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Explanatory Notes

We hope the following could help parents acquire a clearer picture of the schools and understand the various effects in education through diversified development. As such, parents should fully consider and evaluate all aspects when choosing schools. All the information in the Profiles is provided and verified by schools valid as at April 2018. In the e-version of the Profiles, parents can make use of the hyperlinks to acquire more updated information. To facilitate the understanding of individual items contained in the Profiles, the brief interpretations are listed as follows:

1. 【Supervisor / Chairman of the School Management Committee】
Before an incorporated management committee (IMC) is established in respect of an aided school, the aided school shall be managed by its school management committee (SMC). When an IMC has been established, the school shall be managed by the IMC. The SMC / IMC of a school shall be responsible for ensuring that the school is managed satisfactorily, the education of the pupils is promoted in a proper manner and the Education Ordinance is complied with. The SMC shall also recommend for the approval of the Permanent Secretary for Education (PS(Ed)) a manager of the school to be the supervisor. Whereas, the IMC shall give notice in writing to the PS(Ed) of the assumption of office of the supervisor. The supervisor shall conduct, on behalf of the school, all correspondence between the school and the PS(Ed) or any public officers concerning the management of the school and perform all functions as stipulated in the Education Ordinance. For government schools, an SMC will be formed with an officer at the directorate level being appointed as Chairman by the Education Bureau.
2. 【Incorporated Management Committee (IMC)】
Under the Education Ordinance, all aided schools have to set up and be managed by an IMC. Schools under the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS) may opt to establish an IMC under the Education Ordinance. Members of the IMC include key stakeholders of the school, that is, representatives of the sponsoring body, the principal, independent community member(s) and elected parent, teacher and alumni managers. It is through participatory governance that the spirit of school-based management can be fully realized.
3. 【School Head】
Apart from managing the daily operation of the school, including learning and teaching, student support as well as internal and external administrative affairs, the school head should steer sustainable development and continuous improvement of the school. Most of the primary school heads are degree holders with teacher training, and some of them have obtained higher qualifications. In recent years, through continuing professional development, school heads have been enhancing their management and leadership skills so as to attain a high level of professionalism.
4. 【School Type, Fees & Secondary School Places Arrangement】
At present, primary schools are generally divided into four main types: government, aided, DSS and private schools. Government schools are managed by the Education Bureau directly. Aided schools are managed by their own IMCs or SMCs. However, their subventions are mostly provided by the government. DSS schools are also managed by their own IMCs or SMCs. They can charge school fees and receive government subsidy based on the number of eligible students in the school. DSS schools can provide a more diversified curriculum and draw up admission criteria that are consistent with their own traditions and educational objectives. Private schools are self-financed and managed by their management committees. There are three modes of operation for primary schools, namely AM, PM and whole day. At present, all government and aided primary schools participate in the Secondary School Places Allocation (SSPA) System while private and DSS primary schools may not participate in the System. For schools not participating in the SSPA System, their Primary 6 leavers will not be allocated subsidised Secondary 1 places through the System.
5. 【School Sponsoring Bodies】
School sponsoring bodies set the mission and vision of their sponsored schools and play an important role in the schools' establishment and operation. For IMC schools, the functions of their sponsoring body are stipulated in the Education Ordinance.
6. 【Religion】
Different school sponsoring bodies have different missions and visions. In general, Religious Studies is included in the formal curriculum of schools sponsored by religious organizations, and religious rites and ceremonies are performed in these schools.
7. 【Year of Commencement of Operation】
Schools established years ago have a longer history of development and a larger number of alumni compared with schools with shorter history. However, the latter may have relatively newer and more facilities. Therefore, all schools have their unique characteristics and cannot be judged simply on the basis of their length of history.
8. 【School Motto】
School motto is developed during the foundation period in the light of the school background, mission and vision. Chinese traditional teachings or religious dictums are always used as guiding principles in nurturing and educating students.
9. 【Area Occupied by the School】
The Area Occupied by the School is referred to as the site area of the school. At present, the reference site area of a standard 30-classroom primary school is 6,200 square meters.
