Our Mission Statement
The objective of the “Junior Writers Awards 2014” competition is to arouse social awareness of identity, society, culture and law in secondary students, as well as encourage intellectual reflection in the English language with an ultimate goal of social participation among the leaders of the next generation.
When a nation is led by intellectual and forward-thinking leaders that are actively involved in the community, that society is able to progress and develop towards a positive direction. Plato likens the human soul to a chariot where the driver is intellect and the horses are emotions. For the younger generations to become socially active in a positive manner, they must first feel compassion for social affairs that occur around them before they can apply their intellect to drive them forward and reflect their awareness proficiently. Matters to be aware of should encompass identity, societal, cultural, and legal issues. Everyone in society, especially the younger generations, has a duty and responsibility to think deeper about the issues surrounding them on a global and local scale. Positive social progression is only possible with the right kind of leadership and we must ensure that the younger generations receive the highest quality of education to equip them with the skills required to become powerful and influential members of society.
The “Junior Writers Awards 2014” (JWA) competition has been initiated by Norton House Global Education Initiative and co-organised by Norton House Education and Upper House Academy, collaborating with South China Morning Post as Media Partner. As a non-profit charitable educational initiative to raise the English literacy level of secondary students and train them to utilise multi-dimensional perspectives in considering social topics. JWA is a unique writing competition that focuses on more than creative and leisure writing. It is a serious cause that we have initiated to infuse multi-perspective thinking into English literacy art.
We are passionate about this cause and we are thus holding this competition as a purely charitable event and everything related to the competition will be free of charge for the students and schools involved. Our campaign aims to use social issues as a platform to stimulate, entice and encourage students to think outside their comfort zone and to express their ideas and opinions with critical, analytical, lateral and logical thinking. Students must first be able to apply these forms of intelligent thinking before attempting to affect positive social change in society.
Guest Of Honor
Mrs. Cherry Tse Ling Kit-ching JP
Permanent Secretary for Education
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Writing is not just about chaining words together. While writing, an author re-lives an experience and seeks to make sense of it through a purposeful integration of thoughts, emotions, creativity and literary skills. Through writing and reading others’ writing, we share, reflect, communicate, empathise, enrich each other’s lives and in the process, we also understand ourselves better. Writing is therefore a conscious act of internal dialogue, meaning creation and expression. The more we write, the better we can write, and the more capable we are in structuring our thoughts and emotions in a cogent, eloquent and lucid manner.
The assigned topics for the Awards are:
• What is my role in society?
• What does Rule of Law have to do with me?
• If I could go back in time to any period of history, when would it be and why?
In inviting secondary school students to write about these topics, the Organisers of “Junior Writers’ Awards 2014” seek to raise students’ social awareness and prompt them to embark on a journey of self-discovery: Who am I ? How do I and how should I relate to the others? How do I find this world? The answers are not important. What is important is the process of introspection. To reflect is to take a distanced view of ourselves, to better insulate our thoughts from our egos. With distance, we are better able to appreciate diverse perspectives and, over time, achieve personal growth and maturity as well as a readiness to take responsibility not only for ourselves but for the others too. Concomitant with this holistic sense of responsibility are compassion, mutual respect and a willingness to toil for the common good, all being the kernel of sustainable social progress.
The “Junior Writers Awards 2014” attracts more than 1000 entries. Organising the Awards is a feat. I applaud the Organisers for their painstaking efforts in giving an opportunity for secondary school students to be introspective and to practise writing. I salute the teachers, Judges, Sponsors, Benefactors and Supporting Organisations for their contributions to bringing the Awards to fruition. The Awards is sustainable social progress in action, with different people working in unison towards the common cause of nurturing the younger generation.
To the awardees, I extend to you my warmest congratulations. To the participants, I compliment you for embracing the opportunity to reflect and to practise writing. To schools and students who are onlookers this year, I hope to see you among the participants next year.
Ms. Vickie Liu
Director, Greater China Region, Norton House Global Initiative
Executive Director, Norton House Education
It is my honour to chair the Junior Writers Awards 2014 (1st Annual) Organising Committee. The JWA is the brainchild of passionate educators from Norton House Education Initiative, Norton House Education, and Upper House Academy, which I am fortunate enough to be a part of.
My most heartfelt appreciation goes to the tremendous and unconditional support from passionate educators, philanthropists, and industry leaders who devoted valuable time, ideas and expertise and trusting this literacy advocacy since its infancy; and participating schools and students who took on the challenge.
Seeds of future wisdom and unique vision for generations to come have been planted with the establishment of JWA. From our humble beginning, I sincerely believe that JWA 2015 will blossom into an even more impactful phenomenon across the region.
The Junior Writers Awards 2014 is initiated as a non-profit campaign to raise awareness and concern in secondary students towards social issues and train their ability to express their opinions on these issues with multi- perspective thinking and a high level of eloquence in the English language.
