Beyond the classroom

At FIS, we believe that education does not just happen in the classroom – far from it. That is why activities, clubs and trips are an integral part of our approach to learning, giving students the opportunity to grow as individuals, explore areas of interest and broaden their horizons.

FIS houses

The house system was first introduced in primary, in the international stream, before being implemented in secondary in 2018. It was also developed in the French stream on the Tseung Kwan O campus. In this system, students in different streams come together within their FIS houses to work on shared projects.

For those unfamiliar with the house system, an Anglo-Saxon tradition, the school is divided into groups called “houses”. Each student is randomly assigned to a house when they enrol, staying in the same house for the duration of their time at FIS. Though students with siblings at the school join their siblings’ house. Houses compete against one another in sports and other activities.

This system helps students to develop team spirit as well as a sense of identity that connects them to the wider school community, across year groups and ages and beyond their own class.

In secondary, students nominate house captains. This provides students with an opportunity to develop their leadership skills and competitive spirit.

There are four different houses:

  • Sapphire Dragons
  • Emerald Snakes
  • Golden Phoenixes
  • Ruby Pandas

FIS clubs

Each year, FIS hosts around 15 different clubs focusing on a wide range of areas and projects. Clubs are created and led by staff and students who volunteer to share their interests with others.

Model United Nations club

The Model United Nations (MUN) club has been active in FIS for more than a decade and is one of the most popular clubs among upper secondary students. It is open to students in the French and international streams.

Model United Nations conferences are supported and encouraged by the United Nations (UN) and are well-regarded by international schools and universities around the world.

Students take on a UN delegate role and are assigned a country and a UN Committee, such as Human Rights, Environment, ECOSOC, Disarmament or the Security Council. They are given a list of diverse, often complex topics to be debated. And they draft resolutions which must define the problems and suggest solutions, all while adhering to UN guidelines in terms of phrasing, format and so on.

Computer programming club

The computer programming club aims to develop students’ computer literacy and coding abilities. Students learn programming, problem solving and algorithmic thinking as they work on solutions to a variety of challenges. They are also encouraged to start their own projects and develop creative designs. Students have the opportunity to solve computing problems and participate in computing competitions.

Debate club

The debate team gives students the opportunity to defend and challenge ideas and develop their public speaking skills. Students learn the foundations of debating and hone their skills as they work towards competing against some of Hong Kong’s best debaters. They participate in tournaments such as the World Scholar’s Cup and the HK Schools Debating Championship. Students do not need to have previous debating experience to join, but must demonstrate their interest in participating.

Student governance

Every year, primary and secondary students on each campus elect student representatives. This process teaches them to exercise their rights and duties as citizens.

Student representatives have the opportunity to participate in school projects, to talk with senior staff and to make decisions as part of its governing bodies (lower secondary school council, upper secondary school council, student voice council, campus council and school council).

From 2020-2021, each year group in secondary (French stream and international stream) also elects eco-delegates. Eco-delegates meet to discuss topics that their year group and classmates find pertinent, along with the sustainable development guidelines to implement at FIS.

In addition, during their schooling, we encourage students to take the lead on various projects, such as clubs, prevention activities and fundraising.

Lower secondary school council

The lower secondary school council comprises eight students (four from the French stream and four from the international stream). It is a governing body which encourages lower secondary students to get involved in school life. Throughout the year, the council organises discussions with the aim of improving the school’s operations and everyday conditions for students.

Upper secondary school council

The upper secondary school council comprises 10 students (seven from the French stream and three from the international stream) and 10 adult volunteers (such as teachers, parents or the principal). It is a governing body where upper secondary students are part of the decision-making process. The council can debate issues relating to upper secondary students’ school work and everyday conditions. The FIS board consults the council when they need to discuss one of these topics.

The council vice chair is an upper secondary student elected for a one year period from student representatives and council members.

Committee on health education and citizenship education (CESC)

The school’s leadership team is responsible for steering the health education and citizenship committee (CESC). Chaired by the Head of FIS, it comprises teaching, school support and health care staff representatives, parent representatives and class representatives from lower and upper secondary. The CESC was formed to reflect, monitor and suggest. It designs, implements and reviews educational projects contained in the school development plan in terms of citizen education, health education and violence prevention.  

As part of its work, students participate in drug and alcohol prevention programmes, visit prisons and attend talks on managing stress and wellbeing at school.

Lectures and training sessions

Each year, FIS organises many lectures and training sessions for students as well as for teaching staff and parents.

Teachers attend talks from experts such as psychiatrists and specialised doctors on topics like neuroscience, supporting gifted students, teaching in the 21st century and exploring the adolescent brain.

Students have the opportunity to take part in many training sessions which will help prepare them for adult life. Some examples of topics addressed are: conflict resolution, stress management, preventive health care and health promotion activities, artificial intelligence and climate change.

School trips and outings

FIS encourages students in each stream to go beyond their home turf, to work together and to excel in a large range of activities beyond the classroom. These activities enrich students’ education and allow them to broaden their horizons.

In the international stream, Year 9 students go on a 20-day school trip to France. This helps them improve French language skills and build confidence in speaking French.

In Year 12, all students take part in a week of activities in the mountains of northern Thailand. This trip gives students the chance to try out several different activities, develop their teamwork skills, try their hand at teaching English in a local Thai primary school and help with charitable projects such as building or painting local schools.

Outings and school trips are an important part of the learning process. Whether geological, linguistic, or environmental in focus, each school trip combines sports, recreational and educational activities.