Queenie Hon is studying Psychology at the University of Bath. She credits many of her achievements to the encouragement and environment she encountered at ICHK.
What did you most enjoy about your time at ICHK?
I was consistently encouraged to break out of my comfort zone during my time at ICHK. From spiraling down a difficult section of the Pat Sin Leng trail after sunset (for the Duke of Edinburgh award) to coming second-last in a cross-country race, I definitely would not have accomplished what I have if it weren't for the encouragement from teachers. It may not sound like much to others, but I am so proud of what I have achieved. Thank you, Mr. Clarke, Mr. Chan, Mr. Blain, Ms. Goldthorpe, Mrs. Russell et al. for being so patient with me, believing in me and challenging me through the years. Teachers encouraged participation; although victories and recognition are great, personal growth is even greater. Teachers truly cared about us not only academically but also in terms of our wellbeing, which makes ICHK a rare gem.
How do you feel that teachers at ICHK prepared you for life after school?
I did not realise the extent of the teachers' influence on me until I had to leave home of 18 years for university in the UK. I finally understood what Mr. Newton and Mr. White meant all those times they discussed being a critical thinker and risk-taker. After school, life is without that constant feedback from teachers telling you what you are doing right or wrong. At ICHK, I was forced to think independently and critically, which really prepared me for life abroad and adult life in general.
How do you think that ICHK differs from other schools?
Its difference lies in being what it says it is: a small, tightknit community school. I was friends with students across year groups - this alone was different and rare in larger international schools I've been to. Yet ICHK promotes inclusivity and celebration of diverse cultures. Moreover, the daily escape into nature is drastically different, with the school being situated next to Plover Cove Country Park. The fresh air, away from all the pollution, definitely benefitted me in terms of health but also wellbeing - which I'm sure contributed to learning!
What were the key skills that you learnt at ICHK?
The skills of critical thinking, open-mindedness and risk-taking really stuck with me, and definitely helped me make the most of my time at university. Mr. Newton and Mr. White inspired me to think outside the box, and to put aside the fear of giving the wrong answer, because you'll eventually figure out that learning isn't just about passing exams. Learning is for life, and life is so much more than being right or wrong! As I begin job-hunting and figuring out what I want to do in life, these skills will be invaluable to whatever I do next.
Any significant moments / highlights / achievements in your life that you may like to share, and do you think your time at ICHK helped you prepare for them?
I grew up being a quiet and shy individual, that student who never puts her hand up in class. Yet in my years at ICHK, I became a lot more confident, and definitely a lot more vocal. Since leaving school, I have been a Publicity Officer at my university's Photography Society, collaborated with school authorities and teaching assistants in Bristol on an intervention study for children with reading difficulties, and attended PricewaterhouseCoopers' Women in Leadership Conference in London. All these experiences have contributed to my skills and intellectual development, yet I must credit ICHK and its teachers for first pushing me outside my comfort zone. I don't think the fear of failure ever goes away, but every little bit counts toward realising my full potential.