Special Award for Most Nurturing Environment


The Student of the Year – Special Award for Most Nurturing Environment is presented to a school that has provided notable support and encouragement to help students with different talents realise their potential and have the chance to excel. This could be in academic subjects, in extracurricular activities, by paving the way to tertiary education or sought-after careers, or perhaps by opening up new possibilities for youngsters unsure which direction to take. 


Theme for SOTY 2022/23 

All secondary students, whatever their individual talents and aptitudes, benefit from a strong support system. They need it to help them deal with the range of challenges they are inevitably going to face as they move up through the grades and start making plans for further education and possible careers. 

Therefore, for schools, one of the essential tasks is to create an environment which provides this support. It may come in the form of personal guidance, practical advice, words of encouragement, or a well-timed intervention to get someone back on track. 

But in many Hong Kong schools, it can also go well beyond that. Indeed, each year, the Special Award for Most Nurturing Environment aims to highlight instances where schools have gone out of their way to assist students and the wider community. During Covid, that meant helping pupils adapt to a “new normal”, when classes were suspended and in-person interaction put on hold. It also showed, though, how much can be achieved with the right outlook and approach. 

Recognising that, the theme for this year’s Special Award is “Take action and drive positive change”, and the judges will be giving close attention to examples of all-round support, initiatives to deal with new challenges during the pandemic, and schemes to foster student involvement in school and community projects. 


Judging Criteria 

Practical support and initiatives to help students and the community - 85%

Overall mission and plans for the future - 15%


Support and initiatives to help students and the community 

Judges will consider each nominated school based on the following:

1. The practical support, encouragement and assistance offered to students and the wider community to achieve distinct goals and objectives. 

2. Ways in which the school’s policies and programmes have helped to exert a positive influence and drive changes that can have a lasting beneficial impact. 

3. Notable achievements and improvements seen during the past year as a result of initiatives designed to make a difference at individual or community level.  


Overall mission and plans for the future 

- Ongoing plans for the school and students to provide additional support and guidance whether in academic, extracurricular or community-based activities.   


How to enter

Any nominee for the Award must be a registered secondary school in Hong Kong. Schools are required to submit the following to complete the nomination process:  

- A written essay in either English (max. 800 words) or Chinese (max. 1,000 characters) or a video presentation (max. 5 mins). 

- Proof of any awards and other forms of recognition, including media interviews and photos, received during the 2021/22 academic year. 


Nomination procedure

The nomination period runs from 20 April to 28 May 2023. Late submission or nomination via fax, email or other digital formats will not be accepted or processed.

The winning school will be selected by our advisory board members and, subsequently, will be announced and receive their prize at the Awards Ceremony to be held in July 2023.


Click to submit your nomination