International College Hong Kong (ICHK) offers a complete educational pathway, starting from playgroups for babies to secondary school, following the Primary Years Programme in kindergarten and primary and the IGCSEs and IB Diploma programme in secondary. We chat with Hong Lok Yuen Principal (Kindergarten and Primary) Ruth Woodward and ICHK Secondary Head of School Toby Newton about latest developments at the school.
It’s been a big year for ICHK Secondary. Tell us more about how you achieved global recognition for innovation this year.
Toby: Yes, we’re one of 100 global schools included in the publication, Innovation 800, which celebrates 800 years of excellence at Cambridge University. We were contacted by the University’s research wing Cambridge Strategies earlier this year. During a global search, the team was impressed by our innovative curriculum and cutting edge approach to learning. The publication showcases global leaders and institutions at the forefront of change in education, and ICHK is the only Hong Kong school to be featured.
How are you incorporating innovation into the curriculum?
Toby: We have designed a unique curriculum alongside a number of pioneering projects, all steeped in educational research. These include Human Technologies, the 5+1 Model, outdoor activities, Free Learning, Deep Learning and Ready to Learn. All have been developed to enrich students’ experience of school and their understanding of themselves as people and learners. We understand developments at International College Hong Kong also extend to the primary school, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2018.
What’s happening there?
Ruth: We want the primary school to be a leader in outdoor learning and Forest School education. Our beautiful campus provides us with the perfect location to develop this approach. Our qualified Forest School leader is delivering a structured curriculum, and we plan to train more teachers. We’re working towards becoming a Forest School Development Centre and securing the Learning Outside the Classroom Gold Award. We expect to be the only Hong Kong school to have these accreditations.
We’re passionate about this approach. 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
Find out more about what it’s like to live in Hong Lok Yuen
This article first appeared in the December/January 2017/18 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.