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Understanding the New Senior Secondary Curriculum

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1 Understanding the New Senior Secondary Curriculum
Dr S K Kwan Curriculum Development Institute Education Bureau 3 February 2012

2 Key Messages What are the goals and features of the New Academic Structure and the new senior secondary (NSS) curricula? How is it different from the old one (AL/sixth form)? What are the students’ subject choices & learning experiences? What are the pathways of students? How is HKDSE recognised locally and internationally?

3 Purpose of New Academic Structure
Develop whole-person and life-long learning capabilities Opportunities for ALL students to succeed by enabling them to find themselves, and meeting their aspirations, needs, aptitudes Promote diversified human resource development in HK Maintain HK’s competitiveness as international city

4 Old Academic Structure and New Academic Structure
1st cohort of graduates (2015/16) 3-year Degree program 4-year Degree program Other pathways Other pathways HKALE Other pathways S7 2011/12 1st HKDSEE S6 Secondary 6 Senior Secondary 3 HKCEE New Senior Secondary Secondary 5 Secondary 5 Senior Secondary 2 Secondary 4 Secondary 4 Senior Secondary 1 2009/10 Secondary 3 Secondary 3 Secondary 2 Secondary 2 Secondary 1 Secondary 1 2006/07 4

5 Comparison of Old and New Senior Secondary Curriculum
Core Subjects Chi, Eng, Math in S4-S5 Chi, Eng in S6-S7 Chi, Eng, Math, LS in S4-S6 No. of Subjects 7 – 9 subjects in S4-S5 4 – 5 subjects in S6-S7 6 – 7 subjects in S4-S6 Streaming Streaming into arts and science Not limited by the arts/science streaming; Choose 2 to 3 elective subjects from different KLAs, Applied Learning and/or other languages OLE no formal structure Structured and occupy not less than 15% of curriculum time for ALL students 5

6 The New Senior Secondary Curriculum

7 Seven Learning goals To be biliterate and trilingual with adequate proficiency To acquire a broad knowledge base, and be able to understand contemporary issues that may impact on one’s daily life at personal, community, national and global levels To be an informed and responsible citizen with a sense of global and national identity To respect pluralism of cultures and views, and be a critical, reflective and independent thinker To acquire IT & other skills for being a lifelong learner To understand one’s career/academic aspirations and develop positive attitudes towards work and learning To lead a healthy life style with active participation in aesthetic and physical activities

8 Whole Person Development & Diversification
Student Programme – Whole Person Development & Diversification Core Subjects: Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics, Liberal Studies as core subjects for ALL students (45-55%) Elective Subjects: 2 or 3 elective subjects chosen from 20 NSS subjects and a range of Applied Learning courses (20-30%) Other Learning Experiences moral & civic education, community service, aesthetic and physical activities and career-related experiences (15-35%) NSS Generic Skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Creativity Information technology skills Collaboration skills Numeracy skills Problem-solving skills Self-management skills Study skills Values & Attitudes Perseverance Respect for others Responsibility National Identity Commitment …… P1- S3 General Studies Moral and Civic Education Intellectual Development Community Service Physical & Aesthetic Development Career-related Experiences 8

9 NSS Subjects Key Learning Areas Subjects (Core/Elective)
Chinese Language Education Chinese Language (core subject) Chinese Literature English Language Education English Language (core subject) Literature in English Mathematics Education Mathematics (core subject ) including the Compulsory Part and 2 Extended Modules Liberal Studies (core subject)

10 NSS Subjects Personal, Social and Humanities Education
Key Learning Areas Subjects (Electives) Personal, Social and Humanities Education Chinese History Economics Ethics and Religious Studies Geography History Tourism and Hospitality Studies Science Education Biology Chemistry Physics Science (Integrated, Combined) Technology Education Business, Accounting and Financial Studies Design and Applied Technology Health Management and Social Care Technology and Living Information and Communication Technology Arts Education Music Visual Arts Physical Education

11 Liberal Studies Inter-connectedness of Liberal Studies with Other Subjects: Liberal Studies uses knowledge and perspectives from other subjects to study contemporary issues so that students have the opportunity to: connect knowledge and concepts across different disciplines expand their perspectives beyond single disciplines study contemporary events not covered in single disciplines Issues in Liberal Studies English Language X2 Other Learning Experiences X3 Chinese Mathematics X1

