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Esf

  1. #17
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    My children are all in ESF this coming school year. A lot of answers have been answered already. Mine are at QBS and we're very happy with the school. Good teachers, cosy feel, friendly, very mixed so kids from everywhere but still quite an Asian look and feel (but kids have different nationalities, backgrounds, etc.). Wouldn't call the school new (at all) but they will start renovation / expansion in 2013 I think. Interview is quite simple, basically to check English language skills and social skills (and ability to be part of a 30 child class, etc.).

    I am pretty sure you'll be placed into Cat 1 (but check). I know quite a few local parents (even both parents) who have raised their children in English, been through English preschools, speak English at home and their children are completely unable to enter local education as they only understand very basic Cantonese, they will be Cat 1, at least I know a few examples and they were put in Cat 1 and did get accepted. Some schools have Cantonese staff in the interview room to check for Cantonese ability and if sufficient, they'll be denied a spot (SJS has done this, from what I have heard). I think this is also the main problem of the oversubscription, more and more locals are entering ESF (currently around 75% are permanent HKID, although this could obviously include long term expats, etc.), and raising their children completely in English, with very little or no Cantonese. That's why SJS, KJS, etc. are just as bad! CWB has always been very bad, with many expats living in CWB/SK.

    I still have many Caucasian friends, Cat 1, who did not get offered a spot and had to look for alternatives. As many have said on this website, never put your eggs in one basket and apply for multiple schools. ESF used to be a "back up" for expats if other international schools failed, it no longer offers any guarantee, so it has only become harder and harder to get a spot. And it's likely to get any better.

  2. #18
    zhumgg is offline Registered User
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    Thanks so much for the very useful information. I like QBS too but not sure if we can get in. Seems like Beacon hill school is our better bet......Also, I dont know how their random number works. I called QBS before, they said when people apply on-line, everyone has a random number which determine whether they get an interview....if so, 50% of this whole application is based on luck?? Did all your children studied in ESF kindergarten?? Make me wonder whether we should come back earlier to get into the kinddie which will give us priority for an interview for P1....but I think all the kinddie should be full too for 2011/2012....?? Any idea?? Thanks again

  3. #19
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    don't think that getting into kindie is any easier....just as difficult

  4. #20
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    My twins got priority because my oldest was already there. We applied in 2008 for her, and that was actually no problem back then for QBS (Bradbury was already an issue). As a clear Cat 1 she was accepted without problems and so were her brother and sister earlier this year. ESF Kindies are also oversubscribed now in order to at least try to get a priority interview. It doesn't guarantee anything.

  5. #21
    TNT
    TNT is offline Banned
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    Just to clarify in relation to your last question, yes it is based on luck whether you get called for an interview via the random number. We live in Bradbury catchment and were lucky to get an interview - totally random. Many of our friends (most) did not who were all Cat 1 (both parents expats) I think everyone i know now going into Reception/P1 (depending on the school) has got a place somewhere in the international system, but some only got them in the last few weeks so as others have said it is very important to have a backup plan if you want an International school.

  6. #22
    zhumgg is offline Registered User
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    I agree back up is very important as I have no way to know how lucky we will be.....do you think applying 3 international schools (ESF central, discovery college and renaissance) is enough?? Sigh........

  7. #23
    Konradsmom is offline Registered User
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    I am a current ESF kindie parent who have heard lots of horror stories about acceptance into the system - so I would apply to other international schools apart from those under the ESF and PIS systems.

    From what I have been told, other than the increase in chinese parents putting their kids into the system (I am one of those, but then I never thought ESF was exclusive to only expats - probabaly was in the colonial days but now its another era), there are also a large number expats landing in HKG - I can see lots of testimony to that from my own company. And the demand for rentals in some of the comonly sought after areas by expats is perhaps another sign of the number of familiies arriving in HKG these few years.....so the competition is just a simple fact of supply and demand, I think.

  8. #24
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhumgg View Post
    I agree back up is very important as I have no way to know how lucky we will be.....do you think applying 3 international schools (ESF central, discovery college and renaissance) is enough?? Sigh........
    I think you need to apply for schools other than ESF as well. Also all these schools are in very different locations. You may have to decide where to live (to some extent) before you ever get a school place. Do you want to live in DB, do you want to live in the NT? How long do you want your child to travel? Would there be school busses anyway? Where will you/husband be working (and commuting time)? I know school is of vital importance, but again, your choices are now all over in terms of geographical area.

    Not sure, but don't PIS give priority to Perm HKID holders? Or am I wrong? I don't think they have some admission criteria, but could very well be mistaken. Though it was different to general ESF.

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