For the younger generations to become socially active in a positive manner, they must first feel compassion for social affairs that occur around them before they can apply their intellect to drive them forward and reflect their awareness proficiently. Matters to be aware of should encompass identity, societal, cultural and legal issues.
Positive social progression is only possible with the right kind of leadership and our vision is to ensure that the younger generations receive the highest quality of education to equip them with the skills required to become powerful and influential members of society. This unique writing competition organised jointly by Norton House Global Education Initiative (NGO), Norton House Education, Upper House Academy (Macau) and South China Morning Post is committed to cultivating strong leaders of society in Hong Kong and Macau.
Thanks to the generous support of organisations, institutions and individuals that share the same mission as us, the 1st annual Junior Writers Awards is now the most prominent writing competition with over 1,100 talented participants from more than 100 top schools in Hong Kong and Macau. Training workshops were held at La Salle College in January 2014 to train students in mastering the art of literacy and the analysation of the essay topics utilising critical, analytical, lateral and logical thinking. In-depth small group workshops were provided in addition at Norton House Education to assist students in their journey to contemplating social, cultural, legal and identity issues to produce an intellectual masterpiece.
The culmination of this competition will mark the successful planting of a seed in growing the ideal that English literacy, multiple-perspective thinking and concern for our future are aptitudes essential to foster in the next generations. We will continue to contribute to the development of the education system in Hong Kong and Macau and also extend our vision within Asia and internationally with each annual competition.
Norton House Global Education Initiative
Norton House is a charitable foundation and an independent endowment fund for Education. It funds and administers a diverse range of international philanthropic educational endeavours, research and programmes across Asia, with a specific focus on Hong Kong, Macau and China, which are initiated to provide long-term sustainability and enhancement opportunities in the realms of Education.
The mission of Norton House is to create social change by funding and initiating key development sectors which address some of the most persistent challenges. Norton House has pledged to deliver assessable social values in its operation through educational programmes and outreach partnership projects and by supporting academic institutions and other non-governmental organisations.
It is a source of pride for Norton House to have been a part of the intellectual development of many remarkable young people, to have witnessed not only the continuation of their academic success but also their contribution to society once they find their professions. Norton House seeks to unlock the possibility inside every individual.
Education scholarships and sponsorships are of particular significance because they have educated young leaders at a critical juncture in history. Norton House believes in giving talented students the best opportunities in life and looks forward to the future of these beneficiaries with great enthusiasm.
Norton House Education
Based in Hong Kong and Oxford, Norton House offers students the opportunity to engage intellectually, outside the constraints of the mainstream examination- based syllabus at their day schools. We help talented students cultivate genuine motivation and inspiration for their personal growth, and their ability to think independently, flexibly, laterally and logically, in an informed and considered way, regardless of their background.
Learning at Norton House is kept fun and interesting. It is our passion and commitment that we can achieve an education that enriches, enlightens, and liberates, that fosters understanding, strengthens judgment, improves reasoning, and imparts a clear sense of the relevance of inquiry for the greater good of humanity. At Norton House, we demonstrate unequivocally that these goals are feasible.
Norton House redefines approach to education and admissions, beyond stimulating the senses, away from beginning and ending in a class-room setting, towards creating a culture of lifelong learning. Students become great by choice.
Upper House Academy
Upper House Academy is a registered educational institution in Macau, which offers fully managed and tailored personal and discreet private educational services to young talents in both Macau and southern China.
Upper House is a team of exceptional tutors and coaches from some of the world’s top institutions and are high-achieving scholars with proven academic credentials. The aim of Upper House is to provide young talents with bespoke assistance in achieving exceptional academic results through dynamic and customized academic development plan of important projects such as developing the first self-learning IT Competency Program for teachers, introducing the online Learning Management System, and initiated the Learning Commons project to facilitate migrating teaching and learning from traditional classrooms to an integrated mobile learning environment.
Upper House also offer Gifted Education programmes to allow students to engage intellectually. Its affiliate, partners and collaborators are some of the world’s top academic institutions, corporations and charities.
South China Morning Post
Headquartered in Hong Kong, the SCMP Group comprises an impressive portfolio of businesses that deliver news, information and entertainment across many platforms to the people of Hong Kong, China and the world.
Today, the SCMP Group comprises its anchor brand, Hong Kong’s leading English language newspaper - the South China Morning Post and its sister paper, the Sunday Morning Post. The Group also features Hong Kong’s trend-setting fashion magazines Cosmopolitan, Harper’s BAZAAR, ELLE and CosmoGirl! plus leading lifestyle titles HK Magazine, The List and WHERE Hong Kong.
Today, the SCMP Group connects minds, cultures, businesses and communities with Hong Kong, China and the rest of the world. It is one of the most respected purveyors of quality journalism in the region.