New Campus: ESF Island School

ESF Island School's new campus for over 1,200 secondary students, which is the largest construction project in the English Schools Foundation's (ESF) history, is now open.
New Campus: ESF Island School
By Carli Allan
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The new ESF Island School is now open after nine years in the making.

The opening ceremony took place this week to mark the end of a nine-year project to transform the historic Borrett Road campus for the English Schools Foundations' oldest school. During the building works, the 1260 students and 200 staff were relocated to temporary campuses in Sha Tin.

Established in 1967, Island School was the founding school of the ESF, and its 45-year-old campus on Borrett Road was in need of a major revamp. It is one of five secondary schools owned by ESF, which is the largest international schools organisation in Hong Kong. 

Read our review of ESF Island School here.

Built over a total of eight floors, the new ESF Island School has 42 state-of-the-art classrooms and 13 laboratories, a four-storey outdoor climbing wall, a double-court sports hall, a dedicated performance space and an eight-lane indoor swimming pool.

Dr Kim Mak, Chair of the ESF Board of Governors, said:

“One of Hong Kong’s best-known and most celebrated schools is now one of its most modern and well-equipped. This state-of-the-art school further cements Hong Kong’s reputation as a global centre of excellence for teaching and learning.

“I want to thank the Secretary for Education, her team at the Education Bureau, and the wider Hong Kong Government for the support that they have given to this project. Their backing – alongside the hard work and dedication of the project team - has allowed us to build a school that will help shape and improve the lives of generations of Hong Kongers.”

The Secretary for Education, Dr Christine Choi Yuk-lin, JP, ‘dotting the eye’ during a traditional Lion Dance - which took place at the Official Opening Ceremony of ESF Island School on 11 January 2023.

At the opening ceremony, Dr Christine Choi Yuk-lin, JP, Secretary for Education said:

“The English Schools Foundation (ESF) is one of our close partners in the development of a vibrant international school sector. Since the establishment of its first school in 1967, ESF has been committed to the provision of quality education and all-round development to our youths through constantly enhancing the teaching and learning environment. 

"This new campus at Borrett Road showcases the Hong Kong SAR Government’s commitment to building a vibrant international school sector and strengthening our role as an international city. I am very pleased that the project was well delivered amidst the difficult times when Hong Kong was hard hit by the COVID-19 epidemic.”

Belinda Greer, Chief Executive Officer of ESF, said:

“When we started this project, we said that we wanted to build something that would honour the proud history of Island School in Hong Kong, and would be a place of learning that inspired students now and for generations to come. I am in no doubt that we have made good on that objective. 

“This new campus has been designed to equip our students – and future generations – with the skills and capabilities to be the best that they can be.

“The undoubted strength of Hong Kong’s international education sector is writ large in this new school. As the Hong Kong Government steps up its efforts to attract global talent to the City, there can be no doubt that our ability to provide families with a world-class education for their children can be one of our strongest messages.”

Want to apply to an ESF school? Click here to find out how.

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