Students in East Asian locations often obtain high academic results in international high-stakes testing, but lower results on affective aspects of their schooling, such as sense of belonging. These findings indicate the need for more holistic research into children’s lifeworlds, including their experiences of school. In this article, we draw on a survey with 627 Year 4 students in three global cities in the Asia Pacific (Hong Kong, Singapore, and Melbourne), exploring dimensions of their perceptions of school. Responses from students were generally positive in terms of sense of school belonging and student identity. Students who responded positively in terms of belonging and student identity were more likely to want academic activities to occur more often. The article adds to the existing literature by offering an exploratory consideration of the relationships between sense of belonging, student identity, and school activity preferences of Year 4 students in Hong Kong, Singapore and Melbourne. It is argued that all of these are essential factors that need to be considered and incorporated in policy planning and curriculum development. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).