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Parents’ Reviews of Hong Kong International Schools

Why I Choose This School: Parent Testimonial

There is a lot to consider when you choose a school and in Hong Kong, there are multiple schools to choose from. Parents share with us the reasons that they chose the schools their children go to.

We loved the dynamic teaching approach, the close knit community and diverse student body.


By Leigh Jane Gibbs

australian international students

The curriculum, which is largely influenced by the Australian model, is progressive and adaptable (as are the teachers) to changes in education and the world around us!

Leigh Jane Gibbs is a mother of three children who has lived in Hong Kong for the past eight years. She runs an after school singing and performance school called the Island Glee Club.

With a daughter and son now firmly entrenched in their first primary school, I can say that my husband and I couldn’t be happier with their progress at the Australian International School Hong Kong (AISHK). Most importantly, they really love their school, are excited to get on the bus every day, and they come home filled with lively debriefs on what they learned and what they achieved. Simply put, I think they benefit from a safe, uncomplicated environment, where little wins can lead to greater successes.

Our children are showing a wonderful sense of confidence, independence and respect, and respond positively to the structured and disciplined Primary environment. What’s also surprising to us is that they thoroughly enjoy their school work, and that they have a really special relationships with their teachers.

Both have on the receiving ends of awards for aptitude and behaviour. Spoken Chinese was the most recent “prize”, and while we considered there must be some mistake, it was not until a brief family staycation a few weeks later, when we were all lost in a taxi, miles out of Guangzhou that my daughter engaged in a conversation with the taxi driver. Within minutes we were back on track and heading in the right direction. The two also shared a few laughs along the way and through our youngster, we soon found out the driver’s full family background, favourite food and the directions to the nearest waterpark…

To me the success for us at AISHK can be attributed to three important aspects: the size of the school, the quality of the teachers, and the school’s unique values and culture. Firstly, in terms of size and overall outlook, I would put AISHK in the category of being “boutique”. It is a through-train, meaning that the primary school and its secondary school share the same campus and resources but with the number of students being a little over one thousand across 13 year levels, the class and year group sizes are relatively small. Importantly, it is intimate enough so that every student is known and understood and close relationships develop among peers and with teachers. This leads to an incredibly safe emotional environment in which students of all ages can develop a very strong sense of belonging, gain confidence and look after each other, either as leaders or role models.

The second aspect I admire is the commitment to the quality of teachers. Interestingly, there is a broad representation from a range of nationalities, which is actually also reflective of the student population. The curriculum, which is largely influenced by the Australian model, is progressive and adaptable (as are the teachers) to changes in education and the world around us. The best measure of a great teacher, as far as I am concerned, is someone who understands the unique personality traits of my children, and as a result I know that the teachers adapt to those traits and develop positive aspects thus getting the most out of my children - as they do others in the class.

Thirdly, in terms of the school’s unique value and culture, while it is distinctly Australian, as are my wife and I, over the years they have fused this with the influence of the local community and the needs of multi-cultural students. It provides a warm social and enjoyment- driven environment – and many educators will state that fun is a most desirable environment in which children will effectively learn.

There is a very supportive parent community at AISHK, comprising both expatriates and Hong Kongers who are most often well-educated, ambitious and successful in their own right. The secondary school section is equally successful and a breeding ground for well-rounded leaders and thoughtful young adults with a passion for social purpose. These students blow their Australian- based counterparts away with results in the HSC (New South Wales School’s certificate) and the IB results are up there at the top of schools in Hong Kong (Averaging 35+).

As one British friend and parent at AISHK said to me recently “we placed our kids in the school 10 years ago because we couldn’t access our first or second choice. To our surprise we found a hidden gem and there is no way we would remove them - and I’m sure they wouldn’t let us!”


By Wendy Li

canadian international students

CDNIS fits all of my criteria when I was selecting a school for my two sons….. I had also heard many good things about the school’s Chinese programme.

My CDNIS journey began back in 1998 at the old Borrett Road campus and I completed my OSSD (Ontario Secondary School Diploma) at the school’s existing campus along Nam Long Shan Road. Fast-forward a decade later and I find myself at a different stage in life now, balancing my time between working full-time, being a wife and a mother to two young sons. It’s a source of comfort that both of my boys attend CDNIS. They love the school and are excited to share details of their day as soon as they return home in the afternoon.

