Lower School Principal at Canadian International School of Hong Kong in China/Hong Kong
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Lower School Principal
Canadian International School of Hong Kong (China/Hong Kong)

Sep 23, 19
Oct 31, 19


  Canadian International School of Hong Kong   

seeks a

Lower School Principal

(Early Years to Grade 5)

Effective August 2020

Canadian International School of Hong Kong is a highly innovative learning community committed to inspire excellence, cultivate character, and empower engagement locally and globally.

We seek a visionary and passionate leader who has exceptional communication and interpersonal skills to lead the Lower School in its next stage of development. 

The School

CDNIS is a CIS/WASC accredited IB World School, with well-established PYP, MYP and IBDP programmes. The school was founded in 1991 and moved to its current site 20 years ago. We have 1800 students from age 3-18 representing over 40 nationalities. The Lower School currently consists of 1050 students from Pre-Reception to Grade 6 but in August 2020 Grade 6 will move to the Upper School to become part of the MYP programme, reducing Lower School enrollment to around 925. The Lower School is oversubscribed with waiting lists at every grade level.

CDNIS has long enjoyed a reputation as an innovative school. It was one of the first Apple Distinguished Schools in Asia and established the first, large scale 1:1 laptop programme in Hong Kong 10 years ago. The school is visited by educators from around the world, keen to learn from our experience.

The school has exceptional facilities, matching its status as a world-class international school, and is also currently developing a Facilities Master Plan to further improve and develop the buildings and learning spaces to match our innovative pedagogy. We opened a state-of-the-art, Reggio-inspired Early Years Environment in August 2019 and there are further plans to develop flexible learning spaces within the Lower School.

The Curriculum

In recent years, we have developed a highly innovative approach to the implementation of the PYP through our commitment to future-ready learning.  Our programme focuses upon providing CDNIS students with the skills, mindsets and dispositions they need to be successful in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  Our pedagogical approaches enable students to maximise their own potential and contribute to making the world a better place. We focus upon the development of exceptional core skills, 21st century competencies and character, through a pedagogy that prioritises hands-on experiential approaches and is underpinned by inquiry and transdisciplinary learning. We empower students to take ownership of their learning and follow their interests and passions, allowing them to develop into highly motivated individuals who are able to prove their capabilities and adapt to a constantly changing environment. 

Our Lower School programme starts in the Early Years, where students aged 3-5 learn through a Reggio-inspired, play based approach in our wonderful, new Early Years Environment (the EYE). This forms the foundation for our future-ready approach to learning across the rest of the Lower School from Kindergarten to Grade 5.

Our Mathematics and Language programmes are underpinned by standards from the Ontario Curriculum, which provide alignment with the Upper School. Digital technology is fully integrated into student learning from Kindergarten, with a well-established 1:1 iPad programme in Grades 1-3. In Grades 4-5 students use MacBooks and also have access to 1:1 robots throughout the year. This is well supported by our Learning Technologies Team which includes a Coding and Robotics Teacher. Hands-on learning, through our fast-growing maker culture, is supported by a Leader for Making and Innovation. Students are encouraged to use a range of traditional and state of the art technology tools and materials in our Lower School makerspace The Hive, the Design Suite, mini-makerspaces around school and well-equipped maker carts. Experiential learning, outside of the school environment, is supported by our whole school Local and Global Engagement Coordinator.


The Lower School has a faculty of around 120 teachers and educational assistants who are well qualified, experienced and committed individuals. We have a highly collaborative environment, the success of which is rooted in strong relationships with an emphasis placed upon adult wellbeing. Staff are provided with exceptional professional development opportunities both within and outside school, which support us to continually move the pedagogy forward.

The Position

The Lower School Principal is the learning leader and administrative head of the Lower School. He/She is responsible for the on-going improvement of the school in pursuance of our CDNIS goals as set out in the strategic plan Strategy 2021.  The Lower School Principal is supported by two Vice Principals and two PYP Coordinators, who together form the Lower School Pedagogical Leadership Team. The pedagogical leadership structure is currently under review and changes are likely to be made for August 2020.

Professional and Personal Attributes

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate the following qualities, skills and attributes:

  • A student centred learning leader who is an advocate of concept driven, inquiry-based approaches
  • The ability to inspire trust in the whole community and motivate and support others to realise their potential
  • A highly articulate and effective communicator
  • A visionary, future-ready leader with the passion and skills to drive learning forward
  • Highly developed interpersonal and collaboration skills, able to connect with all stakeholder groups, including students, staff, parents, administrators and the board
  • An optimistic, open-minded outlook and willingness to take balanced risks
  • Able to think strategically, tactically and flexibly
  • A creative problem solver
  • The ability to navigate complex cultures, and demonstrate international mindedness
  • A solid understanding of both the PYP and other national/international curricular frameworks
  • Proven excellence in curriculum leadership and development
  • A strong role model who will exemplify the school’s values
  • Committed to child protection best practice

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Sustain and develop a culture of future-ready, student centred learning based around current research
  • Oversee student wellbeing, including the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of student wellbeing programmes and practices, in collaboration with the Lower School Pastoral Team
  • Lead Lower School curriculum development, alignment, implementation and evaluation in collaboration with the Pedagogical Leadership Team. Play a key role in the alignment and articulation of the Early Years-12 curriculum
  • Use data to monitor the success of Lower School programmes and oversee the monitoring of student growth
  • Ensure all students’ needs are met through close collaboration with and oversight of the Lower School Inclusion Team
  • Support the professional growth of teaching staff through the implementation of the CDNIS Staff Professional Growth and Appraisal process
  • Lead the recruitment, selection, orientation and deployment of staff
  • Collaborate with the Pedagogical Leadership Team to develop and implement a whole school approach to professional development in support of the school’s goals
  • Build community and ensure effective communication with all stakeholder groups
  • Develop and monitor the Lower School annual budget, in collaboration with the Director of Business Administration and Head of School
  • Work in collaboration with the Senior Leadership Team to develop and implement the school’s strategic goals, policies and practices
  • Oversee the successful day-to-day running of the Lower School

Education and Work Experience

  • A Bachelor's degree plus teaching qualification in elementary/early childhood education
  • A higher degree at Masters or Doctorate level, preferably in educational leadership and/or principal training/certification
  • At least 5 years successful senior leadership experience in an international school environment, preferably at principal level
  • Senior leadership experience in the PYP preferred
  • Leadership experience in a multicultural school setting, preferably with knowledge of Asian cultures
  • Proven track record as an agile and collaborative team player in a highly dynamic, complex and innovative environment

For more information about the school, please visit our website www.cdnis.edu.hk

Interested and qualified candidates, please include a cover letter, a current résumé, the names and contact information of at least three references and send by email to:

Jane Camblin, Head of School: jobs@cdnis.edu.hk

Closing date: 31 October 2019


CDNIS reserves the right to make an appointment at any time, even before the deadline mentioned if an exceptional candidate is identified early in the process. For this reason, interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to apply at the earliest possible time.


Personal data is collected and used for recruitment purposes only

Mission: to inspire excellence, cultivate character, and empower engagement locally and globally


Attention: If you apply for this position, please inform the school and us (Admin@searchassociates.com) that you saw the notice on the Search Associates website.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Bill Turner’s international teaching career has taken him to Sudan, Italy, Qatar and the UAE as well as his home country of England. His very first teaching position was in rural Sudan.