Support for Learning



Applications for Learning Support and Jockey Club Sarah Roe School follow a separate application process. These applications are managed through ESF Centre, with an Admissions and Review Process (ARP) to assess students and make placement recommendations in line with the ESF Levels of Adjustment Framework.


Admissions Process

Thank you for considering the Learning Support and Jockey Club Sarah Roe School. Our application process is different, and we will assist you throughout the process. 

Application Period: 1-30 September 2023

Central Application:

Applying for Year 1 for August 2024 admission

Online Applications open 1 September 2023 and not earlier.

Applications received after 30 September are considered late and placed on the waiting list according to the priority and date received.

If you would like to apply for other year groups of Support for Learning, please email Cindy Gazeau, Officer, Admissions (Student Support) at for an initial discussion and guidance about the online application process.

For Learning Support, ESF operates a simple zoning system. Applicants living in Kowloon and the New Territories are zoned for schools on the Kowloon side. Applicants living on Hong Kong Island and the Outlying Islands are zoned for schools on Hong Kong Island. Applications are pooled for each of the two zones.

Discovery College and Renaissance College do not have Learning Support provisions and currently are only able to support students within Levels of Adjustment 1 and 2. 

Jockey Club Sarah Roe School serves the whole of Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories with a dedicated school bus service.  

ESF will try to place children in their neighbourhood school and/or siblings in the same school; however, due to limited placements it is often not possible to do so.

Students applying for enrolment to Learning Support or Jockey Club Sarah Roe School are held on a waiting list. Priority is based on the following ranked criteria; students who require an English medium education and who (in order): 

  1. The children of full-time teaching staff at ESF or ESF Educational Services Ltd*;
  2. The children of full-time support staff at ESF or ESF Educational Services Ltd*;
  3. Are siblings of students enrolled at an ESF school;
  4. The children of former students who have attended an ESF school for a minimum of three years or are former ESF students returning from a period overseas, or siblings of former students who have attended for a minimum of three years and graduated from an ESF school in Year 13;
  5. Are other applicants who require an English-medium education.

*Staff are given priority according to employment terms for ESF or the Private Independent Schools.

Following receipt of the application, your child will be added to our application waiting list. Once your child moves towards the top of the application waiting list, you will be asked to submit documentation to our team to enable an assessment of the support required for your child to be successful within an ESF school.

Application Requirements:

When we invite you to proceed with the application, ESF requires the following essential documentation and evidence:

  • A current Educational Psychology report (current within 12 months);
  • A current speech and language therapy report, if your child is undergoing speech therapy;
  • A current occupational therapy report, if your child is undergoing occupational therapy;
  • A current physiotherapy report, if your child is undergoing physiotherapy;
  • Current school reports;
  • A current IEP, if your child has one

Once requested, a time window of two months is allowed for submission of the supporting documentation. In the event the deadline for submission is not met, the application may be withdrawn.

This stage of the application process is called the ‘Admission and Review Process’ or ARP.

We will work with parents and your child’s current school (if applicable) to enable ESF learning diversity specialists to consider your child’s level of support. The ARP process includes the following:

  • Consideration of professional reports submitted by parents and schools.
  • Observation of the child in the current school or alternative learning environment. 
  • Meeting with current teacher(s).
  • Meeting with parents. 

The ARP moderation panel considers each child and makes recommendations in line with the ESF Levels of Adjustment Framework (LOA). The moderation panel comprises ESF learning diversity specialists, including educational psychologists, advisers, specialist teachers, and an ESF principal.  

The panel agrees on each child’s LOA, which determines the type of provision required within ESF. 

Following the outcome of the ARP process, your child will be added to the entry waiting list for the required provision. ESF can only provide for a prescribed number of places in our Learning Support and in Jockey Club Sarah Roe School and there is always a long list of applicants for these provisions. We, therefore, operate a strict waiting list procedure, with limitations on the number of applicants for each year group.

When a school place becomes available, the Officer – Admissions (Student Support) will contact you with details of the placement and enrolment procedures. The school will also contact you to set up an initial visit.

If a placement becomes available more than 18 months after the ARP moderation panel recommendation, you may be requested to provide up-to-date reports, following which a second observation may be undertaken in order to confirm the continuing appropriateness of the placement recommendation.

The application period for August 2024 admission is from 1 to 30 September 2023. Applications received after 30 September will be considered late and placed on the waiting list according to the date received.

Children already attending an ESF kindergarten who require placement within Learning Support or Jockey Club Sarah Roe School will have the highest priority for entry before external applicants (see Prioritising Applications section).

