Sha Tin College

Sha Tin College

Infobox School
name = Sha Tin College |

established = 1982
type = Private, comprehensive, secondary, co-educational
principal = David Cottam
street = 3 Lai Wo Lane
city = Fo Tan
state = Sha Tin
country = Hong Kong
coordinates = coord|22|23|34|N|114|11|18|E|display=title,inline|region:HK_type:edu|name=Sha Tin College
enrolment = 1,211
lower_grade_limit = Year 7
upper_grade_limit = Year 13

Sha Tin College (zh-t|t=沙田學院) is a secondary school in Hong Kong and a member of the English Schools Foundation – the largest independent schools organization in Asia. Established in 1982 as the Shatin Annex for students living in the New Territories, based in KGV School in Kowloon Tong and later relocating to Fo Tan in 1985, [ [ Sha Tin College principal vacancy, including an overview of the College] ] the school follows the British system of I/GCSE and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) Diploma. The school is currently led by Principal David Cottam. Enrollment stands at approximately 1,200 students, drawn mostly from the New Territories and Kowloon areas. Sha Tin College was until recently the youngest of the ESF secondary schools, being founded in 1982.

In 2007, the school achieved an average grade of 34 for the IB Diploma, with 15.4% scoring above 40 points and one student receiving a perfect score of 45. [ [ Sha Tin College Public Examination Results Summary] ] Students graduating from Sha Tin College enrol in universities around the world, with predominant areas being Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Hong Kong.

Sha Tin College is located on a hill in Fo Tan, Sha Tin and provides education from Year 7 through Year 13. Sha Tin College's houses are based on an explorer theme and each of the six houses is named after a famous explorer.

The school had its own indoor gymnasium built in 2002, with two basketball courts, six badminton courts, three volleyball courts and a rock climbing wall; there is also a swimming pool, astro-turf, two cricket nets and extra classrooms for its neighbouring primary school, Sha Tin Junior School. The junior school can be viewed as its sister school with students having the option of directly graduating into the college.


The school currently has about 1,200 students enrolled, from ages 10 to 18. [ Sha Tin College: Information for Parents] ]

Sha Tin College accepts students from an academic perspective, mainly students already fluent in English. The student population and demographics are predominantly Asian – notably middle class Hong Kongers carrying dual citizenship – when compared with other international schools.Fact|date=February 2008

Students from the New Territories and North Kowloon are generally assigned to this school, with the exception of Sai Kung and Clearwater Bay. [ [ English Schools Foundation: Sha Tin College] ]

Tuition fee

As a member of the ESF, the foundation receives an ongoing subvention from the Government of Hong Kong. However, students are further required to pay a tuition fee equivalent to that of many universities across the world, in addition to supplementary costs such as uniforms. As of the 2007-08, tuition was HK$85,000 (US$10,900) per annum. [ [ English Schools Foundation: School fees] ]


GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) is the curriculum designed for Years 10 and 11, being broad and balanced. Sha Tin College offers both the international IGCSE and GCSE programs, which are interchangeable.

The school provides subject choices to suit the aptitude and interest of students. This choice is structured in a way that it is balanced and it ensures students can build on their strengths whilst keeping their options open in the future. [ [ Year 10-11 Curriculum Brochure 2008-2010] ]

All students taking the I/GCSE course study the following:
**English Language
**English Literature
**Science (dual award) - Biology, Chemistry and Physics
**iPSE [iPSE, though mandatory, does not lead to a GCSE qualification.]
**PE (the course is compulsory but the exam is optional)

**A second language - French, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin I/GCSE or EAL (English as an Additional Language)
**Humanities - Business, Economics, History, Religious Studies or Geography
**Arts and Design - Drama, Music, Art, ICT or DT (Food, Resistant Materials, Electronics, Graphics)
**Another subject from any of the above

The elective subjects are mostly subjects already studied in Years 7-9 (with the exception of Business Studies and Economics), which provides continuity. The fourth option allows students to specialise by taking a second subject from one of the previous choices. This gives good degree of freedom within a structured framework.

The IB Diploma Programme is the curriculum for the senior school (Years 12 and 13). [ [ Year 12-13 Curriculum Brochure 2008-2010] ] Most students elect English A1 and another foreign language, often Mandarin, at B2a levels; the remaining four groups are scattered through various subjects of Humanities, Maths, Science and a sixth choice.


In accordance with British house system tradition, the entire student body is divided into six separate houses upon admittance into the school. Students remain in these houses until graduation and attend sporting events and various other activities as part of their house.