CDNIS fit all of my criteria when I was selecting a school for my two sons. Not only does it offer through train education until Grade 12 graduation, but I had also heard many good things about the school’s Chinese programme. After talking to fellow alumni members, it was clear that CDNIS still exhibited the same attributes that made it a special place to me many years ago – confidence and being able to find a balance between maintaining academic excellence and developing caring individuals that benefit the community.

The school has grown since I graduated and has since introduced the new IB (International Baccalaureate) programme, something not available back in my day. By offering students the chance to graduate with two diplomas – IB and OSSD – this provides them with a significant advantage over their fellow academic peers when they begin to explore their post-secondary options.

Stepping back again into the 9th floor foyer, on my son's first day of school, has brought back plenty of emotions. One thing that has remained consistent is the love shared between all members of the CDNIS community. Seeing the teachers who taught me, Mr. Kaiser and Mrs. Ho, both of which are still contributing at the school, made it feel even more like a homecoming.

This is the same feeling that my two young boys now share. They absolutely love running around the 9th floor playground and are eagerly awaiting the completion of the Early Childhood Centre! Willing to change and never give up are traits that I see the teachers and faculty members embody at CDNIS, and I am glad that my children are in a school that shares these great values.


Annie & Ray Bond

canadian international students

Our son is happy, relaxed and enjoying school. He is not stressed or feeling pushed but looks forward to learning and attending school each day.

We have lived in Discovery Bay since we moved from the UK in 2007. My husband is British and I am Chinese. When we started learning more about schools after our son was born, we both agreed that he should not travel too far primary. We feel a long commute would interfere with extra-curricular interests and his time at home with his family.  We visited a few schools on Discovery Bay and Hong Kong Island. But, after visiting DC – our choice was simple - the students were happy and confident and that was exactly what we wanted for our own children. We always said we would make sure our son attended a school with a multicultural learning community that values and fosters his inquisitive spirit. A school where a child is nurtured and teachers give the children respect. 

When we had to make plans for primary school, we decided that Discovery College was the best choice. We loved the dynamic teaching approach, the close knit community and diverse student body – but most of all the carefully planned, stimulating environment in which children developed a solid foundation through an inquiry-based learning environment. At the time, we believed that the academic programme at DC helped children to develop a positive attitude towards school. And still today, we believe this. Our daughter started at the school in August, 2014 - and our son is now attending Year 3. We are happy with the choice we made, and our son loves school. He has made some wonderful friends. He is flourishing academically and loves his swimming classes and his PE, as well as the inline skating after-school program. He said he will forever remember the adventure he had at an over-night camp in Year 2. We are thrilled he has such found thoughts and memories at such a young age. 

I must admit when our son started at DC, we were not familiar with the IB programme. We were worried that we wouldn’t be able to follow the curriculum and would not be able to comprehend the teaching approach or learning process. It turns out; we worried a bit too much.  The school offers reading workshops for parents and constantly updates us on the learning themes and goals. Our son is happy, relaxed and enjoying school. He is not stressed or feeling pushed but looks forward to learning and attending school each day. What more could a parent possibly ask for?



canadian international students

We love the schools’ unconventional approach to learning.

When we moved to Tung Chung (& Hong Kong) 5 years ago, our immediate concern was finding a good International School close to home. Our kids were 9 and 5 then, and we did not want them to travel far for Primary and Kindergarten respectively. DMPS was an automatic choice.
When we went to drop our 9-year-old to school on his first day, we were pleasantly surprised to see the principal walking about, talking to the kids, greeting them by their first name. This was a very welcoming sight for us, especially our son, who instantly felt at ease. The tradition continues to-date, and it is wonderful to see the kids comfortably chat and share a laugh with the teachers and senior leadership at the start of the day. It also speaks volumes of the safe and nurturing environment the school provides. One of the main reasons, we decided to enroll our younger child a year later.
We love the school’s unconventional approach to learning. For e.g., they celebrate World Book Day where kids dress up as their favorite story book characters – promoting healthy reading habits. Students are also encouraged to publish their writing work online, thus making them tech savvy. The IPC curriculum is structured to include a lot of project work. This gives kids a platform to learn working in teams - identifying individual strengths, working collaboratively, leadership and presentation opportunities – all essential life-skills. We also like that the class sizes are small, so the teacher is attentive to every child’s progress and learning needs. It helps that learning objectives are sent home weekly, ensuring parents stay up to date.
In addition, the diverse student community cultivates a healthy respect and appreciation for various cultures and ethnicities. Both our kids are confident, socially adaptable and tolerant, thanks to this early exposure. We find these qualities were of immense help when our older one transitioned to Secondary school. The school invests a lot in engaging the parent community, from informative sessions like Literacy and Numeracy workshops to leisure activities like family hikes and picnics. Our son loves it here. It’s a pleasure to see him bouncing off the bed every morning looking forward to going to school. Thank you, DMPS!


