volcanic activity. Imagine how hot that must be! So hot, in fact, that some hot springs are measured at almost 100°C! Fortunately, the hot springs that you and I get to enjoy are usually at pleasant temperatures of around 37°C (Question 1: Hmm… Why do you reckon this is such a pleasant temperature for us?).
You may have heard of the many health benefits of soaking in a hot spring, such as the boost of blood circulation, reduction of stress, and relief of pain, to name but a few. It is with those appealing benefits in mind that I visited the hot spring as shown in the picture below (Question 2: Can you guess where in the world it might be?)
Lo and behold! I felt the positive effects of hot springs right away! I could feel my body gradually relax with each passing moment, and my worries drift away – it was such a delightful experience. I even tried out the ‘cold’ spring (around 20°C – freezing!) right next to the hot springs on a local’s recommendation, and although it was quite a shock to my body initially, I felt much more refreshed afterwards because of it (Question 3: Why do you think people hop in the ‘cold’ spring right after soaking in the hot one?).
For those of you that have never tried soaking in a hot spring, make sure it’s on your to-do list for your next holiday! For those of that have tried it before, share with us how you found the experience! Where did you try it? How did it feel? Would you recommend it to your fellow schoolmates? Why or why not?
Looking forward to all your responses! Bye for now ;)
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