IB Programme at HKA
As an International Baccalaureate World School, HKA offers three of the IB programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students in grades PK1-5, Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students in Grades 6-10 and Diploma Programme (DP) for students in Grades 11-12.
HKA is committed to the IB programme because they are closely aligned with our school's mission and vision for learning. Within these frameworks, HKA uses the inquiry cycle to develop rich and challenging learning experiences that encourage students to pursue pathways to individual excellence both within units of study as well as across the duration of each programme.
The PYP, MYP and DP are connected by several threads that span all the programmes:
The Learner Profile: a collection of attributes and behaviours we aspire for all HKA learners to demonstrate with their various learning environments.
Approaches to learning skills that support each student in better understanding him or herself in the areas of communication, collaboration, self-management, creative and critical thinking and research.
A commitment to international mindedness in which students are encouraged to engage with local, regional and global communities and take responsible action.
A focus on conceptual learning in which the inquiry cycle frames the learning journey for students.
We believe that the IB programmes are aligned with our beliefs and values as a school and ensure that we can successfully and effectively nurture a captivating learning environment in each of our classrooms. Please contact the following faculty to learn more about each of our IB programmes in action:
PYP Co-ordinator and Primary Assistant Principal
MYP Co-ordinator and Secondary 6-8 Assistant Principal
DP Co-ordinator and Secondary 9-12 Assistant Principal
Please use the links below for more detailed information on the IB programme on the International Baccalaureate Organisation's website.
(PowerPoint .pptx files)
Welcome to the Primary School
HKA's primary school is a unique and exciting place that prides itself on the recognition that all children have gifts to be nurtured and shared. We have created an authentic learning environment by seeking a rich diverse balance in our students and teachers, which prepares students for the larger world they will grow into. Students learn compassion, empathy, tolerance and to celebrate each other’s strengths and differences whilst recognising commonalities and collaboratively support one another with those areas they may find challenging.
An integral part of the HKA Primary School is that we value how children learn as well as what they learn. This is accomplished by fostering a natural joy and interest in their social and natural world through hands-on interactions. We strive to support each child's natural curiosity by encouraging the process of questioning and a quest for knowledge rather than imparting knowledge onto them. Through reflection of their learning students become active participants in reaching out to different communities with different needs and perspectives from their own.
Our concept driven, inquiry based curriculum reflects our diverse student community as well as local, national and global events and issues. A rigorous and developmentally appropriate approach to literacy and mathematics are integrated into the PYP curriculum framework and ensure that students learn in a meaningful and relevant context. All primary students study Mandarin as an additional living language within the curriculum.
Small class sizes and low student teacher ratio allow for maximum flexibility in meeting student’s needs and provide a broad base for social interaction. As children grow, increasing scope and complexity are built into the curriculum to ensure that individual developmental needs are met and that children are challenged and stretched in their learning.
I hope you will take sometime to learn more about Hong Kong Academy through our website and gain a glimpse of the unique and exciting learning environment we provide for students, parents and our staff!
- Virginia Hunt, Primary School Principal
Welcome to the Secondary School
Whether you are a current member of our school community, a prospective parent, student, or educator, or just browsing, welcome to the HKA Secondary School!
We believe in a partnership of staff, students, families and community members where students are the central focus. As an IB World School, HKA develops the whole student and we empower learners to pursue pathways to individual excellence by fostering creativity, communication and problem-solving skills. We fulfill individual potential through providing outstanding teaching, rich opportunities for learning and encouragement and support for each student to help them find their strengths, define their paths and pursue their goals. The Secondary School Curriculum is based around two world-class education programmes: the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) for Grades 6 to 10 and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) for grades 11 and 12. Both programmes provide a broad, balanced and globally recognised curriculum that ensures all students have the chance to develop interests and abilities no matter where their individual strengths may lie.
