"Primary School Profiles 2022" 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 2022. In the electronic 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 realised.
- 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 continuous development and improvement of the school. Primary school heads are generally degree holders with teacher training, and many of them have obtained higher qualifications.All along, school heads have been enhancing their professional management and leadership skills through continuing professional development.
- 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, Wireless Transmission 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 place(s) of non-participating DSS secondary schools (NDSS secondary schools) (whether admitted 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 in 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 take forward various education initiatives. Starting from the 2018/19 school year, the policy of "one school social worker for each school" has been implemented in public sector primary schools. The new measure is implemented on the basis of the Comprehensive Student Guidance Service to provide schools with more resources. The measure is to further enhance the overall quality of guidance services by ensuring that every public sector primary school is served by at least one school-based registered graduate social worker with professional qualifications.
In general, public sector primary schools, without the provision of student guidance service grant or switching to the new funding mode under the policy of "one school social worker for each school", are provided with student guidance teachers 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 recognised 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 recognised 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. There is also a student headcount conducted by the EDB on a specific date at the beginning of the new school year. According to the actual number of student enrolments, schools may be required to adjust their number of approved classes.
- 18. 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.
- 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 assessments are used to assess students' learning progress. Quality feedback can be given to students so as to enhance 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 but without creating an unfair advantage over other students.
- 20. Whole School Approach to Integrated Education
The aims of whole school approach 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; and provide appropriate support for respective students. The Student Support Team, headed by the SEN Coordinator, assists the school head and deputy head to implement the Whole School Approach to integrated education, establish an inclusive policy, flexibly and fully utilise additional resources and manpower (such as the SEN Support Teacher(s)) to support students with SEN, work out a plan to arrange teachers to attend relevant special education teacher training courses in a systematic manner, mobilise the school personnel, different specialist staff, parents and students to work collaboratively to support students with SEN. Based on the needs of students, the school tailors the curriculum and adopts different learning and teaching strategies to support the learning of students with different abilities. For students with persistent and severe learning difficulties, the school provides them with intensive individualised support, including drawing up an Individual Education Plan. The school also employs a variety of assessment methods to demonstrate the learning outcomes of students. To strengthen parents' understanding on the policy of integrated education, deployment of additional resources and support measures, the school will strengthen communication and cooperation with parents through a regular communication mechanism, and involve them to jointly plan for the support measures and review their effectiveness, including providing parents of students with SEN with a “Summary of Support for Student” every year and inviting respective parents to join the Individual Education Plan meetings. Besides, the school taps in appropriate assistive devices and provides opportunities for all students to participate in diversified learning activities to demonstrate and develop his/her full potential.
- 21. Education Support for Non-Chinese Speaking (NCS) Students
The Government is committed to encouraging and supporting the integration of non-Chinese speaking (NCS) students Note into the community, including facilitating their early adaptation to the local education system and mastery of the Chinese language. The Government ensures NCS students, like their Chinese-speaking peers, enjoy equal opportunities for admission to public sector schools and for learning Chinese. The Education Bureau (EDB) has, since the 2014/15 school year, implemented the "Chinese Language Curriculum Second Language Learning Framework" in primary and secondary schools to help NCS students learn Chinese. EDB has also substantially increased the additional funding to schools admitting NCS students to enhance the support for NCS students in learning Chinese and create an inclusive learning environment in schools. Starting from the 2020/21 school year, EDB has adjusted the additional funding models concerned and stepped up the monitoring and support. Parents of NCS students are encouraged to arrange for their children to study in schools with an immersed Chinese language environment as early as possible to facilitate their mastery of the Chinese language. For details, please refer to the EDB webpage: www.edb.gov.hk/ncs.
[Note: For the planning of educational support measures, students whose spoken language at home is not Chinese are broadly categorised as NCS students.]
- 22. School's Major Concerns
- This refers to the school's major concerns in the school development plan of the current development cycle.
- 23. Life-wide Learning
Life-wide learning (LWL) has been one of the widely adopted strategies to enable students to gain a variety of learning 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 and cross-curricular studies. The experiential learning acquired through life-wide learning helps students achieve the aims of whole-person development and enables them to develop the lifelong learning capabilities that are needed in our ever-changing society.
- 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.