|King George V School|
Honestas ante Honores (Honesty before Glory)
|2 Tin Kwong Rd., Ho Man Tin,
|Type||International, secondary, co-educational|
|Principal||Mr. Ed Wickins (2004)|
|Grades||Years 7 - 13|
|Campus size||10.2 acres (41,000 m2)|
|Publication||The Lion (annual yearbook)|
King George V School (Chinese: 英皇佐治五世學校), often shortened to "KGV" (pronounced K-G-Five) is a co-educational international secondary school of the English Schools Foundation, located in the Ho Man Tin area of Hong Kong. Currently serving 1,700 students in the Kowloon peninsula, and a member of the Headmasters Conference, it is one of the oldest schools in Hong Kong, with a long history and many traditions. Its students take the IGCSEs followed by the International Baccalaureate. KGV has a unit for children with special needs. The campus is 10.2 acres (41,000 m2) in size.
KGV is the oldest of all the schools in the English Schools Foundation. It first opened in 1894 on Nathan Road and originally catered for Europeans living in Kowloon. At that time the school comprised just one small building. It was destroyed in a typhoon in 1896. In 1902 Kowloon College opened in its place. A huge opening ceremony took place. Many of the Hong Kong colony's elite, such as Major General Gascoigne, the Apostolic Vicar of Hong Kong Louis Piazzoli, J.H. Stewart Lockhart the Colony Secretary were there. The school was built using donations from Sir Robert Hotung.. Drawing Europeans from all over Hong Kong, the school would be renamed The Kowloon British School, and then The Central British School before assuming its present name.
By 1930, the number of students in the school had grown to 300. Wooden huts were built at the back of the school to create extra classrooms. The playground was only 7 m². The then-Headmaster, Mr. Nightingale, asked for a new and bigger school site, which was acquired, and the site plan for which was designed by a teacher named Mr. Rowell. Classes began at the new site began on 14 September 1936. The first headmaster of the new school was Reverend Upsdell. The present school is still on the same site. The foundation stone for the new building was laid by Sir William Peel and the building was subsequently named The Peel Block in his honor. Students in Year 7 learn about the school history.
In 1937, the Japanese army invaded China. Many European women and children were evacuated from Shanghai to Hong Kong. They needed a place to stay in the summer and the school was used as a refugee camp. When World War II started in 1939, the government started to worry about the safety of the children. In August 1940 the government ordered the evacuation of European women and children, and the school site was occupied by British forces as a hospital. When Hong Kong surrendered in the Battle of Hong Kong, the school site was taken over by the Japanese and used as a hospital for prisoners of war. It is rumored that the clock tower and/or Pavilion was once used as a morgue or torture chamber under the Japanese occupation and that ghosts of tortured victims inhabit the clock tower and room P14. Dead bodies were also said to be buried under the school field. What is known, however, is that when classes at KGV resumed after WWII, the back of the stage still had the Rising Sun Flag (of the Japanese military) painted on its back wall.
When the news was received that Japan had surrendered, the General commanding the school left holding his sword high. As soon as he had left, the school raised the British Union flag. It is probably the first in Hong Kong. After the end of the war KGV was used as a military hospital and British doctors lived in the school. The following message was inscribed at the Hall's main entrance: "Never in the field of human conflict" - a reference to Winston Churchill's famous speech given to the British Parliament on 20 August 1940. To this day the quote still remains at the Hall's main entrance.
The school re-opened in the summer of 1946 and in 1947 children of all nationalities were able to join the school. Since it was no longer only for British pupils, the school's name was changed on KGV's Speech Day 1948 to King George V School. (George V was King when the foundation stone of the Peel Block was laid.)
There are approximately 1,700 students of some 28 different nationalities enrolled in the school. Students are accepted from many feeder primary schools in the English Schools Foundation such as Kowloon Junior School, Beacon Hill School, Clearwater Bay School,( and also some students from Bauhinia School and other English schools.)
The house system is the basis for all school competitions such as in sports, music, and dance, and often sees fierce competition between the houses. Each student at KGV belongs to a house, named after former members of staff. However, to prevent competition between members of the same family, brothers and sisters are usually placed into the same house.
