Lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and problem solvers – who would not want their children to develop a passion for learning and always want to feed their curiosity? The IB Curriculum promises this and so much more.
When compared using the results of the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA), IB students outperformed non-IB students. In all five assessment areas – mathematical literacy, reading, narrative writing, expository writing, and scientific literacy – there was no instance that non-IB students did better than IB. The majority of the schools that participated in this study(2017 – 2019) were from the Asia Pacific region (43%), in the PYP and MYP levels.
While you may think that just because IB students are doing so well academically, they are not honed holistically. You’d be surprised at the vast number of extracurriculars and unique programs that the schools on this list provide.
What are the Things to Consider When Choosing an IB School in Hong Kong?
Aside from proximity and location, choosing which IB school for your child would depend on your child’s age as most IB schools in Hong Kong have different IB programs. Some schools only have the PYP (primary years, ages 3 to 12), others only have MYP (middle school, ages 11 to 16). For teens (ages 16 to 19), there are also two different programs to choose from – the DP (Diploma Program) and the CP (Career-related Program). Currently, there are only two schools in Hong Kong that offer all four IB programs.
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So, let's get factual. The International Baccalaureate (IB) consists of 4 programmes of international education covering learners aged 3-19. All levels are built on IB's core values of holism and sustainability, a winning combination when you are on a mission to change the world at large in the best way possible. Through cherishing children's inherent curiosity and openness and turning it into the knowledge of how to navigate and embrace the life-long process of learning, appreciate and understand the beauty of the world's diversity and complexity, be proactively kind to others and our planet, form communities and grow as individuals. The organization develops its educational programs and assessment systems in partnership with schools, obviously, but also governments and international organizations. Programs are flexible regarding catering to local differences and recognizing different contexts and circumstances into which their curriculum is employed, yet at the same time serve as the ultimate springboard for catapulting their learners into the possibilities of studying at prestigious universities abroad.
Across the world and its 4 programs, IB never puts kids in boxes, but shows them all the different kinds of boxes there are and lets them play, explore, think for themselves and maybe create their own, unique boxes too. They are informative, not definitive, and this is why they bring out the best in their learners of all ages—because authenticity is a necessary condition of true, sustainable, beneficial excellence and advocacy.
The IB Primary Years Program is designed for kids 3-12. It views learners, teachers, and parents as a community which between them share unique sets of knowledge and strengthens each others' motivation, enthusiasm for education and love for the world we live in. The curriculum is challenging and rigorous, but also singularly engaging and relative. Kids take responsibility for their own learning process, discover their personal values and learn ways to approach and navigate the unpredictability of the global world.
Primary Years IB Curriculum (PYP), Read more detailed info about the curriculum, teaching techniques and principles & practices of assessment of the IB PYP program here.
The Middle Years Program is meant for students aged 11-16 and builds upon the skills and attitudes gained through the IB PYP while preparing students for the rigorousness of the following stages of IB education. It transcends the classroom's 4 walls by pairing the students' informed knowledge with a chance to try it out in practice. You don't have to be an education expert to know that the conditions of the real world are the most challenging of teachers. As they learn by doing, they intensify their hunger for intellectual expansion and exploration, but also learn humbleness, responsibility, to reflect and to learn from their mistakes!
Middle Years IB Curriculum (MYP), Read more detailed info about the curriculum, teaching techniques and principles & practices of assessment of the IB PYP programme here.
The Diploma Program enables young, exceptional humans aged 16-19 to dig deeper and deeper into the knowledge the world has to offer, develop their being on all levels—physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically, study at least two languages and participate in the unique theory of knowledge course, which goes all meta on them and prepares them for further ventures into academic excellence by teaching them, implicitly and through practice, how to organize that slippery time and those bulky workloads. They also expand their capacity for awesomeness by completing independent research and undertaking a (community) project!
Diploma Program (DP), Read more detailed info about the curriculum, teaching techniques and principles & practices of assessment of the IB PYP programme here.
IB decided to be even more specific and offered a separate program for those focusing on career-related education. The CP is a bit less meta, even more, practical and prepares students perfectly for apprenticeships, employment, and higher education too. The program offers chances for meaningful, practical achievements, invaluable collaborations, self-direction and infinitely more. It combines courses from the Diploma Programme with a CP core, which provides them with a special entrepreneurial twist!
Career-Related Programme (CP), Read more detailed info about the curriculum, teaching techniques and principles & practices of assessment of the IB PYP programme here.
