St. Francis' Canossian College
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St. Francis' Canossian College

St. Francis' Canossian College
SFCC badge.jpg

TypeAided (Grant School)
MottoVeritas in Charitate
(Live by the Truth in Love
? ?)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Established7 May 1869[1]
School districtWan Chai District
PrincipalMr. Kenneth LAW
GradesForm 1-6
Color(s)Blue, White
Feeder schoolsSt. Francis' Canossian School
AffiliationCanossian Daughters of Charity
Information+852 2527 1007
Medium of instructionEnglish
St. Francis' Canossian College
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

St. Francis' Canossian College (abbr: SFCC; Chinese: ; Jyutping: gaa1 nok6 saat3 sing3 fong1 zai3 gok3 syu1 jyun2; demonym: Franciscan) was founded on 7 May 1869 as the second school established by the Italian Canossian Daughters of Charity in Hong Kong. The wall painting of four Guardian Angels playing instruments is the school's mascot.

St. Francis' is one of the very few aided English secondary schools that comprise an aided comprehensive feeder primary school, which is known as St. Francis' Canossian School. The primary section is located on St. Francis Street and underneath the Kennedy Road campus. Known for a long list of distinguished alumni, the school has been identified as one of the most prestigious Catholic girls' schools in Hong Kong. [2][3]

School history

St. Francis' Canossian College
The Origin - A House at Wan Chai's Slum

In 1860, a small group of Canossian Sisters left their native Italy and moved to Hong Kong for evangelism. In order to teach and care for the moral welfare of the many poor children who lived in Wan Chai, in 1869, Canossian Sisters took a house to provide proper education with an emphasis on moral growth and self-respect to the poor and needy, which was the beginning of today's St. Francis' Canossian College. The Sisters did not only start a school, they also set up a hospital and an orphanage at the same address. After visiting the school, the Governor of Hong Kong was very impressed with the school's education, so he invited the school to join the "Grant-in-aid" Scheme. Although the school became a government establishment and one of the earliest Grant Schools in Hong Kong, the administration and management still belonged to Canossian Daughters of Charity.

The Development in Post-War Era

The school closed in 1941 due to the Japanese Occupation, but the determination and passion of the Sisters did not waver. After the World War II ended in 1945, the school re-opened and was named "Sacred Heart Junior School" until 1953 when it was renamed as "St. Francis' Canossian College." As a result of increasing demand of school places, the school started an expansion project with two extensions completed in 1956 and 1958. In the meantime, the school established the first team of Red Cross Youth Unit in 1956, which became one of the most sizable uniform groups in Hong Kong.[4] To further fulfill educational needs, the school introduced Form Six classes in 1962 and since then provided quality education from Primary One to Form Six. The hall building also opened in 1985, which consisted of a gymnasium, a library, a needlework room, a cookery room etc.

The Millennium Campus

Eventually, only the school campus for both secondary section and primary section remained standing on Kennedy Road while the other buildings on St. Francis Street were used as the convent for Canossian Sisters and Caritas Magdalene School. Caritas Magdalene School was redeveloped into the new campus for the primary section in 2007 and the expansion project for the primary section finished in 2010. St. Francis' redevelopment construction for secondary section has started in 2011 and finished in 2018. The total site area of primary and secondary section is around 9,517m2, which takes up the hillside from St. Francis Street to Kennedy Road.[5][6]


School building, 1869
School building, 1870
School building, 1958
School building, 1985-2011

19th century

  • 1869 - School was founded on 7 May. In response to Catholic Diocese's request, Canossian Daughters of Charity started a school around the St. Francis Yard area and took charge of the first Catholic hospital in Hong Kong, St. Francis' Hospital, which was once abandoned by Catholic Diocese.[7]
  • 1870 - A piece of land was granted by the government to build the campus, where included a hospital, an orphanage and a school taught in Chinese, English and Portuguese.
  • 1876 - First graduation of Primary Six students.
  • 1881 - School joined the "Grant-in-aid" scheme. Among the existing Grant Schools, St. Francis' was the first girls' school in the program.

