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School-based Curriculum Development in the Primary Schools

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  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 Experiences
Our Achievements
What's New

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  • The Seminar on “Learning in Action - Engaging students in the process of learning” organized by the Section will be conducted on 5-3-2106.  Applications could be made through the Training Calendar System and the course codes are QA0020160012 and QA0020160013.
  • Areas and Foci of Support for School-Based Curriculum Development (Primary) Section, Education Bureau <link>


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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



    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’



    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


       • Developing a balanced and coherent curriculum

          to encompass integrated language skills through

          using diversified and meaning-focused learning

          materials and teaching pedagogy

       • Enhancing horizontal coherence and vertical

          progression in curriculum development across

          key stages with reference to students’ interest

          and abilities 


    2. To create an effective language learning

        environment at school level

       • Making use of a language-rich environment to

          immerse students with an abundance of texts

          and prints, oral and written language

          opportunities with a view to providing students

          with more chances of learning and using English

       • Fostering students’ open-mindedness, positive 

          attitude, responsibility and confidence in learning

          and using English inside and outside school

          through life-wide learning, project learning, self-

          directed learning and language arts appreciation 


    3. To facilitate the development of a “reading to

        learn” culture

       • Helping students acquire effective reading skills

          and strategies through a wide range of text

          types and language arts materials incorporated

          in reading workshops and General English


       • Promoting genuine interest in reading through

          reviewing and establishing school-based reading

          initiatives such as morning reading, story-telling

          time, reading weeks etc.


    4. To develop students’ language learning skills and


       • 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


    5. To enhance assessment-for-learning literacy

        and practices

       • Supporting teachers’ effective use of classroom

          observation, student work analysis, schools’

          internal and external assessment data to

          feedback on teaching and learning

       • Establishing or improving assessment- for-

          learning practice and policy


    6. To cater for learner diversity

       • Making use of assessment data, student work

          and other learning evidence to evaluate different

          students’ learning difficulties and needs, and

          devise appropriate 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

          needs and abilities


    7. To nurture professional and supportive team


       • 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



    1. To promote students’ development of Mathematics


      • 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 improve the effectiveness in the learning and

        teaching of Mathematics using diversified teaching


      • Enhancing student learning through hands-on

         activities, inquiry-based tasks as well as solving

         open-ended and application problems

         Enhancing effective group work activities to

         strengthen classroom interaction and student

         collaboration for effective learning

       • Developing students’ generic skills including

         collaboration skills, communication skills,

         creativity and critical thinking skills

       • 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



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

       • 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



    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, project learning and service


       • 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


       • 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 natural environment

        • Implementing different modes of science inquiry

           to enrich student learning


    2. To plan collaboratively for the learning and

        teaching arrangements of the focused topic:


        • Linking astronomy to life experience

        • Introducing astronomy-related learning and

           teaching strategies (e.g. investigating models)


    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 social learning theory)

        • Making effective use of teacher-student and

           student-student interactions to deepen student



    4. To promote experience sharing among

        participating schools

        • Encouraging participating teachers to discuss the

           curriculum arrangements and reflect on student

           learning outcomes


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: 31 December 2014
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