25 Nov 2016

25 November 2016 Newsletter

Jockey Club Sarah Roe School’s latest newsletter is available to read now. Find out the latest news around the school and upcoming events.

  Principal’s Message
 Primary sports day
 Secondary sports day
 Music therapy at JCSRS
 Drama and music
 Sapphire Class Showcase
 Walkathon for CareER
 Donations to Crossroads
 Dates for your diary

Principal’s Message

Both the primary and secondary sports days were fantastic in all sorts of ways. The venue was super, the day was well organised (thank you again Mike) and on top of our wonderful staff we had several volunteers who provided that extra support. A huge thank you to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Ken Dubinsky and many parents and helpers. You can see plenty of photos later in this newsletter.


Domestic helpers at JCSRS

As you are aware there are occasions (such as our recent camp and sports days) when we ask for the additional assistance from domestic helpers. We are very grateful for this as it means we can provide a rich and inclusive curriculum and know that students are safe. You will also be aware that we need to ensure we know who is in our school at all times and we need to ensure our staff have enough space to rest and relax during their breaks. With this in mind we have recently updated our guidelines (Guidelines on Domestic Helper) in regard to domestic helpers in school. It is important to note that we are asking domestic helpers to arrive 10 minutes before an activity and to leave the school if they need to wait for a student for a considerable time. All domestic helpers who need to be in classes are asked to sign in at the front office and wear a visitor badge. Domestic helpers who come regularly to school will need to complete the form attached to the guidelines. We will move to the new guidelines in term two. We plan to hold a morning tea for domestic helpers at 9.30am on Friday 6 January to help communicate the new guidelines and express our gratitude. We very much appreciate your support with this.

Over the weekend William, Maxx, Hugh and Lok along with Mike and their parents participated in Team Fear. A day of hard work, adventure and challenges. They completed the 10.5km in 3hrs 13 mins – well done team.

Music is an important part of our curriculum. Later in this newsletter you can see how Jenny and Joanne are working together to enhance drama and music for our students. In addition you can see how Joanne works individually with some students. What an asset she is to our school.

It’s very busy in classes as we individually and collectively rehearse for the Christmas Show. Costumes are looking fabulous (thank you to our volunteers and parents), the music is fun and the dances are creative. I’m so looking forward to seeing you all there. Remember there are stalls in the foyer from 12.30 so bring some money to buy Christmas gifts and treats. Also remember our Giving Tree and bring a ‘school pack’, children’s toys or musical instruments to donate to Crossroads.


Primary sports day

Secondary sports day

Music therapy at JCSRS

Healing with rhythm and melody
Music therapy helps children with autism

by Daisy Lee


In a room filled with playful and catchy melodies, Sam Lawrence sits beside an electric piano, moving along the rhythm played by his music therapist. There are no words but his body movements express the joy he finds.

Sam has a chromosome abnormality, which has Ose symptoms resembling those of autism spectrum disorder. His journey with music therapy began when his therapist discovered that he reacted positively with music.Once the therapist discovered that he reacted positively to music, his journey with music therapy started.

Rona Grecia has been Sam’s nursemaid for almost 11 years. After accompanying him in the music therapy sessions for three years, she has seen observed that how music therapy has given Sam a chance to express himself.

Sam has a chromosome abnormality. His Ose symptoms resemble those of autism spectrum disorders.

“He used to react slowly to (his) therapist’s music or instructions, but now I am impressed to see his improvement in interactions. He can even express what instruments and music he likes. Sam is calm and happy when he is with music,” she said.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy designed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is effective in improving their interpersonal and communication skills.


Jockey Club Sarah Roe School offers in-house music therapy to children with special needs.

“Children with autism always live in their own world. Music serves like a cue, which can bring their attention back into reality and make them feel connected to the real world,” said Joanne Wu, a music therapist at JCSRS.

“For example, we always play ‘Hello Song’ when a session starts, which serves as a signal and converge (grabs) the children’s attention,” she said.

Ms Wu added that music is a kind of non-verbal communication, which helps children to express themselves.

“During music therapy sessions, they could choose what instruments and music they want. Through making choices and playing instruments in the way they like, their needs of autonomy and self-expression are fulfilled, which help relieve their pent-up emotion emotions,” she said.

Chung King-man, the founder of International Music Therapy Centre, said there are different approaches to music therapy. “It can be presented in active, passive or receptive ways to satisfy patients’ needs at different stages of recovery,” he said.

Mr. Chung also said patients could alleviate their worries and sadness by playing musical instruments, composing songs or simply listening to music.

“Music could not only provide psychological support to patients, but also reduce the physical pain they experience during the treatment,” he said.


Rhythms and melodies can also integrate with other therapies in order to maximize the outcomes. Miss X, who declined to be named, is a speech therapist who has been working in a special needs school for more than 15 years and has witnessed how music assists speech therapy.

“Music is the only thing that can keep their concentrations,” she said. “I felt so amazed when I saw a group of children being so concentrated and obedient at the same time.”

Miss X added that children are more responsive and willing to communicate with others during the session. “Music is their shared interest which facilitates their interactions,” she said.

She believed that students could feel a sense of achievement as they meet teachers’ requirements easily with music.

“Students have become more cooperative even when they are not accompanied by music,” she said. “When they could follow the instructions with music, they realized that they can follow instructions in other lessons.”

Most patients in Hong Kong engage in music therapy through non-government organizations or pay for private services, as most public hospitals do not provide music therapy.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Alexander Lo suggested the situation can be improved if more relevant researches and courses are conducted. He hopes music departments in Hong Kong universities could put more resources in music therapy research.

“It would be helpful if the universities can launch a concentration in music therapy, so that students can be educated and trained properly by psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.”,” Dr. Lo said.


Drama and music

On Thursday 17th November we were delighted to host a group of Island School students at JCSRS for the day. The students used our Independent Living Skills Room to practice functional skills development during the morning session.

In the afternoon they linked up with our fabulous drama and music session with students from Diamond and Gold class.

As you can see from the pictures everyone had a lot of fun as they worked together playing communication games, building our imaginary drama town and then playing with the Opti-beam.

We look forward to the next visit from the Island School group and to sharing more sessions with them!

Sapphire Class Showcase

In keeping with our Systems Unit of work we have been learning about restaurant systems in literacy and maths this week, students have been learning keywords and then using them in sentences and have practiced ordering from menus and calculating bills. This week students have  made French toast in their cooking lessons. They are now able to follow the recipe. They have participated in life skills lessons with some students working in SENsations, some completing office work with Summi and others working on individual targets in class. Students enjoyed choosing their lunch and practicing their conversational skills at lunch club on Tuesday at KGV.
This week has also been an exciting week for Sapphire Class with preparations for the Christmas show.  Students have been practicing their dance routine and have had lots of fun doing so. They have also started to make Christmas cards to sell at the show. We are very much looking forward to seeing you all there!
Kelly Thorp – class techer

Walkathon for CareER


Donations to Crossroads


Dates for your diary

Christmas Show –  1.00 Friday 9 December (Items for sale in the foyer from 12.30)

Last day of term 1 – Tuesday 13 December (Remember school finishes at 11.30)

First day of term 2 – Tuesday 3 January 2017

Morning tea for domestic helpers – 9.30 Friday 6 January