Parents: Eric Wong & Mehul Tanna

Eric Wong Daughters

The school and parents have built a strong bond and mutual respect. We share the same value – to provide a joyful and loving learning environment where children thrive.

Positive communication between school and parent helps improve academic performance and the English Schools Foundation (ESF) recognises its importance. As Hong Kong’s largest English-medium international education provider, ESF schools are dedicated to develop close relationship with the parents.

“Our school is like a small community,” said Mina Dunstan, Principal of ESF Quarry Bay School. “The school and parents have built a strong bond and mutual respect. We share the same value – to provide a joyful and loving learning environment where children thrive.”

To deepen the school-family partnership, teachers and parents meet on a regular basis to exchange information. Such ongoing communication helps both the school and parent tailor their approach to the student. Terri Appel, an ESF parent, sent her children to Glenealy School and they continued their studies at Island School. Her son has now graduated, while her daughter is currently at Year 11. “We initially had reservations about sending him to school at four years old. However, the staff at ESF Glenealy School quickly reassured us and he began his primary schooling well cared for and well educated. He began to excel academically even being so young, and his desire to learn more and confidence started to grow by leaps and bounds as well,” Terri reveals. “In the first year, the school vice principal gave him extra attention and that made all the difference to the rest of his schooling. It is those seemingly small touches that convinced us that ESF was the right choice for both of our children,” she continues.

Over the past 50 years in Hong Kong, ESF has supported and improved the quality of learning and teaching with students’ wellbeing at the centre. The Foundation believes that a joyful learning environment and a personalised approach to learning and inspiring curiosity are the key to bringing out the best in every student.

“The personalised approach, as well as the attentive and encouraging nature of ESF teachers are what we like about the school. The fact that they instill a ‘can do’ and ‘just give it a go’ attitude, while taking into account the strengths of each child. We like that success is celebrated appropriately and that failure is embraced as a learning opportunity,” Terri said.

“We also like the diversity within the student body, and the ability for children to learn to alongside children of different ethnicities, cultures and mixes. It enriches the type of education they receive and how they approach the global stage which is at their fingertips,” she adds.

Currently, there are 17,500 students from more than 60 different nationalities in the family of 22 ESF schools, including five kindergartens, nine primary schools, five secondary schools, two all-through schools and one school for children with special educational needs. About 70% of our students have parents who are permanent residents of Hong Kong.

As this desire for high-quality education has grown, the curriculum offered in ESF schools has changed significantly over the past five decades, adapting in response to the needs of the wide range of the students. ESF teachers now make progressively more use of digital technologies. Their approaches have developed in response to changes in how students can learn most effectively.

The two daughters of Eric Wong, another ESF parent, are currently studying Years 9 and 12 at ESF Renaissance College (RCHK). The curriculum is what drives him to an ESF school, he says.

“We appreciate that the school offers daily Chinese classes, not to mention the fact that it was the first through-train IB school in the ESF family,” Eric says. “Not only does RCHK offer an excellent academic curriculum, it also encourages and guides students to have a wide and open mindset in reaching out to the world.”

Mehul Tanna, another RCHK parents remarks “The caring and nurturing teachers and staff at RCHK have made a fundamental difference in the lives of our children. Our kids have truly blossomed over the years academically and socially. They are always eager to go to school and have wonderful relationships with their teachers. Seeing this has made us glad knowing we have chosen the best school for our kids.”

To meet the needs of diverse learners, ESF has policy to support students with different levels of needs, ranging from gifted students to students with special educational needs.

“My daughter has been identified as a talented child in visual arts. ESF Sha Tin College (STC) keeps on offering her a wide range of opportunities to strengthen her abilities not just in arts, but also the ways to see the world. She is now interested in developing her career that involves visual arts,” says Dr. Dannis Au, a STC parent. “STC provides her with a very good soil and she grows happily in such an encouraging environment, and helps the students to connect themselves with the community.” Dannis adds that the school provides a ‘true all-round education’ where students are encouraged to have comprehensive development. “As we move into a new era, we need to continue to be agile in responding to the needs of the communities we serve, maintaining a laser-focus on the quality of learning and teaching in our schools and the provision made for students’ welfare,” says Abraham Shek, Chairman of ESF.

