HKA’s philosophy of lifelong learning
Hong Kong Academy offers a child-centred, inquiry-based education that fosters creativity, communication and problem-solving skills. HKA is an IB World School offering the Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS).

International Baccalaureate
The International Baccalaureate Organisation was founded in 1968. It’s mission statement reads:

The International Baccalaureate (IB) aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organisation works with schools, governments and international organisations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with the differences, can also be right.

HKA IB Learner Profile

In HKA, we know that all our students are:
  1. Inquirers, who develop their natural curiosity.
  2. Knowledgeable, who explore concepts, ideas, and issues that have lo­cal and global significance.
  3. Thinkers, who exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively.
  4. Communicators, who understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication.
  5. Principled, who act with integrity and honesty.
  6. Open-minded, who understand and appreciate their own and others cultures and perspectives.
  7. Risk-takers, who approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought.
  8. Balanced, who understand the importance of intellectual, physical, and emotional balance.
  9. Caring, who show empathy, compassion, and respect towards the needs and feelings of others.
  10. Reflective, who give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience.

The IB Programme is divided into three parts:

  • Primary Years Programme (PYP)
  • Middle Years Programme (MYP)
  • Diploma (DP).
HKA offers all three programmes. At HKA, the PYP encompasses PK1 through Grade 5. The MYP encompasses Grades 6 through 10. Grades 11 and 12 may opt to pursue both the HKA and the IB Diploma or only the HKA Diploma.

Pathways to Graduation

HKA's Secondary School prides itself on mentoring students to reach their full potential through individualised attention tailored to their skills, interests and aspirations. Faculty members are dedicated to students' well-being and academic success and take the time to guide and support them as they make key decisions that impact their futures. Wherever their individual pathways to success may take them, HKA endeavours to help students identify, develop and realise their goals. 

Requirements at HKA are expressed in the form of credits, with one credit reflecting one year of coursework. The designation of these credits and the rigour of all HKA courses has been verified by the school’s status as accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS), Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and authorised by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO).

In alignment with our mission and core values, HKA encourages each student to determine the best-fit pathway to graduation upon entry into Grades 11 and 12 after completion of the IBMYP at the end of Grade 10. Our graduates all receive the HKA Diploma and GCD Certificate, and the majority also seek external recognition by pursuing the IB Diploma; others opt to complete up to six IB Courses. 

Credits, Coursework & Graduation

HKA Diploma

In order to earn an HKA Diploma, students must complete the following credit requirements: 

The Global Citizen Diploma is required for graduation. All IBDP candidates must also complete the IBDP core to be eligible to earn an IB Diploma. This includes taking Theory of Knowledge, for which they will earn one credit, as well as completing the Extended Essay and Creativity, Activity and Service requirements.

Hong Kong Academy does not rank its students or provide percentile/decile information, nor are GPAs created. Marks are based on the International Baccalaureate system of 1-7 and credit is given for successful completion of courses with a grade of 3 or higher. Transfer students have their previous transcript/school reports verified and appropriate credit is awarded (not stated on HKA transcript). Some students may be waived from certain requirements and this will be indicated on the transcript. 

A student who is on an Individualised Learning Plan (ILP) and receiving modifications in any of their classes would receive an HKA Diploma with an explanation of the modifications that were implemented during their tenure at HKA. Modified courses will not receive a numerical grade and will instead reflect that the course has been completed and credit bearing. 

Global Citizen Diploma

HKA is the only school in Hong Kong to offer the Global Citizen Diploma (GCD), an externally recognised qualification that highlights the many ways that students engage in responsible action. Designed to validate the contributions of individuals and groups with the passion and perseverance to make positive change in their local and global communities, the GCD provides students with an opportunity to showcase up to 16 elements of global citizenship. Earning the GCD requires a process of deliberate reflection as students re-examine their experiences, synthesize their learning and make sense of their education which they can then share as a part of their post-secondary application process. 

Course Offerings

Minimum IB Diploma Requirements

  • At least 24 points overall

  • At least 12 HL points

  • At least 9 SL points

  • D or better in both Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge

  • Completion of CAS requirements

Extended Essay, a major written assignment that is student-selected and must relate to one of the IB subjects offered at HKA. This 4,000 word writing project requires individual analysis and extensive research and is intended to prepare students for academic writing demands at university. Students are assigned a faculty advisor to assist them in this process.

Theory of Knowledge, a course that investigates how we come to know what we say we know, the difference and importance of differentiating between truth and belief, and a comparison of how knowledge is acquired in a variety of disciplines.

Creativity, Activity & Service, an opportunity for students to demonstrate creative thinking, participate in expeditions, individual and team sports, and build links with individuals or groups in the community which may be the school, the local community or even the national and international level.

Graduation is a ceremony at the conclusion of a student’s Grade 12 year to celebrate successful completion of the HKA SS programme of study. Par­ticipation in the Graduation ceremony (and associated senior week activi­ties) is an honour given to those students that have successfully completed all academic requirements, and that have met the HKA attendance require­ments.

Make-up Work
Following an excused absence, a student is entitled to full academic make-up privileges with no penalties. Students are required to request make-up work when they are absent for more than one day by contacting their teach­ers directly. For planned absences the student should fill out the planned absence form. 

