School History

School Calendar


"He is not Loved because He is not Known"

These words of our Foundress, St. Magdalene of Canossa, spurred the fulfillment of the dream to spread God's love to the far reachers of the unknow East. So, in a small group, the first Canossian Missionaries left their native Italy in 1860. Hindered by minimal funds and manpower, language and cultural barriers, within five years this small band of Canossian Sisters had established an orphanage, three schools, retreats and was serving the spiritual and practical needs of thousands. The fulfillment of their dream was underway.

In 1869, the Canossian Sisters took a house in Wanchai in order to teach and care for the moral welfare of the many poor children who lived in that area. From that small beginning grew St. Francis' Canossian College. The dream was to establish a haven for learning in which students were encouraged to work and fully develop their talents with a clear emphasis on moral growth and self-respect as essential to achieving meaningful goals. And so the mission of the school was defined.

At first the school consisted of one large room where Chinese, English and Portuguese children were taught. As the number of pupils increased, the school moved to a larger house and this was used until 1923 when, with the needs of 500 students, an even larger house was needed. In this building their work continued until 1941 when it had to be closed due to the Japanese Occupation and it did not re-open until 1945. The dream was delayed for a time but the determination of the Sisters and teaching staff did not waver.

Over the years the building was improved but the demand for enrolment far exceeded the space available and in 1956 the first school extension was completed. Further extensions followed and then in 1985, a new School Hall was built. The dream to provide a quality education was enhanced by these additions. Inside these firm walls and upon this firm foundation, change has continued as new technology, new facilities and new classrooms have broadened the educational experience of our most valuable resource - the students.

Time Line


1869 Our school was founded by the Canossian Missions in view of the urgent need to provide proper education to the poor and needy in Wanchai. At that time, it was just a few huts on bare ground.
1870 A piece of land was granted by the government to establish a home for the poor girls, a hospital for the sick, and several schools for poor children: a Chinese, an English and a Portugese.
1876 First graduation of primary school children.
1920s - 1940s The school was known as St. Francis' School. It was a government granted English school, consisted of a kindergarten, a primary school (co-educational) and a junior secondary school.
1945 - 1953 The school reopened and was also called the Sacred Heart Junior school until 1953.
1955 The Four Angels first appeared on the wall of the school building.
1958 The Administrative Block (Phase II building) was completed. First graduation of Form Five graduates.
1960 The school was officially named “St. Francis’ Canossian College”. The Past Student’ Association was established.
1962 Form 6 classes were introduced.
1963 The West Wing (Phase III building) was completed.
1970 Fund-raising activities for the Hall building were launched.
1975 The Student Association was set up.
1985 The School Hall building opened.
1986 The Parent Teacher Association was set up.
1994 The school celebrated its 125th anniversary - "The World needs our Care".
1998 Conversion of the covered playground into a Multi-purpose Room.
1999 The school celebrated its 130th anniversary.
2002 Implementation of Project Learning and curriculum integration in junior forms.
2004 The school celebrated its 135th anniversary - "Our Dream is still Alive".
2009 The school celebrated its 140th anniversary - "Magdalene's Dream in Motion".
125th130th140th
2012 The school held a fund-raising walkathon for the school redevelopement project. The first swimming gala was held.
2013 The school launched a large-scale variety show called "Bring Back our Angels" to raise funds for the school redevelopment project.
2014 Phase 1 of the in-situ School Redevelopment Project was completed. The school officially moved into the new school building. The vacant old secondary school compound was demolished.
2015 Promotion of Self-directed learning in all levels. The school chapel “Mother of Mercy Chapel” was inaugurated.
2018 Phase 2 of the in-situ School Redevelopment Project was completed. The new school complex is in full operation. Implementation of action research on students’ autonomy in learning through Reading to learn. Formal lessons of “Information Literacy” was introduced in Junior levels.
2019 The school celebrated its 150th anniversary – “Grace Upon Grace”. The Four Angels were back to School. The “Memory Gallery” was inaugurated.
150thMemory GalleryNew School Building