Eton House

Eton House

A wonderful learning experience Elliot is having at EtonHouse PSK, all because of an inspiring environment, engaging learning approach, and a loving staff.

Prior to Elliot’s admission to nursery, my husband and I were looking around for a preschool with a nurturing environment to foster a love for learning, and a curriculum that is student-centred and constructivist in approach. Given the space constraints in Hong Kong, my husband and I were also hoping for a place with a generous area that would allow children to explore freely, without feeling inhibited by a lack of space. These qualities are exactly what we found at EtonHouse PSK when we attended its Open House in June 2015. At that time, Elliot had already been enrolled at a notable international pre-school. We were initially hesitant to withdraw Elliot from the established pre-school to place him at EtonHouse PSK, for there was nil parent review of EtpnHouse PSK, and an uncertainty of how EtonHouse PSK would be like. However, after a chat with the founding principal, Ms. Gazel Razavi, along with Elliot’s refusal to leave the new campus, we decided to take a leap of faith in a school notable for a Reggio Emilia inspired curriculum. I must say we are glad to have taken that leap of faith; and have not looked back on our decision to withdraw Elliot from the other pre-school to place him in EtonHouse PSK.

Elliot is in his third and final year at EtonHouse PSK, and was one the founding students who started pre-nursery in August 2015. Over the past two and half years at EtonHouse, he has looked forward to going to school daily, and speaks fondly of his learning journey that is distinctly characterized by joy. As parents, we take pride in watching our son grow with confidence and precocity over the years he has been at EtonHouse PSK; and we know that as he progresses to the primary school of our choice next year, he will be well-prepared for the new learning journey all because of his enriching experience at EtonHouse PSK.

Elliot feels school to be a welcoming and safe second home, and we recognize his love for school is all because of each and every staff in the school. In their own respective ways, the staff at EtonHouse PSK have enabled Elliot and his friends to find pleasure in going to school. Teachers take pride in designing learning activities that infuse joy into his learning; the constructivist curriculum gives him time to tinker with things, and think ‘big and wild’ ideas; the enriched extended class programme allows him opportunities to be creative and expressive; and the varied extra-curricular programmes enable him to enjoy a balanced education at EtonHouse PSK.

The curriculum and learning environment actively engage Elliot and his schoolmates in the teaching and learning process, and encourage both personal and collective responsibility. He is encouraged to communicate and collaborate with his friends and teachers, and the children are allowed to exercise their interests and use their judgement to solve problems that arise. Because school is a place in which he feels loved, it is a place that gives him the freedom to be who he is, to make mistakes, and more importantly, to learn from those. My husband and I particularly appreciate the school's efforts in instilling values of respect, responsibility and self-discipline, in Elliot and his friends, through the staff’s gentle, firm yet non-punitive ways.

Whilst many will acknowledge and recognize the classroom teacher to be the most visible person in a child’s life at school, we would like to remember that it is the principal who is responsible for providing a high-quality education for all students there. EtonHouse PSK stands out because of Ms. Gazel Razavi, whom my son adores, and fondly addresses as Madam Gazel. After each term break, and the extended summer holiday, when Elliot sees Gazel, it’s instinctive for him to run forward to embrace her. For a pre-schooler to love his principal that much, it speaks volume of the role played by Gazel in his life. We had a family situation recently, and Elliot was left reeling from the sudden departure of his regular caregiver. He wasn’t himself at school, and had displayed aberrational behaviour. Gazel and the teachers picked that up, and Gazel decided to intervene by having a ‘tea party’ with Elliot. She chatted with him about his feelings, and he opened up to her. He returned that evening to tell me about his ‘tea party’ with ‘Madam Gazel’; and through his conversation, it was evident he was feeling better because he knows there are others who care about him at school. Elliot is now back to his ebullient self; and we can’t thank the school community enough for their outpouring of support during the challenging period of time.

