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    Jockey Club ‘CoolPlay’ Project Phase 2 Launch


    02 Feb, 2024

    16 : 27

    • The Jockey Club ‘CoolPlay’ Project, funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and jointly organised by Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education (YCCECE) and the Vocational Training Council (VTC) since 2020, has delivered notable results in three areas in the initial phase over the past three years. An award-winning three-in-one exploration kit JumpStarter was produced, the first batch of Exploratory Learning seed teachers were trained up, and the Discovery Space visits highly popular among parents were conducted, building a “Home-School-Community” support network to promote “Exploratory Learning” in schools and daily life.


      Thanks to extensive support for the project, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust continues to fund phase 2 of the project that will span four years from 2023 to 2027. Co-organised by YCCECE and Hong Kong Christian Service, the new phase will continue the child-centric approach and extend to cover seven grassroots districts. Sustained, step-by-step and holistic educational support and resources will be provided to the kindergarten teachers and parents of those districts to collectively encourage children to independently and freely explore their communities, in a bid to stimulate their curiosity and learning interest, and develop creativity, communication and collaboration, which are regarded as essential skills for the 21st Century.


      Phase 2 Kick-off Ceremony held today at YCCECE, officiated by Tramy Chak (Senior Manager of Charities, The Hong Kong Jockey Club), Dr. Frank Lam (Acting President, Yew Chung College of Early Childhood Education) and Ms Patricia Tang (Head of Early Childhood Education Service, Hong Kong Christian Service).


      Dr Brad Chan Yu Wing, who is Co-director of the Jockey Club ‘CoolPlay’ Project and Assistant Professor of YCCECE, summed up Phase 1 achievements: “Within just three years, the project has benefited 2,300 children and their families, 20 schools, 132 serving teachers and 509 student teachers. In addition, 25 sets of multiple award-winning ‘Exploratory Learning’ teaching resource kits have been produced for use by teachers and parents. These results are remarkable.”


      “Early childhood education is the first step of nurturing young generations. Educators put an emphasis on helping children build a solid foundation early on for smooth transitioning to primary one. Through the project, we hope to encourage children to explore, show imagination and develop their interests and attitude, rather than rote learning. As STEAM development is increasingly important for the Hong Kong education sector in recent years, the Education Bureau (EDB) is promoting STEAM education in primary schools subsequent to implementation in secondary schools. By inspiring children’s interest in exploration and developing their tenacity in learning, it helps to lay a solid groundwork for their STEAM learning in primary and secondary years. Our team will continue to follow EDB’s guidelines and encourage exploration among children by developing their interest in learning, quest for knowledge and the spirit of exploration,” he said.



    • Phase 2 scaled up, targeted to benefit 50,000-plus children and their parents

      Phase 2 of the project aims to make “Exploratory Learning” the mainstream for early childhood education in the future, with scale and support levels extensively upgraded, focusing on the needs of the teachers and children from grassroots families. It is noted that grassroots children are worse off in cases where parents lack knowledge, confidence or direction to guide them, and their schools lack the resources to support their learning, leading to the omission of high-quality education opportunities in their critical learning stage.


      In light of this, the service network of Phase 2 will focus on seven districts that have a relatively high proportion of grassroots families, including Kwun Tong, Kwai Ching, Wong Tai Sin, Northern District, Sam Shui Po, Tuen Mun, and Yuen Long. It aims to benefit more than 50,000 children and families, principals, some 2,400 teachers, and 440 student teachers of 400-plus kindergartens. Through providing simple and intuitive teaching guides and resources, the project supports teachers and parents to lead students to explore with confidence to develop creativity.


      From 2025/26 school year, the General Studies subject will be split into Science and Humanities to augment STEAM education for young students. This underscores the importance of teachers’ role in nurturing students’ interest in exploration. To prepare local grassroots children for a smooth transition from kindergarten to Primary One, the project provides high-quality and personalised “Exploration Learning” teaching and learning resources that will enhance teachers’ capacity and parents’ confidence in guiding children on exploration. This will more effectively develop children’s exploration interest and attitudes, and lay a strong foundation for their STEAM learning in the future.

