Some of the most exciting and memorable days for students are when the whole school comes together. Sports days, talent shows and special assemblies are when lasting memories are made. So, what happens when schools are physically closed for six months, like they have been in Hong Kong? At Hong Kong Academy (HKA), these communal events have found a new (interim) home on the internet. It seems crazy to think a sports day could possibly be held online, let alone be a success, but this creative school has done it!
HKA is a school that prides itself on a sense of community. And these communal experiences have been instrumental in the students’ sense of identity; so, really, it wasn’t ever an option to drop them. In response, the school has created a virtual events website, which it uses to brief the community and livestream the events.
What’s been going on?
HKA has managed to host some awesome online events for Primary Schoolers this year. Highlights have included the following:
You’re never too young to join a choir, right? At HKA, the whole school enjoyed the Early Childhood Virtual Choir performance. It was a super-cute example of how the school is staying connected and bringing joy to each other.
Primary School Talent Show
The school’s regular talent show event is called Hot Cocoa House, and this year it went online. It was emceed live by the school principals, with students all over the world showcasing their talents from home.
Virtual Literacy Celebration
Online learning didn’t stop HKA celebrating literacy this year. Students tuned in to an eight hour Continuous Read-Aloud Chair (via livestream) listening to stories being read by faculty and staff. So cool!
Finding time for specialist subjects
Students at HKA also love their specialist subjects, which include music, art, PE and library. These are subjects that can be difficult to connect with during online learning, so the school has devised what it calls Specialist Days.
“We wanted to ensure that we offer our students every opportunity to engage in their learning through specialist subjects in the digital learning environment,” says Primary Principal Virginia Hunt. Specialist Day was set for every Tuesday until the campus re-opened. “So, on Tuesdays, students are not assigned any Homeroom or Mandarin work,” says Virginia. “Instead, they’re able to focus solely on being active and creative through specialist learning experiences.”
This article first appeared in the June 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.