As an international city, it only makes sense for Hong Kong to have so many options for International Baccalaureate (IB) schools. The IB programme prides itself on being a prestigious curriculum that is recognised across the globe for educating worldly, knowledgeable thinkers. To help you determine the right education stream for your children, we've compiled a list of the top international schools in Hong Kong that currently offer the IB programme. See also: Hong Kong Tatler Schools Guide

1. Australian International School

Type: Primary and secondary

Curriculum: Primary school: based on the Australian National Curriculum. Secondary school: New South Wales Higher School Certificate or IB Diploma.

Languages: English, with Putonghua offered to primary school students and French or
Putonghua offered in New South Wales Higher School Certificate or IB Diploma.

When to apply: Reception to Year 10: any time. Year 11: before the first term of school. Applications accepted up to two years before the expected year of entry.

Campus and facilities: The Green Roof is a multiuse educational platform where students learn about the environment. The indoor Aquatic Centre houses a 25m heated swimming pool and teaching pool. The Outdoor Field features a synthetic turf surface and a four-lane running track around its perimeter.

Competitive advantage: Operating on an Australian school year, from late January to mid-December, Australian International School Hong Kong offers a smooth transition to high-quality universities in Australia and around the world. With 1,100 students, the school is small enough to provide individual care and attention. It is also dedicated to providing a warm learning environment that balances academic excellence with student well-being, developing happy young people with resilience, compassion and character.


2. Canadian International School

Type: Primary and secondary

Curriculum: IB PYP, IB MYP and IB Diploma or OSSD

Languages: English, with Putonghua taught. French and Spanish also available.

When to apply: Grade 1-2: early October. Grade 3-11: January 31

Campus and facilities: Canadian International School is in Aberdeen, on the south side of Hong Kong Island. The campus covers more than 452,000sqft, occupies 14 levels and is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including a design studio, science and innovation labs, a 604-seat theatre, a swimming pool, a green roof, gymnasiums and multiple outdoor spaces.

Competitive advantage: Students are encouraged to maintain a balance between academics and extra-curricular opportunities, allowing them to thrive at top post-secondary institutions around the world.


See also: Testing Much? The Pros And Cons Of Exams In Education

3. Carmel School

Type: Kindergarten, primary and secondary, Jewish day school

Curriculum: IB PYP, IB MYP and IB Diploma

Languages: English, Hebrew, Putonghua, French and Spanish as languages of instruction

When to apply: Anytime

Campus and facilities: Carmel is a through-train school with three campuses. Pre-school, nursery-aged Jewish children can enter the system at the unique Holly Rofé Early Learning Centre on Robinson Road. From there, students can progress to the Carmel Elementary School on Borrett Road before moving on to Elsa High School in Shau Kei Wan, which is open to all children.

Competitive advantage: Carmel believes the parent-school partnership underpins a child’s
ability to blossom and develop to his or her full potential. Carmel functions as one large family, providing support, care, help and direction, and developing the whole person within a strong moral and ethical framework.


4. Chinese International School

Type: Primary and secondary

Curriculum: Primary: school-based dual-language programme in English and Putonghua.

Years 7-11: IB MYP, with Year 10 in Hangzhou. Year 11: school-based programme bridging IBMYP and IB Diploma. Years 12-13: IB Diploma.

Languages: English and Putonghua

When to apply: Years 1 to 6: from September 1 to February 28, beginning one academic year before entry. Years 7-13: from September 1, beginning one academic year before entry.

Campus and facilities: The recent Phoenix Soaring campus redevelopment includes a new library; a 10-storey building featuring a science and technology hub that unites the sciences, design technology and visual arts around a common atrium; and a range of versatile communal spaces. Sports facilities include four gymnasiums, an outdoor sports field and climbing wall, and an indoor swimming pool.

Competitive advantage: The school takes a strengths-based approach and nurtures young people who excel in multiple dimensions and are motivated to give back to their communities. The school’s strengths include a stable, cohesive community with low student and faculty turnover and high alumni involvement; and flagship programmes such as the Hangzhou CIS one-year academic and residential programme in mainland China in Year 10, the China Experience Programmes in Years 7, 8 and 9, and a collaborative dual-language programme in the primary section.


5. English Schools Foundation

Type: Primary: Beacon Hill School • Bradbury School • Clearwater Bay School • Glenealy School • Kennedy School • Kowloon Junior School • Peak School • Sha Tin Junior School • Quarry Bay School

Secondary: Island School • King George V School • Sha Tin College • South Island School • West Island School

Curriculum: IB PYP; IB MYP; IBCP; IB Diploma; GCSE/IGCSE; BTEC qualifications

Languages: English, with dual-language options

When to apply: K1, Year 1 and Year 7: Central Application is open from September 1 to 30 of the year before. All year groups: Applications can be made anytime during the year, which will be added to wait lists.

