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Outstanding School Awards (OSA) Domain 2 Teaching and Learning Outstanding School Awards De-briefing for the School Sector Domain 2 Content Presenter 1.Introduction Mrs Sylvia Cheung 2.Curriculum Mrs Sylvia Cheung

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Outstanding School Awards (OSA)

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outstanding school awards osa

Outstanding School Awards(OSA)

Domain 2

Teaching and Learning

outstanding school awards de briefing for the school sector domain 2
Outstanding School Awards De-briefing for the School Sector Domain 2

Content Presenter

1.Introduction Mrs Sylvia Cheung

2.Curriculum Mrs Sylvia Cheung

3.Class teaching & learning Mrs Judy Chua

Mr Yeung Veng Meng

4.Assessment Mr Koo Chao Ming

5.Other Observations Dr Chong Lap Chun

Mrs Grace Yung

6.Strengths and Areas for Further Development Professor John Lee

7.Question and Answer Session


25 grade descriptors:

  • Curriculum management, planning and organisation; Class teaching and learning.


Class Teaching and Learning


An outstanding school:

(a) a curriculum that is well-structured and balanced, with continuity and cross-subject co-ordination;

(b) an effective curriculum monitoring and review system under which all teachers are involved in developing realistic performance goals and associated targets in teaching and learning;

(c) teaching that is effective in developing students’ knowledge, higher order thinking (such as critical thinking), creativity, self-learning skills and positive learning attitudes;

(d) a mechanism which enables the sharing of good teaching practices among teachers and provides prompt and supportive feedback on their performance;

(e) clear policy and support for teachers to set consistent and attainable expectations for students, cater for individual differences, and create a liberal and open learning atmosphere; and

(f) assessment policy and system that cater for the different needs and abilities of students and provide feedback effectively to students, parents and teachers for improvement of teaching.

  • Generally speaking, many nominated schools had put a lot of efforts into curriculum planning and implementation, particularly in taking forward new curriculum reform initiatives, sometimes in partnership with outside experts from tertiary institutions.
A special school for the mild-grade mentally handicapped children had a focused mission of equipping students with the necessary skills and abilities so as to prepare them for future employment and independent living. Relevant subject teachers developed curriculum goals in alignment with the school mission and practices.
In a primary school, a “3P” approach (Purpose, Process and Product) was adopted to provide an overall framework for curriculum management and implementation.
Another primary school offered a variety of programmes and initiatives, e.g. environmental education, cross-curricular activities, gifted education programmes, creative teaching activities, IT education, etc. to provide balanced and continuous opportunities for students’ all-round development.
A kindergarten tried new concepts and introduced new elements to its curriculum. Instead of using textbooks, the kindergarten designed its own teaching materials and developed its own school-based curriculum. Class-based textbooks using teachers and students as “actors” in the books were used.
Schools tended to pay more attention to the delivery of academic knowledge than to the all-round development of students. More attention should be paid to setting curriculum goals that are well defined and articulated.
The Adjudication Panel found that teachers generally supported new reform initiatives and were willing to experiment with new ideas and methods. However, they seem to have difficulties in puttingthe curriculum ideas into full practicewith sufficient focus on the academic and professional aspects.
The Adjudication Panel recommends that, in carrying out curriculum innovations, school management should involve teachers in the developmental stage, familiarize them with the initiatives and gain their support at the outset.
Class Teaching and Learning
  • The Adjudication Panel found that the award-winning schools had put a lot of efforts into developing students’ knowledge, higher order thinking, creativity, and self-learning skills.
For example, a primary school employed a dual strategy (“walking by two legs” approach) which put equal emphasis on developing students’ basic skills and core competencies through traditional methods on one hand, and developing their higher order thinking skills through innovative teaching approach like project work on the other.
Another primary school offered programmes on multiple intelligences for all students and remedial classes for the low achievers.
  • In another primary school, an interactive approach was adopted for teaching, with IT being an integral part of the curriculum.
Students learned to apply their IT knowledge to doing their class work and gathering information through the Internet. Innovative IT projects funded by the Quality Education Fund were implemented. Outside experts were invited to conduct workshops on creative teaching for teachers.
The Adjudication Panel observed that in many nominated schools, teachers collaborated in developing teaching strategies for lessons. This approach has the advantage of pooling ideas together through collaboration.
  • Many teachers used project work to encourage students to search for information themselves and be more actively engaged in learning.
The Adjudication Panel noted a common reliance on textbooks. More adaptations or modifications would be needed for schools to take care of students who excelled or those who needed extra help.
  • Not enough emphasis on cross-subject co-ordination in teaching and learning.
Teachers generally worked diligently, made adequate preparation for lesson and carried out their teaching plan with dedication and enthusiasm. However, students were observed to play a rather passive role in class, whereas they were expected to be actively engaged in the learning process.
Many nominated schools had begun to develop a culture of learning and sharing. Collaborative lesson planning, group teaching and peer lesson observation had taken place. Such practices improved communication among teachers and facilitated the sharing of skills and ideas. In some schools, experienced teachers acted as mentor and provided guidance for new teachers.
In many nominated schools, lesson observation was mostly conducted by the school head.
  • The classroom climate was generally orderly and harmonious. Students were well behaved. Some of the classes were impressive, with lively atmosphere and active student learning observed by the adjudicators.
Some schools regularly published compendiums of exemplary work of students as a means to encourage students and enhance peer learning. Students in some schools acted as “little teachers” to help their schoolmates, thereby contributing to a supportive peer learning environment.
In one primary school, students were free to engage in learning activities during recess. They could use the central library or multi-media learning centre. In one kindergarten, students were allowed forty-five minutes of free time to explore and play in any part of the kindergarten every morning before the start of lessons.
The Adjudication Panel noted that some of the school improvement projects were more geared to the upgrading of existing hardware than to enhancing teaching and learning effectiveness.
  • Encouraged parents to get involved in students’ work at home and participated in school’s activities.
  • Schools in general had a well-established assessment mechanism for providing feedback on students’ performance to parents and students. Such mechanism enabled objective reporting of students’ performance and conduct.
In some cases, particularly for kindergartens and primary schools, both teachers and parents would provide assessment of the performance of students, especially in non-academic aspects, on the same document, e.g. student handbook
The Adjudication Panel observed that some teachers had a tendency to focus on assessing students’ learning outcomes rather than evaluating the effectiveness of their teaching.
Evidence showed that measures for improvement were sometimes suggested during the meetings. In cases of poor performance, teachers would generally take appropriate actions, such as counseling the students and meeting with their parents. Some teachers even took the initiative to contact all parents early in the school term, asking for their co-operation and support for the benefit of their children’s learning.
In a special school, expectations of students’ performance were conveyed to parents and students through the “Data Pac” scheme.
  • Some schools had made attempts to improve the format of the report cards
  • Another primary school used a formative assessment report based on that of the Target-Oriented Curriculum
A kindergartenrevised the format of its student assessment report to provide more detailed and comprehensive information on student’s performance in different aspects
The assessments carried out in most schools were geared towards ranking students by performance, whereas assessment should be conceptually treated as an integral part of teaching and learning and a means of diagnosing learning problems, providing feedback on the learning process to teachers and students, and helping to promote further learning.
Other Observations

