When looking for an International School in Hong Kong, you may come to notice that those offering a British curriculum tend to dominate. Not just in number but also in how they are ranked in many forums. The British curriculum is typically considered the gold standard in international education, with over a third of international schools in the world offering it. Mainly as either a UK-based curriculum or the National Curriculum of England (NCE).
Most things that are British are generally better trusted and considered to be of the highest quality. This is certainly also reflected in their education system which has consistently been considered the best in the world and ideal for preparing students for their future careers and general life.
The curriculum is highly regarded worldwide, presenting students with more opportunities when it comes to joining high institutions of learning and when joining the workplace. It is a great option for students of any nationality and thanks to the abundance of schools that offer it, is easily accessible in most countries. Here is why you should consider it the top choice for your child.
Leading universities across the world widely accept GCSEs and A-levels that come from the British Curriculum. It is considered a passport to the world’s top universities. Given that the language of instruction for the curriculum is English, which is the most widely spoken second language and the top language of instruction in Western universities, students are well placed to easily adapt when moving on.
Many employers, even outside western countries, also value employees that are conversant in English as it makes them more competitive in the business world. Right now, the education sector is seeking to ensure the training they offer matches up well with the evolving demands of the workplace. The British curriculum offers not just a future workforce that will be conversant in English but also trained in leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, initiative, global awareness, and other values and skills that are highly regarded.
Other curriculums can have differences if you end up having to relocate to another part of the world. The British curriculum is however highly consistent anywhere in the world you go, ensuring that students that need to change between schools, even halfway across the world, can do so with minimal disruption to their learning. As said, there are so many international schools around the world that offer this curriculum, making it ideal for families that may find themselves likely to relocate anytime between their child’s Early Years to KS5.
The exams that are set and sent out are also equivalent, wherever in the world they are sat. This again ensures consistency and establishes trust with students and their parents that they will be tested and graded fairly. The exams are either set by the Edexcel Examinations board or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) board which both have a solid reputation.
Schools that offer the British curriculum are focused on more than just academics. They are geared towards nurturing their students into well-rounded individuals. When it comes to academics, there are core subjects like English, math, and science, amongst others including social studies, humanities, computing, arts, music, languages and physical education.
In the same way, these schools seek to ensure their students excel academically, so too do they nurture personal development that will see them develop the life skills they need to do well when moving on to higher education, in the workplace, and their personal lives in future.
Skills like critical thinking and problem solving, are nurtured right from Early Years to ensure they stick with them the rest of their lives. This has a strong impact on their ability to be morally and culturally sensitive and inclusive. Traits that make them better able to cope and thrive when exposed to new environments and when meeting new people.
Keep in mind that not all students will opt to pursue a university education. No matter what choices they make later in life, the skills they learn outside of the classroom setting will help them adapt, overcome challenges, and know how to respond to changing outside influences. This will make it possible for them to figure out how to thrive in any environment as they will have an independent nature, be disciplined, and be self-starters.
Opportunity for all
Unlike many national curriculums that tend to focus not just on academics, but excelling in specific subjects to secure places in universities and the workplace, the British curriculum is far more inclusive in its ability to cater to students of all abilities. Those that excel academically are often provided opportunities to challenge themselves further on the same or other topics. Those that may lag behind academically are given more one-on-one attention from faculty and can receive further support from other students.
Students are nurtured towards fulfilling their academic potential, while also pursuing their passions so they can make the best choices when choosing what careers to pursue and forming interpersonal relationships. What they do not learn in their formal classroom and laboratories will likely be learnt on playing fields and during other extracurricular activities. No student is left behind, with many of the top international schools that offer this curriculum recording 100% admission to universities for graduating classes. There is always an opportunity for students to learn not just about each other, but also about themselves.
What of IB and US curricula?
The British curriculum is certainly the most popular in international education. However, if you are shopping around, you will almost certainly see plenty of international schools that also offer International Baccalaureate and US syllabuses.
Both these alternatives do offer a good education and are acceptable to many universities around the world, just not as much as British Curriculum. There also tends to be more variation in the quality of teaching and precision of subject matter than with the British curriculum. There may also be some challenges in the lacking of an established international examination programme. Overall, still good choices, but do not truly compare to what a British-based education offers.