St Margaret College, Secondary School, Verdala  |  (+356) 25985400|smc.verdala.ss@ilearn.edu.mt

Our students introduced to the harmony and beauty of a Chinese Tea culture ceremony

On Friday, 23rd October 2020, a group of Form 4 students at St. Margaret College Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua had the opportunity to experience the harmony and beauty of a Chinese Tea culture ceremony in class. This school project was coordinated by senior teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc and it was linked with the student’s study unit about Asian Religions and Spirituality as part of their R.E. school programme.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the China Corner at St. Margaret College and while following all the Covid-19 restrictions at school, students did not miss this event in class and enjoyed every minute of it.

Teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc said, “We are all living in a busy world burdened by daily stress and work. So offering our students the opportunity to enjoy the harmony and beauty of a Chinese Tea culture ceremony in class was surely for them a lesson in meditation and calmness”.

In Chinese language a tea ceremony is called ‘chá dào’ (茶道) and it is considered as the spirit and soul of tea culture. It offers people the chance to taste and appreciate the fresh aroma of Chinese tea. For many Chinese people, a tea ceremony is an art of spiritual enjoyment which uplifts their moral character and nourishes their human nature. The four basic values which are inhibited in a Chinese Tea ceremony are honour, beauty, harmony and respect. In fact all these four values were highlighted with all participating students at school. While preparing for the tea ceremony students were told to show honour to everything around them, appreciate the beauty of nature (especially the aroma of tea), and pursue harmony while smelling and drinking tea and finally showing respect to their teacher and classmates.

Just drinking tea is one thing but experiencing the true beauty and harmony of a Chinese Tea ceremony is something more profound and spiritual. Following this activity in class students shared different feelings and this is quite natural as every person has a different life experience and personal values. In fact in China they have a famous expression which says, ‘the moon is reflected in thousand rivers but the reflections are different from each other’.

For many Western people enjoying a daily cup of tea is just like having a short break but a Chinese tea ceremony entails much more than that. Though there are many interpretations to the steps followed in a tea ceremony the following are worth to be considered:

Warming the tea pot and cups is an invitation to warm our hearts, pouring hot water from a distance to brew the tea leaves means dissolving your problems and daily burdens in the dissolved tea, pouring tea from the tea pot to the cups is to let go in life and finally smelling and sipping tea reflects a sense of enjoyment, harmony, purification and calmness.

So a tea culture ceremony is not just about drinking tea ‘chá’ (茶) but a series of steps inviting people to enjoy making tea, appreciating tea, smelling tea, drinking tea and tasting tea. In fact, the five beauties of a Chinese tea ceremony are: tea leaves, water, timing, tea sets and the drinking itself. So in few words there is great art in a Chinese Tea ceremony especially when considering the table manners requested.

Throughout this Chinese Tea ceremony held in class, St. Margaret College students learned to show high reverence to fresh tea, pure water, clean tea set, fresh air and people (teacher and participating classmates) as part of the table manners requested to follow. On the other hand as students learned to say NO to expired tea, dirty air, unclean water, and unclean tea set and to bad manners it served them a lesson in favour of sustainability and human respect/well being.

At the end of this Chinese Tea culture ceremony, teacher Martin Azzopardi  sdc expressed his special thanksgiving to the Malta China Cultural Centre, the China Embassy in Malta and the Malta/Sino Friendship Society for their continuous support and encouragement.

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Written by

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Courtney Muscat, Dwayne Galea, Clayton Baldacchino, Mikael Galea, Nolene Falzon and Emina Leghbali.

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Courtney Muscat, Dwayne Galea, Clayton Baldacchino, Mikael Galea, Nolene Falzon and Emina Leghbali together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc experiencing a Chinese Tea Culture Ceremony in class.

2020-10-26T12:25:12+00:00 October 26th, 2020|

Our students share the message of the Pope’s encyclical letter, ‘Fratelli tutti’

On Friday, 23rd October 2020, senior teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc, invited a group of students to embark on a school project studying the encyclical letter of Pope Francis, ‘Fratelli Tutti’ (All Brothers) and share its message with other students. Pope Francis issued the encyclical letter ‘Fratelli Tutti’ on October 3rd and he is addressing his message not only to Christians worldwide but to all humans of good will.

Teacher Martin said that “the aim of this school study project is to make our students reflect upon the Pope’s message in his encyclical letter ‘Fratelli Tutti’ and invite them to put the needs of the poor and marginalised at the centre of their lives”. This school project was launched in link with the R.E. unit about the missionary character imprinted in the heart of Christians through Baptism and Confirmation.

