Reception 1 to Grade 2
Excellence in early childhood education
The Harbour Village
The Harbour Village, located in THS's Kennedy Town campus, is the school's early childhood center. It is an inspiring learning environment entirely dedicated to the Preparatory years of 4 and 6-year-old students.
The physical environment plays a central role in The Harbour School’s approach to early childhood learning. To that end, immersive spaces at the Village were conceived to make learning tactile, sensory, engaging and interactive.
The Harbour Village's multi-sensory spaces provide a supportive and immersive setting that stimulates each learner’s imagination, promotes a sense of community, develops fine and gross motor skills, and supports social, emotional and academic growth.
Early childhood marks the beginning of a child’s lifelong learning journey.
THS' early childhood curriculum framework for children ages 4 and 6 is developed by THS Head of School and child psychologist, Dr. Jadis Blurton.
The Harbour curriculum is an integrated program where concepts in literacy, maths, science, and social studies are taught in connected, thematic units. Lesson plans are highly differentiated, designed by the Preparatory teaching team according to the guidelines and goals of the Harbour curriculum.
In the first year of the Preparatory program, students begin with a unit called “All About Me”. This introduces the process of self-awareness and appreciation among culturally and learning diverse peers.
The goals of the Preparatory years are consistent with the whole-school curricular framework to:
develop each child's natural curiosity and enthusiasm for learning
support social-emotional growth
encourage independence skills
develop a strong sense of self
foster community-mindedness and compassion
The Harbour curriculum
The Harbour curriculum describes the types of learning experiences that are important for children in early childhood, the content and knowledge goals, and how this learning might be nurtured. A primary feature of the Harbour curriculum is the use of themes that connect with most, if not all, subjects, rather than teaching subjects in isolation.
The thematic units, such as Everyday Heroes, All About Me, Using Your Senses and Community Helpers, develop the children’s natural dispositions of curiosity, playfulness and social skills, nurture attitudes and values (such as kindness, respect and tolerance, care for the environment), and build knowledge and understanding of their world.
Knowledge and understanding include developing a sense of colour, shape and number, learning how things work and that words have meaning. These thematic lessons will draw on opportunities for students to think deeply, draw on their imagination and enjoy an immersive, community learning environment.
The holistic THS picture
The overarching THS whole school curricular framework puts emphasis on our students’ well-being first, to nurture their identity and belonging in a global context, grow communication skills, encourage exploring and taking risks in learning, critical thinking skill and to learn through meaningful interaction and experiences.
Seven learner goals
At THS, we instil these seven learner goals in all our students from throughout the school:
Integrated amongst others
The Preparatory classes
There are six classrooms at the Harbour Village. Each Preparatory classroom will have between 11 to 16 students of ages 4 and 6 years.
Each Preparatory class will be mixed-age.
Students will stay with the same Preparatory teacher for two years if they enter THS on their fourth birthday, before moving on to Grade 1 at The Grove. Each Preparatory teacher will be aided by a qualified co-teacher.
The Preparatory years will be taught in a "readiness-bound" rather than "age-bound" approach in learning subjects including literacy and numeracy.
The Preparatory teaching team consists of 12 teachers and co-teachers and specialist teachers from our PE, Mandarin, Art and Music departments. This multi-disciplinary teaching team will plan the entire space in thematic units guided by the new Harbour curriculum framework.
Inspired learning spaces
It takes a village to raise a child. Our Harbour Village campus is designed to as an immersive experience for our little villagers as a tranquil Mediterranean village, dovetailing with the thematic units following the new Harbour curriculum.
The Black Dolphin Cove - life's a beach for every 4 to 6-year old at THS. The Black Dolphin Cove, developed by our talented Art teaching team with our High Schoolers (featured right), is an interactive space for resourceful role-play dedicated to encouraging social-emotional growth, speech, language, problem-solving and cognitive development.
The Backyard - an indoor play space with a treehouse, rope ladder, balance beam and climbing wall designed with input from our PE team to help with fine and gross motor skills development.
The AR wall - an interactive, activity-based augmented reality big screen loaded with more than 200 games for cooperative/team play and active coordination.
The Park - the communal "shared assembly" space is transformed into an indoor park complete with lanes for tricycles, scooters and balance bikes and traffic lights so our students can play-practice road safety.
The Library - it's never too early to establish good reading habits and at THS, reading is made fun with cosy corners and hideaways, a stage, and a puppet theatre to act out stories, guided by teachers and librarian.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How will the Harbour Curriculum prepare our students for Grade 1?