For short absences the student will be given two make-up days for each day absent. Make up time for longer absences will be determined in a reason­able manner so the student will not be unnecessarily penalised.

Field Trips and Camps
To make learning experiences interesting and meaningful, HKA’s curriculum is structured to take full advantage of the local environment and culture. Field trips are an important part of the educational programme. Parents will receive advance notice of upcoming trips. The school takes appropriate precautions to ensure the supervision and safety of all children on such trips. This includes the use of a mobile telephone, an adequate ratio of adults to children, and the provision of first aid equipment.

In the Primary School, parents are encouraged to join their child’s class on these trips. Teachers will inform parents of the need for assistance in the trip notice message. While the children are on field trips, it is important that they wear a hat, which should be at school, and sunscreen, which should be applied at home.

Students from G3 to G12 also participate in extended field trips or camps. G3-5 students participate in an outdoor education experience overnight for a duration of 3-4 days. Secondary School trips may take place over the full school week. Attendance on such trips is an expected as a part of the curriculum. Please note that the cost of these extended field trips/camps is not covered by tuition. Detailed information and costs will be made available to parents as soon as the programmes are confirmed.

The purpose of PS camps is to enjoy outdoor education, promote students’ ability to learn in new environments, and support team-building.

Learning Outside The Classroom Programme (LOTC)

We believe that learning occurs both inside and outside of the classroom and that students learn best when they apply the skills they have learned in contextual environments.

As the Secondary School at HKA develops its structure and approaches to learning experiences outside the classroom, three factors are considered: manageability, sustainability and accessibility.

- Manageability

In order to ensure manageability for LOTC experiences, HKA works to set clear expectations, guidelines and responsibilities for all parties: students, faculty and parents. Ongoing and timely communication with all stakeholders involved is an essential indicator of a manageable programme.

- Sustainability

In order to make LOTC experiences sustainable, student learning opportunities are designed to build from year to year. Students develop skills over time related to investigation, preparation, action, reflection and demonstration of the actions taken within these experiences.

- Accessibility

As a rigorous and inclusive school, HKA seeks to meet the needs of every HKA learner for LOTC opportunities. HKA offers an education characterised by mutual benefit and support; to that end, both HKA students and the communities they visit will gain from the learning experiences provided.

LOTC Secondary School Experiences

Grades 6 to 8: The purpose of the LOTC week for grades 6 to 8 is to provide an experiential learning opportunity; to transfer and apply the approaches to learning skills and dispositions students have learned about in the classroom to real life scenarios.

The overarching goal of the LOTC week is to build cohesion within the grade levels and to allow students an opportunity to develop approaches to learning skills such as communication, collaboration, self management, and reflection.

  • How do I see myself as a learner? During the week students will participate in a variety of activities which will allow them opportunities to understand themselves as learners.

  • How do I contribute to the HKA community? The activities will also foster opportunities for students to work collaboratively with others towards a common goal and to understand the various roles within a group and how to positively impact that group; to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

  • How might I contribute to the community beyond HKA? The activities will also allow students to begin to investigate issues that are beyond the HKA community.

Grades 9-11: The purpose of the LOTC week for grade 9-11 is to provide an opportunity for students to develop an evolving understanding of our changing world and to positively contribute to betterment of our shared planet; to be effective global citizens.

At HKA we document and recognise these experiences via the Global Citizen Diploma (GCD). At its core, the GCD recognises knowledge and understanding of global perspectives, the ability to see how economy, politics, religion and culture are interconnected, and to make decisions with an awareness of how our actions impact others, near and far. The GCD recognises students who have developed compassion and empathy and who are willing to put their knowledge and understanding of others into helpful action in service to their communities.  This focus on community engagement allows the GCD to describe students who are able to see the world as a community and be active participants and advocates within it.

The experiences gained in Grade 11 can also support students who are in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and have CAS (Creativity, Activity and Service) requirements.

At HKA, we provide a rigorous international education that empowers learners to pursue pathways to individual excellence by fostering creativity, communication and problem-solving skills. We seek to develop adaptable, confident and tolerant students who are knowledgeable and caring young people. In a learning environment that relies on mutual respect, all commu­nity members are expected to positively contribute to the community. If a student is unable to meet these expectations, consequences for his or her actions will be determined based on the guidelines below.

School administration has the right to intervene with consequences for any behaviour that in their judgment impairs a positive school climate and an optimum learning environment. Consequences normally fall into the follow­ing categories:
  • Teacher/Advisor interventions
  • Counsellor interventions
  • Administrator interventions
The following overview of behavioural guidelines serves as a general guide and applies to both on-campus and off-campus school sponsored activi­ties. Possible consequences are noted, however administrators reserve the right to take further action for more serious violations of or repeated disregard for the guidelines.

HKA stresses the importance of self-respect and respect for others. All students are expected to behave in accordance with these values and are supported in their growth and understanding of themselves and their impact on others. Students are asked to:
  • use appropriate language at all times
  • treat each other with kindness and respect
  • treat school property with care
Both the Primary School Counsellor and the Secondary School Counsellor meet regularly with students and classes to help students develop problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills. Occasionally, some students require additional support from the Counsellor and/or the Principal to address difficult issues and situations. In these cases, students are encouraged to stand up for themselves as well as others.