12 Liberal Studies Curriculum Framework
Society and Culture Module 2: Hong Kong Today Module 3: Modern China Module 4: Globalization Independent Enquiry Study (IES) Suggested Themes: Media, Education, Religion, Sports, Art, Information And Communication Technology Science, Technology and the Environment Self and Personal Development Module 5: Public Health Module 6: Energy Technology and the Environment Module 1: Personal Development and Interpersonal Relationships 12

13 Mathematics Education
Compulsory Part Extended Part Three Strands:  Number and Algebra  Measures, Shape and Space  Data Handling Module 1: Calculus and Statistics S4-S6 Module 2: Algebra and Calculus It is a foundation for all students and provides mathematical concepts, skills and knowledge which are necessary for students’ different career pathways Students who have a strong interest in mathematics or wish to apply for Mathematics or related programmes (e.g. Engineering) at universities may choose any one of the two modules for more focused and in-depth study 13 13

14 NSS Science Curriculum
Biology Chemistry Physics Science Combined Science Integrated Science For students with a great interest in science who wish to pursue future studies or work in this field It comprises three parts with content selected from the Biology, Chemistry and Physics curricula. Students will have to take the two parts that are complementary to the single discipline in which they specialise. For students with diverse interests who wish to take elective subjects from different KLAs This is designed for students wishing to take up one elective subject in the Science Education Key Learning Area. It serves to develop in students the scientific literacy essential for participating in a dynamically changing society 14 14

15 Different Vocational Fields as Learning Contexts
Applied Learning (ApL) Courses Career-related competencies Foundation Skills Thinking Skills People Skills Values & Attitudes Creative Studies Media & Communication Business, Management & Law Services Applied Science Engineering & Production Life-long learning for further studies and/or work Different Vocational Fields as Learning Contexts

16 Applied Learning (ApL) Courses
ApL is an integral part of the NSS curriculum. Students can take ApL courses as elective subjects at S5 and S6 (180 hours). Area of Studies Examples of Courses Creative Studies Introduction to Theatre Arts, Taking a Chance on Dance Media and Communication Film and Video Studies, Radio Host and Programme Production Business, Management and Law Practical Accounting for SMEs, Understanding Hong Kong Law Services Hospitality Services in Practice, Child Development and Care Applied Science Fundamental Health Care, Exercise Science and Health Fitness Engineering and Production Automotive Technology, Aviation Studies School Year No. of Course Providers No. of ApL Courses 11 30 12 35

17 Other Languages (OL) French German Hindi Japanese Spanish Urdu
OL courses should follow a curriculum leading to the examinations pitched at the Advanced Supplementary Level offered by the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)

18 Other Learning Experiences (OLE)
Under the NSS Curriculum, OLE is one of the three components that complement the core and elective subjects 15% or more of the curriculum time Aiming to develop students’ whole-person development, foster a broader scope of views and life-long learning abilities for students Including learning experiences of Moral and Civic Education, Community Service, Physical Development, Aesthetic Development and Career-related Experiences.

19 Student Learning Profile (SLP)
Each senior secondary student is encouraged to build up his/her own profile to reflect his/her learning experiences and achievements SLP broad framework: Academic performance in school Other Learning Experiences Awards/Achievements gained outside school Student’s Self-account Students telling their own “stories of learning”… 19

20 Implementation of the NSS Curriculum
November 2010:New Senior Secondary Subject Information Survey Number of schools = 453

21 Diversified Choice of Elective Subjects
Reducing early specialisation Over 1,450 subject combinations each in S4 and S5 are offered Choices of elective subjects more diversified and not limited to a particular Key Learning Area (KLA): 68% of S4 students and 70% of S5 students take elective subjects from two or three KLAs All secondary schools offer an average of 11 to 12 elective subjects in S4 and S5 About 50% of students studying 2Xs and 50% studying 3Xs in both S4 & S5 21 21

22 Most Popular Subject Combinations
Secondary 5 BAFS & Econ Bio & Chem Bio, Chem & Phy BAFS, Econ & Geog 22 22

23 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination
The New Public Exam: Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination 2012 HKDSE examination will be held in late March to late May Date of release of results is scheduled on 20 July 2012

24 Main Changes in Public Exam
one public exam emphasize high order thinking and application of knowledge school-based assessment (SBA) standards-referenced reporting (SRR)

25 Reporting: Standards-referenced
Standards-referenced reporting based on level descriptors candidates’ results indicate the standards achieved in terms of knowledge and skills independent of the performance of other candidates enable stakeholders know exactly what the candidates know and can do