Gazel knows every student of hers by name, and her personal engagement with the students and parents, enables us to work collaboratively with the teachers to help our children. My husband and I are impressed by the way she implements the curriculum in her school, given the profile of students; and her interactions with her staff reveal her active involvement in the delivery of curriculum in each class. She plays an active role in planning and supporting instruction that is appropriate for her students, and she ensures that school time and resources are focused on student achievement and development. We are particularly grateful that Gazel knows something about each of her student, which perhaps might be overlooked by others. Her professional approach, coupled with her dedication, personal touch, and astute knowledge of her students' strengths and weaknesses, brings meaning to the essence of EtonHouse's Inquire-Think-Learn curriculum.

Gazel’s commitment to building a strong school community is also laudable. She works with her staff to ensure school is a welcoming place for her students and their families. Her openness to communication with parents enables us to have greater insights into our children's learning development, and which invariably fosters a climate of trust and confidence in her leadership and the school. We are cognizant that for a school to be successful, the administration, teachers, parents, students and support staff must work as a team; and the principal is at the heart of this dynamic relationship. At EtonHouse PSK, this is something that we clearly see. Right from Ms. Chris Hui, the Administrative Manager and Parent-Liaison Executive; to Eric, the school accountant; to Iris, the school administrative officer; to the aunties who help with food preparation and etc, they are all well-acquainted with the students, and play a part in making students feel welcomed and safe from the very moment they enter the school.

From the first day in August 2015, the teachers, together with Gazel and other supporting staff, have gone above and beyond to help each child learn and grow. Elliot has had 2 fulfilling years at EtonHouse PSK, and we know his third and final year at EtonHouse PSK will not be any different. A wonderful learning experience Elliot is having at EtonHouse PSK, all because of an inspiring environment, engaging learning approach, and a loving staff. We wouldn’t have chosen to place Elliot at any other pre-school, and we’d love to recommend EtonHouse PSK to other families with similar expectations for their little ones. They can be assured that everyone at EtonHouse – from the principal and teachers to the supporting staff – knows and cares about their children’s growth and well-being.

Jeannette Micayla Wang, mother of Elliot Marvin Wang (K1 Extended), EtonHouse (PSK) HK


By Clarice Cheung & Patfield Chow

Fairchild Junior Academy

They (FJA) believe that each child is strong, capable and resilient, and that they bring with them deep curiosity, which drives their interest to understand their world and place within it.

Our daughter, born in 2015, enjoys observing and taking a backseat to absorb the environment around her. She showed signs of her observant personality at an early age. At times, it would take 30 minutes to an hour for her to absorb everything and to start her interaction with people. Because of this, she was often labeled as “shy” and “timid”. Nearly all the schools we went to for interviews did not see this personality as a major strength, and as parents, we were worried. Was there something wrong with our lovable child? Was her ability to observe a huge flaw instead of a strength to be appreciated? As a result, we felt very conscious about our child’s personality and we felt we were doing something wrong as parents.

All our worries were gone once we discovered Fairchild Junior Academy (FJA). We enrolled our daughter into their accompanied infant class. While in class, we were extremely impressed with the experienced teachers showing nothing but utmost respect and love for each child. Our daughter was given ample time to explore her environment as she practices and masters new physical, cognitive and social skills with her classmates. Every teacher’s role is a partner in learning alongside the children. They believe that each child is strong, capable and resilient, and that they bring with them deep curiosity, which drives their interest to understand their world and place within it. Fast forward 1 year later, our daughter is now a confident, happy toddler who looks forward to her unaccompanied transition class in FJA three times a week. We are delighted to see her personality and development exploding through exploration and discovery with the support from her loving teachers. The school also offers a lot of encouragement to us parents. Our conversations with teachers and educators have further strengthen our confidence, and we have never felt more at ease and happy navigating the world of parenthood. Although FJA is a relatively new school, and Fairchild Kindergarten recently opened, we have no doubt what Fairchild are offering exceeds the standard most schools are providing. We would highly recommend every parent to give their children a chance to experience the Fairchild journey. We look forward to watching our child grow alongside Fairchild’s community as we continue our journey together educating the next generation.


By Joy & Simon Tan

Hong Kong International School

HKIS offers a challenging, and innovative curriculum based on the American school system.

