Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong: Going Beyond Traditional Education to Transform Learning

“Your child will love coming to school and learning with us.”

School is a place where the building blocks of knowledge are established. Though there are different benefits of going to school, the main purpose of schools is to educate students and to introduce them to a world that is bigger than theirs. With an aim to conquer the world and achieve their dreams, today’s children will benefit from a school that offers them the liberty to follow their passions and explore the world while gaining the fundamentals of a great education too. Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong (NAIS HK), has been transforming learning by thinking beyond a traditional education since 2014.

NAIS HK believes that the world is quite literally a student’s playground and that most begin weaving their future dreams fairly early in their school life. Believing in its students and their capabilities to achieve anything, the school encourages its students to step out of their comfort zone, be ambitious and try new things. The school aims to ignite the curiosity of its students through providing unique opportunities and experiences – be it their extra-curricular offerings (over 120) or their collaborations with world-renowned organisations like The Juilliard School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or UNICEF.

Engaging Learning Environments

Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong is part of a global Nord Anglia Education (NAE) family, which includes 56 premium international schools located in 27 countries across the Americas, Europe, China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. NAE teachers and school staff look after more than 53,000 students globally. Its unique Global Campus platform allows these students to then collaborate via inter-school competitions, projects, online discussions, and digital interactions, as well as expeditions and regional festivals.

NAIS HK’s aim is to support every student to be the best version of themselves and achieve more than they thought possible. This is reflected in the vision of the school:

  • Develop socially confident global citizens who are creative, inquiring and collaborative
  • Treat each child as an individual, drawing on their own strengths and personality 

NAIS HK offers an all-round through-train education for students aged 3-18, with specialist teachers in Art, Music, Drama, PE, and Mandarin from the very start of a child’s educational journey. The school follows the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, English National Curriculum, IGCSEs and IB Diploma (NAIS is pursuing authorisation as an IB World school), with three campuses across Hong Kong; two Pre-schools, in Sai Kung and Tai Tam, and one Primary and Secondary campus, in Lam Tin.

All three campuses feature top-class facilities, for example, large multi-purpose indoor and outdoor spaces, swimming pool, outdoor play areas, climbing walls, library, learning centre, drama studio, cafeteria, Makerspace, and specialist music and art rooms. The Pre-school campuses feature tailor-made child-friendly furniture, learning and play spaces, and amazing sea views at Sai Kung and Tai Tam – sure to inspire learning and a love for nature.

Recruiting the Best Teachers from Around the World

Recruitment of the highest quality staff is a priority here, with NAIS HK known as a destination employer for teachers around the world. The quality of teaching and learning has been validated by regular parent surveys and inspections. Nord Anglia Education offers a flagship professional development initiative designed to bolster the skills and knowledge of their staff. Based in Oxford, its dedicated Education Team have unmatched experience in leading innovation and school development. Nord Anglia University (NAU) is an exclusive e-learning platform for all NAE staff to access specially-designed study courses, best practice, research, discussions, and seminars. NAU inspires teachers to excel, and to contribute to the ongoing improvement of teaching theory and practice. NAIS HK’s teachers and support staff are dedicated to maintaining and building their expertise through teacher-training conferences, in-school workshops, online discussion forums, networks and access to world-leading experts. Furthermore, King’s College London offers an innovative Executive Master’s degree course in International Education as a part-time programme specifically designed for teachers and staff working in Nord Anglia schools worldwide.

The Astute Educator and Trailblazer of NAIS HK

Brian Cooklin, the Founding Principal of NAIS HK brings with him an extensive experience. Holding 42 years of experience in teaching he has served as Principal at schools in the UK, Mexico and Hong Kong. While offering his services at Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong’s original Primary and Secondary school in Lam Tin, he founded two other Pre-school (kindergarten) campuses and is seeking further expansion for the school. He has brought his wide experience to NAIS HK in providing the highest quality of teaching and learning.

Under the guidance of Brian Cooklin, the school enjoys a reputation that is unmatchable.  He has made sure that the school offers its best.

An Enhanced Curricula with World-leading Collaborators

NAIS HK follows very unique academic curricula, educating its students for the ever-changing world. The teaching methodology here does not just end with grades; it includes the overall development of the individual. It combines an international curriculum with the respected English National Curriculum and its own contemporary approach to learning.

Nord Anglia has exclusive collaborations with two of the world’s most prestigious organisations, The Juilliard School; giving students a unique opportunity to learn about music through iconic works and regular connections with musicians; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); bringing a new approach to learning the interdisciplinary subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM). Each year, students from the school are given the opportunity to visit MIT, giving them the chance to meet leading researchers and take part in activities such as bio-engineering, coding, and robotics. MIT also sets three challenges for the whole school to take part in every year.

Additionally, the school’s partnership with UNICEF gives students the opportunity to play a leading role in the global discussions about some of the key issues affecting our world. This also includes overseas visits to engage with and influence world leaders at annual regional and global United Nations summits.

