School-based Curriculum Development in the Primary Schools
- Areas and Foci of Support for School-Based Curriculum Development (Primary) Section, Education Bureau <link>
The Seminar on “Learning in Action - Engaging students in the process of learning” organized by the Section has been conducted on 5-3-2016. Relevant materials are now available on the link above.
- 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.
- 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.
Areas of Support
Focuses of Support
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
6. To promote the building of a professional team by
1. To develop a learner-centered and task-based curriculum by
2. To facilitate the development of a “learning to read" and “reading to learn” culture by
3. To develop students’ language learning skills and strategies by
4. To enhance assessment-for-learning literacy and practices by
5. To cater for learner diversity by
6. To create an effective language learning environment at school level by
7. To nurture a professional and supportive teaching team by
1. To promote students’ development of Mathematics ability
2. To enhance student motivation and improve the effectiveness in the learning and teaching of Mathematics using diversified teaching strategies
3. To enhance assessment literacy to feedback on learning and teaching
4. To promote professional sharing among teachers
1. To plan and implement a school-based General Studies curriculum with an enquiry approach
2. To promote the integration of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in learning and teaching
3. To enrich students’ learning experience
4. To design diversified school-based assessment strategies
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
2. To plan collaboratively for the learning and teaching arrangements of the focused topics: light, sound and electricity
3. To develop learning and teaching strategies conducive to the nurturing of scientific literacy
4. To promote experience sharing among participating schools
5. Mode of support
Curriculum Leaders Learning Community
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
- '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
Our experiences in school-based curriculum development
- 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’