1. What is your role in APS?I am the Curriculum Leader for APS and it will be my 10th year in the APS family in this coming March. I am in charge of curriculum design and implementation. I am also responsible for student assessments and academic development.
2.How do you design and plan curriculums for your students? And what are the steps of establishing the plan? How are they tailored made?The design and planning of the curriculum is quite a complex and intricate system. We took over one year to source and gather various curriculums available from different countries and organizations, and making sure we are choosing the right learning targets for our students. We finally decided to adapt our curriculum mainly from the National UK curriculum, but also took considerable alterations and compromises to suit the specific needs of students with ASD while considering the local Hong Kong context.
3.What are the differences between the curriculum of APS and the standard curriculum from Education Bureau (EDB)?The curriculum here at APS provides a framework for students to develop holistically-to become well rounded individuals, be confident and ready to take up any challenge. Most mainstream curricula, including the one designed by the EDB, often neglect to take into account the needs of students with ASD or other learning needs, while only focusing on pure academics and examinations.
Here at APS, we not only teach academics but also social communications and rules, such as how to develop friendship and independence skills which are as important, but often ignored in the mainstream curriculum. We not only teach students how to do addition and subtraction, but also take them to the supermarket to utilize their math skills as monetary transaction for purchasing food, while also working on their community skills and communication skills.
On top of that, we will teach them to prepare a meal for themselves, and that, I believe, is why our curriculum excels in terms of catering to the various needs of students with ASD.
4.How does the curriculum improve the overall skills of the students in APS?Our curriculum design and lesson planning take care of each student, taking into account of their strengths, weaknesses and most importantly their needs, and help him or her to improve in multiple aspects, in academics, independence skills or social interaction strategies.
5.How does the curriculum help bridging your students into mainstream school?Many of our students are able to transfer to mainstream schools after learning with us. Our teachers often collaborate and communicate with the staff of mainstream schools to bridge connections. Our curriculum helps students to develop in various aspects, which means for some students, they could acquire learning skills needed to be able to integrate into mainstream schools. These students will learn how to become classroom-ready in mainstream school, and as importantly, playground-ready: be able to meet new friends and develop meaningful relationships and interact with peers.
6.Can you share the difficulties you have faced at work? How did you solve these problems?Every day, there are different challenges but also opportunities for me to grow and learn. Being the sole person in APS responsible for curriculum and development, I find it necessary to be self-sufficient and manage my time efficiently between curriculum design, lesson planning, assessment and teacher support.
7. What are the expectations from the parents?Our parents, like any other parents expect no less from their children. Our students have just as much potential; it is just the question of being able to ensure that they can develop to their full potential. I find that what do our parents want the most is for their children to become happy and independent explorers.
8.What do you/ APS expect from the parents?We pride ourselves in having a close relationship with parents, and anyone who is closely connected with our students. We believe the best teaching not only happens at classrooms, but also outside school, where parents and care takers are also crucial teachers. We hope parents could take initiative to develop children’s greatest potential. That is why we also provide intensive trainings to parents, to enhance their teaching skills.
9.How do you collaborate with teachers to ensure the effectiveness of IEP?Part of my job is to help relieve the tremendous workload of our teachers. When I was a lead teacher, there’s no curriculum leader in APS, every teacher needed to constantly plan and prepare their lessons, and took care of the routine work of the classroom. There were limited resources and references available. Now, I try my best to provide our teachers with these resources through the curriculum, lesson planning, and student development. We meet regularly to discuss, create, and assess the goals in the IEP. To make sure that students are on the right track, their progresses are evaluated periodically.
10.What is your future plan on designing curriculum for APS? Will you modify or add any new subject?I am constantly modifying and improving the curriculum to make sure it is dynamic and reflects the changes of the society. We are going to design an effective sex education curriculum for APS. I’ve already conducted researches as my dissertation for my master’s degree at HKU was to investigate the difficulties and expectations of parents and teachers on sex education for people with ASD. Now, I am designing a curriculum that specifically meets those needs. Sex and relationship education is crucial to everyone and especially to SEN who often lacks appropriate knowledge which in turn puts themselves and others into unwanted situations. My goal is to help our students to understand these topics and grow into healthy teenagers who can make smart choices in sex and relationship matters.
Learn more about APS from the interview of Ms Abbie Chan (APS Senior Classroom Program Supervisor).
Info provided by Ronald Tin, APS Curriculum Leader
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2.你怎樣為學生設計及計劃課程？過程中的步驟是甚麼? 如何為學生度身訂造適合他們的課程?設計及計劃課程是一項複雜的工作。我們用了超過一年的時間從不同的國家及機構搜羅各類型的課程進行研究，確保能選擇一套適合本校學生學習目標的課程。 我們最終主要採納英國的一套全國性課程，並作出適當修改及協調，以配合香港情況及自閉症學生的特殊需要。
10.你對愛培學校將來的課程有甚麼計劃? 例如你會修改或添加新的科目嗎?我正不斷改良課程，務求做到靈活變通以反映社會的改變。下一個大計是為愛培學校設計一套有效的性教育課程。我已在這方面做好研究，因為早前我在香港大學修讀碩士課程時，論文以自閉症兒童的家長在性教育上的困難與期望為題，作出了有關資料搜集及調查。 現時我正設計課程特別配合家長的需要。性與關係教育對於任何人都重要，尤其是有特殊學習需要（SEN）的學生，他們往往對這方面缺乏適當的知識，容易導致他們及他人陷入困難的局面。我的目標是協助學生增加對這方面的認識，讓他們成長為健康的青少年，在性與關係問題上能夠作出明智的選擇。
了解更多關於 陳恩楟 (愛培學校行為分析治療課程監督)的面談 .
資訊提供: 田國宏 (愛培學校課程主任)
愛培學校（原名為Autism Partnership學校）由 愛培自閉症基金 Autism Partnership Foundation 於 2007 年成立，是首間為能力較高的自閉症兒童而設的香港註冊私立小學。