‘Fratelli tutti’ is meant to unite communities during these difficult moments of fear caused by the corona virus pandemic and invite them to reflect upon the terrible effects of racism, inequality and climate change. In fact this encyclical letter is being referred to as the ‘Covid-19 encyclical letter’.

While Pope Francis’ encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si’ (Praise to You, 2015) invited all humanity to reflect upon the climate change issue and the urgent need to take care of our planet and ecosystem, ‘Fratelli Tutti’ is an invitation to take the principles of ‘fraternity’ and ‘social friendship’ seriously following the example of St. Francis of Assisi who “wherever he went … sowed the seeds of peace and walked alongside the poor, the abandoned, the infirm and the outcast, the least of his brothers and sisters”.

On quoting the www.unhcr.org, the number of sea arrivals to Malta at the start of 2020 was relatively high in January and February, with 989 people being disembarked in Malta during this period. In March, 146 people were rescued and disembarked in Malta by the AFM, 66 people in April, 72 in May and 426 in June. In July and August 2020, there were 463 sea arrivals.

Between January 1st and August 31st, 2020, 2,162 persons were rescued at sea and disembarked in Malta. This is 4% decrease compared to sea arrivals in the same period last year (2,246 arrivals between January and August 2019).

These last two years for Malta have been marked by increased arrivals by sea, with 2019 being a record year in terms of the number of people disembarked in Malta following rescue in the Central Mediterranean.

This scenario is surely a lesson of how kind and good hearted are the Maltese people and the Pope’s letter is reminding us not to forget that these immigrants are not just numbers but human beings to be loved as brothers and sisters.

‘Fratelli Tutti’ is an urgent invitation to all humanity to rethink our styles of life, our friendships, and the organisation of our societies and the meaning of our existence especially now that we are all experiencing fear, pain, uncertainty and limitations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Pope Francis is offering us the opportunity to think about a new vision of society in which human dignity and the human rights of all are to be respected.

Following this school study project, St. Margaret College students join Missio Malta missionary campaign inviting all the Maltese people to contribute and take Pope Francis’ call seriously to be loving brothers and sisters to all those in need of our help.

This school project aims to reach seven of the main goals proposed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

Written by

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Keelan Vassallo, Chereen Buhagiar and Amy Schembri.

 

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Keelan Vassallo, Chereen Buhagiar and Amy Schembri together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc embarking on a school project studying the encyclical letter of Pope Francis, ‘Fratelli Tutti’ (All Brothers) and share its message with other students.

 

 

2020-10-26T12:16:48+00:00 October 26th, 2020|

St. Margaret College students join Missio Malta in aid of vulnerable poor children in Ghana

October month is dedicated to the Christian Missions worldwide and this year St. Margaret College Secondary School; Verdala students join Missio Malta in aid of vulnerable poor children in Ghana. On Monday, 19th October 2020, Senior teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc, launched a missionary campaign at school inviting his students to do a research study project about child poverty in Ghana and inviting them to join the Missio Malta fundraising campaign in aid of vulnerable poor children especially those of Nazareth Catholic Home in Ghana led by Sr Stan Therese Mumini.

Teacher Martin said that “the purpose of this school research study project is to understand the complexity of child poverty in Ghana and encourage students to be participants and not just spectators in this missionary campaign led by Missio Malta”.

According to https://www.unicef.org/ghana/reports/multi-dimensional-child-poverty-ghana three-in-four children (73.4 %) in Ghana are identified as multi-dimensionally poor, facing at least three deprivations at the same time. Rural children show significantly higher multi-dimensional deprivation rates in comparison to urban children (81.5 % versus 62.5 %, respectively).

On paper, the Constitution of Ghana offers it’s country children their proper rights but in reality, the situation is still too far away from legal guidelines and normal expectations.

On consulting https://www.humanium.org/en/ghana/ St. Margaret College students found that in Ghana one in ten children is underweight and so child malnutrition is affecting the learning ability and immune system of many children. In fact, the mortality rate of children in Ghana (under the age of five) is still high especially during the first 28 days of newborns. In this regard, anaemia is one of the main causes.

Increasing child vaccination in Ghana can ensure children’s immunity to the most common diseases which affects children in densely populated areas and also in remote areas.

Although in Ghana 87% of boys and 86% of girls complete their primary school education, only 58% of boys and 57% of girls complete their secondary school education. Also, girls have more difficulties in completing their secondary school education when compared to boys but then the literacy rate for women (84%) is higher than that of men (74%). Apart from this, teaching and learning conditions in Ghana are still poor and very often children learn in overcrowded classes with lack of materials.

