ICHK Kindergarten and Primary turns 35 this year! The school, which offers an educational pathway from playgroup all the way to secondary, was among the first to be accredited by the CIS (Council of International Schools) and to offer a Chinese programme. Heads of School, Toby Newton and Adam McGuigan tell us more about ICHK’s approach and achievements.
What are some key aspects of the ICHK philosophy?
We follow an innovative approach to outdoor education. Our campuses are a world away from the bustle and crowds of the city, in one of the few remaining green areas in Hong Kong. The stunning locations provide unrivalled opportunities for students to learn and grow through outdoor experiences. Our kindergarten and primary school is the only accredited Forest School Development Centre outside of the UK. ICHK Secondary is one of Cambridge Strategies’ top 100 schools in the world for innovation.
The development of a Growth Mindset is key across our schools. We strive to encourage and foster the talents of every child and believe that happiness and achievement are two sides of the same coin. Positive psychology is built into our curricula to support student wellbeing.
Tell us more about the teaching and learning programmes at the two schools.
At the Hong Lok Yuen campus, our teachers deliver a range of inspirational learning opportunities through the IB Primary Years Programme. Specialist learning includes PE, ICT, Music and Art, and all students learn Mandarin every day.
At our secondary school, we view our commitment to education in its widest possible interpretation – as a drawing out of the various complex attributes of young people as they develop through their teenage years. Classes are kept deliberately small as individual attention and guidance are key to our philosophy. The unique and stimulating curriculum centres on emerging best practices, using insights and innovations from our experienced staff and from around the world. In Years 10 and 11, students follow the IGCSE, then the IB Diploma Programme in Years 12 and 13.
How does the school approach the balance between ensuring academic success and fostering personal development?
We believe that schools should support students to realise their potential as learners and as people; to develop their sense of who they are and who they might become. Excellent exam results are a part of this, of course, especially in their role of opening doors to university. We’re proud that, to date, all ICHK’s graduates have secured places in their first-choice destinations. And we’ve scored the “perfect 45” at IB Diploma. Beyond qualifications though, we offer students something just as valuable: A place and a role in a small, caring community, where our ambition for our students’ personal and social growth is at the heart of everything we do.
In an information and ideas-based economy, we believe that it is attitudes and mindsets, no less than qualifications, that will underpin the ongoing enjoyment of life, performance and success. ICHK is proud to have created and to continually evolve a school experience that best prepares young people for a world where only change – and accelerating change, at that – is permanent.
See more in our Schools section
This article first appeared in the December/January 2018/19 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.