This new standalone secondary school in Kwun Tong, Kowloon is the fourth campus to join the Nord Anglia family of schools in Hong Kong.
This is the latest addition to the Nord Anglia family of schools in Hong Kong, which also includes NAIS Lam Tin and dedicated pre-school campuses in Sai Kung and Tai Tam.
NAIS (Kwun Tong) brings many of the features that Nord Anglia has become renowned for worldwide to Hong Kong: a global campus programme, collaborations with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The Juilliard School, and (hopefully) academic excellence.
Parents who are worried abut the relative youth of the school should take note of the recent success of Nord Anglia's Lam Tin campus. In May 2021, the school's first IB cohort achieved a very high average score of 36.3 and a 100% pass rate; in the same year, 100% of I/GCSE students were awarded five or more A*- C grades (including English and Maths), with 48% of the results being grade A*-A.
In line with its Lam Tin all-through campus, the new secondary school will follow the National Curriculum for England, which includes core subjects and specialist teaching in art, music, drama, PE, Mandarin, Spanish, and computing. Year 10 and 11 students work towards their IGCSE examinations, and Years 12 and 13 study the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).
The school has a 1:1 device policy that gives every student access to a tablet or laptop. In terms of sportiness, the school has some outstanding sports facilities that are used for weekly PE lessons; swimming is compulsory. The NAIS Knights teams compete in various sports leagues across the region, and students can display their competitive streak in regular inter-house matches.
Any school promising to offer a broad education needs to offer a programme of extra-curricular activities. Once again, NAIS ticks the box with its offering of clubs covering sport, the arts (from music and choir to drawing, drama, and debating), and academia (language skills, science, Mandarin etc).
There’s a strong British influence here – the houses are named after Royal Family homes such as Balmoral – and in line with UK schools NAIS has three terms running from mid-August to mid-August.
Despite being a global education group, NAIS is known for its family feel. This is a school where new parents can join a Buddy List to be put in touch with other parents in their neighbourhood; the PTA at NAIS' other campuses are always on the scene organising regular events, parent workshops, hikes, and other community activities – and this is likely to be encouraged at the Kwun Tong campus.
Focus on STEAM and music
What really sets NAIS school apart from the rest is its collaborations with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The Juilliard School. NAIS moves away from a traditional schooling approach that teaches STEAM subjects individually; instead it takes an integrated approach that sees students working across, between, and beyond individual subjects.
In line with MIT’s philosophy of ‘mind and hand’, NAIS encourages hands-on learning, and it sets students real-world challenges every term. You can expect to find students building robots, studying bioengineering and water quality in Hong Kong, looking at climate change, and much more.
The school’s website says,
“These challenges will be interdisciplinary, critical-thinking activities that will present students with the challenge of a modern day, real-world issue that has yet to be solved. Each will require significant levels of collaboration, experimentation and a designed solution through trial and error. Creating practical challenges for students means that they can develop their knowledge and skills through hands-on exercises.”
As part of the MIT collaboration, students have the opportunity to go to the annual Cambridge Science Festival in Massachusetts, and teachers visit MIT every summer for training from its experts.
Another distinguishing feature of NAIS is its Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme. Developed in partnership with the performing arts academy based in New York, this arts curriculum puts students in front of Juilliard’s performers and teaching artists at various workshops, masterclasses, and performances.
A global campus
International schools are no longer founded to simply fill the gap for expat education. They are expected to offer students in any given country a global education that offers more than just internationally recognised qualifications. NAIS does go the extra mile to try and achieve this.
As part of its DNA, Nord Anglia encourages children to see themselves as global citizens from an early age. As a member of Nord Anglia’s global network of 55 schools, NAIS is part of the group’s Global Campus. This virtual world links Nord Anglia’s 50,000 students and gives them access to online courses, global challenges, and experiences that are run across the family of schools. Previous challenges have included a collaboration with UNICEF to 'Make Hong Kong Well Again' and a partnership with the Cambridge Science Festival to create a chain reaction machine.
By logging on to the Global Campus website, students can enter creative writing competitions, take part in photography challenges and virtual choirs, and sign up to Global Campus expeditions. Through Global Campus Worldwide, all Nord Anglia schools offer a variety of summer programmes ranging from specialist camps for the performing arts or leadership to sports and language camps. They also encourage students to showcase their talent in Nord Anglia regional and global competitions such as sports tournaments, orchestra performances, and science festivals; based on recent achievements, such as winning the primary debating league and photography competition, NAIS students are thriving on such challenges.
The school’s website says,
“Our Global Campus extends your child's learning beyond the classroom and the school day. Your child can participate in a wide variety of activities designed by educational experts and teachers to broaden their knowledge and nurture transferable skills valuable in school, university and the workplace.”
For anyone looking for that ‘small school feeling’, then Nord Anglia is not for you. However, it will appeal to students who want to be part of something bigger than the school in Hong Kong, who want to feel part of a ‘global community’, and who thrive on competition and collaboration.
Facilities at Kwun Tong include science laboratories; dance, drama, music, art and visual media rooms; a learning resource centre; a full-size sports hall; an indoor swimming pool; and an auditorium.
This is a selective school and admission is based on an interview and assessment.
In line with its global reputation for high fees, NAIS is one of the more expensive schools in Hong Kong. Annual tuition fees for the 2021-2022 academic year range from HKD 190,190 for Years 7-11 to HKD 192,010 for Years 12-13.
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