Hope High School

Your Growth is Our Success.


Hope High School is a private high school of 1,200 students in Shanghai, China. The school is for Chinese high school students, whose age ranging from 16 to 18. The purpose of Hope High School is to help the students to grow holistically as a person.Students' well-being is always the priority of Hope High School.

picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westport,_Connecticut

The aim of education is growth. – John Dewey

Philosophy of Hope High School

We believe that a good education helps students make sense of the world and find their way in it. The experience of education should be done well with the students’ well-being in the mind. (Rose, 2014)

Therefore, the foundation of the decision-making for Hope High School is child-centered. It means that all the decisions are made for the best of students. Students' well-being is always the priority of Hope High School.

picture: https://clouducation.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/philosophy-of-education/

Philosophy of Learning in Hope High School

What is the purpose of learning?

We believe only when students can apply their knowledge and skills in a substantial and meaningful way, they have learnt something. Although one has learnt how to read and write in elementary school, it wasn’t until his reading and writing were put to use in substantial and meaningful ways that they became more powerful, weighty, and developed critical depth. (Rose, 2014)

This logic can be applied to all the learning experience. The outcome is that our students will develop a sense of themselves as knowledgeable and capable of using what they know, which means, in other words, that they are confident about surviving in the society.

Mission Statement: Your growth is our success.

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Purpose of Hope High School

We believe that the aim of education is growth, which is originally stated by John Dewey.

As Dewey insisted, growth is its own end; that is, to ask “growth toward what?” is inconsistent with the concept of growth because growth tends toward more growth.(Noddings, 2012)

The purpose of Hope High School is to help the students to grow holistically as a person. The growth here refers to holistic growth as a person, rather than growth in a single perspective, such as growth in knowledge. We believe that growing as a person necessarily requires both academic and vocational knowledge. However, it is the academic curriculum, not the vocational, that has gotten identified as the place where intelligence is manifest. (Rose, 2014) Therefore, Hope High School is aiming for helping students to grow not only in the traditional academic field, but in the vocational field as well.

What unique about the purpose of Hope High School is that we believe there is another skill that is neither included in the academic field nor included in the vocational field, but so important that has to be included in holistic growth – the ability of interacting with people effectively. As one always lives as a member of a group, knowing how to interact with people effectively, we believe, is one of the most important skills that allow one to survive in a society. Therefore, Hope High School is also aiming for helping students to improve their ability of interacting with people effectively.

Size and Structure of Hope High School

Hope High School is structured in traditional grade levels. Students are divided in tutor groups in their grade. One teacher is in charge of a tutor group and each tutor group are almost the same size, which is controlled between 35 to 40 students.

The reason behind this design is that Hope High School is aiming for helping students to improve their ability of interacting with people effectively, as stated in the purpose of Hope High School.

First of all, in contrast to the“elite education”claimed by some schools that it would be better off for students to study in small groups, we believe that studying in big groups can help students improve their ability of interacting with people effectively. Each tutor group is like a small society where students learn and practice how to interact with people effectively through daily events.

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Curriculum: classical liberal curriculum –adapted from IB curriculum

The curriculum is made up of three required components, three must-taken subjects and three other subjects chosen from three specific subject groups.

The three core elements are:

1. Theory of knowledge, in which students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know.

2. The extended essay, which is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.

3. Creativity, action, service, in which students complete a project related to those three concepts.

The three must-taken subjects: Chinese, Mathematics, English (taken in the designated classroom in the form of tutor groups)

The three subject groups are: Individuals and societies, Sciences, The arts (move around to different classrooms designated for different courses)

There are different courses within each subject group of Individuals and societies, Sciences, The arts. Except the three must-taken subjects, students must also choose one course within each subject group.

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Philosophy behind the curriculum

Throughout the history, we can see that the focus of education is shifting closer and closer to economic concerns. Starting for the Progressive Era, which represented an effort to respond to a new era of industrial development and urban growth, education is aligned with the needs of the economy. While pedagogical progressivism focus more inside the classroom and on kindred issues of personal growth and understanding, administrative progressivism devotes greater attention to matters outside the classroom and questions concerning the organization of schools. (Rury, 2013)

The curriculum used in Hope High School combines concerns from both pedagogical progressivism and administrative progressivism. While the six subjects take care of the traditional academic concerns, the three core elements help students to develop their vocational skills outside the classroom as much as possible.

Standards for curriculum

IB curriculum standards are used in Hope High School.

For example, students are required to study algebra, functions, vectors, equations, statistics, probability and calculus under the subject of mathematics.

Assessment objectives for mathematics include knowledge and understanding, problem-solving, communication and interpretation, technology, reasoning and inquiry approaches.

Expected outcomes for mathematics include 1. enjoy mathematics, and develop an appreciation of the elegance and power of mathematics 2. develop an understanding of the principles and nature of mathematics 3. communicate clearly and confidently in a variety of contexts 4. develop logical, critical and creative thinking, and patience and persistence in problem-solving 5. employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalization 6. apply and transfer skills to alternative situations, to other areas of knowledge and to future developments 7. appreciate how developments in technology and mathematics have influenced each other 8. appreciate the moral, social and ethical implications arising from the work of mathematicians and the applications of mathematics 9. appreciate the international dimension in mathematics through an awareness of the universality of mathematics and its multicultural and historical perspectives 10. appreciate the contribution of mathematics to other disciplines, and as a particular “area of knowledge” in the TOK course.

(cited from Mathematics SL Guide First Examinations 2014)

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Diversity in Hope High School

As the target of Hope High School is Chinese high school students, the only ethnic group in the school is Chinese. However, it does not mean Hope High School does not embrace and teach about diversity. The diversity in Hope High School is achieved through affirmative action towards Chinese students from low-income families.

Affirmative action can be seen as a goal-oriented policy to monitor the operations of institutions so that the injustices can be reduced to the least in the condition that discrimination is hard to be detected. (Tatum, 2003)

We believe that the high tuition fees of Hope High School can be a form of discrimination towards students from low-income families and it should not be the reason stoping them from coming here. Therefore, we have been giving a large amount of scholarship to students who cannot afford the tuition fees and the percentage of students from low-income families is always monitored.


Noddings, N. (2012). Philosophy of education (3rd ed). Boulder, Colo: Westview Press.

Rose, M. (2014). why school? reclaiming education for all of us. New York: The New Press.

Rury, J. L. (2013). Education and social change: contours in the history of American schooling (4th ed). New York: Routledge.

Tatum, B. D. (2003). “Why are all the Black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?”: and other conversations about race. New York: Basic Books.