Bullying and other unacceptable behaviors are not tolerated. In particular, students are not permitted to:
  • possess, handle or transmit any object that can reasonably be considered a weapon or a firearm on the school grounds or off the school grounds at a school activity, function or event.
  • unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, or use illicit drugs, controlled substances, tobacco, or alcoholic beverages on school property or at any school-sponsored activity.
If a student is seen off-campus by a member of the HKA staff in the HKA school uniform (not attending a school event or school sanctioned activity) and in viola­tion of the HKA policy regarding use of these substances, HKA school consequences will be applied. If a student is seen off campus by a mem­ber of the HKA staff not in school uniform (not attending a school event or school sanctioned activity) and in violation of the HKA policy regarding use of these substances, her/his parents and the Secondary School Prin­cipal and Counsellor should be notified.

The HKA Administration reserves the right to search a student’s person, bag, and locker if reasonable suspicion exists regarding the use and/or possession of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs; this may be done without paren­tal or student consent. A search will be carried out in the presence of an HKA Administrator and at least one additional staff member.

If a student does not adhere any of the above-mentioned guidelines, the student, his or her advisor and his or her parents will be notified. Serious disciplinary issues or repeat offences may result in suspension or a rec­ommendation for expulsion as recommended by the SS Child Study Team (CST). Parents may appeal this decision to the Head of School.

If sufficient suspicion of drug use, possession, or distribution exists, the HKA administration will require parents to escort the student to a clinic for a mandatory drug test. In this case the official testing results generated by the clinic must be presented to the HKA administration prior to further action being taken. Refusal to submit to a required drug test may result in a recommendation for withdrawal or expulsion from HKA.

Academic Programme
Primary School

In their main classrooms, students receive instruction consistent with the IB curriculum and covering essential skills and knowledge bases. In addition, all PS students receive instruction in Mandarin language. No other language is offered in the PS. Pre-K students receive Mandarin instruction in their main classroom. Grades K-5 receive instruction in Mandarin 4 or 5 days a week separately from their main classroom as a stand-alone subject.

PS students also receive instruction in art, music, PE, ICT and library. For these specialist subjects, the students learn in rooms/spaces dedicated to these purposes.

Secondary School
The HKA Secondary School offers the IB MYP (Grades 6-10) and DP (Grades 11 and 12). Grade 12s (seniors) are expected at a minimum to complete the HKA diploma and are encouraged to pursue either IB certificates or the full IB Diploma. HKA does not “weed out” students pursuing the IB. All students wishing to pursue the DP are supported in that process.

SS operates on a 'block' schedule with classes A through H. Classes will rotate throughout the school day, with all classes meeting both in the morning and afternoon.

Middle Years Programme
HKA is an IB MYP school, and thus follows the various components of the programme. The MYP philosophy holds that education can foster under­standing among students from different cultures, thus intercultural aware­ness and communication are both firmly embedded in the programme. The MYP framework provides challenging standards that demand creativ­ity and flexibility and help students develop a personal value system that will serve them well in future academic work and in life beyond school.


  • Language acquisition
  • Language and literature
  • Individuals and societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Arts
  • Physical and health education
  • Design

  • Personal Project

    Grade 10 students complete a culminating independent project on an aspect of personal interest to the student, selected in consultation with a supervisor. The project is intended to demonstrate student understand­ing of fundamental concepts of the MYP and their understanding of the global context. It may take any form and be presented either through a written essay or oral presentation. Adequate completion of the project is a prerequisite for transition into the Diploma Programme in Grade 11.

    Community and Service
    Service learning is integrated into selected MYP units in grades 6-10. Students are expected to become involved in service projects that specifi­cally serve the school, our local neighbourhood, and our community in Hong Kong and the greater world. HKA is the global host of the Global Citizen Diploma (GCD) and during Grades 9-12 students will work towards achieving various elements of the GCD. Achievement of the first level of the GCD is an HKA graduation requirement. Grade 11 and 12 students who elect to take the full IB diploma pathway will also engage in service as a component of the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) programme.

    Counselling Programme
    Counsellors at HKA act as advocates for our students who work in collaboration with teachers, administrators, and parents as needed, to ensure a well-rounded approach to the guidance programme. The counselling department promotes an environment in which every student is cared for and has a sense of connection and belonging with other adults and students in the school.

    HKA’s counselling programmes are designed in response to student needs and aim to be preventative in nature. Programmes are evaluated yearly to build upon successes and adjustments are made to address current trends. The SS counselling programmes provides Social & Emotional support, as well as Academic and University & College Counselling. Services offered through the counselling programme include:
    • Activities designed to meet students’ immediate needs and concerns (Responsive services may include counselling in individual or small-group settings or crisis response)
    • Meetings with the student and involved parties e.g. teachers, parents, and/or administrators
    • Providing support for students transitioning into and out of HKA
    • Providing support for the HKA Advisory Programme
    • Facilitating the HKA Ambassador programme e.g. New Student Orienta­tion and Buddy Programmes
    • Academic Counselling, including SAT and ACT programmes
    • University & College Counselling, including career counselling
    • Parent presentations and coffee mornings
    • Parent Book Club
    • Communication through online website
    • Support and facilitation for the implementation and adherence to the Child Protection Guidelines
    Counsellors may recommend outside counselling support and services to provide additional care for families when needed.

