Finding the best school for your kids is never an easy feat, especially in Hong Kong where the competitive market almost resembles a battlefield with countless parties vying for the best education. While some might disagree, we don’t think that hard drilling is always the best way to study; instead, it is imperative to make sure children get a well-rounded education and healthy exposure to all sorts of interests and activities for their developing brains to soak up like a sponge at a natural pace. Every parent’s first desire is to find the best match for their kids, so we’ve asked the experts at Shrewsbury International School for their expert recommendations. Here are five important things that make an international primary school stand out.
One of the most valuable things that a primary school should be able to provide for students is a space to cultivate their creativity, whether that is within the arts or literature. For example, at Shrewsbury, the library plays an integral part in the community of students, parents, and staff, both before, during, and after school. Filled with activity, engagement, light, and laughter, the library is located in the centre of the school campus and offers an open view of the mountainside greenery, as well as a collection of over 10,000 books (in both English and Chinese). Books open our minds, and they can help children to imagine and empathise, providing a gateway to independence and greater understanding.
Music is a very useful subject for children since it can stimulate their brains and build up a sensitivity to numbers and patterns that can help their future studies in mathematics and science. Frequent classes are encouraged and should be maintained, thus a preference for primary schools with a focus on musical education is essential.
At Shrewsbury, there are two music lessons a week made up of a smaller class of 20 students and another larger group class. They also offer daily language classes at three different levels to accommodate all students. Given that they are based in Hong Kong, students will have a unique advantage to pick up the Chinese language and further polish their language skills. With both English and Chinese as official languages of Hong Kong, students will have all the help the school provides to understand both alphabetical systems, making it much easier to pick up other foreign languages when they grow up.
A good way for children to build up their confidence is to get used to public speaking and performances to share their skills. With an auditorium, recital hall, music classrooms, and practise suites, students at Shrewsbury are offered a variety of spaces to practice and perform. This will offer a myriad of opportunities and environments for students to develop, refine, and share their skills. Physical education at Shrewsbury also benefits from an equally impressive arrangement for children to get moving and maintain their activeness. For students with an interest in aquatics, athletics, gymnastics, and dance, they will have their own ambitiously equipped, designated spaces.
For a well-rounded education, emphasis should be placed upon the individual strengths and attributes of each and every child rather than a cut-and-dry programme with no flexibility. Offering a secondary school selection programme, parents and children at Shrewsbury are guided towards exploring, selecting, and securing places at senior schools from Year 7. By the age of eight, you see the emergence of more stable academic and social profiles of every student, so guided selection of a secondary school is a key advantage enjoyed by Shrewsbury families. Shrewsbury strongly believes that every child is different, thus every child deserves personal consideration.
Primary school education is one of the many first steps in your child’s education, and how to proceed on to secondary school is also something to consider when looking for the right primary school. Without a doubt, schools with a proven track record of successful students who then move on to leading international secondary schools is an important factor to recognise.
At Shrewsbury, the majority of former students occupy places at acclaimed secondary schools based on their personal placement, and some have also moved to boarding schools in the UK. Placement at Shrewsbury School in England is directly supported. The admissions team recommends submitting applications around 12 months in advance of entry, but applications are accepted all year round. As a community, they welcome applicants from all across the globe. The considerate application of the bursary programme has supported the development of a truly international community.
Shrewsbury School has a world-class reputation for all-round excellence. Founded by Royal Charter in 1552, it carries an almost 500-year-old tradition of academic heritage to Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong, a primary specialist provision international school that is designed specifically for children aged three to 11 years.
Located a mere 30 minutes from Central in Tseung Kwan O, its purpose-built campus offers an exceptional range of specialist facilities. Teachers with specialist qualifications and experiences allow Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong to provide enhanced methods of study based upon the English National Curriculum, including Chinese language, physical education, music, and performing arts.
“Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong is uniquely committed to serving primary aged students—we offer an exceptional range of opportunities and experiences to children who benefit from a safe, inclusive and ambitious learning community,” says Mr Ben Keeling, principal of Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong.