Ask any Hong Kong parent what the number one priority is for their children and they’ll inevitably tell you that it’s education. But in a city where every second bus carries an advert for a super-tutor, how do you choose the right learning support for your child? We’ve sifted through to find some of the best classes, playgroups and private tuition in Hong Kong. They’ll be skipping into that double Maths class before you know it!
Conveniently located in Repulse Bay, Happy Valley and Sai Kung, Anastassia’s Art House offers children’s art classes for 3-16 year olds. The in-house artists at Anastassia’s aim to help kids explore their creativity and to provide children with a good knowledge of technique and art history.
Faust runs drama and performing arts workshops for kids from 3 to 18 years old at school locations around Hong Kong and Kowloon, and now also from a dedicated studio space in Sheung Wan. With drama and film acting classes, as well as regular holiday programmes and a weekly youth theatre workshop, there is something for every young thespian here.
Thinking of a head start for Junior on ‘Hong Kong’s Got Talent’? Check out Katterwall, whose Hullaballoo young choir encourages 5 to 7 year olds to exercise those vocal chords in a weekly group singing and music class. The Katterwall Children’s’ Music Theatre meets every Saturday and is aimed at 8 to 11 year olds, focusing on drama games, improvisation, script and song. Incidentally, if all those episodes of Glee have you serenading the TV, they offer adult choir sessions too!
Over to Kids’ Gallery at either Coda Plaza, Central or in Kowloon Tong, where there’s a great range of creative arts courses for all age groups. Early Learners classes include Bookstart, an introduction to storytelling featuring classic and contemporary children’s books from 12 months up to 2.5 years. Kids from 2.5 up to 16 can choose from a selection of Communication, Visual or Performing art classes that includes Graphic Design, Public Speaking, and Rock and Pop Vocals, to name but a few.
Causeway Bay’s Little Kingdom has plenty of classes aimed at the youngest members of the family. The popular Kindermusik programme for babies from newborn to 3 years encourages young learning and development through music and motion. Baby Ballet from 14 months to 2 years helps toddlers to increase their range of movement using fun props such as teddy bears and scarves. From toddling to en pointe in no time!
With regular classes plus plenty of summer camps and workshops, Little Picasso in Ap Lei Chau was founded on the philosophy of Pablo Picasso; “Every child is an artist. The problem is how do we hold onto it as we grow up?” With that in mind, artist and teacher Lindy Moran gently encourages and guides youngsters to harness their creativity with exciting themed workshops. The upcoming semester focuses on animals and uses a variety of different mediums to create memorable artwork.
British Tutors offer one-to-one tuition in a range of subjects but with a particular focus on, you guessed it, English. Covering phonics, grammar and even the study of Shakespeare, British Tutors can help with English Language and Literature study at your home or theirs.
HK Kidz is run by the Hong Kong Institute for Languages and offers language classes and tailor-made tuition in English, French, German, Spanish and Mandarin for children aged from 18 months up to 12 years old. Courses are designed to be fun and interactive and to engender a love of language learning from a young age. There are regular immersion programmes and holiday workshops for older kids who want to get a bit more involved and the Institute also runs adult language courses so the whole family can brush up their linguistic skills at the same time!
Mandarin for Munchkins classes are taught by experienced Chinese teachers and lessons instil a practical knowledge of the language in Munchkins from 12 months up. Using songs, stories and games, the programme makes learning Mandarin accessible, intuitive and enjoyable.
An innovative approach to language learning over at Mandarin Town helps kids to learn via their play gym. Exercise routines, games and challenges are conducted in Mandarin and communicating in Chinese is strongly encouraged. They also offer Mandarin birthday parties, with exclusive use of the play gym and experienced teachers to lead the fun.
Over at Fortress Hill, French Touch’s native speaking teachers run group French classes for all, from babies to adults. They’ll assist secondary students with everything from conversational to university entrance exam-level French and can also arrange private classes for in-depth tuition. The centre’s Le Salon offers a good selection of books about France in French, English and Chinese.
Maths and Science
ITS Hong Kong is a registered school offering courses and tuition in more or less every subject you can imagine! High-level Maths and Science tuition is available for IGCSE, A Level, HKCEE, International Baccalaureate and University Entrance, and their website has a vast range of online resources, from educational games to Calculus programmes. Based in Sheung Wan and Mong Kok, their online course timetable is updated daily.
Encouraging a scientific way of thinking about the world from as young as 2 years, Science Workshop work with schools and offer tutoring workshops and holiday science camps. With programmes such as Sciencesploration and Math Strategies designed to complement US, UK and IB programmes, kids develop their technical knowledge of Science and Maths subjects with fun, hands-on experiments.
Akademikas provide subject tutoring, educational counselling, core skills training and study groups across a broad range of subjects. Their Maths and Science programmes include Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Calculus and Statistics, as well as General Science and Maths. The Akademik club is the ideal bridge between home and school, with distraction-free facilities and experienced education consultants on hand to offer encouragement and mentoring.
For all the gen on how to get them active, whatever their sport, check out our full guide to Kids Sports in Hong Kong.
We think that the good old YWCA is a one-stop shop for the best range of interest classes in town. If your little one wants to dabble in a new subject without the pressure of exams or certificates, head on up to the Y for a full menu of creative activities. Pitter Painter offers kids a fun introduction to art, Kids Can Cook helps them to get hands-on with food and sends them home with delicious treats for parents to sample too! Creative Writing explores the process behind writing, with plenty of discussion and sharing of ideas within small groups, whilst Book Club encourages the slow appreciation of a good tale, all the while helping to understand the structure behind the story. That’s before we even get started on the Music and various Dance and Sports classes! For a copy of the autumn programme, pop into the MacDonnell Road office or check out the website.
Thanks to our Sassy Mama contributor Kate Farr for this fab roundup.