New international school in Hong Kong offers personalised approach
7 November 2016
A new international school opening in Hong Kong next year is offering a tailored approach to your child's education. As any parent knows, every child has very different learning needs. Some kids adapt to school easily right from the outset, while others take time to find their feet. What is right for one child is not necessarily going to be right for another.
Stamford American School creates learning plans to suit the individual needs of each of their students, recognising that every child learns at their own pace. Their innovative individualised learning plans will be available to students in Hong Kong when they open the doors to their school in Ho Man Tin, Kowloon in September 2017.
Who are they?
They are entering Hong Kong’s international school scene following their successful debut in Singapore, where they began operation in 2009. They offer an American standards-based curriculum, based on the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) and Common Core Plus standards. This framework is the most widely used standard across the US and international schools around the globe. AERO is a project supported by the US State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools and the Overseas Schools Advisory Council to give international schools guidelines for consistency in learning outcomes when using the American school curriculum.
In Hong Kong, Stamford will cater for students from Pre-Primary (Kindergarten) to Grade 8 in the first year, before expanding to include Grades 9 to 12 the following year. Their students have a choice of graduating with either the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program or an American high school diploma, opening doors to higher education anywhere around the world.
While they are American in name, the school welcomes students of all nationalities and look to replicate in Hong Kong the diversity of their Singapore campus where there are staff and students of more than 70 nationalities. Most of the academic staff are from the US and each class in Hong Kong will have 24 students with one teacher and one teaching assistant.
Their learning plans are a distinct move away from a traditional classroom structure of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ teaching model, recognising that children learn at different speeds. Instead, through a series of assessments, they create an individual approach for each pupil.
From the age of five, students undergo special tests to assess their ability – known as the Measures of Academic Progress® or MAP testing® – in reading, mathematics and science. MAP® assessments are a US-based online test in which a child’s response to a question in the test will then influence the following question generated by the program. In a nutshell, the test program responds to each child’s ability. This gives the team a picture of the specific learning stage of the student and highlights what needs to be introduced, developed or reinforced. The results are externally assessed and benchmarked against international standards and from there, an individual plan is developed and teachers are given special training to deliver them.
The school is committed to staying up-to-date with your child’s needs as well – MAP® testing is conducted twice a year to keep tabs on academic progress. But while the testing is regularly conducted, Stamford is well aware of concerns in Hong Kong about student stress and they make sure the assessment process does not to make students pressured to reach a certain standard. Careful consideration has been given to their approach which they believe means every child is stretched and stimulated as they progress, but only at a pace they are comfortable with.
While the learning programs are tailored to your child, they are designed to ensure they develop, not have their progress plateau. The school points to the results of students at the Singapore campus to show the success they have had with its approach.
In the Elementary School, the average student score for mathematics and reading was a grade higher than their peers. By Grade 5 the average Stamford student score in mathematics was above the US level for the average Grade 10 student. Stamford says their statistics also show the average reading level of their Grade 6 students was above the average US Grade 10 student. Stamford also offers pre-university testing from Grade 8, with 90 per cent of graduates from their Singapore campus accepted by their first choice university or college.
Facilities and Innovation
In addition to the individualised learning plans, they are introducing a unique problem-based STEMinn (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Innovation) Program to Hong Kong. This will be offered to students from age five to develop critical thinking skills and prepare students for secondary studies in physics, chemistry and biology.
Have some budding bookworms in your house? The school aims to foster a love of books and reading with its leveled reading program for students from Pre-Primary (Kindergarten) to Grade 5. As kids learn to read at a different pace, the school varies the level of reading materials used for each child even when they are in the same class. Each classroom has a leveled library, including for Science and Engineering. Regular in-class testing is used to determine the progress of a child through the various levels.
Find out more
Visit them at their Open House from 14-16 November, and meet experienced IB educator, Superintendent Malcolm Kay, to learn more about the curriculum and new campus facilities.
Stamford American School Hong Kong (Opening September 2017)
25 Man Fuk Road
Ho Man Tin, Kowloon
Two Exchange Square,
Level 40, Suites 4005-4007,
8 Connaught Place, Central
Stamford American School Hong Kong is currently unregistered. Provisional registration of a school with the Education Department Bureau is currently pending approval. The opening of the school is subject to approval of the provisional school registration by the Education Bureau. Stamford American School – Hong Kong will apply to the International Baccalaureate for program candidacy in December 2017.
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