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local or international?? hurry!!

  1. #9
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
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    Dear Shaz,

    If you are thinking of the local system you and your husband (as nearly everything is in Chinese) need to understand it. There are special seminars designed for the parents of K3 students so that they can understand the placement allocation for primary schools.

    In the local system you still have the government schools (with the placement allocation) and the private schools (which often have kindergartens but some start at three years old and others at four years old). You need to understand the scheme in order to make sure your child has the best opportunities.

    The schools are all banded into 5 bands. Children from a band one school do much better academically than children in a band five school. One of my nephews is currently in a band five primary school and the whole family is working together to get him moved from this school to a higher banded school. He is only 10 years old but they are all worried because the primary school he is at feeds into a secondary school which has very poor results.

    You might get more information from the Education and Manpower Bureau web-site, http://www.ed.gov.hk/index.aspx?no***d=2&langno=1

    Every year there are lots of adverts (including on the TV) about the deadline for the dates to fill in the forms for applying to primary school. This date is quite early in the school year. Then you are told if you’ve got the place in December/January time. If not you have another chance to get the school you wanted later on. If you don’t get the school you want you will be given a school as the government are obliged to school everyone. It is a very anxious time for parents of five year olds. Because as I mentioned above the band of the primary school affects the band of the secondary school which in turn affects the leaving qualifications.

    As your son is only three years old you still have a lot of time to research everything. Don’t worry that he has been asked to restart K1 it is because the cut off date for each year is January 1st. Thus because he was born in 2001 he should be in K1. All the children in K1 this year were born in 2001. In fact it is a good thing because he will be one of the older ones in his year and so is more likely to do well at school.

    Good luck with your decision-making. I found choosing schools the hardest decision to come to because so much seemed to be attached to it.

    Best wishes,
    Barb

  2. #10
    shaz is offline Banned
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    Thanks everyone,

    On the homework issue, hubby would have to do the chinese part of it and he works late usually so my poor son has to hang around for dad to come home - which is a no-no for me!

    Well, I have till tomorrow to make my decision cause my son got accepted in K2 or Anchors and they need an answer tomorrow. Their K1 was full but the lady said she felt my son would be ok in K2 and to try it out with him. I love the fact that they have no pressure and learn through play. I have noticed a change in my son though he seems very shy around people and i think him being in the local school before caused this cause he knows he is different and it does affect him. People are always approaching him and saying where are you from and can u speak chinese and struff like that, he hates it!

    When we were in uk for our summer vacation he wasn't shy with anyone even people he didn't know. I think now he associates everything around mum cause i'm british and he seems to get along with expats better. he spends most of the time with me too so i think on that note i should allow him to be raised in schools with a micture of kids, like eurasians and expats and some local. his happiness is the most important to me; not results!

    well, i am going to go with anchors and try it for a year cause anyhow if my son can get a place at shatin junor then he'd start his pre-primary in jan 2006, so only 1.5 years at kindie left.

    thanks all so much for your input here.

    shaz

  3. #11
    jenniferlam is offline Registered User
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    i think it's always good to learn more than 1 language. if you speak english to your child at home already, maybe you should get them to attend chinese language schools.

  4. #12
    Lucie is offline Registered User
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    Question

    Hi everyone. I'm going through the same headache about whether to go local or international. I'm a BBC and hubbie is HK chinese. I can speak Cantonese but can't read chinese that well so v.reluctant to put my son (2 years and 8 months in nursery at a local nursery/kindergarten) into a local school (because of chinese homework) though hubbie thinks there's nothing wrong with local schools as he went to one! I'm living in Yuen Long at the moment and I don't think there are any international schools here. I think the good schools are in the Kowloon area and wonder is it necessary to move in closer to the schools to avoid my son travelling such a long time? My friend's daughter is living in the same area as I am and goes to a kindergarten in Kowloon Tong and she takes the school bus which takes about an hour to get there which to me is a long time for a child.

    I have thought about the kindergarten in Tsing Yi ESF - does anyone have any info about this kindergarten and the primary school options available post-kindergarten?

    Any advice is great!

  5. #13
    shaz is offline Banned
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    It's the headache of a livetime - I have found that out.
    My son who goes to an english speaking kinddie has almost lost his chinese now. I think he remembers it though because i'll speak chinese to him and he'll reply to me in english. He just prefers to speak english. i am trying to enourage his chinese in other ways and may put him in whole day school at this current kinddie - where he'll do local stream in the am and international stream in the pm. Then i can have him sound in both languages before deciding where to put him for primary. I live in Sheung shui and understand your concerns about travelling and stuff like that, its not good for such small kids to travel so far. There are some good kinddies in Tai Wai area. My son goes to Anchors in Tai Wai and so far i am pleased with it.

    The Tsing Yi ESF kinddie is expensive and does not give you automatic entry to esf schools, please remember that. But i think overall it is a pretty good kinddie.

    Yes, its good that our kids speak both languages and finding the 'right' school is a tough decision. Don't rule out the DSS schools - i beleive there is one in Tin Shui Wai, they are not too expensive but focus more on creative learning and languages and are more preferred than local schools.

  6. #14
    mary_spc is offline Registered User
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    Like everyone here, i am torn b/w the International and local school option.

    Since I grew up on overseas and did not learn Chinese, i am very keen for my child to be fluent in both written & spoken chinese. Does this mean i need to send him to local school, as i have heard the Chinese being taught at I/N school are inadequate????

    Also any comment on attending a I/N kindergarten and then switching to a local chinese school??? (Since i am keen on the Montessori teaching methods, but it does not seem to be available pass primary level.....?)

  7. #15
    Joyce is offline Registered User
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    Maybe its worth visiting different schools (international and local) and compare teaching methods, school ethos, homework policy, breadth of curriculum, opportunities to shine in other areas as well as academics, music, sport, etc and see which one suits your child. You may need to decide which of these things are important, then choose a school that meets your requirements. Different children thrive in different types of school - there's no hard and fast rules. A friend of mine has a child in a local school and has another in an international school because that works best for her children. They are both thriving in their own way and the main thing is that they are happy. Of course, the older child is completely bi-lingual in every sense but the younger perfers to use English more.

    I think if you send your child to a international school, a couple of hours of mandarin/cantonese is not enough for them to grasp hold of the language adequately (so that they are at completely fluent level), especially if this is not backed up at home. Of course, you could get a chinese tutor to help with language if that is important to you.

    These are just some thoughts......

  8. #16
    shaz is offline Banned
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    Go with what your heart tells you - my son is thriving now and is happy in his environment and enjoying school. They won't succeed if they are not happy.

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