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  Nurturing multiple intelligences -- a fundamental goal of quality basic education





We believe in inborn gifts and potentials in every individual, yet the potentials have to be carefully identified and developed. Hon Wah College has been practising gifted education for many years, providing students with “chances, resources and encouragement” as evocated by Dr Joseph Renzulli, in order for every student to discover and develop his potential and grow confidently. The gifted education in our school is carried out both in the regular classroom and pull-out programmes. Every student is unique and has his potentials, life goals and dreams, and therefore deserves the best education with equal learning opportunity.

Both our Primary and Secondary Sections adopted the three-tier operation mode evocated by the Education Bureau to carry out our gifted education. The objective of this model is to develop and expand students’ potentials upon identifying their strengths and differences. In our Level One support, different subjects incorporate enhancement and extended learning activities and include elements of gifted education such as high-order thinking skills, creativity and personal-social competence. In Level Two, specialized teachers carry out pull-out enrichment programmes, so as to provide additional systematic trainings for high-achievers in various subjects. In Level Three, facilitated and coached by specialized teachers, gifted students in various subjects are arranged to join courses organised by the Educational Bureau, Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education, tertiary institutions and other specialized organisations. The diagram below illustrates the operation mode of Gifted Education in the Primary Section of our College. structure of the 3-Tier Support Model, with some examples from our Primary Section:


Operation mode of gifted education in Hon Wah College

Level One
Strengthening teaching and learning effectiveness in practising gifted education – school-based whole-class gifted programmes

Our school-based whole-class gifted programmes aim at building up a strong foundation for all students. Apart from developing students’ generic skills and subject knowledge, teachers will identify students’ talents and carry out specialized and focused trainings. Our Primary and Secondary teachers who completed foundation and advanced trainings in gifted education possess the expertise and are able to identify students’ learning diversities and raise their high-order thinking skills. By applying appropriate questioning techniques, teachers initiate students’ critical thinking and facilitate their completion of class activities such as drawing mind maps to record and organize their ideas.

School-based Liberal Studies
Our school’s Liberal Studies is a 12-year through-train programme. By participating in diversified learning models, students gradually build up knowledge and broaden their horizons, in order to analyse issues from different perspectives and elevate their problem solving ability. Students will eventually be equipped to be youngsters with independent thinking, possessing various skills and correct value of life.

In Primary Section’s Liberal Studies, students’ learning diversities are catered for and their high-order thinking skills are developed through strategies such as cooperative learning, “13 HOT Skills” (High Order Thinking) and differentiated curriculum. Students’ critical thinking and self-learning are enhanced through the completion of social issues worksheets and self-learning booklets. Furthermore, our Primary Section has participated in the support network of gifted education under the Gifted Education Section of the Education Bureau. Member schools in the support network practise class observations and post-lesson discussions facilitated by the Curriculum Development Officers of the Gifted Education Section of the Education Bureau. In doing so, teachers’ course design and teaching are stimulated. Subject teachers of different levels have been carrying out regular trial teachings, class observations and sharing. In 2013, our Primary Section joined the differentiated curriculum teaching programme organized by the Gifted Education Section of the Education Bureau. In the programme, our teachers practised co-planning, class observations and post-lesson discussions with the experts of gifted education from Australia and the Curriculum Development Officers of the Gifted Education Section of the Education Bureau. Our Liberal Studies teachers design courses with focus on different topics according to different levels. Through co-planning, school-based projects are designed and incorporated into continuous assessments.

Experiential learning is carried out according to different teaching modules in Liberal Studies. For instance, Primary 1 visited the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens in our programme called “Fun in Parks”. Primary 2 visited Siu Sai Wan Complex in “Our Community”. Primary 3 went to North Point Police Station in “Life in our Community”. Primary 4 went to the Hong Kong Museum of History in “Hong Kong History”. Primary 5 visited the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence in the activity called “The Immense 5000 Years of History”. Primary 6 visited the Drug InfoCentre in the activity called “Substance Abuse”.