26 Standards Referenced Reporting
Student performance to be reported with reference to five defined levels: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Top Level 5 students awarded 5*, 5**

27 Applied Learning Subjects Attained with distinction
Reported in 2 grades: Attained with distinction Attained

28 Other Language Subjects
Marking & grading will be conducted by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) A B C D E

29 Implementation of School-Based Assessment
SBA is not an “add-on” element in the curriculum and should be integrated into learning and teaching. SBA can assess skills/outcomes not included in public examinations, such as enquiry skills, laboratory skills and creativity in design. SBA will firstly be commenced in 8 subjects and 4 science subjects (laboratory work only) in 2012 and progressively be implemented in other subjects. HKEAA is now conducting a consultation on the SBA streamlining proposals and the final arrangements will be made known to schools by the end of February after endorsement by the Public Examination Board (PEB).

30 Moderation of SBA Schools are required to submit marks in S5 and S6 and HKEAA will moderate SBA marks, after schools submit S6 marks in early 2012. Moderation is to ensure the consistency of assessment standards across subjects. Two methods will be adopted: - Statistical moderation with an element of expert judgment - Expert judgment with an element of statistical adjustment Moderation is conducted on school basis but not class-based/teacher-based and therefore, within-school standardization of teachers’ marking standard is also necessary

31 Subjects with SBA Implemented in the 2012 HKDSE
Assessment Requirements Weighting Chinese Language Reading activities; Coursework/other language activities; Electives modules 20% English Language Oral assessments 15% Liberal Studies An independent enquiry study Business, Accounting & Financial Studies A study on business issues Chemistry Practical related tasks : Basic Chemical Analysis; Experiments Chinese Literature Creative writing; Reading report; Elective modules 35% Design & Applied Technology A design project 40% Economics News commentaries or essays/reports Geography A fieldwork study Music Solo performance & viva voce; Ensemble performance; Sight-singing Physical Education Assessments in two physical activities; Assessments in physical fitness 30% Visual Arts Portfolios 50%

32 Multiple & Diversified Pathways for Students

33 Multiple & Diversified Pathways for Students
Bachelor’s degree programmes [attain “ ” in Chi, Eng, Maths, LS electives at Level 2 or 3 ] Further Studies in Mainland China / Abroad Employment [announcement by Civil Service Bureau in June 2011] Sub-degree Programmes [attain Level 2 in 5 subjects (including Chin Lang and Eng Lang) ] Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Vocational programmes (e.g. VTC TDC/ Youth Pre-employment Programmes by Labour Dept) New Project Yi Jin / Foundation Diploma/Diploma in Vocational Education Programmes Non-local courses offered in Hong Kong/Distance learning programmes

34 Recognition: Local Universities
General Entrance Requirements (GER) : 4 core subjects: Chinese Language:Level 3 English Language: Level 3 Mathematics: Level 2 Liberal Studies : Level 2 + 1 / 2 elective subject(s) : the requirements are generally Level 2 or Level 3 Applied Learning subjects: used as elective subjects, or considered for award of extra bonus or additional information Other Language subjects: used as unspecified or extra elective subjects, generally at the minimum requirement of Grade E Student Learning Profile: recognized as a document of good reference value by Heads of Universities Committee (HUCOM) 34

35 Electronic Advance Application (E-APP) System for Post-secondary Programmes
E-APP (, is an internet-based system newly developed by the Education Bureau for the HKALE and HKDSE candidates of current year to lodge advance applications for locally-accredited post-secondary programmes not covered by the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS)* before announcement of public examination results. * Except programmes offered by the Hong Kong Shue Yan University and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

36 E-APP Important Dates Date Event 9 Feb 2012 Launch of E-APP
E-APP forwards applications to institutions 20 May 2012 Deadline for submission of applications via E-APP 29 Jun 2012 Announcement of the 2012 HKALE results by HKEAA 20 Jul 2012 Announcement of the 2012 HKDSE results by HKEAA 26 Jul 2012 Announcement of the 2012 JUPAS Main Round offer results for HKALE candidates 17 Aug 2012 Announcement of the 2012 JUPAS Main Round offer results for HKDSE candidates