20th century

  • 1920-1940 - The school consisted of a kindergarten, a primary school and a junior secondary school with a total of over 500 students. The secondary section was known as "St. Francis' School", which was a girls' English school. The co-educational primary section was named as "Holy Infant School" and divided into Chinese and English sections. Although the majority of students were girls, boys under 10 years old were accepted. After graduation, boys will be promoted to other boys' secondary schools, such as St. Joseph College and Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.
  • 1945 - School reopened after World War II and was named as "Sacred Heart Junior School."
  • 1952 - Visit of Governor Sir Alexander Grantham.
  • 1953 - School was renamed as "St. Francis' Canossian College."
  • 1956 - The East Wing (Phrase I Building for the Primary Section) was completed. The first team of Red Cross Youth Unit (Youth Unit One) in Hong Kong was formed on 5 November.
  • 1958 - Second phrase of the school building (Administration Block) was completed.[8] First graduation of Form Five graduates.
  • 1960 - The Past Students' Association was established. Visit of Bishop Lorenzo Bianchi. With St. Francis' Hospital being moved to Old Peak Road, St. Francis' was further expanded.
  • 1962 - First year of Sixth Form Classes.
  • 1963 - The West Wing (Phrase III building for the Secondary Section) was completed. First batch of matriculants presented to University of Hong Kong.
  • 1970 - Fund-raising activities for the Hall building were launched.
  • 1975 - The Student Association was set up.
  • 1985 - School Hall building was completed.
  • 1986 - The Parent Teacher Association was set up.
  • 1994 - School celebrated its 125th anniversary with the motto "The World needs our Care." [9]
  • 1998 - Conversion of the covered playground into a Multi-purpose unit.

21st century

  • 2000 - The campus was extensively damaged by landslide on 24 August. The school reopening was postponed to mid-September.[10]
  • 2002 - Project Learning curriculum was implemented in junior classes.
  • 2004 - School celebrated its 135th anniversary with the motto "Our Dream is still Alive."
  • 2009 - School celebrated its 140th anniversary with the motto "Magdalene's Dream in Motion."
  • 2010 - The new campus of the primary section was completed and the official move-in was in September.
  • 2011 - Open Day for the new campus of the primary section. Michael Suen Ming-yeung was the honourable guest of the opening ceremony. The secondary section started seeking consultation for the redevelopment project in Wan Chai District. The owners of the nearby luxury homes once complained about the new campus design due to the fear of depreciation in property values.[11]
  • 2012 - First Swimming Gala. Fund-raising campaign for the redevelopment of the secondary section, "Bring Back Our Angels", was launched.
  • 2013 - "Bring Back Our Angels" Fund-raising Variety Show was held at Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.[12]Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor delivered an opening speech as an officiating guest. Bowie Wu Fung performed as a special guest since his three daughters were alumni.

List of Principals[13]

Period Name
1 1937-1945 Sister Angelica de Piazza, FdCC
(In the early years the principal of SHCC also took charge of St. Francis'.)
2 1945-1947 Sister Lina Riva, FdCC
3 1947-1948 Sister Valentina Pattano, FdCC
4 1948-1953 Sister Giannina Gilardi, FdCC
5 1953-1958 Sister Carlotta Abati, FdCC
6 1958-1965 Sister Nedda Buratti, FdCC
7 1965-1967 Sister Laura Piazzesi, FdCC
8 1967-1971 Sister Emma Cazzaniga, FdCC
9 1971-1974 Sister Miriam Tavecchio, FdCC
10 1974-1979 Sister Marie Remedios, FdCC
11 1979-1991 Sister Bernadette Au Yee Ting, FdCC
12 1991-2015 Sister Susanna Yu Ka Pik, FdCC
13 2015- Mr. Kenneth Law

School information

Principal and supervisor

  • Current Principal: Mr. Kenneth Law
  • Current Supervisor: Sr. Agnes Law
  • Current Vice Principal: Ms. Rebecca Lee

School motto

Veritas in Charitate
(English: Live by the Truth in Love; Chinese: "? ?")
This motto encourages all Franciscans to embrace Christian values through a life of integrity and charity, along with an emphasis upon spiritual growth, social awareness, compassion and a clear sense of justice.


