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Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong interview with Founding Principal

By ITS Education Asia

Get the inside story on what makes Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong such an inspiring place to be. #sponsoredpost #WASHK #Internationalschools

Wycombe Abbey Hong Kong is making waves as an international school that encourages children to be creative, innovative and curious through its inspiring educational programme. We chat with Howard Tuckett, Founding Principal, to get the inside story on what makes the school so special. Watch our chat with Howard Tuckett and find out more about Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong in his full interview below.


Could you tell us about how Wycombe Abbey has grown and succeeded since it opened?

Wycombe Abbey first opened its doors to pupils on 5 September 2019. During the first term numbers grew from an initial fifty children up to eighty, shortly after Christmas. Like all other schools in Hong Kong we suffered some disruption since the autumn through civil unrest and then the Coronavirus. Despite these difficulties, interest in our school is very high and we continue to meet and assess aspiring pupils and their parents. We are delighted with our beautiful building, our peaceful location and the excellence of our carefully selected teaching staff.

Tell us about your journey in the field of education and how were chosen as the Founding Headmaster of Wycombe Abbey.

I was educated in England and South Africa. For the past twenty years I have been an independent preparatory school Headteacher, (IAPS) and an Independent Schools’ inspector (ISI). I have been privileged to lead two outstanding Prep schools as well as to assist the work of many other preparatory headteachers. I was honoured to be approached with the opportunity to found Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong. I believe I was asked to take up this role because of my expertise in private primary education and my experience in preparing pupils and their parents for entry into independent secondary schools.


What do you enjoy about being at Wycombe Abbey?

The fact that we have such a beautiful, brand new school, with a new staff team who are all settling down very well together in the face of quite a challenging year for Hong Kong.


Could you tell us what differentiates Wycombe Abbey from other international schools?

We are not an international school. Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong is a private school for all Hong Kong children. We have no nationality/passport quotas to restrict entry. Most international schools teach IB. We teach British National Curriculum, which has been culturally adapted in content to match our Hong Kong location. We prepare children for the British Common Entrance examination for those who wish to enter British independent senior schools.


Are there any interesting developments we can look forward to?

Yes, plenty. We are currently applying to increase our age range up to 13+, to assist those Hong Kong students who are going to join UK boarding schools at 13+

We are also completing the final phase of our campus, which is a large outdoor multi-sports area. When our students return from the shut-down, we will be offering individual music lessons in all sorts of different orchestral instruments.


How do you approach student well-being at Wycombe Abbey?

For students to do well at school they need to be in a secure and positive frame of mind. Children need to be taught how to develop rigor and self-confidence. Apart from our very active pastoral care system, which runs throughout the school, we teach personal and social health and well-being, (PSHE), which includes learning how to be safe and secure whilst on-line.


How do your teachers engage students in the classrooms and build a love for learning?

Each one of our teachers was selected from a large field of applicants for their proven ability in engaging children in their learning. Our teachers are highly effective in setting up learning activities that engage children individually and collaboratively. All of this takes place in a secure and nurturing atmosphere that celebrates and encourages success and one that promotes development through experimenting and, trying again


What suggestions would you give parents who are seeking an international education for their children?

There is a huge range of excellent schools to choose from. Don’t fall into the trap of just aiming to enter a well-known school. For your child’s education to have the best chance of optimum success, it is a case of finding the school that suits your child best. Making such a school will require a lot of investigation, and research. Go and speak to Headteachers directly, they will be able to explain about the specific characteristics, facilities, plans for the future, curriculum, company management, staff retention, resources and learning philosophies of their school. Make sure you go on a tour of the school campus during the teaching day. As you tour a school don’t just focus on what the teachers are doing, look carefully at what children are engaged in as you go around. Ask yourself; are pupils achieving something? Look for indications of regular engagement in collaborative thinking and problem-solving activities.



Dulwich College Singapore

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

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