Canadian International School of Hong Kong

A Leading IB World School in Hong Kong

The Canadian International School of Hong Kong CDNIS is one of the most recognised and reputable International Baccalaureate schools encompassing the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the IB Diploma Programme (DP). Since its development in 1991, the independent school has quickly become known for its innovative and future-driven approach, serving as a well-respected industry leader. They foster long-lasting teacher-parent relationships, with over 50% of graduates in the Class of 2019 having been with the school for an impressive 12 years or more, and a student body of 40 nationalities. They currently have over 1800 students and 300 staff members, and 15 different grades coexisting on the same campus to encourage intercultural and inspiring school relationships.

What's special about the school:

  • A key feature of this school is that it is the only school outside of Canada that allows students to graduate with both the IB diploma and the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Students can start from Years 1 to 5 for the PYP programme, Years 6-10 for the MYP programme and Years 11 to 12 for the DP programme. Years 9-12 are also enrolled in the OSSD. 
  • Alongside these two programmes, their curriculum is further committed to Chinese (Mandarin) language integration, and they pride themselves on having one of the finest Chinese Studies Departments among English schools in Hong Kong. Oral and written Chinese are interwoven in their classes and they cater to all language levels from beginners to native speakers by using a two-stream approach: language A Stream is for fluent speakers, and language B stream is for emergent speakers). 
  • Chinese culture is also emphasised through the extracurricular activities offered by the Chinese Culture Academy and the language exchange programmes that students can apply to during school breaks. In August 2022, the school implemented a bilingual option for their Early Years programme (3-4 year-olds) using 50/50 English and Chinese content.
  • Another interesting aspect is their commitment to using digital learning across their curriculums. They have been named as an Apple Distinguished School since 1998 – essentially schools that utilise Apple technology to fuel innovation and educational excellence. Students can use iPads as early as Year 1 to develop digital portfolios and Mac laptops from Year 4 onwards. Google Educational Apps are applied to encourage productive learning, and there are even robotics programmes for students in Years 3 to 5 where they can investigate underwater robots in STEAM education. The school nominates their top students to a Gifted Students programme through the City University’s Engineering programme.

School Details:

Websitehttps://www.cdnis.edu.hk/
Phone2525 7088
Emailadmissions@cdnis.edu.hk
School Campus Address36 Nam Long Shan Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
CurriculumIB Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP), Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
Language of InstructionEnglish
AdmissionsThe starting age is 3 years old.
School HoursFor students in full-day classes (Prep to Grade 12), classes begin at 7:40am and finish at 2:45pm. For students in half-day classes, (Early Years 1 and Early Years 2), class times are 7:40am-10:30am and 11:30am-2:20pm.

We work closely with the Canadian International School of Hong Kong and its admissions team, making sure our parents get plenty of school information and admissions support. Sign up for future CDNIS events or contact our school team now. 

Malvern College

Combining Academic Excellence With Holistic Development

Malvern College aims to provide an academically rigorous and fulfilling education that nurtures happy, resilient and independent individuals. Their mission is to equip students with cross-cultural and international awareness, which they achieve through the provision of an engaging, diverse, and internationally recognised curriculum. Although the school only opened in August 2018, it has a strong partnership with its parent school Malvern College UK, one of the most highly reputable and established International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in the UK. To develop the international outlook of its students, Malvern College Hong Kong provides opportunities to visit this UK campus school along with other sister schools in China as part of their residential boarding trip programmes. The school currently accepts students from the ages of 5-18, and most pupils have an international background.

What’s Special About The School:

  • A key feature of the school is its commitment to developing globally aware, respectful and well-rounded individuals.
  • The ‘Malvern ethos’ centres around 11 pillars including kindness, self-awareness, open-mindedness and humility.
  • In addition to their intellectually challenging IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP), Malvern College also offers a wide variety of co-curricular activities including art, music, theatre, sports, IT and inter-house competitions.
  • They have a proven record of excellence in the Sciences and strongly believe in incorporating STEM as part of their pedagogical approach.
  • They also have a low teacher-pupil ratio of 1:10 and utilise an inquiry-based, experiential learning environment to develop independent critical thinkers.
  • Another noteworthy element of the school is its incredible, one-of-a-kind, seven-storey campus.
  • It is conveniently located beside the coastal area of the Tolo Harbour near the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Education University of Hong Kong, and encompasses 26,000 square metres for its primary and secondary schools.
  • We were highly impressed by its sports and recreational facilities, including its Forest School programme for the younger years, its sky-high Astroturf rooftop pitch and its 25-meter indoor heated swimming pool.

