Education & Enrichment Living In Hong Kong Schools

Learning beyond the classroom door

With a strong tradition of celebrating leadership, practical skills and teamwork, the Mount Kelly family of schools is known for its wide range of co-curricular activities. An example of this is the Shackleton Programme, developed by Mount Kelly UK, and now being introduced at Mount Kelly School Hong Kong.

The programme will be run in Hong Kong by the school’s head of sport and co-curricular, Richard Lankshear. “The Shackleton Programme I hope will inspire, encourage and support the spirit of adventure for every child at Mount Kelly,” says Richard. “We’ve designed it to develop and celebrate leadership, practical skills and teamwork. The programme is unique to Mount Kelly schools and it has now been adapted for Hong Kong.”

Mount Kelly school students climbing wall

About the programme

Inspired by the achievements of legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton, the Shackleton Programme is built into the curriculum as early as preschool, and carries on through to the senior school. Monthly sessions for pupils are tailored to different age groups with a universal focus on four main themes:

  • To inspire, encourage and support a spirit of adventure
  • To develop proficiency and skills in outdoor activities
  • To encourage an ability to risk assess and remain safe
  • To introduce pupils to the intrinsic reward of helping others through community projects both at school and in the wider community.

Mount Kelly School students rowing a boat

The programme has activities that are designed to fulfil these skill sets including walking, camp craft, sailing, climbing, navigation, partnering with groups in the community, first aid, conservation projects and route planning, amongst others.

According to the school, each year group has slightly different tasks to achieve and to complete to gain their award, according to pupils’ abilities. Even the youngest children at Mount Kelly International Preschool have the chance to take part in project planning, orienteering, team building and team sports through the Shackleton Programme. With the support of their teachers, Nursery and Reception children can take on the challenges of map reading, working as a team, and becoming a leader and adventurer.

As the school grows, the programme will too, and the school plans to take advantage of the many outdoor venues – from the beaches and country parks to Kings Park Sports Ground and the Outward Bound courses.

Who was Shackleton?

Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) was a renowned Antarctic explorer who demonstrated great courage and leadership, particularly during his epic TransAntarctic Expedition of 1914 to 1917. Though he never completed his aim of being the first to cross the continent via the South Pole, his skills ensured that his 28-strong crew returned home safely after almost three years in one of the most challenging climates on earth – one of the great feats of human survival.

Mount Kelly - Preschool

For more information, email 2110 1078 |

See more in our Schools section:

Bumper guide to international schools in Hong Kong

‘What’s the best school in Hong Kong?’

This article first appeared in the February/March 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.