Lower Primary School Parent Handbook - DragonNet - Hong Kong ...


Lower Primary School Parent Handbook - DragonNet - Hong Kong ...



Lower Primary School

Parent Handbook

Maya Nelson



Hong Kong International School

Lower Primary Administrative Team

Nate Dennison

Associate Principal


Ben Hart

Associate Principal


Lower Primary Office

Anjali Lakhwani Nikki Adams Marjan Levy Rita Wong Cynthia Au

Executive Secretary Secretary Secretary Secretary Secretary

Tel: 2812-5454 Tel: 2812-5410 Tel: 2812-5412 Tel: 2812-5425 Tel: 2812-5425

alakhwani@hkis.edu.hk nadams@hkis.edu.hk mlevy@hkis.edu.hk rjwong@hkis.edu.hk cau@hkis.edu.hk

Health Office

Shannon Hilliard Fay Beese

Tel: 2812-5414 Tel: 2812-5414

Bus Co-ordinator Bus Company

Kenny Chu Kwoon Chung Motors

Tel: 2812-5419 Tel: 2578-1178

Mobile phone until 6:00 p.m. 6086-1143

Hong Kong International School

Lower Primary School

23 South Bay Close, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong • Tel: 2812-5000 • Fax: 2812-9590 • http://dragonnet.hkis.edu.hk/lps

Welcome Letter

from the Principal

2012-2013 School Year

Dear Lower Primary Parents,

There is nothing that can compare to the energy of an early childhood

elementary school! On behalf of our Lower Primary faculty and staff,

I welcome you to our magical place. As you walk through the hallways and

classrooms of our school and speak to the students and teachers, you will

feel and see a sense of joy and passion for learning.

Our Mission Statement guides us and our Student Learning Results

demonstrate our focus on every aspect of each student's growth, in the

areas of Academic Excellence, Spirituality, Character Development, Self-

Motivated Learning, Contributing to Society and Chinese Culture. We strive

to nurture and develop students from diverse backgrounds and experiences

who will make a difference in their communities and their worlds.

For 46 years, HKIS has been dedicated to the education, development and

growth of each and every one of its students. Here, in the Lower Primary,

all of our children are treated with respect, dignity and high expectations.

We believe that learning is a natural activity at this age, and that our Lower

Primary is the natural place for the awakening of the whole child.

The Lower Primary is a happy place where growing good people, embracing

the beauty of early childhood, and enjoying the process of learning is our

entire focus. In the Lower Primary, we believe that when parents and teachers

work together on behalf of each child, all the children here will maximize their

learning and development, and achieve successes in all aspects of school.

Thank you for choosing HKIS and Lower Primary. We are honored that you

have entrusted your child's education to us and look forward to a wonderful

school year. We hope you will see for yourself what makes this place so very

special, and so very magical.


Maya Nelson

Principal, Lower Primary

Please note the following important dates for your calender:

Orientation and Registration:

August 14th (R1-G2) and 15th (R1-R2), 2012

Back to School Night for Grades One and Two:

August 29th, 2012

Back to School Night for Reception One and Two:

September 5th, 2012

Grade Level Parent Coffees:

September 18th (G1-G2) and 25th (R1-R2), 2012

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 1

ContentS General Information

Background of Hong Kong International School 4

Lower Primary Philosophy Statement 4

The Religious Dimension of our Program 5

Language Policy Across the Curriculum 5

Learning and Growing in Early Childhood:

The Educational Program 6

Organization of Grades in Lower Primary 6

How Does the Cluster Environment Work? 6

How Do We Teach Academics in the Early Years? 6

Specialist Classes 7

Student Services Center 11

SSC Program Objectives 11

Guidance and Counseling Program 11

Learning Specialist Support 11

Health Office 12

After School Programs 13

Riding the School Bus Safely 14

Training for Bus Mothers 14

Behavior Expected on the Bus 14

Safety Rules for all Bus Riders 14

Enforcement of Bus Rules 14

Changing Buses 14

2 Hong Hong International School

School Policies and Procedures 15

Admissions and Grade Placement 15

Advertisements 15

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures 15

Assessing Student Learning 16

Attendance and Absences 17

Behavior and Discipline 17

Birthdays 17

Chapels and Assemblies 17

Communication Between Home and School 17

Early Leaving 18

End of Year Check Out Procedures 18

Field Trips 18

Homework 19

Labels in Clothing and Other Belongings 19

Lost and Found 19

Lunch/Drinks 19

Nut Free Policy 19

Parent Advisory Group 20

Parent Faculty Organization 20

Parents’ Presence in Hong Kong 21

Parking 21

Picking up Students During the Day 21

Problems and Concerns 21

Promoting a Culture of Respect 22

Registration and Transfers 23

Reporting on Student Learning 23

Safety Procedures 23

School Supplies/Backpacks or Bookbags 23

Six-Day Schedule 23

Student Safety Patrol 24

Telephone Calls 24

Tutoring 24

Uniform 24

Valuables 25

Visitors and Parent Volunteers in Lower Primary 25

Weather Warnings Procedures 26


Six Day Schedule 2012-13 28

Medical Consent Form 29

Notification of Both Parents’ Absence from Hong Kong 30

Appointment of Temporary Guardians

HKIS Community Partnership and Communication


Guidelines 32

HKIS Shared Philosophy of Education 35

Literacy Handbook

Reading & Writing 44

Key skills for success in school 44

Literacy Curriculum in the Lower Primary 45

Research-Based Literacy Instruction 46

Reading and Writing Workshop 47

Components of a Reading or

Writing Workshop Lesson 47

Keys for Success in Reading and Writing 48

What the research in early literacy says 48

Reading and Writing Development 49

An ongoing continuum 49

Preconventional (ages 3-5) 50

Emerging (ages 4-6) 52

Developing (ages 5-7) 54

Beginning (ages 6-8) 56

Expanding (ages 7-9) 57


New Standards Primary Literacy Committee. 1999. Reading and

Writing Grade by Grade: Primary Literacy Standards for Kindergarten

Through Third Grade. National Center on Education and the Economy

and the University of Pittsburgh.

The Reading and Writing Project. 2010. Teachers College, NY

Columbia University.

Calkins, L. 2003. Units of Study for Primary Writing. Portsmouth, NH:


Glover, M. 2009. Engaging Young Writers. Portsmouth, NH:


Hill, B.C. 2001. Developmental Continuums: A Framework for Literacy

Instruction and Assessment K-8. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon.

Fountas, I. and Gay Su Pinnell. 1996. Guided Reading: Good First

Teaching for all Children. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Neuman, Susan B., Carol Copple and Sue Bredekamp. 2002.

Learning & Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices

for Young Children. Washington, D.C.: National Association for the

Education of Young Children.

Compiled by: Ann E. Freeman, Ph. D.

Contributing Authors: Bonnie Campbell Hill, Madeleine Maceda Heide,

Ann E. Freeman, Maggie Moon, Maya Nelson, Ben Hart,

Nate Dennison

Math Handbook

Math Curriculum in the Lower Primary 62

NAEYC Guidelines and NCTM Recommendations 62

Research-Based Math Instruction 63

Content Standards R1-G2 64

Number Sense 64

Algebra 65

Geometry and Spatial Sense 66

Measurement 67

Data Analysis and Probability 68

Process Standards R1-G2 69

Problem Solving 69

Reasoning and Proof 70

Communication 71

Connections 72

Representation 72


For additional information about the NAEYC standards visit


For additional information about the NCTM standards visit


For additional information about the Everyday Math program visit


Lower Primary Parent Handbook 3

Background of

Hong Kong



4 Hong Hong International School

Hong Kong International School (HKIS) first opened its doors in Repulse Bay to 630

international students on September 14, 1967.

From humble beginnings, HKIS has expanded to cover two sites with Lower and

Upper Primary schools based in Repulse Bay and Middle and High Schools based in

Tai Tam.

Employing more than 500 faculty and staff from Hong Kong and around the globe,

HKIS provides an American-style education, teaching a wide and varied curriculum

that encourages personal as well as academic growth. HKIS is accepted as one of

the leading international schools in the world.

HKIS places understanding of China and appreciation of the Chinese culture within

its core learning. The school prides itself on remaining at the cutting edge of technical

and academic excellence, operating on a one-laptop-one-student basis with a highlyqualified

and specialized multi-cultural faculty.

HKIS SAT scores are consistently above the US national mean. Students graduating

from HKIS attend many of the best universities in the world.

In the 2011/12 academic year, HKIS educated over 2,600 R1 to Grade 12 students

with over 40 different nationalities from wide-ranging backgrounds.

Lower Primary Philosophy Statement

Our practices in serving children and families are based on our commitment to

certain fundamental values that are rooted in the history of our profession and

grounded in the Christian faith. Our work is guided by our school’s Mission Statement

and the six Student Learning Results towards which we help our students strive.

What core beliefs do we have about children, families,

teaching and learning?

We appreciate childhood as a unique stage of the human life cycle. We value

the quality of children’s lives in the present, not just as preparation for the future.

Our work with children is based on an ever-growing body of knowledge of child

development and learning. We appreciate and support the close ties between a child

and his or her family. We recognize that children are best understood in the context

of family, culture and society. We respect the dignity, worth and uniqueness of each

individual child. We aspire to help children and adults achieve their full potential in the

context of relationships that are based on trust, respect and positive regard.

How are our core values made evident in our environment?

n We believe that all children are competent and capable individuals who have

a natural curiosity for learning. We believe that a positive experience during

the early years of schooling has a profound effect on self-worth and future

attitudes towards learning.

Therefore, we foster a child’s basic disposition to investigate and to make sense

of their experiences, to teach them to care about and relate to others and to

nourish their social, emotional, spiritual, physical, aesthetic, cultural, linguistic and

intellectual development. We affirm the value of play and social interaction as a

key learning medium. Within our active program of learning, children engage in

concrete experiences that enable them to build on their existing knowledge and

develop dispositions for life-long learning such as creativity, perseverance, care and

responsibility. Through a balanced program of teacher initiated and student initiated

learning, children interact with others to acquire skills that enable them to develop

their interests, solve real problems and communicate cooperatively with others. We

provide opportunities for children to be curious, to wonder, to ask questions and to

learn from others. We encourage children to marvel at nature, to develop a sense of

spirituality, to acquire an understanding of heritage and to make connections about

the world.

n We believe that teachers actively contribute to each student’s learning

through their expectations, teaching strategies and commitment to learning.

Therefore, we have high expectations of students and scaffold learning to support

increased levels of understanding, consistent with developmentally appropriate

practice. We regularly assess student learning and modify our instruction to match

children’s needs. We support children’s sense of self and growing awareness of

their abilities by establishing a positive environment in which student’s efforts are

valued and recognized. We guide and monitor student behavior and use appropriate

methods of discipline.

n We believe that parents have a critical role in contributing to their child’s

self-esteem and learning.

Therefore, we encourage parents to be involved in their child’s learning both within

school and at home and we regularly communicate with parents in various ways

about our program and about student progress.

n We believe that teachers nourish themselves as professionals by continuing

to learn at all stages of their career.

Therefore, we identify areas for our own personal and professional growth and

implement plans to strengthen our curriculum and instruction. We find ways to learn

from our colleagues and to share our knowledge with others.

the Religious Dimension of our Program

Hong Kong International School has its roots in the Christian faith and tradition. We

are aware that, as an international school, we serve students from a wide range of

religious backgrounds and experiences, both Christian and non-Christian. Our intent

is not to convert children to a particular religious point of view. We teach students

the basic tenets of the Christian faith and the ways of living that follow from it. We

also teach about other world religions. This is done in an effort to increase students’

understanding and respect of Christianity and other faiths, one of our school-wide

Student Learning Results. Through religion lessons, chapels and devotions, we hope

to enable students to grow in the understanding and appreciation of the spiritual

dimension of their lives. Spirituality is a journey of reverence, which explores the

meaning of our lives and connections with God, other people, and the world.

In today’s world, it is clear that it is important to become a religiously educated

person. A religiously educated person is someone who is capable of making a

personal commitment in the midst of pluralistic beliefs and life stances and is, at the

same time, ready to enter into genuine dialogue with people of other cultures and

other religious traditions so as to live in harmony with them. Religious education at

HKIS is an academic program about different religions that combines the mind and

the heart in developing academic understanding and a strong sense of one’s spiritual


Language Policy Across the Curriculum: english and other


HKIS’s primary focus is to provide a high quality education with English as the

language of instruction. Our school promotes and celebrates a school climate that

values and appreciates cultural and linguistic diversity. In the context of our school,

every student, teacher, and parent has many opportunities to build community

through language. HKIS encourages everyone to be sensitive to how the use of

different languages affects others. Our goal is for everyone to feel included and

accepted. Therefore, in mixed-language groups outside the classroom, students

are encouraged to use a language common to everyone in the group. Although our

language of instruction is English, the occasional use of other languages in classroom

settings may be appropriate if there is a need to clarify difficult concepts with

someone from the same language background.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 5

Learning and

Growing in early


the educational


6 Hong Hong International School

organization of Grades in Lower Primary

Reception One is a pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds. We currently have

nine classes, with a class size of 15. We have two options for parents.

• Half-day program, which runs in two sessions:

Morning session: 7:55 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and

afternoon session: 12:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. (with buses leaving at 3:00 p.m.)

• Long-day program: 7:55 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. (with buses leaving at 2:00 p.m.)

Reception Two is our American Kindergarten program for five-year-olds. We

currently have nine Reception Two classes, with a class size of 18. (7:55 a.m. - 1:45

p.m.), with buses leaving at 2:00 p.m.

Grade One is for six-year-olds and Grade Two is for seven-year-olds. We currently

have nine classes in each of those grades, with a class size of 20. (7:55 a.m. - 2:45

p.m.), with buses leaving at 3:00 p.m.

How does the cluster environment work?

We appreciate having a warm and nurturing environment for our young children. Our

building is organized in clusters of two to four classrooms located in one large open

space. The space is divided into learning areas with walls and dividers. Teachers

work together with teacher assistants so that activities and lessons are coordinated

and children quickly learn how to function within this setting. We value a collaborative

approach to teaching, and teachers often work in teams of two or four, sharing

and exchanging ideas and strategies. Children often get to know children in other

classrooms especially during the shared recess time outdoors.

How do we teach academics in the early years?

n Literacy (Reading and Writing)

The Lower Primary uses a standards-based curriculum which aligns with each of

the stages of literacy development. There are two standards in Reading and one in

Writing, and we have specific benchmarks for each standard for each grade level.

The complete Literacy Curriculum is available on the Lower Primary website at http://


R1-12 Language Arts / English Standards

Reading Habits

Reading Process and


Writing Process,

Purpose, and Genre

Listening and


Students will acquire the habit of reading a variety of

literary and informational texts for understanding and


Using the reading process, students will demonstrate

skills and apply strategies for understanding a variety of

literary and informational texts.

Students will develop an understanding through a variety

of genres.

Students will use listening and speaking strategies for

different purposes. (Students will listen and speak for

effective communication and learning.)

Visual Literacy Students interpret and respond to visual media.

Please refer to our Literacy Handbook on page 43.

n Mathematics

Each of the four divisions at HKIS use Principals and Standards for School

Mathematics, a document written by the National Council of Teachers of

Mathematics, as a framework for divisional grade level benchmarks. The National

Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) is an international professional

organization committed to excellence in mathematics teaching and learning for all

students. The NCTM standards provide a vision of what mathematics instruction

in schools should be, with a common set of standards that show the growth of

mathematical knowledge across the grades. In Lower Primary, each grade level has

specific and distinct grade level expectations.

There are ten standards that describe the mathematical knowledge, understanding

and skills students should acquire from Reception One through Grade Twelve. There

are five standards describing the mathematical content that students should learn

to be successful, and five standards that highlight the mathematical processes that

students draw on to use their content knowledge. These ten standards define the

basic mathematics that all students have the opportunity to learn.

The process (or performance) standards: The content standards:

Problem Solving

Reasoning and Proof




Please refer to our Math Handbook section on page 63.

Number and Operations




Data Analysis and Probability

n Religious Education

Our Religious Education program provides a focus on Christianity in all classrooms,

with key Bible stories, Bible verses, cluster chapels, devotions, songs and prayer

time. In this way, our children talk and learn about the Christian God and Jesus.

In addition, each grade level also has a focus on one of the major world religions

– Buddhism in Reception One, Hinduism in Reception Two, Islam in Grade One

and Judaism in Grade Two. We honor different world religions through festival

celebrations, discussions, examining artifacts, reading books and gathering

information at an appropriate level. Through cluster community meetings, children

talk and learn about world religions.

n Social Studies and Science

Science and Social Studies are taught using an inquiry-based approach. Scientific

processes including observation, collecting, recording and interpreting data,

predicting, classifying, and drawing conclusions are practiced in hands-on,

meaningful activities. Students learn concepts, as well as information. In addition,

skills of reasoning, problem solving, working collaboratively, goal setting, and decision

making are practiced throughout the curriculum.

