Learning that your child struggles with the mainstream curriculum can initially be a hard, scary realization. Academia and formal education aren’t a perfect fit for every learner, i.e., how it is taught can be lost on some students who, on the other hand, prosper when given the appropriate support by someone who speaks their language. More and more leading schools recognize this and take measures needed to secure a learning environment that can offer something for all kinds of learners. The best of them even celebrate this diversity of learning needs because differentiation done right benefits the whole community.
We give you the scoop on the best schools with learning support in Hong Kong for all ages that integrate students who need support into the mainstream classroom. Find out what kind of support they offer, what kind of role the additional learner support plays, how it’s organized and who is included. Parents are always encouraged to discuss their kid’s individual differences and needs with the school before enrollment – and always form an integral part of the academic support system that collaborates with experts and teachers in school.
If this article doesn’t quite give you what you were looking for, try our guide to Special Needs Education and Schools in Hong Kong.
HKA’s commitment to inclusion is guided by the belief that a diverse learning environment faithfully mirrors the world we live in. An Individualized Learning Plan is tailored to each student according to their unique learning requirements at multiple tiers – from neurotypical students without specified support (tier 1) to students that need 60% or more of their day directly supported (tier 8). Besides having a dedicated Learner Support team, subject area specialists, and a Child Study Team, HKA offers all its teachers ongoing professional development in teaching in differentiated classrooms. HKA is a leader in inclusive education by no accident – they seek out and celebrate students with diverse learning needs!
Learn everything about HKA’s Learner Support here!
THS believes that the whole community benefits from cultural, linguistic, neurological, and academic diversity. Its Learning Support is comprehensive and comprised of 3 aspects that help the school provide a structure based on students’ individual needs: accommodation plans carried out by the classroom teacher to increase learning outcomes; Push-In Services for in-classroom support by a learning support teacher; and Pull Out Services for a higher level of intervention by the learning support teacher, in addition to, if necessary, external specialists that come to the school. These carefully assigned, varying degrees of support enable students to thrive to their fullest potential!
Learn more about THS’s Learning Support here!
Learning at ISF Academy covers personal, social, emotional, intellectual, moral, and spiritual development. This also includes students with diverse individual learning needs. ISF believes that all kids can achieve success with appropriate support, which includes learning support initiatives, differentiated instructional programs, walk-in chat sessions, social groups, learning strategies workshops for both parents and students, and after-school programs. The Learning Support Team consists of clinical and educational psychologists, guidance counselors, a social worker, a student guidance officer, and school nurses who work together to support parents and students and make them feel – and succeed – as they belong.
Learn more about ISF’s Learning Support here!
Discovery College provides additional support to learners whose needs are not fully met because of cognitive, learning, communication, interaction, social, emotional, behavioral, sensory, physical, or medical difficulties. They cater to students' needs within the mainstream classroom through strategies such as guided small group work, co-teaching, parallel teaching, frontloading, and re-teaching, including short-term one-on-one support. Discovery College prioritizes an inclusive learning environment and has a Learning Diversity teacher who works with educational assistants and classroom teachers.
Learn more about Discovery College’s Learning Support here!
Mount Kelly’s Special Learning Support department developed a program that helps kids with differentiated needs progress faster. It is run by their specialist teacher with a maximum of seven children per class. Mount Kelly strongly believes that every child deserves a chance to succeed and can seize the opportunity if their individual needs are properly addressed – the sooner, the better. Parents are strongly encouraged to discuss their kiddo’s individual needs with the staff as the first step towards successful learning at their school.
Learn more about Mount Kelly’s Special Learning Support and contact them about individual needs here!
Shrewsbury International School aims to identify required special learning support even before the student’s arrival and implements a process of continual monitoring to identify emerging issues and appropriately address them asap! The school employs a full-time Individual Needs Coordinator that supports kids in overcoming challenges, provides the necessary time, support and guidance, and serves as a connection point for families and the school. An increasing range of strategies and the expertise of outside specialists can be introduced if and when needed!
