「你所訂立的『大目標』是什麼？」這是我這陣子見到學生時常問的問題。他們回答我時，總是嘴角泛起笑容，眼睛閃爍著光芒，像是在憧憬著什麼似的，然後與我分享他們的計劃和想法。其實，我單看見他們雀躍萬分的表述，認真思考的神情，我已感到非常滿足了。這些畫面令我想起在TED Talk演講人中排名第一的肯．羅賓森爵士的著作《讓天賦發光》（Creative Schools）中提及有關教育一環：他認為教育應該授權給學生，讓他們發展個人的興趣和長處，不同學生應配以不同的學習節奏，這不正是配合了「長假期無功課──自主學習計劃」的設計理念嗎？
3th April, 2018
Dear Parents/ Guardians,
“What goal have you set?” This is a question I often asked students recently. They always answer with a smile and bright eyes, as if they were longing for something. Then they shared their plans and ideas with me. In fact, I have been very satisfied when I saw how excited and serious the students are. These scenes remind me of a book by Sir Ken Robinson, the champion speaker of TED Talk, Creative Schools. In the session about education, Sir Ken Robinson suggested that education should give students authority to develop their personal interests and strengths and different students should be able to learn at different paces. I believe this in line with the rationale of the Homework-free Holiday Self-directed Learning Scheme.
Our school has implemented the Homework-free Holiday Self-directed Learning Scheme in primary one to three last year. In a press conference held on 9th November, 2017, a news media conducted interviews and some news reports have been uploaded on our school website. The objective of this scheme is to provide students with space and authority over their own learning. By planning for their holiday and setting their learning goals, students’ self-learning abilities can be enhanced. Also, they can learn to manage their time wisely, enjoy their leisure time and build good living habits. As students can set their goals according to their abilities and interests, they will have stronger learning motivation. Some parents have shared that their children have learnt to manage time and set learning goals through joining the scheme. Also, their children have become more responsible and they would do their homework and do revision without reminders. As a result, parent-child relationships have been improved as well.
Homework must be meaningful, otherwise students’ learning interests and motivation will not be aroused. Interest and curiosity are the driving forces that help children learn spontaneously. So let us give students back their holiday, make the holiday a new learning space, and let them learn to plan and spend their own time. This year, we will launch this scheme in primary one to six. Social workers from the Hong Kong Christian Service Happy Teens Club has visited our school to conduct workshops and seminars with teachers, students and parents. We do hope that students can use their holiday to learn more, master life skills, practice time management and plan to do valuable things and things they enjoy. Moreover, we want to help students set goals and plans, and develop the attitudes of being proactive, responsible and self-disciplined so that they can experience the fun and significance of self-directed learning. Parents can also utilize the time to arrange some activities with their children so as to improve communication and establish good relationships through this scheme.
To enable parents to have a better understanding of the school curriculum and their children's learning, P.2 and P.5 lesson observations will be arranged in the first lesson on 16th April (Monday). There will be a discussion after the lessons. We hope that parents will participate actively in this activity to better understand their children's learning performance. In addition, there will be an education camp for P.6 students from 25th to 27th April to enhance students’ social skills and foster team spirit through the camp. Meanwhile, from 26th to 27th April, we will conduct a Mainland Exchange Programme in Zhongshan to learn about the local history, customs and culture. I would like to thank all the teachers involved for their efforts and all parents’ support. We hope that the activities will enable students to have a diversified learning experience.
The Bible says: “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it” (Proverbs 22:6). As parents and teachers, we have a responsibility to let our children discover the joy of learning according to their different learning abilities and interests. Regardless of whether the learning experience is difficult or easy, it is a crucial element to help them grow. Therefore, don't hesitate to give your specific praises and rewards to your children for their hard work. Then we will be able to give them confidence and help them move forward. Nurturing and educating children does not rely on a single party. The collaboration and the communication between parents and school are very important for children's learning. Therefore, P.3 home visits will be carried out during the Easter holiday so that teachers can communicate more with parents and understand more about the students’ needs. In the end, let me share a Bible scripture as an encouragement: “Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:30-31).
May you be blessed with good health and may God’s grace always upon on you!
Chiu Kit Wa