    • Materials kits added to award-winning JumpStarter, online version to be introduced step by step

      The three-in-one JumpStarter exploration kit comprises bilingual story books, a teachers’ guide and a parents’ guide, to help children seamlessly link exploration and learning in school and at home. The kit has been well received in Phase 1, and has garnered recognition in various international award programmes, including the top Gold Award in the 2023 International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada (iCAN), and a place among 20 Best Inventions. In Phase 2, the early childhood education experts of the “CoolPlay” team will continue to develop more age-appropriate, localised and diverse teaching resources. The new JumpStarter will include materials kits for parents to practically guide their children on exploratory learning. An online version of JumpStarter’s Phase I kits will be introduced in stages, to help parents and teachers formulate personlised learning plans in accordance with a child’s preferences and needs. Additionally, the new parent-child exploration journey will venture into the community, under the guidance of the project team, to let children and parents explore more broadly and freely.


    • Key content of Phase 1 and Phase 2:


      Phase 1

      Phase 2

      Teachers’ Training

      • Focus: Classroom practice of Exploratory Learning
      • Two pre-job training courses for teachers
      • Professional training and in-school support for on-job teachers


      • Focus: Extending teachers’ training on Exploratory Learning to curriculum and school development levels
      • Two pre-job training courses for teachers
      • Professional training and in-school support for on-job teachers

      Teaching Resources

      • Research and develop localised JumpStarter Exploratory Learning and teaching resources (including bilingual story books, teachers’ guide and parents’ guide)


      • New print version of JumpStarter including materials kits
      • Online version of JumpStarter to provide personalised exploratory resources


      Family Engagement

      • Parent-child exploration


      • Parent-child exploration in the community


      Community Development

      • Community activities, including parents and teachers workshops, exploratory carnivals and international seminars
      • Continue community activities, including parents and teachers workshops, exploratory carnivals and international seminars
      • Enhance capacity building in the community
    • Tailored school-based curriculum to promote “Exploratory Learning” culture

      For schools, “CoolPlay” provides dedicated support to all kindergartens in the seven districts. These schools account for more than half of all tuition-free kindergartens in Hong Kong. More diverse and tailored teaching support is provided in Phase 2. The project team will have multiple meetings with principals and teachers to better understand their needs and challenges, and then devise plans that cater to the school’s situation and key development direction. The team conducts detailed analysis and planning covering five aspects – curriculum integration, parents’ participation, environment setup, teaching model and school-based development – for designing personalised exploratory learning plans that integrate with the school’s regular teaching, to promote “Exploratory Learning” as part of the school culture.

    • Professional and Expert Models for collaboration added to elevate standards in the districts

      Considering that schools and teachers have different needs, the team has introduced two collaboration models, Professional Level and Expert Level, for schools to adopt best-fit training based on their needs. To benefit more kindergartens, the project also incorporates a “Community School” concept for schools to continue receiving support after one year in the project, including teachers’ training, the JumpStarter exploration kits and participation in community activity. The team will inject more resources into schools participating in the project for the first time to enhance understanding of “Exploratory Learning” and teaching quality in the districts over the long term, as the basis for establishing a solid community education network.


    • Phase 2 – New School Collaboration Models


      Professional Level

      Expert Level

      Community School


      • Add early childhood Exploratory Learning into classroom activities
      • Integrate early childhood Exploratory Learning into curriculum
      • Extend early childhood Exploratory Learning to the school development level

      Teachers’ Training

      • Three times a year


      Key: Practise Exploratory Learning in classroom

      • Six times a year
      • In-school support four times a year


      Key: Integrate Exploratory Learning into curriculum

      • Twice a year


      Key: Expand Exploratory Learning to the school level

      Teaching Resources

      • JumpStarter print version: 3 sets a year, with materials kits
      • Online JumpStarter: Parents’ version and Schools’ version

      Family Engagement

      • Twice a year, community-based family tours (at school)
      • Three times a year community-based family tours (at school)
      • Twice a year, community-based family tours (mixed venues)
    • (From left) Dr. Lydia L.S. Chan, Dr. Lai-wan Maria Lee, Ms. Patricia Tang, Ms. Tramy Chak, Dr. Frank Lam, Dr. Sanly Kam, BBS, MH, Dr. Brad Y. W. Chan

    • Phase 2.0 was kicked off with full support from family, school and community

    • Ms Tramy Chak, Senior Manager of Charities, HKJC, Dr Frank Lam, Acting President of YCCECE, and Ms Patricia Tang, Head of Early Childhood Education Services of Hong Kong Christian Services, officiated the ceremony

    • Attending guests show support to CoolPlay Project

    • Maximus's daddy shared his son's positive learning experience gained via CoolPlay

    • Maximus's daddy took picture with officiating guests

    • Student from NTW&JWA Yuen Long Nursery School presented her project in full confidence

    • 3-in-1 JumpStarted exploration kit display

    • "Exploratory Learning" tasting activities showcase