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Diocesan Girls School

Hong Kong Twinning Programme 2016

Diocesan Girls School

Day 1: 29 October 2016:

After we arrived in Hong Kong, my host and I went to Harbour City for dinner and afterwards we went to Tsim Shua Tsui which is located near the harbour. The place has a very nice landscape which shows the CBD area and the central district. One of the things I had observed in the area is that, unlike Singapore, the road pricing is not electronic and it has to be paid in cash. Another observation that I had made is that the taxis in Hong Kong are colour-coded to represent where they are driving to. 

A CCE Competency that I had used today is “Responsible and self-disciplined person”. I felt that throughout the whole of the day, I showed respect to the host’s family members and cleaned up after myself, such as washing my own plates and helping out in the house chores. My impressions of Hong Kong are that it has heavy traffic congestion due to the long vehicular queues on the way home and the weather is slightly cooler than Singapore’s. 

- Tiburcio Jaymee

Day 2 - 30 October 2016:

I visited Ocean Park along with Rashleender, Allison, Sherrie, Chloe (buddy) and Candice (buddy).

Hong Kong is very crowded, the streets are a bit dirtier and also there are less trees compared to Singapore. 
I realised that Hong Kong commuters stand on the right side of the escalator and there are dustbins in the MTR stations.

I learnt that Hong Kong residents speak mainly Cantonese. This makes it harder for me to communicate with them. Even though Cantonese sounds rough to the ears, however, the people are quite polite and helpful. 

I used a positive attitude today! I applied it as I need to adapt to many changes of staying with my host family and tried to be as helpful and optimistic as possible.

Nayda Pang

At about 8am, my host and I went to the Hong Kong Park Sports Centre for her fencing competition. In the competition, I observed that the different schools came together as one community to compete against one another. Around noon, I went with the host’s mother to go for a stroll at Hong Kong Park. The park was a really wonderful and beautiful sight as there were many plants and animals such as turtles, and other exotic birds from the other countries. There is even a waterfall! I had also noticed that there are many facilities that would not be seen in a normal park. There are the aviary (where the exotic birds are), ponds (where there are many fishes as well as turtles), restaurants and also the Flagship House Museum of Tea ware. I had observed that Chinese tea and tea in general are part of the history of Hong Kong which goes all the way back to the Wang Dynasty. I had also learnt about the Intaglio and Relief Carving there. Afterwards we went back to the Sports Centre and at about 5pm, the host’s family and I went to the Victoria Peak. At the peak it was extremely windy and it was really cold. We had decided to eat at a Dim Sum Restaurant, it is a Chinese food hence only chopsticks are available. In the restaurant, I had learnt how to use the chopsticks and how to pick up food using it. Once we finished eating, we went to the trick eye museum which was similar to the one in Singapore. A difference that I had noticed is that in Hong Kong, the road signs are in Chinese and English but in Singapore, it is only written in English. A CCE Competency that I can apply in my daily life is “Spiritual person crafting a purposeful life”. I had used this competency today as I had cultivated a sense of appreciation towards Hong Kong’s culture and history. I would be able to use this competency in my daily life as I could try to influence others to make a positive difference in society by spreading positivity around to my other fellow schoolmates. 
Tiburcio Jaymee

Today we spent the day at Ocean Park, one of Hong Kong's well known tourist attractions. Sherrie, Rashleender, Nadya and me, accompanied by our buddies Candice and Chloe, headed out in anticipation and were definitely not let down on top of the normal rollercoasters and other thrilling rides. There was the added fun of the Halloween theme too. People came dressed in all sorts of costumes and staff members travelled around the theme park, adorned in elaborate costumes consisting of extravagant outfits, over the top make up and spine chilling masks and prosthetics, scaring visitors and adding to the overall spooky atmosphere. There were also a variety of performances held to celebrate Halloween. Besides all the fun we had at the Ocean Park, I also observed that Singapore and Hong Kong have several differences and similarities. One difference is that of the road tax system. In Singapore, many of us are used to seeing the electronic road pricing system more commonly known as ERP. But in Hong Kong, due to the size and vastness of the country, it is difficult to implement an automated road tax systems. Everywhere and in certain areas, they still collect road taxes manually. One other similarity is that both Singapore and Hong Kong are very busy cities. Hong Kong is also popularly known for its beautiful night view. We are able to see the beautiful night view from the Kowloon side, looking over to the Hong Kong city side. It is truly a beautiful sight to behold!
Allison Tang

Today was my first actual day in Hong Kong, we went to the Ocean Park. It was a lot of fun as Allison, Candice (our buddy), Chloe, Sherrie, Nadia and I met up to go to the Park together. It was a Halloween night special and thus we stayed till late for all the "monsters" to come out. I learnt that the ocean park was actually on a hill. 

- Rashleender Kaur

Chloe and I went to the Ocean Park together with Candice (buddy), Nadya and Rashleender. Even though there was school the next day, there were many visitors as they wanted to go to the haunted houses that were only set up during the Halloween period. The staff at the park were very nice as they were not impatient when we did not understand their Cantonese language. They made an effort to use English to speak to us. The other girls and I also tried to learn and pick up some Cantonese along the way. On top of the language barrier, Hong Kong and Singapore are also different in their weather. In Singapore, it is always hot and humid whereas in Hong Kong, there is four seasons. One CCE competency I have applied is questioning knowledge and seeking explanations to make sense of learning. This is because even though while having fun, I notice things that I do not understand and will seek my buddy for help like reading menus and signs because they are written in traditional Chinese.

Sherrie Low

Day 3 - 31 October 2016: 

I visited Hong Kong Museum of History and learnt that Hong Kong also suffered greatly during the Japanese occupation.

Hong Kong has a lot Chinese tourists. On the MTR, there are premium and normal cabins. There are normal and mini buses.

I possessed a spirit of learning and drive to seek out new knowledge today as I wanted to visit the Museum to find out why Hong Kong is now the country it is today. 

In the school, I learnt how to ice cupcakes during cooking lessons. There is no canteen in the school, only a food stall that sells food in really small portions. The students have to venture out of the school to get their lunch at the nearby restaurants. The school is 10 stories high and only form 6 (JC 2) students and prefects are allowed to take the life to their classrooms on the 7th floor. This is must be incredibly tiring for them.

- Nayda Pang

In the morning, I went to school at about 6.50am by public transport. Whilst walking to the bus stop, I had noticed that there are specific bus stops for each bus. After my host and I board the bus, I also realised that the bus fares are fixed fare and one has to tap only once when boarding. Once we had alighted from the bus we took the MTR towards Jordan Station. I had observed that the trains look similar to the one in Singapore. The MTR also had different 'lines' which are colour coded which is also similar to Singapore's MRT lines. Once we had alighted from Jordan Station, we walked towards the Diocesan Girls' School. What I found very interesting was the tapping of the students’ 'Octopus' card to sign in their attendance at the security guard post. I found it very fascinating as it appears to be very convenient for the teachers to check the students’ daily attendance. The school life in Hong Kong, in my opinion, is rather different and unique compared to Singapore. School hours are much longer and the classrooms are fully air-conditioned. Students are also allowed to eat outside the school during the lunch break. I had learnt today is to be grateful for the facilities that CHIJ Secondary has since DGS has no canteen and has only one food stall which only sells snacks. I am grateful for the canteen in CHIJ Secondary as it is within the school compound. At the end of the school day, I was able to strengthen my bonds with some of the schoolmates. After school, together with other buddies, we went ice skating at a nearby mall. It was an enriching experience as I do not have much experience in ice skating.  A CCE Competency that I will apply in my daily life is "Socially and emotionally skilled leader". I would be able to apply this in my daily life by communicating with one another and developing friendships and feelings towards the others.
- Tiburcio Jaymee

Today was our first day going to Diocesan Girls School (DGS), accompanied by our buddies. We entered the school to be greeted by a sight of white pinafore, very different from what I am usually used to. In Hong Kong, they practice an automated attendance system in which students and teachers have to tap their school passes upon entering or leaving the school. This helps to track the whereabouts of the students. Another observation is that DGS makes use of solar panels as means to save energy, similar to that of the public housing in Singapore. Many of the school facilities are air-conditioned, including the auditorium, classrooms and science laboratory. The school does not have a canteen, instead they have a single shop that sells lunch boxes. As a result, many students choose to leave the school to nearby restaurants to eat. Today, we visited a western restaurant and not surprisingly, we saw many other students dawning the same white uniform. Students go through normal curriculum, similar to that of Singapore, consisting of Geography, History, and English etc. After school, Rashleender, Candice and me met up with Abbie and Jaymee at a nearby ice skating rink and spent our day there. After enjoying a couple of hours on the ice, we headed to the tallest building in Hong Kong, the ICC which has 108 levels.