    Advisory Programme
    The HKA Advisory Programme provides students with a support system that fosters a personalised and nurturing school culture. Advisories create a safe environment whereby all students can develop a strong relationship with at least one adult and a small group of peers. Advisory groups meet daily for 10 minutes each morning and once a week on Wednesdays for 50 minutes.

    Creating Community: Advisories serve as a safe space where students come together as a peer group to support each other’s academic and personal goals, as well as future aspirations. Research shows that belonging to this kind of positive peer group increases the student's attachment to school and reduces risk behaviours.

    Academic Advisement: Advisories build students’ capacity to monitor their week-to-week academic progress and achievement.

    Social and Emotional Learning: Advisories help students strengthen social, emotional, behavioural, and cognitive competencies. Supporting students’ social and emotional growth and self-regulated behaviour, in the context of a peer cohort, promotes self-discipline and group cohesiveness. Through advisory students learn a set of communication skills that help them take a problem solving approach to their day-to-day experiences.
    Academic Honesty
    At HKA, teachers work with students to teach them about the elements of academic honesty and the ways in which a student can effectively cite various resources used in different subject area assessments. To do this, teachers reinforce academic honesty by stressing the scholarly role of ap­proaches to learning the skills of information literacy, problem-solving and self-management. Mindfulness about academic honesty includes not suc­cumbing to cheating, copying, permitting others to copy work, and plagia­rism. Plagiarism entails failing to properly cite references in academic work.

    If a student violates this academic honesty policy, a teacher and student discuss in private the student’s behaviour, its legal and moral implications, and discuss strategies on how to avoid academic dishonesty in the future. This discussion may include the respective programme co-ordinator. The student will be warned of the consequences for repeated behaviour and will be required to re-do the assignment or assessment in a time frame decided upon by the Teacher.

    Consequences, determined by the Secondary Principal, for a first occur­rence may vary depending on the age of student and/or the nature of the incident. In extreme circumstances, academic dishonesty in Grades 11 or 12 may result in the withdrawal from the IB Diploma Programme.

    Subsequent Occurrences
    • Parent/Student/Teacher/Principal/Conference.
    • In-school or out of school suspension at the discretion of the Principal.
    • The assignment or assessment must be made up in a time frame established by the Teacher. The assignment or assessment will not be considered in the student’s progress report or semester report card mark. Continued incidents of academic dishonesty may result in a recommendation for expulsion to the Head of School.

    HKA and IB
    HKA does not issue ‘percentage’ or letter grades. All of our students in Grades 6-12 receive marks/grades that follow the IB system of 1-7.

    In line with the founding principles of HKA the Learner Support Programme (LSP) operates on an inclusive model to meet the needs of students with unique learning styles.

    If a student has already enrolled in the school and a teacher finds there is a cause for concern academically, behaviorally, socially or emotionally, they will complete a referral and submit it to the Child Study Team (CST) at which point the concerns will be discussed and interventions will be suggested. Based on the results of the interventions tried, further assessment may given and a level of support may be assigned. The type of support ranges from mild, moderate to intensive.

    HKA follows regulations regarding Academic Intervention and Academic Probation in order to help monitor and support all students’ academic success.

    SS Students and parents attend conferences twice a year and receive Semester Reports twice a year. Students will be placed on Academic Intervention as a result of one of more of the following:
    • Receiving a grade of 1 or 2 in one subject
    • Receiving four grade 3’s
    • General academic progress of concern
    Placement on Academic Intervention will require parents to sign and return the Academic Intervention letter. The student will then meet with one or more members of the Child Study Team* (CST) to develop a plan for improvement. Action items may include but are not limited to voluntary participation in the HKA Enrichment Programme outside tutoring and/or outside counselling. Letters of Academic Intervention will be placed in a student’s file and will be removed after one year free of Academic Intervention placement.

    *The CST comprises of the SS Principal, the Director of the Learning Sup­port Services, the SS Counsellor, the Diploma Co-ordinator and the MYP Co-ordinator.

    Students will be placed on Academic Probation as a result of:
    • Receiving a grade of 1 or 2 in two or more subjects
    • Receiving more than five grade 3’s
    • Meeting the requirements for being placed on Academic Intervention for a second consecutive semester
    Placement on Academic Probation will require parents to sign and return the Academic Probation letter and attend an Academic Probation meet­ing involving administration and CST personnel. A new LIP will be cre­ated to address the continuing concerns and challenges. Action items may include but are not limited to mandatory participation in the HKA Enrichment Programme, outside tutoring and outside counselling. Let­ters of Academic Probation will be placed into a student’s file and will be removed after one year free of Academic Intervention or Academic Proba­tion placement.

    Students who are on Academic Intervention or Academic Probation are not eligible to take part in student activities that require missing regu­lar classes during the school day without the express permission of the Principal, in consultation with the teachers, counsellors, and parents. 

    Academic Probation is serious; if a student fails to remove himself or herself from probation after two successive terms, the student may be asked to withdraw from HKA. HKA will provide help and guidance to stu­dents placed on Academic Intervention or Academic Probation, however students and their parents must take an active role and follow through on advice and recommendations provided.

    A student may be moved from Academic Probation back to Academic In­tervention depending on the improvements seen and grades awarded at the end of the given semester. A student may also be removed completely from either Academic Intervention or Academic Probation if they meet the schools minimum academic standards.

    HKA’s library covers two floors and is divided into PS and SS sections. The PS Library is on the first floor and the SS library is on the second floor.

