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Top of the Class: Stamford HK Launches IB Programme and Unveils Revamped Campus

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

Since welcoming its first students back in 2017, Stamford American School Hong Kong (Stamford) has gone from strength to strength. Offering a world-class education to children from kindergarten through to Grade 12, the school has grown not only in terms of student numbers but also facilities and curriculum offerings.

This summer, Stamford is set to reach its biggest milestones to date, with further expansion of the school’s already impressive facilities and the introduction of International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes for older students.

In safe hands

Stamford is a stable choice for Hong Kong’s forward-thinking families. The campus is well resourced, the teaching staff have extensive global experience (Average of 12 years teaching), and continuous financial investment in the school ensures that it remains at the forefront of academic excellence.

Stamford’s approach is designed to prepare children for wherever life may take them. The school’s central curriculum combines the rigorous American Education Reaches Out (AERO) and Common Core Plus frameworks with an inquiry-based approach to learning that empowers students and helps each and every child reach their full potential.

This rigorous framework was key in helping Stamford achieve full IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) authorisation in 2021. It’s the perfect fit: the US standards at each grade level provide a firm foundation for IB study and equip students with the knowledge, skills and values required to succeed at the highest level.

Follow your own path

At Stamford, children are treated as individuals; there’s no one-size-fits-all pathway. It’s also not an IB selective school, which means any student can choose to study IB.

There are three main options for senior-grade students to select from. The first is to work towards the Stamford American High School Diploma. All students at Stamford take a broad range of courses to earn the credits needed to earn this world-recognised qualification. The second option is for students to include a selection of IB courses in their repertoire, and the third is to follow the full IBDP.

It’s an innovative, flexible approach that enables each student to cultivate a personalised programme focused on developing their unique talents. Whichever path students select, they benefit from a broad, balanced education that opens up a world of options.

Preparing for the ‘real world’

Innovation, in fact, is at the core of a Stamford education, and the school actively encourages students’ natural curiosity so that their creativity can blossom. STEMinn is embedded into the curriculum at every level to help children build real-life skills through hands-on projects.

At Grades 9 and 10, real-world learning is further enhanced through the school’s Cornerstones project, which offers unique learning experiences under the guidance of faculty and industry mentors. Unlike an internship or an organisational affiliation, the Cornerstones project is fully integrated into Stamford’s programmes and counts towards course credit.

Each semester offers an opportunity to work with one of the school's external partners (currently Hong Kong Art School, Oxfam Hong Kong, MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node and the South China Morning Post) on a hands-on project. The projects are as unique as the students themselves, expanding beyond the curriculum and allowing children to delve deeply into their chosen topic. The partners offer students a diverse selection of venues to hone their skills and talents and, for some, the opportunity to be risk-takers and to explore a new subject area.

Another key initiative is the Sophomore project, which offers students an excellent opportunity to enhance their research, project management and independent thinking skills. Students choose a topic to investigate and develop a plan under the guidance of a teacher-mentor. After creating a mock-up of their design and an in-depth report, they then showcase their work to parents and peers. This eight-month-long project in Grade 10 is an excellent opportunity for students, irrespective of the academic pathway they have chosen, developing key skills for those who might not pursue IB while also serving as excellent preparation for those due to undertake the IBDP extended essay.

Ahead of the game

With all this to offer, it’s no wonder that Stamford earned Council of International Schools (CIS) accreditation this year, some 1.5 years ahead of the industry average.

Now, the school is preparing to welcome students back for the 2021/22 academic year in the grand surroundings of its revamped campus. Brand new learning spaces have been designed to support Stamford’s rigorous high school curriculum and broad range of specialist courses. New science laboratories, specialist art spaces and purpose-built collaboration areas will allow the school’s maturing students to actively engage in the learning process in a space that is truly worthy of their ambitions.

And in a city where outdoor space is a rarity, Stamford’s students can enjoy three open-air play spaces, including an interactive activity wall designed by the school’s very own secondary students. The open-plan design of the areas will also enable students to enjoy a variety of active games and sports as seasons and interests change.

Stamford’s vision is to create an inspiring world of education, building students’ self-belief and empowering individuals to succeed. As a member of the Cognita family of over 80 schools worldwide, it’s certainly well placed to ensure that rings true for each individual student.

Hong Kong may be small in terms of geographical size, but it’s a world city. By studying at Stamford, which works collaboratively with Cognita schools around the world, your child can benefit from proven best practices and develop a truly international perspective.

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