Originally there were four houses of Armstrong, Drake, Hillary and Scott, named after various explorers throughout history. This is a departure from tradition of other ESF secondary schools, whose Houses are generally named after school benefactors or school founders. In 1998 two more houses (Kingsley and Tasman) were added to increase competition and a growing demand for more student places by school applicants and their parents. Tasman was derived from the house of Scott and Hillary, while Kingsley was derived from the house of Armstrong and Drake. The colours for each house are as follows: Armstrong is yellow; Drake is blue; Hillary is green; Kingsley is purple; Scott is red; and Tasman is orange.

In the 2006/07 school year, a new form of Year 7 students, 7Z, named after Zheng He joined the six forms and was a de facto form. Students in form 7Z were still split up into six normal houses, so Z students would support their respective houses in inter-house events. The existing 7Z became 8Z in the 2007/08 school year. Unfortunately, 8Z was told by the Head of Year that it would be separated because of the loss of students throughout the year. The students have since returned to their own houses and joined other teaching groups.

The students engage in the annual Sports Day and Swimming Gala whereupon points are earned and compiled according to houses. Other inter-house competitions include netball, volleyball, cricket, rounders, basketball, badminton, chess and debating, among others. Credits and commendations earned by students also contribute to the final house point total. In general there is much rivalry between each house during inter-house events although there is little differentiation during normal school periods.

Each house is headed by a Head of House, Charity Head and two Sport Heads from senior school. The Heads are in charge of organising the events within their house throughout the year.

There is a generally a trend for siblings to be placed within the same House to avoid sibling conflicts, but when there are twins, they are placed in different houses to avoid confusion within the form.

For each year, there is one form for each house. Each house has a form tutor who is as such affiliated with that house. The form tutor can choose to stay with that form until the end of Year 11, where they subsequently reach senior school. Upon reaching senior school, students are jumbled up and put into nine separate forms, more often than not with completely different tutors. However, after their form graduates, teachers may opt for a Year 12 form or vacant tutor spots throughout the school. The form tutor is responsible for that form and sees them in a daily 20 minute session. He/she deals with mostly administrative tasks such as collecting forms and organising house events, and in senior school acts as the students' CAS advisors. There are usually student reps from each form who deal with various types of activities.


All students in Years 7 to 11 are required to purchase and wear the issued school uniform. Uniforms are generally school-specific in terms of colour and style. Students in the senior school (Years 12 and 13) are allowed to wear presentable casual clothing. On the last day of Year 11 it is customary to get signatures from fellow classmates and friends on one's uniform and also customise it often by ripping it and/or putting patches on it, although some students donate their uniforms to schools in Nepal.

Sha Tin College uniforms consist of a standard white button-up shirt with the school logo emblazoned on the left-chest pocket. Boys are expected to wear the straight-legged navy trousers while girls have the option of navy trousers or skorts. No tie is required but the uniform also includes a navy jumper, fleece, scarf and P.E. shorts with the gold and blue school logo emblazoned on all. Students of the upper school are also allowed to have two facial piercings; and people in the lower school are allowed one. Students are required to wear black leather shoes (preferable polished) and trainers (apart from when doing sports) are not allowed.

The PE uniform has changed since 2002. It used to consist of a white polo shirt with a diagonal stripe across the front in one's house colour. The new uniform is a polo-styled shirt in yellow, blue, green, purple, red or orange according to the student's house colours, with navy collars and navy tracksuit shorts or bottoms.

Starting from 19 November 2007, students can receive detentions for not wearing proper uniform, including shoes.


Sports facilities include a swimming pool, a multi-purpose sports hall with badminton, basketball and volleyball courts as well as climbing facilities and an astro-turf. All are shared with Sha Tin Junior School, the College's neighbouring feeder school.

Additional activities such as canoeing, rowing and hiking are available to students during CAS Week and camp, while many existing extracurricular activities offer golf or other sports. The annual inter-house Sports Day is commonly held at the Hong Kong Institute of Education stadium in Tai Po. Given the school's mountain-top location, the inter-house cross-country run is held on-site. Students are expected to run up and back down the hill, circle around Mei Wo Circuit, a neighbouring residential area, with students in middle school and above need to run back up and down the hill again, finishing at the gates of the school.

Basketball has been a long standing tradition of Sha Tin College. The school is often regarded as the best ESF school at basketball. Competitions are held at both the inter-house level and at the inter-school level. A-Grade boys have beaten every single ESF school this year by an average margin of around ten points. This shows the dominance Sha Tin College has over other schools in this respect.

Netball is a popular sport at Sha Tin College and is an inter-house as well as inter-school sport.

Volleyball is an often neglected sport in Sha Tin College, the only major event being the annual staff-student charity volleyball game.

Rugby union is a popular choice for students; previously, the school had an excellent reputation for it, but due to the graduation of most of the senior players, and the school slowly becoming more local, with academics becoming the top priority. The brand new U19's girls squad recently won the U19 'B' League.