    The library enables students to develop independent learning skills through a diversity of research strategies. It also promotes the continued development of literacy skills, an ap­preciation of reading and the growth of independent, confident, and self-directed lifelong readers and learners.

    Each PS class has a designated library day on which the children will choose a book(s) to take home for a week. Additionally students may return and check out books daily during arrival time and designated after-school days
    . SS students use the library on their own and in conjunction with specific research projects.

    Circulation Policy

    Loan Limits
    • To ensure the efficient use of resources, facilitate stock control and maintain accurate circulation statistics all resource loans are recorded on the Destiny system.
    • All staff, students and parents are entitled to borrow resources from the Library.
    • The Library Staff have discretionary powers to alter the loan quantities and types of loans to individual borrowers and staff.
    Borrowing Limits
    At the discretion of library staff, borrowing limits (both numbers and loan time) may be extended for students completing Exhibition, and other class research projects. In order to promote the borrowing of books in languages other than English, these books are not counted as part of the limits. The same applies for books read for literature circles, book clubs and Battle of the Books. Staff borrowing is unrestricted within reason. Below are the limits for each category of borrower, for a maximum check out period of two weeks with the option to renew if the item has not been requested by another user:

    Grade Semester 1 Semester 2
    Pre-K 1 (+1 Mandarin) 1 (+1 Mandarin)
    K 1 (+1 Additional Language) 2 (+1 Additional Language) 
    Grades 1 to 5 3 (+1 Additional Language)  3 (+1 Additional Language)
    Parents 5 (+1 Additional Language) 5 (+1 Additional Language)
    All library resources are borrowed at the circulation desk.

    Department and classroom resources are catalogued as purchased. They are labeled with a respective location and are borrowed out on a dedicated location account (e.g. 1ren, 2ai, PYP Co-ordinator) and will be subject to stock take on an annual basis.

    Overdue Loans and Lost Materials
    • Fines are not imposed on students or staff who have overdue loans.
    • Items that are lost or damaged must be paid for at replacement cost and an administration fee of HK$250.
    • Overdue notices for students and parents are emailed on a needs basis; for Primary School students to a parent email account; for Secondary School students to a student email account.
    • Teachers receive an account statement on request and towards the end of the school year in preparation of the annual stock taking.
    • Students cannot borrow if they have overdue books (unless at discretion of Library staff for specific individual circumstances).
    • In the case of students who fail to return books on a regular basis the support of the parents is sought.
    • Library staff and teachers remind Primary School students who have outstanding loans during weekly library lessons.
    • Students with overdue items who leave the school, will have their refund deposit reduced after contact with the Finance Department. 
    The Library is responsible for checking out textbooks and other materials to students and keeping a record of textbook numbers loaned. Conditions of textbooks are carefully recorded since students are charged for damaged or lost textbooks at the end of the school year. The Teacher Librarian will sign Check–Out forms when students return textbooks at the end of semesters. If textbooks or materials are lost or damaged, students will be asked to make restitution at the current cost.
    Technology is a powerful tool that is embedded throughout learning at HKA. Through this tool, students can enhance their learning, communicate in a variety of ways and be creative. HKA endeavours to approach technology holistically, discussing strategies to use it effectively whilst balancing use of devices and supporting interaction between students without devices. Digital well-being and digital citizenship are built around the educational programmes for all grades to explore and discuss pertinent issues around the use of technology. 

    Access to technology and tools is enabled incrementally dependant on the grade level of a student. For example, students below Grade 9 do not have admin rights on their computers, but from Grade 9 onwards we support students with actively managing their digital devices.
    HKA's approach to technology can be grouped under the following 3 headings:

    Supervision: All teachers using the internet with their students will attempt to supervise that useage and educate the students to help them understand what is and what is not acceptable. HKA actively monitors digital spaces that students use and restricts access to content deemed unsuitable for students. Teachers, students and families are involved in this process as we aim to keep the students safe online and supported whilst engaging with technology.

    Education: HKA uses Common Sense Education to provide a framework for digital citizen discussions across the school. School counsellors actively engage with students around topics connected to technology use, and there are advisory and well-being classes dedicated to these topics. Teachers also incorporate digital citizenship into their daily classes in authentic ways. HKA utilises the SAMR framework to plan engaging and meaningful learning activities using technology, as well as building core digital literacy skills with the students. Technology training is given to both staff, students and families throughout the year.

    Personal Responsibility: Ultimately students are responsible for their actions. It is hoped that a combination of education reinforced with teacher and parental involvement, will eliminate any potential problems. Students and families also sign and explore the Responsible User Agreement (RUA) on a yearly basis to understand our common approach to technology. The RUA can be found below. 
    Students and families can access a wide range of support to deal with issues that may arise around technology. This support includes teachers, members of HKA's leadership team the counsellors and HKA's Technology Director.

    Responsible User Agreement: 
    HKA utilises technology throughout the organisation to facilitate school operations and teaching and learning. The use of network facilities and school devices shall be consistent with operational needs and the curriculum adopted by the school, as well as the instructional needs, learning styles, and developmental levels of students.

    Network and Monitoring
    The school will endeavor to provide the most efficient network possible to support the HKA community. To do this the school reserves the right to log network use, to observe files and activity, and to monitor file server space utilisation by school users.