Offering PYP, MYP, and DP, the school prides itself as a leader in inclusive education. The school provides a learning environment that celebrates and integrates children with diverse learning needs into the mainstream classroom. This is done via their learner support philosophy and inclusive teaching. They are a member of the WIDA International School Consortium, which aids their English language learners through individual assessment and understanding what it is that they can do as opposed to what they can't. And although English is the medium in school, they offer a co-curricular program called Mother Tongue. This provides the students to receive formal instruction in their mother tongue as a supplement.
Hong Kong Academy, 33 Wai Man Road, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 2655 1111, https://hkacademy.edu.hk/
With Malvern College UK as their parent school, the Hong Kong branch centers on three disciplines - academics, pastoral care & well-being, and co-curricular. Offering PYP, MYP, and DP, Malvern College UK pioneered Nuffield Science, an approach to studying science through experimentation and discovery. Collaborations with the Science Park and with the Chinese University of Hong Kong allow their students the freedom to learn through this approach. Studying the Chinese language and culture is also a part of the curriculum. Students are grouped according to their language abilities and they also have the opportunity to join exchange programs and residential learning in Mainland China. Prep 1 and prep 2 students are also learning through the Forest-Beach-School sessions and are one of the first schools to offer this program with level 3 Forest-Beach School certified leaders.
Malvern College Hong Kong Admissions Office, 14/F, Club Lusitano, 16 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3898 4688, firstname.lastname@example.org
Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong (Island West), G/F and 1/F Viking Court, 165-166 Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong, +852 3898 4670, email@example.com
Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong (Coronation Circle), G09-12 Coronation Circle, 1 Yau Cheung Road, West Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3898 4660, firstname.lastname@example.org
Malvern College Hong Kong, 3 Fo Chun Road, Pak Shek Kok, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 3763 0111, email@example.com
An IB school since 2007, the Canadian International School of Hong Kong uses the three pillars of future-ready learning through Project Innovate. The world is entering its fourth industrial revolution, according to the World Economic Forum, which in turn should also change the way knowledge is delivered to the children of the future. Though foundation skills are necessary, so are the 21st-century competencies and character building. To further enhance this, they have a 1:1 robotics program and the digital aspect of the student's daily life is also covered (eg. 1:1 student iPads from first grade, etc.). Another highlight of this school is their Leo Lee Arts Centre, which emphasizes their performing and visual arts extracurricular. And though this school offers PYP, MYP, and DP - students also have the option to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
Canadian International School of Hong Kong, 36 Nam Long Shan Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, +852 2525 7088, https://cdnis.edu.hk/
With a 1:10 teacher to student ratio, Victoria Shanghai Academy (VSA) offers PYP, MYP, and DP. In the PYP program, students are encouraged to initiate the action. The MYP students are guided by service as action and the DP students participate in the CAS (Creativity, Activity & Service) program. The school promotes international-mindedness and cultural awareness through bilingualism. All of their students will graduate as bi-literate learners of Putonghua and English. In addition to that, students entering the DP will have another additional language, which can be French or Spanish - taking into consideration the student's university applications. They also have a 1 to 1 MacBook program in MYP and DP.
Victoria Shanghai Academy, 19 Shum Wan Road Aberdeen, Hong Kong, +852 3402 1000, https://www.vsa.edu.hk/
A Jewish school in Hong Kong, Carmel School has three separate locations: Holly Rofé Early Learning Centre for the early years, Carmel Elementary Campus, and the Elsa High School Campus. And though they offer PYP, MYP, and DP, the ethos of the school revolves around Jewish values and traditions. They have a Hebrew library at the high school and also publish a Hebrew book recommendation article in their weekly newspaper. Not to mention that they also have a Hebrew book club. They are also a member of the ISSFHK, which emphasizes sports and camaraderie. Their robotics program is also exemplary - they are the only school in Hong Kong that is participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).