The houses, and their associated colors, are as follows:
For pastoral purposes, students are allocated year groups ranging from Year 7 to Year 13, depending on their year of birth. These year groups are further split into form groups, named after planets and heavenly bodies: A (Asteroid) (only used for larger year groups), E (Earth), G (Galaxy), H (Halley's Comet), J (Jupiter), M (Mars), N (Neptune), P (Pluto), S (Saturn), V (Venus) . A form group consists of roughly 30 students, and is allocated a form room, where registration (i.e. attendance) used to be taken, and any notices such as the Daily Bulletin are read out. Now, the attendance is taken through an Octupus Smart-Card System, in which students are required to "scan in" to school every morning, and the attendance is record on LIONel, KGV's electronic learning platform.
A student's form group originally remained unchanged throughout his or her school career, i.e. a student placed in group 7S would precede to 8S, 9S, and 10S etc. In September 2001, students entering Year 9 had their form groups reshuffled to encourage the students to be more familiar with the rest of the year. Form groups are normally reshuffled again at the beginning of Year 12 to account for leavers after completion of Year 11. Students were formerly picked arbitrarily into form groups, but as of September 2005, senior school students in Year 12 and 13 are placed in house-based form groups. The years are mixed together, known as vertical tutoring, so groups will consist of Year 12 and 13 students. Such groups are named 6N1 (Sixth Form, Nightingale, Group 1) as opposed to previously, where students were placed in groups named 12E, 13M, etc. Starting from the academic year of 2008-2009, year 11 students are now also part of the vertical tutoring system with the year 12 and 13s.
In Hong Kong, the education system is similar to that of the United Kingdom. This is because Hong Kong was colonized by the British from 1841 to 1997. When the British introduced the comprehensive school system in the 1960s in the UK, children in Hong Kong were transformed from the old education system of entering a 'first' school (4 years) followed by a 'secondary-middle' school (4 years), then a 'secondary-high' school (3 + 2 years) to the 'new' education system of primary school (6 years) followed by secondary school (5 + 2 years). The trend of late has been to replace 'first' schools with primary schools and accordingly, 'secondary-middle' and 'secondary-high' schools with fully-fledged secondary schools. KGV divided the year groups into key stages in line with the British schooling system.
The Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed for Years 7 to 9. All subjects (Art, Drama, English, History, ICT, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages, Music, Physical Education, Religious Studies, Geography, Science and Technology) are compulsory, and students are able to choose two languages to study from a list of four (French, Mandarin, Spanish, German).
In year 7, students are not put into academically leveled sets but is considered as a "transition" year, offering a wide variety of "inquiry" opportunities, transitioning from the "PYP" inquiry format learning to the British Curriculum.
All subjects are compulsory, but there is a choice to suit the aptitude and interest of students. This choice is structured in a way that is balanced and it ensures students can build on their strengths whilst keeping their options open in the future.
All students taking the IGCSE course have to study the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science (split into Biology, Chemistry and Physics), PE and PSE (Personal and Social Education). Students may choose to take a further course in ICT, CIDA (Certificate in Digital Applications), which is equivalent to two GCSEs. In addition, they must choose four further subjects by choosing one of the subjects from each of the boxes - Box 1: Chinese AS, Chinese GCSE, French, German, Spanish; Box 2: Art, Music, Sports Science, Drama, DT Electronics, DT Resistant Materials, DT Graphics, DT Food, DT Textiles; Box 3: Geography, History, RS; Box 4: Economics, Business Studies, Psychology or another subject from Boxes 1,2 or 3.
Students in year 12 are allowed to select four AS Level courses to study. However, some students find it difficult to cope with four courses, and select three instead. General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ) courses are designed for students who have difficulty in studying.
Students are required to achieve a certain grade in their GCSE examinations in order to take on their desired AS Level subject. Each AS subject has a slightly different requirement. AS Level subjects are studied in greater depth, requiring large amounts of self-study and independence
A2 Level (GCE Advanced Level) is the curriculum designed for Year 13. The class of 2008 is the last year to do A Levels.
Students in KGV have to wear a uniform. In summer, girls in Y7—Y10 wear a blue skort or blue trousers, a white short sleeved blouse with triangular slits at the sleeves with the blue KGV logo on the breast pocket, any black shoes and a pair of white socks.Girls in Y11-Y13 wear a khaki skort or trousers, white blouse, black shoe and a pair of white socks.
In winter, girls in Y7-Y10 wear a blue skort, a white long or short sleeved shirt, dark navy blue tights, blue tie with yellow lions for Y9-Y10, white socks and black shoes, V-neck pullover or a navy blue blazer.