School Details:

Websitehttps://www.malverncollege.org.hk/
Phone3898 4688
Emailadmissions@malverncollege.org.hk
School Campus Address3 Fo Chun Road, Pak Shek Kok, New Territories, Hong Kong
CurriculumIB Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP)
Language of InstructionEnglish
AdmissionsThe starting age is 5 years old.
School HoursThe normal school hours are 8:00 am to 3:00 pm with co-curricular activities from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

We work closely with Malvern College and its admissions team, making sure our parents get plenty of school information and admissions support, school experience day and private school tours. Sign up for the upcoming Malvern College events below or contact our team now. 

Top 10 Fun Activities to Practice Mandarin Chinese This Summer

Summer is already here…which means an abundance of sun, picnics, water sports and of course, lots of fun! However, with this also comes the worry that children will forget about their Mandarin Chinese language learning that us parents have worked so hard to maintain. Do not fret, we are here to tell you that children can have a splendid summer whilst continuing to learn Mandarin Chinese! We have curated for you a list of top 10 fun activities you can do with your child today.

1.       Dance to a Chinese playlist

It is always good to exercise during the summer, now that children finally have some time off! Why not dance to some Mandarin Chinese songs in the background? Some parents may think that this is passive learning and children will not actually absorb the words, however, it can actually be a super effective way of memorising information. Parents can try to dedicate certain dance moves to certain words so that every time children think of the dance moves, they can relate it back to the new words they have learnt. This association technique is a well-known phenomenon for memorisation. Here is an example of a playlist you could use for your child.

2.       Singing in Mandarin Chinese

Singing songs that are upbeat and that have a recognisable tune can help children to cement their articulation and pronunciation of words. Parents can also sing popular Mandarin songs to their children or have a little Mandarin Chinese family karaoke session. Here is a jolly playlist of sing-along songs for children.

3.       Make some Chinese friends

Although the pandemic has limited our opportunities to travel and learn about new cultures, it does not mean that we cannot gain exposure to Mandarin Chinese through meeting and conversing with some Chinese friends! How about having a summer pen pal? ‘Global pen friends’ is full of children wanting to meet others around the world, many of whom speak and write in Mandarin. You can also find pen pals based on their age or region they are in.

4.       Watch Chinese movies and TV shows

What better time to binge-watch Netflix shows together as a family than when children are free during their holidays? Watching shows is a fantastic way to pick up pronunciation and articulation, not to mention learn about different cultures too. If you are not sure which shows would be developmentally appropriate or suitable for your children, you can head onto our other blog ‘Top 10 Chinese TV Shows for Mandarin Learning (For your children and the whole family!)’ to learn more.

5.       Read Chinese comics and books together

Similar to watching Chinese movies and TV shows, we suggest that parents spend this quality time reading Chinese books together with their children. If children are bored of reading text-heavy material, you can do a family trip of heading to the library or bookstore together to locate some interesting Chinese comics to read together. There are also many audiobooks available on different apps for children to listen to which will help improve their pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese words.

6.       Camping with Chinese Games

I am not sure about you, but this is definitely one of my favourite past times! Camping is always an enjoyable, wholesome outdoor activity to do with friends and family. It is a great way to experience nature and teach children the names of different flowers, plants, insects and animals in Mandarin Chinese. To maximise their language learning in this environment, you can even bring Chinese flashcards and boardgames to play in your tent. For ideas, you can check out our set of carefully curated and hand-illustrated Bilingual A-Z cards here.

7.       Cooking Chinese food together

It is not a summer without some creativity! Why not pick some traditional Chinese recipes to cook with the family? Parents can print recipes written in Chinese and speak to children using instructional Mandarin Chinese. Children will learn lots of new terms and vocabulary in the process, and also gain some functional cooking skills along the way too! They can also follow YouTube recipes with you to improve their oral, listening and language comprehension skills.

8.       Change the language on your technological devices

It is inevitable that children will have some screen time throughout the summer. To facilitate their learning, parents can change the language on their phones to Mandarin Chinese so that they effortlessly pick up new words while they are at it. You can even change this on your laptop screens. Children may struggle with this at first, but will learn the words ‘send, exit, next, delete’ etc very quickly.

