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School-based Curriculum Development in Primary Schools

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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
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

Foci of Support



1.  To develop a 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, with a view to promoting a balanced development of students’ reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking, aesthetics sense and self-learning skills

2.  To enhance teaching effectiveness through: 

  • strengthening reading strategies
  • moving from reading to writing
  • promoting self-directed learning
  • making effective use of e-learning to enhance learning and teaching

3.  To promote “Reading to Learn” by developing a wide range of reading materials, promoting “Reading across the Curriculum”, the use of readers, etc., with a view to fostering a reading culture


4.  To cater for learner diversity in Chinese Language learning by understanding students’ needs, interests and abilities, adapting curriculum content and using diversified teaching strategies to help students realize their potential


5.  To enhance assessment literacy by promoting assessment-for-learning, and supporting teachers’ effective use of internal and external assessment data to examine students’ learning and feedback on learning and teaching


6.  To promote the building of a professional team by:

  • developing a collaborative culture and teachers’ leadership through supporting teachers to plan their lessons, implement strategies and evaluate effectiveness
  • promoting professional sharing and collaboration through collaborative lesson preparation meetings, peer lesson observations, internal and external sharing and workshops for teachers


7.  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




  1. To support schools’ ongoing renewal and enhancement of school-based curriculum by incorporating major updates of the English Language Education KLA Curriculum Guide (e.g. Literacy Development, e-learning and Information Literacy, Integrative Use of Generic Skills, Values Education, STEM Education, Learning and Teaching of Text Grammar, Extending ‘Assessment for Learning’ to ‘Assessment as Learning’ & Embracing Learner Diversity) through the means of 
  • developing a suitable, balanced and coherent curriculum to encompass integrated language skills through diversified, effective and meaningful learning materials, experiences and pedagogy
  • enhancing horizontal coherence and vertical progression in curriculum development across key stages with reference to students’ interests and abilities


2.  To strengthen literacy development and Reading across the Curriculum (RaC) by

  • encouraging students to read a wide range of print and non-print materials (multi-modal text) with different subject content and text types (fictional and non-fictional)
  • helping students acquire effective reading strategies through reading workshops and the General English curriculum
  • promoting students’ genuine interest in reading through establishing and reviewing school-based reading initiatives and enhancing the integration of reading with other language learning skills


  1. To promote the development of students’ language learning skills, strategies, values and attitudes that are conducive to self-directed and life-long learning by
  • engaging students in learning and using English in meaningful and purposeful ways outside and inside classrooms to develop their skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking (e.g. vocabulary building skills, phonics skills, 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)
  • fostering among students positive attitudes and values in learning and using English through their participation in life-wide learning, project learning, e-learning and language arts appreciation activities


4.  To enhance assessment literacy by

  • supporting teachers’ effective use of classroom observation, student work analysis, schools’ internal and external assessment data to feedback on learning and teaching
  • extending assessment-for-learning to assessment-as-learning with a view to   encouraging students to reflect on and monitor their progress of learning  and   strengthening their roles and responsibilities in relation to their learning


5.  To embrace learner diversity with effective curriculum planning and appropriate learning, teaching and assessment strategies by

  • supporting teachers to appropriately adapt curriculum and make use of learning evidence to understand students’ learning difficulties, abilities and needs, and provide them with appropriate guidance, quality feedback, timely support and suitable enrichment
  • 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 nurture a professional and collaborative culture by

  • encouraging English teachers to have professional dialogue and sharing of teaching and learning resources, pedagogy and principles through 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 plan and implement the focal points of the renewed school-based curriculum

  • Adopting e-learning for learning activities such as enquiry-based and problem-solving tasks to facilitate classroom interaction
  • Strengthening students’ ability to integrate and apply knowledge and skills through incorporating STEM education in the school Mathematics curriculum


2. To develop students’ Mathematical skills
Identifying and analyzing students’ learning difficulties and formulating learning and teaching strategies to address the problems

  • Enhancing students’ ability to perform computations
  • Developing students’ ability to construct mathematical concepts
  • Enhancing students’ ability to apply mathematical concepts for solving problems 
  • Developing students’ ability to employ logical reasoning for drawing conclusions


3. To enhance student motivation and improve the effectiveness in learning and teaching of Mathematics through teaching strategies based on inquiry and investigation

  • Enhancing student learning through diversified teaching strategies such as hands-on activities, enquiry-based tasks as well as solving open-ended questions and application problems
  • Engaging students in classroom activities and developing students’ collaboration skills, communication skills, creativity, critical thinking skills and self-directed learning abilities  


4.  To provide diversified learning experiences to cater for learner diversity

  • Consolidating foundation knowledge and strengthening higher order thinking skills through appropriate learning and teaching strategies
  • Assisting students with diverse abilities to learn Mathematics through collaborating with teachers to identify and analyze students’ learning difficulties and develop appropriate learning materials and strategies


5.  To enhance teachers’ assessment literacy

  • promoting assessment for learning by collecting evidence of learning through students’ performance in classrooms, student work and assessment for analyzing and informing learning and teaching
  • Identifying and analyzing students’ learning difficulties and formulating appropriate learning and teaching strategies
  • Developing diversified modes of assessment to reflect holistic students’ performance in Mathematics, including computation skills, conceptual understanding and problem solving skills


6.  To promote teachers’ professional development

  • Enhancing professional sharing and nurturing collaborative culture among teachers through collaborative lesson preparation meetings, peer lesson observation, seminars, workshops, external and internal school sharing





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

  • Enabling students to understand themselves, the society and the world at large, to maintain their healthy personal development and to be confident, informed and responsible citizens
  • Arousing students’ curiosity and interest in science and technology through hands-on and minds-on activities and developing their abilities to conduct scientific investigation in both natural environment and technological world
  • Assisting schools to design and implement thematic modules, and to strengthen the horizontal coherence and vertical progression of their school-based curriculum  according to specific 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 learning, self-directed learning, e-learning, scientific investigation, STEM education, project learning and service learning)
  • Developing students’ generic skills, thinking skills, self-directed learning 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 parks) to enrich students’ learning experience with diversified 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 review students’ performance in knowledge, skills, values and attitudes
  • Enhancing learning and teaching effectiveness through evidence-informed practice









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 and developing their abilities to conduct scientific investigation in both natural environment and technological world
  • Promoting STEM education and strengthening students’ ability to integrate and apply knowledge and skills in science and technology for problem solving
  •  Implementing different modes of science enquiry to enrich student learning  


2.  To plan collaboratively for the learning and teaching arrangements of the focused topics, namely “Light, Sound and Electricity”
  • Linking related topics to daily life experience
  • Introducing diverse learning and teaching strategies 


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. the Predict-Observe-Explain model and the constructivist learning theory)
  • 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 meetings (7 times) and on-site support (around 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






  •  To empower curriculum coordinators or vice principals as change agents for promoting whole-school curriculum development
  • To establish learning groups to share experiences and explore issues on school curriculum-related matters
  • Nominees should be Primary School Masters/Mistresses (Curriculum Development), Assistant Primary School Masters/Mistresses (Curriculum Development), or Senior Primary School Masters/Mistresses
  • School curriculum leaders in the Community will meet 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



Last revision date: 07 October 2016
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