To assist with any initial queries you may have we invite to peruse the range of questions and answers below. These provide broad answers to some common enquiries about our school, its key objects and operations. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Admissions Office if you have queries that remain unanswered.
- 1. How early can I submit an application for my child?
We accept applications 2 years in advance prior to the expected year of entrance. For example, if your child is age appropriate for our Reception class in 2019, you may submit an application as early as January 2017.
- 2. Is there a deadline for application?
For Reception to Year 10 applications are accepted all year round. At AISHK, our Year 11 students have an option to study courses offered in either the Higher School Certificate (HSC) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. It is a pre-requisite for these students to complete the courses in two consecutive years, prior to obtaining the tertiary entrance qualifications. For this reason, Year 11 applications are not accepted after Term 1 and Year 12 applications are not accepted under normal circumstances.
- 3. Are priorities given to students on the waiting list?
Yes, priorities are given to siblings of current students as well as Australian/New Zealand passport holders and date of application. We will also take into account gender equity because it is important to have a balanced mix of girls and boys in each class.
- 4. Can I make changes to the term or year of admission I would like my child to be considered for enrollment at AISHK? What costs/conditions are involved?
Your application has a currency of one year, the academic year for which the applicant is applying. You may defer your child’s application once within the same academic year with no monetary or priority penalty. For example, you may wish to defer your child’s application from Term 1 to Term 3 in Year 6, 2017. However, if the requested change falls outside that academic year, then an application deferral fee of HK$500 applies. For example, if your child’s application is deferred from Term 1 in Year 6, 2017 to Term 1 in Year7, 2018, the deferral fee would apply. Alternatively, you may wish to bring forward your child’s application enrolment date. The same policy applies. Please also note when an application is deferred to a new academic year the date of application (for priority purposes) changes from the original date the application was received to the date we receive payment for the deferment.
- 5. What are the school hours?
Reception class is a half-day session Monday-Friday. Morning Reception class hours are 8:15 to 11:15 am. Afternoon Reception class hours are 11:45 am to 2:45 pm. Primary student begin at 8:15 am and their day ends at 2:50 pm, Secondary students begin at 8:15 am and their day ends at 3:30 pm except on Monday where the majority of students finish school at 2:35 pm.
- 6. How long has the school been operating?
Australian International School Hong Kong (AISHK) opened in February 1995, to meet the needs of the Australian community in Hong Kong and those interested in the Australian education system for their children.
- 7. Is the school open only to Australian citizens?
No. Children of all nationalities are welcome. Currently over 80% of students studying with us are Australian or New Zealand passport holders. The school offers an Australian curriculum (NSW) and the IB Diploma (Year 11 and 12 only) which are continually evaluated and modified according to the needs of the students. Whichever country the student returns to, AISHK aims to develop attitudes, values and skills that will form a solid foundation for all future learning.
- 8. Are the teachers mainly Australians?
The majority of teaching staff are Australian but we do have teachers from a diverse range of backgrounds.
- 9. Where is the school located?
Our school campus is located at 3A Norfolk Road, Kowloon Tong. The site is located among low-rise residential dwellings and other school campuses. It is readily accessible to an efficient transport interchange including taxis, buses and MTR.
- 10. Is the school readily accessible to students living on Hong Kong Island?
Yes. Approximately 25% of the students currently attending AISHK come from Hong Kong Island. The early morning start was specifically implemented to reduce the travelling time. The school bus service covers most areas of the territory. The campus is located within close walking distance of the Kowloon Tong MTR station.
- 11. What classes does the school offer?
We have Pre-school (Reception class), Primary (Preparatory Year and Years 1 to 6) and Secondary (Years 7 to 12) divisions.
- 12. How many students do you have in each class?
We strive to keep our class sizes as close to 25 as possible, and 20 in the reception classes.
- 13. How many students are enrolled at the school?
In January 2017 we have 1,112 students. There are 690 Primary students and 422 Secondary students.
- 14. Is there a Special Needs program at AISHK?
No, AISHK is a parent funded not for profit school. We do not have the resources to provide IEP’s or other required special needs programs.
- 15. Is there Learning Enrichment at AISHK?
Yes. AISHK caters for student diversity and provides an inclusive model of extension and support in the mainstream. Learning enrichment is coordinated through our Learning Enrichment Centre (LEC) team across the school. Unlike schools in Australia, AISHK does not receive government funding, educational support, offer alternative curriculum pathways or individualised programs for students. In secondary, curriculum choices are between two examination pathways; HSC and IB Diploma. If your child has received or needs support or extension, please contact our Admissions Staff for assistance.
