[Sponsored Article] Committed to providing a high-quality education that prepares students to be life-long learners that contribute to society as productive, caring and responsible individuals, Law Ting Pong Secondary School (LTPSS) which is located in Tai Po believes that every student is a star, ready to succeed academically and as global citizens. Lancy Tam Suk Yin, principal at LTPSS, explains how a rich language learning environment, which focuses on English, Spanish and Putonghua language competences is designed to equip students with the skills and attributes they need to flourish professionally and personally. Tam says language proficiency allow students to understand other cultures and develop an openness to interact with the global community providing students with a competitive edge when seeking future academic and career choices. She adds that LTPSS is proud that for three consecutive years the school has got the highest score on the Value Added Index, used for measuring English language proficiency. "Our students are not shy about speaking English because they are encouraged to use the language naturally in casual conversations as well as in the classroom," Tam says. About a quarter of LTPSS's teaching staff are native English speakers, a high percentage for a local school. In addition to helping students to achieve academic excellence, Tam says LTPSS's student-centered learning helps students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, necessary to handle different challenges they are likely to face in life. Importantly, Tam emphasises, the LTPSS campus is a "happy" environment where students develop a love for learning. Stressing that a "happy" campus does not equate to lack of academic rigour, Tam says LTPSS has created an environment where teachers, students and their families nurture wellbeing and the benefits gained from learning. For example, Design and Technology and Food Science programmes provide students with hands-on experiences using technology and knowledge about health and nutrition. Meanwhile, overseas study tour programmes to countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Spain and Scotland provide students with experiential learning experiences, designed to cultivate an inquisitive mindset. Furthermore, the LTPSS Spanish programme has become a curricular strength that reaches beyond academic achievements. Every year LTPSS students join an immersion visit to Barcelona where they join other international students to study at a Spanish college. Students also stay with local families and study in local schools. Notably, one LTPSS student has achieved the highest exam results in Spanish in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Exams in 2015. At LTPSS the school library is integral to the teaching and learning environment. "Not only does our library offer a wide range of books, it provides a range of activities to encourage regular reading patterns and support the curriculum," Ms. Elizabeth McNeilly, the library manager says. To support holistic language education, LTPSS have established a number of reading initiatives. For example, in 2016 LTPSS set up an Interpretive Reading event where participants read aloud to an audience using tone of voice, pace and vocal expression. "It was the first time a local Hong Kong school has organised such an event," Beth says. From the initial event, which LTPSS invited two additional local schools to join, the plan is to involve more local schools. "Reading activities boost confidence and communication skills, which are essential in everyday life for communicating with others and expressing ideas," says Beth. LTPSS has also established a popular Story Pilot programme which involves students in choosing their own English language books which they read aloud to promote group discussions. Story Pilots also visit primary school book clubs to read to younger students. To further enhance language competencies, throughout the year students take part in writing platforms, speech festivals, public speaking events and writing workshops with recognsied international authors. With creativity, communication and self-expression highly prized 21st century qualities, the performing and visual arts are also areas where LTPSS focuses considerable attention. LTPSS students have written, produced and performed widely acclaimed musicals, including interpretations of the hit musicals "Cats" and "Evita", and a special musical to celebrate LPTSS's 25th anniversary in 2017. The school choir, which has over 90 members, the school band and individual musicians, have won numerous awards and accolades for their performances. With creativity, communication and self-expression highly prized 21st century qualities; Tam says LTPSS's performing arts programmes play an integral role in providing students with a comprehensive education. As a Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS), school, LTPSS has flexibility in various areas including resources deployment and curriculum design. Nevertheless, as a DSS school, LTPSS is still required to offer a curriculum that is principally targeted at local students to prepare them for local examinations. In addition, however, to allow students to expand their academic caliber, LTPSS offers study pathways that lead to the General Certificate of Education (GCE) and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). These are particularly suited to students that plan to study overseas. The GCE and IGCSE are also recognised by Hong Kong universities for students seeking non-JUPUS (Joint University Programmes Admissions System) admission.