Boys in Y11-Y13 wear khaki trousers or walkshorts, a white shirt, a black belt, black shoes and a pair of black socks. Boys in Y7—Y10 wear blue trousers or shorts, a white shirt with the KGV logo, a black leather belt, black leather shoes and a pair of black socks with trousers or a pair of white socks with shorts.
Y11 -Y13 girls wear a khaki skort or trousers, a white long-sleeved blouse, a blazer or pull-over, dark blue/black tights, white socks, black shoes and a blue yello striped tie with the kgv logo at the tip of it. Boys in Y7-Y10 wear blue trousers, a white long- sleeved shirt, a pull-over or blazer, socks and shoes the same as summer uniforms, blue for Y7-Y10. Y11-Y13 boys wear khaki trousers, a white long-sleeved shirt, a blazer or pull-over, blue tie with stripes and shoes and socks as the summer uniforms. Girls in senior school also have the option of closed toe sandals
However in the school year of 2008-2009, with the new seniors including year 11. Year 11 students have the choice of to wear either the senior or the navy blue uniform as part of the transition into the senior school.
Starting from the class of 2012, the year 11's will have to wear their kahki uniform for winter and summer.
KGV School Council is responsible for the government of the life and work of the school. The Council has a number of responsibilities including monitoring, reviewing and evaluating the School Development Plan; the appointment and promotion of staff; approving the school budget; ensuring the condition and state of repair of the school premises and also acts as a link between ESF management, the school and the community as a whole.
The Student Council (SC) is the student government of KGV. It consists of fifteen Year 13 students. All of them are elected through direct student voting in the senior school (Years 12 and 13), this is a two to three week process where the candidates run campaigns and give speeches about their ideas for the school. The President and Vice President of the Council are then voted in by Year 12 and 13 students after another round of speeches.
The Student Council listens to the student opinion through form representatives and assists the school's development and improvement. It has a powerful and respected voice on all facets of school administration. Many of its achievements in the past include input on the school Healthy Eating policy, smart card system, vertical tutoring, ICT, environment, assembly structure, physical education (PE) kits, and site redevelopment.
Every year the Student Council also hosts or helps out in fundraisers, such as the annual 'ESISCO' and School 'Karnival'.
In recent SC elections, issues of concern for KGV students have included congestion in the school's stairways, the lack of means through which students can voice their concerns, and the replacement of malfunctioning computers in the Senior Student Centre Resource Room.
From 2009 onwards, Year 11 students will be allowed to apply run for the Student Council. Furthermore, instead of restricting voting to senior school (Years 12 to 13), Years 7 to 10 will also be allowed to vote under a weighted point system.
The motto of KGV is Honestas Ante Honores which means "Honesty Before Glory" in Latin. The school song is also called Honestas Ante Honores as well. It is sung at school events such as the Junior School Celebration and Speech Day.
Here we are gathered from many a nation,
Arts to acquire that our peoples may serve.
Characters moulded by strict regulation
Honour demands we this motto observe:
Honestas ante Honores
Honesty first then glories
Loud raise the echoing chorus
Honestas ante Honores
Bold as the Lion Crest
Blazoned on every breast
Loud let resound the chorus
Honestas ante Honores
Chivalry's courtesies claim cultivation.
Honour depends on such disciplined rule.
Honour acquiring a good reputation,
Honour the name of King George the Fifth School.
Honestas ante Honores
Honesty first then glories
Loud raise the echoing chorus
Honestas ante Honores
KGV is renowned for its excellence in sporting events ranging from rugby to basketball; games often take place within the school campus, as the school is one of the few in Hong Kong with such well-equipped facilities. It is a Division I category school. In 2009, the KGV won the Bauhinia Bowl, marking it as the best sporting school in Hong Kong for the academic year 2008-2009.
This is the list of buildings on the KGV campus as of 2007.
This block is named after Sir William Peel, the Governor of Hong Kong from 1930-1935. His name can be found on the foundation stone on the north-east side of the building. This is the first block built on the present school site. It is protected under Hong Kong law because of its age.
The building has a shape of a letter E, and has two stories, housing the Hall, fourteen general-purpose classrooms on the ground floor and an extra four on the first floor, seven senior science labs all on the first floor, the Reading Centre (a junior library), a computer room, two multimedia suites, the staff room and offices, and a lecture theatre. The clock tower sits prominently on the front side of the building. There are also two paved quads for various activities.