Another issue is that in Ghana 25% of children are exploited to do forced labour mostly in agriculture and others in the industry. In cities, children end up working as street vendors, polishing shoes, working in restaurants and carrying parcels while in rural areas they end up cultivating crops, taking care of cattle, fishing and carrying stones.

Moreover, in the north of Ghana, ancient traditions and rituals have led to ritual killings of children, mostly those children suffering from a disability. The killing of disabled children in Ghana is very often due to the belief that they are possessed by an evil spirit which brings bad luck to those around them. In fact, this sort of ignorance is leading to the killing of many disabled children each year by these obscure rituals.

However, one of the major problems in Ghana is human trafficking affecting mostly girls aged 7 to 16 and boys aged 10 to 17. Due to human trafficking, boys end up working illegally in mines, cocoa plantations or in the fishing industry. On the other hand, girls normally end up serving in domestic labour.

While successes are to be recognized, it is important to highlight the fact that without more investment from both government and foreign aid, child poverty in Ghana will remain a serious issue. Thus St. Margaret College students unite with Missio Malta to create awareness about child poverty in Ghana and encourage others to contribute to the fundraising campaign in aid of vulnerable poor children.

This school project aims to reach seven of the main goals proposed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:  No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Reduced Inequalities, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

Written by

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Gianese Abela, Isaac Abo Hasson Mallia, Thomas Buhagiar, Keane Mizzi and Lars Bahmuller.

 

 

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Gianese Abela, Isaac Abo Hasson Mallia, Thomas Buhagiar, Keane Mizzi and Lars Bahmuller together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc raising awareness about child poverty in Ghana while joining Missio Malta in aid of vulnerable poor children.

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Gianese Abela, Isaac Abo Hasson Mallia, Thomas Buhagiar, Keane Mizzi and Lars Bahmuller together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc raising awareness about child poverty in Ghana while joining Missio Malta in aid of vulnerable poor children.

 

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Gianese Abela, Isaac Abo Hasson Mallia, Thomas Buhagiar, Keane Mizzi and Lars Bahmuller together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc raising awareness about child poverty in Ghana while joining Missio Malta in aid of vulnerable poor children.

 

St. Margaret College Secondary School Verdala students: Gianese Abela, Isaac Abo Hasson Mallia, Thomas Buhagiar, Keane Mizzi and Lars Bahmuller together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc raising awareness about child poverty in Ghana while joining Missio Malta in aid of vulnerable poor children.

2020-10-21T07:56:29+00:00 October 21st, 2020|

National Young Reporter’s for the Environment Competition: Wonderful News!

Out of so many participating state/church/independent schools, our School Religion and Science Department students hit once again the top records of the National Young Reporter’s for the Environment Competition as follows:

 

Honourable mention in the category of YRE Article 15-18

  1. Young Reporter’s for the Environment students launch a litter less project campaign in making Paper Roll Angel decorations for Advent and Christmas

by Religion Dept. students: Miguel Fenech, Jurgen Xuereb, Jayden Degiorgio

 

Finalists and Commended YRE 2019 – 2020 Article 15 – 18

  1. Applied Science CCP students create awareness about the risks of extra sugar in our daily diets – COMMENDED

by Science Dept. students: Decelis Luca, Zammit Kaylon, Knaan Gaze, Bonnici Raiza

  1. Raising an awareness campaign about breast cancer at school during the Pink October Campaign – COMMENDED

by Science Dept. students: Emerson Bugeja, Daishan Psaila, Jean Vella, Tiernan Fraser

  1. Verdala Queen’s Young Verdala Leaders Group commemorate Mental Illness Awareness Week – COMMENDED

by Science Dept. student: Shaun Portelli

  1. Maltese students join Missio Malta in aid of the Myanmar missionary campaign – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. students: Maya Nussbaum, Sarah Fiorini, Cody Parnis, Jake Chetcuti

  1. A Pro-Life Catholic Irish couple addresses Maltese students who recite the Rosary of the Unborn – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. students: Scicluna Raisa, Bonello Owen

  1. Maltese students commemorate the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation Camp Day – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. students:  Klaydi Borg, Darnoc Mizzi, Grech Carl, Mariema Zahra

  1. Young Reporter’s for the Environment students launch a litter less project campaign in making Paper Roll Angel decorations for Advent and Christmas – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. students:  Miguel Fenech, Jurgen Xuereb, Jayden Degiorgio

 