Specialist Classes

n Chinese Studies

Program Philosophy:

“Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience.” We

as members of an international school and community endorse this statement by

the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The learning of

languages encourages students to respect and to understand other cultures as well

as heightens the awareness of one’s own culture. It also enhances divergent thinking

and self motivated learning. Language learning equips students to participate more

actively in the global community and to be more adaptable in the ever-changing

world. Chinese is particularly important since Hong Kong is part of China.

Literacy is built upon a foundation of spoken language competence; therefore we

believe that oral communicative language should rest at the heart of language

instruction. Reading will be gradually introduced followed by writing.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 7

8 Hong Hong International School

We also believe that the central goal of language learning should be the

communication and exchange of ideas, perceptions and needs that will enable

learners to meet current and future social and informational needs in the Chinesespeaking


The HKIS Chinese Studies program fully embraces the differentiated needs of our

identified learners. Understanding that the acquisition of an additional language is

dependent upon multiple factors, the HKIS program places a differentiated focus

on the broad areas of reading/writing and listening/speaking dependent upon the

learner. Regardless of emphasis, the aim for the HKIS Chinese Studies program is to

develop communicatively competent and culturally enriched students in Mandarin.

General Information:

Lower Primary students all participate in Chinese language instruction as a part of

their normal and daily program of studies. Each class will also reach into the richness

of Chinese culture as a means to contextualize and strengthen the link between

learning the language as well as deepening the students’ appreciation for the most

widely spoken language in the world.

Class activities will be varied and include games, song, rhyme, dance, cooking,

arts/crafts, oral dialogues and excursions all designed to immerse the students into

the use of Putonghua. Additionally, homework will be given to G1 and G2 students

to strengthen and practice learned skills of oral proficiency as well as the skills of

reading, writing and listening. We strongly encourage parents to actively participate

and support their students’ learning of this language by spending time with them and

taking interest in the activities and projects.

The instruction for Chinese is divided into two distinct streams. The two streams are

Mandarin as Second Language (MSL) and Mandarin for Near-Native speakers (MNN).

Mandarin as Second Language (MSL)

The MSL stream is designed for students with no previous personal or family

exposure and/or experience in the targeted language or any other similar Asian

language. Learning Mandarin represents a true second language platform with

the end goal of communicative functionality in Putonghua to exchange common,

everyday thoughts, ideas and information.

Oral proficiency work will be the emphasis in this learning stream as well as the early

use the simplified characters system. The exit benchmark for this learning stream is

based on benchmarks mapped out in the Chinese Studies R-12 curriculum.

Mandarin for Near-Native Speakers (MNN)

This learning stream is for students with previous personal or family exposure and/or

experience in the targeted language. These students have strong and regular access

to familial support in areas of listening input, reading, writing, and speaking (e.g.:

parents have working knowledge and skill in Putonghua or similar Asian language).

This stream demands a higher level of competency in the four skills of Putonghua –

listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The end goal for this learning stream is to establish a Putonghua proficiency

level sufficient to use Putonghua as a medium to learn other content areas. This

proficiency level requires a high degree of equal competency in the four skill areas of

Putonghua; reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Learning of Chinese Language and Culture

Both streams require student motivation, dedication and personal commitment. It’s

not a difficult spoken language, but reading and writing, which are not phonetic,

require effort and time to develop. Daily practice in small doses is the key to success.

n Technology

Students use a range of appropriate technology and software to support and extend

their learning within the classroom program. The information technology facilitator

and the librarian work closely with teachers and children to develop every student’s

information literacy skills. We integrate technology into the curriculum, using it as a

tool for learning. All kinds of technology are readily available, including computers

in every cluster, as well as Macbooks, iPads, iPod Touches, digital cameras, MP3

recorders, floor BeeBots and more.

n Library

Children visit the library regularly to borrow books and learn library skills. In addition,

the librarian works closely with teachers to support classroom themes and research

projects and to integrate information literacy standards into the existing academic


n Music

The music curriculum at Lower Primary uses a combination of the Scott Foresman

Silver Burdett “Making Music” series and the Orff Schulwerk approach to teaching

music. Silver Burdett “Making Music” provides sequential instruction and reflects the

philosophy of the U.S. National Standards for Arts Education. Orff Schulwerk is based

on things children like to do: singing, chanting rhythm/rhymes, clapping, dancing,

and keeping a beat using a wide variety of pitched and unpitched instruments. The

special Orff melody (pitched) instruments include wooden xylophones and metal

glockenspiels that offer good sound immediately. Played together as in a small

orchestra, their use helps children become sensitive listeners and considerate

participants. The children at Lower Primary use Orff instruments in the process of

learning and in the product of performances.

The Lower Primary music curriculum provides many opportunities to explore music

through singing, moving, listening, and playing instruments. We also incorporate

music of various styles, cultures and time periods. Our music program promotes and

celebrates the joy of music while using developmentally appropriate materials.

n Physical Education

The Physical Education program emphasizes personal fitness and basic sports skills

through the following six curricular units:

Body Management - Children use specially designed, age appropriate climbing

equipment. They are introduced to several concepts including body awareness,

inversion, exploration of risk taking and the recognition of their own physical ability.

The skills they develop include body strength, flexibility, tumbling, coordination, and


Manipulatives - Children are introduced to the concepts of spatial awareness,

creativity, movement, and rhythmic activity. The skills they develop include hand/eye

coordination, accuracy, dexterity, timing, and rhythm.

Ball Skills - While participating in ball skills, children learn how to play with partners and

in groups, and develop an understanding of spatial awareness. The skills they develop

include accuracy, hand/eye coordination, rolling/throwing/catching, and timing.

Movement - During our movement unit, the children develop the concepts of

creativity, social interaction, spatial awareness, methods of expression and exploring

levels and planes.

Problem Solving - Various scenarios are set in which the children use team work

and logical, creative thinking to solve problems. In addition to developing cooperation

and fairness, children use coordination, balance, dexterity, and jumping/landing skills

to solve problems.

Swimming - Swimming is an important life skill. Skills involving water adjustment,

water entry and exit, buoyancy control, breathing and stroke correction are taught

depending on the level of the group. All children are introduced to personal safety and

the use of life jackets.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 9

10 Hong Hong International School

“No Swim” Policy

Swimming is an integral part of the Lower Primary Physical Education curriculum;

therefore, all students are expected to swim. In the event your child is unable to swim,

due to a medical condition, one of the following must be submitted/performed;

1) a medical note from a qualified physician (electronic scan is acceptable), 2) a

parentally endorsed written excuse (e-mail is acceptable), or 3) a telephone call by a

parent or guardian. The aforementioned note/telephone call/e-mail must be received

by both your child’s PE teacher and classroom teacher prior to your child's next PE

class. If a note/telephone call/e-mail has not been received prior to PE class, it will be

assumed your child is fit to swim and is expected to do so.

Swimming Class Information

• R1 and R2 students change clothing in the classroom/flex-room prior to and after


• Grade 1 and Grade 2 students change in the locker rooms at the pool.

• There is a placement test on the first day of swimming. Placements are subject to


• If a student forgets his/her swim kit there are extra suits available to borrow.

• Swimming is on rain or shine; but not when there is lightning or rain so heavy that

the bottom of the pool is not visible. We also follow weather warnings.

• Students should wear crocs or flip-flops to and from the pool; they are a

lot easier to put on wet feet than shoes and socks and they greatly reduce

the chances of foot ailments such as warts or athlete’s foot.

• The pool is heated and kept at approximately 81 degrees Fahrenheit, 27 degrees


• The pool is inspected regularly by the Hong Kong Government. HKIS staff make

regular inspections aligning with school and government health and safety policies.

• There are five to seven trained swim instructors/lifeguards present at each swim

class (three to eight students per swim instructor, depending on swimmer ability).

n Art

At Lower Primary the Art program is fully integrated with the classroom curriculum.

This offers students a chance to deepen their learning in science, social studies

and language. We believe that the physical making of images and artifacts allows

students to make concrete their observations and responses to a complex world and

to articulate their learning.

The students work from memory, observation and imagination in the creation of

both 2D and 3D media. They use a wide range of materials and process and will

experience drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and mixed media in

the making of both individual and collaborative pieces. These artworks are displayed

in our school and provide valuable learning experiences. Through this process

students will come to know both the world and themselves at a deeper level.

n Guidance (see Student Services section)

Student Services


SSC Program objectives

• Provide learning opportunities

where students can achieve


• Link student need with appropriate


• Management of Individual

Educational Plans and Individual

Accommodation Plans.

• Increase student self-awareness

of individual learning strengths

and challenges as well as skills of


• Serve as a resource to provide

strategies, alternative curriculum,

information, and supplementary

materials to students, parents,

staff, faculty, and administrators.

• Monitor student progress

(academically, socially, emotionally)

to allow for maximum classroom


• Facilitate transition for students with

learning differences from Lower to

Upper Primary.

We believe that all students need opportunities, experiences and the necessary support

to be successful and to reach their full potential. Individual learning differences are

acknowledged and supported. Early intervention and prevention as well as researchbased

practices are critical. We provide a continuum of services, which includes pull out

services for direct intervention through to push in services for academic support in the

class. Such a supportive learning environment allows students with learning differences

to develop the skills and characteristics of a successful student and a life-long learner.

The SSC staff provides additional support for students’ individual needs in partnership

with classroom teachers and parents. The staff includes guidance counselors, learning

specialists and an early childhood language specialist, who are all professionally

qualified to work with students with unique learning needs. The program includes

counseling, guidance and learning support. Students who receive pull out support will

have a learning plan developed which will state their academic goal. Students receiving

in class support do not have a learning plan. Decisions in regards to student services

and the interventions provided to individual students are made with parents. Student

Review Team meetings, as well as parent-teacher meetings are held to develop the best

educational plan needed to support a child's individual learning plan.

Guidance and Counseling Program

Our Counselors teach Guidance classes to each grade on a regular basis and in this

way, they get to know each child personally. The goal of these classes is to enhance

each child’s personal, social and educational development and to build skills for

effective living. Our school wide Student Learning Result in the area of Character

Development is that our students will demonstrate responsible behaviors and caring

attitudes at school and in the community, as well as the integrity and courage to stand

up for what is right. The following are the main lesson topics:

• Acceptance of self and others • Positive risk taking

• Cooperation • Good judgment

• Responsibility • Facing frustration positively

Other counseling interventions include social skills groups, individual counseling, and

small groups for children in transition. Counselors meet with “New Students Groups” to

focus on the adjustments new students might be experiencing, how to make friends,

and to whom they can go if they should need help. Counselors also meet with “Goodbye

Groups”, which are designed for children who are leaving HKIS. Discussions may

include what the children will miss from the present setting, what they are looking

forward to in the new location, and how they will go about keeping in touch with old

friends, as well as how they will make new friends. Counselors facilitate Systematic

Training for Effective Parenting (S.T.E.P.) classes, and are available for consultation with


Parents are encouraged to contact teachers, administrators, and the counseling staff

as family needs arise, so that we can work together with you to meet the needs of your

child. The counselors also collaborate with the multi-disciplinary team and teachers as

needed, to ensure that the most appropriate services are provided for the child.

Learning Specialist Support

Learning Specialists are teachers who work alongside classroom teachers to identify

and assist children who require additional support in their learning. Services are

provided to meet specific needs for students who learn differently, or for those children

identified as requiring additional or alternative instruction in reading, writing, math and

fine motor development. Specialized programs may be provided for children who require

extra assistance to achieve academically. These programs are generally short term

and regularly reviewed and evaluated. Our Learning Specialists and Counselors also

work closely with outside professionals, such as Speech and Language Therapists &

Occupational Therapists.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 11

Health office

12 Hong Hong International School

The Repulse Bay campus is served by two Health Offices, one at Lower Primary and

one at Upper Primary. Our nurses work together to provide health services to our

students. In the Lower Primary, the Health Office is located on the ground floor near

the gym. Our nurse is on duty from 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Health Office telephone

number is 2812-5414. The main purposes of the Health Office is the following:

• Offer First Aid and assistance to children who become ill at school.

• Authorize and arrange for children to be sent home in cases of illness or injury.

• Dispense medications needed during the school day.

• Maintain health records and assist in the overall health program.

• Supervise re-admission of children to school after major illnesses, communicable

disease or injury.

• Offer screening for vision and hearing.

A Student Data Form must be completed for each child in Lower Primary at the

beginning of the school year. The information on this form is very important. It has

emergency contact numbers and authorizations for hospital care. Please remember to

update information on this form during the school year. This form will consist of detailed

information that the teachers and health office may refer to during the school year.

Our school nurses may not dispense any medication without parental consent. If your

doctor prescribes a medication that must be taken at school, you must complete

and submit a Medical Consent Form. A copy of this form is shown at the back of

this handbook. Medication should be brought to school by the parent in the original,

clearly labeled, container.

If your child becomes ill at school, you will be contacted to make arrangements for him

or her to be taken home as soon as possible. A doctor’s note is required following an

absence of six or more consecutive school days. If your child has a contagious disease/

illness, please contact the school nurses who will advise you on the procedures for

returning to school. The following are conditions under which a child would be sent home:

• Fever: If your child has a fever, a temperature of 99.5˚F (37.5˚C) or above, please

do not send him/her to school. Your child must be fever-free for 48 hours before

returning to school.

• Conjunctivitis: This is also commonly known as “pink eye” and is very

contagious. Please do not send your child to school until a doctor has seen him/

her and the prescribed eye drops have been used for 24 hours.

• Head lice: Head lice are a problem in any community. Lice are highly

communicable and difficult to prevent, but if every parent takes the responsibility

to screen the entire family periodically, these parasites can be prevented,

detected early and controlled. If you have questions or concerns regarding lice,

please call the Health Office at 2812-5414.

• Vomiting: Please keep your child at home for 24 hours after the last episode of


There are occasions when the Air Pollution Index (API) is high enough to be a health

risk to the children with asthma, other chest conditions and allergies. The API is

checked at 7:30 a.m. each morning by the nurses. When the API is above 100 on

Hong Kong Island, an announcement is broadcast to inform all teachers and teacher

assistants. The Health Office informs all teachers of children who are vulnerable and

the teachers adhere to procedures set forth when the API is over 100.

Lower Primary is a NUT FREE School (please read our policy on page 19).

There are an increasing number of students with severe allergies, including some

for whom the condition can be life threatening. The most common item causing this

severe reaction is peanuts. Please take care when sending food into school and

check with the teacher before distributing food to your child’s class.

Because of the significant number of students with allergies, we do not allow animals

with fur (i.e. dogs, cats, rabbits) in Lower Primary.

After School


Contact Details

HKIS Activities Office -

located on the 1st floor of the LPS

HKIS Activities Coordinator:

Teresa Wright


HKIS Junior Athletics Office -

located in the High School next to

the Dragon Shop

HKIS Junior Athletics Coordinator:

John Powell


Co-curricular Activities for Lower Primary Students

Lower Primary students will be offered a variety of developmentally appropriate

activities in a non-competitive and non-academic environment. The co-curricular

program is divided into an activities stream and a sports/athletics stream.

HKIS Activities Office

Coordinates activities as part of the HKIS co-curricular program, with opportunities

for students to pursue personal interests, hobbies and enrichment classes after

school. Registration is conducted directly with the companies and program providers.

Their details can be found on the co-curricular website:


The After School Activities (ASAs) are offered over two terms with classes held at

Repulse Bay and Tai Tam.

The Activities Office includes:

1. Paid After School Activities R2 & above (R2 students are not eligible for

3pm activities)

2. Summer Discovery Program R2 & above

3. USA Girl and Boy Scouts R2 & above

HKIS Junior Athletics Office

Coordinates recreational, development and competitive programs in the following

sports: badminton, baseball, basketball, rugby, soccer, softball (girls), swimming, table

tennis and tennis. Registration is conducted directly with the companies and program

providers. Their details can be found on the co-curricular website:


Participation Guidelines

The following is the recommended number of activities for Lower Primary students:

R1: Maximum of 1 co-curricular activity each session

R2: Maximum of 1 co-curricular activity each session

G1: Maximum of 1 co-curricular activity first semester; 2 activities second semester

G2: Maximum of 2 co-curricular activities each session

Students should not double book Scouts or ASA programs.

In accordance with school policy, all children are required to leave the school

premises by 3:00 p.m. unless they have a scheduled after school activity or

appointment that begins at 3:00 p.m. Children may not play on either the LPS or UPS

campus while waiting for a 4:00 p.m. activity. The Activities Office does not provide

on campus after-school supervision.

The 3:00 p.m. classes are for Grade 1 and above students only; R1 and R2 students

are able to participate in the 4:00 p.m. classes and weekend opportunities.

If a 3:00 p.m. class is cancelled due to weather conditions, notice will be provided on

or before 1:00 p.m. that day. Parents will receive notification from the program leader

directly and the students will be informed through their classroom teacher. If a parent

has been contacted, students will depart at 3:00 p.m. via their normal transport home.

In the event a 4:00 p.m. class is cancelled, the program leader will inform parents directly.

The Activities Office will not contact the students of these classes during school hours; as

students are not permitted to remain on campus for these 4:00 p.m. classes.

If your child is unable to attend their scheduled 3:00 p.m. class, please email both the

classroom teacher and the Activities Office of the absence.