We are a family of four who have lived in Asia for 11 years having moved to Hong Kong in July 2016. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, several friends had already mentioned to us about Hong Kong International School, and that it is a holistic school offering an American academic program, comprehensive facilities that is complemented by the Christian faith. As we only found out about our relocation in Spring 2016, we had missed the application deadlines at other schools in Hong Kong. Fortunate for us, our youngest daughter was accepted to HKIS. The school is located in the Tai Tam area on Hong Kong Island, nearby the popular Stanley Village. The location is picturesque as it is surrounded by forest and ocean. HKIS is easily accessible via public transport and taxi, from the Chai Wan MTR or bus from Stanley Village. Many families who have children attending HKIS, live nearby, while other families also choose to live in town. Luckily the school bus system covers most of Hong Kong and transports the students to and from school and from their after school activities. The school was welcoming in that they had existing families who would reach out and help new families by answering queries we had from where to buy school supplies and uniforms, to where to shop for certain grocery foods we were looking for. This was helpful to us as I was able to purchase some clothing and school supplies she could use as school uniform. On the first day of orientation our daughter was able to make two new friends from her peer group. This helped her settle in well the next day and she had a group of friends who she was already navigating her way with, through Grade 6. HKIS offers a challenging, and innovative curriculum based on the American school system. With great teachers, they are able to guide the students through their variety of courses they take in the first year of middle school. This year, she was able to challenge herself in her Mandarin class and bring herself to a higher level, with the help of her Mandarin teacher. She also expressed herself in a variety of other classes including drama, where she acted in plays with her fellow classmates, and also performed solo in a number of choir performances. This year she tried out for the Chamber Choir for Grade 7, and was excited when she made the cut. Another unforgettable experience was the popular “Peak” trip that all first year middle school students participate in. This is a one-week school trip that takes place in October, where students travel with their house teams to Beijing and have a foreign and unique experience. This gives the students plenty of opportunity for team bonding and getting to know their fellow classmates outside of the classroom. Overall, our experience with HKIS has been positive, and we are happy she has been able to express herself, and keep up her grades. Although this has been a challenging first year for us as a family overall, we know we made the right choice for our daughter with HKIS.


Janine and Andy Davies


ICHK is simply a unique school that in the words of my daughter, "empowers students to be the best versions of themselves"

As proud parents of three children living an expat lifestyle, their education is so different to what we ourselves experienced. As parents, our background was in UK, single sex, private and state Grammar school. Our first school choice for our children whilst living in Belgium was driven by practicality as the local school was opposite our home, easy decision. Next in Austria we realised we would need to choose an education that would provide consistency anticipating future moves.

Hence, the choice of an International school offering the IB program. After that (In Italy), pre-visit to the country, find the office, find the home, find the International school – fairly simple really!

Fast forward to Hong Kong and it is a different process altogether. Google Hong Kong international IB schools and literally hundreds appear, each site listing facilities, academic; music and sporting excellence but none mention spirit or creativity. After visiting a selection in our preferred area, each visit left us feeling underwhelmed and disheartened.

Then one site caught our attention. It highlighted the use of the natural environment, listed achievements other than academic and talked proudly of community and student wellbeing. We visited for two hours and unanimously we decided this was the school for all of us. The reason was simple. Every child had felt welcome, special and included even on a visit. Staff and pupils had made them feel excited about the school and a new life in Hong Kong.

Fast forward again 18 months and all three children who have different interests and skills are very happy, involved and thriving at ICHK. Community is at the heart of the school and that is evident in all aspects of school life. The clever use of the natural surroundings, an exceptional staff body and a forward thinking approach to new learning possibilities is incredible.

ICHK is simply a unique school that in the words of my daughter, "empowers students to be the best versions of themselves". Testimony to this is that with a very special “½ century” birthday looming next year, whilst my husband gave me many options to choose from, the only place I want to celebrate is on an ICHK school skiing trip in Japan based on having had so much fun in February of this year. ICHK community will deliver, of that I have no doubt.


Eva Ye & Fung Wong


Aim for schools where your child will have the best chance of admission.

When we decided to move back to Hong Kong in 2012, I was very confident in finding suitable school schools for two eldest girls. My eldest daughter, Raynee, was 4 years old at the time and Rita, had just turned 2 years.  Ria, our youngest, was only 1-years old, so she was not a major concern at the time. Raynee was attending a very good private girls' school in Melbourne. She had received great feedback from our teachers and our school reports were excellent. I honestly thought that she would have no problem in being accepted by an international school in Hong Kong.  At that time, I just simply applied to some well-known schools which were recommended by friends in Melbourne and relatives in Hong Kong. 