    The electronic information available to students does not imply endorsement of the content by the school, nor does the school guarantee the accuracy of information received on the Internet. The school shall not be responsible for any information that may be lost, damaged or unavailable when using the network or for any information that is retrieved via the Internet.

    Network Use
    Students are expected to act in a responsible, ethical and legal manner in accordance with school policy, accepted rules of network etiquette, and local and international law. As network bandwidth is a shared resource, students should only utilise bandwidth for HKA activities.

    Personal and intellectual property
    All school related work and projects must acknowledge sources and references accurately. Students must observe all local and international copyright laws, the HKA fair use guidelines and online systems terms and conditions.

    HKA will only provide approved and legal software to be used on school systems. Illegal or stolen software must not be installed. Students should seek approval from the Technology department before installing any additional software.

    To the greatest extent possible, users of the network will be protected from harassment or unwanted / unsolicited communication. Any network user who receives threatening or unwelcome communications shall immediately bring them to the attention of a member of the Technology department and administration.

    Students utilise numerous passwords relating to the use of Technology (wifi, Google, fileserver etc), these should not be compromised by sharing them. Network credentials (usernames and passwords) are confidential and due care should be taken to keep this information secure.

    Students should take appropriate care of their computer. IT equipment is not insured for damage. Negligent damage will be the responsibility of students e.g. water/coffee. Liquid damage is the most common cause of damage to student computers. All claims will be dealt with on a case by case scenario by the Director of Technology.

    Loss of laptop
    Any computer reported lost MUST be IMMEDIATELY recorded with the police and a hardcopy report from the Technology Veracross page supplied to the Director of Technology in order to claim on insurance. If a laptop is lost due to theft/negligence and the student is at fault, the current insurance excess of HK$3000 is payable by the student's family.

    Families will be given further information regarding the use of technology during orientation and through the school year. A technology welcome email is also sent out to all new families with a breakdown of key systems used at HKA. If you have questions or need support please contact or drop into the tech centre on the 2nd floor. The department also offers wider support to families through home visits which can be arranged via email.
    Co-curricular Activities
    HKA runs an extensive range of After School Activities (ASA's), Sports, Secondary School Clubs, Mother Tongue and Performing Arts programmes during Semester 1 & Semester 2, we well as Easter and Summer Camp options. For more information please visit our Co-curricular page.

    Primary School
    In the Primary School, the homework is designed to:

    - build on and reinforces skills already introduced
    - deepen a student’s understanding in ways that are meaningful and relevant
    - support independent reading

    Specialist subject homework may also be assigned eg.
    • musical education. Students studying an instrument are expected to practice at home as assigned.
    • second language acquisition. Students in a second language programme will have homework daily from G1 onwards
    • reinforce keyboarding skills (G3 onwards)
    • other assignments as co-ordinated with specialist subject teachers
    The amount of homework varies by grade level. The general year group homework time frame expectations per day are:

    Pre-K: parents are asked to read to their Pre-K students every day and discuss the day’s events as appropriate.Periodically, children will be asked to do an activity at home or bring in an item from home that is related to the activities at school.

    K: 10 minutes of independent reading starting fall to mid-year
    G1: 20-30 minutes (including 10 - 15 minutes of independent reading)
    G2: 30-40 minutes (including 15 - 20 minutes of independent reading)
    G3: 45-60 minutes (including 15 - 20 minutes of independent reading)
    G4: 55-70 minutes (including 20 - 30 minutes of independent reading)
    G5: 60-90 minutes (including 20 - 30 minutes of independent reading)

    The above guidelines may vary from student to student and from assign­ment to assignment. If your child is spending an excessive amount of time on homework please consult with their teacher. Homework should generally not be given on the weekend of during the holidays, is such homework is assigned it is not expected back until one day after the return to school. Please consult your child’s teacher if you have any questions.

    Secondary Homework Purpose Statement
    The purpose of homework is to encourage thinking about learning and to improve the skills of self-directed learning. Homework is also meant to improve a student’s meta-cognitive skills and provide opportunities for stu­dents to self-assess their understanding towards specific learning goals. Homework will be differentiated for students and will be guided by the fol­lowing questions/statements posed by HKA teachers:
    • Is there anything you need to complete in order to be ready for the next time this class meets?
    • Is there anything you feel you need to practice on your own that will help you fell more secure in the learning you are working on right now?
    • Is there anything we have been learning that you find interesting and would like to spend more time on tonight/this week?
    • Is there anything you need to prepare to be able to continue to learn tomorrow?
    • Do some thinking about what we have been learning today. Bring any questions or new ideas with you when you return to our next class together.
    HKA Co-Curricular Activities and Eligibility
    A co-curricular activity is described as a long-term commitment to a spe­cific pursuit that lasts for a couple of months or more. Examples of these activities are a dramatic performance, a sports team, Global Issues Net­work (GIN), debate, etc. This does not include events like a school social or dance, or coffeehouse performances.

    Prior to the start of co-curricular activities a student will be required to complete and submit an application of intent to participate to the relevant member of HKA staff or faculty. If at the time of the application or during the term of the activity more than one teacher expresses concerns about a student, a meeting will be held to discuss whether it is in a student’s best academic interest to begin or continue participating in that activity. This decision will be individualised and will be based on prioritising a student’s academic interests.

