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School-based Curriculum Development in the Primary Schools

Our Work Professional Sharing Samples of work  Contact Us

  Collaborative Lesson Planning    Journey on learning in Action Seminar Series    Collaborative Action Research

  Curriculum Leadership Learning Community    KLA Sharing Sessions    Experiences and Good Practices

Established in 1998,the School-based Curriculum Development(Primary)Section renders on-site professional support services to around 200 primary schools yearly to enhance quality of learning and teaching in various KLSs. Our Belief
Our Expectations
Our Services
Our Achievements
What's New

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Our Belief

  • To support school development, we take a collaborative approach but not a pathological approach;
  • To explore ‘knowledge’ through a philosophical and practical stance;
  • To examine and adjust continually the relationship between teachers and ourselves as supporters to facilitate interaction and construct knowledge together.

    School-based curriculum is the general policy ordained by the Curriculum Development Council for schools' consideration in the design of a quality curriculum conducive to effective pupil learning. Schools are encouraged to adapt the Central Curriculum to suit their unique contexts. When designing the school-based curriculum, schools are advised to observe closely the directions and requirements stipulated by the Curriculum Development Council in the official curriculum documents. Based on careful analysis of pupils'needs, abilities and interests, schools' ecological contexts, leadership style of the principals and middle management, as well as the readiness of teachers, schools need to employ the most appropriate teaching, learning and assessment strategies and use diversified learning materials to integrate the teaching-learning-assessment cycle in their school-based curriculum. It is important to ensure that all pupils have equal opportunities participating in rich learning experiences that aim at promoting whole person development and life long learning.


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Our Expectations

  • Teachers are able to discern, inquire and understand students’ learning processes through collecting evidence and constructing knowledge systematically to engender practical wisdom.
  • Schools are able to construct their own holistic school-based curriculum, explore diversified learning resources, build a systematical knowledge management platform and nurture a learning organization culture to facilitate schools’ sustainable development.
  • Professional Learning Communities are established through collaborative lesson planning meetings, lesson observations and post-lesson observation discussion.



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Areas of Support

Focuses of Support

Chinese Language

1. To develop a skill-oriented school-based Chinese Language curriculum and to design diversified learning and teaching materials with reference to the horizontal coherence and vertical progression of the learning content at each level

2. To enhance teaching effectiveness (e.g. enhancing reading strategies, questioning techniques, from reading to writing, process writing, use of  readers, self-directed reading, teaching of listening and speaking skills) with a view to improving students’ proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening, thinking skills, enquiry-based learning skills etc.

3. To improve assessment literacy: to develop skill-oriented assessment tools and assist teachers to make use of various kinds of teaching and learning evidence to feedback on teaching and learning

4. To cater for learner diversity: making good use of assessment data to analyze students’ learning difficulties, adapting curriculum content to meet students’ abilities, and using diversified teaching strategies to facilitate and improve students’ learning

5. To support Non-Chinese Speaking (NCS) students to learn Chinese Language through

  • assisting schools to use the “Chinese Language Curriculum Second Language Learning Framework” and related assessment tools
  • setting progressive learning targets, learning progress and expected learning outcomes for NCS students in order to support their transition to mainstream Chinese Language classes
  • enhancing the professional capacity of teachers to teach NCS students

6. To promote the building of a professional team by

  • developing teachers’ leadership through supporting teachers to plan their lessons, implement strategies and evaluate effectiveness
  • promoting professional sharing and collaboration inside schools through collaborative lesson preparation meetings, lesson observation and lesson evaluation and internal school sharing

English Language

1. To develop a learner-centered and task-based curriculum by

  • developing a balanced and coherent curriculum to encompass integrated language skills through diversified, effective and meaningful learning materials, experiences and teaching pedagogy
  • enhancing horizontal coherence and vertical progression in curriculum development across key stages with reference to students’ interest and abilities

2. To facilitate the development of a “learning to read" and “reading to learn” culture by

  • helping students acquire effective reading skills and strategies through a wide range of fictional and non-fictional text types incorporated in reading workshops and the General English curriculum
  • promoting students’ genuine interest in reading through establishing and reviewing school-based reading initiatives (such as morning reading, story-telling time) and enhancing the integration of reading with other language learning skills

3. To develop students’ language learning skills and strategies by

  • engaging students in learning set in meaningful and authentic contexts to develop their learning skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking (e.g. vocabulary building skills, phonics skills, reading strategies, writing skills for different genres, presentation skills and discussion skills)
  • helping learners master both language forms and functions for communication in various contexts (e.g. learning grammar in context)

4. To enhance assessment-for-learning literacy and practices by

  • supporting teachers’ effective use of classroom observation, student work  analysis, schools’ internal and external assessment data to feedback on teaching and learning
  • using diversified assessments and improving assessment-for-learning practices and policies which are part of the teaching-learning- assessment loop