Campus and facilities: All campuses and facilities are of world-class standard, designed to support the inquiry-based approach to learning that sits at the heart of the ESF philosophy.

Competitive advantage: ESF is on a mission to help its students become the leaders of the future. Walk into any of its classrooms and you’ll see students working together to problem-find, not problem-solve. You’ll see them grappling with complex issues and coming up with solutions. Its teachers instruct students on where to look, but don’t tell them what to see. That is the future of education that ESF is driving in all its schools right now.


See also: Choosing The Best ESF School For Your Children

6. ESF Discovery College

Type: Primary and secondary

Curriculum: IB PYP, MYP, IBCP and IB Diploma

Languages: English medium, with a strong emphasis on Putonghua as a second language.

When to apply: Year 1: September 1-30 of the previous academic year. Years 2-13: ongoing; please refer to its website for the latest details.

Campus and facilities: An award-winning design incorporates an exceptional performing arts centre, gymnasium spaces, a 25m heated rooftop swimming pool, a library, science labs and design technology rooms.

Competitive advantage: The school’s classroom programmes are designed to be engaging and fun, while its diverse student body underscores the importance of the international mindset and shared spirit of respect that are tenets of the school. In addition to a comprehensive IB curriculum, sports and outdoor activities play a major part in the lives of the students.


7. ESF Renaissance College

Type: Primary and secondary

Curriculum: IB PYP, IB MYP, IB Diploma and IBCP

Languages: English, with Putonghua as a mandatory second language from Years 1-11, and additional second-language options available for Years 12-13

When to apply: Year 1: September 1-30 of the previous academic year. Years 2-13: ongoing; please see website for details.

Campus and facilities: Facilities include the Performing Arts Centre, ICT Centre, black box theatre, 25m indoor swimming pool, music rooms, library, science laboratories, gymnasiums, climbing wall, outdoor basketball courts and outdoor sports field.

Competitive advantage: Renaissance College is a private, independent IB school. In addition to being an IB World School, it is also accredited by US body WASC and the Council of International Schools.


8. French International School

Type: Primary and secondary, split into French (taught in French) and International (taught in English) sections.

Curriculum: French national curriculum for French stream; International Primary Curriculum and English National Curriculum to IGCSE, then IB Diploma for International stream.

Languages: Primary: French, English and Putonghua; secondary: French, English, Putonghua, Spanish, German and Latin

When to apply: Anytime

Campus and facilities: Four campuses: Blue Pool Road, Chai Wan, Jardine’s Lookout and Tseung Kwan O, the last of which opened in September 2018.

Competitive advantage: At primary level, there is a focus on the acquisition and development of language; an innovative collaboration between the two streams was introduced in September 2018. At secondary level, the school has achieved outstanding academic results in both streams, and excels in local and regional inter-school competitions.


See also: What Can We Learn From Finland's Education System?

9. German Swiss International School

Type: Primary and secondary, split into English and German sections

Curriculum: German International Abitur for German stream; IGCSE followed by IB for English stream

Languages: German, English, Putonghua and French

When to apply: Year-round

Campus and facilities: Primary school facilities include a new library with more than 20,000 resources in German, English and Chinese; a spacious multi-purpose atrium; a rooftop playground; and a primary gym. The secondary school features state-of-the-art laboratories; a senior library and senior study room; a new indoor swimming pool; and a renovated sports hall.

Competitive advantage: German Swiss International School offers a rigorous pedagogical programme within a vibrant, creative, caring community, and is renowned for academic excellence. GSIS students obtain a rounded, holistic education focusing on their creative, social and emotional development. GSIS is the only school in Hong Kong providing a German curriculum, and it is certified as an Excellent German School Abroad by the German government’s Central Agency for Schools Abroad.


10. Hong Kong Academy

Type: Playgroup, kindergarten, primary and secondary

Curriculum: IB PYP, IB MYP and IB Diploma for students from early childhood to grade 12

Languages: IB world school from early childhood to graduation. Accredited for PYP, MYP and IB Diploma.

When to apply: From one year in advance of the student’s anticipated start date. Admissions are open all year round.

Campus and facilities: Hong Kong Academy (HKA) is committed to environmentally friendly, sustainable practices. Its provisional HKGBC BEAM Plus Platinum facility features environmentally friendly materials and classrooms filled with natural light. The school’s 1:1 technology programme begins at Grade 2, with computers and iPads available for classroom use.

Competitive advantage: In addition to being an IB World School, HKA is accredited by US body WASC and the Council of International Schools. HKA provides a wealth of co-curricular and interdisciplinary student opportunities that foster creativity, communication and problem-solving skills. An exceptionally low teacher-to-student ratio allows teachers to provide a differentiated education tailored to students as individuals.