- Allison Tang

Today was the first day of school at the Diocesan Girls School (DGS). During the school tour, I realised that their school is bigger than ours and is spacious. I also realised that most of the facilities in the school are air-conditioned. They also have two different types of uniforms, one for the summer and another for the winter. In DGS, they also have solar panels installed on the roof of the school. Another thing I noticed was that every teacher had a microphone with them. The DGS students are also allowed to go out of school for lunch as they do not have a proper canteen as compared to CHIJ. 
- Rashleender Kaur

It was the first day of school and it was really interesting. When my buddy and I took a bus to school. We only had to tap our Octopus card once when boarding the bus and I do not need to tap out when I alight. Moreover, the buses in Hong Kong has only one door unlike the buses in Singapore where there are two. The students in Diocesan Girls School (DGS) are also very welcoming and friendly as they would say hi every time they see us and even offered us food. During their 20 minutes break, students are allowed to eat their snacks in class or they eat food from small disposable containers like sausages and chicken. However, during their lunch which lasts for one hour, students are allowed to go out of school to eat. For some students, they have extra activities so they will have to buy lunch sets in school. For my buddy, she has to go for youth fellowship which occurs every week. During the youth fellowship, they worship and pray for each other. One thing I learnt from today was to have a spirit of learning and the drive to seek new knowledge. Although I have learnt some of the subjects that are taught, I will still pay attention during the lessons. I will also take up the initiative to learn other subjects that are not offered in our school such as liberal studies and the stories they learn in English Literature. It is always good to have the spirit of learning as it helps to expand our knowledge.
- Sherrie Low

Day 4 - 1 November 2016: 

In the morning, my buddy and I went back to Diocesan Girls' School for a normal school day. Though I had only been in the school for about 2 days now, I had made a few close friends. There is one in particular friend, who is a classmate of my host. She is really nice, humble and approachable. She always has a smile on her face whenever I see her. The fact that both of us have similar interests, we had a lot to talk about. After school, we went to Mongkok, ladies Street to try some of Hong Kong's local food and also do some shopping. I had noticed whilst walking around the streets of Mongkok, is that the sidewalks are extremely narrow and cramp - making it hard to walk around when it is crowded. The disposal bins and the surrounding areas are also filled with litters. This taught me to be responsible for the environment by keeping the area clean. This can be done so by throwing litter into proper disposal bins and picking up the litters on the floor. This realisation had helmed the achievement of the CCE competency on responsibility in me. I have learnt to be more caring towards the environment to ensure that the environment is clean and making it a more comfortable area to live in.
- Tiburcio Jaymee

I visited the Festival Walk with Alicia.
Hong Kong's walkways are very narrow and there are also many hidden alleys.
The Hong Kong octopus card is widely used, it can even be used to buy a lot of different things.
Hong Kong has a lot of delicious street food, some food stalls give gloves together with the food. 
I used possessing a spirit of risk taking today as I took risks to try different types of local street food including the skewered intestines.
The MTR characterises Hong Kong life. The MTR is often crowded just like Hong Kong living environment. It is also fast and efficient like the Hong Kong people and society, it is fast-paced. The MTR network is also constantly expanding and new stations built, just like how the Hong Kong people are constantly trying to reinvent themselves and their city.
- Nayda Pang

It is the second day of school, the students were very nice and welcoming as well. They showered us with a lot of hospitality and love. The teachers were really nice too. I really enjoyed my school experience at DGS.
Today we went to the peak after school. We took a ferry across to Hong Kong Island but we could not take the tramp up to the Peak. There was a really long queue, thus we took a taxi to reach the Peak. 
- Rashleender Kaur

Today, there were interesting lessons that IJ does not have such as I.T. where we controlled miniature robots with the IPads that each students own. After school, we went to Prince Edward area which is a popular shopping paradise among tourists. There are many shops in both the buildings and on the roads. The stall owners on the road sell a variety of things such as jade pendants, socks, clothes, stuffed animals and many more. In addition, they are sold at a cheap price. My host family also brought me to many famous restaurants in their area and they were really delicious. One thing I have learnt today was to find ways to become the best person that I can be. During the assembly, a teacher shared what a blessing actually meant and we should be grateful for the things we have. I am grateful for what God has blessed me with so far. This programme bring me to new friends and new knowledge, a caring host family, and a wonderful buddy.

- Sherrie Low

Day 5 - 2 November 2016: 

I walked around Tai Po with Alicia and her mum.
The Wonton skins are thin in Hong Kong, unlike the ones in Singapore. 
Hong Kong MTR network has 10 different lines and Hong Kong is connected to Shenzhen by the high speed rail. 
I learnt that Hong Kong recruits teachers from overseas for many different subjects like Chemistry and English. Hong Kong students do not sing the national anthem every morning. I managed to communicate effectively and work well with others. I baked cupcakes again today and I helped Alicia's classmates to bake theirs. We communicated well with each other and our cupcakes turned out well.
Hong Kong school life is hectic and school typically ends after 3.30pm. This might be due to the school starting later at 8am.
- Nayda Pang