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Hong Kong Education System: A Guide for Expat Families


Why studying in an international school in Hong Kong is a good choice

Moving to a new country because of a job relocation, a new career opportunity, or to start a new life, is definitely a major adjustment. These may include navigating any language barriers, and learning and adapting to a new culture, amongst other transitions. Being in a new environment is challenging for adults, and even more so for children.

Children are very much in the process of learning to navigate their feelings and emotions, moving to a new country, and switching schools, especially one in a foreign land can be a huge hurdle for them to face. Fortunately, for expat children there can be some sort of familiarity found when they enrol in an International School.

In Hong Kong, there are many international schools that cater to students that come from foreign countries. International schools are the ideal choice for expats because the educational system is specifically modified for international students. Children will have a much better time adjusting as these types of schools are already equipped with the elements needed to educate and guide foreign students.

In this article, you will learn more about international schools in Hong Kong and the different levels of education they offer.

International School System

The Hong Kong International School System International schools are constantly in demand in Hong Kong. There are a total of 77 international schools in Hong Kong and counting. Most of these schools deliver the IB, British, or American curriculum but some of them will offer the national curriculum in their native language. Interestingly, some international schools accept applications as early as a child is born; all they have to do is submit a birth certificate. The rest of the schools follow a prescribed period for the application which is typically one or two years before the decided entry.

Many factors make an international school different from others. Here are some of them:
  • Class sizes are often smaller, typically ranging from 15 to 24 students.
  • Inclusive international curriculum that enables students to learn and understand the different cultures of the world.
  • The priority for application interviews is given to those who come from overseas.
  • Students are allowed to join as many schools as they like and have multiple options for curriculums.
  • They have a wide range of facilities to ensure that students will have a full-fledged academic and co-curricular experience, these include swimming pools, skating rinks, football grounds, an amphitheatre, smart classrooms, multiple libraries and laboratories, etc.

However, these benefits do come at a price as tuition fees at international schools are quite more expensive than others. However, the quality of education and development that they can provide to students makes them worth it.


Students who enrol in Kindergarten in Hong Kong are usually around ages three to six years old. Kindergarten is not just one of the first steps to take in education, it is incredibly crucial in a child's development.

Children at this stage are particularly curious and eager to learn about the world. Kindergarten is a great way to stimulate a child's growth and brain development and it will also expose them to a new environment that would prepare them for the next stages of education.

Some schools like Invictus Kindergarten (Hong Kong) offer a well-rounded bilingual education in both English and Mandarin to help students build a strong foundation for the child's future. It is ideal for students to pick up languages from a young age as it facilitates language acquisition.

Overall, kindergarten is a critical time when a child’s leadership, creativity, and collaboration will be cultivated and where they will develop a lifelong love of learning.

Primary School

Primary school is the next step that a child must make in education after kindergarten. This takes place at ages six to twelve, where the students are guided to build up their knowledge, skills, and values for further studies and personal growth. It is also where students' lingustic abilities are enhanced.

Invictus School (Hong Kong) offers an internationally recognised primary school program. Here, students are empowered to learn in both traditional and non-traditional settings, with a holistic education delivered by skilled educators. Learning can be a thorough and tedious process that not all students will find easy, but here they will have an enjoyable and enriching experience that will develop their love for learning.

Secondary Schools in Hong Kong

Secondary School

The curriculum in secondary school is flexible and diversified. The goal was to make it as inclusive as possible due to the varying needs, interests, and abilities of the students. The unique skills and talents of each child will require specific methods to nurture them. As such, the secondary education system will mark a great opportunity for students to grow as an individual.

Here at Invictus Secondary School, we offer different levels of curricula for secondary school education:
  • For Years 7 to 9, there is the Cambridge Lower Secondary curriculum which is based on the international best practice for schools. It is designed to engage learners in a creative and active learning journey.
  • For years 10 and 11, students prepare for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) exams. It is the world’s most popular international qualification and serves to prepare students for the Cambridge International A-Levels.
  • For years 12 and 13, students prepare to take the Cambridge International A-Levels which is conferred under the General Certificate of Education in the United Kingdom. Students can use the A-Levels to apply to universities globally and pick their subjects based on the degree they wish to pursue in university.

University and Higher Education

Many parents dream of their child entering a good university—which is one of the factors that increase the chances of getting a good career. Having access to higher education means getting more knowledge and experience necessary to have a bright future. But before entering a university, it is important to finish secondary education. The role of that educational level is significant in determining a student's chance to apply to any university in the world.

International students will be able to apply to international universities so long as they have proper educational attainment and all the necessary qualifications needed to enter a university. They will also have more options if they previously received an internationally recognised education certificate (e.g. Cambridge International). Of course, they will be required to undergo assessments and take examinations that will also affect whether or not they can enter the prestigious academic institution.

Are you inclined to enrol your child in a Hong Kong international school?

Invictus Hong Kong covers the entire academic journey of international students, starting from kindergarten up to getting a Hong Kong diploma for secondary education. Our institution aims to cultivate every student's abilities and guide their development to become well-contributing members of society. Our curriculum, exceptional teachers, and complete facilities make us one of the best options for expats who are looking to give their children the best education in Hong Kong.

For application procedures, visit our website for more details. You can also book a tour with us to visit the school and check out our facilities.
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