At the Upper Primary, we believe in developing the whole child academically, socially, and emotionally through immersive experiences and inquiry-based learning. The program and unique learning spaces encourage students to explore, engage, and apply their understandings to the world around them. Our inquiry-based approach is grounded in deep questions and authentic challenges. By consolidating and refining skills while developing new passions, students can think deeply, create, tinker, and transfer classroom learning to real-world situations.
Student choice is integral to our program, empowering learners to make thoughtful decisions throughout their education journey. Creativity, collaboration, and resilience are emphasized and developed through opportunities for student voice and input into the learning. Students set goals, share, and reflect on their learning in a variety of ways. Empowering and engaging students is essential for developing independent, critical thinkers who can envision better solutions and take their passions forward for the future.
The Upper Primary is located on the Repulse Bay campus and is accessed through the main entrance at 23 South Bay Road. Students walk past the Lower Primary building across the bridge to the Upper Primary. Home to 660 students from Grades 3 to 5, this 8-story building is equipped with bespoke facilities to serve 8-11-year-olds.
Grade Level Counselors
Resources for Upper Primary
Shared Spaces with Lower Primary
At HKIS, every child is loved, and every child has a purpose. An HKIS Upper Primary typical day is filled with opportunities to try new things, build community, and develop a passion for learning.
When your child arrives on the bus at Repulse Bay, they will enter campus together with Lower Primary students and walk across the bridge to a campus dedicated to Upper Primary. The Repulse Bay campus has a mandatory bus policy. Students must register with our bus provider, Kwoon Chung Motors. There are dozens of bus routes all across Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. You’ll see students in uniform, which can be purchased at the Dragon Shop. See the Uniform Guide!
Each morning begins with a morning meeting to build community in the classroom. Your child's homeroom teacher teaches core subjects such as math, literacy, science, social studies, and religious education. While most lessons occur in spacious home classrooms, students extend their learning into passion spaces such as the Kid Kitchen, the Media Lab, the Farm, and the Design Garage. Students travel to dedicated learning spaces for specialist subjects, such as Chinese, art, music, and PE. See a sample 6-day schedule.
At recess, students can choose to spend time at the outdoor play area, the large indoor playground, the library, or one of the passion spaces when available. Students eat their lunch in the 4/F dining hall with their whole grade level. Children may bring their own lunch or order pre-purchased meals from our food provider, Sodexo.
Students finish the day at 2:50 pm and can choose to participate in one of many activities in our paid after-school activities (ASA) program. A second set of buses is available at 4 pm to take students home after their activity. HKIS offers 12 different areas of programs through in-house and third-party providers ranging from sports, performing and visual arts, service & spirituality, S.T.E.M, and more. Find out more about our ASA program.
HKIS uses a comprehensive standards-based curriculum in which we teach for understanding. The Upper Primary learning environment accommodates flexible learning to meet individual learning needs. Each student progresses at their own rate, based on their strengths and growth areas. Throughout the learning journey at HKIS, students will grow in their love of learning.
Upper Primary Camp
Experiential learning is integral to the Upper Primary program and supports the Student Learning Result of Character Development. The camp experience is a three-day/two-night experience run by an external camp provider with highly trained instructors skilled in health and safety, outdoor pursuits, and water activities. At camp, students will practice team building, resilience, taking safe risks, and building relationships with peers and adults. All students will participate in this memorable Upper Primary experience.
In Grades 3 - 5, students primarily receive small group interventions in a pull-out model. These services are provided individually or in a small group of 2-4 students. For some students, they may receive push-in services based on their needs. Students with more significant academic needs may enroll in a Learning Strategies class. The school will provide testing accommodations if recommended in a Student Profile Plan or Individual Learning Plan.
In the Upper Primary School, we are committed to studying and analyzing the most current research and practices regarding home learning for our students. In this spirit, our philosophies and policies around home learning are ever-evolving. Various studies have demonstrated that teachers and parents can foster positive approaches to learning through the routine of home learning. Students can develop self-regulation, perseverance, and personal responsibility through home learning. While promoting independence and responsibility, home learning can engage parents by providing opportunities for discussion and exploration around current topics and learning goals. As home learning is intended to be an extension or reinforcement of concepts and skills explored while in school, there should be opportunities for students to work independently and share learning at home with family members.
All Upper Primary School students should be reading outside of school hours throughout the week. Students can read for pleasure within the grade level guidelines or in addition to the guidelines. Teachers can give specific guidelines and details around goals and expectations for each child. Home learning expectations may look different each night, and there may not be home learning every night during the week. Our goal is to find the balance between consistency and personalization for each student. As with anything assigned, should a student need help understanding directions or expectations, parents and students can communicate with the teacher as an opportunity for further feedback.
Student Life at HKIS Upper Primary involves a community of caring adults, peer friendships, and experiences that go beyond academics. At HKIS, we care about the whole child.
Student and Parent Support
The Upper Primary is supported by three counselors, one for each grade. Each counselor stays with your child’s grade throughout the Upper Primary journey. When the Grade 5 counselor sends her students to Middle School, she cycles back to the incoming Grade 3 class. Counselors get to know each child personally and establish a relationship with them as learners and school community members. Through classroom learning and additional support, counselors aim to enhance every child's personal, social, and emotional development, building skills for effective living and well-being.
The Christian identity of the school is expressed through community-building expressions of faith such as devotions, prayer, and chapel. Chapels, in particular, are an opportunity for the proclamation of God’s love and a communal expression of identity. Chapels are inclusive. All students and staff are invited to participate in a respectful, reverent, and joyful way. In Chapel, every student hears that he or she is a beloved child of God and has been given unique gifts for their calling in life.
After School Activities
HKIS offers a wide variety of after-school activities (ASAs) through in-house and third-party providers. Activities are a large part of developing the whole child and are an important part of the HKIS program. Activities range from sports, performing and visual arts, spirituality, S.T.E.M., and more. Learn more about the full program.