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School-based Curriculum Development in the Primary Schools

Our Work Professional Sharing Samples of work Newsletters 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 Experiences
Our Achievements
What's New

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  • The Section’s Seminar on “Learning in Action : Learning, Teaching and Assessment” was held on 29th March, 2014. Details of the Seminar could be found at this 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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    1.Support Services Provider: School-based Curriculum Development (Primary) Section, School-based Support Services Office, Education Bureau

    2.Areas and Foci of Support

Areas of Support

Focuses of Support

Chinese Language

April 2014

    To plan and implement a skill-oriented Chinese Language Curriculum

  • Developing a skill-oriented Chinese Language curriculum in response to different school needs by enhancing horizontal coherence and vertical progression of the learning content to help students lay good foundations of the Chinese Language
  • Catering for learning diversities through making good use of assessment data to analyse students’ learning difficulties, adapting curriculum content to meet students’ abilities, and using diversified teaching strategies to facilitate and improve students’ learning 
  • Improving assessment practice by developing skill-oriented assessment tools, identifying assessment focuses and setting criteria for quality assessment, assisting schools to formulate whole-school assessment policies, developing teachers’ competence in setting quality assessment items/papers based on the students’ language proficiency levels and strengthening teachers’ professional competence in making effective use of formative assessment 
  • Designing diversified learning and teaching strategies with a view to enhancing students’ language skills, thinking skills and inquiry skills for different school needs such as small class teaching, co-operative learning and integration of reading and writing:
    Reading skills: to strengthen word recognition and vocabulary building skills (e.g. word recognition and vocabulary building within a theme), reading strategies  (e.g. summarizing skills, genre-based reading strategies, guided reading and thinking activities) and the teaching of readers in order to promote a “reading to learn” culture
    -Writing skills: to promote process writing, creative writing, literary writing and basic writing skills (e.g. examining topics, selecting materials and organizing structure of writing)
    -Listening skills: to develop and adopt appropriate listening strategies
    -Speaking skills: to strengthen students’ speaking skills in speech delivery, group discussion, verse speaking and debates
    -Thinking skills: to develop students’ skills  in analysis, inference, synthesis, evaluation, problem-solving and creativity
    -Chinese literature: to develop students’ appreciation of the beauty of the language through children literature, novels, dramas and poems


To facilitate teacher capacity building at school context

  • Developing curriculum leaders in the Chinese panel through the work process in formulating curriculum plans, implementation strategies and evaluation measures 
  • Nurturing school-based professional learning culture by conducting effective collaborative lesson planning meetings, lesson observation, lesson study and internal sharing sessions

    English Language

    April 2014 PDF

      To develop a learner-centred and task-based curriculum

    • Developing a balanced and coherent curriculum to encompass language skills integration through using diversified and meaning-focused learning materials and teaching pedagogy to enhance horizontal coherence and vertical progression in curriculum development across key stages with emphasis on catering for diversities in student needs and ability 
    • Making use of a language-rich environment to immerse students in a setting with an abundance of texts and prints, oral and written language opportunities, support and scaffolding by teachers, peers and parents


    To facilitate the development of a "reading to learn" culture

    • Helping students acquire effective reading skills and strategies through exploring and immersing in a wide range of text types and language arts materials incorporated in reading workshops and  General English curriculum 
    • Promoting genuine interest in reading through reviewing and establishing school-based reading initiatives such as morning reading, and story-telling time


    To develop students’ language learning skills and strategies

    • Engaging students in learning experiences set in meaningful and authentic contexts to develop their learning skills in reading, writing, listening, 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 communicative functions for application in meaningful contexts


    To enhance assessment for learning literacy and practice

    • Supporting teachers’ effective use of external and internal assessment data and findings to feedback on teaching and learning 
    • Establishing or improving assessment for learning practices and policies 
    • Adopting evidence-informed practices to cater for learner needs and diversitie


    To facilitate teacher capacity building at school context

    • Developing curriculum leaders in the English panel through the work process in formulating curriculum plans, implementation strategies and evaluation measures 
    • Nurturing school-based professional learning culture by conducting effective collaborative lesson planning meetings, lesson observation, lesson study and internal sharing sessions


    April 2014

      To promote students’ balanced development of Mathematics ability

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


    To improve the effectiveness in the learning and  teaching of Mathematics using diversified teaching strategies

    • Enhancing students’ learning through hands-on activities (e.g. measuring activities, manipulating two dimensional diagrams and three dimensional models), inquiries, open-ended questions, and problem-solving tasks 
    • Enhancing classroom interaction and student collaboration through teaching and learning activities that address the characteristics and needs of small class teaching 
    • 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 
    • Developing teachers’ abilities and competence in leading the development, implementation and evaluation of the Mathematics curriculum 


    To develop students’ generic skills through a wealth of learning experiences

    • Encouraging students to use Mathematics language to express their thinking and develop their generic skills (e.g. communication skill, creativity and critical thinking skills) through project learning, solving problems identified in authentic daily settings and group activities 


    To improve assessment practices and enhance learning and teaching
  • Collecting and analyzing students’ learning evidence through diversified means to develop assessment for learning practices and policies 
  • Developing a balanced assessment mode to reflect students’ performance in Mathematics, including calculation skill, conceptual understanding and problem solving ability 

    General Studies

    April 2014

      To plan and implement an inquiry-based General Studies curriculum

    • Adopting a thematic approach for the development of General Studies curriculum 
    • Implementing learning and teaching strategies conducive to effective learning in General Studies (e.g. inquiry-based activities, science and technology inquiry, project learning and service learning) 
    • Making good use of small class environment to:
      -enhance classroom interactions
      -achieve holistic learning objectives covering knowledge, skills and attitudes
      -develop the capacity of teachers in nurturing students’ higher order thinking by facilitating group work and effective questioning
    • Strengthening the horizontal coherence and vertical progression of the General Studies curriculum in response to different school contexts


    To develop generic skills

    • Developing students’ generic skills (e.g. critical thinking skills, creativity, communication skills) through a wide range of learning activities


    To promote life-wide learning

    • Utilising school and community resources (e.g. museums and other community facilities) to facilitate experiential learning in authentic settings


    To strengthen the inter-connectedness between General Studies and other KLAs

    • Integrating common elements of various KLAs (e.g. General Studies and Chinese Language)  to provide an interdisciplinary curriculum conducive to effective learning


    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

    Curriculum Leaders Learning Community


    • Empowering curriculum coordinators or vice principals as change agents in promoting whole-school curriculum development 
    • Establishing learning groups to share experience and explore issues on school curriculum-related matters 



    Modes of Support

    a. 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.




    b.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

    a. 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




    b.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 in the past five years (from 2006-2011), the satisfaction rating has increased from 4.22 to 4.28 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: 16 May 2014
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