Badminton is quite a popular choice for students during their selection of activities for P.E. classes. Badminton is also normally used for charity events; such as '24-hour badminton' where students go on shifts to play badminton continuously for 24 hours and stay sleeping at school. 24-hour badminton was started by a group of students in 2005 lead by Yu-Xi Chau, a then Year 13 student, later in 2006 it was carried on by Lawrence Jin and finally by Wilson Yeo, Zenith Wong and Jonathon Wong in 2007. Each year it raises nearly $30,000 going to various charities such as Oxfam.

CAS Week

Since the implementation of the IB Diploma into the school, CAS Week has become a vital and predominant part of the high school culture in Sha Tin College, taking place in October each year. CAS stands for "Creativity, Action and Service", an important part of the IB philosophy and curriculum, and activities during CAS Week mostly revolve around these three themes.

Students from Years 7-9 take part in whole-year camps at various facilities around Hong Kong whereas students from Years 10-12 (and Year 13 starting 2008/09) take part in CAS Week activities ranging from trips overseas such as Japan, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, mainland China or North Korea to Hong Kong- or school-based activities such as "Global Feast" (C), "Football Camp" (A) or "Teaching English in Local Schools" (S).

School Fair

The Sha Tin College and Junior School Fair takes place at the end of November each academic school year in order to raise additional funds for school equipment, such as computers and interactive whiteboards. 10% of the proceeds gathered from the Sha Tin College Fair is donated to the various charities elected by the Houses individually, such as the Esther Benjamins Trust and Habitat for Humanity.

The School Fair comprises musical entertainment, game stalls and a raffles sale.


Sha Tin College is arranged into four blocks plus one that is shared with the Junior School. Each floor of each block is often devoted to a particular subject. Each room has a room number consisting of three digits. Each digit represents the block number, floor and room respectively.

Hall block

*Ground floor: undercover area, PTA bookshop, nurse, PTA office, Senior School common rooms
*First floor: Drama studio
*Second floor: hall
*Third floor: hall balcony
*Top floor: astro-turf pitch (connected to the fourth floor of Block 1)

Block 1

*Ground floor: English as an Additional Language, main entrance, general office
*First floor: English, staff toilets, after-school detention room
*Second floor: History, Geography, Philosophy and Religious Studies (collectively known as PRS from Years 7-9), toilets
*Third floor: Modern languages (Chinese, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian), toilets
*Fourth floor: Mathematics, hall balcony, Physics

Block 2

*Ground floor: Design and Technology
*First floor: Food technology, Mathematics, detention room, staff room
*Second floor: Library, Geography
*Third floor: Senior School Centre, careers room, seminar rooms, Psychology
*Fourth floor: Science (Physics, Chemistry and Biology)
*Fifth floor: Science (Biology and Chemistry)

Block 3

*Ground floor: Chartwells cafeteria
*First floor: Art, ICT
*Second floor: Art
*Third floor: ICT
*Fourth floor: Business Studies, Economics
*Fifth floor: Music, toilets
*Sixth floor: Drama studios

Block 4

*Ground floor: swimming pool
*First floor: swimming pool entrance, changing rooms, toilets
*Second Floor: extra classrooms for Sha Tin Junior School
*Third floor: toilet and changing rooms; extra classrooms for Sha Tin Junior School
*Fourth floor: sports hall
*Top floor: astro-turf pitch


In 2007, the school decided to change the cafeteria to the present one run by Chartwells. The current cafeteria, as of yet unnamed, is managed by Chartwells, a subsidiary company of the Compass Group Hong Kong.

In previous years, there were two cafeterias, Mr Sy's and Café Concepts. According to the school, Mr Sy retired from service and the canteen stopped operating in 2006, [ [ Sha Tin College Past Students Association Summer Term Newsletter 2006] ] which only left Café Concepts for students to buy from. The cafeteria managed by Chartwells took over Café Concepts at the start of the new school year in August 2007.


There are two minibus routes stopping at the College. The most commonly used route is the 69K, [ [ Directions to Sha Tin College] ] which goes to Sha Tin Station, and the 811A, a route passing through Fo Tan Station. In the past, there was a coach which went to Sha Tin Station just after school, but it ceased to operate beginning term 2 of the 2007/08 school year.

There are also many school buses serving the school, with the school PTA hiring six Citybuses as school buses as well as other private school bus companies services.

*Route 1: Kowloon Tong
*Route 2: City One Sha Tin/Fairview Park/Fanling/Palm Springs
*Route 3: Fo Tan/Kowloon
*Route 4: Hong Lok Yuen
*Route 5: Tai Po Road
*Route 6: Ma On Shan/Shatin

Prior to the 2006/07 school year, Route 2 had a station in Hong Lok Yuen. However, that has been since filled by Route 4.

See also

* English Schools Foundation
* Sha Tin Junior School

Notes and references

External links

* [ Official website]

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