Traditionally, the great outdoors holds an important role in a British education. But how do international schools offering a traditional British education cope with the challenges of teaching in Hong Kong, a city famed for its skyscrapers? Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong finds great inspiration by utilising the city’s countryside.
Beyond the classroom
Shrewsbury, located in Tseung Kwan O, is surrounded by a sweeping mountain range littered with hiking trails. The school’s classrooms offer a series of breathtaking views, so it’s no wonder the staff are inspired to get out of the classroom and into nature.
“Every child and every family should hike!” exclaims the school’s principal, Ben Keeling. “The recent development of our local area has ensured that a wide range of outdoor opportunities are available for our school community.” He adds that the area around Shrewsbury has been developed to offer “hiking trails, a pedestrianised waterfront walkway and professional football facilities under the direction of the Hong Kong Football Association.”
These local facilities have been embraced by the school’s teaching body, despite the team having access to some start-of-the-art facilities on school grounds. According to Principal Keeling, these spaces supplement the wonderful facilities inside the campus. They also allow the school to support students in developing “a true connection to the region”.
Shrewsbury students have easy access to the New Territories, Hong Kong Island and the ever-expanding Tseung Kwan O. This ensures learning off campus is a focal part of the curriculum; as such, excursions to the surrounding countryside feature prominently in the student’s programs.
Creating traditions: Annual Shrewsbury hike
Among other planned excursions, every student at Shrewsbury takes part in an annual hike linked to an aspect of their curriculum.
Reflecting on last year’s hike, Shrewsbury Key Stage 2 Leader Lewis Peck said. “Our oldest students thoroughly enjoyed their first hike together. We travelled along a section of the High Junk Peak trail in Clearwater Bay. The hike supported the development of trusting and respectful relationships among the group. I was thrilled with the way they responded. They demonstrated determination, perseverance and real team spirit!”
About Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong
The school opened in August 2018 and provides a primary specialist education for children aged between 3 and 11. Shrewsbury students are primarily from an international background. Shrewsbury wears its historical connections with great pride – its UK sister school in Shropshire was founded in 1552 and was among the original nine “Great Schools” of Britain. So, while the campus in HK offers a purpose-built and very modern range of facilities, culturally at least, this is a very old school indeed.
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