I decided to fly to Hong Kong and visit these schools, but what happened next was not what I expected. Every single school which I had interest in and had filed an application at, had no spaces,  and I was told by some schools that I might have to wait for at least 2 years for a place.  I was so disappointed and lost complete confidence in ever getting my children into a school in Hong Kong. I honestly could not believe it. We decided to remain in Melbourne and keep Raynee at the private school she was attending. At least, we could be guaranteed that our other two girls would get places at this school also. 

The next turn of events for our family business in 2013, once again, brought us back to Hong Kong and this time, we really had to move. I was very nervous about the school search and although I knew what was ahead; I decided that instead of relying on advice from friends, I would find a school consultant to help us. 

From my research on the internet, I found ITS Educational Services and flew to Hong Kong to meet with Anne, the Director, to discuss our options.  After our meeting, I realized my timing and strategy was completely off and my school choices the previous year were not in fact the right ones. Our consultant at ITS Education Asia researched suitable schools and presented professionally to us, we discussed the curriculum, application process, entry requirements and also toured the schools with complete and accurate knowledge.

Raynee and Rita were prepared for their interviews at ITS and the applications were completely perfectly.  Raynee was in fact offered places at two schools. We decided to defer one of the places till 2015 and put Raynee and Rita at the International Montessori School in Stanley, so they could be exposed to Mandarin on a daily basis, as well as being immersed in a mixed cultural environment and a new curriculum. We thought the experience would be wonderful for them.  My girls are very happy and have made great progress in their studies.  

I would definitely advice new parents to Hong Kong to aim for schools where your child will have the best chance of admission and also learn what each school is about. Experience the learning environment for yourself and ask lots of questions.

KELLETT SCHOOL (The British International School in Hong Kong)

By Nicola Burke, mother to Cameron, Kirstie and Duncan

Kellet School

It goes without saying that the many highly achieving students at Kellett are assisted to gain access to the top ranked universities in the worlds.

Kellett School offers so much more than just an academically excellent education, and my three children, who are all very different from each other, have all thrived at this wonderful school. The teachers and staff at Kellett are enthusiastic, committed and inspirational, and their focus on the individual student is evident both from an academic and pastoral care perspective. I admire the School stance of being deliberately non-selective to allow siblings in a family to be educated together and I have witnessed first-hand how the teachers work hard to add value to ensure each student achieves to the best of their individual ability. It goes without saying that the many highly achieving students at Kellett are assisted to gain access to the top ranked universities in the world, but I am particularly impressed by the School’s record in helping all of its students deliver above expectations through targeted intervention. There is a strong and caring team to provide extra support to children, and their families, when required to help with their academic, social and personal development. Kellett also invests significantly in the Arts, Sports and Music programmes throughout the school; my youngest son loves playing football on the Sky Pitch and my daughter makes good use of the bespoke dance room. All children are given many opportunities to showcase their work, play in teams and to dress up and perform in front of the other students, their teachers and their parents; I am sure these activities are significant in developing the ‘happy confidence’ that so many of the Kellett students seem to possess.Kellett School offers a wonderful education, by superb teachers supported by state-of-the-art facilities and access to first class specialist equipment. The new campus in KLB is often mentioned to me as a model school but having had my children come through from Reception to Year 6 at Pok Fu Lam before entering Senior School at Kowloon Bay, I have first-hand knowledge of the unique selling points of both campuses. I believe a school is only as good as its teachers, and, over the years, I have been impressed by Kellett’s dynamic approach to education as it constantly invests in the continuing development of its teachers and aims to adopt and embrace new ideas and technologies. Comments and opinions from students, teachers and parents alike are regularly sought and taken on board, as the school strives to continually improve on everything it offers.

I also like the fact that Kellett is very international and celebrates its diverse community. This resulted in my children growing up with respect and tolerance for different cultures and values. Furthermore, the well-established ‘Kellett Cares’ organisation within the school, that concentrates on raising money for external charities both locally and overseas, encourages students to participate in various ‘learning through volunteering’ activities, which again adds to their overall personal development. Kellett is very much a community, and I have made many friends over the years through parental volunteer activities that are strongly encouraged by the school. My children have also benefited from the comprehensive range of after school activities offered across both campuses, with opportunities for developing new interests and making new friends. I believe that Kellett School’s aim of instilling ‘a love of learning and confidence for life’ in every child is very evident. However, what I have noticed is that they do not stop here; they go above and beyond this, and imbue their students with the values and attitudes that will serve them well in their futures as Global Citizens.