The ESF application fee is HK$2,800. This is a non-refundable, non-transferable administration fee. Payment of the fee will only be requested and required prior to an ARP observation visit being conducted. The collection of the fee does not constitute any assurance that a school place will be offered. Method of payment is by VISA/MasterCard through PayPal, our online payment service provider 

Please note: If you are experiencing difficulties using the online application form, you may send a request for assistance via email to or contact the number below:

Support for Learning information: +852 3762 2522 (during office hours)

Admissions Enquiry

We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Admissions Hotline:
+852 3762 2522 (during office hours)


ESF Levels of Adjustment Framework​

The ESF Levels of Adjustment (LOA) provide a framework for identifying and documenting the adjustments and accommodations for students who require support for learning.

ESF uses LOA 1 to 6 to describe the amount and type of support a student requires in order to access the curriculum. The LOA also reflects the level of provision required.

Outlined below are the most common placements for students with LOA 1 to 6. Occasionally, placements may differ depending on the profile of the individual student.


Mainstream with support
Additional Differentiation:

Additional, ongoing class-based teaching and learning adjustments led by the class or subject teacher, in liaison with the IN department and/or short-term small group or individual intervention in 1 or 2 dimensions of schooling.


Mainstream with support
Additional Differentiation:

Regular, individualised teaching and learning adjustments of objectives, outcomes, materials or equipment, in multiple dimensions of schooling, as a result of class-based assessments and teacher judgement.

A combination of additional small group support, for minimum 2 cycles of intervention, in multiple areas. The student has an IEP, there is an ongoing liaison between class/subject teachers and the IN department, and there is regular contact with parents. These students often sit well below age-related expectations in one of the dimensions of schooling.

LOA 3-4

Learning Support
Daily, continuous differentiation:

Daily, individualised teaching and learning adjustments of objectives, outcomes, materials or equipment.

Access to daily push-in support in mainstream lessons and pull-out support focusing on skill development, concept reinforcement, and functional life skills teaching. Access to alternative curriculums at the secondary level.

LOA 5-6

Jockey Club Sarah Roe School
Continuous individualised differentiation:

Continuous, individualised support. Systematic interventions and highly individualised teaching programmes through multidisciplinary approaches with a high staff-to-student ratio.

Year 1 Central Application for 2024/25 - Key dates
(For children born in 2019 and for entry in August 2024)

1-30 September, 2023
1 September, 2023 Nomination Rights applications open
6 October, 2023Deadline for receipt of supporting documents
11 October, 2023Acknowledgement email sent to parents to advise admission process
November 2023 to January 2024First round interviews conducted at primary schools
March to August, 2024Further interviews conducted by primary schools as necessary

Year 7 Central Application for 2024/25 - Key dates
(For children born in 2013 and for entry in August 2024)

1-30 September, 2023
1 September, 2023 Nomination Rights applications open
5 October, 2023Deadline for receipt of supporting documents
9 October, 2023Acknowledgement email sent to parents to advise admission process
Mid-October to the end of November, 2023Interview period
8 December, 2023Offer for Year 7 places sent out
15 December, 2023Deadline to confirm places offered by payment of a deposit and non-refundable capital levy

ESF Jockey Club Sarah Roe School (JCSRS)

2B Tin Kwong Road, Homantin, Hong Kong

About Our School

Everything we do at ESF Jockey Club Sarah Roe School is based on an understanding that every child is unique, with their own skills and passions. We offer our students some wonderful facilities to keep them happy, engaged and always learning. Our bespoke curriculum puts our students at the centre.

We reach our goals alongside our students through personalised, progressive and challenging lessons that offer students multiple opportunities for repeated, frequent experiences. Parents are an important facet of this team, since nobody knows your child better than you. Our teachers and therapists work with you to help establish suitable and practical goals for each student and how to support this learning at home. By helping each child to develop their own interests and personality, we help them to be the best they can be.

Meet the Principal

Anna Smakowska

Anna has almost 20 years of experience as a teacher and leader – with a strong focus throughout her career on helping students reach their full potential, regardless of any and all challenges that they may face.

School Bus Routes

The bus service for JCSRS students is managed by ESF Centre and JCSRS. School staff work as Bus Escorts and they are First Aid trained.

*The stops along the school bus routes may be subject to change. For more information, please contact the school.

