The International Montessori School is Hong Kong’s only pre-school through to primary Montessori school – and focuses on offering an English-Chinese dual-language education.
While there is a wide choice of Montessori pre-schools in Hong Kong, The International Montessori School (IMS) is one of only a few to offer a primary education. IMS offers a very child-centred education to children aged 2 through to 12 years. Founded in 2002, the not-for-profit IMS has four campuses across the city-state with a total student body of more than 900 children representing 40 different nationalities.
The Stanley campus opened in 2014, and its 50,000 sq ft waterfront campus has capacity for 700 students aged 3 to 12 years. Facilities include a children’s garden, student kitchen, spacious classrooms with plenty of natural light, specialty Chinese rooms, and indoor and outdoor playgrounds.
In the school’s own words,
“From its dual-language classrooms through to its extensive co-curricular activities, IMS Stanley gives children the chance to experience leadership roles, community responsibilities, team skills and much more.”
IMS stays true to the principles of Montessori, an educational method developed more than 100 years ago by Maria Montessori. You can expect the following: children are given the freedom to choose their own activities; lessons use specially-designed, hands-on learning materials; no grading or testing; Montessori trained teachers; and focus on practical life, sensorial, language, and maths.
There’s another defining aspect to IMS: it is a dual language school, where “Chinese culture and language are integrated throughout every aspect of the child’s experience”. Every class is taken by one English-speaking teacher and one native-Mandarin speaking teacher, and at least one teacher is AMI-trained.
The school teaches foundation (ages two to three), Casa dei Bambini (ages three to six) and primary (ages six to twelve). Teaching at the early years level focuses on practical life, sensorial, language, maths, science, cultural, and social activities. Then, the IMS Primary Years Programme includes English, maths, science, Chinese, science, art, and PE, and is supported by field trips and outdoor learning. Most primary lessons take place in groups, with “children sharing, collaborating and exploring material together”.
There are specialist classes in art, music, PE, and IT, and a Montessori Creativity-Action-Service (CAS) programme for upper primary students, including projects as varied as a beach clean-up, raising awareness about the ivory trade, visits to the elderly, and fundraising. The school also offers extra-curricular activities in sport, the arts, and community service.
Children leave IMS for many of Hong Kong’s top secondary schools with a strong foundation in both Chinese and English. The school also enrols many students from its pre-school campuses: Aldrich Bay, Mid Levels, and South Horizons.
Fees range from HKD 161,500 – 163,000. All students enrolled in the Casa Dei Bambini or elementary programmes at IMS accept a place offer through the purchase of either a Personal Nomination Right of HKD 75,000 or a debenture of HKD 100,000.
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