9.       Downloading Mandarin Chinese learning games

Following the topic of screen time, there are many effective language learning apps tailored for children specifically. With these, you won’t have to worry about your child seeing inappropriate content or ads, or playing dangerous online games. Bilingual Chinese learning apps such as Miaomiao’s Chinese for kids or Hao-Ming Yeh can allow children to learn vocabulary based on themes such as nature or animals. They are designed for children aged 3-8 and are suitable for parents who may not be native speakers of the language as children navigate these apps themselves.

10.   A trip to the park or zoo

Language learning can be a walk in the park…quite literally! Parents can bring children to parks to stimulate their senses and teach them the names of different animals in Mandarin Chinese. To take this a step further, children can take pictures of the things they see, print these pictures out and document them in Mandarin Chinese as part of a little journal they keep. Kowloon Park is full of plants, different bird species and even flamingos that children will be excited to see.

Why is ‘STEAM’ important in early childhood education?

Over the last decade, STEAM has gained significant momentum in the education field, attracting the attention of students, policymakers, and educators alike. Many parents have asked us what STEAM is, what it has to do with their pre-schooler and why it is so important to integrate into early childhood education.

What is it?

Put simply, STEAM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. STEAM education is holistic in that there is no one method of inquiry for tackling these subjects; all require creative processes and persistent investigation. STEAM seeks to blur the lines between all these subjects to foster interdisciplinary knowledge.

Why is it important?

In today’s world, it is not enough to merely equip children with academic knowledge confined to the four walls of a classroom. The development of technology and innovation in the 21st century requires that children are able to adapt to the changing needs of the world. The best way to prepare our children, according to President of Enterra Solutions Stephen F. DeAngelis, is to integrate holistic STEAM programs into your child’s early education, as this “prepares students for life, regardless of the profession they choose to follow.”

Why should it be implemented in early childhood education?

It develops a solid foundation of pre-existing skills:
To many parents’ surprise, children actually have the ability to learn STEAM skills even during preschool ages. In one study, researchers showed one-year old children a car hovering in mid-air. These toddlers often dropped the car to explore the concept of gravity. The STEAM framework builds on these skills that children already have during early development. Using each of the five subjects, STEAM helps to nurture problem-solving, critical thinking, awareness of scientific and mathematical ideas and basic executive functioning.

It develops transferable skills:
In contrast to traditional learning, STEAM education integrates all the subjects together to foster inter-disciplinary knowledge and experiential learning. As a result, children gain transferable skills that they can later employ throughout multiple areas of their lives. They also gain crucial life skills early in their lives, such as perseverance, creativity and working as a team.

It promotes child-centred learning:
STEAM builds on preschool children’s innate eagerness to explore by exposing them to novel objects and ideas, making the process of learning both effective and enjoyable. For example, if a class of children were interested in learning about nature and how things grow, a teacher could support this by having the children plant, grow, nurture and be responsible for their very own plants. Children could measure the growth of their plants and observe the factors that aid their growth. This is a STEAM process of investigation, observation and measurement.

It encourages hands-on learning:
STEAM can be classed as a form of inquiry-based learning. This means children are often active in their learning and are not just taught what to learn, but how to learn, how to find solutions and how to test out new ideas. With hands-on learning, children can tackle spatial awareness and geometry skills through exploring size, colours, patterns and sequencing, which can all be explored in science, maths or art. A recent study found significant differences between a group of students who took STEAM programs and a group of students who took science textbook-based programs. Those in the STEAM group had significantly improved levels of scientific creativity after taking the course, including greater verbal and figural creativity.

We understand the importance of STEAM education for your child’s learning journey. We also understand the importance of bilingualism in the modern world, and its significance in nurturing children with an open view of the world. We therefore incorporate STEAM all year round in our preschools and Kindergartens using the instructional medium of Chinese Mandarin. Our bilingual English and Chinese Mandarin immersion summer camps also focus on STEAM activities and dual-language acquisition. For more information, click here.

What is early literacy and why are early literacy practices important?