K1 Central Application for 2024/25 - Key dates

1-30 September, 2023
1 September, 2023 at 1pmESF Kindergarten Class A Debenture application opens 
First Friday of OctoberDeadline for receipt of supporting documents
October 2023
November, 2023

Parents receive Play Visit status notification letters

November, 2023 to January, 2024First round Play Visits conduct at kindergartens
January to Early March, 2024Parents receive letter with Play Visit result
March to August, 2024Further Play Visits conduct by kindergartens if necessary

ESF Year 6 students transferring to secondary school for August 2024

ESF’s all-through education, K1 to Year 13, enables a seamless transition from kindergarten to primary and from Year 6 to secondary. The close links our primary schools have with their associated secondary schools play an important role in delivering a positive experience and a good start to the year, for our Year 7 students.

ESF will process and allocate according to an ‘associated secondary school’ for Year 7 placement. Below are the associated secondary schools for each primary school.

ESF primary schoolAllocated ESF secondary school
Bradbury SchoolSouth Island School
Quarry Bay SchoolSouth Island School
Glenealy SchoolIsland School
Peak SchoolIsland School
Kennedy SchoolWest Island School
Beacon Hill SchoolIsland School
Kowloon Junior SchoolKing George V School
Clearwater Bay SchoolKing George V School
Sha Tin Junior SchoolSha Tin College

All Year 6 families complete the Gateway Y7 Transfer application to secondary school form during the first 2 weeks of September. 

All Year 6 students enrolled in an ESF primary school by 1 December are guaranteed a place in an ESF secondary school on completion of Year 6.

For Year 6 students in Learning Support (LS): the child’s placement will be managed and allocated through a different process that takes account of the availability of Year 7 LS placements across all secondary schools. The student’s Year 7 placement will be confirmed by the end of November.

A student joining Year 6 from 1 December onwards can not be guaranteed a secondary school place at their corresponding ‘associated secondary school’ but offered a Year 7 place at an alternative secondary school where there is availability.

For Renaissance College and Discovery College Year 6 students

The guarantee of Year 7 place is with the corresponding secondary sections. Transfer requests to an ESF secondary school may be considered based on availability and date of written request starting from 1 September to your school’s admissions office. There is no guarantee of transfer to Year 7 in an ESF secondary school.

Please note transfer between a private independent school and an ESF school and vice versa will mean payment of deposit and capital/building levy to take up the school place.

Please note the following key dates:

1-15 September 2023Parents complete the Gateway Year 7 transfer form
End November 2023Year 7 offer letters are sent via email from ESF Centre
4 December 2023Deadline to confirm places the Year 7 places offered. ESF primary students are requested to pay the deposit to confirm the place.

ESF K2 students transferring to primary school for August 2024

Students who are attending ESF kindergartens will complete the Year 1 transition process. Information from ESF kindergartens will support the transition process.

Students in ESF kindergartens identified as needing additional learning support may be recommended to apply through the Admission and Review Process. This is a separate application process managed centrally at ESF Centre. This process also applies to all students applying from outside ESF. There are limited resources for placement within Learning Support and Jockey Club Sarah Roe School. Not all students going through the Admission and Review Process may be placed, as the demand is often greater than the number of places available.

All ESF K2 families complete the Gateway Y1 Transfer application to primary school form during the first two weeks of September.

All K2 students enrolled in an ESF kindergarten before 1 December are guaranteed a place in an ESF primary school on completion of K2.

A new student joining K2 on or after Year 1 offers to go out cannot be guaranteed a primary school place but will be given high priority on the waitlist for a Year 1 place.

Allocation for primary school is based on priority order plus EDB requirements (when necessary), and computer-generated random numbers. K2 children may be directed to an alternative primary school if there is an oversubscription at their first preference school. There is no guarantee of the school of first preference. All ESF primary school offers are accepted with a two-year commitment before any transfer request, regardless of residential address.

Please note the following key dates:

1-15 September 2023Parents complete the Gateway Year 1 transfer form
End November 2023Year 1 offer letters are sent via email from ESF Centre
8 December 2023Deadline to confirm places the Year 1 places offered. ESF kindergarten students are requested to pay the deposit to confirm the place

Learning Support

Mainstream with Support

Many students who require less extensive, class-based teaching and learning adjustments are catered for within mainstream classes in all kindergartens and schools.

Learning Support

Students who require more extensive, daily teaching and learning adjustments are catered for within learning support (LS) within ESF primary schools and secondary schools.

Entry to this level of provision is through a central process called the Admissions and Review Process, not through the local school.

Jockey Club Sarah Roe School

Students who require the most extensive teaching and learning adjustments are catered for within the Jockey Club Sarah Roe School (JCSRS).

JCSRS has a bespoke curriculum that is designed to be broad and balanced to meet the needs of our diverse learners. The curriculum is taught through subjects but has significant elements of project based learning that enhance transdisciplinary application of knowledge and skills.