11. Independent Schools Foundation Academy

Type: Primary and secondary

Curriculum: IB MYP and IB Diploma

Languages: Bilingual immersion programme focused on Putonghua and English

When to apply: Anytime

Campus and facilities: The Pok Fu Lam campus opened in 2007 on a 140,000sqft site. Classrooms have modular teaching spaces and a comprehensive IT system. There are two libraries, a gymnasium, basketball courts, a climbing wall, music practice rooms, art rooms, and a 500-seat dining hall. Additional facilities include a swimming pool, a performing arts centre, an auditorium, and an all-purpose ball court.

Competitive advantage: Independent School Foundation Academy educates students in a Chinese-English bilingual environment, deeply rooted in Chinese culture and with a global understanding. It anchors its values on the “eight virtues + one”: zhi 智 (wisdom); zhong 忠 (loyalty and commitment); xiao 孝 (respect and obligation); ren 仁 (compassion and kindness); ai 愛 (love and passion); li 禮 (etiquette and ceremony); yi 義 (principles and justice); he 和 (harmony and tolerance); and ping 平 (balance and equality).


See also: 7 Prestigious Summer School Programmes For Kids

12. Li Po Chun United World College

Type: Last two years of secondary, boarding school

Curriculum: IB

Languages: English, with second-language options

When to apply: Mid-September to late November

Campus and facilities: The purpose-built residential campus is in Ma On Shan. In addition to classrooms, laboratories and a library, LPCUWC has amenities including a well-equipped auditorium and theatre, a climbing wall, an outdoor pool, a basketball court, a tennis court, an indoor sports hall, a squash court, a dance studio and a gymnasium.

Competitive advantage: United World Colleges originated in the late 1950s, allowing students from all nations to be selected purely on merit, regardless of race, religion, nationality, background or financial means. LPCUWC is one of its 17 schools and colleges around the globe. Apart from academics, LPCUWC’s other two pillars are its EOTC Programme and residential life. At the heart of its EOTC curriculum are its Quan Cai activities, which aim to provide students with holistic development. LPCUWC is a 100 per cent residential community. Living together on the same campus enables students from different cultures to share, trust, learn from each other and forge friendships for life.


13. Malvern College Hong Kong

Type: Primary and secondary

Curriculum: MCHK is currently pursuing authorisation as an IB World School and is a candidate school for IB Primary Years and Middle Years Programmes. It is also working towards becoming a candidate school for the Diploma Programme.

Languages: English, with Putonghua as mandatory second language

When to apply: Rolling admission. No more than two years in advance of the desired year of entry.

Campus and Facilities: Malvern College Hong Kong’s 258,000sqft, state-of-the-art campus includes academic, sporting and recreational spaces, incorporating the latest innovations and technology in teaching, learning and environmental sustainability. Facilities include a 25m heated indoor pool, the AstroTurf Skypitch, a 450-seat auditorium, an open-plan library, seven science labs, a multi-purpose indoor sports hall, music rooms and a dining hall.

Competitive Advantage: A low teacher-student ratio of 1:10, coupled with strong
pastoral care, are key to the school’s approach. The school also benefits from its sister school Malvern College UK’s academic rigour, scientific heritage and pursuit of holistic education, making it one of the leading IB schools in the country.


See also: The Best International Schools In Hong Kong: 2019 Edition

14. Singapore International School

Type: Preparatory, primary and secondary

Curriculum: Singaporean with British IGCSE and IB Diploma

Languages: Bilingual English and Putonghua

When to apply: By March 30

Campus and facilities: Singapore International School (SISHK) features two campuses linked by a bridge. Each campus features a state-of-the-art auditorium, multi-functional sports hall, multi-purpose rooftop court and library. The school also boasts a 25m indoor swimming pool, well-equipped science laboratories, dedicated music, dance and art studios, and outdoor basketball courts.

Competitive advantage: SISHK offers a Singapore-style curriculum that is supported by Singapore’s Ministry of Education. Character development and innovation are at the core of the learning experience; students are encouraged to be inquisitive and use their imagination. SISHK strives to create a caring, safe, rich learning environment that shapes values-driven, innovative mindsets with a global outlook.


15. Yew Chung International School

Type: Primary and secondary

Curriculum: International, based on the English National Curriculum, with a Chinese language and culture programme; IGCSE for Years 10 to 11 and IB Diploma for Years 12 to 13

Languages: English and Putonghua

When to apply: Anytime, but early application is encouraged

Campus and facilities: Yew Chung International School (YCIS) is equipped with flexible learning spaces, including a Global Learning Centre and Learning Communities. It also has an auditorium, a gymnasium, an indoor swimming pool, computer labs, music rooms, art and design studios, an exercise room, a basketball court, a cafeteria and outdoor playgrounds.

Competitive advantage: YCIS is a through-train school that offers multicultural, bilingual learning in a Christian context. Two co-principals, one Western and one Chinese, work in partnership to provide academic leadership to the school’s early childhood, primary and secondary levels.


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