5. To cater for learner diversity by

  • supporting teachers to make use of assessment data, student work and other learning evidence to evaluate different students’ learning difficulties and needs, and devise timely and appropriate follow-up strategies
  • providing appropriate and diversified learning experiences and resources, and modifying content, process and products of learning and teaching to suit students of different learning styles, socio-economic backgrounds, learning motivation and abilities

6. To create an effective language learning environment at school level by

  • making use of the language-rich environment to immerse students with an abundance of texts and prints, oral and written language opportunities
  • fostering among students positive attitude, responsibility and confidence in learning and using English through their participation in life-wide learning, project learning, self-directed learning, e-learning and language arts appreciation independently and collaboratively

7. To nurture a professional and supportive teaching team by

  • encouraging English teachers to have professional dialogue and sharing of teaching and learning resources, language learning pedagogy and principles in collaborative lesson preparation meetings, lesson visits, internal and external school sharing
  • developing a learning community focusing on continuous teacher capacity building and sustainable school development


1. To promote students’ development of Mathematics ability

  • Enhancing computation and problem-solving skills
  • Developing students’ understanding of mathematical concepts
  • Identifying and analysing students’ learning difficulties and formulating learning and teaching strategies to address the problems 

2. To enhance student motivation and improve the effectiveness in the learning and teaching of Mathematics using diversified teaching strategies

  • Enhancing student learning through hands-on activities, inquiry-based tasks as well as solving open-ended and application problems
  • Adopting e-learning to strengthen classroom interaction and student collaboration for effective learning
  • Developing students’ skills including collaboration skills, communication skills, creativity, critical thinking skills and self-directed learning abilities
  • Catering for learner diversity by consolidating foundation knowledge and strengthening higher order thinking skills
  • Assisting Non-Chinese Speaking students to learn Mathematics through collaborating with teachers to identify and analyze students’ learning difficulties and develop appropriate learning materials and strategies

3. To enhance assessment literacy to feedback on learning and teaching

  • Collecting evidence of learning through student performance in classrooms, student work and assessment for analysis and developing strategies to enhance assessment for learning practices and policies
  • Developing diversified assessment modes to reflect holistic student performance in Mathematics, including computation skills, conceptual understanding and problem solving skills

4. To promote professional sharing among teachers

  • Encouraging professional sharing and collaboration through collaborative lesson preparation meetings, peer lesson observation, external and internal school sharing to enhance the development of teachers’ professionalism

General Studies


1. To plan and implement a school-based General Studies curriculum with an enquiry approach

  • Adopting a thematic approach for the development of General Studies curriculum
  • Enabling students to understand themselves, society and the world at large, maintain a healthy personal development and be confident, informed and responsible persons
  • Arousing students’ curiosity and interest in science and technology through hands-on and minds-on activities to develop their abilities of scientific investigation in both natural environment and human world
  • Strengthening the horizontal coherence and vertical progression of the General Studies curriculum in response to different school contexts
  • Promoting teachers’ continuous development in the workplace and developing a professional team for the subject

2. To promote the integration of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in learning and teaching

  • Implementing learning and teaching strategies conducive to effective learning in General Studies (e.g. enquiry-based activities, science and technology enquiry, STEM education, project learning and service learning)
  • Developing students’ generic skills, thinking skills and positive values through a wide range of learning experiences

3. To enrich students’ learning experience

  • Utilizing school and community resources (e.g. museums and other community facilities) to enrich students’ learning experience with various experiential learning activities like science day, project learning, service learning and other life-wide learning activities

4. To design diversified school-based assessment strategies

  • Assisting schools to develop assessment strategies in General Studies and to design and implement diversified modes of assessment to reflect students’ performance in knowledge, skills, values and attitudes
  • Promoting learning and teaching effectiveness through evidence-informed practice

Primary School Science Education Learning Community


1. To plan and implement an enquiry-based General Studies curriculum with reference to the recommendations in the General Studies Curriculum Guide

  • Arousing students’ curiosity and interest in science and technology through hands-on and minds-on activities to develop their abilities of scientific investigation in both natural environment and human world
  • Integrating and applying the skills and knowledge from related disciplines with the STEM education
  • Implementing different modes of science enquiry to enrich student learning

2. To plan collaboratively for the learning and teaching arrangements of the focused topic: astronomy

  • Linking related topics to daily life experience
  • Introducing related learning and teaching strategies (e.g. exploring with models in making enquiry)

3. To develop learning and teaching strategies conducive to the nurturing of scientific literacy

  • Adopting rich learning and teaching strategies in science education (e.g. Predict-Observe-Explain model and constructivist learning )
  • Making effective use of teacher-student and student-student interactions to deepen student learning

4. To promote experience sharing among participating schools

  • Encouraging participating teachers to discuss the curriculum arrangements and reflect on student learning outcomes

