[Head of School Message] Secondary Cocktail Evening Recap

It was great to meet so many of the Secondary parents last night at the Secondary Parent Teacher Cocktail evening.

There is no doubt that the Secondary Division offers students an outstanding, well-balanced education which is in many ways far superior to what students might receive anywhere else in Australia and internationally. While I am cognisant that this is a big claim, based on my previous experiences most recently in Australia and prior to this in Europe, I believe this claim is true.

There are myriad reasons for this.

The academic standards and results at AISHK are truly exemplary and the envy of the majority of schools in Australia in 2017. With two perfect ATAR scores, an IB average of 38.41 (world average of 29) an HSC ranking of 75 (out of 700 schools) and 49% of our students attaining an ATAR of 90+, there are very few schools which can match these results. These results surpass nearly all of our competitor schools in Australia and Hong Kong.

By offering our students the choice to complete either the HSC or the IB, we are giving our students the opportunity to best customise their learning style to the program which will suit them and help to ensure the greatest chance of reaching their academic potential. Again, this is an opportunity available to very few students in Australia.

Our secondary class sizes mean tailored, individual attention and focus for all students. The emphasis on the wellbeing of every individual student is a key aspect of our secondary division. Our enviable teacher-student ratios would be matched by very few, if any, schools in Australia. Every single student in the secondary division is known by all teachers allaying concerns of a student going unnoticed or “slipping under the radar”. The subject choices in  secondary are impressively broad, particularly when compared to that of other schools of a similar size. The size of the secondary division also lends itself to an environment of inclusiveness, allowing students to be actively involved in whichever activities they may choose to participate in. Examples include the House-based activities, sports, Model United Nations and performing arts productions. In many larger schools, very few students have the chance of being selected to represent their school in the wider community.

Being a truly international school with students from over 22 nations, our students gain a global and international perspective on a daily basis, which again gives them a distinct level of cultural literacy. The high quality Chinese and French language programs allow our students to gain an impressive competitive edge for future careers.

Our coeducational environment is also reflective of the world in which we live. In the secondary years the opportunity to work alongside each of the different genders is vitally important in developing skills much needed for later tertiary and work place successes. Many Australian independent schools do not allow for this coeducational opportunity.

Our students have the opportunity to travel across the world for sport and extra-curricular activities with their peers; assisting them to be mature, informed and responsible global citizens. The experiential learning gained through the dynamic secondary Activity Week program is something which students in most Australian schools simply do not have the chance to participate in.

Quality teaching is evident across all subject areas. The work which teachers are completing in Professional Learning is world class. This is supported by AISNSW who have said that the Professional Learning which AISHK teachers participate in is some of the best they have seen, and better than most Australian independent schools. The special relationships between the teachers and students are based on respect, care, concern and a desire for each student to truly be the best they can. Academic success and achieving personal best is fostered, encouraged and highly valued in our school.

Most importantly, our school allows families to choose to keep their children with them until they may move on to their further tertiary studies around the world. Speaking from experience, our children all grow up so quickly and move on from home before we know it. Having the opportunity to keep them with you as part of the family is a luxury to be enjoyed for as long as you can.

As can be seen, all of these fantastic aspects, which we should be very proud of as a school, contribute to create a very special experience for our secondary students. In many ways, it makes AISHK truly a school of choice, given the incredible opportunities and obvious lifetime advantages our secondary students receive.

Mark Hemphill | Head of School