Complementing our comprehensive curriculum HKA offers a wide-ranging athletic and co-curricular programme. With sports, clubs and activities, students have many opportunities to learn and grow beyond the classroom. Community service is also a significant part of the HKA educational experience. In addition, students take part in annual study trips to diverse locations in China. Through participation in these activities, our students forge strong bonds with others and are supported by teachers who are focused on nurturing young minds. These activities provide depth, richness and occasions to put into practice all the skills students have learned throughout their educational experience.
The secondary school years are a time of rapid change and development and the social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs of students are diverse. Even the most confident students can struggle during these years, which is why the ethos of a school is so important. At HKA there is a strong sense of community. The genuine care and empathy shown for others ensures an inclusive environment that enables each student to find their place and flourish. The secondary years are also a period of self-discovery and sorting out personal strengths and challenge areas. HKA is a learning and training ground filled with possibilities. We encourage our students to aspire towards paths leading to a distinguished, rewarding and purposeful life.
We would encourage you to experience first-hand the welcoming, dynamic, engaging and inspirational learning environment at HKA. To arrange a conversation, tour or visit please contact our Admissions Office.
- Leanne Dunlap, Secondary School Principal
A leader in inquiry-based, child-centered education, HKA is one of the few schools in Hong Kong that provides opportunities for students with special needs to be integrated into the mainstream classroom. Between 10% to 15% of HKA students receive some level of learner support ranging from mild to intensive. HKA’s philosophy firmly supports the belief that all students benefit from an environment where students requiring support are a part of the inclusive classroom. HKA’s staff includes dedicated Learner Support professionals; in addition, all teachers at HKA receive on-going professional development to support their instruction within an inclusive school.
Learner Support students at HKA are integrated into the mainstream classroom. HKA has taken the lead in the region, offering a fully supported inclusion model. HKA’s Learner Support staff carefully review and analyse the mix and balance in each classroom to ensure a positive and successful mainstreaming experience. Working with classroom teachers, specialists tailor “pull out” and “push in” strategies for special needs students according to their individual requirements and in keeping with the classroom dynamics. There are also facilities for in-school occupational and speech therapy.
HKA’s teachers strive continually to improve their ability to teach in an inclusive, differentiated classroom. In-house professional development is essential to HKA’s commitment to being a pioneer in this area. On campus, specialists work closely with classroom teachers to ensure that they are fully equipped to nurture students with different learning styles and needs. Teachers in the mainstream classroom benefit from mentoring and other training as they help students with special needs maximise their learning experiences in the classroom. Learner Support staff work closely with their colleagues to plan collaboratively and ensure students are reaching their potential.
- Kristel Solomon-Saleem, Director of Learner Support
Global Citizenship Diploma at HKA
Engaging in Responsible Action
In our mission statement, we make clear our goal of helping students understand the world around them so that they may “engage in responsible action”. The Global Citizen Diploma, introduced in the Secondary School in 2016, is a key component of that commitment.
What is the Global Citizen Diploma?
The Global Citizen Diploma (GCD) is an optional qualification that complements the IB Diploma and HKA High School Diploma. Founded in 2012 at Yokohama International School, the GCD consortium now also includes The American School of Bombay, HKA, NIST Bangkok, and Zurich International School. These like-minded, leading international schools have all adopted the GCD as an opportunity for students to explore and develop their own interests, passions and goals in relation to action and service and to share their stories with others, both at HKA and around the world. In alignment with HKA’s own educational philosophy, the GCD provides several pathways of participation.
GCD at HKA
Now in its initial phase at HKA, students in Grades 9-11 will participate in the GCD starting in the 2016-17 school year. Depending on grade level, students will have the time and opportunity to fulfill the GCD in different ways. Over time, it is expected that all HKA Grade 9 students and higher will fulfill the criteria for the Global Citizen Diploma Certificate as a routine part of their HKA education. Students who wish to pursue the GCD Diploma or Diploma with Distinction will receive support from faculty in fulfilling those criteria.
Why the GCD at HKA?