Form One students mostly come from the feeder primary school. Around eighty percent of the Primary Six graduates are accepted into the secondary section. Other students are admitted through Secondary School Places Allocation (SSPA) System. The majority of admitted students belong to Band One, the top one-third of all students in Hong Kong.

Class structure

There are 24 classes in total with 4 classes at each level, from Form One to Form Six (A, B, C, D).


English is the medium of instruction for all subjects except for Chinese Language, Chinese History and Putonghua. Junior forms follow the territory secondary school curriculum and senior forms follow the HKDSE curriculum.

School Campus

All classrooms, special rooms and School Hall are air-conditioned and provided with Internet access. Each classroom is equipped with a TV set, a projector, a display screen and a video-cassette recorder. Special rooms include four computer rooms, Multimedia Learning Center, Independent Learning Center, Library, Laboratories, Needlework Room equipped with computer facilities.

School uniform

School Uniform before the 1950s

The school uniform of St. Francis' has the same design as the two other sister schools', SHCC and SMCC, but differentiated by colors and school badges.

St. Francis' has a very strict policy on uniforms and grooming. Unannounced uniform inspection will be conducted throughout the school year.

Summer uniform

White short sleeve dress with turn-down collar and pleated bottom, blue waist belt, blue skinny tie, white short socks and black leather shoes. Navy blue or black or white cardigan or sweater of simple style is allowed when necessary. White slip is compulsory to even out the high transparency of the white uniform dress. No other garment can be used as a substitute.

Winter uniform

Navy blue jumper with pleated bottom, white long sleeve turn-down collar blouse, blue waist belt, blue skinny tie, navy blue short socks and black leather shoes. Navy blue or black cardigan or sweater of simple style is allowed when necessary.

School tie

The school tie of junior forms and senior forms are different. Form One to Form Four students wear azure (      ) plain skinny tie. Form Five to Form Six students wear cerulean (      ) school badge patterned skinny tie.

Sports uniform

Sports shirt corresponding to the color associated with the house and navy blue athletic shorts.

Hair style

Hair longer than shoulder length must be neatly tied up with dark blue or black ornaments. Masculine hairstyle and use of gel, hair spray, mousse or hair-coloring are forbidden.

Student activities

Student formation

  • Career's Guidance Team
  • Civic Education Team
  • Counselling Team
  • Discipline Team
  • I.T. Team
  • Religious Team
  • Sex and Health Education Team
  • Student Association (SA)
  • Student Librarian Union (SLU)

Extracurricular activities

The school has 4 houses, 20 clubs and interest groups, which are divided into 5 categories and managed by Student Association:

School Teams Service and Uniform Groups Interest Groups Religious Groups Academic Groups
Chinese/English Debating Team Community Youth Club (CYC) Art Club Legion of Mary Chinese Club
Junior/Senior Choir Girl Guides Association
(31st Island Company)
Debating Society Catholic Society Computer & Maths Union
Symphony Orchestra Red Cross Association
(Youth Unit 1)
Drama Club English Society
Chinese Instrumental Ensemble Social Service Group Games Club Science Union
Swimming Team Music Association Social Science Union
Basketball Team Photography Club
Athletics Team Sports Union
Dance Team

Four houses

Each student or teacher is randomly assigned to a house upon joining the school. Four houses will be competing in different inter-house contests throughout the school year. The house with the highest scores will be awarded the title "House of the Year."

