Hi MamaShirley

Thanks for your PM.
I think MOST of us are obsessive about our child's education.
It's an individual decision based on the needs of each family or the outcome each parent desires.
To address your queries in the PM... sorry I can't send a message from my inbox right now so am writing it on the main forum thread.

(1) The funding a school receives from fees or otherwise is not indicative how well qualified the teachers in that school are. It's not about what the school can afford. I believe that the greater accountability a school has, the greater the chance of encountering better teachers. ESF is partially government funded hence, has greater accountability.

(2) English used at home is different from English used in school despite being native speakers. E.g. I need him to know the difference between an isosceles triangle and an equilateral triangle. I would never sit around at home talking about Maths. We have no intention of making HK our permanent home as such Putonghua/Cantonese is not an essential. Neither one of us is Chinese so it's of no great concern. Beneficial - yes, Primary importance - No. We don't believe in picking up English from watching TV - a lot of programmes are Americanised. I need my child to speak, read and write British/Australian English - not North American English.

(3) IB programme - Prefer IB programme to be taught in an English as a first language setting rather than ESL setting. ESL kids are ESF are encouraged to bridge their gaps by attending extra-curricular English classes. And, the issue of American English versus British English comes up. Given the great pool of teachers/resources, I have more faith in ESF than any other institution - strength in numbers I say when setting something new up.

(4) Pool of students - at 2.5 years old, what can you actually learn from an 'interview' apart from which child has been coached by a parent perhaps? We are very happy with ESF's criteria - Category 1 - Native English speakers (essentially) or other non-English speaking families (Cantonese excluded) and Category 2 - Cantonese speaking children who may or may not speak good English. We are very much a learning through play kinda folks - we aren't fussed if there's something he cannot do. I don't want him to be in a competitive environment at this age.

(5) Travel - Despite living only 20 minutes away from Tsing Yi, my child has to travel 40 minutes too because of the stop and go nature of the school bus system.

(6) Good local primaries in HK - Just the top of my head (mostly DSS)
- Marymount
- La Salle
- St Paul's
- Ying Wa
- St. Marg's Co-ed

with your final decision!