Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What will ICHK HLY offer our child?

At the heart of ICHK HLY is a fundamental commitment: to provide our students with the very best education we can offer, day in, day out, year on year.

ICHK HLY is a school that is student-centred and community-minded. We make children feel welcome, cared for and thoroughly at home.

Our innovative curricula offer students a stimulating and challenging learning journey, and our focus is relentlessly future-orientated. We know that change in the world is constant and accelerating. We know that students need a new and wider set of skills if they are to meet the challenges that await: that, in an information and ideas based economy, it is attitudes and mindsets, no less than qualifications, that will underpin ongoing performance and success. And so we have created – and continually evolve – a school experience that best prepares young people for that future.

How are you different from other schools?

Our stunning location provides students with unrivalled opportunities to learn and grow through outdoor experiences. In our uniquely natural environment, students play sport, enjoy after school activities, experience authentic outdoor learning and connect with nature.

We are extremely personal, friendly, individual and inclusive, allowing our students to flourish in a positive and stimulating environment.

What educational programmes do you offer?

We run the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), which is an international curriculum designed for students aged 3-12. It promotes the development of the whole child (social, physical, mental, emotional and cultural needs), and combines best practice and research in teaching and learning from around the world.

Students learn Mathematics, Languages (English, Chinese), Social Studies, Science, ICT, The Arts (Visual Arts, Music, Drama), Health and Physical Education.

How would you describe the ethos of the school?

ICHK HLY is a personal, friendly, individual and inclusive community school. This is enabled by strong relationships between all stakeholders – parents, staff and students.  Our environment is based on safety and trust, growth, mutual understanding and shared respect.

Our school was set up more than 35 years ago by a group of visionary parents wanting to create a unique community school. This strong community spirit remains central to our philosophy today, and we are guided by research that indicates that small communities do a better job of recognising and catering for the needs of their members.

Across our schools we value each other as unique individuals, deserving of a place in which to grow, flourish and thrive.

How is the school governed?

ICHK HLY is established as a not-for-profit school and incorporated as companies limited by guarantee. An Annual General Meeting of the school is held every year where all members can attend and vote.

The governing body at ICHK HLY is the Board of Governors. Members of the board serve on a voluntary basis and are not paid, In general, governors are parents of students who attend the school.

The Boards of Governors appoint the Head of School who is responsible for the operation of the school and day to day management.

Members of the boards are elected at the Annual General Meeting and may also be co-opted between AGMs, then stand for election at the next AGM. The governors meet between 4 to 6 times a year to oversee the operation of the school.

The Board of Governors is refreshed each year through a mechanism whereby approximately one third of its members must stand for re-election.

What is unique about your curriculum?

We are leading the way in Forest School and outdoor education.

What ages do you provide for?

We are a Kindergarten and Primary school providing children’s education from Playgroup, Pre-Nursery to Year 6 (2.8 years old to 11 years old).

Our children have priority places for Year 7 at ICHK Secondary.

How long has your school been in operation?

Our Kindergarten and Primary school opened in September 1983 by a small group of parents who wanted to create a school at the heart of their green and spacious community. Since then the school has become a thriving success story, accredited by worldwide bodies for the strength of its education programme, and attracting children from all over the world. ICHK Secondary was set up in 2009 offering students priority places for Secondary education.

For further information click here.

What is the IB learner profile?

The IB Learner Profile is a set of ideals to define the type of learner we aim to develop. As IB learners we strive to be knowledgeable, risk takers,  inquirers, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, balanced, and reflective.

What learning support do you offer?

ICHK HLY is a school where all students feel cared for and can flourish in a nurturing environment. Our key aim is to provide a secure, caring environment for students, where they can develop as learners and happy individuals. Students with pronounced learning needs may be admitted if their needs can be supported by our Learning Support staff. Our experienced team ensure that students are supported and nurtured in a responsive environment, so that they receive the best possible school experience. At our Kindergarten and Primary School we have part time Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy on site, which is paid for by parents.

What languages do you offer?

In Kindergarten English is our main language of instruction, with Chinese (Mandarin) taught as an additional language. We take similar approaches teaching both English and Chinese. Students are provided opportunities to enrich their vocabulary by describing different sensorial experiences and exploring stories, songs, and rhymes. Students learn how to interact socially – using appropriate voice and body language. Students recount and retell experiences and stories through socio-dramatic play, drawing, and “writing”.

All students in Primary receive a 40 minute lesson in Putonghua every day. Our team of highly experienced teachers delivers an exciting and comprehensive programme, which is enriched through cultural experiences and celebrations.

Small classes allow for differentiated instruction and teachers use audio and visual resources, ICT and guided reading books to bring the curriculum to life and help students to develop as independent learners.

We use traditional characters and our programme focuses on developing speaking, reading, listening and writing.

What sports do you offer?

Sport is an important element of our curriculum and we run a comprehensive programme. At our Primary school our spacious grounds and large playing field give students the chance to take part in a variety of sports.