    In order for students to participate in after-school activities students must maintain a positive attendance and discipline record. This will be reviewed when the application of intent to participate is submitted, and again during the interim academic checks.
    The Secondary Principal reserves the right to remove a student from par­ticipation in any co-curricular activity for severe academic, behavioural or disciplinary concerns.

    Social Events
    Periodically, student organisations may sponsor social events on campus after school hours. The Secondary Principal must approve these events beforehand, and the events must be sponsored by staff members, and chaperoned by teachers, staff or parents. School rules apply for these events, and are in effect for the duration of the event. These events are for HKA students only, unless the Principal has approved any outside guests ahead of the event.

    For social events for students in Grades 6-8, permission forms must be signed by parents and submitted by the designated due date. Any forms submitted after this time will not be accepted unless approved by the Principal. Students are expected to depart social events within 15 minutes of the end of the event. Students who misbehave or who are not picked up on time may be prohibited from attending future social events.

    Grade level socials are sometimes organised by parents and, if on campus, these are organised through the facilities and operations team as a community booking. Parents should talk to HKA reception to find out more about this.

    Tutoring or giving private lessons is not encouraged as a method to address student academic shortfalls. Students are urged to meet with their teacher if they believe they need additional instruction.
    However, parents may decide that a tutor is appropriate for their child. HKA is not responsible to find or to vouch for tutors that parents may wish to engage, however the school will attempt to assist finding a qualified educator when possible.
    Tutoring for pay (by any HKA staff) shall not occur during the school day or on school grounds nor may a teacher or co-teacher tutor his/her own students or grade level. Requests for HKA staff to tutor an HKA student must be submitted in writing to the Director of Learner Support who will review the request and see if it is appropriate for HKA staff to accept the tutor position.

    Secondary School students are urged to meet with their teacher if they believe they need ad­ditional instruction. However, parents may decide that a tutor is appropri­ate for their child. HKA is not responsible to find or to vouch for tutors that parents may wish to engage, however the Director of Learning Support will attempt to assist a family in finding a qualified educator when possible. Tutoring for pay by any HKA staff shall not occur during the school day nor may a teacher or a co-teacher tutor his/her own students. Tutoring by HKA staff is not permitted on the HKA campus.
    Primary School students at HKA will complete a portfolio during each year of their attendance at the school. This provides a record for students, teachers and parents alike, allowing all to be able to see and reflect upon student strengths, developing skills, goals for the year, and improvements/gains made during the year.

    The portfolio is developed in soft and hard copy. In keeping with our technology focus from Pre-K to G5. IT sessions are scheduled to introduce initial set-up, monitor progress made during the year, and to ensure that students are given appropriate guidance and support as needed in the develop­ment of their electronic section of their portfolio.

    Within the portfolio, students are expected to reflect their academic, personal and learner profile goals for the year, and to show and explain how these are being accomplished. In addition, examples of work from each of the subjects they study, identifying the IB learner profile traits followed at HKA and are shared with parents using SeeSaw (Pre-K - G3) and websites (G4 - G5) throughout the school year.

    Students share and explain these portfolios with parents during parent conferences and again in a student-led portfolio sharing conference with parents at the end of the school year as evidence of their learning and the process of learning.

    Reporting and Conferences
    Reporting on student progress is provided through a combination of portfolios, written reports and conferences that assess students using broad expectations. At the end of the first and second semesters there are written reports. In addition, there are parent- student- teacher conferences held mid-semester that include the parents, students, (K through to G5) and teachers. For Pre-K the conferences are for parents and teachers only. A student-led portfolio sharing conference is scheduled for all classes at the end of the school year. A parent may request a conference at any time in the school year to discuss their child’s progress.

    If a new student has been in attendance fewer than six weeks into a semester, they will not receive a formal written progress report. Teachers will either provide an update report or will schedule a conference to notify parents of their child’s progress.

    Note: All requests for school reports outside the ordinary schedule must be directed to the PS school office, not the classroom teacher. Similarly, if you need forms to be completed for another school, please deliver them to the PS or SS Principals, as appropriate.

    Publication of Online Reports
    Report cards are available online at the end of each semester. Parents are advised in advance when online reports will be available. SS reports are published in ManageBac with PS reports available via Veracross.

    Throughout the year, SS parents and students should monitor student prog­ress via the web-based reporting system, ManageBac, and are encouraged to contact teachers with any questions or concerns. Semester report cards are dis­tributed electronically to all students in January and June of the academic year and semester grades are placed on a student’s final transcript in Grades 9-12. Parent-Teacher Conferences are held approximately half-way through each semester to provide feedback on student progress. For any students who have been in attendance for less than six weeks prior to the end of the semester, teachers will either provide a narrative comment on the student’s progress and/or schedule a conference with the parent and student.

    Note: All requests for school reports or recommendations must be di­rected to the Secondary counselling office, not the classroom teacher. A minimum of one week must be given to ensure ample time for the school to complete the documentation.

    Standardised Testing and External Assessments
    HKA administers several standardised tests throughout the year. The purpose of administering these tests is to help HKA’s administrators benchmark HKA as a school against peer schools. Because HKA’s classes are small and the cohorts change frequently as people relocate, standardised test results must be viewed with caution. For individual students, performance may vary greatly depending on a wide variety of factors and may or may not accurately reflect a student’s learning or capacity to learn. Other assessment tools are far more relevant, immediate and accurate. However, standardised testing does have in tracking the “big picture” over time for the school as a whole.

