Lower School

This is my second year as the CDNIS Lower School Principal. I am very excited to be here, working alongside such professional and enthusiastic colleagues and supportive parents, to provide the very best education for the students in our care.

The success of any school begins with a focus on well being, ensuring that the whole community is built upon a foundation of trust, support and caring. From this foundation, we are able to create the right environment for inquiry-based learning; to inspire excellence, cultivate personal growth and character and empower student engagement. Learning should be stimulating and challenging, providing opportunities for students to discover what they are good at, both inside and outside the classroom. What I see at CDNIS is genuine warmth and a desire to provide the best for each and every student through exceptional pastoral care and learning of the highest quality. I also see an appetite for continuous improvement, helping to ensure that CDNIS remains at the cutting edge of educational innovation within Hong Kong, the region and worldwide. This is an exciting and fun place to come to school and to work.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to know more or have any concerns. My door is always open.

Helen Kelly
Lower School Principal

Primary Years Programme

The Lower School comprises all students from Pre Reception to Grade 6 and represents 60 per cent of the student body of CDNIS.

Our Pre Reception and Reception half-day programmes (7:50am-10:20am or 11:50am-2:20pm) are designed to provide our youngest students with an introduction to school life. The programme offers a varied and "hands on" approach to all the basics, providing a strong foundation in the early years. Students participate in activities and experiences, which promote steady growth in their social, behavioural, physical and cognitive development. Included in the regular curriculum are Mandarin, music, PE and library, which are taught by specialists. There are up to 20 students in both the morning and afternoon Pre Reception classes, with a full-time teacher and two full-time classroom assistants. The Reception AM and PM classes have 18 students, with a full-time teacher and a full-time classroom assistant.

The full-day Preparatory programme (7:50am-2:20pm) is a child-centred, activity-based programme. The children enjoy a warm and caring environment where they interact with their peers and nurturing adults in a variety of activities. The activities and experiences provided for the students are designed to capture their interest in learning, encouraging them to be creative and at the same time to satisfy their desire to explore and discover. There are five classes at the Preparatory level with approximately 20 students per class, each with a full-time teacher and a full-time classroom assistant. Included in the regular curriculum the students receive lessons in Mandarin, music, PE and library, which are taught by specialists.

From Pre Reception to Grade 6, children are taught following the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (PYP). This course of study concentrates on an inquiry-based approach to learning and encourages students to adopt the attributes of the “Learner Profile”. Classes encompass the basics of language arts, mathematics, Mandarin, social sciences, science, computer literacy, art, music and PE.

The primary goal of the Lower School is to have each child become an independent learner. We want students to excel both academically and personally and to show concern and respect for the school community and the community in which they live.

Evaluation and progressive testing is an ongoing process that takes place throughout the year with daily quizzes, participation, projects and home learning.

Please take the time to learn more about our programme by reviewing the PYP Parent Pack or PYP Early Years brochures from the IBO.