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To IB or not to IB, that is the question!

  1. #17
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    geomum, the answers to all your questions depends on the curriculum/system you choose. 'Local' schools have K1 K2 and K3 starting around 3. Then P1-6, the F1-7. (I think!). This is usually also the case with the DSS (Direct Subsidy Schools) schools.

    ESF - children usually have K1 and K2, starting the calender year they turn 3. Then P1-6 and Y7-13.

    Australian Internation runs P1-6, and Y7-12, but I am unsure of their exact age/year dates.

    HKIS/Canadian - start a bit later, I think (??)

    Other International schools (such as Kellett and GSIS) have different starting ages, and different numbers of school years. You are nest to check with the schools you are interested in.

    The first questions hsould probably be which system you want your child to matriculate in - local HKCE, A levels, IB, US style liberal arts, French diploma etc etc and work backwards from there as to which schools are appropriate.....and start saving!!

  2. #18
    geomum is offline Registered User
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    HappyV, thanks a bunch for anwering my queries :)

  3. #19
    Gabriel ma is offline Registered User
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    IB is still too new in HK

  4. #20
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    Actually, Chinese International have been offering the IB for years and years, as have United World College in Ma on Shan, the Australian International School in Kowloon Tong, and several other international and 'local' schools.

    It is, however, new to the ESF. Given this school network's high profile, it is inevitable the their discussion of the 'new' IB diploma has led some to think that it is new to HK.

  5. #21
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyV View Post
    'Local' schools have K1 K2 and K3 starting around 3. Then P1-6, the F1-7. (I think!). This is usually also the case with the DSS (Direct Subsidy Schools) schools.
    The local system is in the middle of a big change in its further education. It is changing from a 3-4-3 system to a 3-3-4 system.

    3-4-3 is:
    • three years F1 to F3 (year 7 to year 9 in ESF and grades 6 to 8 in the USA)
    • four years for university entrance F4 to F7 (year 10 to year 13 in ESF and high year in the USA - but some are only three years)
    • three years in university or college

    3-3-4 is:
    • three years F1 to F3 (year 7 to year 9 in ESF and grades 6 to 8 in the USA)
    • three years for university entrance
    • Four years for university

    2012 will be the first intake into the universities in Hong Kong that will be studying a four year course.

    A number of my children's friends are doing all sorts of strange things building up to this change. One is taking her IGCSEs in F4 instead of F5 but will still be taking the HKCEE in F5. Another is now studying medicine at HKU but she joined early after F6 and never finished her A levels or studied F7.

    These changes may make it much harder to get into British universities which are still working on a 3-4-3.

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyV View Post
    As for a child 'hating' a subject - each to his own. But the failure to study one's own native language to matriculation is probably one factor in the overwhelming illiteracy amongst university students. Even maths students have to complete project and research based work - hard to do if your writing skills are rudimentary.
    It is fine to talk about this is general terms but when you have to deal with individual children the fact that a child hates one subject and loves another could easily be the difference between dropping out and continuing in education. Not everyone can be good at all subjects.

    In England it is considered having your native language for university entrance if you pass your GCSE in it at age 16 - they don't insist that you have to study it for another two years.

    To fully compare the systems it is important to compare levels for each exam level. I don't know much about the comparison of English and other languages but in the mathematics the level my son learnt in the British system at 16 was very similar to the level my daughter was studying in the Canadian system at 18!

    As each child is an individual and their strengths and weaknesses become more apparent as they age I believe it is important to be flexible and make changes to schooling as necessary. This could easily mean that one system that suits at age 5 is no longer the best solution by age 16.

    The other thing to remember is that the systems themselves change over time. 15 years old A levels were thought to be a very good qualification to get into university - now many people give the impression they aren't worth the paper they are written on and that the IB is much better. What will be the thinking in another 15 years when the children starting school now are making university choices?
    Last edited by LLL_Sarah; 12-20-2008 at 03:38 PM.

  6. #22
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    There was a real dichotomy in the ESF decision to move to IB between parents who thought that A-levels were too 'easy', and that IB was too 'hard'. Both are clearly extremist points of view - however, the ever rising rate of A* at A level means that universities now demand higher and higher grades, and have trouble distinguishing between 'top' students from grades alone.

    So - for children who are (overwhelmingly) from well resourced, educationally supportive homes, IB may offer new challenegs (keep up your languages) - but it is also designed to be a broader education than the A levels.

    There is a reason that schools all over the world are swopping to IB - because it offers a very broad range of options at university level.

    As to universities in the UK not requiring English at A level - if you read the education pages of any major UK newspaper around exam result time, you will see comments from universities talking about the growing problems of 'top' students who lack basic literacy skills. Surely one way to ensure that your child can function fully in a tertiary environment is to establish these skills before leaving secondary. Australian students have to matriculate in English - ditto for US students.

  7. #23
    Gabriel ma is offline Registered User
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    Can anyone make a comment on PLK CHOI KAI YAU SCHOOL 保良局蔡繼有學校?

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