In our Kindergarten, our programme teaches Fundamental Movement Skills which are applied in a variety of games. Children take part in vision tracking exercises and activities like jumping, skipping and ball games which all help with balance and movement, fitness and hand-eye coordination. These skills and activities help children in many aspects of mental development.

What is forest schooling?

Forest Schooling is an inspirational approach to outdoor learning, which offers students opportunities to develop confidence through regular hands-on learning experiences.

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.

When children have access to a rich outdoor environment, they will have greater self-esteem, be more confident and develop better concentration, resilience and independence.

Our qualified Forest School leader is delivering a structured curriculum and we are very proud to be the first accredited Forest Schools Leadership Centre outside the UK. This award is an important milestone in our vision of being a leader in outdoor learning and Forest School education in Hong Kong.

How often will my child learn outdoors?

Every day.  Our Kindergarten and Primary school is located in green and spacious surroundings, providing students with unrivalled opportunities for outdoor learning. Teachers make good use of our grounds whenever possible to allow students greater space and freedom.

Students learn about sustainable living and develop an attitude of care and concern for the environment. Our large playing field allows children the opportunity to play and enjoy sports in the fresh air.

In our uniquely natural environment, students play sport and enjoy after school activities from dozens of choices. They are able to make full use of the nearby coastline and country parks for hiking, sailing, kayaking, cross country running and cycling.

Do you offer a music programme?

We have a specialist music teacher and children are given opportunities to discover a broad range of musical experiences. They learn about classifying sounds, composing, harmonizing, playing instruments, singing, reading music, songwriting and recording.

Do you run an extra curricular activities programme?

We offer a large range of activities, which help to broaden and enrich education. These take place both after school and at lunchtimes, and are delivered by school staff and external providers. They include Art, Soccer, Gymnastics, Chinese, Touch Rugby, Choir, Orchestra, Lego Robotics, Yoga, Netball, Hockey, ICT, Maths and Science, Battle of the Books, Trinity Speech Exams.

How are students assessed and how often do you report to parents?

At Primary, assessment is seen as a collection of evidence over time, rather than a single snapshot.  It is used to provide timely feedback to students, informing their next steps in learning. A wide range of strategies are used to gather information and record student learning. There are many opportunities for feedback throughout the year, including parent/teacher conferences, student-led conferences, portfolios, written reports, community celebrations and the PYP Exhibition.

Where are your teachers from?

Our teachers are recruited from around the world and bring a wealth of experience to our school. They are passionate about education, caring and totally committed to the interests of our students and the school.

ICHK is a community, in which all teachers think of themselves as leaders of learning.

They work in partnership to create the best environment for engagement and growth, and create both the time and opportunities for students to experience a diverse range of activities and ideas.

What are the school fees?

Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. For further information click here.

What is the funding structure of the school?

As non-profit-schools, the schools are required to budget to operate on a break even basis.

The schools have over the years accumulated reserves to ensure the operation of each school can continue at least to the end of a school year in the event fee income reduces significantly.

The schools generate funds for operations and development in four ways: tuition fees, debentures, capital levies and donations.

Tuition fees are used for fixed expenses, most significantly teachers’ salaries, and in the Primary school, rent. Tuition fees are approved by the Hong Kong Education Bureau and cannot be changed during a school year (other than under the school’s hardship policy).

A non-refundable capital debenture is required for each student. At Kindergarten and Primary, an annual capital levy is also charged. These funds are used for capital development including the maintenance of and upgrading of school facilities to meet health and safety requirements, the standards expected by members of our school community, and the standards required by the bodies who certify the schools.

Donations are made to the schools from time to time to fund specific projects or as a general contribution to school funds. If you are interested in making a donation, please contact the appropriate Head of School.

How do I apply for a place?

To apply for a Kindergarten or Primary place, please contact us as admissions@ichkhly.edu.hk or complete a form online here.

Do I need to pay a debenture?

A non-refundable debenture is required for each new student joining our Kindergarten / Primary and Secondary schools. For further information click here.

Do you run a bus service?

There is provision for bus services for most locations in the New Territories. For details and times for Kindergarten and Primary bus routes please click here. If you would like your child to travel by bus, please email the bus company at info.maximsbus@gmail.com or Phone: 2651 1529/ 9635 8063 (Becky).

What if my question is not answered here?

If you would like further information on any aspect of our school, please use our Ask A Question form.

If you prefer to email directly, you can contact our Kindergarten and Primary team on info@ichkhly.edu.hk, and secondary team on info@ichk.edu.hk.

Do you offer school tours?

Yes, we welcome interested parents anytime, and will always do our best to accommodate you at your convenience. Please contact admissions@ichkhly.edu.hk to arrange a visit to our Kindergarten and Primary school. We look forward to welcoming you.

Is there a school uniform?

We have a school uniform that is designed to support learning and offer comfort.