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Rejected by KJS: what to do now

  1. #33
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    About such schools like the PLKCamoes, bear in mind that the applicant numbers will be large too. If there is a large number of applicants from a specific group, not all will get in. It's a DSS not a local government school. So, don't put your eggs in one basket as you did with ESF. It is no easier to get into PLK than it is to get into ESF. In general, if schools can diversify their non-native English speaking population, they will. In HK, it's quite the norm to impose an unofficial "quota" on applicants. As long as they have tested your child fairly during the interview, unlike the child mentioned in "Minority Report", they can pick and choose the kids they let in.

    It will be another ESF though, there are feeder kindergartens. It is a DSS under the Po Leung Kok umbrella and a lot of parents put their kids in a local brand name kindergarten to get them there e.g. Learning Habitat, PIPS, ... .

    Just make sure your eggs are not in one singular basket as the steps you have taken to ensure that your child secured a place at KJS (except to buy a home in Tung Chung) has not been about providing the best opportunities to allow for easy access to such an oversubscribed school. I think I said it before, Sun Island, is as local as can be, it is not a school that has an international outlook/approach like DMK/Sunshine House. There is nothing wrong with a local kindergarten, just don't expect to jump from a local school to an oversubscribed DSS/ESF/International brand name school.

    Just so you know how competitive it is, currently, even Cat. 1 native English speakers, are on a waitlist to get into ESF(TY) and have to place their children in local kindergartens like DMK/Sunshine House, so you can imagine how bad it is in 2 years, when applications for KJS open for all kids. I'd say parents who are really keen on the ESF/good DSS route, not fluff around with their kindergarten choices.

    Otherwise, take the approach of Cara and Thanka2, they made their decisions wisely and they are in enviable positions as their kids will get a priority into all their local primary school of choice (which given how expensive international school fees are right now, the government is expecting a huge influx and applications into such schools even from native English speakers).

    Note to Thanka2: I have been told by a colleague that there is now a new local-international primary school in South Yuen Long. Will ask my colleague for the details on Monday and post it here for other parents to know too!

    The bottom line is, if you have chosen a VERY local school for kindergarten, expect local options. It is an exception to the norm if someone from a VERY LOCAL kindergarten would get into any oversubscribed school.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  2. #34
    rs2000 is offline Registered User
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    Hi all,

    Thanks again for the inputs. when we chose sunisland it was a combination of easy access from home and the budget we had. now that we can afford an ESF school, the problem is that we were unable to secure a seat.

    Regarding Sun Island, i realize it is a local kindergarten but a lot of x-students I know goto esf schools from there. So i had hope we will be able to do the same too. and then the we were also thinking to move to Singapore and in all that confusion, did not apply to many places.

    now i have checked and most places are filled. cant imagine how difficult it is for parents here to get decent education for the kids.

    i am going to explore local schools options too. meanwhile if there are some other ideas, please share with me

    thanks!

  3. #35
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheQuasimother View Post

    Note to Thanka2: I have been told by a colleague that there is now a new local-international primary school in South Yuen Long. Will ask my colleague for the details on Monday and post it here for other parents to know too!

    The bottom line is, if you have chosen a VERY local school for kindergarten, expect local options. It is an exception to the norm if someone from a VERY LOCAL kindergarten would get into any oversubscribed school.
    Are you referring to St. Lorraine's International Kindergarten in Yuen Long? If so, I do know of one child who attends there and it seems to be going well for them. We also looked into St. Lorraine's but decided against it although my son likely would have gotten in.

    We live near Yuen Long but we don't live in Yuen Long and we found a local kindergarten that is much closer to us and which we felt was just as suitable for my son. I'm not sure what is meant by "VERY local" but I think that our little local kindergarten does offer the best of both worlds for my son at this point.

    While, of course, I'd love the option of sending my son to an ESF or International School later on, I am also realistic but things change and sometimes there are ways to work things out in the end. I personally know people who seem to have very "good luck" with schools and even an American family whose two children were given a full-ride scholarship to the Norwegian International School in Tai Po--they didn't get wait-listed either.

    I'm just not up for stressing myself over it at this point when we aren't even certain we'll be here in HK when he starts primary school. If we are, I teach at a local primary school that is in our village and would feel confident sending him to this school as well. I figure that a local education at a decent school can do nothing but enrich his life further and offer him something that can't be replicated elsewhere.

