Thirteen schools strong in Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua)

If you’d like your child to be bilingual (Chinese/English), the obvious choice is a ‘local’ school.


However, these schools use a lot of Cantonese and, where they do use MORE Putonghua, it is often taught by non-native speakers.


And, in a typical international school, Mandarin is taught as a language subject - sometimes every day (but not always) - and is designed to cater for a range of abilities, including those with absolutely no previous exposure to Chinese.


We’re not interested in Cantonese! Many parents are more keen on Putonghua (Mandarin). Perhaps they are not Chinese, they are from the Mainland, or they feel that Cantonese is easy to pick up. They also prefer a more international style of teaching, perhaps according to an international curriculum too. The bad news is that very few schools are offering this!
We list here 13 (alphabetically). These 13 make the cut as they teach IN Chinese, not only a Chinese language lesson.

These schools will mostly :

  • set more homework, even in primary

  • be less diverse (few non Chinese families choose these schools)

  • prioritise academics over sports or other extra curricula activities

Key: P = Primary; PS = Primary and secondary


If you are interested in discussing how your child can enter one of these schools, please get in touch; we have placed many, many children into these schools over the years.


Chinese Academy Primary School | P | Causeway Bay

Chinese Academy Primary School, CAPS, opened in 2017, is an internationalised private school founded and operated by International Chinese Academy Education Foundation (ICAEF). Recently undergone a restructuring at the board level with new management. Very small class sizes allows for differentiation.

G1 Dictation

Chinese International School | PS | Braemar Hill

A well-established, highly regarded through school. It therefore follows that it is extremely competitive. This was first school to teach an international curriculum using English and Putonghua (50/50); they refer to it as dual language with two teachers – one English, one Chinese in the class most of the time.


Dalton School Hong Kong |P |Kowloon

Dalton School Hong Kong, opened in 2017  as a non-profit, child-centered, dual language (English/Putonghua) primary school integrating the heritage of Chinese culture and traditions with the progressive Dalton Plan. Immersion approach with a difference - two and a half days spent learning in Chinese and the other half in English.


Han Academy| PS | Aberdeen

Han Academy is a private school opened in Hong Kong in 2017/18 offering an excellent Chinese program, supported by an international curriculum. 

In primary, the main teaching language is Putonghua (80%) with English (20%) with an emphasis on excellent science and maths. The language balances out at upper primary, with secondary being mostly in English.


Independent Schools Foundation Academy | PS | Cyberport


Chinese International School

Established in 2003. Immersion. English 30% / Putonghua 70% in Foundation Year (=Year 1 = K3). All teachers are native speakers.

The balance of English/Putonghua adjusts slowly until it reaches 50/50 at G5 and is reversed at Upper Secondary.

Amazingly impressive campus; IB school (MYP/DP). As a Private Independent School, at least 70% of students must be HK Permanent Residents.

The school has a kindergarten and children do receive priority in the admissions process.


The International Montessori School| P| Stanley

The International Montessori School offers an individualised and enquiry-based educational programme using the successful and proven Montessori curriculum.

IMS is the only accredited Montessori Primary School in China and offers an integrated and concept based curriculum delivered through a dual-language programme in English and Putonghua.


Invictus School Hong Kong | PS | Tseung Kwan O, Chai Wan


The only bilingual IEYC/IPC school in Hong Kong with an English and Mandarin curricula designed and adapted from the UK National Curriculum and the HK School-based Chinese Language Curriculum.


Kiangsu Chekiang Primary School | P | North Point

The first school to use Putonghua as the medium of instruction. Follows the local curriculum and occupies an old campus without facilities. The school fees are very low and the Chinese program is very strong. The English – up to an hour a day – is taught by non-native teachers and would need supplemented.

The school has a kindergarten and children do receive priority in the admissions process. No debenture.


Kingston International School | P | Kowloon

A small private school with a small campus comprising of a few houses joined together.

An IBPYP school using a dual language approach.

Children from the preschool enjoy priority entry into primary. Feeds into International College for Secondary which is not bilingual.


Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau | PS | Kowloon


The students are mainly from Cantonese speaking families and the school uses Cantonese in P1 to teach Chinese. Thereafter, Chinese is taught in Putonghua.

The English teaching is strong, all taught by native English speaking teachers.

As a Private Independent School, at least 70% of students must be HK Permanent Residents.

No debenture.

Singapore International School | PS | Aberdeen

Designed for Singaporeans. Whilst the Putonghua is strong, the written Chinese is simplified characters. Most subjects are taught in English with around 20-25% of time spent on Chinese.

Victoria Shanghai Academy | PS | Aberdeen


Part of the Victoria Educational Organisation – children attending the preschools currently have priority admissions to VSA.

Fully accredited for IB; impressive campus opened in 2008. Two teachers – one English, one Chinese in the class most of the time. In Primary, one double English and Chinese immersion class each week with two teachers. Class size rather large at 28-29.

Socially, Cantonese is the dominant language among students and parents and some ECAs offered in Cantonese.

At Secondary, most teaching is in English for the MYP program.

As a Private Independent School, at least 70% of students must be HK Permanent Residents.

No mandatory debenture.


Dalton School Hong Kong

Yew Chung International School | PS| Kowloon

Founded in 1932, YCIS provides a bilingual focus and unique elements which are fundamental to the overall operation of the school.

Following the framework of the UK National Curriculum, Chinese and Western Co-Principals create a school culture where Eastern and Western values and education models are equal, concluding in students graduating with the IB Diploma.

Most subjects taught in English with around 20-25% of time spent on Chinese. For Chinese class, children are streamed by ability – native or Chinese as a Second Language.


Updated October 2020 | If you are interested in discussing how your child can enter one of these schools, please get in touch.


#bilingualism #chinese #CSL #putonghua

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