Learn more about Learning Support at Shrewsbury here!
AISHK has a comprehensive team that works on securing a rich learning environment within the mainstream curriculum for all students, including those struggling with mainstream learning. The Learning Enrichment Centre team includes the Head of Learning Support R-12, Literacy Intervention Specialist R-2, LEC teachers Years 3-6, and LEC Assistants R-12. The members of the teamwork with a speech pathologist on-site, as well as two school psychologists.
Learn more about AISHK’s Student Support here!
ESF offers three options for students with special education needs. Mainstream placement with additional support is for the students who can access the mainstream curriculum with some level of adjustment or limited support from specialist teachers or educational assistants. Learning Support implies more extensive, daily learning adjustments. These students are still placed in mainstream classes, but with additional support from SEN teachers or educational assistants (parents can also engage private therapists to work in the school setting). Finally, the fantastic Jockey Club Sarah Roe School offers a highly individualized curriculum for students who require the most extensive teaching and learning adjustments – read more here!
Learn more about ESF’s Special Educational Needs options, how to choose the right one, and how to enroll here!
FIS has an Individual Needs Program organized around academic and methodological support provided by their Educational Assistant and Peer Tutoring, a wonderful concept that promotes collaboration and solidarity. The school offers a limited number of places for students with special educational needs who can prosper in a mainstream setting if provided with a differentiated curriculum. An individual education plan is developed for each student and reviewed with parents each term. Parents play a crucial role in general as the Learner Supports is a collaborative effort and includes various staff members and external specialists.
Learn more about ESF’s Learning Support here!
HKIS provides services for students with mild special learning needs, including learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and spectrum disorders. With HKIS’s support designed to bridge the gaps among students, they are expected to be an equal part of the regular classroom. HKIS’s Learning Specialists are trained in Special Education and related fields and continually provide students with the kind of support they need, based on an individualized learning plan developed to optimize learning.
Find out more about Learning Needs at HKIS here!
Tai Tam, 1 Red Hill Road, Tai Tam, Hong Kong, +852 3149 7000
Repulse Bay, 23 South Bay Close, Hong Kong, +852 2812 5000
Kellett opens a limited number of places for students with Additional Support needs whose individual requirements for support can be met in a mainstream setting through a differentiated curriculum. The school’s Special Educational Needs team requires parents to collaborate with them to benefit the child. The team might assess that the student needs additional support from outside experts who work with the school.
Learn more about Additional Support at Kellett here!
Pok Fu Lam Preparatory, 2 Wah Lok Path, Wah Fu, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong, +852 3120 0700
Kowloon Bay Prep and Senior, 7 Lam Hing Street, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, +852 3120 0700
Malvern supports students with special education needs through its Learning Enhancement Department, consisting of a dedicated Learning Enhancement Team. These experts collaborate with class and subject teachers to meet the students’ additional needs within the mainstream classroom. Malvern is committed to monitoring and tracking processes, which lets them address difficulties as they arise. The school celebrates diversity, including that of learning styles and needs!
ICHK admits students whose needs can be supported by their Learning Support staff collaborate with parents and students themselves. The school has part-time Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy on-site. ICHK has experience with speech and language difficulties, specific learning conditions, and those on the Autistic spectrum. They are also proud of their +1 Centre, a specialist facility for secondary students with pronounced educational needs – learn more about it here.
Find out more about Student Support at ICHK here!
Kindergarten and Primary, 3 Twentieth Street, Hong Lok Yuen, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 3955 3000,
Secondary, 60 Sha Tau Kok Road, Shek Chung Au, Sha Tau Kok, New Territories, Hong Kong, +852 2655 9018
IMS is an innovative dual-language community that helps each child fully develop their individual gifts. It is an approach more than a curriculum and is innately inclusive – Montessori education is motivated and child-centered, based on providing an optimal learning environment for each child. The Montessori curriculum is customized to meet the unique needs of each child at their own personal stage of development, meaning they are both never left behind and never bored!
Read more about IMS’s unique approach to education here!