    The ISA (International School’s Assessment) standardised test is admin­istered to all students in Grade 3 to Grade 10 over a 2-day period in the fall of each year. The test is used by international schools around the world to assess students in reading, writing and mathematics. ISA results are returned to the school in February, and HKA distributes a copy of the student’s individual test results to parents.

    The MAP assessment is a standardised test is admin­istered to all students in Grade 3 to Grade 5 in mathematics over a 2-day period in the fall of each year. The MAP measures as students currents knowledge, measures growth over time and helps to inform teacher instructions. The test is used by teachers to assess students strengths and areas to be developed. Data is analysed in comparison to students day to day performance.

    The ERB (Educational Research Bureau) writing assessment measures student proficiency in writing to a prompt over a 2-day period. The writing process includes an opportunity for students to plan and draft on day one and revise and write a final essay on day two. Two external examiners read each essay and score it against a 6-trait rubric.

    The PSAT (Pre-Scholastic Aptitude Test) is a precursor to the SAT, common­ly taken by students applying to colleges and universities in the United States. Students in Grades 10 and 11 complete this assessment as an op­portunity to practice and prepare for the SAT taken in Grades 11 and/or 12.
    HKA is also a testing centre for both the SAT and ACT (American College Testing) assessments, prerequisites for many American colleges and uni­versities. Both exams are held multiple times a year at the school.
    Please feel free to contact the Primary or Secondary School Principal with any questions about standardised testing at HKA.
    Highlights of the Year
    HKA celebrates major events in the Chinese calendar, and supports a broad understanding of the culture we live in. To support this, field trips, perfor­mances and/or school events are organised throughout the school year – particularly in conjunction with major celebrations such as the Lunar New Year and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

    The school will periodically publish information about culturally significant events in the local calendar in order to heighten awareness and understanding. Please check the weekly hkaNEWS for information every Friday for up-to-date information.

    On campus all-school events each year include:

    Moon Festival
    Moon Festival falls in September in accordance with the lunar calendar. On the evening of Moon Festival, families often celebrate on area beaches with picnics and lanterns. The day following Moon Festival is usually a public holiday.

    HKA families often gather together at beaches to share the fun together. For more information about the Moon Festival celebration, please contact the Parent, Teacher and Community Organisation (PTCO) at

    Annual Community Fair.
    Families share food and dress in their national costume to represent their family’s culture(s) or home country(s). In addition to enjoying the community’s favourite foods, the fair includes performances and and are encouraged to bring in a favourite dish to share. Parent volunteers organise tables to share their national food and culture. For more information about the Community Fair, please contact the PTCO at

    Lunar New Year (LNY)
    LNY falls in January or February, depending on the Lunar calendar. Students dress in Chinese costume (easily found throughout the city leading up to the holiday) and different classes perform songs, dances, poetry, and skits with their Mandarin classes to celebrate our host culture.
    Primary School:
    PS assemblies occur on Friday mornings. Each class is responsible for programming and running one assembly each year. In addition, there are all-school assemblies a few times each year. Individual classroom teachers will circulate designated dates for each class so that you can attend your child’s assembly. Primary assemblies begin at 8:10am; EC (PK1-G1) and Up­per Primary (G2-5) assemblies are held on alternating Fridays. Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend assemblies. Siblings are also welcome to attend EC and upper primary assemblies. Parents must let the classroom teacher know at least two days in advance that their child will be attending. Parents are also responsible for taking their child to and from the assembly. Student work missed while attending a sibling’s assembly will need to be made up at an appropriate time as deemed by the classroom teacher.

    Secondary School:
    SS assemblies take place periodically on a Wednesday. They are led by the Student Council and are an opportunity to celebrate student achievement in curricular and extra-curricular activities. Secondary assemblies are normally student orientated and student only events. 

    Celebrations, Birthdays and Gifts

    HKA has a library book gift programme to honour children’s birthdays at school. In lieu of sending cakes or other treats to school, we ask parents to donate a library book in their child’s name. At each assembly, we will have a ceremony at which we recognise the birthdays of PS students.

    We request that parents mail birthday party invitations from home rather than distribute them at school. We recognise that it is not always possible to invite everyone in the class, but it can be hurtful for students who have not been invited to see others receiving invitations in front of them. Gifts for other students should not be distributed at school. As HKA is an inclusive and community focused school, for birthday parties held on campus, hosts should invite either the whole class or all children of the same gender. Should you have any questions regarding this please contact HKA Operations on 2655 1111.
    We discourage gifts to school staff members. If you or your child would like to give something to a teacher, we recommend a handmade gift or a book donated to the school library in the teacher’s name.

    Guidelines for Audience Participation for School Events
    HKA welcomes community participation throughout the school year for a range of events and performances, e.g. assemblies, concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions, Cultural Food Festival, etc. Audience participation is essential to the success for all events and should be in keeping with the school’s values about a respectful community.

    Please refrain from using mobile phones, speaking, entering or exiting (except at ap­propriate times) or leaving your seat during performances. During in-school performances teachers are expected to supervise all students regardless of grade level and to sit within close proximity of their students to ensure their participation is in the spirit of a respectful community.

    Please note: No food or drink may be brought into the HKA Theatre.