English Activities

At Canossa School (Hong Kong), we have a clear vision that the use of English must not be confined to the classroom. We constantly seek to create a language rich environment for the students with a wide range of activities.

English Days

Prominent among these activities are English Days which, in normal times, are held every second Tuesday and are designed to encourage the use of English through participation in games and other activities based around specific themes. In addition, the Native English Teachers (NETs) spend every recess and lunchtime in the English Room with the students, playing games and encouraging them to converse in English.

Storytelling sessions

We seek to encourage students’ love of reading through initiatives designed to make reading a fun communal activity. On Tuesday lunchtimes when there is no English Day, the NETs run storytelling sessions for Key Stage One students. These sessions are very well attended and there has been consistently positive feedback. There is also cooperation in this area between our school and Canossa College, with College girls reading stories to younger students. This initiative has also proved very popular.

Regrettably, the current pandemic means that it is not possible for these activities to take place. We have therefore developed other activities to enable students to use English outside the classroom. For example, we are training the English ambassadors, KS2 students who help on English Days and in the English Room, to say English prayers in certain morning assemblies, with the aim of enhancing the English-speaking environment.

Hooked on Books

The past year has seen two significant initiatives to boost English usage among students, Hooked on Books and the Reading Newsletter. Hooked on Books is an online book club where students can read extracts from new books, discover new authors and share their opinions on books and reading. It also includes a weekly discussion thread on a chosen topic: the students are always keen to voice their ideas and we have some very lively discussions! There are two rooms in the book club, for KS1 and KS2 students. It’s a great way for our students to develop their own reading identity and interests.

English School Newsletter

Last year we first used the Reading Newsletter to promote reading and the response from students was overwhelming. So we’re going a step further this year and inviting our school reporters to write about what’s happening at school. We are delighted to introduce the first issue of the English School Newsletter. It is published four times each year, at the beginning of the school year, Chinese New Year, Easter and Summer. It is intended to help build a strong reading community among students and staff. We feature news of reading activities that students can get involved in, updates from our librarian as well as thrilling new books and authors for students to discover. We also publish some fantastic pieces of work from our students such as book reviews, favourite books and pictures they’ve drawn of characters they love.

External competitions

Students are strongly encouraged to take part in external competitions and each year large numbers of students participate in solo and choral speaking, debating and writing competitions. The debating team has been particularly successful in recent years and the team won the Championship last year. 

This year, the school will join Shakespeare 4 All (S4A) organization in order to have some year-long activities and a drama show.