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Kindergarten application periods

  1. #1
    giantsean is offline Registered User
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    Kindergarten application periods

    Our son just turned two years old yesterday, so it's easy to still think of him as a baby. Imagine then my horror at finding out we've missed the application period for ESF kindergartens (and most decent alternatives) simply by our own ignorance. It might be due to the fact that I'm from the US and the idea of a below three-year-old starting any kind of school other than nursery simply does not compute, but knowing the rigidness of HK I'm more afraid I've screwed the child for life.

    My main concern is that he'll be two years and 10 months starting in Sept 2008. I'd much rather have him be starting at nearly four and be one of the older kids in class, but from what I'm reading it may not be possible to start him in K1 a year late simply because... well... "can not" (you know what I mean)

    So I guess the basic questions are:

    1) can I start the lad on his educational journey 1 year later across the board (ie K1/2/3 and P1 onwards will start on the next school year vs. the one that the government assures me is "correct"?
    2) barring that, any idea whether it's truly too late to be accepted at an ESF kindergarten for his "correct" year if we apply a month late?
    3) if he misses the cutoff, then what.. .he just never goes to school???

    All advice greatly appreciated
    Last edited by giantsean; 11-21-2007 at 03:06 AM.

  2. #2
    spockey is offline Registered User
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    I'd say just put the application in anyway.
    As a native English speaking applicant whereby both parents DO NOT speak any Cantonese or Mandarin, you are supposed to be at the top of the heap.

    Just so you know, kids at the AIS don't start school til they are 4 the year they start school. And, the Canadian International too (got to check that though coz I'm not Canadian and I read it from a book on HK schools).

  3. #3
    CBeaver is offline Registered User
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    There're still lots of alternatives, and your child doesn't necessarily need to start school at 3 (though formal schooling is a must for those reaching 6 according to law).

    By the way, many schools are still accepting application, like Starters (as long as they have vacancies), Victoria (before interviews begin next year), Canadian (by the end of November) and Chinese Internation School (by the end of December??) to name a few. You may give them a call to confirm their application deadline.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    I would submit your application ASAP. There's people leaving all the time in HK and you may get in or be on the top of the waiting list. I started D at ESF kindy at 3 1/2 years old. I wouldn't recommend starting any later. Each child has a portfolio at the kindy, documenting their progress and development. P1 interviews start when the kids are 4, and the P1 teachers visit the kindy and go through the portfolios and speak to class teachers. Also if your child has any issues, its best they are dealt with ASAP, and the teachers will identify areas that your child may need some extra support to prepare them for the P1 interview.

    My 2 cents!

  5. #5
    Seb's Dad is offline Registered User
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    hi

    is there any particular reason you want your son to attend the esf kindy? there are lots of great kindergartens in hong kong that are more flexible with application times. woodlands, sunshine house and small world come to mind, and their acceptance rates into esf primary schools & international schools are JUST as high as the esf kindergartens.

    my son has a november birthday, so i completely understand what you are saying about it being amazing the thought of your 2.5 yr old trotting off to school!

    good luck.
    seb's mum
    Last edited by Seb's Dad; 11-21-2007 at 11:35 AM. Reason: grammatical

  6. #6
    giantsean is offline Registered User
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    Thanks all for the great feedback.

    The reason we are a bit limited is that we live in Tung Chung and are looking for something reasonably close as I'm not keen on huge travel times (either accompanied or on a bus) for such a young kid.

    We are considering some kinders in TC but they are all on the local side... while I would like him to learn some Cantonese I have heard that this may affect later placement in an ESF school but it could just as easily be BS. We are an English/Mandarin speaking household so I guess we are priority in theory.

    The other problem is that the "good" time slots (AM) are all full from those who applied on time, leaving only the afternoon. I guess we could find an AM session in a crappy K OR let him suffer through the PM session for a year w/o napping much, but neither are ideal choices. I can't believe how quickly this came out of nowhere!

  7. #7
    stanley is offline Registered User
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    How long does ESF need to get back to you usually. We applied to the ESF Kindergarten in Tsing Yi right at the beginning of the application period, but we still dont have an answer, while we already got accpeted at Victoria.

  8. #8
    reei is offline Registered User
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    just turned two and missed out on application period.. oh my goodness.
    i just gave birth to a bb girl 2 months ago, should i be sending in my applications now?


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