Contrary to popular belief, early literacy, or emergent literacy, is not merely teaching reading and writing. The focus is rather to train your child so that they are equipped with a solid set of pre-literacy skills to draw upon when they are ready to read. It is particularly important to build early literacy during the childhood years, as this will help to maximise their potential in later years. During the ages of zero to three, a critical window of opportunity arises, as a child’s brain is two-and-a-half times more active than an adult’s. The brain is operating at an extremely rapid pace, rendering this period crucial for learning. Recent research demonstrates this, highlighting that early literacy skills predict literacy in later life even after controlling for socioeconomic status and IQ.

So, what does this look like in practice?


There are five core early literacy practices you can start doing with your child today: talking, singing, reading, writing and playing.

Talking
Developing early literacy practices can start from anything as basic as simply talking to your children or involving them in environments where they may be constantly surrounded by conversation. Many of us parents have witnessed moments, either to our delight or dismay, where children have suddenly blurted out a word for the first time or repeated a word over and over that they have learnt. This is no surprise, given children naturally observe, remember, and mimic words that they hear in different contexts.

Singing
Likewise, early literacy practices can also involve singing to children, which is why many preschools and kindergartens incorporate nursery rhymes, breaking down every sound, letter, and syllable to help children recognise rhythm and articulation.  

Reading
In terms of early reading, the best way to develop this is through shared reading. Shared reading is also known as interactive reading, as children share the experience of reading with the support of a teacher. Often, the language used in books is richer than the language used in normal conversation. Therefore, the benefit of shared reading is that the teacher may guide the child through techniques such as alliteration, rhyming and onomatopoeia. They may read with expression and emphasis, at times dramatically even, so that children develop early phonological awareness of linguistic elements.

Writing
As both reading and writing are vital ways to communicate, it is important to encourage your child to mark-make, scribble and draw pictures. Writing is dependent on fine and gross motor skills, which these activities help to facilitate. Eventually, when your child is comfortable with drawing pictures and symbols, you can gradually add new words and point out the sound of these with them.

Playing
Finally, play is an effective method for developing all of the above, as play enables children to explore ideas and make sense of the world around them. Play provides the platform for which children can learn to express themselves. In play, children will use objects to symbolically represent other things. This lays concrete foundations for the later use of abstract symbols such as letters, helping to enhance literacy skills in the long term. If you would like to read more about the benefits of play, you can head to our other blog titled ‘The Power of Play’.

There are factors to support the effectiveness of early literacy, including the use of high-quality teaching instruction, close teacher and child relationships as well as consistent exposure to safe learning environments. At Mulberry House, we promote early literacy development through our holistic, bilingual immersion environment. Our teachers are knowledgeable and certified, and are able to passionately guide your children through early literacy practices. If you would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Bloom KKCA Academy

A Future-Oriented School Prioritising Innovation

Situated in Shep Kip Mei, Bloom KKCA was founded by educators, engineers, and entrepreneurs. It prides itself on its educators who range from NASA engineers to reading specialists. The school currently accepts children in Grades 1-6. Although they adopt the US Common Core Curriculum, teaching is conducted through the mediums of English and Mandarin. They also follow the Next Generation Science curriculum and interweave a unique three-core program: their academic program, their positive education program, and their Bloom Innovation program. The philosophy of this school focuses on maximising engagement rather than traditional rote learning alone. As such, they offer hands-on learning, weekly field trips, games, multimedia learning, projects that collect raw data from the environment, and even internships.

 

What’s special about the school:

  • A key feature of the school is its project and research-based approach, seeking to develop children into pioneers of social innovation.
  • They prioritise statistics and data science above the accepted trigonometry maths.
  • They view media literacy as fundamental for critical thinking and acknowledge how it has been exempt from standard teaching programs.
  • They consistently update their curriculum based on conversations with experts in the field as well as students themselves.
  • The level of innovation is unmissable, not to mention their world-class STEM program drawn from the ‘Next Generation Science Standards’; a gold standard curriculum.

School Details:

Websitehttps://bloom.edu.hk/about
Phone21104788
Emailadmissions@bloom.edu.hk
School Address7 Pui Tak Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong
CurriculumInterweaves a unique three-core program: academic program, positive education program and Bloom innovation program.
Language of InstructionEnglish and Mandarin (Simplified Chinese characters). 
AdmissionsGrades 1 – 6. The starting age is 6 years old
School HoursThe normal school hours are 8.30am – 3.30pm.

We work closely with Bloom KKCA and its admissions team, making sure our parents get plenty of school information and admissions support, school experience day and schools. Sign up for the upcoming Bloom KKCA events below. 

× Chat with us!