Since the KGV site was used as a hospital and a dungeon by the Japanese in World War II, there are many rumours about this block. Many have said that the computer room is haunted and was a torture chamber during the Japanese Occupation, while others say at night, footsteps can be heard on the Peel Block's roof.
The Hall, located in the centre of the Peel Block, has hardwood flooring in the centre and marble flooring on the side walkways and up halfway along the wall. At the front of the hall is the stage, and to the rear, there is a second balcony level. The hall is outfitted with advanced sound and lighting equipment, and used for events ranging from weekly Assembly to Speech Day (an award ceremony for Year 9s and above) to music and dance competitions.
This building, situated on the south side of the campus, is three stories tall. There are two design technology rooms, two textiles technology rooms, and the school's Sick Room on the ground floor; two graphics technology rooms and two food technology rooms on the first floor; six junior science labs, and two general-purpose classrooms on the second and third floors.
The Annex Block houses two classrooms on the ground floor and two on the second floor. These classrooms are mainly used for teaching Chinese; there is a Languages Store room as well.
Formerly consisting of two squash courts, the Activities Centre now houses two Drama Studios and Drama Department Office and one of the boys' and girls' P.E. changing rooms.
This five-storey building literally links the New Block, the Peel Block and the Activities Centre, with covered walkways on connecting floors. This building houses two Design and Technology rooms, a D&T office and store room, as well as a drama studio and girls' drama changing room on the ground floor. The two middle-school pastoral offices, three computer labs, and the School Library are on the first floor; fourteen general-purpose classrooms are spread out amongst the second, third and fourth floors; three music rooms are on the fourth floor; three art rooms are on the fifth floor.
The Jockey Club Sarah Roe Centre (JCSRC) was built with funds donated from the then Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club and named after Mrs. Sarah Roe, an occupational therapist, who was a founder of the Child Development Centre at the Matilda Hospital. It originally contained the Jockey Club Sarah Roe School in the Garden Rooms on the ground floor (which moved to new accommodation underneath the Senior Student Centre later in 1996), support offices, and a professional development and resources centre for ESF staff on the floors above.
Over the years, the building has been used for different purposes including housing the offices of ESF Educational Services Ltd, Sally's Place (ESF's Self-Access Language Learning Centre), the ESF Professional Library and KGV using the Garden Rooms as classrooms. Currently, KGV uses the Garden Rooms for teaching purposes whilst the first floor houses KGV's Junior School Office. The remaining office space houses the ESF Education Development Center's satellite office, its conference facilities and the ESF Professional Video Library.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Sarah Roe School (JCSRS) is housed on the KGV site, and occupies the first two stories of this building. This facility educates students with special needs across the English Schools Foundation, and is the only such unit in the entire foundation.
KGV occupies the remaining floors, designated by the letter E. The third floor of the building houses the Senior Student Centre (SSC) which is a common lounge/study area reserved exclusively for senior students. There are five classrooms in the Senior Student Centre used by students from all years, as well as a lecture theatre and a computer room. Offices for senior school pastoral staff are also housed there.
In 2001, a vertical extension to the building was completed. The fourth floor of this building provides ten more classrooms as well as a computer lab. There is also a second staff break room there. This floor is technically not part of the Senior Student Centre, but is often referred to by junior students as the "SSC" floor anyway.
The roof of the building has a tennis court. Tennis courts used to be on the ground floor before this building was erected.
These six ground-floor classrooms were meant as "temporary" classrooms, but as KGV grew, these classrooms became necessary and thus a permanent fixture. Modern Languages are taught predominantly in these six rooms which occupy the "piazza" area encased inside the square formed by the Peel, New, and Link blocks.
Completion Date 1940
This block occupies the south-west corner of the school field. Prior to the reconstruction of the field, two classrooms (X1 and X2) were housed in this block, and storage shed and maintenance shed occupied the ground floor. The classrooms have now been converted into changing rooms. Many students and teachers still believe the Pavilion was used as a torture chamber during World War II when the Japanese occupied the school.
As of 2003, KGV's artificially turfed field has become the ESF's multipurpose sports facility. It has markings for various sports such as football (soccer), and also has a track running the perimeter of the field.
Prior to the astroturfing, there was opposition to the use of artificial turf. However, huge amounts of money were spent on maintaining the natural grass on the field's base of hard clay, and so was uneconomic and impractical: inevitably, after a month or two of use the field would become a large dust bowl and students would often get injured playing on the field. Over HK$16 million was spent on the conversion, which started late in 2002.
