What will ICHK offer our child?
At the heart of ICHK is a fundamental commitment: to provide our students with the very best education we can offer, day in, day out, year on year.
Ours is a school that is student-centred and community-minded. We make children feel welcome, cared for and thoroughly at home.
Our innovative curricula offer students a stimulating and challenging learning journey, and our focus is relentlessly future-orientated. We know that change in the world is constant and accelerating. We know that students need a new and wider set of skills if they are to meet the challenges that await: that, in an information and ideas based economy, it is attitudes and mindsets, no less than qualifications, that will underpin ongoing performance and success. And so we have created – and continually evolve – a school experience that best prepares young people for that future.
How are you different from other schools?
Our stunning locations provide students with unrivalled opportunities to learn and grow through outdoor experiences. In our uniquely natural environment, students play sport, enjoy after school activities, experience authentic outdoor learning and connect with nature.
We are extremely personal, friendly, individual and inclusive, allowing our students to thrive in a positive and stimulating environment.
What educational programmes do you offer?
We run the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), which is an international curriculum designed for students aged 3-12. It promotes the development of the whole child (social, physical, mental, emotional and cultural needs), and combines best practice and research in teaching and learning from around the world.
Students learn Mathematics, Languages (English, Chinese), Social Studies, Science, ICT, The Arts (Visual Arts, Music, Drama), Health and Physical Education.
In secondary we have developed a unique and stimulating curriculum. In Years 7-9 learning is centred on emerging best practices, using insights and innovations from around the world, captured in a combination of courses that either reflect existing national curriculums or that we have designed ourselves, from the ground up. In Years 10-11 students follow IGCSEs and then the IB Diploma Programme (DP) in Years 12-13.
But more than this, we work closely with students to identify their passions and provide them with personalised learning opportunities. Our innovative Free Learning and Enrichment & Flow programmes allow students opportunities to deepen their work in subjects or in areas of interest which are not covered by the mainstream school curriculum. The Free Learning programme introduces our younger students to self-direction and allows them to take more control of their learning, through a varied map of challenges and experiences. Enrichment & Flow is an adjunct to the GCSE programme and offers students the chance to consolidate, extend or innovate the curriculum they follow.
How would you describe the ethos of the school?
ICHK is a personal, friendly, individual and inclusive community school. This is enabled by strong relationships between all stakeholders – parents, staff and students. Our environment is based on safety and trust, growth, mutual understanding and shared respect.
Our school was set up more than 35 years ago by a group of visionary parents wanting to create a unique community school. This strong community spirit remains central to our philosophy today, and we are guided by research that indicates that small communities do a better job of recognising and catering for the needs of their members.
Across our schools we value each other as unique individuals, deserving of a place in which to grow, flourish and thrive.
How is the school governed?
Both schools are established as not-for-profit schools and incorporated as companies limited by guarantee. Under this legal structure each school is held by the members of the school from time to time. An Annual General Meeting of the school is held every year where all members can attend and vote.
The principal governing body at both schools is the Board of Governors. Members of the board serve on a voluntary basis and are not paid, In general, governors are parents of students who attend the schools. However, the secondary school also has representatives of its partner schools on its board of governors and representatives of the secondary school sit on the primary board.
The Boards of Governors appoint the two Heads of School who are responsible for the operation of the schools and day to day management.
Members of the boards are elected at the Annual General Meeting. Members of the board may also be co-opted between AGMs and then stand for election at the next AGM. The governors meet between 4 to 6 times a year to oversee the operation of the schools. The boards have also established a number of committees, including Finance Committees that oversee the financial affairs of the schools.
The Board of Governors is refreshed each year through a mechanism whereby approximately one third of its members must stand for re-election.
What is unique about your curriculum?
At our primary school we are leading the way in Forest School and outdoor education. We are accredited as the only Forest School Development Centre outside the UK. Our beautiful location offers unrivalled opportunities for outdoor learning.