Early childhood marks the beginning of a child’s lifelong learning journey. THS’ new early childhood curriculum framework for children ages 4 to 6 is an educational programme called Harbour developed by our Head of School Dr. Jadis Blurton drawing from the best educational experiences of the U.S. curriculum.
The Harbour curriculum has an interdisciplinary focus where science and social studies are taught in thematic units.
Take for example the unit “Everyday Heroes”. Students might:
Question and discuss what makes someone a hero
Create their own narratives and invent their own heroes
Employ mathematical thinking by looking at an Everyday Hero - say...a builder and learn how he calculates/estimates the number of Lego bricks needed to build a house and/or teach the concept of greater than/less than with Lego bricks
Learn that “heroic” behaviors are not limited to people and learn about the altruistic behavior of humpback whales and dogs
Choose an everyday hero in their community, make a poster about their chosen hero and present to their class about what they’ve learned.
The Harbour curriculum provides the framework, knowledge and content goals within which our Preparatory teaching team plan for and provide enjoyable and appropriately challenging learning experiences that will allow our little learners to grow and develop as competent and confident learners.
The Harbour curriculum describes the types of learning experiences that are important for children in early childhood, content, and goals, and how this learning might be nurtured. A primary feature of the Harbour curriculum is the use of themes that connect with most, if not all, subjects, instead of teaching subjects in isolation.
The thematic units such as Everyday Heroes/Community Helpers, for example, develops the children’s natural dispositions such as:
Curiosity, playfulness and social skills
Nurture attitudes (eg.THS Learner Goals which are integrated within, integrated amongst others, resilient, inquisitive, innovative, perceptive and self-determined)
Nurture values (eg. kindness, respect, and tolerance, care for the environment)
Build knowledge and understanding of their world such as developing a sense of color, shape, and number, learning how things work and that words have meaning, for example, are learning goals which are integrated into the themes.
The overarching THS whole school curriculum framework places emphasis on our students’ well-being first, to nurture their identity and belonging in a global context, grow communication skills, to encourage exploring, develop critical thinking and learn through meaningful interaction and experiences.
2. What are the benefits of mixed-age classrooms?
Children do not separate or organize themselves into age groups and at the workplace, we are expected to work with people of different ages.
Younger children within a composite grade generally aspire to emulate older children in their work, and older children enjoy leadership and mentoring opportunities that lift their self-esteem. It also provides for a wider range of friendship opportunities and encourages co-operation and tolerance which are key THS tenets.
In addition, ability or readiness to learn concepts are not bounded by age and thus, a 4-year-old might be as likely ready to learn the same vocabulary words like a 5 or 6-year-old. It’s down to the individual learner which is why differentiation properly executed, and not simply paid lip-service, is important and having the THS model of high teacher-student ratio is important to be able to teach our students to their best proximal development.
3. What are the school hours?
Monday to Friday, except Wednesday: 8.15AM to 3.15PM
Wednesday: 8.15AM to 12.45PM
4. Are there after school activities?
The Harbour School offer a rich and carefully curated after school program. Please check with Admissions for the updated course list.
5. How do you assess/measure a student’s learning progress?
A child’s learning progress is assessed via teacher observation, progress reports and parent-teacher meetings. At THS, teachers hold consultations with parents/guardians to set and agree on learning goals at the beginning of each term.
6. Will there be opportunities for the Preparatory years to visit THS's other campuses?
Yes, there will be opportunities, timetabled, for the Preparatory years to visit The Grove and for older THS students to mentor, lead and teach their younger schoolmates. The school also runs cross-age activities and programs such as the Book Buddies reading initiative pairing THS High School students with Harbour Village students to boost literacy and foster friendships.
7. Will the Preparatory years have the opportunity to go on the Black Dolphin?
The THS Marine Science curriculum spans from Preparatory to G12. The Black Dolphin is our outdoor classroom which makes learning real and exciting for all our students. Our 4 to 6 year old students have the opportunity to go on the Black Dolphin once a term. The sailboat will be docked when our youngest students visit.
The Harbour Village
THS campus in Kennedy Town called The Harbour Village holds a special place in the history of our school. It is really there, on the second floor of 23 Belcher's Street that Dr. Jadis Blurton's vision to provide high-quality teaching, 21st century learning that engages all children in active, meaningful, hands-on learning experiences took flight.
Our early years curriculum provide developmentally appropriate creative learning experiences and teacher-led instruction in the areas of literacy, oracy and written expression in Literacy, Mandarin, Numeracy, Social Studies, Science, social-emotional development and THS's Seven Learner Goals.
With the expansion of THS into two Ap Lei Chau campuses, the Kennedy Town campus remains the home of its Preparatory students.