14 November 2018
Dear Parents and Students,
For over 130 years, Pooi To has nurtured its students to become alumni that meaningfully contribute to society. To continue this we want to gather the soul and hearts of all members of the Pooi To family, as a team and as a community. That said, we still have a long way to go. Aesop, a renowned Greek storyteller, once said: “United we stand; divided we fall.” To unite Pooi To girls, we must start with the individuals, and as a school we provide ample opportunities for students to develop their potentials and shine like gems.
However, independent individuals cannot build a team. If each class is a team, then the teacher is like a facilitator. If teachers can unleash each individual’s potential, build trust, foster strong relationships and promote mutual cooperation among students through teaching, activities and sharing, then a loving and caring atmosphere can be built in class. In addition, through different inter-class activities and competitions, a team spirit can be built within the class. Of course, class rules are important to guide the students to behave properly and respect each other. These help strengthen the bond of the class. Instant praise and advice are also helpful to establish and foster a positive and healthy class culture.
But how can we link up to 25 classes together to form a bigger team with strong cohesion? Pooi To deploys a “Horizontal House System” in which students in the same level are grouped together to form a house. The purposes of the houses are as follows:
- to build relationships and cohesive bonding among students at the same level;
- to build trust and relationships between teachers and students;
- to organise activities to enhance students’ moral, academic, physical, social, aesthetic and spiritual development.
- to develop students’ sense of belonging to the school;
- to unleash students’ potential and leadership through activities that bring out a sense of self-satisfaction and achievement.
Every November, a new house will be established for S.1 students, while other levels will have a house inauguration and celebration. The name, flag and motto of each house, which are selected by S1 students, will follow them throughout their 6-years of school life. The house captain and EXCO members are elected every year, so that students of each level have chances to lead the house in different years. They organise all of the events on that day to celebrate the house anniversary. The creativity and ownership of the house celebration should be kept and further strengthened to enhance the house spirit.
It is our ultimate goal to unite the Pooi To family including current students and alumni. Just as one of our goals for the “Horizontal House System” is to develop students’ sense of belonging to the school. There are three elements to building a student's sense of belonging:
- Students feel proud of the school and honoured to be one of the members;
- Students actively participate in activities and school affairs and are willing to serve on campus;
- Students and teachers establish a good relationship in which a culture of love and caring is generated and spread around the school.
The school has always had a strong foundation of team spirit, and along with the spirit of each class and house it has continued to strengthen over the years. As a result, students' have a strong sense of belonging to the school. However, extending that spirit past graduation is more of a challenge. Therefore, establishing a link with S.6 graduates to our Alumni Association is paramount to further strengthening the school spirit. In recent years, we have provided opportunities for current students with the Alumni Association such as job sharing, life sharing and a Big Sister Scheme. It is to enable them to better understand the functions of the Alumni Association and the importance of maintaining the link with the alma mater, so that the Pooi To girls pass the Pooi To spirit of “love, integrity, purity and perseverance” from one generation to another .