Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Diocesan Girls' School

Diocesan Girls' School, founded in 1860, is one of the oldest Anglican girls' schools in Hong Kong. DGS is currently located at 1 Jordan Road in Kowloon, Hong Kong. It is administered under the Grant Code and uses English as the medium of instruction. Academically, it is one of the highest achieving schools in Hong Kong.



It was originally named Diocesan Native Female Training School in 1860, when it was founded at Bonham Road and Eastern Street in Hong Kong Island. The School was set up by the wife of Bishop Smith. He was the first Bishop of Victoria sent by the Society for the Promotion of Female Education in the East, a sub-society of the London Missionary Society. At first, it admitted only girls. In 1866 it was renamed Diocesan Female School. Because of financial problems the School had to restrict its services solely to orphans and destitute girls in 1869. Later, it became the Diocesan Home and Orphanage and accepted boys as well.

The School first received government financial assistance in 1878 and was placed under the grant-in-aid scheme, officially establishing itself as a girls' school. The boys were to continue their education at the newly founded .

In 1913, the School finally moved to its present site in Kowloon, formerly a rice paddy field. In the 1920s, the school motto, ''Daily Giving Service'', was adopted. During the Japanese in World War II, the School was taken over as headquarters of the Japanese gendarmerie until it was re-opened in September 1945 by Ms. Gibbins, then headmistress, who was interned at during the occupation. Immediately upon her release, Gibbins hurried back to reclaim the school premises despite difficulty in crossing the harbour, thus saving the building from being looted by angry residents.

Post war

In the 1950s, with the closure of the adjacent town-gas depot, the School was able to expand. The old Edwardian edifice was pulled down, and three school blocks were constructed to accommodate the enlarged student body. The School embarked on a large scale school expansion project, and two extension blocks were opened respectively in 1993 and 1996. A new phase of expansion had been completed and was opened officially on the 12th of January, 2007.

Recently, the School celebrated its 145th Anniversary, and a musical production "The DGS Girl" was staged at the Shatin Town Hall, telling the history of DGS through the life of a group of girls: Mary Jean, Annie, Catherine, Sandra, and Jaqueline.

The school motto is "Daily Giving Service", an adaptation of which was coined by former Headmistress Dr. Joyce Symons for DGJS to be "Daily Giving Joyful Service".

DGS has joined the Direct Subsidy Scheme in 2006.

Donations controversy

In 1976 the School handed out application forms for its Primary School together with a solicitation for a "voluntary donation of HK$1,000" towards the construction of a new Primary School building. This drew a great deal of criticism from the public and fueled the debate about the questionable recruitment practices of elite schools. Symons had responded that the solicitation had been cleared by the ICAC, and in addition that the School had sent out the solicitations "inadvertently". The School was forced to dissociate the request for donations from applications.

The controversy also contributed to demands that the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, of which Symons was the sole representative of the education sector, be made more representative of the sector.


Diocesan Girls' School is a school whose medium of instruction is English and is recognised for its high standard of English. It emphasizes the development of bilingual and triliterate abilities, and provides the girls with education in oral and written English and written Chinese. The School has long been known for its academic achievements, with students consistently receiving top results in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination and the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination throughout the years. One of the most notable achievements occurred in 1999 when 6 girls each earned the perfect 10 A-grades on the HKCEE, setting a record.

Most students continue their education at local and overseas universities, with many matriculating at prestigious institutions like the universities of , , , , and .

Extra-curricular activities

The School places special emphasis not only on the intellectual growth of the students but also on the development of their moral character. Large-group assemblies with Christian teachings are conducted every morning before lessons in both English and Putonghua. DGS girls are often regarded as formidable opponents in the choral, music, and debating arenas. The School is well known for its accomplishments in inter-school sports and music competitions. Their sports teams, choirs, and orchestras frequently achieve outstanding results in the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation Inter-school competitions and Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, as well as in the Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival. Among their students are Olympic swimmers, Inter-port runners, and a Gold-medal recipient choir in the International Choir Olympics.


The School possesses a wide range of musical groups, including the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Choirs, the madrigal teams with their fraternal school Diocesan Boys' School , a Full Orchestra as well as a String Orchestra. Students also join with DBS to form a Junior Mixed Choir and a Senior Mixed Choir within the ''Diocesan Schools Choral Society''. These musical groups are well known internationally as well as locally for their accomplishments in local and international festivals.

DGS also has a Chinese Orchestra and numerous Chinese ensembles.

DGS has been awarded the "Best Girls Choir of the Year" in the 60th Hong Kong Schools Music Festival.

DGS was invited by Diocesan Boys' School to join the Diocesan Philharmonic Orchestra in the school year 2006-2007. With the full support of Diocesan Boys' School, it held its inaugural concert on 19th November, 2006.


The School organizes a wide variety of sports teams, including Athletics, Swimming, Cross Country, Life Saving, Basketball, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball, Badminton, Table Tennis, Tennis, Orienteering, Fencing, Gymnastics, Hockey, Netball and Squash, which all frequently come up on top in Hong Kong Inter-School competitions. They have captured a number of top awards, such as a 2nd place in the Bank of China Bauhinia Bowl , as well as its associate - Bauhinia Bowl Sportsgirl of the Year. Arguably, the School's strongest sport is swimming. In the past 20 years, it has produced well-known swimmers such as Robyn Lamsam , Snowie Pang , Katie Lau , Sherry Tsai , Sandy Chan , and Rosanna Sze .


Houses are named after several headmistresses.





*Symons --created in 1990.

Other related associations

*DGS has an Old Girls Association named Diocesan Old Girls Association .

*DGS is the parish church of in the Diocese of Western Kowloon in Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui


*, headmistress , former member of the Urban Council, and Councils

*, Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works, HKSAR

*, Permanent Secretary for the Civil Service , HKSAR

*, singer and movie actress

*Denise Ho, aka HOCC, singer and actress

*Elaine Sung, the first Miss Hong Kong, 1973

*Pauline Yeung, Miss Hong Kong, 1987

*Robyn Lamsam, Olympic swimmer representing Hong Kong in 1990s

*Solina Chau, Major shareholder of

*Eileen Barbara Tam, Lady Yang

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