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Why is Victoria so popular?! My son doesn't seem to like it there..

  1. #9
    chrcheu is offline Registered User
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    I meant to ask someone who has sent their kids to victoria instead of someone who just stated the obvious without any acutal advice

  2. #10
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    actually, i thought HC provided good advice... perhaps just not what you wanted to hear.
    lesliefu likes this.

  3. #11
    chrcheu is offline Registered User
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    Well all HC said was do research, ask people, which is what im already doing. I think victoria's name is bigger than what it actually is, so would like to know more insight about it.

  4. #12
    Roshna is offline Registered User
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    I had my daughter at Victoria Belchers for 2 years, my son for 3. Like the OP, at first, i wondered what i had gotten myself and my kids into. We only speak English. The morning classes they were in were trilingual - with English and Cantonese as the main languages. But honestly, the main teacher is the Cantonese one so a lot of information/ discussions/ briefings are in Cantonese.

    Anyway, we coped. Got a tutor to help with Chinese homework and reading once a week. And my kids thrived at Victoria. And i tried harder to understand the Cantonese instructions (like when we'd go for field trips) and of course, the other moms were more than willing to translate.


    Few good points:
    They are very good with the IB system - the units of inquiry get studied, the qualities of an IB learner are repeated to remind the kids what they should strive to be.
    The homework they gave instilled discipline in me and my kids - to sit for a certain time everyday and get it done. I knew what they were learning at all times.
    The teachers are great - my son was so keen to learn Cantonese because he loved his Class teachers. He learned simple characters and phrases. The teachers encouraged the kids to do more and the kids were always happy and confident. The English teacher would push my son to read wordier books because she saw he could.
    They keep parents involved - through field trips, reading at school, sports day, coming in during festivals/ or when they have themes if you want to share related information. They upload pictures to keep you posted on what the kids are doing at school.
    The primary schools know that Victoria kids will be of a certain standard (a good level) in reading and writing. This was said to me by an admissions person of a primary school.

    One of the cons is they are overly cautious with health related issues. (though with HK's track record, that's still a pro for me). One day my son bit his inner cheek, the nurse sent him home saying it could be hand, foot and mouth. I had to spend HK$700 at the pedia to get a check up and a certificate clearing him to go to school! My kid would go to school fine but come home with a mask because he or she had coughed at school!

    But all considered, i thank Victoria for the great foundation for learning i feel they have put into my kids (and me, too).

    Roshna

  5. #13
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrcheu View Post
    Although i may not have done enough research on all possible primary schools i may want my child to get in since he is just turning 2, i can tell the difference between the teaching approaches between int'l kindy and local kindy, which i think will not be too far off in primaries.
    Not only have you not done any research, you havent even figured out that Victoria is *NOT* a local kindy. Here, let me give you a hint.
    Go to this website:
    http://www.vsa.edu.hk/
    On the very front page, about half way down, you will see links to IB and CIS. Click on them and read about them. Once you do so, you will quickly realise that this school uses a completely different system to teach and grade the kids than typical local schools.

    As i said i had made up my mind, but just wondering why victoria is so popular except the fact that students can go to good primaries, did i miss something since i only stayed there for one month?...I meant to ask someone who has sent their kids to victoria instead of someone who just stated the obvious without any acutal advice
    You were there. You had access to the parents, teachers, students as well as the principal but for some reason you decided to bypass all of them and made up your mind based on faulty "impressions". You didnt read the school literature, you didnt talk to people around you but you just left and now you are wondering, after its too late....Weird.

    Here is actual advice : Hong Kong school system is relatively complex. There are *many* types of schools such as Govt School, Subsidised Schools, Grant Schools, DSS schools, Caput schools, Private schools, International schools and ESF schools. Within those, some of the schools also teach IB, some teach GCSE, some teach HKDSE and some do HKCEE/HKALE.

    VSA happens to be a Private IB school which teaches in Bi and Trilingual curriculum (it is not a "local" school).

    No matter, I find it quite shocking that you sent your child there and didnt even know this. My advice to you would be to familiarize yourself with the various schools and school types so that you at least have a basic understanding of what you will need to decide in a few years time.