37 Vocational Education Programmes
Application for 2012 / 13 Full-time Degree, Higher Diploma, New Foundation Diploma and Diploma in Vocational Education Programmes Dates of Application:1 Dec 2011 to 29 Feb 2012 By 29 Feb 2012 Submit on-line application and pay application fee; Submit online application for Principal’s Nomination Scheme (PNS) or Self-Nomination Scheme (SNS) (if applicable) 4 to 8 May 2012 Programme Selection on Web 4 to 25 June 2012 Interviews (of applicable) 20 to 21July 2012 Announcement of Offer VTC的專業教育提供一條龍升學銜接,於不同入學點入學,都可以繼續升讀更高資歷課程。 37 37

38 New Project Yi Jin An alternative pathway for secondary school leavers under the NAS and adult learners to obtain a formal qualification for further studies or employment; Put in place from the 2012/13 academic year onwards; A student will be awarded a full Yi Jin Diploma after he/she has passed all eight modules of the programme; The qualification will be deemed comparable to the attainment of Level 2 in 5 subjects in the HKDSE including Chinese Language and English Language; Details of the programme will be available in the first quarter of 2012.

39 UCAS: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UK)
International Recognition The HKDSE has secured recognition from overseas academic agencies, universities and governments… HK Delegations to Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, South East Asia… Positive response! Australia has recognised the HKDSE as equivalent to the Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. UCAS Study: UCAS tariff points to 23 subjects (except Maths); Standards of the HKDSE is broadly comparable to GCE (AL) Examination -- Level of HKDSE Broadly comparable to GCE A Level 5 Grade A 4 Grade C 3 Grade E UCAS: Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UK)

40 International Recognition: Individual University Admission Requirements for holders of HKDSE

41 Mainland Higher Education
(Pilot Scheme) 63 Mainland Higher Education Institutions to exempt Hong Kong students from taking Joint Entrance Examination On 28 November 2011, the Ministry of Education announced the detailed arrangements for the pilot scheme whereby 63 Mainland higher education institutions from 11 provinces and municipalities (e.g. Peking University, Tsinghua University and Fudan University) will consider the admission of Hong Kong students based on their results in the HKDSE and the HKALE, thus exempting them from taking the JEE for Universities in the Mainland. The pilot scheme is one of the supporting measures announced by the Vice-Premier of the State Council, Mr Li Keqiang (李克強), during his visit to Hong Kong in August this year.

42 Mainland Higher Education
(Pilot Scheme) Minimum Admission Requirement: - 4 core subjects: 3322 Elective subjects: Level 2 or Level 3 in 1 or 2 specified/ unspecified elective subjects SLP: consider as a good reference for selection of students Individual institutions may have additional requirements Online application will be from 20 Feb to 5 Mar, with confirmation of application at China Education Exchange (HK) Centre Limited (中國教育留學交流(香港)中心) during 1 to 15 Mar 2012. For details, please visit 2011

43 Taiwan Starting from 2012, students from HK can apply for Bachelor’s degree programmes of Taiwan universities using either their HKDSE, HKAL or HKCEE results. Students will be exempted from the “Joint entrance exam”. They can apply through the University Entrance Committee for Overseas Chinese (台灣公私立大學校院海外聯合招生委員會) . For details, please visit

44 Civil Service Appointment (1)
Results in the HKDSE Examination that will be accepted for Civil Service Appointment: General Requirements A combination of results in 5 HKDSE subjects NSS subjects:Level 2 Applied Learning subjects (max of 2) : “Attained” Other Languages:Grade E 5 passes in HKCEE NSS subjects:Level 3 Applied Learning subjects (max of 2) : “Attained with Distinction” Other Languages:Grade C 2 passes at HKALE plus 3 credits in HKCEE (2A3O)

45 Civil Service Appointment (2)
Specific Subject Requirements Chinese/English Language Subjects Level 3 Level 2 Level 3 in HKCEE Level 2 in HKCEE Other Subjects Level 3 in NSS subjects / “Attained with Distinction” in Applied Learning (ApL) subjects Grade E in HKALE Grade C in HKCEE Level 2 in NSS subjects / “Attained” in Applied Learning (ApL) subjects Grade E in HKCEE

46 What is the future outlook of HK’s university students?
University curriculum reform – faculty admission, broad-based studies + specialisation, more experiential/service learning, international exchange opportunities, greater inter-cultural competencies Non-local students – 20% of undergraduates; >50% in post-graduate studies Scholarship for undergraduates, post-graduate studies for overseas students Development of education hub


48 Thank you!

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