West Island School

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West Island School
West Island School Badge.png
West Island School.jpg
West Island School as viewed from Queen Mary Hospital on Pokfulam Road
250 Victoria Road

Hong Kong
Type Private, International, Secondary School, (Co-educational), English Schools Foundation
Motto Strength from Diversity
Established 1991
School district Southern
School code WIS
Principal Christopher Sammons
Enrollment 1200
School colour(s) Navy Blue
Yearbook WISDOM
Year 7-13
Vision: Your School, Your Voice

West Island School (WIS; Chinese: 西島中學) is a co-educational, private, international secondary school in Hong Kong that provides an English medium education to students from age eleven to eighteen. The campus is a purpose-built development located at 250 Victoria Road, Pokfulam on the slopes of Mount Davis, Hong Kong Island. The school is reputed for its strong academic, matriculation and athletic record, providing students of all abilities with a "modern liberal education" based on British-influenced International curricula. Students from Years 7-9 study the West Island School Middle Years Diploma; students in Years 10-11 follow the IGCSE program; and students in Years 12-13 follow the IB Diploma curricula. The school is a member of the English Schools Foundation, and as such still receives a small but symbolic subvention from the Government that has been frozen since the 1997 Handover of Hong Kong.


West Island School began when the English Schools Foundation recognised a need for a new school on Hong Kong Island in the late-1980s; after Island School and South Island School. This was because of the recent residential boom in Discovery Bay[citation needed], then which had no secondary school to cater for the growing need of secondary school education. After government approval of a site and funding in November 1990, plans for West Island School began in earnest, with the school operating as an offshoot of Island School at a temporary home; the old military hospital in Borrett Road, Mid-Levels. [1]

West Island's first intake was in September 1991, when eighty-four Year 7 students were enrolled in four classes. In the meantime, work progressed on a purpose-built school in Pokfulam, designed by award-winning architect Patrick Lau, who was responsible for two other international schools in Hong Kong, the Lycée Français International Victor Segalen in Tai Hang and the American Hong Kong International School in Tai Tam.

In September 1994, the new purpose-built building opened. This consisted of a ten-storey building consisting of three blocks: housing classrooms, laboratories, an auditorium and a 25-metre indoor pool, linked together by open-air walkways and air-conditioned faculty-corridors.

Over the years, renovations further increased the usability of the building, although by 2001 the school was getting rather crowded with over 1000 students enrolled; paving the way for the creation of a fourth block. This new addition opened for use in September 2003.


The school offers secondary education from Years 7 to 13, for pupils aged 10–18. West Island School students follow the International General Certificate of Secondary Education program in Years 10-11 and pursue the IB Diploma and BTEC Extended Diploma in Years 12-13 (Forgoing A levels).

The schools also offers AS-Level courses for Year 10 students pursuing in the study of critical thinking and entrepreneurship.

The grades achieved by West Island students in IGCSE and IB examinations place them generously above similar schools across the world. In 2011, around 60% of IGCSE passes were at A* or A.[1]

Almost all students pursue higher education in institutions around the world, including prestigious universities in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States[citation needed].

In addition to its academic record, West Island also offer a large selection of extracurricular activities run by both staff and students. Such activities are also comprehensive, though internal competitions are also held; including an annual Sports Festival, Swimming Gala, Sports Day, Music Festival and Language Festival. Furthermore, students also have the opportunity to compete with other teams from other international schools as well as local schools from across Hong Kong and the region.

West Island School also participates in sport, with the school's track, swimming, field hockey, volleyball, martial arts, and netball teams placing well in HKSSF rankings. West Island School's football team has participated in 4 HKSSF finals in the last 5 years, and won three gold medals.[citation needed] In 2011, the school won the BOCHK Bauhinia Bowl, as the highest ranked co-educational school in Hong Kong.[2]


The four blocks that comprise West Island School house a range of academic departments and support facilities in its ten floors.

These include:

Academic Faculties:

  • Creative Arts (Art, Drama, Music, Theatre and Film Studies) Head of Creative Arts: Leigh Delgarno
  • Design and Technology (Design and Technology, Food Technology, Textiles Technology and Graphics), Head of Technologies: James Playford
  • English Head of English: Fiona Mulholland
  • Individuals and Societies (Geography, History, Psychology, PRS (Philosophy + Religious Studies), Business and Economics), Head of I&S: Alex Murchie
  • ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Head of Programming: Mark Lewis
  • Mathematics Head of Mathematics: Ian Bengey
  • Modern Languages (Mandarin Chinese, French and Spanish) Head of Modern Languages: Carlos Diaz
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Physics and Sports, Exercise and Health Science) Head of Science: Jonathan Gilchrist

Upper School students are entitled to the use of the Guidance and Achievement Area (G&A), which encompasses a common area, staff offices, a pantry, a conference room, a Directed Studies room and a Careers Room. The area is also used for small presentations and talks.

The campus also houses a canteen, coffee shop and refectory as well as an indoor sports hall (basketball, volleyball, badminton, etc.), 2 multi-purpose halls, auditorium equipped with full scale lighting and audio sound system, 25-metre indoor heated swimming pool; and rooftops used as playgrounds and outdoor sports pitches. In 2011, a new "Arena" facility was constructed, providing access to a dance studio as well as a well-equipped gym for use by students.

West Island School also makes use of the nearby University of Hong Kong's Stanley Ho Sports Centre at Sandy Bay, including astro-turf and natural grass pitches, an athletics stadium, a 50-metre outdoor Swimming Pool and several tennis courts.


The current principal of West Island School is Christopher Sammons.

Previous principals include Jane Foxcroft (2006–2016), Brian Driver (1999–2006) and Polly Graham (1994–1999).

The current vice-principals of West Island School are Jenny Craig, Susan Carey and Clare Haworth.

WIS is a member school of the English Schools Foundation (ESF). WIS is governed by the "School Council" composed of teachers, parents, and management staff.

Popular culture[edit]

A scene in the 2007 Hong Kong film Happy Birthday (生日快樂) was shot at West Island School,.[3]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°16′21″N 114°07′32″E / 22.27250°N 114.12556°E / 22.27250; 114.12556