If you would like to request a permanent or one-off change of transport at 4:00 p.m.,

please email the Activities Office and the program leader prior to 12:00 noon.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 13

Riding the School

Bus Safely

14 Hong Hong International School

Kwoon Chung Motors provides bus service for our students. Questions regarding

fares and routes should be directed to Kwoon Chung Motors at 2578-1178 or faxed

to 2806-8132. We also have a Bus Co-ordinator, Mr. Kenny Chu, at 2812-5419 or

mobile 6086-1143. Questions concerning safety, supervision or guidelines should be

directed to him. HKIS mails guidelines for bus conduct to parents of each child riding

the school bus. Children in Grades One and Two who stay for an after school activity

ride the bus home at 4:00 p.m. Friends who are not paying bus riders may not use

the bus.

training for Bus Mothers

The bus mother’s role is to assist in providing safe transportation of students to and

from HKIS. They assist children boarding and departing the bus and in maintaining

appropriate student behavior in accordance with bus rules. They provide a written

record of violation of student bus rules to the Bus Co-ordinator who forwards the

more serious complaints to the school administration team. To assist the bus mothers

in performing their role they participate in two training sessions each year, one in the

Spring and another in the Fall. The training consists of reviewing the bus company’s

policy and procedures as well as suggested strategies on maintaining appropriate

student behavior.

the following behavior is expected on the bus:

• Children remain seated, wearing a seat belt, whenever the bus is in motion.

• No objects of any kind will be thrown on the bus or out of the windows.

• Children will be respectful to bus drivers, bus supervisors and other children.

• Children are not allowed to drink or eat on the bus at anytime.

• Obscene language and fighting are not permitted.

Safety Rules for All Bus Riders

• Children board their buses immediately after school and remain on them.

• Children are to remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop before


• When getting off the bus, children are to wait for the bus to leave before crossing

the street to allow a full view of oncoming traffic.

Parents should meet children in Lower Primary grades or make suitable


• Pets are not allowed on the school bus.

• Adults are allowed to ride the bus only as long as they do not prevent a child from

having a seat. Children are not allowed to sit on laps or on the floor.

enforcement of Bus Rules

Children are expected to follow the bus rules. We have procedures for addressing

issues that arise when children do not follow the rules. After two warnings, the bus

mother makes a judgement to refer to the bus director who talks with the child and

parents. A second offense results in a suspension of bus privileges for up to FIVE

school days. Repeated offenses result in suspension of bus privileges with refund

at the discretion of administration. For major offenses (fighting, vandalism, obscene

language or gestures, giving false names, etc) children are suspended from the bus

without warning (THREE days minimum) and parents contacted. Children may be

assigned seats at the discretion of the bus mother, bus co-ordinator or administration.

Changing Buses

Lower Primary children are not allowed to ride any bus other than their assigned

buses. This is to ensure safety and well-being of children and to prevent overloading

of buses. We realize that it may cause some inconvenience, but we want to avoid any

confusion and anxiety for our young children at end of the day.

School Policies and


Arranged Alphabetically

1. Admissions and Grade Placement

Grade level placement is based on the cut-off date of August 31. Since we are an

international school and enroll children from various educational systems, we have

found it most successful to place children with peers of a similar age. Each class has

a wide range of academic abilities and skill levels, and our teachers are experienced

in supporting and challenging all children throughout the school year.

2. Advertisements

Occasionally, our office receives requests from external organizations or companies

to advertise various items to our parents. We do not usually accept such requests,

but we are willing to post an advertisement in our Reception Area where there are

bulletin boards for that purpose. Please contact the LP Office to seek Administrative


3. Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

The school day begins at 7:55 a.m. Students who arrive before this time go to the 2/F

(Reception One and Reception Two) and 7/F (Grade One and Grade Two) supervised

playgrounds, where they wait until 7:45 a.m., at which time all our students move

to their classrooms. Each day, several staff members rotate to supervise children

outside the building, on the playground, in the hallways, and on the stairs. Reception

One students are escorted to their classrooms. Students should not arrive at school

prior to 7:25 a.m. as there is no supervision before that time. When it is raining, all

children go directly to the Lower Primary gym where they are supervised. Children

arriving at 7:45 a.m. or later may go directly to their classrooms.

All students need to register for a bus, car rider, or walking tag at the start of the

year. These tags are fixed to students’ backpacks and indicate to teachers where

students will be dropped off and picked up on a daily basis. For locations of arrival

and dismissal please see the chart on the next page.

Children who walk to school or arrive by private car must be dropped off and picked

up ONLY in front of the Church of All Nations (CAN) at the top of the hill next to the

Upper Primary School. Be aware that dropping off or picking up children in other

areas is strictly prohibited as it adds to traffic congestion and puts your child at a

safety risk. (Note: the dead-end road that circles under the Lower Primary pool is

reserved for HKIS faculty and bus use only. Please do not park here and keep the

area available for its designated use.)

Please note: Students are not permitted to leave the CAN pick-up area during

dismissal unless they have a walking pass. This means parents, helpers, and drivers

will not be able to collect car riders from the CAN to meet cars at different locations in

an effort to avoid the pick-up line.

All children are to leave the school premises by 3:00 p.m. unless they have a

scheduled after school activity. Children may not play on the second or seventh floor

playgrounds unless they are in a supervised activity. Children participating in after

school activities go to their bus at 3:50 p.m., or go to the CAN to be picked up by

parents, helpers or drivers. The activity teachers supervise dismissal and bus loading


If parents need to change their dismissal/pick up arrangement for their child, they

need to send a signed note or an email to the homeroom teacher no later than 7:50

a.m. that morning. Phone calls to make last-minute changes will not be accepted

after 12:00 p.m.

At the end of the regular school day, teachers escort children out of the building and

help them locate their bus. Children must then remain on their buses and not wait for

siblings outside bus entrances. Our dismissal procedures vary for each grade, please

see the following chart.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 15

16 Hong Hong International School

Grade or Activity Dismissal Time

Where Car Riders or

Walkers are Picked up

Reception One half day morning 10:45 a.m. Under swimming pool

Reception One half day


2:45 p.m. At Church of All Nations

Reception One long day 1:45 p.m. At Church of All Nations

Reception Two 1:45 p.m. At Church of All Nations

Grades One and Two 2:45 p.m. At Church of All Nations

After school activities 3:45 p.m. At Church of All Nations

4. Assessing Student Learning

(Classroom Based Assessments, Developmental Continuum, Standardized


The assessment system in Lower Primary includes multiple assessment tools such

as developmental continuums in reading and writing, reading running records,

collecting data on the various types of reading strategies children use as they read,

math assessment profiles and student portfolios. The Grade Two students also take a

standardized test in the second semester.

We believe assessments provide teachers with timely information for increasing

individual student performance on a day to day basis. We believe that the most

informative and accurate measure of student achievement is derived from classroom

performance assessments based on daily observations of what students can do

with what they have learned. Ultimately, we want students to understand how they

learn, how they can evaluate their own performance, and how they can undertake

the learning necessary to improve their work. We want to help students learn how

to interpret and celebrate their own growth. We believe all assessment should help

our instructional planning, our communication with parents and the evaluation of the

effectiveness of our program, materials and approaches.

5. Attendance and Absences

HKIS believes that daily school attendance is critical if students are to receive the

maximum benefits from the learning and growth opportunities offered at the school.

Absences, for any reason, are disruptive to the learning process and to the student's

achievement. Being on time for school and for class are also important for the

individual student and the class as a whole.

The school is committed to working with parents to ensure consistent attendance

for all students. Parents should not permit students to miss school for reasons other

than illness, family emergencies, or significant personal reasons, such as religious

observances or external exams. Parents are also asked to respect the school’s

calendar especially at parent conference times and not to take their child out of

school for travel, or vacations during regularly scheduled school days. If a student

is absent for reasons other than illness, family emergencies or significant personal

reasons, parents should note that the school does not require teachers to provide

make-up work.

Any absence, tardy or early dismissal must be accounted for. Parents should notify

the school early in the school day if their child will be absent due to illness, or as early

as possible in advance for other absences.

All students are expected to be on school grounds from the official start to the end of

the school day. Permission for students to leave their school campus during school

hours can only be granted by the Principal of the school or his/her designee.

When your child is absent from school, please call 2812-5410 or fax (2812-9590)

the school office on the day of the absence. When you call, please follow up with

a written notice to the teacher. This written notice is important for attendance

purposes. A doctor’s note is required following an absence of six or more consecutive

days of major illness, communicable disease, or injury. The doctor’s note should state

that the child may return to class and if there are any physical restrictions.

6. Behavior and Discipline

The ethos of Lower Primary is to foster effective learning and to shape positive

patterns of behavior for all of our students. Good lines of communication must be

maintained between class teacher and parent, and between the Lower Primary

administration team and parents. We do this by providing an appropriate and

differentiated curriculum for all students and by motivating our students by involving

them, through discussion in Guidance lessons, and throughout the year within

the classroom by talking about the importance of our character development goal

and the value of being a good student. We want each of our students to develop a

genuine feeling of belonging to the school, and the associated feelings of self-esteem.

At the start of each school year, each class works out classroom rules. These

will be specific to each age group/class. Students’ positive behavior is reinforced

by teachers in a variety of ways to help students internalize the value in behaving

appropriately. As students mature and develop, we hope to foster intrinsic motivation

rather than motivation based on praise and reward.

There are, of course, occasions when sanctions are applied if a child’s behavior

warrants it. These sanctions include: loss of playtime, or part of playtime, ‘timeout’

(removal from classroom activity for 5 - 10 minutes to calm down and remove

distraction from others), or for more serious misbehaviors, removal from classroom to

the Principal’s office.

7. Birthdays

Young children enjoy having their birthday honored in a special way at school. Parents

are welcome to send a simple treat to school to make it a special day for your child.

Please check with your child’s teacher for specifics. Each birthday child is invited to

make a lasting contribution to our Library Media Center by purchasing a book that will

have a specially designed name plate indicating the name of the birthday celebrant.

Check with our Librarian for more details.

8. Chapels and Assemblies

Each cluster holds chapels focused on the Christian message as well as assemblies

focused on various other topics such as a thematic area, special visitors or cultural

festivals. Divisional chapels and assemblies take place once a month.

9. Communication between home and school

A child’s school life is greatly enriched by a family that is well-informed and active in

school activities. We welcome your involvement and encourage close ties between

parents and teachers. Below are some examples of how we communicate with


n The Monday Newsletter

This is sent by email each Monday and contains information regarding weekly

activities and events at school. It may also include news from community

organizations such as the Parent Faculty Organization (PFO), scouting groups, and

the Church of All Nations. This newsletter is an important means of communication

between school and home, so please be sure to read it.

n Cluster Newsletters

Each cluster (grouping of two to four classes in each modified open classroom

area) sends newsletters home periodically. These are generally sent home on

a monthly basis and are unique to each cluster, with special heading, logo, and

color. They provide information about curriculum activities in the classroom and

may include student writing samples and artwork. Individual classroom teachers

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 17

18 Hong Hong International School

also communicate regularly with parents, in a variety of formats – some write class

newsletters, some do personal emails, others have notebooks. Our goal is to keep

you informed of your child’s work.

n Orange Notices

From time to time we send home information notices that require parent signatures.

These notices are always printed on orange paper as an extra indication to you that it

needs your immediate attention and that you must sign and return it to school. If your

child is in Reception One or Two, please put these notices in your child’s clear plastic

folder when returning it to the teacher.

n Fall Parent Coffees

These events are held at the beginning of the year and provide opportunities for

parents to hear more about the educational program of the school and also to ask

questions. Parents also enjoy the opportunity to meet other parents in an informal


n Back-to-School Nights (Open House)

Two nights are set aside in the Fall for Lower Primary Back-to-School Nights, one

night for Reception One and Two and one night for Grades One and Two. By offering

two opportunities for parents to visit, we provide a program that is more specific to

your child’s grade level and your interests. It also reduces the number of people at

the school for each evening, thus giving us more time to meet you individually and

respond to your questions. Generally we meet in the gym for snacks and drinks,

followed by a short presentation from the Principal or Associate Principals, ending

with a presentation by your child’s teacher in the classroom.

10. early Leaving

Extended absences and early leaving for any reason other than illness are strongly

discouraged. Our instructional program is planned for the full year. New concepts

are taught, practiced, and reinforced on a daily basis. In addition, classroom reading,

writing, and discussion form the basis for our theme learning. Children who are

absent miss these valuable opportunities to verbalize and work with new instructional

concepts. They also miss important opportunities to work as cooperative partners

in groups. Children who miss many school days sometimes feel left out when they

discover that the class has moved on to new topics or themes.

When children leave before the end of the school year, they miss special activities,

which are designed to bring closure to the school year.

11. end of Year Check out Procedures

At the end of the school year students are expected to return all library books, text

books, DVDs or other educational materials that have been loaned to them for the

year. Students who have lost materials or books will be expected to pay replacement

costs before report cards are issued. We ask that parents help develop their

children’s sense of responsibility for school materials.

12. Field trips

Field trips are an important part of our school curriculum. They provide extended,

hands-on learning experiences for all the children. You will be informed of all field trips

before they occur. We use our own regular school bus for transportation. Parents are

welcome on field trips. Teachers will communicate with parents regarding attendance

at field trips and volunteer parent chaperones. Please note, domestic helpers and/

or nannies are generally not allowed to accompany children on field trips, mainly

because we want to keep parents as our main partners in education.

13. Homework

Open-ended playtime for children after school hours is a necessity, especially in a

high-stress city like Hong Kong. Therefore, homework will be required only as needed.

Parents may expect an explanation of specific homework procedures from their child’s

teacher during the Fall open house meeting. This will clarify the benefits that certain

out-of class assignments will provide and parent support needed. Parents can expect

up to 20 minutes of homework from their homeroom teacher per weeknight in grades

1 and 2. We encourage reading to your child(ren) as part of a nightly routine as it builds

oral language skills, listening skills, vocabulary and overall literacy skills.

Students will also regularly receive homework in Chinese Studies, since daily practice

is helpful when learning a new language. The main purpose of homework assignment

sheets is to let parents know what their children are learning in Chinese Studies class.

Parents who do not speak Mandarin are not expected to help their children with

their pronunciation. Parents are encouraged to write comments and suggestions on

the space provided on the homework sheets. Parents should not rush their child to

complete homework before the due date. Rather, they should consistently work and

review the materials learned in school over the assigned time frame.

n Chinese Homework:

Grade 1 - Students spend approximately 10 minutes on Chinese homework per

class day, except Fridays and the day before holidays.

Grade 2 - Students spend approximately 15 minutes on Chinese homework per

class day, except Fridays and the day before holidays.

14. Labels in clothing and other belongings

Please label everything that is sent to school with your child, especially backpacks,

lunch boxes, sweaters, sweatshirts, jackets and umbrellas. This will help in returning

lost items to their owners. A loop on the inside neckline of outerwear clothing is

helpful for hanging on a closet hook.

15. Lost and Found

Unlabeled items unclaimed in clusters or found in other parts of the building on the

buses or playgrounds will be placed in the Lost and Found boxes located outside

the gym on the ground floor. Items that remain unclaimed will be donated to Hong

Kong welfare agencies after an appropriate notice has been placed in the Monday


16. Lunch/Drinks

All children in R1 long day, R2, G1 and G2 must bring their own lunches everyday.

17. nut Free Policy – Lower Primary is a nut Free Zone

As part of the safety measures at HKIS, Lower Primary adheres to a TOTAL NUT

FREE policy throughout the entire building. This includes bringing food to schoolrelated

activities. Parents and children need to be mindful of any products containing

nuts when preparing lunches or snacks. Parents of children who historically have

suffered any anaphylactic reaction to any foods or insect bites, need to provide the

school with an up-to-date Allergy Form located in the LP Health Office.

It is expected that all members of the LP community will adhere to the following


Lower Primary Parent Handbook 19

20 Hong Hong International School

Don’t send to school:

• any nut products

• any foods cooked in peanut oil

• any spread containing nuts (all nuts, e.g. peanut butter, Nutella)

• any muesli bar, biscuit or other product THAT LISTS NUTS AS AN INGREDIENT

• packages of mixed fruit (e.g. trail mix) that contain nuts

• recycled containers that may have contained nuts, e.g. cereal, peanut butter

jars, biscuits or cookies


• don’t use nut ingredients if preparing food for a special school event (e.g.

birthday cake, cultural food, sports day picnic)

• note if your child eats a nut product for breakfast (e.g. peanut butter on toast),

washing hands before arriving at school will reduce the chance of exposing

an allergic child to nut allergen at the LP (e.g. on the bathroom taps, computer

mouse, climbing equipment, etc.)

All children are discouraged from swapping food.

This policy is for LOWER PRIMARY students due to the ages and level of

responsibility in the early years of education in order to keep everyone safe

in the building.

18. Parent Advisory Group

The Parent Advisory Group (PAG) is a diverse group of parents and faculty

representatives dedicated to fostering a positive and collaborative relationship

between the parents, administration and faculty of the Lower Primary in an endeavor

to improve the school, its curriculum and programs. PAG provides structured avenues

for parental input into the operation of the LP division, and involves selected parents

in the work of enhancing communication and partnership between parents and staff.