HKA faculty nurture their students to become active and reflective members of their local and global communities. The structure of the GCD supports both action and reflection and also allows students to record their actions and reflections in a way that can be communicated with their peers and with those outside of HKA. The GCD is an opportunity to showcase their individual strengths and accomplishments and receive recognition at HKA and beyond.
Selecting a post-secondary pathway is one of the major steps in a student’s educational career. It is a complex process that promotes personal growth and self-understanding.
HKA recognises the complexities of the college/university search and application process. To assist students and their families in this process we have a comprehensive programme that guides students from the college selection phase through the ultimate goal of being accepted to an appropriate college or university. While the University Counsellor assists in the process, the student must take the lead in the research, planning and decision-making. Parents, teachers and the University Counsellor will be involved in the process but the student must take ownership of the process. HKA limits students to eight (8) maximum university applications.
All students, Grades 9 - 12 and their parents receive Naviance Family Connection accounts at the beginning of Grade 9. This is a comprehensive programme designed to enable students’ personal growth and self-understanding. Family Connection is also instrumental in the university and college search and application process.
Each year college and university representatives from around the world come to meet with students, interested parents and counsellors. Due to the short amount of time a representative can remain in Hong Kong, occasionally a representative hosts an evening programme at a hotel or more centrally located HK school rather than going to individual schools. This schedule is updated frequently both here and in Family Connection.
- Amy Colfelt, HKA University Counsellor
For University Representatives
Welcome to Hong Kong Academy. We welcome your visit to speak with our students and families. The best time to visit on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday is 12:40pm to 1:40pm. There are no available sessions on Wednsdays. Please refer to our calendar below and then submit our 'University Visitor Application' online form.
The HKA University Counsellor guides students in the university research, selection and application process in finding colleges and universities that are considered "best fit". HKA limits students to eight (8) maximum university applications. We encourage students and parents to look beyond the rankings and choose schools which will provide the student with a positive academic experience while being appropriately challenged. With this in mind, when you visit HKA we kindly ask that you not speak about national or regional rankings when speaking with students and parents. We prefer that you focus on such things as the strength of particular programmes, opportunities for growth, internships and majors at your school. Information about employment and graduate school acceptances are great topics as well. We also encourage you to speak about the selectivity of your college/university with the prospective applicants.
For directions to HKA please visit our 'How To Get Here' page.
- Click here to view HKA in relation to some other schools' locations in Hong Kong.
Our Co-curricular programme includes our ASAs for Semester 1& 2, Seasonal Sports and Performing Arts including private Instruction Instrumental programmes. All the course offerings are now available in the Co-cirrcular catalouge below. Enrolment for ASAs, sports and musical instrument instruction will happen separately.
At Hong Kong Academy, all students are encouraged to participate in sports both as a part of a healthy lifestyle and as a way to develop important skills such as perseverance and grit. The HKA Sports Programme provides a safe and challenging learning environment for athletes to reach their goals in recreational and competitive play. Our coaches stress sportsmanship, inclusion, fair play and commitment as well as the development of athletic ability.
Individual and team sports for Secondary School:
- Football (Soccer)
- Cross-Country Running
- Track & Field
League sports for Primary School (Grades 4 & 5):
- Cross-Country Running
The Dragonfly Council consists of Secondary School students who actively participate in the Athletics Programme and/or show an interest in sports. In collaboration with the Athletics Co-ordinator, students help organise sports-related events such as the SCISAC and ACAMIS Tournaments hosted at HKA.
Sports team members should purchase their own team kit and travel gear. Spiritwear may also be purchased form the hkaSHOP. Team kit, travel gear and Spiritwear are designed as much as possible for use across different sports. While representing the school, students are required to wear the official school athletics kit, travel gear or optional Spiritwear and may not wear items that are not a part of the official kit.
Parents may register students for sports online via the HKA Parent Portal. Payment is made at the time of registration. Registration constitutes a commitment on the part of the athlete for the season. If an athlete decides not to participate after the first practice, parents will not be charged. If an athlete does not withdraw after the first practice, it is assumed they have committed to the sport and will be charged accordingly. Refunds will only be given under specific conditions and with the approval of the Athletics Co-ordinator.