Marina and Daniel Monterosso

Hong Kong International School

we learned more about the unit of inquiry approach and that school’s vision is for each child to, “achieve more than they believe they can.”

We were informed in April of 2017 that we would be moving to Hong Kong for a job opportunity for my husband Daniel. Finding an excellent school was at the top of our priority list and the timing was not favorable considering the highly competitive environment in Hong Kong. Stamford was our first choice from the beginning and I will explain why, I have a sister who has been living in Singapore for 6 years, and my two nephews study at Stamford American School Singapore.

I knew already how happy she was with the school, based on their approach to academics, the diverse body of teachers and students, the school´s focus on innovation while still prioritizing the development of social and emotional skills. I was surprised when she mentioned that a new campus was about to open in Hong Kong!

The admission process could not have been better, the team scheduled an interview with Felipe, my six years old son, by Skype. It was a very friendly and one-to-one approach. Within a week, we received a positive response.

In June, we came to Hong Kong to do the LOOK and SEE trip and also joined the Superintendent’s presentation at Central. At that moment, we learned more about the unit of inquiry approach and that school’s vision is for each child to, “achieve more than they believe they can.” This year, this has been in fact delivered -which reinforced our choice.


Fiona Elliot


A significant factor in making the decision to send our children to THS was the smaller class size and student to teacher ratio

We have lived in Hong Kong now for 8 years and have 3 sons aged 11, 9 and 5.  
Our elder two sons commenced at THS in January 2014 having both come from a large international school in Hong Kong and since the transition we have seen them flourish.  Moving from a large class, programme based system to the more nurturing and supportive environment of THS has resulted in a noticeable improvement in their academic work and has allowed them to establish supportive friendships.

The Harbour School has a very progressive curriculum and the boys have responded very well to the core subjects (maths, reading, writing) being taught in a more structured manner while being able to enjoy the scope and flexibility of the ‘units of enquiry’ approach to science and social studies.

A significant factor in making the decision to send our children to THS was the smaller class size and student to teacher ratio.  Having a head teacher and co-teacher in each class, combined with a maximum class size of 14 kids, allows a lot of scope and flexibility in delivering the curriculum. The teachers and students both get to know each other well, and with less students in the class the teachers have the time to provide a more tailored approach to learning.  Additionally, it provides a learning environment where students’ strengths can be reinforced and their weaknesses addressed.  

An example of this was when our middle son was having trouble being able to focus on his maths unless it was very quiet.  He was allowed to do his maths work outside in the common area while still having a teacher free to check on him and his progress during the lesson. 

The teachers are also able to take time with individual students, when necessary, for both academic and emotional support.  All our children have thrived under this lower class number scheme. We have been impressed with THS’s ability and desire to accommodate student initiative.  Our eldest son had the idea of a grade newsletter in his second week at the school.  Instead of being told that it would not be possible THS saw the learning and character building opportunity and not only allowed him to run with the idea, but also provided a teacher as ‘editor in chief’ to support him.  Being in an environment where his ideas are not only heard, but supported, has re-ignited his love of learning. 

Although only having been at the school for six months, they have both taken part in opportunities that would not usually be offered at their grade levels in other schools.  Our grade three son spent a week in Xi’an after spending three months studying Chinese history.  While it was an amazing learning experience, what made it even more special was that family were invited to join the trip.  It was a great opportunity for parents to get to know each other and as well as the children. This is just one example of how THS recognise the value of the family relationship and a sense of community in the child’s education.  Our eldest took part in a Global Issues Conference where he had the opportunity to present a topic of his choice.  It was a fantastic growth opportunity and we saw him taking real pride in his work.

The THS after school activities are a great compliment to their classroom learning, and the boys have loving the opportunity to follow their interest in computers by attending teacher (and sometimes student led) classes in coding (computer programming) and Minecraft, as well as joining their class mates in hockey tournaments and soccer.

Our youngest son has just joined his brothers at the school this year (with support from The Children’s Institute) and has settled into his class room with no problems.  Given the progress we have seen in his brothers, and the dedicated support he is receiving from TCI, we look forward to seeing his progress over the coming months and years.
We have been very pleased with the education and support our children have received from The Harbour School. 

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School Guide 2020-2021
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