The outdoors is an integral part of ICHK Hong Lok Yuen’s identity. Research has proven that regular time in natural environments brings immense benefits to mental and physical health and is an essential part of wellbeing. Our approach is to give students the best outdoor learning environment available in Hong Kong so that they can learn happily and flourish.
A beautiful campus
Nestled in a valley in an accessible part of the New Territories, Hong Lok Yuen is known for its green spacious surroundings and is a far cry from the rest of the concrete jungle. Our extensive outdoor learning areas provide abundant space and fresh air for children to thrive.
The school’s giant natural playing field, a one-of-a-kind space for a Primary school in Hong Kong, gives students unrivalled opportunities for active play and sports. This is complemented by the Kindergarten playground, back garden, play apparatus, the mini-forest, the school playground, outdoor forest classroom and nature area “The Woods”.
An outdoor learning programme like no other
We follow an innovative, educational approach to outdoor play in our beautiful environment. Our teachers make good use of our grounds whenever possible to allow students greater space and freedom. Outdoor learning is a central pillar of the school’s curriculum and draws inspiration from play-based, Forest School and holistic learning approaches.
In Kindergarten, students learn through daily play outdoors in the front and back garden. This holistic approach to learning enables children to develop critical physical, social and emotional skills in a hands-on environment. From a young age, students are encouraged to develop a connection with nature, to enjoy getting muddy, and to play in all types of weather.
In Primary, students take part in lessons run by the school’s Outdoor Learning team. These sessions make full use of the school’s outdoor learning facilities to give students unique learning opportunities linked to different areas of the curriculum. Shelter building, gardening, outdoor science, fire lighting and woodworking are just a few of the special skills children will acquire during their outdoor learning sessions. These activities are planned in conjunction with each year level’s units of inquiry so students can make meaningful connections with their in-class learning.
Another distinctive part of the outdoor learning programme is caring for the school’s mini forest. Established in 2021, this area behind the school field contains over 350 local trees planted by students using the Miyawaki method, a type of forest that grows up to ten times the natural rate. Through looking after the forest, students learn about sustainable living and how to develop an attitude of care and concern for the environment.
Study trips and camps
Outdoor study trips are often the highlights of our students’ Primary school experiences. Our school’s close proximity to natural areas in the New Territories allows for memorable outdoor excursions connecting a wide range of subject areas such as geography, history and natural sciences. A progression of overnight camps from Years 3-6 gives students further opportunities to develop independence and stretch them outside of their comfort zone.
A special type of day-trip for our Y3-6 students are outdoor days hosted by our secondary school. These outdoor learning experiences are hosted by ICHK Secondary’s experienced outdoor teachers and facilitated by their own secondary student leaders.
The school places great emphasis on employing the best outdoor educators. Our outdoor team possesses a wealth of experience in both education and the outdoors. They regularly continue to attend professional development. All of our outdoor teachers, as well as many of our class teachers hold Level 3 Forest School Leader, Wilderness First Aid and Bronze Medallion (Lifesaving) qualifications.