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HK Preschool advice?

  1. #1
    Julian O'Connel is offline Registered User
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    HK Preschool advice?

    Greetings from Singapore

    We are moving 'back' to HK in August.

    We have a 5 year old boy, (Filipino/Irish).

    He attends a great little pre-school here in Singapore called Columbia Academy, which he really enjoys, and is learning the 3 'R's', in both mandarin and english.

    Its very well run, and we will be very sorry to take him out of it.

    Will be looking to get him into a similar pre-school as soon as possible after arrival.

    Do the panel have any recommendations, on suitable pre-schools in HK?

    We will be living around the Queens Road East area of Wanchai, but I guess we can look at pre-school options around Happy Vallley, Causeway bay, Admiralty, and even heading 'up the hill at the back', kennedy road, bowen rd, stubbs road etc...

    Any advice greatfully received.

    We have already identified Woodlands HV and Wanchai as possibilities...

    With thanks

    Julian

  2. #2
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
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    Hi Julian!

    Welcome back!

    If you're child is 5, you need to be looking for a P1 place for him, which is not going to be easy.

    Have you contacted Starters? I don't think they have a Mandarin program.

    http://www.starters.edu.hk
    Founder of GeoBaby.Com

  3. #3
    Portia is offline Registered User
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    Agree with Rani that most children who are already 5 will not be in pre-school in September, but will be in Year 1. This is the most difficult year to get into and many international schools have long waiting lists. You need to start calling schools as soon as possible as you are, unfortunately, very late in the game.

    You could try Island Christian Academy which is a new international primary school opening in Central (Bridges Street) in Aug 2012. Given that it is new, they might still have some places for P1 so it would be worth giving them a call. The school is associated with Small World Christian Kindergarten which is an excellent and very caring school. My LO is in their first intake (currently located up at Small World until they move in August) and I am very pleased with the school so far.

    If you don't mind the debenture, PIPS at Parkview have a Year 1 class. You could also try Woodlands Harbourside for their Year 1 class, but I know that last year they were also over-subscribed and had a waiting list. I would mention that even if you find a Year 1 place in a pre-school like PIPS, Woodlands or Starters, you will still have to find a Year 2 place for them as they are not primary schools.
    Last edited by Portia; 05-24-2012 at 03:26 PM.

  4. #4
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    no, not all schools will be starting P1. from my research, only esf kids will be in Year/Primary 1.

    many other schools (CDNIS, HKIS (I believe) and all local schools) don't start P1 until they are 6.

  5. #5
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    PIPS' debenture is HKD50,000 but is fully refundable when the child leaves the school - so it's effectively a large deposit, but you don't lose the money. Yes, they have what they call Lower Kindergarten (age 4-5) and Upper Kindergarten (age 5-6) class. It's a nice school with good, caring teachers. And you may find it easier to get into the Upper K. class and then apply for your son to get into a Primary 2/ Year 2/ Grade 2 class (depending on the school), than going in at entry level.

    I can't speak for CDNIS, but HKIS starts with Reception 1 at age 4 (cut off date is 1st Sept of that academic yr), R2 is age 5, and then Grade 1 is age 6. Some other schools (ESF, I believe) have age groups that run from Jan to Jan, rather than Sept to Sept. It's very confusing that there is no across-the-board age range/class name system - but because these are international schools we are talking about, they follow the 'rules' of the country/exam system they are advocating.

  6. #6
    carang's Avatar
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    thanks, honky... i thought the US system was very similar set up to the canadian one.... starting at age 6 for grade 1.

  7. #7
    Portia is offline Registered User
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    I think that regardless whether the international school calls the class Year 1 or reception or something else, my point is simply that most international pre-schools don't have many children in the 5-6 year age bracket unless they have upper kindergarten program (ie, something equivalent to a Year 1 ESF program) like PIPS or Woodlands Harborside.

    When I was considering deferring my child's Year 1 entrance last year, I asked at a few pre-schools about the ages of the kids as I wanted my LO to have some classmates of a similar age and was told that there are very few 5 year olds ( ie, most kids would only turn 5 during the course of the year), usually only a few who have deferred.

    Local kindies definitely have 5-6 year olds though as they don't start P1 until tgey are 6 years old as Cara has mentioned.
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    pixelelf is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian O'Connel View Post
    Greetings from Singapore
    He attends a great little pre-school here in Singapore called Columbia Academy, which he really enjoys, and is learning the 3 'R's', in both mandarin and english.

    Its very well run, and we will be very sorry to take him out of it.

    Julian
    Hi there!

    Im moving back to SG end of june and have booked my 4.5 yr old son with columbia junior academy at havelock months ago. what is 3Rs? i was worried that it may be a very tough curriculum, because they did tell me, they will prep the child academically for primary school. can you please tell me more?

    my child currently attends woodland harbourside, and they do nothing academic. he does only 30mins a day of mandarin (stories, music, coloring activity), which he loves. the rest of time, it's art and craft, story time, playground/fitness, circle time. to me, it seems like a far cry from columbia academy's curriculum that ive seen on paper.

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