At the secondary school we have designed a number of pioneering projects, which are well-founded in educational research. We are proud that these have been recognised by the research wing of Cambridge University, Cambridge Strategies, which included us in its recent list of the 100 most innovative schools worldwide. Our unique curriculum initiatives include Human Technologies, outdoor based activities, Big History, Free Learning, Deep Learning and Ready to Learn. These have all been developed to enrich our students’ experience of school and their understanding of themselves as people and learners. The curriculum dimension is supported by our unique 5+1 pastoral Model, which fosters a culture of growth, hard work, acceptance and collaboration.
What ages do you provide for?
We are one of the few schools in Hong Kong to offer a complete educational pathway all the way through to secondary school.
Children can begin Pre-Nursery from two years and eight months, before moving on to Nursery and Reception, and then into our Primary and Secondary schools.
How long has your school been in operation?
Our kindergarten and primary school was set up 35 years ago by a small group of parents who wanted to create a school at the heart of their green and spacious community. Since then the school has become a thriving success story, accredited by worldwide bodies for the strength of its education programme, and attracting children from all over the world. ICHK Secondary was set up 10 years ago, offering students the security of a strong through-train.
What is the IB Learner Profile?
The IB Learner Profile is a set of ideals to define the type of learner we aim to develop. As IB learners we strive to be knowledgeable, risk takers, inquirers, thinkers, communicators, principled, open minded, open-minded, balanced, and reflective.
What learning support do you offer?
ICHK is a school where all students feel cared for and can flourish in a nurturing environment. Our key aim is to provide a secure, caring environment for students, where they can develop as learners and happy individuals. Students with pronounced learning needs may be admitted if their needs can be supported by our Learning Support staff. Our experienced team ensure that students are supported and nurtured in a responsive environment, so that they receive the best possible school experience. At our primary school we have part time Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy on site, which is paid for by parents.
What is your policy on inclusion?
At ICHK we believe that every child has the right to an education.
We value the unique contributions that all students bring to the classroom, and we invest heavily in promoting the conditions that lead to a nurturing and supportive community.
Our student body is diverse and includes those with many unique gifts and talents, but also those with challenges. We grow as a community by valuing difference and facing the challenges of supporting everyone to achieve their potential.
We work as expansively as possible within practical limits to provide a rich and stimulating experience for all our students. At both our campuses, children with learning needs can be admitted if their needs can be supported by our staff and the physical infrastructure of the campus, to enable them to access the curriculum. Our experienced Learning Support teams have the training and resources to respond and support the needs of all our students.
Our focus is on ensuring that we know our students well and our goal is to ensure that every child feels safe and has a sense of belonging.
How do you support children through the teenage years?
Our unique 5+1 pastoral model is based on the work of five thinkers in education and beyond, and underpins everything we do at ICHK.
Comprehensive research into what factors lie behind school attainment in the secondary years has prompted this model for fostering and nurturing success in our students. It provides us with guidance how to encourage a growth mindset and how to support students into the “learning zone” through an imaginative, innovative curriculum, experienced in an environment of safety and trust. To find out more click here.
What languages do you offer?
All students in Primary receive a 40 minute lesson in Putonghua every day. Our team of highly experienced teachers delivers an exciting and comprehensive programme, which is enriched through cultural experiences and celebrations.
Small classes allow for differentiated instruction and teachers use audio and visual resources, ICT and guided reading books to bring the curriculum to life and help students to develop as independent learners.
We use traditional characters and our programme focuses on developing speaking, reading, listening and writing.
At secondary we offer strong Chinese, Spanish and Japanese curricula, and our programme is enriched through exchange visits, language immersion trips and language events.
We consistently celebrate outstanding examination results, alongside success in prestigious competitions.
What sports do you offer?
Sport is an important element of our curriculum and we run a comprehensive programme. At our primary school our spacious grounds and large playing field give students the chance to take part in a variety of sports.
Many students represent the school in different competitions including football, hockey, rugby, swimming, athletics, netball and basketball. We provide swimming lessons and participate in sporting events all over Hong Kong.
In our Kindergarten, our programme teaches Fundamental Movement Skills which are applied in a variety of games.. Children take part in vision tracking exercises and activities like jumping, skipping and ball games which all help with balance and movement, fitness and hand-eye coordination. These skills and activities help children in many aspects of mental development.