  4. #36
    Elise is offline Registered User
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    To rs2000
    You have obviously been placed in Category 2 with ESF. The current situation indicates virtually no Category 2s will get a place in ESF in Years 1, 2 or 3.
    Siblings will always take precedence, only Corporate Surety will trump siblings.
    There is quite a difference between very local, local, western-local and western kindergartens. They are usually obvious through their rigidity in learning, lack of scope and sequence of learning skills and concepts, some untrained 'teachers', few structured play activities, English learned lacks relevance to everyday application and practise.
    ESF does not have stringent English tests. The interview teachers are attuned to how well a student can manipulate English to simple situations, contexts and conversations. Open-ended questions such as "Tell me about ......" will allow a student to show how well they can provide meaningful vocabulary. This is so different to many local kindergartens where students are required to study anticipated questions and have ready-made, rote-learned responses.
    So now you have to find a local school that provides enough English for you to have knowledge of its expectations, homework and class routine requirements.
    I would also urge you to check out some 2nd tier international schools - Kingston, Delia, ICS
    Whilst I agree with Cara that Chinese is definitely the language of the future, along with English, Cantonese is not - and this is the main language of instruction in Hong Kong local schools.
    Good luck!

  5. #37
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    elise:

    ummm...i NEVER said that chinese was the language of the future. my childre learn cantonese because (1) we live in hk, (2) their paternal grandparents only speak cantonese and (3) ANY language will only open doors, never shut them. i agree that mandarin would be more beneficial in the long-run. please do not put words in my mouth.

    also, NOT all local schools only use cantonese. at the school that my son will attend in september it works like this:

    chinese language (parents have the choice between cantonese and mandarin)
    maths (cantonese or english)
    other subjects: english

    it seems to me that you don't have much experience of the local school system and have made some huge general assumptions about what is on offer. best bet would be to actually read up on the system and check out some of the schools that are there for non-chinese speaking students.

    i think that so many expats miss out on such a great opportunity due to false assumptions or hearsay. it's too bad, really.

  6. #38
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by shwetakhanna View Post
    Our LO got rejected in an Int'l KG because they found her to be over active, and they wanted more disciplined ans structured kids. So i think all the schools have their own criteria for selection.
    Ha! When most children go for their kindergarten interview they are barely 2-years-old. Our son was actually 1-year, 11-months-old when he went for his "interview." It's hard to fathom that age (or even him now at 3-years-old) being anything but "over active."

    But, personally, as a teacher myself, I find that most local children are much too docile. The active ones are usually the more engaged and actually (and I'll get flack for saying this) "more intelligent" ones. The reason why the schools want docile children is understandable--if they're going to pack their classrooms to the brim with kids it's so much easier to control the situation if those kids act similarly to little robots.

    I went for a parent-teacher conference at the end of the past term and my son's kindergarten teacher first said to me, "Wow! Your son communicates so well in both Cantonese and English. How is that possible?" (I guess she didn't realize we speak both languages a lot at home). The next comment she had is, "He is so active! Sometimes he just doesn't want to focus on some subjects."

    I had previously heard a story from another school staff member about how the K1 students were taken for a tour of the principal's office and all the other kids just stood there silently while the principal talked and of course, my son was pointing out all the cool objects in the room and asking questions about them--the local teachers didn't quite know what to make of that. To me, I am quite proud of the fact that my son was interested and asking questions! Maybe not interested in what he was "supposed to be interested in" (a boring adult rattling on...) but...

    So, whenever someone mentions about how "over active" my son is, my internal response was, "Well, that's not really his fault, now is it? If you'd provide more relevant and stimulating activities you wouldn't have that problem." My son gets great marks for his manners and empathy toward other children and adults at school so I will never fault him for being engaged in the world and wanting to touch and learn even if that gets him labeled "over active."

    My view is that any school that would reject him for being "over active" is a school that's losing out on a star pupil.

  7. #39
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    elise:

    ummm...i NEVER said that chinese was the language of the future. my childre learn cantonese because (1) we live in hk, (2) their paternal grandparents only speak cantonese and (3) ANY language will only open doors, never shut them. i agree that mandarin would be more beneficial in the long-run. please do not put words in my mouth.
    He he he...I'm the one who said, "Chinese is the language of the future" and that isn't a quote by me--that quote came from another source that I used for a large research paper I did for my degree.

    The quote is below:

    “Chinese is the language of the future in the States…it’s going to be the language of commerce and of culture.”

    -Betty Bourgeois in The Dallas Morning News, November 2005

    Cantonese probably won't be "the language of the future" but it's still useful AND if you're learning Cantonese you're learning WRITTEN Chinese as well which is going to give you a HUGE advantage in the marketplace. It's definitely a place to start and almost all government-funded (in any way whether fully funded or aided) primary schools are receiving a lot of grant money right now to develop their Putonghua programs at the moment. There is even a native-Putonghua-speaking teacher at our school paid for by the government (like a NET...I guess a NPT?). So you can expect that your children will also be spending a lot of time learning Putonghua in a local school as well.

  8. #40
    Elise is offline Registered User
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    Apologies Carang for misquoting you!
    However, I didn't say ALL kindergartens. I said:
    "There is quite a difference between very local, local, western-local and western kindergartens."

    I've been teaching in Hong Kong for 15 years so I am in a position to make such comments on the diversity of teaching methodology in Hong Kong kindergartens and schools.

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