Also, there were rumours that before the artificial astroturf, the grass on the field never grew. It was said that this was due to the dead bodies of World War II buried under the grass.
The school's swimming pool is located behind the Peel Block. It is a 23-metre swimming pool with six lanes, normally in operation from April (usually after Easter break) to November. It plays host to a variety of activities hosted by the academic departments as well as extra-curricular activities, such as D-Day emulations by the history department and re-enactments of the Red Sea Crossing by the Religious Studies (RS) department.
The Canteen block is located next to the swimming pool, houses the canteen (Sodexho), the weights room, the PTSA shop, as well as offices for the PTSA (Parent Teachers Student Association). A variety of food from different companies however, is available for senior students, which can be obtained by violating the senior school contract that students are forced into signing (see: Lien). The class of 2008, in particular, has been known as the pioneers for ordering deliveries of McDonald's and Kebabs. This has become the unofficial norm and a major rite of passage for members of the senior school.
There are plans to amalgamate the KGV and KJS (Kowloon Junior School) Perth Street campus to allow KGV to grow further. This would involve the replacement of the canteen block and swimming pool with state-of-the-art facilities including a performance hall, indoor swimming pool, gym facilities and new classrooms to accommodate the increasing numbers of new students. This would efficiently address the unnecessary problems that will arise as a result of the merger. In September 2008, KGV introduced a Octopus smart-card system replacing the paper registration method and to ensure better security at KGV. This system however, has not addressed the fact that many faculty members still refuse to adopt the system themselves.
KGV, being an old school, has many traditions in place. The list below is by no means exhaustive.
Formerly held Monday and Friday mornings, they are now held Wednesday afternoons. Assemblies are where announcements are made to the whole school, performances are given, and, in general, is a common bond that holds the school's students together. However, due to the growth in student numbers since 2003, assembly can no longer be held with all students under one roof as was the case then. Currently, assemblies are live broadcast to other venues. These are Drama Studio 1, 2, 3 and the SSC.
The Pantomime, otherwise called the "panto", is performed by Year 13 students on the final day of the fall term, near to Christmas. Generally making fun of the school or its teachers, this event is invariably a great comedy show for all students.
Speech Day or Speech Night, is a formal occasion for Students from Years 9-12 who have achieved academic excellence in KGV. Each subject comes with a subject prize and only one student of the each year is awarded. Other prizes are awarded such as Community Service, Lion Yearbook, School Public Spirit, Art, Acting, Music and many more. As this is such an important event to prize winners, Teachers and Alumni, the KGV Orchestra and Choir plays music as well to make the night even special.
A concert given by the KGV Orchestra, Choir and Jazz band, open to the general public. White Christmas has been a staple of every KGV Christmas Final Assembly for as long as anyone can remember. Originally sung by Chris da Silva (a student from 1985 to 1992, who performed the intro solo) with the school choir; and later, by William McMahon, a mathematics teacher, performing the intro solo for the "staff choir", no Christmas Carol Concert or Christmas Final Assembly is complete without the singing of this song. Following Mr. McMahon's retirement in 2001, White Christmas is now sung by Fred Croft, Head of Art and finally in the last couple of years, White Christmas is sung by student soloists and the choir.
Known as the "Beach@KGV" in 2008, KGViva in 2007 and Spring Fair prior 2003, this event is held every year in March or April where KGV is set up to be like a bazaar. Students set up games stalls, merchants set up small shops, raffle ticket sales and there are performances by student groups as well as the Orchestras (Junior Orchestra and Senior Orchestra) and the Jazz Band.
An elimination game is held on the school field or Hall where a $10 entrance fee is charged, and a series of questions is asked. Proceeds from this game go to the school charity. This is always held at the last day of every school year. The winner wins HK$1000.
A final assembly on Year 13's final day before exam leave in the summer. Usually, a performance is given by Year 13 students, and final goodbyes are said. There is a recital of Rudyard Kipling's poem If— by the Head Boy, and Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou by the Head Girl. At the end, a band of teachers play Summer Holiday by Cliff Richard while the rest of staff (on stage) and school sing along. Prior to 2002, students would spend the night at the school as well; this tradition was scrapped due to safety concerns.
As of 2008, fees for this school are set to HK$89,250 (approx US$11,500/£8100) per year