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Woodlands Happy Valley - Need feedback

  1. #1
    Lav
    Lav is offline Registered User
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    Woodlands Happy Valley - Need feedback

    Hi,

    Im looking for any feedback, positive or negative, on Woodlands Happy Valley!

    Anybody knows about this pre-school?

  2. #2
    Lolipop is offline Registered User
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    My daughter has been going to the summer school Woodlands Wan Chai.

    We have been very impressed with it so far.

    (Although we have decided, since we are English and speak no Chinese, to put her into a local school with an international section so she is more exposed to the language).

    As long as you dont mind paying a bit more, and are not really concerned about teaching Mandarin or Cantonese, than i would recommend the woodland schools very highly.

    The only thing about the Woodlands in Happy Valley is that the rooms are very small, but this gives a nice cosey feel - I thik it really depends or your personal preference. The school in Wan chai is much bigger with huge class rooms and playing area.

  3. #3
    Gayley is offline Registered User
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    Hi Lolipop,

    I have just registered my gal with the Woodland playgroup- do you have any comments on it and Woodland Pokfulam in general? Thanks!

  4. #4
    Lolipop is offline Registered User
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    To be honest not much more than I have posted. Our own experience has been with the school in Wan Chai, where our little one seems to have had lots of fun!

    The thing I like about the woodland group is that there is quite a veriety of options -from the English stream, to Montessori, to Bi-lingual.

    However, I have found the fees to be quite high compared to other more local schools.

    I start to wonder whether at this age, it is really worth spending lots of money on these schools when the real hard priciple of learning should come from well directed play, which, through research I begin to see they can get at any school they go to in hong kong but at half the price in a lot of places!

    I am starting to believe that these high priced international schools are aimed at expats who often have the companies pay for employees childrens school - so you are not neccessarily paying for a better education (afterall what does that 'really' mean at the ages of 2yrs - 5yrs?), you are paying higher prices because the school can get away with it (because 70% of the childrens parents dont even pay for it themselves)!

    over the last few weeks my attitude to the whole school system has really changed (toddlers and young children)- i believe as long as you find a school with teachers that genuinly care and where the children are obviously having fun and seem confident, that will do just as well as any other school!

    However, that said, i have been impressed with the woodlands school in Wan Chai. ... But no more impressed than the other more local schools our little one has been to, and the ones that I have looked around.

    hope this helps

    xxxx

  5. #5
    bongcvaldez is offline Registered User
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    Hello Lolipop

    Sent you a private message. Let me know if you got it.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Lolipop is offline Registered User
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    Hi det

    I got your Private Message, have PM'ed back :yeah2

    xx

  7. #7
    josoo is offline Registered User
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    Woodlands Happy Valley - Need feedback

    My daughter has been with Woodland HV for over a year now. She started Wrigglers classes there and will be joining Sept's morning playgroup. I was contemplating between them and Tutor Time, but ended up with Woodland HV, because its within our neighbourhood and my daughter is always excited when she's there.

    The HV venue is relatively small, but it's cosy and everything appears big to little kids at their age. The families are from moderate income families with a good mixture of cultures. And they offer bi-lingual classes at the age of 3.

    I am quite happy with them. But the most important thing to decide is which path do you want your child to take when she begins school? Do you want to adhere to the local schools, ESF or International schools? Most kids that attend Woodland end up at ESF, schools such as ESF Kindergarten in Sheung Wan, Kellett School, HK Academy, and eventually attend South Island, Island, Bradbury, etc.

    I went to Kellett and then Island School myself and believe I want my daughter to follow the same path. I am Chinese and so is my husband, but we have a private Mandarin tutor to cater my daughter's Chinese requirements. I expect my child to be able to read/write Chinese, but it surely won't be her mother-tongue.

    The local system is a little harsh for our liking, school should be exciting and a place my daughter should look forward to going. However, this is purely my personal view. Good luck!

  8. #8
    ami
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    woodlands is a playgroup

    My impression of Woodlands is that is a playgroup type of experience. It is not a Montessori school. Each year the "Woodland's group" seeks to hire new teachers and girls from UK or Canada come to get one or two year's experience in a "Montessori" school.

    They advertise on non-traditional Montessori websites for their teachers. The teachers will be perky and use the time in Hong Kong to party and play and see Asia.

    And while the experience for your child is good... it is not Montessori education at all, rather a good experience for your child in an English speaking school.

    International schools in Hong Kong are for the expats. All of them. Companies pay huge sums to send the children there. Academics at some of them are better than others. German Swiss school really has a strong program. Compared to local schools, this cannot be done as local schools cater to Cantonese speakers.

    Check out who owns and operates your child's school. If the Principal has actually ever taught and where have they taught. Most newer type schools make huge money, they hire cheap teachers from Mainland China or other countries, they pay them less than 20,000 HK per month, hardly professinal type wage in Hong Kong. Most rents are much higher.

    Sending the child to early education... pick a quality school which follows an actual methodology... Steiner/Waldorf and Montessori are worthwhile if they are legit. Parents must be educated to be legit. Many schools are run be keen marketing people, who are good at selling a story but maybe not at delivering a very good education.

    A good Montessori program begins at age 2 1/2 to 3 and runs through age 12. That is the Montessori Method of Maria Montessori. You need real Montessori teachers to run the classroom. Having teachers trained or not: there are training centers and programs that are not any good; check the qualifications of the teachers and administration of the school. Association Montessori Internationale was set up by Maria Montessori. Check there first in order to see how AMI teachers are qualified. Your child may be in a program that is not any good, but how would the parent know? Are your children thriving in the program and bringing home quality work done by your child?

    Advertising is done to lure the parents to the school. I have been in meetings, the parents ask few questions. The program is laid out very well, the classrooms look good. You should tour when school is in session and observe in several classrooms. See what the children are doing. Are they actually engaged in work? Watch what the teacher is doing? Is she presenting new skills/lessons to one child at a time in the 3-6 class? To a small group at a time in the 6-9 or 9-12? Are the children actually using the Montessori materials or just filling in worksheets? Worksheets in the class, run far away from that school. Become an informed parent. Montessori education is outstanding, but not for every child.
    Last edited by shri; 08-17-2007 at 11:27 AM. Reason: Self promo deleted

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