The Liberal Studies in Secondary Section focuses on inquiry learning through posing questions, problems or scenarios. Students learn from real life and topics found in their daily experience. In order to find the topics, it is necessary for students to learn outside the classroom. Every year, all Secondary 5 students join the Mainland Integrated Learning Programme. In the trip, students need to collect information and carry out analysis. In doing so, students’ collaboration, critical thinking, self-management and study skills are enhanced. Students are also organized to visit the Legislative Council, in which they could have a better understanding of the process of legislation and the importance of the participation of the LegCo Members, and to feel the solemn atmosphere in the Council. Students are also given the opportunity to role play the mock law-making process, and to think in the hat of the LegCo Members.

Teachers design course materials according to students’ learning objectives. Apart from site-visits, teachers will also bring students to related seminars and talks, as well as having students report on their learning. Students are also required to take their daily experience into consideration, to help their research on various topics to build up their own knowledge. This subject stresses the importance of self and peer assessments, which will develop students’ ability in giving comments.

Stretching students’ potentials in cross-curriculum projects
The project topics in Primary Section are based on Liberal Studies, and then adding in different subject ideas to carry out larger scale of cross-curriculum projects. Students’ self-learning skills, generic skills, thinking skills and interpersonal skills are enhanced in doing the projects with the guidance of the teachers. In the projects, students are applying “13 HOT Skills” to develop their creativity and high-order thinking.

Every year, Secondary Section will have the Project Day, in which teachers will design activities to learn outside the classroom. Some subjects will cooperate together to set topics for cross-curriculum learning. Students’ projects will be displayed and project competition will be held to round up the activity.

Language Art Education
Catering for students’ learning and growing needs, our Primary Section designs materials with drama elements integrated into classroom teaching. It aims to enhance students’ sensitivities towards people and things, so that they can pay attention to entities and relationships and cultivate the ability to speak up about their feelings.

The Secondary Section aims at developing English speaking and expression. A number of regular English lessons are taught by our NETS, cultivating students’ creativity and including affective education through the teaching of poems, songs and dramas. Moreover, the watching drama performance is arranged a few times per year both inside and outside the school.

Level Two
Developing students’ multiple intelligences to stretch their potentials – pull-out programmes for gifted learning

Our school adopted pull-out programmes for gifted learning. With the help of the talent pool, students stretch their potentials through more comprehensive training levels. In Primary Section, students with high academic or sports achievements are recommended by teachers and parents to enter the talent pool, and to conduct elite programmes after lessons. Elite programmes for Primary Section include Olympic Mathematics, English drama, Latin dance, Cantonese opera, Chinese dance, swimming team, sports team, leadership training, visual arts elite programme, Campus TV, etc.

In Secondary Section, students with special talents will be identified through various criteria, methods and occasions to conduct advanced trainings. The school’s Rainbow Project is an example to encourage students with good academic performance to take part in Chinese, Mathematics and Liberal Studies elite trainings. Furthermore, teachers specializing in differentiated curriculum organize programmes related to acceleration and depth with the Diversity Learning Grant offered by the Education Bureau. The school has also established various school teams and music teams to cater for students’ different talents. Extra trainings will be carried out when competitions are near. Other long term training programmes include school prefect team and drama club.

Level Three
Broadening the horizons through external programmes – Support Measures for the Exceptionally Gifted Students

The school takes an active role in recommending students to join external elite programmes, competitions and exchange programmes in order to stretch students’ potentials, knowledge and skills. Our students have been winning in various open competitions to build their confidence and therefore will help their future. Every year, we are proposing a number of students who are exceptionally gifted to take part in the enrichment programmes run by the Gifted Education Section of the Education Bureau, as to enrich students learning experience and develop their gifted potentials. Besides, some of our students have become the members of the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education and have joined different kinds of gifted programmes.