At the American School Hong Kong we believe in providing a holistic approach to teaching and learning. With this in mind, we realize the importance of accurately assessing each child’s needs - academically, socially, and emotionally - and providing the specific supports, guidance, and learning experiences aligned to these needs. We understand that, in order for a child to excel, they must first feel safe, secure, and respected and we provide that caring and nurturing environment. Once this foundation has been established, the learning can begin!
Our learner profile attributes of principled, balanced, internationally minded, reflective, caring, independent, creative, knowledgeable, and confident provide the framework for supporting the development of critical thinkers and global citizens. Within this framework, we provide learning experiences that spur a spark of curiosity which can become a flame of passion in the future!
The learning experiences at the American School Hong Kong are unique in that they incorporate world renowned programs into an integrated approach to learning that supports and encourages innovation and creativity. Using the Teachers’ College Reading and Writing Units of Study (developed as part of Columbia University’s Reading and Writing Project by Lucy Calkins and her team), teachers are able to provide a solid approach to literacy that supports the development of reading, writing, and inquiry skills needed to guide each child’s exploration of the world around them through STEAM.
In order to personalize the learning experience, teachers use formative, summative, and standardized assessment data to drive their instructional program around the needs of the children in their care. For example, teachers use reading benchmark data (obtained from a comprehensive US standardized assessment administered in the classroom by the teacher) along with each child’s Rasch Unit (RIT) score (obtained from an additional standardized assessment - Measures of Academic Progress - MAP test) to develop a personalized learning plan. This plan includes the identification of specific learning objectives that each child is ready to learn next. This is especially important in literacy as we know effective communication skills - being able to read, analyze, and interpret text and then present understandings verbally and in writing - are an important and much needed skill for future academic and career success.
Using the data and anecdotal notes, teachers meet for conferences one-on-one and in small targeted strategy groups to provide the needed instruction and guidance to support each child as they move to the next step in learning. Professional development by a MAP trained consultant insures that our teachers are equipped with the understanding to analyze this data and use it to guide instruction to support this next step.
The comprehensive reading benchmark assessment is administered three times a year to track progress and to adjust the personalized learning plan for each child. The MAP assessments are administered twice a year, at the beginning and end of the year, to help with the development of the learning plan and as a means to determine overall program goals for the next year.
With fully equipped science and art programs and a 1:1 technology program, teachers are able to provide learning experiences that allow children to ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve as part of the STEAM focused engineering design process. Due to the incorporation of these different learning tools as part of this integrated learning experience, children are able to share their understandings using different modalities allowing for a more individualized experience.
Social and Emotional
At ASHK, we realize the importance of nurturing each child’s social and emotional needs. A school counselor provides instruction and support in all classrooms as the children learn how to resolve conflict and how to offer support for each other. This guidance extends beyond the classroom as children are invited to meet with the school counselor individually to seek support about specific, individual social and emotional concerns and needs. The classroom teachers provide a loving and nurturing classroom experience and partner with parents to work together to establish and support a healthy and happy learning environment for each child.
Beyond our School Walls
ASHK provides children with a rigorous American and international education program. The US Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), along with other best practice international frameworks, provide the foundation for learning. The Common Core provides benchmarks and success criteria for each grade level in English Language Arts and math while the NGSS does the same for science. These programs are designed to help children acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to reach their full potential. Given our use of national and international standards, each child’s learning is able to be compared and analyzed in great depth to allow us to provide a comprehensive program that prepares each child so that they can continue their academic journey anywhere in the world!