Philosophy of Education



HKIS uses a comprehensive standards-based curriculum in which we teach for understanding. Students understand when they acquire important new knowledge and skills, make meaning of big ideas related to the knowledge and skills, and transfer this learning to new and authentic situations.

The Understanding by Design (UbD) model, which seeks to structure teaching for understanding, guides us in the formulation of our written curriculum. We align curriculum, instruction, and assessment to allow students to demonstrate understanding by developing enduring understandings and building on previous learning experiences and previously learned knowledge and skills. HKIS teachers regularly update and revise curricula to reflect current best practices and research.

At HKIS, we believe that the purpose of assessment is to promote learning. A robust system of assessment is relevant and accurate, ongoing, informative and timely, and understandable to all. Multiple forms of assessment are used to allow students to demonstrate their understanding; formative assessments are used to guide instruction and student goal-setting while summative assessments summarize the mastery of content, knowledge or skills at a particular point in time.

To learn more about our philosophy of teaching, learning + assessment - please click here.


HKIS Discipline Philosophies from Reception 1 to Grade 12

At HKIS, each of our 13 disciplines has an underlying philosophy to assist teachers in providing focused instruction from Reception 1 to Grade 12, supporting the school’s Mission, Vision and Student Learning Results. No matter what the discipline, students learn skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

Designed by our teachers and administrators, each of the discipline philosophies answers three key questions:
  1. What are HKIS’s essential beliefs about the discipline and its value and importance to each student?
  2. What are our disciplinary transfer goals for our students? (Transfer goals are the application of understanding, knowledge, and skills that students do independently now and as adults.)
  3. For which common agreements will HKIS hold ourselves accountable? What professional practices do we believe have the most positive impact on learning in the discipline.