At secondary, we aim to have as many students as possible representing the school for sport, as we believe it plays a vital role in their development. The challenges students face on the sports field encourage them to dig deep into reserves of spirit and energy, and this mindset transfers to the rest of their lives.
Different sporting options are rotated during the year, to ensure students take part in a wide variety of activities. Football, touch rugby, handball, badminton, field hockey, climbing, table tennis, rounders, netball, cricket, ball hockey, volleyball, basketball, orienteering, ultimate Frisbee and kabbadi are all included, along with our unique College Rules.
What is Forest Schooling?
Forest Schooling is an inspirational approach to outdoor learning, which offers students opportunities to develop confidence through regular hands-on learning experiences.
Students are engaged in activities, which as well as developing a deep appreciation for nature, encourage them to become independent, solve problems, use their imagination, take appropriate risks within boundaries and initiate learning for themselves.
When children have access to a rich outdoor environment, they will have greater self-esteem, be more confident and develop better concentration, resilience and independence.
Our qualified Forest School leader is delivering a structured curriculum and we are very proud to be the first accredited Forest School Development Centre outside the UK. This award is an important milestone in our vision of being a leader in outdoor learning and Forest School education in Hong Kong.
How often will my child learn outdoors?
Every day. Our kindergarten and primary school is located in green and spacious surroundings, providing students with unrivalled opportunities for outdoor learning. Teachers make good use of our grounds whenever possible to allow students greater space and freedom.
Students learn about sustainable living and develop an attitude of care and concern for the environment. Our large playing field allows children the opportunity to play and enjoy sports in the fresh air.
The unique location of our secondary school provides us with so many opportunities, and outdoor learning is integrated into all teaching. Students are able to conduct fieldwork and science experiments in their surroundings, and our programme of study trips includes nearby mangrove farms.
In our uniquely natural environment, students play sport and enjoy after school activities from dozens of choices. They are able to make full use of the nearby coastline and country parks for hiking, sailing, kayaking, cross country running and cycling.
Do you run a Drama programme?
ICHK secondary is renowned for its amazing drama productions, and has won many prestigious awards. Students celebrate great success in the performing arts, and our award winning drama team consistently works its magic to leave audiences spellbound. As we are a small school, all students are given the opportunity to become involved in productions, not just a select few. Our talented teachers also run sessions at the primary school, helping to support and co-ordinate performance opportunities for younger students.
Do you run an extra curricula activities programme?
We offer a large range of activities, which help to broaden and enrich education. These take place both after school and at lunchtimes, and are delivered by school staff and external providers. They include Art, Soccer, Gymnastics, Chinese, Touch Rugby, Choir, Orchestra, Lego Robotics, Yoga, Netball, Hockey, ICT, Maths and Science, Battle of the Books, Trinity Speech Exams. There is also a Dutch School every week.
At secondary our unique location means that students are able to make full use of the nearby coastline and country parks for hiking, sailing, kayaking, cross country running and cycling. Our activities fit under the broad headings of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS), and each term we run a wide selection of weekly activities during break times and after school. For a comprehensive list click here.
Do you offer a Music programme?
Our primary school has a specialist music teacher and children are given opportunities to discover a broad range of musical experiences. They learn about classifying sounds, composing, harmonizing, playing instruments, singing, reading music, songwriting and recording.
At secondary, a music programme is being introduced into Years 7 and 8 in August 2020, which will supplement our existing weekly music clinics and innovative Human Technologies and Deep Learning programmes.
What ICT learning do you offer?
In primary, technology is integrated into the curriculum in authentic ways to enhance and support student learning. Through technology, students have opportunities for interactive communication, research, creation and exchanging information through global collaboration, authentic learning, expansion of the learning community and empowerment for all learners.
In the early years classes, shared iPads are provided for student use under the guidance of the teachers, building a foundation in collaboration and sharing. This extends into a 1-to-1 iPad programme in Year 1 and Year 2. Students use these devices throughout the day to supplement teacher instruction. Beginning in Year 3, all students are issued their own Chromebooks.
In the PYP, there will be opportunities to use technology in the relevant, authentic context of the Units of Inquiry, as well as through teaching and learning experiences in other areas of the curriculum. Students are given opportunities to identify and reflect on significant ideas within the different skills of technology, the transdisciplinary themes, and various subject areas. Students use technology to engage in building understandings that contribute to their success as lifelong learners in a digital age.
