Study in Hong Kong

Syllabus-based tuition is provided for students studying:

– All levels of International Baccalaureate (PYP, MYP and Diploma)
– GCSE, IGCSE and A-Levels
– Hong Kong Examinations, the HKDSE syllabus

As the majority of our students continue their education at university we assist them with their applications and with formal examinations such as the SAT/SAT II.

We have also assisted many students in their preparations for the Hong Kong Speech Festival, debating competitions, writing competitions and outstanding student awards.


Going overseas

We also prepare students for Common Entrance Examinations (CEE) and Examinations to specific private schools such as Winchester and Cheltenham Ladies in the UK and Choate-Rosemary Hall in the US. Inclusive of the tuition fees are mock examinations. We will assist and manage the registration process for CEE and we also conduct and invigilate the examinations for our students at our facility.

For students preparing for the CEE and examinations to specific private schools, we may insist that any and all tuition be conducted at FirstClass in order to ensure that a student is completely prepared for the examinations and encounters as little stress as possible.

Assistance in preparing for school and university entrance interviews is also one of our services. We will conduct mock interviews, covering potential interview topics, body language, tone of voice and demeanour.

We also provide tuition during holiday time for students returning from schools and universities overseas.

Free of Charge Assessment Lesson

Available to Year 5, Grade 4, Primary 4 and below only

For the younger students in this assessment, we identify the particular requirements of the student and then formulate a study programme specifically for the individual. We endeavour to provide solid foundations on which they can build their future education.

For older students and those preparing for CEE or private school examinations, we identify the particular requirements of the student in relation to the published syllabus for the courses they are studying.  All tutors follow the published syllabus and requirements for secondary school students and students preparing for private school examinations, hence an assessment lesson is considered unnecessary, however each tutor will tailor their lessons to the specific need of the individual or group of students that they are working with.

Our Team of Tutors & Consultants

Steven Maginn
(Senior Tutor)

I am from London, England. After taking a first-class degree in History at Cambridge University, I went to Japan to teach English at a secondary school. I subsequently decided to make a career in publishing and joined a British publishing company as their manager in Tokyo. Since then, I have spent 25 years in Asia working for different academic and educational publishing houses, during which time I also wrote a number of textbooks for students of English.

I left the publishing field in 2013 and have since worked as a full-time tutor at First Class Academy, teaching various humanities subjects, including English language and English literature, geography, history, politics, philosophy and religious studies and have taught children from as young as five as well as teenagers and adults.  I have prepared students for a wide range of examinations, including 11+, 13+ Common Entrance, GCSE and IGCSE, A-level, IB Diploma, HKDSE, IELTS, TOEFL, SSAT, SAT and ACT. I enjoy working intensively with students, challenging them to achieve their potential and pushing them to attain their goals. I am married with a son who graduated from Hong Kong University and is now teaching in China and a daughter who is currently studying for a Master’s degree at Oxford University in the UK.

James Skelton
(Senior Tutor)

After graduating from Deacon’s school, Peterborough, I was awarded an upper second degree in Natural Sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1993. Subsequently, I left the UK and started teaching in Hong Kong in 1995.

In 1999 I co-founded First Class, focusing on one-to-one or very small group tuition, aiming to engage with and motivate our students. I have taught Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology as well as critical thinking and reasoning courses to students from primary to post-graduates (GMAT preparation).

My main focus has been on preparing students for entrance exams such as pre-screening adaptive tests, 11+, 13+ and SSAT, high school certificates such as (I)GCSE, SAT, ACT, HKDSE, A Levels and IB Diploma, as well as preparation for courses such as CTY, UKMT and BMAT.

Ada Tse
(Senior Tutor)

After earning my Bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutritional Sciences in Hong Kong and subsequently achieving a Class A Master’s degree in Experimental and Clinical Neurosciences in Germany, I have dedicated over two decades to biomedical science research. During this time, I have gained significant expertise in scientific writing and statistical analysis, resulting in the publication of 15 scientific reports in reputable peer-reviewed journals. Presently, I am in the final stages of completing my PhD in immunology in Germany.

I have a rich history of providing tutorial classes to high school students, a commitment that has spanned since 1995. Furthermore, I have a wealth of experience teaching at First Class Academy for several years.

My primary areas of instruction encompass Biology at various levels, including GCSE, iGCSE, HKDSE, IB Diploma, and A-Level. Additionally, I offer instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL), focusing on grammar and writing skills, as well as Mandarin, Statistics, General Science, and Mathematics. I am also equipped to provide classes to prepare students for the IELTS examination.

Sunny Vachhani
(Senior Tutor)

With a profound passion for mathematics, I spent a decade in the finance and investment sector, achieving qualifications in professional accounting and investment management and earning memberships with ACCA and CFA. This pivotal experience paved the way for a subsequent chapter in my professional journey—educating others on finance and management exams at the university level.

In 2006, I left the UK and embarked on a new adventure in Asia with my young family, which led me to pivot into teaching. I successfully transitioned careers by obtaining TEFL and PGCEi credentials from a UK University. With over 15 years of teaching experience, I have immersed myself in the field of education, specialising in teaching mathematics aligned with the British curriculum, spanning KS1, KS2, KS3, 7+, 11+, 13+, and foundation GCSE/IGCSE levels.

I have three children pursuing mathematics-related degrees, including a daughter who has graduated from Durham University, a son completing the final year of his Master’s at the University of Warwick, and a third child just commencing university. I enjoy nurturing students in their mathematical understanding and seeing them flourish in their academic journey.

Lisa Kirkup
(Senior Tutor)

After completing my teacher training in the UK, I moved to Hong Kong and have been teaching here for over 15 years. I had spent a majority of my background before that in-workplace training before moving from London to Hong Kong in 2008. I graduated from Manchester University with a degree in English Language and Literature. Here, I have achieved a diploma in TESOL (DipTESOL), which is a Masters in Linguistics or a similar field in the U.K. (Band scale 7).

In Hong Kong, I have not only worked for First Class Academy for nearly 12 years, but I have also run various courses in schools, such as Cambridge Starters, Movers and Flyers, HKDSE Writing, bridging courses, and last but not least, English enhancement courses. Moreover, at FirstClass, I have tutored a number of ages from primary up to GCSE level, covering many U.K. school entrance exams, 11+, 13+, ESL, literature, IGCSE, HKDSE, and IELTS, grammar, writing, reading comprehension and so on. I am a passionate reader and encourage this with my students. I am married and have a young son.

Schedule Lessons!

Please complete the Lesson Booking Form and return it to us.