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URGENT!! - ESF or HLY???

  1. #1
    itsybitsymom is offline Registered User
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    URGENT!! - ESF or HLY???

    I've just got notified that my girl has been accepted to ESF Tsing Yi but she has already registered at HLY Nursery? I want her to study at ESF from year 1. What shall I do? give up HLY? I though ESF Tsing Yi rejected my application but now they accepted my girl for the K1 this Sep. Has ESF kinder priority to enter ESF primary? I love Hong Lok Yuen Int'l school but should I give it up for future??? Can you advise me, PLEASE?????

    Thanks!!!
    Last edited by itsybitsymom; 06-04-2009 at 12:57 PM.

  2. #2
    0ze_Kid's Avatar
    0ze_Kid is offline Registered User
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    It is a tough choice. I believe that ESF say that they don't guarantee a primary place if a child attends kindy at ESF but it couldn't hurt and I am considering sending my youngest to ESF instead of the kindy she has been accepted to just in case.

    I know that doesn't help your decision but a friend said something to me recently which may help. Think of what is best for your DD. Consider the environment (not just the academic but the social) of both schools, the teachers that you met and how they would be with your DD. Base your decision on this.

  3. #3
    Klam is offline Registered User
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    Hi, it's a tough choice and it does look like you want your child to go to P1 ESF. Just about everyone I know whose children attended ESF kindie, managed to get into P1 ESF, but this was about 3 years ago.
    I'm not sure if this is the case now, but the odds of trying to get a place at Shatin ESF without having attended its' kindies or without a foreign name, is very low.

    Also, you could think about taking the kindie at ESF and then if you don't get accepted for P1 at Shatin, you could always apply for HLY P1. Although HLY is a small school, they seem to be able to accept new students that have not come through their own kindie at P1.
    Or you could stay at HLY and continue through the whole system as they now have their own secondary school.

  4. #4
    mumsy is offline Registered User
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    Your chances of getting into ESF primary would depend on which category you fall into.

    Category 1 - Children who speak English as a first or alternative language but do not speak Cantonese and/or read and write Chinese characters.

    Attending ESF Tsing Yi would only give you a priority within Category 2 should you fall into Category 2.

    Having said that, my friend's child speaks Cantonese and attended a local kindy and actually got accepted into ESF because one parent doesn't read/write chinese.
    Strangely enough I've also heard some expats were rejected by ESF even though English is their first and only language.
    So there are really no guarantees!

    My child currently goes to HLY and our original plan was also to switch to ESF for primary, basically because it's a lot more affordable and would guarantee a ESF secondary place. However we have since changed our minds. We have been very happy with HLY and seen such a huge improvement in my child's development. I would really hate to uproot him so we have decided to stay on at HLY (even though we're unsure about how well the secondary school will go).

    I would choose the school you are most happy with and would be a good fit for your child's personality.
    I also note you live in Tsing Yi, so you would need to consider whether the commute time to HLY is too far or not.
    Good luck with your decision.

  5. #5
    dolphinyp is offline Registered User
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    I also have the same dilemma as you do for now, in which one should i choose for my son in the near future. But personally, i think i would choose the one which is nearby.

  6. #6
    Neha is offline Banned
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    ESF doesnt guarantee that your child from Kindy will get into P1 but 99% of kids go to ESF Primary.

  7. #7
    itsybitsymom is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Everybody!! Your comments were very helpful. I have been invited to ESF school tour this afternoon so I will go and see why ESF is so popular among parents.

    BTW, MUMSY - can I ask some questions in relation to HLY?

    1. From Reception, they operate a full day. Are kids okay with that? Aren't they too tired or managed to their small life?

    2. How about their achievement after 2 years of Kindergarten level. How about their English and Mandarin language? My girl is a mix and English is not her first language but she speaks English quite well. I am sure she picked it up from her current pre-nursery school in Central.

    3. Are teachers caring and warm hearted?

    I am still struggling to choose which one as both schools are excellent.

    ESF - convenient (near our home) | cheaper school fees | priority to its primary school?

    HLY - academically better?? eg. Mandarin | small sized and warm and caring | spacious and well equipped environment | a bit expensive school fees though

    Thanks a billion!!!

  8. #8
    mumsy is offline Registered User
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    To answer your questions,

    1. Reception is full day but there is an option for half day on Wednesday. I think initially they may get tired but should adjust after a few weeks, and they will probably tend to sleep earlier at night time and for longer.

    Even at nursery class, there are many kids attending full day and a lot of kids have given up their nap. But for those that still need to nap, the school will bring out mattresses and let them nap for about 20-30mins.

    2. There are many mix kids and different nationalities at HLY so I wouldn't worry about English not being her first language. Some kids are more fluent than others and so long as she can understand and communicate, then she will be fine. I even know one kid who had very limited english to start with and he has made a lot of progress so far.

    As for mandarin, they start with basic greetings and learn mandarin songs at nursery level. At the CNY concert, I heard the reception kids singing more complex songs and recite some poems, but because I don't speak mandarin I'm not really sure of the standard.

    I know at primary level they will start to teach Mandarin in three groups depending on the child's level (something like expats, mandarin parents, local parents who know mandarin etc).

    I've heard that HLY mandarin program is much better than ESF, but I know ESF are improving theirs now and introducing mandarin lessons every day at primary.

    3. The teachers are really nice and great towards the kids. If the kids are upset/crying, they will take care of them and give them a hug until they have calmed down.

    The teachers really focus on each individual child's ability so they are not pushed to do anything that they would struggle with, but at the same time encourage them to take part.

    It's a tough decision to make. If we lived on HK island I think we would have definitely chosen ESF all the way. But since we are in the NT there are no ESF kindys and HLY is the closest school for us.

    You should have a better idea after you have visited ESF.

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