Hong Kong Academy: Pioneers of Global Citizenship

Hong Kong
Hong Kong Academy

“Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

This line by Martin Luther King Junior aptly sums up the work done by Hong Kong Academy (HKA) based in its namesake city.

Coming about in the year 2000, the institution with a difference that professes to create a joyful, dynamic learning community that provides rigorous international education characterized by mutual benefit and support, Hong Kong Academy is an educational leader in its category that has been empowering learners to pursue their chosen path towards individual excellence by fostering creativity, communication, and problem-solving skills.

Thus, the academy helps its students develop an ever-evolving understanding of themselves and the changing world around them, leading to them engaging in responsible actions motivated by their interests, strengths, and ongoing reflections.

To this end, HKA is committed to maintaining a diverse, collaborative, and captivating learning environment in which students become adaptable, confident, and tolerant, equipping them for a sustainable future at all times.

Story of Excellence

Hong Kong Academy is the brainchild of its founder duo, Teresa Richman and Ben Frankel, who had the vision to create a non-profit international school to provide an outstanding international education in Hong Kong SAR. They wanted something manageable and customizable, which did not intimidate parents and, on the contrary, made them feel at home with the thought that they knew everything and everyone in the school.

Though the international school ecosystem scene was competitive and rife with well-funded giants, the duo wasn’t deterred. It made them all the more committed as they tirelessly navigated the government permission system and the school registration-related paperwork while putting up classrooms on HK Island, defining the curriculum, and hiring skilled teachers.

It all fell in place in August of 2000, with HKA opening its doors to three students on Stubbs Road in HK. In the space of over two decades, HKA has proliferated to over four hundred delighted and happy students.

Anyone with a wrong notion of the words ‘nonprofit’ ought to be at HKA, which benefits immensely from the wealth of experience, skills, and resources generously contributed by its highly engaged parent community. From helping with the libraries, uniforms, and free cycles programme, to acting as mentors and guest speakers, to serving on the school board, parents volunteer and enrich the school in many ways. Such being their participation, the school runs parent education workshops designed to help them connect with the school culture, understand their priorities, and support their child’s academic and socioemotional development.

An All-In-One Educational Institute

HKA believes that students’ success ought to be defined by their interests, strengths, and ambitions. Towards this, the school offers hundreds of co-curricular choices that extend and enhance regular school activity with a range of free-of-charge options. The afterschool activities, winter and summer programmes are part of the co-curricular programme and offer various activities such as sports, performing arts, secondary school clubs, and weekend activities. All of these provide students with a range of opportunities to build on existing skills, try new interests, compete, create, and grow.

What truly takes center stage at HKA is the integration of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) across subject areas that prepares students to thrive in a wide range of fields. STEAM is integrated into the curriculum as well as being offered through the co-curricular programme. STEAM at HKA happens early, right from Primary School, where it is integrated into each unit of inquiry, encouraging students to connect and apply investigative and problem-solving skills across subject areas.

Moving into Secondary School, students develop their fact-gathering, problem-defining, opportunity-sensing, and risk-analyzing skills through individual and collaborative projects. HKA teachers are experienced specialists that teach, encourage and support students from start to end. The school’s award-winning campus, with its fully equipped laboratories, design technology workshops, and visual art studios, also offers students opportunities galore for creative hands-on digital experiences.

School counsellors and teachers support students throughout the day in navigating and developing social skills in various situations. They challenge, motivate, educate, and support each child to achieve their fullest potential socially, emotionally, and academically in accordance with their individual abilities and learning styles. The school also inspires students to take responsible ecological and conservation-driven action encouraging them to see themselves as caretakers of the planet and its communities.

HKA offers a combination of three certification pathways for students. In addition to the credit-based HKA Diploma and IB Diploma Programme, graduates earn portfolio-based Global Citizen Diploma (GCD) certificates through which students demonstrate intercultural communication, global understanding, community engagement, and academic rigour. In the Hong Kong scene, this is unique in that HKA is the only school offering the GCD while being the global headquarters for the consortium.

Since Year Y2K, HKA has earned its share of laurels. Primary among them are:

  • Green Building Council of Hong Kong Gold BEAM status
  • Hong Kong International School of the Year in the Education Awards 2022
  • Hong Kong Education Awards 2021:
    • All-Through School of the Year
    • Most Socially Responsible School
    • Hong Kong International School of the Year
    • Best School Strategic Plan

Success Saga

The school has found success in other ways. While the pandemic brought new challenges in developing children’s social skills and abilities in social conflict resolution and collaboration, HKA, while being mindful of the lack of social interaction, saw this as an opportunity to do things differently, like snack chat sessions facilitated by a teacher online where students ate their snack online while chatting and playing games thus using the opportunity to connect.

Having found success with their unique approaches, HKA’s plans through 2025 include:

  • Elevating global citizenship and the importance of contributing to the community
  • Supporting individuals to become leaders with the capacity to innovate and develop capacities in others
  • Expanding opportunities for learners to be curious, courageous, and self-directed
  • Empowering learners to thrive in a complex, volatile, and ambiguous future

An authority in education whose unique initiatives have made the right cut, HKA advises students everywhere to enjoy school life and remain open to new experiences. In an international school, they say students have the opportunity to get to know people from a range of backgrounds and experiences which can help widen their perspectives and provide them with insights into what it means to be a part of a global community.

“We encourage students to think about how they can grow as learners and as people by embracing diversity and expanding their perspectives on themselves and their world.”

Hong Kong Academy Address: 33 Wai Man Road, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR, China

Email: admissions@hkacademy.edu.hk

Tel: +852 2655 1118


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