  • St. Gabriel House ()
    House Color: Red
  • St. Nicolaus House ()
    House Color: Blue
  • St. Patrick House ()
    House Color: Green
  • St. Valentina House ()
    House Color: Yellow


  • Bloom (School Newspaper)
  • (Chinese version of Bloom)
  • Yearbook

Feeder primary school

St. Francis' Canossian School (abbr: SFCS; Chinese: ) is a whole-day girls' school offering P1 - P6 classes. The medium of instruction is Chinese that all subjects are offered in Chinese except for English Language. As the school is an aided school, it is a comprehensive school that admits Primary One students through Education Bureau's Primary One Admission System in the territory. Before the school year 2008-2009, the school offered half-day schooling that P1, P3 and P5 were a p.m. class and P2, P4 and P6 were an a.m. class.
After sharing the campus with the secondary section since establishment, the school started moving to 44-46 St. Francis Street in 2008 and the construction finished in 2010. Now the school site is around 4,762m2 and located below the Kennedy Road campus.
Since Canossian Daughters of Charity started managing the current school site in 1869, the site had been used for different education services, including a school for blind children in 1959 and a school for deaf-mute children in 1974. Later the site was leased to Caritas Magdalene School for mentally handicapped children in 1987 until the lease agreement with Caritas ended in 2007.

School song

List of notable alumnae in alphabetical order

Politics and business



Culture and performing arts

Sister schools in Hong Kong

External links


  1. ^ 135th Anniversary - School History St. Francis' Canossian College 135th Anniversary
  2. ^ "How mission schools gave girls a chance". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. 30 October 2011.
  3. ^ "?". The Sun (Hong Kong). Hong Kong. 20 October 2012. (Traditional Chinese)
  4. ^ History of The Hong Kong Red Cross The Hong Kong Red Cross
  5. ^ Education Subventions 90EB - Redevelopment of St Francis' Canossian College at Kennedy Road, Wan Chai Legislative Council of Hong Kong
  6. ^ Education Subventions 28EA - Reprovisioning of St. Francis' Canossian School at St. Francis Street, Wan Chai Legislative Council of Hong Kong
  7. ^ Travel QnA (Traditional Chinese)
  8. ^ Saint Francis Canossian College (second phase) Archived 16 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine Docomomo Hong Kong
  9. ^ "125 years of care celebrated in kind". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. 11 January 1994.
  10. ^ " ". Apple Daily. 16 September 2000. (Traditional Chinese)
  11. ^ " ". Wen Wei Po. Hong Kong. 3 November 2010. (Traditional Chinese)
  12. ^ " ". Headline Daily. Hong Kong. 17 July 2013. (Traditional Chinese)
  13. ^ Patricia P.K. Chiu (2013). A History of the Grant Schools Council: Mission, Vision, and Transformation. Hong Kong University Press. p. 248. ISBN 978-988-16973-2-5.
  14. ^ ? U-Beat Magazine, CUHK (Traditional Chinese)
  15. ^ "Hong Kong protests: 8 things you might not know about Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's Chief Secretary". The Straits Times. Singapore. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  16. ^ " ". Sing Tao Daily. Hong Kong. 13 January 2017. (Traditional Chinese)
  17. ^ "?:". Wen Wei Po. Hong Kong. 21 September 2011. (Traditional Chinese)
  18. ^ " ". Next Magazine. Hong Kong. (Traditional Chinese)
  19. ^ "35". Apple Daily. Hong Kong. 12 October 2003. (Traditional Chinese)
  20. ^ "?". . . 13 January 2017.
  21. ^ ":? ?". Ming Pao. Hong Kong. 8 September 2012. (Traditional Chinese)
  22. ^ Celebration of 42nd anniversary of the Cantonese Opera Club, Sacred Heart Canossian College
  23. ^ Cheuk, Wan-chi Vincci - Critical Biography Hong Kong Women Filmmakers
  24. ^ "Virginia Maher 1945-2007". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. 10 April 2007.

Coordinates: 22°16?29?N 114°10?09?E / 22.2748°N 114.1691°E / 22.2748; 114.1691

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