One of Hong Kong’s best known and respected schools, Singapore International School Hong Kong was first established in September 1991 in Kennedy Town with an enrolment of 200 pupils. It is owned by the government of Singapore and follows the Singaporean curriculum in the Preparatory and Primary School. Students then move on to the Secondary school located adjacent to the Primary, which offers IGCSE at S4 and 5 and the IB Diploma programme at IB1 and IB2.
From its small beginnings, the school has now grown to an enrolment of approximately 1,320 students across both schools from more than 20 nationalities, with Singaporeans and Hong Kong citizens forming the majority. The school is supervised by a Board of Governors.
In 1995, SISHK moved to its current premises in Aberdeen. The new purpose-built school was constructed on land granted by the Hong Kong government, and the cost of the building was borne by the Singapore Government. In 2012, the secondary campus was officially opened. The two campuses are connected by a link-bridge.
The school is essentially full for Primary 1 and 2 - applicants who are Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents and are relocating to Hong Kong are given priority – but even siblings are not guaranteed places in these grades. Remaining year groups throughout Primary and Secondary do have places available across some grades.
Located in a scenic setting near the Ocean Park at Aberdeen, the impressive 13-storey school building occupies an area of approximately 4,150 square metres and a gross floor area of 15,792 square metres. Key Features of the school are a state-of-the-art auditorium for concerts and plays, a multi-functional indoor gymnasium and multi-purpose room, computer labs, Apple Macbook mobile labs and Apple iPad mobile labs, a rubber-floored play area for PY children, a 25m (6 lanes) heated indoor swimming pool, music, art, dance and drama studios, a roof-top playground and the school library. The school will be upgrading the swimming pool’s water filtration system and constructing a canopy over the basketball courts during 2017-18.
SISHK is recognised as a premier educational institution. It prides itself on its academic rigour but, as a non-selective school, accepts students whose academic ability, creative aptitude, language proficiency and physical capability vary widely. In addition to academic excellence, the schools aims to support students in discovering and pursuing their passions and talents, and equips them with the tools to face future challenges and thrive in an ever-changing world.
The school offers a Preparatory Years (PY/Nursery) programme where children become effectively bilingual in English and Chinese. All subjects (including Language Literacy, Art, Rhyme and Movement, Physical Education) with the exception of Mathematics, are conducted in both English and Chinese. Staff are qualified Early Childhood Education specialists supported by a classroom assistant. Staff to student ratio is 1:10 with a maximum class size of 20.
The Primary School offers a broad-based education, underpinned by a rigorous bilingual programme designed to ensure the child's holistic development, in and out of the classroom, and to develop critical life skills and sound moral values. SISHK focuses on building a firm foundation in values, knowledge and skills to enable the child to understand his physical and social world, be able to function in it and relate to others as part of a social group.
The Primary school is felt to have become more rigorous in its academic focus in recent years, specifically in English and Chinese. Parents are advised that they need to be prepared to support their children in this and homework is an integral part of after-school life. For a P6 student, an average of 2 to 3 pieces a day can be expected and a further two hours of after-school study can be anticipated. For children who encounter difficulties in certain subjects, there are parallel classes where teachers give additional support. For those who demonstrate talents in Maths and Chinese, there are advanced classes.
Core subjects at Primary level include English Language, Chinese Language, Mathematics, Science, (1 period per week for P1 & P2) and Social Studies. In addition, Primary students study Art, Dance, Music, Drama as well as participating in Physical Education, Swimming and Research Skills (for P4 to P6). The school arranges immersion language programmes for students including the Singapore Holiday Immersion Programme (SHIP) held annually during the summer holidays, and Taiwan Immersion Programme for P6 students.
A wide variety of teaching and learning strategies that encourage students to be actively engaged in their learning are used, including the use of spiral and concrete-pictorial-abstract approaches in the teaching of Mathematics. A range of heuristics are also taught to help students solve challenging word problems; book study is a requirement for English language classes and an inquiry-based approach to enhance students’ understanding of science. The school also provides differentiated instruction; experiential learning; cooperative learning and group work; use of e-learning portal; and use of ICT in individual and group project work.
A range of different modes of assessment are employed to evaluate students' learning including traditional pen-and-paper tests; project work; practical tests; performance tasks; and rubric assessment. In addition, the school participates in the University of New South Wales (UNSW) International Assessment. SIS HK students routinely outperform other Hong Kong based schools in English, Maths, Science and Writing.
To underpin the academic requirements, a strong emphasis on character formation and development is applied through the principle of CARE (Consistent Achievements for Rewarding Education) for each child through assembly talks, pastoral care programme, and the community involvement programme. There is a systematic framework for developing student leadership, through the appointment of prefects, class monitors, and CCA leaders.
Enrichment activities such as level camps, overseas educational trips and home-stay programmes are organised to ensure that the students have a broad range of experiences and the opportunity to develop their skills and demonstrate the values that they need for life.
Although there is a very clear emphasis on the academic, this is not the sole focus at SISHK, whose Primary students regularly participate and win medals at both International Schools Sports Federation Hong Kong (ISSFHK) and Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation (HKSSF) competitions in sports such as badminton, basketball, football, swimming and gymnastics. In addition, students compete in a range of performing arts festivals where they regularly win prizes including HK Schools Dance Festival, HK School Drama Festival, HK Schools Speech Festival (Chinese Verse solo), HK Schools Speech Festival (English Verse solo), HK Schools Music Festival (Individual Singing).
On completion of P6, SIS HK students move on to the neighbouring Secondary School which aims to provide a range of experiences to help students develop skills, competencies and values that will help them thrive in a fast-changing world. The bilingual curriculum (English and Chinese) builds on the foundation of the primary curriculum and prepares students for the IGCSE examinations at the end of Secondary 4, followed by the two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).
Students joining SISHK are required to obtain a Debenture. The Personal Debenture is valued at HK$200,000 (Singaporean passport holders pay a reduced fee of HK$120,000. An Entrance Fee of HK$13,000 is also required for Personal Debenture holders. Corporate Debentures are valid for eight (8) years at a fee of HK$500,000. A Capital Levy of HK$10,000 annually also applies to Personal Debenture Holders; Corporate Debenture Holders make a one-time payment of HK$80,000.
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