Chui Wan-fung from West Island School was among the eight students from English Schools Foundation (ESF) schools who attained 45 marks, the highest possible score, in this year's IB (International Baccalaureate) exam. Like many academic high achievers, he works very hard, studying for hours every day.
A member of the Hong Kong youth football team, Wan-fung says he is thankful he has sports to help him handle the pressure. "The IB curriculum was challenging. It is stressful to sit in front of a computer and study all day," he says.
"Playing football allows me to do something that [does not involve] books."
Wan-fung, who has been offered places in local and US universities, hasn't decided where he wants to attend medical school. But he definitely has no plans to play professional football.
"Many of my teammates are keen on the idea of playing professionally, but I prefer to keep football as my hobby. I think I can contribute to society in another way as a doctor," he says.
Another top scorer, Tiffanie Chan Shek-wei from Island School, teaches English to children from the mainland. "Serving the community is part of the requirements for the IB Diploma. Besides academic subjects, students are required to participate in CAS [creativity, action and service]," she says. "This allows students to develop different aspects of life. It provides a great learning experience." Tiffanie is now weighing her options to study law in Hong Kong or in Britain.
Rounding out the top scorers are Miranda Yeung Chor-kiu from King George V School, Tristan Lam Ting-hin and Gordon Yam Pak-ho from Sha Tin College, Allison Margo Fok from South Island School, and Timothy Liong Tipoe and Jai Sandeep Rane from West Island School.
In all, 937 students from seven ESF schools took the exam this year. Twenty-six students scored 44 points.