5. Mode of support

  • The support services will be delivered in two parts : cross-school meeting (5 times) and on-site support (4 times)
  • Participating schools shall arrange the related topics in the second semester so that participating teachers can prepare relevant teaching and learning in the first semester

Curriculum Leaders Learning Community

  • To empower curriculum coordinators or vice principals as change agents in promoting whole-school curriculum development
  • To establish learning groups to share experiences and explore issues on school curriculum-related matters
  • The nominees should be Primary School Masters/Mistresses (Curriculum Development), Assistant Primary School Masters/Mistresses (Curriculum Development), or Senior Primary School Masters/Mistresses
  • The school development officers will meet the community of curriculum leaders monthly to facilitate professional sharing and  discussion on issues identified by members themselves 

Modes of Support

3a. Regular on-site support service

  • School development officers will negotiate with schools to schedule regular on-site collaborative lesson planning meetings with participating teachers. On request from schools, flexible modes of support such as talks, seminars, workshops, study groups and sharing sessions can be arranged to help schools develop selected focus of work.




3b.Primary School Science Education Learning Community

  • Regular meetings will be organized for participating teachers to discuss the learning and teaching of the focused topic.




3c.Curriculum Leaders Learning Community

  • The school development officers will meet the community of curriculum leaders regularly to facilitate professional sharing and discussion on issues identified by members of the learning communities (approximately 10-12 members in a group).



Expectations on Participating Schools

4a. To make the best use of the support services, participating schools need to:

  • arrange collaborative lesson planning time for teachers concerned



  • designate curriculum leaders or teachers of the related KLAs to work closely with the school development officers to lead and coordinate school-based curriculum planning and development



  • share with other schools and teachers the experiences in curriculum development and all materials and resources they develop, e.g. work plans, teaching materials, research reports, students' work (The copyright of these materials will be co-owned by the EDB and the schools concerned. The EDB also reserves the right to compile and refine the materials before disseminating them for educational purposes)



  • observe strictly their legal obligations and, in all cases, comply with the Copyright Ordinance in developing school-based curriculum materials




4b.For schools intending to nominate teachers to participate in the Curriculum Leaders Learning Communities, please note that:

  • the nominees should be Primary School Masters/Mistresses (Curriculum Development), Assistant Primary School Masters/Mistresses (Curriculum Development), or Senior Primary School Masters/Mistresses



  • they should make arrangements in the timetable to release the nominees for the meeting and activities


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Our experiences in school-based curriculum development

  • 'A good beginning is half done'
  • It is not necessary to begin with impeccable plans before putting thoughts into actions. We can introduce ‘half-baked’ ideas to stimulate thinking
  • Don’t overlook the importance of integrating subject knowledge and pedagogical knowledge in the daily practice
  • Try to explore and understand the learning difficulty and complexity encountered by adults (teachers) in workplace contexts (schools)
  • Teaching should always encompass collective critical reflections with reference to evidence-based practices
  • We need to strategically disseminate within and outside schools the evidence-based teaching practices
  • To sustain continuous development, we need to cultivate in teachers a sense of curriculum ownership and to enhance their capacity in constructing and generating knowledge persistently throughout their career


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Our achievements

  • On-site support services
    Based on the annual questionnaire surveys administered to all teachers receiving our services, the satisfaction rating falls between 4.22 to 4.40 in the 5 point scale (5 being the highest rating)
  • Professional development activities
    The School-based Curriculum Development (Primary) Section has been organizing the yearly ‘Journey on Learning in Action’ Seminar Series since 2001 for local educators and teachers. These seminars and sharing sessions, usually accommodating 30 parallel sessions with a large audience of 1500 principals, curriculum leaders and practicing teachers, create platform for teachers engaged in the curriculum development process to conceptualize their valuable experiences and generate practical knowledge for dissemination to the public. An overall rating of 4 or above in the 5 point scale (5 being the highest rating) is consistently scored in the end of activity questionnaire survey throughout the past years.
  • Curriculum Leader Learning Community
    Ever since the launching of the Curriculum Leader Learning Community in 2004, the overall satisfaction rating in the annual questionnaire survey increases from 4.46 to 4.59 in the 5 point scale (5 being the highest rating)
  • Participation in international conference
    Professional staff from the Section is keen on joining and presenting papers in international conferences with themes related to teacher learning and development and support services

    • 2001 Presentation made at Harvard University: ‘Quality Learning & Teaching: Facilitating Teachers’ Paradigm Shift from Knowledge Transmission to Knowledge Construction in Hong Kong’
    • 2004 Presentation made at the International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) held in Hong Kong: ‘Who is Supporting Whom? Synergy in Teacher Professional Development’
    • 2008 Presentation made at the International Council on Education for Teaching (ICET) held in Portugal: ‘Widening the space of support through evidence-informed practices: experiences and reflection of a school-based teacher support team in Education Bureau, HKSAR’




Last revision date: 07 October 2016
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