The secondary curriculum is a broad and balanced education which aims to prepare students for university and other forms of higher education, largely in English-speaking countries across the world and in Hong Kong. Over ninety percent of our students follow this path to some of the most prestigious universities in the world. We also pride ourselves on providing an appropriate curriculum for students for whom a purely academic pathway is not appropriate.

Years 7 & 8 (10 to 13 years old)

In preparing for this, students in Years 7 and 8 study English, Mathematics, the Sciences, the Humanities, the Creative Arts, Physical Education, Design-Technology, Information Technology and Languages (usually one or two choices from Chinese, French, Spanish and Japanese). In addition, students will have a form tutor who will take care of their pastoral needs and monitor their academic and personal progress and achievements through the year. If necessary, support is offered in improving their English to achieve a higher academic standard. Extra-curricular sports, outdoor activities, environmental and community service, music and the arts are available and encouraged.

Years 9, 10 & 11 (14 to 16 years old)

From Year 9 to year 11 students take either UK GCSEs or International GCSE courses. All students study English Language, and most study English Literature unless they need further support with English Language. Mathematics and Sciences courses are also compulsory. All students have Physical Education at least once a week. By the end of year 9, students have the opportunity to select between four and six options from a broad range of subjects. All subjects studied in the previous years are available, as well as Economics and Business Studies. Media Studies and Psychology may be available in some schools. Tutors support students with personal and social education and monitor their academic progress as well as their completion of significant examination coursework. There is the opportunity to participate in the Hong Kong Award for Young People, which involves outdoor adventure and the development of new skills. Students can also become further involved in community service, sporting activities, music, theatre and visual art.

Download the ESF Secondary Curriculum - Years 7 to 11 Brochure - Further details on how this is developing.


Years 12 & 13 (16 to 19 years old)

At all levels we seek to differentiate the curriculum to cater for all students. The main pathways offered to students in Years 12 and 13 are the IB Diploma Pathway and the Applied Learning Pathway, though highly personalised pathways are also provided for a small number of students with high levels of special needs. All of these pathways provide opportunities for a broad and balanced education. Students are counselled on an individual basis to follow the pathway most appropriate for them. This involves encouraging students to consider their personal interests, preferred learning styles and career aspirations before making their decisions.

The IB Diploma allows students to study six subjects, generally three at higher level and three at standard level. In addition, students study a Theory of Knowledge course and complete an Extended Essay and a Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) component; these all give students opportunities to excel in different fields and to pursue their own interests. Further information can be found at

The Applied Learning Pathway has the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualifications at its core and has been developed over the past few years to meet the needs of students who enjoy and do best at more practical styles of learning. Some of our highest achievers at GCSE choose this pathway over the IB Diploma in order to specialise in a particular area of interest as preparation for university and beyond.

In September 2014, Renaissance College added Hong Kong's first International Baccalaureate Career-related Certificate Programme (IBCP). This offers a specialist programme for Creative Arts and Design in conjunction with Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Hong Kong.

For press release on the launch of the IBCP, please click here.  

Download the ESF Secondary Curriculum - Years 12 to 13 Brochure

Click here to know more about Applied Learning.

Click here to view the video about the ESF Applied Learning Programmes.

Applied Learning Programmes on offer in each school in the 2014-15 academic year