In tandem with one of the recommendations set out in the review report with the theme “Optimise the curriculum for the future, Foster whole-person development and diverse talents” of the Task Force on Review of School Curriculum, the committees on the four senior secondary (SS) core subjects under the Curriculum Development Council (CDC) and the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) have formulated proposals to optimise the respective curricula and assessments of the subjects, thereby creating space for students and catering for learner diversity.
The Education Bureau (EDB) conducted a school questionnaire survey on “Optimising the SS Core Subjects to Create Space for Students and Cater for Learner Diversity” from 2 February to 2 March 2021 and concurrently collected suggestions and views from the school sector on the proposals to optimise the four SS core subjects through different channels, including school briefing sessions, teacher focus group meetings, etc. The relevant committees under the CDC and the HKEAA followed up and put forward proposals to optimise the respective subjects. After thorough examination and deliberation, the CDC and HKEAA Public Examinations Board endorsed the proposals to optimise the four SS core subjects and made suggestions to the EDB. The optimising proposals have been accepted by the EDB.
The four SS core subjects currently take up more than half or even more of the lesson time in many schools and students lack diversified learning experiences. Optimising the four SS core subjects to varying degrees can generate synergy, release lesson time and enhance curriculum flexibility for creating space for students. With the optimising measures in place, the four SS core subjects will not take up more than half of the total lesson time. Schools can make use of this opportunity of optimising the curriculum to review and plan the curriculum in a holistic manner, and release space to varying degrees in order to cater for students’ diverse learning and development needs with due regard to each school’s own context and student needs. The lesson time released can facilitate schools’ provision of more diversified options, for example, enabling students to take an additional elective subject (including Applied Learning), engage in more in-depth study of subjects (based on the principle of optimising the SS core subjects, which is to create space for students and cater for learner diversity, we do not recommend that schools allocate the lesson time released to teach core subjects), enabling some of the students to study the Extended Part (Module 1 (M1) / Module 2 (M2)) in parallel with the Compulsory Part of Mathematics, and/or participate more actively in Other Learning Experiences (OLE), life-wide learning activities, and engage in other personal pursuits to cater for their different interests, abilities and aspirations.
In addition, it has come to the EDB’s attention that the number of schools offering Combined Science and Integrated Science and the number of students taking the two subjects have been on the decrease in recent years. After liaising and communicating with the schools which currently offer the subjects and examining the situation by the CDC and the HKEAA, it is decided that the two subjects will be phased out at Secondary 4 (S4) from the 2021/22 school year to create space for schools to arrange for optimising the curriculum concurrently.
The arrangements of the four SS core subjects, Combined Science and Integrated Science will be effective at S4 from the 2021/22 school year so that students will benefit as soon as possible.
|EMM Website link|
EDBCM No.72/2021 Curriculum Documents in Support of the Optimised Senior Secondary Core Subjects and Supplementary Notes to the Secondary Education Curriculum Guide (2017) (28 June 2021):
EDBCM No.82/2021 The Curriculum and Assessment Guide of Citizenship and Social Development (Secondary 4 -6) (2 June 2021):
Clear the Air Article on "Optimising the Four Senior Secondary Core Subjects" (5 May 2021):
EDBCM No.39/2021 Measures to Optimise the Four Senior Secondary Core Subjects (1 April 2021):
Press Release for Measures to Optimise the Four Senior Secondary Core Subjects (1 April 2021):
Press Release for Curriculum Development Council's Endorsement for Optimising the Four Senior Secondary Core Subjects (31 March 2021):
EDBCM No.20/2021 Optimising the Four Senior Secondary Core Subjects to Create Space for Students and Cater for Learner Diversity: School Questionnaire Survey and School Briefing Sessions (2 February 2021):
Press Release for School Questionnaire Survey on Optimising Senior Secondary Core Subjects (2 February 2021):
|Proposals to Optimise the Four SS Core Subjects: [Source: “Briefing Sessions on Optimising the Four Senior Secondary Core Subjects (NEW)” (5 and 18 February 2021)]|
Please refer to the Chinese version of this page.
(Remarks: The EDB announced on 1 April 2021 that “Citizenship and Social Development” will replace Liberal Studies starting from Secondary 4 in the 2021/22 school year.)