Strengths and Areas for Further Development



  • Efforts were demonstrated by schools in curriculum planning and implementation and in taking forward new initiatives with the support of teachers.
Efforts were shown in designing school-based curriculum catering for the needs of students.
  • There was evidence of cross-subject co-ordination in curriculum planning and implementation.
Areas for Further Development
  • Put more focus on the all-round development of students instead of the delivery of academic knowledge.
  • Set curriculum goals that are well-defined and in line with the school’s vision and mission.
Consider how the new curriculum initiatives could address school-based needs and fit into the overall curriculum framework.
  • Carry out systematic and rigorous evaluation of the overall curriculum design, process and outcomes of implementation.
Class Teaching and Learning


  • There was evidence of peer lesson observation and collaborative lesson preparation.
  • Many schools made use of project approach and IT to facilitate learning.
Efforts were made in teaching higher order thinking and self-learning skills.
  • Many schools made good use of physical environment to enhance student learning.
  • Most schools provided a supportive learning environment for students through peer learning and involvement of parents in school’s activities.
Areas for Further Development
  • Introduce more flexibility and variety in teaching strategies.
  • Focus more on addressing individual students’ needs.
Develop more school-based teaching materials instead of relying on textbooks.
  • Adopt a student-centred approach to teaching, with more interaction between teacher and students.
  • Put more focus on enhancing teaching and learning instead of upgrading facilities.
Conduct more in-depth discussions of issues and problems relating to teaching and learning among teachers.


  • Many schools had well-established mechanisms for providing feedback on students’ performance to parents and students.
Many schools made efforts to explain assessment policy to parents and involve them in assessing the performance of students, especially in non-academic aspects.
  • Many schools made efforts to improve the format of students’ assessment reports to cover development in various domains of development.
Areas for Further Development
  • Put more focus on exploring ways to enhance students learning based on assessment results.
  • Use assessment as a means of diagnosing students’ learning problems instead of ranking students according to their performance.