In secondary our ground breaking Free Learning programme represents the use of technology to revolutionise classroom practice. Students chart their own learning
through a varied map of challenges and experiences. The programme promotes creativity, individuality, team work, freedom and taking responsibility. To find out more click here.
What is your policy on information and digital technology?
Our aim in applying digital technologies to learning is to balance their growing power against their propensity to disrupt, distract and disconnect. We recognise that students need to become fluent in utilising and harnessing these powerful tools, whilst also learning to overcome distraction and manage multiple deluges of data and notifications. At the same time we recognise that no level of digital technology will ever replace the range and depth of learning that can occur when students are situated in a flexible, innovative and sociable school.
Our secondary laptop program, in which each student is the guardian of a laptop owned by their family, is seen as a way to supplement and extend learning, rather than as a central pillar of what we do. These machines are used in a variety of classes, but are balanced by our foci on social, situated and outdoor learning.
In terms of behaviour, we generally focus less on hard and fast rules to govern the use of technology, working instead to apply a set of broad guidelines, through which students learn to make sound decisions. Poor decisions are corrected through the use of adult-adult conversations, and, occasionally, more formal consequences.
As with each generation, there are gaps between how we would like technology to be used, and how our young choose to use them. The trick, we believe, is to be aware of these gaps, and to move slowly towards a healthy, safe and positive middle ground.
Where are your teachers from?
Our teachers are recruited from around the world and bring a wealth of experience to our school. They are passionate about education, caring and totally committed to the interests of our students and the school.
ICHK is a community, in which all teachers think of themselves as leaders of learning.
They work in partnership to create the best environment for engagement and growth, and create both the time and opportunities for students to experience a diverse range of activities and ideas.
How are students assessed and how often do you report to parents?
At primary, assessment is seen as a collection of evidence over time, rather than a single snapshot. It is used to provide timely feedback to students, informing their next steps in learning. A wide range of strategies are used to gather information and record student learning. There are many opportunities for feedback throughout the year, including parent/teacher conferences, student-led conferences, portfolios, written reports, community celebrations and the PYP Exhibition.
At secondary we use the ICHK Approaches to Learning, on which we report specifically twice a year. This give students feedback about their attitude to challenge, resilience and motivation, attitude to feedback and advice, organization, initiative and decision-making, ability to work independently and with others, self-regulation and contribution to class. In addition to this, our bespoke virtual learning environment Gibbon provides parents with direct access to their children’s learning as it develops. Teachers provide more than 60 pieces of written feedback throughout the year, via the Gibbon Markbook, using our Reporting, Assessment and Feedback guidelines.
What are your class sizes?
At primary our class sizes do not exceed 28 students, but are often lower.
At secondary our classes are 20 students. We believe that small classes allow our teachers to design and deliver their lessons to meet the needs of individual students. With a low student to teacher ratio, learners receive the individual attention and guidance they need; there is a high degree of interaction between teacher and student, and also between students, which is key to our learning philosophy.
What are your exam results?
ICHK students achieve very strong IBDP and IGCSE results – in line with the highest achieving schools in Hong Kong and beyond.
Since our very first cohort, our IB Diploma Programme students have scored above world averages and have progressed to prestigious universities around the world.
But exam results do not tell the whole story. To really appreciate our students’ success, we need to consider what is termed ‘value added’ in education. This refers to whether a school helps its students gain higher results than their previous test scores have predicted. At ICHK, many students significantly exceed expectations generated by CAT and ICAS assessments earlier in their school careers.
As a non-selective school, which offers unconditional places to all the students graduating from our three primary partners, we work with children with a wide variety of academic profiles. Our students typically sit 8 or 9 GCSEs, though some, with pronounced learning differences, take fewer. ICHK takes equal pleasure in all their success stories, whether that is As across the board for the academically adept or a hard-won D for a student who struggles with classwork and whose strengths lie elsewhere.
It is this “value added” that we are most proud of as a school – students who, by embracing a growth mindset, routinely go far beyond what might be expected of them.
What percentage of students progress to university?