Membership is by invitation of the LP Principal. Interested parents may apply by

completing an application form. New members will be interviewed by the Principal

and PAG members. In order to be eligible for PAG, parents must have at least one

child attending Lower Primary. Membership requirement is a minimum of two years.

19. Parent Faculty organization

Parents and faculty members at HKIS are members of the Parent Faculty

Organization (PFO). The goals of the PFO are to:

• Support the school in providing quality education

• Foster partnerships between the home and the school

• Build a sense of community

• Provide a form for input into matters relating to school policy

• Raise funds for school related purposes

In support of the above goals, the PFO organizes newcomer coffees, parenting

groups, book fairs, the Pumpkin Festival in October, Chinese New Year celebration

and a World’s Fair in the spring. It also has numerous committees that support the

HKIS community. Parents are invited to volunteer for PFO activities and should do so

by filling in the Volunteer Form which comes with the Registration Packet or call the

Volunteer Coordinator.

20. Parents’ Presence in Hong Kong

n Residency

An enrollment requirement of HKIS is for all students to have at least one parent in

full-time residence in Hong Kong.

n Temporary Absence from Hong Kong

If during the school year both parents plan to leave Hong Kong for one or more

days while a child remains in residence, one or more temporary guardians must be

appointed to make any necessary decisions regarding the child’s welfare.

A “Notification of Both Parents’ Absence from Hong Kong” form must be completed

each time both parents plan to be absent from Hong Kong, and submitted to the

student’s divisional administration office as far in advance as possible.

The “Appointment of Temporary Guardians” form must also be completed and

returned to the student’s divisional administration office as soon as possible prior to

the FIRST planned departure of both parents from Hong Kong. The completion of

one of these forms each school year is sufficient, as long as the appointed temporary

guardian information has not changed.

Parents who do not arrange for and inform the school of the child’s supervision and

guardianship may jeopardize the child’s continued enrollment at HKIS.

21. Parking

There is no legal parking available at the Repulse Bay campus. The police regularly

ticket those parked on the street. We encourage parents to come by taxi or public


22. Picking up students during the day

If it becomes necessary to pick your child up during the school day, please sign your

child out at the office and receive a pass before taking your child. Only those adults

who are listed on the Student Data Form as parents or emergency contacts will be

allowed to pick up a child, unless accompanied by written authorization.

23. Problems and Concerns

Our school has established a protocol for whom to contact should a concern arise.

This provides an opportunity for the people closest to the issue to resolve it together

before involving a supervisor. At HKIS, our teachers are committed to working with

parents to ensure children’s success.

When you have a concern about your child, please contact your child’s teacher

first. Our teachers care about each child’s whole development and want to work

in partnership with you to ensure that your child is successful in school. If you are

not satisfied with the response, please contact the supervisor for that grade. Maya

Nelson is the supervisor for Reception One, Ben Hart is the supervisor for Reception

Two and Grade Two, and Nate Dennison is the supervisor for Grade One.

If your concern is about a divisional matter, please contact the Principal, Maya


If your concern is about a schoolwide matter, please contact the Head of School,

Kevin Dunning.

Parent conferences take place regularly to discuss your child’s progress in school,

during the first, second and third quarters, for all grade levels.

Progress reports for Lower Primary children are sent home regularly. For Reception

One, Progress Reports are sent home at the end of the year, and for Reception Two,

Grades One and Two, they are sent home in January and June.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 21

22 Hong Hong International School

24. Promoting a Culture of Respect

HKIS is committed to building and sustaining a culture of respect, care and safety

that is free from any form of harassment, bullying and intimidation. All members of

our community – students, parents, faculty, staff and visitors – have a right to feel

safe and protected and share the responsibility to build and maintain an environment

in which everyone feels respected. Offensive, harassing, bullying or intimidating

behaviors will not be tolerated or ignored and will be dealt with appropriately and


Across the school, both prevention and intervention strategies are in place for our

student and adult community, and will be published and reviewed annually, to

encourage empathy and respect and to respond appropriately to any acts of bullying

and harassment.

Any repeated behavior that offends, upsets, embarrasses, frightens, excludes or

hurts another person is bullying and/or harassment. HKIS recognizes that these

behaviors can take many forms including:

Verbal Bullying and/or Harassment

• Language – name-calling, spreading rumors, and/or directing insulting, teasing,

threatening comments to another person.

• Virtual – harassment, or spreading rumors by email, instant messaging, blogs or

any other media form.

• Religious – putting down or ridiculing another’s religion, stopping another from

expressing their beliefs.

• Racial – making hurtful comments or discriminating against someone based on

their nationality, race or culture, color of their skin or language spoken.

• Intellectual – making hurtful comments based on someone’s intellectual or

academic ability.

• Sexual – making hurtful comments or discriminating against someone based on

their gender or sexual orientation.

Non-Verbal Bullying and/or Harassment

• Physical – hitting, kicking, pushing, spitting or any other form of physical behavior

which is deemed to be aggressive in nature.

• Personal Property (real or virtual) – taking, damaging or trespassing another’s

property. This includes entering another student’s email account, personal

belongings, or school locker without permission.

• Indirect – intentionally excluding someone from a group, discussion or team.

• Graphic/Vandalism – defacing another’s property, projects or photographs.

• Sexual – making offensive gestures about another’s body, touching or maintaining

unwelcome closeness to another person or discriminating against someone based

on their sexual orientation.

Each division will implement age and stage appropriate prevention strategies aimed

at developing an ethos of caring and empathy to reduce the likelihood of bullying and


The school will respond to incidents of bullying and harassment promptly and with

sensitivity toward both the victim and the perpetrator recognizing that often those

who bully others have been prior victims of bullying and/or harassment.

School specific interventions and consequences for incidents of bullying and/or

harassment will be published in school handbooks and on the school website.

25. Registration and transfers

At the very beginning of the school year, parents and children have an opportunity to

meet the teachers and receive a brief orientation to the grade level program before

school actually begins. Parents may use this time to provide information about the

child’s learning styles and preferences and any other information that may help the

child’s adjustment. The specific time for your orientation meeting will be sent to you

before school starts.

Children re-register for the following year using a form provided by the school during

April. Please fill out this form and return it to school. If transferring to another school,

written notices should be given to the Admissions Office at least three weeks prior

to the time of departure so the transcript can be prepared. At the time of withdrawal,

HKIS will provide a student transfer card to be presented to the child’s new school.

HKIS will forward academic, health, and test records upon request. Any questions

concerning re-registration or transfer should be addressed to the Admissions Office.

Changes in address or telephone number should also be communicated to the

Admissions Office and the school office.

26. Reporting on Student Learning

Report cards for R2-G2 students are sent home twice in a school year, in January

and June, at the end of each semester. Parent conferences are also scheduled in

the first, second and third quarters to discuss your child’s progress in school. The

third quarter conferences are student-led, activity-based conferences. Parents must

book their conference times electronically on the Internet. Signing up instructions are

issued via the Monday Newsletter. R1 students receive report cards only at the end of

the year.

27. Safety Procedures

HKIS puts safety first at all times. We maintain all equipment to a high standard

and regularly check for problems. We also hold regular fire drills and emergency

evacuation drills. We are in regular communication with Hong Kong authorities. We

take any incident seriously, and we have careful plans for evacuation and for the

security of every student. After consulting with police, fire or other security experts in

Hong Kong, we determine the best course of action and return to normal school life

as soon as possible. In the event of an external emergency that occurs during school

hours, HKIS will keep students at school until appropriate instructions are issued. We

will also follow any directions broadcast by the Hong Kong Education Bureau.

28. School Supplies/Backpacks or Bookbags

The school provides classroom materials and supplies, so children do not need

to bring extra materials. Children should bring an appropriate sized school bag or

backpack to carry home daily papers, notes, library books, lunches and personal

belongings. Parents should teach their children how to open zippers and carry their

backpack safely. Parents should also take care not to select oversized bags, or those

with complex openings or zippers. Backpacks with large openings and easy zippers

are ideal for this age group.

29. Six-Day Schedule

Our specialist schedule follows a 6-day cycle. This means that your child receives

instruction in Music, Art, PE and Chinese, following a 6-day cycle. A copy of this

year’s 6-day cycle can be found on page 28 of this handbook. Details of your child’s

class schedule will be given at the Back to School Night.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 23

24 Hong Hong International School

30. Student Safety Patrol

One of the ways to help instill responsibility is through our Safety Patrol. Every year,

we select children from Grade Two to assist during morning arrival time. Wearing a

special safety patrol vest, these students assist the adults in ensuring that children

move in an orderly manner from the second floor and seventh floor playgrounds to

the classrooms. These students are expected to model proper playground behavior

and help remind other students of the rules. Parents who are interested in having

their child become members of our Safety Patrol program can speak to their child’s

teacher. Children enjoy being in a leadership role and being a model for younger

children to look up to.

31. telephone calls

When the need arises to contact your child during the school day, please come by or

call the office for assistance. We ask that you do not call the clusters directly, unless

in an emergency. Requests for after school transportation changes need to be written

and signed by the parent/guardian. In the interest of child safety, phone requests for

transportation changes will be verified before the change can be approved. If parents

need to change their dismissal/pick up arrangement for their child, they need to send

a signed note or an email to the homeroom teacher no later than 12:00 p.m. Phone

calls to make last-minute changes will not be accepted after 12:00 p.m.

32. tutoring

Some parents may choose to employ a tutor for their children. This is highly

discouraged at this age. If you believe your child needs tutoring, please discuss this

with your classroom teacher or counselor. Parents are responsible for making all

arrangements with tutors. Parents need to be aware that teachers are not allowed to

tutor any child who is currently in a class they are teaching, as this presents a conflict

of interests. Tutoring on school grounds is prohibited.

33. Uniform

n LP & UP Dress Code Policy – 2012-2013

The primary schools (R1- G5) maintain a school dress code. This is a color dress code

of navy blue, red and white. The place of purchase is at the discretion of parents,

although the Dragon Shop (operated by parent volunteers and managed by the HKIS

Booster Club) sells the appropriate uniform. The Dragon Shop is located at the Tai

Tam campus and its regular hours of operation are from Monday through Friday from

9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. when the High School is in session.

n Uniform Requirements:


Students must wear red or white solid shirts (individual’s choice as to type of fabric)

with a collar and front buttoning with short or long sleeves. Buttoning may either

be completely down the front or with a two or three button neck opening. An HKIS

badge is to be displayed on the left front of the shirt. Badges may be obtained from

the Dragon Shop, or Upper Primary or Lower Primary school offices. Alternative HKIS

items, including clothing from sports teams, special events or Dragon Shop t-shirts,

may not be worn as part of the school uniform. Please ask if you wish for further


Options for Girl (Lower Primary)

Girls may wear a solid navy blue uniform (individual’s choice as to type of fabric) in the

form of a dress or jumper. An HKIS badge will be displayed on the left front chest.


Students must wear either solid navy blue shorts, skorts, skirts, leggings or pants

(individual’s choice as to type of fabric). Bike shorts, cut- offs and shorts/pants with

ragged edges, tears or holes are not appropriate.


Students must wear a solid navy blue, red or white solid color sweatshirt or sweater.

No other color of sweatshirts or sweaters is allowed. HKIS outerwear (jackets,

sweatshirts, etc.) that adhere to the school colors (i.e. blue, red and white) sold at the

Dragon Shop and HKIS ‐issued Chinese New Year clothing is permitted.


Students may choose to wear shoes, sneakers or sandals. If sandals are worn, they

must have a heel and toe strap. No clogs, Crocs (unless for swimming – please see

below), flip‐flops or shoes with wheels.


Socks must be solid red, white or navy blue in either short or knee length. White HKIS

socks are also permitted.

Hats (optional)

While hats are not a required item for the HKIS LP or UP uniform, we strongly

encourage students to wear hats during outdoor recess during the summer.

Physical Education and Swimming

All students participate in physical education activities and must wear supportive

rubber-soled shoes for gym activities. Slip ‐on shoes are not acceptable for safety

reasons. For swimming, students must bring a swimsuit, towel and flip-flops, Crocs

or beach shoes on scheduled swimming days. An extra towel for long hair, comb and

sweatshirt (for returning to class) are advisable. Students change at the swimming

pool’s changing rooms.

The dress code is required on the first day of school. Parents have the

responsibility of seeing that their children are dressed appropriately.

Students who do not adhere to dress code guidelines will be asked to follow

up with teachers or administration.

Please note that as we work to ensure greater consistency and adherence to the

dress code policy, there are a number of specific items that will be allowed (for the

2012 ‐2013 school year). These items are:

• Long ‐sleeved polo shirts with embroidered dragon head and the school name

• HKIS ‐issued Chinese New Year clothing that follow the guidelines above, including

long and short- sleeved polo shirts, sweatshirts, etc.

Additional Notes

Non-HKIS Logos

Logos on uniforms are to be kept to a minimum. As a general rule, a logo that can be

covered in its entirety with one hand is permissible.

34. Valuables

Children should not bring any valuables to school. Examples of inappropriate items

include iPods, cell phones, expensive toys, trading cards or jewelry. Children do

not need to bring cash to school unless parents have been requested to pay for

something school-related.

35. Visitors and Parent Volunteers in Lower Primary

In order to ensure a safe environment within our school, we require all visitors to

check in at the guard’s station before entering the building, as well as with the Front

Office. You will be given a school visitor’s badge to wear around your neck while you

are in the building.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 25

26 Hong Hong International School

36. Weather Warnings Procedures

HKIS Emergency Weather Warnings Procedures

Hong Kong weather can be extreme and this sometimes requires that we modify

our school schedules. As always, parents are advised to use their best judgment in

determining whether to send their children to school whenever the weather is inclement

or road conditions make travel to school unwise. The Hong Kong Education Bureau

makes a decision at 6:00 a.m. on such mornings. Under normal circumstances

HKIS follows the Government’s recommendation and will not call parents directly.

What to do when the signal is issued before school starts:

Typhoon 1 All R1-12 classes are in session.

Typhoon 3

R1 a.m. and R1 Long Day classes are cancelled.

R1 p.m. classes are cancelled if the signal is still in effect

at 10:45 a.m.

R2-12 classes are in session.

Typhoon 8 All schools are closed - all classes are cancelled.

Amber Rainstorm All classes R1-12 are in session.

Red Rainstorm All schools are closed - all classes are cancelled.

Black Rainstorm All schools are closed - all classes are cancelled.

Please note there are times when localized weather conditions on the south side of the

island are very different from territory-wide predictions. In circumstances where HKIS

needs to take action that is different from the Government’s recommendation we will

call and email parents as early as possible and place an announcement on DragonNet.

What we do when the signal is raised during school hours:

At times a typhoon increases in intensity or a rainstorm signal is raised while the

children are at school. If this happens, we will use the following procedures:

Typhoon 1

Typhoon 3

Typhoon 8

Amber Rainstorm

Red Rainstorm

Black Rainstorm

All R1-12 classes will remain in session with regular

dismissal times.

All R2-12 classes will remain in session with regular

dismissal times.

Note: R1 p.m. classes will be cancelled if the signal is still

in effect at 10:45 a.m.

All R1-12 classes will be dismissed. (The notice of typhoon

8 signal being raised is given to schools several hours

before it is actually hoisted, thus allowing schools enough

time to make arrangements to get students home safely.)

All R1-12 classes will remain in session with regular

dismissal times.

All R1-12 classes will remain in session AND* students will

remain in school until conditions are safe for them to return


All R1-12 classes will remain in session AND* students will

remain in school until conditions are safe for them to return


* This means students will not be released until the warning has been removed and

buses are authorized for safe travel, which could be after 3:00 p.m. Please note

that the HK government strongly advises everyone to stay indoors during a Black

Rainstorm warning. Driving yourself or sending someone to pick up your child during

a Black Rainstorm signal is extremely dangerous and not advisable.

Note: In the case of a Typhoon 8 signal when we must dismiss the children prior to

the end of the regular school day, parents will be contacted with the approximate

new dismissal time. It is critical that you discuss with your family and your helper the

new arrival time and determine who will be waiting at the bus stop for your child. If

your child regularly walks home or is picked up by car, please be prepared to come

immediately to school and pick up your child at the normal meeting place.

Buses will run and complete their routes if school is in session or when students

are on board. Any variation to the regular schedule will be the decision of the bus

company in consultation with the school administration.

