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Transfering schools

  1. #1
    capital is offline Banned
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    Transfering schools

    I am wondering for people who know that they are going back to your home country, or came to Hk when your children were already school aged, do youfind any particular problems moving from one cirriculum to another ? There is a good possiblility we may move to Hk for 1-2 years when my child is in the early primary years., and I am wondering how to go about picking a school here in canada, Should I pick an IB school as that is also available in HK, should I pick a mandarin immersion program, or a regular school? I just don't know what to do. I am not so worried aobut starting school in Hk, as I am about returning to canada and fitting into school here again.

    I have read through a lot of the education threads but I am still confused. From what I understand in HK you can choose between regular local schools, english local schools, or private schools. Do you pay tuition to the local schools if you do not have HK ID card?

    Are kindergartens separate from the school system or part of it? It seem like some people do 3 years fo K and some do 1 or 2.

  2. #2
    kerry is offline Registered User
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    Hi, I am definately not an expert on this but I saw that no one has responded so I can tell you what I know.

    i am new to HK and a Canadian as well. I have a 4 year old son that I am trying hard to get into school. Right now he is eligible for K3 and will start Year 1 next year. K3 I understand is like JK back home and year 1 is like SK. Schools here are crazy to get into and there are long waiting list everywhere. I have only been able to secure 1 interview at Lantau International school and I am on the waiting list for Discovery Bay International (which does not interview - first come, first serve mentality but you can jump the line if you are willing to pay). I have contacted the Canadian, American, Australian and some ESF schools and none are accepting applications or have long waiting lists.

    I am not too concerned about the cirriculum here as they are in only in early primary. I am thinking that if for some reason we do stay longer I will put him into the Canadian as they have Ontario curriculum and it will be easy to transition back to Canada.

    I do not know anything about local schools at all. ESF schools are more like international schools (they do have some private as well) but run more like back home where you go to the school in your area but they cost like international. I am still confused as well. i am not sure if they have english local schools but most if not all international schools have mandarin classes. I guess it depends if you want your child to become fluent in Mandarin.

    I dont'know if I have helped at all. I am not putting my child in mandarin immersion as we aren't planning on being here for a long time. I think if you can get into any school for next year you are doing great!!

    Let me know if I can help. I am currently in Gold Coast but moving to DB in a couple of weeks.

  3. #3
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    There are many kinds of schools in HK!

    - International schools, e.g. French International, Canadian International etc. Long waiting lists and often high school fees, a few also require payment of a debenture.

    - Traditional ESF schools, e.g. Shatin Junior, Bradbury.
    They follow the Uk curriculum, ut most are changing to IB teach in English. Their fees are lower than a lot of other international schools because they recieve a subvention from the HK govt.

    - New private ESF schools, e.g. Renaissance, Discovery College. They have a much bigger emphasis on Mandarin in their curriculum. Fees are higher than tradit. ESF schools because they recieve no money from the govt.

    - English Medium Local schools, e.g. Diocsean Boys School, Queens College. These schools teach mainly in English and you pay minimal school fees. They are the most prestigious schools in the local system and are very academic and require interview, tests to get into them. Some teaching is done in Cantonese.

    - Local schools. Govt. schools. Teach in Cantonese. You apply for these through a central admissions system....the govt. provides the application forms. Schools are seperated into Bands 1 to 5 depending on their academic achievement etc. Band 1 being the best schools, Band 5 the worst. Most local schools are reluctant to take children who are not native cantonese speakers.....but it is possible to find those that will take international children, I believe.

    - Mandarin schools, e.g. KCIS, their local stream teaches only in Mandarin NOT English; their international stream teaches in English with a lot of Mandarin.


    By law in HK children do not have to start school until they are 6 yrs old. After that homeschooling is illegal.

    If children attend a local kindergarten they start
    - Pre Nursery at 2yrs
    - K1 at 3yrs
    - K2 at 4 yrs
    - K3 at 5 yrs
    Then P1 (the first year of primary at 6 yrs old)

    If a child attends a proper international kindergarten (by that I mean not a local kindergarten that has stuck international in its name),
    - Nursery starts at 3 yrs
    - Reception at 4 yrs
    Primary 1 at 5 yrs

    Under the Hk education system a child must be 3 yrs old by the December of entry to enter K1.

    However some international schools say a child must b 3 yrs old by the September of entry to enter Nursery.

    HTH!

  4. #4
    mintycat is offline Registered User
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    Beckyboo, thank you very much for the comprehensive breakdown of the different types of schools in HK. The HK school system is certainly very confusing for me.

  5. #5
    capital is offline Banned
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    Thankseveryone for the help. It is all very confusing. Does whether or not you have a HK ID card have any determination as to where you have to go to school?

    How much would a high tuition vs, a low tuition school be? I have absolutly no idea of even a ball park figure of tuition costs.


    What if you move in the middle of a school year? I assume your choices are then very limited?

  6. #6
    cemily is offline Registered User
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    My info may not be most up to date/accurate but just to give you an idea.

    High school fees ie most international schools and private schools - around HK$11,000 pm to HK$8000 pm, and + debenture for most schools required, still long waiting lists for these schools. You must try to apply now ie one year in advance. But many require simple interviews.

    ESF - around HK$6000 pm for those that enjoy HK Gov't subsidy. Require simple interview of the child too around January. Relatively easy to get in and they allocate by area ie school will be near where you live.

    English medium schools that are on the DSS system, eg DBS, DGS etc, HK$ 3800 - HK$5500 pm. Must go through 2 rounds of difficult interviews. Eg for DBS, last year 1800 boys applied and 150 got accepted!!

    Local schools - some are English medium schools too, all draw lots to get entry, nearly free, application starts one year before the actual school year.

    Kindergartens - all private. School fees range from HK$2000 pm to HK$10,000pm. Get reasonably good kindergartens for around HK$3500 pm. Most require applications one year to 6 months prior.

    I would imagine, for expats, only international, private or ESF schools are suitable.

    Rgds

    e

  7. #7
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    You can not live in HK and work etc. without a HK ID card.

    There are 2 types of ID cards,
    a). Resident
    b). Permanent resident

    Regardless of what kind of HKID card you have you can to to public hospitals, attend govt. schools.

    If you move in the middle of the school year I think it would be a case of having to go to school where ever you could find a place.

  8. #8
    Freya is offline Registered User
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    If you are comming to HK from overseas and your child is a native English speaker, you can now obtain a debenture for an ESF School to secure a place before you arrive which may help you. An interview is still required and if you have a child entering an ESF high school they are required to take an entrance examination cost is HK$800 and the exam is set by the Australian Examination Board. It is due to the high demand for high school places that an entrance exams has been introduced. Unless one passes no place is given, not so easy to get into any more! fees for junior school are approx $6,000 per month and high school is approx $9,000 per month with an increase no doubt for the next acedemic year. As the majority of schools in HK are now doing or switching to PYP or IB I think it is fairly easy to transfer back to schools in your home country as they are very much an international curriculum rather than say, English or American. Hence you may want to go the PYP IB route to make transistion easier.

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