Carmel School, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.carmel.edu.hk/
Elsa High School Campus, 460 Shau Kei Wan Road, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong, +852 3665 5388, email@example.com
Carmel Elementary Campus, 10 Borrett Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, +852 2964 1600, firstname.lastname@example.org
Holly Rofé Early Learning Centre, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, +852 2249 7600, email@example.com
A part of the English Schools Foundation (ESF), Discovery College is one of the only two schools in Hong Kong to offer all IB programs. Though the academic life is rigorous, this school also ensures that your child gives back to the community. Called No Boundaries, year 10 to 12 students get to participate in programs such as community development work in Chiang Mai or rural building projects in the Philippines. Global awareness is an integral part of the students’ learning, teaching them empathy and the importance of social work. Sports is another way of fostering camaraderie amongst students. The school is a member of ACAMIS (Association of China and Mongolia International Schools), ISSFHK (International Schools' Sports Federation of Hong Kong), and HKPSSA (Hong Kong Primary School Sports Association). And under the Cobra Sports program, they get to be trained each season for their competitions.
ESF Discovery College, 38 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong, +852 3969 1000, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.discovery.edu.hk/
Another member of the ESF, Renaissance College is the second school in Hong Kong with all the IB programs (PYP, MYP, DP, and CP). A recent feat for seven students of Renaissance College is that they scored perfectly in the IB Diploma (45 points). Year 11 students undergo an internship with the WOW program, and they also have a Red Door Center. Unique to the school, the center focuses on the use of technology in different aspects of learning. For example, building websites and communication networks, filmmaking, or robotics. But, it's not all about academics. One of the great things about Renaissance College is that their students' well-being is a huge part of school life. With positive psychology, Renaissance students learn through five constructs: character strengths, mindfulness, positive emotions, resilience, and growth mindset.
ESF Renaissance College, 5 Hang Ming Street, Ma On Shan New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 3556 3556, https://www.rchk.edu.hk/
Founded by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hong Kong, the Lutheran Academy first offered DP in 2014, PYP in 2018, and MYP in 2019. Though offering the IB curriculum, the school also introduced a 'Glocalized' Curriculum to their students. Simply put, they want to combine the best of both the international and local curricula. One of the salient points to consider when choosing this school is its focus on providing a Christian education. Their 3R policy, respect, responsibility, and relevance is used to nurture the students' development, spiritually. The school also has a career and planning team that assists their graduating students with their life after high school.
ELCHK Lutheran Academy, 25 Lam Hau Tsuen Road, Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 820-820-92, https://www.luac.edu.hk/
In a school where students are not ranked, ESF's Sha Tin College did exceptionally well in the latest IB Diploma results, achieving a perfect score of 45 points were 13 of its students. The school offers MYP, DP, and CP and believes that holistic learning involves spending time with the community. For that, the school is also renting out its facilities (when not in use) for any community gathering or special events - be it the bouldering area in the sports hall or the rooftop artificial Astroturf pitch. The school implements the STC Laptop Program which provides the same laptops for all students from Year 7 to 9.
Sha Tin College, No. 3 Lai Wo Lane Fo Tan, Sha Tin, Hong Kong, +852 2699 1811, https://shatincollege.edu.hk/
Offering MYP, DP, and CP, the Island School is also a part of the ESF. Aside from academic excellence, the school's outlook stresses humanitarian and environmental ideals. This is why they have nine programs that can be supported via donations under Island Giving. The Thrive Program, which is all about the wellbeing of young people, is overseen by the pastoral team. This program includes wellbeing initiatives and teaching of the new Relationship and Comprehensive (Sexual) Education curriculum. The school is also an active member of sports associations such as HKSSF and ISSFHK. An interesting program that they have is Quest Week. For one week, the students stop their usual class routine and learn beyond the classroom.
Island School, +852 2524 7135, email@example.com, https://island.edu.hk/
Island School Sha Tin Wai (Years 7, 8, 12, 13), Pok Hong Estate, Area 5A, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong
Island School Tai Wai Sun Chui Estate (Years 9, 10, 11), Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong
Bradbury (ESF Hong Kong) - PYP
Canadian International School of Hong Kong - PYP, MYP, DP
Carmel School - MYP, DP
Chinese International School - MYP, DP
Creative School Hong Kong - PYP, MYP, DP
Discovery College - PYP, MYP, DP, CP
ESF Abacus (ESF School) - PYP
Han Academy - DP
HKCA Po Leung Kuk School - PYP
Hong Kong Academy - PYP, MYP, DP
Island School - MYP, DP, CP
King George V School - MYP, DP
Kowloon Junior School - PYP
Renaissance College - PYP, MYP, DP, CP
Sha Tin College - MYP, DP, CP
South Island School (ESF School) - MYP, DP, CP
Victoria Shanghai Academy - PYP, MYP, DP
West Island School - DP, CP
Yew Chung International School - Hong Kong - DP