For information regarding weather conditions, we recommend the following


Internet: www.weather.gov.hk

Hong Kong Observatory: Tel: 187-8200

(Press 1 for Cantonese, 2 for Mandarin, 3 for English)

RTHK - Radio 3 (97.9mHz or 106.8mHz FM)

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 27

Lower Primary

Six-Day Schedule


Day 1-6 = A Cycle

Day 1-6 = A Cycle







































Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

1 2 3

6 7 8 9 10

13 14 15 16 17

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

20 21 22 23 24

Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 1 Day 2

27 28 29 30 31

Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 1

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

3 4 5 6 7

Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

10 11 12 13 14

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

17 18 19 20 21

Day 6 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4

24 25 26 27 28 Professional

Day 5 Day 6 Day 1 Day 2


Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

1 2 3 4 5

Public Holiday Public Holiday School Holiday School Holiday School Holiday

8 9 10 11 12

Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 1

15 16 17 18 19

Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

22 23 24 25 26

Public Holiday Public Holiday Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

29 30 31

Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

1 2

Day 1 Day 2

5 6 7 8 LP Parent 9 LP Parent

Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

Conferences Conferences

12 13 14 15 16

Day 6 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4

19 20 21 22 23 Professional

Day 5 Day 6 Day 1 Day 2


26 27 28 29 30

Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 1

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

3 4 5 6 7

Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

10 11 12 13 14

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

17 18 19 20 21

Day 6 Day 1 Day 2 School Holiday School Holiday

24 25 26 27 28

School Holiday


School Holiday

Public Holiday Public Holiday School Holiday School Holiday

28 Hong Hong International School

































Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

1 2 3 4

Public Holiday School Holiday School Holiday School Holiday

7 8 9 10 11

Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 1

14 15 16 17 18

Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

21 22 23 24 25

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

28 29 30 31

Day 6 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri


4 5 6 7 8

Day 4


Day 5 Day 6 Day 1 Day 2


11 12 13 14 15

Public Holiday Public Holiday Public Holiday School Holiday School Holiday

18 19 20 21 22

Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 1

25 26 27 28

Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri


Day 6

4 5 6 7 8

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

11 12 13 14 15

Day 6 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4

18 19 20 21 Student-led 22 Student-led

Day 5 Day 6 Day 1

Conferences Conferences

25 26 27 28 29

Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Public Holiday

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

1 2 3 4 5

Public Holiday School Holiday School Holiday Public Holiday School Holiday

8 9 10 11 12

Day 6 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4

15 16 17 18 19

Day 5 Day 6 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

22 23 24 25 26

Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 1 Day 2

29 30

Day 3 Day 4

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

1 2 3

Public Holiday Day 5 Day 6

6 7 8 9 10

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

13 14 15 16 17

Day 6 Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Public Holiday

20 21 22 23 24

Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 1 Day 2

27 28 29 30 31

Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 1

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri

3 4 5 6 7

Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

10 11 12 13 14

Day 1 Day 2 Public Holiday

17 18 19 20 21

24 25 26 27 28

Hong Kong International School

Medical Consent Form

If possible parents are advised to give medication at home and on a schedule other

than during school hours. If it isnecessary that medication be given during school

hours the following regulations must be followed:

Medication must be brought to school in original container appropriately

labeled by the pharmacy or physician in English, stating name of student, name

of medication, time to be taken and amount to be taken. Medication must be

given to the school nurse at the beginning of the school day. If medication is

not properly labeled it will NOT be given.

Parent/guardian must sign this form, granting the school nurse permission to

administer the medication, according to regulations set herein.

The Registered Nurse at Hong Kong International School has my permission to

administer the medication, detailed below, to my child:

(last name first)


as recommended by Dr. .

I give my permission for the R.N. to contact the physician/dentist if necessary.



Name of medication:

Dose to be given:

Time to be given:

Is refrigeration required? n Yes n No

Should medicine be sent home with the student each day? n Yes n No

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 29

Hong Kong International School

notification of Both Parents’ Absence from Hong Kong

Please complete this form and submit it to the divisional administration office as soon as possible prior to the planned

departure of both parents from Hong Kong. You may submit the form to the division administration office by fax, letter, or email.

Forms can be downloaded from the HKIS DragonNet, scanned and attached to your email. Email addresses are:

hsattendance@hkis.edu.hk msattendance@hkis.edu.hk upsattendance@hkis.edu.hk lpsattendance@hkis.edu.hk

• You must notify HKIS, and the temporary guardian, each time both parents plan to leave Hong Kong. If you have children

attending HKIS in different divisions, please ensure that a copy of the form is submitted to each divisional administration office.

• Please provide the dates of absence from the territory, and all relevant contact information at the destination, for example,

contact telephone numbers and email address. If you can provide your travel itinerary, that would be most helpful.

• In the event of an emergency and to ensure the safety and welfare of your child, please ensure that the “Appointment of

Temporary Guardians” form is completed, or has been completed at an earlier date, and returned to the respective

divisional administration office.

Student’s Name Date of Birth Grade

Dates Both Parents Will be Out of Hong Kong

Date LEAVING Hong Kong: Date RETURNING to Hong Kong:

Contact Details of Parents During Their Absence from Hong Kong

I will be at this address (or hotel) from to

Telephone # (at address or hotel):

I will be at this address (or hotel) from to

Telephone # (at address or hotel):

Mobile Telephone #: Mobile Telephone #:

Contact Email: Contact Email:

Temporary Guardian(s) Appointed to Act on Behalf of Parents During Their Absence

I/WE have completed the “Appointment of temporary guardians” form at an earlier date in this current school year and returned

the form to the respective principal’s office. I/WE have notified the temporary guardians of our forthcoming dates of absence from

Hong Kong. (Please √ answer box below where applicable).

n Yes If yes, please state the names of the appointed temporary guardians:

n No If no, please complete an “APPOINTMENT OF TEMPORARY GUARDIANS” form and return it to the principal’s office

prior to your absence from Hong Kong.

Will Your Child/Children be Living with the Appointed Temporary Guardian? n Yes n No (please √)

If “no”, what appropriate supervisory arrangements are being made?

Is Your Child/Children Involved in After School Activities at HKIS? n Yes n No (please √)

Student’s Name Activity Day / Time Coach’s / Tutor’s Name & Contact No.

Parent’s Signature: Date:

Hong Kong International School

Appointment of temporary Guardians

(When both Parents are Absent from Hong Kong)

“An enrollment requirement of HKIS is for all students to have at least one parent in fulltime residence in Hong Kong. If during

the school year both parents plan to leave Hong Kong for one or more days while a child remains in residence, one or more

temporary guardians must be appointed to make any necessary decisions regarding the child’s welfare”. (Policy #3110)

In the event of an emergency and to ensure the safety and welfare of your child/children please complete a form for each

child and return the original copy to the student’s divisional administration office as soon as possible prior to the first

planned departure of both parents from Hong Kong.

• The form must be signed by both the parent and the temporary guardian to be considered complete.

• The completion of one “Appointment of Temporary Guardians” form each school year, for each child, is sufficient for our

records, as long as the temporary guardian information has not changed. If temporary guardianship changes, a new form must

be completed and returned to the student’s divisional administration office.

Parent’s Declaration

I/We, parents of

Student’s Name: Date of Birth: Grade:

do hereby appoint, as TEMPORARY GUARDIAN(S) of my child, the person(s) whose particulars are indicated below,


Name of Temporary Guardian(s):



Home Tel: Work Tel:

Mobile Tel: Email:

Temporary Guardian’s Declaration

I/We, the named appointed TEMPORARY GUARDIANS above agree to act on behalf of the parents with respect to the

direct care and supervision of the above named student on matters pertaining to the students education at Hong Kong

International School (HKIS).

I/We also agree to make decisions, on behalf of the parents, in the event of a medical emergency pertaining to the above

named student.

Joint Declaration and Signatures

In the event of emergencies, if neither of us (parents) nor the temporary guardian(s) can be contacted, I/We hereby

irrevocably authorize the Hong Kong International School and/or its representative to take my/our child to the Hong Kong

Adventist Hospital or other available hospital if and when emergency care is needed. In that event I/we shall indemnify

the Hong Kong International School and/or its representatives and employees in respect of all claims, liabilities, costs

and expenses that may be incurred in connection with authorizing any treatment, which, in the opinion of the relevant

medical practitioner of the hospital, may be necessary or appropriate for the treatment of my/our child. I/we shall pay

and reimburse such costs and expenses to the Hong Kong International School on demand. I/we hereby irrevocably

authorize the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital to perform any emergency care deemed necessary for the treatment of my/

our child.

Parent’s Name: Parent’s Signature: Date:

Temperorary Guardian’s Name: Temperorary Guardian’s Signature: Date:

HKIS Community

Partnership and



32 Hong Hong International School

HKIS Mission:

Dedicating our minds to inquiry, our hearts to compassion,

our lives to service and global understanding

An American-style education grounded in the Christian faith

and respecting the spiritual lives of all


HKIS as a community is committed to building and sustaining a welcoming and

secure learning environment in which individuals can fully realize their potential in

a climate of mutual respect. HKIS believes that parents and educators share the

responsibility for creating a partnership that fosters children’s learning. Together we

play a formative role in the development of a child’s sense of justice, equity and the

worth of all members of our school community.

It is our hope that these guidelines will provide a useful framework to promote

effective and appropriate communication within the HKIS community, and will

support the HKIS policy on Promoting a Culture of Respect.

Working in Partnership

We recognize that effective partnerships are characterized by clearly defined

responsibilities, a shared commitment to collaboration, open lines of communication,

mutual respect and a common vision of the goals to be achieved.

The responsibility of the school (Teachers, Administrators and

Support Staff) is to:

• Provide a safe environment that supports the development of positive learning

attitudes, habits and values that are consistent with the Mission of the school.

• Provide high quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive environment.

• Encourage students’ growth as responsible, independent and respectful


• Model integrity, academic curiosity, responsibility and creativity.

• Communicate and work with parents as partners in ensuring student

achievement reflective of the HKIS Mission and Student Learning Results.

• Provide timely and clear information about school programs and events.

The Teacher’s responsibility is to:

• Explain the curriculum and approach to learning in the classroom, expectations,

methods of assessment and reporting of learning to students and their families.

• Report student progress regularly to parents (the frequency of communication

is determined by each division).

• When appropriate, work with parents, counselors or learning specialists to

provide a team approach to support for students.

• Communicate how parents can support what is going on in the classroom.

• Share observations, interests and concerns during emails, meetings and

parent-teacher and student conferences.

• Invite parent involvement in the learning process. For example: participating in

class activities, attendance at school events, invitation for guest speakers or

connecting with the wider HK community.

• Respect family needs and values e.g. family time.

• Invite input and feedback from parents.

• Respond in a timely fashion to emails or phone calls from parents.

The Parent’s responsibility is to:

• Provide a home environment that supports the development of positive learning

attitudes, habits and values that are consistent with those of the school.

• Play an active part in their child’s learning e.g. monitoring attendance, homework


• Help their child capitalize upon successes and learn from setbacks and failures

as part of his or her growth process.

• Review, with the child, information provided by the school that provides insight

into student learning and growth. For example: assignment feedback, report

cards, conference information, emails.

• Communicate with the teacher, as developmentally appropriate, if the child is

having problems with learning.

• Inform the school of any family or home situation that may affect a child’s learning

or behavior.

• Participate in the decisions about their child’s education.

• Be responsive to requests for input, feedback or opinion.

• Stay informed by reading the school newsletter, class updates or accessing the


• Attend, as family responsibilities allow, parents events or education evenings.

These include: parent coffees, division parent forums, parent-to-parent meetings,

curriculum nights and parent feedback.

• Participate, as family responsibilities allow, in school organizations such as PFO,

PAG and Booster Club and events.

• Respect a teacher’s academic efforts by minimizing a child’s absence from

school for non-critical reasons.

expectations for Communication at HKIS

It is expected that all members of the HKIS adult community will abide by the following

principles for verbal and non-verbal, written and oral communication at HKIS:

• All communications demonstrate the assumption of good intent and the goal to

be constructive.

• The tone of all communications demonstrates care, respect for others and

sensitivity for diversity.

• Email is the preferred form of contact, unless an issue is urgent or would be

better addressed through face to face or phone contact.

• Reasonable time is allowed for responses to communications.

• Confidentiality is respected.

Sequence of Communication Channels for Parents

• Contact the teacher directly if you have questions or concerns about your child

or the instructional program in your child’s class.

• Contact the Principal or Associate Principal if the teacher’s response to your

first contact does not sufficiently address your concern or if your concern is at

the school level.

• Contact the Head of School or Associate Head of School if the Administrator’s

response does not address your concern.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 33

34 Hong Hong International School

Addressing Disagreements

Dealing with disagreements requires respect and discretion by both the school and

parents. Both parties should respectfully seek to gather accurate information and

resolve problems through appropriate channels of communication. Each adult shares

the responsibility to provide a collaborative decision making model in the best interest

of the child – be prepared to listen, contribute, negotiate and support decisions and

operate from the assumption of good intent.

Confidentiality contributes to maintaining trust between parents, teachers and

administrators. All adults should use discretion about when, where and with whom

issues are discussed. It is important that all adults not discuss individual children,

teachers or families in inappropriate public and social situations.

HKIS Shared

Philosophy of


the HKIS Core Values

We believe that:

• Diversity enriches community and

strengthens society

• Life‐long learning is vital for

individuals to thrive in and

contribute to a changing society

• Society progresses when

individuals strive for excellence and

seek challenges

• Learning thrives in the presence

of shared high expectations and

mutually respectful relationships

• Integrity is essential to trust and


• Each human life has value and


• Dialogue about Christianity and

other religions is valuable for

personal growth and development

of spiritual identity

• Together, parents, faculty, staff,

and students create the conditions

for children’s success and a

healthy lifestyle

Only with a shared purpose and shared vocabulary can a large organization

progress steadily in the right direction. Hong Kong International School, with a large

and diverse population of students, faculty, and community members must strive

to remain focused on the path ahead, ensuring all are operating with the same

milestones along that path in order to arrive at the same destination.

This Shared Philosophy of Education document assembles these milestones for ease

of reference. In the Shared Philosophy of Education are presented those foundational

principles upon which our practice and ethos are based. They are definitions of what

we believe about our mission, what we desire for our students, how people learn,

why and how we teach for understanding, and how best to assess the effect we

are having in our work as a school. The documents collected in this single format

have been created over the life of the school by all facets of the school community.

Complementing one another in a unified definition of our work together, they

comprise a shared vision for education at HKIS.


Dedicating our minds to inquiry, our hearts to compassion,

our lives to service and global understanding

An American-style education grounded in the Christian faith

and respecting the spiritual lives of all

Student Learning Results (SLR)

Academic Excellence

Students will achieve their intellectual potential by striving for and attaining the highest

standards of academic excellence.


Students will understand and respect Christianity and other religions and will identify

and develop their own spiritual identity.

Character Development

Students will demonstrate respectful and caring attitudes at school and in the

community, as well as the courage to stand up for what is right.

Self-Motivated Learning

Students willingly apply a variety of learning and motivation strategies throughout their

learning process.

Contributing to Society

Students will develop the skills they need to form genuine relationships in our diverse

society and to make contributions to our community.

Chinese Culture

Students will gain an understanding of China and an appreciation of the Chinese


Lower Primary Parent Handbook 35

SLR operational


36 Hong Hong International School

Academic excellence

All students will be equipped and empowered to meet the challenges of a dynamic

global society in which they collaborate, contribute and flourish as critical thinkers,

problem solvers and creative individuals committed to excellence.

All students will demonstrate these abilities through:

Gathering Knowledge (Inquire; think critically; gather knowledge)

• formulating & refining questions

• using a variety of resources

• finding, evaluating, selecting information

• making personal connections

• mastering technology tools

Creating Understanding (Apply knowledge; draw conclusions; create new


• applying critical-thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation, organization) to

knowledge to construct new understandings

• collaborating to solve problems

• using technology tools to analyze and organize

Communicating and Applying Learning (Communicate, use, and apply learning;

practice ethical behaviors)

• sharing new understandings and reflecting on the learning

• creating products to communicate new understandings effectively

• applying learning to new and/or real-life situations

• practicing responsible & ethical behavior


Students will exhibit understanding of Christianity by:

• Describing and explaining the key principles of Christianity;

• Connecting Christian terminology and symbols to key principles;

• Making sense of the multiple ways the Bible is interpreted within the Christian


• Comparing key concepts, teachings, practices and texts of Christianity;

• Recognizing a connection between Christian principles and ethical conduct.

Students will exhibit understanding of other religions by:

• Describing and explaining the key principles of other religions;

• Connecting terminology and symbols from other religions to key principles from

other religions;

• Making sense of the multiple ways other sacred writings are interpreted;

• Recognizing a connection between Christian principles and ethical conduct.

• Comparing key concepts, teachings, practices, and texts of other religions;

• Recognizing connections between the principles of other religions and ethical


Students will demonstrate respect for Christianity and other religions by:

• Respecting the religious rituals/spirituality of others;

• Respecting the diverse religious and spiritual lives and traditions of others.

Students will demonstrate their personal spiritual identities by:

• Engaging in dialogue about Christianity and other religious worldviews in daily life;

• Identifying connections with their personal beliefs and others;

• Reflecting upon their own spiritual identities;

• Living out their worldviews in a variety of ways.

Character Development

Students will demonstrate caring and respect by:

• Identifying others’ needs and looking for ways to help;

• Fostering care and respect in the community;

• Valuing the differences among people;

• Exhibiting self-control;

• Listening and interacting in an appropriate manner;

• Being considerate of materials, facilities and resources.

Students will exhibit integrity by:

• Demonstrating honesty and trustworthiness in relationships and academics;

• Accepting responsibility for their own actions.

Students will display the courage to stand up for what is right by:

• Identifying with a value system based on ethical principles;

• Speaking or acting in accordance with their values;

• Supporting others who speak or act with courage.

