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Confused about birth year and where to start in ESF school.

  1. #1
    babymommy2 is offline Registered User
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    Confused about birth year and where to start in ESF school.

    How strict is the ESF system in placing children in years according to their birth year?
    From the website it looks like my child born 2004 would start year 1 in 2009, which is different than where he would place in Canada. He is taking 2 years of preschool (07/08, and 08/09 years) and will go into Kindergarten in 09/10 in Canada. We are thinking of moving to Hk for the following year when he should enter grade 1 if in canada but looks like he would enter year 2 in HK, thereby losing a year. How many years are there? Is it 12 years as it is in canada?

    also I was under the immpression from reading on this website that all ESF use the IB cirruculum throughtout all years. Ont heir website the onoly reference I cold find to the IB program was about taking the IB exam for teens. We are hoping to send him to am IB school here, so that a switch to Hong kong will be easier.

    Is is very difficult to get into a school half way through the year? If you live in the right catchement area and are only fluent in english are you guarenteed a spot? Is this different for the kindedergarten program vs. the primary program? I have younger child (born 2006) who will start his first year of preschool in the 09/10 year here, so should then go into K2 in hong kong, then the next year sme thing, if in canada he would do another year of K but in HK will be in primary 1. What happens when we return to canada, he will be a year older than all his class mates, which I do not want.

  2. #2
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    My 2004 born will start ESF this September. She'll turn 5 next month. She'll also start Primary before she would have started in the States (where she was born), but in the end it doesn't really matter. She's surrounded by kids of her age, all educational systems are (slightly) different, that's the fun (and sometimes a disadvantage) of living abroad.

  3. #3
    babymommy2 is offline Registered User
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    I think it does matter as if it is strictly held he must go into primary 2 then he will have skipped an entire grade. It is not an issue if you start school in HK and all the kids are in the same grade and are the same age, but he will start in canada, and we will return to canada. if he has skipped a grade, going back to canada he will be the very youngest in his class and that is a disadvantage. Even if fine in an academic sense, there are social ramifications to being a year younger than all your classmates, especially when puberty hits.

  4. #4
    mumsy is offline Registered User
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    I believe ESF are pretty strict with their policies unless it can be shown that your child is behind in their development and would need to start in year 1 instead of year 2.

    Unfortunately there has to be a cut-off date (be it 31 Dec or 31 Aug) but being the youngest does not automatically mean they are at a disadvantage.

    I was actually the youngest in my class (made the cut-off by 2 days) and actually missed one entire year of primary school because my parents mixed up the entry dates. I went on to Uni and got professional qualifications, so I don't think it matters so much at primary level.

    If ESF won't budge, you may want to consider some of the other international schools as they might tend to be more flexible with their placements. In my son's class, there are kids who started school a year later. It really depends on the child's development and I would expect them to allow entry into a different year if the child was struggling or likewise if the child was gifted and too advanced for his classmates.

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