Shrewsbury International School is one of Hong Kong's newest UK schools, and offers primary schoolchildren a stepping stone to a Great British boarding education.
Shrewsbury International School brings all the traditions and values of the highly reputed British Shrewsbury School to a corner of the New Territories. We’ve seen how well a transplant model of a British school can work at the nearby Harrow International School – and there have been high expectations for this new primary school, which opened in August 2018, to do the same.
Bordered by the skyscrapers of Tseung Kwan O New Town on one side and a 350-hectare mountain forest on the other, Shrewsbury International School couldn’t feel further away from its sister school, which is surrounded by rolling hills and English villages. Whereas Shrewsbury UK is a boarding school for students aged 13 to 18, its Hong Kong version is a primary school for children aged three to 11 years. The plan, it seems, is for Shrewsbury to build on the foundations of a school that first opened in 1552 and bring its hallmarks of high academic standards and pastoral care to Hong Kong. The school follows the UK National Curriculum and potentially prepares primary students for a boarding education at its UK school.
Principal Ben Keeling tells parents on the school’s website that:
“Drawing upon over 400 years of experience, we will nurture each child in our care with great diligence as they work through a broad, challenging and fulfilling curriculum that promotes academic rigour, increasing levels of independence and high attainment."
Purpose-built for primary
Shrewsbury opened with around 1,000 places; there are at least six classes in every primary year group, and maximum class size is 24. The purpose-built school is designed solely for primary age children, from an aquatics centre and music school to a centre of excellence for gymnastic and dance studio; other facilities include a sports hall with running track, rooftop football pitch, and science lab. The curriculum features languages, a focus on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the arts and PE. The school’s location in Tseung Kwan O also lends itself to field trips along the nearby hiking trails.
The transition to secondary school starts in Year 4, and “For some families, this will mean a supported route through to boarding education at Shrewsbury School in the UK”.
On the horizon
Shrewsbury was one of five international schools to be granted permission by the Hong Kong Education Bureau to build a new school. It marked the arrival of another Great School of Britain to Hong Kong; the others are Shrewsbury School, Charterhouse School, Eton College, Harrow School, Rugby School, Westminster School, Winchester College, St Paul's School, and Merchant Taylors' School.
Shrewsbury is a selective school, and the application process involves a school meeting with the student and parents. Annual tuition fees are HKD 143,500 (Nursery), HKD 154,000 (Reception) and HKD 177,000 (Years 1 to 6); there is and an annual capital levy of HKD 50,000. While it’s certainly not the cheapest primary school in Hong Kong, Shrewsbury does offer the promise of space, some pretty impressive facilities – and possibly (no guarantees, of course) a place at Shrewsbury UK.
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