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Which kindergarten to have better chance to get into Chinese international school?

  1. #17
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Thats quite normal as Chinese is not their home language.
    We've had tutors in our house (sometimes 2 at a time) since the kids were 3 years old to help them with their homework as we as western parents cannot help at all.

    As for large sum of money, that all depends on what type of tutor you hire. We've always gone for university students and paid them around $100/hr - you dont need much more than that as you are just trying to support the learning and dont need a highly qualified teacher.

    I'm aware that some parents hire tutors and pay them 300-500/hr : I think thats totally un-necessary.

  2. #18
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
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    Hi Howard, how do you like Isf?

    We are undecided between Isf, sis and cis. Have you made some comparisons between the 3 you can share?

  3. #19
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    We love ISF and very happy with it. My bank account does not and the cost is a big drain on family finances.

    I have visited all 3 schools multiple times and say with confidence that all 3 of them are excellent in teachers, facilities and overall education. Their fees are also close to each other.

    The major difference is the level of commitment to Mandarin education.

    SIS : people classify this as a Mandarin school but if you start digging into the number of classes and hours of teaching you will find very quickly that its an English school with a fairly decent Mandarin programme.

    CIS : very good Mandarin programme is available but it is very much "optional". You can apply and get into the school at all levels without having any Mandarin. During my multiple visits I did not get the feeling that there was a major commitment to bilingualism and I know that CIS regularly accepts students who are transient (parents with 1-2 year contracts) which does lead to churn which is also present in a lot of HK international schools.

    ISF : Strictly bilingual. Every kid must be fully bilingual at every grade past reception. The schools considers and routinely rejects transient families; they are looking for people with strong commitment to Hong Kong and bilingual education.

  4. #20
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
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    Very helpful thank you! How is the mandarin programme in sis compared to cis? Would you say the latter is stronger?

    Besides mandarin, are you satisfied with the English and other curriculum being taught in Isf? We like the school but have a slight concern with its lack if track record. Am curios what you think of that.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. #21
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    In my opinion, CIS is stronger than SIS but only if you choose the right path/classes. My understanding is that quite a number of the classes are optional at CIS. Lets face it, Chinese is hard and given the choice what student wouldn't pick the easy route?

    Apart from the fees (common to most international schools) have no complaints.

    As for track record, everyone has to start somewhere. I think they had their teething problems a few years ago but its a good solid school with happy student body. The fact that it has hugely risen in popularity in recent years is showing that other parents also agree with this.

  6. #22
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
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    Thank you!!!

    So hard to get in (like all intl schools) and the debenture is fast approaching usd1mm by the time its our turn to apply ...

  7. #23
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    ISF does not require a debenture and my understanding is that possession does not necessarily give priority.
    We do not have a debenture.

  8. #24
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    fennho is offline Registered User
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    hi howard

    can u also share the homework load for very young students in ISF? I have heard that it's CRAZY (much worse than SIS) which is already notorious for the homework load. thanks in advance

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