First Look! Malvern College Pre-School, Island West

Malvern College Pre-School (Island West) opened last month to offer a British education to children aged two to five years. Here's a first look at the new school in Hong Kong Island.
First Look! Malvern College Pre-School, Island West
By Carli Allan
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Malvern College Pre-School has opened a second campus in Island West, Hong Kong Island for 180 students aged two to five years. The Malvern College family of schools also includes Malvern College Pre School Kowloon and Malvern College Hong Kong School; the schools inherit the ethos of Malvern College, a co-educational day and boarding school in the UK.

Founding principal Jacqueline McNalty says: "Our second Malvern College Pre-School in Hong Kong is 8,000 square feet and contains a beautiful Reggio Emilia Early Years inspired learning environment as ‘the environment is the third teacher’."


In line with other schools in the Malvern family, teaching at Malvern College Pre-School Island West will follow the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and incorporate the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy. Specialist classes include music and drama and PE.

McNalty says: "Our fortunate pupils have access to an indoor sandpit, discovery treehouse, tricycle track, dramatic play area, sensory and atelier creative area, mathematics area, literacy area, library, construction area, light tables, and many more. We have an extensive range of resources to develop our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum."

Malvern College Hong Kong is one of the first schools in Hong Kong to operate the Forest School Programme. Island West students will have access to the unique Forest-Beach School programme, which is built on a philosophy of child-led learning with a focus on all of the five senses. According to McNalty: 

"Malvern College Pre-School is truly unique as we deliver a world-leading Forest-Beach School program that our fortunate pupils (and adults!) attend every fortnight, taking their learning outside to the Forest and the Beach with our Level 3 Forest-Beach School leader, making us a unique and very special choice in Hong Kong!”



The new campus features open classrooms surrounding a central play area; a play hut that can be transformed into different settings such as a kitchen, restaurant, home, flower shop and post office; and a reading loft.

Similar to the Kowloon pre-school campus, the design of the interior spaces is centred around the theme of the natural learning environment, incorporating plants, sand, water and sunlight into the interior.

The pre-school operates half-day programmes for pre-nursery (2-3 years) and kindergarten 1 (3-4 years), and kindergarten 2 (4-5 years). Every class has a native English speaking and Mandarin speaking teacher. 

McNalty says the Pre-School delivers the "EYFS curriculum within a truly bilingual approach... Our outstanding native Mandarin and our native English teachers are selected for their experience, qualifications, passion and care for each pupil and family."

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