Learning Innovation at ICHK

ICHK is a community of innovation, which is attracting global attention for its cutting edge approaches to learning. Over the past year we have seen a rapid increase in international interest in our innovations, programmes and curricula.

Educators, think tanks and professional colleagues are turning to ICHK for inspiration and guidance and we have proudly showcased our work at some of the biggest educational summits in the region.

Through pooling and drawing on our strengths and expertise, we have created the conditions for a professional learning community. This requires commitment, collaboration and a common vision and purpose, shared throughout the school.

Our secondary school has been recognised by Cambridge Strategies, with inclusion in its list of the top 100 schools worldwide for innovation.

Our leadership team regularly present at education conferences and summits, host workshops and meet with educators who are keen to learn about our approaches.

We are proud to share our practices and innovations, and Head of School Toby Newton has presented at the Global Education Leadership Summit, the Learning and Teaching Expo, RAISE, the Rethinking Learning Summit and ACAMIS.

We have welcomed groups from EDiversity, the Ednovators think tank, Orchlon Cambridge International School, Hong Kong Baptist University Affiliated School, the Education University of Hong Kong and an educational advisor to the Taiwan government.

All have been interested in learning more about our innovative curriculum and approaches to learning.

Meanwhile, ICHK’s Human Technologies programme is forming the centre of a PhD research project at University College London, and our groundbreaking Free Learning programme has been rolled out to a group of trainee teachers at the Education University of Hong Kong.

The interest in ICHK comes at a time when there is a growing awareness of the need to develop an educational programme more relevant to the challenges of 21st century living and working.

We believe we have developed impactful solutions to some of the most pressing challenges educators face, and are pushing the boundaries and expectations with regards to what secondary education could and should offer young people.

Further insight is available in this ‘Growing Pathways in Learning’ talk given by Toby Newton at the Jockey Ednovation Club.

To hear more about the holistic, pastoral approach to education at ICHK, listen to this podcast from Toby Newton, prepared for the Global Education Leadership Summit.

Curriculum X

Curriculum X encompasses everything that ICHK Secondary offers beyond the traditional curriculum. This framework has been developed and refined for a number of years, through our innovations to timetable, curriculum and pedagogy. It includes Human Technologies, Free Learning, Deep Learning, Enrichment and Flow, Flexible Learning and Outdoor Learning, which introduce new passions and open students’ eyes to something new.

Forest School

Our vision at the primary school is to be a leader in outdoor learning and Forest School education. Our beautiful green campus at Hong Lok Yuen provides us with the perfect location to develop this pioneering approach in Hong Kong. Research shows that if children have regular access to a rich outdoor environment, they will be have greater self-esteem, be more confident and develop better concentration, resilience and independence. Innovative work is under way to establish our very own Forest School and outdoor classroom in our grounds.


One of the enduring mysteries – and complaints – about the switch from primary to secondary school is why and how the curious minded, sparky, fearless and imaginative learners of Year 6 are so often transformed into passive, anxious students by Years 9 or 10. At ICHK we have created a through-train of creativity that addresses this transition and that serves to ensure that our students do not lose touch with their imaginations and powers of innovation.

5+1 Model

We aim to develop confident young people with creative and inquiring minds, and the attainment of a Growth Mindset is the most fundamentally important element of our ethos and approach. All students learn that effort, commitment, perseverance and resilience, rather than latent “intelligence” or talent, lead to high achievement and success in life.


At ICHK we believe that children’s happiness and achievement are two sides of the same coin. At the primary and secondary school, positive psychology and mindfulness are built into the curriculum to support student wellbeing. Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to help children (and adults) to focus attention, deal with difficulties, build resilience to stress and develop a positive mindset in both school and life.

Innovation 800

ICHK is honoured to be named one of Cambridge University’s most innovative schools worldwide. The prestigious University’s research wing, Cambridge Strategies, included ICHK in its list of pioneering global schools in 2017. Profiles of featured schools formed part of the publication ‘Innovation 800’, created to celebrate 800 years of excellence at Cambridge. Innovation 800 showcases global leaders and institutions at the forefront of change in the field of education.