Curriculum Overview

An old adage states: Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand. The last part of this statement is the essence of inquiry-based learning.

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum at MHIS is designed to help every student acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to reach their full potential. The program of learning will be coherent, relevant, and age appropriate. We will design the learning process to be consistent with the Mission of the School and by doing so students will be challenged to become critical thinking, self-actualized problem solvers and compassionate global citizens. Knowledge is not only imparted for knowledge's sake. Critical thinking speaks to the importance of using that knowledge to further develop the skills of analysis, synthesis, application and communication.

Curriculum in the Pre-School program and in the Lower School will be internally designed. However, we will draw curriculum strands and content from the "Full Day Early-Learning Program" and from "The Ontario Curriculum: Elementary" Both are published by the Ministry of Education in Ontario (Canada). We will also draw curriculum strands and content from the Chinese Primary School curriculum.

Much of our pedagogical approach in the Pre-School and Lower School will be derived from the International Baccalaureate's PYP program. The approach speaks to the need to build a child-centered program of learning through inquiry and to balance that with guided and explicit instruction. The multi-pronged or holistic approach calls us to identify standards which define what we want students to understand (knowledge), be able to do (skills), and how to act (attitudes).

Upon entry into the Upper School in Grade 7, it is our intention that all MHIS students will be fully enrolled in the International Baccalaureate's MYP Program. Curriculum content under the compulsory Chinese junior high secondary education (grades 7, 8 and 9) would also be integrated into the MYP years of grades 7, 8 and 9; thus enabling Chinese national students to take the Graduation Examination of Junior High School and receive a Certificate of Graduation.

In Grade 11, it is our expectation that all students would be fully registered in the IB Diploma program. Upon graduation with an IB Diploma, we will have provided for all of our international and Chinese students the gold standard passport necessary for admission into top tier colleges and universities in English-speaking countries worldwide.

And, with significant emphasis on language development we expect that students who graduate from Mission Hills International School will be fluent in Chinese and English.

  • Putonghua and English Mastery

    We believe that meaningful and early exposure to more than one language will provide our students with advanced cognitive development. Language instruction will not be taught in isolation but will be a natural part of everyday interaction. All students will pursue a single program taught in both Chinese (Mandarin) and English. Bilingual mastery of Chinese and English is the goal for every student. The time devoted to each language is dependent on the age of the student with the ratio shifting as the student advances from the Early Childhood program to the Lower School and to the Upper School.

    Specifically, in the Pre-School School Program (K1 – K3), our ratio of Chinese/English instruction is 50/50. In the Lower School (Grades 1 – 6) the division will also be 50/50. Upon entry into the Upper School the balance is shifted in favor of English with the introduction of the International Baccalaureate's Middle Years (MYP) and Diploma Programs (DP). In Grade 7 and 8 the model supports Chinese to English in a 30/70 proportion and in Grades 9 - 12 Chinese is mainly taught as one among the subject areas although we envisage a dual language humanities course to be offered.

    With recognition that language acquisition and development has a social dimension, all students will be encouraged to work, learn and play together using the primary language emphasized within their year.

    Beginner Level Chinese classes will be offered at various grade levels for students new to the school. Therefore, students without prior knowledge or experience with Chinese language may apply. Similarly, beginner English will be offered a various grade levels for students new to the school; hence, students with less English exposure may apply.