Finalists and Commended YRE 2019 – 2020 Photo 15 – 18

  1. Do cliffs need doors? – FINALIST

by Religion Dept. student: Maya Nussbaun

  1. Halloween pumpkins scaring the cliffs – FINALIST

by Religion Dept. student: Maya Nussbaun

  1. Construction waste an eyesore to our natural environment – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. student: Jasmin Farrugia

  1. Baby playpen ends up on Xaqqa Cliffs – COMMENDED

by Religion Dept. student: Maya Nussbaun

  1. Burnt Fanta lemonade bottles poison the natural habitat

by Religion Dept. student: Maya Nussbaun

  1. Creaky water pump mills in need of repair

by Religion Dept. student: Jasmin Farrugia

  1. Humpty Dumpty downfall of a rubble wall

by Religion Dept. student: Jasmin Farrugia

N.B. We were the first school to win the International YRE award with a SOLAR PANEL CAR PROJECT from our School Science Dept. and this year all the 14 Science and Religion YRE project entries are awarded even a project by CCP Science students.

I take the opportunity to THANK especially all my Religion and Science students who collaborated in fulfilling these YRE projects in favour of our local environment.  VERY WELL DONE and PRAISE BE TO GOD.

Also congratulations to other awarded participants from our school which I leave for Ms Flavia Grima to announce. VERY WELL DONE.

I thank YRE National Coordinator Ms Audrey Gauci for her kind help and support and the two foreign correctors who sacrificed their free time correcting our Science and Religion Department YRE project entries.

I also thank Ms Josephine Diacono, Fr Karm Spiteri ocd and school clerks Ms Patricia Farrugia and Ms Lorraine Vella for their kind help and support throughout the whole year, much appreciated.

Finally I thank Ms Marlene Galea and Mr Andrew Calleja plus the editors of the Malta Independent on Sunday newspaper, Sunday Times of Malta and Missio Mata for contributing in the dissemination process.

Thanks in regards

Martin Azzopardi sdc

Veteran YRE school coordinator

St. Margaret College

Secondary School,

Verdala, Cospicua,

Malta

2020-07-01T20:33:56+00:00 July 1st, 2020|

January 2019 – St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School Verdala students discover the richness of the National Library of Valletta, Malta

During one of the cultural visits to Valletta, a group of students from St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua paid a short visit to the National Library of Valletta, Malta. Students were accompanied by their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc and were shown round the library by Ass. Librarian Mr Donald Briffa.
The National Library serves as a research depot for many scholars. It holds many important archives especially those of the Universita’ dei Gurati (the island’s local government prior to 1530) and of the Knights of St John. The library contains many historically significant books including the big private collection of books of Fra Louis Guérin de Tencin and of Cardinal Joaquin Portocarrero.

Students from St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua, Malta: Leon Buttigieg, Aidan Bugeja and Matthew Megrahi; accompanied by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc discover the richness of the National Library of Valletta, Malta – December 2018

2020-06-30T15:37:27+00:00 June 30th, 2020|

December 2018 – St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School Verdala students reflect upon Christmas – time of unity and peace between the three monotheistic religions

As part of the Christmas religious festivities held at school, three students from St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua, were invited by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc to reflect upon the peaceful and unity spirit of Christmas. Though Christmas is celebrated worldwide by Christians to commemorate and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ – the Son of God, it should also serve as a time of peace and unity for the three monotheistic religions.
Christmas is the feast of LIGHT, cleaning our hearts from the DARKNESS of SIN while calling us to LOVE and to OPEN OUR HEARTS to everyone – Christian, Muslim, Jew or Pagan. Let us seek what UNITES us and not what DIVIDES us.

St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua students: Leon Buttigieg, Matthew Megrahi and Aidan Bugeja accompanied by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc reflecting upon Christmas – time of unity and peace between the three monotheistic religions – December 2018

2020-06-30T15:35:05+00:00 June 30th, 2020|

10th December 2018 – St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School Verdala students participate in the Christmas Holy Mass in aid of the Community Chest Fund Campaign

On Monday, 10th December 2018 a group of students from St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, participated in the Christmas Holy Mass in aid of the Community Chest Fund Campaign. Students were accompanied by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc. The Christmas Holy Mass was celebrated by His Grace the Archbishop of Malta, Mons Charles J. Scicluna in the presence of Mr Edgar Preca (the President’s husband) and other representatives from the Ministry/Department of Education.