Self-Motivated Learning

Students demonstrate persistence and engagement by:

• Recognizing their intellectual style, strengths and weaknesses;

• Consistently applying different strategies to enhance interest until a goal is achieved;

• Sustaining or increasing effort in the face of difficulty;

• Actively seeking help when necessary.

Students exhibit risk-taking by:

• Applying new strategies to different assignments and projects;

• Seeking and engaging in challenging tasks that enhance learning;

• Exploring new interests.

Students demonstrate application of a variety of learning and motivation

strategies by:

• Engaging in effective thinking about their own thinking (metacognition);

• Knowing a variety of key learning and motivation strategies;

• Appropriately applying a variety of learning and motivation strategies;

• Respecting the diverse learning needs and styles of other students.

Students demonstrate control and regulation of their learning process by:

• Accurately self-assessing on an on-going basis;

• Continuously reflecting, setting, monitoring and revising goals;

• Accepting feedback and criticism without defensiveness;

• Adapting and adjusting learning and motivation strategies used to meet their needs.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 37

38 Hong Hong International School

Students enjoy the process of learning and what they are learning by:

• Pursuing personal interests;

• Taking learning risks when their interest is piqued;

• Showing persistence in an area of passion.

Contributing to Society

Students will demonstrate appropriate interpersonal skills by:

• Working well with others;

• Respecting other points of view;

• Accepting diversity;

• Actively participating;

• Listening and making connections with others;

• Building cross cultural relationships;

• Working with others to achieve goals;

• Helping to resolve conflicts.

Students will make contributions by:

• Identifying a need;

• Voluntarily participating in service;

• Contributing time, talent or money, often involving a personal sacrifice;

• Appreciating the value of service;

• Contributing to family, community and/or the world;

• Following through on service commitments;

• Reflecting on service experiences;

• Studying in the classroom issues raised by their service experiences.

Students will exhibit global citizenship by:

• Remaining conversant on current events;

• Being aware of the impact of major global, social and environmental events;

• Confronting discrimination and stereotypes;

• Appreciating global diversity;

• Developing a multi-cultural perspective;

• Empathizing with those representing a minority position.

Chinese Culture

Students will demonstrate understanding of China in each of the following


• Social sciences (such as history, geography, politics and current events);

• Philosophy and religion;

• Language, literature and the arts;

• Chinese society (such as traditions and lifestyles).

Students will appreciate/experience Chinese Culture by:

• Making connections between personal experiences and aspects of Chinese


• Being actively involved in a variety of Chinese cultural experiences;

• Behaving in culturally appropriate ways;

• Integrating with the people of Greater China and their communities.

Learning Principles

and Practices

At HKIS we believe that learning is most effective when:

1. Learning is nurtured in a safe and supportive environment.

Therefore, we will:

• build positive relationships;

• seek ways to foster students’ enjoyment of learning;

• building strong learning communities that promote a culture of respect;

• promote students’ self-confidence, ability to see other perspectives, and

willingness to take risks with their learning;

• recognize mistakes as learning opportunities; and

• provide space and resources conducive to learning.

2. Learning is purposeful for life beyond school.

Therefore, we will:

• connect with, challenge, and extend students’ present knowledge, skills, and


• help students build skills in inquiry: asking probing questions and maintaining


• seek to connect students’ learning and the world at large; and

• focus on teaching for enduring understanding guided by essential questions.

3. Learning results in the transfer of knowledge and skills to a variety of contexts.

Therefore, we will:

• provide opportunities for students to raise questions, solve problems, and reason;

• use instruction and assessment strategies that support the transfer of learning; and

• provide opportunities for students to demonstrate understanding by applying prior

knowledge and skills to new challenges and experiences.

4. Learning is personalized.

Therefore, we will:

• use a range of strategies to identify and respond to students’ different learning and

social needs, and cultural perspectives;

• provide a variety of learning opportunities which enable students to build on

personal strengths and interests; and

• empower students to advocate for their own learning as appropriate.

5. Learning is generated through interactions and integrated by the individual


Therefore, we will:

• plan experiences that build and develop skills for learning through both

collaboration and individual reflection; and

• structure opportunities for students to learn with others inside and outside of the


6. Learning is enhanced by student engagement in metacognition i .

Therefore, we will:

• explicitly teach and model how to self-reflect, self-assess, and use feedback; and

• empower students to communicate about their own process of learning.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 39

teaching for


40 Hong Hong International School

7. Learning is informed by effective assessments that address clear


Therefore, we will:

• share and construct learning goals with students;

• use formative and summative assessment as an ongoing part of the teaching and

learning process;

• assess understanding in various ways, including authentic, performance-based

tasks; and

• use assessment data for teachers and students to guide future instruction and


HKIS uses a comprehensive standards-based ii curriculum in which we teach for

understanding. We align curriculum, instruction, and assessment to allow students to

demonstrate understanding. Students understand when they:

• Acquire important new knowledge and skills

• Make meaning of big ideas related to the knowledge and skills

• Transfer this learning to new and authentic situations (Wiggins & McTighe, in press)

The Understanding by Design (UbD) model, which seeks to structure teaching for

understanding, guides us in the formulation of our written curriculum. Core principles

of teaching for understanding include the following:

• Units of study and the classroom environment are structured around major

concepts and principles known as enduring understandings. These

understandings, derived from the standards and benchmarks, extend beyond a

single subject area and have lasting value outside the classroom. These big ideas

are abstract, not obvious, and require inquiry rather than limited coverage.

• Essential questions are used to raise student interest in the content of the unit

and lead to development of the enduring understandings. Such questions are

central to the curriculum and do not yield a single answer.

• Essential questions are explicitly stated for students at the outset of the unit and

remain the focus throughout the unit’s duration.

• Specific knowledge and skills are taught so students learn requisite subject

knowledge. These are aligned with the enduring understandings and essential


• Multiple forms of assessment are used to allow students to demonstrate their

understanding in various ways.

• Formative assessments iii are used to guide instruction and student goal-setting.

• Summative assessment iv tasks and accompanying evaluation criteria are made

explicit to students as developmentally appropriate.

• Classroom instructional activities are all designed to engage students in building

knowledge and skills and acquire understanding. Activities are differentiated to

meet the needs of diverse learners.

Philosophy of


The purpose of assessment is to promote learning. Assessment is a process of

gathering a variety of evidence to identify student’s level of attainment of learning

goals. The evidence helps students understand their strengths and how they

can improve their learning and helps teachers understand how they can improve

instruction. In addition, assessment forms the basis of reporting to students and

parents the current level of students’ attainment of learning goals, A robust system

of assessment is relevant and accurate, ongoing, informative and timely, and

understandable to all.

Relevant and Accurate

Assessment is tied directly to the learning goals of a given course or program. The

goals are made explicit in the course’s standards and benchmarks as well as the

school-wide SLRs. Expectations around these goals are clear for all students as

developmentally appropriate. Students need to know the level of attainment they

are expected to reach as they work toward these clear learning goals. Likewise,

measurement of attainment in these goals needs to be accurate, using a variety of

methods appropriate to measure the targets set and appropriate to the age of the



Assessment is an ongoing process built into the cycles of teaching and learning.

Though there are times (such as final exams in upper grades) when assessment is

a culmination of learning, in general assessment is incorporated into teaching and

learning and the results of assessments are used by teachers and students to guide

future learning.

Informative and Timely

Results and feedback are most useful when they are provided as close to the

assessment as practical, so students and teachers can employ strategies for growth.

Given the opportunity to reflect on results, students are able to set goals for future

learning and performance of learning tasks that enhance progress.


As developmentally appropriate, students are fully involved in the assessment

process and are able to understand and explain the ways in which assessment

evaluates and enhances their learning.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 41

42 Hong Hong International School


i Metacognition – The process of thinking about thinking. When students think

about their own learning, it looks something like this: “I am having trouble with

concepts like this, so I will try this strategy” or “I usually take a long time with this

sort of task, so I will plan a little more time.’ For very young learners, this may look

in early stages like self-talk about what they are doing during play or project time.

ii Standards-based – Educational standards define the landscape of what

students will learn in various subjects throughout school. In this sense, the

curriculum is based on content standards that lay out important knowledge, skills,

and understanding. The level to which these are to be achieved are laid out in

benchmarks set for each grade level.

iii Formative assessment – Assessment tasks that are designed to give students

feedback over time that will enable them to set goals and move forward with their

learning as opposed to making a final judgement about a student’s ability.

iv Summative assessment – Assessment tasks that are designed to capture

a student’s performance at one point in time after instruction and to make a

judgment about the student’s ability according to a grade-level benchmark. These

assessments are used to inform report card grades.



Lower Primary School

Literacy Handbook for Parents

Reading & Writing

44 Hong Hong International School

Key skills for success in school

A joint statement by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and

the International Reading Association begins with this powerful declaration: “Learning

to read and write is critical to a child’s success in school and later in life. One of the

best predictors of whether a child will function competently in school and go on to

contribute actively in our increasingly literate society is the level to which the child

progresses in reading and writing. Although reading and writing abilities continue to

develop throughout the life span, the early childhood years – from birth through age

eight – are the most important period for literacy development.” (p.3)

In the Lower Primary, we believe that it is essential to teach children to read and write

competently, enabling them to achieve today’s high standards of literacy. Our goal

is to enable children to see themselves as able readers and writers and competent

users of language for communication.

through reading this handbook you will:

• be introduced to the Lower Primary literacy curriculum, including the Reading

and Writing standards.

• understand the first six stages of literacy development through clear descriptions

of the reading and writing continuum.

• learn what research tells us about early literacy development.

• learn ways you can support literacy development at home.

Literacy Curriculum

in the Lower Primary

Our literacy curriculum is based on best practices from the U.S. including research

from Teacher’s College at Columbia University, National Standards of Teacher’s

of English (NCTE), International Reading Association (IRA) and the work of Bonnie

Campbell Hill, Ph.D., Matthew Glover, and Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. It

aligns with each of the stages of literacy development in our young learners. We

have standards and benchmarks, which serve as a framework for our curriculum

and instruction. They are internationally competitive and developmentally appropriate

for our population. ‘Units of Study’ are utilized at each grade level and a Curriculum

Calendar organizes the curriculum across the year. The Lower Primary literacy

standards and benchmarks provide a common language among all of our teachers,

parents and students with which we can examine and report on student progress

and make plans to support and guide each student.

R1-12 Literacy Standards

Reading Habits

Students will acquire the habit of reading for understanding by:

• Reading an appropriate quantity

• Reading a variety of texts

• Responding to text

• Reflecting on themselves as readers

Reading Process and Meaning

Students will develop and acquire strategies for the reading process and read a

variety of genres by:

• Acquiring rich vocabulary

• Reading accurately

• Developing fluency

• Self monitoring and self correcting

• Demonstrating comprehension

• Using word analysis (phonemic awareness)

• Demonstrating knowledge of concepts about print

Writing Process, Purpose and Genre

Students will develop skills and strategies to organize and communicate their

ideas through a variety of genres and for a variety of purposes by:

• Developing, organizing, and communicating ideas

• Using appropriate word choice, sentence

• Developing fluency and voice

• Developing control of conventions

• Self assessing their own and others work

• Writing expository pieces

• Writing expressive pieces

Listening and Speaking

Students will use listening and speaking strategies for different purposes.

Students will listen and speak for effective communication and learning.

Visual Literacy

Students interpret and respond to visual media

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 45


Literacy Instruction

In order to attain our high literacy standards, the Lower Primary has established a

Balanced Approach to Literacy Instruction. The key instructional strategies which

make up this approach are effective in addressing the literacy needs of young

learners. All our teachers utilize these strategies in appropriate ways to ensure that

our students make progress toward the benchmarks for their grade level. When

visiting your child’s classroom you will see students engaged in these reading and

writing activities. Teachers balance time between whole class instruction, small group

instruction, and individual conferences, in order to differentiate and meet the needs of

all students.

Balanced Literacy


Reading Workshop

Students receive direct, explicit instruction in reading

strategies and are allowed to choose books independently

with guidance from teachers, based on ongoing

assessments. An emphasis is placed on comprehension and

independence, with structures in place that allow students

time to talk and share thinking with others. A “reading

community” is created, where students learn to take risks

and read a lot! Celebrations typically mark the end of a

reading unit/cycle.

Interactive Read Aloud with Accountable Talk

The teacher reads aloud to the whole class or small groups

from a carefully selected body of children's literature which

contains a variety of genres and represents our diverse

society. As teachers read, they stop to model their thinking

for students. At the end of a read aloud teachers may

conduct a whole class discussion. Favorite texts, selected for

special features, are reread many times.

Shared Reading

Using an enlarged text so that all children can see, the

teacher involves children in reading together following a

pointer. The process often includes reading big books,

poems, songs and student writing, so that students develop

concepts of print, phonemic awareness, and deeper


Guided Reading

The teacher works with small groups who have similar

reading processes. The teacher selects and introduces

new books and supports children reading the whole text

to themselves, making teaching points during and after the


Writing Workshop

Students generate ideas and author their own pieces

across the school year. The teacher gives explicit instruction

about the many different writing genres and strategies, and

regularly models for students his or her own writing. Students

then spend solid amounts of time everyday composing and

drafting their own pieces, following an authentic writing

process that leads them through revision and publication

at the end of each writing cycle. Parents are often invited

to class events, where students celebrate their published


Shared Writing

Teacher and children work together to compose messages

and stories. The teacher supports the process as a scribe.

Interactive Writing

As in shared writing, the teacher and the children compose

messages and stories that are written using a “shared pen”

technique that involves children in the composition and

transcription of the text.

Guided Writing

Children engage in writing a variety of texts. The teacher

guides the process and provides instruction through mini

lessons and conferences.

Word Study

Woven through the activities in this framework, teachers

have opportunities to help children notice and use letters

and words. Students develop their understanding of the

English language and how words work. Knowledge is further

fostered through the use of word walls and other writing


Adapted from: Fountas, I. and Gay Su Pinnell. 1996. Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children. Portsmouth,

NH: Heinemann, pp. 22-23.

46 Hong Hong International School

Reading and Writing


Components of a

Reading or Writing

Workshop Lesson

The Lower Primary has adopted a workshop approach to teaching reading and

writing. Units of study in both reading and writing are taught in approximately 4-6

week periods of time, immersing students within a particular genre and/or strategy

for reading and writing. Regardless of what unit is being taught, the structure of the

lesson remains the same, providing students with consistency and predictability in

instruction. The following units are taught throughout the year:

Reading Units taught Across the Year

Reception 2 Grade 1 Grade 2

Shared Reading, Interactive Read

Alouds, Emergent Story Book Reading

Let the Reading Adventures Begin

Print Strategies

Reading Non-Fiction Books

Thinking About Books

We Love Reading Our Favorites

Readers Build Good Habits

Just Right Books

Readers Hold Onto Meaning

Non-Fiction Reading

Making Connections

Thinking About Characters

Readers Are Independent

Writing Units taught Across the Year

Reception 2 Grade 1 Grade 2

Bookmaking: Talking, Drawing, Writing

What Authors Do, I Can Do Too

Personal Narratives


How To Books

All About Books

Reflecting on Our Writing

Pattern Books

Personal Narratives

Writing for Readers


Authors as Mentors


Making Choices as Writers

Readers Build Community

Navigating Non-Fiction

Story Telling/Readers' Theater

Holding Onto Meaning

Digging Deep into Fiction

Readers Meet in Clubs

Planning Our Lives as Readers

Launching the Writing Workshop

Authors as Mentors


All About Books

Personal Narratives


Writing With A Purpose


Minilessons last approximately 10-15 minutes and follow a structured pattern. Students

gather all together in a meeting area in order to hear and see the teacher easily as he/

she demonstrates a reading or writing strategy in action. Students are offered a chance

to practice and think about that strategy together with the support of a partner and the

teacher, before they go off to try it more independently. Minilessons drive each Unit of

Study forward, giving a road map for the teacher’s ongoing instruction.


Everyday, teachers spend time working one-on-one with students. This unique way

of teaching enables them to differentiate their instruction and therefore to ensure

that each student is progressing at their natural rate. Teachers cycle through the

whole class in approximately 1-2 weeks and are therefore able to follow up on past

conferences in a timely fashion. Conferences tend to last 5-10 minutes, and are

usually student led, so that they remain authentic and purposeful for the student.

Teachers keep notes on what they teach in their conferences, so that there is a

record of instruction as well as student strengths and next steps as learners.

Small Group Instruction

Teachers will often notice students with common strengths and needs during the

conferring time. They then can pull small groups, commonly referred to as Strategy

Lessons. These Strategy Lessons allow teachers to give additional instruction to

students as needed and also enable teachers to see students quite often across a

1-2 week period.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 47

Keys for Success in

Reading & Writing

48 Hong Hong International School

What the research in early literacy says

• The goals and expectations for young children’s achievement in reading and

writing should be developmentally appropriate – challenging but achievable – with

sufficient adult support. Rather than having a maturationist view of young children’s

development, teachers in Lower Primary understand that the presence of high

quality experiences throughout the early childhood years positively affects the

development of literacy.

