College set for Sha Tau Kok site
Three international primary schools have transformed a former government school in Sha Tau Kok into a secondary college, setting up the first international secondary school in Northern District.
International College Hong Kong will open in September on the 8,000 square metre site of the former Sha Tau Kok Government Secondary School. It will offer classes from Form Seven to 10, with the aim of providing Form 13 classes in 2012.
The college will admit primary graduates from Hong Lok Yuen International School, Japanese International School and Kingston International School, with around 20 places each year available for outside pupils.
Elaine Goddard-Tame, principal of Hong Lok Yuen International School, said the school would be refurbished in three phases. 'The renovation work, lasting five years, will cost around HK$100 million.'
Ms Goddard-Tame said the school would help reduce the shortage of international school places in the New Territories.
'There's oversubscription for international schools. Many expatriate parents have moved from Hong Kong Island to the New Territories because of the fresh air and low property prices there. The opening of the college can help satisfy the increasing demand for international school places in the New Territories.'
The yearly tuition fee for Forms Seven to Nine is HK$110,000. For Form 10 it is HK$115,000.
The college will adopt the UK National Curriculum for Forms Seven to Nine, International General Certificate of Secondary Education for Forms 10 and 11 and International Baccalaureate Diploma for Forms 12 and 13.
The deputy principal of South Island School, Roy White, will take the helm of the school as college head in September. Ms Goddard-Tame said the college would adopt small-class teaching and emphasise Chinese education.
'The maximum number of students in each class is 20. At full capacity, the college's enrolment won't exceed 500 students. Situated right on the border, we will continue our intensive Chinese education in the secondary.'
She said the spacious and leafy surroundings in Sha Tau Kok would allow the school to pursue a robust nature education. 'The school is near the sea and surrounded by beautiful mountains. There are lots of opportunities for outdoor hiking and lots of sites for scientific investigations and birdwatching. The college will also have a lot of room to store bicycles for our students to go on scientific excursions in the surroundings.'
Hong Lok Yuen International School was granted the Sha Tau Kok site last October alongside French International School and the Hong Kong Academy in an attempt by the government to allot available school sites to international schools to ease campus overcrowding.
Top international schools have seen a sharp increase in the number of applications for admission in September despite the global financial crisis. For example, the Canadian International School has seen a 30 per cent increase in applications across the board, and waiting lists for Discovery Bay International School's key entry-level groups of nursery to Primary Four up have expanded by 13 per cent.