10. 【School Facilities】
The Government has improved the facilities of most government and aided schools through the School Improvement Programme. Apart from the standard facilities, individual schools may procure additional equipment at their own cost. As schools have their own focus of development, the equipment procured may vary. Some schools may provide aids to support students with special educational needs on their learning such as specially designed desks, FM systems, personal computers and CCTV magnifiers, etc. Some schools also provide barrier-free access and facilities, such as ramp, accessible lift, accessible toilet, other assistive provisions (including braille and tactile floor plan, tactile guide path, accessible public information / service counter and visual fire alarm system) in their premises in order to meet the genuine needs of the students with special educational needs and to facilitate their learning under a favorable environment.
11. 【"Through-train" Schools】
Aided primary and secondary schools implementing the “through-train” mode should have the same philosophy and aspiration for education and strive to enhance continuity in primary and secondary education. There should be enough S1 places in the “through-train” secondary school to admit all P6 graduates of the linked primary school. Some S1 places are also reserved for P6 students of other primary schools so that they could have a chance to be admitted through discretionary places (DP) or central allocation (CA) under the SSPA System. P6 students of a “through-train” school may choose to proceed to its linked secondary school direct. However, if they apply for DP of participating secondary schools or S1 places of non-participating DSS secondary schools (no matter successful or not), or participate in CA, they will not be allowed to retain the right to proceed direct to the linked secondary school. Regarding the “through-train” arrangements implemented in DSS or private schools, parents should contact the relevant schools direct.
12. 【Feeder and Nominated Schools】
The feeder and nominated school schemes were primarily designed to allow greater continuity between primary and secondary education and to promote the building up of traditions in the participating schools. In general, under the existing S1 admission arrangements, after the deduction of discretionary and repeater places, a feeder secondary school has to reserve 85% of the remaining places for its feeder primary school(s), and a nominated secondary school 25% of the remaining places for its nominated primary school(s) at the CA stage of the SSPA System. P6 students of a feeder or nominated school are eligible for a reserved place if they are in Net Band 1 or 2 and have chosen the feeder or nominated secondary school as their first choice under Part B “Restricted School Choices” of CA. If the number of eligible students exceeds the number of reserved places, the order of priority for allocation will be based on the students’ Net Band and random number until all the reserved places are filled. On the other hand, all unused reserved places, if any, will be automatically used as open places for open allocation. If a student studying in a feeder/nominated primary school is approved for cross-net allocation, he/she will not be eligible for a reserved place of the feeder/nominated secondary school(s).
13. 【Medium of Instruction】
Most government and aided primary schools have adopted Chinese as the medium of instruction, with a minority of schools adopting English as the major medium of instruction.
14. 【Information of Teaching Staff】
The number of teachers is mainly determined by the number of approved classes and mode of operation of each government and aided primary school. All along, the government has also provided schools with additional teaching posts and disbursed cash grants to schools for employing additional teachers to support the implementation of various education improvement measures. In general, primary schools, without the provision of student guidance service grant, are provided with student guidance teachers or student guidance officers to implement the comprehensive student guidance service. DSS schools should draw up school-based policies on various staff administrative matters which have to be endorsed by the SMC/IMC and properly documented. For private schools, they should appoint suitable and adequate teachers in accordance with the Education Ordinance and Education Regulations.
15. 【Parent-teacher Association】
The Parent-teacher Association (PTA) is set up in the form of a voluntary organization. It provides a formal channel for parents to participate in school activities and serves as a platform for teachers and parents to exchange their views and cooperate with each other. It is an important source of support for schools in educating students. At present, all government schools and most aided schools have included parent members or parent managers in their SMCs. For an IMC school, the recognized PTA is responsible for conducting parent manager election and may nominate such number of suitable persons for registration as parent managers of the school as may be provided for in the IMC constitution.
16. 【Past Students' Association/Alumni Association】
Alumni Association (AA) is set up to promote alumni fellowship and to enhance the bonding with their alma mater. In general, its function is to maintain friendship among alumni, contribute to the alma mater and establish the school ethos. At present, some government and aided schools have included alumni member(s) or alumni manager(s) in their SMCs. For an IMC school, according to the Education Ordinance, the recognized AA may nominate such number of suitable persons for registration as alumni manager(s) of the school as may be provided for in the IMC constitution.
17. 【Class Structure】
In March/April, the EDB informs the government and aided primary schools of the number of approved classes for next school year. If there is discrepancy between the anticipated and actual number of student enrolments on the specified headcount date in September, schools may be required to adjust their number of classes.
