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PIPS or Greenfield Playgroup??

  1. #9
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    but if you are thinking your child will go to a local primary school, attending an international kindergarten is not a good idea! your child will be way behind in chinese listening/understanding/speaking/reading/writing....

    just because you speak english at home doesn't mean your child won't enjoy a local kindergarten. while it isn't all playtime and snacks, both of my kids have thoroughly enjoyed their time at a local kindergarten learning chinese. (and now attending a local primary school--my son, daughter still has 1 year of kindergarten)

  2. #10
    wishkiez is offline Registered User
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    thanks fatfreak and carang for your comments

    We're not bothered with 'local' feel. We live in HK, and we want to embrace that. We're quite likely to be here for the long term, so we feel we should give the opportunity to our son to really immerse in the culture here. If everything goes well at local school option, the only downside we can think of is that it'll be harder to be accepted at ESF. But the fear of not being accepted at ESF whilst my son does not learn any Chinese overtakes all other concerns... Think of the stress caused of having to go to a local school when unable to understand the language you're being taught in. I've been there myself (My family moved to the UK from Japan and my brothers and I went to the local school with almost no understanding of English, aged 12, 10 and 4). The outcome is really child dependent, and unreliable. Not recommended.

    What's important for us is that our son enjoys the experiences at the school - whether it be the learning process, play, etc. He's joining PN from Sept 2012, and we figured we have one year to see how he's doing. We will be applying to all the other options, such as ESF, Delia, VSA and KCIS this year when the application opens.

    During my recent visit to Greenfield (new Hang Hau campus which opened in April 2012), I had complete attention of a teaching staff (as opposed to a school supervisor) who took time to ensure all my answers were met, talked at length about approach to discipline and how learning through play was an important part of child's growth, went over some teaching materials and shown some work sheets, activities pupils would do (including cooking like kneading), how I could read between the lines that my child would not be pressurised to achieve a skill he is not yet ready for, but be positively encouraged to learn over time. The teachers were native to the language they are in charge of, which could not be said for some other schools I have seen. In the end, I felt comfortable that my child would be taken care of, and the teachers and staff actually cared. So I'm pretty much sold on the idea, but feel nervous because I am not able to find any endorsements for the school, or find other parents who has had the benefit of experience.

    So any feedback - whether on Greenfield, or other local, or other options I have, will be most gratefully received.

  3. #11
    carang's Avatar
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    there is a small local kindergarten in sai kung. i've written about it many times. Sai Kung Lok Yuk Kindergarten. They have many expat kids, mixed kids and local kids. the language of instruction is cantonese, but all of the kids catch on very quickly, especially when they are so young!

    if you want your kid to go local, you need to start in kindergarten. there is no way a child could play "catch up" starting P1.

    as for your family immersing in a a new language being dependent on the child.... i think it had a lot more to do with the ages of the children...a 4 year old will pick up language much faster than a 12 year old... at least that is usually how it works.

    you are worried you haven't seen any endorsements for a school which opened 3 months ago? i would be very surprised if there were any! that isn't very much time...

  4. #12
    charade is offline Registered User
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    I am also interested in all the schools wishkiez mentioned so would love to get feedback. With Greenfield though, my understanding is that it is an International school so medium of instruction English with a Putonghua/Cantonese component thrown in. I visited the Hang Hau campus some time ago - is it bilingual? Can't remember...but I do remember the staff seemed friendly.

    If you're truly serious about going the local route, I would do as Cara suggested and go with a Cantonese kindergarten. That's the only way the child would pick up enough Cantonese to be comfortable in a Cantonese-medium primary school... or possibly even a local English medium school where most of the kids in the schoolyard would speak Cantonese (and also I heard some of the prestigious English-medium local schools would like the kids to have some level of profiency in Chinese so they don't bring down the overall school grade since Chinese is a compulsory subject in competitive exams in the local system).

    But for me, if I was going that route, I'd want to find a kindergarten that is expat-friendly, even if the medium of instruction is Chinese. So a school that is used to dealing with expat parents who may not be able to read the regular circulars and where there are a handful of expat kids so one's kid is not the only foreigner in the schoolyard. This is a bigger concern for me because we are Indian; a Caucasian kid might have an easier time. There seem to be a couple of such options in Sai Kung (the one Cara mentioned also Sunlight Internationa) but not in TKO as far as I know.

    Going to an international school with local kids... not sure how that would prep a kid for local primary. Maybe if it was bilingual...

  5. #13
    carang's Avatar
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    the school i mentioned sends all info out in english or chinese (as does my son's local, chinese primary school).

  6. #14
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    the school i mentioned sends all info out in english or chinese (as does my son's local, chinese primary school).
    Yes, Cara but this doesn't seem to be the case in some of the kindergartens I checked out in the TKO area. I think the school you mentioned and Sunlight, which is also in Sai Kung, do this because they have at least a handful of expat kids. I tried to the bus ride to Sai Kung and it's too long...I would love to find such an option in TKO, but it's hard to know except through word of mouth because from the govt website there are so many schools - all with Chinese only websites - that if I had to visit each one, I'd have to take a month of work.

    So, Cantonese-medium expat-friendly schools in TKO anyone?

  7. #15
    carang's Avatar
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    yes, i realise it might not be the case for all schools... ;)

  8. #16
    Zergmei is offline Registered User
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    hi
    sorry for the late reply.

    I tried greenfield (longbeach) from may and decided to pull her out on the first day of school.
    however, getting back to tutortime has been tough. she will only return to tutortime at the end of July.

    the teachers aren't very enthusiastic about the children. so the teachers do their jobs (as though by the handbook) and don't really facilitate the children's learning. the children thus don't pay much attention and go about doing their own things. The teachers use youtube videos to teach songs and can't even sing along in tune.

    the combination of english and putonghua all at the same time confuses the children and my daughter went from speaking 30% putonghua to completely zero. they don't seem to learn anything at all!

    I went to their parent teacher meetings where they showed videos of what happens in class and I was very disappointed and felt glad that I made the decision to withdraw her fast.

    Also, hygiene may be an issue as the toilets are not ensuit so the kids don't wash their hands often enough.
    in the first month my daughter was there, she got hand foot mouth.
    in the second month, she had tonsilitis.
    in the third month, she had pneumonia.
    I can't wait to get her out of school.

    Greenfield has good ideas, ie homework to inculcate a good habit of sitting down to do work.

    too bad about the execution.

    Quote Originally Posted by wishkiez View Post
    Hi Zergmei

    Am about to enrol my son at Greenfield (the new Hang Hau campus). Could you be specific about the negative comments you have heard about Greenfield please? My options are Sunshine House (Clear Water Bay), Boxhill (TKO) and Greenfield. We want to prep my son for wider options for Primary in case he doesn't get into any of the Inter and ESF. The most important factor would be htat he enjoys his time at school though, even if it means he has little choice at P1 level.

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