Holistic education for students’ all-round development at Mount Kelly School Hong Kong
To empower its students to achieve academic excellence and progress to become inspired global citizens, the Mount Kelly School Hong Kong (MKSHK) implements its unique “all-through” education model in its delivery of the highly rated English National Curriculum.
With campuses in Tsim Sha Tsui and Jordan, MKSHK covers the “Mount Kelly Babies and Toddlers” classes, the “Mount Kelly International Preschool”, and the “MKSHK Preparatory and College” for students up to Year 8. Thanks to the integration of the Common Entrance Syllabus in Years 7 and 8, MKSHK’s students will be well prepared to enroll in their desired independent senior schools in the country, including Mount Kelly in the United Kingdom.
Being an “all-through” school, MKSHK welcomes children from six months up to three years to experience the playgroup-style learning classes at its Mount Kelly Babies and Toddlers. “This is a fantastic opportunity for young children to become aware of their environment and play with other children while learning to share and take turns,” says Lisa Milanec, Principal and Head Mistress of MKSHK. “The experience also prepares them for enrolling in the Mount Kelly International Preschool for children from three to six. This is where children’s initial skills in reading, writing and number really begin to develop.”
Preschool graduates then advance to the Preparatory School, which currently caters for students up to Year 8, who have the option of taking the Common Entrance Exams. “They then will have the opportunity of studying at Mount Kelly in the UK in preparation for GCSEs at Year 11 and A-Levels at Year 13,” she adds.
An “all-through” education benefits both parents and their children equally. The children will develop familiarity with the school and a bond with their fellow students and teachers. MKSHK’s small-class policy ensures the teaching faculty members know each student extremely well so that they can differentiate and plan individual student’s learning according to his/her specific needs and progress. “This consistent teaching approach is adopted throughout all phases at MKSHK,” Milanec says. “The parents enjoy a hassle-free approach to their children’s education, given the limited number of forms to complete or applications to make. Their children will enjoy priority admissions placement into the next phase of the school.”
Because MKSHK readies its students for senior secondary school studies in Britain, it implements the English National Curriculum featuring adapted content to suit its local student cohorts. For instance, the school uses the geographical context of Hong Kong in its Geography lessons whilst still ensuring the school meets all the necessary learning objectives and learning outcomes in the Curriculum.
MKSHK’s campus is an English-speaking environment. To effectively strengthen its students’ English proficiency, the school facilitates English as an Additional Language (EAL) as an approach to learning in all its classes. “It is important for all members of the teaching team to be aware of strategies and techniques most helpful for our EAL learners,” Milanec says. “However, it is equally vital that we can also provide intensive EAL support to those students who require it to access the rest of the curriculum. To that end we have a dedicated team of EAL teachers whose role is to assist students who may require additional language support. This is provided in various ways, depending on the needs of individual students, such as intensive one-to-one learning; small-group withdrawal; in-class support; or as an additional class in our extracurricular programme.”
Inspiring teaching from early years
Mount Kelly International Preschool adopts the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum, based on the understanding that each child is unique, constantly learning, resilient, confident and self-assured. It encourages children to develop positive relationships with those around them. “A feature of the EYFS Curriculum is that it delivers an environment conducive to children’s taking ownership of their learning. It recognises that each child learns and grows in different ways and at his/her own pace,” Milanec explains, adding that for the MKSHK’s Preparatory School from Years 5 to 8, all students receive specialist teaching for all subjects, unlike the typical primary school structure often used in international schools.
Students’ campus experience features a balance of academic studies and ex-curricular activities. Students in Years 1 to 8 take part in extra-curricular activities at the end of their learning day from 3.45pm to 4:30pm, Milanec says. “Teachers and teaching assistants engage the students in a variety of activities, including arts and crafts, sports, mindfulness and wellbeing, and performing arts. In addition, our Shackleton Programme nurtures and equips students with essential life skills, such as teamwork, leadership, risk-assessing as well as making a contribution to society through community service opportunities.”
MKSHK’s new preschool campus on Hong Kong Island is expected to be open for the 2019-2020 academic year. Opening of the Mount Kelly International School, Malaysia (MKISM) in Johor, is scheduled to be in September 2019. “For students from 6 months to 18 years, MKISM will offer the EYFS Curriculum and English National Curriculum,” Milanec says. “Like our school in Hong Kong, we will organise an annual visit to Mount Kelly UK for Prep students from Years 5 to 8. The campus will be equipped with the best educational and innovative play spaces, outdoor sports facilities and the latest educational technologies to provide an environment that is purposeful for learning. The campus will also host boarding facilities.”
Parents and their children are cordially invited to the Mount Kelly Admissions Day on September 22, 2018 (Saturday). On-site interviews and assessments will be conducted with same-day results and counselling. Mount Kelly will also offer free demo classes for children aged 6 months to 14 years at the event. Parents and children will have the opportunity to join a guided tour of the Preschool and Preparatory School.