Nurturing Children with Tailored Educational Approaches

The best way to teach any student is to teach them the way they learn. The individualised learning approach at NAIS HK helps all students to progress at their own pace. The school believes that every child has unlimited potential. Hence, the school has introduced tailor-made teaching techniques to prepare students to excel while retaining their own individual strengths and passions. To us, greater personalisation means greater results”, quotes the school authorities.

Nord Anglia Education has adapted itself to embrace its students where they are academically, socially and in terms of their community. For instance, NAE’s Collège Champittet Pully in Switzerland offers a bilingual English and French curriculum, while schools in China (including NAIS HK) allow students to learn Mandarin while immersed in Chinese culture.

All-Round Learning for a Whole-person Education

Apart from the unique collaborations with The Juilliard School and MIT, the school also offers over 120 extra-curricular activities as well as a diverse range of residential trips. The curriculum has been developed to embrace the Hong Kong context but also features specialist teaching of Art, Music, Drama, Mandarin and PE. As a result, pupils are confident learners and effective contributors.

NAIS HK also teaches important social and life skills. The student interaction does not end in school though as students are encouraged to develop friendships outside of their usual academic classes too. The Extra-Curricular Activities (ECA) programme of the school encompasses over 120 after-school activities for students. “One of our promises to our students is about giving them opportunities to try new things and this is one of the ways we achieve this”, assert the school authorities. The activities range from 3D printing, Lego robotics, arts and crafts, drama, movie making, a wide range of sports, multiple music ensembles, language clubs, and mindfulness to name just a few.

Unparalleled Opportunities and Experiences

The global presence of Nord Anglia schools in 27 countries comes with some perks. NAE’s Global Campus platform connects over 53,000 students from across its schools to collaborate, discuss, and learn together every day. The Global Campus helps students explore the world, learn new skills and set their sights higher, developing a truly international perspective through outstanding online, in-school and worldwide experiences. From the in-school challenges to expeditions in Tanzania or Switzerland, students are inspired to be ambitious in their learning.

At NAIS HK, the student body currently represents more than 43 nationalities, and more than 100 dual-nationalities. In an attempt to embrace this impressive diversity the school organises various events for its students to learn about each other’s cultures and traditions. International Day; one of the most popular events of the school which is conducted every year. It begins with an assembly featuring a fashion parade where pupils and parents show off outfits representing the different nations that make up the school community. The students participate in fun learning activities in and out of the classroom, such as cultural activities, visiting the food stalls, playing games from different countries and sharing languages. On this colourful day, the world can witness the spectacular sight of each member of the school representing their respective nations and cultures while learning about other cultures as well.

Another major event held at the school is through the school’s collaboration with MIT.  Every academic year the students have to participate in three MIT Challenges – this year’s theme is all about superhero powers, from learning about wearable technology, to looking at animals and nature’s own aerodynamic and water repellent features. “The opportunity to do challenges with MIT in school is really about helping our students to work on the current, latest research that’s happening right now at MIT”, says Mark Orrow-Whiting, Director of Curriculum and Student Performance at Nord Anglia Education. NAIS HK will host the first ever STEAM Festival for the China region in January 2019, where students from eight NAE schools will join together to create innovative solutions to real problems.

Inter-House Singing Competition; another fun activity of the school initiates both the staff and students of the four Houses (tutor groups) of the school to compete with each other and win the coveted award each year. Halloween Spooktakular; another most anticipated event which entertains students with bouncy castles, games, activities, treats and more. The Great Sleigh Debate; is another fun event in school where pupils use their debating skills to win House points.

There is no secret in the fact that the school offers everything from under its wing to prepare its students for the world stage. The annual Summer Concert is a huge school production that is held at Hong Kong’s City Hall. Here, the students get an opportunity to perform at a professional theatre.

Achievements and Successes

An extraordinary school with an exclusive purpose to educate students for life and help them achieve their dream has many things to boast about. The brand story of this school does not just end with exceptional facilities, unique curricula, and dedicated school staff.   The school was awarded the highest possible rating of ‘excellent’ in all nine categories of assessment including the curriculum, teaching and learning by the UK’s International Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in March 2017. The school is acknowledged as the only school in Hong Kong that is a member of the Council of British International Schools (COBIS). NAIS HK has also been shortlisted for two prestigious International School Awards 2019 – ‘Strategic Leadership Initiative’, and ‘Initiative to Support School Wellbeing (Including Sustainability and Safeguarding)’. The awards recognise and celebrate excellence in learning, teaching, community, pastoral care, leadership and strategic initiatives at international schools across the world, and received over 200 nominations worldwide. NAIS HK is the only school in Hong Kong to have been placed as a finalist in any of the categories.

Topping the Secondary Mandarin Battle of the Books competition in Hong Kong for three consecutive years and Hong Kong Green Lunch School Award (Excellent category) are just some of the other recognitions under its name.

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