- 16. Will my child have to undertake an entry or assessment interview?
Upon receiving a completed application for admission, including school reports for the past two years, the Divisional Principal will decide if the student needs to be assessed prior to entry. Many students coming from Australia where the education systems are closely related to ours, may not require assessment prior to entry. A student who has applied for a particular class but whose age is out of the age range guide may need assessment, as may a student coming from a different curriculum. Most students with a first language other than English are assessed, as are those who need learning support. The school will endeavour to place your child in the class that is right for his/her academic and social development, not just the class the child is old enough to attend. An assessment interview is undertaken by professional teachers to ensure that an applicant has attained a level of English that will enable him/her to succeed in the classroom and to ensure correct placement. This process gives us a better understanding of your child’s general development, problem areas etc. Further assessment for all children takes place during their first few weeks following their commencement of school.
- 17. Does AISHK provide English language support?
No. Students must satisfy the English level entrance requirements before admitting to the school.
- 18. What examinations do the students undergo?
As in Australia, students are tested internally throughout the year to ensure they have achieved the educational outcomes of the curriculum. As part of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests are held each year for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Students in Years 11 and 12 elect to study for either the Higher School Certificate exam (HSC) or the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. Hong Kong examinations are not available. Each year, students may participate in the Australian schools' competitions for Mathematics, English, Science and Computer Studies.
- 19. What does the Chinese component of the curriculum entail?
The study of Chinese is mandatory from Reception to Year 6. Primary students have one Chinese lesson every school day. Part of the extensive planning and preparation for AISHK Chinese program included researching the way Chinese is taught in different countries. The official policy in Australia is that Mandarin is the Chinese language (all other forms are dialects) and that it is taught using simplified characters. The same policy operates in China, Singapore, USA, Canada, and New Zealand. The program will enable AISHK students to sit for an Australian Higher School Certificate or IB Diploma examination in Year 12 and qualify for further studies at university. The Chinese program emphasises communication through talking and listening, reading, responding and writing. A learner-centred approach is used which actively involves the students in a wide variety of activities. Chinese classes are streamed according to ability and background from Year 2 onwards.
- 20. But my child does not know any Chinese - how will he/she learn?
In any classroom you will find students who are completely new to the language, others that have a developed understanding and those that are native speakers. Our Chinese teachers will assess your child upon enrolment and place him/her with other students of the same level. He/she will be introduced to the language in a fun and stimulating way so that the most benefit is derived by the student. If children have difficulties, parents and teachers discuss possible solutions.
- 21. What does the Reception class offer?
A structured learning program based on the developmental needs of the child, where individual needs are catered for. When the child is ready, there is an increase in the educational challenges faced and exposure to the early childhood curriculum. Further, there is integration into some areas of whole school activities. The class ensures a smooth transition into full time schooling.
- 22. Are extra curricular activities offered?
Yes. There is an extensive range of extra curricular activities offered from Preparatory Year. The broad aim is to enable students to experience as many cultural, sporting, artistic and craft activities as possible.
- 23. Are parents welcome at the school?
Yes. The school has a parental involvement policy which recognises that parents are partners in the education process of their child. Parents are actively encouraged to participate in school activities. An open door policy exists whereby parents are both informed and consulted on the education of their child. The school recognises that parents are taking a greater interest than ever before in the quality and nature of their child’s education. Parents opinions are sought and considered on numerous matters regarding the education of their child.
- 24. Do I have to buy a debenture or pay a capital levy for my child to study at AISHK?
Yes. All students are required to have a debenture purchased or a capital levy paid for them before they start. Funds received from debentures and capital levies will be used to finance capital improvement projects, fund ongoing capital maintenance, as well as enhancing learning resources and opportunities. For more details about debentures and capital levies please refer to the “Financial Information” section under the Application Information tab on our webite.
- 25. Can I pay by credit card?
No. Payments must be in Hong Kong Dollars (HKD). We accept payment for the application and enrolment fees by cash, HKD cheque from a HK bank account, HKD bank draft, internet/telegraphic transfer or direct deposit to the school’s bank account. For the details about the school’s bank account please refer to the “Financial Information” section on page 3 of this handout.
- 26. Does my child need to have a visa before I submit the application?
No. You can submit the application, with all the other required documentation, and send a copy of the visa once it has been stamped in your child’s passport. Note: A valid student or dependant visa must be in place prior to enrolment. This is a Hong Kong government mandatory requirement.