Curriculum & Programme

Hangzhou is a tailored and holistic program, built on the four pillars of China, Challenge, Character and Community

The student learning experience is specific to Hangzhou CIS and autonomous from Greentown Yuhua School.

Students examine issues from local and global perspectives, using different disciplines, different skills and the ample asset that is the city of Hangzhou.


Taught in English and Chinese, the formal Hangzhou CIS curriculum makes maximum use of the resources of the city and environs to enhance students’ Chinese language proficiency and understanding of traditional and contemporary Chinese culture.


Hangzhou CIS students enjoy a student-teacher ratio of 7:1 and a high degree of personal attention.

Hangzhou CIS teachers have been specifically hired to ensure experience in and to commitment to international education and boarding school life.


The curriculum has been developed within and is fully compatible with the framework of the interdisciplinary International Baccalaureate "Middle Years Programme" (IBMYP) and with the ongoing Hong Kong CIS curriculum.


The following subjects are on offer:

Taken by all students:

    • Chinese (Mandarin) - offered at different levels
    • English
    • Mathematics - offered at different levels
    • Sciences
    • History & Geography - taught as an interdisiciplinary course called "Individuals & Societies" (see Off Campus)
    • Physical Education
    • Technology (covers both Digital Design & Product Design)


    • French (optional)
    • Spanish (optional)
    • Visual Arts (students take either Studio Arts or Film)
    • Performing Arts (students take either Music or Drama)

To gain a complete picture of the Hangzhou CIS learning approach, please be sure to also view the Off Campus page.


Personal well-being and the students' well-being as a cohort and as a microcosm of society are fundamental concerns actively cultivated through both a taught curriculum and through nearly every activity and interaction of the Hangzhou CIS year.

Hangzhou CIS draws heavily on the ongoing CIS discourse of Positive Education, including but not limited to cultivation of "PERMA" and of individual character strengths. Many activities are aimed at building a tight-knit community that enjoys each other's company and savours each other's successes.

The explicit well-being curriculum is delivered through "Home Time", "Family Time" and "Face-to-Face Time". Students meet once a week in their house groupings for Home Time, which is taught by the Heads of House. Tasks for the year include exploration of personal values, as well as family history and stories. Family Time takes place in the dorms most evenings and is facilitated by Coach Mentors, who also meet individually with students several times per year for "Face-to-Face Time".

Core Performing Arts

In addition to music or drama classes, all students must take part in the whole school choir and whole school drama production as a means of fostering esprit de corps as well as specific skills. The choir performs at Parents' Weekend, at Greentown's annual Cultural Festival and on other occasions, while the student-written drama production is performed at Graduation.

Core Sports

In addition to twice weekly PE classes, all students must participate in twice weekly Core Sports activities and are encouraged to develop a personal skills and fitness plan.


    • Badminton
    • Basketball
    • Cross Country
    • Football (Soccer)
    • Netball
    • Ultimate Frisbee


    • Boxing
    • Dance
    • Horseback Riding
    • Rock-Climbing
    • Swimming
    • Tennis

Talented CIS footballers also have the opportunity to use the excellent training facilities of Greentown's national level team.

The Hangzhou Cycle


Like the unfolding of a classical play, the Hangzhou CIS experience is structured in five "Acts". The divisions between the Acts are four substantial school holidays:

  • Mid-Term Break
  • Christmas Break
  • Chinese New Year
  • Easter Break

School holidays coincide with those of Hong Kong CIS, but are one week longer.

Find the Hangzhou CIS calendar at Fees, Travel & Logistics.

Please note that, even accounting for longer breaks, Hangzhou CIS contact hours are greater than for Hong Kong CIS.

Six Days A Week

While classes are held six days a week and after dinner, the Hangzhou CIS timetable also allows for appropriate breaks, with an extended period of non-class time every afternoon.

Daily Schedule

6:45 Wake-up
7:00 Breakfast
8:00 Lessons 1, 2 & 3
10:25 Break
10:50 Lessons 4 & 5
12:45 Lunch
13:30 Afternoon activities
17:00 Lesson 6
18:00 Dinner
19:00 Lesson 7 (or Home Time, Choir or Drama)
20:00 Self-Directed Time
21:00 Family Time
22:00 Lights Out

Lessons last for 55 minutes


A full-time activities coordinator actively encourages students to take advantage of the partnership with GYS to take part in over 65 extracurricular activities and other opportunities presented by Hangzhou CIS's location.

Elective Sports & Other Activities

Elective sports and other activities, such as music or dance lessons, take place during students' free time. Hangzhou CIS has developed excellent relationships with a range of coaches and instructors, training programs and organisations and ample opportunities are available.

Please note that while Hangzhou staff can offer introductions or other suggestions, specific arrangements for training and supervision should be made by individual families.

Integration with Hong Kong CIS

Appropriate provisions are made in acknowledgement of the fact that the vast majority of students come from or return to Hong Kong CIS.

For example, in the latter half of the year, staff from Hong Kong will visit Hangzhou to ensure that students are prepared to undertake the IBMYP Personal Project in Year 11.