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Meet Ben Keeling, Principal of Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong

Updated: Jul 1, 2021


This week we chat to Ben Keeling, Principal of Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong to find out how the education landcape has changed since he moved into the education field, where his favourite place to be is in school and what makes Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong unique.



How long have you lived in Hong Kong and where were you prior to Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong?

Having recently secured permanent residency, I don’t have to think too hard to know that I have been in Hong Kong for just over seven years. I first arrived in the region in 2013 with Kellett School shortly prior to their move into a brand new campus in Kowloon Bay - the opportunity to become more actively involved in the process of school design as part of an organisation able to boast a deep and sincere relationship with an established host was too good to resist. I joined Shrewsbury a full 18 months ahead of our first school day on 29th August 2018.

Have you always wanted to work in education?

I moved into education following a career in design and have regularly drawn upon an overlap that I would argue is far more significant than many would imagine. Both worlds reward those who are able to communicate effectively, embrace challenges, think creatively and work productively towards shared goals and targets - working in education ensures that these attributes are most purposefully utilised. I thoroughly enjoy my job and feel greatly privileged to be in a position to be able to harness the ambition and capability of others.

What three things do you hope to instil in the children at your school?

While beholden to the marvel of individuality, there are a huge collection of positive characteristics we work hard to instill here at Shrewsbury. Curiosity, aspiration and humility would all rank very highly, as would a determined and tireless commitment to personal endeavour and the support of others.


What is your favourite place to be in school?

I particularly cherish time spent with students in communal spaces. Conversations in our Library or Dining Hall often draw upon a broader collection of views than those held elsewhere - they always centre upon the very most pressing issues of the moment. Our student council emerged as a result of wider engagement - they now hold the Senior Leadership Team to account, as per their Terms of Reference. Drawing upon the views of students allows us to operate more effectively.

What is your greatest achievement?

I reflect extremely positively upon the opportunities I have been afforded, but recognise that any glimmer of achievement has been built upon the kindness of others and the fortune of circumstance.


What makes Shrewsbury International School stand out from the other International Schools in Hong Kong?

We are fortunate to work as part of an exceptionally strong sector of schools here in Hong Kong. As a result of our environment, we have clear purpose, strong ambition and a keen eye on the unique associated benefits for students, families and staff.

Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong offers a model of primary education free from compromise - every child at our school enjoys every possible advantage within a safe and inclusive learning environment driven by engagements with specialist staff. A three-tiered daily Chinese language programme, weekly swimming, cyclical gym, dance and athletics provision, music and choral lessons all sit within an aspirational thematic curriculum, resulting in happy and engaged students who enjoy exceptional levels of attainment.

How have you seen the education landscape changed since you first entered into the profession?

The peripherals change all the time, often on cycle. We are certainly more technologically alert and have become increasingly driven by arising academic research, but the heart of a great education remains: emotional literacy, hunger for truth and collective aspiration remain a firm and fixed bedrock.

Of course the international school sector has bloomed in recent years - and English medium, British system schools are among the most highly esteemed. Parents will always be keen to secure the very best possible opportunities and experiences for their children, alert to the impact a truly great education has on the lives of individuals and communities.

If you could invite any three people to dinner, who would it be and why?

My son and his grandfathers were destined never to meet one another - nothing would delight me more than to be able to bring them together. I’m sure that they would find a great deal of common ground. They would certainly all enjoy the food.

And lastly, can you tell us about something you always have on your work desk?

As the team at school will be only too aware, I like to keep my desk clear. There are a few important things, all semi-permanently positioned, but I am happiest away from it. Developing positive relationships with students, parents and staff is the most critical part of my job.

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Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong is a dedicated primary school providing education for children between the ages of 3 and 11. The campus in Tseung Kwan O, is nestled in between Lohas Park and the base of High Junk Peak. Their aspirational international community nurtures the strengths and ambitions of every student within a world-class facility offering direct access to an incredible range of opportunity, ensuring that every child thrives both within and beyond their school years.


From January 20201 Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong are delighted to announce the launch of a half day programme for students entering nursery classes. To find out more contact admissions@shrewsbury.edu.hk

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