To date, all have secured their first choice university destinations. These are destinations that emerge from detailed, reflective conversations between students and our tertiary advisors.
What is the ideal university for my child?
Every student is different and there is no ideal university. We work very closely with our students (and their parents) to discuss and unlock their passions, and we offer individualised support on their further education pathways. It is one of our key aims to identify the best possible courses to suit those passions.
How has secondary school moved on since my day?
Not as much as you might hope! However, we are on a mission to change that. The traditional school setting, with teachers imparting scarce and precious knowledge to passive students, has been overtaken by time and technology. Most schools now at least pay lip service to more active and inquiry based learning. At ICHK, our approach to pedagogy is informed by six essential qualities. It is authentic, inquiry and problem based, informed by formative and summative assessment, differentiated, collaborative and conceptual. And it is delivered through a variety of methods, some centered on the classroom, laboratory or studio, but others, such as Deep Learning and CAS+, taking advantage of local and regional resources.
How do you deal with bullying?
At the kindergarten and primary school, there are many opportunities within the curriculum to create an anti-bullying ethos and to develop self-esteem and peer power. Children will learn through a combination of direct discussion about bullying and indirect strategies in teaching and other aspects of the school.
At ICHK bullying simply has no place.
We are one of those rare schools where students of all ages socialize together during break times – so that games of basketball, football and our own unique ICHK College Rules, invariably feature boys and girls of all ages. Similarly, in the canteen, students cheerfully mix between year groups, taking each other seriously simply as individuals and not as belonging to this or that class or grade.
There are good reasons for this happy state of affairs. We invest heavily in promoting the conditions that lead to purposeful, mutually supportive, community cohesion. Our student body is diverse and includes individuals with many unique gifts and talents, but also those with challenges.
Our House system is built on a foundation of friendly competition, so that the many activities in which the students go head-to-head are an opportunity both to celebrate their own successes but also to commend and applaud the successes of others. Our reputation for fair play and sportsmanship is well established in inter-school competitions, in which we regularly punch above our weight.
More than anything, we value each other as unique individuals, deserving of a place in which to grow, flourish and thrive.
What is the funding structure of the school?
As non-profit-schools, the schools are required to budget to operate on a break even basis.
The schools have over the years accumulated reserves to ensure the operation of each school can continue at least to the end of a school year in the event fee income reduces significantly.
The schools generate funds for operations and development in four ways: tuition fees, debentures, capital levies and donations.
Tuition fees are used for fixed expenses, most significantly teachers’ salaries, and in the primary school, rent. Tuition fees are approved by the Hong Kong Education Bureau and cannot be changed during a school year (other than under the school’s hardship policy).
A non-refundable capital debenture is required for each student. At kindergarten and primary, an annual capital levy is also charged. These funds are used for capital development including the maintenance of and upgrading of school facilities to meet health and safety requirements, the standards expected by members of our school community, and the standards required by the bodies who certify the schools.
Donations are made to the schools from time to time to fund specific projects or as a general contribution to school funds. If you are interested in making a donation, please contact the appropriate head of school.
Do you have a hardship policy?
The schools have policies for families facing genuine financial hardship to apply for waivers, reductions or postponement of school fees. Families who wish to discuss this option should contact the Head of School in the first instance.
Do you offer school tours?
Yes, we welcome interested parents anytime, and will always do our best to accommodate you at your convenience. Please contact email@example.com to arrange a visit to our kindergarten and primary school. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a visit to our secondary school. We look forward to welcoming you.
Is there a school uniform?
We have a school uniform that is designed to support learning and offer comfort.
At secondary students choose among a selection of items bearing the ICHK logo, depending on the day of learning they have ahead. Given that many students choose to begin their morning, alongside their teachers, with elective fitness sessions, many staff and students opt for the school sports kit, which is lightweight, simple and ideal for Hong Kong.
Do you run a bus service?
Our school bus provider runs routes from across the New Territories and Kowloon. For details and times for primary bus routes please click here.
If you need further information please email email@example.com
Our school bus provider runs 12 routes to and from school. For details and times for all secondary routes please click here. If you need further information please email Suki Ngai at firstname.lastname@example.org