Group Photo of St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua students: Leon Buttigieg, Matthew Megrahi and Aidan Bugeja accompanied by their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc joining the Pageant and Choir of St. Claire’s College Primary School, San Gwann for the ‘Milied Flimkien’ Holy Mass in aid of the Community Chest Fund at St. John’s Con-Cathedral in Valletta – December 2018

2020-06-30T15:32:22+00:00 June 30th, 2020|

16th October 2018 – The students join Missio Malta to raise awareness in class about poverty in Uganda while proposing practical solutions to Missio Malta in aid of Ugandan children

Every year a group of students from St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School joins Missio Malta to raise a charity fund campaign in aid of poor countries. This year Missio Malta is holding a charity fund campaign in aid of Uganda and Vietnam plus other poor countries. So teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc involved a class of fifth formers to do a study research about poverty in Uganda while proposing practical solutions to Missio Malta in aid of Ugandan children.

St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School students: Gwyneth Dalli, Ylenia Saliba, Shanise Calleja, Riley Micallef and Dean Agius together with their teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc assembled to raise awareness in class about poverty in Uganda while proposing practical solutions to Missio Malta in aid of Ugandan children

2020-06-30T15:29:45+00:00 June 30th, 2020|

14th March 2019 – St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School Verdala students come in touch with Baroque Art while venturing on a cultural excursion in Valletta

On Thursday, 14th March 2019 a group of Form 4 students from St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua had the opportunity to come in touch with Baroque Art while venturing on a cultural excursion in Valletta. This cultural excursion was organised by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc in collaboration with the History Department teacher Miss Joanne Dalli.
Throughout this cultural excursion, students visited Our Lady of Victory Chapel and the National Museum of Fine Arts (now called the MUZA) which is situated in the former Auberge d’Italie in Merchant Street Valletta.

St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua students: Bonello Owen, Bugeja Aidan, Camilleri Brennan Martina, Falzon Kaylee, Farrugia Kirsten, Magro Luca, Megrahi Matthew, Schembri Kieran, Scicluna Raisa, Thomas Karolyn Joy, Vella Chantelle and Wilson Maria accompanied by with their teachers: Martin Azzopardi sdc and Miss Joanne Dalli come in touch with Baroque Art while venturing on a cultural excursion in Valletta – Group Photo at Our Lady of Victory Chapel in Valletta, 14th March 2019

St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua students: Bonello Owen, Bugeja Aidan, Camilleri Brennan Martina, Falzon Kaylee, Farrugia Kirsten, Magro Luca, Megrahi Matthew, Schembri Kieran, Scicluna Raisa, Thomas Karolyn Joy, Vella Chantelle and Wilson Maria accompanied by with their teachers: Martin Azzopardi sdc and Miss Joanne Dalli come in touch with Baroque Art while venturing on a cultural excursion in Valletta – Group Photo at the National Museum of Fine Arts (The MUZA) in Valletta, 14th March 2019

2020-06-30T15:27:30+00:00 June 30th, 2020|

6th December 2018 – St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School Verdala students venture on a cultural excursion in Valletta

On Thursday, 6th December 2018 a group of Form 4 students from St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua ventured on a cultural excursion in the capital city of Valletta. This cultural excursion was organised by teacher Martin Azzopardi sdc and Miss Joanne Dalli aiming to enrich the cultural knowledge of students.
Throughout this cultural excursion, students visited the Con-Cathedral of St. John plus its Museum and the Grandmaster’s Palace plus Armoury and were able to understand and comprehend the symbolic architectural and artistic meaning that decorates these two main buildings in Valletta.

St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua students: Bonello Owen, Bugeja Aidan, Buhagiar Shania, Buhagiar Therese, Camilleri Brennan Martina, Falzon Kaylee, Farrugia Kirsten, Magro Luca, Megrahi Matthew, Schembri Kieran, Scicluna Raisa, Thomas Karolyn Joy, Vella Chantelle and Wilson Maria accompanied by with their teachers: Martin Azzopardi sdc and Miss Joanne Dalli venturing on a cultural excursion in Valletta – Inside the Con-Cathedral of St. John, 6th December 2018

St. Margaret College Senior Secondary School, Verdala, Cospicua students: Bonello Owen, Bugeja Aidan, Buhagiar Shania, Buhagiar Therese, Camilleri Brennan Martina, Falzon Kaylee, Farrugia Kirsten, Magro Luca, Megrahi Matthew, Schembri Kieran, Scicluna Raisa, Thomas Karolyn Joy, Vella Chantelle and Wilson Maria accompanied by with their teachers: Martin Azzopardi sdc and Miss Joanne Dalli venturing on a cultural excursion in Valletta – In front of the Con-Cathedral of St. John, 6th December 2018

2020-06-30T15:23:33+00:00 June 30th, 2020|