THE New Territories Heung Yee Kuk Tai Po District Secondary School has been trying to improve the study environment to accommodate the changing needs of its students. In the past, the school did not make any special efforts to improve the environment, and principal Mr Poon Shui-yang said it was about time to do so. The first step was to beautify the campus. An ad hoc committee made up of members from seven clubs, the vice-principal, 10 teachers and more than 100 students was set up at the beginning of the school year for the task. ''We got rid of all the dying plants and planted new seedlings,'' Mr Poon said. ''The project not only raised the students' awareness of environmental protection but also enhanced their sense of belonging to the school.'' The school hopes that students will develop a sense of responsibility and willingness to serve the community. A classroom cleanliness competition was also launched at the start of the school year. Marks will be given according to the cleanliness of each classroom when school ends. Prizes will be awarded to the three classes with the highest marks, according to Mr Poon. Students in the class with the lowest mark will be asked to help with cleaning work around the campus, such as sweeping the corridors and clearing the rubbish. As for academic development, the school is offering a new subject - Ethics - in Forms 1 to 3 this year. The class is held once a week. The curriculum is designed according to the students' age, problems and value systems. Students learn about moral judgement, behavioural rules and respect for teachers and parents. ''The curriculum is designed by the teachers. Visual teaching aids such as videos are used in class, and sometimes we combine the different classes for a general lecture,'' Mr Poon said. The new subject has received favourable response. Students show a lot of interest and enthusiasm in class, according to the principal. ''We decided to offer the new subject in Forms 1 to 3 because students seem to be more troubled during this time,'' he said. ''The class seems to be effective as we have noticed a lot of improvement among the students.'' The principal added that the school would organise a parent-teacher association next year to foster communication between teachers, parents and students. New Territories Heung Yee Kuk Tai Po District Secondary School Tai Yuen Estate, Ting Kok Road Tai Po, New Territories BACKGROUND The school was founded in 1981. It is a co-educational secondary school with 1,100 students, 53 full-time teachers and 19 auxiliary staff. HEADMASTER The principal is Mr Poon Shui-yang who holds a B. A. degree and a diploma in Education. Mr Poon has 24 years of teaching experience. TEACHING LANGUAGE Both Chinese and English are used. ACTIVITIES The school offers 24 academic and interest clubs and societies. SPORTS Students are encouraged to take part in basketball, badminton and football. FACILITIES The school has an assembly hall, 27 classrooms, an integrated science laboratory, a chemistry laboratory, a physics laboratory, a biology laboratory, a music room, a basketball court, a volleyball court and four badminton courts. Field trips are organisedfor Geography. SCHOLARSHIPS School Council Scholarships and Sir Edward Youde Memorial Prizes. PREFECTS Forty prefects are headed by Wong Chun-lai and Chan Wing-chi. SCHOOL MOTTO ''Discipline and Perseverance''