• Reading and writing acquisition is best conceptualized as a developmental

continuum rather than as an all-or-nothing phenomenon. Children do not progress

along this developmental continuum in rigid sequence, but instead each child

exhibits a unique pattern and timing in acquiring skills and understanding related to

reading and writing.

• Literacy develops within the framework of real-life activities in order to “get things

done.” Teachers emphasize the meaningful or purposeful bases of early literacy

and build upon what the child already knows.

• The ability to read and write well does not develop naturally, without careful

planning and instruction. Children need regular and active interactions with print.

The role of an adult, who is supportive, interested and engaged and who provides

scaffolding for the child’s development of greater skill and understanding is critical

to this process of learning.

• The regular and systematic use of multiple ways to assess and monitor children’s

progress in reading and writing development is essential to ensuring each child’s

progress. In the Lower Primary, teachers assess literacy development in numerous

ways throughout the year.

Reading & Writing


An ongoing continuum

In the next few pages of this handbook you will find descriptions of the first six stages

of reading and writing development. This continuum, developed by Dr. Campbell

Hill, provides descriptors of what children can do as they progress through each

stage of development. The reading and writing continuums offer a framework for the

understanding of literarcy development.

It is important to remember that reading and writing development takes time. Young

learners need multiple reading and writing experiences to grow as literacy learners.

Adults play a crucial role in facilitating children’s development and movement along

the reading and writing continuums. Children will be at different stages at different

times depending on a myriad of factors. As parents we encourage you to really

celebrate what your child can do as a developing reader and writer!

As you read through the descriptions of each continuum stage, look at the children’s

writing and the types of books children typically read at each stage. Think about

where your child is in his or her literacy development. Notice that each page includes

a Parent Tips section where you will find great ideas for supporting your child’s

literacy development at home. Once you know which stage your child is in we

encourage you to try out these fun tips to help your child grow as a reader and writer.

Your child’s teacher will use this continuum throughout the school year to guide

your child’s literacy development and to talk about their progress with you. Teaching

children skills that are beyond their developmental stage will not help them to develop

at a quicker rate. It is important to support students within their current stage of

development while providing rich, stimulating experiences.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 49



Parent tips:

& Read books with appealing pictures

that match your child's age and

interests. Children at this age like

books with rhythm, repetition and


& Encourage risk-taking as children

learn to read and memorize their first

books. Have your child chime in on

repeated lines or a chorus.

Ages 3-5

Preconventional learners display curiosity about books and reading. They enjoy

listening to books and may have favorites. Children focus mostly on illustrations at this

stage as they talk about the story. They love songs and books with rhythm, repetition,

and rhyme. Students participate in reading by chiming in when adults read aloud, and

children at this age often enjoy hearing the same stories read aloud over and over.

Preconventional readers are interested in environmental print, such as restaurant and

traffic signs, labels, and logos. Children hold books correctly, turning the pages as

they look at the illustrations. They know some letter names and can read and write

their first name.

& Begins to choose reading materials (e.g. books, magazines, and charts)

and has favorites.

& Shows interest in reading signs, labels and logos (environmental print).

& Recognizes own name in print.

R Holds book and turns pages correctly.

R Shows beginning/end of book or story.

R Knows some letter names.




Listens and responds to literature.

Comments on illustrations in books.

Participates in group reading (books, rhymes, poems and songs).

Preconventional readers will begin reading simple books like this one.

50 Hong Hong International School

& Types of Texts and Oral Reading

R Reading Strategies

C Participates in group reading (books, rhymes,

poems and songs)



Parent tips:

! Provide writing materials (such as

paper, pens, chalkboard, markers)

and a corner or area for writing. You

might want to have a writing box with

paper, markers, and crayons in one

convenient place.

! Model everyday writing (such as lists,

letters and notes). Ask your child to

add a word or picture.

Ages 3-5

At the Preconventional stage, children rely on their pictures to show meaning. They

often pretend to write by using scribble writing. Children sometimes make random

letters and numbers to represent words. Some children add "words" to their pictures

to share meaning. They often tell stories about their pictures.

2 Relies primarily on pictures to convey meaning.

2 Begins to label and add "words" to pictures.

2 Writes first name.

1 Demonstrates awareness that print conveys meaning.

? Makes marks other than drawing on paper (scribbles).

? Writes random recognizable letters to represent words.

J Tells about own pictures and writing.

2 Types of Texts

1 Content and Traits

? Mechanics and Conventions

J Attitude and Self-Evaluation

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 51

emerging Readers

Parent tips:

& Check out audio books from the

library. Listen to them at bedtime or

in the car.

& Write notes to your child (in his or her

lunchbox, on the bed, on the mirror

or under the pillow) using simple


& Continue to reread old favorites

together, and encourage your child

to talk about his or her thinking.

Ages 4-6

At the Emerging stage, children are curious about print and see themselves as

potential readers. They may pretend to read familiar poems and books. Children

rely on the illustrations to tell a story but are beginning to focus on the print. They

participate in readings of familiar books and often begin to memorize favorites.

Children begin to make connections between books read aloud, and their own lives

and experiences. They enjoy rhyming and playing with words. Emerging readers

know most letter names and some letter sounds. They recognize some names, signs

and familiar words. These children are often highly motivated to learn to read and may

move through this stage quickly.

& Memorizes pattern books, poems and familiar books.

& Begins to read signs, labels, and logos (environmental print).

J Demonstrates eagerness to read.

R Pretends to read.

R Uses illustrations to tell stories.

R Reads top to bottom, left to right and front to back with guidance.

R Knows most letter names and some letter sounds.

R Recognizes some names and words in context.

R Makes meaningful predictions with guidance.




Rhymes and plays with words.

Participates in reading of familiar books and poems.

Connects books read aloud to own experiences with guidance.

Preconventional readers will begin reading simple books like this one.

52 Hong Hong International School

& Types of Texts and Oral Reading

J Attitude

R Reading Strategies / Concepts of Print

C Comprehension and Response

emerging Writers

Parent tips:

! Keep a family calendar where you

and your child can write down

upcoming events and things to


! Create a message center with a

bulletin board or slots for mail.

Encourage your child to write notes

to members of the family.

Ages 4-6

These children begin to see themselves as writers. Some students begin to label their

pictures with a few letters. They may write their name and some familiar words in a

way that others can read. Students may write just the beginning or the beginning and

ending sounds they hear. At the Emerging stage, children often write everything in

upper case letters. They may pretend to read their own writing, often elaborating to

embellish their stories.

2 Uses pictures and print to convey meaning.

2 Writes words to describe or support pictures.

2 Copies signs, labels, names and words (environmental print).

1 Demonstrates understanding of letter/sound relationship.

? Prints with upper case letters.

? Matches letters to sounds.

? Uses beginning consonants to make words.

? Uses beginning and ending consonants to make words.

J Pretends to read own writing.

J Sees self as writer.

J Takes risks with writing.

2 Types of Texts

1 Content and Traits

? Mechanics and Conventions

J Attitude and Self-Evaluation

This student uses beginning and ending sounds to write:

I like playing. I like my friends. I have friends.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 53

Developing Readers Ages 5-7

Parent tips:

& Read different things aloud in

addition to stories (such as recipes,

letters and directions).

& As you read together, ask your child

to predict what might happen next

or talk about how the book relates to

your child's life.

Developing readers will read

stories like this one.

54 Hong Hong International School

These children see themselves as readers. They can read books with simple

patterns, like Dear Zoo (Rod Campbell, 1982) or Quick as a Cricket (Audrey Wood,

1990) or simple texts, like Go Dog Go (P. D. Eastman, 1961). Later in this stage they

can read books with patterns that vary more, like Just for You (Mercer Mayer, 1975)

or Cookie's Week (Cindy Ward, 1988). They begin to look at books independently for

short periods of time (5–10 minutes) and like to share books with others. Developing

readers know most letter sounds and can read simple words (such as "dog" and

"me") and a few sight words (such as "have" and "love"). Recognizing patterns and

word families helps readers generalize what they know about one word to similar new

words. They use both print and illustrations to make meaning as they read. Children

often read aloud word by word, particularly with a new text. They gain fluency with

familiar books and repeated readings. These young readers can retell the main idea

of a story and participate in whole group discussions of literature. This is another

stage that children may pass through quickly.

& Reads books with simple patterns.

& Begins to read own writing.

J Begins to read independently for short periods (5-10 minutes).

J Discusses favorite reading material with others.

R Relies on illustrations and print.

R Uses finger-print-voice matching.

R Knows most letter sounds and letter clusters.

R Recognizes simple words.

R Uses growing awareness of sound segments (e.g. phonemes, syllables,

rhymes) to read words.

R Begins to make meaningful predictions.

R Identifies titles and authors in literature (text features).

Retells main event or idea in literature.


C Participates in guided literature discussions.

$ Sees self as reader.

$ Explains why literature is liked/disliked during class discussions with


& Types of Texts and Oral Reading

J Attitude

R Reading Strategies

C Comprehension and Response

$ Self-evaluation

Developing Writers

Parent tips:

! Involve your child in writing party

invitations, name tags, thank you

notes, valentines, holiday cards, etc.

Be sure to plan ahead so your child

will have lots of time.

! Have your children send friends

postcards when you're on a trip.

Be sure to take stamps and their

addresses with you.

Ages 5-7

Students at the Developing stage write names and familiar words. They begin to

write one or two short sentences, such as "MI DG PLS" ("My dog plays"). Developing

writers use beginning, middle and ending sounds to make words. For example, learn

might be written "LRn." This developmental reliance on the sounds of letters is called

"invented spelling," "phonetic spelling" or "temporary spelling." At this stage, students

spell some high frequency words correctly. Students often interchange upper and

lower case letters and experiment with capital letters and simple punctuation. Their

writing goes from left to right and begins to include spacing. Students are able

to read their own compositions aloud immediately after writing, but later may not

remember what they wrote.

2 Writes 2-4 sentences about a topic.

2 Writes names and familiar words.

1 Generates own ideas for writing.

? Writes from top to bottom, left to right, and front to back.

? Intermixes upper and lower case letters.

? Experiments with capitals.

? Experiments with punctuation.

? Begins to use spacing between words.

? Uses growing awareness of sound segments (e.g., phonemes, syllables,

rhymes) to write words.

? Spells words on the basis of sounds without regard for conventional

spelling patterns.

? Uses beginning, middle and ending sounds to make words.

J Begins to read own writing.

2 Types of Texts

1 Content and Traits

? Mechanics and Conventions

J Attitude and Self-Evaluation

This emergent

writer uses

conventional and

phonetic spelling

to write:

My snake likes

to listen to an

Egyptian flute in its


Lower Primary Parent Handbook 55

Beginning Readers

Parent tips:

& Begin to read series books. If you

read a few, children will often read

the rest of the series on their own.

& Point out ways to figure out words

in addition to "sounding it out"

(such as looking at the picture,

breaking the word into smaller

words, reading on, or thinking

what would make sense).

56 Hong Hong International School

Ages 6-8

Beginning readers rely more on print than on illustrations to create meaning. When

they read aloud, they understand basic punctuation, such as periods, question marks

and exclamation marks. At first, they read simple early readers, like Sammy the Seal

(Syd Hoff, 1959) and picture books with repetition, like The Napping House (Audrey

Wood, 1984). Students take a big step forward when they learn to read longer books,

like The Cat in the Hat (1957) or Green Eggs and Ham (1960) by Dr. Seuss.

Later in this stage, they can read more difficult early readers, such as Frog and Toad

Together (Arnold Lobel, 1971) and more challenging picture books, such as A Bargain

for Frances (Russell Hoban, 1970). They often enjoy simple series books, such as

the Little Bear books by Else Minarik or the humorous Commander Toad series by

Jane Yolen. Many of these books are labeled" I Can Read" books on the covers.

Beginning readers take a developmental leap as they begin to integrate reading

strategies (meaning, sentence structure and phonics cues). They are able to read

silently for 10-15 minutes. These children know many words by sight and occasionally

correct themselves when their reading doesn't make sense. They are able to discuss

the characters and events in a story with the teacher's help. When they read simple

nonfiction texts, such as Mighty Spiders (Fay Robinson, 1996) or Dancing with the

Manatees (Faith McNulty, 1994), they are able to talk about what they learn. It may

take significantly longer for children to move through this stage since there is a wide

range of text complexity at this level.

& Reads simple early-reader books.

& Reads harder early-reader books.

& Reads and follows simple written directions with guidance.

& Identifies basic genres (e.g. fiction, nonfiction and poetry).

& Uses basic punctuation when reading orally.

J Reads independently (10-15 minutes).

J Chooses reading materials independently.

J Learns and shares information from reading.

R Uses meaning cues (context)

R Uses sentence cues (grammar).

R Uses letter/sound cues and patterns (phonics).

R Recognizes word endings, common contractions and many high

frequency words.

R Begins to self-correct.

C Retells beginning, middle and end with guidance.

C Discusses characters and story events with guidance.

$ Identifies own reading behaviors with guidance.

& Types of Texts and Oral Reading

J Attitude

R Reading Strategies

C Comprehension and Response

$ Self-evaluation

Beginning readers who are in the later part of

this stage will read books like this one.

Beginning Writers

Parent tips:

! Encourage your child to email

friends and relatives.

! Have your child read you what he/

she has written. Respond first to

the content and ideas. At this stage,

a child's confidence and attitude

about writing are very important.

! Continue to model everyday writing,

as well as including your child in the

composition of other types of texts.

This beginning writer uses

conventional and phonetic

spelling to write:

On my holiday I went to the

pool. I also went to the beach.

I collected real clams. The pool

was made out of sand and

I swam in it! I got to hold a live

crocodile at the crocodile farm.

I had fun!

Ages 6-8

At the Beginning stage, children write recognizable short sentences with some

descriptive words. They can write several sentences about their lives and experiences

or simple facts about a topic. Students sometimes use capitals and periods correctly.

Many letters are formed legibly and adults can usually read what the child has written.

Students spell some words phonetically and others are spelled correctly. They usually

spell simple words and some high frequency words correctly as they become more

aware of spelling patterns. Beginning writers often start a story with "Once upon

a time" and finish with "The End." Children may revise by adding details with the

teacher's help. They enjoy sharing their writing with others. Students may stay at this

stage longer than the previous ones as they build fluency.

2 Writes 1-2 full pages about a topic.

2 Writes about observations and experiences.

2 Writes short nonfiction pieces (simple facts about a topic) with


1 Chooses own writing topics.

" Reads own writing and notices mistakes with guidance.

" Revises by adding details with guidance.

? Uses spacing between words consistently.

? Forms most letters legibly.

? Writes pieces that self and others can read.

? Uses phonetic spelling to write independently.

? Spells simple words and some high frequency words correctly.

? Begins to use periods and capital letters correctly.

J Shares own writing with others.

2 Types of Texts

1 Content and Traits

" Process

? Mechanics and Conventions

J Attitude and Self-Evaluation

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 57

expanding Readers Ages 7-9

Parent tips:

& Read and compare several

versions of a story (such as a fairy

tale or folktale).

& Encourage your child to practice

reading aloud to siblings, relatives

or senior citizens.

58 Hong Hong International School

At the Expanding stage, students solidify skills as they read beginning chapter books.

Many children read series books and re-read old favorites while stretching into new

types of reading. In the early part of this stage, they may read short series books, like

Pee Wee Scouts (Judy Denton) or Pinky and Rex (James Howe). As they build fluency,

students often devour series books, like Cam Jansen (David Adler), Bailey School

Kids (Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones) or Amber Brown (Paula Danziger).

They may also read nonfiction texts on a topic, such as Pompeii...

Buried Alive! (Edith Kunhardt, 1987). Students are learning how to choose books at

their reading level and can read silently for 15-30 minutes. They read aloud fluently

and begin to self-correct when they make mistakes or their reading doesn't make

sense. They can usually figure out difficult words but are still building their reading

vocabulary. At this stage, children use a variety of reading strategies independently.

These students make connections between reading and writing and their own

experiences. Expanding readers are able to compare characters and events from

different stories. They can talk about their own reading strategies and set goals with

adult help.

& Reads easy chapter books.

& Chooses, reads and finishes a variety of materials at appropriate level

with guidance.

& Begins to read aloud with fluency.

J Reads silently for increasingly longer periods (15-30 minutes).

R Uses reading strategies appropriately, depending on the text and


R Uses word structure cues (e.g. root words, prefixes, suffixes, word

chunks) when encountering unknown words.

R Increases vocabulary by using meaning cues (context).

R Self-corrects for meaning.

R Follows written directions.

R Identifies chapter titles and table of contents (text organizers).

C Summarizes and retells story events in sequential order.

C Responds to and makes personal connections with facts, characters

and situations in literature.

C Compares and contrasts characters and story events.

C "Reads between the lines" with guidance.

$ Identifies own reading strategies and sets goals with guidance.

& Types of Texts and Oral Reading

J Attitude

R Reading Strategies

C Comprehension and Response

$ Self-evaluation

Expanding readers often enjoy series

books like this one.

expanding Writers

Parent tips:

! Provide empty notebooks or blank

books to use as journals or diaries.