The JCSRS curriculum is divided into six pathways, each with its own distinct learning approach and priorities. The pathways are determined by age and also by the needs of students.

Secondary School (Year 12-13)

IB Diploma Programme:

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) is a course designed for students aged 16 to 19. Students can choose to follow either the full IB Diploma Programme or their choice of individual IB Diploma courses. Widely recognised as the best possible preparation for study at university, the IB DP builds research skills, promotes personal responsibility and encourages independent learning.

The full IB DP core comprises six subjects and the following key components:

Students can choose one subject from each of the groups below, three at Higher Level (HL) and three at Standard Level (SL).

  1. Studies in Language and Literature (Language A);
  2. Language Acquisition (Language B or ab initio), or a second Language A;
  3. Individuals and Societies (Humanities);
  4. Experimental Sciences;
  5. Mathematics;
  6. Arts (or a second Science, or a third language).

Specialised Pathways:

Our personalised pathways allow students to focus on creative projects and inquiries and reflect on their achievements. Students whose strengths are in applied learning are often practical and goal-oriented. Courses are routed in practical and real-world situations and are made relevant to the world of work. The courses are modular with no external examination element.

ESF schools currently provide Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC ) courses which are recognised by many universities worldwide. These courses can be studied alongside other subjects and provide a varied learning experience for students.

A number of ESF schools are also developing the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) to offer opportunities for those students who have a particular career path in mind. The IBCP allows students to specialise and dedicate themselves to a career path that they know they want to pursue. The IBCP encompasses some elements of the IB Diploma Programme within its structure. It also encompasses the IB’s educational philosophy and mission.

Secondary School (Year 7-11)

IB Middle Years Programme:

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them. Learning focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in and beyond the classroom and encourages students to be critical, creative and reflective thinkers. The MYP is a framework on which to hang a challenging and rigorous curriculum, which provides authentic, real-world connections to the learning in the classroom.

The curriculum consists of 8 subject groups integrated through 6 interactive areas providing global contexts for learning.

Our MYP centres around and is underpinned by the following five key components:


As a further means of developing autonomous, self-directed learners, students are given the opportunity to demonstrate their learning through completing a project, which encourages reflection on their learning and outcomes of their work. This is a long-term project, which is embedded within a global context and generates a synthesis of creative and critical thinking and approaches to learning through an in-depth investigation.

MYP Projects
Students who complete the MYP in Year 9 or Year 10 complete the community project, enabling them to develop their commitment to service as action within the community. All students who complete the MYP in Year 11 complete the personal project.

International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)
(Years 10 & 11):

The IGCSE is a two year course of study with an externally set syllabus with assessment criteria for Years 10 to 11. The five ESF secondary schools design courses to meet these criteria. This includes a range of language courses available in foreign, second and first languages. The examinations are externally set which is similar to the IB Diploma final examination period. Grades are awarded with students typically taking between seven to ten subjects.

Students will also be able to access a range of co-curricular courses in the creative, community service and physical domains. Some of these activities have qualifications associated with them.

Primary School Curriculum

IB Primary Years Programme (Age 5-11):

International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) is an international, trans-disciplinary programme designed to foster the development of the whole child, not just in the classroom but also through other means of learning. The PYP focuses on the total growth of the developing child, encompassing academic, social, physical, emotional and cultural needs.

We provide a wide range of curricular and co-curricular programmes and opportunities. The curriculum is expressed in three interrelated ways:

Examples of co-curricular activities include: Our schools aim to develop internationally minded students by encouraging the development of the traits described in the IB student profile. We support children to become inquirers, thinkers, communicators, risk-takers and to be knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, balanced and reflective.

Kindergarten Curriculum

ESF Pre-Kindergarten (Age 2-3):

Our approach to learning is through play based theory. Across five key areas of enquiry; Wellbeing, Belonging, Communication, Contribution, and Exploration, each toddler’s voice will be heard, their progress celebrated, and their language and knowledge nourished. Our curriculum centres on the premise that everything that occurs with or for the child is curriculum. It is inquiry based and concept driven. It is designed to be stimulating yet flexible to provide for the children’s desire to explore and investigate.

IB Primary Years Programme (Age 3-5):
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is built on 6 Transdisciplinary Themes through which students explore and engage in the different subject areas. The core of the PYP model shows the 5 Essential Elements which are common to all teaching and learning: concepts, skills, knowledge, attitudes, and action. The PYP Curriculum provides: Mandarin Chinese is the specialist language and is integrated into the PYP programme, forming a core aspect of the curriculum. At Abacus and Tung Chung International Kindergartens, there is a choice between an English stream and a bilingual English and Mandarin Chinese stream.