18. 【Mode of Teaching at Different Levels】
The main objective of Intensive Remedial Teaching Programme in Primary Schools (IRTP) and the New Funding Mode (NFM) is to provide schools with additional resources to cater for the students with special educational needs (SEN) and the academically low achievers (ALAs) (comparing with the students at the same class level, the academic achievements of the ALAs are normally backward by two years or more). The schools operating IRTP will be provided with additional teacher(s) and a class grant based on the number of ALAs, while those adopting NFM will receive a Learning Support Grant based on the number of students with SEN and ALAs in the school and the degree of support required by the students. No matter whether the schools are adopting IRTP or NFM, they are required to provide appropriate school-based support services for these students according to their genuine needs. These schools are advised to establish a Student Support Team to better coordinate the resources and support services while adopting the basic principles of early identification, early intervention, whole school approach, home-school cooperation and cross-sector cooperation to realize the concept of catering for diversity through the Whole School Approach and to provide appropriate support to the students.
19. 【Performance Assessment】
The frequency of subject-based tests and examinations per year is set out in line with the school assessment policy for enhancing learning. Different modes of assessment are used to diagnose students’ learning problems. Quality feedback can be given to inform students on how to improve their learning effectiveness. Assessment accommodations should be provided according to the needs of the students with special educational needs allowing them an equal opportunity to demonstrate their learning outcomes.
20. 【Whole School Approach to Catering for Student Diversity】
The aims are to develop an inclusive school culture; enhance the understanding and acceptance of students with special educational needs (SEN) by school personnel, students and parents; provide appropriate support for students and strengthen school’s effectiveness in catering for student diversity. Under the leadership of the school head, the school establishes an inclusive education policy flexibly and fully utilizes additional resources, works out a plan to arrange teachers to attend relevant special education teacher training courses in a systematic manner, mobilizes the school personnel, parents and students to work collaboratively to support the students with SEN. Based on the needs of students, the school draws up Individual Education Plans, adapts the curriculum according to the abilities of students and uses differentiated teaching such as visual strategy for autistic students. The school also employs a variety of assessment methods to demonstrate the learning outcome of students. To strengthen parents’ understanding on the inclusive policy, resources and measures to support students with SEN, the school establishes a regular communication mechanism to inform parents of the progress as well as to jointly plan the support measures and review their effectiveness including inviting parents to join the Individual Education Plan meetings. Besides, appropriate assistive technology is also introduced to ensure that every student can participate in diversified learning activities to develop his / her potential to the fullest.

The Government is committed to encouraging and supporting non-Chinese speaking (NCS) (including ethnic minority) students’ early integration into the community, including facilitating their adaptation to the local education system and mastery of the Chinese language. The Government ensures equal opportunities in school admission for all eligible children including NCS children and their learning of Chinese on par with their Chinese-speaking counterparts. Starting from the 2014/15 school year, the Education Bureau has implemented the “Chinese Language Curriculum Second Language Learning Framework” in schools to help NCS students overcome the difficulties of learning Chinese as a second language. In tandem, the Education Bureau will continue to provide support to schools with a view to enhancing NCS students’ learning of Chinese and creating an inclusive learning environment in schools. Parents of NCS students are encouraged to choose schools with an immersed Chinese language environment to facilitate their children to learn the Chinese language. For details, please refer to EDB's webpage: www.edb.gov.hk/ncs.
21. 【POA School Net No.】
This refers to the school net to which the primary school (except DSS and private primary schools) belongs under the Primary One Admission System.
22. 【School's Major Concerns】
This refers to the school major concerns in the school development plan in each development cycle.
23. 【Life-wide Learning Activities】
Life-wide learning (LWL) has all along been one of the most widely adopted strategies to enable students to gain a variety of experiences, including the five essential learning experiences, that are more difficult to acquire in ordinary classroom settings. LWL takes place in the learning and teaching of each Key Learning Area, cross-curricular studies, as well as other out-of-classroom contexts. LWL is effectively carried out through various kinds of experiential learning organised by the school to nurture students’ all-round development and their lifelong learning capabilities.
24. 【Lunch Break】
This refers to the entire period between the morning and afternoon sessions, including both the time for having lunch and the rest time before or after lunch.
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