ESF The First 50 Years - Milestones

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English Schools Foundation

Early years learning

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 June, 2017, 11:40am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 June, 2017, 10:33am

[Sponsored article] In education, there is no strict definition of the term “Early Years”, but there is general agreement that the period, whether taken to cover just infants or children up to eight-years-old, is crucial in shaping every child’s intellectual, social and emotional development.

“The important thing is that we provide real opportunities for children to learn, develop, and have fun during those years, regardless of what term we use,” says Christopher Duncan, Principal at ESF Hillside International Kindergarten. “Children are born ready to learn, and our teachers are committed to nurture their curiosity of the world around them.”

The first ESF International Kindergarten was established nearly 20 years ago with a view to offering quality Early Years education. It opened in Sheung Wan in 1999. It was subsequently renamed “Hillside” when it relocated to Stubbs Road in 2010, and was followed by the establishment of several other ESF kindergartens, now including Tung Chung International Kindergarten, which opened in August 2016.

The kindergartens cater for K1 and K2 children aged three- to five-years-old, who attend for three hours a day for either morning or afternoon sessions. The main objective is to provide young children with high quality inquiry play-based delivered through the medium of English. In most cases, the majority of ESF kindergarten children move onto ESF primary or private independent schools.

In ESF kindergartens and schools, there is a commitment to providing personalised and joyful learning experiences. The aim is to support whole child development and ensure that we bring out the best in every child and inspire curious minds.

Originally, the ESF kindergarten curriculum was based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is a part of the national curriculum of England and Wales. Commencing 2005, ESF saw the need to offer a more international curriculum in view of changes in their student demographic. As a result, they introduced the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP). Over the next five years, all ESF primary schools gained PYP authorisation. 

In 2011, to ensure continuity, the four ESF kindergartens then operating commenced the process of becoming IB World Schools, which they achieved within three years. The recently established Tung Chung Kindergarten is now an IB candidate school working towards PYP authorisation.