Centrally-located, fast-paced and filled with adventure — Hong Kong’s dynamism is unrivalled. Known as “Asia’s World City,” it is a melting pot of both Eastern and Western cultures, home to more than half a million non-Chinese people with over 12 major and minor ethnic languages spoken by a significant number of people — all within the span of 1,106.81 square kilometres, which is just a five-hour flight away from half the world’s population.
There is nothing like growing up amidst all the hustle, bustle and diversity of Hong Kong. From entrepreneurs to artists, shipping magnates to zero-waste advocates, talent of all stripes flock to study, work and live in this city of opportunity. Towering skyscrapers border pristine countryside and mountains, of which 70% of Hong Kong is made up of. Extremely low crime rates means families, foreign and local, allow children to be children.
Then, there are its schools and universities. The former are globally known to follow systems similar to that of the UK, the US and Europe; the latter tops global league tables. Five of the top 50 universities in the world — and an additional three among the top 300 of the QS World University Rankings — are in Hong Kong. Institutes such as The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), University of Hong Kong (HKU) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) all offer high-quality education and strong research networks. Off-campus, the learning opportunities are just as impressive. Hong Kong has been ranked the 10th best student city in the world. English is the primary medium of instruction in all universities; the lingua franca is widely spoken and understood across the city-state.
To prepare for higher education at a renowned university in or outside of Hong Kong, it pays to start early. Luckily for those already located in the bustling city, they can seek a solid, transformative education at Nord Anglia International School (NAIS) Hong Kong. It is part of a network of 69 premium schools based in 29 countries around the world with global resources to recruit the most experienced and dynamic educators. Collectively, they offer personalised and inspiring learning to more than 67,000 students between the ages of two and 18 years old.
When it comes to preparation, the earlier the better. At NAIS Hong Kong, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum nurtures the youngest of learners between the ages of three and five years old. Using the best practices from the UK, the goal is to lay a solid foundation for future learning through early exposure to core subjects such as literacy, numeracy, science, information and communication technology (ICT) and Mandarin. “We aim to create an environment where children feel safe, secure, happy and motivated to learn,” says Head of Sai Kung Early Years Campus Emma Coleman. “This is through a variety of stimulating and challenging experiences, which develop the whole child in line with our school ethos of meeting the individual needs of every child.”
Eye on the future
NAISHK believes all students are individuals. As such, learning is personalised during normal face-to-face lessons. Teachers pride themselves in really getting to know their students, connecting with them and ensuring they are engaged, motivated and making good progress. By carefully tracking their progress, they can then ensure that any gaps are quickly plugged and provide stretch and challenge so that the learning pace is dynamic. By ensuring that the curriculum is innovative, students are encouraged to develop their creativity, ability to solve problems and critical thinking — all of which are essential skills for the 21st century.
NAIS Hong Kong utilises blended learning to ensure “maximum learning is achieved through the delivery of a holistic education,” says Director of Teaching and Learning Naima Charlier. From mathematics to music, history to art and assemblies to sports, these subjects are delivered through a combination of synchronous learning — where educators teach live to students — and asynchronous learning — where students access learning materials online and move at their own pace.
This method has created a virtual school experience like none other, keeping students engaged and entertained. There is Live Time, when teachers use video conferencing platforms to interact with pupils in real time. Discussion Time lets teachers set prompts and then act as a guide as pupils develop their critical thinking skills. Gamification platforms allow pupils to have fun while they learn, while AI-powered learning materials support pupil learning in ways that suit them. Social calendars have remained filled with online social events and frequent play dates, hangouts and outdoor activities. The school’s efforts have led them to be selected as one of the winners of the Strategic Leadership Award at the International School Awards 2021 — a testament of its success in not just protecting but enhancing each and every student’s individual learning journey when it was impossible to be physically present in school.
An added bonus that comes with being a member of the Nord Anglia family? When one door is temporarily closed, others are always open. During the toughest of times, when schools in Hong Kong had to close, students who thrived in a campus environment were able to turn to NAIS sister campuses in the US or Europe.
NAIS also partners with world-leading institutions and educators such as MIT, The Juilliard School and UNICEF. “Here at Nord Anglia, we’re doing a lot to transform pupil experiences,” shares NAIS Hong Kong STEAM lead Omar Fall. “I’m encouraged to look for new technologies and integrate them into our curriculum. The school has really invested in science, technology and computing. Many teachers have had opportunities to increase their professional development by going to MIT and seeing the amazing work they’re doing there. They then get to think about how those ideas can be brought back to the school.”
It’s clear that when it comes to education, the city of Hong Kong and NAIS Hong Kong have plenty to offer. If you are looking for a curriculum that will break barriers and an environment that will immerse your child in unique and exciting experiences, you’ll find it here.