PRIMARY School AT HKA
Primary School Principal
A warm welcome to HKA’s Primary School, a unique and exciting place that prides itself on the recognition that all children have gifts to be nurtured and celebrated.
Our curriculum fosters a natural joy and interest in the social and natural world through hands-on interactions and relationships. We strive to support each child's innate curiosity by encouraging the process of questioning and a quest for knowledge. And as children grow, our curriculum addresses their individual developmental needs, ensuring that our students are challenged and stretched in their learning.
HKA students learn compassion, empathy and tolerance. We support our students to celebrate each other’s strengths and differences whilst recognising the commonalities that they share, valuable dispositions which prepare them for the larger world they will grow into.
During my 14 years at HKA, I have been amazed and inspired by the collective dedication and commitment of the entire HKA community - students, faculty, parents and staff - to our Mission, Core Values and Strategy.
We believe that all children should have choice, voice and ownership for their own learning.
We have designed our Primary School programmes to discover, cultivate and celebrate the individuality of every child. From Playgroup to Grade 5, we create captivating learning environments in which HKA students have a wealth of opportunities to learn from and with one another. We recognise the mutual benefit that comes from authentic relationships and support students in learning how to effectively and successfully collaborate within and beyond the classroom. Every child is a valued member of our Primary School community.
THE IB PRIMARY YEARS PROGRAMME AT HKA
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) forms the foundation of our approach to teaching and learning at HKA. Built around the principles of agency and action, the IB PYP invites learners to inquire about themselves, others and the world around them. It provides a common language for teachers, students and parents to understand the learning journey through the Early and Primary Years, framing the contexts through which children make meaning as learners.
The IB Learner Profile is an integral part of our Primary School programme. We use these behaviours and attitudes to build a shared understanding about what it means to be a dynamic and engaged learner, and we celebrate the many ways that students demonstrate these attributes both within and beyond the classroom.
Our teachers use IB PYP concepts, skills and knowledge in creative ways to craft challenging and stimulating units of inquiry. The curriculum builds from year to year, with student learning goals mapped and measured through multiple sources of data. Specialist teachers partner with classroom teachers to integrate key learning objectives and outcomes across subject areas, meaning that students connect what they do in visual arts, physical education, music, literacy information technology (library) and Mandarin to their homeroom learning experiences.
Our approach to implementing the IB PYP is innovative, adaptive and responsive. New challenges and opportunities continue to arise in our rapidly changing world, and we use the PYP to frame a future-focussed approach to education. We seek to integrate opportunities for real-world application in every unit, helping our students see the ways that they can impact and influence their world. Students go through a process of asking questions, gathering information, and drawing conclusions about global issues, which culminates in taking action. Through exhibitions, assemblies and other celebrations of learning, Primary School students share what they have learned with the wider community. Often, these celebrations also provide students with the opportunity to extend their action further and invite peers and adults to act as well.
LEARN MORe AboutOur EaRly YEARS Programme Our PRIMARY Years Programme
OUR INCLUSIVE APPROACH TO TEACHING & LEARNING
Since our founding, we have remained committed to nurturing a diverse community of learners. Cultivating and celebrating an inclusive environment is an essential part of our identity as a school, and we provide a range of programmes, interventions and resources to ensure that every learner can pursue their pathway to individual excellence. Find out more about Learner Support, Occupational and Speech Therapies, and English Language Learning by visiting our Learner Enhancements page.
A CULTURE OF LANGUAGE LEARNING
We recognise the central role that communication plays in building student identity, community and understanding, and language learning is foundational to our Primary School programme. Our language of instruction is English, and in every classroom, interaction with English language and literature provides opportunities for students to connect with and ask questions about the wider world. Our Primary School teacher librarian actively collaborates with teachers at every grade level to ensure that units of study are brimming with rich and engrossing text resources. Every classroom has its own library, and students visit the Primary School library at least once a week to explore, research and collaborate.
MANDARIN AS A LIVING LANGUAGE
Expression through more than one language is a fundamental element of the IB PYP and child development. English is our language of instruction, and we offer Mandarin as an additional language of study. Our Mandarin language specialist teachers deliver a relevant and engaging written and spoken curriculum which supports students at various stages of fluency and language capability. We recognise the importance of giving students the opportunity to use their Mandarin language in relevant and purposeful contexts. Our Mandarin language lessons are complemented by co-teacher support within homerooms, where students have ample opportunities to see, hear and apply their Mandarin language skills in a classroom context. Our parent-run Panda Club engages Primary School students in conversing and role playing in Mandarin through cultural activities, games and traditions as another chance for students to experience Mandarin as a living language.
We take a proactive and developmentally appropriate approach to advancing digital citizenship in our Primary School students. Our youngest learners begin to engage with technological tools that help them shape their communication skills and connect with others with teacher and parent support. As students progress through the Primary School, we introduce a 1-1 inhouse device programme through which students both continue to develop the traits and behaviours of responsible users of technology, they also begin to learn how to care for and maintain devices in a supported environment. Our Primary School maker space is an area in which hands-on exploration, creativity and innovation come to life. By having the freedom to create their own questions and design their own solutions, students begin to develop the courage to experiment and build confidence in their ideas.
WHOLE CHILD EDUCATION
Our holistic approach to education provides children with tools and strategies to help them know who they are, become self-directed and develop empathy for others. Our intentionally small class sizes allow us to differentiate learning experiences for every child, with teachers guiding and encouraging all students to ask questions and providing opportunities for them to explore their ideas. We maintain a two teacher model in every Primary School classroom, which promotes strong student-teacher relationships and ensures every child is known and understood as an individual. Our Primary School Counsellor works with both teachers and students to integrate wellbeing education into the curriculum. Students learn the science of how the brain works, how it impacts their learning and interactions and how they can manage their emotions and behaviours both in and outside of the classroom.The Role of Counselling/Wellbeing at HKA Co-curricular Opportunities