! Make books together about trips,

events, holidays and your family.

Ages 7-9

Students at this stage can write poems and stories about their experiences and

interests, as well as short nonfiction pieces. They use complete sentences and their

writing contains a logical flow of ideas. Their stories sometimes contain a beginning,

middle and end. Expanding writers can add description, detail and interesting

language with the teacher's guidance. They enjoy reading their writing aloud and are

able to offer specific feedback to other students. Their editing skills begin to grow,

although students may still need help as they edit for simple punctuation, spelling

and grammar. Their writing is legible and they no longer labor over the physical act of

writing. Students spell many common words correctly as they begin to grasp spelling

patterns and rules.

2 Writes short fiction and poetry with guidance.

2 Writes a variety of short nonfiction pieces (e.g. facts about a topic,

letters, lists) with guidance.

1 Writes with a central idea.

1 Writes using complete sentences.

1 Organizes ideas in a logical sequence in fiction and nonfiction writing

with guidance.

1 Begins to recognize and use interesting language.

" Uses several prewriting strategies (e.g. web, brainstorm) with guidance.

" Listens to others' writing and offers feedback.

" Begins to consider suggestions from others about own writing.

" Adds description and detail with guidance.

" Edits for capitals and punctuation with guidance.

" Publishes own writing with guidance.

? Writes legibly.

? Spells most high frequency words correctly and moves toward

conventional spelling.

J Identifies own writing strategies and sets goals with guidance.

2 Types of Texts

1 Content and Traits

" Process

? Mechanics and Conventions

J Attitude and Self-Evaluation

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 59

60 Hong Hong International School



Lower Primary School

Math Handbook for Parents

Math Curriculum in

the Lower Primary

nAeYC Guidelines for

Appropriate Practices in

Primary Grades

• Involve active participation with

each other, adults and materials

• Include varied classroom


• Promote materials and activities

that are concrete, real and relevant

• Encourage exploration, discovery

and problem solving

• Include projects and experiences

that extend children's ideas

• Respond to their questions and

engage them in conversations

• Integrate many subject areas

• Promote social skills, inquiry,

independence and choice

• Develop self esteem and positive

feelings toward learning and self


• Encourage family members to help

in the classroom respond to and

respect individual differences in

ability and interests

• Monitor through regular

observation and narration

• Record with progress reported to


Source: Adapted from NAEYC, 1987 & 1990

62 Hong Hong International School

In Lower Primary we provide an enriched, comprehensive and balanced mathematics

curriculum. Our program aligns with the National Association for the Education

of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

(NCTM) Principal and Standards for Teaching Mathematics.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is one of the

largest and most influential organizations for early childhood educators, dedicated to

improving the quality of programs for children from birth through third grade with over

100,000 members and 450 affiliates throughout the United States.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is the world's largest mathematics

education organization, with nearly 90,000 members and 250 affiliates throughout

the United States and Canada. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, published in 2000, provides

guidelines for excellence in mathematics education.

Your child's math program is part of an elementary school mathematics curriculum

developed by the University of Chicago Mathematics Project called Everyday

Mathematics. This program offers students a broad background in mathematics

using approaches that are based on research results, field test experiences, and the

mathematics your child will need in the twenty-first century.

Students engage in mathematical problems that support problem solving and critical

thinking. Students learn to think and communicate mathematically. The basic skills,

such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are an important part of this

program. One feature of the Everyday Math program is that it does emphasize the

necessity for memorizing the basic math facts as well as using these facts in math

computation. Instruction on basic facts is taught through direct instruction and daily

activities using a wide variety of hands-on manipulatives, games, flashcards, and

computer programs.

The Everyday Mathematics program challenges students to be active learners.

Students nvestigate, explore, think and communicate while using many different

materials, learning styles and strategies in both concept development and problem

solving. We seek to help the children appreciate the many ways in which math affects

their lives, to demonstrate the variety within the discipline, and to find the areas

in which each student can excel. The Everyday Mathematics program aspires to

produce students who are joyful about the subject, and who say and feel, "I can do


nCtM Recommendations for Instructional Practices

in Preschool to Grade Four

Increased Attention to...

• Use of manipulative materials

• Cooperative work

• Discussion of Mathematics

• Questioning

• Justification of thinking

• Writing about mathematics

• Problem solving approach to


• Content integration

• Use of calculators and computers

Source NCTM, 1989

Decreased Attention to...

• Rote Practice

• Rote Memorization of Rules

• One answer and one method

• Use of worksheets

• Written practice

• Teaching by telling


Math Instruction

"Children will become confident 'doers' of mathematics only if

mathematics makes sense to them and if they believe in their ability

to make sense of it."

– Trafton and Claus, 1994

Each of the four divisions at HKIS have historically used and continue to use

the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics Standards as a framework.

NCTM present a common set of standards that show the growth of mathematical

knowledge across the grades, rather than a different set and number of standards

for each grade band. The standards are shown in four-grade bands; Reception One

through Grade Two, Grade Three through Grade Five, Grade Six through Grade

Eight and Grade Nine through Twelve (see the diagram below showing NCTM grade


The ten standards in Principles and Standards for School Mathematics describe the

mathematical knowledge, understanding, and skills students should acquire from

Reception One through Grade Twelve. Five standards describe the mathematical

content that students should learn to be successful, and five highlight the

mathematical processes that students draw on to use their content knowledge.

These ten standards define the basic mathematics that all students should have the

opportunity to learn.

The content standards are:

• Number and Operations,

• Algebra,

• Geometry,

• Measurement, and

• Data Analysis and


The process (or performance)

standards are:

• Problem Solving,

• Reasoning and Proof,

• Communication,

• Connections, and

• Representation.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 63

Content Standards

64 Hong Hong International School

number Sense

Number sense is an intuition about numbers and their relationships. This includes

having a feeling for comparisons among numbers, knowledge of the various

operations on numbers, the ability to represent numbers in several ways, and the

skills to interpret and use numbers from real-world situations.

Children with number sense pay attention to the meaning of numbers and operations

to make realistic estimates of the results of computation. They possess an accurate

notion of how numbers relate to each other and how those numbers provide

information about the real world. A child with number sense understands both the

relationship between numbers and the effects of operations on numbers.

At the Grade Two level, children apply the place value concepts, use standard

numerals and compare numbers up to 1000. They begin to explore concepts of

multiplication and division. They estimate solutions to addition and subtraction

problems and explain their thinking.

At the Grade One level, children apply the place value concept of grouping by

tens using manipulatives. They associate and compare standard word names and

numerals through 100. They begin using the language of "teens" (12 to 21). They

build models, draw diagrams and/or act out various interpretations for addition and

subtraction situations. Additionally, first grade students begin to use estimation or

mental math strategies to estimate and explain results to addition and subtraction


At the Reception Two level, children use manipulatives to complete one to one

correspondence and conservation of number tasks. Students have opportunities to

experience identifying and writing numbers up to 110. They compare and estimate

quantities using language experiences, manipulatives, and a variety of strategies.

They use manipulatives to explore addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

At the Reception One level, children explore numbers from one to ten through the use

of manipulatives. They use estimated-related words to describe quantity (more/less,

some/none, most/least). Children verbalize what will happen if the teacher takes away

or adds to physical objects.


Algebra is a way of thinking. It is a language used to express mathematical

relationships. Children need to understand how quantities are related to one another

and how algebra can be used to express and analyze those relationships. They need

to focus on understanding the relationship between the equation and the graph and

on what the graph represents in a real-life situation. Algebraic thinking should begin

in Reception One with concepts such as finding patterns and guessing missing

numbers and continue through adulthood.

Children observe and describe many kinds of patterns in the world around them.

They draw upon these experiences to explore properties of algebraic relations.

The exploration of functional relationships leads to

understandings of cause and effect relationships

essential to solving many real-world problems.

Children can model problems and find solutions

based on observed patterns and relationships,

expressing the process symbolically and verbally.

As children develop confidence in representing and

solving problems, they should extend these skills to

more abstract and symbolic representations.

At the Grade Two level, children describe and extend

patterning schemes. They use physical objects and

appropriate symbols to show the meaning of equality

and inequality. They use manipulatives to solve the

"unknown" in equations.

At the Grade One level, children create, describe, and

extend patterns. They manipulate objects to solve

problem situations where one addend is unknown.

They show the inverse relationship between addition

and subtraction using language experiences and


At the Reception Two level, children classify and sort

physical objects according to attributes such as color,

shape, size or weight. They recognize, describe,

and duplicate patterns based on various attributes.

Additionally, they extend or create patterns.

At the Reception One level, children classify and sort

physical objects on the basis of one characteristic.

They use concrete objects to create a simple pattern.

Children use balance scales or manipulatives to show

the relationship of both sides of the equation.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 65

66 Hong Hong International School

Geometry and Spatial Sense

Geometry is the study of objects, motions, and relationships in a spatial environment.

The world of geometry is the world of patterns, shapes, and movement. Geometric

activities are valuable because they not only develop spatial and geometric ideas, but

they also promote exploration and reasoning.

Spatial sense is often referred to as spatial perception or spatial visualization and

can be characterized by a number of such spatial abilities as the ability to imagine

movement or spatial displacement by mentally rotating, folding, or in some other

way manipulating visual representation of objects. The fundamental ideas of sliding

and turning are basic to every child's spatial explorations, and putting these notions

into a geometric context should be the starting point for a child's mathematical

development in the earliest grades.

At the Grade Two level, children describe, classify, and compare figures and

shapes using geometric and spatial terms. They recognize and name two to three

dimensional shapes presented in various orientations. They perform geometric

transformations using manipulatives and drawings.

At the Grade One level, children use informal geometric vocabulary to compare

and contrast objects, figures and shapes. They sort objects and identify common

geometric attributes used for classification. They demonstrate an understanding of

a line of symmetry and use concrete materials to construct the reflection of a given


At the Reception Two level, children use informal geometric vocabulary to describe

objects and compares similarities. They associate the name of common geometric

shape with real world objects. They use concrete experiences to explore symmetry,

slides and turns.

At the Reception One level, children use informal geometric vocabulary to identify

and sort real world shapes by attributes. They recognize that a shape is the same

shape even after it is rotated. Children use materials (e.g., blocks, clay, etc.) to form

geometric figures.


Measurement activities give children many opportunities to explore, organize, and

make sense of their world. The use of numbers in simple estimations can help

children develop the flexible ideas about numbers. (Elementary School Mathematics,

John A. Van de Walle)

At the Grade Two level, children develop an awareness of the need for standard

units of measure. They estimate and use standard units and instruments to measure

length, weight, capacity and temperature. They identify time concentrating on hours

and half hours. They count and compare money.

At the Grade One level, children use direct and indirect comparisons to order objects.

They use standard and non-standard units to measure the length and weight of

objects. They begin to explore the comparisons on time intervals and money.

At the Reception Two level, children use oral language and concrete experiences to

make direct comparisons of objects relative to length or weight. They begin to explore

the concepts of time and temperature.

At the Reception One level, children explore concepts of weight to determine objects

that are heavy and light. They use non-standard objects to measure classroom

objects and arrange items in graduated order. Children can describe concepts of

time and temperature.

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 67

68 Hong Hong International School

Data Analysis and Probability

Children learn to locate, gather, organize, manipulate, summarize, display, and

analyze large quantities of information, which they can use for prediction and

interpretation and/or further study.

At the Grade Two level children collect and organize discrete data. They construct,

describe and discuss number line plots and bar graphs. They predict which event is

more likely or less likely to occur.

At the Grade One level, children build and display pictographs and unifix block graphs

using data collected from student activities. They discuss graph information to identify

the least and most common items. They explain if an event is certain or impossible to


At the Reception Two level children use familiar activities to collect data and build

graphs using physical objects. They discuss and interpret collected data.

At the Reception One level, children use a variety of manipulatives and materials to

explore, compare, and/or graph data. They determine through class discussion if a

given event is more likely, equally likely or less likely to occur.

Process Standards

The process standards outline the methods through which children attain the

mathematical knowledge, skills, and conceptual understandings set forth in the five

content standards.

Problem Solving

A thoughtful classroom environment

promotes problem solving. All of

the five content strands (numbers

and operations, algebra, geometry,

measurement and data and probability)

engage young learners in creative

persistent thinking. Matching, classifying,

ordering, patterning, and thinking about

numbers are a few examples of problem


The problem solving described in the

NCTM standards is not just an important

part of instruction - it is the organizing

principle for a mathematics curriculum.

"Problem solving is not a distinct topic

but a process that should permeate the

entire program and provide the context

in which concepts and skills can be

learned." (NCTM, 1989)

The philosophy, focus, curriculum and methods for teaching mathematics have

changed dramatically since the 1960s and 1970s. The heart of the "new" math

curriculum is problem solving, connecting meaning to math symbols, and interrelating

the various content strands of mathematics. The next few pages will describe the

"old style math" with the "new style of math" taught in Lower Primary. Children will

be doing tasks that involve investigations. They will be talking, writing, demonstrating

and drawing explanations for their thinking. They will spend time exploring problems

in depth.

Old Style Math Math in Lower Primary

completed as many problems as

quickly as possible (Speed and

quickness with basic facts has little

to do with "being good" in math.

Persistence and intuition are more

important than speed.)

thoughtfully work on small number

of problems during a class session,

sometimes working on a single

problem for one or several sessions

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 69

70 Hong Hong International School

Reasoning and Proof

Reasoning in the Lower Primary grades centers on pattern recognition and

classification skills. When young children are asked to explain their reasoning and

give proof as to how they got a particular answer and why they think it is correct

they may say their dad showed them or their sister told them that it was correct.

Later, children will develop mathematical statements about the relationships between

classes of objects. Mathematical proof is a formal way of communication reasoning.

This standard requires that reasoning permeates the curriculum. This means we

should have children constantly explaining their thinking and justifying their answers.

Teachers and parents should ask children open ended questions. What is a pattern?

Why does this work? Does this always work? How do you know this is true?

Children will invent their own strategies and approaches rather than just memorizing


Old Style Math Math in Lower Primary

focused on getting the right answer consider their own reasoning and the

reasoning of other students


This standard requires students to have frequent opportunities to communicate. In

explaining ideas to others, students develop a clearer understanding themselves.

"Students should relate physical materials, pictures, and diagrams to mathematical

ideas." (NCTM, 1989)

It means finding ways to express ideas with words, diagrams, pictures, and symbols.

When children talk, either with you or with their friends, it helps them think about

what they are doing and makes their own thoughts clearer. As a bonus, talking with

children improves their vocabulary and helps develop literacy and early reading skills

as well. It is a means for supporting students' learning as they act out a situation,

draw, use objects, give verbal accounts and explanations, use diagrams, write, and

use mathematical symbols and numeration.

Children will be collaborating to make discoveries, draw conclusions and discuss


Children will move around the classroom as they explore mathematics in their

environment and talk with their peers.

Old Style Math Math in Lower Primary

work alone work in a variety of groupings (whole class,

individually, in pairs, in small groups)

recorded only by writing down


used only pencil and paper,

chalk and chalkboard as tools

communicate about math orally, in writing, and

by using pictures, diagrams and models

use cubes, blocks, measuring tools, calculators

and a variety of other materials

Lower Primary Parent Handbook 71

72 Hong Hong International School


This standard requires connections within mathematics and between mathematics

and other parts of the school curriculum (language arts, social studies, science, etc.).

Children will be seeing that math is much more than arithmetic (knowing the facts and

numbers and operations); it involves estimation, geometry, probability, statistics, and



Representation refers to the process and product of showing a math concept.

Representations help children organize their thinking. Teachers should encourage

students to use variety of physical projects to represent their thinking. Representation

of ideas not only helps children communicate their thinking, but also helps them

reflect on their thinking. Some forms of representation are drawings, diagrams,

pictures, numbers, words, equations, and symbols. Graphical displays, symbolic

expressions and a variety of new forms associated with electronic technology are

also types of representations.

Representations are difficult for children to develop because they require the child

to have a higher level of understanding rather than just a solution to the problem

presented. Children need to find meaningful ways to record and present their

solutions to others and work to adequately use conventional forms of representation.

If you can do math, you can do anything!

The Mission and Student Learning Results are the North Star for HKIS, its faculty,

students, and staff. We use these as our guide in everything we do, every day.


Dedicating our minds to inquiry, our hearts to compassion,

and our lives to service and global understanding

An American-style education grounded in the Christian faith

and respecting the spiritual lives of all

Student Learning Results

Academic Excellence

Students will achieve their intellectual potential by striving for and attaining the

highest standards of academic excellence


Students will understand and respect Christianity and other religions and will identify

and develop their own spiritual identity

Character Development

Students will demonstrate respectful and caring attitudes at school and in the

community, as well as the courage to stand up for what is right

Self-Motivated Learning

Students willingly apply a variety of learning and motivation strategies throughout

their learning process

Contributing to Society

Students will develop the skills they need to form genuine relationships in our

diverse society and to make contributions to our community

Chinese Culture

Students will gain an understanding of China and an appreciation of the

Chinese Culture

Lower Primary School

23 South Bay Close, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong T +852 2812 5000 F +852 2812 9590 www.hkis.edu.hk

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