Veracross 'Athletics' Calendar
Veracross (VC) will display sport related events i.e. tournaments, training, meets etc.. for each individual student in their 'Athletics' calendar in VC. Parents of those students will also have their child's sporting events available in their own 'Athletics' calendar. The calendar will only display sporting events related to their child(ren). We highly recommend parents subscribe to their 'Athletics' calendar on their personal devices. Click here to view a handy help file regarding calendar subscription via VC.
After School Activities (ASAs)
After School Activities at HKA are offered from Monday through Thursday throughout the school year. Designed mainly for Primary School students, activities are wide-ranging and include sports, arts and language. Many activities are led by by HKA faculty and staff, with the school also engaging select external organisations to offer a bespoke programme. The goal of our ASA programme is to provide students with opportunities, both to continue with current interests as well as explore new ones. Equally important, ASAs at HKA nurture friendships and teamwork.
- Students from PK1-G12 may participate in the After School Activities Programmes.
- Programmes are run by HKA teachers, co-teachers and collaborating organisations.
- HKA’s ASAs are made up of two semesters in alignment with the school calendar.
ASA's in the Primary School, available on a semester basis, generally include (but are not limited to):
- Fine Arts
ASAs and co-curriculars in the Secondary School also generally include (but are not limited to):
- Creative Writing
- Debate and Public Speaking
- Global Issues Network Team
- Student Council and other student-led initiatives
- Student Media Team
The Performing Arts
We offer a range of free activities for students in Grade K to Grade 12 interested in singing, playing an instrument, composing, dancing or acting. The lunchtime and after-school activities provide opportunities for students to develop skills, to be challenged, to collaborate with peers and to explore and develop a lifelong passion.
Current offerings include our HKA Instrumental Programme (after school lessons for a variety of instruments including piano, keyboard, vocals, violin, cello, flute, saxophone, guitar, ukulele, bass and drums), 'Pop and Soul Band' practice, Primary School Choir, Secondary School Production Rehearsals, HKA Community Choir (students & adults), Composer Team, Grade 6-8 Orchestra, HKA Community Show Band and Grade 6-12 Salsa!
In partnership with the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA), we are proud to host ISTA's second permanent performing arts academy in the world since 1978! The Academy is open to all Hong Kong students aged 11-18 and beyond, connecting the talents of likeminded students across Hong Kong and Asia through collaborative devising, exploration and play in Drama, Music and Physical Theatre. More info at www.ista-hongkong.com.
Weekend Sports is lead by a group of parent volunteers who help run free sports sessions for HKA students. The focus is on the core sporting tournaments that our school currently participates in, namely, SCISAC, ACAMIS and local HK League Football/Soccer, Volleyball and Basketball. The programme is designed to give the students who already participate, and those who are interested, additional conditioning and practice, fundamental skill instruction, game play experience and most importantly, a general sense of ‘team bonding’ with fellow HKA students at all levels.
Our Weekend Sports programme is also a great opportunity for those students who are interested to try any of the sports being offered even if they have not played it before and to learn the sport in general.
HKA’s commitment to sustainable practice is visible throughout the school, most notably in our curriculum, monitoring on campus, building materials, procurement processes and community activities. Whether in the garden, participating in a local clean up effort or recycling and composting, students from Pre-K through Grade 12 contribute to the school’s sustainability and experience our campus as an authentic learning lab. As part of being an educational leader, HKA is also committed to being an environmentally responsible member of the broader community.
Research & Professional Development
Faculty at HKA are not just teachers, they are learners as well. Professional development is an integral part of life at HKA, with weekly professional development meetings held each Wednesday. In addition, faculty and staff attend conferences and seminars throughout the year to immerse themselves in best practice and remain current and active in their fields. Some faculty and staff are also engaged directly in research as well, often as a part of an advanced degree.
Some of the professional development conferences, courses and seminars that HKA will host are listed below:
School Year 2017-18
School Year 2018-19