    Your child is only 2 so its ok to make a mistake early on, but such mistakes will be very hard to fix later on with respect to schools and school systems.

    Good luck.

  6. #14
    chrcheu is offline Registered User
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    Roshna, thanks for your information! So which primary school is your kid going to? I surely know that students in Victoria kindy have good standard in reading and writing, which made me wonder if they put too much emphasis on academics than creativity and other things. To me, being creative and able to express themselves are very important as a kid while math, reading and stuff, they will evetually know.

    And howardcoombs, I don't know why you assumed that I don't talk to people in school andI don't know Victoria is not local kindy by definition. I said it is local because the environment is local to me, except Eng teachers, the others are really locals, cantonese teachers' english are bad, the way they interact with kids is no different from my son's grandmoms, very traditional in some way. I am in school with my kid every day, i talk to people there of coz, what made you think i wouldnt? But it doesnt stop me from wondering. I would be an idiot if i didnt even know it follows IB program...

    All i can say is you have so many theories and facts, but it doesnt make you know better than i do, because u need to
    actually be there and experience it. Im shocked you are making such strong statements but have no experience about it ad parent. Looks like you take pride of all the information you have got about schools, bet you studied their literatures! All schools write that their students are the best and happiest, which one should I go for if I just READ?

  7. #15
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrcheu View Post
    And howardcoombs, I don't know why you assumed that I don't talk to people in school andI don't know Victoria is not local kindy by definition. I said it is local because the environment is local to me, except Eng teachers, the others are really locals, cantonese teachers' english are bad, the way they interact with kids is no different from my son's grandmoms, very traditional in some way. I am in school with my kid every day, i talk to people there of coz, what made you think i wouldnt? But it doesnt stop me from wondering. I would be an idiot if i didnt even know it follows IB program...
    My apologies. You kept saying "local" which I assumed to mean that the school follows local curriculum, using local methods -- which it does not.
    To be clear, you should have said : The school is full of local Chinese people with bad English, the teachers are traditional like a grandma.
    Now I understand you better - you prefer your child be taught by westerners with excellent English skills.
    In that case, definitely, Victoria is not the place for you. You would probably enjoy HKIS or Kellett - they have very few local Chinese.

    I've been to Victoria many times, know plenty of parents with kids there. They feel that Victoria is an excellent school with wonderful teachers. Some of the teachers are local, some from Mainland and some are English - they teach appropriate subjects based on their specialty.

    I do have to wonder though about your comment where you said "Cantonese teachers' english are bad"..Did you talk to the English teachers? I'm curious how good their Cantonese was...What about the Mandarin teachers, how was their English and Cantonese?
    Last edited by howardcoombs; 08-27-2012 at 11:33 PM.

  8. #16
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    i have two kids in victoria and i used to teach at the international schools here in hK and at victoria p/t. i would say victoria is a good medium - not exactly local and not exactly international...to our family a happy medium cause we want them to learn the chinese culture but also we like the interactive teaching methodology i see used in their classrooms. the faculty and staff are very caring (at least at my daughters victoria) and it is most important to me and not the number of professional qualifications they have (which is perhaps lacking when compared to other schools).

    creativity is lacking - sure...expressive language - they have many opportunities to do during school time. one must remember that expressive language only comes after enough language is input and when one develops confidence. they are not great at this, but i see them trying - show and tell is a great time for my kids to express themselves...granted they are only in prenursery! how much can you realistically want them to express?

    the cantonese teachers are not their to interact with the children in English - nor do they write any of their portfolio comments, give presentations in english - so their level of English, to me, is irrelevant. their job is to teach and converse in Cantonese, so that my kid can learn vocab in Cantonese and eventually express themselves in Cantones.

    there are pros and cons to every school and at the end of the day you have to decide what your family can live (or not live with). victoria is good for us now - can't say for sure it will be what I say when my kids are in primary or high school. kids are still young - need to see what their learning style is and find the best match - look at my kids learning style first.
    carang likes this.

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