Sacred Heart Canossian College was founded in 1860 by the . It was Hong Kong's second girls' school. The school was founded by the Canossian Sisters of Charity; the foundress of the order was Saint Magdalen of Canossa. Saint Magdalen was quoted as saying ''"Canossian educators should try to handle each one in the way she is made, valuing the benefit of education in the formation of the heart."'' - a founding and continuing principle of the school today. Magdalena of Canossa was on 2 October 1988 and became St. Magdalen of Canossa; her feast day is celebrated on 8 May.
The Canossian Sisters of Charity is a Roman Catholic religious order founded by the Marchioness Magdalen of Canossa, later canonized as Saint Magdalen of Canossa, of the House of Canossa from Tuscany, Italy.
Soon after the first Canossian sisters arrived from Italy in 1860, they established a school for girls. The school, originally called Italian Convent School had 40 students. The medium of instruction varied, including Chinese, English and Portuguese. The first headmistress of the school was Sister Emily Aloysia Bowring, daughter of the fourth Governor of Hong Kong, . She served from 1860 to 1870.
In 1960 the school's name changed to the Sacred Heart School , and in 1960, to its current name, Sacred Heart Canossian College, in order to differentiate from other schools in the territory bearing the same name. Originally the school educated girls from aged 3 to 18, it had a kindergarten section, a primary school section and a secondary school section. At that time the site covered a stretch of land that spans between Robinson Road and Caine's Road. In 1981 the secondary section of the school moved to Pokfulam but the kindergarten and primary sections of the school remain on the original site on Robinson Road. In 1988 roughly half of the land was sold to developers of high rise residential buildings. The kindergarten and primary sections moved to temporary accommodations until the new buildings on Caine's Road became ready for moving-in in 1992. Since 1981 the secondary school took the name Sacred Heart Canossian College while the kindergarten and primary sections were renamed Sacred Heart Canossian School.
Sacred Heart is regarded as one of better secondary schools in Hong Kong. Over the years, it has produced many graduates of distinction .
The original campus was in Caine Road, Central. In 1981 the secondary school moved to its present location in Pokfulam. The Campus occupies an area of 6400 square metres on a verdant hillside, overlooking East Lamma Channel.
The Campus consists of three blocks of buildings and three playgrounds. The school has 34 classrooms, 7 laboratories, one multi-media laboratory, one audio visual room, a Teachers' Learning & Resources Centre, a Students' Learning & Research Centre, 3 computer rooms, 9 special rooms, 2 counselling rooms, a Student Council office, a health care room, reception area, school hall, library, car park, tuck shop, chapel, and Sisters' residence.
SHCC is partially funded by the Government as a Grant-in-Aid School. Under the School Management Initiative, the school is managed by a School Management Committee, which consists of members of the Institute of Canossian Sisters of Charity Inc., the Principal, a teacher representative, a representative from the Alumnae Association, and a parent representative. This committee is ultimately responsible for all school policies.
The secondary school has a total of 38 classes: 6 classes at each level from Form 1 to 5; plus two arts-stream classes and two science-stream classes in Forms 6 and 7. There are an average of 42 students per class in Forms One to Three, and approximately 35-40 students per class in Forms 4 and 5.
In Forms 1 to 3, students are approximately divided into two main groups according to their academic performance in mathematics and language proficiency. Students are then assigned to different classes towards science related or arts related curriculum. This is not to discriminate against the academically less-inclined students, but to enable the better use of resources and teaching strategies. To meet the needs of students, remedial classes are conducted with smaller class size to facilitate maximum teacher-student interaction so as to attain a higher educational efficiency.
The spirit of collaborative learning is encouraged in all classes. Students engage in group projects to foster their peer and team learning attitude and competence.
Students are offered a variety of subjects in the secondary curriculum and in particular from Form 4 Form 7 to promote lifelong learning.
To encourage well-rounded development of its students, SHCC does not encourage students to take 10 subjects at the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination . In most cases, students take nine subjects at the HKCEE level. Overall, SHCC students perform well academically. SHCC has an excellent track record in producing students who excel at public examinations. Almost all of its graduates continue their studies at the university level. Over the years, an admirable number of its graduates have been admitted to some of the world's most prestigious universities, including the University of Chicago, the University of Oxford, the University of London, University of British Columbia, and the University of Toronto.
Schemes to enhance academic performance
The school employed a number of measures to boost students' academic competence and motivation to learn. One of them is the Reading Enhancement Scheme, which enhances students' self-monitored reading habit and encourages their parents to be involved in the reading process by sharing their experience of reading with their children. The school library is well-stocked with up-to-date reading materials thereby promoting study and encouraging learning.
Thanks to the generosity of various local organizations and past students, a great number of scholarships are offered to students with good academic performance. Clubs such as Debating Society, Science Society, Chinese Culture Society, Maths Club, Economics Society provide the opportunity to students to put their academic knowledge into practice.
* - Former Commissioner, independent Commission Against Corruption of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.
* - Member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
* Professor Rosie Young, CBE, JP - Former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, Chairman of the Medical Council of Hong Kong, Member of the Hospital Authority, and Council Member of the Royal Australian College of Physicians.
*Mrs. Mei Ng - Director of Friends of the Earth
*Dr. Loretta YAM Yin-chun - Cluster CEO and Hospital CEO of both St. John Hospital and the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital.
* Alice Mak , artist and cartoonist. She is the author of the two cartoon characters McMug and . As an accomplished cartoonist/artist, Alice admitted in an interview that she solicited her mother's and classmates' assistance in her artwork at school.
The order has founded a number of schools in the South East Asia, particularly in Hong Kong and Macau. The following is an inexclusive list:
*St. Francis' Canossian College
*Holy Family Canossian College
*Pui Tak Canossian College
*Sacred Heart Canossian College of Commerce
*Sacred Heart Canossian College, Macau (嘉諾撒聖心女子書院）